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Showing posts from January, 2016

Declarations and Admonitions

God always answers prayer, so pray always.God always has a "plan b", if "plan a" does not work (and a plan c, d, e, f, g....).Our call is always to love first; not to judge, to evaluate, or to teach.The primary marker of the Christian is love, which is radical and generous.The reason why the Bible does not explain why people suffer, is because the Bible's authors assumed suffering as the norm, in a fallen, broken world.God has intervened in this world, and walks with us through suffering.

God will redeem our suffering, if we let him.We continually must choose life, choose obedience, and choose God.The believer's time is taken up with God alone and God with others.There is play time, work time, ministry time, and rest time.Families do all the times together and apart.Busyness or distractedness does not equate to life in Christ.Millions of good things are distractions and busy things, time fillers and wasters, that end up making us shallow, stressed out, and u…

Dad

For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption, by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father!”The Spirit Himself testifies together with our spirit that we are God’s children, and if children, also heirs—heirs of God and coheirs with Christ—seeing that we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him.

Look at how great a love the Father has given us that we should be called God’s children. And we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it didn’t know Him.

-Romans 8:15-17, 1 John 3:1

Before Jesus saved us, he was God's Son.  We know him as Savior and Lord, rightly so.  But his identity is The Son.  Something really profound, important, and fundamental: of central importance is that He is The Son.
Jesus takes us and makes us children, sons and daughters of the Father, in him.  It is great to get it that he is Savior, Lord, and God; but we can not miss out on the fact and experience that He is The Son and make…

Searching For Life on This Planet

“Your heart must not be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if not, I would have told you. I am going away to prepare a place for you. If I go away and prepare a place for you, I will come back and receive you to Myself, so that where I am you may be also. You know the way to where I am going.”

“Lord,” Thomas said, “we don’t know where You’re going. How can we know the way?”

Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.

“If you know Me, you will also know My Father. From now on you do know Himand have seen Him.”

“Lord,” said Philip, “show us the Father, and that’s enough for us.”

Jesus said to him, “Have I been among you all this time without your knowing Me, Philip? The one who has seen Me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Don’t you believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me? The words I speak to you I do not speak on My own. The Fat…

Ramblin' Rose

Her: I am a rose of Sharon,
a lily found in one of the valleys. Him: Like a lily among thorns, that is what she is;
my dear is a captivating beauty among the young women. Her: My love is like an apple tree in a wooded forest;
he is a ripe tree among a grove of saplings, those young men.
I sat beneath his ample shade, filled with such joy.
I tasted the sweetness of his fruit and longed for more.
He placed me at his banquet table,
for everyone to see that his banner over me declares his love. -Song of Solomon 2:1-4, The Voice translation
Christians are meant to be Ramblin' Roses.  A Ramblin' Rose is a person who takes life as it comes.  They deal with each challenge, traveling through them.

A Ramblin' Rose Christian grows upward or sideways, depending on what structures that her husbandman, Our Father, puts before us.  The Ramblin' Rose Christian is a Wayfarer, like Jesus, on the move.

Christianity is a sending and going lifestyle.  The life is lived in the rambling.  Jesus is th…

Singing The Blues is Good For You

“The poor in spirit are blessed,
for the kingdom of heaven is theirs.
Those who mourn are blessed,
for they will be comforted.
The gentle are blessed,
for they will inherit the earth.
Those who hunger and thirst for righteousness are blessed,
for they will be filled.
The merciful are blessed,
for they will be shown mercy.
The pure in heart are blessed,
for they will see God.
The peacemakers are blessed,
for they will be called sons of God.
Those who are persecuted for righteousness are blessed,
for the kingdom of heaven is theirs.

“You are blessed when they insult and persecute you and falsely say every kind of evil against you because of Me. Be glad and rejoice, because your reward is great in heaven. For that is how they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

----------------------------------- “I assure you: You will weep and wail, but the world will rejoice. You will become sorrowful, but your sorrow will turn to joy. When a woman is in labor she has pain because her time has…

Adventure - My Word for 2016

2016 is a year of adventure.

Adventure is defined as (1):
an exciting or very unusual experience. participation in exciting undertakings or enterprises. The root, etymological, or historical meaning of adventure is, "to take a chance".  Ad means "to" and venture means "risky undertaking".  A venture is a place of fortune and chance.

Adventure means "a thing about to happen, come to, reach, or arrive at".  Adventure can involve risk and danger and be a trial of one's chances, or be a perilous undertaking.  Adventure may also mean a novel or exciting incident, a wonder, a miracle, or accounts of marvelous things (2).

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary:A mercantile or speculative enterprise of hazard; a venture; a shipment by a merchant on his own account.A remarkable occurrence; a striking event; a stirring incident; as, the adventures of one's life.Risk; danger; peril.That which happens without design; chance; hazard; hap; hence,…

People Who Promote You For Themselves in Shame

Abner son of Ner, commander of Saul’s army, took Saul’s son Ish-bosheth and moved him to Mahanaim.  He made him king overGilead, Asher, Jezreel, Ephraim, Benjamin—over all Israel.
2 Samuel 2:8-9

Have you ever been in a situation where there is personal ambition and competition that got ugly?  Everyone is ambitious and we are all competitive.  But, certain people are so ambitious and competitive, that they behave in immoral, unethical, anti-social, deviant, or psychopathic ways with others, to get what they want.

The account here says that Abner made Ish-bosheth king.  Sounds sort of good.  Abner might have been the most powerful figure on the 'Saul side'.

Unfortunately, the 'Saul side' is the wrong side.  We know that God wanted David.  But from a worldly perspective, it was Ish-bosheth's turn and Abner knew that.

Because Ish-bosheth did not get it about David and stepped up into a kingship that was not his, there would be civil war, with a lot of blood spilled (2…

Stages of Life

Pahath-moab’s descendants: Adna, Chelal, Benaiah, Maaseiah, Mattaniah, Bezalel, Binnui, and Manasseh.
-Ezra 10:30
I like what each of these sons of Pahath-moab's names mean.  These eight names might say something about stages in the Christian life.  These stages build upon each other, but are non-linear.
Adana: great pleasure, luxuriating.  The new birth starts with great joy and pleasure in our becoming children of God.  Being loved is the foundation that the whole Christian life is built upon.                                                                                                                                                 Chelal: bride.  We are the bride of Christ.  We are married to Him in a covenant relationship, living under his headship and care.  We have given up all for him and he takes care of us as our husband.  We have deep intimacy with the Lord, letting him in on everything in our lives.                    Benaiah: Yah has built up.  As Father's child…

God is a Warrior and My Refuge

God, hear my voice when I complain:

Protect my life from the terror of the enemy.Hide me from the scheming of wicked people, from the mob of evildoers, who sharpen their tongues like swords and aim bitter words like arrows, shooting from concealed places at the innocent.  They shoot at him suddenly and are not afraid.  They encourage each other in an evil plan; they talk about hiding traps and say,“Who will see them?”They devise crimes and say, “We have perfected a secret plan.”The inner man and the heart are mysterious.But God will shoot them with arrows;suddenly, they will be wounded.They will be made to stumble; their own tongues work against them.  All who see them will shake their heads.Then everyone will fearand will tell about God’s work,for they will understand what He has done. The righteous one rejoices in the Lord and takes refuge in Him; all those who are upright in heart will offer praise. -Psalm 64
Did you know that God will ambush your enemy?  Our enemy is the group of …

Toward The Lord Are My Eyes

Eliehoenai son of Zerahiah from Pahath-moab’s descendants, and 200 men with him. -Ezra 8:4
The message here is based on the names in this text, with a note on the number 200.  I believe every verse in the Bible is "preachable" (2 Tim. 3:16), and of course I believe in context and exegetical principles.  I also believe that names are important and numbers mean something sometimes too.  
I believe that we are people who's eyes are fixed on the Lord.  We are watchers and seers.  Our inheritance is to be people who have eyes to see and follow God. e-li-e-ho'-e-ni ('elyeho`enay, "to Yahweh are mine eyes") This is what Eliehoenai means.  Every follower of God has this calling.  Jesus spoke, "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God."
Those who have a desire to see God have glimpsed him already.  "Taste and see that the Lord is good", says Psalm 34:8.
The one who has the Lord in his sights, was fathered by the one from who the…

A Prayer For A Lifetime

The Lord is my rock:
My firm foundation, My solid rock, My mighty rock, My protector.You're as real to me as bedrock beneath my feet, God is bedrock under my feet.

My fortress:

My fort, My strong fortress, The rock where I am safe,  My forever firm fortress, Like a castle on a cliff, The castle in which I live.

And my deliverer:

My liberator, My rescuer, My protector, My rescuing knight.

My God.

My mountain:

My trustworthy defense, My rock, My shield, My protection, My pathway of escape, My tower of rescue, The high crag.

Where I seek refuge:

Where I am safe, Where no one can reach me, Where I run to for dear life, Hiding behind the boulders.

My shield:

My protector, My shield, My secret strength and shield around me.

The horn of my salvation:

My strong deliverer, My salvation's strength, My powerful weapon, He defends me, You are Salvation's Ray of Brightness shining on the hillside, Safe.

My stronghold:

My place of retreat, My place of safety, My place of shelter, Keeps me safe, Always …