Why Believe In Jesus

Why believe in Jesus Christ?”. Or maybe even more fundamentally who was Jesus Christ?
Who was this man?
What are we to make of him?
If nothing else just curiosity should make us ask that. I mean there is by all accounts no human individual that has ever influence the course of human history like Jesus Christ did.
Whatever else you think about him, that much is true for better or for worse
He has changed human history more than any other single individual ever did… more than any other group ever did.
He founded the world’s largest religion and transformed the lives of billions of people so if nothing else just out of curiosity we should ask “What what’s behind all of this?… who was this person … what was he about? who could have pulled this off?
It is also a crucial question because if the bible is true everything hangs on your answer to this question. Who do men say that I am ? Who do people say that I am? If in fact the bible turns out to be true everything depends, ultimately all the questions of life are contained in this question.
What do we exist for?
What’s the purpose of our lives?
Why are we here in the first place?
How is life to be fullfilled?
How can we live life in a fulfilling way
How can I find happiness?
How can I find contentment in the midst of my very troubled world?
A little bit of peace?
They’re all found in the question Who was Jesus Christ?
I want to just outline five options
five possible responses and I think that they are exhaustively the five responses to that one can give to
this question,” Who was Jesus Christ?
Who was Jesus?
We know that his disciples claimed that he claimed He was superhuman and he was not just an ordinary man… not just in ordinary profit and was in fact the son of God.
He claimed to be divine in other words.
And it is a reasonable supposition, I think when you hear someone claim to be the son of god or claim to be divine to immediately suspect that maybe that person doesn’t have all their marbles and so one option as we confront the question of who was Jesus Christ is to suspect there may be
He was just one of these crazy people who believe that there God.
A couple questions present themselves with regard to this option. You need to seriously ask yourself this question:
Given what you know what you know about lunatics, given what you know about madmen, given what you know about crazy people and in our society you should know quite a bit because there are a lot of them around, could a lunatic speak the sermon on the mount? I mean, by all standards; even by those who oppose Christianity admit that the teachings of Jesus are among the most sublime and insightful ever given in world history. Could a lunatic or a mad man or a crazy person do something like that?
Could a madman or lunatic or a person who was crazy have the insight into human nature and the inner workings of the human heart and human mind that Jesus did? You see it throughout the gospels the way he penetrate through facades the way he gets to the heart of issues the way he calls out a person’s true colors. Could a madman or lunatic have done that? Could a madman a lunatic or a crazy person have demonstrated the kind of works and lived the kind of lifestyle that Jesus lived; having a love for those who are unlovable; reaching out to those who were lost, to those who are outcasts and to those who are ostracized; loving those that nobody else cared about? Could a madman or lunatic have done such a thing? Could a madman or lunatic have pulled off the miracles that he did; healing that hand on the Sabbath; healing the blind or all the other miracles recorded in the Gospels; the last one being that he rose from the dead. How does calling Jesus a lunatic explain all of that? His reputation was that of being untarnished, of being by all accounts loving, selfless and gracious. And that is something that lunatics just normally don’t have about them. The option of thinking Jesus was crazy, I think, is ruled out. There is no evidence to suggest he was crazy. All the evidence, in fact, is just the opposite.
So maybe there’s a second alternative. Another thing that we got a lot of in our culture is a lot of charlatans. People that use religion to make a buck. There’s a lot of dollars to be made in religion. There’s a lot of gain to be made in religion. A lot of fame to be made in religion.
Ron Hubbard, the founder of scientology, he went on record as saying the fastest way, the easiest way to get rich in America is a start your own religion. And so the science fiction writer did just that and wrote his “Dianetics” and died a very, very wealthy man. Well, maybe Jesus was someone like that. Maybe he was just doing some kind of tricks or some kind of magic to get people the follow him to get famous, to get wealthy. The world’s known a lot of charlatans. A lot of TV evangelists are in it for the money. They prey on gullible senior citizens. There’s a lot of new age channelers who happen to be called to Hollywood. Isn’t that interesting? And they channel Angels and lure metaphysical principalities and powers that they know not what. They speak these divine truths, they start their own religion in Hollywood because all these Hollywood people follow them. And it’s clear that they’re doing it because there’s a lot of money in Hollywood and lot of people who’ll believe weird stuff in Hollywood. What better place to start a religion? So maybe Jesus was just someone like that… maybe.
Again, several questions posed themselves. Seems to me that if Jesus was a charlatan, he would still be a historical figure. but he go down in history as being, one of the dumbest charlatans that ever lived. Because he didn’t go to Hollywood. He didn’t even go to the big wigs or the high society people. He spent his whole ministry appealing to the lower class, the ostracized, to the outcasts. And there’s no money there and even if they follow you, what kind of fame is that? I mean, you got a bunch of beggars following you. Would a charlatan do something like that? What kind of charlatan makes enemies with all the people that matter? Questioning those in powerful positions? Questioning those in authority? (to be continued)

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How I Know I Will See My Pets In Heaven

How I Know I Will See My Pets In Heaven

My parents made me go to church almost every Sunday as I was growing up.
Church and Sunday School.
But as soon as I got old enough to make my own decisions about attending church, I quit going.
I didn’t start going back to church again until I was in my forties.
One day I was shocked when I realized that all these people I was going to church with believed that Jesus was the son of God. Really?
Somehow, I had missed that detail in my earlier church life.
I knew all the stories about Jesus and how he was such a great teacher and how he performed all these miracles and such.
He turned water into wine, healed the blind, calmed the sea, walk on water, fed 5000 people with a couple of fish… he even raised a person up from the dead. But the strangest story of all was how he was killed, buried and then came back from the dead and walked, talked and even ate with people after he had been executed.
I guess I never really believed all the stories were really true.
A lot of them were really far fetched but the Bible is full of far fetched stories.
That’s what made it interesting.
I thought Greek and Roman Mythology was interesting too.
But one day I suddenly realized that these seemingly normal people really believe that all these stories from the Bible were real.
I had recently completed a 12 Step program for my drinking problem and had been reintroduced to the idea of a higher being who was in charge and could help us do things we couldn’t do ourselves.
Well, I have always believed there was a God… maybe more than one.
It seemed to me that there were a lot of people who believed in a lot of different Gods.
I had been praying a lot lately and I definitely felt that my prayers had been answered so I was really interested in finding out more about this God. I could have just taken a “leap of faith” like a lot of people do and just accept everything the preacher said as true, but I’m just not wired that way. I started researching the history of the church and the Bible.
The turning point for me was when I read a book called “The Case for Christ” by Lee Strobel. Lee Strobel was a very successful investigative reporter for the Chicago Tribune. He was an atheist and after finding that his wife was turning into a Jesus fan, he set out to prove the fallacy of the Bible thumping Christians. I hate to ruin the book for you but after extensive investigation, Lee Strobel became a Christian.( to be continued)

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Pet Heaven… is it for real?

Pet Heaven… is it for real?
If you are grieving the loss of one of your best friends, I am very sorry.
I wish I could say something to take away the pain… but I can’t.
I just recently lost one of my best friends too.
Such a tragedy.
It’s been weeks now but I still can’t believe he is gone.
He was so full of life.
Koda was a beautiful Siberian Husky.
He would always greet me with an energetic “high-ten”, a bad habit of which I should have broke him but never really tried because I enjoyed it so. We loved to wrestle with one another. But he was always careful and gentle with the kids.
He loved to fetch and catch and never tired of playing games with me.
His favorite thing was to run… man could he run… and it was a beautiful sight to behold and even though we have a very large yard, he could traverse from one end to the other in what seems like seconds.
The worst habit he had was trying to escape the yard and run free through the neighborhood every chance he got. He didn’t like to be left alone and more than once, I came home from work to find he had discovered a loophole in my security system.
But after calling a few friends I could always locate him safe and sound. Eventually we got all the bugs out of the security system and Koda had finally resolved himself to occupying his spare time by digging up the yard and finding various things to chew up around the house. All was well… until our 2 year old figured out how to open doors.
Koda hadn’t had a chance to run free for a long time and he took full advantage of it. This time no one called to say “Your dog is in our front yard”. This time a cop drove up the driveway and solemnly told me that our Koda was lying on the road about a half a mile away. He had found his way to the busy highway.
It was the hardest thing I ever had to do. To see him like that. I had to take him to be cremated. I just couldn’t accept it at first. He was just so full of life. I couldn’t accept the fact that I was never going to play with him again. It still just doesn’t seem real. It just can’t be. Of course I blamed myself. I should have taught him the dangers of the big highway. I should have had child proof door handles.
It didn’t matter now… Koda is gone forever.
But not so… I will see him again.
I believe in Heaven.
Not “Pet” Heaven, but Heaven.
God’s plan is and always has been that man would live in harmony with all the animals that He created. God is immutable which means simply “never changing”.
God never changes and eventually it will come to pass that I will see Koda again in Heaven.

I wrote a poem for Koda for his memorial.

I see you running free now
Through woods and fields Valleys and hills
Everything you always longed for No tethers to hold you back
And I will see you again
In the blink of an eye … for you
But for me… It will be a bit longer
Till then… I will miss you Koda.

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I Lost My Friend Today. I Will Miss You Koda!

lost my friend
I miss you Koda…
I lost my friend today.
It really is amazing how quickly tragedy can strike.
One minute your watching a children’s soccer game on a beautiful Saturday morning.
The next minute you get a phone call saying your friend’s dog was hit on the road… dead… gone.
It doesn’t matter at all that it wasn’t my dog.
It hit me like a punch in the stomach.
Koda was always so happy to see me.
I loved that dog.
We played together every time I came to visit.
He was beautiful and smart.
Well, smart enough to get out the door every chance he got.
I guess he wasn’t smart enough to keep from getting run over.
I just can’t believe he is gone.
I’ll never get to play with him again.
I never got to say goodbye.
I wrote a new poem (I guess it’s more of a eulogy)

I see you running free now
Through woods and fields
Valleys and hills
Everything you always longed for
No tethers to hold you back
And I will see you again
In the blink of an eye… for you
But for me…
It will seem a bit longer
Till then…
I will miss you Koda.

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Cheer for Grief? No Thanks. Just let me grieve.

Sorry, I know you mean well.
But I don’t want to go out to dinner tonight.
And I don’t want to go see that new movie either.
Yeah, I know that we always have fun when we do those things.
But, I don’t want to have fun right now.
Actually, I couldn’t possibly have fun right now.
I just lost my best friend ever.
Please don’t tell me that he’s in a better place.
Or that God just needed another angel.
I know it’s been over a week now and you are starting to worry about me.
You think I’m over the edge.
But I will be okay again someday.
Just like you tried to tell me a week ago.
Time will make it better… it will.
But for now, I’m empty.
There’s a place in my heart that died with him.
I can’t believe he is gone.
I know you don’t understand.
I remember when I was like you.
I wish I still was.
Then I didn’t understand how anyone could be depressed.
“Just snap out of it”, I used to think.
I don’t guess I was ever depressed until I lost my baby.
I know you don’t want to talk about it.
You think I will forget about it if I just let it go.
I will never forget about it.
I want to talk about it.
I need to talk about it.
I need to cry about it.
I need to grieve.
If you really want to help me.
Let me talk about it.
Let me cry about it.
Just listen…
and let me grieve.

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Rottweiler Memorial for Duke Wellington at Rainbow Bridge

Rottweiler Memorial for Duke Wellington at Rainbow Bridge

This is a custom Rottweiler memorial that I just completed for a client for her Rottweiler “Duke Wellington”.

” My dog name was Duke Wellington and he respond by Wellington. I have him since he was 6 months and he developed diabetes type II when he was 4 years and and 6 months due to cortisone shots that he was having for skin allergies during the summer. I took care him until he was 12 years and 7 days. He born on march 25, 2000 and passed away April 1, 2012. He was very special to me. Thank you for sending me your e-mail. You and your wife seem to be very special people. Out of the two pictures that I sent you my favorite is the one that he is sitting by the tree, he was about 9 months and he was happy and healthy. Tell me what you think.”

Scan0002 copy

I thought the picture she sent me was perfect for Rainbow Bridge and I told her so.

“I’m so sorry.
The picture of Wellington by the tree will be perfect.
I can see him sitting at the Rainbow Bridge like that.”

She wrote back.

” I feel the same way, I see him sitting down , happy , healthy and relax , waiting for me.”

Motorcycle Details

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Do Pets Go To Heaven?

Do Pets Go To Heaven?

Black Lab Memorial
Black Lab Memorial

To answer this question in one word or less… yes!

To quote Rev Billy Graham, “God will prepare everything for our perfect happiness in Heaven, and if it takes my dog being there, I believe he’ll be there.”

In other words, if that is what your idea of happiness is, then you will be reunited with your beloved pets in Heaven.
It only makes sense.
If Heaven is everything wonderful that we could possibly imagine (and it will be), then my pets will be there.
It just couldn’t be Heaven without them.
As Paul said in 2 Corinthians, “This boasting will do no good, but I must go on. I will reluctantly tell about visions and revelations from the Lord. I was caught up to the third heaven fourteen years ago. Whether I was in my body or out of my body, I don’t know—only God knows. Yes, only God knows whether I was in my body or outside my body. But I do know that I was caught up to paradise and heard things so astounding that they cannot be expressed in words, things no human is allowed to tell.”
We can’t imagine how wonderful it will be in Heaven.
So, of course, anything we really care about will be there.

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Is There Really a Pet Heaven?

Is there really a Pet Heaven?
I hear that question more and more these days.
And my answer is always… I don’t know.
What I do know is that there is a Heaven.
Isn’t that good enough?
I have proof that there is a Heaven and that we will see our pet’s again when we get there. (more on this in a later post)
Now maybe our pet’s spend some time in another place like Rainbow Bridge for a while until we are ready to join them.
That could be “Pet Heaven” but I just don’t know about that for sure.
Actually, I’d rather think that they just go to the same Heaven that we go to where everything is so wonderful that we cannot even imagine how awesome it will be. It’s far beyond our realm of brain capacity. If we only knew what it is like in Heaven, we would all be trying to get there faster instead of trying to find the “Fountain of Youth”. We will find out someday that all those friends and family that have gone before us are really the lucky ones. They get to enjoy Heaven while we have to stay here and miss them.
But I guess it gives me some comfort to think that there is a “Pet Heaven” too where all the animals play together and just have lots of fun when they leave here. Just as long as I know that I can stop by this Pet Heaven and pick up my precious friends and take them with me when it’s my time to go.
I do know that one way or another my animal friends will all be with me when I go to Heaven. It will be better than it ever was on the best day on this earth. It will be like the Garden of Eden. We will be able to talk to the animals and they will talk to us. (more about this in another post too). Won’t it be great to finally know what Princess was trying to tell you all these years?

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German Shepherd Memorial

German Shepherd Memorial

German Shepherd memorial
Boomer at Rainbow Bridge

Just finished putting the name on this German Shepherd memorial for one of my customers and thought I would share Boomer’s picture with everyone. I already posted it on Twitter and Facebook. Please visit my store on eBay if you would like to order one for yourself or if you know of someone who has lost a loved one and is hurting. It makes a wonderful and unique gift for someone you really care about. I have my pictures professionally printed on 8×10 glossy Kodak Photo paper. The quality is amazing. Well, it’s a beautiful day outside so I am out of here. Be back soon. -Barry

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Dog Playing with Fish…Amazing!

Video of Dog Playing with Fish

Anyone who thinks animals can’t communicate with each other or that they don’t have real feelings and emotions should watch this video of a dog playing with fish. I believe that animals had the capability to talk to us in the Garden of Eden before “the fall”. When the “Serpent” first started up a conversation with Eve, she didn’t say, “OH MY! You can talk!” No, she wasn’t at all surprised that an animal was talking to her.

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This is amazing!

Will Pets Talk in Heaven

When we get to Heaven, I believe that not only will we see all our animal friends… we we also be able to talk to them. Won’t that be awesome. I can’t wait to see and talk to them.

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