Saturday, February 23, 2013

Are We Approaching the End of This Age?

I get so few comments on this blog that I don't really know if anyone reads it more than once.  It doesn't really matter.  I just what is on my heart at that moment, and I pray that it is what God wants me to write.

I have been blowing the shofar for some time trying to alert people around me that we are approaching the end of this age.  I am always told that "no one knows the day or hour", or "you're so negative", or as my pastor told me, "yes, I believe Jesus is returning soon, too, so we just have to be about His business". 

Well, yes, we do, but what about warning those who haven't a clue?  There are so many things going on around right now that are Biblical and prophetic that I have to stop today and shout out a watchman's call to anyone who passes by here to be on the alert.  Jesus' return for His bride, the Church, is imminent!  Do I mean today?  Maybe, but not necessarily.  Could it be tomorrow?  Most certainly.  All I'm saying is read your Bible and watch what's happening around you.  You'll see what I mean.  I am not going to go to the trouble of re-writing what my friend, Elizabeth @ < The End Time Blog has already done a phenomenal job writing about.    I am just going to post some links for you so you can read them yourself. 
But don't say you weren't ever told.  If you have not given your life to Christ and died with Him and been resurrected in His power, please don't monkey around another day.  This is eternal stuff we're dealing with here.  Get on your knees before God, repent of all your sin, and give  your life to Him. He is a wonderful savior, loving, patient, kind, just, faithful, honorable, filled with compassion and He wants you to love Him just like He loves you.  He will be your rock, your strength and He will hide you under His wings until the storm has passed.

Sequestration-World Commerce and the Coming Anti-Christ

A Note About the Brethren Living...Catholic Church

The Differences Between the Rapture and the 2nd Coming

and from my friend Sarah at Believer's Journey Blog:

Daniel-9:27 - Prophecy Watch

Time is short, my friend.  Don't delay.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

The Wisdom of God

James 1:   2  Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, 3 for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. 4 And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. 5If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. 6 But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. 7 For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; 8he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.   (ESV)

James 1:2-8 are Scriptures that have significant importance to me in my walk with God.  It seems to me that I have received more than a normal share of difficulties throughout my short 55 years, and everytime that difficulty presents itself, I most assuredly have a hard time considering it to be an opportunity for joy!

Yet, my friend, that is what God calls us to do.  We are to count every difficulty in our life as an opportunity for joy because that difficulty causes us to endure, and when our endurance is fully developed we will be perfect and complete; ready to face anything! 

Seeing our difficulties in life as opportunities for joy and then enduring through those difficulties with joy takes an understanding of the mind of Christ, really, because His ways are not our ways.  We only see joy or happiness as being those times when life is all about us and it's all going the way we want it to go. 

But just as in the case of a child who is given everything He wants, that joy and happiness turns to selfishness and self-centeredness, and when we are able to look at our difficulties in life as a way to learn how to bear up under hard circumstances (with a smile on our face and a song in our heart) because we know that God has a purpose for our indignity, that's when endurance serves a greater purpose in our lives.  This takes wisdom, and we are advised by James to ask God for His wisdom and that He will not resent our asking Him for it.  But, and this is a big BUT...He wants us to truly believe that He will give it to us when we ask Him for it.  He wants us to be sure - certain - grounded - in our belief that if we ask Him, He is faithful to hear and respond. 

Further along in James, Chapter 3, we are told by James what God's wisdom consists of:

17 But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere.  (ESV)

So, as we ask God for His wisdom, realize that we are asking Him to help us see our difficulties through eyes that are pure - clean, perfect, no falseness; peaceful - at rest; gentle - without harshness; open to reason - able to see both sides of the situation; full of mercy - able to forgive; and good fruits = love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness and self-control; impartial - without prejudice; and sincere - wisdom that is genuine.   Chew on that for a minute. 

When God gives us His wisdom; wisdom to deal with any difficulty or situation in life, these are the things that will be evidenced in our actions:   Purity, peacefulness, reasonableness, gentleness, mercifulness, impartiality and sincerity.

If our actions are anything otherwise; then we are not acting with the wisdom of God.   God's word is very specific about what God's wisdom includes.  Therefore, we cannot ever say that we had nothing with which to measure our actions, can we?

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Liberty and Justice for All

A speech given by Dr. Benjamin Carson, a Pediatric Neurosurgeon at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore University at the National Prayer Breakfast last week has gone viral.  I think this is partially due to the fact that President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden were present at the breakfast, and also because Dr. Carson spoke honestly and frankly about some things that are near and dear to his heart:  1) Jesus; 2) Education; 3) Health Care; and 4) National Debt.  Have you seen the video?  If not, please go HERE to watch it.

Here's what I love about this video.  I love how Dr. Carson is introduced as a man who loves "Jesus"!
I love how he addresses the fact that political correctness is destroying our ability to exercise our right to free speech.  I love how he speaks in a respectful, intelligent, non-condescending way and alludes to God giving us instruction on how to have enough money to pay for things in the Bible,  And, finally,  I love how he doesn't water down the truth simply because there are important governing people at the breakfast.  He speaks the truth with caring and consideration, and you can tell by the video that what he says is very well received by the majority (with just a few exceptions!).  I noticed that Mrs. Obama clapped quite enthusiastically about the things he said (...just sayin'...) which made me smile.

This, my friend, is how the people of God can effect change in the world!!  Don't like Jesus; don't admire Him or think He's cool.  Love Him!  Yes, love Him.  (Although loving Him, also encompasses all of the foregoing.)   Read His Word.  Learn what He said, study what He did, meditate on it, drink it in, let it become a part of you and open your arms and embrace Him.  Take in all of Him.  There is no WILL love Him, and with love comes comfort and peace and security.  When you are secure and safe and at peace with God, it frees you up.  You don't have to worry about having the approval of anyone but Him!  You can then speak to all people in love and in truth, and that's just what Dr. Carson did, and look how people are talking about Him.

There is a way that seems right to man, and it leads to death. (Proverbs  16:25) There is another way, and that way leads to liberty and justice for all....that way includes Jesus.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Our "Outward" Man is Perishing...

"For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, works for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal." -2 Corinthians 4:16-18

I thank God for this verse.  It is very comforting to me to know that while my outward body is perishing more and more everyday, my inward man is being renewed and restored by the work of God's Holy Spirit. 

This is especially comforting to me today, as I spent most of yesterday undergoing testing to determine if I am a good candidate for DBS surgery. 

I had to stop taking my meds at 6 p.m. the night before, and my test was at 10:30 a.m.   I was really unaware of just how badly my body has been destroyed by this terrible disease, but I had to face it yesterday. 

If I did not have any medication, I would be twisted into a horrific ball of knots, I would think very, very slowly and muddily, and I would be in a wheelchair when I did need to be ambulatory.

It was not a picture of myself that I enjoyed looking at.   I prayed through my tears, asking the Lord to help me endure, and He, of course, ever faithful, did not leave me, and neither did my sweet, loving husband, who shared the pain and sadness with me; quietly reaching out and touching my hand or patting my shoulder.   I could see the pain and sadness in his eyes as they locked with mine.

Finally, the physician gave me my medication and within an hour or so I was mostly back to normal.  I have knocked medication many times, and today I commit never to do that again.  Today, I am ever so thankful to have meds through the grace of God which help me to live a mostly normal life.   Without them, I would not.  Needless to say, it was a very humbling experience. 

It is hard for us to think of ourselves as not being whole and healthy.  We like to think that our time is unlimited, but everyone of us, is perishing on the outside whether we want to face it or not.  And if one has not dealt with the question of who Jesus Christ is, the inward man is perishing, too, and that's an even worse thing to contemplate.   Who do you say that He is?

I have taken the first step towards DBS and now I place myself completely and comfortably in the hands of my God and my Savior and await our next step.  I will rest in Him and think not about this life but the life to come and how I can glorify Him today with all that I have left to give, and He will renew the inner woman inside me...the important part.

Heavenly Father, I thank and praise you this morning for your faithfulness and the promises that you have made to me about my future.  Even when this life is over, you have a plan for me that I can look forward to.  So much of this life is disappointing and causes pain; thank you for giving me something to look forward to.  I pray that you would be glorified in my life today and that all who pass this way will come to know you as their Lord and Savior.  In your name and for your glory, I pray.

Friday, February 1, 2013

The King Who Came to Serve

If you have read any of my earlier posts, you may have come across one that that talked about the fact that I have Parkinson's Disease.  I was diagnosed at age 44 - 11 years ago.  I have fought the disease with all of my strength, knowledge and being.  Unfortunately, it is one of those diseases that you cannot prevent progressing. 

There has been a dearth of posts to this blog in the last six weeks due the fact the disease has been laying me very low.  So I am now faced with two choices:  (1) continue the progression and worsening symptoms; or (2) begin testing to determine if I am a candidate for Deep Brain Stimulation surgery.  Seems pretty simple doesn't it? 

I have been praying for God's wisdom, and I would beg you, if you could spare a few minutes to pray on my behalf for wisdom.  I have asked the Lord to direct my path; I am leaning on Him and trusting in Him for wisdom and direction in this matter.  I will walk forward into the testing and as long as each door remains open, I will continue to walk forward trusting in the Lord. 

One of the things I have been doing as a result of my increased discomfort from the disease is having a weekly massage.  The masseuse is a Christian woman I have known for many years, and she has a wonderful servant's heart and magic hands.   

As I was laying on the table last week, she was working on my legs and feet.  Suddenly, I had a vision of the Lord, with a towel around His waist, standing in the shadows at a table pouring water into a basin and then walking toward me.  The thought that came to me was how my Lord, the King of Kings, Creator of All, The Great Physician, had come as a servant to mankind and that He was once again ministering to me.  It seemed that He was the one actually working on my feet and legs, and I vocalized these thoughts to the masseuse.  She took a deep breath, really more like a gasp, and told me how before beginning each of her massage appointments she asks the Lord to work through her hands.  We both shed a few tears over the greatness of God - the One who did not consider Himself too great to shed all of His glory and to come and dwell among us in the form of a human being to serve us.

He came out of love and a desire to bring reconciliation between Himself and mankind; and to bring glory to His Name.

When one is confronted face to face with the greatness of the act of God in coming to us, living a human life, being tested and tried in every way that we are and yet living His entire 33 years without sin (deigning to minister to the extent that he even performed the lowly service of washing His disciples' feet) and then taking the punishment that was reserved for each and every person who ever committed any sin by dying on the cross, well you can't help but glorify His Name.

Not only did the Lord minister to me through her hands, He ministered to me through her spirit.  When the Spirit of God within one's self meets with the Spirit of God within another, there is love, and kindness and rest.  She brought rest to my heart and mind and I could rest in His love.

The Israelites were not expecting their promised Messiah to come in so lowly a manner.   Today's kings and rulers would not even consider lowering themselves the way He did.   HE is truly great and worthy of our praise.  HE is one of whom His subjects can be proud...proud to follow, and proud of His deeds and words.  You can't find that anywhere else today!