The Parodical Son’s angry brother.

Luke 15:28-29 The older brother became angry and refused to go in…Look! All these years I’ve been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a young goat…

Is America like the “angry brother?”

Luke 15:11-32.   Much is written about the prodigal son who because of his own lust and rebellion demands his inheritance before his father’s death to live life to the fullest.  Of course, the illusion of the sinful plans quickly places the son in ruins.  He has lost his fun, friends, and himself.  Finally, he begins to think about his life with his father.  The life he thought empty and dull were now suddenly rewarding and rich.  So he decides to return home in hopes of becoming at least a servant in his father’s house. Just to get a portion of the blessed life.

His father on the other hand sees the lost son coming home.  The father runs and reaches out his hands toward the lost son.  This is before any confession or apology of the son.  The actions of the father so overwhelmed the son’s expectations. He is accepted back into the family. A new family ring and robe are placed on the son and a feast given. Nothing is said about punishment or of the pain he caused the father. He is totally restored. This is a powerful picture of Christ’s love in action for us.

The “good brother’s” dark side. Anger, rage, self-righteous.

Now the prodigal son has a brother who witnessed all the actions of his little rebellious brother.  The other son has not left the father. He is faithful, consistent, self-disciplined, and loyal.  But he has a flaw. He too is a prodigal son in his own thoughts of himself.  He feels his works and actions should recognize his father’s gratitude over the lost son’s return.  He believes he is better than the son because of his actions. “Look at me, see what I have done. Look at my efforts.”  It is a slippery slope when we are aware of our efforts and begin to think those efforts make us worthy of God’s grace. Slowly we change in our attitudes:  Pride vs humility, works vs sinful repentance and, justification vs coming clean with ourselves before God..

hypocrite

We are all a part of the two sons. We experience sin and brokenness. We also justify ourselves by works compared to other people. While we may experience some security by not becoming broken and coming home for all to see the errors of our ways, we may be in more danger of losing the blessings of God through justification and comparison.

There is a greater danger in our hearts as we only look outward at the troubles of others.  Christ said before you comment on others make sure your eyes are clean.  I have had this truth slap me in the face as I see issues coming up in the media.  We are all lost without God’s grace.  It is not what we do but whom we believe in and follow.

The biblical account of the prodigal’s brother ends without repentance.

You cannot find joy, peace, and freedom without continually coming to the cross and allow God to once again wash you and brighten that lightnside.

Rest in God’s faithfulness

Matthew 6:25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life…” 33 “But seek first his kingdom…”

In the busy days of our lives where pressures and situations of a troubled world seem to weigh us down, rest not on your own faith, but in God’s faithfulness. Our faith is full of weaknesses and stumbling. God’s faithfulness is steadfast, tested, reliable, recorded, and can be trusted.

How can we transfer our own faith to God’s faithfulness?

Invite God’s presence around you.  

His presence is a calmness and assurance of a majestic, loving God, and of Christ’s desire to linger with you. You can hear Him knocking on your heart right now. All you have to do is arise, open the door of your heart, and let Him in. (Pray)

Revelation 3:20 ” Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.”

Increase your knowledge of God.

Develop a daily diet of reading God’s word. One day when Jesus was teaching about his upcoming death on the cross, many people were offended and left. Jesus asked his disciples, “Are you going to leave too.” Peter said in John 6:68-69 ” Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.  We have come to believe and to know that you are the Holy One of God.” 

Observe God’s creation.  

The faithfulness of God is evident in all creation. God spoke into existence not only all creation, but the faithful continued reproduction and maintenance of trees, food, animals, and all natures need to survive. God’s faithfulness is marvelous to observe. Colossians 1:17 “He is before all things, and in him, all things hold together. “ 

Now, consider these steps and rest in God’s faithfulness… You will find great inner peace in your lightnside.

Wonderful Peace

There is a song we use to sing. The chorus goes, “Peace, Peace, wonderful peace. Coming down from the Father above. Sweep over my spirit forever, I pray. In fathomless billows of love.

Here is a link to the song with great pictures of nature (God’s proven faithfulness). Don’t let the old fashion style of singing stop you from listening, watching, and enjoying God’s Faithfulness.

2021 At Last !!!

Below is what I wrote the last week of 2019…

No one knows what is going to happen in 2020. There were probably some surprises in 2019 that you were unexpected. It will be the same in 2020. It could be the best year of your life, or you may face a challenge in your family, health, or finances.   What an understatement!!! World Pandemic, lockdowns, riots, no toilet paper, masks mandates, hospitals overrun…

So what about 2021?

Will it be a better year? We don’t know. However, it does not matter what we face if we face it with God’s blessing on our lives.  Let us prepare our hearts and minds to receive God’s blessing in 2021. It requires some action on our part. That is setting aside some time each day for God’s word and prayer. You might say, “OK, I will.” Putting it into practice will require some effort in the beginning.

Joshua 1:8 Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.

To be successful in 2021, develop a new spiritual habit. Choose to take in Godly Truth and meditate on it during the day. Reduce your time on daily news, Facebook, Twitter, and other forms of entertainment. You will soon begin to effect a change in your daily thinking and in your spirit. The supernatural power of God’s word creates HOPE and FAITH. All the blessings of God, the power of Christ’s sacrifice, and the leading of the Holy Spirit become active in your life through Hope and Faith. 

Prosper & Successful

Your choices in life will begin to prosper. I’m not talking financially, but in peace, love, relationships at home and work, protection from evil temptations, and right desires. Your life will prosper. And your finances will be in better hands with God’s blessing. You may not be aware of how much entertainment you are consuming. Become more balanced and blessed by adding God’s presence and His word to your life each day.

Psalms 1:1-3  

Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night. – (reaction) That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither—  whatever they do prospers.

As 2021 comes close, you will be able to look back on the year and see what God’s Word daily can do in your mind, heart, relationships, priorities, and future.

Joshua 1:8 NIV

Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.

Isaiah 26:3-4 NLT

You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you! [4] Trust in the LORD always, for the LORD GOD is the eternal Rock.

Matthew 7:24-25 NLT

“Anyone who listens to my teaching and follows it is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock. [25] Though the rain comes in torrents and the floodwaters rise, and the winds beat against that house, it won’t collapse because it is built on bedrock.

Fill your lightnside with truth and faith. God will bless you, and you will prosper in 2021. Happy New Year.

Immanuel God with us

John 1:1,14 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.

Isaiah 7:14 Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel (God with us.)

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It is important what we believe about Jesus.  

Below is a part of the Athanasian Creed. Read each statement and reflect on your belief in Jesus Christ.

It is necessary to everlasting salvation that we believe rightly the incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ.  
 For the right faith is that we believe and confess that our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is God and man. 
 God of the substance of the Father, begotten before the worlds; and man of substance of His mother, born in the world.  
Perfect God and perfect man, of a reasonable soul and human flesh subsisting.
 Equal to the Father as touching His Godhead, and inferior to the Father as touching His manhood.
 Who, although He is God and man, yet He is not two, but one Christ.
 One, not by conversion of the Godhead into flesh, but by taking of that manhood into God.
 For as the reasonable soul and flesh is one man, so God and man is one Christ;
 Who suffered for our salvation, descended into hell, rose again the third day from the dead; He ascended into heaven; He sits on the right hand of the Father, God, Almighty;

Isaiah 9:6 Unto you, a child is born, unto you, a Son is given.

Christ becoming man has made God accessible to all Christians. Let your lightnside reflect the Christ in you this season.

Unto us: Born & Given Isaiah 9:6

For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given;

Born vs Given. The two words have a vast difference in meaning.

Born – something that is a great and wonderful process but filled with stress, pain, struggle, wonder, weakness, miraculous, small, feeble, needy, giving, sacrifice.

Given – passed over to, not earned, from a place of compassion, to bless, a supply of plenty. Desire to share. Give to one unable to repay. Give to one unable to manufacture.

Christ chose to be born to mankind. Christ was God’s Son given to mankind. Meditate on these thoughts and come up with more of your own as the wonder of this truth floods your heart.

Born into darkness. God has given us a great light.
Born into limitations. God has given us the power to overcome.
Born into weakness and sickness. God has given us healing and power.
Born into bondage. God has given us a savior.
Born into temptations. God has given us the cross to overcome the power of sin.
Born into humankind’s emotions. God has given us an eternal priest who understands our life.
Born to dream and dread. God has given us a future and eternal hope.
Born to mature through pain. God has given us the Holy Spirit to guide and empower us.
Born to love and experience loss. God has given us eternity and joy.

Christ was born into our broken limited world so that we could become a part of His eternal, glorious world. Christ was given to humanity to die so that we can give Him our heart and live in His presence forever.

What will you do with this thought of birth and a gift?


Have you experienced Christ’s birth in your world? Have you taken hold of the gift of God’s son? Unto you, the Christ the Child was born. Unto you, the Son of God, was given. Let these holy words sink into your heart, mind, and soul this Christmas Season, and allow your lightnside to be merry and bright.

Hope vs Despair (faith vs emotions)

Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not evil, to give you a future and a hope.”

Sometimes we find ourselves in a place of darkness. It happens to us whether the national news or a personal situation comes in like a flood with a threat to destroy what was stable and trusting in our future. Suddenly, we find ourselves imagining the worst as we begin to morn the sudden change in security and future plans.

How do we handle sudden changes of direction? When we feel so out of control as if the secure foundations of our lives are suddenly removed. Maybe our darkness is a sign we trusted more than we should on earthly plans rather than trusting in God. Who knows, a sudden turn from a safe, enjoyable life may, in the long run, be the best for us to turn more toward faith in God and less on situations.

Jeremiah 29:11 is a very well known and quoted scripture. “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not evil, to give you a future and a hope.” This verse was written to the elders in Jerusalem who were taken captive to Babylon. They were in a dark place. But the Lord stated there is hope if the captives would look to God and seek Him in their captivity. God wanted them to hope even in a seemingly hopeless situation. God’s thoughts for the captive is peace and a future of hope. God has a desire to connect with His people. He wants to save them, but the captive must change their mindset from despair to hope, from our physical eyes to our spiritual eyes, from emotion to faith.

Hope and Faith

Regardless of how desperate a situation seems, there is still hope. Hebews 11:1 Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.

Our hope is anchored in Jesus. 1 Peter 3:15 Instead, you must worship Christ as Lord of your life. And if someone asks about your hope as a believer, always be ready to explain it.

Nothing can separate us from the love of God. Romans 8:38-39 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Lamentations 3:19-26
The thought of my suffering and homelessness is bitter beyond words.
I will never forget this awful time as I grieve over my loss. Yet I still dare to hope when I remember this: The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin each morning afresh. I say to myself, “The Lord is my inheritance; therefore, I will hope in him!” The Lord is good to those who depend on him, to those who search for him. So it is good to wait quietly for salvation from the Lord.

We must look beyond our immediate circumstances. We must look up to the source of our hope. “Lord help all who read this to look up to you in difficult times. Remind us to seek your face and call upon your goodness.

Let our lightnside burn bright and hopeful as we grow in the faith of God’s good desires for His people.

A Thankful Life

Ephesians 5:20 NIV “always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

1 Thessalonians 5:18 NIV “give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

Unusual thankfulness

Be thankful for pain – you were made aware of a medical issue.

Be thankful for trials – You become more dependent on faith in God. You become stronger and more patient. 

Be thankful for what you have. It heals the destructive sin of greed and jealousy.

Be thankful in troubled times; God is about to show up. Your hope and trust in God became stronger.

Help with Thankfulness

Thankfulness is not natural to humanity. Our nature is to be envious, to want more. Man’s nature is more inward rather than outward. However, with the Holy Spirit’s influence in our lives, a new nature is available. A new view of life will bring peace and joy to our homes, marriages, work, and even the ability to walk through tragic, difficult times and not grow bitter. The powerful influence that can dramatically impact your daily experience is the power of thankfulness. Put on thankfulness. Choose thankfulness. It is the Holy Spirit that helps us improve our daily attitude step by step, slowly moving you closer and closer to a genuinely joyful, thankful person.

A Thankful Treadmill

Ask God to “make” you more thankful, and He will provide a “spiritual thankful treadmill” for you to begin exercising with the Holy Spirit as a coach right beside you. The way you grow in godliness is not from an “instant miracle ” from God, but rather you become a participant of the process through daily repentance, listening as the Holy Spirit coaches you into looking at the world and its problems in a new light. As you continue using the thanksgiving treadmill, you begin to be more thankful for all the things you missed before. The Holy Spirit is transforming your spirit into being joyful and thankful in all things.

Start this week, even today, to be thankful for things you would typically make you frustrated or upset. Tell someone each day you are thankful for them, even the difficult ones. They are helping you mature in your walk with God.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-19 NIV Rejoice always, [17] pray continually, [18] give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. [19]

Ephesians 5:15-20 NIV Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, [16] making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. [17] Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. [18] Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit, [19] speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, [20] always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

“ahem,”…thank you for reading this blog!

Now, let your lightnside shine bright, fueled with thankfulness.

Frustrated?

Psalms 73:2-3 But as for me, I almost lost my footing. My feet were slipping, and I was almost gone.  For I envied the proud  when I saw them prosper despite their wickedness.

“Life is unfair!” “How do people get away with doing wrong?”, “Why doesn’t God do something?” “My life is difficult, and I am trying to do what is right, but those who enjoy sin seem to have so much fun!” 

Sound familiar? Maybe you have not said it out loud to others, but inside there is a building pressure of frustration. I find myself in that place right now!

As I reflect on my “not fair” feelings, the Scriptures remind me that I am not alone. Scripture also gives me direction and understanding. Let me list a few scriptures.

I almost slipped…

Psalms 73 describes this “unfair” feeling as we observe the lost and sinful people seem to have pleasure, laughter, and no consequence. Notice the psalmist states he almost loses his footing in God. Read verses 1-16 to understand his full complaint. The psalmist is in a really frustrating place.

Then he walks into the sanctuary,…everything changes. 

The presence of God is there, and in his spirit, God reminds him of the destination of sinners. The psalmist understands how great God is and nothing escapes Him. Read the words of God’s goodness in verses 18-26. The psalmist ends the chapter with these verses. 27 Those who desert him will perish, for you destroy those who abandon you. 28 But as for me, how good it is to be near God! I have made the Sovereign Lord my shelter, and I will tell everyone about the wonderful things you do.

In the last days…

2 Timothy 3:1-5 1 You should know this, Timothy, that in the last days there will be very difficult times. For people will love only themselves and their money. They will be boastful and proud, scoffing at God, disobedient to their parents, and ungrateful. They will consider nothing sacred. They will be unloving and unforgiving; they will slander others and have no self-control. They will be cruel and hate what is good. They will betray their friends, be reckless, be puffed up with pride, and love pleasure rather than God. They will act religious, but they will reject the power that could make them godly. Stay away from people like that!

I believe we are in the last days. God tells us to stay strong in the Lord. 

Four elements transform frustration into hope.

Pursue truth and righteousness. Know that the days will be difficult, but God is with us. All this means is Jesus is coming soon. He will set all things right. He will return righteousness to the world. Paul describes his focus in difficult times to Timothy. Verse 10 “But you, Timothy, certainly know what I teach, and how I live, and what my purpose in life is. You know my faith, my patience, my love, and my endurance.” 

Are you having a difficult time? Are you looking around and have the feeling “it’s not fair?” The solution is to walk into your church. God’s presence will fill your spirit, and you will understand that God is in full control. Know that we are in the last days, and the lawless one is infecting all society. Be strong in the Lord. Increase faith, patience, love, and endurance. Let us follow his example and keep our lightnside shining bright. 

Vote for man, Trust in God

Today we vote for a president. I have already voted, and I hope you have or will today. This nation is great and established by God. One nation under God. We have fallen away from God’s presence. I feel there is a push to return to Godly guidance. As more of God’s people seek God and repent, God will hear and heal our land. (2 CHronicles 7:14.) I pray for a revival in our land to reach the hearts of our people.

The government cannot save us. Only God can save us.

Meditate on Psalms 146 today as we vote.

Praise the Lord!

1   Let all that I am praise the Lord.

    I will praise the Lord as long as I live.    I will sing praises to my God with my dying breath.

3 Don’t put your confidence in powerful people;    there is no help for you there. 4 When they breathe their last, they return to the earth,    and all their plans die with them. 5 But joyful are those who have the God of Israel as their helper,    whose hope is in the Lord their God.

He made heaven and earth, the sea, and everything in them. He keeps every promise forever.

He gives justice to the oppressed and food to the hungry. The Lord frees the prisoners.

    The Lord opens the eyes of the blind. The Lord lifts up those who are weighed down. The Lord loves the godly.

The Lord protects the foreigners among us. He cares for the orphans and widows, but he frustrates the plans of the wicked.

10 The Lord will reign forever. He will be your God, O Jerusalem, throughout the generations.

VOTE Today!

And no matter who get’s elected,

let your lightnside

Praise the Lord!

Becoming like Christ

Galatians 5:19-26

19 The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.

Can man change his nature?

Many use the new year to try and create a new person. People do recognize the poor qualities in their life, so there is a constant effort to renew, change, to get rid of past failures. The problem is this sinful nature is embedded in us all at birth because of orginal sin from Adam and Eve. It is called the works of the flesh. These are built-in desires and emotions that peruse self-worship, desires of the eyes, and the pride of life. These cannot be removed or covered up. You might be able to overcome their effects in your life by a focused daily routine, but they are still there, and in times of pressure, they will return with force. You do not have to teach a baby to be self-absorbed. You never have to teach a young child to say “no.” These fleshly desires are deeply embedded in all of us.   

Divine Help 

What is needed is a new nature. The need is for something more powerful than our worldly nature to come and live inside us to battle against this nature and give us hope and peace. When we give God our life, He plants into our heart, His Divine Fruit of the Spirit. This power is greater than our sinful nature and is at work, freeing us from the power of sin. The more we seek God, read His word, worship, and pray, the more powerful this fruit expands in our spirit and nature. We will not be perfect when this happens but are progressively changed to become more like Jesus.  

What if I still battle some sins?

One of the most significant words in this passage about living the worldly nature is found in verse 21. Paul writes, “those who practice such things will not inherit eternal life (KJV).” The NIV says “who live like this“, and the NLT says “anyone living that sort of life.” I like the word practice. When you receive Christ, and He begins a new work in you, you may slip up and fall back into one of your past sins. This is not practicing that nature. It is a mistake. The Christian will feel conviction and repent as the Holy Spirit helps him battle this old pattern. He is not practicing the sin, but instead fighting with human nature. Grace in sanctification is a ongoing work of the Holy Spirit. We will not be free from this battle until we are transformed at death or the resurrection.  

As the Fruit of the Spirit grows in us, there is a continued transformation becoming more like Christ. More peace, love, gentleness, self-control, and kindness as your lightnside shines out to the world.