Dip Cone Hair and Simple Life

891d3-conesThis is a picture of my hairstyle a while back.

Yes, the dip cones to the left are an exact representation of my hairstyle.

I’d like to say it’s more “Jimmy Neutron” than Dairy Queen to increase my “cool factor,” but that’d be stretching it.

This isn’t on purpose mind you – it just happened that way. Hair got a little too long, a little too free with the gel and…voila! DQ Dip Cone hair!

I noticed the DQDC resemblance in the mirror, and told a couple of friends “Look! I have dip cone hair!” to which one responded, “you absolutely do – did you do that on purpose?” “Yes! And tomorrow I’m going for a Hunger Buster belly!” OK…sooo not really.

I want the simple life.

A church member with a biting wit was giving me a hard time just two days before. In response I emailed her – “I’m leaving the ministry… getting a job at Dairy Queen in Gonzales (my daughters and I go to that DQ when at a friend’s ranch in the area). I will be their new “dip cone” guy. I dip the cone and then turn it upside down before I hand it to the customer. Then I smile sweetly (I’m good at that). That’s the life for me. No harassment. No stress. Just honest simple labor .”

Sweet, sweet lady. In response she emailed back “Is this the part where I say, “You’re good at being a dip?” The love of the Lord was all over her.

It got me thinking though.

Great job dipping cones. Nothing else to do. No complications, no worries. Just fill the cone, dip it, turn it upside down before handing it over. Creamy perfection.

And if you do it right…everyone loves you. People all over town saying “love the dip cone guy!”

My life isn’t like that at all.

There are regular complications, issues, and…you can do the right thing, and sometimes people will still hate you for it. Jesus mentioned that we should expect that.

And life is never free of stressors. Even the dip cone guy has stress. “Red alert! Red alert! The chocolate’s too hot! I turned the cone over, and it plopped onto my shoe!” Then he’s banished to the fryer and a life of chronic grease induced clogged pores and Crisco hair. Talk about stress.

What I really want, is a Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego kind of life.

They were told if they didn’t worship the king’s statue they’d be thrown in the fiery furnace. Their response?

Something like this: “Hate us – we don’t care! Throw us in the fiery furnace – we don’t care! We won’t worship your statue!”

That is so bold and excellent. I want to respond like they did! BUT…I want to already know beforehand that it is reeeeaaally gonna be OK.

Like God is whispering in my ear “I’ve got your back on this! Act a little more uppity! Wave that freaky dip cone hair around and say something like ‘whether God rescues me or not, I don’t care! Cause I’m one faithful bad mamma jamma!’”

That’s NEVER happened to me.

God does tell us beforehand that He’ll always be here and never forsake us (Deut. 31.6). But it seems that more often than not, He shows up (great Biblical point coming…wait for it…wait for it…) while we are in the fire. He shows up in the middle of our inferno and carries us safely through.

That’s what He did with Shadrach, Meschach, and Abednego:

He (Nebuchadnezzar) said, “But I see four men unbound, walking in the midst of the fire, and they are not hurt; and the appearance of the fourth is like a son of the gods.” Daniel 3:25

Not hurt. Not burned. God with them.

Are you in the middle of a fire right now? Look for God. He’ll be right there with you and will never, ever leave you.

Amen amen.

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Mike Pence = Taliban

Washington DC is #1!  Washington DC is #1!

#1 for what David?

Ok – I exaggerated. DC is #4. DC is in fourth place in the US regarding Ashley Madison cheaters, with 50,000 members looking to discreetly commit adultery (the website connects married folks who want to cheat).

But Mike Pence is the freak.

An article came out in the Washington Post about the Vice Presidents’ wife. The article revealed how disturbingly deviant Mike Pence really is. He said (HIDE THE CHILDREN’S EYES – IT’S HORRIFYING!):

He doesn’t dine alone with a woman other than his wife.

Some people got the vapors over this. Here are a few choice tweets:

  • I wonder what happened that led to these rules?
  • Sounds like someone who knows he has no self-control.
  • God spare us the Jesus freaks.
  • Would love to see what’s hiding inside Pence’s closet.
  • He is extremely creepy. Just makes my flesh crawl.
  • American Taliban.

    Stymie
    If this causes you to hyperventilate, you a) never saw the full Little Rascals episode (the boys realize the error of their ways) and, b) take yourself way too seriously. This is hilarious!

The consensus of the left is that Mike Pence (and every Christian) is part of the He-Man Woman Haters Club.

In response to all of that craziness, here is a great tweet:

“Bill Clinton never dines alone with his wife. Who’s REALLY crazy?”

I know I know. So unkind. But the truth of our day is that for many, a serial adulterer is a hero and the man who sets boundaries for himself is the freak (and he just said dining alone with a woman so spare me the histrionics about not meeting with women – he didn’t say that).

But guess what? 

Billy Graham has a similar rule. No one has ever accused him of being a member of the He-Man Woman Haters Club OR of having an affair.

Cal Thomas said years ago, “The Puritans may have had some problems. But AIDS was not one of them.”

Rick Warren has been preaching this for years. From his 10 Commandments to Help Staff Maintain Moral Purity, the first two (which don’t apply to singles) are:

  1. Thou shalt not go to lunch alone with the opposite sex.
  2. Thou shalt not have the opposite sex pick you up or drive you places when it is just the two of you.

“Too much purity!” Not our problem today.
“Not enough adultery!” No one is claiming this is our problem.
“We need more divorces!” said no one ever (divorce lawyers excluded).

Here’s my thought: In a career and town that is known for cheaters (Clinton, Weiner, Gingrich, even Petraeus) Mike Pence is wise to set boundaries to protect his marriage, and every man and woman should set their own similar boundaries so they can keep that marriage that God gave them! In other words, don’t be an idiot!

In marriage, you’ve got a GREAT thing! What’s so great about it you ask? Just this:  Genesis 2:24 (love this) says  “Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.”

One flesh. That is great news if you’re like me. I married waaaaay above my station! And because my wife and I are “one flesh” – on the day we were married, I instantly became a much, much better person because I’m part her.  Yay me!

And marriage is such a great gift that God wants you to pull a “Mike Pence” and do whatever is necessary to protect it. 

In the NIV, Genesis 2:24 says a man should be united to his wife. “Be united” is so tame and sounds wussified to me (wussified? see definition here – it’s really good!). It doesn’t suit the need of the day. King James says “cleave,” which is a better action word, but no one today knows what it means since it’s a 16th-century word. The ESV says, “hold fast.” That’s an action word.

Hold fast to that marriage. 

Brings to mind a picture of an angry sea that is rocking and a rollin’ and the ship is about to capsize. The captain lashes himself to the ship’s wheel, so he can’t be thrown overboard. He’s holding fast to the ship’s wheel. If the ship goes down, so does he (I have no knowledge of sailing ships – I just made this up – but it is a good picture of the verse).

What God intends in Genesis 2 and what we need today are people who leave mom and dad and everything else that might get in the way and hold onto that marriage like grim death!

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Actual photo of Grim Reaper. Snapped it with my Iphone and ran like the wind!

“Hold on like grim death” = to hold tightly to something, despite great difficulty.

Genesis 2:24  ESV    Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.

What Billy Graham and Rick Warren and Mike Pence know, is one of the best ways to hold fast to a marriage, is to make sure you don’t ever put yourself in a compromising position. Almost nobody ever says, “When I get married I want to commit adultery.” Yet somehow, millions commit adultery every day. 

Why? Because it’s MUCH easier to cheat than to celebrate your 50th wedding anniversary.

So hold fast to your husband or your wife! Not in some weird/controlling/stalker/creeper/abusive kind of way. That’s just crazy. But hold fast through the hard times and tempting times with an understanding of the weaknesses and frailty of all men and women and do whatever is necessary to protect that great gift of oneness. And never apologize for that.

And if you’ve already blown it? Repent, stop it, reject the sin, and move forward with Jesus.

American Taliban indeed. Oh geez.

Amen and amen.

 

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What I do When I’m Hammered

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GREAT hammer!

Oh wait – you didn’t think I meant “hammered” as in inebriated, intoxicated, wasted or drunk did you?

So sorry.

I meant, “hammered” as in, “emotionally hammered,” “hammered by life,” “down in the dumps,” “feeling really low.”

What do you do when you feel like giving up? When you can’t go on? I could tell you all the usual stuff:

1. Man up (I like that one! Seems so, “manly.”).
2. Your grandparents had it worse (true – many were risking lives in wars that covered the globe and faced a depression without “government help” (oxymoron anyone?), so quit whining.
3. The sun will come out tomorrow (what if it doesn’t?).

But none of those helpful comments get me through. Here’s what does:

Hammer it out with God’s Word.

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Example of, “stating the obvious.” But fabulous artwork!!

Why God’s Word? Let me first state the obvious. About God’s Word, you see, it’s umm, how do I put this? It’s hmmmmm….oh I know!

It’s God’s Word.

Don’t let your familiarity with the phrase, “God’s Word” undermine its power. When we say “God’s Word,” we’re saying a lot.

The Bible says it’s “God breathed.” It’s “powerful, sharper than any two-edged sword.”

God spoke, and there was light.  God spoke, and the world came into existence.

So God’s Word is kind of a big deal. And it can change you, your insides, your outsides, all of you.

But let’s keep it simple:

You’re emotionally hammered.
Life has just dropped on you like a ton of bricks.
You’re not sure if you can get up tomorrow.
Or even keep going today.

Or maybe you’re not that low. But you are having a stressful day. This is still the best route. Trust me.

You can type this on your notepad, take a screenshot on your phone, and make it your wallpaper.

Find a verse that speaks to your situation (google, “Scriptures on God’s promises” or whatever). A great example is Jeremiah 29:11. Powerful verse about God’s plans for His kids. Write it on a card. Or make it your wallpaper on your phone.

During the day when:

tension rises,
anxiety increases,
worry creeps in,
or panic sets in…

…pull out the card or your phone, and displace those feelings with what God has said. Read it out loud or to yourself. Then say it as a prayer to the Lord. Say, “I believe.” Repeat it. And let it sink deep into your soul.

And as you do this, try to do it with the innocent trust of a child. With the trust you imagine a child feels when coming to a loving parent or to Jesus. 

I seem to remember as a child being told that the Bible was God’s Word. I was amazed – what an awesome book! I couldn’t set another book on top of it. I couldn’t let it get dirty. I treated it with serious and severe reverence.Who wouldn’t?!?!? It’s God’s Word for goodness sake!! What a precious and priceless and incredible gift!

Take that piece of paper or notation on your phone, and in the midst of anxiety or stress or worry, hang on to it. Grip it like grim death. Trust it like nobody’s business. Repeat as many times as necessary – all day long.

You do that, and  God will use it to change your thoughts, and renew your mind and hammer out anxiety and worry and panic.

Instead of getting emotionally and mentally hammered, hammer out the voice of the enemy, with the Voice of the Lord

Every word of God proves true; He is a shield to those who take refuge in Him. 
Proverbs 30:5 

God Speed,

David

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The REAL Sexual Revolution

Caution: adult subject matter. But nothing that’s not on regular TV or the news every day.

There have been a lot of sexual revolutions in the US over the last 50 years.

1. The bikini was kind of a revolution. A hundred years ago a woman would’ve been jailed for wearing one in public (even the men wore full body bathing suits). But they were transformed into good clean fun that “California Girls” of the Beach Boys songs wore. The Beach Boys were a fresh, clean and safe alternative to the drug-addled music of Woodstock. Who couldn’t love that?

2. The revolution of “free love” in the 60’s. “If you can’t be with the one you love, love the one you’re with.” And while you’re at it, “don’t bogart that joint my friend.”

3. The revolution of some sex as “not sex,” led by that revolutionary (and serial adulterer) Bill Clinton.

Clinton defined oral sex as, “not sex” with “that woman,” and reportedly told an Arkansas State Trooper it was all he’d do because it didn’t violate the 10 Commandments. And thousands (maybe millions) of males used the line as ammunition for conquests with girls “Come on girl…it’s not sex! So it’s ok!”.  Researchers even call it the “Clinton-Lewinsky Effect.” The vast majority of college students think this two-word descriptor with the word “sex” actually in it right there in black and white, is not sex. Weird.

That’s Bill Clinton’s legacy.

But today a sexual revolution of tsunamic proportions is washing over us.

In all of those previous examples, sexual choices were just that, choices. Even though a bunch of unwashed hippies at Woodstock were having sex with everyone in sight you could still:

  1. teach against it in the local junior high or state university,
  2. warn against the dangers of it in local doctor’s office, 
  3. preach against it from the local pulpit, and
  4. lead your family away from it at home.

In fact, you’d be praised for that all of that by most of the population.

No more.

The current LGBT revolution is the first sexual revolution in America that is a 100%, take no prisoners, vanquish the opposition, mind control revolution.

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David Gushee, a very liberal evangelical (oxymoron), wrote accurately for Religious News Service (click here) last week that two truths are becoming firmly ensconced in our country:

  1. There is no middle ground and no tolerance in this revolution. You are “for us” or “against us.” Meaning you either 100% embrace LGBT as wonderful and glorious and even part of Jesus and Christianity or you are part of the heretical evangelical fire breathing haters. And many will hate you. And already do.
  2. Dissent is not acceptable. The State and the culture will not tolerate any alternative views. Thought control is the goal. And Gushee seems to be a willing future “informant.” He says in the article mentioned above that he has been urging religious conservatives to change their Biblical view of sexuality, “voluntarily.” One can only assume by using the word, “voluntarily” he is suggesting that soon there will be a totalitarian enforcement that he appears to embrace.

Understand, this revolution includes all things sexual – wefhomosexual, bisexual, pansexual and whatever else you can come up with (eventually we’ll owe Utah an apology for forcing them to outlaw polygamy as a condition of statehood).

This also includes gender identity. Currently, only one judge (link) stands in the way of President Obama’s edict that all schools must allow boys who consider themselves girls into the girl’s locker room. No medical or psychological diagnoses or proof of any kind is required. The boy just has to show up to school and say, “I feel like a girl!” and abracadabra! He’s in the girl’s locker room!

Teenage boys deciding which locker room they should use.

The inmates are running the asylum. The crazy train has left the station.

If you don’t want to board the crazy train, sorry – you can’t stay off. Every effort will be made to get you “on board.”

Orwell-truthWith same-sex marriage now the law of the land, all public schools k-12 and public universities and all state and local governments and all government offices are required to embrace the new sexual morality. Corporations have embraced it. Small businesses have already been fined or forced out of business by the State or by threat of violence from homosexual activists (here and here). And there are those who are ready to hit any Christian church or nonprofit that will not renounce it’s Biblical morality and embrace the State sponsored sexual morality (link).

I wrote about all of that a year ago in an article titled Waving the Rainbow Flag and Declaring Christ?

All Of This Means You Have To Choose

You have to choose. And you only have two choices:

choose

a. Choose to the follow the Jesus of the Bible. The One who claimed all sex outside of marriage between a man and woman is sin. Who claimed that God made them male and female (not in between).

But to choose Him as He is and not as some like Gushee imagine or dream Him to be.
This could have severe consequences in the future. Maybe the loss of reputation. Maybe the loss of a job. Becoming part of a ridiculed and much-maligned and often hated subset of the population.

Maybe the loss of tax exempt status for churches (this is guaranteed if Clinton becomes President and appoints the next Supreme Court Justice). Fines for pastors who preach what the Bible says about homosexuality (criticism of homosexuality is already a “hate crime” in Canada).

b. Choose to reject the Jesus who actually does exist. Reject the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. Embrace the politically correct Jesus that has been manufactured in the world’s mind or no Jesus at all. Doesn’t matter. The end result is the same-a rejection of the real Jesus.

Follow or reject Jesus. There is no middle ground. So choose.getrfedw

Historically this is not a new choice. It’s been made millions of times throughout history and is made daily right now in places like China and sharia ruled countries around the world. And it’s being made with joy.

Many first century Christians (called “atheists” because they only worshiped one God)
were burned at the stake or slaughtered in the Colosseum – all because they refused to embrace the gods of this world and only embraced the real Jesus, God incarnate. And they saw it as a privilege to suffer for their Savior.

The choice is, Jesus or the world? Be marginalized or even persecuted for Jesus, or bow to the state?

But do not lose heart and do not fear! My word to you: Choose Jesus. Choose all of Him as He has revealed Himself in His Word-all 66 books of it. He will make it worth your while.  Always.

Stand strong. I didn’t say stand obnoxious or stand, “in your face.”  God doesn’t call us to cinderellathat. Paul, when imprisoned for choosing Jesus, still preached Jesus with (in the words of Cinderella’s mother) courage and kindness to everyone he met, even his captors. Over and over until he died. He could do that because he was the victor. Confident that in Christ, he had already won.

No one could defeat him.

Not even death.

And Jesus made it worth His while. He lived maybe 70 years on this earth but has been in heaven, the place Jesus called “paradise” for almost 20 centuries.

Choose Jesus and celebration and joy are yours.  No one can defeat you. Not even death. And in 20 centuries you will look back with great celebration and say, “Jesus made it worth my while.”

Choose this day who you will serve. Everybody else, or God.

Amen and amen.

Pastor David

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10 Things You Gotta to Know About Walking on the Water

23073497 - businessman standing in the dramatic ocean before storm

I think Peter has gotten a bad rap.

Since childhood I’ve been told the story of Jesus walking on the water and how Peter was brash, overreactive, spoke without thinking, took a risk and then failed miserably because he’s such a loser-he took his eyes off of Jesus (because no one has ever done that!). Jesus is the hero; Peter is a zero.

Wrong (about Peter – Jesus really is a hero).

If you don’t know the story, it’s in Matthew 14. Here’s the Readers’ Digest version: Disciples are on a boat. Strong wind and waves. Jesus walks to them, on the water. They think He’s a ghost. He’s not. Peter wants to walk on the water too. Jesus says, “Come on!” Peter does. But then looks at waves, gets scared, and sinks. Jesus pulls him up.

Of the twelve disciples in the boat that day, I’d rather be Peter than any of others. If anyone deserves to be discounted, it’s the other 11. Not Peter.

While it’s true that Jesus asked Peter why he doubted, consider:

  1. 12 men saw Jesus walking on the water; ONE wanted to do it bad enough to ask.
  2. 12 men saw Jesus walking on the water; ONE had enough faith to get out of the boat.
  3. 12 men saw Jesus walking on the water; ONE had the initiative to get out of the boat.
  4. 12 men saw Jesus walking on the water, ONE, in all of human existence, actually did walk on the water.
  5. 12 men saw Jesus walking on the water, ONE tried, succeeded, and then failed.
  6. 12 men saw Jesus walking on the water; ELEVEN failed even to try. 
  7. 12 men saw Jesus walking on the water; ONE was motivated by faith, we can only surmise that 11 were motivated by fear.
  8. 12 men saw Jesus walking on the water; Only ONE learned first-hand what it means to take his eyes off Jesus, sink, and have Jesus pull him right back up!
  9. 12 men saw Jesus walking on the water; ONE stands out for his faith.
  10. 12 men saw Jesus walking on the water; ONE got to (and this is the best part) walk on the water with Jesus

Peter got to do something that nobody else has ever done! He got to experience what no one else has ever experienced! And he got to do it with Jesus. Why? Because Peter did what nobody else on that boat would do.

If you want to experience God in a way you never have before,
do something you’ve never done before.

William Carey said, “Expect great things from God; attempt great things for God.” That’s Peter. And that could be you too.

It’s much much better to attempt something wonderful for God and fail, then be a smashing success at doing absolutely nothing. 

Some of you have tried something wonderful for Jesus and you think you’ve failed. You may be heartbroken. But instead, take heart! In God’s economy – you have won…because you got out of the boat and tried for Jesus, while thousands of others sat quietly on their posterior in the security of the stern. 

God is calling all of us to reject security. Step onto the water. That’s where you see Jesus at work. That’s where you experience Jesus at work. Win, lose or draw – it’s always a win…when you take a step of faith for Jesus.

It’s time to get out of the boat and attempt something wonderful for God.

Amen, amen.

 

 

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Losing Hope? Keep Calm…

calm

I saw this everywhere in London a few years ago. It was designed by the Minister of Information in 1939 to encourage folks at the beginning of WWII.

After the war, the phrase was forgotten. A bookseller found a small paper poster like this, framed it, and put it in his bookshop. Customers started requesting it, so he printed some.

Then in 2008, with the economic downturn, this picture became famous. You can buy mugs, t-shirts, tea towels, and phone covers. The BBC, in a news story, posed the question “is this the greatest motivational poster ever?

I think right now…those are pretty good words.

There many good reasons to need a good word right now:

  • ISIS
  • Terrorists all over the world (latest in Germany today)
  • Energy jobs on the line
  • The full force of federal power used to force states to allow men to use women’s restrooms
  • The government forcing an Illinois high school to let high school boys use the girl’s locker rooms
  • A presidential election that includes a socialist, a candidate under federal investigation, and a bully who calls everyone names who opposes him. And the socialist is the most honest of the three (completely wrong but honest)!

All legitimate reasons to be concerned for the future of our world.

Keep Calm and Carry On

In the Christian life, those are great words. When we are anxious, upset, worried, panicked – we begin to wring our hands mentally if not physically. And when we wring our hands mentally, we often make emotional decisions, we get sidetracked in our walk of faith, we major on the minors and minor on the majors… and our hand-wringing demonstrates our lack of trust in God.

But we can Keep Calm and Carry On because…because…because…

God is still God. 

And He makes a lot of promises to you and me in His book (you know He wrote a book right?).

1 Peter 5:7 says, Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you. On the cross, God put your sin on Jesus and put on you His righteousness. And in life, His command is to put on Him, your anxiety. Your anxiety will be IN you, or ON Him. So…

Keep Calm and Carry On

Keep Calm. Don’t fret, don’t panic, even if the world is going crazy (it is)  – God is here. Don’t get sidetracked, don’t take side roads – No! No! No! Carry On. Persist in this belief that God is great and God is good and He is taking care of business. Keep Calm and Carry On.

Maybe your problem isn’t with the world out there, but you’ve lost hope in yourself, in your marriage, in your competence, in your kids, maybe you’re even doubting God.

You don’t know HOW you’re going to make it.
You don’t know IF you’re going to make it.

Keep Calm and Carry On

Phil. 1:6 says, He who began a good work in you, will be faithful to complete it.

You say, “I can’t ever change! I keep failing again and again!” Abraham and Sarah – considered HEROES of the faith in Hebrews 11, TWICE posed as brother and sister – to the point that two kings almost took Sarah as their own! Not believing God for a son, Sarah sent Abraham to have sex with Hagar and he did it!  Royally messed up people.

But they persisted in walking with God…even through their failure. They persisted.

Your life will never be about perfection – not till heaven…it’s about persisting in the belief that Christ is king and He is great and He is good and He will be faithful to complete in you…the good work…He began.

God really has it under control…so you Keep Calm and Carry On.

Keep Calm. Don’t fret, don’t panic, even if the world is going crazy (it is)  – God is here. Don’t get sidetracked, don’t take side roads – No! No! No! Carry On. Don’t lose hope, don’t lose faith, don’t quit walking with God, even if you fail again and again (you will). Persist in this belief that God is great and God is good and He is taking care of you to the end.

Keep Calm and Carry On.

 

Share this with someone who needs it. And comment. Blessings…

10 Things You Gotta Know About Revelation

You gotta know these 10 things about Revelation. You just gotta!

1. It’s the book of Revelation not Revelations. Don’t say “I iz reading Revelations whilst Ma is cooks up some possum pie. It’s pertnear my favrit book. I think I’ll go read it by the cement pond.” That sounds ignorant all because you made Revelation plural. Don’t be ignorant!

It’s also not the Revelation of John. It’s the Revelation of Jesus Christ. Even if the heading in your Bible says the Revelation of John (the headings aren’t inspired – they’re put there by the publisher).

2. John is the writer of Revelation and a MUCH bigger deal than you. Or me.
John had left the fishing business to follow Jesus. He followed Jesus for three years of ministry. He saw people raised from the dead, and saw Jesus walk on the water. John was at the last supper, there when Jesus was arrested, there as Jesus died on the cross – in fact the ONLY disciple there – all the others fled. Jesus told John to take care of Mary (Jesus’ mother). He was there at the empty tomb; he was among the first to believe. Nobody has lived a life like John lived. 

Jesus loves you
    John could wear this shirt.

3. He was known as the “beloved disciple”  or “the disciple whom Jesus loved (John 21:20).” It would not be an overstatement to say that John considered Jesus to be his “best friend.”

4. John wrote John, 1st, 2nd and 3rd John.

5. John is about 100 years old.

6. John is banished on an island for criminals – Isle of Patmos – by the Emperor Domitian. Why? Because he wouldn’t shut up about Jesus. This is where he writes Revelation.

7. John survived martyrdom. Tradition says that he was boiled in a huge basin of oil during a wave of persecution in Rome (I tend to believe it though there’s no conclusive proof). However, he was miraculously delivered from death. The apostle John was later freed and returned to what is now modern-day Turkey. He died as an old man, the only apostle to die peacefully.

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John couldn’t do this re: Jesus. And so he’s banished. 

8. He pastors/shepherds the seven churches he’s writing to in Revelation 1.

9. John didn’t fail. 100 years old, boiled in oil, banished to an island for criminals, still a faithful witness for King Jesus, his best friend. John lived a life far beyond anything we can imagine. For all the base jumping, cliff diving, ice climbing and BMXing out there – it’s nothing compared to the life John lived.

10. You’ll never find out when it all ends by studying numerology or Bible codes or Scrabble boards or by counting cards in Vegas (just in case you were wondering). And that’s not the point of the book. Jesus says Himself that no one but the Father knows (Matthew 24:36). 

The point of the book is to encourage persecuted believers, that in spite of any emperor’s hatred and even murder of Christians, King Jesus wins in the end. The Christian life is not trial free, but trial proof, not persecution free, but persecution proof, not tribulation free, but tribulation proof.

The point of the book is this: King Jesus gets the last word, He wins in the end, and so take heart! He will draw all of His to Himself to live with Him forever. Amen.

 “I am the Alpha and the Omega—the beginning and the end,” says the Lord God. “I am the one who is, who always was, and who is still to come—the Almighty One.”
Revelation 1:8 (NLT)