Monday, August 31, 2015

Thinking Others Are More Significant Than We Are

Philippians 2:3  Do nothing out of selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.

God's Word hit me up the side of the head with this verse the other day while the Spirit of the Lord was speaking to my spirit, "this is it. this is your verse for today." Why, you ask. Let me share a little of what has been going on in my ever-so-eventful life that has caused me not to be blogging lately.

For ten years, I have lived with an alcoholic husband. Our life had deteriorated to nothing and in February, I felt compelled to speak forth an ultimatum. I told my husband, who I love very much, that I could no longer live with him under these circumstances. I took my 15 year old son and left our home. For three months we lived apart. During Holy Week in April, I began to fast and pray for him. We were in constant touch with each other by phone because I handle all our finances but we were not seeing each other.

Finally, one day we had words about his drinking, and he informed me he had quit drinking on Easter Sunday. I praise God for this and I believe my husband's stopping his abuse of alcohol was completely due to my praying/fasting and God's intervention. My husband told me that the Saturday before Easter he was sitting in a local establishment thinking why am I doing this? My friends are all gone, I'm here alone and this really isn't fun. (Where was that thought process the last ten years?) Then, also, later that night as he was going to bed, he had thoughts about how much he had drunk, how he should be plastered (he wasn't) and how he wasn't having fun anymore. So he began the painful, long process of going "cold turkey" by himself!

About four weeks after this, I moved back home, and we have been working to make our life better without alcohol as a part of it. It was going pretty well.

Then, about the middle of July my husband started suffering with a bout of diarrhea. Then, it dragged on and on and on and three weeks later, we are sitting the doctor's office awaiting his colonoscopy. He had lost 30 pounds in three weeks. Another two weeks have passed and two more colonoscopies, and the doctors cannot definitively say he has cancer, but he most certainly has a rectal mass.

It was during one my husband's worst diarrhea episodes that God gave me Philippians 2:3. After a particularly bad day of cleaning carpets and bathrooms, I was feeling put upon when the Lord's spirit said, : Don't complain, don't say a word, clean it up as to the Lord, like you're doing it for the Lord." A couple of mornings later, my devotions contained this scripture and my heart was struck with the conviction of God that this is a test of my pride and my willingness to do whatever it takes to make my husband feel loved by me and by Jesus.

I really thought about those words. It seems like a lot of times I do have ulterior motives for what I do, I want people to like me and think I'm a loving, giving person, but God wants our only motive to be caring about the people we are serving.

If you have read this far, I ask for your prayers for me (again!) as I enter another time of testing of my faith and for my husband's health and being born again. He believes in Jesus, but I have not been a witness of total regeneration. Only the Lord knows for sure.

God bless you and yours and keep you healthy and safe.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

A Pleasing Aroma to God

Isn't it odd how quickly life can change.  Since my last post, I have been struggling with my Christian walk; experiencing spiritual warfare in a manner so far unknown to me in my life.   My faith has been weak, my thought life a wreck and my obedience almost non-existent.  I have been holding on simply by the grace of God.  The Lord has prompted me to continue in my devotions even though I have been struggling in prayer.  The Word I have heard is persevere, put on the armor of God and control your thoughts.

This morning I had a profound spiritual experience,  When I got up, I was putting on my slippers and had  the sense of an aroma coming up in my face.  It was a smell that evoked an immediate response in my spirit and in my flesh,  It pulled at my memory banks but I could not place it and it kept occurring.

I usually have my quiet time in the morning, and this morning I really sensed the presence of the Lord God in my home,   (I have been praying that the Holy Spirit would come and fill my home with His presence to help in the spiritual warfare going on there.  Boy, did he ever deliver!!!)

A prompting in my spirit sensed this was a smell pertaining to medicine and death, and the thought passed through my mind:  How would you live today if you knew you were going to die.  Really, when that question is asked within your mind and not within the aspect of "soul winning and the four spiritual laws", it affects you deeply and profoundly,especially when you think it's being prompted by the Spirit of God who lives in you.

I began to mull over how I would live if I knew I had just a few hours left of my life as I know it.  It was like my life flashed before me and I saw the results of how my living with weak faith, a sinful thought life and very little obedience to the One who has the right to require obedience had brought on a lot of the warfare and lack of peace in my life.  Give the devil an inch and he'll take a mile, as my mom would say. Submit yourself to God; resist the devil and he will flee from you as brother James says in James 4:7.

It all boils down to that.  I have not been submitting myself to God and so the devil has been gaining a foothold in my life.  My response was immediate.  I confessed my sin, repented and asked God to create in me a clean heart and to restore a right spirit within me.  His word tells us that if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9).

If we only had a true inkling of how holy, righteous and unblemished by sin that God really is, we might have an idea of how badly our lives stink to Him. Jesus the Christ offered up His life in sacrifice for the sins of the world.  He died to what He wanted and offered up the sweet aroma of His obedience and subsequent death to God so that you and I might live and not die.

Ephesians 5:2 Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ. He loved us and offered himself as a sacrifice for us, a pleasing aroma to God.

Satan is a roaring lion looking for those who he can devour.  Don't let him do it to you; resist him,  Don't leave home today without your armor.  Ephesians 6:10-17

Monday, April 20, 2015

Utterly Abandoned to God

Does anyone besides me feel the shift in the current?  I watched some television last night, and felt it in every ad and every program.

I went to the Internet and watched a video about gay marriage, and then I watched another Christian video about Sodom & Gomorroh and the finding of Noah's Ark.    I felt an intensity in my spirit which is new to me.

I believe God is trying to tell His people that time is oh so short for us.  He will be returning soon.
I am very thankful this morning that He has been working in my life showing me that no one else can take His place....not my husband, not my children, not my friends,  not my job, not my ministry, not shopping, not eating or partying!  No one and nothing can take His place and He alone has my back in this time of deceit and desperation.  He said He came to cause division, and I believe that that is so we will not be like Mrs. Lot, who when leaving Sodom prior to its destruction, looked back to her old life because she loved it more than God.  God is drawing us closer to Him and away from this life.

As I look back over the years, it is so apparent how different life looks now to how it looked 40-50 years ago.  TV is a blight that is perpetuating so many lies upon us.  It's convinced us that marriage is a joke, men are not capable of being upstanding, in-charge adults, they are stupid and worthy of our contempt, women are in charge,  adultery is okay, disrespect for our elders and people in charge is okay, and it is quickly working to make the LGBTQ lifestyle one for all people to embrace.

God only wants us to love Him, and we are to put our trust in Him because what can be shaken is being shaken and will continue until He comes (and it's going to get more and more shaky).

I love my family and my friends.  I love my church and all He has given me to steward and to do, but it's taking place:  my love for this world and all it entails is swiftly turning to pity and and eagerness to leave it.

Those kinds of thoughts can get you down, so I would like to encourage you today with poem from my Streams in the Desert devotional today.  The author is unknown.


Utterly abandoned to the Holy Ghost!
Seeking all His fullness, whatever the cost;
Cutting all the moorings, launching in the deep
Of His mighty power--strong to save and keep.

Utterly abandoned to the Holy Ghost!
Oh! The sinking, sinking until self is lost!
Until the emptied vessel lies broken at His feet;
Waiting till His filling shall make the work complete.

Utterly abandoned to the will of God;
Seeking for no other path than my Master trod;
Leaving ease and pleasure, making Him my choice,
Waiting for His guidance, listening for His voice.

Utterly abandoned!  No will of my own;
For time and for eternity, His and His alone;
All my plans and purposes lost in His sweet will,
Having nothing, yet in  Him all things possessing still.

Utterly abandoned!  It's so sweet to be
Captive in His bonds of love, yet wondrously free;
Free from sin's entanglements, free from doubt and fear,
Free from every worry, burden, grief or care.

Utterly abandoned!  Oh, the rest is sweet,
As I tarry, waiting at His blessed feet;
Waiting for the coming of the Guest divine,
Who my inmost being will perfectly refine.

Lo!  He comes and fills me, Holy Spirit sweet!
I, in Him, am satisfied! I, in Him, complete!
And the light within my soul will nevermore grow dim
While I keep my covenant--abandoned unto Him!

May God fill you with his love, peace, patience, kindness, goodness and self-control today!

Thursday, March 26, 2015

When God Closes a Door...

That old saying usually finishes up with "He opens a window".  What I'd like to say about that today is that as we travel the path of life that God has planned for us, He does, indeed, close doors; and perhaps, he opens windows.

It has been my experience in the past that when God closes a door that I don't want closed, I have kicked and cried and screamed and thrown a tantrum and beat on that door.

And so, my post today is short and salty and straight to the point.  God does have a plan for your life, my life and everyone else who loves Him and is called accordingly to His purposes.  So. if God closes a door in your life, especially one that you're particularly fond of, don't do that.  Do not kick, do not cry, do not scream, throw tantrums or beat on the door, because you know what?  That door just might open back up and God may allow you to have what's behind it -- you know that thing that God knows is not best for you.

It happened to me, and I am here to remind you.  When God closes a door, He's saying. "No, my child, that is not best for you.  I have something much better planned for you if you will just wait."

All these days, months, and years later since my tantrum re-opened that closed door, I can say, Lord, I wish you hadn't listened to me.  Please forgive me for my foolishness.

I have learned my lesson.  Please bless me with the grace to recognize when you are working in my life, not to harm me, but to prosper me.  It is my desire to follow the plan of life you have for me.

It is my desire to quietly and quickly submit to your greater knowledge, wisdom and your great love for me.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Without Excuse...Worshiping the Creature Rather than the Creator

My Bible study ladies and I are embarking on the arduous task of studying the book of Romans.  Arduous because there is so much in the book that is vital to a living, breathing, born-again faith in Jesus.

This is a Precept Bible Study (precept upon precept) with Kay Arthur.   One of the things she's having us do here at the beginning of our study is to read the whole book over five times (she breaks it up several chapters at a time over the course of a week).

You know the one thing that is really hitting me in the face:  the fact that God has declared Himself and made Himself --  His power and might and also His divine nature -- known to all people in and through His creation, and because He has, those who refuse to believe or suppress the truth so that others won't believe are without excuse.  Someday those people will stand before Him who hung on a cross to pay for their sin and will have no way to explain how or why they failed to believe He is who He says He is.  They will have no excuse.

...and because of their failure to believe in Him, God, at some point in time is going to just give them over to a depraved mind.  Do you ever think of society as becoming more and more depraved?  I do.  There are stories in the news daily about teachers having sex with students,pedophiles having sex with children, some of the European countries are now advocating for sex with animals and relationships with family members and this is only the beginning of depravity.  Adultery is now pretty much accepted, as well as homosexuality, changing your gender.  Divorce is don't even need a reason.   Alcoholism and drug addiction is rampant with heroin addiction killing many of our young people,   Abortions are given on demand and up to and including the time of birth and many legislative people are advocating for abortion on children up to age 2!!!! (because they have no sense of self so they say.)    

Is it any wonder we feel God has placed the US under His judgment.  Yes, fewer and fewer people are standing with God and because of that the world is becoming more and more God-less.  That's what happens when people worship the creature rather than the Creator.

For reference, please read the first Chapter of Romans.