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“A Part-time, Sunday Angel, Full-time Devil… If the Shoe Fit, Wear It!”

Lou Coleman

Lou Coleman

By Lou Coleman

Jesus said that you cannot serve both God and the things of man {Luke 16:13). Let us dissect this verse, allowing the chips to fall where they may, and the conviction of God to fall where it will. The picture of the double-minded person. Jesus taught us that no one can serve two masters. In fact, Jesus went so far as to say it is a “love-hate” proposition. In His words, “You can’t play both sides of the fence.” This has been true all through God’s Word. Elijah asked, “How long will you hesitate between two opinions?” Joshua proclaimed, “Choose you today!” One translation says, “You can’t have it both ways.” James 4:4 (NLT) speaks about double mindedness in terms of adultery, “You adulterers! Don’t you realize that friendship with the world makes you an enemy of God?”  MAKE UP YOUR MIND!

At some point you have to make up your mind. If you keep going back and forth you are doomed to the erratic existence of the double minded! If you don’t make up your mind you will be plagued by doubt and fear. If you don’t make up your mind you will be tossed like a cork on a wave. If you don’t make up your mind God will never trust you! Did you catch that? Were worried about trusting God, but God doesn’t know if He can trust us with the most precious of truths! Why would He put his treasure (his people) into our hands if we won’t commit? Why would He ever trust us with anything?

Listen, we don’t have the option of picking and choosing when our walk is with God. We don’t have the option of serving God today and not serving Him tomorrow. The Word says, “Choose ye this day, whom you will serve.” Just as the Lord issued a call through Joshua, all those centuries ago, for His people to make up their minds as to whom they would serve, so He issues the same call to His people on this day. Hear the call God is giving to you. Oh, I feel like preaching. It’s Time To Make Up Your Mind! And, it is! If you are reading this article, God has granted you another opportunity today to decide who will have your worship, your love and your obedience: God Almighty, or you and all the things that want to capture your minds.

Joshua’s command to the people was three-fold {Joshua 24:1-28} they were commanded to “fear” God; clean up their lives by putting away their other gods; and they were to serve the Lord. This would put them in a position to put God back in the forefront of their lives. This is a command that we need to take heed of today! We need to 1.) Fear the Lord – That is, we need to reverence and honor Him for Who He is. He deserves to be respected and loved by those He has redeemed! 2.) We need to – put away our other gods! All those things in our lives that come ahead of the Lord need to be put away forever! 3.) We need to – serve the Lord with sincerity. We are His possessions and should live as such, {1 Cor. 6:19-20.) The implication for us is that God does not want His people to live lives of hypocrisy! He wants us to be what we claim to be! Joshua challenged the people to choose who they would serve and to get about it! The same choice stands before us today! It’s about time we get off the fence and make up our mind who’s team we are on. We cannot have both God and the world! We cannot have Him and all our distractions. Either He is in first place, or we have a different god! You have been confronted by a challenge.

Joshua set the example and laid down the gauntlet for us by stating his clear intention to serve God. We need some Joshua’s in our day! We need some men and women who will settle it in their hearts that Jesus Christ and His Word and Will, are going to come before everything else in life! We need some who will set the example for others. We have too many who, by their lives, give justification for slackness in life. We need some who have a backbone of steel and who would rather die than let something come ahead of God in their lives. (Ill. Daniel – Dan. 1:8-19; the 3 Hebrews – Dan. 3:1-30; Daniel – Dan. 6:1-28; Ruth – Ruth 1:16-17.)

Don’t you know that, of all spiritual states, lukewarmness is most abhorrent to God, and grieving to the Holy Spirit. ‘[Revelation 3:15-16]. Thus has God declared his utter detestation of this state. You do not need to settle for a lukewarm lifestyle. Repent and trust in the Word of God who’s grace teaches us to deny ungodliness and to live godly and righteous lives. Full time- not sometime. Full time- not half time. Full time – not part time. Full time, because God is full time to us. He loves us full time. He cares for us full time. He provides for us full time. He does this even when we don’t. He made a plan for us that would give us full time help. He sent His Only Begotten Son to die for us so we would be saved full time from the gates of Hell. He gave us full time help when He empowered us with the Holy Ghost that came to comfort and empower. He gave us full time help when He said when you fall down I will help you get back up again. So why would we want to be anything but full time?

One of the most frightening group of verses in the Bible is found in Rev 3:14-19, when Christ is talking to the Church of Laodicea. He is addressing the people of a city known for its wealth. But despite its financial prosperity, it was spiritually impoverished. He says to the people “You are neither cold nor hot. I wish that you were either cold or hot. So because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I am about to spit you out of my mouth. For you say I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing. You don’t realize that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked.” What’s frightening about this statement is that a lot of people in this world who call themselves Christians are lukewarm. They fall into the category of sometime or part time Christian. Yes you might go to church on Sundays, make an appearance, but the real question is have you given yourself completely to God? If the Lord be God, then serve Him. If He isn’t, then go ahead and serve whatever has your heart. But whatever you do and choose, stop trying to have the best of both worlds! Choose whom this day you will serve!

Sympathy to the Family of San Bernardino Officer Gabriel Garcia

Officer Gabriel Garcia

Officer Gabriel Garcia

The WSSNEWS organization offers sympathy and encouragement to the family and friends of Gabriel Garcia, the San Bernardino Police officer who was wounded in a shooting early Friday morning.  According to the SBPD, the incident resulted in the death of a known member of a criminal gang based in Redlands.  At the time of this writing, Officer Garcia was recovering from surgery at Arrowhead Medical center.

Officer Garcia started with the San Bernardino Police Department in March 2008. He served as a Patrol Officer for six years, and was highly commended and recognized for his work with San Bernardino Graffiti Task Force. He also participated in SBPD’s Baker to Vegas relay. Garcia was 31-years old and a father to one. His the son of SBPD Captain Ron Garcia.

“Gabe is an outstanding officer, a great team member and a great man.  He has always displayed extreme professionalism and a great attitude toward his job, earning the utmost respect from fellow officers and the department as a whole.  His calming and compassionate nature has earned multiple letters from citizens thanking him for his assistance with crimes such as armed robberies and carjackings.  He is exemplary in every sense of the word”, S BPD Chief Jarrod Burguan stated.

 

Tips for home improvement on a limited budget

Luis Dominguez, Vice President and Branch Manager, MUFG Union Bank, N.A.  

Luis Dominguez, Vice President and Branch Manager, MUFG Union Bank, N.A.

Your home may be the biggest investment you’ll make in your lifetime.  Regular home improvement projects can help add value and make your home a more comfortable place to live. Your home is likely one of the largest investments you’ll make in your lifetime, and home improvement projects can add value to your investment.

If major home improvement isn’t in your budget this year, here are a few inexpensive tips that may help:

Paint

On average, a gallon of paint costs around $25, making painting one of the simplest and most cost-effective improvements to add appeal to your home.  Review design magazines and Web sites or visit model homes in your area for ideas about how you might add a splash of color or freshen up a room with paint.  Identify areas inside and outside of your home that need attention. Then use sand paper to smooth out rough or peeling areas and use spackle to fill holes.  You might also reference DIY Web sites for tips to help you prep, paint and clean up.

Curb appeal

Simple and inexpensive landscaping projects can create a great first impression.  Planting flowers in pots by the front door, along a walkway, or in window boxes is a simple and inexpensive way to add charm to your home.  Shade trees planted strategically not only add appeal, but could help lower cooling costs.  Contact your utility company for tips on varieties that grow well in your area, as well as where they should be planted to maximize shade and avoid coming into contact with power lines.

Welcoming entrance

Invest in a new front door, or repaint,stain or refinish your existing door.  Install a brass kick plate and polish the hardware, or purchase a new door knob and deadbolt.  Make sure your visitors can find you by installing inexpensive, yet stylish address numbers available at home improvement stores.  Complete the look with a tasteful welcome mat.

Kitchen or bathroom facelift

Even if you can’t afford a full remodel, small changes that freshen up an outdated kitchen or bathroom can have a big impact.  For a few hundred dollars, you can replace the faucet, hang new racks or shelves, and add new cabinet pulls and handles.  Consider new paint, stain the cabinets, or visit manufactures’ Web sites to purchase new doors at a fraction of the cost of replacing the cabinets. If the countertop looks dingy, consider re-grouting and replacing chipped tiles, or shop for a remnant piece of granite or marble for a new countertop or backsplash.

Lighting

Interior and exterior lighting not only provide your home with functionality and security, but  updating old lighting fixtures with brighter, more energy-efficient ones can create an appealing ambiance while lowering energy costs.  A simple track lighting kit can be purchased at home improvement stores and allows you to brighten just about any area.  Bring architectural details, plants and other objects to life with inexpensive freestanding or clip-on lights.  Or simply purchase a new lamp shade or use a little spray paint to give new life to an old chandelier.

Architectural interest

If you’re handy with a saw and other tools, adding a chair rail, picture molding, crown molding, or baseboards are inexpensive ways to bring value and beauty to your home.  Consider purchasing a few extra yards of molding or trim to make some practice cuts, and be sure to always wear appropriate hearing, eye and respiratory protection when operating power tools.

On a final note, look for construction surplus businesses like Habitat for Humanity’s ReStores— nonprofit home improvement stores and donation centers that sell new and gently used furniture, home accessories, building materials, and appliances to the public at a fraction of the retail price. To find one in your community, visit www.habitat.org/restores.

The foregoing article is intended to provide general information about home improvement on a limited budget and is not considered financial or tax advice. Please consult your financial or tax advisor.

About MUFG Union Bank, N.A.

Luis Dominguez is a vice president and branch manager of the MUFG Union Bank, N.A., Miracle Mile branch.  MUFG Union Bank, N.A., is a full-service bank with offices across the United States.  We provide a wide spectrum of corporate, commercial, retail banking and wealth management solutions to meet the needs of customers.  The bank also offers an extensive portfolio of value-added solutions for customers, including investment banking, personal trust, capital markets, global treasury management, transaction banking and other services.  With assets of $108.8 billion (USD), as of June 30, 2014, the bank has strong capital reserves, credit ratings and capital ratios relative to peer banks.  MUFG Union Bank is a proud member of the Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (NYSE: MTU), one of the world’s largest financial organizations with total assets of approximately ¥259 trillion (JPY) or $2.5 trillion (USD)1, as of June 30, 2014.  MUFG Americas Holdings Corporation, the financial holding company and MUFG Union Bank, N.A. have corporate headquarters in New York City.

1 Exchange rate of USD=¥101.36 (J-GAAP) as of June 30, 2014