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Showing posts from July, 2012

Suffering, Restoration, and Rest

I will restore (repay) to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten,
the hopper, the destroyer, and the cutter, my great army, which I sent among you.
-Joel 2:25 (ESV)

It is hard to rest when we focus on our losses, disappointments, and unfulfilled dreams; but we must.

What about all this lost time?  Why do we have to wait for our promises?  Not to have what we have dreamed about and been promised is a loss and we keep losing time in the time between the times.

But God is the great restorer.  The whole Bible is a story of restoration.  God is all about restoration.

While you wait, God is upgrading you in many areas; stretching you and maturing you: enlarging your heart.  God walks beside you in your losses, when you are betrayed, passed over, and hurt.  You are growing in faith, hope, and love.  You are learning deeper and deeper forgiveness and grace.  You must choose God a thousand times over bitterness.

The person called to healing ministry that prays for a thousand people…

When You have Given Up: Lost Dreams and Burnout

What if it has been so long, too long, and you believe or maybe you once believed (past tense); but you stop asking God to fulfill a dream?  

You gave up on something because it was just too painful.  The disappointment was too great.  You take up your cross of disappointment and walk on.  

You have not abandoned God, your faith, or your love for God's people.  You just have stopped praying about something important to you.  You have given up on that thing.  You know that all things are possible for our miracle working God.  You have seen other people get their prayers answered and their desires met, while you stand before God empty handed.  How do you take care of your heart and still serve God in your life?  We live with the paradox of walking with a loving God who is allowing suffering or lack or unfulfilled dreams.

Luke Chapter 1, verses 5 to 25 reads:  During the rule of King Herod of Judea there was a priest named Zechariah who belonged to the priestly division of …

Living In Time Between The Times

Hope delayed makes the heart sick;

Longing fulfilled is a tree of life. -Proverbs 13:12

We are always living in time between the times. We have a past and a future. We have losses in our past and dreams for our future. The non-fulfillment of our dreams can make us feel tired and even beat up.

Getting a promise, a dream, or a word from God that speaks of something good and special for you is a blessing. We are very uplifted and encouraged. God has moved in our lives. We feel like we have connected with our purpose. Hallelujah! Worship is an ease and a joy. We might even call people and tell them about the message, invitation, or promised blessing from God that we believe has been revealed to us.

But, the first challenge for us is when it dawns on us that there will be a waiting period between our reception of the word and it's reality in our life. I had to learn this. When you really see, really hear, or have a real dream from God it is so exciting. In the e…

God Will Always Bless Your Rest, by Graham Cooke

Graham Cooke:

"So in Genesis 2, by the seventh day, God completed his work which he had done and he rested on the 7th day from all his work he had done, and then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it he rested from all his work which God had created and made.

God will always bless your rest.


Since I learned rest, there has never been a time when God has not blessed that rest and honored that rest and sanctified my rest.

In other words, set aside peace for me; set aside rest for me.

So, for me, therefore, when God blesses something and sanctifies it and sets it apart; what that means is rest is always available as an absolute essential for life.

So, every circumstance you encounter already has rest in the issue.

No matter how hard, no matter how harsh, no matter how difficult, no matter how awful; every single circumstance has rest, because it's the one thing that God has blessed and sanctified, in terms of his relationship with you.

So, it'…

The Day Off & Time Off: Sabbath

So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it God rested from all his work that he had done in creation. -Genesis 2:3 (ESV)

And he said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.  So the Son of Man is lord even of the Sabbath.” -Mark 2:27-28 (ESV)

The sabbath or rest day was given to us, from the beginning, as a benefit, as in, "you get a full day off each week"; and it was so important that it made it into the top ten laws ( 4th of the 10 commandments in the Jewish and most Protestant traditions, Lutheranism being the big exception).  By the time of Jesus life, the issue of sabbath keeping had gotten crazy and he had to get us back to God's original idea.

God's prescription for the well-being of his people, was for them to get a day of rest from their labors once a week..  Some Jewish people and Christians after them have made a tradition of worshiping on the sabbath, so much so, that in their thinking, worship services become…