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Faith, Wisdom, Understanding...

LOVE IS THE CURE FOR HATE

Hatred of any person is morally wrong and personally destructive. It is diametrically opposed to love. Instead of wishing the good of others, instead of valuing, respecting and caring for each other, hatred is the opposite of all these things. It wishes for harm, for failure, for suffering  and even for their death. The cure for hatred is found in the love of God. His love for us is greater than we will ever know in this life and our love for Him should be reflected in our love for one another.

If we can find any reward in our struggle to understand why haters hate, it is that love is opposite of hate and everything that love is hatred is not… Love implies the choice or preference of good for another even over oneself. The New Testament teaches that all Christians (Mt.13:13) and even Christ himself was hated by the world but we as believers in Christ must exchange hatred for hatred. At the heart of every problem is a problem of the heart. God commands us to love Him and our neighbors as ourselves (Matt. 22:34-40) but if we love ourselves supremely, we cannot love God or our neighbors

Christ often reminded his own disciples of the hatred which would come to the people of God. It was present when he was on earth and would continue into the future. But the Lord exhorted his disciples to love all men, even those who hated them. People of God must have a strong dislike, even a hatred for evil but a deep an abiding love for righteousness. Hatred as a malicious attitude must never characterize the believer. I know it may be difficult not to “hate back” but this is not compatible with a Christ-like spirit. Gal. 5:19 - 21 tells us that hatred is one of the works of the flesh but v-21 says that “the fruit of the spirit is love joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, goodness and temperance against which there is no law”.

Why does the disgraceful condition of hatred continue? Because there is no longer any fear of God in the heart of man” To fear God means to have a deep wonder and reverence for him and keeps aware of our accountability Him. If people had a true fear of God, they would have a desire be restored to God and to make peace with him. Prov. 16:6 tells us that “by the fear of the Lord one turns away from evil”.

Do we deserve God’s love, His mercy or His grace??? No, not by our own efforts but through these unchallengeable characteristics He has provided a way for us to be restored to a right relationship with Himself. It is a way that condemns hatred and satisfies his perfect justice. God’s way required a penalty and a punishment for our sin but Christ, provides forgiveness, freedom from guilt and victory over the power of hatred and sin. God’s plan saves people from the final consequences of sin and provides us with the gift of eternal though faith in his Son, Jesus Christ.“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son and whoever believes in Him will be saved ” (Jn. 3:16).

 We can’t stop hating on our own. This can only be done by the indwelling of God’s Holy Spirit and accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior  Will you accept Christ and God’s love today…..

Nelson Tate
It’s A New Season!!!

Life is made up of many different seasons and those seasons change just like natural seasons of spring, summer, fall and winter. The different seasons of life can change according different emotions, circumstances, different situations and responsibilities. Now that your children are grown and gone, the season of child rearing changes to a season of happiness because you are finally “empty nesters”. But if for some unforeseen reason your children have to move back home that season of rest of joy and happiness can quickly change to a season of depression because you realize, they are never going to leave…

The Lord created different seasons in our lives to help us, instruct us, correct us, direct us and shape us into who He intended us to be. He uses seasons to show us that He is good, that He cares for us and He can “make everything beautiful for us in His own time”. God will change the seasons of life when He's ready to change something about us. Different seasons have different challenges but God wants us to trust Him through each & every season. No matter what kind of season we are going through remember that God always promises to make it beautiful in His time.

Now this is the principle of “seedtime and harvest”. You must have a sowing season before you have a reaping season. You’re only fooling yourself if you think you will reap without sowing. Your new season is about reaping what you have sown. When a farmer plants a seed in the ground in “due season” he expects to receive from what he has planted. If he planted corn he expects corn, if he planted apple seeds, he expects apples if he planted watermelon seeds he would hope to get watermelons.

That person that hurt you, the one you forgave; the word of encouragement you spoke, the act of kindness you rendered not expecting anything in return; well you have been sowing seeds of righteousness and someone is going to show you the same forgiveness, the same encouragement and the same kindness. You will reap a harvest of blessings, you will have the desires of your heart and enjoy what is rightfully yours in your new season as long as you are asking, doing and sowing all in the will of God.

Life at times has a tendency to make us “grow weary” in trying to do right, to live right, to be all that God has called us to be. Often on life’s journey we may find ourselves wanting to just quit, give up, tap out and through in the towel. Living the life that God has called us to live requires us all to “trust in the Lord and lean not to our own understanding but in all our ways to trust Him and He will direct our paths” – Prov. 3:5&6.

We live in a world that is looking for instant gratification in everything; a world of Facebook,  Instagram, Snap Chat, Twitter, Microwave, make-it-easy, express lanes of life. People want what they want and they want right now. But this is not how God operates. God works in appointed times and seasons. The promise to those who are willing to wait on God’s appointed time is that you will reap a harvest greater than that which we have sown because that’s the kind of God we serve.

 You cannot give up on God!!! The call today for the people that trust God is to hold on to Him, do not give up, dig in your heels and keep the faith for at the appointed time which we know not, God will work all things out on your behalf. Jer. 29: 29 says, “I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end”. God has already planned out your life even before you were born so keep walking by faith and don’t give up!!!

 

Nelson Tate
The Sacrifice of Thanksgiving

Psalm 116:12 is an intensely personal psalm. It is a “thank you” psalm to the Lord for saving the psalmist from death.  The author and the occasion of this writing are unknown but what we see in verses (1 – 11) is the Psalmist’s prays for deliverance and God’s response to his prayer. “The sorrows of death have surrounded me and the pains of hell have gotten hold upon me; I found trouble and sorrow. Then I called upon the name of the Lord; O Lord, I implore you to deliver my soul. Gracious is the Lord and righteous, yes our God is merciful”, vs. 3-5 .

What we see in verses (12 – 19) is the Psalmist reaction to God’s deliverance and the question is asked in v. 12 , “What shall I render to the Lord for all His benefits toward me”? This word “benefits” in the O/T means goodness, helpfulness, it represents a state of “unthreatened well-being”. In the New Testament this word is taken to another level; it means “undeserved goodness”, “unmerited favor” or the word we know as “grace”. In other words, the Psalmist is asking, what can I “give up or give back” to God for His kindness toward me, for helping me out of this dire situation, for saving me from the pains of death??? So when we cry out to the Lord in our distress and he hears us and answers our prayers with His loving kindness, how do we show Him our gratitude, our affection and appreciation?? David said in Ps. 34,”I will bless the Lord at all times; his praise shall continually be in my mouth. My soul shall make her boast in the Lord, the humble shall hear of it and be glad. O, magnify the Lord with me and let us exalt his name together”.

We must first understand that God needs nothing from us and He puts no price on His grace and mercy but the psalmist answers his own question in verses 13 & 14 and renders to God the only gifts that are pleasing and acceptable to Him – thanksgiving and obedience.

In verse 13, he says “I will take the cup of salvation and call upon the name of the Lord”. There are many interpretations of this “cup of salvation” but it is most often related to the thank-offering appointed by Mosaic law (Lev. 7:11 – 21) as a token of thankfulness to God for deliverance from sickness, trouble or death. In the N/T it is related to the cup of the Passover meal referred to in Mat. 26:27 where Christ took the cup and gave thanks and give to his disciples saying, “Drink ye all of it for this is my blood of the new testament which is shed for many for the remission of sins”. To lift up the “cup of salvation” means to express thanksgiving to the Lord for saving us and calling “upon the name of the Lord” is a special act of devotion done in recognition of the greatness of His salvation.

Verse 14 says, “I will pay my vows unto the Lord now and in the presence of all his people”. How many married people do we have here this afternoon?? How many of you remember your vows?? To have, to hold, to love, cherish and “obey” to death us do part. Many people have removed the word “obey” from their marriage vows because obedience is too restrictive in today’s society. Obedience obligates you to act in a certain way, to do or not to do what you said you would do in the first place and that’s exactly what a vow is – it’s a verbal promise. In a biblical sense it is an oath sworn to God usually in return for God’s favor in a certain circumstance or situation. In 1 Sam. 1:11, Hannah wanted a child very much so she made a vow to dedicate her child to the Lord and we know that Hannah conceived and bore a son and called his name Samuel because she said, “I have asked him of the Lord”. Now if the Lord can keep his promises to us why can’t we keep our promises to him…

We all have been in seemingly insurmountable situations at some time in our lives. We have all been faced with problems that we in our own wisdom and strength could not solve – bills, mortgages, jobs, illness and what we do in dire situations should be the same as the psalmist in our text; to call on the name of the Lord. And you know what we say, “Lord if you help me this one more time, I’ll never do it again. Lord if you bless me with this or that I’ll do the right thing. Ecc. 4:5 says, “When you vow a vow unto God defer not to pay it for he has no pleasure in fools; pay that which you have vowed. Better it is that you should not vow, than you should vow and not pay”.

A vow is not only a promise but it also a sacrifice; a sacrifice of worship and thanksgiving. That is why the psalmist could say in Ps. 107: 22, “Let them sacrifice the sacrifice of thanksgiving and declare his works with rejoicing”.

To every person born into the world, God has given a multitude of benefits and some have received more than others but the greatest benefit of all was His son, Jesus Christ.  The truth is that no matter what we vow, we can never repay the Lord for all His benefits toward us.  Because Jesus drank the bitter cup of God’s righteous judgment for our sins, we can drink deeply of the "living water that springs up into everlasting life" (John 4:10-14), and we can say with the psalmist: "My cup runs over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever" (Psalm 23:5-6).

Nelson Tate
Halloween or Not…

Taken partly from www.bibleinfo.com

If you are reading this message, you will see that I have not posted a blog since September. Well I have been preparing for and now am several weeks into “Medicare Annual Enrollment”, which began on Oct. 15th and ends Dec. 7th. However, I thought I would I pause and reflect on a day that many Americans recently celebrated called - Halloween.

Halloween, traditionally called All Hallows' Eve, is celebrated on the evening before the Christian holy day of All Hallows' Day or All Saints Day (November 1). Therefore, Halloween is always celebrated on October 31. It is a day to mark the single night in the year when, according to old Celtic beliefs, spirits and the dead can cross over into the world of the living.  

Halloween comes from "All Hallows' Eve" and means "hallowed evening." People used to dress up as saints and go door to door (the origin of Halloween costumes and trick-or-treating), lighting bonfires and wearing costumes to ward off ghosts. As for the trick or treating, or “guising” (from “disguising”), children and sometimes poor adults would dress up in the aforementioned costumes and go around door to door during Hallowmas begging for food or money in exchange for songs and prayers, often said on behalf of the dead.  This was called “souling” and the children were called “soulers”.

Whatever the attraction, Halloween is here to stay. But what does the Bible say about it? Is Halloween wrong or evil? Are there any clues in the Bible as to whether a Christian should celebrate Halloween? First of all, understand that Halloween is mostly a western custom and it has no direct reference in the Bible. However, there are Biblical principles that directly relate to the celebration of Halloween.

As a logical thinking person, consider for a moment what you are celebrating and what Halloween is all about. Is the holiday uplifting? Is Halloween pure? Is it lovely, praiseworthy, or of good report? Philippians 4:8 says, “Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.” Is Halloween based on godly themes such as the idea of peace, freedom and salvation or does the holiday bring to mind feelings of fear, oppression and bondage?

Let’s look further at what the Bible adds to this topic in Ephesians 5:11, “Have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them.” This text is calling us to not only have no association with any type of dark activity but also to shed light on this topic to those around us. As stated earlier, Halloween was not exposed by the church for what it was, but rather it has been incorporated into church holy days and other church activities. Are we as Christians responding by exposing Halloween for what it is and what it means today?

While cultures around the world have traditions that honor or celebrate resurrection from the dead as Christians, we should focus people’s attention on the only resurrection from the dead that matters; the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Christ death, burial and resurrection is the central focus of our Christian faith.

Death is the enemy of mankind and the just punishment for the each person’s individual sins (Romans 6:23). The mortality rate is and will always be 100%. No amount of effort, medical technology, power or riches can escape the clutches of death. Christ rose from the dead because death could no longer hold him, and we no longer have to fear death because Christ has triumphed over it. Death is no longer an enemy because in Christ, we no longer have to fear the punishment that comes after death.

If Jesus would have died and remained dead, he would be like the millions who went before him and the millions who came after him. But that is not what happened. Christ’s resurrection proves that he is someone different and unique: the Son of God.

All of the world will one day be judged for the things they have done and be held accountable before God. We will be held accountable for the things we have or have not done and we will be rewarded by God in heaven based on our actions as believers. The sign God gave to confirm this fact was the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.

As you think about Halloween—its origins and what it stands for—would it be best to spend time dwelling upon its themes or the way to obtain forgiveness and eternal life by believing in Jesus Christ. Believing in Jesus is what makes all of the benefits of Christ’s resurrection ours. Faith is what unites us to Christ and allows us to be saved from our sin.

I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he dies, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this? (John 11:25-26)

Halloween or not….

 

Nelson Tate
HEART HEALTH

A Happy Heart!!!

Did you ever notice the “person” who walks in a room and the room lights up.  They are put together so well that people gravitate towards them. The reason people tend to be attracted to this person is their humble spirit and infectious personality. They usually are the people who are happy, confident and helpful. They are the ones people want to know, be around and be like... They tend to raise other people’s spirits and bring light their lives.    

These are some tips to help you become the “go-to” happy person:

·       Don’t let the small stuff drive you crazy because it’s all “small stuff”….

·       Smile with your eyes, feel with your heart, laugh with your friends…

·       When you meet people, listen more than you talk…

·       It takes more facial muscles to frown than it takes to smile…

·       It truly is better to give than to receive…

·       Share your knowledge with discretion…

·       Surround yourself with “happy” people…

·       Life is short, live each day as if it’s you last…

People are not born happy or miserable. Each day we can choose which person we want to be. Happiness is contagious – spread it!!!

Nelson Tate
FAITH

 

Faith in contemporary culture is often referred to as an irrational commitment to something we may believe in spite of strong evidence to the contrary; a sort of irrational decision to believe something that we are quite sure is “not” true. If your favorite sports team continues to lose games, someone may encourage you to “have faith” even though all the facts point in the opposite direction.

The Chicago Cubs for my Cubs fans, won back-to-back World Series championships in 1907 and 1908, becoming the first major league team to play in three consecutive World Series, and the first to win it twice.  After losing the 1945 World Series, the Cubs became one of the National League's worst teams for an astonishing 60 seasons. In 2016, the Cubs celebrated the team's first World Series win in 108 year.

When most Christians think about the biblical definition of faith, we refer to Heb. 11:1, which defines “faith” as the “substance (assurance) of things hoped for and the evidence (conviction) of things not seen. This verse implies a “trust” in something or someone beyond the facts or circumstances. The word “trust” is a better word to use in contemporary culture than “faith” or “belief” because we are familiar with “trust” in everyday life. The more come to know person and the more see in that person a pattern of life that warrants trust, the more we are able to put trust in that person to do what he or she promises or to act in ways we can rely/depend on, the more we trust and greater is our faith.

True saving faith is the commitment of a “person to a person”. This kind of faith involves not only trusting someone, it requires that we have an object to our faith and in our text (Mk.11 22), we find the “object” to our faith is God himself. Our faith is not blind, we believe in the God of the universe, who is the God of all creation. He is Alpha and Omega, the First and the Last, the beginning and the end. In his being God is self-existent. He not only has life, but he is life and has the source of that life within himself. In His will, God is sovereign. That means that he makes his own plans and carries them out in his own way and in his own time. I wonder how many of my listeners will allow God to work His plan in your lives today??? That beloved is called “Trust in God” faith…

In his nature, God is an infinite spirit. When we say this we pass completely out of the realm of our own experience. We are limited to time and place, to knowledge and power. God is essentially unlimited in every element of his nature. God’s relationship to time we call eternity, His relationship to space we call his omnipresence, God’s relationship to knowledge we call his omniscience and God’s relationship to power we call his omnipotence.

Faith takes God at His word and relies completely on His promises. It does not base its hope on visible circumstances but on confidence in spiritual realities. Faith causes us to pursue a deeper relationship with God. Faith means abandoning all trust in ourselves and our own resources and putting total trust in God through Jesus Christ. Everywhere in scripture faith is required and its importance is insisted upon. Faith means casting ourselves totally and completely on the mercy of God. Faith means claiming the promises of God and relying entirely the death, burial and resurrection of Christ and on the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit.

Miraculous faith, enduring faith, saving faith is faith in God through His only begotten son, Jesus Christ. Faith in Jesus Christ is the only condition or requirement for receiving God’s free gift of spiritual salvation. Faith is not only a matter of what a person believes about Christ, it is also an active response from the heart of a person who truly desires to accept Christ as Savior and to follow him as Lord. This means that faith is more than intellectual acknowledgement that Jesus Christ is God’s Son who died to pay the price for our sins.

Saving faith or “miraculous” faith is trusting in God through His son Jesus Christ as a living sacrifice for the forgiveness of our sins, the promise of our salvation and our guarantee of eternal life with God.

Eph. 2:8 says that “By grace we have been saved through faith and this is not our own doing, it is a gift of God”. Grace means salvation completely apart from any merit or works on our part. It is given to those who are utterly unworthy of it. Faith here means that we take our place as lost, guilty sinners and receive the Person and finished work of the Jesus Christ on the cross as our only hope of salvation. God’s free gift of salvation through faith is offered to all people, everywhere.

Finally, we may ask why God chose faith to be the attitude of heart by which we should obtain salvation. Why could God not have decided to grant salvation to all those who sincerely show love or who show joy or contentment, humility or wisdom??? Why did God choose faith as the means by which we should receive salvation???

It is apparently because “faith” is the one attitude of the heart that is the exact opposite of depending on our selves. When we come to Christ in faith we are essentially saying, “I give up!!! I will not depend on myself, my wealth or my own good works any longer. I know that I can never make myself righteous before you,  God. Therefore, Jesus I trust you and depend on you completely to give me a righteous standing before God”. In this way, faith is the exact opposite of trusting in ourselves and therefore is the attitude that perfectly fits salvation. It depends not at all on our own merit but entirely on God’s free gift of grace.

Faith in God – the kind that brings spiritual salvation requires an active trust in God by which we surrender complete control of our lives to Him and our will to the will of His Son, Jesus Christ.

Nelson Tate
Friendship

 

Friendliness wins friends and some friends are closer than others. In today’s culture of social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Linked In, one can become friends with virtually anyone, anywhere in the world. The thought here is that a man who has many friends may actually have none and it may be better to have one true friend than a host of friends who may lead you astray. We have “fair-weather” friends who are around as long as the sun is shining and the “creek don’t rise”. But let the strong winds of adversity or necessity blow and those who we thought were friends are blown away. There are those who will to be friends as long the situation is mutually advantageous. But allow the dark clouds of difficulty rise and those friends become no more than figments of our imaginations. And then there are those friends whose care and concern is so deeply rooted that their loyalty can never be unearthed. This is a faithful friend, one who is “closer than a brother or sister”.

So what is this thing we call friendship and who is this person we call a friend. Friendship is essentially a “relationship” between two or more people grounded in a special concern for the other person. Greek philosophers distinguished this relationship in three (3) ways; “Eros”, which is intimate or passionate love; “Philia”, which is affectionate or brotherly love and   “Agape”, which is unconditional love.  Yes, you have come to the right conclusion “the essence of friendship is love” but it involves the act of loving as well as being loved.

In 106 BC, the Greek philosopher Aristotle analyzed that friendship is a relationship based on something that is “shared”. A friendship based on pleasure is one in which two or more people enjoy or “share” a common activity. A friendship based on “usefulness” is one in which neighbors or business people perhaps “share” or derive mutual advantage from the relationship. True friendship, however is not based on pleasure or profit, but on virtue. Such friendship is found when one person loves another for the personal, moral and spiritual qualities he or she has and desires only good for that person. Virtue in friendship is the denial of any element of self and opposes any self serving motivations. God shows his love for us by sharing his virtue through his son Jesus Christ and Christ virtue allows us to enter into loving friendship and eternal relationship with his father

Yes, there is a friend who sticks closer than brother and all consideration of this great verse leads us at last to one place and to one person. He is the friend of sinners and one who would lay down his life for his friends and that friend is Jesus Christ.

Charles Converse (October 7, 1832 – October 18, 1918) was an American attorney who also worked as a composer of church songs. He is notable for setting to music the words of a hymn "What a Friend We Have in Jesus". He wrote, “What a friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and grief to bear. What a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer. O what peace we often forfeit, O what needless pain we bear all because we do not carry everything to God in prayer”.

“A man that has friends must show himself to be friendly and there is a friend that sticks closer than a brother” Prov. 18:24.

Nelson Tate
The Value of Life

I was in Starbuck several weeks ago and a group of about 6 -8 high school kids were sitting a table next to me discussing a paper they had to write for school. They were talking about abortion and when does life begin and the death penalty and was it right to put someone to death if they committed murder and whether one person’s life was more valuable than another person. Well being a minister and all, I thought I would offer some assistance. I asked if they had ever heard the phrase, “beauty is in the eye of the beholder” and they said that they had. I suggested to them that fair or not, “the value of life is also in the eye of the beholder”.

So today I want to talk briefly about ‘The Value of Life”.

Life is relative - it means something different to all of us, we all have different ambitions in life and we want different things out of life but life has no meaning or value beyond that which we individually or collectively give it”. From a societal stand point, life is defined by the ethical, political and/or economic value assigned to it by the culture in which it exists.

One of the major problems of society in India is the inferior “life value” accorded to women. They were not considered equal to men and they do not enjoy the same rights and privileges as men. The role of women is conceived to be one of subservience to her husband, the master and ruler of the family. Indian culture is improving dramatically but women still do not enjoy equal status and their social condition is far from satisfactory.

Value is the worth that we assign to a person, place or thing. It is the perceived importance or usefulness we believe something may or may not have “to us”. And notice I said “to us” because “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure”.

When something as no value to us, we that it is “worthless” but when something has a great deal of value to us, we say that it is priceless. There was an AMX commercial several years ago about a father taking his son to a baseball game. And the commercial said, “the cost of two tickets = $300.00, the cost of two hot dogs = $50.00 but experience of being at the game with your best friend was “priceless”.

In western culture, human life is valued from two basic prospective: a Quantitative prospective and a Qualitative prospective.

The “qualitative” value of life looks at our personal satisfaction with life, our health, happiness and well being more than the accumulation of wealth. We believe that a healthy lifestyle can lead to a better “quality of life”. But the phrase, "quality of life" is subjective and multidimensional. It encompasses both the positive and negative aspects of life. It is a dynamic condition that responds to life events: a job loss, illness, divorce or other unknown circumstances can change one's definition of the "quality of life" quickly and dramatically.

The “quantitative” value of life is most often associated with money and material possessions. It’s easy to assume that if I have more money than you, my life is more valuable than yours. Financial planners use “human life value” as a way of determining how much life insurance an individual may need. A person's income, financial assets, family obligations, years remaining in the workplace, medical and final expenses, years remaining in the workplace,  as well as the depreciating value of the dollar to determine a person’s “human life value” .Accidental Death and Dismemberment insurance plans put a value on the loss of body parts; arms, legs, hands, feet and eyes are all assigned monetary value.

As long as we look at life from a “quantitative” prospective, life will never have “real, meaningful” value, it will only have economic value. Whether qualitative or quantitative, we still determine the value of something by what it means “to us” and unfortunately, “human life in our society has lost its value”. There is a sickness in the world today, a sickness that regards or disregards human life as a cheap commodity.

The overall level of violence in this country has reached epidemic proportions. Bank heist, robberies, home break-ins, car jackings, personal assaults have multiplied in recent years. We see or hear in the news everyday of how life as lost its value. Deadly mass shootings have become common place and shamefully accepted as a normal way of life. Think about places like the Pulse Night Club in Orlando, FL., Harvest Music Festival in Las Vegas, NV., Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. The First Baptist Church, Sutherland Springs, Texas and least we not forget the 2015 Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church shooting in Charleston, South Carolina. But just last week four (4) young African American were shot and killed in a Waffle House outside of Nashville, TN. I often ask myself if this madness will ever end but the sad truth is that it will get much worse before it ever gets better.

We seem to have forgotten who created life!!!  The Bible says in Gen, 2:7 that “God breathed into man the breath of life and man became a living soul”. God created life and life is sacred to Him. Man has no right to take his own life or destroy the life of another. Christ said “I come that you may life and that you may have it more abundantly”- Jn. 10: 9-15.

 Christ came not to take life but to give life…  He came to give new meaning to life, to add value to life and to give us a “qualitatively better” life. Christ can to reverse the curse of sin and to redeem us with outstretched arms. We can receive this new life, the life that God has prepared for us when we accept Christ as our Lord and trust Him as our Savior. When we seek to establish a personal relationship with God and accept Christ forgiveness for our sins, we find and fulfill the highest purpose for which we were created, which is “abundant life”. 

Christ death on the cross illustrates how valuable our lives are to Him and it should show us also how much our salvation means to God. But Christ death, His burial and His resurrection will have no value, it will have no meaning, it will profit us nothing, if we do not believe. “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son that who so ever believes in him shall have everlasting life” (Jn. 3:16).

God created a new life for us, a “qualitatively” different life that has more value to than we will ever know in this life and that life is called, “eternal life”. Until we learn to value life as God values life, our lives will have no earthly significance and we will have no hope of an eternal existence with God.

 

Nelson Tate
The Age Of Understanding

My First Blog!!!

My web designer Lisa, who happens to be a very intelligent person suggested that my website presented a perfect opportunity to start blogging. Now at my age, I have little knowledge of social media. I had no idea what a blog was so I did what most people do – I Googled “blogging” and this what I found out….

At its heart, blogging is about sharing your knowledge and understanding of life with those who choose to read and respond. I understand that blogging allows you to teach people based on your personal experience and it gives the opportunity to learn from others experiences as well. Blogging is about sharing ones passion, goals, awareness and perspective on life. Blogging allows us to “hear and be heard” and to share our stories with the world if we choose to do so.

So here I am, ready to share my story with you. Over the next weeks, months and hopefully years (Lord willing), I want to share my faith and impart my limited, narrow and maybe even biased perspectives on life. I am an ordained minister and I want to help you find deeper meaning and understanding of life through the grace of God. As I mention in the About section of this website, Trinity Insurance was established on Christian principles so my perspectives on life will be offered with the help of some very close friends, God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. 

At age 65, I have reached what I call “the Age of Understanding”. What I have learned or understand now about life is not profound or earth shattering but rather simple and straight forward. In fact, if I had listened to my father and mother (both good parents), I would have learned most of what I now know about life 50 years ago.  I am grateful to have a perspective on life and actually. I am grateful for the life that God has given me. 

These are a few life tidbits: 

Love doesn’t lie, it reveals the truth…

“Trouble doesn’t last always” and “time heals all wounds”. 

Give me a fish and I eat for a day, teach me to fish and I eat for a lifetime unless you don’t like fish…

When in public places become familiar with the location of the exits and the rest rooms….

It’s not the golf clubs fault or the ball, it’s the guy’s fault holding the club trying to hit the ball…

If necessity is the mother of invention, then experience is the father wisdom and understanding. I know and understand from experience that it is better to have insurance (the right kind at the right time) and not need it than to need it and not have it.

I had hip replacement surgery in December of last year (2017). I had put it off and put it off until the pain was unbearable. My PC physician thought it was bursitis and in April, he gave me a cortisone injection. The pain subsided but after 2 months it came back and it was more intense. 

Now, I don’t believe in chance or coincidence. I believe that everything happens to us for a reason and a divine purpose, even if we don’t understand it at the time (Prov. 3:5&6). In July, I was shopping at our local Jewel and a dear friend saw me limping around the grocery store. We talked briefly and I told her about the pain I was experiencing. She told me that 2 yrs ago she was experiencing the same kind of pain in her hip and in her knee. As a result she had had both hip and knee replacement surgery. She was walking remarkably well, she said she was not experiencing any pain and she raved about her orthopedic surgeon. Well needless to say, I asked for her surgeons name. Again I did what most “older” people do when looking for information, I Googled him…. ☺ I found that he was a highly rated orthopedic surgery specialist. He was affiliated with the Illinois Bone and Joint Institute (IBJI) and there was 2 – 3 month wait to schedule an examination. 

To make a long story short, I scheduled an appointment and bought a 3 mos. supply of ibuprofen. My birthday was December 13th and December 15th I was on an operating table. The take away from all this is that my surgery and a 3 day hospital stay cost $50,000.00. Yesterday - June 13th, I had my 6 mo. follow up appointment and I am doing fine. By the grace of God, I had the right insurance at the right time but if I did not this experience would have been financially “devastating”.

My mission going forward is to explore and understand the meaning “life, health and faith as it relates to our personal responsibilities and trust in God. I will not try to answer the age old question “What is the meaning of life?” or "What should I do with my life?" or "Why am I here?" or "What is my purpose in life?" or even "Does life exist at all?" The answers to these questions are relative. They are comparative to life’s circumstances, personal situations and individual systems of belief. As such, the answers to those questions if you seek to find them will be different for all of us.  As Norman Vincent Peale said in his preface to “The Power of Positive Thinking”, “I have found my own answers to life in the teachings of God’s word (Bible). Believe it or not, I find the answers to all of life’s questions through a close, personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

I would really like to hear your perspective on overcoming life’s challenges even if you not have reached the “Age of Understanding”…. :) I will leave you with my favorite words of encouragement, take care and God bless.


 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not depend on your own understanding. In all your ways submit to Him and He will make your paths straight” – Prov. 3:5&6.

 

Lisa Tornatore