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Those who seek the path of least resistance can find a commodity called cheap freedom. It is closely akin to cheap grace. The appeal of cheap freedom is that it gives its recipients a license to express their every whim and desire, ideals that will eventually lead to their ruin. Those who hold Self paramount in their pursuits seek after it. They give the fallen nature of man full expression, while rebelling against established truths. Their mantra is “it’s your thing, do what you want to do.” “No rules!” is their rule, or at least their freedom allows rules to be compromised. Every individual does what is right in his or her own eyes. They gather a following as new trends are set, and formerly barbaric acts appear civil as a people participate in the demise of civilization. Freedom as an end, rather than a means to an end, leads to disaster. The rise and fall of the Roman Empire ought to remind us of the end of those who are free just for the sake of being free. “In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes.” Judges 21:25 The…

Both hopes and fears can be traced to the position and attitude towards fathers. The family legacy as our inheritance is transferred from fathers to sons. Dr. Thomas Smail in his epic book entitled The Forgotten Father sums up this dilemma in two sentences: “Mothers tend to promote the fulfillment of their sons from behind; fathers tend to require the obedience of their sons from above! The first kind of love ministers to the needs of the beloved; the second kind dethrones the one it loves and presses him into its own service.” (p. 12). Both fathers and mothers are necessary. We need the push and reinforcement that comes from mothers, but we also need the upward pull to be elevated beyond status-quo living that fathers encourage. He speaks of obedience as the key since the father establishes the parameters and laws within which his children are to function. If lawlessness is to abound, as it is today, it is the result of the rules of fathers being violated. When boundaries are established the fear is the loss of freedom. Yet true freedom can never be experienced unless there are rules of engagement protecting one person’s freedom from invasions caused…

The names of God were revealed to individuals based upon their most current need. He revealed to Moses that He is the “I Am.” Then He made it even clearer that He is “I Am that I Am.” As new challenges would arise, He proved Himself to be sufficient to meet every need. As El Shaddai, He is God Almighty; Warrior or Destroyer; God of the Wilderness or Mountain. But the name that expresses His ability to nurture and meet needs is Enough or Sufficient; The Breasted One. We see attributes of God displayed through nature.  Man (male and female) was made in His image and after His likeness.  “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, but you were not willing! (Luke 13:34-35) The hen (female) gathers and protects her offspring from invaders. She is willing to lay her own life down for her brood. Even before the eggs are hatched, she stands guard and the eggs can only be taken by force, facing her hottest wrath. Jesus came to earth to…

The paradox (a truth that appears as a contradiction) of the cross defies reason and is often rejected by those who are searching for meaning within themselves and among themselves. The mantra of today’s culture is to search within oneself and find the answers: such statements as loving yourself  is the greatest love of all; knowing yourself is the highest degree of knowledge, and being yourself is the greatest truth of all, are today’s common philosophy. Their counselors are those who specialize in one discipline of study as authorities, yet are ignorant of oceans of information left unexplored. The most important discipline is the search for meaning. What good is knowledge when life itself is sacrificed? The dead know nothing and can do nothing. Bu the thing we call ‘life’ causes individuals to be too preoccupied to consider life’s meaning. The contradiction is that many people are too busy attempting to make a living to live. They are too busy mouthing the fallacies of existence, popular but divorced from purpose, to consider why they actually exist. (The Walking Dead) Death is not only when the body ceases to function. The dead are those who are detached from the Source of…

Love is often defined by and through experiences or observation. We experience love on a continuous basis and we observe the evidence of love all around us. However, there is a deeper love that can only come by revelation. When that love is made known to us, it brings all other expressions of love into their proper perspective. Those who love deeply are eventually wounded deeply because what appears on the surface can lose its luster over time. Impressions lead to disappointments if those impressions are not deeply rooted in truth. In our search for love, we must not seek it looking in the wrong places. Otherwise, we may find ourselves traveling down the dead-end path of infatuation. Its attraction is for the moment, while its glory continues to fade as character is revealed, and the deficit is so pronounced that we wonder how we could have embarked on such a journey. God is love! He is not restricted by our ideas of love, but we grow in our understanding of love as we grow in our understanding of God. There are things that happen in life that are difficult to understand or explain. But God makes everything beautiful in…

Three years ago, we changed our church’s name from Abundant Life Church to Cross Culture Church. Not that we do not believe in the abundant life, nor is it a matter of changing our assignment. There are times in life when the vision given by God is to be reinforced so that our understanding can be extended. When most think of abundance, their thinking is usually directed towards personal abundance alone. There is a sign in the center of our sanctuary with one word; “OTHERS.” It was placed there so that all who worship among us would focus their attention beyond themselves. We wish all to know that we are blessed in order to be a blessing. Not only that, but to know that our greatest blessing is being a blessing. When we are able to bless others, it is because we are graced by God for Him to serve others through us. “Just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” (Matthew 20:28) Serving others is giving your life through extending your redeemed soul to others. When your life becomes conduit in the Hands…

In the relay race, the fastest starting runner has placed within his hands a baton. His assignment is to run with the swiftest of speed while carrying the baton, but knowing that there will be other runners awaiting his completed assignment to take over what began with him. When he releases the baton to the second runner, his assignment is finished but race is not over. He entrusts into the hands of another runner the stewardship of discipline and drive to win the race while knowing that its completion requires the help of future runners. In this race of life, the baton has been placed in our hands. Who will be there to pass the baton to the next generation? Are you currently running the quality of race that you would encourage your children to continue after your demise? We are alive to make a difference and for that difference to last for generations to come. “Do you not know that those who run in a race–all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it.” (1 Corinthians 9:24) We must live our lives as if the future depended upon us and our…

“I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live.” Deuteronomy 30:19  Although we are free to make choices, we are not free to determine the outcome or consequences of the choices that we make. Somewhere down the road we will meet the fruit of past decisions that will remind us of what we once thought and whether we were right or wrong. One writer mentioned that “The road to hell is paved with good intentions,” but we also know that the trail of tears left behind is moistened with regrets. If it were possible to hit the rewind button of life, how many mistakes would we delete? Even though we are the product of past choices, the road of possibility lies ahead to choose to live a better life. Freedom in choosing ought to be preceded by a careful examination of the facts. Wisdom must be applied because facts alone can be deceiving. How those facts align themselves to absolute truth will determine the outcome of the decision. When words like absolute are used, it suggests…

Psalm 145:4 “One generation shall praise Your works to another, and shall declare Your mighty acts.” We have been assigned to make a difference in this generation and leave a legacy for all the generations that come after us. What matters most is not what we may have enjoyed in our lifetime, but what we leave behind for others. Today, we are either reaping the benefits or suffering the consequences of former generations. However, these conditions do not just develop, as there were people who set the stage that we currently occupy. In a sense, they were our fathers, for we are the products of their investments and efforts. Consequently as fathers, there are many things to consider—since we give birth to sons and daughters, what kind of world would we wish for them? Fathers of families, fathers of movements, and fathers of nations share this one thing in common; they all set the pace and rhythm for their generation. As time advances, the objective is for the progression of people commensurate to the progression of time. We are growing older, but we must also grow better. Although God works within the framework of time, He is not confined to…

“When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, he saith unto his mother, Woman, behold thy son! (27) Then saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother! And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own home.” John 19:26-27 Every mother whose child may have preceded her in death could relate to the agony and pain experienced through the absence of the child to which she gave birth. Even Jesus took time from dying to acknowledge His mother. Two people who stood together, who were both precious to the Savior, now stand together. They were brought together by a circumstance beyond their control. The hell that Jesus suffered was the interval of separation from the Father. His adopted father, Joseph, had already departed this life and His Heavenly Father had turned His back to Him. His pain knew no boundaries. The Cross served as the convergence of physical and emotional pain, and Jesus’ examples sets the stage for some challenging questions: can you love through a broken heart? While bleeding, can you still see others through your tears? It gives solace when the attempt is made to at least try to understand…