The past is... by Gary Rose


How does one actually stumble over something behind you? For if something is truly behind you it is not in front of you ( that you may stumble over it ). Now, there may some clever person out there who may answer; “you moonwalk”. Ignore such a one for that person is just practicing STUPIDITY.

The answer to the first sentence is that you keep putting the past in the forefront of your mind- you re-live it. The truth is that many people do this sort of thing -ALL THE TIME. They need to learn to put the past in the past.

When a person becomes a Christian, the past life is over. He or she has become a new person, with a new master – Christ. The goal of living becomes a dedication to serving ( and therefore, pleasing ) Jesus. When I think of this, I remember the Apostle Paul’s comments of Philippians chapter three...

Philippians 3 ( World English Bible )

1 Finally, my brothers, rejoice in the Lord. To write the same things to you, to me indeed is not tiresome, but for you it is safe.

2 Beware of the dogs, beware of the evil workers, beware of the false circumcision.

3 For we are the circumcision, who worship God in the Spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh;

4 though I myself might have confidence even in the flesh. If any other man thinks that he has confidence in the flesh, I yet more:

5 circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; concerning the law, a Pharisee;

6 concerning zeal, persecuting the assembly; concerning the righteousness which is in the law, found blameless.

7 However, what things were gain to me, these have I counted loss for Christ.

8 Yes most certainly, and I count all things to be loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus, my Lord, for whom I suffered the loss of all things, and count them nothing but refuse, that I may gain Christ

9 and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own, that which is of the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith;

10 that I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, becoming conformed to his death;

11 if by any means I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.

12 Not that I have already obtained, or am already made perfect; but I press on, if it is so that I may take hold of that for which also I was taken hold of by Christ Jesus.

13 Brothers, I don’t regard myself as yet having taken hold, but one thing I do. Forgetting the things which are behind, and stretching forward to the things which are before,

14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

Paul emphasizes putting the past where it should always be kept – IN THE PAST. Some verses of the above passage seem to emphasize this more than others, so I have made their verse designation red in color for you to reflect upon.

The truth is that one can only stumble over the past by putting it in front of you. If you are doing that, stop! Put Christ in front of you and forget the past. I can only tell you that I agonize over decisions for some time ( perhaps, even too long ), but once I make a decision I live with it. I hope you can say the same!




Where in the world is this place? I don’t know, but my guess is that it looks like Norway, and yet I look at that mountain and all I can think is “Matterhorn” and the Alps. Does it matter? Probably not. What is important is not on Earth, but above it. Just look at that sky. The Milky way on a dark night is something to behold, simply beautiful.

When I view such a scene, I cannot help but think of the 8th Psalm, which says…

Psalm 8 ( World English Bible )

1 For the Chief Musician; on an instrument of Gath. A Psalm by David. Yahweh, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth, who has set your glory above the heavens!

2 From the lips of babes and infants you have established strength, because of your adversaries, that you might silence the enemy and the avenger.

3 When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have ordained;

4 what is man, that you think of him? What is the son of man, that you care for him?

5 For you have made him a little lower than God, and crowned him with glory and honor.

6 You make him ruler over the works of your hands. You have put all things under his feet:

7 All sheep and cattle, yes, and the animals of the field,

8 The birds of the sky, the fish of the sea, and whatever passes through the paths of the seas.

9 Yahweh, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!

Think of all that God has created, the sun, The moon and all the stars of the Milky Way Galaxy ( which is only one of an untold number of galaxies ). And yet with all this, God is concerned with ordinary human beings. ( see verse 4 above ). He cares for us and has proved that he does by sending Jesus for us. Today, consider who God is and what what he has done and is doing. Then tonight, go outside and look at the stars; I think that after you do, you will think more about God and less about yourself. A proper perspective is a wonderful thing!


Take a very good picture by Gary Rose


When I was young, my mother had a Brownie box camera. As the name implies, it was a box-like contraption and only took black and white pictures ( with real film, of course ). A few years after I was married, we purchased a Polaroid camera that developed pictures when you pulled the “film” from the camera. A few decades later we used a digital camera that made electronic pictures that could be easily modified by a computer. I still have this last camera, but hardly ever use it because I now have a “smart” phone. Over the past few years, I take pictures with it, but somehow it is just not the same; too commonplace, I think.

I have never really understood this “selfie” thing. Somehow, it just seems “wrong” to focus so much attention on one’s self, rather than the surrounding scenery or other people. Narcissism has become the norm in our world today ( at least in the photographic world, anyway ).

All this makes me wonder when the focus changed and people began to want to be in the forefront of everything.

As I was considering these things, I remembered Jesus’ post resurrection interaction with the disciples in the last chapter of the book of the Gospel of John...

John 21 ( World English Bible )

1 After these things, Jesus revealed himself again to the disciples at the sea of Tiberias. He revealed himself this way.

2 Simon Peter, Thomas called Didymus, Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, and the sons of Zebedee, and two others of his disciples were together.

3 Simon Peter said to them, “I’m going fishing.” They told him, “We are also coming with you.” They immediately went out, and entered into the boat. That night, they caught nothing.

4 But when day had already come, Jesus stood on the beach, yet the disciples didn’t know that it was Jesus.

5 Jesus therefore said to them, “Children, have you anything to eat?” They answered him, “No.”

6 He said to them, “Cast the net on the right side of the boat, and you will find some.” They cast it therefore, and now they weren’t able to draw it in for the multitude of fish.

7 That disciple therefore whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It’s the Lord!” So when Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he wrapped his coat around him (for he was naked), and threw himself into the sea.

8 But the other disciples came in the little boat (for they were not far from the land, but about two hundred cubits away), dragging the net full of fish.

9 So when they got out on the land, they saw a fire of coals there, and fish laid on it, and bread.

10 Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish which you have just caught.”

11 Simon Peter went up, and drew the net to land, full of great fish, one hundred fifty-three; and even though there were so many, the net wasn’t torn.

12 Jesus said to them, “Come and eat breakfast.” None of the disciples dared inquire of him, “Who are you?” knowing that it was the Lord.

13 Then Jesus came and took the bread, gave it to them, and the fish likewise.

14 This is now the third time that Jesus was revealed to his disciples, after he had risen from the dead.

15 So when they had eaten their breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love me more than these?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I have affection for you.” He said to him, “Feed my lambs.”

16 He said to him again a second time, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love me?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I have affection for you.” He said to him, “Tend my sheep.”

17 He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you have affection for me?” Peter was grieved because he asked him the third time, “Do you have affection for me?” He said to him, “Lord, you know everything. You know that I have affection for you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep.

18 Most certainly I tell you, when you were young, you dressed yourself, and walked where you wanted to. But when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will dress you, and carry you where you don’t want to go.”

Why did Peter want to go fishing? Verse 3 ( above ) doesn’t tell us, but my guess is that he wanted to resume his former occupation ( compare verse 3 with verse 18 part a ). In verses 15-17 Jesus questions Peter’s love and during this interaction directs his actions towards others. In verse 18 he talks about Peter’s future. Why he does this seems to be the point of the whole interaction; Jesus tells Peter to stop doing what he wants to do and listen to Jesus. Peter was focusing on his own desires and not the will of God.

All this is very familiar. People today are focusing too much on themselves and not on the needs of others. Remember that picture: “Selfie less, Jesus more”. Practice it, Prioritize it, Perfect it.

Enough said… Are you listening… Gary?


Focus by Gary Rose


We are at WAR. Not a war of guns, bombs or chemicals, but rather of words. Our left-wing driven media is using the same methodology as the German propaganda machine of World War II. Their plan: Redefine words to mean what you want them to mean, so that the truth is obscured. Tell lies so often that they appear to be THE TRUTH. When truth does surface, ignore it. Focus on hate and division so that your opposition is weakened. Repeat until absolute control is permanently achieved.

Christians: We need to focus our lives on what God wants for us. What does God want our focus to be?

The Bible says...

1 Corinthians 13 ( World English Bible )

1 If I speak with the languages of men and of angels, but don’t have love, I have become sounding brass, or a clanging cymbal.

2 If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but don’t have love, I am nothing.

3 If I dole out all my goods to feed the poor, and if I give my body to be burned, but don’t have love, it profits me nothing.

4 Love is patient and is kind; love doesn’t envy. Love doesn’t brag, is not proud,

5 doesn’t behave itself inappropriately, doesn’t seek its own way, is not provoked, takes no account of evil;

6 doesn’t rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth;

7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will be done away with. Where there are various languages, they will cease. Where there is knowledge, it will be done away with.

9 For we know in part, and we prophesy in part;

10 but when that which is complete has come, then that which is partial will be done away with.

11 When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I felt as a child, I thought as a child. Now that I have become a man, I have put away childish things.

12 For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I will know fully, even as I was also fully known.

13 But now faith, hope, and love remain—these three. The greatest of these is love.

The truth is that if you focus your life on foolish things, those things will define your life in ways that will ultimately ruin it. Seek love and be blessed with love. God’s ways are always the best ways. Try them and see for yourself. I think that you will simply love the results.


Doors by Gary Rose


Today’s picture is that of a door. We all have seen thousands of doors, of all shapes, sizes and colors. We use them to enter and exit rooms, buildings and even our automobiles. Commonplace as commonplace can be. Where this idea of using a door came from, I have absolutely no idea, except that someone thought of it thousands and thousands of years ago.

Doors can be very important to us and sometimes quite memorable; for example, I will always retain the memory of a hobbit house and that most unusual front door. There are others that will be forever with me as well, such as the front door of the first home we purchased ( In Valley Falls, New York ).

Doors” can mean other things to us as well. I remember going into the church where Linda and I were married, not so much about the door, but rather what we did there. There are numerous other things like this… coming home from the hospital after our daughter Darlene’s birth to our rented house and seeing an open door, a missing dog and the overwhelming smell of propane gas. And, there was the day that we left our home congregation in Clifton Park to travel to our first church ministry in Dover Delaware. That feeling of exiting the school building and realizing we were really starting a new, exciting aspect of our lives will be a cherished memory as long as I live.

But, enough about me. Jesus has something to say about doors…

John 10 ( World English Bible )

1 “Most certainly, I tell you, one who doesn’t enter by the door into the sheep fold, but climbs up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber.

2 But one who enters in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep.

3 The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name, and leads them out.

4 Whenever he brings out his own sheep, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice.

5 They will by no means follow a stranger, but will flee from him; for they don’t know the voice of strangers.”

6 Jesus spoke this parable to them, but they didn’t understand what he was telling them.

7 Jesus therefore said to them again, “Most certainly, I tell you, I am the sheep’s door.

8 All who came before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep didn’t listen to them.

9 I am the door. If anyone enters in by me, he will be saved, and will go in and go out, and will find pasture.

10 The thief only comes to steal, kill, and destroy. I came that they may have life, and may have it abundantly.

Jesus uses the concept of a “door” to explain his role for those who genuinely desire to enter heaven. The door is the way in and also the good shepherd who provides true life ( now and forever ). My thoughts about doors are important to me, but Jesus’ teaching can affect all who will truly listen. I pray that you will think about these things and determine this very day to either begin to follow Jesus or to continue to follow him faithfully until your last day on Earth.

One more thing about doors. They can say a great deal about you; your preferences, your character and even what you believe. Recently, my wife Linda and I were watching an episode of “Houses with History” and we learned that the door at the very top of this post is called “A Christian Door” Why? Because the top four panels form a cross and the bottom two represent an open Bible. What a wonderful way to express your faith to the world! The next time you need to replace a door in your home, you might consider “A Christian Door”. Why not share your faith? Someone’s life could be changed by the simple act of entering your home. Remember, anything is possible!