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Showing posts from June, 2014

Generosity (Not the Tithing Tax) For Christians

Remember this—a farmer who plants only a few seeds will get a small crop.  But the one who plants generously will get a generous crop.  You must each decide in your hearthow much to give.
And don’t give reluctantly or in response to pressure.  “For God loves a person who gives cheerfully.”  And God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others.
As the Scriptures say,

“They share freely and give generously to the poor. Their good deeds will be remembered forever.”

For God is the one who provides seed for the farmer and then bread to eat. In the same way, he will provide and increase your resources and then produce a great harvest of generosity in you.  Yes, you will be enriched in every way so that you can always be generous.  And when we take your gifts to those who need them, they will thank God. So two good things will result from this ministry of giving—the needs of the believers in Jerusalem will be m…

A New Wineskin For A New Season

For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.

“And no one puts new wine into old wineskins. For the wine would burst the wineskins, and the wine and the skins would both be lost. New wine calls for new wineskins.”

You know the saying, ‘Four months between planting and harvest.’ But I say, wake up and look around. The fields are already ripe for harvest.
-Isaiah 43:19, Mark 2:22, John 4:35 (NLT)
I got the idea that God is going to do a new thing in our lives.  This new thing will require us to embrace new ways of functioning and the old way will not work.  He is doing this for the harvest.

The new thing that God is doing is totally different than what we are accustomed to God doing.  We need a new way of functioning, to participate in the new thing.  The old way of functioning will not work.  I believe that the new thing has to do with evangelism, mission, and G…

Fear of The Lord

Then everyone will be afraid; they will proclaim the mighty acts of God and realize all the amazing things he does.
-Psalm 64:9

When God comes, being afraid is normal and actually good.  There is not much fear of God in general today.  More fear of God would be a very good thing.

When God comes, there is blessing for those who have prepared themselves to receive it, but also holy awe at God's majesty.  When God comes, it clarifies everything.  Sin is exposed and justice is wrought.

The fool says to themselves that God does not exist (Psalm 14:1, 53:1).  Other foolish ways are to create a god or gods that are not The One True God .  When the fool gets a revelation that God is real, they are jarred with fear.  "What must I do to be saved?" (Acts 16:30), would be the normal reaction.

When you realize God is real, you want to do the right thing, because God is love and God is holy, just, and true.  You are compelled to come into alignment with God. The life of walking with …

All Creatures of Our God and King

All creatures of our God and King,
Lift up your voice and with us sing,
Alleluia! Alleluia!

Let every created thing give praise to the Lord,
for he issued his command, and they came into being.
-Psalm 148:5
'All Creatures of Our God and King', is hymn, by William Draper, based on a canticle of Saint Francis of Assisi, called, 'Canticle of the Sun', written in 1255.  It is based on Psalm 148, which calls upon all creation to worship the Lord or Yahweh.
Francis was a rich young ruler, who forsook his family fortune to live in poverty and serve people.  He was never an ordained priest, but was a Friar.  Friars (the word means brother) are people to take vows to serve among the people.  Where monks turn inward, with silence, prayer, and study; while doing humble work together, friars turn outward and get among the hustle and bustle of people, physically touching lives.
Have you ever thought about the call for all creation to worship?  All of creation has a relationship to…

Sky Links, 6-20-14

God Calls You To Jump Off, When You Are Riding High, For A New Beginning 

Bill Yount wrote about, how stepping down from a ministry role when God says to, is like getting off the bull at a rodeo, after the eight seconds.  The dismount is going to hurt, but God will heal us; and staying on longer may be deadly.

Bill wrote:
In a vision, I was riding a rodeo bull. I knew in the Spirit that this bull represented my
favorite area of ministry. To my surprise, I had ridden “eight” seconds on the bull. I was given great honor and recognition by the crowd in the grandstands. The crowd was cheering and applauding what I had accomplished, and how my ministry had touched their lives. But then something terrible happened–I couldn’t let go of the rope! My fingers somehow got stuck around the rope, and the bull that I had overcome began to throw me uncontrollably! I just could not let go (in rodeo terms this is called a “hang-up”). I must confess that I honestly wasn’t sure if I wanted to let go be…

Carrying The Cross

Carrying the cross by himself, he went to the place called Place of the Skull (in Hebrew,Golgotha).
-John 19:17

Jesus paid the price for sin by himself.  He did it alone.  He never taught on how we can save our selves through being punished or doing good.  Jesus paid for all the sin of the world and died for it all, on the cross.  He carried the cross alone.

We who are Christ-followers or in-Christ, can not add to Jesus' work on the cross, where he paid for all sin.  If you are a Christian, if you have experienced conversion, to become a believer in Christ; you have received his forgiveness of sins, from his death.  You have also received his resurrection power, to live the Christian life.  Christians are in union with Christ, in his death and his resurrection.

You are now dead to sin and have life in God, all through Christ (Romans 6:11).  The sin has been dealt with.  We have to, or our job is to, reckon or consider ourselves dead to sin.  We need to realize and remember, or b…

A Spoon Full of Sugar Helps The Medicine Go Down

A soft, gentle, sensitive, kind, or mild, answer, response, or reply turns away, deflects, quiets, defuses, soothes, turns back anger, wrath, or fury.
Gentle, kind, wholesome, or soothing speech, or words are or is, a tree of life (heal and help, cause life and health); a deceitful tongue, cutting words, dishonest talk, perverseness therein, immoderate, wild words, griping, or tongue undisciplined crushes the spirit, wounds and maims, breaks the spirit, is a breach or breaking of the spirit, brings discouragement, or can break hearts. -Proverbs 15:1&4 (ESV, NIV, NLT, CEB, NJHB, CEV, MSG, CJHB, ASV, JPS, NAB. AAT, Taylor, Knox)

How To Speak

Have you ever said something that made it worse?  Have you ever said something that was true, but it was not received well, as in, saying the right thing, but the wrong way?  Have you ever done a, 'tit-for-tat', and felt empty afterwards?

We generally have a, 'failure to communicate', when we anger or hurt others with our words.  T…

Daddy, I Want Down

And a voice from heaven said, "This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased."
-Luke 3:22

"Daddy, I want down; daddy, I want down", was a chant I would say over and over, when I was a little boy, until my daddy heard me, and lifted me out of bed. My bed was tall and had a ladder in the back, to get up and down; but I preferred by dad's arms, and seeing his face.

My dad told me that the best day of his life was the day I was born.

My dad came to every single one of my games and all the performances, when I was in shows.

My dad joined Indian Guides with me and took me on camping trips.

My dad volunteered to be a my camp counselor. He let me put all the other boys to sleep, as I shared about a popular science fiction book, in the dark. My dad was kind to some boys who had a hard time at camp and never shamed them.

My dad and I went to the movies together many times.

My dad was often the smartest person in the room, but he never played that card.

My d…

The Life of Running Towards Jesus

Therefore, having so vast a cloud of witnesses surrounding us,

and throwing off everything that hinders us and especially the sin that so easily entangles us,

let us keep running with endurance the race set before us,

looking off to Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of the faith, who, in view of the joy set before him endured the cross, despising its shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
-Hebrews 12:1-2 (ISV)

The Christian life is an endurance race, like a marathon.  Surrounding us, are witnesses of the ages; people who have walked in faith before us.  In our sight, is Jesus, who is our life, our goal, our way; our everything.  He is the prize we look to every day.

The goal of the Christian life is Christ.  The goal of the Christian life is learning to trust God.  Jesus is the goal.

When you see Jesus, you want to stop sinning, you want to let sin go and not pick it up.  Have you seen him?  When you see Jesus, you give up everything and follow him.

When you …

In Prayer Continuously

Pray continually.
-1 Thess. 5:17 (NIV/CEB)

When you keep praying for something that has not happened, your soul or flesh does not like it.  We want microwave prayers.  But our spirit is alright with praying and not seeing tangible answers.
God is faithful and true.  
God is a covenant God.  God can do things on his own, but he chooses to partner with people, to get things done on earth.  If people choose not to partner with God, then some things that God wants simply will not happen (Ezek. 22:23).

Do you know what Jesus is doing and has been doing, since he ascended to heaven?  He is interceding (Heb. 7:25).  Have you ever wondered what he is praying about for you?  We need to get in with what Jesus is already praying for us.
Praying continually means abiding in Christ (John 15:7).  What are his words and what are his prayers in this situation?  What we want is to be abiding in Christ, in union with him, so that we are the will of God.  Christ's words, through us.

The Christian b…

Time and Eternity

The grass withers and the flowers fade beneath the breath of the Lord.  And so it is with people.
-Isaiah 40:7 (NLT)

God is eternal.  Everything on earth is temporal.  It is all fading.  Temporal things are useful for serving the eternal purposes of God, but they are not the focal point.
We live in time.  God, who stands outside of time, enters time, to help us.  God does not leave us to suffer in time.  
When God comes, intervenes, or interacts with us; he is catalytic in that he brings and provokes change.  The things of the world grow dim, as we behold him.  People repent or refuse to repent.  There is no hiding sin or pretending when God comes because he is light and truth.
When we are enamored with or stuck on temporal things, we need an adjustment.  Perhaps we need cleansing.  We need an eternal perspective.  Jesus taught his first disciples to pray, "thy kingdom come, they will be done, on earth, as it is in heaven."  
We are on our way to heaven.  We want to take ot…

Sky Links, 6-4-14

“Students are not greater than their teacher, and slaves are not greater than their master.  Students are to be like their teacher, and slaves are to be like their master. And since I, the master of the household, have been called the prince of demons, the members of my household will be called by even worse names!
-Matthew 10:24-5 (NLT)
The real Jesus is either hated or loved.  J.D. Greear wrote: One of the ironies of our current culture is that most people today find Jesus rather boring. Most people don’t mind Jesus, but they don’t really love him or hate him either. This proves that which proves they haven’t actually met him.No one in the Bible was ever bored with Jesus. The real Jesus was polarizing; people either loved him or hated him. The more attractive he grew to some, the more loathsome he grew to others. Certain people thronged to him, while others plotted his death. Are we really letting Jesus take the lead in our families? Parents, are you teaching your kids to obey Jesu…

Where seldom is heard a discouraging word

So encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing.

Well, my brothers and sisters, let’s summarize. When you meet together, one will sing, another will teach, another will tell some special revelation God has given, one will speak in tongues, and another will interpret what is said. But everything that is done must strengthen all of you.

Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.

Fathers, do not aggravate your children, or they will become discouraged.

Let your conversation be gracious and attractive (seasoned with salt) so that you will have the right response for everyone.
-1 Thess. 5:11, 1 Cor. 14:26, Eph. 4:29, Col. 3:21 & 4:6
The ministry of discouragement is not a ministry of the church.  We are called to encourage each other.  We want to build up and not tear down.  
Our words should always be calling each other higher.  Urging and cheering o…