Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Something stirs inside my soul.

 In a moment; in this heated passion, may I bite my tongue a moment longer, and hold back my temper. When anger stirs inside my soul, I feel helplessly trapped, as if imprisoned in a dark, churning water. I can feel the turbulence, and cannot see through the turbid water that has clouded my every thought, but one.
Oh, how I try to abstain from a point of no return. It will take all that I have become to escape from this quagmire moment. Do I remember the LORD’s will? In this moment does His will coincide with mine, I fear not. What can I do to contain this incensing, tidal flow of emotion gone awry? If this continues the dam is certainly going to collapse .I must continue to keep my hateful emotion in check, while searching for the relief gate.
Does anyone really know the trouble I’ve seen? Even Jesus, had his trying times. Will He know me one day even though my best efforts sometimes go by the wayside? I hope He remembers my weaknesses in a light of a different shade, not the blackness that has my soul enveloped from bitter time, to not so happy endings. The anger if allowed to remain produces animosity, and from there revenge can’t be too far away.
Then enter my Savior, He surely will provide the much needed relief in my distress would He not? It depends, again it depends on me. He can only point to where I should be heading, He can not place me there. Still the fire rages inside, burning, and consuming all other thought as time wears on. I try to justify my anger through scripture, as I said Jesus displayed some acts that were somewhat defiant to His being, overturning tables of money-changers, withering a fig tree, and even calling the Pharisees a brood of vipers. Sure I could try this, and then later, as it has been before I know the remorse that will set in.
I can hear Him now “Ye of little faith”; Oh God, help me. I have bred this anger in, and of myself. What outside influence could ever separate me now from Him; I have lost my way, temporarily yet on display for others to critique. Oh look at the man of God, for shame on him; he has created a rift between himself, and others. Surely no one desires to be in the company of another who has just lost their temper and worse yet, they have given a victory to Satan.
“And this too shall pass”; I can hear this in my head, but still the deed has been done. I must now pursue any I have wronged, asking their forgiveness. How vicious a circle this all seems, does one ever truly break free of its grasp?
He came here for me, and for you, to show us our inequities. He has foretold us of the rewards that await, if we can only endure this tumultuous race, this human race.
The choice is still mine, and yours, do we have what it takes to accept? Stay tuned, one of the most joyful, yet stressful times, is closing in on us, culminating in an event that should be our lifelong pursuit. Peace on Earth, and goodwill to men, is it in us?
A prayer I need; Please LORD, help me hold back the hateful thoughts due to my current mental capacity. My ambition is to one day be with You LORD, I know I can not expect any more from you LORD than what I am willing to concede, help me to have secession from this harmful emotion.
I know my success is not only a victory for Your Kingdom; it will also become a powerful tool of testimony for others who have endured similar hardship. In Jesus name. Amen.
This may not be one of the emotions, or vices, that has been plaguing you, but working out the details, and your feelings with others and with Christ are tantamount to our future glory. As you can clearly see, I struggle, and I know we all do, for Jesus has opened my eyes to let me see there are others surrounding me, and each of us has a need. May most of that need be to have a more intimate relation with Him, until that time; do not give up on yourself, because He still has great plans for you. G.B.U.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Who's ministry is this?

His alone

When we say my ministry, we mean God's ministry right?

2 Corinthians 12:9 (NIV)

9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.
I have observed, and even participated in ministries where the focus is Christ first, but statistics run parallel or a very close second. In this practice, the focus - at least for me - seems to have too much emphasis on bringing others into the church, therefore establishing what, a larger tithes base?
I'm sorry for sounding cynical with this message it's just that I know I'm not alone in this thinking. When can we expect to put God first again, instead of ourselves?
It should never be about how many attended, it should be about how many received the message, and believed. It should not be a ministry where we must always see results for our words, and deeds. It should be a ministry that believes through faith what we are doing will have a lasting effect on those we share the gospel with.
It should never be a ministry that has such a need to be rewarded in seeing the fruits of their labor, even Christ Himself said we would do greater things than He. But He was not concerned with how He would be received , He was only concerned in completing the task that the Father handed Him to do, and do it it He did at the cost of His mortal existence.
It is a time to rethink the way a church, and/or ministry operates. In the secular world as well as the non-secular, there seems to be growing a resentment towards organized religion. Perhaps this resentment comes from all the bad publicity concerning the treatment of those who attend services, and activities sponsored by ministries. Surely the incidents are few, yet they make great news reports.
It is time to identify the cause of these self-promotions in the various ministries we are members of, and do our best to rethink how we should proceed.
The benefit of doing this may not be realized in our own lifetime, it does however need to be done. Think of others, at all times ahead of ourselves, we must do what benefits the body of Christ, and we must render ourselves incapable of accomplishing anything truly meaningful without the help of our LORD.
This is a call to arms, to re-equip ourselves as workers for Him, and not the other way around.
Just as I feel the time for His second coming is near, I also feel we have abandoned the true purpose in spreading the gospel. Why did He come? He came because the Father sent Him. Why did He send Him; he was sent to save us from ourselves, to deliver us from the enslavement of sin, yet so quickly we forget.
We remember 9/11 I'm sure, but do we remember what events took place after that horrid day?
Do you recall the compassion, can you recall the courtesies we afforded one another? For many days on end, and day after day I experienced - at least in my corner of the planet - kindness that had not been seen since I was a child. I was reminded, if only so briefly of how days will be when everyone confesses Jesus is Lord. Do you remember those days from September, and after?
Pastors wonder why they are losing congregation members, politicians wonder why their constituents are unhappy, we would be better advised to worry what God thinks in these matters.
There are some countries/continents experiencing a revival of large proportion, I pray they are being fed the truth, and not being deceived with thoughts that are carnal in nature as we are experiencing here in the states. Do you recall the scriptures referencing the seven lampstands (Rev.1-3)?
I believe we, the United States of America, are in possession of one of those lampstands, but we are in grave danger of it's light failing. We have diluted, tainted, and cheapened the true message of the Bible, it is now time to reverse that process. We can not afford to let our light. our fire, be extiguished. G.B.U.

We are merely co-workers

1 Corinthians 3:1-9 (NIV)

The Church and Its Leaders  1 Brothers and sisters, I could not address you as people who live by the Spirit but as people who are still worldly—mere infants in Christ. 2 I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it. Indeed, you are still not ready. 3 You are still worldly. For since there is jealousy and quarreling among you, are you not worldly? Are you not acting like mere humans? 4 For when one says, “I follow Paul,” and another, “I follow Apollos,” are you not mere human beings?
 5 What, after all, is Apollos? And what is Paul? Only servants, through whom you came to believe—as the Lord has assigned to each his task. 6 I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow. 7 So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. 8 The one who plants and the one who waters have one purpose, and they will each be rewarded according to their own labor. 9 For we are co-workers in God’s service; you are God’s field, God’s building.
We must stand guard over our behavior daily, minute by minute, and hour by hour. Satan does not rest, and neither should we when it comes to our faith, our morals, and what we share with each other in our interpretations of scripture.
All we say, all we do, should mimic those of Christ. We will each of us be scrutinized, first by man, and later by God Himself. Each of our words, and actions will be compared to the truth that is written in the Bible. The Bible itself is just one tool in building our relationship with God. The other tools are not the same for each of us, this is why we have so many interpretations of the truth that is listed as a whole in the Bible, and that is another truth, we can't take just bytes of the Bible to explain our actions to others just as we can't take one piece of scripture to explain the entire gospel.
Summarization of the Bible is not a cut, and dry neat package. Each of us upon accepting the Lord as our Savior, is challenged in numerous ways, one is to to and deliver the message of the gospel to others.
Unfortunately this is not possible without reading, and understanding the message first, and I mean the entire message, the entire Bible, not bits, and pieces. We must also understand that when we deliver the message, the task we were asked to do has been accomplished. We are not to judge others, rebuke yes, judge no. we are not to lead sinful lives, and then tell others to be without sin, or we are hypocrites, and we are not to worship idols, too numerous to list all, but money, gaming, and even computer habits could be considered worship if it separates us from God.
Let us remember what the Lord said "It is not the healthy that need a doctor, but the sick". We can all become sick from time to time, and if we find ourselves in that state of health, let us remove ourselves from direct contact with others so as not to make them ill as well.
Again God bless us all, and may we do His will not our own.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010


No End and No beginning of God's love

From the beginning of the written word in our Bibles I’ll read from the book of Genesis;
Genesis 1:1 The Beginning
 1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

Now I will read from the very near end, from the book of Revelation
Revelation 22:12-13 (New International Version)
 12"Behold, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to everyone according to what he has done. 13I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.
 Now, who in this room can define the word “Beginning” and then “End”? I wish to give a moment to think about those two words,… have you thought about them? Good. Now take your definitions and your understandings of those two words and throw them away, that’s right get rid of them., because of whom and what I am about to speak of next, they do not apply, at all!
 He was here before anything was created, for He is the Creator; and in the end of days the things of this earth, as well as the heavens themselves shall pass away, but His Word shall endure forever.
I think it is safe to say we may not clearly understand all that is being said here, for if we think a moment longer about the content of this statement, which comes from Matthew 24:35 and is reflective of Old testament scripture in Isaiah 51:6 and 55:11, we notice one repetitive fact, the word remains. That word is our covenant, that Word and I am going to capitalize “word” so it reads as in the saying of Jesus Christ name, “The Word” will live on forever.
 Yes, Jesus the son of man had a beginning, and yes, He was crucified and placed in a tomb, but after just three days He arose from the grave as is only possible with God. The Word, He lives, He lives in us, He is out there with us now, you can you feel His presence in this room. Can you feel His presence? If we are still and desire for Him to take up residence within our hearts, our minds and our souls, giving over control of what He already knows will happen in our lives, he is lifting our spirits right now. I’ll ask you again can you feel His awesome and divine presence, within you, here and now.
I pray that you have answered yes. Oh LORD how I pray, I pray that even though our understanding is limited LORD, I pray you would receive our lives as a worthy offering and if we have proved worthy unto you LORD, we would dwell in Your house forever and ever LORD. Though even now Father, I know I am still a sinner, yes LORD, even now as a new creation with a new beginning, let me, let us, not squander the remainder of this life on idle thought LORD. LORD help us each to develop the gifts you have given us to use for reaching out to others, in love LORD and not hate, that they would seek true change in their own lives LORD.
 There is no beginning and there is no end with You LORD. There is only what was and what shall always be and I believe that to be love, LORD. Love shared through Your Son Jesus LORD. I seek that love earnestly LORD and offer these thoughts as prayer and ask them in Jesus name. Amen.
Time and space, two of perhaps the most sought after issues to try and define and explore, sometimes together as in a continuum. Let me reduce this to thoughts of someone before us, Solomon, as in King Solomon, to him entertaining such thoughts were parallel to a chasing after the wind. His interpretation of the water cycle may fit other cycles as well and so I am going to read it to you. In the book which he penned, Ecclesiastes. I’ll be reading from chapter 1, verses 5-7 and in the seventh verse is the content that describes the water cycle.
Ecclesiastes 1:5-7:
 5 The sun rises and the sun sets,
       and hurries back to where it rises.
 6 The wind blows to the south
       and turns to the north;
       round and round it goes,
       ever returning on its course.
 7 All streams flow into the sea,
       yet the sea is never full.
       To the place the streams come from,
       there they return again.
 So we see here several examples of no beginning and no end, in fact these are cycles or circles if you will, so what does this all mean you might ask? Well according to the teacher, Solomon, it is meaningless, but I disagree. I believe what this shows us is how our own lives can become, once we live in Christ and He in us.
 The Bible says in the book of John, John chapter 3, verse 16 and I’m pretty sure we might know this one, it says;
John 3:16 (New International Version)
 16"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son,  that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
 That means the concept of time, you can’t apply it here, it has no meaning, as it is written here in the Bible we will go to our Father’s house and we shall dwell there forever.
I am going to move away from scripture for a moment, this is in an effort to see how the world might view life on an eternal level or just view life in without terms.



Oh LORD, please don't let us be misunderstood.

Misunderstood or not, we choose

Oh Lord
 Please, don’t let me be misunderstood

 Have you ever heard that song by the Animals? Well it points to how all will fall short of the glory of God; it is a characteristic that shows up with much frequency in the secular world.
 The singer (Eric Burdon) allows a glimpse of perhaps our own lives, when we, pardon my play on his name, burden ourselves with everyday struggles.
 In one line, Mr. Burdon tells us, ” Baby, sometimes I'm so carefree, With a joy that's hard to hide”, then enter worry, or regret, and he says, “And sometimes it seems that all I have do is worry. Then you're bound to see my other side.”
 Two sides, one man, or woman. Once beautiful we were, uncorrupted by sin, then enter the serpent into the garden, oh how tempting the fruit, surely you won’t die, from eating it. How foolish, we can be, we see an object of beauty, we desire it to be ours, then, we have it and find out it is not exactly what it seemed.
 The eyes of man have been deceived, we have been fooled, again and again, and then we become agitated. Now, instead of displaying joy, we display anger, projecting hate with our thought and lashing with our tongues. By a show of hands, who has not done this?
 That right, no one in this room, at least not that we can see from the outside, we must dig, deeper, then deeper still, for there must surely be a remnant of Adam and Eve, before the serpent, within us all. Our joy is in the Lord. Our Joy, is not a man, he was born of woman and of God. He and He alone, is without sin. In Him, resides light and not darkness. There is no misunderstanding for why He came, is there.
 Before he came into your life, did your life shine?  I mean where was your wellspring of hope, where was your lighthouse, to keep you from being dashed upon the rocks.
 Possibly it was in the clothing you wore, the car you drove, or the house you resided in. Make no mistake, all of those perish and even if they did not, our bodies do. If we misunderstand, what it means to be loved by the one true God, who sent his only Son to deliver us from the bondage of sin and the imprisonment of a perishing world, it would always be, that our joy would be taken from us as quickly as we found it.
 Oh Lord, please don’t let me misunderstand. Lord, please don’t let me be fed misinformation. Lord, please don’t let me be mistaken, we need you Lord.
 Oh Lord, please don’t let me be. I may not know what I am doing Lord, how can I, a man of the world, understand you, who are not of this world? I can’t Lord, though I may walk proudly and have the appearance of every gift you offer. It is just that, an appearance a beauty that will not last, even now, it is perishing.
 Are our intentions to be good? I want to read from the book of Genesis, this is after man eats from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and the Lord saw this.

Genesis 6:5 (New International Version)
         The LORD saw how great man's wickedness on the earth had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time.
The Lord saw man, I suppose He saw a part of us that He never intended for us to have, and He was pained in knowing we were not his original creatures any longer, albeit a remnant, a remnant through Noah and his family. They never misunderstood what their purpose was, to serve a God, a God of love, patience and understanding, not a God created by man, to serve man.  Then Noah was asked by the Lord, to build an ark, Noah did not misunderstand the Lord, and Noah did not build this ark from intentions that were good. Noah built this ark because Noah understood the intentions of the Lord. The intentions were to prosper him and others that would understand, those who would stand firm in their faith, those who would not allow their joy to be hidden, beaming with abundant life.
 Let me ask you this, what are your intentions?  Will you stand, firm in your faith, on a foundation built not by human hands, or will you reveal a nature that was inherited from evil, built on lies?
 We are all souls, with intentions as well. We may choose to be good, or we may choose to be evil. Light, or darkness? Truth, or lies?
 I will choose life, I will choose love and I will not be misunderstood Oh Lord, for I am yours.

Co-Heirs with Christ

Co-heirs with Christ

 Romans 8:17 (New International Version)
Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.

Co-heirs with Christ Suspicion, jealousy, envy, remorse, regret, and other ill thoughts, leave us stuck in the past, robbing us of our future.

Galatians 5:19-20 (New International Version)

19The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions

Once we are born again in Christ, how can we become a slave to the sins that imprisoned us before?
Did we only say we believe in Christ for worldly benefits? Benefits such as our acceptance by others, or did we belive in salvation through Christ, embracing the Spirit of God.

Now, even in my present condition, do I forget my past?
Absolutely not, for if I were to forget, am I not doomed to repeat.
I must embrace my past as part of who I am, I am a child of G-d now, I have been forgiven by him, who am I to still hold onto this guilt. How far will my light shine for him if I allow this dark cloud to linger.

The Lord has granted me a second chance to become his own. Do I accept this gift, or do I ignore his gentle nudging.

 Co-heirs with Christ Hebrews 13:5 (New International Version) Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, "Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you."

 Putting our lives in the hands of someone else may never be easy. How does one just drop what they have, and at once follow Christ.
Easy, when you have labored many days and still find only temporary satisfaction with yourself, it's time to stop living for the moment and prepare for your future.

Money is only good for spending, what use is saving money except for buying a larger purchase of...
You can make more and more money, but you can't make more time, or save it. In fact, the only thing you can do with your time is to spend it as well and just like money, we must spend it wisely
We are all never truly free to spend our time here on Earth for ourselves, who do we think we are kidding, when we work those extra hours for that vacation with the family. Could we not have just spent that time with them instead.
Our God created ALL living creatures, including us. He did not create money, that would be man. He did not create power, because he is power and he did create time.

What good are any plans for the future, if they don't include the ONE who knows them best?
Remember, Father does know best.   Can you truly let go of your past? Forgiving someone of their previous trespass is not easy, believe me I know, yet how can we grow in Christ if we don't?   I have heard of stories of abuse and I have even been abused,yet how can we ask forgiveness of our own trespasses, when we are unable, or unwilling to forgive another?
This may just be one of the most difficult challenges to face in our relatively short lives.
Please, make a list for yourself of the pros and cons of holding onto grudges, then carefully consider, what you stand to lose if you cannot forgive this person, this includes, most importantly ourselves.
More to add later...   A little girl went up to her mother one day while holding her stomach saying, "Mommy, my stomach hurts." Her mother replied, "That's because it's empty, you have to put something into it!" Later that day when an Evangelist and his wife were over for dinner. The Evangelist began to feel bad. Holding his head he said, "I have such a terrible headache!" The little girl looked up at him giving him the sweetest smile that any little child could give. Then she said, "That's because it's empty, you have to put something into it!"
Does your heart hurt? try putting something into it, such as prayer or scripture, on a daily basis.   Blessed be the name of the Lord and bless those who would help one another through their trials and tribulations.   My heart aches for so many, here and abroad, to the point of overwhelming collapse. Do I turn away, or tune out the world, no, I take a hold of what I can reach and lift up, not only in prayer, but also in action.   He was pierced for our transgressions, he was rejected and he knew what lay before him. He did not back down, he did not lay down and he did not strike them down, instead, he lifted all whosoever believe in him, for eternal life. Thank you Jesus, by your wounds we are healed.