Sunday, December 6, 2015

Perseverance


This reminds me of Moses. Consider when he fled from the land of his birth, and the only family he'd ever really known, who had provided all the riches and comforts anyone could hope for. He set out across the unforgiving desert, alone. How frightening the nights must've been, hearing the animals but not seeing them, alone in the dark, with no shelter in which to hide himself. What did he eat? How did he find relief for his parched throat?
Trudging along in the sand, how his legs must've ached! But he kept on, moving forward, not even realizing he was being strengthened in the trials and the hardships for God's own purpose. He never realized the lessons he was being taught would be used as the Lord continued to teach him to rely only on Him and His spoken word as he would later lead his people out of slavery and point them in the direction of their promised land.
If we persevere in our walk with Him, relying on the Holy Spirit as our guide and our strength, who knows how God might use any one of us for the glory of His Kingdom?

Monday, November 2, 2015

I'll Praise Him In The Storm

God is so good! He loves me! No matter how tired I am, no matter if I'm feeling ill, no matter if my income doesn't line up to my out-go...No matter what, I know He is working all things together for my good, because I love Him! Because He loves me! Because He has called me according to His purpose!  He knew me before I was, and even then, He had predestined me to become more and more like His Son, so that He would ultimately be my big brother! "...so that He may be the firstborn among many brethren."

Romans 8:28-29

My God, my Lord and Savior works all those negative things in my life, the hardships, the aches and pains, the trials and the sorrows together to grow me up, to strengthen my spiritual muscles.All the while He is walking alongside me, even within me to help me along, so we, His Spirit and I will emerge out the other side of those troubles together, with me a stronger, more Christlike image than ever before.

That is why I will praise Him in (and through) the storm!

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

National Day of Repentance

Tomorrow, April 30, believers in our nation, The United States of America, as well as around the world, will be joining together to pray and repent for the healing of our land

Yes, it is true we are able to pray, to fast and to repent any time, any hour and any day of any week we may choose; And yes, the Holy Spirit is certainly capable of moving at any time and in any place he chooses.

However, as Esther called on her people to fast and pray, "for such a time as this" in Esther chapter 4, and as Hezekiah called his people to sanctify themselves and cleanse the temple in Chronicles 29 and 30, if we are wise, we might choose to look around and take notice of what is going on around us and within our own selves, and even in our churches.

We might then consider the words we have hopefully hid in our hearts, and recall how in the past, our God has responded to such arrogance from His children, with wrath, withholding His hand of protection and grace until such time that His people listened to the prophets He sent, and the words He spoke through them, and responded with prayer, fasting and true and complete repentance.

This kind of turning back to Him by His people is just what He promises to honor in 2 Chronicles 7:14: "if my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land."

It is with this promise in mind, as well as the examples provided throughout our Christian history, that I choose to join with those who are answering the call to "The National Day of Repentance", tomorrow, Wednesday the 30th of April, followed by "The National Day of Prayer" on Thursday, the 1st of May.

I believe, as He did in 2 Chronicles 30:20, "and The Lord hearkened to Hezekiah, and healed the people", when we join together as one, our Lord will hear and move on our behalf.

I hope and pray those of you who share my faith, and are adopted into that most Holy family with Almighty God as our Father, will join with me.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Of Sin And Millstones

Recently, I've seen several posts and blog entries discussing sin, whether particular actions are sins, and how we, as Christians really have no business judging sins, or those who commit them. Is there a point when how someone else acts or believes becomes anyone elses business?

Many of these questions I have pondered myself in the past, and seeing these questions in print the last couple days has caused me to think on these questions once again, and brought me to the place I should find myself much more often than I do, in prayer with my Lord. Naturally, I was surprised when He answered by directing me to His Word...

 

John 8:10-12



New King James Version (NKJV)

10 When Jesus had raised Himself up and saw no one but the woman, He said to her, "Woman, where are those accusers of yours? Has no one condemned you?"

11 She said, "No one, Lord."

And Jesus said to her, "Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more."

12 Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, "I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life."


Then He led me to Romans:

 

Romans 3:23


"for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God"


Then there was Luke:

 

Luke 13 There were present at that season some who told Him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. 2 And Jesus answered and said to them, "Do you suppose that these Galileans were worse sinners than all other Galileans, because they suffered such things? 3 I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish. 4 Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them, do you think that they were worse sinners than all other men who dwelt in Jerusalem?


Okay then! It would seem, I'm no better than anyone else! Just as I've always been told, I'm a sinner, just as the folks sitting in jail for stealing, fighting and even murder are sinners. Jesus died for their sins at the same time, and in the same way as he did for mine.

Then read verse
5 of Luke 13:

 

" I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish."

Hmmm. This thought He deemed important enough to repeat! It rather reminds me of an earlier verse, where Jesus is talking to the prostitute. Yes, He forgave her, but He did more than that. He added a qualification: "go and sin no more."

All righty then! Now we begin to see the difference! Yes, we have all sinned, and being human, odds are we're all going to stumble and sin again. We can all thank God for His faithfulness to hear our pleas and reach down and help us back up. When we ask, in all earnestness, He is more than willing to forgive us, but, there is a qualification. We have to really mean it! We have to mean it so much that we are willing to stop what we were doing. We have to "go and sin no more" It's not the sin so much as it is the habitual sin, the unwillingness to reject the flesh and strive to be Holy as He is Holy.

Now the "big" question would seem to be, what constitutes a sin? Again, God makes it so simple even I can figure it out. Go to His Word. Most everything I can think of is covered. If you're not sure, don't try to figure it out yourself. Ask Him. If He says it's wrong, it is.

Once you've got all that figured out, please keep one more thing in mind. This one makes me shudder to think I may be guilty of it myself:

 

Matthew 18:6-7(NKJV)


6 "Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were drowned in the depth of the sea. 7 Woe to the world because of offenses! For offenses must come, but woe to that man by whom the offense comes!"


This is where I believe we need to stand up to the world. I cannot judge someone else for their lifestyle, and I certainly can't expect someone who is living in the world to live by the same standards I would expect to see in a Christian brother or sister. However, when a group gets together and starts forcing that lifestyle upon me, or more importantly, my children, then I need to step in. I should be able to say no to my tax dollars being used to teach what God has proclaimed to be wrong.

Neither can I judge someone who has legally opted to abort their child. He will forgive even that. But don't even try to convince me or any of my children that it is an option for them. And don't bother trying to convince me that it is okay for my tax dollars to fund the murder of innocent babes. It's not gonna fly. But hey, it's your millstone necklace..

Thursday, April 18, 2013

A Tale Of Two Nations

Monday, most of us were shocked when we learned of the terrorist attack in Boston. Personally, I was more saddened than shocked. What some may find disturbing is what I was saddened about, for it was not the act itself, but rather the reason the attack was allowed, and by whom. As well, I was saddened that no one, and especially notable no one in The Church seemed to be aware of what was and is actually going on, for although I pray for those who's lives were affected in the horrific event in Boston, it really had nothing to do with Boston. Boston was merely a random spot within the borders of the much larger target. A target set up by none other than it's collective self.

In order to get the whole picture we need to go back in time to the first nation of God. We'll begin with a group of hikers being led by a fellow name of Abram, who received a word from the Almighty Himself to take His people and head out for a new land. After many miles of journeying, Abram's God, the same yesterday, today and tomorrow God we serve today, honored Abram for his faithfulness, renamed him Abraham and promised him a miracle son from whom God's favored people would descend. Though there were many years filled with many trials, through which His people ultimately learned valuable lessons and gained strength, the Israelites became a nation who blessed God, honoring His commandments and in turn were greatly blessed and supernaturally protected by their Lord.

The problem came when after many years the Israelites forgot the miracles, and began taking their blessings, including their safety for granted. They began allowing little "things" to creep in. Perhaps Someone moved in to town from another land with different customs, and were allowed to continue their "odd" practices. After all, what harm could there be? One day, the newcomer has someone over to dine, and they notice an interesting artifact in the corner, or perhaps finds their form of dress or worship to be "pretty" or "entertaining", and cetainly not harmful. The seed is planted. Soon others move in, bringing their "harmless" idols, pieces of art really, and pagan practices, just more fun and games when you think about it, and before ya know it, the king is sacrificing his babies to Molech!

All the while God is watching. He's sending His prophets to warn His people, pleading with them to turn back to Him, but they just keep playing with fire, ignoring the warning signs 'til at last, God has to lower the boom. He removes His protection from His people, and there is wailing and gnashing of teeth. A great nation, blessed of God, turns it's back on Him and falls.

So here we are, thousands of years later. One nation, founded on Godly principles, known as a shining light in and for the world, and we were incredibly blessed for it, enjoying an amazing shield of protection in a world otherwise torn apart by war. As a child, I wondered how it was we seemed to somehow, miraculously remain untouched by the madness all around us. How was it possible? What set us apart? And just as important, what changed?
We have, slowly but surely and willingly jumped on the slippery slope and allowed the world to permeate our nation and The Church to the point it becomes difficult to see where the world ends and the church begins! We use their language. We dress in their styles. We even practice pagan rituals within our individual Church walls! Sooner or later, we had to realize, as He did with Israel, God would tire of us turning our backs on Him, playing games with pagan idols and rituals and give us a well deserved holy kick in the behind.



We turned our backs on God. At best, we, as His body in our nation have allowed ourselves to be polluted. We've become lukewarm, brackish. We've sat back and watched, silently for the most part, as our nation allowed, embraced, and even funded abortion. Initially, it was only allowed in the first trimester, before the child was completely recognizable as such by human eyes. They called it an embryo., Slowly, but surely the laws changed and women were legally allowed to pay someone to end the life of their children for increasingly longer periods of time until now when we find "botched" abortions where somehow, miraculously the attempt on a childs life may fail, resulting in the live birth of an injured baby, who is very recognizable as a human child crying out in pain, longing for his or her momma's comforting arms. Instead that sweet baby is greeted by cold, uncaring hands who want no more than to finish him off and be done with the whole mess.

Tell me, other than the fact that centuries ago folks were giving up their children as a sacrifice to what they thought were gods in ned of appeasement, and we, for the most part act on desire for convenience, just how different is what we are allowing, with our tax dollars, from what Ahaz did in the firey furnace called Molech?

Of course abortion isn't our only national crime. There's rampant, accepted homosexuality, being taught and encouraged in our public schools. There's pornography. There's even talk of allowing full frontal nudity on TV, including commercials at all hours of the day, on all stations. There's language once considered illegal in public forums and media, now accepted as "free speech." Then there's our modern day ride of Paul Revere, "The Islams are coming!" But no one is listening. Rather, we are welcoming them with open arms, even asking them to teach our children their ways, in the name of "unity". Then we wonder what happened when we begin to implode. We, as a nation, and as the church have turned our backs on God too many times, and for far too long, and He is now pulling out that last straw. One way or another, as with Israel, He will get our attention.

It is happening, and the faithful best wake up and get to work, spreading the word, and cleaning up our homes and churches, while preparing ourselves and our families for the horrors sure to come. Boston wasn't the beginning, and is certainly nowhere near the worst we will see and experience before the end. We need , each one of us individually, to allow The Spirit free access, to work in us and through us, for there is no way we're going to survive, let alone rise up and conquer on our own without Him. We need to get into the word, daily, and pray without ceasing. 2 Chronicles 7:14 say's," If] My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin and will heal their land."

God is calling us to be His Elijahs for our generation. Are we up to the challenge?

Monday, February 4, 2013

What A Book! What A Lesson!

Last night I finished the third book in the Historical Biblical fiction series "Chronicles of The Kings" by Lynn Austen (Book 1, "Gods & Kings" is available free as an e-book from Amazon.I highly recommend it!) Each one of these books has captivated me, making it near impossible to set them down even to eat a meal, let alone go to sleep. Last night I was up til after midnight, wandering about ancient Jerusalem with King Hezekiah, Eliakim and the prophet, Isaiah.

It amazes me how much I have learned about my walk with God through the stories Ms, Austen has portrayed. Last night, as I reached the end of the latest book, it occured to me, of all the lessons Hezekiah learned, there was one which may have made the biggest difference in his life, and that of his nation.

If I were to apply this same lesson to my life all the other pieces would have no choice but to fall into place.

 

Deuteronomy 6:5 (KJV): And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy

might.



At first glance it seems such a simple commandment. Love God. Okay. Got it. Next....But when I stopped, considered all that Hezekiah went through, and all that he was saved from, only to continue on, the miraculous moments gradually fading from his mind, becoming less miraculous with every passing year, it reminded me of myself.

How many times has The Lord intervened in my life, or in the lives of my children? How many times have I allowed those miraculous events to fade from my memory... How many of those miracles have I allowed my children to forget? After all, Kimmi was but an infant when she was healed of a hole in her heart. How is she to remember that, unless I remind her? Nathan was only 6 when his Dr. was totally blown away by his overnight healing of a herniated blood vessel. I wonder how distant that memory is for him now?

If I Love the Lord my God with all my heart, with all my soul, with all my might, how can I forget these miracles for even an instant? How can I stop praising Him for being so good to me, for loving me so much, that even when I wasn't serving Him, he was watching out for me and my children, expressing His love?

The more I think about it, the more I realize what power is contained in this oft overlooked commandment. If I love The Lord, my God, with all my heart, He provides me with His Spirit to help me to never waver in that love. If I truly love Him, never wavering, then all I want to do is please Him, make Him happy. I will praise Him, and I will honor Him in all I do. And if I love Him, and put all my heart into loving Him, pleasing Him, then I will naturally follow His commandments. He won't even have to tell me what to do. It's a no brainer! If it will make Him happy, then I'll do it!

Then, the part that is truly amazing. The power behind the love. If I love Him, and show Him I love Him, by striving to please Him, and by communicating with Him, talking to Him in prayer, allowing Him to talk to me through His word, and through His Spirit, He will bless me and my family beyond my wildest imagination! Just look at what He did for those who honored Him in the past! Moses! Noah! David! Hezekiah!
Me!!

What more can I say? Oh Lord, my God, I love you! I love you with all my heart, and all my soul, and all my might! I honor you, and I praise you with all that is within me! Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for all you have done, all you are doing, and all you will do for me and my family. Thank you for forgiving me, and making me a part of your family. Bless your Holy Name!