Don’t Hate, Love

Leviticus 19:13-18

“Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man… (Matthew 7:21-24a). These were words spoken by Jesus, to teach His followers the importance bringing forth good fruit, for the purpose of edifying God’s kingdom. While some willingly humble themselves, to allow all glory to go to God, others seek vain glory for themselves, and do works to promote their own agendas.

God is all about teamwork, and shuns selfishness and pride. He desires that those who claim His name, not only focus on trying to accomplish major feats in the earth, but place more emphasis on fine tuning the small things. Some of which include loving our neighbors as we love ourselves, being fair in judgment, and paying those you owe on time, and not withholding what’s owed to those who have completed work for you. A few more of those small things God pays close attention to are respecting all men the same, whether they be deaf or blind, poor or rich, keeping the business of others out of your mouth (gossiping), and choosing to love your fellow brethren, rather than hate them, no matter the circumstances.

The church today, should look completely different from the world. Where there’s bickering and arguing amongst the world, love and peace should be found in the church. When the world slander, gossip, and tear down each other’s names, the body of believers should only be heard building, edifying, and lifting each other up.

We are to be the light, salt, and difference in the earth, so that those who are seeking a better way, can be positively influenced from our example. Prove your love to God by being a better you, every day, and let your love for others mirror the love of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Keep your chin up… it’s easier to see Heaven that way,

Ell

Prayer Plus Faith Equals Manifestation

James 1:1-11

Bestowing blessings upon a double-minded man, is like giving car keys to a four year old. A child that young, inexperienced, and underdeveloped, can’t possibly operate a vehicle properly, as they are not equipped to do so. God prefers not to bless those who are wavering and unstable in their faith, because doing so could cause them more harm, than good. Can you imagine if God gave everyone all the things they prayed for, even if they weren’t stable in their minds? This world would be in even more chaos than it already is. God is holy, and He is wise enough to know that only when a man’s mind is stable, can he truly benefit from His goodness.

Many people pray to God daily, but fail to attach faith with their requests. For this reason, they accuse God of not answering their prayers, but the problem was not with God, but their lack of faith. Faith is essential for many reasons, but most importantly, it proves that one’s heart is set on God’s agenda, and not on self. When we pray in faith, we don’t stop doing the works of the Lord. Instead, we continue living a holy life, while waiting and anticipating our manifested prayers.

God wants to bless His children daily, but we must do our part by trusting that He knows what’s best for us, and continuing in His divine will. Always remember, the text teaches us, “a double-minded man is unstable in all his ways”, and he should never expect God to honor any of his prayers, and only when we function with a sound mind, can God then trust us with His honorable gifts.

Keep your chin up… it’s easier to see Heaven that way,

Ell

Fading Flowers

Isaiah 40:1-8

Unlike the average man, my stance on buying a girl flowers differs from most of them. While I understand the significance of presenting beautiful flowers to a deserving woman, I’ve always held the belief that flowers eventually fade away, so why not get a gal something that last a bit longer, and has more relevance like gas money, or gifts cards to a spa or clothing store. While my popularity with the ladies may not have been ideal, at least when I gave gifts, they lasted a while, and actually made a difference in someone’s life.

As time continues to pass, all things in the earth are steadily fading away; from flowers and trees, to birds and bees. But, there’s one thing that has never faded, nor lost value since it was presented to the world. The Word of God has withstood the times, since the beginning. We also learn from the Scriptures, “In the beginning was the Word”, and today that same Word still stands strong. Throughout each day, men place their trust in things that will inevitably cease to exist, while at the same time, neglecting the only thing that will literally last through all eternity.

God gave the Word, so that men could learn of Him, consider their unhealthy lifestyles, then commit to changing in favor of His way of living. According to the great Dr Kent Hovind, the Bible is simply “Basic Instructions Before Leaving the Earth”. God made the world good, and very good, and He could have made it any other way, but what we see every day, is the awesomeness of His handiwork. While He’s aware that the beauty of this present world is fading, He has His concerns set on the souls of men.

Allow God’s everlasting and life-changing Word to penetrate deep into your heart, so that all He desires for you can be accomplished in the life you live for Him.

Keep your chin up… it’s easier to see Heaven that way,

Ell

Worth The Grind, Refined To Shine!

Romans 5:6-11

According to the website howstuffworks.com, the entire process of gold mining can be broken down roughly into four steps: prospecting, mining, extracting and refining. OceanaGold, a Waihi operation, goes into great detail concerning the gold mining process. This process includes:
1. Mining – open pit and underground
-To define the ore from the waste rock, samples are taken and assayed. Assay results are used to mark out areas of ore and waste rock, which are mined separately. Some of the harder areas require blasting to loosen the rock prior to excavation by hydraulic diggers. Dump trucks haul the rock to the primary crushers in the open pit or to the ore stockpiles from underground.
2. Crushing
-The primary crushers located at the open pit mine site, receive ore and waste at separate times. They break the larger rocks down to a size suitable for transport on the conveyor belt.
3. Transport
-A rubber belted conveyor transports the ore and waste rock from the open pit, approximately two kilometres, via a tunnel through Union Hill, to the mill and waste rock embankments. Large electromagnets remove any steel debris excavated from the old Martha Mine workings.
4. Grinding and sizing
-Ore from both open pit and underground is stockpiled separately at the mill before being fed into a S.A.G. mill with lime, water and steel balls. The larger particles from this mill are returned to the S.A.G. mill for more grinding. The finer particles receive more grinding in a ball mill, and are size classified to give a final product of 80% < microns. See more detail on grinding and sizing
5. Leaching and adsorption
-A slurry of ground ore, water and a weak cyanide solution is fed into large steel leach tanks where the gold and silver are dissolved. Following this leaching process the slurry passes through six adsorption tanks containing carbon granules which adsorb the gold and silver. This process removes 93% of the gold and 70% of the silver.
-6. Elution and electrowinning
The loaded carbon is fed into an elution column where the bullion is washed off. The barren carbon is recycled. The wash solution—pregnant electrolyte—is passed through electrowinning cells where gold and silver is won onto stainless steel cathodes.
7. Bullion production
-The loaded cathodes are rinsed to yield a gold and silver bearing sludge which is dried, mixed with fluxes and put into the furnace. After several hours the molten material is poured into a cascade of moulds producing bars of doré bullion.
8. Water treatment
-Some water from dewatering the mine, from the embankment underdrains and decant water from the tailings pond is recycled for use in the grinding circuit. Excess water is pumped to the water treatment plant and treated to the required standards before discharge into the Ohinemuri River.
9. Tailings disposal
-Waste rock from the open pit mine is used to build the embankment structures. The embankments retain the tailings slurry in a pond where solids settle and compact. Water is decanted off and used in the process plant or treated before it is discharged.

Companies around the globe, work the looooooong mining process for years, to recover precious and valuable ore from beneath the rocks. In the eyes of men, the value of gold (and other precious elements) is worth sacrificing days of hard labor, to gain only a little at a time. In addition, the benefits men gain from mining gold include jewelry, finances, such as gold bars or bullion, conductor for electronics, computer edge connectors and memory chips, dental fillings or crowns, as part of a radioactive solution for some medical diagnoses, awards or decorative gilding.

Everyone born into the earth, take on a sinful nature, and are shaped in iniquity. It’s an unfortunate circumstance, but the cause of such a curse was due to the fall of the first man. While men are inherently unclean, they still have hidden value that comes to surface once they allow Jesus to perform the mining process of their hearts.

For centuries, men have sacrifice time and hard labor to possess gold, but Jesus sacrificed His very life, so that the true value of God’s greatest creation could be revealed. Humans are by far, God’s most prized creation, and once a man or woman fully commits themselves to God’s authority, He will literally reveal their shine to all the world.

Believers are the most precious commodities in the earth, and while gold, silver, and platinum may hold some value, those cannot begin to compare to a Saint of the living God. Giving His life on the cross, was an extremely hard thing for Jesus to experience, but all the suffering, shame, pain, and agony He went through, was well worth it, so that the true worth of God’s people could finally come to light.

Keep your chin up… it’s easier to see Heaven that way,

Ell

No Pain, No Gain

Romans 5:1-5

During this season of pandemic and hard times, many people have resulted to exercise and other physical activities, to distract themselves from their current hardships. While it’s not always fun to workout, consistent and repetitious efforts always improve one’s levels of strength, endurance, and motivation.

There are many different exercises, that affect certain areas of the body. For example, pushups work the triceps, pectoral muscles, and shoulders, whereas squats build your glutes, quadriceps, hamstrings, adductors, hip flexors, and calves. Not much is gained from easy workouts, but pushing yourself to your limits and beyond, will prove very beneficial to you the rest of your life.

While physical exercise does good for the natural body, growing stronger in the spirit involves totally different exercises. The text lists the basic process of how a believer grows in God. The first step in establishing a strong spiritual relationship with God is, studying and meditating on His Word. Once you’ve developed a mature understanding of those things you’ve read, prepare yourself to be tested in some of those same areas. Aside from the normal tests and trials of life, God, at times, allows some people to go through tribulations (trouble, affliction, anguish, persecution, or heavy burdens).

The small tests of life contribute to the daily lives of the Saints, but those who endure tribulation gain immense increase in patience, experience, and hope. Patience is a spiritual muscle many fail to exercise, and when the time comes to use it, those who don’t have much of it, often break when pressure is applied.

A great deal of things we learn in life are gained through experience. After you’ve gone through something that has tested your patience to the max, the next time you face a similar situation, you’ll have the experience to overcome it with ease. Experience is a great teacher, but the key is, to actually learn from them, so you don’t repeat them.

When we hope for the right things, we’ll never be ashamed. The average person hopes for possessions like money, cars, houses, and other material things, while the end of those things is destruction. On the contrary, those who put their hope in the Lord, will desire things that have eternal value.

Exercising our spiritual muscles far outweigh any physical workout men can do, and in the eyes of God, it matters more that His people can overcome demonic forces, rather than lifting metal weights.

Keep your chin up… it’s easier to see Heaven that way,

Ell

What About The Children?

Luke 11:9-13

If you’re a parent, and your child asked for something to eat, would you give them a bowl of rocks? Any sound-minded father or mother would respond to that question with an absolute NO! How could any parent refuse to give their little one the things they have need of? In my most honest opinion, it’s borderline criminal for anyone to see a child in need, and refuse to help, especially if they have more than enough to supply. Children are feeble, and underdeveloped, so ensuring they are well-fed, and properly cared for should be top priority on every mom and dad’s to-do list.

Taking care of those you love should feel more like an opportunity to bless and provide, rather than a hard task or duty. When God blesses His children, He always does it out of love, and what He gives is best for their lives. God knows what His children have need of before they even ask or think it, and He’s built a reputation for giving His people what they need, more than what they ask for amiss. God is a great Father, and always provides the best for His children, and He desires that we do the same for ours. Learn to love your children the way God loves you, and always be ready and willing to give them what they need, so that they’ll be able to grow and develop healthy, in a natural and spiritual way.

Keep your chin up… it’s easier to see Heaven that way,

Ell

Washed In The Blood

Titus 3:3-7

One of the most exciting times of my childhood was, going with my mom to the laundromat. Living with seven children and a husband, also meant loads of dirty clothes, and oftentimes washing our piles of laundry could be done faster and more efficient using the oversized laundromat washers and dryers in our neighborhood. For some strange reason, I found it rather fascinating to sit in front of a washing machine, and watch the clothes swish and splash against the thick glass door for nearly 45 minutes. In mere  moments, clothes that were once full of dirt and stains, were miraculously made clean and fresh by the power of soap and water. Not only was the washing process efficient and exciting, but the drying process was even more fascinating! With the right amount of heat and dryer sheets, those clean and wet clothes would be dry and fluffy in no less than 50 minutes. Alright now, I was a kid, so don’t judge me. We didn’t have cable television, or iPads back then, so a kid had to do whatever was necessary, to enjoy the wonders of life.

While that transparent story of my past may seem funny and cute, the process of washing and drying can be relatable to the process of man’s redemption, according to Scripture. All those who are members of the body of Christ, were once a load of dirty laundry. Before coming into the knowledge of God, and accepting Jesus as our Savior, many of us (according to the apostle Paul in verse 3) were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving different lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another. But thanks be to God, Christ took us to the laundromat on Golgotha Hill (Calvary). Jesus took on all man’s sins, as He hung on the cross and died. His death saved us by the washing of regeneration, and we were renewed by the power of the Holy Ghost. It’s by the grace of God, the church is justified, and made heirs according to the hope of eternal life (vs. 7). Aren’t you glad you’ve been washed in the blood of the Lamb, and dried by His sweet Holy Spirit?

Keep your chin up… it’s easier to see Heaven that way,

Ell

You Look Good!

Colossians 1:24-29

The church has the responsibility of seasoning the earth, and being a light to all who walk in darkness. The church is more then a building, with stained glass windows, pulpits, and baptismal pools. Instead, the church is a collective group of individuals, all working together, exercising their gifts for the glory of God. While that brief description of what the real church is sounds accurate, it’s apparent that what Paul envisioned the church to become, has swayed far away from his expectation.

In his day, the apostle Paul was mindful of the early church, and set his affections on building, edifying, and even sacrificing himself, so that the church could grow. Paul proved over and over, God’s business was his business, and he was willing to go above and beyond, so that God’s people would be properly equipped to strive daily, to fulfill His plan.

I wrote a quote a short while ago that says, “I don’t teach to make you feel good. I teach to make you look good to God”. After writing that quote, I realized this was the same perspective the apostle Paul had concerning the churches he established. Paul cared little for men’s opinions, and more for their souls. The text mentions that Paul and others preached, taught, and warned men in all wisdom, so that they could “present every man perfect in Christ Jesus” (vs. 28). The purpose of edification is not to bring glory to oneself, but it’s to help our brothers and sisters mature in the knowledge of our great God.

Do you care enough about other Christians, to help them grow in God? Do you concern yourself with meeting the needs of those who may need a helping hand? Have you considered someone else, who may also be dealing with a struggle? Learn to center your attention on building up those around you, because all that matters to God is, that the church line up with His Word, so that their witness will prove successful in the earth.

Keep your chin up… it’s easier to see Heaven that way,

Ell

The Only Way

John 14:1-14

Throughout my journey on this decaying planet, I’ve witnessed many (Christians and non-believers) who harbored major concerns about life after death. I must admit, it can get a bit frightening at times, spending too much time thinking about never existing in this realm after death, but when you know what to expect in the next life, the worry and fear of the once unknown, will disappear in mere moments.

Those who are in Christ Jesus, can expect unimaginable blessings, and great inheritance in the life to come. In our text, Jesus comforted His troubled disciples by reminding them that He would soon leave the earth, but during His time away, He would prepare a place where they could abide with Him forever. There’s been much speculation, along with varying interpretations on the descriptions of Heaven mentioned by Christ, but whether we’ll live in actual mansions, or not, I just want to be there.

It’s unfortunate that after all the teachings and miracles performed by Jesus, His disciples still had their doubts about His sovereignty. Their doubts weren’t developed from disrespect, but I can only imagine that their finite minds and limited understanding caused them to not fully understand what Jesus continually presented to them. Jesus knew how to handle His followers, but stressed more than anything, He is the only way to the Father. The words Jesus spoke, were not His own. The works Jesus performed, were not His own. The miracles Jesus manifested, were not by His own doing. The reason Jesus was able to do those things which were beyond human comprehension was, because He was in the Father, and the Father in Him. For this reason, Jesus told His disciples, when they believe in Him, they are also believing in God. But, if perhaps they fail to believe this obvious truth, Jesus humbly expressed, “or else believe me for the very works’ sake” (vs. 11b).  In other words, “if you’re simply too naive to hear and understand the truth of my words, then base the truth on the miraculous works you’ve witnessed with your own eyes” (Elliott’s translation).

One day soon, we’ll all see death, but the thought of that day doesn’t have to bring fear and worry in our hearts. In fact, the Bible reads in Psalm 116:15, “Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints”. When a Saint dies, God is excited, because they can then see those things that were only read in the Scriptures.

As you continue your journey on this side of Heaven, keep your chin up, and consider all those amazing things that await you in the next life. We have trained our eyes, minds, and hearts to only concern ourselves with the cares of this world, but meditate more on what God has prepared for us in Heaven, then you’ll be able to live a more bold and dedicated life on this earth.

Keep your chin up… it’s easier to see Heaven that way,

Ell

Peaceful Impression

John 14:25-31

What impression do you leave on others, when you’re absent from their presence? As a child of God, do people recognize you as one who exhibits the character traits Jesus portrayed while He roamed the earth? Since you’ve become engrafted into God’s royal family, have you fully understood what He expects of you? These are questions every person who claims to be filled with God’s Spirit, should easily respond to.

When Jesus left to be with His Father, He knew the church would need much help to withstand the evil days, so rather than leave us to fend for ourselves against the forces of darkness, He prayed to the Father, who then sent the Comforter (Holy Ghost) to be another heavenly representative, to teach us all things, and bring to remembrance, the words of Christ (among many other things).

Before Jesus left the scene, He gave the gift of peace to His disciples. Of all the amazing virtues in Christ’s arsenal, why would peace be favored among them all? Consider the state of the world today. What is most needed besides the obvious (money, food, shelter, healthcare)? You got it! Peace. Despite how many people try to beautify societal constructs, this world is functioning from a chaotic state. Peace is needed all over the world, and in every country, you’ll find similar patterns of wickedness in governments, business, and other means by which the less fortunate are taken advantage of. The law-abiding citizens need peace, in order to maintain stability, amongst corrupt leadership. Peace is needed in our homes, so that fathers and mothers can properly raise their children to love and respect God. Even in homes where the mother or father is absent, more peace is required to keep that single parent strong and determined to keep their family together. Peace is most definitely needed in the hearts of those nearing the edge of their sanity; those who feel that life has dealt them an unfair hand.

As a believer, it’s your duty to strive to live peaceably with all men, knowing that the times are hard, not only on the church, but on the world as well. If we are to win the world to Christ, we must first understand that peace should go before us in all our encounters.

Keep your chin up… it’s easier to see Heaven that way,

Ell