Uncategorized

WATCH YOUR ASS!


I had a friend who I consider to be a brother. If he ever called me for help, I would be there. This friend once shared the following story with me. It helped me prioritize a few things.

A long time ago, in ancient Israel, an old man took his grandson to market with him. He loaded up his ass (That is what they called donkeys in the ancient languages) with his goods for sale, and sat his grandson on top.

In order to get into Jerusalem, he had to cross a bridge that connected his village to a neighboring Palestinian territory. As he was walking the ass, with his grandson on top, he heard two of the Palestine locals shouting to each other:

“Hey, Abdul, do you see how selfish that boy is, making his elder walk while he rides?”, shouted Ahmed.

ABDUL: “I see that, some children have no manners!”

So, the old man took his grandson off the ass and put himself on it and tried crossing the bridge again.

“Hey, Ahmed, do you see how cruel that old man is being, making that boy walk while he rides in comfort on the ass?’, shouted Abdul

AHMED: “I see that, some old men have no manners!”

So, the old man stopped, placed his grandson on top of the ass with himself, so they both can ride together, and not walk, then they started across the bridge, yet again.

“Hey, Abdul, do you see how cruel that old man and the boy are being to the ass, making the poor beast carry all that load?”, shouted Ahmed

ABDUL: “Some people don’t even care about their own livestock!”

SO, the old man placed his grandson on top of the ass, made sure his goods for sale were securely secured on the ass, and then picked up the ass and carried it.

Half way across the bridge, the old man tripped on a loose board, sending the ass, his grandson and himself in to the river below.

The old man could hear Abdul and Ahmed laughing as he plunged in to the water.

The Moral of the story:  If you try to please everybody, you can loose your ass.

“When a man’s ways please the LORD, he makes even his enemies to be at peace with him.” Pro 16:7 – ESV

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Faith, Observations, Uncategorized

HOW DOES YOUR GARDEN GROW?


Walk as Children of LightA long time ago, while I was trying to be a student at Seminary, I attended a small church in Fort Worth, TX.  This particular church had more Seminary professors per square foot than almost any other church in Fort Worth.   I always wondered why this church was as small as it was.  The Pastor, another Phd. grad from Seminary, was trying with all his might to get this church to wake up and get about the task of evangelizing.

The Pastor was really working on this, one Sunday morning.  His sermon was full of urgency for the call of Christians to obey the will of God.  While he was preaching, the free verse narrative came to my mind.  When I originally posted this on my old web site, I thought I was giving a clarion call to the church.  What I only recently came to understand is…

…God was talking to ME.

HOW DOES YOUR GARDEN GROW?

     I was lying there in the garden, almost asleep.  A man came up the pathway, stopped and leaned his hands on the gate.  He looked around and asked if the garden was mine.  I told him it was not mine, butI was keeping it for my Master.  He asked if I knew much about gardening.

“Well, of course I do!”, I replied.

I told him that I had been to the best schools of gardening, and would probably forget  more about gardening in one day, than he would learn in a year.  Inundated him with a deluge of information from my knowledge of gardening.  I felt that would surely quiet my unwelcome guest.

There was a moment of silence.  Perhaps I had been too hard on him.  I felt justified, though, he did disturb my rest.

He looked at me and said:

Have you been a gardener so long, yet without fruit?

Do you know all about the soils, yet have not tilled one foot of furrow?

Are all the seeds familiar with you, but you have not put one in to the ground?

See, the weeds outnumber the leaves on the trees, the thistles are more abundant than the flowers.

What kind of Husbandman would let his masters’ garden fall to such disarray?

You boast of being a gardener but have no fruit for all your knowledge.

How sad for you when the Master comes to judge the fruit of your labor.

I sat there in stunned silence, at a complete loss for words.  I noticed, as he vanished before my very eyes, that the gate on which he had been resting was bloody from wounds that had pierced his hands.

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Faith

FAITH TO BE RECKLESS


FAITH IS NOT BELIEF WITHOUT PROOF, BUT TRUST WITHOUT RESERVATION.” – Anon

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. Heb 11:1 – ESV

FACTOID: “The assurance of things hoped for (elpizomenōn hupostasis). Hupostasis is a very common word from Aristotle on and comes from huphistēmi (hupo, under, histēmi, intransitive), what stands under anything (a building, a contract, a promise). ” From Robertson’s Word Pictures

In this case, it is used as a contract of deed. Faith is the TITLE-DEED of things hoped for. It is the document that states clearly that you can have confidence in God‘s promises.

 FIRST THINGS FIRST

Faith is the Title Deed That says, “Because you have believed in Jesus Christ, you have inherited eternal life.” Almost everyone knows John 3:16 – For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” That is the language of the Title-Deed.

The details of that title deed are detailed in the verses that follow:

“For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.” John 3:16-18 – ESV

Here you can see that there is spelled out a distinction between who inherits and who doesn’t inherit. Because you have believed, your first inheritance is Eternal Life. Those words are from Christ Himself. You can rest assured of your salvation, which is the language of the second half of the verse: “the conviction of things not seen.” Heb 11:1 – ESV

The number of Humans who have been to Heaven and returned to tell about it are few and far between. Chances are that you and I are not in that group. Because we hold the title deed to an eternal life, we can hold to the conviction that it has already been granted to us. You don’t have to stop what you are doing and go see the real estate. It is already your inheritance. Nothing in the world can take your inheritance away because it was signed over to you in the blood of the one who promised it to you.

BUT WHAT ELSE?

THAT is the bazillion dollar question!

The reason we were not raptured the second we accepted Christ as our Saviour and Lord is because he has a work for us to do here. Jesus has given you the authority to do those things. Jesus said to the Disciples: “Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father.” John 14:12 NASB

Anyone with one eye and half a brain can tell things are going terribly wrong on this planet. THe reason we are still here is so we can bring the gospel to anyone who will listen. We have been given the authority to do that by Jesus Himself. You do NOT need your church’s permission to obey Christ. You do not need anything but a solid understanding of the scripture and faith. And Jesus has guaranteed that you will have all the tools He had at your disposal, PLUS more.

These facts are in the Title-Deed of our inheritance. While we are still here on this planet, we have the promise of salvation, and the promise that, if we believe, and obey, we are empowered to do all that Jesus Himself did to bring others to Himself.

BUT IT IS HARD!

Yes. It is hard. And most likely, people will think you are insane. People will hate you. People will run from you. People will lie about you, try to trip you up, and basically call you nuts…and it may begin with your family.

I can attest before God, I have, on more than one occasion, seen people try to kill me for the sake of the Gospel, but God always delivers. In fact, one of the would be assassins became a Christian, and later his wife became a Christian. Today, they live in California, and have a pretty good church going out there. They reach people that most ordinary Christians would run in fear from.

These things can be done because FAITH is your Title-Deed that assures you that whatever you ask in Jesus name will be done for you, if you are praying in God’s will. This assurance is the conviction of the thing hoped for.

“Again I say to you, that if two of you agree on earth about anything that they may ask, it shall be done for them by My Father who is in heaven. “ – Mat 18:19 NASB

“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.” – Mat 7:7

“For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened.” – Mat 7:8

BE RECKLESS ABOUT IT, TOO.

My favorite devotional is written by the daughter of Oswald Chambers. Chambers was the Chaplain for the British Airmen during WWI, while they were stationed in the Saudi deserts. Chambers wrote a diary that later became the famous devotional book called “My Utmost For His Highest”.

In several of the devotionals, Chambers describes this faith, this assurance, this conviction of things hoped for, as something we have to throw ourselves into with “reckless abandon”. Have no thought for yourself image, for your safety, for anything other than being willing to take that one step off the cliff, knowing that God is there to see you through to a path of His design.

There is a child like freedom in this kind of faith. When my daughter was a toddler, she had no problem or hesitation about running as fast as she could and jumping into my arms. She knew without hesitation that I would catch her. We have to put aside our practical worldliness. We have to put aside all concerns for how we will look to others. We just have to have the Joy of our salvation, and the faith that whatever it is that God asked you to do, you can do it with out fear or concern. Jesus promised you that you have eternity as your reward, and all the power in the Kingdom of Heaven to accomplish what God has asked you to do.

Do we really want revival? Start with yourself. Be recklessly abandoned to the assurance of the things hoped for, and stand on the conviction of the things not seen.

We need revival in this land. We are empowered by the Holy Spirit to do that thing that God has asked us to do. We can do this because we have our salvation. We have our salvation because of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross. The fields are ripe for harvest. Let’s be about it.

 

 

 

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Uncategorized

The Return To God: Part IV – God Will Send You …


I recently re-read the book of Exodus. Imagine how mind blowing it was to be Moses and go through all that. I got the following things out of that story of Moses on the Mountain with God (Exodus Chapter 3).

God will send you to do a task.

The craggy earth gave way to what appeared to be good grazing ground, and a pool of water. Mount Horeb was considered a holy mountain, but Jethro, his father in law, happened to have exclusive rights to that stretch of real estate. One minute, you are a prince of Egypt, and here you are, 40 years later, herding sheep that don’t even belong to you. But, since you married the bosses daughter, you need to do your share.  Ahh  Zipporah, what a babe. Moses knew he had really lucked out when he married her. In their more frisky moments, he called her “Zippo“, because she was such a fiery wench. Little did Moses know that Bikers all around the world would be lighting their cigarettes with a lighter named after her. Her fiery disposition could, however, be a bit difficult to deal with. She was a hometown girl, and had a good gig what with her dad being the High Priest of Midian, AND a wealthy land owner. She wasn’t all that impressed with that whole, “I USED to be a Prince in Egypt.”, thing. Oh well, the land of the Midianites wasn’t so bad, and life was sure simpler out here than it was in Egypt. OK, maybe people didn’t blow trumpets and bow every time you entered a room, but still, being the son-in-law of the boss had its’ advantages.

The sheep were irritable and wanted to stop, and were giving him little irritated glances that told him “A Shepherd SHEPS, so step on it!!” He let them find the grass, and decided he’d grab some water, eat a snack, and maybe relax a bit. But as he was walking to the pond, he saw a thing he never had seen before. A bright light, looking like fire, inside a bush, and the bush was not being burned.  He definitely wanted to check that out, as all he had been seeing for days was the rear ends of sheep. The change of scenery was inviting.

He approached the burning bush with some sense of amazement. The closer he got, the faster he wanted to go. This is where he later wondered if he’s been better off taking that left turn at the base of Horeb. He heard a voice call to him, “Moses, MOSESSSSS!” (Well that’s how it sounded when Charles Heston was Moses, OK!) His left brain, the logical side, said in way that nasally way most tax accountants use when they tell you, “you cannot possibly deduct dental floss as a business expense!”, his left brain told Moses , “Shut up Moses! Don’t say anything, maybe the voice will think you didn’t hear it!“, but his Right Brain, not even being aware there are rules or social graces, said, “Here I am!!“. The left brain gave the right brain a glare that could melt tungsten. Left brain went off sulking as Moses took off his Mountain Climber Flip Flops.

We know what happened here, that God told Moses He had not forgotten His people, and that He was their God. That He had heard their cries for help, and that their Egyptian task masters were being cruel, and it was time for all that to come to an end. Then He told Moses this:

“Come, I will send you to Pharaoh that you may bring my people, the children of Israel, out of Egypt.” Exodus 3:10 ESV

Except for the sounds of a flame not consuming the bush, the only other sound that could be heard was the sound of sheep, nervously chewing the grass, and anticipating their first opportunity to be irritated at Moses, again. This will become a common theme in Moses life over the next 40 years. We can only hope he is taking good notes.

After looking around to make sure he wasn’t being mistaken for another Moses that might hopefully be standing right behind him, and seeing that he was, in fact, the only human being careless enough to go tromping around the Holy Mountain, Moses stood there with his mouth open, as if his jaw muscles had grown too tired to keep working, and were taking a coffee break.

He thought a myriad of thoughts that kept leaping and tripping all over each other. This was exacerbated by the fact that the Left Brain had not quite decided to let the whole Right Brain shouting out loud thing go just yet.

So, God waited.

He created Moses, just like he created the rest of us. He knew that Moses would need a moment to collect himself, and to get his thoughts, such as they were, under control.

Moses finally got a grip on himself enough to ask God some questions.

What ever it is that God asks you to do, He will be with you.

 But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the children of Israel out of Egypt?” He (GOD) said, “But I will be with you, and this shall be the sign for you, that I have sent you: when you have brought the people out of Egypt, you shall serve God on this mountain.” Exodus 3:11- 12 ESV

See, Moses hadn’t been a prince of Egypt for some time, as Zippo was often reminding him. Besides that, there was that whole, “I murdered an Egyptian Guard” thing. Zippo was always telling him, “Moses, Moses, that was such a long time ago. You don’t even look like the Moses on the wanted posters. THAT Moses was young and handsome! YOU look like…well, lets just say that you have a lot of inner beauty, OK? ”

Once Moses got past all the excuses he could think of to NOT be deliverer of Israel, Friend of God, Law Giver, and Holy Land tour guide, he realized all he had to do now was convince Zippo that: He had a nice chat with the Living God on a mountain, and God wants him to go back to Egypt to free the Hebrew slaved and lead them to Caanan so they can take the land back from the remnants of the fallen ones, and call it Israel.  All I will say of that is that the ensuing conversation is where Zippo earned her reputation for being fiery. No one dared cross her after that.

God will empower you to do that task.

Moses said to God, “Ok, so let’s say that I actually get past the guards at the gate, then get past the security check point at the palace, and get past the palace guards that guard the throne room of Pharaoh, let’s say all that actually happens. I just go up to Pharoah and say “Let My People Go!” and he’s gonna go “OK, Sure!”??

I am going to look all jumped up and crazy. How is anyone going to believe a thing I say?

The LORD said to him, “What is that in your hand?” (Moses) said, “A staff.” And (the LORD) said, “Throw it on the ground.” So (Moses) threw it on the ground, and it became a serpent, and Moses ran from it. But the LORD said to Moses, “Put out your hand and catch it by the tail”—so he put out his hand and caught it, and it became a staff in his hand—” Exo 4:2 – 4 ESV

Moses was dumbfounded. THAT was some very cool stuff the Lord had in mind. Then Moses asked “Will this trick work on Zippo??”

God will never tell you to do something except that he will be there to see it through.

God let Moses practice that “stick to snake” miracle out a few times, just to make sure he got the timing down, and that Moses didn’t grab the wrong end of the snake. While he was warming up to this idea, he asked God, “So, I am going all by myself to confront an entire nation in order to free the Hebrew slaves?” God reminded him that, no, Aaron will go along to serve as Moses’s mouthpiece, but what’s more important is that GOD will be there all the time. He told Moses:

“So I will stretch out my hand and strike Egypt with all the wonders that I will do in it; after that he will let you go.” Exodus 3:20

Don’t be afraid to do what God has called you to do.

“Let me get this straight,” said Moses as he practiced picking up the snake again. He got it backwards the try before and threw the snake down instead of throwing the stick down. That almost turned out wrong.

“After you do all these to miracles in Egypt, the Hebrews will let me lead them out of the land of Egypt and just follow me out the gates?”

At the risk of being overly redundant, God said: “And they will listen to your voice, and you and the elders of Israel shall go to the king of Egypt and say to him, ‘The LORD, the God of the Hebrews, has met with us; and now, please let us go a three days’ journey into the wilderness, that we may sacrifice to the LORD our God.’ But I know that the king of Egypt will not let you go unless compelled by a mighty hand. So I will stretch out my hand and strike Egypt with all the wonders that I will do in it; after that he will let you go. “ Exodus 3:18 -20 ESV

The Blessings don’t begin until you have walked in your purpose from God.

By this time, Moses was beginning to buy in to this whole, “Deliverer of Israel from Egypt” thing. He told God he will do it, had the afore mentioned “discussion” with Zipporah, and put his sandals back on. God told Moses he had made the right choice and assured Moses:

“And I will give this people favor in the sight of the Egyptians; and when you go, you shall not go empty, but each woman shall ask of her neighbor, and any woman who lives in her house, for silver and gold jewelry, and for clothing. You shall put them on your sons and on your daughters. So you shall plunder the Egyptians.” Exodus 3:21-22 ESV

OK, So I am not Moses:

But I am a child of God.

I was created for a purpose.

Now that I have returned to God, God will show me that purpose.

I may not be asked to do the mighty acts of Moses. But I know that the acts I will do will be because God will be there to work through me. He will lead the way for me. He will be ever present through the good stuff and the bad times. He will empower me to do the things he has asked me to do. The degree of the power I see God work will be in proportion to the degree I have faith in He who sent me.

This is the same for you.

No matter how crazy it sounds, do whatever God asks you to do. You will be blessed.

 

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Faith

The Ethics of Hell


[NOTE: I have kept a copy of this article preserved and encrypted in the event that it is somehow altered by a person or persons other than me.]

“Moreover, I saw under the sun that in the place of justice, even there was wickedness, and in the place of righteousness, even there was wickedness. I said in my heart, God will judge the righteous and the wicked, for there is a time for every matter and for every work. “Ecc 3:16 -17

THE SETTING:

Ray Charles can see that the Government of the United States has abandoned all that is holy, moral, legal and right. Oftentimes, I stand in stupefied wonder that “We the People” have let this happen.

The condition we are in today didn’t happen overnight, either. I remember vividly, in the 1960’s, when God was being kicked out of school. Today, there is a concerted and overt effort to remove Christianity from the common arena.

What dumbfounds me is that:

A: What passes for a representative republic openly demonstrates, with great pride, every effort it can to destroy all that was considered good, all that was considered right, all that is constitutional, all references to the Living God, and His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ.

B: What passes for government today openly calls Christians, and tea party members “terrorists” while giving a free pass to the people who want to kill us.

And

C: We are tolerating this behavior.

MY REACTION

I have no doubt you are aware of the same things I am.  This has been a real struggle for me. I was raised in the South where being an American is just as important as being a Christian. In fact, a lack of patriotism usually meant that your neighbors will question your salvation.

I was raised to believe that we are a Constitutional Republic, not a democracy. That the Constitution IS the baseline by which all laws are measured, and no law will exist that takes away from the constitution, in any form, shape or deed.

I was raised to believe it is honorable to die for your country, that the flag will not be desecrated under ANY circumstances, and that this nation exists because of the Living God.

Now that we have kicked God out of our lives, our nation has fallen to a very dark place.

So, my gut reaction is to be angry at the Government. My gut reaction, my real heartfelt reaction, is to take matters in my own hands. That is my gut reaction. I have this reaction because, in the 1980’s I swore an oath that includes this phrase:

“I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign or domestic, that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservations or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office upon which I am about to enter; So help me God.” 

That oath keep crashing against the shores of my conscience, and I am overwhelmed with the desire to keep that oath.

There’s just one problem with that…..

THE ETHICS OF HELL

“The thief (Lucifer, Satan) comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I (Jesus) came that they (you and me) may have life and have it abundantly.” Joh 10:10

This part took me a while to see.  Anyone who knows me well, knows that I am very patriotic, that I am very willing to risk my life for my oath, that I have been harboring deep hatred and resentment in both the government for all of its blatant display of corruption, and a nation that tolerates it.

But I took my anger to God.

And I prayed.

And prayed.

All this time, God listened to me rant and rave. My anger had been kindled, I wanted to pour out MY wrath on these people.

This is when God reminded me of the ethics of hell.

The enemy of God doesn’t care where fear, anger, confusion, distrust, and treachery comes from, AS LONG AS IT IS THERE. I might feel perfectly righteous being angry, but my anger tempts me to run into sin, and not wait on the Lord. No other patriot would blame me for my feelings, either.

This scripture came to my mind: “A man without self-control is like a city broken into and left without walls.” Pro 25:28

Anyone of us can justify our patriotism. We can even look down our noses at anyone who doesn’t feel the same hatred and indignation of our corrupted government.

God showed me that my anger is misdirected and I was sinning in my heart by the things I imagined should be done to fix our government.

The ethics of hell means that you will be tempted to sin, and you will be able to justify it in ways that hardly anyone else could condemn.

My willingness to lose self control opened a chink in my armor. My anger was not God’s anger. My desires for action were not Gods desires for me. And no matter how well I could justify my attitude, all I did was open a door that allowed the enemy to breach the walls of my heart. And thoughts of evil piled on top of thoughts of evil, until all I became was an animal waiting to be unleashed to his prey.

Satan does not care how much you read the bible, pray, sing in the choir, as long as you are willing to be angry and sin. As long as you give harbor to fear and confusion, as long as you take your eyes off Christ, and look at the waves you are walking on.

Satan is the author of confusion. Satan speaks death in to everything he touches. Satan divides. Satan destroys. And he is especially happy when he can distract Christians away from God. Satan knows that if we ever stop being willing to sin, if we ever approach God and confirm God’s will on our lives, and if we ever remember that our first call is Love, then Satan loses this skirmish.

MY RESPONSE

“Come now, let us reason together, says the LORD: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool.” Isa 1:18

“Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good”. – Rom 12:17 – 21

After praying, and God pointing out that my fleshly response will not please Him, I asked, “Then what should I do?”

God laid it on my heart that my anger does not serve the kingdom. That taking matters in my own hands is not the will of God. God reminded me of my calling, and the fundamentals of all of our calling. Those of us who seek the Lord with all our hearts, who know that Jesus Christ is the only begotten Son of God, and have accepted that free gift of salvation, know deep down that God’s ways are not our ways.

It is the ethics of Hell that demands you take matters in to your own hands. It is the Ethics of Heaven that reminds us:

“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” Eph 6:12

In God’s army, our battles always begins on our knees before Him. We are to listen to Him, and obey whatever he leads us to do, no matter how contrary it may be to our human reasoning. The mightiest weapons we have in God’s army is prayer and praise.

God reminded me of the battle in II Chronicles 20 (A good read), where the battle was not won with swords, but with praise. This is where we become the most effective in the service of God’s army. Praise and prayer will bring the changes we need in our nation. Unrighteous anger just adds to the overwhelming noise that exists on this planet. But prayer and praise are inhabited by the Living God.

Knowing this, then, here is what I did.

I prayed for the Salvation of Obama. I prayed to God, and the more I prayed, the more it made sense to love my enemy. I prayed for the House and the Senate, as well as the Judiciary. I prayed that the Spirit of God descend on them, and everyone in Washington D.C. that they will be convicted of their sin and accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. That the powers that be have the courage to face the consequences of their actions, and to confess to the Lord, who will be faithful to forgive them.

I prayed this prayer, and it was one of the hardest things to do to say that I genuinely love Obama and care about his eternal soul.

It is not my place to attack anyone in the government. Not even in my prayers. As a warrior of God’s army, my battle begins with me getting out of the way of the will of God, and praying for my enemies in a way that is pleasing to God.

It is the will of God that no man should perish.

But for the most part, I needed help from the Holy Spirit to teach me how to pray for people that I so sincerely despise. It is written:

“Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.” Rom 8:26

and

“For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge? God judges those outside.” 1Co 5:12-13a

Do I want my sense of vengeance, or do I want revival in the land? I want revival.

Revival will begin when I pray that God forgive my attitude, and when I ask God to fill me with HIS desire for our nation. If we pray for the tyrants who rule over us, we will see a revival in our nation. But this revival must first begin when we, as warriors to God, start the battle on our knees.

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Uncategorized

The Return to God, Part III : God Will Tell You Of His Plan.


[Dear readers, I mixed up the order of this topic a bit. I appreciate your understanding. There is a reason.]

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. – Jer 29:11 ESV

Before you were born. God knew you would exist. He planned for you to be here. He knew you while you were being knit together in your mother’s womb. He made plans for you. He wants to tell you His plans for you. Now that you have returned, or will soon return, he wants to show you what He will do in your life.

I argued with God, “How can you say you have made plans for me when my life has been so messed up?!?”

or

“God, I have messed up my life so much, there is NO WAY you can restore me to the plans you made for me!”

After 20 years of running, about 6 years ago, I returned to God. I had repented. I had confessed. I felt the cleansing wash of forgiveness and grace consume me, and drive me through the rapids right over the fall, deep in to His mercy. And I was made whole again.

And He held me. He loved me. And he welcomed me home. He let me rest a bit. I was tired from all that running from Him. And he healed my hurts, most of them self inflicted, some not so much. He soothed my anger. And I am not angry, now. He fed me through daily readings of His Word. He listened as I prayed, and talked to me when I listened. For the first time in my life, I knew what it meant to be still, and know God. And it was GOOD.

And then he told me what He has planned for me. You don’t get to know what that is, because it is personal, and strictly between God, Me and my family. And it will bear fruit only when I obey and submit.

This is what God will do with you, too. He will take you through the same steps. He will then tell you all about why you even exist. That was always a big question for me. Why do I exist? Like the Psalm says,

I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.” Psalm 139:14 – 16 ESV

He has known all about you, how you were made, that you are created because He has a plan for you. He has every day of your life numbered, and, if you will, He will show you what he plans for your life, and it will be Good.

What will God do for all that time you have spent away from His presence? God is in the miracle working field. It is part of His resume. He will take every wrong turn and make it make sense, and make it right, and you will learn from your past, as you forgive yourself of your past.

God will then Set your feet firmly in the eternal today. By that I mean, you will begin to recognize that, especially at first, you will need to be still, and just have today. Pray today. Listen today. Read His word today. Go to bed, and repeat that process. And as you develop obedience to this process, He will talk to you in that “still small voice”. He will make certain scriptures show up just as you need to read them, and you will begin to see a pattern. The Bible will be come for your heart and mind what good food is to your body. And you will grow.

As you grow, your love of God will grow, your praise of what Jesus Christ will increase, and you will see that you have been forgiven much, and you will know you are now the brother or sister of Jesus Christ, and He intends to share His inheritance with you. And you will see that all those broken roads have led you right to the loving embrace of Christ and his forgiveness of you. And you will understand:

“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28 ESV

“But what about all the hurtful things I have done to others and others have done to me?”

I asked that too.

You will learn to forgive, and you will find a way to seek forgiveness from those you have hurt. You will be led by the grace of God to seek out any one you have done wrong, and seek restitution. You will understand the importance of laying your offerings down at the altar, and seeking forgiveness of others. Then you will see that your offering has been made worthy.  And you will understand what it means to love one another.

This IS part of the plan. To be free from your sin and guilt, and to be set free from the debt you owe others.

“What if they don’t forgive me?”

Some will, some might not.

You cannot control what others will do and will not do. You can only obey the will of God. To be like Jesus Christ is God’s will for you. And you just need to obey. You will be amazed how free your soul feels after you have done this.

The growth and completion of your character will take the rest of your life. That is the good and the bad news. But the best news is that, in the book of John, chapter 15, we can read how Jesus promised you he will send the Holy Spirit to walk beside you, and teach you as you grow and go.

His will is that you be just like Jesus Christ.

That is His will.

And as you begin to do this, you will discover you have certain gifts, some spiritual, some material, some physical talents. And you will discover that all these gifts complement each other, and you will hear the voice of the Spirit of God guide you in the practice of using these gifts to glorify the Father, that others will be drawn to the saving grace of Jesus Christ.

God will tell you of His plans for you.

“And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” Philippians 1:6

Like I said, I know what God’s plan is for my life. About 4 months ago, he began preparing me for my calling. About 6 or 7 weeks ago, he put me in a place and time that I am more able to pursue this plan.

I promise you, that now you have returned to Him, he will take you through all these steps. And He will show you His plans for you, and they are GOOD!

“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” – Jer 29:11 ESV

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Faith, Uncategorized

THE CONTINUING ADVENTURES OF PRINCESS CALLIE


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For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart. Jer 29:11-13 ESV

I heard the plaintive cries of my cat Callie.   Once again, she was standing in total immobility at the opened back door. She clearly wanted to go outside, but last time she made the attempt, a leaf fell off a tree, causing her to have massive heart failure.  The fright was just too much for her.  I, of course, applied CPR.

If you have read my earlier blogs on Callie, you know she has a certain…quality of personality ranging somewhere between stark raving fear, and unbridled panic.

I went to the door, that I had previously opened so she could go out, and waited for her to screw up the courage to do so.   She looked up at me and meowed again. I knew she wouldn’t make a move unless I went out first.

I did.

She followed.

She called on me, and my presence gave her the courage to do what I wanted her to do.

Just like God has been doing for me.

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.  Psa 23:4  ESV

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