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.