12 December 2012

The Headless Church (The Body-less Savior)


And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:
Ephesians 2:6 KJV
As far as God is concerned, there is one Body - the church, with one Head - Christ.

It's we who separate the two.  The verse above says that we were raised up together with Christ.  We were raised from the dead with Him.  It doesn't say that He was raised and then we were raised later.  It says we were raised together.

Then it says that God made us - Christ and the body - to sit together in heavenly places.

Being seated shows that authority was given.  Being seated in heavenly places shows that authority over all things has been given.  That authority wasn't given only to Christ, as some prize that He will impart at a later date.  That authority was given to us and Him - together.

We, so often act as a body without a head - seeking for God to make the change for us or perform the miracle on our behalf.  That's backwards!  

That. Is. Backwards.

We are to make the change that is needed.  We have the authority to carry out the miracles.  

Do we worship a Savior without a body - some head floating around somewhere - disconnected?

Or are we connected to Him - through this verse for one?

Does He have no hands? no feet? no body?

...He has made us to sit together...

We are one. He and me. One.


11 December 2012

Tuesday Teaching - Justification


Because man rebelled against God and entered into sin, there is a separation between man and God. We are all sinners by nature and are therefore condemned by a just, holy and righteous God.

As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.Romans 3:10-12

The only way for us to be reconciled back to God is for Him to transfer our guilt upon Himself. The death of Jesus Christ made this transfer, forgiveness and reconciliation a possibility.

For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.2 Corinthians 5:21

We receive justification by the grace of God (Romans 3:24, Titus 3:7), through the blood of Jesus Christ (Romans 5:9, Hebrews 9:22), and by faith (Romans 5:1-2, Galatians 2:16).



Justification results in the following:

Removal of the penalty of sin:
Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered.Romans 4:7

Removal of condemnation:
There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.Romans 8:1

Peace with God:
Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:Romans 5:1

The righteousness of Jesus Christ is ours:
For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.2 Corinthians 5:21

04 December 2012

Tuesday Teaching - Repentance


One major hindrance to true repentance will be self-confidence. While self-confidence is an excellent trait to have for life in general, it can get in the way when it comes to repentance before God. True repentance calls for a renunciation of self-confidence and it will initiate a God-confidence; being confident in God to meet all your needs and fulfill all your desires, believing then, that His Way is the only way.

All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.Isaiah 53:6

Our own way will lead us astray. Following our own ideas, desires and direction will lead us away from the Power needed to live a victorious life in Christ. Following our own way will put us in a place void of God's protection and blessing. We need God in order to make it. We need to follow His Way to stay with Him. Repentance is where that all starts.

And the children of Israel said unto the LORD, We have sinned: do thou unto us whatsoever seemeth good unto thee; deliver us only, we pray thee, this day. And they put away the strange gods from among them, and served the LORD: and his soul was grieved for the misery of Israel.Judges 10:15-16

If we follow the example of the Israelites in this scripture, we see three things which are necessary for repentance.

First, we see confession. Confession is self-explanatory. You must say, with your mouth, what you have done wrong. Confess your sin before God. Yes, He knows what you did - or didn't do, but you must confess it to Him. There is so much power in the spoken word. We will look at this another time.

Secondly, we see a turning away from sin. If you are truly repentant, you will make every effort to not continue in sin; especially the same sin. In most 12-step programs for addiction recovery, there is a common teaching that gives instruction on how to effect true change in your life.

Change people, places and things.

There may be certain people, places or things that you need to change in your life in order to bring about the change that you really desire in order to bring about and demonstrate true repentance.

Third, they chose to serve God. This is where you start new habits, make new friends, take up new responsibilities. All of this shows a placing of real confidence in God and discarding your own self-confidence.

The Bible says that we must repent and turn towards God (Acts 26:19-20). We must turn from our idols and serve God. (1 Thessalonians 1:8-9)

03 December 2012

How Do I Tell Them?


By now, someone has crossed your mind, who you think may not be going to heaven. When we first get saved, we are so over the top that we usually scare people away with our new-found faith. We want so badly to tell others that we push them away with 'the gospel'. God's message of love is so gentle. He is a gentleman. He does not push and neither should we.

If however, you come across someone to whom you need to explain what has happened to you, there are some simple scriptures to use. They are known as the "Roman Road". Note: if someone does not believe the Word of God is true, then you are dealing with foolishness and you will need more experience and knowledge of God and His Word before truly dealing with that person. But here are a few scriptures you can use to explain your conversion to others who are receptive to the Word of God.

For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Romans 3:23 
 We all have sinned and fall short of God's purpose for our lives - to know Him and walk with Him.
For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Romans 6:23
Wages are just payment... due reward... what one has coming because of labor. The just payment for our sin is death. Death here means a spiritual disconnect. When we are still in our sin, we have no life with God. We are alive physically but dead spiritually. If we continue in that condition, we will be separated from God for all eternity.

But God demonstrates his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.Romans 5:8

In a demonstration of His love for us, He gave His own life.
For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.Romans 10:13

Pretty simple here: Call on Him and He will save you.

That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.Romans 10:9-10

That's it really. No rocket science; faith and confession is all it takes to become a child of God. Only believers will ever understand the change that takes place following the conversion experience. Give your testimony of what happened with you - the burden being lifted, the emptiness filled, the chains broken. Your testimony will be attractive to others and that will open their hearts to receive the Word of Truth.

30 November 2012

What do YOU think?

I found myself, after a fairly busy week, trying to catch up on my 'reader'.  185 unread items.  "Sheesh!" I thought, "I'll be here all day!"

As I flipped through the unread items on Google Reader, I realized that I was flipping more than I was reading.  Hold on.

I am really not much of a reader.  Most of these blogs are on here because it was a way of keeping up with people while in Haiti OR keeping up with the latest news, etc., while abroad.

I am neither in Haiti, nor abroad.  Most of these people are not doing the same things anymore or writing about the same things anymore and really, I've just lost interest.  OK. Edit the reader.

17 unread items.

Wow.

So, it got me to thinking about my own blog.  What do I want to read about?  I like short posts, inspirational posts and funny posts.  And videos are great.  So, that's what I should be posting too.  I think.

You see I know that there are people who read the blog, but they never give me any feedback.

So, if you would be so kind as to comment here or on Facebook or Twitter, I'd appreciate it.

Meanwhile, I have a couple of books that I have started reading that I will be working on also.

Stay tuned.  Always exciting things happening.

23 November 2012

Friday Fix

I always enjoy my sister's cooking on Thanksgiving.  She always does a great job!  Fanciful soup, Flavor-basted Turkeys, vegetables, potatoes, stuffing and desserts!  What I always miss on Thanksgiving is the leftovers!

This Friday Fix?  I need a fix of a fresh turkey sandwich and a smidgen of cold stuffing.

21 November 2012

Happy Birthday Elijah!

Today, Elijah is 11!  I am very proud of the little man he is becoming.  Pray for him to continue growing well.

My prayer for you is God's promise to me.  May your peace be great!




And all thy children shall be taught of the LORD; and great shall be the peace of thy children.
Isaiah 54:13 KJV



20 November 2012

Tuesday Teachings - Repentance


Hebrews 6:1 & 2 mentions two very basic and foundational truths; repentance (from dead works) and faith (towards God).

Repentance is the first step in building a successful foundation in your new life as a believer. Faith towards God is what the Christian walk is all about.

First, God commands that man repent. There are no 'if's 'and's or 'but's about it.

And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent:Acts 17:30
Repentance and Faith are both gifts given to us by God so that we may turn from our ways and follow His Way. Repentance and Faith are not one time deals, either. they are something that we practice throughout our Christian walk. You may have repented before God when you were saved. You will need to repent again as the Holy Spirit reveals the need to you. You may have had faith to receive Christ when you were saved. You will need faith to believe on Him more. Repentance and Faith work actively throughout your walk and sanctification.

Repentance means a "change of mind"; a change of heart or attitude. It means to have a radical change in one's own heart toward sin and the things of God. It involves a conscious moral decision to forsake sin and enter into fellowship with God.

Repentance is commanded by God (Acts 17:30)
Repentance is essential for salvation (Mark 1:15)

It is a gift from God.

He must correct his opponents with courtesy and gentleness, in the hope that God may grant that they will repent and come to know the Truth [that they will perceive and recognize and become accurately acquainted with and acknowledge it], 2 Timothy 2:25 AMP

God desires it for all men.

The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. 2 Peter 3:9

19 November 2012

Evolution Proven!

Well sort of.

Without getting into a whole lesson on the theory of evolution,  let's just say that basically the belief is that all living things evolved - or came from - the same self-replicating molecule.

From Wikipedia's page on evolution:

Origin of life
Highly energetic chemistry is thought to have produced a self-replicating molecule around 4 billion years ago, and half a billion years later the last common ancestor of all lifeexisted.  The current scientific consensus is that the complex biochemistry that makes up life came from simpler chemical reactions.  The beginning of life may have included self-replicating molecules such as RNA and the assembly of simple cells.

I have finally found the proof that they have been looking for that all things came from no things!

The other day in my study time, I saw this:


And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven.

And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so. 
Genesis 1:20 & 24 KJV
So, God said for the waters to "bring forth" and they did.  He said for the earth to "bring forth" and it did!

Well then.  There ya have it!

Oh, wait.  Putting God in the mix actually kind of ruins the whole theory of evolution doesn't it?  Oh well.  I'll stick with God's version.

It requires less faith than evolution.




17 November 2012

Say Something

The truth is, you can say to this mountain, 'Go, mountain, fall into the sea.' And if you have no doubts in your mind and believe that what you say will happen, then God will do it for you. 
Mark 11:23 ERV

Here is an excerpt from Kenneth E Hagin's book The Believer's Authority:



Once in England Smith Wigglesworth was standing on a street corner waiting for a bus. A woman came out of an apartment house, and a little dog ran out behind her. She said, “Honey, you’re going to have to go back.” The dog didn’t pay any attention to her. He just wagged his tail and rubbed up against her affectionately. She said, “Now, dear, you can’t go.” The little dog wagged his tail and rubbed up against her again. About that time, the bus arrived. The woman stomped her foot and yelled, “Get!” The dog tucked his tail between his legs and took off. Wigglesworth said he hollered out loud without even thinking, “That’s the way you’ve got to do with the devil!"





Hagin, Kenneth E. (2010-06-14). Believers Authority- Legacy Edition (Kindle Locations 586-592). Faith Library Publications.
Many times we just go about our lives without ever saying anything.  We have read the bible, studied the scripture and memorized the verses.  We could list the promises of God for our lives, our children, our household, our businesses and even our pets!  But when it comes down to it, none of that really matters, if we are not using the authority that we have been given.  We must say something.

Recently in our family, we were going over some scripture in Genesis.  Before I went into the scripture, I asked my son what he could tell me about how God created the different things he created.  His reply was, "He said it."

If I want to create, prosperity, health and well-being; if I want the promises of God that I know so well to manifest in my life, I must say it.  That is the exercising of my authority.

When we were in Haiti, we experienced many traffic jams or 'blokus' as they call them.  Many times the blokus was caused by the movement of the abundant amount of UN vehicles in the capital.  They would just have some uniformed and armed guys out in the street holding up all vehicles for their own trucks and transports to enter the roadway.  No one got out of their vehicles to tell them they couldn't do it.  They would just wait until the vehicles finished and then we would move on.  (I know, sometimes, it didn't go so smoothly, but it's Haiti for crying out loud!)

My point is this: The UN soldiers, of themselves, have no right to hold up traffic.  Their physical strength could not stop even a motorcycle.  It was their authority that got the job done.

We have been given authority over the enemy.  Let's use it.  Let's get the job done.

Weekend Worship

The Insyderz - He Has Made Me Glad from drfong1 on GodTube.

16 November 2012

Fridays With Francis Chan

Which One?


God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness.
Genesis 1:4 NASB

One of the simplest lessons on how to live holy is given to us by God in the very beginning. 

He told us from the start. 

In Second Corinthians, Paul reminds us that light and darkness have no fellowship with each other.  Do I mean they can't exist together.  Not exactly.  They don't exist together.  That's even more being said, then.

If I were to tell you that they can't exist together, that may imply that you could at least attempt it.  But the fact is that they simply do not exist together.  Each morning as the earth turns on its axis and your place on this spinning globe meets the point where the sun's light is shining, the previous darkness flees; disappears; ceases to exist.

Likewise as you spin into the absence of the sun's light, the darkness encroaches once again.

They do not exist together.

Likewise, then in our own lives.  That which is light can not exist with that which is darkness.

OK. So, which is which?

Jesus said that he is the light of the world.  In Genesis 1:4, God said that the light was good.  Having established the impossibility of light and darkness existing together, that would indicate that darkness is then, inherently, bad.

So, what is it in our own lives that is light or darkness?  Who is it?  Where is it?

It is not that God can not exist in my life together with sin when it is present, it is simply that He does not.

When I sense that there is a lack of God; His Presence, His anointing, I wonder if there is something I am not doing.  More frequently though, it is because of something I am doing - and that being fellowshipping with darkness.  

Whether sin be by action, thought or deed.  It all bears darkness, not light.  

For He is the light.

He is good.

He has been separated from the darkness.

The question is: Have we?

22 October 2012

Run For Life




The important things to know:

1. Anyone can get involved
2. The website is: www.runforlifehaiti.org

3. The ultimate goal is to raise $800,000 for the construction of the new, much larger, Maternity Center. In the past two years $146,000 has been raised for the Maternity Center. It is sitting in an account designated to this cause and will be added to this fund. 

At the website you will see a donate button and a link called "get involved". Co-run events are suggested. For non-runners there are dozens of ways you can get involved.  For example, in December in South Texas Tara's mom and musician friends will be holding a Christmas concert. Proceeds from that night will be donated to the Run For Life Haiti fund.  They will be signed up for a co-event as a team. Bake sales, garage sales, other athletic events, concerts, and craft sales are all great ideas. The list of ideas is as endless as your imagination. The holiday season is the perfect season to be creative and give. 

Consider many ways to get involved:

1. Share this post or Share the YouTube video
2. Boldly ask others to give and act
3. Organize a "co-event" of any variety - sign up with a team name
4. Give generously to sponsor Barry and his gallant efforts
5. Check out and "like" all of Heartline's Facebook pages for updates:
6.  Pray for the pregnant women in the program, pray for the women on the wait list 
7.  Join us, become passionate about Maternal Healthcare and the women of Haiti

New to this site, never heard of Heartline Ministries or the Prenatal program?
To see some of the faces and families of women that have been supported through their pregnancies please click hereherehereherehere, here or here and peruse the archives. 

23 August 2012

Throwback Thursdays


This was a New Year post.  It's worth repeating mid-year.

"Alter the Altar"

Alter /vChange or cause to change in character or composition, typically in a comparatively small but significant way.
Altar /n/ A table or flat-topped block used as the focus for a religious ritual, esp. for making sacrifices or offerings to a deity.


And God said unto Jacob, Arise, go up to Bethel, and dwell there: and make there an altar unto God, that appeared unto thee when thou fleddest from the face of Esau thy brother. Then Jacob said unto his household, and to all that were with him, Put away the strange gods that are among you, and be clean, and change your garments: And let us arise, and go up to Bethel; and I will make there an altar unto God, who answered me in the day of my distress, and was with me in the way which I went. And they gave unto Jacob all the strange gods which were in their hand, and all their earrings which were in their ears; and Jacob hid them under the oak which was by Shechem. And they journeyed: and the terror of God was upon the cities that were round about them, and they did not pursue after the sons of Jacob. Genesis 35:1-5
As we enter the new year, it's a time to reflect upon our habits as a believer and see if there are areas where we can adjust or change.  Is there a devotion that could be greater?  Is there an area of faith that needs feet put to it?


Jacob led his people to dedicate themselves to God.  First, they had to get rid of all the idols [mess] and be clean [a new dedication] and change their garments [a concerted effort].  Then they buried the gods [former practices] and the jewelry [unity with those who have same bad habits].  

Then they journeyed.

It takes time to get from one 'altar' to another.  They should be in different places.  That's not to say that you should pick up and move your whole household just because you've decided to dedicate yourself to more devotional time.  But the 'where you are' should be different.  It must be if you don't want to be confused about which altar to go to.  They left where they were because then they couldn't dig up the idols again.  Very. Important.  And let's not condemn ourselves if it seems we're without an altar for a bit.  God will protect you during your journey when He notes that your heart is right - and headed in the right direction - toward Him.

So, what is it for you?

Whose altar do you have now that's just not quite working for you?

What idols do you need to bury?

What altar should we build now?

{new devotions

{faithfulness to the body of believers

{more time for prayer

{greater giving

{praying as a family

Happy Building!

16 August 2012

A Must Have!

The book, "Scripture Keys for Kingdom Living" is a must-have book for any believer.  June Newman Davis compiles the scriptures into categories by which the verses may be applied. 

It's like a fully stocked spiritual medicine cabinet.  She first put this book out in the 60's but since then there have been many reprints.  

The same information is available electronically here.  But since you can't always whip out the internet, it's a good thing to have the book.  If you want to buy the book, check your local christian bookstore, online book seller or the book's website.  

Perla and I both have copies of this book and have utilized it many times over the years. 

Do you already have one?

14 August 2012

Where Do You Stand?


Surely none of the men that came up out of Egypt, from twenty years old and upward, shall see the land which I sware unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob; because they have not wholly followed me: Save Caleb the son of Jephunneh the Kenezite, and Joshua the son of Nun: for they have wholly followed the LORD.
Numbers 32:11-12 KJV
Out of all of the people who left Egypt, only two entered the promised land.  Only two received the promise.  Only two saw the reward of faith and faithfulness.

Only two.

Two.

The rest of the Israelites who left Egypt tested God, angered God, doubted God.

Our lives and walk with God will regularly test our faith.  Doubt calls out to us in the midst of trials.  Where do we stand when it really matters?  We have been delivered.  We know Who gets the credit for that.  Why then do we falter in our faith?

That same faltering.  The double-mindedness is what still causes so many of God's people to miss their destiny.  They were all supposed to cross the Jordan.  They were all supposed to make it!

Where do you stand?

Do you plan on making it over the Jordan?  Or are you content to die in the wilderness?

I am hoping you said 'no' to my second question.  So I'll just encourage you.  You can do it.  You can trust God.  You can exercise your faith when it matters.  That same faith can defeat doubt and fear.



Do it.

Believe.

Trust.

Enter your promised land.

Step in.

Go!

07 August 2012

Mine Clearance (aka Mind Clearance)


Warning: This post will be incomplete, because...
We started a series this past week at OLCC on "The Power of the Cross" which led me to this devotion.  If you're in the Lehigh Valley area next Sunday morning stop by for the next message in the series.

 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. Romans 12:2 KJV

The US military operates mine clearance operations during times of combat as well as during peacetime.  Mines are explosive devices hidden underground by the enemy with the intention of a surprise attack aimed at killing.  A mine field can be set in a larger area.  A mine field is a area of ground where multiple mines are buried out of sight.  In addition to death, the slowing or stopping of the advancing army is the goal of a mine field.

From Wikipedia regarding mine clearance:

The military priority is to breach the minefield quickly in order to create a safe path for troops ... speed is vital, both for tactical reasons and because units attempting to breach the minefield may be under enemy fire 
.. mines must be removed, although only in the lanes through which troops or vehicles are planned to advance 
... they are often aided by technical intelligence on the current adversary's mines, which are usually of a single type 
... In times of relative peace, the process of mine removal is referred to as demining. This is a thorough, time-intensive process that seeks to locate all mines so that the land or sea area may be safely returned to normal use. It is vital that this process be exhaustive. Even if only a small handful of mines remain undiscovered, incomplete demining can actually lead to an increase in civilian mine casualties as local people re-occupy an area they previously avoided in the belief that it has been made safe.
 
There's a lot there.  Let me draw the parallel and then we will go back and look at the parts I underlined.

In the simplest form: Land mines in the natural world are equivalent to wicked works in the spiritual realm.


And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled Colossians 1:21 KJV


You've been walking with God for a while now.  You know he has set you free. You believe it.  You have faith for it. You KNOW it. No doubts.

But, as you go through life, walking with God ready to re-occupy an area you previously avoided in the belief that it has been made safe, BOOM!

Where did that come from?  I thought my finances (marriage, addictions, habits, tongue) were under control!

Well, that's alright.  At least you're still here with us.  Now let's get to some mine clearance.

Fortunately, you have, in His Word, the intelligence on the current adversary's mines that you need in order to safely return the area of your mind to normal use and you can be exhaustive this time.  By the blood and the Power of the Cross, you can clear a safe path for His advancing troops in our lives.

It's important to renew your mind (Rom 12:2), so that as you walk with Him, you and Christ will be of one mind. 

No land mines.

No surprises.

No BOOM!

NOTE: Contrary to the post's poetic title, "mind clearance", or the clearing of your mind is not a biblical practice.  It is a new-age practice that stands in opposition to the Word of God.  As we see in the first scripture, we are to renew our minds.  Also scripture teaches that we are to have the mind of Christ.  No where does it tell us to clear our minds for any reason.

03 August 2012

Fridays With Francis Chan

This is a video from a group study for his book Crazy Love.

www.francischan.org

2e


I always pray to the great and glorious Father, the God of our Lord Jesus Christ. 
I pray that he will give you the Spirit, who will let you know truths about God and help you understand them, so that you will know him better. 
I pray that God will open your minds to see his truth. 

Then you will know the hope that he has chosen us to have. 
You will know that the blessings God has promised his holy people are rich and glorious. 
And you will know that God's power is very great for us who believe.

It is the same as the mighty power he used to raise Christ from death and put him at his right side in the heavenly places. 
He put Christ over all rulers, authorities, powers, and kings. 
He gave him authority over everything that has power in this world or in the next world. 
God put everything under Christ's power and made him head over everything for the church.

The church is Christ's body. 
It is filled with him. 

He makes everything complete in every way. 

Ephesians 1:17-23 ERV
What does "2e" mean?

02 August 2012

No Division Here

I just want to share a verse or two with you.  I know there are several people who read here and never let us know they are reading here.  That's alright.  Sometimes we agree, sometimes we don't.  I just wanted to pass along these three little verses.

Today, it's all about you.


May the LORD bless you, and keep you.

May the LORD make his face shine upon you, and be gracious toward you.

May the LORD lift up his countenance upon you, and give you peace. 

Numbers 6:24-26



31 July 2012

Man Up!

This one is for the men.  Ladies, while I'm sure you can get something from today's post, it's really for the men.  Please feel free to pass it along to the man you love - be it your father, your son, your husband or your pastor.
The families from the tribe of Levi were not counted with the other Israelites. The LORD had told Moses: "Don't count the men from the tribe of Levi or include them with the other Israelites. Tell the Levites that they are responsible for the Tent of the Agreement. They must take care of that tent and everything that is with it. They must carry the Holy Tent and everything in it. They must make their camp around it and take care of it. 

Numbers 1:47-50 ERV

If you find this amusing, it's not.
You don't have to watch too much TV before you see him.  He may be in a commercial or two.  He's frequently in a sitcom.  Some sitcoms even focus around him as the main character.  Oh, he's so funny! Not.

He can be found in mystery movies.  You may even know him personally.  Some great Hollywood star?  Nope.  I'm talking about the loser.

The loser. The buffoon. The idiot. The moron. The emasculated male.

Personally, I'm tired of seeing him.  He has however infiltrated our society to the extent that men I know who are NOT him really see themselves as him, only because others see him that way.  It's the way we men are expected to be these days.  This is due mainly in part to how he is portrayed in the media.  Oh, the media.

I am not him.  I, like the Levite, am set apart.  I have a high calling.

Today's man has a destiny far above what the societal norms are calling for.  Believing men in particular, are called to be leaders; leaders in their families, leaders in ministry, leaders in the community.  Leaders, who lead.

Like the Levite, we are called to be men of God.  The task may not always be glorious, but the reward will be.  The Levites were given the assignment of cleaning the temple.  Doesn't sound too bad?  Well, basically they mopped up blood - all kinds of blood.

The Levites were born into their positions and groomed to serve.  They worked hard at their ministry and calling.  Today's man of God has many callings; husband, father, pastor, mentor, teacher, guide - the list goes on but nowhere does that list include moron or loser.  All of his callings are righteous.  He is to always put God in the first place and serve him with all of his heart.

If you find this over-spiritual, it's not.
Not every man's true calling will bring great glory.  There may be one who has a more high-profile job, or makes more money.  But you may be raising a national leader and need to be at home watching over him more closely instead of traveling with your company as the other man's job will require.

Do not give in or submit to the expectations of this world's crazy culture.  Instead focus on what God has planned for you and walk THAT vision out.

If we all live out what God would have us to look like, the world may start seeing men differently - the way God intended.

Thanks to ladies for carrying the ball all of the times they did, but now, it's time for the man of God to be exactly that.

[If you have been reading the blog, we'd love to have your comments below.]

28 July 2012

Fridays With Francis Chan

Francis Chan is a great teacher in the Body of Christ.  We appreciate his simplicity and clarity.  Because of that appreciation, I'll be starting a mini-series featuring some videos by him.  Some will be short, some longer.  I hope they minister to you as much as they do me.  Enjoy "Fridays with Francis Chan".

This video is introducing his book "Erasing Hell"




Weekend Worship

27 July 2012

Smile!

A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.
Proverbs 17:22 KJV

26 July 2012

"Prayers for Jer"

We know this young man; we have for years.  I wanted you to hear his story because it is increasingly amazing every day.  His family has a great heritage in the community and the Body.  Please visit the page and pray for his continued recovery, which so far, has been nothing but miraculous.


From the Facebook Page:

"On Sunday May 27, Jeremiah was in a terrible dirtbike accident that resulted in damage to the brain and bruised lungs. This group is to keep you updated on Jer's progress and to share prayer requests and praises. Join us on this journey of healing for our brother!"

23 July 2012

You Know What We Really Need?


Moses and Aaron went into the Meeting Tent. They came out and blessed the people. Then the Glory of the LORD appeared to all the people. Fire came out from the LORD and burned the burnt offering and fat on the altar. When all the people saw this, they shouted with joy and then bowed to the ground to show their respect. 
Leviticus 9:23-24 ERV
Photo Credit: unknown

We really need God.

When the people of God gather and worship, God will show up.

We really need to gather and worship.

When God shows up, He shows up in Power and Authority.

We really need God to show up that way.

When God shows up that way, the people are expected to "shout with joy" and "bow down to the ground".

We really need to respond the right way.

Is this how we react when God shows up?

If you are not in a place where God shows up (and you KNOW it), then find a place that He does (and you will).  Once you get to that place, be sure your response to His Presence is appropriate.

We really need to remember this scripture, because....

.....we really need God.

22 July 2012

2e


We must not quit meeting together, as some are doing. No, we need to keep on encouraging each other. This becomes more and more important as you see the Day getting closer. 
Hebrews 10:25 ERV

20 July 2012

Serious Stuff


"This law will always continue for you: On the tenth day of the seventh month, you must not eat food. You must not do any work. None of the travelers or foreigners living in your land can do any work either. Because on this day, the priest will do this to make you pure and wash away your sins. Then you will be clean to the LORD." 


Leviticus 16:29-30 ERV

How seriously do you take sin?

Do yourself a favor and read all of this chapter in Leviticus.  God takes sin very seriously.  Throughout the year, the Israelites sacrificed animals for their sins and on the Day of Atonement, the sanctuary was purged.  God gives specific instructions for this Day that the chief priest is to perform in order to cleanse the nation and the sanctuary.  

We don't need to sacrifice animals.  The sanctuary does not require purging any longer.  Jesus Christ paid for our sins once and for all through His own blood.  He was our scapegoat for all eternity.  He was the perfect sacrifice for all of us.

Perhaps the Day of Atonement served another purpose also: reminding God's people of the seriousness of sin.  

Take some time today and recognize God's view of sin and thank Him for the Perfect Sacrifice.

Then, remember, sin is serious stuff.

A New Season


To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: 
Ecclesiastes 3:1 KJV


Today, I would like to talk about seasons.  Just because you are not doing what you were doing before does not mean you are out of the Will of God, or that you were out of the Will of God when you were doing what you were doing before.  OK, but you may have been, or you may be now.  I'm just saying that the change from one task to another; one purpose to another; one vision to another, is not necessarily the measuring stick of where you stand in His Will.

You may have noticed a change to the title of the blog and the banner graphics above.  We are entering the next season for our own lives.  Most of you kept up to date with us here as we were in Haiti.  There was plenty to write about while serving in the mission field.  Since we've been back, there hasn't been much to write about - not that anyone would want to read, really.  So, I have mostly just kept the blog filled with worship videos and tidbits here and there.

Well, this new season that we are entering brings a new season to this site.  We will be sharing the Word here more.  Less of us, more of Him.  Not that there was anything wrong with the way it was before, right?  Just a different season, remember?

We are making some great strides here by the way.  There was a lot of catch up to play when we got back as far as our businesses.  We are almost there.  And we are moving forward in missions.  You didn't think we were done, did you?

So, if you have been coming here regularly, keep coming - and tell a friend.  If you are new here, the posts before this one will have a little different taste than the ones that come after it - that's all.

We wish you the best in whatever season He has you in.

04 July 2012

FREE

As we, in the States, and Americans abroad, celebrate our independence as a nation, let us remember that there are people who are not yet free in other lands.

There are still those in slavery and bondage to governments and leaders who hold oppressive power over their people.

Pray for their liberty as you are thankful for your own.

Happy Independence Day!


29 June 2012

You're Strange


"Do not do bad things to foreigners living in your country. You must treat them the same as you treat your own citizens. Love them as you love yourselves. Remember, you were foreigners in Egypt. I am the LORD your God!"


Leviticus 19:33-34 ERV

This scripture takes me a couple of places.  I'll mention one, then talk about the other.

First, it speaks a lot to the current political climate with regards to immigration.  If the immigration laws of a land were in line with God's heart, that land would be blessed.

But for this post, I would like to focus on our spiritual walk.  

We are strangers.  This world that we find ourselves in is not ours.  We are just passing through.  In fact, everyone you see is a stranger.  Some are aware of their status, others are not.  

While we can argue that the world does not treat us well, we would be wrong.  In fact, all too often, the world really does treat us as one of its own citizens - too much.  "Act like this. Do that. Be like us."  What we really should be asking is do we treat them like we should.

The perfect example of how citizens of Heaven should be treated is given by the King himself.  Do we love others as He does? Do we talk to others the way He would?  Do we act as He would?

We are strangers in a strange land.  We are sojourners here.  Everyone is.

Let's represent our Homeland well.

28 May 2012

Thanks!

Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. 
John 15:13 KJV

To all those soldiers who have given their lives for our freedom, 
we take this time to remember them today.


To ALL those...

24 May 2012

Maybe You Should Just Swallow a Glowstick


When Moses came down from Mount Sinai, he carried the two stone tablets of the Agreement. Because he had talked with the Lord, his face was shining, but he did not know it.  Exodus 34:29
Moses was glowing.  He had been with God.
Photo Credit: The Hendricks

When you spend time with God, what do other people see?  When you do NOT spend time with God, what do other people see.

The scripture says that Moses didn't know that he was glowing.  If he was not aware that he was shining, then it's safe to say that he would not know if he was NOT shining.

Spending time with God is important. Well, duh.  No, really. It's important, not just for us, not just for God.  It's important for others.

Sometimes I will be in the supermarket and I will see a person and I just know that they have been with God.

God is attractive.  If you want to draw people closer to God*, then spend more time in His Presence.  It will make you more attractive.  I strive to spend time with God.  I thoroughly enjoy His Presence.  My wife spends time with God.  People enjoy being around us (I think) - not because we are such great company, but because of His Presence.

Get a face lift today.  Get in His Presence.

Or just swallow a glowstick.

*all believers should have a desire to draw people closer to God.




23 May 2012

Feeling Cloudy?


Then the cloud covered the Meeting Tent and the Glory of the LORD filled the Holy Tent. Moses could not go into the Meeting Tent because the cloud had settled on it, and the Glory of the LORD had filled the Holy Tent. When the cloud rose from the Holy Tent, the Israelites would begin to travel. But when the cloud stayed on the Holy Tent, the people did not try to move. They stayed in that place until the cloud rose. So the cloud of the LORD was over the Holy Tent during the day, and at night there was a fire in the cloud. So all the Israelites could see the cloud while they traveled.
Exodus 40:34-38 ERV

Low lying clouds are classified as fog.  Fog hinders sight.

When the cloud had settled on the Tent of Meeting, the Israelites did not travel.  They stayed put.  When the cloud lifted, that's when they moved.

If things are not clear to you considering where God wants you to move, it may be that He just wants you to be still for a while.  Why keep trying to move on if God himself is being still.  It is when He rested on the Tent of Meeting that His Presence was there.

Stay put, right where you are, and enjoy His Presence while you are waiting for Him to make His next move.

"...at night, there was a fire in the cloud."

It is in that darkest moment that, in His Presence, you will experience the Fire of God.  Thank God for the dark times when He allows us to just be in His Presence and He will give us sight and vision.