Another Christmas….

Another Christmas……some can’t wait until it comes

Some can’t wait until it’s over

But now it is here….. Christmas Day

What does it all mean and why such a Celebration?

For Christians it means something different in a more personal and meaningful way than those who just know it as another Holiday…..a day off of work or school, or a day to give and receive gifts.

For some it is a day of joy, and others a day of drama, still others a day of sadness.

For some it’s football.

Whatever this day means to you…..could you pause and read a small note, a personal message.

This personal message from a friend of mine of years past, Freedom Kongvold, might help some find a reason to consider why all the “fuss” over Christmas, a day everyone in the world knows of, and many acknowledge as one of the most important days of all mankind, could be one of the most important days of your life.

Take a read and give some thought.

http://www.freedomkongvold.com/blog/christmas-2016

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The Pa Project – A Call to Action

Over the last 20 + years I have had the pleasure of watching a young quiet couple from a small town in Pennsylvania grow into one of the most dynamic and caring leaders I know. Their names to most people in Pennsylvania and across America may be unknown, but their touch and influence is profound. Their life and legacy is still in progress but has been extended through their offspring. They say an apple does not fall far from the tree, and in this case their “four apples” and their spouses have inspired an entire community of leaders at Life Leadership to action; and with that The Pa Project was born.

2016-05-16-23.14.21                                    Dean & Teresa Frey Family along with Deb and Myron Kile

Dean & Teresa Frey and their amazing children Zach, Lexi, Levi and Haley are impacting lives while creating family memories and a legacy to be proud of.

Christmas Day – A Day To Change Your Life

So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told. Luke 2:16-20 NIV

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One birth changed the world, by bringing into this world a Savior who can save us from our sins and bring us eternal life.

This CHRISTmas don’t just celebrate the day but take the time to learn of this miraculous opportunity to change your life.

How Much Intelligence Does it Take?

I, like many people love automobiles. They are amazing! They provide the ability to get so many different places so quickly and in comfort. And many look so good. There are so many awesome designs, engines with great horsepower, climate controlled, with sound systems that marvel, technology to the max. They are designed with style that is not only attractive but engineered with efficiency in mind.

I love the new Tesla S! It is an amazing car. No engine, no transmission, no need for gasoline, a full 17 inch computer screen to handle the functions of your automobile. And even with no engine or transmission it is still a car with great acceleration, 0-60mph in just over 4 seconds. It had to require a different thought process, a paradigm shift to believe you could create an automobile that is fast as most any sports car on the market and not have an engine. It had to have challenged the intelligent automotive minds of today to think and design such an automobile.

2012-tesla-model-s_100365754_m

WHERE’S THE ENGINE?

TESLA S Trunk

Then look at the smart phones of today. Small, with so much technology and apps it staggers the imagination. These people who design these things are intelligent, I mean really really smart.

To have the vision to think these concepts in the mind and the smarts to create these technologies from mind to reality took some major intelligence. Likewise I cannot imagine that to create our world it took any less intelligence or any less design. None of us will deny the fact that the products we live our lives with today, from something as simple as a fork and spoon, to complexity of the automobile or smart phone didn’t happen by accident. Someone had to think and design the fork and spoon just as they had to have the intelligence to think and create the automobile and smart phone.  How can we possibly think that complexity of the earth, with its water, oxygen, plants, animals, insects, humans, etc. all of which play an integral role in each other’s existence, happened without that same intelligence or with any sense of design that our circle of life and ecosystem would all work together.

As a person who studied the sciences we were taught to propose a hypotheses or theory and then prove or disprove it. Many theories that could not be proved were by default considered disproved….until new knowledge became available. Just because we cannot explain something and it is beyond our current level of understanding doesn’t mean it is not possible or didn’t happen. I am not the smartest person in the world, but even the most intelligent minds could not possibly design and create our planet and the life on. I also find it intellectually very hard to believe that like the fork, spoon, automobile and smart phone that they were created by the big bang theory and then evolved into the ordered life systems we know. Many things we are still learning and trying to understand, but how much intelligence would it take to design and create the universe, the planet, all living things and the human race? Could we propose that perhaps a mind much greater than a single human mind, or perhaps even greater than the mind of all of our experts combined?

So……… as an intelligent person reading this blog I want to challenge you to watch this 38 minute video. Listen intently to the questions being asked and the responses to those questions. Ask yourself some of those same questions.

Now think about this. How much time and energy did most of us spend researching our last automobile to make sure it was safe or fuel efficient? An automobile that we might keep for 3-5 years? Would it be worth spending 38 minutes watching this video and then do some research to make a decision where you and your children may spend eternity? It might require a Paradigm Shift, but be smart and do your homework. One thing for sure, the cost is greater and you will be there longer than you will keep your car.

The Cure – Book Review

The Cure

I picked this book up at first because of the notation on the front cover;

“What if God isn’t who you think He is and neither are you”

Then I turned it over and read some of the recommendations;

“No other resource has had such a profound impact on my life other than the Bible”

“The most important expression of the Gospel I have ever read”

“These days I recommend The Cure more than any single book in my library”

“From a psychological and theological perspective, The Cure is the single most important book that I have read”

“Sometimes a book can change your life. This one changed mine, and I am still learning from it. This is the best and most practical book on living by grace that I have ever read”

These were some powerful recommendations…. So I bought the book.

As I started to read the first part of the book it was confusing.

In the middle of the book I got lost.

At the end of the book I was captivated.

But what made it all come together was reading the Notes they put at the end of the book. Those notes that follow those little annotations we tend to ignore when we read. As I started to read a couple of the notes it caused me to go back and read more of the first chapter to put the notes into context. Then I do what I only do on occasion, and that was to read the Bible verse referenced in the first chapter. As I searched for each notation I re-read more  and more of the first chapter and then started re-reading the book,  now taking each annotation and following it and then back to the book and before you knew it the book came to life.

If you want answers as to why you try to do the right thing and never can seem to do so consistently, or you  tend to do not what you know is right but what is wrong. If your relationships seem unsettled and you can’t seem to repair them, or if you wonder what your life’ purpose is, your destiny and your role in this crazy unsettled world then this book is for you.

We are a week out from Christmas which centers around the birth of Christ and you have may have questions.

Questions that keep causing you to search.

If you question who God really is and what place, if any he should have in your life?

If you question who God is and who you really are and what your relationship to him should look like?

Then this book is for you!

As the book challenges; “But God’s cures rarely come in the form we expect.”

“What if indeed, God is not who we think he is and neither are we”

Jesus is a Scam

Since this is Easter and the Christian celebration of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ I thought it would be appropriate to question; is Jesus who he and others say he is, or is Jesus really a scam that has been that has been passed down through the ages like folklore?

To test the truth, I Googled “Jesus is a scam” and came across a website that intrigued me; Personal Development for Smart People Forums. We all know if you want an answer for something to go to “smart people” which I assume means educated or at least more so than the rest of us to get to the bottom of things – the truth.  Of course as an educated society with technology at our fingertips, when we want to find the truth about something we “Google it”

Here are some of the answers to the truth about Jesus from the Personal Development for Smart People Forums :

Neblasian a Senior Member:

I was doing some research about Jesus Christ and I see alot of references about him being the mythical character Horus. The parallels, if they are, true, (B Jesus and Horus) are astonishing. I know Christianity has some roots in paganism, but however, I thought at least there was some truth to the character called Jesus. If these facts are indeed correct this means that EVERYTHING IN CHRISTIANITY IS A TOTAL FARCE. Millions of people are believing in a character that never existed. I am not religious or anything but I do believe that there were ascended masters and one of them was Jesus Christ. So please enlighten me. Who is this man called Christ.

Schola a Senior Member:

There are certainly some myths that were added to the story of the man who lived 2000 years ago.

The Jesus story is unique enough to stand on its own. From my research, some of the comparisons to Horus or Mithra are exaggerated.

Outside of the bible there are some references to a jew named Jesus that indicate that he really did exist.

The roman historian Josephus mentions him twice:

But the younger Ananus who, as we said, received the high priesthood, was of a bold disposition and exceptionally daring; he followed the party of the Sadducees, who are severe in judgment above all the Jews, as we have already shown. As therefore Ananus was of such a disposition, he thought he had now a good opportunity, as Festus was now dead, and Albinus was still on the road; so he assembled a council of judges, and brought before it the brother of Jesus the so-called Christ, whose name was James, together with some others, and having accused them as law-breakers, he delivered them over to be stoned.

Antiquities 18.3.3 Now there was about this time Jesus, a wise man, if it be lawful to call him a man, for he was a doer of wonderful works, a teacher of such men as receive the truth with pleasure. He drew over to him both many of the Jews, and many of the Gentiles. He was the Christ, and when Pilate, at the suggestion of the principal men among us, had condemned him to the cross, those that loved him at the first did not forsake him; for he appeared to them alive again the third day; as the divine prophets had foretold these and ten thousand other wonderful things concerning him. And the tribe of Christians so named from him are not extinct at this day.

There is some dispute over the authenticity of these quotes though

To test the validity of their arguments I thought I better do a little more research than just check one website so I also I found a website that exposes scams called Scams.com.

The Jesus Scam


The “Jesus Scam” is one of the longest running scams ever known to man. The scam is thought to have been in existance for atleast 2009 years.

Since the scam began there have been many foundations set up to prosper from this. Consumers should be very wary of these foundations or as they like to call themselves “churches”.

Churches are usually based on a heirachy system. At the top of the system are the scam artists who are known as “clergyman”. These clergyman routinely trick people into believing there is a false profit known as Jesus.

Once the scam artist has conned the individual or as they like to call them “believers”, they start asking for donations. These donations can consist of a percentage of the “believers” income.

Be very wary of this scam, it has the ability to hook these individuals for the period of their life. People have been known to be conned out of their life savings for this scam!

I became concerned so I did a little more research only to find a host of other websites that were concerned and also posted the real truth about Jesus; The Resurrection Scam, Behind the Bible Fraud, and even the Huffington Post a reputable online newspaper cautioned people about believing in Jesus.

Thank GOD (uh oh did I really say that) I found out the truth before I made a fool of myself and believed in something that my internet research proved was not the truth – that Jesus wasn’t who he or others said he was, but really a fraud, leading people in a scam.

But being a science major by education, and studying at one of the best research universities in the world I asked myself a question. What is the best source for truth? In the legal system they say the best source is an eye witness, someone who was actually there or who knows the person or information first hand because they witnessed it themselves.

Paul the Apostle was there when Jesus lived, and actually studied under him and was mentored by him. Paul wrote in 1Corinthians of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. How would he know? He was there! He was an eyewitness.  In fact in 1Corinthians 15:4-9 Paul wrote that Jesus after his death appeared to Paul, Peter, James, and in fact all the Apostles, as well as over 500 people, some of who were still alive when Paul wrote this.  Paul originally was not only an unbeliever, but he even went so far as to persecute the church of GOD. Thomas the skeptic of the Apostles had doubted and had to see the marks in Jesus hands and feet first hand. What caused them to learn the truth?They were there and saw first hand.

So on this Easter Day the day of the Resurrection of Christ you can ask yourself this question is Jesus a Fraud who is involved in a scam? Certainly the internet commentators say so.  But you and I get to decide for ourselves. I choose to go with what someone who was actually there said. Granted there is an element of faith that what the author wrote and what was actually printed is one in the same but going back to the logic of the eye witness I have decided to accept what the eye witness wrote as the truth.

Missouri is the Show Me State which is said to come from the statement by Missouri’s U.S. Congressman Willard Duncan Vandiver, who said in part “frothy eloquence neither convinces nor satisfies me. I am from Missouri. You have got to show me”. So maybe the internet can be a helpful tool in many cases but is it really the best source for truth? I don’t know the people who post their comments and opinions on these websites and many times they don’t even use their real name which again logically makes me question the validity of the information they provide.  I like when an author or commentator posts their name and you are actually able to meet them. Paul did and those who were alive and saw Jesus could have come to Paul and disputed him when he wrote at Ephesus.

I was told years ago; just because I didn’t believe the truth, it didn’t change the truth. We’ve all heard the statement “I’ll believe it when I see it with my own two eyes” Maybe the next time someone tells you something and you want the truth, you would better to believe someone who was actually there, or better yet go see it for yourself.

Money Focused or Purpose Focused?

What is your Money View?

A great question to ask ourselves, because we spend so much of our life working for it – Chris Brady New York Times best-selling author does a talk explaining the concept of a money-view. Because like your worldview, your money-view determines how you approach money. And because we all have the need to earn money, how we view it determines the role it plays in our lives.

In a well articulated article Eric Blomdahl explores finding and living your GOD-given purpose. The challenge we seem to face as a society is we serve GOD on Sunday or in Bible study or on a missions trip, but 40 hours a week (80 for most couples) people focus on money by going off to a job. Many Christians feel that we are not doing GOD’s work if we make a profit, yet Christian authors are paid, and most Pastors are paid, and they usually have a paid staff to assist with the operation of the church. Our defense is the Pastor and staff, are doing GOD’s work.

In contrast most people work a job not because it was their life’s purpose or GOD’s purpose for their life, but because it paid better than the last job.  Where I live near the State Capital of Pennsylvania when asked where someone works if they work for the state you usually get the response with a reply like “I work for such and such at the state, only 12 more years to go. Does that sound like the response of someone whose job is fulfilling their life’s purpose? It sounds more like a prisoner who is doing their time for a crime committed. Maybe it should be considered a crime wasting the life and talent GOD gave us to make money when the only reason we do it because it pays more. In Scripture it states “the love of money is the root of all evil”. Well why else would someone devote their entire life to a job where they are counting the days until they retire if it wasn’t for the money? I doubt they would be there if they weren’t getting paid.

Perhaps our worldview has been shaped in the church. Many of us get our perspective on money from hearing people misquote scripture by saying money is the root of all evil or we attend a church that tends to criticize and make its members feel guilty if they earn income.

A white paper titled Pastoral Care in the Context of New Wealth authors Cooke and Moon researched to determine a Pastor’s capacity to counsel a church member who came into money through inheritance or financial success and found that most are ill equipped to provide such counsel or even know where to turn to provide direction for a church member. They cite several reasons but generally speaking it has to do with the misunderstanding of money and the role it plays in a person’s life. This confusion has been passed on in many cases to the congregation. Money in the hands of good people who understand it’s role can do amazing things.

LIFE challenges men and women to step out of a job where we work for money and into a life of purpose. What is that purpose you ask? That’s for you to decide, but let me offer a few suggestions. I’ve said recently if my children were young with today’s technology we would home school them and travel the country so they could see and experience life first hand. Imagine the memories that would be created stopping to view a sunset on the Pacific Coast of California or to wake up with your kids overlooking Lake Tahoe and have breakfast lakeside. How about going on a Missions Trip every quarter of the year? Would you take your parents on a trip to Bermuda, or a cruise to Alaska with their grandchildren? Would you volunteer more time to your favorite charity? Would you take time to really appreciate your family and each other rather than living the hurry scurry of life most families endure?

What legacy do you want to leave and when are you going to start living that legacy to leave one?