January 4, 2017
the case with “Shaken,” by Tim Tebow. I’m a Gator Hater but as a believer in Christ, it’s hard not to like and admire Tim Tebow. He is honest in this book about what he has learned in finding his identity in Christ, as opposed to finding it in the world. He also shares about some of the people that he’s been blessed to know that have gone through trials. Tebow is very honest about his walk, struggles, and faith, which is refreshing.
June 16, 2016
I had a friend recently ask me the question, “If a person accepts Christ, is baptized, and then converts to Islam, does he still go to heaven?”
That’s a tough question. There are two schools of thought and interpretation of the Bible by Christians and I think they both end up with the same conclusion.
This is very similar to asking “if a person is once saved, are they always saved” or “can a person loose their salvation.” There are scripture passages that can argue both cases for these questions so instead of providing all of the Scriptures, let’s just take a moment and assume that each is true.
If salvation can be lost, as the Assembly of God and other denominations believe, then person was a Christian but they lost their salvation. They denied Christ and they are no longer going to heaven. They have tasted the goodness of God and turned their back on Him when they became a Muslim.
If salvation is eternally secure and there is nothing you can do to loose it once you have it, as Southern Baptists and others believe, the person never really had eternal life to begin with. Though it may have looked from outward appearances that he knew God, you cannot really know God and totally turn your back on Him, as in becoming a Muslim. This isn’t to say that you are perfect or that Christians don’t make dumb mistakes. It’s just that they repent when they do and return to Jesus.
I could perhaps even see a case where maybe a believer in Christ was misled, “flirted” with Islam or another religion, and was led back to the True God. Jesus said that if we seek Him, we will find Him.
In either of these cases, a person who “converts” to Islam and never returns though they have opportunity and time, either never knew Jesus or doesn’t know Him anymore. The result is the same.
June 16, 2016
I had a friend ask me the question, “If a person asks Christ into his life, is baptized, and then converts to Islam, does he go to heaven?”
I have to say real quick that I’m not the gatekeeper of heaven. All I know is what the Bible says. I believe it is God’s Word and I believe it has the answers, so that’s where I go for most answers like this.
There are actually two ways to get to heaven, according to the Bible. Before you burn me at the stake, hear me out.
2 Ways To Heaven
- Perfection: This is the first way to get to heaven. If you’re perfect, you get to go! Yay! Now here’s the bad news…only Jesus was perfect. Everyone else has been born into sin so they aren’t perfect. Even the best person that you can think of was born into sin so that rules the first option out.
- Jesus: The Bible says that the wages of sin is death. Jesus also said, “I am THE way, THE truth, and THE life. NO MAN COMES TO THE FATHER BUT THROUGH ME.” (John 14:6) The one perfect person is the only one that could pay the debt for our sin and Jesus did that. He offers eternal life to us as a gift. All we have to do is admit that we’re sinners (Romans 3:23), believe in our hearts that Jesus paid our price and was raised from the dead (Romans 10:9-10), and give our life to Him.
The question now is, “can a Muslim go to heaven? ” A Muslim believes that Jesus was a prophet, not the Savior. He believes that Muhammad is the greatest prophet. Muslims do not believe that Jesus should be worshipped and most believe that Jesus didn’t die on the cross. Their faith is in Allah and they have to please Allah and keep his commandments to be saved.
Even though there are some good Muslims who are neighbors, just like there are other good people, the Bible says that the way to God is narrow and only a few will enter through it. I didn’t make this stuff up. It’s above my pay grade. I can only go by what God’s Word says.
If we don’t follow Jesus, we spend eternity away from God.
For the second part of my friend’s question, check out my next blog post.
May 6, 2016
It’s always surprising to me who is there when you need them and who isn’t. My dog, Sugar, was one of those “always there” friends. In fact, she was good for a snuggle for each person in our family when we needed it. We lost her today after 16.5 years.
Sugar taught me more about God than most people that I know. Here are a few examples:
During our first year with Sugar, she was WILD! As fast and beautiful as a deer running and jumping, she continually jumped our 6 foot privacy fence. That act was always followed by me, Marla, Rebecca, and little Matthew chasing her all over the neighborhood. Once I caught her after an hour or so of humiliation and chasing, I would take a newspaper to her rear. That didn’t work too well.
(Daniel and Sugar when they were about 3 and then at around age 14)
A friend (Thanks Rick Theobald) then said, “If you knew that you were going to get the newspaper, would you come or just keep running?” He suggested “throwing a party” with her, including plenty of hugs and rubs when I finally caught her. It worked!
Love had more effect on her than hardcore discipline and unkind words. She wanted to please me. Once I got that figured out, she would follow me anywhere and always came running when I called. People can be like that too if you love and encourage them. Lesson learned.
Watching Her Master
When I walked into a room where Sugar was, I automatically had her undivided attention. She would raise her head and was attentive to only me, watching my every move and waiting for me give her the command to come with me. Usually she wouldn’t even move until I told her to do that. She loved just being with me.
It was like she was always just waiting to hear my will. She wanted to know it and she wanted to follow me. If I was going to walk in the backyard or neighborhood, she came. If I was going to the car, she would jump in on my command. She would sit, roll over, stay, or even get my morning coffee. (Ok. That last one was an exaggeration.) She did it all because she loved me.
I desire more than anything to be that focused on my Master and want His will. I want to go when He says go and follow His commands. I’m not always as focused as Sugar. I can get distracted from my Master sometimes. Sugar was an example to me on how to relate to my Master and Creator.
Tender With The Weak
Sugar loved the kids. She was very high energy but Daniel used to actually lay on her as a toddler. She didn’t care. They were almost like twins. They were only about 6 months apart in age. I used to say that they were identical twins and you couldn’t tell them apart unless they were walking.
She was also protective and had an uncanny ability to know who was friends and who really wasn’t supposed to be at our house. She would put herself in between the kids and danger. I saw that several times. She was a protector and a shepherd of kids, in a sense.
Even in her later years without teeth, she was willing to “gum” to death any intruder that she perceived as a threat to the kids. (Since her teeth were pretty much gone.)
As I lead my family and my church, she was a great example to me. There is an enemy that wants to destroy those that belong to Him. I am the shepherd, appointed by the Shepherd. I pray that I am as attentive in protecting my flock against the wolves as Sugar was.
Sugar’s last days were tough. She had to drag her hind legs to walk. Her food seemed to go right through her and she looked like skin and bones. She couldn’t hear but she would still follow my command to “come.” Because she had grown deaf, I had to begin motioning for her and she would respond, although a lot slower than she used to. It was like she didn’t want to leave us. 16.5 years is a really long life for a boxer.
On one occasion during the snow this past winter, Sugar went out to use the bathroom. She wandered into the neighbor’s yard and had trouble getting back because the snow was so deep and it was snowing so hard. When I found her, she had actually just laid down in the snow. I think she was giving up at that point. She would have frozen to death if I had not gone to her.
I went through the snow to her and with my encouragement, she decided to keep trying to get home. She got up from the snow and followed me to the warm house. Lesson from Sugar: Sometimes our friends need our encouragement to keep going.
Today I had to help her into the car for our last car ride and our last walk together. We laid in the grass a while, together hung out in a field, and then we walked together to the vet from the field next door to the church.
As always, no leash was needed. She followed me slowly when I gave the motion to “come” as we walked to the vet’s office. (I felt alot like Abraham must have felt as he walked up the mountain to sacrifice Issac to God. Issac had no idea what was happening but he followed his dad. Sugar followed me because I asked her to, just like always.)
She went to sleep as I rubbed her. She was a good dog. She was a good friend. I will miss her.
January 18, 2016
I’m a little late this year in publishing my list of books that I read this year. The number of books that I read is also down a little bit. I usually read or listen to about 25-30 books in a year. This year I enjoyed 23 books. Here’s the list:
1. Jesus Prom, John Weece
2. Mere Christianity, CS Lewis
3. Before Amen, Max Lucado
4. The Energy Bus, Jon Gordon
5. Dreamers and Deceivers, Glen Beck
6. Jesus: Pure & Simple, Wayne Cordiero
7. Point Main, Steve Farrar
8. Zillow talk, Spencer Rascoff
9. Tender Warrior, Stu Weber
10. Dinner With A Stranger, David Gregory
11. Jesus, Jihad & Peace, Michael yousef
12. The Advantage, Patrick Linceoni
13. 10 Answers For Atheists, Alex McFarland
14. 3 Big Questions for Frantic Families, Patrick Lencioni
15. Hiding In The Light, Rifqa Bary
16. God, Guns, Grits & Gravy
17. Truly Free, Robert Morris
18. Defeating Isis, Michael Weiss, Hassan Hassan
19. Prescription For Life, Richard Furman
20. Killing Reagan, Bill O’Reilly
21. Cracking Your Church’s Culture, Samuel R. Chand
22. Culture Shock, Chip Ingram
23. It IS About Islam, Glen Beck
My favorites from this year are probably:
- Hiding In The Light, Rifqa Bary: Biography of a teenager in the U.S. that accepted Christ against her Muslim family’s wishes. The book goes on to tell how she felt her life was in danger so she sought emancipation from her parents so she could live out her faith.
- 10 Answers For Atheists, Alex McFarland: Great read if you like studying apologetics.
- It IS About Islam, Glen Beck: Beck shares the real danger of Islam that the media will not share.
February 22, 2015
Sometimes when you’ve sought God, prayed, and asked for wisdom you still may not know what to do. You may just need to take a step!
February 12, 2015
“Am I a BOY,” he asked. Let’s see…. I have razor stubble, I’m bald, and my name is Eddie! Sometimes I think this world has lost their mind and common sense.
January 28, 2015
January 13, 2015
Did I really forget to put his pants on at the gym? What does it take for God to really impact your life?
I answer both of these questions in this short video message!
January 13, 2015
The last 4 or 5 years, I’ve set goals of reading 25-30 books each year. This year I read 29 books. This list includes books that I read in the traditional way, as well as those that I listened to audibly. (www.Audible.com is awesome!)
The list is in the order that I read them. My favorite from the 29 books were: “12 Years a Slave”, “Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus,” “Jesus Is”, and “The Grave Robber.” I’ve put a few notes below of what struck me about a few particular books.
1. 12 Years A Slave, Soloman Northup This was a long book and I never lost interest. It made me aware and “feel” what it was like to be free and captured into slavery. This story was also turned into a movie.
2. More Than A Carpenter, Josh McDowell Great classic that I’ve read a few times. If you want to know more about what stood out about Jesus, this is the book. It’s also a great book to give to someone considering whether or not to follow Jesus.
3. Bonhoeffer, Etic Metaxas
4. Aha, Kyle Idleman
5. Grace Based Parenting, Tim Kimmel
6. Bait of Satan, John Bevere
7. Seeking Allah. Finding Jesus, by Nabeel Qureshi: Great account of a devout Muslim who was seeking to know Allah but found Jesus in the process. The author offers powerful apologetics of why he came to faith in Christ and also the cost he paid for doing so.
8. Be Real, Rick Bezet
9. The Last Days of Jesus, Bill O’Reilly
10. No More Dragons, Jim Begren
11. Phariseetomy, Peter Haas
12. LifeTime Guarantee, Bill Gillham
13. All In, Mark Batterson
14. Jesus Is, Judah Smith
15. Recovering Redemption , Matt Chandler
16. God Less America, Todd Starnes: Our country is getting farther and farther away from the God of most of our founding fathers. In many ways, we’re moving to a country that is hostile towards the God of the Bible. Todd Starnes shares many examples in this book.
17. The End of Reason, Ravi Zachariahs
18. The God First Life, Stovall Weems: Good book on getting back to the basics of growing in Christ. Reminded me of LOTS that I already knew but needed to be reminded of.
19. Knowing God Intimately, Joyce Meyer
20. Killing Patton, Bill OReilly
21. Heavenly Man, Brother Yun: I read two books in a row about the underground church in China. Believers in Christ in China have paid a HUGE price for their faith. This is a great book about commitment, persecution, and perseverance.
22. God’s Double Agent, Bob Fu: The second book that I read about the underground church in China.
23. The Measure Of Our Succes, Shawn Lovejoy
24. Stolen, Kristen Rosenblast: Story of the author’s entrapment in the sex trade and how God rescued her from that life.
25. Ordering Your Private World, Gordon McDonald
26. Gifted Hands, Ben Carson: Inspiring story of Ben Carson, the surgeon who became famous for separating siamese twins. His life wasn’t the easiest but he excelled against the odds and it looks like he will also be a candidate for President in the next election.
27. Learning From Giants, John Maxwell: Not my favorite Maxwell book.
28. The Grave Robber, Mark Batterson: One of my favorite authors, Mark Batterson’s newest book is now one of my favorites. He discusses how miracles aren’t just a thing of the past. God still moves today in big and small miracles that point us to Christ. Great read.
29. Four Cups, Chris Hodges