Thursday, December 29, 2011

"Until an Opportune Time"

Last month, I posted a blog about how satan is like a hungry lion seeking those whom he may devour. During my Bible reading time this morning four small words caught my attention:


Luke 4:13 And when the devil had ended every temptation, he departed from him until an opportune time.

I knew that Jesus had been tempted by the devil as it is explicitly detailed in Luke 4:1-12, but those four words never hit me before. These four words tell me that satan tempted Jesus on other occasions; that satan saw Jesus as someone he could devour. Now, that's hubris! Not only did satan think he could ascend above the throne of God when he was in heaven, he thought he could be greater than God and when God dressed in the body of a man came to earth, satan thought he could devour him!

I always wondered why satan thought he could defeat God at the Battle of Armageddon. This is an angel whose pride and self-esteem know no bounds. He is so full of evil and himself that he doesn't give up; he just keeps going in his attempt to defeat God so that he can "be" God.

Be aware then, and be cautioned: If satan really believed that he could devour Jesus and was just waiting for an opportune time, know that he is just waiting for just such an occasion to come after you and me again and we need to be ready. Be prayed up and wearing the armor of God every single day! Don't give the enemy a foothold. Get rid of your anger and forgive. These are the things that God is saying to me today.

Lord, Jesus, I thank you that you are my high priest, interceding on my behalf to the Father. Thank you that you know what it's like to be tempted and tried. Thank you that you defeated satan on the cross that day and death when you were resurrected. Thank you that you now live inside of me and that you are greater than he that is in the world. Be my strength today, my source of power and inspiration to forgive those who hurt me and love those who hate me. I pray that you will be glorified in my life today, and I ask it in your name.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

ThoughtsThat Plagued Me During Christmas


This morning as I finished up my quiet time, I asked the Lord what I should write about today, and for some reason, He led me to write about these things that have been on my mind since Thanksgiving.

One thing that kept jumping out at me over the last few weeks is how frequently Christmas carols include the word "peace". For example, "sleep in heavenly peace", and "peace on earth". Everytime I heard the word "peace", I would stop and think about how Jesus said in Matthew 10:34:
Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.

We love to romanticize things, don't we? The birth of a beautiful baby boy doesn't make us think of swords; it makes us think of sweet smiles, brights eyes, puppy dog tails, knights in shining armor, and happily ever after. It's hard to associate the precious little baby born in a cave and placed in a manger named Jesus with the grown man who was beaten beyond recognition and crucified on a cross as a criminal.

I think of that often when I hear of some horrible crime that has been committed - that the person who did it was at one time someone's precious little one.

It seemed to me like I moved through the month of December in a fog. Having in-laws who insist on keeping the Christmas tradition of gift giving and two children who I raised in the traditions that were taught to me as a young girl, it's very hard to completely divorce yourself completely and all at once from the melee known as "Christmas". Each year I take part less, and hopefully, soon I can just stop all the nonsense.

I say nonsense because as I walked through December, I felt like I was on the outside looking in all the time, and I kept thinking to myself that all this hustle, bustle, spending, eating and general over indulging had its roots in the birth of a child who grew up to be a man that a majority of the people hated and wanted dead and whose name people today hate to hear and are working tirelessly to have wiped out. Yet, they continue to "celebrate" the day. It all looks like a trumped up excuse to eat, drink, be merry and have some time off of work and not a day of celebrating the fact that God left heaven to live among us and show us how to live a life devoted to Him and free of sin.

Finally, another topic that kept cropping up was that of forgiveness; not God's forgiveness of us, but our forgiveness of each other. In Matthew 6:14,15, Jesus teaches us that we are to forgive others who have harmed us just as God forgives us and that if we can't find it within ourselves to forgive others, God will not forgive us either.

Giving grace to others and forgiving them for hurting us is hard. We feel justified in our anger for the harm done to us, but the Bible tells us that anger gives satan a foothold in our lives (Ephesians 4:26,27 and that we should not let anger control us. So, no matter how deeply we have been hurt, it is up to us to forgive the one who hurt us. Some hurts require God helping us to forgive because it is not within our ability to do it. Don't think God doesn't understand how it feels, because He does. Think about all the hurts and injustices perpetrated against Him while He walked this earth in a human body. Yet, He was able to forgive those who harmed him. I believe He shows us understanding in our desire to forgive and our inability to do so, and as long we seek His help in giving forgiveness (showing an honest desire to do so), I am sure that He grants us the ability to forgive over time. Surely that is where the old saying that time is the healer of all wounds came from.

I am living in the midst of a situation right now where one person needs to forgive another. I know that God wants us to forgive each other for our own mental health because as I watch the situation develop, I see the distress and destruction that both individuals are suffering. Anger destroys relationships, yes; but anger also destroys individual people, and families and innocent bystanders, like pets and friends. All who are around a simmering anger are singed by its fire, and that is where satan gets his foothold. If he can make us simmer with anger, then we will continue in our childish attempts of one-upping each other by committing another wrong and if we catch others around us on fire with the anger and hurt, that's all to his good (and definitely not to ours).

I know this must seem like a rambling piece today, and perhaps it is, but these are things that have weighed heavily on my mind here at the end of the year. The ads on tv and in the newspapers and magazines have begun for losing weight, but the real weight many need to lose is the noose around their neck of unforgiveness. Take time to take bow humbly in front of God and ask Him for help in forgiving those who have hurt you and then ask Him to forgive you for the ways that you have hurt Him, yourself and others. That, my friend, is the best way to start off a new year filled with sleeping in heavenly peace and could just possibly help to bring in peace on earth, good will to men.

May your new year be filled with the presence of the spirit of God, peace on earth, good will to men and peaceful, heavenly sleep.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Does God Still Speak To the World?

Are you like many in the world today who claim that God no longer speaks to us as He did in ancient days?

If so, I am here to encourage you today; to show you that God IS indeed speaking to us today.

God said in Genesis 1:14-15:

14 And God said, "Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night. And let them be for signs and for seasons, and for days and years, 15 and let them be lights in the expanse of the heavens to give light upon the earth." And it was so. 16 And God made the two great lights--the greater light to rule the day and the lesser light to rule the night--and the stars.

You may have read in the news recently about a comet named Lovejoy which had a close encounter with the sun and was anticipated to be burned up as a result. You can imagine that anything that has a really close encounter with the sun would be destroyed, right? Well, I believe God spoke to the world through that comet. Please read this well documented piece by my friend, Art at the New Wineskins blog.

Is that amazing? To me, this is a direct message from God saying that it is time for His followers to give Him the headship in our lives and we are to follow Him implicitly; even into things that are unpalatable to us and possibly very trying. The pouring out of the latter day rain in the form of His holy spirit is imminent. It is vital that we lay down our love for this world and lay down our lives in service, praise and worship of Him.

May God richly bless YOU with an outpouring of His spirit at this time and may 2012 be one in which God is glorified in all of our lives.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Deja-Vu

According to "How Stuff Works", deja-vu (déjà vu) is French and means, literally, "already seen." Those who have experienced the feeling describe it as an overwhelming sense of familiarity with something that shouldn't be familiar at all.

Have you ever experienced deju-vu?

In the past several weeks, I have experienced this anomaly about three or four times. This is unusual for me as I have experienced it on occasion in the past but never as frequently as this.

The interesting thing is that each time I have experienced deja-vu in the past few weeks, it has been in relation to things that I "seemingly" have experienced that relate to the rapture of the church. What I mean is that as I think about the experiences, in each one of them, when it happened originally, whatever the event was, occurred at the time of or immediately before or after the rapture.

I don't know if this is God's way of telling me that the rapture is near or if it's just my mind getting out of control, but it has caused me to stop and think about the oddness of this happening so frequently to me right now.

I do think the rapture is close, though. I think that not just because prophecy is being fulfilled daily, but I feel within myself and around me a sense of hopelessness in the world unless Christ comes soon and corrects all the things that are wrong. In other words, the world is so bleak and there is so much ugliness being exhibited that I can't believe that God will put up with us much longer.

I saw a video on Facebook yesterday that Johnni Depp had put forth with some guy named Babybird about Jesus at a stag night club. It filled me with mourning for mankind's ability to continue mocking Jesus 2000 years later.

And then, I was reading a news item online and just perusing the comments and one in particular stood out. It said something to the effect of "why don't you Judeo-Christians go find yourselves a Jew-deo Christian country of your own to live in..."

Needless to say, the events going on in the Middle Eastern countries are just one spark away from being a major forest, fire called World War III.

I find myself calling out to the Lord a lot about things I see and hear and the answer I hear is always hold on tight to me, stay close and always check with me on the truth of any given thing.

The other night as I ended my day in prayer, the Lord brought to my mind how He loves me, that He died for me and that nothing can separate me from Him. I saw Him on the cross whispering my name, "this is for Kimberly." It seems possible to me that when Jesus was on the cross, that the name of each and every person who has ever lived or ever will live crossed His mind.

I see the world as having so little love in it today, real agape love, that when I think about how Jesus loves us, I get chills. This week I had a brother in christ tell me that I was on his mind and the he was praying for me, and I "felt" the truth it in and it made me feel very special. How often does that happen?

With Christmas being just around the corner, I have found myself watching the commercials and the "christmas" made-for-tv movies or otherwise related programs and thinking, all this for a holiday which (whether or not you believe it to be pagan) supposedly celebrates the birth of child who grew to be a man hated by most people.

Knowing that the hour is short and that at any minute, Jesus could rapture the church (or that your life might just end), I encourage you to seek Him with all your heart, mind, and soul and show some love to your fellow man today:

Let us love one another: for love is of God and everyone that loveth is born of God and knoweth God. (1John 4:7)

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Caution...There's A Hungry Lion on Your Trail!!

This world is currently under the rulership of the prince of the power of the air (satan), and he has a type of governing authority consisting of powers, principalities, and wicked spirits in high places Ephesians 6:10.

Satan was a liar and a murderer from the beginning John 8:44. The Bible tells us that he's like a lion seeking for prey to devour 1 Peter 5:8 and so we are to be on guard, sober, and vigilant in order to protect ourselves from him.

The Lord, our God, is able to keep us and protect us from all the wiles of the evil one. So we must depend on all the weapons of spiritual warfare that he has given us: constant communication with His indwelling holy spirit, our God-given intuition, daily reading ofHis word which reveals only ALL truth, long minutes in our prayer closet with God learning His plans and movements to defeat the evil one in battle and of course putting on our armor as laid out in Ephesians 6:13-18.

The spiritual war is heating up all around us and is beginning to manifest itself in our everyday lives. All you have to do is look around you or watch or listen to any newscast. People are not acting rationally and we know the power behind confusion 1 Cor. 14:33 and violence, don't we?

When we leave our prayer closet everyday we must approach the day with the knowledge that there is a hungry lion on our trail everywhere we go and one wrong move could bring about our being his meal for the day. I would much rather have the Lord God within my reach than that VISA card the TV tells you that you shouldn't leave home without.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Is Thankfulness for Family and Friends Enough?


Many times at the Thanksgiving dinner table, families have a tradition of going around the table and sharing the things they are thankful for (at least we do in my family). There is never a shortage of hearing individuals' thankfulness for "family" and "friends", or their "home" or "job". While these things are significant and very worthwhile, the repetitiveness with which we hear these four items named cause me to wonder if we are failing to reach deeper than the obvious to come up with things that we are thankful for.

On Facebook a couple of weeks ago, someone posted this: What if you woke up today with ONLY the things you thanked God for yesterday? To me, this is a profound statment, and it got me to thinking about what it is that I am truly thankful for in light of Thanksgiving coming around so quickly.

Am I thankful for my family and friends? Of course I am. I couldn't have gotten through many things in this life without them. I'm extremely thankful to have a home to live in, and without a job, my husband would seriously drive me crazy (Ever heard the story about the man who drove his wife crazy when he retired because he didn't have anything to do but be home with her?), not to mention how would we pay for our home without one?

Niggling around in the back of my mind is how, while much of the world will be starving, we Americans will be shoveling food in and watching football; counting the minutes to black Friday and the excessive consumption/shopping that will ensue for the next month. Also tickling around in the back of mind are thoughts about why aren't we deeper, more in tune with what's really important and where's God in all this excess?
I
Please hear my heart. I'm extremely thankful because I know that God has been especially kind to me, but I guess I'm just a little tired of the superficiality of life and I want to get real when thinking about things to be thankful for.

It seems selfish not to be thankful for all the beauty that we live in and around? And how come we hear so little about how God loved us so much that He came to us in human form to provide a way for us to be reconciled to Him? Are you thankful you have a winter coat or a hat and gloves and perhaps a raincoat? Maybe you're thankful for your bike or your scooter or your car or that you have a warm, comfy bed to sleep in or that you get three meals (and more) a day.

Are we thankful for all that? Of course we are. I know we are. We have SO MUCH to be thankful for that it seems trite and selfish to look no further than my family and friends or a home or a job! I'm feeling sort of like it seems to trivialize being thankful by eating a huge meal, stuffing yourself to the point where you can't or don't want to move and then doing nothing but watching football (or whatever) ad nauseum all day long?

Maybe I'm not talking to the public at large. Maybe I'm really just talking to myself here. Maybe it's The Lord talking to me! But thankfulness seems to be so much bigger than all that. True thankfulness seems to require me doing more than that. Maybe what would be a real show of thankfulness would be to have a smaller meal, to eat less, to give more so that someone who doesn't have a meal today will have one. All I know is that God is not allowing me to have my normal Thanksgiving dinner this year. I keep hearing His voice in my ear telling me that less is more and do something different this year. Spend some of yourself, Kim, to show me how thankful you are, ...and it's not about money; no, you give plenty of money. Sometimes it's just not about money.

So I say to The Lord. Okay, so I give enough money. You know the things I do to honor you, Lord. (And He does know and now that I'm into writing this, I know that God is speaking to me...most likely not to you.) You know I've helped the sick, I've taught classes, I serve in my church, I minister as a watchman, I spend hours each days reading, studying and talking to you. What is it that you want from me to show my thankfulness?

You know what the Lord says to me? Pick up the phone and call that person whom you would never think about calling (as a matter of fact, that person you would never want to call) and invite them to dinner; make them the guest of honor. Make it a small meal, Kim, with the focus on quality; not quantity. Turn off the football game and put on something that honors Me (music or a movie; it won't matter) but make the focus on Me. Tell your guests a story about how I've provided for you this year or in the past and invite them to do the same. Whatever you spend on your meal, Kim, give that amount to a family who will have no dinner.

There's more; so much more that God is saying to me...things like getting before Him on my face in prayer and praise, thanking Him for all He provides me with materially, for every minute of every day that I can operate normally in a body that doesn't cooperate because of disease, sharing all that He gives me more sacrificially in these days when so many do not have the basic needs of life, and coming out of and not being a part of the way of life today in America; the life of excess.

It can be done. We can celebrate Thanksgiving without shoving a fist in the face of so many that have so little or nothing to eat. All that really matters is that our hearts are in the right place, that we have something good to eat, that we have our loved ones around us to share in the joy, that we give all the praise, honor and glory to God for all that we have and hold dear and that we share something more of ourselves than the obvious.

I pray that your day of Thanksgiving will be one filled with the knowledge of Jesus Christ and what He has done for you and a day spent in love, rejoicing and appreciation of all you have with your family and friends.

Hear these words from the hymn, Come, Ye Thankful People, Come...

1 Come, ye thankful people, come,
raise the song of harvest home;
all is safely gathered in,
ere the winter storms begin.
God our Maker doth provide
for our wants to be supplied;
come to God's own temple, come,
raise the song of harvest home.

2. All the world is God's own field,
fruit as praise to God we yield;
wheat and tares together sown
are to joy or sorrow grown;
first the blade and then the ear,
then the full corn shall appear;
Lord of harvest, grant that we
wholesome grain and pure may be.

3. For the Lord our God shall come,
and shall take the harvest home;
from the field shall in that day
all offenses purge away,
giving angels charge at last
in the fire the tares to cast;
but the fruitful ears to store
in the garner evermore.

4. Even so, Lord, quickly come,
bring thy final harvest home;
gather thou thy people in,
free from sorrow, free from sin,
there, forever purified,
in thy presence to abide;
come, with all thine angels, come,
raise the glorious harvest home.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Jonah and Jesus...How They Were Different

It seems like most people are familiar with the story of Jonah and how he was in the belly of a giant fish for three days, but do they know how Jonah came to be in the belly of the fish?

The Word of God came to Jonah and asked him to go to the city of Nineveh and tell all the people there that God was very displeased with them. God wanted him to tell the people that if they did not repent within 40 days, he would destroy the city and all the people in it.

Jonah was a jew, of course. The people of Nineveh were not. As a matter of fact, the people of Nineveh were known to be cruel, evil people; people who did horrendous things to others along the lines of the Nazis. Jonah hated them, and he didn't want God to warn them because he knew that God was gracious and merciful and loving and if the Ninevites, by some miracle, did repent of their sins, he knew that God would forgive them and not destroy them. He would much rather that God would destroy them, so Jonah ran away from God. God wanted him to go east and Jonah "went down" and hopped the first boat west.

God decides that He is not going to allow Jonah to shirk his duties and so He decides to shake things up on the boat by creating a big storm. Jonah "goes down" into the depths of the boat where he will feel as little of the storm as possible and goes to sleep. Everyone else on the ship sees that this is no normal storm and they begin doing anything and everything they can to lessen its impact on the ship; they throw stuff overboard, they weep, cry and they begin praying to all the various gods represented on the boat. Jonah, meanwhile is having a good nap.

Finally, the captain of the ship finds Jonah and asks him who he is and why he isn't praying to his god. Jonah tells him he is a jew and he is running from God cause God wants him to do someething he doesn't want to do. The captain is frightened and dismayed and tells Jonah to get with the program and start praying.


(Can you see how when we run from God and doing His purposes in our life, we seem to go down, down, down; further and further away from God?)

Finally, Jonah tells the captain to he knows God has sent this storm and that the captain should just pick Jonah up and toss him overboard "down into the deep" and they would be saved. It is my opinion that Jonah was thinking that he could not run from God so he would just die rather than go and preach to the Ninevites. So, the captain says okay and tosses him overboard.

God is in control of everything and he knows exactly what Jonah's going to do, so he purposes to have a huge fish there just waiting and it swallows Jonah, and he spends three days there while the Spirit of God deals with him and his sinfulness and disobedience. Jonah calls out to God while in the fish's belly, and God has the fish spit Jonah out onto shore where the Word of God comes to him and tells him to go to Nineveh to warn the people of their impending doom if they don't repent.

Well, this time Jonah dusts himself and runs directly to the east to Nineveh where he does just what God told him to do. You know what happens? The people of Nineveh repent, fast, pray, dress in sack cloth, and sit in ashes and God decides that's good enough for Him and does not destroy the people or city.

You'd think that's where the story ends, wouldn't you? But God is good and always wants those who love Him to come to a full knowledge of Him and His ways.

If you can believe it, Jonah is mad; well not just mad, furious; so furious he tells God that he knew this is what would happen and asks God to kill him; to take his life. God asks him if it's right for him to be angry about this and Jonah goes out, sets up a tent for shade and sits in the desert.

God makes this plant grow up next to Jonah and Jonah is very thankful for it and the shade that it brings; as a matter of fact, Jonah takes quite a liking to the plant. The next day the plant dies and God sends a big wind and the sun is shining down on him and while Jonah is mad about the plant dying, he has no shade and is about to faint, he asks God to again take his life. So God asks him if he has a right to be mad about the plant and Jonah tells him that he does have a right to angry and that God should
kill him right now.

God tells Jonah, "Look, Jonah, you took a liking for the plant, you didn't do anything to make it live or grow, but you cared for it and when it died, you took pity on it. Why should I not take pity on the people of Nineveh? I created them, gave them life, loved them, saw their error and offered them forgiveness if they repented. When they did, why shouldn't I, who gave them life, take pity on them?

That's how the story ends. It's the story of a selfish, rebellious, prideful man that God used to bring about one of the largest revivals in history. We are not told what happens to Jonah. It is believed that Jonah himself wrote the book of Jonah, so at least we know that he saw himself as he was and that hopefully he came to repent of his shortcomings.

Now, let's look at Jesus, who was also a prophet of God, sent to preach the Kingdom of God was at hand to those who would repent and believe His message.

Jesus never disobeyed, never went the other way, never refused to do, say or be whatever God wanted him to be. Jesus steadfastly walked the path God set before him. Jesus divested himself of all of his abilities as God and aligned himself completely with mankind and yet lived his life without sin. Jesus not only preached the message God gave him to a sinful world, he endured the world's hatred, scorn, beating, spitting, mocking, and crucifixion. He then spent three days in the belly of the earth and then God had the earth spit him back up to preach a message of eternal life and blessed hope to those who would believe his message, accept that he had come to pay the price for their sins and devote their lives to him.

There's a big difference in the stories. Jesus said that someday the Ninevites would sit in judgment of the ones who had heard his message and not repented because they (the Ninevites) had repented at the preaching of a mere man (Jonah) and that one greater than Jonah (Jesus) was among them preaching and yet they didn't repent.

After meditating on these two Bible accounts, the holy spirit asked me, "Kim, what are you running from doing for me today?" Is there something that God wants you to do that you are avoiding or running from. Is it as simple as saying "Yes" to Him? Or is He possibly asking you to make a change in your life now that you have believed on Him and asked Him in to your life and that change is one you don't want to let go of? The purpose of this blog today is to tell you what God is telling me. Don't be fooled, my friend. God will have His way and what He purposes will come to pass. It can come the easy way or it can come in a more difficult, painful way, but it will come to pass. Stop running from God. Sit down, get quiet and listen to what He is saying to you. I know from personal experience that life is sweeter, more joyful and peaceful when you are at peace with God. His promise to us in His Word is this:

Matthew 11:28-30

Come unto me, all [ye] that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke [is] easy, and my burden is light.

Stop trying to do everything in your own power. Allow Him to lead you and live in and through you. He will do the work, all you have to do is obey.

1 Cor. 10:13

There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God [is] faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear [it].

In other words, God is not going to lay something on you that you are unable to handle; and He will always make a way for you to bear the circumstances He puts you in.

Friend, He is so worth it. It is hard to put into words the changes He can bring in your life...changes that are hard and if He were not there seeing you through them, there would be no way on earth you could do it. And yet, He is there, so the changes take place and you feel joyful and at peace only to find that there are more changes to come...things you need to do and things you need to stop. You think, O God, I can't do this, but you do, indeed, do it, by His grace and with His hand leading you. It hurts, but the hurt is nothing compared to the joy in knowing that you are doing what your Creator/Father/Savior wants you to do. It brings you to your knees in worship and makes you want to dance in joy and exhiliaration. Do it. Take that step. Reach out to God. Ask Him to reveal Himself to you and you will never regret that step. All He asks is for you to listen, hear, and follow Him. He will never make you do it alone.

Father God, may we all hear your call and obey without questioning. Give me a heart of obedience to you. Make your wants my wants. I want to love what you love. I want to show your love to all people. Use me today to bring your love to someone, anyone. And Lord, if someone reads this today who doesn't know you. I pray that a seed has been planted so that you may water it and make it grow or perhaps, Lord, the seed was already planted; in that case, I pray that something in this will cause rain to fall on the seed and that you will cause that seed to grow. To you who sits on the throne, we give honor, glory and praise today for who you are and all that you have done. In Jesus' name. Amen

Monday, October 24, 2011

The Truth Hurts

This morning, I watched a video from Aloha Bible Prophecy's Pastor J.D. about how Libya plays in end time prophecy. There is so much in this one video, that somehow I got into my mind that surely the blogosphere would rampant with blogs today about all that is going on; but to my dismay, I couldn't find anything. I felt the Lord telling me I should say something, but I feel inadequate when it comes to prophecy and end time events. Elizabeth at The End Time is a great one for that, but for some reason I feel God pushing me in the direction. Well, here goes.

We've all heard that old axiom..."the truth hurts", and we've all used it a time or ten when we've hurt someone by saying something rash and unkind, haven't we?

The truth, as I see it, with regard to end times Bible prophecy events, is that the majority of people, and I am referring specifically to so-called christians, don't want to know what is going on. Why would they not want to know you ask. Humbly I say to you that if everyone who proclaimed that they were christian knew that Christ was going to return at any moment and that every single major event occurring in the world today is prophesied in the Bible, they just might have to change their ways. They wouldn't be able to continue pursuing their own agenda and life as they want to live it without consulting God. They might have to stop playing golf as they want, or might not be able to buy things they don't need or can't afford, they might have to stop overindulging in alcohol, food, shopping or their addiction to sports programs or movies...just t.v. or entertainment in general. I don't think any of these things are wrong, in and of themselves, well, except for the things specifically called out in scripture, and some of them are, really, have you seen how rabid people are about sports? I often say, if people would get as excited about Jesus as they do the Pittsburg Steelers or whoever, the world would definitely be a better place and look mighty different.

The truth of the matter is, and I'm quite guilty myself, that we all have a life pattern that we are used to living and we don't want to have to consult God on whether or not it meets with His okay if we do this or that, or have this or that, or if there's something He would prefer for us. God is a good God and as our Father, the Bible in Matthew 7:11 tells us that He is the giver of all good gifts and that if we, who are evil, give our children the things they want, why wouldn't He give us the "good" things we want? So what do we do? We stick our heads in the sand and pretend not to hear, or we listen to the slinky serpent who is busily promoting his doctrine, you know, the "doctrine of devils" which include replacement theology, the no-rapture theology, and/or dominionism theology. Listen to Pastor J. D. explain it, he's much better than I am at it:



Paster J.D. has quickly become one of my favorites when it comes to prophecy regarding the Middle East, and he's exactly right, America has been a great country, and we have been unbelievably blessed by God from the time of its birth. It seems to me now, though, that everyone hates America, not just other nations and especially the Muslim nations, but even the inhabitants of America. As a youngster growing up in America, I remember everyone being proud to live in America; not anymore. You see signs like the one in the video which says...Arab Spring...American "Fall". Everyone wants our country to fail, our money to fail, our people to be in chaos. It meets their agenda, and I'm not saying go out and protest or get involved in politics, or anything like that, but I am saying, if you can't see that the world is fulfilling Bible prophecy every single day, you need to get your Bible out and start reading it. I have, and I can see it and hear without needing a pastor or anyone else to tell me.

It struck me, as I listened to Pastor J. D. - this is why IT IS so important to read your Bible; so that we can know the truth. Otherwise, in the days ahead, it will be so easy to fall prey to the doctrine of demons.

There, I've said it...people don't want to know because they don't want to change and in accordance with the other axiom, "Ignorance is bliss", they can just go on like nothing's happening out of the ordinary. There've been wars for years, and the weather is just global warming or some El Nina or whatever. Well, don't let it be said that I was politically correct. I have news for you, folks. Jesus is coming back, and it's soon. The birth pains are just about passed and we're just about to the pushing phase. I say this all the time to my daughter: Read your Bible. Don't rely on a pastor, a friend, a video, a counselor, a weather-person or anyone else. Rely on the holy spirit and the word of God. They won't let you down. You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

God's Remnant

I watched a movie entitled "Agenda: The Grinding of America" with my family tonight. This is a documentary by Curtis Bowers about the overt agenda of the socialists and communists in America to destroy the country from within. You can watch the trailer HERE.

It was very interesting watching the movie with my husband and son and listening to their comments and questions. My husband is not born again and my son who is 12; well, it's questionable, to say the least, that he is born again, but they both had a lot of comments and questions throughout the 90 minute movie which took us 2.5 hours to watch. It was quite a challenge for me to answer their questions and comments correctly and in a way that I thought would please God, but I believe the Holy Spirit had been preparing me for this moment for the past couple of months.

The book of 1 Kings, chapter 19, tells the story of how Elijah, the prophet of God, (the same prophet who had caused a 3.5 year drought, the one who had been fed by ravens and caused the widow of Zarephath to have food for him and her many days when all she had was a little oil and a handful of meal; and yes, the same one who raised the widow's son from the dead, and killed 400 prophets of Baal after their God failed to show up at the contest of whose God was God) was running for his life because one little woman, Jezebel, had told him that she would kill him within 24 hours. Can you believe that an individual that God had used so mightily would be running for his life because a mere mortal woman had threatened his life...an individual who only had to call on God to get His attention!

Elijah ran a day's journey into the wilderness and sat down under a juniper tree and told God he wanted to die; he'd had enough, he wasn't better than his ancestors and God should just take his life. That night while he slept, God sent an angel to minister to his physical needs by providing him with bread cooked over hot coals and a jug or water. You know how it is, once your tummy's full and you're warm, your body has a tendency to relax and want to go to sleep, which is precisely what Elijah did. The next day, the angel of the Lord did the same thing and told him that he had a journey to take that was too far for him to take without sustenance.

That bit of bread and jug of water carried Elijah 40 days in the wilderness to the mount of God. He found a cave that he could sleep in and verse 9 says that the "word of the Lord came to him and he said unto him, What dost thou here, Elijah?" We are told in the first chapter of John that Jesus is the word made flesh, so, in other words, Jesus spoke to Elijah and asked him what are you doing out here, Elijah. Elijah replies telling him how zealous he has been for God and the children of Israel (who have BTW forsaken their covenant with God and worshiped other gods) and killed God's prophets and that he was the only one left and now "they seek to kill me".

So Jesus tells Elijah to go and stand outside on the mountain (which he does) and then, lo and behold, the Lord passes by and there's a huge wind which tears at the mountains and an earthquake but the Lord is not either one of those two huge occurences, nor in the fire that happens next. No, it is in the still small voice (delicate whispering voice in my Bible's notes) Jesus shows up and asks Elijah again, "What doest thou here, Elijah?"

You'd think Elijah would be down on his hands and knees cowering before God, saying "I don't know, Lord; what am I doing out here" but instead Elijah repeats his earlier montage of how zealous he's been for God, etc., and now "I, even I only, am left; and they seek my life, to take it away."

The Lord tells Elijah to go and annoint the new king of Syria and the new king of Israel and to annoint Elisha as the prophet to succeed him. Verse 18 sums it all up when the Lord says:

Yet I have left [me] seven thousand in Israel, all the knees which have not bowed unto Baal, and every mouth which hath not kissed him.

In other words, Elijah, I still have 7,000 others in Israel who are loyal to me...you are not the only one left.

Hold that thought for a minute and I'll tell you how that applies to the Agenda.

I became very active during our last presidential election; mostly because I felt that democratic candidate expressed so many ideas and political rhetoric that had a definite "anti-God message and/or feel. However, over the course of the last three years, God has shown me that politics and earthly governments are not where my (or anyone other follower of His) focus needs to be. I believe I am to be educated and wise about who is being offered up as the leader of my country and to inquire of God who I am to support, but that being said, no leader or nation or government on this earth will ever really have the answer to what ails the world. Actually, I'm at the point where I'm beginning to doubt if I am even to be concerned with elections at all and I'm beginning to think that God has given our country over to our own evil wishes and desires. I know that it is only in God that we will find peace, liberty and happiness with life.

God will always make for Himself a remnant, and because of that He will accomplish His purpose and plan for all of creation. The only important question is: "Are you a part of the remnant?" God can do more through a measly 7,000 followers than satan and all of his evil associates along with the whole world can. God does have a plan and it is unfolding daily right before our eyes. I have been studying and learning so much that proves over and over that the Bible is true and correct and infallible; things that take away all doubt about the veracity of the Bible and it being the inspired Word of God.

If you are not part of the remnant, I can't say enough to encourage you to seek God with all of who you are. The Bible tells us that those who seek Him with their whole being will not be disappointed. He will let you find Him. He will answer you, and while the rest of the world is upset and angry and fighting and picketing or whatever they do at their protests, you will be quietly going on with your life knowing that nothing is going to happen to you today that God does not already know about. You can rest in Him and trust Him not only to take care of your physical needs but to love and care for your soul like no one else ever has or ever will.

If you are in the remnant, you know what to do...only what He tells you.

I pray for anyone who may read this to be blessed by the presence of God in a special way in their life and that they would be drawn ever closer to His throne, that they would learn to worship and adore Him and and to praise Him for who He is and what's He's done and that they would be filled with a peace that only those "in Him" can know.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

The Passion and the Rapture

Ahhhh, the passion and the rapture...sounds like the title of a new movie outlining an online dating event, right? Not so much here on a blog devoted to spreading the call of Jesus to follow Him.
The Passion of the Christ is a movie by Mel Gibson about the final hours of Jesus' life and the crucifixion. It is well known for its depiction of the brutality Christ suffered for us prior to being crucified. Yet, it's not just the movie that calls these hours the Passion; the Catholic church refers to this time period in Christ's life as the Passion, and there are many others who refer to the closing hours of Christ's life as the Passion. Why? Because Jesus was so passionately in love with mankind that He was willing to give up His life for us.

Last week I posted a blog about a study at Radical Grace about the secret life of Christ; a study that uses scripture to show what Jesus' thought life was from childhood to the cross. According to this study, the events in Jesus' life were revealed to Him step by step, day by day, by the Holy Spirit. Everything Jesus did was a choice given to Him by the Father. He lived 100% as a human being, and God gave Him the choice to continue or not. Jesus chose to identify Himself 100% with man and went the distance by completely forsaking His "God-hood" and dying to provide us with a way to reconcile ourselves to God. I've heard of people applying themselves to various organizations or hobbies or their "passion" but Jesus is the only one whose passion was so intense He was willing to die for it.

The term rapture seems closely associated to passion because in today's society it's readily accepted and almost "expected" that men and women indulge in their passion for sex and the rapture that is supposed to result from it.

The actual term used in the Bible is "caught up" and it is translated from the greek word "harpazo". This word is used in the Bible several times to describe being taken by force unexpectedly.

For the past three years, I have been diligently following blogs and news and Christian teachers who believe that the rapture is imminent. I, obviously believe that to be true, too. I have been taught about a rapture event for the past 30-35 years or so, and there has been at least one time period each of the last three years that really looked promising for the rapture to occur. But as you can see, we are all still here.

During that three years, I have been introduced to the teachings of Joseph Herrin at Parablesblog who has made me look at interpreting certain things in the Bible differently, and the rapture is one of them. Just last week, Sarah Beveridge of Believer's Journey posted a blog referencing a teaching by David Eels of Unleavened Bread Ministries about the Separation of the Bride. You can find it HERE.

I believe both of these men are teaching that the spirit of God will be poured out on the true body of believers in Christ which will bring forth the "manchild" referenced in Revelation and that there will be a period of persecution of the church unlike any seen before (and there have been some really bad periods of persecution). If you don't believe me, go to your library and check out Fox's Book of Martyrs and read it for yourself. People have died for Christ in the most unbelievably horrible ways. The Book of Revelation indicates that the guillotine will be reintroduced in the last days and if you read my blog often, you know that last week I wrote about Roseanne Barr saying that bankers who fail to repay bailout money should be be-headed.

Is it possible that the rapture of the church is still far away and that we will have to endure real, true persecution in order to burn off all the fat the church has put on due to hearing too many sweet, ear-tickling sermons? CindyBytheSea wrote a blog this morning that features a news article from The Trumpet.com about the protesting going on across the world and now the U.S. It is an excellent article and should be read by everyone who is associated with Jesus Christ. You can find it here.

What I'm saying is that Christ was so passionate about us that he went to the cross and died for us. Are we ready to show him how rapturous we are about Him that we will endure any persecution for His name's sake? That is what the Spirit has been saying to me for a few months now. If you are watching the news at all, you cannot help but see how the Church of Jesus Christ is getting all kinds of bad press and being held responsible for many of the bad things happening around the world right now.

We need to dig into the Word in a new, deep way; we need to reach out to Jesus and pray for a fresh indwelling of His Spirit and we need to be praying for each other that we will all be prepared for whatever the day will bring because of our belief in Christ. I pray that we are not so caught up in figuring out when the "catching up" will be that we are not prepared if we are called to suffer for Christ today.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Jesus Was Completely Human

I hvae heard many, many times in the years that I have been following Christ how Jesus was 100% God and 100% man. That was very confusing to me. Doesn't that add up to 200%, and isn't there only 100% of anything? If what makes me Me is that I have 1/2 of my genes from my mother and 1/2 from my father, doesn't that make me 50% of my mom's family and 50% of my dad's family?

I know that's confusing, but that's what I was...confused! I came to realize that what I was hearing, or rather, what was being expressed was that while Jesus had 100% of the benefits of being God available to Him, while He walked this earth, He walked it 100% as a human being just like you and me, all the way to His death on the cross.
The following link is to a Bible study about what the life of Christ from a small boy all the way through to his death on the cross and what scripture reveals his thoughts to be during each stage of His life. It is a paradigm-shifting study!! It puts Jesus Christ in a whole new light -- at least it did for me. It helps you comprehend Jesus learning from a child that He is the Messiah, studying the scriptures and seeing Himself in them, applying the verses of Isaiah to His own life based on what his mother and father had told Him. It shows Jesus' confusion, His doubt, why He wanted to know who people thought He was and why He confronted Peter with that question and why He responded like He did to Peter's answer.

It fosters intimacy and opens communication lines to the Savior. It produces understanding and empathy and sympathy and repentance and grief. Most of all, it produces joy! Jesus Christ, my Lord and my Savior, WILLINGLY gave up his pure, clean, lovely, holy relationship with God the Father; He BECAME sin for me so that I might become the righteousness of God!

It's a great study. It's one I wasn't going to do, but God moved me to read and once I started, it was hard to stop. Maybe you already saw Jesus in this light. If you did, good for you; God blessed you with second sight, but, if like me you need some help seeing your Savior, read it, you will be glad you did.

The Hidden Life of Jesus

The Chopping Block

There's a program on the Foodnetwork these days called "Chopped". Four chefs compete in preparing an appetizer, a main dish and a dessert with special, almost-unheard of ingredients. At the end of each course, you will hear the words, "whose dish is on the chopping block"? This is weird, I'll admit, but those are the words that came to my mind this morning as I read the following news article:

Roseanne Barr: Behead Bankers, Rich Who Won't Give Up Wealth


Can you believe that? Here is a well known American advocating bringing back the guillotine for purposes of punishment, and when you add that to the fact that there are so many reports of beheadings in Iran and other countries where militants and extremists live and also in Mexico where there seems to be a bag of heads found every other day (according to the news), you can see how easy it is going to be to implement the use of the guillotine in the last days of the age as stated in the book of Revelation! Who'd have ever thought (as a child learning about it in history) that awful instrument would be brought out for use again?

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Lackluster Faith

One of my favorite worship songs is Open the Eyes of My Heart
by Mercy Me. The reason it is one of my favorites is that that is exactly what I want God to do. I want Him to open the eyes of my heart so I can see Him and know Him.

Do you ever feel like your walk has become lackluster and long to really know the Lord better? That is where I have been for the past few months and especially the last few weeks.

I read a couple of new books which I would highly recommend to you if you are feeling this way, too. One is "Forgotten God" by Francis Chan and the other is "Radical" by David Platt. Both of these books opened my eyes to the shallowness of my christianity and why my walk had become lackluster. What do I mean by "shallowness" and "lackluster"?

I was only looking at Christ as far as my front door and most days as far as my feet. My prayers were filled with requests for the Lord to "Help me..."

We are, by nature, selfish. Just think about any baby or small child and you'll immediately know what I mean. It's ALL about them, what they want, what they need, how they feel. We're born with that nature. We're born needy. We can only think as babies that we're hungry, or uncomfortable, or we don't feel well or we want to be held or put down, whatever; and we have the lungs and vocal ability to let one and all know about it.

I know that my faith in Christ has produced fruit in my life and in other's lives. I've seen it and have been told about it, but I have been feeling altogether too self-focused in my prayers.

Then I read these two remarkable books while on vacation and I started a Bible study (among other new ventures) and I felt that God was speaking directly to me telling me that I had enough knowledge and faith and had known Him long enough to get out do something with it.

One thing that really hit me hard for some reason unbeknownst to me was reading the Philipians 2.

I have read this chapter many times and it has been gone over in Bible study many times and I've heard many sermons preached on it, but for some reason, this was my TIME to read it and for it to sink in and touch my heart. (You know, the Word is like that sometimes.) It really hit me that God Almighty, who CREATED everything, KNOWS everything, and IS everywhere at ALL times loved everything and everyone He created so much that he didn't consider it BENEATH Him to go and take on the form of a created being, to live as a created being in the flesh and without using any of His ability as God to make a way for everything and everyone to be restored to the original, intended relationship that He created us for.

He didn't have to be born poor. He didn't have to learn a trade. He didn't have to be hungry, tired, or sick but he willingly became a man subject to all those things; not to mention being subject to aggravation, impatience, lust, all the things that the human body is subject to being simply because of being human. But He did it all willingly. And then, he allowed little ol' people, mere men and women, to mock him, spit on him, beat him to within a heart beat of his life, pull out his beard so that you could not even recognize him, and then let them hang him on a cross so he could pay the penalty that we, you and me, should have paid because of all the lousy, horrible, impure, unholy things we have thought and/or done.

I realized that Jesus Christ, God Incarnate, paid my debt to the Creator for my part in the sinfulness of the world. I should have hung on that cross, and I saw it ALL so clearly - how it should have been, and several times now since that happened, it has come back to me, and I have seen it again, and Jesus is looking real precious to me right now. I can see what a debt I owe to Him.

The authors of Radical and Forgotten God then showed me that I was not "asked" to go and make disciples of all nations, but I was "commanded" to go and do so.

Another thing the Lord showed me was in the book of 1 Samuel how Eli who was the prophet prior to Samuel had two sons who did not know the Lord and did sinful things at the Temple by taking advantage of people and sleeping with women and taking the best meat meant for sacrifice and how God held Eli responsible for his sons. You know, folks, God is going to hold us responsible for our children, too. You can find the story about Eli and his sons in 1 Samuel Chapter 2. Colossians 1:16 tells us:

For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether [they be] thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:

Did you see that: All things created were created by him AND FOR HIM. Our children belong to Him, and if we are not diligent in preparing them to know and receive Him, how can they be FOR Him? Won't they be AGAINST them?

One last thing that God showed me, and this one really caught me by surprise. I was driving home from my trip south yesterday, and I stopped in a convenience store to get some ice, when I heard the following conversation (all said with a "very" southern accent)...

"How ya doin Ms. Kirk, law, I haven't seen you in ages?

Well, Roy, I am doing so fine this morning. God has blessed this old body in so many ways I just can't tell you how good He is to me.

I know what ya mean Ms. Kirk. He sure is good, and He's coming back soon, I think.

Yep, I believe He's coming soon, too. I got a lot of things ain't so good, Roy, but I sure know that God has blessed me and I praise Him every day....."

What a blessing to me to hear this conversation. How many times when someone asks me how I'm doing do I say, "fine, thank you, and how are you?" From now on, I am going to glorify God. I want everyone to know how God has blessed me. He called my name, I heard Him, I answered Him, and now I am His and He is mine. I'm alive, I'm breathing. I can use all my senses. I can laugh and cry and feel. I can understand and I can explain. He loves me. He died for me and paid my debt. I owe Him my all and yet when this life is over I will inherit all the wonderful things I can think of and many that my mind cannot even conceive because of HIS generosity, faithfulness and love.

So why was my faith becoming so lackluster and shallow? Because I was focusing on me and not on HIM; because I was only caught up in my life instead of the lives of others, and because not only wasn't I looking at my life as blessed, I wasn't telling others how blessed I am! When you look at it all from the other direction and live it that way, your faith will be real shiny, and it'll show on your face!


Be blessed today in Jesus!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Childishness

Don't you just hate it when someone calls you childish? I certainly do, and from the looks of the people who I have called childish in the past, I believe most other people hate it, too.

Likewise, when I visit other web sites, weblogs or read publications, I get very perturbed when I hear people who profess to follow Christ bashing each other over things in the Bible that they don't agree about.

In thinking about all the parts of scripture that I have read (and I have read almost all of the Old Testament and all of the New Testament), I don't remember that Jesus had "word battles" with anyone. He said what He believed, back it up with why He believed it (scripturally or with facts), and then kept quiet and let the Holy Spirit work.

God is working, through the power of the Holy Spirit, on each one of us who have committed our lives to Christ. It's a lifelong process, this becoming like Jesus, and the things we do and believe today may not be the same things we do and believe in six months, three weeks or even tomorrow.

We are earthen vessels that hold his precious Holy Spirit and we are being molded and formed by God each and every day just as Adam was molded and formed by God at the beginning of time.

And in that molding and forming, we are becoming less childish, and more and more like Christ.

Ephesians 4:13-16:

13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, 14 so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. 15 Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, 16 from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.


So if you and a brother or sister in Christ don't see eye to eye today, don't write them off as lost or not your friend, say what you believe, why you believe it, and be quiet. Then, ask God to show you if you are wrong about what you believe and ask that if you brother or sister is wrong that God will open their eyes to the truth.

Let's leave childish fighting and bashing behind and work for the glory of God in a better way.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Take My Life and Let It Be...

I've been praying for some time for God to give me more and more of His Holy Spirit; that there would be more of Him and less of me.

As I look back over my christian life, I can clearly see that there have been occasions where the fruit of the spirit was evident in my life; that I was growing in the knowledge and understanding of God; and that God was using me to impact other peoples' lives.

But I feel like I've been living a life of christian mediocrity for some time and so I began to cry out to God for more of his holy spirit.

Yesterday I began reading Francis Chan's new book, "Forgotten God, Reversing Our Tragic Neglect of the Holy Spirit".

I would like to share this quote:

Right now i want you to take a break from reading and spend some time asking yourself why you want the Holy Spirit. Is it for power? Is it for your own betterment and purposes? Or is it because you want to experience all that God has for you? Is it because you love the church and desire to be a better servant to your sisters and brothers?

This really grabbed me, so I began to think about it and pray that God would show me the truth of why I wanted it? In all honesty, I'd have to say that for a time I wanted it just to have something to show; so I guess that's for my own purposes. But that has changed, and as I look deep, I know that the real answer is because I'm tired of living a lackluster life of spirituality. The God of the Bible is mighty, awesome, and powerful; moving ordinary, unskilled, uneducated, every-day Joes to to do unimaginable things, and my life as a christian looks so much like everyone else walking around today. I want to know the power that raised Christ from the dead; the power that spoke creation into being; the power that caused all the apostles to live lives that ended in martyrdom. I want it all. I want to be so sold out to God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit that I will die for it. I have reached the point of hating my life/soul!

Matthew 16:25
“For whoever wishes to save his life (psuche - soul) will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.”

Luke 14:26-27
"If anyone comes to Me, and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple. Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple.”

I'm there. I'm tired of praying for people and seeing no results. I'm tired of having no impact on my immediate family for God. I hate my christian-light life. I hate how little God uses me to help people. I'm tired of living a life that looks like everyone else around me. I guess I'm saying "here's my life, Lord, take it, always, only all for you".

Take my life and let it be
Consecrated, Lord, to Thee.
*Take my moments and my days,
Let them flow in endless praise.
Take my hands and let them move
At the impulse of Thy love.
Take my feet and let them be
Swift and beautiful for Thee.
Take my voice and let me sing,
Always, only for my King.
Take my lips and let them be
Filled with messages from Thee.
Take my silver and my gold,
Not a mite would I withhold.
Take my intellect and use
Every pow’r as Thou shalt choose.
Take my will and make it Thine,
It shall be no longer mine.
Take my heart, it is Thine own,
It shall be Thy royal throne.
Take my love, my Lord, I pour
At Thy feet its treasure store.
Take myself and I will be
Ever, only, all for Thee



Friday, September 2, 2011

When the Son Doesn't Shine

A few weeks ago, I was in the car with some friends heading home when the southwestern part of the sky became filled with large, black, billowy clouds. All of a sudden, the rain started pouring down, it started thundering, and large, sharp, bolts of lightning streaked from the top of the clouds down to the ground. Needless to say, it was a little frightening. However, when you looked just a way off, in a more northwestern direction, the sun was shining as bright as at noon and there were absolutely no clouds around. We were all quite entranced by it.

Yesterday morning as I was walking along my quiet little country road, I could hear thunder getting closer and closer, so I walked faster and faster to make sure I got back home before the rain hit. Again, the western portion of the sky was black and the rain started pouring down. I could hear the thunder but I didn't see any lightning. The eastern sky was cloudless and the sun was shining.

I don't recall ever having thought about it before, the way the sky doesn't always get completely dark when it rains, but the thought hit me that even when the rain is pouring down and the storm is at its worst, the sun is still shining; you just can't see it.

I began to ponder this thought a bit because I thought maybe it was something the Lord wanted to speak to me through. I asked Him what it was that I was supposed to hear.

For the past three or four months, I feel like I've been caught up in a storm. There are a couple of situations in my home life that have been quite trying and then there has been my son's illness and trips back and forth to North Carolina and Ohio to see doctors who practice integrative medicine (rather than just shoving pills at you and trying to keep you medicated), and frankly, I just felt like I wasn't hearing God's voice.

In that moment, there on my country road, I felt like I heard God's voice telling me that even though I have been going through a great storm in my life, I haven't seen or heard Him because I wasn't working at it hard enough. I was caught up in my own agenda more than I was wanting to hear from Him, speak to Him, or try to find Him in the clouds of my day.

I want to take the time today to thank the Lord for reaching out to me and drawing me back to Him.

This morning, our electric went off for some unknown reason. We didn't have a storm so something else must have occurred. I woke up, though. I'm a light sleeper and because of the way our home is built, our bedroom (upstairs, over the garage) is very warm and the air conditioner does very little to help cool it, so I have three large fans blowing in there all the time in the summer and it's very noisy if you know what I mean.

So when I woke up, it was dead quiet and as dark as, ... well, night! I opened the windows and thankfully, there was a breeze blowing in so I just lay there looking out the window at the beautiful sky and the stars and I felt the Lord very close to me telling me the things He has wanted me to do which I have avoided and how He had to work in ways which would bring me to a place of having to do what He wanted.

Two years ago, more or less, the Lord told me to home school our son and in a dream around the same time, Lord told me to start teaching my son more in depth than Sunday school about Him. I diddled around with Bible study with my son, but didn't get serious about it, and well, of course, the home schooling thing went by the wayside.

On Tuesday, we begin our first year of home schooling and it is Bible based. It took my son's illness and the integrative medical doctors' strict diet and advice not to send him to school because of his problems to get me here, but here I am.

I've been setting up the school room and looking over the curriculum, and it's not a piece of cake. It's going to difficult, and my son is difficult. So, would you pray for me? I mean, pray for the Lord to give me what it takes to do this as unto Him; in a manner that will be pleasing to both the Lord and my son.

I guess the lesson I've learned is that just like nature, the storms in our life make it seem like God is not there because there's so many clouds, and the thunder is loud and the lightning distracting. But He IS there if we will only look harder for a glimpse of His light, listen more closely for His soft voice, and learn how to exercise our faith by doing the things we know He wants us to do even though it does not match up with our plans. After all, He has called us out of the darkness, to follow Him and His path is not the easy, well traveled path, but the hard-to-find, hard-to-stay on path.

I pray that today the Lord will open the eyes, ears and hearts of any who stumble upon this little blog to His greatness, His awesome power to forgive, His abundant mercy, and His unfailing love. I also pray that He will pour out His spirit on me in a new, fresh way which will cause me to become less and Him to become more, and I ask these things in Jesus' name and for His glory and honor.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

My God is Not a Wimp



I worship the same God who spoke all that is into being;
I worship the same God who had the power to flood the earth;
I worship the same God who divided the Red Sea and enabled the
Israelites to cross over;
I worship the God of Elijah; the One who set fire to the sacrificeI
Elijah placed on the alter;
I worship the God of Elisha, the One who healed Naaman's leprosy;
I worship the God of David; the One who slew Goliath;
I worship the God of Job; the One who makes Arcturus, Orion and Pleiades;
I worship the God of Solomon; the One who has ALL wisdom and shares it if you ask for it;
I worship the God of Isaiah; the One who washes our sins as white as snow;
I worship the God of Jeremiah; the One who knows our heart;
I worship the God of Ezekial; the One who sanctifies His great name;
I worship the God of Daniel; the One who can close up the mouths of lions;
I worship the God of the Prophets; the One who knows the past, the
present and future;
I worship the God of Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Peter, Paul, Timothy, James, Titus, Jude, Mary, Martha and Lazarus, the One who teaches,
leads, forgives and loves;
I worship the God of John the Baptist; the One whose sandals I am not
worthy to tie or untie;
I worship the God of Jesus Christ; the One who has the power over life,
death, heaven and hell;
I worship the God the Father, Jesus Christ, his only begotten son and
the holy spirit;
The One who lives within me and has promised to give me the power to do
ALL things in HIS name and for HIS glory, honor and praise. God has ALL POWER, ALL KNOWLEDGE, HE IS LOVE, HE REMOVES my sin as
far as the east is from the west; HE CAN RESURRECT THE DEAD!



THAT IS POWER. My God is not a wimp, and so, neither will I be a wimp.
I will go forth today in HIS power against satan, his followers and
all the enemies of God. Nothing can harm me or touch me that HE
does want to do so. I am nothing. I am here today and gone
tomorrow. HE IS ETERNAL. May He see something in me that is
worthy of HIS use.

May God be praised throughout HIS creation today.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Humble Thyself in the Sight of the Lord

When I started this blog, I wanted to write about the Lord and the way He works in my life from my heart. Then I got all caught up in a being a blog that was "scripture based", and I got lost along the way. I have not blogged for the past couple of weeks because the Lord has stopped me. I have been asking Him for something to write and this morning He has given it to me as I layed in bed.

I saw the movie The Help yesterday. It is a poignant tale about relationships between employers (wealthy white women) and their maids (black women) in the 1960s. As with all poignant tales, there are things you can laugh about and things that make you cry. If you're like me, those things that make you cry also make you ashamed.

I have a friend, who has now moved to the east coast, that I met about ten years ago when I sold her a home here in SW Ohio. She is a beautiful, sophisticated, intelligent, kind, christian black woman. We've been in many prayer meetings together and sat together in church many Sunday mornings.

I can remember one particular Sunday, I believe it was a Sunday just before Martin Luther King day when our pastor ran a movie about Rev. King and it showed the bigotry and prejudice the people of my race showed to the people of his race back in the day. I cried with shame. I reached out to touch my sister's hand and told her how sorry I was for all the hurt and harm done to her black brothers and sisters. That's how I felt during The Help. I hate bigotry and prejudice and have tried all my life to shake off the drops of it that fell on me from my parents. I hope my children have been able to shake off more. Maybe someday we WILL all come to know that Jesus loves everyone, no matter what sex or color they are.

I came away from the movie with a few thoughts that I quickly posted on facebook last night: 1) there has always been bigotry and prejudice on earth (you only have to look back at Israel becoming slaves of the Egyptians); 2) There is still bigotry and prejudice but I believe many people have taken a giant step away from it; and 3) We must all pray that God will enable all of us to love each other the way He does.

However, this morning, as I lay thinking about God, my thoughts drifted away to the movie and how black families were portrayed in the movie as being so godly, and that caused me to think about the rich heritage of godliness that the Black Americans had as I grew up.

It came to me that when our lives are filled with difficulties and prejudice and persecution and hard time, period, we are humbled to the point that we cry out to God; morning, noon and night we call on Him. We realize our great need for Him. But, just as soon as it all lets up, we get out and make a little money and get our confidence in ourselves back, we lose that humbleness of spirit and mindset that shows us just how God-needy we really are.

I would rather, right this minute, lose everything I have and be humbled and dependent upon God than to have everything the world has to offer and not have God. God really is what life is all about even though most of us don't want to accept that. This story that we're living our right now is not about us, but about Him, and just like Moses, David, Esther, Ruth, Naomi, Deborah, Elijah, John the Baptist, Paul, Peter, John, Martin Luther, Martin Luther King and Abiliene and Winnie (from the movie), we have a moment etched in time for us to stand up, be brave and do that for which God has brought us into being. It is not a moment of self-reliance, self-assuredness or dependence on anyting that this world has to offer but it is a moment when we realize that all we are and ever will be are reliant on God and His work in our lives and that unless we stand up and do that thing which He calls us to do our lives will have been lived in vain.

Some will have great tasks that require much knowledge, strength, wisdom and/or courage, and some will have a small unknown task. The THING is that we have to recognize it as something that we were born to do and then DO it, and I believe it will be a HARD thing. No, it can't be easy because then it would be something that you can do without putting your heart and soul into it.

I have been a very self-assured, self-centered person in my past. God has used my illness and now this summer the illness of my son to show me that it's all right to achieve success as this world sees it, but it's not what is really important. What is really important is being there when someone you love needs you, when the people you love needs you, when the world you live in needs you; being there completely in mind and body and giving your heart and soul to the task at hand, realizing that without Him you couldn't do "it" (whatever "IT" is) and giving God the glory and honor and praise while you do it.

That's what the movie The Help is all about. Humble thyself in the sight of the Lord and HE will lift you up (when He's ready to).

Finally, then, this blog will go back to being about my thoughts and feelings about the Lord. I may quote scripture to back it up and I may not. I am not a teacher of scripture. I am woman living out my life and loving and trusting God to lead me to and through all the HARD things he has waiting for me to do in this life...affectionately called "the race" to those who love Him and are called according to HIS purposes.

God bless you with His presence today.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

A Crazy, Mixed Up World

I have been saying for the past three years that we are living in the final days of this age. I still believe that, and I believe it more and more with each passing season. One thing that really makes me believe we are in the end of days is the acrimony amongst various churches and the body of Christ.

One says that we are to be tolerant and accepting (not negative or pointing out one's sin) of all people. That makes sense doesn't it? Jesus spent most of his time on earth amongst sinners stating that he did not come to save the healthy but to save the sick (Luke 5:30).

One says that we are to adhere strictly to biblical teachings, pointing out false doctrine and standing against sin being committed, winning the lost and setting the oppressed free. That, too, makes sense, doesn'it, because Jesus came to do that very thing. Luke 4:18

One body of believers says that the tribulation is 7 years long; another says it is 3.5 years in duration.

One group of Christians says that Christ will return to rapture the Church prior to the tribulation; another group says the Church will be raptured in the middle of the tribulation; and yet another group says that Jesus will rapture the Church at the end of the tribulation.

One segment of the Church says that it's okay for homosexual and divorced people to teach and preach, etc., within the Church. While another group considers this to be apostasy.

The Church is SO divided. Where are people getting their doctrine, their beliefs, their truths?

2 Peter 3:3, we are warned that in the last days, people would scoff about the return of Christ, and we are warned in Galatians 1:8,9 that anyone who preaches or teaches any gospel but Christ is to be cursed.

2 Timothy Chapter 3 espouses all kinds of aberrant behavior that will be evident in the last days, and that behavior is all around us.

Everything, everywhere seems so confused and out of control and mixed up and unusual. Does anyone else feel it? From politics, to finances, from sexual perversion, to the weather and earthquakes and volcanoes and weird bird and animal deaths and global catastrophes; everywhere I go I feel an uneasiness, a wariness and whether people believe in God or not, I feel that, unless a person is totally out of it, we are all waiting and watching for the other shoe to drop.

Where do I stand on all these much-discussed, many-sided issues to the Church?

First and foremost, Jesus Christ is the Way, the Truth and the Life. No man can come to God without going through Christ.

Secondly, we have to rightly divide the Word of God in order to determine what is right and wrong, and I believe it is specifically stated that the preachers, teachers and leaders of the Church will be the "husband" of "one wife" (1 Tim 3:2 and Titus 1:6).

Last, we cannot make our own doctrine, rules and laws. We must search the scriptures daily like the Bereans did and we must ask the Holy Spirit to teach us ALL things including THE TRUTH even when we don't really want to know the truth. We have to be honest with ourselves about what we want to know and don't want to know, and then seek God's help in learning and accepting His truth.

It is, indeed, a crazy, mixed up world right now...just one more sign that we are living in the last days.

Father, you cannot lie, and your Holy Spirit lives within me. Please, I pray, help me want to know the truth and give me a desire to find the truth in Your Word. My heart is very wicked, and I want to deceive myself, if I can, into finding a way to mold my beliefs and actions into what your word says. Don't let me do that, Lord. Make me face the truth; whether I want to or not. Let me see myself as I really am. In Jesus' name I pray.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Does Worrying Weigh You Down?

My mother worried a lot. She even called herself a "worry wart". I've often wondered about that nick name and why anyone would want to wear that title. I looked it up today on the Word Dectective, and here is what is stated about this much used moniker.

“Worry” itself is an interesting word, one that has traveled far from its origins. When “worry” first appeared in Old English (as “wrygan”), it meant, not “to fret,” but “to strangle” (putting a whole new light on “put your worries behind you”). That grisly meaning of “worry” softened a bit over the subsequent centuries, first to “bite and shake” (as dogs “worry” their rubber toys today), then “to harass or vex,” until finally arriving at its modern meaning of “to make (or to be) persistently anxious” around 1822.

“Wart,” on the other hand, has meant “a small excrescence on the skin” since it appeared in Old English from a Germanic root. Several centuries of development gave “wart” a variety of figurative meanings, including that of “a defect or unattractive feature” (as in the phrase “warts and all”) and, perhaps inevitably, “an annoying, obnoxious or insignificant person” in the 19th century.

Thus the stage is set for decoding “worry wart” as “a person who annoys others by worrying loudly and constantly over nearly everything.”

Worrying is really quite fruitless and so I guess it can be annoying to others because they realize that there are times when no matter how much you try, you just can't change the way things are and no amount of worrying will change that.

If a worry wart is indeed a person who annoys others by worrying loudly and constantly over nearly everything, and if one's parent is a worry wart, then it stands to reason that their children might learn to be worry warts by watching their parent in action, right?

On the other hand, if we as parents show our children that when you are perplexed and challenged by the the things of life you take your problems to God in prayer, perhaps, that, too, can become a learned response.

The Bible tells us that we are not to worry about anything; not what we are going to wear, or eat or what is going to happen today, (Matthew 6:25-34) or tomorrow or what might not happen. We are not to worry about logs or specks (Matthew 7:3 and Luke 6:41) in our friends' eyes, we are not to worry about what we are to say Luke 12:11).

I have found myself worrying many times in the last few weeks; worrying about whether my son was going to get his health back, whether he was eating enough, if he was eating too little, whether he was taking his medication correctly and on and on and on. The Holy Spirit is teaching me that this is wrong and is, in fact, a sin. I am showing a lack of confidence in God. I am not trusting Him, and I am trying to be in control of a situation that is completely out of my control.

God knows what He's doing. He has a purpose and a plan for our lives. He doesn't want to hurt us. He wants to give us a future and a hope Jeremiah 29:11.

When we accept the gift of God's forgiveness, redemption and become joints heirs with Jesus, we are entering into God's rest. He is our strong tower, the lifter of our head, and we need to learn to let Him "be" in us. We need to rest in the assurance that He is in control and that He is working "all things" for good because we love Him and have been called according to His purpose. It is hard to make these big life changes but that is what those who follow Him are called to do...trust Him implicitly just because He is God and He is good (and only God is good).

Even if the end result of our turmoil turns out to be not what we wanted or wished for or hoped for, if we just focus on Him and how He loves us and how He sees the big picture and knows how it all turns out in the end; then it becomes a little easier to rely on His wisdom, goodness and love.

When the circumstances of life bring on worry, that is the time to boost your courage with these two thoughts:

First, God did not give us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love and self-control 2Tim 1:7; and

Second, Isaiah 55:11 says: So shall my word be that goes forth out of my mouth; it shall not return to me void--without producing any effect, useless--but it shall accomplish that which I please and purpose, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it (AMP Bible).

We do not have to worry and fret because we have his spirit living within us, a spirit of power and love and one which enables us to say, "no, enough; I will not be afraid and worry".

When God allows things to touch us in this life, it is for a purpose, and when He says "so be it", then it will happen to accomplish that thing which He has planned.

It sounds difficult, doesn't it? Rest in him, trust him, lean not on our own understanding and yet we are to be on our guard, wearing our armor and standing firm in the presence of difficulties, trials and even evil.

I believe that means that even though we have responsibilities with regard to our faith, ultimately, we have to realize that God holds us in the palm of His hand and as we learn to let go of our worries and allow Him to do His work in our lives, we will grow in our knowledge of Him and His righteousness.

Lord Jesus, as I walk the path of life that you have directed me to, I pray that you will make me aware of the places where I am most susceptible to failure. Show me where I am to be alert to obey and where I am to rest and watch you. Give me the mind of Christ today. Help me focus on today for tomorrow has worries I don't even know about today. I ask it in Jesus' name. Amen.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

If You Love Me, You Will Trust Me

Everywhere you turn you hear people talking about the long, hot summer. Here where I am, it is, indeed, hot; and the summer is feeling especially long because I have been dealing with my son and his illness. We came to North Carolina because of a clinic nearby my friend's home that treats illness holistically. The doctors at the clinic are medical doctors and chiropractors who employ massage therapists, colon hydrotherapists, medical assistants and nurses and use not just allopathic medicine but integrate it with homeopathic and holistic care.

My son is really just a little boy even though he is on the brink of teenager-hood (he's just about 12). You know how it is when you're a kid; you just want what you want. This child loves to eat, and it is very easy for him to tell you what his favorite foods are: steak, pizza and hamburgers. Any chance he has had in lifetime to have any one of the three above items, believe me, he has taken full advantage of it and eaten all he could handle. Unfortunately, what you eat has an impact on ulcerative colitis. So my son provided the lab with material to do a complete study to determine what he is sensitive to and/or allergic to. The lab came up with three items that my son can eat with complete abandon: apples, raspberries and apricots! For the next six months, he is relegated to a diet that is vegetarian, gluten free, sugar free, and dairy free.

Woe is me I have been crying! Seriously, this is no fun. My son is relentless when he wants something. So, at first, I tried to follow the diet but allow him to have a little here and there that he likes so he wouldn't be miserable. Last week he ended up in the hospital because his intestines became so inflamed he vomited and had diarrhea for five days and lost weight so quickly my husband and I panicked and tooking him to the E.R. I learned my lesson.

My son, however, is a different story. We came home from the hospital yesterday and he immediately started asking me for things that he can't have and telling me how he didn't like the things I was offering him (mostly not even tasting them to even find out!). So I told him: "If you love me, you'll trust me. I don't want to feed you bad tasting food. I don't want you to be sick either. This is one of those times when I'm not your friend, I am your mom; and I will not let your feet slip again."

The Lord showed me that this is so consistent with my relationship with Him. I rarely want to do what the Lord wants me to do immediately. It usually takes thinking, pondering, praying, confiding in someone and more prayer. Well, at least, that's the way it is when it's something big I have to change in my life. God is constantly helping us, showing us the way so our feet won't slip either, and we have to choose to trust Him just because we know who He is; that He is good and He loves us with an everlasting love.

It makes it so much easier for us to trust God if we look at it through the eyes of a child with his/her parent and relate it back to our own children and their trust in us to do the right thing for them. God is all about doing the right things for us just as we are for our children. We want our children to live righteous, fruit-filled, happy, long lives; God wants the exact same thing for us.

Psalms 13:5-6

But I have trusted in your steadfast love; my heart shall rejoice in your salvation. 6 I will sing to the LORD, because he has dealt bountifully with me. (ESV)


Proverbs 3:5-6

Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not onto thine own understanding; in all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy path.
Lord,

I want to deal bountifully with my son. When he is grown, I want his heart to rejoice in the things I did for him as a child. Please give me the mind of Christ, the love of Christ, the patience of Christ, the wisdom and understanding of Christ so that I can minister these things to him. Let my child come to know you through me, I pray in Jesus' name. I want Him to bring honor and glory to your name. amen