Thursday, December 24, 2009

…It’s such an interesting season. There is so much to celebrate if you can push past all craziness that's created by the competing world systems. What would the shepherds and wise men think? I'm not anti-Santa Clause, the real person who gave gifts. It's sad, not surprising, but sad to see how the Savior's birth and the idea of giving gifts has been turned in to a commercial zoo… -KatyO (a friend from Virginia)

A Star in the East
[Matthew 2:1-11]

My mind had been on this very thing when Katy wrote this to me. How can a once Christian nation get so far off the path of the star?

The wise men originally followed the star when they had first seen it. At some point their human wisdom kicked in and they assumed that since they were close enough to Judea, it must be at the PALACE where the king was to be born. Bottom line: they stopped following their sign. After they realized that the child was not born in the palace of Judea in Jerusalem, they went back to plan A. They once again began to follow the star. Verse 9 tells us plainly that the star led them all the way to the exact place where Christ was! I don’t believe it had disappeared; I believe it was just ignored. If they had stuck with the original plan to begin with, Mary and Joseph would not have had to travel to Egypt, and probably hundreds of babies under the age of two would have been spared. Decisions HAVE repercussions.

This doesn’t just apply to Christmas and consumerism. This also has everything to do with life decisions.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

An earthen vessel I am...

[Leviticus 14:4-7]

The procedure goes something like this: The Priest takes two birds, puts them inside an earthen vessel, stands over running water and kills one of the birds. The other bird is used to purify the lepor and then set free...

2Co 4:7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.
2Co 4:10 Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body.

Its amazing the way that God has his hands in our hearts always working in us death [by his law] and life [by his Son]. One part of us dies so that the other part can be set free. For now, I believe that the running water represents time. This is a continuous act of God that never stops...

Thursday, December 18, 2008

thanks Eileen, I appreciate your words but can't post your comment....To him be all the GLORY

Friday, June 13, 2008

Julian is with Jesus...

Mar 11:23 For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith.
Mar 11:24 Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.

This Scripture is true. I held on to this scripture for two years as it pertained to Julian and Wanda Holloway's situation. I loved Julian, and of course, that was one of the reasons that I wanted to see Julian healed of Lou Gherig's Disease [no medical cure for it]. But the main reason was that I wanted Jesus' name to be glorified. I was certainly aware of another verse:

1Jn 5:14 And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us:
1Jn 5:15 And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.

The error that I made was contextualizing these two verses, instead of seeing that both are absolutley, literally true in every case. Sure, God will do something only if it is his will. However, at the same time, "What things soever," means exactly, "What things soever." The obvious problem of reconciling these two passages was easily ignored by my logic that healing Julian HAD to be God's will.

Joh 14:13 And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.
Joh 14:14 If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.

So it must glorify God? Yes this was infact going to glorify the Lord. It MUST be God's will to heal him. This was the confidence that I took. As others made comments that infuriated me; I believed that God was going to do more than just glorify his name. He was also going to vindicate his Word and prove to everyone that he means for his Word to be taken literally. Although God never told me that he would heal Julian [like he had told me my brother would preach..became reality about 3 months after the fact], I did feel the touch of the Spirit that I was praying correctly and in the right way. More confidence came. I had also deduced [NOT told by God] that logically Julian would have to be healed in the last possible moment to bring the most Glory to Jesus. As he got closer and closer to death, there was no reason for me to stop believing like everyone else [bar-my Mother and my friend Mary..they still believed]. I had already deduced that it would be in the last possible moment. Of course many people were still saying that God COULD heal him. To me, Mark 11 told me to believe that he WOULD heal him.

There was always doubt there. I truly believed that Julian would be healed, but to say that I believed with absolutly NO DOUBT would be disingenuous. The doubt was always there. MOM too. No matter how much I tried to ignore it, take it captive and press into faith; the doubt was still there. Could I have fasted more? prayed more? Maybe. The fact is that faith comes from God. Julian died because the people praying for him doubted. Does that mean there is blame or fault to be assigned? NO. It wasn't God's will to heal Julian. In that respect, my Dad was right and everyone else for that matter. But to say that God will simply not heal someone if it isn't his will to do so NO MATTER how much faith one has who is praying- is just a fallacy. One must deny Mark 11, or at least believe that it shouldn't be taken literally. Both are true. Julian died because it was God's will for him to do so. Julian died because I doubted that God would heal him.

Faith is something we have to be enabled to have. Jesus wanted Julian with him; so he didn't remove my doubt like I had begged him to. In the Old Testament, many chapters begin with phrases such as, "The Word of God came to Isaiah the son of Amoz," "the Word of God came to Elijah the prophet," or, "the Word of God came to Jeremiah the prophet." The Bible tells us that:

Rom 10:17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

The Word of God MUST come to someone to enable them to have the kind of faith mentioned in Mark 11. The Word didn't come to me. There was never an instance when God said,"JOhn, I will heal Julian physically." These prophets had faith because God had already told them what he was going to do. example:

1Ki 18:36 And it came to pass at the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice, that Elijah the prophet came near, and said, LORD God of Abraham, Isaac, and of Israel, let it be known this day that thou art God in Israel, and that I am thy servant, and that I have done all these things at thy word.

Elijah had confidence when he challenged the prophets of BAAL because the Word had come to him. God commanded him to do these things.


Why didn't God glorify his name? He chooses when and where and how he will glorify himself. My friend went through a sort of paraphrase of the book of Revelation on the phone where she reminded me that the day would come when he would glorify himself and vindicate his Word. He will in that day; but I did pray specifically that the Lord would glorify himself, and he did. Julian, like Job, "trust[ed] in him though he slay me." He glorified himself in Julian. Julian never charged God foolishly in all this. He followed Jesus. The fruit of his suffering brought his son Audey back the Lord. He had been out of Church and God's will for some time. He asked God for forgiveness in Julian's room before Julian died. Unbelievable!

Before I knew that, I sort of felt like that guy with the pet frog on that one BUGS BUNNY episode. Everytime he was alone with his frog that frog would put on that top-hat and cane and would sing and dance...something like "hello my baby, hello my darling, hello my rag-time Gal!"...remember? but when he tried to show it to other people, it would just sit there and go "crooooaaaaak!"

God's Word was proven true.

God chooses when, where and how he will glorify himself.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

The Fourth Watch of the Night...

[Mark 6:45-52]

V45: Jesus constrained his disciples to make a trip across the lake without him. Constrained means that they didn't want to go without him; they had to be practically forced! Obedience means that sometimes we're not going to feel his presence or specific guidence every step of the way. However, if we've been sent, we must obey and trust that if we veer from his intentions; he'll let us know and give us direction at just the moment we need it.
v47: Even when it seems that he is not in the boat with us, he's always watching.
v48-9: Jesus saw them toiling. The wind was contrary to them. It feels that way sometimes in any type of ministry. Ministry itself can be very preoccupying. If we're only looking at the sea; it can become overwhelming as we concieve through our own logic what the best action is to take. Jesus knew that they needed to be reminded of who he was; So he walked on the sea BUT would have walked past them had they not cried out. The balence is clear. We do not need to have His direction on every move we make, but we do need to keep our eyes open and not let him pass when does offer direction. Seek his direction at all times, but do not let silence stop you.
v51-2: Never forget what God has done in the past. He has never let you down and will not start now.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Drawing them out to desert places...

[Mark 1:45, 3:7]

I love Mark's Gospel. It's not my favorite, but I love it for its own reasons. All four were necessary. For example, without Luke and Matthew; we would not have a definitive declaration of the Virgin Birth, and without John, it could be possibly argued that Christ was not with the Father from the very beginning. All four Gospels are absolutly necessary to have God's full revelation to us. All four Gospels accentuate different aspects of Christ. Matthew and Luke emphisize Jesus' teachings (sermons, parables, etc.). John focuses on his identity. Mark focuses on ACTION. Not that the other items are left out; just that the events (inparticular the miracles and healings) are more thouroughly divulged. In the course of the narritive, certain principles can be extrapelated to teach us truths about the way that God operates.

On Tuesday morning, I read the first Chapter of Mark. Verse 45 stood out as being particularly important. This is how God reveals things to me in the scriptures. I do not always immediatly know what the significance is; I just know that there is something there deeper than what I might see on face value of the pheonetic symbols that communicate God's Word. Tonight while reading chapter 3, my meditations on Mark 1:45 resolved an answer. Always accepting the possibility that my immagination could be mistaken for the Holy Spirit revelation, I have to remember that the fundamentals of my faith and knowledge make up the border peices of the puzzle and that all other peices must fit with-in that border; and not outside of it. One of the tests that I use is USEFULLNESS. How will this help the Body of Christ? The answer I came to is that this insight will no doubt be helpful, so....

But he went out, and began to publish it much, and to blaze abroad the matter, insomuch that Jesus could no more openly enter into the city, but was without in desert places: and they came to him from every quarter. Mark 1:45

But Jesus withdrew himself with his disciples to the sea: and a great multitude from Galilee followed him... Mark 3:7

It is true that God wants us to go out into highways and bid all to come. There is no place on earth that we shouldn't go to spread the good news about God's son. Bars, red-light districts, streets, the "bad" part of town, etc. But our purpose must be to pull them out of these places, not stay there with them. It's about being in the world but not of the world. Once Jesus spoke in the city, it was enough for those who truly wanted to hear what he had to say to come out from the city to desert places to hear him. Those who only wanted to see a show [because his fame had been blazed abroad] would stay in the city. The ones who followed him out of the city did so to HEAR him.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

A Friend of God

[John 14:21, 15:14-5]

Jesus will manifest himself to those who keep his commandments. Have you ever been frustrated because you couldn’t understand what God was doing in your life? Why the trials? Why no answers? Why won’t God speak to me and Give me direction? Most often, we make it impossible for God to speak with us. God wants us just to obey. Then he will begin to show us the reasons why.

The difference between a servant and a friend is that servants must follow blindly. The master is not obligated to give them explanations. The friend is the one who you share your thoughts with. If the disciple of Christ ever wants to be his friend, he must first learn to be a servant. He must follow the Lord blindly without knowing what the result will be of the obedience. Once the Christian learns to obey, God will begin to reveal his plan in that person’s life; and he will give him the answer to his “why.”

Jas 2:20 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?
Jas 2:21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?
Jas 2:22 Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?
Jas 2:23 And the Scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.

2Ch 20:7 Art not thou our God, who didst drive out the inhabitants of this land before thy people Israel, and gavest it to the seed of Abraham thy friend forever?

Isa 41:8 But thou, Israel, art my servant, Jacob whom I have chosen, the seed of Abraham my friend.

Abraham was considered a friend of God because he had obeyed. Was faith important? ABSOLUTLEY! That faith was necessary for Abraham to obey. The fact that Abraham obeyed proved that his faith was true. Many of us say we have faith but never step out. Our faith is not made perfect. The implication is that we are not really trusting God. If we really want the Lord to manifest himself to us, we must obey. We must start by willfully submitting ourselves to follow his commandments; then he’ll be able to call us friends and he’ll work in our lives beyond just our salvation.

1Jn 2:3 And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments.
1Jn 2:4 He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.
1Jn 2:5 But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him.

Exo 33:11 And the LORD spoke unto Moses face to face, as a man speaketh unto his friend…

Pro 18:24 A man that hath friends must show himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.

Pro 22:11 He that loveth pureness of heart, for the grace of his lips the king shall be his friend.

Mat 5:8 Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.

Proverbs says that the pure in heart will be the King’s friend. Jesus said that the pure in heart will see God. He will manifest himself to that person who has chosen to be the King’s friend…