Christian Teaching Archives

Mardi Gras and Jesus

Making the word of God of no effect through your tradition which you have handed down. And many such things you do. Mark 7:13

Mardi Gras Parade

Mardi Gras Parade

What is it about a parade that draws a crowd?  There are many reasons people go to a parade but a Mardi Gras parade draws people from all over the world.  The glitter, costumes, music, drinking are some of the reasons people come but the main reason people young and old line the streets are the “throws”.

If you have ever gone to a Mardi Gras parade you will get a basket full of plastic cups, beads, coins, stuffed animals, all kinds of different items.  All of these throws are your reward for standing on the side of the road waiting on the floats to go by.

The floats are colorful, unique, interesting and full of people throwing gifts.  Many of the people riding on the floats are dressed in a costume and some are wearing masks.  Their job is to have fun and throw gifts to the crowd.

Your only job is to have a good time with family and friends eating, drinking and hollering ,”Throw me something Mister”. Sounds like a great time doesn’t it?

Now let’s walk into a church, what do you see?  Probably a bunch of “clean cut”, well dressed people.  Physical masks are really not allowed here but masks are being worn.  People put on their best “happy faces”, they are told to be nice or good and most believers do their best to accomplish that command.  So as I look at the parade and the church I see at least one thing they have in common, “the mask”.

Jesus taught about this in Mark 7, (summary of His teaching) the traditions and doctrines of men have made the word of God of no effect.  Over and over I see Jesus combating this spirit of “religion”. The spirit of, “This is how we have always done it.” 

Jesus did it totally different than the Pharisees and Sadducees, He made them so uncomfortable they killed Him and thought they were doing the will of God.  Ironically, they were doing the will of God but with the religious leaders it was a heart issue.  They worshiped God with words but their heart was far from God.

God longs to give good gifts to His children, and I believe the world is waiting for the body of Christ to start “throwing” the gifts of God.  “What gifts from God are you talking about?”, you may ask. 

How about the fruit of the Spirit?  How does love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control sound?. As a side note, Against such there is no law. Fruit has to be grown before it can be harvested.

Jesus was full of the Spirit and was full of the fruit of the Spirit.  Funny thing about the fruit of the Spirit, it is grown for others.  The fruit growing through you, is not for you, it is for the people around you. If the body of Christ would start throwing the fruit of the Spirit to a lost and dying world, Satan’s hold on people would be destroyed. 

This is my opinion, if Jesus was given the choice of going to church or a Mardi Gras parade and could pick only one, He would go to the parade every time. Why, because He came to seek and save that which is lost.  

Jesus was accused many times of “partying” with the sinners.  The religious leaders in Jesus’ day did not get it, and I am afraid many today don’t get it.  I want to encourage you, go love on people, let them partake of your fruit.  It may be the only spiritual meal they have ever eaten.

This is going long and I need to hit send, look for part 2.

Until next time, remember: You overcome Satan by the blood of the Lamb and the word of your testimony, and by becoming a living sacrifice. Revelation 12:11

What Makes Jesus Mighty Men Joyful?

My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials James 1:2

Drew Brees calls the play

Drew Brees calls the play

Have you ever read a verse in the Bible and wished it hadn’t made the final draft?  (James 1:2-8)  are verses I struggled with…until today.  Most of you have probably already come to this conclusion but for the couple of us that have not, here is what I received today.

I was or might argue, that I am still today, an athlete.  I love the game, the feel, passion, competition, you name it, if it is in the game, I love it.  So this post will be written from that prospective.

Competitors love to be in the game, winners want the ball.  Many hate practice, in fact, some get “injured” so they don’t have to go through the agony of running plays, drills, sprints and conditioning. 

My question to you, do you think Sean Peyton came to work every day and told his players, ‘Don’t worry about practice, we are the New Orleans Saints, we are so good we don’t need to practice.  Sit down, eat these donuts, did you want more pancakes?”

No, I imagine they practiced hard all year. (Here is a side note, you do not become world champions at anything without practice.) I would bet they were still conditioning, and running plays right up to the Super Bowl.

Take that picture of what the Super Bowl Champion New Orleans Saints (Still like the sound of that) did, vs. what you do as a follower of Christ.  Do you dedicate yourself to be the best each day.  The Saints put on their pads.  You should be putting on the full armor of God each day.

Coach Peyton would be fired if he did not push his players in practice.  No one enjoys practice, but it necessary to build champions.  God uses trials like a good coach uses wind sprints.  Think of it as a conditioning exercise to get you ready for the “Big Game”. 

Satan has a team that is coming to steal everything you own, kill everyone you know, and destroy all you have ever been or will every become.  This is your “Big Game”, your life.  Whether you enter in or not, Satan hates you, he will not stop until he destroys you and yours.

God is your Father/Coach, He loves you and will train you with trials until you can defeat your enemy and walk in the “more than conquerors” scripture.  So the next time things get a little “tough”, count it all joy and let God do a work in you.

Until next time, remember: You overcome Satan by the blood of the Lamb and the word of your testimony, and by becoming a living sacrifice. Revelation 12:11

Praying for eyes to see

 Having eyes, do you not see? And having ears, do you not hear? And do you not remember? Mark 8:18

Praying for eyes to see

Praying for eyes to see

For the last several weeks I have been praying for eyes to see and ears to hear. This post is specifically my prayer for the spiritual eyes to see, I have the natural eyes working every day.

While I was waiting for my answer I was imagining God was going to open up the spiritual realm like He did for Elisha’s servant and I would see the Host of Heaven all around me…Nope.  Our maybe I would see into Heaven… Nothing.

What I got was a simple thought that I would like to share with you.

I am a reader, and when I am reading, let’s say a fictional book, my house could be on fire and I would not know it. Why am I unaware of my surroundings? It is because I am not in my house, I am in the book.  I am the hero of the story or I am right there watching everything unfold.

Have you ever wondered why the book is so much better than the movie?  It is because of your imagination or what I believe Jesus was referring to as your spiritual eyes to see. (Mark 8:18)  Jesus was scolding His disciples for having a hardened heart and not being able to perceive the miracles of the feeding the five thousand. 

Today, we have the same problem, we have hardened our hearts.  I think it is worse today then with the disciples, because we have something the disciples didn’t have, the written word of God.

We can look into God’s word and see the miracles, imagine the dusty roads, see the faces as God heals all sickness and disease. (Matthew 9:35)  We can actually see Jesus when He tells His disciples, all these works and greater works will you do (John 14:12) if we will open our spiritual eyes and see.

Like the book is better than the movie, I believe the Bible is better than actually being there with Jesus.  Remember He is with you right where you are, God said, He would never leave you or forsake you. (Deuteronomy 31:6,8)  

Pray that God will open your spiritual eyes, He has opened mine and He is not a respecter of persons. (Acts 10:34,35)  He will open yours if you ask Him.

God is good all the time, better than you can ever imagine.  Close your natural eyes and think about all the good God has done in your life. See Him as the perfect, kind, loving Father.  He wants to do so much more, talk to God today.

Until next time, remember: You overcome Satan by the blood of the Lamb and the word of your testimony, and by becoming a living sacrifice. Revelation 12:11

Why clothes Lord?

Not unto us, O LORD, not unto us, but to Your name give glory, because of Your mercy,  because of Your truth. Psalm 115:1

Have you ever asked a question of God and waited for an answer?  That is where I have been for almost 7 years.  The funny thing about this “Christian Clothing Company thing”, is I have had absolutely no attraction to clothes.

That does not mean I am against people being dressed.  No, put me down as saying most people I see need to have on more clothes, not less.  The point I am trying to make is, I never cared about what I was wearing. (Much to the dismay of my wife)  There are many things I care about, things I am passionate about, clothes wasn’t one of them…until now.

Christian Clothing Line

Christian Clothing Line

Clothes were created by God to hide our nakedness. Satan has taken clothes and like everything else God created, he has distorted their purpose.  Instead of a covering, they are now a fashion statement. 

“Clothes make the man”, I am sure you have heard that before.  Do you think that saying can be found anywhere in the Bible?  Let me save you some time…it is not in there.  Satan is a liar, thief, murderer, a master deceiver and he has “owned” the clothing industry. 

I want to go on the record as saying I own the most powerful clothing line in the world.  In fact, when God finishes teaching me all He wants me to learn and releases me, Nike, Under ArmourRalph Lauren, etc. be forewarned, we will totally dominate the clothing industry.  How can I say that you may ask?  I say it because I believe taking back the clothing industry is something God wants to do.  Is anyone in this industry giving God the glory?  Some may give a token mention to God, but our company is being built upon the word of God, Jesus. 

The reason we have “struggled” in the past is not because of God, it is because of me.  I am no longer going to stand in the way of God.  No, I am praying to be released into this arena to do battle for the souls of men.

This company will give God glory (it already does) in everything we do  and accomplish.  It will display the love of Christ and here is the best part, it will help the church bring in the harvest of the lost sheep wandering around without a Savior.  What other clothing line has that as its primary mission? (Can you see why we are confident, God is going to bless us?) 

So here it is February 1, 2010, and we have not yet dominated in any area of the apparel industry, but we will, in Jesus name.  We are excited about what God is doing in our company and we believe you will be too.

Until next time, remember: You overcome Satan by the blood of the Lamb and the word of your testimony, and by becoming a living sacrifice. Revelation 12:11

Sharing a God story

Have you ever had a thought that is so “not you”? I recently had such a thought and I believe it is worth sharing. A little background, I rarely read the newspaper. In fact I must also confess I do not watch much TV. So now you know by modern standards I am “strange”. I justify this stance on 2 things, my experience and the scripture in Philippians 4:8 that tells me to think on those things that are of good report. My attitude and perspective is soo much better not engaging in all the negative stuff the media tries to feed me.

So now you have the background, here is what happened Tuesday. I was sitting down to lunch and the Shreveport Times was sitting on the table, it had on the front page President Bush’s visit to Alexandria. I scanned the article and for some strange reason I turned the page. On page 2 was an article about a fallen soldier and how his brother wrote a letter to the President. After reading the article, I was immediately moved to write the President an email to thank and encourage him to continue to see families.

I have never written a letter to any public official before so needless to say I argued with myself for the rest of the lunch. The conversation in my head went something like this, “You need to write the President”. “Write the President? That is crazy, he’ll never see it.” Ignoring my own sound reasoning I had the same thought again, “You need to write the President.” After about 3 or 4 volleys back and forth in my head I got the thought, “It will take 5 minutes, why would you not write him?”

I got up and wrote the President this email.

Dear President Bush,

You are a man of great honor and dignity. The story in the Shreveport Times
today sums up your heart and spirit. Thank you for visiting with the families
of fallen soldiers.

You are called every name in the book, daily, but the one that comes to my mind is honorable. May God continue to bless you and your family in this time of transition.

Rarely do I read the paper but today I had a weak moment and picked it up. I
was drawn to the story about a family I do not know, and will probably never meet, but I wanted to say thank you for giving your time to this family. Travis Nixon gave all he had to America and because of great warriors like Travis I am free to live my life.

You do not have to die to give all and I know you have surrendered 8 years of your life to serve America. Thank you for your service to this great country. While I have not agreed with everything you have done,  (I don’t know of anyone I agree with all the time.) I have prayed and continued to support you because of your great character.

Thank you again, may God bless you and May God bless America.

Your brother in Christ,

Greg Ryan
President- One Drop of Blood
Haughton, LA

I wrote my letter, still not sure why, but I was at least obedient to the thought I had at lunch. That was Tuesday and as Paul Harvey has said so many times but now here is the “Rest of the Story”.

Friday I had a scheduled closing on a house (For those of you who do not know I am a Realtor). My Buyer was a very nice older lady downsizing to a smaller home, the closing was postponed a week because of an additional requirement of her mortgage company.

The closing went great, my lady signed everything and was excited about buying her new home, we were all about to leave when the Seller showed his Realtor a coin. Being across the table I could not see it but his Realtor said something like, “That is so cool, the President gave this to you?” My ears perked up and I jumped into their conversation. “Did you say the President, do you mean the President of the United States?” They said yes and handed me the coin the President gave this man. It was at that time I “came to myself” and notice the name of the Seller…Kurt Nixon. The man that wrote the President a letter and had inspired my email was sitting across the table from me.

Since I represented the Buyer I had no connection to the Sellers other than selling their home. I never pay much attention to the Sellers’ name because I do not ever have contact with them. With that said, I sat there in total amazement of how God put all of this together to minister to me. I told them my story and about the email. (They were also amazed)

When I wrote the email I thought it was to encourage our President. God knew the email was written to encourage me and build my faith. What an awesome God we serve. I am sure He speaks to me everyday. I pray I will become a better listener.

We overcome the enemy by the blood of the lamb and word of our testimony. (Revelation 12:11) We have built a company on helping you share your testimony with people who ask for it. I hope this encourages you, even though you did not ask, I had to tell someone else how God encouraged me. God is good all the time.

 Page 2 of 2 « 1  2