Before and After Delivery

In a mother’s womb were two babies. One asked the other: “Do you believe in life after delivery?”

The other replied, “Why, of course. There has to be something after delivery. Maybe we are here to prepare ourselves for what we will be later.”

“Nonsense,” said the first. “There is no life after delivery. What kind of life would that be?”

The second said, “I don’t know, but there will be more light than here. Maybe we will walk with our legs and eat from our mouths. Maybe we will have other senses that we can’t understand now.”

The first replied, “That is absurd. Walking is impossible. And eating with our mouths? Ridiculous! The umbilical cord supplies nutrition and everything we need. But the umbilical cord is so short. Life after delivery is to be logically excluded.”

The second insisted, “Well I think there is something and maybe it’s different than it is here. Maybe we won’t need this physical cord anymore.”

The first replied, “Nonsense. And moreover, if there is life, then why has no one ever come back from there? Delivery is the end of life, and in the after-delivery, there is nothing but darkness and silence and oblivion. It takes us nowhere.”

“Well, I don’t know,” said the second, “but certainly we will meet Mother and she will take care of us.”

The first replied “Mother? You actually believe in Mother? That’s laughable. If Mother exists then where is She now?”

The second said, “She is all around us. We are surrounded by her. We are of Her. It is in Her that we live. Without Her, this world would not and could not exist.”

Said the first: “Well I don’t see Her, so it is only logical that She doesn’t exist.”

To which the second replied, “Sometimes, when you’re in silence and you focus and listen, you can perceive Her presence, and you can hear Her loving voice, calling down from above.”

from Father Corapi / Catholic Channel (FaceBook)

Life or Death

Before I knew Christ, I looked at Death Differently. Living Changes how we view things. When we are old, we begin to embrace it and when we are young, we seem to think we can defy it.  Of course, in our youth we try to defy everything… even gravity; yet gravity eventually wins.

Life is a process and physically, death is inevitable. And yet somehow living life seems to prepare us for death.

As we live, our presumed immortality begins to fade with that first skinned knee or broken bone. And with the tears we shed at the passing death of our first loved ones…

Oh, how I missed that goldfish when it died. You know, the prize I won throwing Ping-Pong balls into little glass bowls at the Fair.

Cats and Dogs, Birds, Hamsters, Gerbils, Fish and Lizards and Snakes, and So many many pets later, I say “No More”. For; so many times I have wished they all could have out lived me.

Yet… no matter how much we wish and resist…

death comes and gravity wins:              Or does it?

Only Three Sins… Only 3 ?

What if I told you that I believe that there are Only Three Sins? Will You Bite?

Apple If you go to Google and search “Sin List” you will find a web page with the Heading… Sin List – wogim.org Sin List

“Click” on it and a list of sins numbered from 1 to 667 pops up, each one followed with a scripture reference. The “A’s” were tough starting with [1] Abortion and including things like [5] Adultery and [15] Astrology.

I Printed the list… its 14 pages long. I think it covers everything i have ever done wrong.667 vs 3

Still, I believe that there are ONLY 3.. You say “What about the “10” Commandments?” and again I say THREE… Only 3 Sins …and everything else is simply Fruit.

There is a Sin that leads to Death… “The Ultimate Sin” …Denying the very Existence and Power of God.  It makes perfect sense to me.  Your born and choose in your infinite wisdom to ignore the existence of God and you live to be old and you die.

HELL, Though there is written testimony and evidence that there may be additional consequences… why should you care, you don’t believe in God anyway.

AppleSin Number ONE: The Sin of unbelief… Saying that no God exists and therefore without God’s existence… there is certainly NO Holy Power of God anywhere in the universe..

And if there is no power to save you when death comes… you will surely Die!

Jesus said… “Therefore I tell you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven people, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven.  And whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come.” [Matthew 12:31-32]

Death pathway

But whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit (the Power of God) will not be forgiven,

This is the unbelievers only sin… for if you are already separated from God, can another sin  possibly separate you further?  Plus Dead is Dead.

The next two sins are reserved for believers!

AppleSin Number Two: Knowing God, yet not loving Him as the Lord your God of your life and not loving Him with all your Heart, with all your Soul, with all of your Mind and with all of your Strength.

I trip and stumble over this more than I know… choosing my way over His way.

Jesus said this: “And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.  This is the great and first commandment.” Matthew 22:37 Mark 12:30

Apple

Sin Number Three: Not loving your neighbor as much as you love yourself… choosing to love me, myself and I more than all the rest of you.

everyday I choose myself over the needs and desires of others, don’t you? 

Dropped MoneySomeone cuts me off in traffic… do I honk and offer a hand gesture in anger or do I pray for their safety?

When I see someone drop a $1.00 bill or a $20.00, does the size of the bill influence my decision to catch up with them and return their loss?

It is so easy to choose me first and let my neighbors fend for themselves.

Jesus said: “And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. There is no other commandment greater than these.”  Matthew 22:39 Mark 12:31

I actually like the way this is recorded in Luke’s Gospel when a Lawyer stands up to put Jesus to the test saying: “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” 

and Jesus answered his question with a question: “What does the Law say and how do you read it?”  …The Lawyer answered: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.” And Jesus said to the Lawyer, “You have answered correctly; do this, and you will live.”

IS A SIN IN THE BIBLE THEREFORE NO LONGER A SIN?  NO OF COURSE NOT!   There are still over 600 individual definable sins that we as humans commit every day,  The most common one is denying that GOD even exists, or writing Him off as being Mother Nature, or The Powers That Be, or A Statue or Carved Image… However, for the remaining 666 sins on the printed Sins List… Careful examination will resolve them down to either not Loving God with all of our Heart, or not loving our Neighbor as much as we love ourselves… OR BOTH… think about it..!

And If you still find yourself standing on the wrong side of the Unbelievers line, your the-linenot alone, there are millions of people still standing there with you… The good news… there is still time to change your mind.

In Acts 2:37-38 we find a group of men who come to realize they are still standing on the Death side of this line… so they cry out  saying “What shall we do?”

This is my advice to you: Let God reach out and touch your Heart.  And as Peter said to those lost men… Repent… [change your mind about who you say Jesus is] and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit [the power of God in your life]

If you will do this, then you are set free from Sin Number One and God can begin to work on Sins Number Two and Three.  Believe Me it is worth every minute!apple-love

Why Do Bad Things Happen to Good People..?

I Believe God rewards those who seek Him. Hebrews 11:6 I

I Believe We are Set Apart for the Gospel, That We are Called to Belong to Jesus Christ,  And that We are Mutually Encouraged by Each Others Faith…

I Believe Unrighteous People Suppress the Truth, By Exchanging the True Glory of God’s Image, For Images of Things Created by God… Romans 1

I Believe God Has a Plan…

Yet… Believers and Non-Believers alike find themselves asking these questions:

What is it… Evolution or Creation..? Creationism vs. Evolution

Evolution Says… we all started this journey as Bacteria, that evolved into a Fungus, and so on and so forth, until we arrive at Mankind.

Evolution Screams… Survival of the What?  Survival of the Fittest……………..!

So… the Strongest Fish leap from the Rivers Depths to Swallow the Fly and Survive… Unless that Fly is Tied onto the end of a Line on My Fly Pole… Then I Survive..? Fly-Fishing 1FlyFishing 2Fly Fishing Bear

 

 

 

Without a Survival of the Fittest Philosophy… We have No Excuse for our Greed and No way to Justify Ourselves being separated from God.  So we carry on… Surviving Life rather than Living Life.  And we ask Questions of God Like…

Why do Bad Things Happen to Good People? and

Why are there So Many People Going Hungry in the World?

And Yet, All of Us have Chosen Ourselves Over Someone Else in this Battle to Survive

All of us EXCEPT the One… the Only One Who Did Not Pursue Survival… God’s Only Son… Jesus… who came to Die so that We might have Life.  And this Son says… “Come and Follow Me”

So in turn… God the Father comes back to us asking:  “So have I not supplied for you all…The Heavens and The Earth… and The Light of Day… and Water and Dry Land… and Grass and Herb and Seed and Fruit Trees… and The Sun, Moon and Stars and the Seasons of the Year… and all the Creatures in the Sea… and all the Birds in the Sky… and all the Beasts on the Earth… and Did I not give you Dominion over all of this and say…”to you it shall be for Food”?  And if this is so… He asks us all…

Why Do You Allow So Many Bad Things to Happen to Good People… and,

Why are there So Many People Going Hungry in the World today?

and we like SHEEP say “bah bah bah”  Because If I don’t Believe in GOD… I’m just a Survivor… and then it is not my fault!

 

The Sound of Heaven Touching Earth

Can You Hear It… The Sound of Heaven Touching Earth..?

Silence in the midst of chaos…

changing from the silence towards the sounds of all creation cheering

cheers of Joy

cheers of victory

cheers of admiration

All creation rejoicing in what God has done…

until the cheering silences the chaos..!

It was Sunday… I was singing… Everyone was singing… “Spirit Break Out”

Our Father, all of Heaven roars Your name… Sing louder, let this place erupt with praise… Can you hear it, the sound of Heaven touching Earth, The sound of heaven touching Earth.

It’s a great song… great lyric… “the sound of heaven touching earth” … and then as I was singing… “can you hear it… the sound of heaven touching earth” My mind shouted… Steven… what does that sound like… the sound of heaven touching earth… what does it sound like..? Can you hear it..? The sound of heaven touching earth… So I stopped singing to listen… for the sound of heaven touching earth… and this is what I heard… so I wrote it down. the sound

Have a Listen for yourself… and let me know what you hear…

<iframe width=”640″ height=”360″ src=”//www.youtube.com/embed/p5Sk-ktjSLM?feature=player_detailpage” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>

Thanks for Listening..!

(Everything I do) I do it for you

Sometimes I hear a song on the radio and I just know it was written to sing to God…

And then some songs… so filled with promises… love songs… I will give you the sun, the moon and  the stars songs with impossible promises no person can humanly keep.  Dad Spike Steven 1956

My Dad sang a song… I can still hear him singing it to me…  “I’d go to the ends of the world for you, if you would only be mine.” Great lyric, but nobody can full fill these words… at least no person singing to another could keep such a promise. Sure as heck…I would agree to be yours and you would do your darndest but wouldn’t quite make it to the ends of the world for me..!  I know it’s a metaphor… Yet somewhere deep inside my very heart and soul… my spirit tells me… these are love songs from God to man.

One such song is (everything I do) I do it for you…                                             read the printed lyrics and see for yourself

Look into my eyes, you will see
What you mean to me
Search your heart, search your soul
And when you find me there you’ll search no more

Don’t tell me it’s not worth tryin’ for
 You can’t tell me it’s not worth dyin’ for
You know it’s true
Everything I do, I do it for you

Look into your heart, you will find
 There’s nothin’ there to hide
Take me as I am, take my life
I would give it all, I would sacrifice

Don’t tell me it’s not worth fightin’ for
 I can’t help it, there’s nothin’ I want more
You know it’s true
Everything I do, I do it for you
Oh yeah

There’s no love, like your love
And no other, could give more love
There’s nowhere, unless you’re there
All the time, all the way, yeah

Look into your heart, baby

Oh, you can’t tell me it’s not worth tryin’ for
 I can’t help it, there’s nothin’ I want more
Yeah, I would fight for you, I’d lie** for you 
Walk the wire for you, yeah I’d die for you

You know it’s true
Everything I do, oh, I do it for you

Inevitably, someone will point out to me a conflict in a lyric… saying… God would not say that… such an example is the word lie in “I do it for you” and I agree… if God spoke the words to Bryan Adams… someone changed them because I don’t believe God will lie for me… Even Spell Check agrees that the word “lie” is in error…**[Spell Check underlines the word “LIE” in blue & says it is a “word choice error”..]

________________________________________

My wife says… “I find it interesting that most people want someone that will  love them to the point of doing everything for them, even die for them”  So we fall in love with these songs that say we are wanted, accepted and loved so… and yet… may not realize we can have all of this in a relationship with Jesus Christ.  A love no other person could ever fulfill..!

________________________________________

Why do we fall in love with songs like Bryan Adams Everything I Do I do it for you..?  Because we long to be loved this much and we want to accept the idea that somewhere out there is a someone who could love us this much.  …which is exactly what Jesus Christ has done for us.

according to Wikipedia.org… (Everything I Do) I Do It for You” is what is called a power ballad performed by Canadian rock singer Bryan Adams and co-written with Michael Kamen and Robert John “Mutt” Lange, featured on the soundtrack album from the 1991 film Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves and on Adams’ album Waking Up the Neighbours. It was an enormous chart success internationally, particularly in the United Kingdom, where it spent sixteen consecutive weeks at number one on the UK Singles Chart (the longest in British chart history), seven weeks at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 in the United States, and nine weeks atop the Canadian Singles Chart in Adams’s native Canada. It was a number one hit on many charts and sold 8 million copies worldwide, making it Adams’ most successful song.

Adams, Kamen and Lange won a Grammy Award for Best Song Written Specifically for a Motion Picture or Television at the Grammy Awards of 1992, and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Song. Subsequently, the song has been covered by numerous singers around the world.

Oh, and here is my Brother singing “If you would only be mine” on YouTube… it is the song my Dad used to sing to my Mother, my Brother and Me.  Enjoy.

Love Does by Bob Goff

My daughter gave me this book for “Fathers Day” along with a card.  She said, “Dad, you could have written this book…I think you will like it.”… 2013-09-02 23.33.42Some people read a book cover to cover and some explore ahead. I’m an explorer.  I like to peruse about a bit before I fully invest myself into a cover to cover read.  If I find something that grabs me… then I am all in… If not… then I may set it aside for a cloudy, rainy day.  Some say, a good book is like a good wife, there are qualities that attract you, and keep you coming back.  As I flittered about through the pages of “Love Does” I found my something special in the first line of Chapter 18.

“Why does spellcheck make me capitalize satan’s name?”  spellcheck button

 “Exactly” I said… I have been wrestling with my spellchecker for years about the  uncapitalization of …his… name.  So I added the lower case spelling to my spellcheck dictionary and clicked on Ignore always.  I guess you could say… “I traded The Truth for a lie…” and went on my merry way.  Bob says, “Jesus doesn’t give satan any grace.  He just speaks The Truth to him and then tells him to go away.”  discussion over no problem.

Bob, Love Does is a great book!  You made me laugh… and you made me cry.  You birthed a deep compassion within me for lost and captive children around the world… and an even deeper compassion for your commitment to do something about it.

People… Love Does is a good read… buy a few copies… and give some away… all of the proceeds from the book are donated to two organizations committed to loving kids… and Bob Goff is a real down to earth… heaven bound person.  If you call him at the phone number on page 224… leave him a message… He will call you back…

I am still smiling with God for sending the woman and the station wagon with the peeling fake wood siding… just to pick up an apprehensive young hitchhiker on the side of the road.  My God has such a great sense of humor.  If you don’t know that yet… Read this Book… share in this story of a journey through the Kingdom of God as Bob sees it.

Steven Cook

Do You…Believe…In God?

Do you believe in God?”, seemed a simple enough question.  But if so simple…why did it take me so long to answer?  After all it was only asking for a _yes or _no answer, and  all I needed to do was check a box and move on…and finish the questionnaire.  Still…a year after dad had handed me the application, I was making lame excuses every time  he asked…”Have you filled out the questionnaire yet..?  This was important to me…I couldn’t lie…I had to be honest…there was family tradition to be considered…and I had my dad’s reputation at stake.  After all this was his club he was asking me to join…his buddies…his friends…his cronies…his lodge.  I had to get this right..!

The first question on the application to join the Elks Lodge is “Do You Believe in God?” but I must say…until my dad handed me that app to fill out…I really hadn’t thought about it much.

One Friday Night in FebruaryMy wife and I were married in a the church across the street from our highschool.  She was 17 and I was 20.  The wedding scheduled at 4pm Friday after school to avoid conflict with the varsity basketball game.  Married by a minister whose name we don’t recall…and who never asked “Do you believe in God?”

When I was a kid…we drove everywhere.  Long Sunday drives…Road Trips…the car filled with highway games like “I Spy” and “Road Sign Alphabet”. 

Plus there was always lots of singing…My dad loved to sing and when we sang, we harmonized. We sang songs like…’Sentimental Journey’…’She’ll Be Coming Around the Mountain’…’Frog Went a Courtin’…’You get a line – I’ll get a poll’…plus many many others.  I think my mom liked ‘Someone’s in the Kitchen with Dina’ best because it was her dad’s fave and reminded her of home!  We even sang spiritual songs like…’Do Lord’…’The Old Rugged Cross’…’I Walked in the Garden’…and ‘Swing Low Sweet Chariot’…to name a few…yet there was never a mention of God aside from those songs…and I am certain my parents never asked me…“Do You Believe In God?”

So…I want to know…”Do You?”  It’s important to me…”Do You Believe?”

If I never ask you…maybe no one else will ever ask you either…and what a shame it would be if you never met God face to face simply because no one ever asked you… “Do You Believe in God?”

You see…after that year of indecision…wrestling over whether or not I could believe in God…I finally did decide that I believed…so…I answered yes to that question and all the subsequent others and turned in that application.  Did it mater to the lodge how I answered the question?  Was a “No” answer just as acceptable as a “Yes”?  I’m not sure…but this I do know…deciding that God was God changed my perspective on life…and I would forever never be the same…

Before my yes answer…I was in the dark about who God was…about whether He even existed…you might say I was blind & then through a simple yes answer, I began to see.

Because I Believe in God…I find the evidence of things hoped for…it’s everywhere…all around us…We are all beautifully and wonderfully made…not hatched.  You see… Believing in God allows me to have faith in God…faith that God is who He says He is…and this faith brings meaning and purpose to my life.  Without God I was lost, but with God I am no longer lost but found…no longer blind but see…

And what is it that I can now see..? I see the Truth…I see evidence of God in Nature, in Creation, in People and in His printed word…

Gods printed word…The Bible is truth…and the Bible says…in Johns Gospel 8:32 “I will  know the truth, and the truth will set me free.” It also says in John 1:12 that because I have received Him, He has given me the right to become His child…and this simply because I believe in His name.  Then Marks Gospel 9:23 says…”If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.”  And in 1 John 5:13 we read…”These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life…”  and this is just the tip of the iceberg…the beginning of all the things Father God wants to say to us..!

Take some time if you must…but do contemplate it…Ask yourself the Question…you know the one…Do I Believe in God..?  I believe it will change your life…

Thanks for Listening…

Favorite Quotes-mine and others

“Anxiety does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow, but only empties today of its strength.” Charles Spurgeon

“It’s not about the place you go to worship…It’s about the heart you bring with you.”   Steven M. Cook

 “You Miss 100% of the shots you don’t take”   Wayne Gretzky 

“Jesus doesn’t give satan any grace.  He just speaks the Truth to him and then tells him to go away.”                                                                                                          Bob Goff

“Within the covers of that single book [the Bible] are all the answers to all the problems that face us today if we’d only read and believe.”                     President Ronald Reagan

My Favorite Songs of the Week 7-29-2013

This first song is Blues Stay Away From Me…by Spike Cook…he is my brother and I love him…watch for other songs from him in the future..!

This one is Send for Me…Key Board and Vocal by my Brother Spike.

This next one is a song I plan to include in my next post “Hearing God” song by Hawk Nelson called Words

Keep coming back…we have only just began.

Oh and here is another that I plan to post with “Now a Child Of God!” By Matthew West called “Hello My Name Is-”