Sin’s DeceptionHEBREWS 3:13 NLT 13 You must warn each other every day, while it is still “today,” so that none of you will be deceived by sin and hardened against God. Sin advertises that it will bring happiness, but fails to deliver. Deception’s story is that going God’s way is too restrictive — too hard — and won’t lead to happiness. So sin tells you to throw off restraint and live for the moment — do whatever feels right to you with no thought for the future. The only problem is that it does not work! Sin’s promises are empty. All sin hurts people. So all sin will (eventually) make someone miserable. Can you make yourself happy by making others miserable? No! It may seem to work for awhile, but in the end it fails. Don’t be deceived! You cannot make yourself happy by hurting people. Instead of happiness, sin actually pays out in death.ROMANS 6:23 NLT 23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord. Whatever pleasure sin may bring is something very temporary which lasts for only a short while. Then it brings death!HEBREWS 11:25 NLT 25 He chose to share the oppression of God’s people instead of enjoying the fleeting pleasures of sin. Fortunately, there is good news! Jesus came to save us from sin.MATTHEW 1:21 NKJ 21 “And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name JESUS, for He will save His people from their sins.” The good news is that no matter how deeply sin has trapped you, Jesus will forgive you and free you! Jesus is not your enemy — sin is your enemy. Sin only promises you happiness, then brings destruction, misery, and pain. Jesus is your friend who came to set you free from sin. Jesus frees us not only from the punishment of sin, but also from the power and control of sin. When you receive Him, Jesus puts His life and love in your heart, so you don’t have to sin. People sin because they are afraid of missing out on something good. All sin is based on fear, which results from not truly knowing God loves us. But God does love you! Enough to die for you! So you can be certain that He does not want to withhold any good thing from you.MATTHEW 7:14 NLT 14 But the gateway to life is very narrow and the road is difficult, and only a few ever find it. Many people read this verse in Matthew and think of few people making it to Heaven, but that is not what Jesus said. Life, in full victory, as God intended, is enjoyed by very few people during our time on earth. The reason is because they allow themselves to be deceived by sin. The road of joyful, wonderful life is difficult. It can be a struggle to keep from being deceived. But Jesus will help you! He is the Way! So call on Jesus and trust Him to help you! As for me: I refuse to let sin deceive me!
Paul Blom Sr., Recovery Liaison
New Hope Community Church, Cambridge, MN 55008

Paul@newhopecambridge.org           July 24, 2014

     Sin’s Deception

    HEBREWS 3:13 NLT
    13 You must warn each other every day, while it is still
    “today,” so that none of you will be deceived by sin and
    hardened against God.

    Sin advertises that it will bring happiness, but fails to
    deliver.

    Deception’s story is that going God’s way is too restrictive —
    too hard — and won’t lead to happiness. So sin tells you to
    throw off restraint and live for the moment — do whatever
    feels right to you with no thought for the future.

    The only problem is that it does not work! Sin’s promises are
    empty.

    All sin hurts people. So all sin will (eventually) make someone
    miserable.

    Can you make yourself happy by making others miserable? No! It
    may seem to work for awhile, but in the end it fails.

    Don’t be deceived! You cannot make yourself happy by hurting
    people.

    Instead of happiness, sin actually pays out in death.

    ROMANS 6:23 NLT
    23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is
    eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.

    Whatever pleasure sin may bring is something very temporary
    which lasts for only a short while. Then it brings death!

    HEBREWS 11:25 NLT
    25 He chose to share the oppression of God’s people instead of
    enjoying the fleeting pleasures of sin.

    Fortunately, there is good news! Jesus came to save us from sin.

    MATTHEW 1:21 NKJ
    21 “And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name
    JESUS, for He will save His people from their sins.”

    The good news is that no matter how deeply sin has trapped you,
    Jesus will forgive you and free you!

    Jesus is not your enemy — sin is your enemy. Sin only promises
    you happiness, then brings destruction, misery, and pain. Jesus
    is your friend who came to set you free from sin.

    Jesus frees us not only from the punishment of sin, but also
    from the power and control of sin.

    When you receive Him, Jesus puts His life and love in your
    heart, so you don’t have to sin.

    People sin because they are afraid of missing out on something
    good. All sin is based on fear, which results from not truly
    knowing God loves us.

    But God does love you! Enough to die for you! So you can be
    certain that He does not want to withhold any good thing from
    you.

    MATTHEW 7:14 NLT
    14 But the gateway to life is very narrow and the road is
    difficult, and only a few ever find it.

    Many people read this verse in Matthew and think of few people
    making it to Heaven, but that is not what Jesus said. Life, in
    full victory, as God intended, is enjoyed by very few people
    during our time on earth. The reason is because they allow
    themselves to be deceived by sin.

    The road of joyful, wonderful life is difficult. It can be a
    struggle to keep from being deceived. But Jesus will help you!
    He is the Way! So call on Jesus and trust Him to help you!

    As for me: I refuse to let sin deceive me!

    Paul Blom Sr., Recovery Liaison

    New Hope Community Church, Cambridge, MN 55008

    Paul@newhopecambridge.org           July 24, 2014

    • 4 hours ago
    Anger
As we come to terms with loss and change, we may blame ourselves, our Higher Power, or others.  The person may be connected to the loss, or he or she may be an innocent bystander.  We may hear ourselves say: “If only he would have done that…If I wouldn’t have done that…Why didn’t God do it differently?
We know that blame doesn’t help.  In recovery, the watchwords are self-responsibility and personal self-responsibility are the only concepts that can move us forward, but to get there we may need to allow ourselves to feel angry and to occasionally indulge in some blaming.
It is helpful, in dealing with others, to remember that they, too, may need to go through their angry stage to achieve acceptance.  To not allow others, or ourselves, to go through anger and blame may slow down the grief process.
Trust ourselves and the grief process.  We won’t stay angry forever.  But we may need to get mad for a while as we search over what could have been, to finally accept what is.
God, help me accept my own and others’ anger as part of achieving acceptance and peace.  Within that framework, help me strive for personal accountability.
Paul Blom Sr., Recovery Liaison
New Hope Community Church, Cambridge, MN 55008

Paul@newhopecambridge.org       July 23, 2014

    Anger

    As we come to terms with loss and change, we may blame ourselves, our Higher Power, or others.  The person may be connected to the loss, or he or she may be an innocent bystander.  We may hear ourselves say: “If only he would have done that…If I wouldn’t have done that…Why didn’t God do it differently?

    We know that blame doesn’t help.  In recovery, the watchwords are self-responsibility and personal self-responsibility are the only concepts that can move us forward, but to get there we may need to allow ourselves to feel angry and to occasionally indulge in some blaming.

    It is helpful, in dealing with others, to remember that they, too, may need to go through their angry stage to achieve acceptance.  To not allow others, or ourselves, to go through anger and blame may slow down the grief process.

    Trust ourselves and the grief process.  We won’t stay angry forever.  But we may need to get mad for a while as we search over what could have been, to finally accept what is.

    God, help me accept my own and others’ anger as part of achieving acceptance and peace.  Within that framework, help me strive for personal accountability.

    Paul Blom Sr., Recovery Liaison

    New Hope Community Church, Cambridge, MN 55008

    Paul@newhopecambridge.org       July 23, 2014

    • 1 day ago
    Present in tragedy
Read; Job 19:7-27
As I understand it, to say that God is mightily present in tragedy does not mean that he makes events happen to us which move us in certain directions like chessmen.  Instead, events happen under their own steam as random as rain, which means that god is present in them not as their cause but as the one who even in the hardest and most hair-raising of them offers us the possibility of that new life and healing which IF believe is what salvation is.
For instance I cannot believe that a God of love and mercy in any sense willed my father’s death; I can speak with some assurance only of how God was present in that dark time for me in the sense that I was not destroyed by it but came out of it with scars that I bear to this day, to be sure, but also somehow the wiser and the stronger for it.  Who knows how I might have turned out if my father had lived,  but through the loss of him all those long years ago I think that I learned something about how even tragedy can be a means of grace that I might never have come to any other way. 
God, help me to see the difference between your causing something bad to happen and your being present and available to help me work through it.
Paul Blom Sr., Recovery Liaison
New Hope Community Church, Cambridge, MN 55008

Paul@newhopecambridge.org       July 22, 2014

    Present in tragedy

    Read; Job 19:7-27

    As I understand it, to say that God is mightily present in tragedy does not mean that he makes events happen to us which move us in certain directions like chessmen.  Instead, events happen under their own steam as random as rain, which means that god is present in them not as their cause but as the one who even in the hardest and most hair-raising of them offers us the possibility of that new life and healing which IF believe is what salvation is.

    For instance I cannot believe that a God of love and mercy in any sense willed my father’s death; I can speak with some assurance only of how God was present in that dark time for me in the sense that I was not destroyed by it but came out of it with scars that I bear to this day, to be sure, but also somehow the wiser and the stronger for it.  Who knows how I might have turned out if my father had lived,  but through the loss of him all those long years ago I think that I learned something about how even tragedy can be a means of grace that I might never have come to any other way.

    God, help me to see the difference between your causing something bad to happen and your being present and available to help me work through it.

    Paul Blom Sr., Recovery Liaison

    New Hope Community Church, Cambridge, MN 55008

    Paul@newhopecambridge.org       July 22, 2014

    • 2 days ago
    It’s okay to ask
Matthew 17:20-21New International Version (NIV)
20 He replied, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” 
Bring any request you have to God.  No request is too large; none too small or insignificant.  How often we limit God by not bringing to hem everything we want and need.
Do we need help getting our balance?  Getting through the day?
Do we need help in a particular relationship?  With a particular character defect?  Attaining a character asset?
Do we need help making progress on a particular task that is challenging us?  Do we need help with a feeling?  Do we want to change a self-defeating belief that has been challenging us?  Do we need information, an insight?  Support?   A friend?
Is there something in God’s universe that would really bring us joy?  
We can ask for it.  We can ask God for whatever we want. Put the request in God’s hands, trusting it has been heard, then let it go.  Leave the decision to God.  Trust that the one to whom we have turned over our lives and wills really does care about us.
As for me:  God, thank you that you want to know my wants and needs.  I will humbly bring them before you today—asking, not demanding—and leaving the results in your hands.
Paul Blom Sr., Recovery Liaison
New Hope Community Church, Cambridge, MN 55008

Paul@newhopecambridge.org      July 21, 2014

    It’s okay to ask

    Matthew 17:20-21New International Version (NIV)

    20 He replied, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” 

    Bring any request you have to God.  No request is too large; none too small or insignificant.  How often we limit God by not bringing to hem everything we want and need.

    Do we need help getting our balance?  Getting through the day?

    Do we need help in a particular relationship?  With a particular character defect?  Attaining a character asset?

    Do we need help making progress on a particular task that is challenging us?  Do we need help with a feeling?  Do we want to change a self-defeating belief that has been challenging us?  Do we need information, an insight?  Support?   A friend?

    Is there something in God’s universe that would really bring us joy? 

    We can ask for it.  We can ask God for whatever we want. Put the request in God’s hands, trusting it has been heard, then let it go.  Leave the decision to God.  Trust that the one to whom we have turned over our lives and wills really does care about us.

    As for me:  God, thank you that you want to know my wants and needs.  I will humbly bring them before you today—asking, not demanding—and leaving the results in your hands.

    Paul Blom Sr., Recovery Liaison

    New Hope Community Church, Cambridge, MN 55008

    Paul@newhopecambridge.org      July 21, 2014

    • 3 days ago
    Live Long And StrongDEUTERONOMY 34:7 NIV 7 Moses was a hundred and twenty years old when he died, yet his eyes were not weak nor his strength gone.Old age should not be a time to dread. We can look to God and receive strength, health, and provision for a full and enjoyable life. God’s plan for you is NOT an old age full of sickness, poverty, and loneliness. Moses and Caleb are examples for us.JOSHUA 14:10-11 NKJ 10 “And now, behold, the Lord has kept me alive, as He said, these forty-five years, ever since the Lord spoke this word to Moses while Israel wandered in the wilderness; and now, here I am this day, eighty-five years old. 11 “As yet I am as strong this day as on the day that Moses sent me; just as my strength was then, so now is my strength for war, both for going out and for coming in. GALATIANS 3:13-14 NKJ 13 Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”), 14 that the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith. Galatians 3 tells us we are to receive the blessing of Abraham — through faith — because of what Jesus has done. Now, read the following verses about Abraham.GENESIS 13:2 NKJ 2 Abram was very rich in livestock, in silver, and in gold. GENESIS 25:8 NASB 8 And Abraham breathed his last and died in a ripe old age, an old man and satisfied with life; and he was gathered to his people. Because Jesus has redeemed us from the curse, we also should believe God for a long, enjoyable, and productive life. And we should resist the devil who would try to steal it away from us. We have the promise of God that He will satisfy us with life. (If you are not satisfied with your life, make some changes. God intends for you to be satisfied.)PSALM 91:16 NKJ 16 With long life I will satisfy him, And show him My salvation.” PSALM 103:5 NKJ 5 Who satisfies your mouth with good things, So that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s. God made our bodies to repair and renew themselves. As we walk and talk in faith, looking to the promises of God, the life of God will renew our bodies. (We should also allow God to guide us in the things we take into our bodies — only putting good things into our mouths.)PSALM 92:14 NKJ 14 They shall still bear fruit in old age; They shall be fresh and flourishing, ISAIAH 46:4 NIV 4 Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you. God is faithful. He will always be our wonderful Father, our great Provider, Helper, and Healer — no matter how old we are, or what we face. As for me: Jesus redeemed me from the curse, so I will live a long, enjoyable life to the glory of God.
Paul Blom Sr., Recovery Liaison
New Hope Community Church, Cambridge, MN 55008

Paul@newhopecambridge.org       July 20, 2014

    Live Long And Strong

    DEUTERONOMY 34:7 NIV
    7 Moses was a hundred and twenty years old when he died, yet
    his eyes were not weak nor his strength gone.

    Old age should not be a time to dread. We can look to God and
    receive strength, health, and provision for a full and
    enjoyable life.

    God’s plan for you is NOT an old age full of sickness, poverty,
    and loneliness.

    Moses and Caleb are examples for us.

    JOSHUA 14:10-11 NKJ
    10 “And now, behold, the Lord has kept me alive, as He said,
    these forty-five years, ever since the Lord spoke this word to
    Moses while Israel wandered in the wilderness; and now, here I
    am this day, eighty-five years old.
    11 “As yet I am as strong this day as on the day that Moses
    sent me; just as my strength was then, so now is my strength
    for war, both for going out and for coming in.

    GALATIANS 3:13-14 NKJ
    13 Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having
    become a curse for us (for it is written, “Cursed is everyone
    who hangs on a tree”),
    14 that the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in
    Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit
    through faith.

    Galatians 3 tells us we are to receive the blessing of Abraham
    — through faith — because of what Jesus has done. Now, read
    the following verses about Abraham.

    GENESIS 13:2 NKJ
    2 Abram was very rich in livestock, in silver, and in gold.

    GENESIS 25:8 NASB
    8 And Abraham breathed his last and died in a ripe old age, an
    old man and satisfied with life; and he was gathered to his
    people.

    Because Jesus has redeemed us from the curse, we also should
    believe God for a long, enjoyable, and productive life. And we
    should resist the devil who would try to steal it away from us.

    We have the promise of God that He will satisfy us with life.
    (If you are not satisfied with your life, make some changes.
    God intends for you to be satisfied.)

    PSALM 91:16 NKJ
    16 With long life I will satisfy him, And show him My
    salvation.”

    PSALM 103:5 NKJ
    5 Who satisfies your mouth with good things, So that your youth
    is renewed like the eagle’s.

    God made our bodies to repair and renew themselves. As we walk
    and talk in faith, looking to the promises of God, the life of
    God will renew our bodies. (We should also allow God to guide
    us in the things we take into our bodies — only putting good
    things into our mouths.)

    PSALM 92:14 NKJ
    14 They shall still bear fruit in old age; They shall be fresh
    and flourishing,

    ISAIAH 46:4 NIV
    4 Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, I am he who will
    sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will
    sustain you and I will rescue you.

    God is faithful. He will always be our wonderful Father, our
    great Provider, Helper, and Healer — no matter how old we are,
    or what we face.

    As for me: Jesus redeemed me from the curse, so I will live a
    long, enjoyable life to the glory of God.

    Paul Blom Sr., Recovery Liaison

    New Hope Community Church, Cambridge, MN 55008

    Paul@newhopecambridge.org       July 20, 2014

    • 4 days ago
    One Thing I KnowJOHN 9:25 NKJ 25 He answered and said, “Whether He is a sinner or not I do not know. One thing I know: that though I was blind, now I see.” Others may say all kinds of things about Jesus Christ. But I know the change Jesus Christ has made in me. I know the change Jesus Christ has made in the lives of millions of others now living on earth. I know the miracles and healings I have seen that were done in the Name of Jesus Christ. I know Jesus is alive and that His Word is true, because of what has happened in my life. Skeptics may loudly proclaim their theories. But they are too late to convince me. Those who think they are scholars may tell me God has changed and does not do miraculous things in our day, but they are too late to convince me. I have tasted and seen for myself that the Lord is good. I encourage you to do the same. As for me: I know God is real and Jesus Christ is alive.
Paul Blom Sr., Recovery Liaison
New Hope Community Church, Cambridge, MN 55008

Paul@newhopecambridge.org      July 19, 2014

    One Thing I Know

    JOHN 9:25 NKJ
    25 He answered and said, “Whether He is a sinner or not I do
    not know. One thing I know: that though I was blind, now I
    see.”

    Others may say all kinds of things about Jesus Christ.

    But I know the change Jesus Christ has made in me.

    I know the change Jesus Christ has made in the lives of
    millions of others now living on earth.

    I know the miracles and healings I have seen that were done in
    the Name of Jesus Christ.

    I know Jesus is alive and that His Word is true, because of
    what has happened in my life.

    Skeptics may loudly proclaim their theories. But they are too
    late to convince me.

    Those who think they are scholars may tell me God has changed
    and does not do miraculous things in our day, but they are too
    late to convince me.

    I have tasted and seen for myself that the Lord is good. I
    encourage you to do the same.

    As for me: I know God is real and Jesus Christ is alive.

    Paul Blom Sr., Recovery Liaison

    New Hope Community Church, Cambridge, MN 55008

    Paul@newhopecambridge.org      July 19, 2014

    • 5 days ago
     Why Do Bad Things Happen?JOHN 10:10 NKJ 10 “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. Bad things happen to people because the devil is out to steal, kill, and destroy everyone. So unless humans understand and appropriate the redemption  accomplished for them by Jesus Christ, and resist the devil’s  thoughts and works, bad things will happen. God cannot be blamed for any bad thing that happens, because He has provided a way all people can be protected from the devil’s attacks. It is like we were drowning and God has thrown us a life preserver, but if we choose not to receive His life preserver and use it, then we cannot blame God if we drown. We can learn from observing the life of Jesus Christ, who was Heaven’s perfect representative, that bad things do not come from God. Jesus fed the multitudes, healed the sick, rebuked deadly storms, and loved people. Not once did He do anything to hurt anyone. This should establish clearly that God our Father is not responsible for the bad things happening to people. God is our answer, not our problem; our Helper and deliverer, not our enemy. God does not desire bad things to happen to anyone, and He is not responsible for any bad thing that happens. Then, who is responsible? The truth is that we, human beings, are responsible. Yes, the devil is behind all the evil that happens, but he cannot operate without our cooperation. Human beings have authority on earth, and it is only through our wrong choices that evil is allowed to operate on earth. Sadly, the church has not understood this as clearly as it should have. So many often repeat lies such as “the Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away.” That was said in ignorance by Job, for Scripture clearly says it was satan who brought the evil that robbed Job (Job 2:7). Job did not know what was happening in his trial, but we can read the story and see that all the bad happening to Job was the result of what satan did. And satan does not work for God, but is rebelling against Him. Bad things happen because our Creator gave us freedom to make choices, and many people have been making wrong choices. Bad things happen because mankind has turned away from God, rejecting Him and His loving ways. We fell for the devil’s lies, and turned against God. The only way to stop bad things from happening is for us all to turn back to God. Bad things happen on earth because mankind has allowed the devil and his ideas a place here. And the devil is encouraging people to make wrong decisions in every way he can. But we can’t really blame the devil, because humans have free will to choose what we do. We can choose to do right and resist the devil’s temptations to make wrong choices. Unless some human being decides to give the devil a place, he cannot do anything on earth. Also Jesus redeemed us by His blood, defeated the devil for us, and gave us authority to stop him through the Name of Jesus. The people of the world are in the darkness of ignorance. They have not understood the truth. For example, life and death is in the power of the tongue (Proverbs 18:21), but most people are ignorant of that and always speak negatively, then wonder why negative things happen to them, not realizing it was because of their own words, which opened the door for the devil.2 CORINTHIANS 4:4 NKJ 4 whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them. Many people are blinded to the truth, even those who are children of God. Jesus said truth would set us free if we would live in it (John 8:31-32). Just hearing the truth is not enough. We must act on it in order to be free from bad things. Why has God allowed this situation on earth to go on, with evil happening?  Because it allows the universe to see clearly the results of rebelling against God. It also allows God’s children an opportunity to overcome evil and to walk in love, so we can grow into more Christ-likeness. So while it may seem now that God is guilty in allowing evil to continue, it is actually God’s mercy in allowing humans more time to turn to God, and also allowing us to see the results of following the devil instead of God. If you still think God should be faulted for allowing humanity to experience so much pain, you are judging prematurely. God has promised in the end to make everything right. He will wipe away every tear and take away all pain and sadness, so that it will be as if it never happened, except for the lessons we learned. Why hasn’t God stopped evil?  Because He is raising a family, and it is His desire that we, His children, learn how to stop evil. He defeated all evil at the cross, and gave us the authority to stop it in His Name. After Jesus defeated the devil completely, He left him loose here for awhile so we could practice resisting him. If the devil still has any place of influence, it is because we Christians have not done our job completely. So, while God’s long-term plan will exclude all evil from His creation, He is allowing it to continue for a period so His children might have opportunity to understand it and overcome it (Romans 12:21, Revelation 3:21). Part of the Good News of Jesus is that He has defeated the devil and stripped him of authority over us. Now, by the grace of God and through the blood of Jesus we can walk in freedom and victory over all evil. As we do so, nothing shall by any means hurt us (Luke 10:19). As for me: God is not to blame for the bad things in life.
Paul Blom Sr., Recovery Liaison
New Hope Community Church, Cambridge, MN 55008
Paul@newhopecambridge.org      July 18, 2014

 

     Why Do Bad Things Happen?

    JOHN 10:10 NKJ
    10 “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.

    Bad things happen to people because the devil is out to steal, kill, and destroy everyone.

    So unless humans understand and appropriate the redemption  accomplished for them by Jesus Christ, and resist the devil’s  thoughts and works, bad things will happen.

    God cannot be blamed for any bad thing that happens, because He has provided a way all people can be protected from the devil’s attacks.

    It is like we were drowning and God has thrown us a life preserver, but if we choose not to receive His life preserver and use it, then we cannot blame God if we drown.

    We can learn from observing the life of Jesus Christ, who was Heaven’s perfect representative, that bad things do not come from God. Jesus fed the multitudes, healed the sick, rebuked deadly storms, and loved people. Not once did He do anything to hurt anyone. This should establish clearly that God our Father is not responsible for the bad things happening to people.

    God is our answer, not our problem; our Helper and deliverer, not our enemy.

    God does not desire bad things to happen to anyone, and He is not responsible for any bad thing that happens.

    Then, who is responsible? The truth is that we, human beings, are responsible. Yes, the devil is behind all the evil that happens, but he cannot operate without our cooperation. Human beings have authority on earth, and it is only through our wrong choices that evil is allowed to operate on earth.

    Sadly, the church has not understood this as clearly as it should have. So many often repeat lies such as “the Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away.” That was said in ignorance by Job, for Scripture clearly says it was satan who brought the evil that robbed Job (Job 2:7).

    Job did not know what was happening in his trial, but we can read the story and see that all the bad happening to Job was the result of what satan did. And satan does not work for God, but is rebelling against Him.

    Bad things happen because our Creator gave us freedom to make choices, and many people have been making wrong choices.

    Bad things happen because mankind has turned away from God, rejecting Him and His loving ways. We fell for the devil’s lies, and turned against God. The only way to stop bad things from happening is for us all to turn back to God.

    Bad things happen on earth because mankind has allowed the devil and his ideas a place here. And the devil is encouraging people to make wrong decisions in every way he can.

    But we can’t really blame the devil, because humans have free will to choose what we do. We can choose to do right and resist the devil’s temptations to make wrong choices. Unless some
    human being decides to give the devil a place, he cannot do anything on earth. Also Jesus redeemed us by His blood, defeated the devil for us, and gave us authority to stop him through the Name of Jesus.

    The people of the world are in the darkness of ignorance. They have not understood the truth. For example, life and death is in the power of the tongue (Proverbs 18:21), but most people are ignorant of that and always speak negatively, then wonder why negative things happen to them, not realizing it was
    because of their own words, which opened the door for the devil.

    2 CORINTHIANS 4:4 NKJ
    4 whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them.

    Many people are blinded to the truth, even those who are children of God. Jesus said truth would set us free if we would live in it (John 8:31-32). Just hearing the truth is not enough. We must act on it in order to be free from bad things.

    Why has God allowed this situation on earth to go on, with evil happening?  Because it allows the universe to see clearly the results of rebelling against God. It also allows God’s children an opportunity to overcome evil and to walk in love, so we can grow into more Christ-likeness.

    So while it may seem now that God is guilty in allowing evil to continue, it is actually God’s mercy in allowing humans more time to turn to God, and also allowing us to see the results of following the devil instead of God.

    If you still think God should be faulted for allowing humanity to experience so much pain, you are judging prematurely. God has promised in the end to make everything right. He will wipe away every tear and take away all pain and sadness, so that it will be as if it never happened, except for the lessons we learned.

    Why hasn’t God stopped evil?  Because He is raising a family, and it is His desire that we, His children, learn how to stop evil. He defeated all evil at the cross, and gave us the authority to stop it in His Name.

    After Jesus defeated the devil completely, He left him loose here for awhile so we could practice resisting him. If the devil still has any place of influence, it is because we Christians have not done our job completely.

    So, while God’s long-term plan will exclude all evil from His creation, He is allowing it to continue for a period so His children might have opportunity to understand it and overcome it (Romans 12:21, Revelation 3:21).

    Part of the Good News of Jesus is that He has defeated the devil and stripped him of authority over us. Now, by the grace of God and through the blood of Jesus we can walk in freedom and victory over all evil. As we do so, nothing shall by any means hurt us (Luke 10:19).

    As for me: God is not to blame for the bad things in life.

    Paul Blom Sr., Recovery Liaison

    New Hope Community Church, Cambridge, MN 55008

    Paul@newhopecambridge.org      July 18, 2014

     

    • 6 days ago
    Recovery Strength Prayer
You have real goodness inside you and you can achieve your goals – don’t let self-doubt and negative self-talk derail you from your full potential.
Recovery isn’t just about stopping the drugs or drinking (though that’s a substantial and necessary ingredient) it’s also about finding the courage to identify what you want in life and then working toward realizing your goals.
Life is movement and change. You can’t just float in the current…you’re either moving forward or you’re losing ground.
Living consciously takes effort and it requires self-confidence and a belief that you can achieve your goals. When you don’t feel strong enough from within, ask for help from without.
Here’s a great prayer to recite whenever the negative voices in your head threaten to take over. 
Recite it any time you need a little help from your Higher Power.
The Knots Prayer
Dear God,
Please untie the knots in my mind, my heart and my life.
Remove the have nots, the can nots, and the do nots that I have in my mind.
Erase the will nots, may nots, might nots that may find a home in my heart.
Release me from the could nots, would nots and should nots that obstruct my life.
And most of all, Dear God, I ask that you remove from my mind, my heart and my life all of the “am nots” that I have allowed to hold me back, especially the thought that I am not good enough.

Amen

    Recovery Strength Prayer

    You have real goodness inside you and you can achieve your goals – don’t let self-doubt and negative self-talk derail you from your full potential.

    Recovery isn’t just about stopping the drugs or drinking (though that’s a substantial and necessary ingredient) it’s also about finding the courage to identify what you want in life and then working toward realizing your goals.

    Life is movement and change. You can’t just float in the current…you’re either moving forward or you’re losing ground.

    Living consciously takes effort and it requires self-confidence and a belief that you can achieve your goals. When you don’t feel strong enough from within, ask for help from without.

    Here’s a great prayer to recite whenever the negative voices in your head threaten to take over. 

    Recite it any time you need a little help from your Higher Power.


    The Knots Prayer

    Dear God,

    Please untie the knots in my mind,
    my heart and my life.

    Remove the have nots,
    the can nots, and the do nots
    that I have in my mind.

    Erase the will nots,
    may nots,
    might nots that may find
    a home in my heart.

    Release me from the could nots,
    would nots and
    should nots that obstruct my life.

    And most of all,
    Dear God,
    I ask that you remove from my mind,
    my heart and my life all of the “am nots”
    that I have allowed to hold me back,
    especially the thought that
    I am not good enough.

    Amen

    • 1 week ago
    Respect your EldersLEVITICUS 19:32 NLT 32 “Stand up in the presence of the elderly, and show respect for the aged. Fear your God. I am the LORD. When I was young a popular idea was that you should not trust anyone over the age of 30. Now that I have lived many years I see how that idea was from the devil — who would like to steal good things from people by cutting them off from the wisdom of those with much experience.1 TIMOTHY 5:1a NLT 1 Never speak harshly to an older man, but appeal to him respectfully as you would to your own father. Why should we respect the elderly? First, because they are people made in the image of God and we should respect everyone — regardless of age. Second, because by living you learn. If you pay attention, the longer you live, the more you can learn.JOB 32:7 NLT 7 I thought, ‘Those who are older should speak, for wisdom comes with age.’ It’s not always true that an older person has learned what they should. But to ignore their experience and wisdom gained from many years is not wise.1 PETER 5:5 NKJ 5 Likewise you younger people, submit yourselves to your elders. Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for “God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble.” Young people are not the only ones devastated by pride, but they are particularly susceptible to it. Aging has a way of curing pride in most of us as we experience the struggles of life. We need both the energy and exuberance of youth and the wisdom and experience of the aged. Too often the elderly develop an attitude of giving up on overcoming certain problems because of past unsuccessful attempts, while the young tend to think anything is possible. Youth often have zeal without knowledge, while older people often have knowledge but lack zeal. So we need input from both young and old. It should be stated clearly: young people, you need the wisdom and experience of old people. And older people, you also need the strength, energy, and enthusiasm of young people. To be at our best, we need each other. Whatever you face, someone older than you has already faced it. You can learn from both their mistakes and their successes. As for me: I will respect the elderly.
Paul Blom Sr., Recovery Liaison
New Hope Community Church, Cambridge, MN 55008

Paul@newhopecambridge.org     July 16, 2014

    Respect your Elders

    LEVITICUS 19:32 NLT
    32 “Stand up in the presence of the elderly, and show respect for the aged. Fear your God. I am the LORD.

    When I was young a popular idea was that you should not trust anyone over the age of 30.

    Now that I have lived many years I see how that idea was from the devil — who would like to steal good things from people by cutting them off from the wisdom of those with much experience.

    1 TIMOTHY 5:1a NLT
    1 Never speak harshly to an older man, but appeal to him respectfully as you would to your own father.

    Why should we respect the elderly? First, because they are people made in the image of God and we should respect everyone — regardless of age.

    Second, because by living you learn. If you pay attention, the longer you live, the more you can learn.

    JOB 32:7 NLT
    7 I thought, ‘Those who are older should speak, for wisdom comes with age.’

    It’s not always true that an older person has learned what they should. But to ignore their experience and wisdom gained from many years is not wise.

    1 PETER 5:5 NKJ
    5 Likewise you younger people, submit yourselves to your elders. Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for “God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble.”

    Young people are not the only ones devastated by pride, but they are particularly susceptible to it. Aging has a way of curing pride in most of us as we experience the struggles of life.

    We need both the energy and exuberance of youth and the wisdom and experience of the aged. Too often the elderly develop an attitude of giving up on overcoming certain problems because of past unsuccessful attempts, while the young tend to think anything is possible. Youth often have zeal without knowledge, while older people often have knowledge but lack zeal. So we
    need input from both young and old.

    It should be stated clearly: young people, you need the wisdom and experience of old people. And older people, you also need the strength, energy, and enthusiasm of young people. To be at
    our best, we need each other.

    Whatever you face, someone older than you has already faced it. You can learn from both their mistakes and their successes.

    As for me: I will respect the elderly.

    Paul Blom Sr., Recovery Liaison

    New Hope Community Church, Cambridge, MN 55008

    Paul@newhopecambridge.org     July 16, 2014

    • 1 week ago
    A Different Type Of Prayer
Heavenly Father,
Help us remember, that the jerk who cut us off in traffic last night, is a single mother, who worked nine hours that day and was rushing home to cook dinner, help with homework, do the laundry and spend a few precious moments with her children.
Help us to remember, that the pierced, tattooed, disinterested young man who can’t make change correctly is a worried 19-year-old college student, balancing his apprehension over final exams with his fear of not getting his student loans for next semester.
Remind us, Lord, that the scary looking bum, begging for money in the same spot every day, is a slave to addictions that we can only imagine in our worst nightmares.
Help us to remember, that the old couple walking annoyingly slow through the store aisles and blocking our shopping progress are savoring this moment, knowing that, based on the biopsy report she got back last week, this will be the last year that they go shopping together.
Help us to remember that those in our country that do not speak ‘our’ language may be able to speak the language of love, if we would be patient, and understand that they feel alone, and out of place, and are looking for a new beginning from a place of poverty, persecution, and hopelessness to a place of security, freedom, and a promise for a future.
Heavenly Father, remind us each day that, of all the gifts you give us, the greatest gift is love. It is not enough to share that love with those we hold dear. Open our hearts, not just to those who are close to us, but to all humanity.

Let us be slow to judgment and quick to forgiveness and patience and empathy and love.
Paul Blom Sr., Recovery Liaison
New Hope Community Church, Cambridge, MN 55008

Paul@newhopecambridge.org      July 15, 2014 

    A Different Type Of Prayer

    Heavenly Father,

    Help us remember, that the jerk who cut us off in traffic last night, is a single mother, who worked nine hours that day and was rushing home to cook dinner, help with homework, do the laundry and spend a few precious moments with her children.

    Help us to remember, that the pierced, tattooed, disinterested young man who can’t make change correctly is a worried 19-year-old college student, balancing his apprehension over final exams with his fear of not getting his student loans for next semester.

    Remind us, Lord, that the scary looking bum, begging for money in the same spot every day, is a slave to addictions that we can only imagine in our worst nightmares.

    Help us to remember, that the old couple walking annoyingly slow through the store aisles and blocking our shopping progress are savoring this moment, knowing that, based on the biopsy report she got back last week, this will be the last year that they go shopping together.

    Help us to remember that those in our country that do not speak ‘our’ language may be able to speak the language of love, if we would be patient, and understand that they feel alone, and out of place, and are looking for a new beginning from a place of poverty, persecution, and hopelessness to a place of security, freedom, and a promise for a future.

    Heavenly Father, remind us each day that, of all the gifts you give us, the greatest gift is love. It is not enough to share that love with those we hold dear. Open our hearts, not just to those who are close to us, but to all humanity.

    Let us be slow to judgment and quick to forgiveness and patience and empathy and love.

    Paul Blom Sr., Recovery Liaison

    New Hope Community Church, Cambridge, MN 55008

    Paul@newhopecambridge.org      July 15, 2014 

    • 1 week ago