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“Smile… You’re On Candid Camera 24-Hr Video Surveillance!”

Lou Coleman

Lou Coleman

By Lou Coleman

I Didn’t Do It… It Wasn’t MeOh, Really!  Did you forget that God is an omniscience [all-knowing] God? That He sees all, both that which is public and that which is private… That He sees all things at all times… [Psalms 33:14-15] tell us that, “From heaven the LORD looks down and sees all mankind; from His dwelling place, He watches all who live on earth – He who forms the hearts of all, who considers everything they do.”  [Hebrews 4:13] tells us that– “Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.” It is imperative that you remember that God knows all things, past, present and future, real and potential, and He knows them all at the same time. He not only knows what was, what is, but He also knows what will be, and more than that, He knows everything that could be. Remember that old quote, “You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you cannot fool all of the people all of the time…” Well, you can NEVER fool God!

But this is how we think. We are apt to commit sin and evil because we think that no one is watching us and nobody knows what’s going on with us except ourselves. Do not deceive yourself my friend; God is watching everything you do. When you look around and feel like there is no one else around, you must realize the existence of God who looks down from heaven upon you. It is that moment in life from which you know you cannot hide. You cannot escape. It is a moment that is terrifying and comforting – unsettling and reassuring both at the same time. It is terrifying because you realize you can no longer pretend or get away with it. He knows every secret, every thought, every word you have spoken, and everything you have done. Yet, for some unexplainable reason, it is also reassuring. If God knows everything about me and is still willing to call me by my name – that is astonishing! He calls out to me – not to terrify me, but to speak to me as a friend. He calls me by name! Isn’t that just amazing!

Now for those of you who don’t believe that God is all-knowing… I will confidently say that few doctrines are so explicitly taught as the doctrine of God’s omniscience. Consider the following statement of Scripture: 1 Samuel 2: 3; 1 John 3:20; Psalms 147:5; Hebrews 4:13... And that only scratches the surface. The Bible in many places sets forth implications of God’s unlimited knowledge. Consider further the following statements: Luke 12: 7; Psalm 139:4; Psalm 139:2; Matthew 6:8; Psalm 139:2-3. I tell you, God knows everything you are going to do tomorrow, next week, next month, next year, and every moment of every day until the moment of your death. Psalm 139:16. He records every word you say and will someday call you to account for every careless, thoughtless, unkind and unchristian comment. Matt 12:36 He sees everything you do in secret – both the good and the bad. Matt 6:4; He hears every whispered word and will one day, shout them from the rooftop. Luke 123:3. No wonder David exclaimed as he pondered how much God knew about him, Psalm 139:5. He felt trapped by God’s knowledge of his every word and deed.  All these truths should give us pause the next time we are tempted to think that no one can hear what we are saying or no one knows what we are thinking or doing. How wrong we are! One day you will give account for every careless word and every unspoken thought. Not only that, you will answer for the motives behind your thoughts. Before you speak; before you think, remember, God sees and knows everything you do. He hears everything you say. He will someday judge you for all of it. Nothing escapes Him. Everything is transparent before His eyes.

One final word and I am done. This doctrine of God’s omniscience should strike terror into the heart of every unbeliever. Jesus said, “Men will have to give account on the Day of Judgment for every careless word they have spoken.” [Matt 12:36]. God’s omniscience is the basis of His judgment. This is not good news for sinners. We cannot hide anything. He knows all our works and thought and brings them all into judgment. But the wicked man says, “God has forgotten; he covers his face and never sees.” [Psalm 10:11]. Wrong! Who knows? God knows! [Job 34:21] “His eyes are on the ways of men; He sees their every step. You can sin and go to Hell if you desire. No one is going to fool God. No one is going to escape judgment. “Do not fool yourself into thinking otherwise. Smile…You’re On Candid Camera, 24–Hr Video Surveillance!

Ernest J. Wilson, III Joins Cal Wellness’ Board of Directors

unnamed (4)SAN BERNARDINO, CA- The California Wellness Foundation’s (Cal Wellness) Board of Directors elected a new member, Ernest J. Wilson III, who is Dean of the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism at the University of Southern California, a professor of political science and a faculty fellow at the USC Center on Public Diplomacy. His service is effective immediately.

“We are excited to welcome Dr. Wilson to the Board and believe he will bring new expertise to the Foundation,” said Elizabeth M. Gomez, Cal Wellness’ Board chair. “He has a fresh perspective from his work related to academia, communications and political science. We are all looking forward to working with him as Cal Wellness implements its Advancing Wellness grants program.”

Wilson is the Walter H. Annenberg Chair in Communication at USC’s Annenberg School, a renowned higher education institution that offers multidisciplinary approaches to the study of communication and journalism. He also heads USC Annenberg’s Third Space, an initiative that helps create a talent pool of next-generation leaders who will shape the future of media, communications, entertainment and business.

He holds a doctorate in political science and has served as director of international programs and resources on the National Security Council at the White House; director of the Policy and Planning Unit for the U.S. Information Agency; deputy director of the Global Information Infrastructure Commission; an advisor for President Barack Obama’s transition team; and a board member and board chair of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

“The Thrill is Gone!”

Lou Coleman

Lou Coleman

By Lou Coleman

In our relationship with one another we don’t have to tell someone that our love has grown cold towards them… they know it! They know it because of how we behave towards them. God wants you to know today that He is aware that your love has grown cold toward Him and that it breaks His heart that the thrill is gone.

You know the apostle Paul wrote [1Cor. 13:3 and John 4:24] a message to the church of their need to examine themselves and their love for Christ. He said, “Don’t try to worship God with lies. Don’t’ tell Him that you love Him if you really don’t love Him. Don’t’ try to convince Him that you love Him by telling Him all you do for Him. When two people really love each other, they aren’t mechanical in their relationship. Their love is spontaneous.” When you fall in love with someone, you don’t think its strange to tell them so over and over. And if you can’t see them that day, you’re sure to call or write just to remind them that you love them. You don’t neglect to let each other know you still have that same love. You don’t keep quiet just because you take it for granted that they still know it.  When you stop telling your mate you love them, that’s an indication that perhaps you no longer do love them. You can’t keep love quiet. When you really love someone, you’re not ashamed to express that love. It doesn’t sound repetitious. No, its music to their ears. How much more should we tell the Lord we love Him, even though we know He is aware of it? Because apparently Him knowing is very important [John 21:15]. Listen, there’s nothing harder than a one-sided marriage, where one mate loves the other but receives no love in return. A love relationship needs to be mutual if it is to grow. Now, the Lord loves you, and He doesn’t want that love to be one sided. He gives you His love but also wants to receive your love and devotion. I tell you, some of us need to go back to that, “Old Time Religion, When It Was Good Enough for Me.” Some of us need to ask God to “Take Us Back to Where We First Received Him.” Think back to where the Lord found you and what He did for you when He saved you by Grace. Remember those days when just the mere mention of the name of Jesus was enough to bring tears to yours eyes. Remember those days when “Amazing Grace” made you nearly have a shouting spell. That is where the Lord wants to bring you back to!

Let me tell you a story of, “Undying Love.” …The story of Hosea and Gomer… I want you to know that Hosea is one of the most emotional books in the Bible, an outpouring of persistent love from God’s heart. Hosea begins with a love story – a painful, personal love story, the prophet’s very own. Hosea had married a woman who became unfaithful to him and brought great shame upon him. Yet though she cheated on him, Hosea still loved her. Though she humiliated him, he did not divorce her. Why not? Because God had told him that his painful love story would help him understand and feel with another more painful love story: the painful love of God for His people. Hosea’s feelings about Gomer give us a sense of how the Lord felt about Israel and how He feels about us today.  God made Hosea live the tragedy of Israel’s unfaithfulness by marrying a harlot. And if Hosea scandalized the good people of Israel by doing this, that’s exactly the reaction God wanted… because Israel’s own idolatry and spiritual adultery was shocking and scandalous in God’s eyes! According to one theologian, “In God’s eyes, whoever forsakes the Lord is an adulteress, a harlot, and a whore. There are no religious “singles” in God’s eyes. Everyone is either faithfully married to God or is a prostitute to the idol they are serving” he said. God made you for himself. If you “get your kicks” from somewhere else, you are committing great harlotry against God. That was Israel’s condition.

And so God took Hosea and said, as it were, “Before I give you a word of judgment and grace for Israel, I am going to make you know what it’s like to be married to an unfaithful wife. Hosea, marry a harlot!” His marriage is an acted-out parable of God’s relations to Israel.  Hosea would understand and feel the magnitude of God’s broken heart and deep sorrows. “If the prophet could be so wounded in his spirit by his wife’s adultery, then what must the Lord feel by centuries of such treatment by the very people He had formed for His own glory, as His personal possession?”  Stop and think about what it would take for a loving father or mother to say to a child: “I disown you. I disinherit you. You are no longer my son or my daughter, I will not show you anymore love, mercy, or pity, no matter how much you cry out to me!” It would take decades of rebellion, hate, and evil atrocities on the part of an adult held to merit such a harsh judgment, right? So God wants us to feel His heart here, which has been broken and trampled on, for centuries, by the people He loved and rescued and cared for all these years! To know that you deserve to be broken, disowned, and shown no more love, how could God remain just and righteous in His judgment of us, and at the same time, show us such bountiful mercy? The only answer – God, in His immeasurable grace and mercy, will not give up on His people forever. This is a love that will not let us go! Does this grip your heart? Does this move you to respond to God’s mercy? It should! And if it doesn’t, then you better check to see if you have a spiritual pulse. Cry out to the Lord and ask Him to revive you.

Listen, the Christian life is about loving Christ. It is about loving Him singularly. It is about loving Him totally. It is about loving Him sacrificially. It is about loving Him obediently. It is about loving Him worshipfully. It is about loving Him in terms of service. It really is about loving Jesus Christ. That’s what it means to be a Christian. Now, if you understand the Old Testament, the great commandment was to love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, soul, mind and strength. This is the sum of all that God requires, and your neighbor as yourself. But it starts with loving God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength, which is just a way of saying loving God comprehensively, totally, completely. Now if that’s the sum of the law, then that has to be the sum of the relationship. That can’t be altered when it comes to being a Christian.

So I ask you as a believer today – “Have you left your first love? Have you become so busy and preoccupied with life, that Jesus is no longer that important to you? If you sense you have, you need to stop and remember what it was like when you really loved the Lord. You need to repent of the things that have come between you and Him. And you need to return to the basic things of a relationship with the Lord: joyful worship, glad serving, and thankful living. Remember your first love…Remember how much you loved Jesus at the beginning and go back to that. Love Him like you used to!