Stand Tall

 

In this crooked and perverse generation, we MUST stand TALL for the Lord!

GREEN STALKS

 

“Stand up, stand up for Jesus.
The strife will not be long.
This day the noise of battle;
The next the victor’s song.
To those who vanquish evil
A crown of life shall be;
They with the King of Glory
Shall reign eternally.”

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Lyrics by C. Barry Robertson / George Duffield / George J. Webb
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Focus on Coffee – Day 7

COFFEE & OPEN BIBLE -- MNPlatypus --PX

Well, here we are at the close of another coffee series. I do love posting about coffee. (I said that a few times already, didn’t I?) Today I’ve focused on a cup of coffee and an open Bible because, frankly, that’s my M.O. I’ve spent many long hours with a cup of coffee and my open Bible, just visiting with the Lord and talking over things — all kinds of things — some important, some not. And He enjoys those times as much as I do.

I have a great precedent for those experiences in my natural life, because I’ve sat and visited multitudes of times with my earthly dad over a cup of coffee — just talking over all kinds of things — and it’s always been a happy, comforting experience. As I’ve mentioned previously, both my parents were coffee drinkers, and the beverage was just a normal part of our lives every day. But even after my mom passed away, some of my favorite times with my dad involved enjoying a cup of coffee and conversation together. And I feel exactly the same about my Heavenly Father.

Some people who don’t like coffee don’t like to hear this, but I’m sure that after I’m finished with my work here and move on to the Heavenly realm, the Lord and I will enjoy many more times over a cup of great coffee — only I’m sure what He has available in Heaven will far surpass even the best cup I’ve ever had down here.

I’ve had fun focusing on coffee again this past week. Hope all of you are enjoying your own brand of the brew, and before too long, I’ll probably pop up with another mini-series on this favorite subject.

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photo: courtesy of MNPlatypus @ pixabay.com


 

Focus On Coffee — Day 1

COFFEE SIGN -- Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

Well, as all my regular visitors know, I do love coffee. But I’ve noticed that during this past couple months — with life a little topsy-turvey — I’ve needed a lot more coffee than usual. So I figured it’s time for another coffee series right here on my online home. I’ve done three other series on this subject over the years, and you’ll find links to those posts in my navigation bar. Now I invite you to join me for the next 7 days as I once again focus on the elixir of life itself: COFFEE!


TWO YELLOW COFFEES -- Alina Zakovyrko - PX

photo: Alina Zakovyrko @ pixabay.com

I really, really — make that really, really, really — miss having coffee with friends. Most of my friends love coffee as much as I do, so when we have a chance to stop the world for an hour or two and sit and share our lives with each other, one of the first ways we think about is meeting for coffee.

It does’t seem to matter a whole lot where we meet. We’ve had a great cup of coffee at any number of Denny’s, McDonald’s, Cracker Barrels, IHOP Pancake Houses, and Local Corner Cafes. But, oddly enough, we don’t generally frequent actual coffee houses. Most of the time when I’ve had coffee at a place that is supposed to be specializing in a variety of coffees — or their own iconic coffee, such as Starbucks — I find their offerings too strong and harsh, and so do most of the people who make up my friends group. It’s almost as if those coffee houses are trying too hard to make their coffee “special” when the truth is that coffee is already special just being itself.

Now I mean no disrespect to coffee houses in general — or to any specific coffee icon either. And if any of my readers really enjoy those coffees, please don’t let me sway you at all. Keep enjoying your own choice.

I think I’m probably a person who likes drip coffee best. I grew up with my family making coffee in an electric percolator, and I did enjoy that. My grandmother and my mother-in-law both used a glass stove-top percolator, and I enjoyed that as well. But when the home versions of the drip coffee makers became really popular, I found that they made coffee every bit s good as those percolators, and since electric percolators are priced close to $70.00 these days, I’ve cast my lot with the drippers.

Of course, coffee is so great, not just because it smells amazing as it brews and tastes delicious– when made from the right kind of pot — but because it has all kinds of comfort connotations attached to it. I’ve mentioned this fact before, and it still holds true. All during my growing up and young adult years, my parents brewed a pot of coffee for each meal — and if we had friends over for an evening, coffee was part of the event. I also realized at an early age that when there was something going on in the family that was especially stressful or required lengthy discussions and decision making, we generally relied on a pot of coffee to help us along in dealing with those events as well.

So, undoubtedly, my love of coffee comes from some pretty deep roots. But regardless of where it came from, the wonderful thing is that it’s still an important part of my life. I do enjoy just sitting alone at times and savoring a great cup of coffee — and maybe a book — or my art journal — or sometimes just the silence of aloneness. But then there are those truly special times when I get to enjoy coffee with friends. And right now, it’s those get-togethers that I miss so much.

But it’s nice to know that we’re still living in a world where two ordinary things — a simple cup of coffee and a visit with a friend — become quite extraordinary when coupled together. And they go a long way toward making life worth living. So right now I’m lifting my coffee cup in a toast to those special occasions and the hope that it won’t be long before they are a regular part of life again.



 

The Amazing Story of the Real St. Patrick

ST. PATRICK BOOK AMAZON FRONT COVER BRIGHTER

I’ve shared this story several times in article format over the past 9 years, but never put it all together in a book that was available on a world-wide market. But now it’s available through Amazon in paperback and digital.

The little-known, but true story of one of the most amazing soul-winners in the history of the Kingdom of God. St. Patrick of Ireland’s life of ministry is replete with astounding miracles and spiritual experiences that match those reported in the chapters of God’s Word.

And Patrick is credited with bringing at least 70,000 people to a saving faith in Jesus Christ — without the use of any transportation except his feet and his horse, and without the help of electricity or modern technology on any level. The story related in this booklet is taken from Patrick’s own writings and sidesteps vague legends to give the reader powerful truth that will encourage and inspire the faith of everyone who wants to serve God.

Short and easy to read. Get a copy today and an extra for someone whose faith you want to inspire.

PAPERBACK:  $4.00

DIGITAL:  $0.99



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My Cadillac For Your Camel – (text & video)

(I originally posted this article almost 7 years ago. But this week I began thinking about the truths expressed in it, and I felt it was time to give it a fresh audience — and to put it into video format as well. You’ll find the video below the text. I trust it will bless, whichever format you choose to experience.)


CAMEL'S IN DESERT

We all live by a value system of some kind. Each possession, each day, and each person in our lives has a different value, and sometimes that value changes. The title of this article is a joke, of course, poking fun at the truth that most value is relative. But what makes it relative? What, in the final analysis, determines an item’s value?

There are millions of affluent citizens of several nations who value their Cadillacs — or a number of other expensive automobiles with big gasoline engines — as one of the most important and life-enhancing items they could own. On a roster of possessions that represent the most positive assets in life, those glossy, high-powered autos head the list.

But let that Cadillac owner find himself stranded in the middle of a blazing desert: sand blowing into every nook and cranny, including his engine — no roads of any kind — no gas stations.  Suddenly, a slow-moving, bad-smelling, comically-proportioned camel is worth a whole lot more to that guy than the Caddy, and he’d gladly make a trade. Value.

By the same token, a woman who finds herself happily married to a kind, thoughtful man will value that man highly — more highly than any of the other people in her life. Her next-door neighbor may be married to Attila the Hun, and she finds herself valuing her time away from him with others much more than she does him.

The woman who’s wished all her life for a huge two-story home with five bathrooms, and who has the money to care for that house and hire help — as well as be free to stay home and enjoy it most days — will value that house highly. But the gal who struggles to make ends meet by working three jobs and going non-stop from sun-up to sun-down will value a one-bedroom apartment that is easy to clean and maintain with no extra fuss.

So what is it, really, that gives something its value? It seems that it is the owner of that ‘something.’  The person to whom the thing belongs and for whom it fulfills a purpose or meets a need is the one who imbues it with its value.

Well, I, for one am thrilled to realize that truth. Because I know for sure to whom I belong.  And I know for sure — because He told me Himself — what service I perform and what needs I meet for Him. Nor am I an isolated case. There are millions more just like me — yet unique at the same time — and bearing equal value in the eyes of our owner.

My owner is the God of the universe, the Creator of all things — including me. His Word tells me clearly (Revelation 4:11) that all things — including me — were created by Him for His pleasure. And, in fact that is my number-one job: to give my Heavenly Father and the Lord Jesus Christ pleasure. Surely, I am assigned to do other things: to love others; to teach them what the Word says about Jesus and how He, as God, came to save us from our own sin and rebellion; and to show by my whole life the true nature of God. But those assignments do not substitute for God’s original purpose in creating me: His own enjoyment of a family just like Him.

But not only does He own the whole human race because He created us. When we rebelled against Him and turned away, breaking our relationship with him completely, with no hope to get it back, God came in the person of Jesus Christ and paid the supreme price to buy us back into His possession. He made us the first time (an easy and delightful experience for Him); He bought us the second time (a gut-wrenching, horrific, thoroughly bloody experience for Him).

But you know what’s really interesting to me?  The Word of God tells us in Hebrews 12:2 that Jesus faced all of that sacrifice for us — laying aside the privileges of Divinity and re-defining Himself in human flesh, living a life never once stained by sin, and taking our sin and the horrible shame, beating, crucifixion, and separation from God that we deserved — because He saw something beyond that sacrifice that would give Him so much joy that it far surpassed the evil He would have to endure.

Now, tell me please, what joy could the Lord of the universe – Creator of all things — what possible joy could He have been missing that made such a horrific sacrifice necessary? The only thing He was missing was a relationship with man. Since man, by his own volition, had irrevocably broken that relationship, nothing could restore it at that point. The only hope was if God could find a way to “re-create” the human race — to make them righteous enough again to fellowship with Him.

The triune Creator had everything else He could possibly want, but not one of those things could give Him the joy that His relationship with us could give. Dear friend, it was for man — for you and me — that He longed. It was for you and me that He made the decision to suffer such agony and death.

So how valuable are we? Is there anything in the universe that could be bartered for you and me? Is there anything that can be offered to Jesus Christ in exchange for His relationship with us that would tempt Him to give us up? Not on your life, my friend!  He already made that choice, once and for all, when He laid down everything else for us.

Remember, He didn’t just decide to come down to earth for a moment in time and go through the motions. He came down to go through the reality of taking on our sin, taking on our separation and banishment from the Father God, taking on our death. His only hope was in the eternal Word of the living God, who had spoken that He would raise Jesus up with new life once the legal price for sin had been paid in full. Had that Word failed, Jesus would never have seen Heaven again, and we would be lost and undone — without God and without hope — forever.

But He did see Heaven again. He came up out of that grave with eternal life to offer anyone who would accept the sacrifice He had made. (John 3:16-18, 1 John 5:11-12). So when we accept His sacrifice and accept Him, that new life comes into us and we are “born again.” (John 3:3-5). We become “a new creation: a new species,” created in the righteousness of Jesus Christ Himself. (2 Cor. 5:17).

Yes, it’s easy to identify Jesus Christ as our owner — twice over. He created us; then he paid for us. A critical reader will stop here and note the fact that I am repeating this point for the third time in this article. And he would be correct. I am repeating this astounding truth so many times because this world has a way of draining it right out of us. It’s so easy to give mental assent to what we’re discussing here but miss the power of it as a reality in our lives. So once more I will remind all of us:  He laid everything on the line — Heaven, His eternal throne, His own life — for us. And therein lies our value.

It doesn’t matter how we feel about it. It doesn’t matter what we think. And it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks about the situation. Our worth is set for eternity, and no one — absolutely no one — is going to get Jesus to trade us for anything else at all.


photo courtesy of BeautifulFreePictures.com




 

Hungarian Cookie Haiku

Exif JPEG

Dad’s Hungarian Cookies

Memories so sweet:
Daddy baking cookies from
Fam’ly recipe.

Hungarian treat:
Flaky, sugared, golden dough
Stuffed with hickory nuts.

Each year at Christmas,
In kitchen warm and cozy –
Memories so sweet.


For decades, my dad (who was Bulgarian/Polish) baked Hungarian cookies. It was a recipe handed down from one Balkan country to another, and was a favorite of our family. However, in the last several years of my dad’s life, Christmas season included so many other activities as well that sometimes he just didn’t have time to bake those cookies along with everything else. When those years came along, he baked them for me on my birthday instead, which is February 1st. So it’s right that I’m thinking about them in February this year. I can almost taste them even now.



Weekly Smile 1/28/20

This past week I had more than one thing to smile about, but I think the most important for me was what I accomplished with one of my dad’s books. My dad went to be with the Lord about 6 years ago — at the age of 88 — after 70 plus years in ministry for Jesus. He served the Lord as an evangelist, a pastor, a Bible teacher, a Christian journalist and author, and a Christian radio and TV speaker.

He had a strong anointing for teaching God’s Word, and he wrote a lot of articles and a few books in which he shared a great deal of revelation from that Word. His books that DAD'S AMAZON BOOK - LIGHT GRAY TEXT - front coverwere published before his death are now in an out-of-print state, and I have the copyright. So I decided it was time to re-furbish them and get a second edition of them into the public. Our family has done all we could to keep my dad’s teaching available to help people, by continuing to publish his work in periodicals, on his original blog, and even through YouTube. One of the YouTube videos on my Radical About Jesus Ministries channel — in which my dad reads about 40 minutes of healing scriptures, along with a word or two of exhortation — has now been viewed over 90 thousand times.

Anyway, this past week I managed to get his book refurbished, reformatted, and republished. I’ve already received orders for copies of the book, and I’m currently working on one of his others as well. So I’m especially glad that his teaching will still reach out to help people through another generation. That’s worth smiling about big time.


Visit Trent’s Blog to get the simple rules for participating in this week’s “Weekly Smile.”
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