Archive | January 2013

Agape and Truth

In 2012 I had one major request:  “God, I want to love like you love.”   This post is a warning to anyone who asks anything from the Lord God, be aware that He may give you the desires of your heart, and that may not be what you thought it would be.

To love as God loves is to love without condition.  For, you see, He pours out His “rain on the just and the unjust.”, upon those who are good and those who are evil.  He loves the good person and He loves the evil person.  Natural human love cannot do that.

The night that Yeshua was born, God stretched out His hand and declared:  “Peace, good will toward men with whom He is well pleased.”  Really?  Well-pleased?  It was one of the worst times in history, the Romans ruled the known world.  They were decadent, self-gratifying, cruel.and very religious.  The emperor of Rome had complete authority and was worshiped as a god.  If you know anything about the creator God and the Bible, you know that one of the things He hates is idolatry.  How then could He say through His messengers, the angels, who sang and spoke to the shepherds that night, that He was well-pleased with men?  

I think this is the reason:  At the foundation of the world that we live in, the beginning of it all, He had a plan, a plan that included this Babe, born in an animal stable in Bethlehem.   He looked ahead with the eyes of Agape, the eyes of unconditional love, He looked at His Son and the price that He had agreed to pay to buy back man-kind, knowing, that out of the billions of people that would be born into the world, as a result of what Yeshua would do, there would be a remnant who would return His love, and He was well pleased. 

It has been said by some that the world we are living in today is not unlike the time that Rome began to gain control of the world.  America has been likened to Rome by some commentators that I have read.  Whether it is or not I will leave to them.  However, as I observe the world around me I do see a world without direction with each person doing what is right in their own eyes.  There appears to be no absolute.

Is that because there is no absolute?  Not in my opinion and certainly, it is not what is taught in the Bible.  Yeshua, Himself taught His disciples that He was truth personified.  When He was examined by the Roman, Pontius Pilate, Yeshua declared:  “Every one that is of the truth hears my voice.”  Pilate’s response: “What is truth.”  That sounds like today to me.

I said all of that to say this:  Truth is a person and that person is Yeshua, the man that English speakers call Jesus. He was not sent into the earth for any other reason than to reveal God’s unconditional love for man-kind.  

I am joyfully His and He is mine, and my heart’s desire is to be like Him, to love what He loves and hate what He hates.  He fully loves people and He fully hates sin.  When I asked  to love like He loved, I was not prepared to experience what He does from the people He loves so much.  Silly me!  Short-sighted me!  I just wanted to be like my Papa, I didn’t know the hurt and pain of rejection from the people He loves so much.

I know now that there are some people who, when loved with Agape, because of the condition of their own heart, their own filters, the walls they have erected because of hurts and wounds suffered, are not able to receive the God kind of love, which is the very thing that could set them free to be the person they desire to be.  So sad!

Rejection is hard, no matter the source, and so I turn to the only one who understands, who experiences rejection constantly.  He comforts me, I forgive, I give it to Him, I give the person who rejected me to Him and love is made whole in me once more, Peace comes and I am so grateful!

Restored, I once more sit at the feet of the Good Shepherd and learn from Him.  He is good!  I love, He loves, we love.

Joyfully His, I am His Joy

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An Unusual Day

Today started like any other day.  There was nothing special or unusual about it, other than that my Hubby has Tuesday and Wednesday off from work and I always so look forward to these days with him.  My desire would be that we could spend every day together, night and day.  I love him so much!  But, other than having him home it started as an ordinary day.

We were scheduled for a health screening so that we could get a certain amount off what we pay monthly for our health insurance; our appointment was 9:30 in the morning.  I had been thinking how nice it would be to go out for breakfast after it was over.  One of the great blessings of being married for as long as we have is that you do tend to think along the same track…sometimes.  “Honey”,  he said , “I was just thinking we could go out for breakfast when we are done.”  “Good”, I replied, “I would like that.”

We had our waists measured, for me ok, for him, not so much…he quit smoking in August and he has gained a bit of weight on his middle.  I can’t put him down and push diet, I am so proud of him for doing what he did.    Then they took blood.  I cringe, I close my eyes and the pain prick of the needle comes and I want to cry and say, “No, Why do I have to do this!”   But, I don’t, I am a grown woman after all, not a child.  I remember the needles of the past, I don’t like needles.

It’s over, we make pleasantries with the people he works with and then we leave for the restaurant.  We have gone to this same restaurant many times for several years and several of the servers know us by sight, as does the manager.  Jane is our server today and she welcomes us, takes and serves our order.  The time passes amiably, we are good together, and it is time to go.

As I am walking up front to meet up with him, he went up to pay while I was getting my coat and mittens on, I see the waitresses standing together and one of them is holding her baby grand-daughter, about two months old.  I walk over to her and say, “Hello precious!”.  She is dressed in pink, has big blue eyes with long lashes and long black hair clear down over the tips of her ears.  She smiles at me and our spirits connect.  The other ladies are talking, but I am lost in her eyes and she does not take her eyes off me, even though the others are talking to her.  I am smitten…and I remember…..  

I lay in the hospital bed the morning after delivering my first born.  They brought him in to me and as I held him in my arms I fell in love.  His big blue eyes, his long eyelashes and that wonderfully soft black hair that came down to cover the tips of his ears. I smell that sweet new baby smell.  I can hardly believe that I am his mama …He is so beautiful!  Oh, thank you God!

And there she was, this beautiful baby, who reminded me of my son.  I wanted a girl, but in His wisdom, God did not choose to give me a girl.  I don’t why He chose to give me two boys and no girls…there was hurt and disappointment then, and many tears.  Today, it all came flooding back again when I saw her, andI now as I write this, I feel the hot tears in my eyes, rolling down my cheeks, and once more I must submit it all to Him whom my soul loves more than life itself.

I don’t blame God and I have never been angry about not having a girl child.  He gave me an opportunity and I gave my will to Him.  Since them He has given me a beautiful daughter with dark hair and brown eyes, with long eye lashes and a beautiful smile, who loves me like Ruth loved Naomi…this through her marriage to my son.  Their love brought forth four handsome sons.  My daughter, like me, desired a girl and has had to trust God’s heart when His hand made no sense.

When our second son married he brought a blond haired, blue eyed girl into this family of dark haired people and as products of their love we have grand-children with light colored hair and blue eyes.  The littlest one has darker hair, but not black like her daddy, though she may have his hazel colored eyes and black hair when she is grown.  We will see.

I have also been abundantly blessed with many other spiritual sons and daughters throughout the years, these have added great joy to my life.

Today, I had to put one of my spiritual daughters down and tell her it was time for her to learn to walk by herself.  I know that God has things for me to do ahead, though I don’t always see clearly, my knower knows, and today was the day to stop carrying this girl.  She took it well, but I cried when i hung up the phone.  God, I trust you!

Hubby and I ate supper and watched an old movie with Audrey Hepburn and Peter O’toole called, “How to Steal a Million”.  It was fun.  I had a teacher get on my case about using the word fun, but what else do you do when you live in the frozen north country in Winter? So, I sit on the couch, hubby is in his lazy boy, we are eating off TV trays, which you should never do, so they say, whoever they are, and we were enjoying the movie.  It was FUN!

Now, we spend the rest of the evening relaxing until bedtime somewhere around midnight.  I at my P.C.and he first at his laptop and then he moves on to watching the news on the local TV channel.  He calls himself a “news junkie”.  Not me! 

With that dear reader, I wish you a good night and a blessed tomorrow.  Be well, be happy, keep life simple like a child, it really is easier.  You are loved by God more than you know. May you have many unusual days and peaceful nights!

Joyfully His!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Revival

Deuteronomy 32:15  “But Jeshurun waxed fat, and kicked:  thou art waxen fat, thou art grown thick, thou art covered with fatness; then he forsook God which made him and lightly esteemed the Rock of his salvation.”

There is much talk in the Christian community right now of revival and awakening.  Some have a ho hum attitude about  this, others are verbally pressing for it and some are actually striving in prayer for it.

Just what is revival?  If something is alive, not dead, it does not need to be revived.  How many are trying to revive a living thing?  If you are born of the Spirit of God you are alive.  If you are not born-again as Jesus told Nicodemus that he must be, John 3:7, then you are dead in your trespasses and sin, Ephesians 2:1.

To the church in Laodicea,  Revelation 3:14-22, Jesus spoke these words:  “I know your works, you are neither cold nor hot…because you are lukewarm, I will spit you out of my mouth.”    Many say that this is the state of the church today.

There is real currency and there is counterfeit currency.  There is real Christianity and there is counterfeit Christianity.  The Bible teaches that God knows those that are His because He searches every heart and nothing is hidden from Him.

In July of 1941, minister Jonathan Edwards read, in a monotone voice, a message that he titled:  “Sinners in the hands of angry God”,  If you have not read it I suggest you do.  There was no music, there were no graphics, there were no emotional stimuli, no “anointed” preaching.  But…the result of the rendering was the salvation of many in that congregation who thought that they were on their way to Heaven, who under the conviction of the Holy Spirit alone, cried and confessed their sinful attempts to make themselves right with and acceptable to a Holy God.

Books have been written by and about revivalists of past years, stories of revivals and awakenings abound.  Yet, in the heart of God’s people there is always a stirring for more than what we possess now, in our day, our time.  The reason?  Because we are alive.  Dead people have no desires, they are dead…It is a measure, a thermometer, take your temperature.

When I lay down in bed to go to sleep my temperature drops dramatically, consequently I use a lot more covers than someone whose temp. does not drop.  You might say that when believers begin to love the world more than they love their Lord, they become lukewarm, their temperature drops.  They are not excited anymore about the things of God.  And, the progression will eventually lead them into a backslidden condition.  If we stay with this analogy of natural sleep, I don’t need to be revived when morning comes, I need to wake up. My belief is that the church, all of it, is in asleep and needs to be awakened.

You can go into any church in the land and find a program to reach out to the children, the young adults, married people, and seniors, plus perhaps a hundred and one other programs to make sure that “no one slips through the cracks”.

Some years ago I had a dream that pointedly showed me how God feels about the condition of His church, those who feel that they must use some form of stimulation to keep people coming to church.  This dream was especially dealing with children.  I saw many forms of external stimulus, programs, ways, things, that would touch the soul and body of the young, but never reached their spirit.  I understood that this was a reason so many youth turned away when they became teens.  God showed me that when the power of God was there the youth ran to it.  No one had to try to convince them to come by artificial, external means. He drew them to Himself.

II Timothy 3:5  Paul, speaking of the last days of the church age, says of the church at that time:  “Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof.”   What is form”  I think of it as a shape, kind of like when a house has been framed.  You know it is a house, but it isn’t liveable yet.  To me a form of godliness is having a relative existence In Christ, but not a relevant lifestyle, no indication of the master design in day to day living.

The following words come from Jonathan Edwards sermon mentioned above:  “What are we, that we should think to stand before Him, at whose rebuke the earth trembles and before whom the rocks are thrown down?”   He is Holy God and His Spirit is Holy Spirit.  This Holiness has caused proud men to fall before him and weep uncontrollably.

Ephesians 5:27  Paul speaking of Jesus and the church says, “That He might present it to Himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.”   Who among us is able to accomplish such a thing?  This is the work of the Holy Spirit and He alone.  He alone can awaken a sleeping church and clean it up.

“Each culture must be spoken to in a language it understands;  the counterfeit can be recognized by the manipulation of people’s emotions in which they make disciples unto themselves in order to advance, promote and supply their ministry.”

Natural man is prideful, rebellious, stubborn and hard hearted.  No one can reach his heart but the Spirit of God.  Many a person has been manipulated emotionally, walked down an aisle, gone to the alter, said a prayer and been told that they are now “saved”… but God’s Spirit was not involved.  The evidence?  No change in the life-style, no change in the desires and appetites.   They sit in church year after year, they learn how to talk Christian, and all the external Christian “stuff”, but in their hearts they are still not at rest in the Lord. They do not know His peace, His right way of living and the joy that comes of knowing the Lord.

Harvest time is coming.  Yet, today God stands ready to pity sinners, God’s unfailing love is still available to “whosoever will come” to Him and receive.  A day will come when His unmerciful wrath will be poured out on sin, on God-haters, on all who love and have believed The Lie that the liar has promoted from the beginning.  What is the lie you say?  Man is his own god,  “Every man doing what is right in his own eyes.”   It is called humanism.

Sell out to God, surrender your will to His will and yield to the promptings of the Holy Spirit. You will be glad for all eternity that you did.  Each time He comes to you with His offer of new life, and you refuse, your heart grows harder.  Consider carefully, your eternal destination depends on it.  This is the “acceptable year of the Lord.”  His hand is still reaching out to you.  Turn from the darkness of your soul and be filled with the one who is The Light of Life.

Are you a Christian and asleep, cozy and comfortable in your religion?  Wake up!  Time is going quickly by, this is the day of salvation.  Get out of your comfort zone!  There is a lost world out there that our Father cares about.  He is love and He wants His children to know Him.  There are family members that have not yet been adopted into the family.

Have you placed your whole self on the alter of surrender? Have you allowed the Holy One to examine your heart and show you yourself?  Have you allowed Him to show you Himself?  It is our job to present ourselves to God the Father through Jesus the Son so that His Holy Spirit can clean us up.  That is why and that is how you surrender.

Pray!  Pray for yourself, pray for your loved ones, pray for those who don’t know what you know…how good God is, how faithful He is, how kind, how gentle, how patient, what a wonderful God and Father He is.

Come now to the Father,

Come only by the Blood.

Come leaving all behind thee,

Come now to escape the flood.

Ephesians 5:14  “Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light.”

Are you sleeping?  Wake up!  Are you dead?  Receive new life!  Come to the Father, in Jesus name and He will give you Love, Life, and  Light .

May it be so…….Joyfully His.

Depression and Intimacy with God

The intense longing, the loneliness that we have all felt at some point, tugs at our heart and we know there has to be more, that this can’t possibly be all there is.

I wonder if this feeling of lonesomeness is not what drags people into depression and unless it is stopped, to death. In that regard I was thinking of the murder/suicide death of the young man at Sandy Hook.

There are many who are seeing counselors, psychiatrists, or psychologists because they can’t make any sense out of their lives and they feel lost and alone, depressed and disappointed how things have turned out.

As a believer in Jesus Christ I also see this in the church, a place where it should be impossible for that to happen, and yet many sit in the pews Sunday after Sunday lost in the fog of depression with little way out other than to be drugged to survive.

When God created man and woman it was because He wanted fellowship. Many years ago people used to fellowship together at work and after work, at school in clubs and playing sports etc., this camaraderie is, for the most part, missing today because of the perversion and persecution against what is right. It is my belief that we have entered into the time when good will be seen as evil and evil will be seen as good, as the Bible says.

How has this happened?  I think it is because every man is doing what is right in his own eyes.  Truth is not important, most things are relative and there seems to be little regard for the other guy.

When families gather together electronics take the place of conversation. I recently got an e-mail that showed people in many different situations and each person was gazing at his phone or texting. Human interaction one on one or in groups is what gives us that sense of belonging, that sense that all is well with the world. It was for this “fellowship” that we were created. Lacking that we are slowly being isolated from one another and becoming dependent upon unfeeling mechanisms.

Please hear me…I am not against modern inventions. I have an iPad, a PC,  and a cell phone, I enjoy them and I use them all the time.  But, I have relationships with and build relationships with God and with people in order that my life may be whole.  I have something to contribute in this earth and so do you.  Without relationship and fellowship you become an island, this is not what God envisioned when He created you.

Recently I have talked with a number of people who are dealing with depression at some stage or other, without exception these folks have lost their way. Somehow they got off the track, off point and are wandering in an unfamiliar land of darkness. They have lost the signposts that tell them which way to go.

I would not set out on a journey by car without knowing where I was going.  I would have a map or a G.P.S. to assist me if I was hesitant.  Someone said, “If you don’t know where you are going any road will get you there.” True. Also, when you are driving, focus will prevent you from having an accident.  How much more important is our focus spiritually.

In the New Year many of us resolve to do better, to be better, to accomplish something for ourselves, but very often these desires get lost in the dailiness of life.

My pastor encouraged us to make it our goal to get closer to God, to press in, to make changes in this new year we have been given, to leave the past behind. It is so easy to become satisfied with where we are, even if we are not happy with it.  God instructed us to be content, but we can’t be satisfied with where we are, for to be satisfied is to become stagnant, to not grow, to accept the status quo and not challenge ourselves to move ahead.

Years ago a dear lady discipled me for three years. Today we would call it mentored. She gave me the best piece of advice I have ever gotten, it was this: “God accepts you the way you are when you come to Him, but He still invites you to grow. Your part is to let Him work in you what pleases Him. Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him, He will finish what He started.”

I took that advice and added this to it…I submit myself to Him every day, I resist the enemy in Jesus name, at the same time, and I choose to rest in what Jesus did for me.  I call it active rest.  I have a race to run and I am to run it patiently…patient with myself, my flaws, my weaknesses and those of the people around me. I am to forgive as I am forgiven…myself and others, because God has forgiven me a much greater debt than anyone could afflict upon me. I am to draw near to God and He will draw near to me.

Have you ever seen a person that you were instantly drawn to and you wondered why? As you examine your heart motive before the Lord and then pursue a relationship with that person they may or may not respond to you. God created us, He loves us and is drawn to each of us as individuals, He wants a relationship with us, but He will not force it upon us because He is a gentleman. The “ball is in our court”, so to speak.

How refreshing, fulfilling and exciting when you can begin a relationship with another human being, another of God’s special people. The Bible talks about God’s love for us, how He has such great joy that He sings over us. Incredible!

Sometimes, all it takes in relationship is for the other person to know that you care for them, that you are interested in knowing them, for them to reach out to you.

God has let us know, in no uncertain terms, that He is more than interested in us, He loved mankind so much that He sent Jesus to pay a price that only He could pay so that “many sons” could be brought Home! Our Father in Heaven is waiting patiently for the precious fruit of the earth. I want to bring a bunch with me, how about you?

The cure for depression…intimacy with God.

If your heart is not yielded, if you have not surrendered all, if you have not laid it all on the altar, then there will be hindrances that will keep you from Him and these will be open doors for the kingdom of darkness to invade your life.

“God is light and in Him is no darkness at all.” But, He must cloak Himself in a cloud of darkness when He is around men, otherwise the sin in mankind would cause us to disintegrate, it was His love and kindness that caused Him to come to earth and wear a flesh suit so we would see what He was like.

Tommy Tenney says that God basically plays Hide and Seek with us…not that we should not find Him, but so we can find Him. The poem, “The Hound of Heaven”, speaks of God chasing us and us “finding Him, finding us.” He is the original lover who pursues His beloved, but our part is to seek and the promise is that we will find.

Today if you find yourself depressed choose to pursue a relationship with God.  He is the answer to the loneliness you feel.  “God is for you, who can be against you.”

Application:

Pray verbally, ask for understanding and then choose to receive it.  Start reading the Bible in the gospel of John, read it over and over and over until you understand what God did for you through Jesus.  It may take days depending of the depth of your depression.   Then move to I John and do the same thing.  Point being:  God Loves You!  “If you had been the only one who needed to be saved, Jesus would have died just for you.”

Get alone with God and out loud begin to ask Him to be with you, to forgive you, and to help you.   Out loud tell the “adversary”, the “accuser of the brethren”, you are not his property and you have decided you are going to resist him and all of his ways, then tell him he must go.  Ask God to send His angels to help you in the battle.  He will.

God is light and when you break through the darkness in your soul by drawing near to God, darkness will flee.    But, here is the key:  You have to be 100% willing.  God does not play games.  He will not join your pity party.  When you get serious, He will take you at your word.  Then and only then will the change your spirit man desires, come.

It is the struggle that Paul spoke about in Romans 7 between soul and spirit.  So many of us want to feel and see, but walking with the Lord is by faith, not by sight or feeling.  If freedom and liberty is what you want then you can have it, but you have to get over yourself, your flesh, because it will buck you every step of the way and you must see yourself crucified with Christ and alive IN HIM.

I walked this road, I know whereof I speak, trust me on that!

I am,

Joyfully His, blessed to be a blessing…still growing up.

PS:  Sarah Young, in “Jesus Calling”…”Fill up the spare moments of your life with praise and thanksgiving.  This joyous discipline will help you live in the intimacy of my Presence.”

A New Year Begins

What will the New Year hold?  Some of us fear the unknown and thus even anticipating the future is scary.  Others of us look forward to what the future holds with anticipation.  The difference?  In my opinion it is who we trust.

A long time ago I met someone that made my future secure.  His name is Jesus.  The great thing is that I didn’t have to do anything except receive what He did for me.  It was so easy.

Yes, I said easy.  But….the process of coming to that place was extremely difficult.  Why?  Because no one comes to Jesus who has not come to the place where they realize that they cannot do anything for themselves.   It says in Psalm 78:39 that God remembered that Israel was “but flesh”.  We are all flesh…weak, silly, frail, fumbling, arrogant, prideful flesh.  There had to be a way to God, a way that we could follow someone who was perfect and thus be content in Him.

Every human being comes with a built in need to have someone to worship.  There are many people and many things that desire to have that place that God designed for Himself alone.  No person will be content unless that place is filled with God alone.  Substitutes fail, they must because they don’t fit.  Only the Spirit of Jesus fits the place designed by God in the human spirit.  When that happens flesh dies on the cross of Christ and a new man is born and the process of transformation begins.  Romans 12:1-2 

Like a new born baby grows, the newly born person also grows.  A baby does not strive to grow up, neither should a new believer.  The baby eats, sleeps, plays and interacts with this new world he finds himself in and so he grows.  A new believer eats the Word of God as recorded in the Bible, The Bible says that the “ear tastes words as the mouth tastes food”, so he goes to a church or place where he can hear the Word of God, he rests in what Jesus has done for him, he enjoys being with those who are of like mind and spirit, and so he will grow.

Lest you think that this process is a walk in the park without any troubles you may be assured that there are troubles aplenty.  However, Jesus said that even though “in this world you will have tribulation”  you can “be of good cheer for I have overcome the world.”

Here then is the key to success:  Trust in what Jesus did, not in what you can do.  Yield your whole self to Him and ask the Holy Spirit within you to lead you in the way that you should go.  As long as you do your part He will do His.

Scripture teaches us that darkness will cover the earth and gross darkness the people.  Every day the darkness of evil is growing in and upon people…natural disasters are increasing…governments are going more and more toward a one world government.  There is so much hurt and pain all around and sometimes, when we are ungrounded, it causes us to ask: “Where are you God?”

The answer is:  “The same place I was when they crucified My Son.”

Believe, my friend!  Trust God and focus on His Kingdom, for it is coming.  His Kingdom is Light.  Jesus said He was the Light of the World and we, who have been adopted into that Kingdom, are now to be Light, by His Light.

“And what about the future for the Child of God?  The Future is as bright as the promises of God.”  Adoniram Judson

Romans 8:37  “Overwhelming Victory is ours in Christ Jesus.” It says so in the back of the book and it isn’t over until it is over.

Believe in, lean upon and trust in the Lord; Receive His Word, It is the word of a gentleman of the strictest and highest honor, Commit your way to Him, Trust also in Him and He will bring it to pass, Rest in the Lord and wait patiently upon Him while He finishes what He started.

Joyfully His