I Was There **New low price**


Now you can grab a Kindle copy of I Was There for only $.99. Click HERE to purchase.

For some, the Bible can be an intimidating book to dig into. Its pages reveal a history of days past, with practical application for the here and now. Every word inspired by God Himself, penned by the hands of mere mortals. It contains stories, not of super-human people with amazing powers or special abilities that no one can possibly measure up too, but of real people. Just like us. Human beings who were lost and without hope until a Savior was sent to shed His blood on a tree.

Chris Martin has written I Was There in such a way that it has the potential to impact everyone from the most seasoned theologian, to the lonely teenager sitting in the back of a Sunday service. Each story is presented from a perspective of the main character, giving insight into their deepest feelings and emotions. You don’t merely read the shocking story of Abraham about to sacrifice his only son on the altar, but you experience the immense pain of that call on his faith.

You aren’t left to merely observe the birth of Jesus in that manger two thousand years ago, but you join hearts and minds with a bewildered girl, barely more than a child, as she delivers our salvation. No longer just one of the crowd looking in scorn on the broken woman washing Jesus’ feet with her tears, or the woman taken in adultery and waiting to see her stoned to death, Martin allows the reader to see with their own eyes the forgiveness poured onto them by Jesus.

Not content with allowing you to only pity the widow whose only son has died, he opens up her heart and allows you to share the devastation at her loss and then her joy when Jesus returns her son to life. One after another, individuals who have previously been characters in the greatest story ever told become human beings that the reader can know in a whole new way. Martin allows you to join with the disciples as they participate in the miracles of the very same Messiah they have left everything to follow. The depths of our being are wrung dry of tears as we share an intimate moment with the wounded woman, weeping before the cross, in the death of the son she delivered in a stable 33 years earlier.

“My hope is that when people read these stories, they can somehow relate to the characters in a completely different way than ever before. That each encounter will bring the Bible to breathtaking life with a refreshingly different perspective. I envision youth leaders reading these stories to their students, giving them hope in a way unlike anyone has ever conveyed to them. For those who find the Bible hard to read or understand, I Was There will draw them into God’s Word with stories of faith, triumph, pain, and salvation.” – Chris Martin

Some Christmas thoughts


Just wanted to give you (and me) some things to ponder this Christmas.

Be careful not to push so hard to “keep Christ in Christmas” that you end up judging and condemning those who don’t.

Remember the men and women who have been killed in the line of duty, whether it be in law enforcement or the military.

It’s not really a big deal if people say Happy Holidays over Merry Christmas.

Jesus is so amazingly more than just a Christmas story.

It’s not worth maxing out every credit card you have just to give your children an “awesome Christmas.”

Jesus is not just the “reason for the season.” He is the reason we have daily relationship with our Father.

There are so many people who can’t be with their families. Let’s not ever forget that.

Jesus paid much too high a price for us to only celebrate Him one day a year.

Be safe. Have an amazing time with friends and family. Always walk in love and mercy toward others. Merry Christmas.

Waiting for Daddy


The post today goes along the lines of the one I published yesterday. I’ve always had such respect for our military and those serving in law enforcement. I’ve never served in either, but my Dad did. Maybe that’s why I have such deepened sense of honor and gratitude.

I can’t imagine being a child and having a parent taken away in the line of duty. While thinking of that, I wrote Waiting for Daddy.

 

Waiting for Daddy

(Copyright 2014 Chris Martin)

 

Such tiny little hands, tiny little fingers

The softness of a newborn’s touch

Rosy cheeks, fresh scent that lingers

Two people who love her so much

 

He slips off into the night with a goodbye kiss

In the silence, Mom and child sit alone

She whispers a prayer, wrapped tightly in a wish

They’re already waiting for Daddy to come home

 

It’s her first day of school, ribbon tied in her hair

White dress and cute matching shoes

Swing sets and fun, without a worry or care

She plays as if there’s nothing to lose

 

Mom picks her up, a smile on her face

Her little girl already looks so grown

They sit at the table, there’s just one empty place

They’re waiting for Daddy to come home

 

Graduation day, it’s so hard to believe

The years have gone by way too fast

Although her future shines bright, it will be hard to leave

She clings to memories that will always last

 

She looks at the crowd, there’s one face missing

Her mother sits in the aisle all alone

So many stars, on which she’s been wishing

She’s still waiting for Daddy to come home

 

A badge and a belt, a picture with the edges well worn

All that’s left of the man she never knew

He answered the call, and on the night she was born

Lost his life while wearing the uniform of blue

 

Tears stream down her face as the people stand

Her mother stares at the woman all grown

They walk down the aisle, she gave herself to another man

She’s no longer waiting for Daddy to come home

The true heroes


I’ve been watching the TV show, Cops, quite a bit lately. Spike TV has been running marathons on Fridays and Saturdays. I’ve watched the show in the past, but with a much different attitude than what I have now.

I used to take joy in watching people get thrown to the ground, shot with a Taser, and eventually handcuffed. I would shake my head in disbelief as people constructed lies to try and cover their criminal activity. I would call them stupid and deserving when they resisted arrest, and were forced to their knees by officers with guns drawn.

I watch the show now with a deep sadness in my heart. Policemen encounter people during their worst moments. Some in desperation. Some in the throes of addiction. Most all of them with little or no hope. I watched one the other night where a guy wouldn’t put his weapon down, because he wanted the officers to kill him. I believe they call that suicide by cop. Once they had him in custody, he said there was no reason to live anymore.

That one literally brought tears to my eyes.

There is another world that most of us never see. A world where desperate people are fighting to remain alive. A world where men and women go to work with the possibility that they might never make it home to their families. A world where any one decision can be life or death.

The heroes in this world aren’t athletes or actors. They might be the ones making the big money, but catching a ball or being chased by monsters on a green screen can’t possibly compare to those who selflessly serve the public.

I’m a sports fan. I enjoy watching football and basketball, but it angers me to see millionaires act like big babies on the field when there are officers in the streets being murdered. Or when sons and daughters come back from war in a casket instead of standing on their own two feet. It really puts it all in perspective.

Cops don’t get paid enough. Teachers don’t get paid enough. Military men and women don’t get paid enough. We freak out if we have the opportunity to see a celebrity walking down the street, but when was the last time we thanked a solider or police officer for putting their lives on the line every day?

The amazing thing is that most of them do their jobs without even expecting a simple thank you.

I’m smart enough to realize there are two sides to every story. There are some bad cops out there. I’m sure there are also people in the military with some not so heroic intentions. That doesn’t mean they are all bad.

I don’t know how my salary compares to policemen or military personnel, but I hope and pray they make more than I do.

When you lie down to sleep tonight, say a prayer for the police officer patrolling the dark streets in order to protect the innocent.

Remember the men and women, thousands of miles away, who only wish for the chance to hold their babies for Christmas.

Let’s remember who the true heroes are.

Stop trying so hard


There are so many things we strive for in this life. Happiness, success, peace, joy, recognition…the list could go on for quite a while. The world believes all those things are possible if we just work hard enough. Just put in a little more effort to reach goals. Don’t let anything get in our way.

God’s love is exactly the opposite, and it contains anything and everything we will ever need. We don’t have to work hard to earn it. God said “Here you go,” and sent us Jesus. He died a horrible death on the cross to reconcile us back to our Father.

Stop trying to do everything, and surrender yourself to God.

Our Identity


Our identity isn’t found in our ability to sin. Our identity is found in Christ.

Just because we have the ability to sin, we believe we’re nothing more than worms trying not to do wrong things. We are sons and daughters of the King. We were bought with a price. Let’s walk in righteousness.

Once we truly understand this, everything changes. The enemy fears we will one day figure out what he already knows.

Why do we expect Hollywood to teach us the Bible?


Social media can be very interesting. This has happened to me personally, but I also see it with others as well. Someone can post a Bible verse, or even an amazing nugget of spiritual truth, and maybe get a couple likes, possibly a comment and a share. The same person can upload a picture of a pork sandwich the next day, and people go bonkers. Tons of likes, comments that you have to keep scrolling down to read, and everyone and their brother will share the picture. I just don’t understand why we are so consumed with stuff that honestly doesn’t matter very much in the overall big picture.

Another trend I’ve been noticing recently is Christians getting upset over movies. It’s kind of funny, because my reactions to these “Christian” movies over the last year or two have been completely different from that of my brothers and sisters. Let me give you some examples.

God’s Not Dead. The Christian community went bananas over this movie. It was as if we won some kind of battle against atheists. Why do we so easily forget that our war isn’t against flesh and blood? Ephesians 6:12. I actually did a post on this earlier in the year. You can read it HERE. Overall, I enjoyed the movie, but didn’t like the main theme. I don’t believe we have to prove that God exists. Arguing and fighting with people over our beliefs doesn’t accomplish anything but more animosity. We prove God exists by walking in love and using our life as the unspoken argument.

Son of God. Again, Christians went all out fruity over this movie playing in the theaters. I actually felt as if I had been bamboozled a little bit. If you watched The Bible miniseries on TV, then you had pretty much already seen this movie. It might have been promoted that way, but I don’t know for sure. I was sorely disappointed. However, if putting Son of God on the big screen resulted in people realizing their need for a Savior, then it served its purpose.

Noah. There was such an uproar about this movie when it was released. Everything from it was directed by an atheist to it doesn’t follow the Biblical story. Well, I waited and waited for this to come out, because I wanted to see it. Russell Crowe as Noah? Are you serious? We were about to get Gladiator meets Genesis. Unfortunately, the movie was a big snooze fest for me. I believe I actually fell asleep a couple of times. Aside from a couple places with great special effects, it was horrible. I honestly didn’t care whether it completely aligned with the Biblical version or not, which is quite opposite of what most people were looking for.

Exodus. Facebook posts about this movie are what led me to write this blog today. I haven’t seen it yet, so I can’t give my personal opinion on it’s quality. I’m taking my kids to see the new Hobbit movie next week, so Exodus will be a DVD rental. Christians, again, are getting riled up because of what they are seeing on the screen. Or, to put it more accurately, what they are NOT seeing on the screen. I think even Glen Beck said something about it was making Moses out to be a terrorist. I don’t know. I can’t wait to see it, though. It looks amazing.

We are expecting Hollywood to teach the Bible, and I don’t understand why.

I also don’t understand why we only get upset over the “Christian” movies we see emerge. Why don’t we rant and rave on Facebook over the movies saturated with vulgarity, sex, and gory violence? Are we so desensitized to this world, that those movies are just normal? It’s only when something “good” comes out, it strikes a nerve? TV shows are the same. We are up in arms over the inaccuracies of Exodus, but remain glued to the television when The Walking Dead or Sons of Anarchy come on. They are cursing God’s name, but yet that’s okay? C’mon, Church.

If you want a Bible lesson about the flood or Moses, go to church, or better yet, just read your Bible.

My wife and I decided years ago to stop watching rated R movies, with the one exception being Passion of the Christ. I’ve been called legalistic before when I posted about this, but that’s okay. I honestly don’t care if you think it’s legalistic or not. I don’t want to fill my mind with that garbage. I want to chase after righteousness and His kingdom. I’m not saying you shouldn’t watch rated R movies. It’s none of my business. I’m telling you what’s right for me and my family.

Time is short. People are lost. If we are truly born again, we have Christ in us, the hope of glory. We have the hope people need, whether they know what they are searching for or not.

Let’s stop being offended when Hollywood doesn’t get it right, and start loving people every day.

They need what we say we have.

Believers gotta stop freaking out


This was my Facebook status earlier today.

Why should it truly matter if people say Xmas or Happy Holidays? If we’re fighting that, it just reveals that we are moved by what people do or say. Stop shouting “Keep Christ in Christmas” and “He is the reason for the season.” If we’re saying those things while judging others, our witness is a big fat zero. Live a life that demonstrates God is on the throne of your heart. Walk in love.

As believers, we get so caught up in what this world is doing, that we tend to forget about why we’re actually in the world.

In Matthew 24, Jesus talks about the end of the world, the last days. Verse 12 says,

And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.

I’ve always assumed that verse is talking about people who aren’t saved.

What if He’s talking about believers?

It’s a very sobering thought. In simple terms, “iniquity shall abound” means there will be a lot of sin. Well, look around. It’s pretty obvious that’s happening.

And the more people sin, the more judgement they receive. And sadly, it’s usually from those claiming to be Christians.

It’s becoming less and less shocking to read through comments about a controversial topic on someone’s blog, and the worst remarks are left by Christians. Argumentative, arrogant, holier than though, and sometimes just straight up spewing hate towards others.

It’s sad.

We spend so much time being right, that we forget God has created us to love people.

I brought up some points on Tuesday with my post, Stop trying to prove God exists.

We have to stop taking things so personal. We act as if  homosexuals, atheists, Buddhists, and agnostics are our problem. News flash: THEY AREN’T. Our biggest problem is us. We have to get over us, and follow Jesus.

If God acted like us and allowed everything bad on this Earth to affect Him, He would be a complete basket case. I’m pretty sure He would have to be admitted to a psych ward. He isn’t capable of freaking out, not just because He’s God, but because He is love.

If we are walking in relationship with our Father, we aren’t going to care what people say or do. It shouldn’t ruffle our feathers or influence our attitude in any way. We don’t have to jump on the boycott bandwagon or write a million letters to our senator.

If you squeeze an orange, you are going to get orange juice. If you squeeze an apple, apple juice. Too often, a Christian gets squeezed, and everything but Jesus comes out. Hurt, anger, frustration, judgement.

Let’s not allow ourselves to be hurt by the world. Let’s hurt for the world, and show them Jesus.

Stop trying to prove God exists


Not sure if these are going up everywhere, but here in the South, there are some billboards appearing that are causing quite a stir. The one I’ve seen people talking most about shows a girl writing a letter to Santa. It says, “Dear Santa, all I want for Christmas is to skip church. I’m too old for fairy tales.”

Christians are going crazy about it. Arguing and fighting on Facebook, Twitter, and all other social media. It’s so sad. Why does something like this get believers in such a frenzy?

This is one of the main reasons Christians get bashed. Arguing, fighting, judging people over silly stuff like this.

There are several reasons I believe this is so silly.

1) We don’t need to prove that God exists. 

If we could prove the existence of God to everyone, there would be no need for faith. We aren’t supposed to live by feelings, but by faith. We can’t allow what people don’t see to influence what we do see. It’s that simple. We prove it by walking it out.

2) Debating with unbelievers only causes more division.

I used to argue and debate with people all the time on social media. In the last year or so, I’ve come to understand that I was only doing those things to prove something. I would fight to be right. That’s crazy. My life is no longer mine. I was bought with a price. I don’t have rights anymore. It’s called denying myself and becoming love. Arguments and judgement don’t bring people to Christ. Love does.

3) We shouldn’t be so easily offended.

This is related to number two above. The Bible says to be imitators of God. God is love. We are to become love. Love is plainly defined in 1 Corinthians 13. One of the big attributes is that love doesn’t seek it’s own. Or as the Message version says, “Love cares more for others than for self.” We would only be offended with something like this if we’re still holding onto our self, our flesh. How can something that has died be offended, hurt, or moved in any way? Do we think God is up there on the throne rocking back and forth, biting His nails, and trying to figure out what to do about these billboards? Of course not. Then why should we?

4) We need to live the Gospel.

For too long, the world has heard what we believe. It’s time we start showing them. If we’re fighting with everyone, why would anyone want what we say we have? Christians are known more for what they stand against, than Who they stand for. And by that, I don’t mean we have to picket, boycott, or fight against anything that isn’t Christian. If we stand for Christ, we walk in love.

 

Church, we need to redeem the time because the days are evil. Is our time better spent arguing over billboards, lifestyles, and evolution, or giving Jesus to everyone we meet?

Let’s stop the debates. We know Who God is and what He’s done for us. We don’t have to prove that to the world.

We just need to love the world.

Faith


Why do we pick and choose what we believe in the Bible? Everyone is on board when Jesus says go make disciples.

Why not when He says the signs that follow believers will be these: lay hands on the sick and they will recover, speak in tongues, and raise the dead.

Even if we don’t see someone get healed or come back to life, it doesn’t change the truth of His words.

Faith is believing God over our experiences.