Saturday, December 29, 2012

The People's Champion

I was walking through the mall last year about 10 days before Christmas on a break from work when I noticed large groups of people numbering at least 100, lining up outside the stores fronts near the main entrance of the mall.  Not knowing what to expect I made my way towards the smallest concentration of people, Was someone hurt?  Was someone robbed or what?  (During this time of season, one never knows what to expect by way of humanity.  Most people i observed during holidays past, do nothing to help someone in need or trouble.) 

Having reached my destination, a gentleman in very holiday-esque clothing joyfully exclaimed "Santa is coming."  Where do I begin?
A few seconds later I hear a faint, unintelligible sound which becomes clearer as the 40 strong, throng of children get closer. 
"We love Santa, we love Santa."  Over and over they sing these words while holding signs that echoed the same sentiment.  "Incredible" I say.  The merry gentleman next to me says "Isn't it!" while filming the parade before us.  Stunned would be the appropriate word for my silence.
A man dressed as Santa waved, nodded and smiled the biggest, toothiest grin I had ever seen.  It was akin to a king returning from some far off land having won some great conquest, being greeted by his loyal subjects and servants. 
Slowly, I backed away.  My heart was saddened by everything around me and what my senses were taking in.  Immediately, I thought about the words of Jesus as He entered into Jerusalem, during His final days on this earth, mourning for its people and the nearness of life that they have totally missed.  "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her!  How often I wanted to gather your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, but you were not willing."  Even today those words ring true as the season has lost its meaning to so many.  Jesus is the reason we celebrate Christmas.  How much closer does Christ need to be, before the masses realize the nearness of life, is about to pass them by?  With His true meaning still lost to them?  Looking at my watch I turn and leave behind me this 'scene'.  Kids singing "We love Santa", parents basking in the glow of their child participating in the pageant for Santa.  Will Santa Claus champion their cause before the Most High God?  No, he will not.  Why?  He does not exist.  Jesus Christ however, does exist.  He went before God on the world's behalf and died on the cross so that the sins and darkness of our/my past would be washed away.  Truly, Jesus is the Ultimate champion.  He defeated death, Satan, sin, conquered hell, and is now seated at the right hand of God.  Jesus is the One I love and I pray that you love Him too.                

Monday, December 17, 2012

Broken Pieces

"Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells." 2 Peter 3:13


Today is the first time i have had the opportunity to see photos of a few of the kids and teachers who lost their lives in Newtown, CT. The pains of this past week will be with us for quite a while. The loss of life has been great and my condolences go out to the many families affected by this.

For those of us who sit and watch and listen to accounts of what has happened, we can only shake our heads and continuously cry. Questions that will not find sufficient answers, spring forth. How? Why? What could have been done to prevent it? What did we miss?
Speculation runs rampant and opinions of every flavor are being offered. The only true salve for the families and communities and school district and all emergency workers and police officers who were directly affected by this is time and prayer.

I cannot empathize with the family members nor can I offer anything other than my prayers to God on their behalf and hope.
We live in a fallen world and until the time of Christ's return to set up His earthly kingdom, we will have difficult days. Take hope my brothers and sisters in the faith.
The 'we' spoken of in this verse are those who have professed faith in Jesus Christ as our Lord and Saviour. Are we shaken by this tragedy? Yes, because we see a senseless loss of lives and the grieving families who have to find ways to pick up the broken pieces. Take heart and draw closer to God and continue to pray for those in CT and the other cities who have had to deal with such things.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Famous Quotes

"Take 15 minutes each day to listen to God talking to you;
Take 15 minutes each day to talk to God;
Take 15 minutes each day to talk to others about God."

Billy Sunday

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Famous Quotes

Lord, send me anywhere;
Only go with me.
Lay any burden upon me;
Only sustain me.

David Livingston

Friday, November 30, 2012

Candid Conversations (prequal)

Several months ago I was given a challenge. Well, no really a challenge. Let me rephrase that. I was asked to seize upon the opportunity to talk to any older person and get their impressions on life and the advancements within the past 30+ years or more. Thinking about this caused a(n) bit of excitement because I do not often (ever) spend a fair amount of time with people of the 'older persuasion'. Truth be told, I am looking forward to these candid talks with the upper class. (I use that term upper class to show a respect for them and their age.) If I am able I would like to record the talks and find a way to post them onto my blog. If I am unable to do so then, maybe, podcasts are in my future. Interesting!!!!!! Well, in any case I hope you like it. I am also currently working on a ten part series of posts called unofficially "Ten". This is a long time in the writing and I will debut it in January starting in reverse order from ten. Whew!! One last item and I'm done. I am currently working on a post called 'The People's Champion', that was supposed to be a Christmas post from 2011 however that changed when I lost the video, accidental deletion. That will be posted soon. Happy holidays and God bless from Marshylnerd.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Smile

 These past few weeks have been very tense and emotional for a lot of people.  Just to clarify, I am not talking about planning meals (for those staying home) or making travel plans (those who are going elsewhere) for Thanksgiving.  I am talking about the goings on in the Middle East.  Israel and  Hamas have been exchanging missiles and threats for some time and Israel was on the very edge of the envelope with the notion of sending in ground troops.  It makes me wonder, but not too much, how close are we to the return of Jesus Christ to rapture the church?  Hmm!!!  
This past week the church I attend served food and drinks (hot and cold) to travelers at a rest area on the interstate.  Fantastic times and always a great way to serve the Lord and the people who come into the tent. Being here and 'going forth' for God, makes me appreciate my salvation all the more and gives me a greater incentive to reach out to those who are lost and in need of Jesus themselves.  During a respite from the news concerning the Middle East and life and the rest area, I had someone take a picture of me standing on a rock (Psalms 61:2) and immediately a song and a prayer came to mind.  The song is from Chris Rice, one of my favorite christian singers and it is called "Smile".  The prayer--Maranatha Lord Jesus.  The photo below, shows me looking up to sun, thinking of the Son and finding peace amidst a world in turmoil.           
 
 
Another thought comes to mind as I finish this post.  The apostles in the books of Acts (1:9-10), gazing up into the heavens as Jesus is being taken up on the glory cloud of the Father.  One day I hope to see Jesus on the glory cloud of the Father calling me home.  That is my blessed hope and it is that hope that causes me to 'Smile'.  Enjoy   
 
 



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Posted By Blogger to Marshylnerd at 11/26/2012 09:55:00 PM

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thanksgiving

Psalms 103:2 says, "Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits."
Today is Thanksgiving day and I would like to wish everyone a wonderful and happy day. Don't eat to much food. I know it was useless putting that in.
Going back to the aforementioned verse from the psalmist, I/we have forgotten the 'benefits' of knowing God. The writer goes on to list some of them. Forgiveness, healing, redeemed, and given a crown. He too, gives me a testimony to sing His praises for the new life I have been given.

On this day I would like to thank God for His unfailing love. It is that love that sent Jesus to the cross (For God so loved that He gave His only Son). It is that same love that draws me and keeps me (you are loved with an everlasting love and with this love I have drawn you to me). God's love extends to the far corners of world and beyond. Just recently I have read about the history of thanksgiving and have a better understanding of its meaning.
There are times when I forget all that I have and am, because of God. Ephesians 1 list some other benefits I have obtained through my relationship with God. Citizenship in heaven, adoption, fellowship with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Whew!! Who needs turkey? My thankfulness goes far beyond the superficial trappings of a day that has lost its meaning to most.
So, as I make my way to I-84 and the rest area, take time out of your day and truly give thanks to THE ONE who made all this possible--GOD.
Gobble gobble.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Faint Not

Right now I am fighting being awake. 0321 in the morning and I cannot fall asleep. Other than looking at the inside of my blankets and stuffing my face (serious downside to being awake at such an hour), I am prompted to pray for several people within my church congregation and others.

It seems in these days as I/we can almost SENSE the return of our Messiah Jesus Christ, praying becomes all the more important. Life in its own way becomes less routine and more chaotic. Thinking back to recent events, Sandy, and things to come (election day) mankind still has not seen the warning signs. I will forgo the usual "whys and how come" simply because I would be beating a dead horse.

So. To take my mind off of the things I cannot control, I put my efforts into things I can control--praying and reading from the bible. This morning, slight chuckle, I am led to Psalm 27 and the promises of said scripture.
Hurricane Sandy and the presidential elections causes me to reflect on verse 1 and what it says. "The LORD is my life and my salvation; of whom shall I fear? The LORD is the strength of my life; of who shall I be afraid?"
The answer to both questions is nothing. God will put in the White House whomever HE sees fit to bring about His will. Sandy on the other hand is God's way of saying "Listen to Me."

Having confirmed my faith in the Most High God, I go to verse 14 which says "Wait on the LORD and be of good courage: and He shall strengthen thine heart: wait ,I say, on the LORD."
My waiting is not in the 'here and now' of day to day living, however my waiting is in the promise of His calling me home someday. That calling could come via the Rapture or in my death. I am not immune or numb to what is going on in the world around me. God forbid. I am made more alive by these 'instances' within the very fabric of our existence. Having a biblical worldview has caused me to both fear God and love Him. I am no longer bound by the limitations of 'human thinking', but I now see (both spiritually and physically) ALL THINGS from a greater, much greater perspective-- God's.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Attends My Way

(This post is actually several days old.  My laptop crashed and I finally am able to get it done and posted.)

I nestle against the siding of my back porch looking through the wooden bars that comprise my railing. Off in the distance I hear the train rumbling its way across the tracks,  Going north I presume. The moon sits high on its evening perch looking down on me. I wonder what he (Mr. Moon) could be thinking? A few stars dot the sky, enough to count on my hands and toes. They too, are reminders of Elohim (creator of all things), and I remind them of Jehovah (creator of man).

My soul wants to cry out for relief, yet my spirit says to "stand still". Why must this warring go on? I had less difficulty BEFORE I believed.  Probably because I was already in Satan's grasp and did not know it at the time.  I cannot pretend to know what God has planned for me, and I definitely cannot figure out God.  Yet, still I take comfort in His word.

In the desert after Satan departed Jesus, having tempted Him, angels came and ministered to Him (Jesus).  Throughout His trial in the desert Jesus took comfort in the word of God and it was His defense against the tricks of the evil one.  Fast forward three years as we near the end of the earthly ministry of Yeshua as He is in the garden of Gethsemane praying to the Father.
The bible says in Matthew 26:38 (Jesus speaking)"My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death.  Stay here and watch with Me."  Even at that time while in the midst of a great battle with Satan concerning the Cross, Jesus had angels come and minister to Him.  Jesus was tempted as I am, soooo.....could not the angels of heaven come and minister to me in my hour of great spiritual battle?  Yes and what a joy.  Hebrews 1:14 reminds me that angels of God are ministering spirits sent by the Father to help those who will inherit salvation.  I am a child of the Most High and this is yet another benefit of being called His child.  Praise God.  I take comfort, as did Jesus, in the promises contained in the bible and I gladly give God the glory when He hears my prayers and offers peace to replace my fear and dread in a time where that seems to be all that the world offers. 

Friday, October 19, 2012

....like a river

It all came back to me like a flash flood.
A torrent of emotions that caused me to lose my balance. Steadying myself became my first priority. I reached out for a column and almost fell into the street.  No traffic.  Good.
What just happened? Oh yeah!  I remember now.  For the briefest of moments I was taken back to my last year in Delaware.  His had a glazed look in his eyes.  This is something I know all to well.  In the life he was experiencing now, there is no life, no hope, definitely no joy.  What could I offer him in the way of help?

Some nights I too am haunted by my past, and like a river without regard for those in its path, I was swept away without warning.  Is it enough to pray for that person or those affected by the circumstances of life takes everything away from them?  The carnal human asks "what did they do to get this way?"  Having literally walked in his shoes I could not let my thoughts lead me down that road.  My journey with an aimless itinerary lasted 2 years.  Those were two of the darkest and most painful years of my life.  Now, looking back I can say without hesitation that my life should have ended.  I had no hope, joy, or reason to live.  I was much like the prophet Ezekiel as he sat near the River Chebar and lamented the condition of the nation Israel as they are in captivity and the destruction of Jerusalem.  They too were without hope, joy or a reason to go on.  Even in a foreign land God still was with HIS chosen people.  The last part of verse 1 of chapter 1 states, "that the heavens were opened and I saw visions of God."  Going on to verse 3 last part also, "the hand of the LORD was upon him there."
I can say most assuredly that the LORD was with me as life swept me away.  It was something I had seen but never wanted to experience , but I did.  Was God glorified in my wandering?  No.  But He was with me.  Despite what caused me to get to that place and point, God was there. 
Ezekiel goes on to say in chapter 3:22, "Then the hand of the LORD was upon me there, and He said to me, 'Arise, go out into the plain, and there I shall talk with you." 
So it was with me.  God had to get my attention away from my own selfish desires, the idols, and spiritual adultery and other things that kept getting in the way of Him and I.  What else could I do but turn to Him? Israel had to go through it and now I see many others in this day and age having to be in
"foreign lands" and being in captivity to whatever it is that puts them there.  Will they recognize God and his attempts to reach them?  Only God knows. In closing I would like to say I am warmed and saddened by the fact that many of God's chosen went into captivity and only a remnant (small few) came out.   

Random Act of Kindness

I would like to share with you all...a random act of kindness.

Today was a scheduled day off for me and I had no special plans to do anything.  I had thought about going to the movies, but decided against it.  None of the advertised shows piqued my interest.  (Pickings seem to be pretty slim after the "Avengers".)
Back to my story.  I was at the mall, leaving work after having gone in to pick up my paycheck when I heard this lady asking "if I could help her?"  First of all she was not talking to me, as from where i was walking she could not have seen me.  Not knowing this at that moment I turned to say "yes."  A few feet behind me was another gentleman walking into the mall, he too said "yes."  Someones car had stalled in the driving lane in the underground parking lot at the mall and she needed help moving her car.  While going to her car I spotted someone I worked with and asked him to give us a hand and he agreed. 
For some unknown reason her car just shut down and wouldn't start again.  So, the three of us got behind the car and started pushing and we were doing good until her steering wheel stopped turning.  Joe, the third guy, got behind the wheel and muscled it as the two of us pushed.  Once we got some momentum it was pretty easy to get the car safely out of the driving lane and off onto the side away from traffic.  We all know how crazily people drive when going in and out of mall parking.  (Live action frogger and Nascar mixed together).  As we all went about our way, she called for a tow truck and waited with her friend in the car.  The ladies were very thankful and relieved.  Much joy was had in that moment.         

Saturday, October 6, 2012

When Peace...

As the night rolls back and the sun's rising welcomes a new day, I stretch and thank God for His new mercies and unending compassion.

I seek Him in prayer as I lay myself and my day before Him and ask for His guidance, wisdom and blessings.  It all belongs to Him and He already knows how it all will turn out.
"Lord, let all I do this day bring you glory and honor.  May I do nothing that will bring shame to Your holy name.  Protect me from the tricks of the devil, lift me up above the pettiness of the human flesh.  Lord, I set my heart on You because You are my rest."

The peace of God floods my soul.  A tear of amazement inches down my cheek.  In these times of hurried living and unknown tomorrows, the God of all creation,(MY FRIEND), hears me.  No it is not the first time my heavenly Father has heard and answered a prayer of mine.  No way!!!  A few occasions come to mind, where my prayer was answered before I finished praying. 
Jeremiah 33:3, God is talking, "Call on me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty thing, which you don't know of."
Earlier in my days as a new believer, I wanted to see great and mighty things from God.  Why?  I guess because it was all so new to me and I remembered some of the examples from the bible. But now I find joy in simply knowing that Jehovah is near. 
A gentle breeze tells me the Holy Spirit is present.
The warmth of the sun reminds me of THE SON.
A chirping bird with it beautiful colors and intricate design gives praise to the Most High.

While men of science look under microscopes and spin test tubes filled with substances to explain life and how to combat certain diseases, and the explorers are racing to the far reaches of the known galaxy to find proof of life on other planets,  they neglect to search within themselves and 'see' that God has already given them the answers.  "Romans 1:19 "because what may be known of God is manifest (revealed) in them, for God has shown it to them."
When I started to read and study the word of God a 'certain richness' began to rise up from within those pages.  I found answers to questions from long ago, questions that I asked as a child and as an adult.  Even now, God answers me in ways that make me well-up inside. I will never understand God, but He is allowing me to understand what makes Him God, by revealing His nature and character to me. 
When peace fills me I know it is because God has imparted unto me something that others cannot explain away.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Famous Quotes

When we have done all we can, we must still wait for God to accomplish His purposes. As we wait, we can fix our eyes on Jesus as a companion who empathizes with our suffering and a Savior who is working behind the scenes.  Difficult circumstances seem to increase our ability to experience intimacy with Christ.

Ruthann Ridley

Friday, September 7, 2012

Days of Old

What a day today has been.  Well, nothing REALLY spectacular happened.  It is just a day where all i could think about was GOD.  Last night I set my alarm for 0415.  (For all you non-military types, that is 4:15 in the morning.)  The plan was to get up, go onto my back porch and see the sun rise.  Did not happen because I fell back asleep.  All good. 

When I re-awakened the sun was steadily climbing towards its apex in the sky with its beams filtering through my window.  Awesome start!!  Told you so.

Next on my agenda was to feed the hunger that was coming on fast.  No not the hunger of my body, but of my soul.  I felt such a need to be in the presence of my heavenly Father.  Although only a few hours had passed, since our last get together I missed him.  This moment typifies my whole week.  I enjoyed the time of koinonia (fellowship) between God and I. 
Much of this past week was spent in prayer, reading the bible, listening, learning and falling back in love with my Creator.  It was just like 'old times'.  Are you feeling a bit melancholy yet?  I am.

Before my life became hectic and at times out of control, God was all that mattered to me.  I did not know much of Him, but I was discovering who He was and what this thing called life meant.  One can liken it to children being out of school for the summer and doing nothing but lounging around the house without a care in the world.  There are no priorities, no homework, no books to read or projects to work on.  Life was finally seeing things their way. 
That is how it was with me and God in the beginning.  Lately not much so.

I had to get back to those times where my priorities were straight and even when an eventual curve ball was thrown at me I still found time later in the day to spend with Him.  I WANTED TO.  Nowadays with work and school and other interests God has been pushed aside.  Heck, I even put on classical music this morning and have had it playing all day.  Wolfgang A. Mozart rocks.  

There is a verse of scripture from Isaiah that talks about "remembering the things of the past" which is good, but God also warns that we are not "to pine for them."  This caused much confusion for a few minutes.  Why?
God is the same yesterday, today and forever.  Looking back in remembrance I longed for the days of old, while at the same (certainly not on purpose) time turning my back on God.  Now I understand why Malachi talks about a book of remembrance.  Its purpose was to keep the people focused on the God who was there through the tough times, the captivity and the unknown.
Second Corinthians 3:18 "But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord."      
God, everyday, has something fresh and new planned for me, you and future sons and daughters of His.  It is very much like His mercy and unfailing compassion.  God and His word has become like a treasure to me and every time I dig into the treasure chest called the Holy Scriptures I get a new nugget.  Gold and silver cannot compare.  Now I can identify with Job when he said "I hunger for Your word more than my necessary food."

So, in closing, when you think about the past and remember when...
Just think to yourself, "I cannot bring it into the present" and ask God to give you something fresh for now.  It will be like manna from heaven.   

Friday, August 31, 2012

Lack of....

Self introspection, sometimes not a good thing, however much needed when called to follow Jesus Christ. Taken from Mark 9

"Why could we not cast him out?"
The causes of spiritual impotency seen in this chapter are obvious.
Lack of faith (all things possible...O faithless generation),
Lack of prayer (this kind cometh not out but by prayer),
Lack of humility (argument regarding who is the greatest),
Lack of love (he follows not us).

Stirred to confess carelessness and lack of concern in prayer.

(Borrowed)--although true of me

By His Side

The only sound was from the filament of the light bulb that illuminated the tiny area assigned to him.
The air in the room was thick...with horror.  Another sound springs forth as if from nowhere. Yes, it is my thudding heart inside my chest. Tears come more easily than words. His face is a minuet of pain, sorrow, fear, delirium and what could almost be described as the early stages of death.  Death. Death.  Death.   Life followed by death.  What kind of life is it when you cannot leave on your own terms?  Who gets to decide?  Some men and women grapple with an enemy that will eventually win the fight.  My only job right now is to comfort the comfortless.  He tries to form words through the incessant pain, his only defense against tears that are sure to come.  Denial, anger, fatigue.  I am not trained for this.  Why me? 
I look on as his body is wracked with spasms, pleading with him to ease the pain.  His eyes fixed on a reality that does not exist, a reality without the pain, without the stench of death and eventually his own death.  More enemies join the fight with each passing second.   "Oh, the pain." Eddie says.  Frighteningly I reach for his hand.  Maybe this will calm him some.  Eddie flinches in fear as if I were the Grim Reaper coming to claim another prize.  If only....

My voice croaks as the words, made thick with my own fears, spill out, "It's only me your trusted sidekick.  Right here by your side."  No response.  Joviality has no place here.  I began to tell Eddie about my family, namely my sister.  Even in the most difficult of circumstances and harrowing
situations, God allows pleasant memories to filter into our mind.  Memories of his provision and his grace and his love.  (Thank you heavenly father.)  With those memories I change my subject from my earthly family to my heavenly family. 

Fifteen minutes have passed by as I told Eddie about God's love for humanity and our need to be rescued from the clutches of death and hell caused by our sin.  This can only be accomplished by the acceptance of Jesus Christ' death on the cross and his resurrection from the grave three days later.  Eddie was now closer to death and prayerfully much closer to a decision for his eternal salvation. 

Silence.

Eddie had not moved or said a word for what seemed like forever.  I wondered if he was dead.  At that moment his chest rises and falls ever-so-slightly.  By his side I remained (not wanting to leave at such a critical moment) with baited breath.  Eddie turns to me and says, "I would like to make Jesus my personal Lord and saviour."  I exhaled a little to loudly and saw a faint smile on his face.  Nothing could staunch the tears that now flowed with great joy from my eyes.  I reached for Eddie's hand, lifted my
my face to heaven and prayed as Eddie made known his lost condition and confessed his sins and received forgiveness.  Eddie added a few words of his own and as he finished praying to his new saviour, he also finished living on this earth.  Eddie was now in heaven with Jesus. 

More tears.  More joy.  "Thank you, MY LORD AND MY KING."
There is no greater joy because now, BY HIS SIDE, my Jesus, I now see Eddie.  

Saturday, August 18, 2012

BBD (Beautiful Beyond Description) Part One

Last week I was reading through the Yahoo news clips on my laptop and I came across several interesting articles.  The first article I read was about Kim Kardashian and her continuous need to post pictures of herself in her bikini.  I believe it said something to the effect of six days, six pictures, six different bikinis.  Who cares?
Before I continue on, let me post my disclaimer: I looked at each picture, of each day, of each bikini.  Let us crack on (British term for continue).

A couple of days later I read an article about Miley Cyrus, Ann Hathaway, Jessica Biel and the girl from Twilight, Kristin Stewart.  Not even the Olympics could escape the seedy side of news reporting.  Many people wanted to know about the woman on the arm of Michael Phelps?  Just yesterday I read an article about a young girl,14, who had plastic surgery to combat the bullying she was experiencing at school.  Add to this the constant headlines concerning Lady Gaga, Lindsay Lohan, Britney Spears, Jennifer Lopez, Mariah Carey and her twins, how can today's society not be enamoured with the celebrity lifestyle and its outward appearance?  What ever happened to inward qualities being a part of what defines a person?

On any given day I can open the paper and read the headlines that speak of what some celebrity is doing, pictures of them on beaches, shopping, without makeup, working out, their beauty or style sense.  They can also be noticed by the number of hangers on, groupies and paparazzi circling them like vultures to a carcass in the desert. 
Jesus, if I can use today's vernacular, had groupies and hangers on.  One could say those days were the infancy of the modern day paparazzi.  Not too much of a stretch for the mind?  Not mine at least.  In Isaiah 53:2 (last half of the verse) it is said of Jesus, "he had no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him."  Breaking down this verse, it says there was nothing outwardly about Jesus that would cause people to follow him, much less notice him.  Would he be a candidate for GQ magazine?  Men's Health?  Probably not.  Would we read in the USA Today about some outlandish stunt he pulled?  No.  If he were to walk about in the world today would anyone know who he was?  Still no.  Are the so called celebrities of today in need of such attention?  If so, then why? 
Beyond the outward materialistic possessions, these people offer nothing to the world.  Their flaunt themselves and a vain identity to those around them, who will tire of them in a few years if not sooner.  The shock and aw will wear off.  They have their reward  Let me quote Solomon from Ecclesiastes 1:8, "All things are full of labour; man cannot utter it:  the eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor the ear filled with hearing."
Question: Why could we not see the beauty of Jesus?  The bible says he had the glory of God, was the fullness of the godhead bodily, was the image of God, spoke with the authority of God, the Son of God and filled with the Spirit of God.  Answer:  Our sin nature.
The manifestation of the beauty of Jesus came from within.  His was the opposite of Solomon's denotation of humankind.  Jesus did not come to satisfy the lust of the eyes, but to fulfill the longing of the spirit to once again be allowed to commune with God.  He did not speak the words that people wanted to hear.  The words of Jesus were not soft and tempered.  His words pricked the hearts so man could see its need for repentance from sin.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Book Club

A month or so ago someone in my church gave me a book to read.  From time to time people suggest books or authors for me to read and if I feel led then I will.  Most of the time I politely refuse.  Well, the someone who recommended this book was under the age of 12.  Hmm, what book could it be?  What kind of book could it be?  The children of today definitely have different views about life than I did as a child.  On a whim I said yes to the book and I have truly enjoyed reading it.  It is simple (appreciated) and funny (not overly so).  The book I am perusing is called "Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days".  No, your eyes do not deceive you. I am almost compelled to go and look for the movie(s).  What a treat this has turned out to be for me to read and to see similarities in his life and mine, if all in the book can be called true?  Well, I am half-way into it and look forward to the ending.  I wonder if there is a sequel?     

Your Arms Are Too Short to Box with God

Amazing what comes into your mind when one is thinking about nothing.  For a couple of months, at least, I have had this title running through my mind.  This is the title of a Broadway play from the mid to late '70s.  Although I never had the chance to see it, I often wondered what it was about.  At the time it was running I had to have been about 6 or 7 years old.  So before I started this entry I did a little research and discovered it was based on the book of Matthew.  Now, having read the gospel of Matthew it is easy to see the correlation.  But, it also brings to mind, which side of the argument does one look to to see the reason for the title?  Would I be wrong if I chose to see it from the side of the one coming against God's plan?  Or do I go the normal route and see it from the believers point of view?  I believe the LORD would have us to look at it from all angles so we can have a true perspective and make the correct decision of yes or no.

Let me ask you, how does someone try to box with God?  This is an effort in futility.  If you can pick a phrase that would make it sound more of a waste of time, feel free to do so.

Thinking about the gospel of Matthew and my life in its current state, I am in the ring not really knowing what to do next.  Do I look to my trainer and ask him to throw in the towel?  Before the bout starts?  Do I check the medical supplies and pray that there are enough bandages to cover the wounds and bruises that are sure to come?  Maybe the  towel man should buy out the hardware store and stock up on buckets?  Surely this is going to be an eviscerating event!! 

Thinking about the title, I could see that it applies to all of us (humanity) whether we read the bible or not, whether we know or recognize God at all.  All efforts to persuade God to see it from "our point of view" have led to many a people regretting the decision. 

Isaiah 55:6-9 says,  (v.6)"Seek the LORD while he may be found, call upon him while he is near:  (v.7)Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and he will return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.  (v.8)For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. (v.9)  For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts."  This is spoken to the unbelievers.

Jeremiah 33:3 says, "Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and show thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not."
 This is a word for God's chosen.

In everything I do, I must first seek God and in all actuality get his permission.  Secondly, I must, must wait for an answer.  The sparring match begins when I put my needs and desires before what God deems best for me and I refuse to consider HIS ways.  It is like two fighters before a match with one trying to intimidate the other by talking trash.  Trash talking will only get you/me so far.   Too bad more of us born again believers don't heed the warning of Jesus when he said (paraphrased), "before taking on any projects first see if we are able to do so and count the costs, otherwise we may find ourselves a bit short." 

During my day I have seen many fights and a lot of them have been sooo one sided, that it made me wonder, why did they go through with it?  They had no chance whatsoever to win this fight.  Would I have had a better chance against Mohamed Ali?  Or Sugar Ray Leonard?  Mike Tyson?  George Foreman?   You betcha.  But because of pride mankind often does the foolish thing.  Looking at the defeated foe after the massacre, I can say I too have felt that way after going against God.  Once in the ring it is put up or shut up.  Too bad I had not realized before the bell rung, and I got my bell rung, that 'my arms were too short to box with God.' 


        

Monday, August 6, 2012

Famous Quotes

"Nothing, of eternal importance, can be accomplished apart from prayer."

Jerry Falwell

Friday, August 3, 2012

Whom Have I But You

Fear and failure can lead a person to the breaking point.  In this day and age of social media and the constant advancements in technology everything IS magnified to the nth degree.  I often wonder when will it all end?  And how?  Such times do cause me to be fearful and sometimes immobile.  Imagine your every move being broadcast for all the world to see.  Everything you say and do all scrutinized in the court of public opinion? 

The people of this generation have no idea what lies ahead and if I spent the rest of my time here on the earth speaking to them about 'their' future, I would not be able to put a dent into the population around me.  If anything, it would spur action against me.

David said in Psalm 56 verse 3, "when I am afraid, I will trust in you."

If anyone experienced fears and failures in their lifetime it was David.  Yet, throughout all these constant battles from around him and within his own household, David trusted in the LORD.
 
Verse 4, In God, i will praise his word and trust him
Verse 9, God is for me
Verse 10,  In God i will praise his word; in the LORD i will praise his      word
Verse 11, In God have i put my trust
Verse 12, O God, i will sing praises to thee

At the end of this psalm David says something that made me chuckle and also made me rethink my view of Jehovah and how I pray to him.  Verse 13 states (paraphrased) "God has delivered my soul from hell, surely he is capable of keeping my feet from stumbling so I may walk upright before him."

To walk upright before God does not imply we will have a life without fears and failures.  These stepping stones are what gives us cause to praise God all the more.  HIS greatest work was salvation thru the Cross of Christ and there is nothing to small or insignificant for God to do for HIS beloved.  In closing I would like to say, as long as I have God, why do i need fear what man can do to me?  and what more do I need other than HIM? 
Shalom

Friday, July 27, 2012

Alpha and Omega

One more and I'm done.  Another favorite of mine, by the Gaither Vocal Band. 

http://youtu.be/uImq3U1BA0M

Jesus' Blood

This video is by my favorite christian band of all-time, Delirious?.  It tells a story that will never get old. 
http://youtu.be/I-1cEWKr5us

Grace

I am always amazed at how God moves in the lives of HIS children.  During my mountaintop experiences HE is all I can think of, and rightly so.  Even when am lost and confused in the valley of despair and death, God is with me.  Why?  Because HE loves me and nothing I can do will ever be enough to repay that love.  His grace is beyond measure and HIS mercy goes beyond the debts of the deepest oceans.  Just when I thought the battle was lost, HE proved me and the enemy wrong.  To God be the glory.  Enjoy this video.

                                  http://youtu.be/CLbdBkONm20

Monday, July 9, 2012

HIS Rest (3)

My heart was pounding in my chest.  One of two explanations was running around in my mind--atrial fibrillation or my heart was about to make a(n) surprise appearance in our church service, by jumping out of my chest.  I stood there now knowing if I should flee?  My feet were anchored to its spot and there was no turning back. 
After a minute or two, I knew what I had to do.  Humble myself, yield to the Spirit and ask for prayer. 

Prayer.  Spiritual communication with God. 

My steps were slow and unsure, yet, I just knew without a shadow of a doubt i was being led by HIS Spirit.  I lifted my hands in surrender.  That being the most important--surrender.  I had come to a point within  and in spite of myself, that I needed to let God have the pre-eminate position (of master) in my life.  Just like the people in the upper room in Acts chapter 2, when they were filled with Holy Spirit, I felt HIS presence and cleansing from within.  Something was happening.  I cannot call it a new-birth because that came with my acceptance of Jesus as my saviour, but I can call it a 'restoration' and returning to my first love.  Oh, the joy of knowing HIM and having that constant fellowship with HIM. 

During this time I said very little. What could I say?  God knew my heart and I needed not add anything to the conversation.  It seems a contrast from the old testament High Priests in the Torah and how often they made intercession for the people, going before God in the tabernacle.  Now, Jesus is our High Priest and we can go boldly before the throne of God and make our requests know ourselves.  What a privilege.  What an honor.  What a God!!! 

God routinely asks His people to enter into His rest and not let the cares of life keep us from experiencing HIM. 

Let me close on this note.  We miss entering into God's rest because of unbelief.  Hebrews 4:3 says, " For we which have believed do enter into rest, as he (God) said, As I have sworn in my wrath, if they shall enter into my rest: although the works were finished from the foundation of the world." 
My life consists of much unrest, civil unrest if you will, and my soul was aching for rest and I found it in the Lord.                

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Rain Delay

Proverbs 18:24a "A man that has friends must show himself to be friendly..."

God continues to amaze me no matter what the circumstance is.  Earlier this evening, I was racing home to try and beat the coming rainstorm.  Needless to say, I did not make it home.  However, as I was rushing from the south side of Hazleton to my home I noticed something that made me say "Whoa!" 

Just before the rains came, they sky was an eerie green with a tint of blue, and all the clouds in the sky seemed to be turned upside down.  Yes, upside down.  Immediately I stopped in my tracks and reached into my pocket for my iPhone and soon realized I had left it at home.  BUMMER!!!  No pics to back up my story.  Any who.  Gazing up at this celestial phenomenon I easily cried out "Thank you Lord."  For me this is a rare privilege because I had never seen this before and for the briefest of moments I ventured to think a tornado was emanate.  The sky turned darker with wind and debris moving about in a circular motion 20+ feet in the air.  Fearing the worst, I willed my feet to move and they did (without hesitation) and proceeded to make it to one of my safe houses.  (Safe houses are places I know I can go to in an pinch or emergency.)s  

As I sat out the rain delay, I got to talking to one of the residents of the safe house, a young lady Josephine, whom I had seen around town and in passing said hello to.  During our time together we talked about the weather (oddly enough), sports (me mostly, wanting to get home and listen to the Tampa Bay Rays on the radio) and life in general.  Over the next 30-40 minutes or so we also covered the Internet and some of its 'propietary issues', her hometown of Shenandoah, Hazleton and flowers.  Truth be told I was quite taken by her and her story.  What a joyous time. 

The rain slowed to a crawl.   I waited a few more minutes to be sure it was done(Texas weather in Pennsylvania) got up, said my goodbyes and wished everyone well.
Once again I thanked God for the rain delay because it afforded me the opportunity to spend time with someone who had shown herself to be friendly and in turn gained a friend--me. 

Solis dios Gloria
(to God alone be the glory) 



 

Thursday, July 5, 2012

HIS Rest (2)

My time was fast coming to an end, and I did not know what to do.  Life was passing by, but slowly.  In a room full of people I felt as if I was alone.  Making my way to the exit I sneak a glance over my right shoulder and cross the threshold.  Hoping, wishing and praying, I descend the stairs two, three at a time.  What is the use?  I've turned the corner in this relationship and  the only benefit is NOW the healing can begin.  Turning the page will be easier said than done.

Fast forward three months

I switched off my phone, radio and laptop, sitting in virtual silence with the only noise being life outside my house doors.  Suddenly I felt the weight of life.  You never know what you've got till it's gone.  Life these past three months has been like night and day.  Not a day passed when I did not awaken under the weight of the present, not wanting to face the cold fact that I had to make peace with God. 

There had been moments of joy, sure.  But they were few and far between the constant wrestling going on in my conscience.  How much could a man take; literally, how much could a body and mind endure?  In whom could I confide?  What has become of me? 

Raw truth was invading my reality and I tried to push it out of my mind.  No!  Now is the time to face myself and God.  The hound of heaven was pursuing me and I would have to be foolish to think I could outrun him.  God was now calling me. 
Deep down within I knew I could no longer live with the person I had become these past few months.  (Emotional, angry, irrational, fearful, frustrated.) 

Seeking the peace that can only come from God, I bowed my head and prayed.
Feeling inadequate, I got off my couch and slowly made my way to the floor and lay prostrate.  There were few words I could say other than , "Lord help me."  I asked for HIS forgiveness and then I shut my mouth.  It took some time to clear away the noise within my mind and spirit, but HE eventually won out and I found myself at peace. 
        

Thursday, June 21, 2012

ROCK

Christianity has many words and phrases that seem to confound almost anyone not familiar with its lingo.  I myself am one who is sometimes caught off guard and/or left scratching my head.  Having immersed myself in the bible and its real meaning, in time, that confusion has been taken away. 
Jesus, God's only Son, has many names.  I will not name them, (the list would be exhaustive), but I would like to focus on one in particular and that one is ROCK.

When I think about a rock, I think of a stone that lodges itself in the bottom of my shoes and even gets in there and causes all kind of problems for my feet.  After a while my feet hurt and pain is a byproduct until I do something about it.  I kick off my shoes and begin the search for my enemy.  Romans 9:33 talks about "a stumblingstone and a rock of offence: and whosoever believes on him shall not be ashamed."   The first part of this speaks about a rock of offence, (the one in my shoe).  In my case, the 'rock' had become a problem for me and my footing was not sure because of it.  I had to stop whatever I was doing at the time and deal with it.  The end part (HIM) speaks of Jesus Christ.  HE is the Rock that is solid, unmovable, and sure. 

Jesus is the foundation of our faith and in I Cor. 10:4 he is called our spiritual Rock.  First Peter 2:6 labels him as, a chief corner stone and precious.  Much amazement fills my senses as I look at the two meanings and try to compare and contrast them.  How can this be?  In my human mind, rocks are objects and projectiles that skim across the tops of water or can be used to break windows and hurt others.  We all have done it.

CVS is rebuilding one its stores a few feet from my house and it is beyond belief, mine, at how fast it's going up. A couple of months ago there were only  piles of dirt and rocks and other material along with heavy equipment used in the process.  Unreal!!!  Yet, after the foundation is layed and set, the first stone (that chief corner stone) is layed the building process can continue.  Let's relate this to the Trinity, the Father, Son, and Spirit.
A.    GOD--Our first and ultimate foundation.  Meaning HIS love and mercy and
        grace. 
B.    JESUS--The first piece in the rebuilding process of our spiritual condition.
C.    HOLY SPIRIT--He adds to onto the corner stone by teaching us and guides
        as we grow and builds our faith.

You are surely wondering, "How can this guy get all this from a rock?"  Easy. 
My rock (sins) were causing me to stumble and stammer through this life and I ofter became bruised and battered.  After I found Jesus and discovered who God really is and what I mean to HIM, Jesus became my rock.  My life is fuller and more complete.  I am not saying i still don't have difficulties.  I do.  But, those little nuisances that once made my feet sore and ache are now crushed under the weight of my forgiveness and the Father's love for me.  I no longer look down at what troubles me.  I look to what the David says  in Psalm 61:2 is the "ROCK that is higher than I."  His name is Jesus.

Monday, June 18, 2012

HIS Rest (1)

I'm sitting outside my church waiting for men's prayer to start. The wind is blowing and cars are zooming by on the interstate and side streets. I am listening to music on my iPhone, "Majesty" by Delirious?.
In the span of about 3-5 seconds, it became totally quiet.  I was so shocked by this that I took off my headphones and looked around. Kind of felt like 'the calm before the storm'. Yet, no storm came, just a peace that surpassed my understanding.  A peace I did not deserve because of my sinful nature.  Immediately two passages of scripture came to mind. One is from the gospel of Mark 4:41, when Jesus was in the boat sleeping and awakens to his disciples fearful shouting. Jesus got up, rebuked the storm and the wind and the waves obeyed. The second verse is the one I felt more drawn to use and it is found in 3rd chapter of Hebrews.
There are times I will search the scriptures for passages that encourages and up lifts me. So few times, I look for verses that speak to "my dark side", hoping for relief from the weight of the sting my guilt and shame.  I tell myself that is the old me and he has been ex-sponged. But God's word is not to be handled deceitfully. While reading from Hebrews I was hard pressed NOT to feel the Spirit 's presence.
The phrase that kept pricking my heart was, harden not your heart. No pun intended. I found myself experiencing such hardness as I go throughout my days.  Days where my actions, thoughts and deeds do little to belay my faith in the ONE TRUE GOD.  My face blanched.
Yet, I could not deny what the WORD was telling me. How could I change? Nothing seemed to work.  Then HE told me this. "Hold fast to my confidence in HIM, which I had from the beginning."
My grasp of reality was fading fast into an abyss the seemed to be bottomless.  An intervention was needed. And God did. To my remembrance came the rebellion of the nation of Israel in the wilderness during their period of wandering. I thanked God because in that span of 5 seconds, HE showed me what I can have as a result of being in HIM--rest, or what I can lose because of my rebellion towards HIM--unrest.  God's word does encourage but more importantly it corrects AND commands obedience.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

A slight nudge

Even when I am doing nothing and seem unwilling to 'do anything', God is always working.  Case-in-point.  I was in Walmart this afternoon waiting to buy a(n) money order and reading a book.  (Not unusual because it is always crowded there and it was a payday.)  On with my story.  The gentleman behind me and the lady behind him, wait....  Let me just go with the young man first.  The young man asked me, " What are you reading?"  It was the third book from the Left Behind series "Nicolae", and I closed the book so he could see the cover.  For a bit we talked about the concept of the book and series and he said he had just started reading the bible, starting in Genesis.  That was a starter point to current and world events. From what I gather he was looking at such things and wondering, what does it mean?  He is searching for the truth.  I asked him about Jesus and salvation and what he thought it all meant.  We talked a little more and I encouraged him to start reading the book of John and the gospels and he said he would.  During the conversation I am silently praying to God that I would say the right words and I believe that I did.  I offered to give him my number and said he could call me if he had any question.  He did not, but that is OK.  I know that we will see each other again. 

Now as for the lady standing behind him, when I mentioned Jesus and salvation, she looked toward us and stepped closer, I guess to hear the conversation.  I am not sure of her motives ,but, I would like to see the positive side and assume that she too was searching for truth.  However, I failed to ask the young man his name to personalize the conversation, but I am more than comforted by the fact that God knows who he is and I will add him to my prayer list. 

Someday I would like to address him in a future blog with the expectation of him having become a born-again believer in Jesus Christ.  Glory to God. 

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Famous Quotes

I did not come into this pulpit hoping that perhaps somebody will of his own free will return to Christ. My hope lies in another quarter. I hope that my Master will lay hold of some of them and say, "You are mine, and you shall be mine. I claim you for myself." My hope arises from the freeness of grace, not from the freedom of the will (of man).     

Charles Haddon Spurgeon

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

"The Doctor is In"

Into the building they came one-by-one.  Patients of different backgrounds and lifestyles all huddled in one room waiting to be seen.  Some were limping, one had a cane, two had crutches, an older couple and I. 
Truthfully, I did not know what to expect.  My having to see a doctor for an ailment of some kind was unheard of.  My health has been good for so long.  However, the pain in my right foot was getting to be unbearable and I needed relief.    
Normally, I am a bastion of coolness and calm, but today I'm a little nervous. Having worked in the medical field for a number of years I have taken plenty of people to doctor offices and hospitals and what have you.  Now I am the one in need of medical attention.

Tic toc, tic toc, tic toc, tic toc, tic toc. That's all I hear as I wait. I tried reading a book I brought with me, no dice. I'm not much for television, so that's a no go.  In my last hopes before outright panic sets in I look around the room and try to figure out 'how' some of these injuries occurred and to take my mind off of my fears.  It felt good as I was the only one in the room not in need of an assisting device to help with my gait. 

Finally just before 10, i am whisked away into an examination room.  On the way back I pass by several other rooms with closed curtains and I felt tempted to stop and yell "I will take what is behind curtain number three."  Much to my chagrin the words failed to come forth and my dignity was still intact.  Whew!!!  No problem, they will get me when I am asked to undress and put on the 'hospital gown', that despite all the advancements in technology and fabrics still, never quite seems big enough to keep my backside from having its own show.  That moment never comes about.  All I have to do is remove my right shoe and wait.

Waiting is no problem.  Having spent some time in the military 'hurry up and wait' is well ingrained into my physche.  What I failed to do is take into consideration the other patients that are there with me.  Case in point.  In the room next to me is a young lady with a walking boot on her foot, she went back just before I did.  Mind you, I am not an ease dropper and there are only two pictures and an x-ray machine in the room with me.  I looked at both of the pictures (of feet) and was left with not much else to do until the doctor arrived.  So I listened.  Read the next sentence very slowly and carefully.  WRONG DECISION TO MAKE.

For the next couple of minutes or so the young lady proceeded to let everyone know, she was not enjoying this office visit.  She screamed and yelled, and cried and offered up some impressive expletives.  Being in the room next to hers did little to calm my nerves.  In fact, it made my foot hurt more.  I jumped several times out of my chair just from the shock of her screaming and the adrenaline sent a fresh surge of blood to my foot which caused it to throb more.   Pain, pain, pain, pain.  Did he have her in an iron maiden?  The little red guy on my right shoulder with the pitchfork and horns was yelling "back door, back door."  While on my left was a guy in a beautiful white robe calmly telling me "to stay."  If anyone had taken a poll, it would have been a landslide victory for the red team.  Yet, despite the attention I was getting, I stayed.

As if on cue and sensing my desire to 'jump ship' the nurse comes back in and takes x-rays of my foot and offer a smile of assurance. "The doctor will be in shortly."
Tea and donuts would have been better.  I continued to wait, the doctor comes in and we have a short discussion on the problem and next course of action.  'My diagnosis' was nowhere near the one he gave me.  So, having the initials DR does not make me an actual doctor?  (I have been mislead).  Well, my visit is over and, after paying my  co-pay, I proudly shuffle into the waiting room and look at my fellow hobbled compatriots and smile.  I have just joined a fraternity.  Mind you, I doubt any of us set out to do so before our various injuries but we are now the weak, hobbled, lame and much less mobile. 

All-in-all I had a good time and got to see and meet some interesting people.  I wonder what we will all look like next year at the reunion?  Haha

Tesla and a Sovereign God

I am a big fan of music, late 70's all the 80's and early 90's heavy metal and rock.  (Hair bands of course.)  Now I don't like all kinds of music and I do think that some forms of music should not be allowed on the radio. That is my opinion.  Back in the 80's-90's there was (and still is ) a band called Tesla. They are a wonderful and highly underrated band.  On the album, Five Man Acoustical Jam, one of their hit songs was called "Signs".  Although it was a cover song of an original 1970's song, this is my favorite version. Chorus went something like this:
Signs, signs everywhere there is signs
blocking up the scenery and raking my
mind do this don't do that
can you read the signs                                                 

AWESOME song.

In my town of Hazleton, PA right now, construction and road work signs are coming out of hibernation. We have stop signs (which very few obey), do not enter, one way, detour, road closed, vote for this person signs, street signs, business signs and so on. I had not noticed all the different kinds of signs.  Maybe Tesla had it right?

In today's fast-paced world we as a people miss a lot of these signs. Some are talking on their cell phones, texting, or engrossed in a conversion or just choose to ignore
them. I am guilty of these things also, not all of them, but guilty nonetheless.
Of all the signs around us, there is one sign that a great many people are IGNORING, and that is the sign of the times.  This sign is speaking the loudest.  Let me explain.   In Matthew 24 the disciples of Jesus ask a question.
"Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming of the end of the world?
Jesus responded, "Take heed that no man deceive you".
This will be the first step into the downfall of mankind. Further on in the chapter in v.37 and following (Jesus speaking), we read
"But as the days of Noe(Noah) were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking , marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that No-e (Noah) entered into the ark.  And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall the coming of the Son of man be."
Society now says what was once considered wrong is now considered right. Since when did same-sex marriages become the norm? How about living together while unmarried? Just to see if they are compatible with one another!!!!  Really?
Give me a break. All, all these things were going on before the flood.
Is it a coincidence that God said in Genesis chapter 6:3 "My spirit shall not always strive (be with) man."
Verse 5 gives us the answer as to why. "And God saw that the wickedness of man was great, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually".
Are we not seeing those things today? Crimes against children?  Abortion? Lawlessness?   Immorality?
What do you/we think is the cause of the financial meltdown? The abnormal weather patterns? How many hurricanes and tornadoes have we had the past few years?  The droughts? Increase is new strains of diseases? Hmmm
Global warming does not cut it, not to mention it's a bunch of bologna. It is the coming judgement of God upon this land of stiff necked and hard-hearted people. Look at the world around you.  God does not discriminate against anyone.  We are all to blame.

GOD IS TRYING TO GET OUR ATTENTION

When are we going to wake up to the reality of our decisions? All of this is happening because we have turned our backs on God, the nation of Israel and the laws in which this nation was founded, godly principals.  Yet, in the name(s) of compromise and acceptance and political correctness we have chosen the wrong path to travel and now cannot find our way back.  My friends do not despair.  Jesus tells his disciples in John 16:33, "These things I have spoken to you, that in me you will have peace.  In the world you will have tribulation: but be of good cheer: I have overcome the world."
Occupy Wall Street, civil unrest, rioting, economic failures, bank bailouts and anything else in today's headlines points to the soon return of MY SAVIOUR.  What about you?  Is your heart filled with peace or fear?  Is your hope in Jesus Christ or mankind?  Look to Jesus.  If you don't know him personally then ask me how you can know him, personally.  No one in this world is guaranteed anything.  Not our next breath, or heartbeat, long life or riches.  Only two things will remain from this broken world and they are the Word of God and all who have accepted forgiveness through Jesus' death on the cross. 

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Signs and a Sovereign God I

Another beautiful day out today, this evening rather.  This happens to be my favorite part of the day because the sun is still shining and about an hour to an hour and a half from going down and the coolness of the coming night feels like a salve for my bones.
It has been a blessed day and much time was spent in prayer with the Most High.
Truthfully, it almost seems like the perfect day. Maybe it is a sign?  We'll get to that later. 

Work was a breeze with six people and the bulk of our job was s truck that we got done before noon.  That left four hours to just take extra time to do things we normally do not have a lot of time to do.  Yes, it could be considered a very good day.

Right now as I look at the cars snake their way around town, the drivers seem to be in a jovial mood.  Why?  Could it be the weather?  Yep, 1/3 of the problem solved.  Could it be that the work day is over?  Ditto that, add another 1/3.  Let us try this one.  Could it be that almost everyone is oblivious to what is really going on in the world today?  You have my vote and that is the final 1/3 part to make it a whole.

While mulling this over, a verse of scripture came to mind from Ezekiel 38 verse 11.  This verse applies to the nation of Israel and its last days prophecies but it fits in here.  "And thou shalt say, I will go up to a land of unwalled villages; I will go to them that are at rest, that dwell safely, all of them dwelling without walls, and having neither bars nor gates."  (There are no villages, gates or bars around my town.)

What will happen to this town and these people when the world is turned upside down?  9/11 was a small representation of the things to come.  Untold numbers of people flocked to/back to churches in the aftermath of that terrible day.  Yet, how many decisions were lasting?   We can only guess at a number.  Fear of death drove those decisions and once it subsided they went back to their old ways.  Is this the very same thing that happened in Louisiana after Hurricane Katrina?  Undeniable. 
That great and terrible day is fast approaching, when God's judgement, eventually falls on the countries of this world.  Despite all of these things hope does abound.  What is the source of this HOPE?  Jesus the Christ.  My hope is in Jesus and it is my hope that others find Him also.  Until that day comes (salvation for all) I will continue to pray and share the gospel message of repentance, forgiveness, salvation and eternal life.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Glorious Sunday--Part Three (weekend trilogy)

Life, as they knew, had come to a standstill.  As the door to the house was thrust open, hearts burst.  Who would be next?  And then they heard the unbelievable.  HE IS ALIVE!!!  With fear and great joy the women relayed all they had seen at the tomb and heard from the man (angel) sitting upon the stone.  The 'other' Mary told how Jesus met them and they fell and worshipped at his feet.  Peter and John hastily ran to the site where the master's body lay.  Not being sure of what or who to believe they hurried to see for themselves. 

EMPTY!!!!

Shock, horror, joy, relief, doubt, fear, wonder filled the very essence of their being.   

With head, hands, and heart raised to the heavens John cried for the first time in days, from joy, not fear or loss. 
"Could it be?"  Peter asked still looking inside the sepulchre. Hope was rising. 
"Yes, Yeshua said so himself."
The scales were removed from their minds and suddenly His words echoed within both men.  "After three days I will rise again."
Peter and John praised God and glorified the name of Jesus.

Meanwhile, in a secret chamber, an assembly was taking place between the elders, chief priests and roman soldiers. 
"How can we best describe this, 'ocurrance'?" one of the chief priests asked.
"Tell the people his disciples came and stole the body."
"What?" A soldier yelled.  "Surely the governor will hear of this and our lives become forfeit."
The chief priest assured the soldiers that they will be well compensated and the governor can be made to look the other way.
"Whatever you say, Rabbi.  But know this, A body was placed in that grave site.  A stone was rolled in front of it, with the Roman seal on it.  A squad of soldiers were set on watch around the grave.  Now three days later, the stone has been rolled away, and the body gone, with the grave clothes laying in place and the face covering folded neatly nearby."
"What is that supposed to mean?" the elder asked
"It can only mean one thing.  Surely this man was the Son of God."

The eleven men went into Galilee, on a mountain, to the appointed place to meet with Jesus.  And when they saw him they worshipped at HIS feet.

JESUS IS ALIVE.  WHAT A GLORIOUS DAY

Thursday, April 26, 2012

0417

That is actually the time right now, 4:17 a.m. Yes, in the morning!!! Crazy cool don't you think?
Most days I am sleeping at this time but I felt such a prompting from the Lord to rise up and spend time with him. My devotional time has been absent lately and it is rare that I spend the wee hours of the morning in HIS presence.
Bebo Norman's song "God of My Everything" is playing on the radio and it struck me that I have struggled to make Jehovah, the god of everything I do.
As I have read through the bible in my life, I can see that in every situation GOD was there whether it be good or bad.
Believe me when I say I do not plan early morning times with God, however as I go through the day I am constantly in 'fellowship' with Him.
My day would go a lot better if I did have personal time before I set foot outside my house. There are so many things associated with being a follower of Jesus Christ and as I read the bible and pray, I am being transformed inside and out by the Holy Spirit. It is a constant battle and the scars are there to prove it but... Jehovah Rophi heals me and comforts me.
I have to go now. Have a good day and God bless you.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

-untitled-

Transitions Part 3

"And I will bless those who bless you, I will curse those who treat you with contempt, and all the peoples of the earth will be blessed through you."  Genesis 12:3

God spoke these words (promises) to Abram after he told him to get out of the country he was in, and leave his kin folk and father behind. 

Before I continue I would like to apologize for taking so long to get this posting done.  As mentioned before the subject matter is quite touchy and painful.  Now lets crack on.

The Jerusalem Post, NY Times, Washington Post, WSJ, USA Today, Hazleton Standard-Speaker, Chicago Sun-Times, and any news agency worth its print have at one time or another posted a front-page headline regarding the nation of Israel and some countries "venom spewing" speech about ridding the world of her existence.  Almost as long as dirt has been on the earth, Israel, God's chosen people have been under attack or had its destruction predicted.  Many nations have come and gone on this big ball of water and vegetation but Israel still remains.  My aim is not to get into a debate about religion, world events or world history. As stated from the get-go, to awaken a sleeping nation of people (Romans 13:11; II Corinthians 6:2) to their need for a saviour and repentance.  Just as much as the aforementioned news media report sayings about the Israel they are also reporting about the unusual weather occurrences, earthquakes, tornadoes, hurricanes, famines and droughts and diseases that seem to be more prevalent than ever in the history of our or any nation.  Many are wondering what is going on? 

Before the advent of the newspaper and digital eras of today there was word, the word of God (spoken and written) and word of mouth (human to human).  God spoke the words in bold type at the beginning of this blog to Abram(Abraham) and in generations that followed those same words were passed down by....word of mouth.
No nation that has come against Israel at any time in its history has lasted.  Look beyond 1948 when they became an established country.  Look back almost 3,000 years. 

Looking at the current state of the world  and using Genesis 12:3 as our plum line, it is not hard to figure out why we as a nation are experiencing the turmoil that we are.  The United States of America has turned its back on Israel and joined with the league of nations against her.  The USA has not said it wants to destroy Israel per say, but we have stopped supporting her.  Think about the failed attempts at bringing peace to the middle east.  The Road map for Peace, The Camp David Accord, Oslo Accords, and many others failed attempts at peace to sway Israel to 'play ball' with the its neighboring countries.

The United States has become a major proponent in asking, asking my foot, telling Israel that they must give up its very own capital city Jerusalem to the Palestinians.  Who are we?  Our decisions will reverberate for decades to come if we stay the current course. 
What more does God need to do to get our attention as a nation?  Do not believe that bologna, a wonderful meat product I may add, about global warming.  IT IS GOD

We have embraced same-sex marriages and rejected Israel, just to start.  Religious freedom is almost gone, free-speech is on the wrong side of the door and we all proclaim how great this country is!!!!  Homelessness is on the rise, crimes against children, crimes against women, unemployment and drug use is on the rise also.  How about the corruption within our government offices and lack of progress in anything worthwhile, without backroom deals and payoffs?

God will not stand idly by while we or any country carves up his land for the sake of themselves.  Feast your eyes on the events of our land.  Hurricanes, tornadoes, floods and others.  Israel does not need us, we need them.  Look at the last of the verse in Genesis 12:3b, "all the people (nations) of the earth will be blessed through you (Israel)."
It should not be too hard to figure out who is the blessing and who is the curse today.
Do not take me to be anti-American.  I am not.  But how foolish must we be to not see why our economy is failing, the family dynamic is changed, people in cities across America are speaking out against their own government, cities lay in dilapidated ruins like war ravaged third world countries.  Whatever calamities we have endured 'til now will surely pale in comparison to what is to come.  It only gets worse. 

In closing i would like to add that we all are responsible for what is going on within our borders.  The decisions that are being made and not made affect everyone.  For the ones who are children of God, pray and for those who are not born-again believers--pray.  God in either instance is the only hope for this country and the people that call it home.

μωρός άνήρ

The words in the title describe me to a "T" sometimes.  Hold it.  (Why do they say to a "T" when describing someone?  What does the "T" stand for?)  Unless you or someone you know, knows Greek the title will be hard to decipher.  Need not worry the answer is revealed in the end.  My life has been a series of ups and downs these past few months and I have struggled with the many changes going on.   The one constant that should have been, the presence of the Lord, was not!!  Why?  This falls solely on my shoulders because God is the same yesterday, today and forever.  The variable, always changing, is me.  During the days when Jehovah is the center of my life there is pure bliss.  The sun is shining, clouds are bulging with puffiness and a sweet aroma fills air.  As I look around, people are saying hello, good morning and afternoon with genuine meaning.  WOW!!

So what happens when the clouds appear a wee bit darker?  How do I feel when I get fewer acknowledgements in my day?  God is still god.
As my perception changes and "I" begin to take on the role of senior advisor and push God to the background reality sets in that somewhere along the way I forgot who made it all possible.  I Corinthians 1:29 states, "no man shall glory in the presence of the LORD."  Hmm. What have I been doing?  As I have read throughout the scriptures God is working beforehand in the lives of his people and we either do not realize so or acknowledge it.  Most often we don't know God is working beforehand because we are focused only on the moment.  My life becomes my own and then it all starts to unravel.  God is still god.

Proverbs 16:9 sheds a lot of light on this human phenomenon.  "A man's heart plans his way, but the LORD determines his steps."  Pretty profound statement from a book that has 1000's of them.
God is god because HE KNOWS.  He is ETERNAL, ALL-KNOWING, ALL-SEEING and ALL-POWERFUL.  I on the other hand am foolish, blinded by sin, mortal, and weak.  There is nothing I can offer God that would benefit 'our partnership'.  Only a foolish man would think that way (count me as one). 

Have you figured out what the title is?  Post a comment and let me know.
 
 

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Silent Saturday--Part Two (weekend trilogy)

Stones being crunched under the feet of passersby paralyze them all.  Voices outside, raising the levels of fear, can be heard in every corner of the room.  Grief and despair are like an oncoming tsunami ready to overtake them.  Death has overcome their hope.  Weeping and stifled groans of anguish have been the norm since "that day".  Questions lead to more questions that appear to have no answer.

Could Jesus really be dead? 
How could this have happened? 
What did we miss?
What do we do now? 
Are we the next to die?

Our master, teacher, friend... the promised Messiah now lay in a borrowed tomb.  His lifeless, broken body now mirrored by those who professed to live and die with him.

Like wild animals they scattered from the reach of the soldiers as they took him. 
Now they are in hiding, these 11 men who had walked and talked with Jesus.  What of the miracles? The blind man, made jubilant, now that he has been given sight; parents whose daughter was no longer 'asleep'; a demonic son now set free; Peter's mother healed from sickness? 

Peter, poor Peter.  Where could he be?  Was he in the hands of the soldiers?  Is he...dead?  So much death these past few hours.  Judas, the son of perdition, had hung himself.  The two thieves on either side of Jesus, one who believed and one who mocked were dead also. 

"Aaaahhhh.  Jesus, Jesus, Lord Jesus",  I scream in hopeless fury.  Every head in the room snaps towards me.  I weep harder now, not sure where the tears are coming from.  "Who cares?" I vent to my fellow inmates.  "HE IS DEAD, and we are next." 
The others in the room turn away, bow there heads and continue marching to an expected death while only going a few feet at a time and never leaving the room.   Darkness has overcome the Light.

Nighttime claims the land and the shadows are become one.  Silence invades the surrounding territories and each is left to their own imaginations of 'what could have been.'

Suddenly,  there was pounding on the door.  A finger was raised to silence the enclosed occupants.  Who could it be?  There was only one possible answer---Roman soldiers being led by death.   

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Black Friday--Part One (weekend trilogy)

What happened?  Still, to this day, I cannot really phantom it all.  The horror of it all. 

Darkness hovered over us like a thick wool blanket.  As far as the eye could not see, people mulled about everywhere.  Surely no one was sleeping at this hour.  How could they?  How many were here?  Hundreds, thousands, if not more. Voices could be heard talking about it still.    

My heart was pounding, and my palms were sweaty from fear.  It was my first time here and my only wish was to see it through to the end.  The tension and excitement were palpable.  "O Lord", I silently voiced within.  No one seemed familiar to me and I found small consolation on other faces, as they too were filled with fear. 
It was at this time that a primal yell filled the vacuum of space around me and I almost reached the heavens when I jumped.  Something was happening and the blood thirsty crowd was now quiet.  Run, I kept telling myself.  Over and over again the words raced in my mind.  Yet, I could not move.  My feet were being held in place by an unknown force that urged me to keep looking forward and not to the left or the right.  Willingly I obeyed and not realizing that doing so would alter my life in a very profound way.  Little did I know that the Lord would be here before the light of day was over.

The security force formed a barrier before the people keeping them at bay.  How much longer?  Upon finishing my thought someone hollered "What's taking so long?"  Then another cried out "Hurry up!"  One by one the crowd became boisterous.  The security detail braced for the presumed rush of bodies.  A command was given and a member rushed off to the side and requested more help.  Within seconds more guards were stationed in front of the crowd.  Defiance filled the people and they surged ahead a few feet.  Weapons were drawn and more blood was about to be spilled.  "Stand your ground!"

Deaths' fragrance filled the air, the unholy alliance of evil and the hearts of mankind.
Who would be the next to die?

Peaceful Surrender

God is quite the gentleman.  At no point throughout eternity has he ever forced someone to do something.  In creation HE spoke and all things came to be.  When Jehovah created mankind, Adam first then Eve, he formed them/us with His very own hands.  God is a very personal god.  Humanity, with rebellion and disobedience forces God into judging us more harshly than we feel we should be but in the end God is a righteous judge and therefore HE is correct in how he judges us. 

In life, God is still God and further down the road, in death God is still God. 

We are only a few hours past Resurrection Sunday and a couple of days beyond Good Friday.  Around the world churches and organizations acknowledged the life and death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.  Many of us reflected on the meaning of it all and hopefully it caused us to examine our lives more closely.  For the born-again believer it is a time of celebration and joy.  Our salvation was completed when walked out of the grave.  From the moment we say yes to Jesus becoming Lord and Saviour of our lives, our lives take on a different meaning and purpose.  O' the peace that fills our soul as we surrender to Jesus.

Even in the twilight years of life, the fire still burns to serve and know God as when we first committed to Him.   God takes pleasure in what we do for Him , and he is pleased by our obedience.  Living testimonies of who we serve, that is who we are. 

Years go by and we seem to be slowing down.  Not spiritually but physically.  Remember, God is still God.  Our lives now lean toward praying all-the-more for others who are being raised up after us, men and women whom the Spirit has used us to lead to Christ and share the gospel with. 

God is still God, and in death our lives glorify HIM, because now He is calling us to come home to be with HIM.  Praise be to the saints above and the one joining the heavenly chorus singing HOLY, HOLY, HOLY.  All that we have hoped for and longed to receive is now before us.

Paul the apostle says in 1st Timothy 4:7-8, "I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith.  Now there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day..."

He who has the Son of God has eternal life.

Dedicated to Peggy

Friday, April 6, 2012

She Called Him Lord

The world can be a cruel place and once I got home I bid it adieu and yelled "See you tomorrow" with as much disdain my flustered and tired body could produce as I dead bolted the door.  Feeling safe and secure I grumbled a few more words and immediately felt the presence of the Spirit. 

"You have shamed the name of the LORD."  Truth be told, the voice was speaking to me all the day long.  It was then that my anger and frustration subsided enough for me to care.  (Honesty is the only way to put forth these words).
How could I become so insolent and vengeful and still cal upon God and Jesus to help me?  I could not.  Early on in the day my heart was set (by me) to be rebellious.  For some reason I, (dangerous word) felt justified with how I was behaving.  Once I was alone with the Spirit and away from the environment feeding my dark and sinful nature, all had dawned on me.

Recollecting the words spoken to King Belshazzar in Daniel 5:27 "Tekel; thou art weighed in the balance and are found to be wanting (deficient).  Great difficulty followed as I tried to seek the Lord's forgiveness.  My stubborn spirit was hindering me.  Satan had gotten a foothold into me and I could not shut the door.
Nearly two hours passed before I was able to enter into the presence of the Most High.  A flood of peaceful tranquility filled me.  Jehovah was near.  At this point I only asked one thing.  "Forgive me?"  Feeling the regenerative powers of His restoration and cleansing, the Spirit of God leads me to Luke 10. 
Jesus was in the home of Mary, Martha and Lazarus.  Martha was fussing about and trying to prepare a meal and other things and requested Jesus tell her sister Mary to help, (verse 40, Lord do you not care that my sister has left me to work alone? Tell her to help.)  But Jesus did the opposite.  He said to Martha, "You are worried and troubled about many things.  Mary has chosen to do the right thing and sit at my feet in my presence."

Why must I most of the time go through the anguish and frustration of another day before I realize that at any moment in the day I could simply just go sit in the presence of my Lord and be at rest, just like Mary did? 

Early Morning

For the born-again believer, the Cross is what keeps us going in this life.  The Cross is our joy, strength and peace in a dark world.  For the one who feels there is no hope, the Cross offers hope.  For the backsliden, the Cross is the beacon within your heart that will lead you back to where you belong. 

This is one of my all-time favorite songs, by FFH.