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Even Better Than Hope ~ John C. Calkins

Posted: August 3rd, 2016 | Category: belief, Christ Follower, Hope, Inspirational, Jesus Follower | Comments

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Imagine that the road of your life is built on a foundation of Hope. That the many miles you’ve traveled, detours taken, storms encountered, accidents experienced are at least in part resolved and restored by the Hope that your road continues with options. That’s most of us. We live on a street named Hope. What could be better than that? It may be an unknown, but it’s something! Some people have no hope what-so-ever which is extremely discouraging. Hope really is great, but there is something better than Hope. One day we will come to a point of conflict or interference, an obstacle of sufficient size and formidability which completely blocks further access to our road of Hope. We’ll have 3 options. The first will be to leave our road of Hope in our rear view mirrors, just to move somehow forward or away from the obstacle of our discomfort. If we do that, we are moving into the darkness or we are stopped and stable. We’ll have no where else to actually go and we’ll have no Hope of getting to where we’d like to be. We will have essentially lost hope. That actually happens to more of us than you could imagine. It results in our eventual desolation. The second choice is to take a detour, one which is lighted but unfamiliar and still goes off into uncharted territory. To some unknown place where we can try and make our own way or a better way. That can be somewhat intimidating too, but maybe we can find more Hope out there? Or maybe not? In any event that will likely only delay the inevitable for us. Our third choice (when those first two won’t really help) is to surrender. Which sounds awful. But we’re not giving in out of hopelessness, rather we are surrendering out of a new and complete understanding. You see, we should be able to understand that there are or will be obstacles to life, greater in their obstruction than our personal or collective abilities to overcome them. To cross over to the path which is better than Hope then, we must first surrender to all that we’ve known AND embraced. All which has until then, merely been the misunderstood foundation of our Hopes.

You see we don’t really Hope for something by way of luck. We don’t bank on serendipities. Most of us don’t gamble on the shallow odds of chance. Our hopes, however circumspect, have always been anchored to a different rock, much bigger and stronger than any variable which this world can challenge us with. Our hopes are tied to something more dependable than good luck or counterbalanced by any amount of misfortune, even evil. If we had Hope before then it was drawing on something more than wishful thinking. If we never had any Hope, then what we are seeking is something new altogether. The road we need to get on is called Belief. You see, Belief is even better than Hope. Belief is the final acceptance that something is real or exists. Belief is not partial or sort of, it’s not just beyond any reasonable doubt, suspicion, possibility, probability, likely outcome or even a more than likely possibility. Belief is our very personal absolute which is so complete that we know we can count on it 100% for our own good. Absolute has always been hard for most of us in this doubting world to ever get to. That’s because we’ve never wanted or felt obliged to surrender our inferiority or responsibilities to any form of suspected superiority. We think that we know better, or if given more time that we could resolve whatever is so troubling. This is what disconnects and ultimately disables us from achieving our hopes. For years now people have tried to convince a doubting, ill-informed world that Jesus Christ is the answer to everything that we otherwise have no answers for. Just believe they would say! It’s easy, to just believe. But real belief is not easy, because it’s not simple or partial, it’s absolute, unequivocal and complete. It IS bigger and better than us. Belief comes from climbing and conquering the personal mountain of doubt which has always been our disabler. Jesus did everything that any human could possibly do to prove that He is something very special, very real. He took on life. He defied every voice of condemnation. He overcame every measure of physics. He loved straight into the burning fires of hatred and fear. He transcended time and space. His wisdom made everything else seem idiotic. His bravery and sacrifice for us was beyond unthinkable. His generosity unparalleled. His kindness unrestricted. His love boundless. He even overcame death for himself but more importantly for us. Belief in Jesus Christ is always the answer, especially when there are no other answers. It’s always been that way for God. “By an act of faith, Abel brought a better sacrifice to God than Cain. It was what he believed, not what he brought, that made the difference. That’s what God noticed and approved as righteous. After all these centuries, that belief continues to catch our notice.” Hebrews 11:4 MSG. Belief is found in the full and completeness of our commitment to the answer to everything, Jesus Christ. That’s a hurdle not everyone can jump. If YOU can, you’ll find the answers to everything. Read that scripture again now and let it sink in. Hope comes before knowing, while belief simply knows without question. So much of what Jesus promised to us is tied directly to our belief in Him. To get there we must first know Him, then we can totally believe in Him.

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Earth Shattering ~ John C Calkins

Posted: April 16th, 2016 | Category: belief, Christ Follower, disciple, Inspirational, Jesus Follower, Understanding | Comments

Those 3 men of amazing influence. Have you ever wondered just what they talked about? “Just then there appeared before them Moses and Elijah, talking with Jesus.” (Matthew 17:3 NIV). They were separated by thousands of years but they came together to talk? I have wondered, just what was said? The Bible doesn’t really provide any insight into what was communicated as the meeting was recorded in Matthew 17:3. The encounter itself illustrated life after death, which of course addressed… read more

The Harvest Of Perfection ~ John C. Calkins

Posted: February 2nd, 2016 | Category: belief, Christ Follower, Faith, Inspirational, Jesus Follower, Love, Understanding | Comments

Why does God want or need so many people in heaven? The answer seems clear if every person around us brings us joy. More joy with each person. More joy is better. Yet that somehow seems too simplistic. A bit below the genius and work of God. It is also unrealistic? Would joy even be special if we’d never known sorrow? We shouldn’t be looking at this from our point of view, we should just be looking at it from… read more

Never Underestimated Again ~ John C. Calkins

Posted: January 25th, 2016 | Category: belief, Faith, Jesus Follower, Truth, Understanding | Comments

Does anybody really know who you are? Yes you, that floating vessel moored some where in mystery. We might believe that someone close to us knows everything about us, yet in reality, that’s nearly impossible. It certainly would make life simpler, but that’s not how we’ve learned to live our lives. It’s not how our minds-eye works. We have fears, hopes, dreams, thoughts and secrets that we’ve consciously chosen not to share with certain people or in some cases with anyone at… read more

Good and Evil ~ John C. Calkins

Posted: December 7th, 2015 | Category: Christ Follower, Conflict, Deception, demons, disciple, Faith, Jesus Follower, miracles, Truth | Comments

Most people, including spiritual people with Biblical training, have trouble with the idea of a spiritual source of good and evil. We’ve struggled (at times) with accepting various aspects of the Word of God, particularly from those parts of the Bible which deal with what we have come to call, the supernatural. Most of the miracles mentioned in the New Testament, would fall clearly into the category of supernatural. Yet these are very much Biblical truths, then and now. If… read more

With Love, Your Child ~ John C. Calkins

Posted: September 17th, 2015 | Category: Christ Follower, Faith, Hope, Inspirational, Jesus Follower, Love | Comments

Life is not limited, we are. At least we are the way most of us view and perceive ourselves. This earthly experiment isn’t the end-all for us, it’s just the beginning of something far greater. When my mother was laying on what would soon become her deathbed, she said to me, “Well I guess that my luck has finally run out.” I was stunned. This is the very same amazing woman who taught me about God in the first place…. read more

These Are Those ~ John C. Calkins

Posted: September 3rd, 2015 | Category: belief, Deception, Hope, Inspirational, Jesus Follower, Love | Comments

Jude did a good job with a very difficult concept. “Go easy on those who hesitate in the faith. Go after those who take the wrong way. Be tender with sinners, but not soft on sin. The sin itself stinks to high heaven.” (Jude 1:22-23 MSG). We tend to treat sin and sinners alike, combining them as a bulk commodity. We throw everything into the same barrel and then we cart or ship that barrel off to the dump. That’s just… read more

The Ultimate Weaver ~ John C. Calkins

Posted: August 8th, 2015 | Category: belief, Christ Follower, Hope, Inspirational, Jesus Follower, Love | Comments

We have become a society of seven billion sheep, all competing for the same meadows and springs. All running from the same alarming threats and storms. All toward the same false promises. All consumed by the news as reported by the other frenzied and stampeding sheep who are running in lock step with us. Because we intuitively know all of this about ourselves, we try to find little ways to differentiate ourselves. How fast can we run or high can… read more

A Targeted Countdown ~ John C. Calkins

Posted: July 5th, 2015 | Category: Inspirational, Jesus Follower, Love, Prophecy | Comments

Absent any other relevant memories, the present times do feel like the end times. However, for those who grew up in other times (the 50s, 60s and 70s), we really do view the current times differently than most. We may have moved painfully past the War in Vietnam, the assassinations of the Kennedy’s and King and the Kent State massacre. Even the Detroit and LA Watts riots, the Chicago Seven, the Black Panthers and segregation but those memories still influence… read more

History and Culture ~ John C. Calkins

Posted: May 4th, 2015 | Category: Christ Follower, Jesus Follower, Truth | Comments

Our struggles with our place in God’s Kingdom may be returning us to the very same state of mind (and soul) which was so prevalent in the years preceding the birth and life of our Savior. However, the outcome this time around is certain to be quite different. The Biblical Word of God, has been stretched, cut, justified, modified and amended by us to serve our individual and corporate pursuits as well as those of our evolving societal status and… read more