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Please, let me tell you about the Loving God that I know and encounter everyday. The God I know is kind, loving, and forgiving. The God I know is filled with abundant love, overflowing love, and grace. God’s Grace are Gifts from God. Gifts that we did nothing to deserve, nothing to earn, and nothing to merit these wonderful gracious Gifts from God.
What captured my heart were God’s Love, Forgiveness, and Grace. My Faith is based on God’s Love; not on proof or evidence. But at the same time I don’t believe that the Bible and that science are at odds with one another even though science is something that can only be proven by repeated experiments and Faith is based on what is invisible and unseen.
We live by faith, not by sight.
2 Corinthians 5:7
The two ways of being a Christian are often suspicious of, even hostile toward each other. From the earliest paradigm’s point of view, the emerging paradigm looks like a reduction of Christianity, a subtraction. Letting go of the notion that the Bible is a divine product seems to call its authority into question. Being relatively indifferent to whether the virgin birth and empty tomb are historical facts seems to call the divinity of Jesus and the wonder-working power of God into question. Letting go of the uniqueness of Jesus and the necessity of believing in him as the only way of salvation seems to call Christianity itself into question. Can one let go of any or all of this and still be Christians?
From the emerging paradigm’s point of view, the earlier paradigm seems anti-intellectual and rigidly (but selectively) moralistic. Its insistence on biblical literalism makes little sense, as does its rejection of science whenever it conflicts with literalism. Advocates of the emerging paradigm are particularly perplexed and often impatient with earlier paradigm’s subordination of women, its negative attitude toward gays and lesbians, and its preoccupation with conservative political issues rather than issues of justice. It seems to emphasize personal righteousness more that compassion and justice. And its exclusivism, its rejection of other religions, as inadequate or worse, is unacceptable. How can it be that God is known in only one religion – and then perhaps only in the “right” form of that religion?
Which God do you Believe in?
What Faith makes sense to you?
Faith Statement encouraged from the Purpose Driven Life.
This is truly a new beginning, a sign, something big! Prayers –Answered! Intervention! My soul renewed – Reborn (again).
A new message similar to the others but not the same.
FORGET THE PAST – DON’T LOOK BACK!
o Look straight ahead to where I am going.
o Focus on Christ.
o Accept what I cannot do.
o But don’t give up!
o Wait patiently for the Lord.
o Wait for God’s timing; not mine.
This means and requires:
o Trust in God to provide.
o That no matter what is happening in my life; God cares for me and God works for what is best for me, and that God is with me through my joys and through my pains – when I suffer, when I cry; God cries – Remember – “Jesus wept.” John 11:35
o I pray to be obedient to his Word, his timing, his purposes; not mine.
o I pray to increase and grow in Christ.
o To increase my servants heart.
o To love God, to serve God by loving his people and by serving his people.
I pray to do all that I can - With what I have - Right Now!
And to stop fretting about what I can’t do. What God gives me – that is what I will use. But I will continue to strive, and work, and pray to do more for the Lord. I pray to always remember that apart from God I can do nothing; that God is the potter, I am the clay, and to always, always give thanks for all of the blessings, not as I deserve, the grace, which God has so generously and lovingly has bestowed upon me.
What I can’t do… If it is God’s Will, I will. God will provide whatever I need to accomplish His works – His plans for me! This will be done in God’s time; not mine.
I pray to do the good work that God has set out before me. And with the help of the Holy Spirit, nothing will separate me from my loving God. And that nothing will stop me from joyfully and obediently completing the works that my loving God has planned for me.
I pray that this is not just written on paper, but written on my heart.
In Christ name I pray.
August 1, 2007
I pray to serve God for His glory; not mine. I pray for God to use me; not for me to try and use God. God is the potter; I am the clay.
I pray for help from the Holy Spirit to cleanse me, purify me, to save me myself, to save me from my own self-centeredness and selfishness. – That I live, that the things I do in my life are for Him, for His glory – again not for my glory. I pray to seek His ways; not mine – Obedience.
My path is a path of destruction – the pit. I pray to follow the Path of Jesus, a path of Light, a path of Love, and a path of Hope, a path of enlightenment, revelations, and wisdom – The Way and the Truth.
I pray that with the help of the Holy Spirit to clearly discern God’s will for my life. To know these Words, to love these Words, is to do these Words. I refuse to take one more step without God by my side. – Apart from God I can do nothing.
August 13, 2007
Wednesday, August 6, 2008
Tonight was some kind of turning point. I was reading Bible Basics book: “all things are possible to those whom believe.” And I finally came to the realization that God is working in my life. Normally I wear my God-blinders and I don’t see or recognize God working in my life and other times I discounted it and denied that God was working in my life – it seemed to presumptuous, even conceited and arrogant, too big, too lofty, too impossible. But lately I have had to recognize that God has been working in my life!
I think back to that Sunday after Sunday worship. This was when I was in turmoil, mad, and angry about there being no Bible Basics during Lent (I was wrong, misdirected, incorrect, and unjustified). Pastor Rick’s sermon had been on the Prodigal Son, about God the Father looking for us and running out to meet us. I had left intentionally as quick as I could because I was pissed – mad at the world and the church. I remember very distinctly saying under my breath but speaking out loud, “God doesn’t run out to me.” I was walking home and I was almost to the sidewalk at the street when from behind I could hear, “Osten! Osten!” I stopped and turned around and Mindy Orth was R-U-N-N-I-N-G at a real gallop. Mindy had jogged from the worship center down through the children’s section, and then across the parking lot; she was out of breath, panting and she said she had missed me at church and she just wanted to give me a hug. She gave me her big wonderful hug. After my hug she said goodbye and went back to church. She never knew what she had done for me! I was stunned. I absolutely recognized it as “God DID run out to me!!! I was amazed and bewildered but I still hadn’t understood its implications.
When my car broke down I was looking for a good deal on a car where I could pay for the car in installments; I wasn’t looking for a free car; that was beyond my greatest expectation. Even when Mary and Paul Williams gave me a car when my car broke down, I felt blessed, but I didn’t really feel that God was working in my life. Strange but I can often see God working in other people’s lives – but not in my life – I’m wearing my God-blinders refusing to see God working in my life.
Lately I have been very distraught and depressed about my job situation and the lack of money and all of the problems that it brings. I know that other people would surely say that God is working in my life, but somehow I have just refused to see it! But God has made it more and more impossible for me NOT to see Him working in my life; even wearing God-blinders and denying God working in my life.
John West had given me 1 Peter 5:7: Give all of your anxieties and worries to God for He cares for you and is watching over you.
I have tried giving my worries and problems to God but like a boomerang they kept coming back! I was truly after “Peace” that is beyond (transcends) all understanding. This scripture had made a big impression on me. But yet the understanding was not clear.
Then Pastor Margie on her second sermon gave a sermon about “How Long, Lord? How Long?” Later Pastor Margie prayed for me. It was a painful but at the same time an epiphany of understanding; but still the full understanding was not clear.
But tonight Wednesday, August 6, 2008 around 2 AM I was working security working all-night. I had a chance to read part of my Bible Basics book, “All things are possible to those whom believe.” And this time I BELIEVED! Epiphany! Revelation!
I Believe that:
o God is working in my life. (This is big!)
o I Believe that God has a good plan planned out for me.
o I Believe that God IS working in my life.
o I Believe that I am a part of God’s plan.
o It truly made me think,
If God is with me, who can be against me?
o I Believe that Bible Basics will continue to grow.
o I Believe that I will be working full-time for God, as an author, teacher, disciple, and student.
o I Believe that Bible Basics will become my vocation; my ministry and my mission in life.
o I don’t know to what degree, but I Believe that I will be restored.
o That financially my needs will be taken care of.
o That many of my ministries will succeed!
- Bible Basics will visit over 200 churches in my lifetime!
- Bear Necessities For Children
- Noah’s Ark for Bear Necessities For Children
- The Bless You Mobile
- And many others!
o I Believe that I will be restored with my daughter Gretchen and my grandchildren. I believe that this is not just possible but very probable, actually I Believe it to be a certainty!
o To be restored with Jennifer’s children, “I believe, please help my disbelief.”
o I Believe that I will own my own home, new car, etc. that I will be financially secure.
o I Believe that I will be an author, travel and lecture, visit many churches!
o I Believe that Jo will come to God, “I believe, please help my disbelief.”
I do not believe that this means I will have no more problems, difficulties, or pain. I do not think that God is going to arrange that all of my parking places are close, that all of my traffic lights will be green, that I will never have another flat tire, and that things will always go according to my plan.
Speaking of plans: If any of the above is NOT in God’s plan; that’s fine with me. I pray to be obedient to God’s plan for my life; not my ambitions. If God is willing – Let t be!
To not believe now would be to deny God. God has been working on me to put my TRUST in Him; that God is Mighty to Save and Strong to Provide. I feel that God has lovingly given me a knock on the back of my head saying,
You of little Faith. Why did you Fear? If you had just put your Faith in Me, Trusted Me, and if you had Believed in Me, you would have spared yourself so much anguish and suffering!!!
Let yourself go. Surrender! Put your Trust in Me, and Believe in Me, and live”Life” to the fullest – JOYFULLY!
Wednesday August 6, 2008
Friday, August 08, 2008
Wow! The last two nights at work doing security at the Lofts at Las Colinas has been a real epiphany! God has peeled back a veil of doubt away and I now see not perfectly, but much, much clearer! “I BELIEVE” is the same as being “reborn” again. I now see things (scripture, etc.) much differently: I have confidence of God in my life and what is really weird is that so much of my writing has been depressing; joy had escaped me. But now with this new confidence in the Lord, believing that He is truly working in my life has now brought a “Joy” in my life that had escaped me. I now have a “Joy” that I thought was going to be impossible for me to attain. Confidence, Joy, Faith, new abounding Hope, renewed Strength, overflowing blessings, ‘my cup runnith over’, all tempered with Patience, waiting on the Lord, humbly walking with God, joyfully with the strong purpose of obediently obeying His plans and purposes for my life.
With God I feel that I can move mountains; because I Believe! I can walk on water (for God is out on the water) for God is calling me and working in my life. I Believe; if God is for me, who can be against me?
“Belief” has been overwhelming with its accompanying “Joy.” I had never learned the Apostle’s Creed but I learned it last night.
“More Like Falling in Love” By Jason Gray
I believe in the Father Almighty,
maker of heaven and earth;
and in Jesus Christ His only Son our Lord,
who was conceived by the Holy Ghost,
born of the Virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, dead, and buried;
he descended into hell:
the third day he rose from the dead;
He ascended into heaven,
and sitteth at the right hand of God the Father Almighty;
from thence he shall come to judge the quick
and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Ghost;
the holy catholic* church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and life everlasting.
YouTube - Apostle’s Creed
An old man and a young boy both say the Apostle's Creed
in two different ways.
WOW! Even though I still have doubts and still try to deny it; God is working in my life. I went to Richard Flesher D.D.S. yesterday to get impressions made to get my teeth fixed, so I can have a pretty smile again.
Flashback – A few months ago I had a bad toothache. Betty Petersen recommended that I call Maxann, Cecil Alumbaugh’s wife. Cecil is a orthodontist that goes to Northgate United Methodist Church. Maxann arranged for me to get an appointment that day with Richard Flesher a dentist and good friend of theirs. Cecil and Dr. Flesher shared the same building and shared the same faith!
Well Dr. Flesher took care of me immediately! I received antibiotics and came back for two more visits to have teeth pulled. All of my visits were taken care of; paid for in full. By whom I can only guess??? I have been very financially strapped and this gift of grace, care, and kindness was greatly appreciated!
I guarantee this was an awesome free gift for me to have received that I did not earn, merit, or deserve – God’s Grace!
Now as great as this was, I was not looking for anything more. But when I checked out at the reception desk they informed me that I had another appointment set to fix my front tooth, which has been missing for years. I was dumfounded! This had already been taken care of also!!! I left quite grateful but I also felt like I was given an inch and that I was taking a mile. This was just too much!
I really didn’t believe it! No I mean I “Really Didn’t Believe It!”
I thought to myself that it HAD to be a mistake. I was planning on calling back later just to make sure that I still had an appointment when I received a reminder call from Dr. Flesher’s office.
Now back to the top! WOW! This is one of the things that has forced me to look and to recognize that God is working in my life. I feel that God has been lovingly twisting my arm saying, “Do you Believe in me now? Do you Believe in me now? Trust in Me… Trust Me….
Well Believe it or not, – God is working for our good in our lives! Believe it!
I have been a Sunday School Teacher, Vacation Bible School teacher, lay-speaker, I have led the congregation at Wednesday Night Prayer Service, I have given sermons at Ashford Hall nursing home, once I was the lay-leader for Sunday’s worship service, I have read the scripture readings at worship service, I have helped the pastor to serve communion, I am active in the Emmaus Walk, and I have been teaching at Bible Basics for over three years… and Now I finally BELIEVE!!! Amazing!
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
Just a Dream?
I just had a dream; it may be nothing or it may be everything. This may be a part of a story, or it may be the story; I don’t know. This was a dream that I watched and then it began to write itself out. I then woke up and felt like it was best to start writing it down!
We live because He Lives!
I don’t know if I was dead – but…
When we are in the presence of Jesus and when Jesus breathes and takes a breath; we are filled with New Life (our chest rises up, our lungs are actually filled with air – with His breath.) – just like pumping air into a flat tire! And just like a flat tire that has been filled and fixed it is renewed, made whole again, and it is ready to start “rolling” - “living” again!
Then I felt like soaring. But something told me that I couldn’t soar so early by myself when Jesus came immediately, took my hand and said, “Come,” and we soared off together with Christ holding my hand.
What is “soaring?” The only explanation that I can give is like in the cartoons when a pinball in the heavens bounces from star to star and then soars off into …?
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
A flat tire and a cartoon wouldn’t be my first choices for describing God, but this was the dream!
Sunday, August 31, 2008
Well I went to Dr. Flesher’s dental office and received my new smile. Sitting in the dental chair, even at this point I honestly still had doubts that this was really going to happen. Somehow I was still waiting for the bottom to fall out (as it has so many times before.)
I was sitting there with my new smile in my mouth; I had to hold my mouth tightly shut, and I had some gauze in my mouth. To tell you the truth I was never prepared for such love, kindness, and grace. For me this was truly unbelievable. Again I did nothing to deserve… nothing to earn… nothing to merit such kindness.
This truly was a big loving slap on the back of the head; “I told you that I loved you… if you would just Trust Me… BELIEVE!
Please understand this is much, much more than a pretty smile! I haven’t been able to smile fully for around 5 years. I was ashamed to smile. I felt that my toothless smile was simply the thorn in my side that I had to bear.
Not only was this a self-esteem issue, but also having a tooth missing in front limits your job opportunities. This is a major quality of life issue! More than this, I have had a family estrangement from my oldest daughter Gretchen and her family. I haven’t seen my grandchildren for about 5 years. All is forgiven now; I talk to my daughter on the phone - BUT I have been ashamed for my grandchildren to see me looking so ridiculous. I promise that I am going to see my grandchildren ASAP.
The Gift of a Smile has renewed my faith in God, given me courage, confidence, and is a bridge to bring me back closer to my family! When I look back at all of this I can truly see God working in my life and that God has good plans for me!
Jesus looked at them and said,
"With man this is impossible, but not with God;
all things are possible with God."
Here I am, Boocoos the Clown with two of my grandkids Brittany & Brett at Santa's Village in Richardson before Christmas!
My wife Jo, daughter Gretchen,and me!
Grandma, Brittany, Grandpa, Brett, and my oldest grandson Scott.
ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE THROUGH GOD!
Richard Flesher, Maxann and Cecil Alumbaugh gave a smile back to a clown! They also removed one of my stumbling block excuses separating me from seeing my grandkids. This "Gift of a Smile" is far, far more than cosmetic. For me, this was truly an Act of God's Grace and Love and Richard Flesher and the Alumbaugh's were my Angels.
Every time I smile it is giving thanks to God and to my Angels.
Richard Flesher, Maxann and Cecil Alumbaugh make God smile too!
More than they will ever know.... The Gift of a Smile brought me closer to God and helped to restore broken family relationships.
Thanks be to God.
Blueprint for Victorious Living
is meant for the person who truly desires a deeper walk
with God. The Bible gives specific
instructions about how we are to live as Christians. A blueprint is a plan for
building something. There are no
extras or fluff, just exact details that the builder must follow in order to
complete the building. The Bible
gives an exact blueprint for living victoriously. You must make the choice to
follow its directions.
The Who God is Blog
written with the intent of showing
Who God Really Is. He is a God who is relevant to the world in which you live,
who loves you more than you can
imagine, and who wants to meet your every need. There is nothing that is too big
or too impossible for Him to
accomplish in your life. Trust Him and see what great things He can accomplish