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The Kingdom of God

God has a kingdom. The King of that Kingdom is Jesus the Jewish Messiah. His Hebrew name was Yeshua, or Yahoshua, or Yahshua. I have seen it written many ways. It simply means Savior. Many men were named this as the people expected the Messiah to come and they hoped their son would be the one. They did not know God or His ways.

The Jewish people of today are a mixed tribal people made up of all 12 sons of Jacob. What is of interest to me is that many of the Jewish people still know what their ancestral tribe is.

God selected a man named Abraham as the federal head of this race of people. Back in history they were called Hebrews, today they are called Jews. This is predominantly because in the reign of King David, Israel, the name given to Jacob, son of Isaac, son of Abraham, was divided into two kingdoms called Israel and Judah. From the name Judah came Jew. Today we know of the country called Israel and a people called Jews.

People have a way of changing and distorting history to suit themselves. Names and places are often changed. Even here in America this can be seen as many seek to find their ancestors through sources such as ancestry.com.

I see and I dream, not always, but as the Spirit wills. On the 14th of September in the place between sleep and awake, I heard the following words:

God has a kingdom, it is made up of many men, women, and children. He is issuing invitations to people to come in and become citizens.”

Jesus is the king of the kingdom. He is the way to become a citizen.”

Would you like to become a citizen of the Kingdom of God?”

When I got up I wrote the following:

“God has a plan and a purpose for every person on earth. He has given each of us the choice to accept His will and plan or to refuse it.”

“God loves you. He is our Father. (of those who have chosen Jesus) We (all) came from Him to earth on temporary duty. If you choose to accept His offer you will be among a company who will spend eternity in total bliss.”

“The alternative is that you will spend your allotted time on earth as you see fit and will spend eternity in a place bereft of all that is light and good.”

“The choice is yours. God loves you and His plan for your life is for good, not evil, but unless you are a citizen of the Kingdom of God, He has no legal right to send His blessing to you.”

“How do you become a citizen you ask?”

“You receive what God’s son, Jesus, did for you. He came to earth as a human being. His birth was through a woman named Miriam, Mary, a woman whose heritage was from the family of King David, the king of Israel. He was of the seed of Abraham.”

“Miriam was a young girl whom God had prepared to be the carrier of His seed. She was impregnated by the Holy Spirit of God, she was a virgin. This had been told by the prophets centuries before. `Behold a virgin shall conceive and bear a son, He shall be called Emmanuel, God with us.”

“It is written that Yeshua, Jesus, was crucified on a Roman cross. He died and was buried. He rose up from the grave, from death. Then, as the High priest of God, He went back to His Father; taking His blood He placed it on the mercy seat before the throne of God. Because of this action, anyone can come to the Father in Jesus name and become a member of the Kingdom of God.”

“Jesus was on earth many days after His resurrection. It is my personal belief that prior to His resurrection Jesus appeared to every tribe of people on the earth to tell them about the Kingdom of God and the way to enter in.”

“After His resurrection, it is written that He sat down at the right hand of God. As the King of the Kingdom and as the High priest of the new covenant in His blood, He mediates that covenant, He lives to make intercession for the children of God”

Whosoever will may enter in to the Kingdom of God. It is simply a decision to do so. Jesus is the Way.

Would you like to become a citizen of the Kingdom of God? Ask and you will receive, when you desire it with all your heart.

(There is scriptural back up for what I have told you. If you want it, email me at jentemitt@aol.com)

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Love and Prayer

For my house shall be called a house of prayer for all people. Isaiah 56:7

He taught them saying, “Is it not written, My house shall be called of all the nations the house of prayer; but you have made it a den of thieves.” Mark 11:17

More things are wrought by prayer than this world dreams.” Alfred, Lord Tennyson

Susie Larson, host of “Live the Promise” says about prayer:

If you’ve been persevering in prayer, I commend you. Do not relent! Hang on to God’s Word no matter what your circumstances are saying to you.”

If until now you’ve only reacted to life’s circumstances as they come your way and haven’t really embraced the idea of forward moving faith, well, I have great news for you! Today is a new day! God has a promise that fits you perfectly. He has a plan for your life and an intended blessing for your soul. He wants to use you in great ways and He wants to reveal Himself to the world through you.”

Acts 10:38 How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power; who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with Him.”

Proverbs 24:29 “Do not say, “I will do to him just as he has done to me; I will render to the man according to his work.”

Matthew 7:11 “If you know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in Heaven give good things to those who ask Him! Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.”

As a child, I was taught concerning my fellow man, to “put the most charitable construction on all that he does.”

When we evaluate and judge other people, our natural inclination is to ignore our own faults and to make critical judgments of others.” Peacemaker Ministries, Februry16, 2015

Assumption or presumption can get us into trouble. Any circumstance looked at from your point of view only, will miss the mark by a mile. There are a thousand and one reasons why someone may fail you, fail to think of how something will affect you.

We presume that we should be treated fairly by all, in a world that is anything but fair. People will fail us, most do not do so on purpose, which is why we have to “cut them some slack”.  Is it not written: “And whenever you stand praying, If you have anything against anyone, forgive him that your Father in Heaven may also forgive you.”? Mark 11:25

Has someone hurt you? Forgive. It is not a feeling, it is a decision. “When you stand praying forgive.”  Unforgiveness will block your prayers.

When we have to deal with those who are blatantly evil, the Jesus tells us what to do: But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those that curse you, do good to those that hate you, and pray for them who spitefully use you and persecute you.” Matthew 5:44

Critical judgments not only cause wounds to others, they wound your own soul. You can become bitter and resentful with an attitude problem that is evident to all around you; becoming suspicious and gossipy, ever looking for fault in others, talebearers, they are laying the groundwork for the loss of their own soul if they do not repent. These are serious matters to God.

Proverbs 18:8; 26:22 “The words of a talebearer are as wounds, and they go down into the innermost parts of the belly.”

I John 4:16 “We have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us. God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God and God abides in Him.”

I John 4:8 “The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love.”

When our attitude and behavior is anything other than loving toward others, we are not being Christlike, and after all, if you call yourself a Christian, then you are, day by day, to become more like Him who went about doing good, who brought healing to those whose life He touched.

Love is the answer to every question.

Awhile back WWJD became a fad in the Christian community. The acronym stood for What Would Jesus Do. Whatever difficult situation you find yourself in today, ask yourself this question, what would Jesus do about this?

Jesus prayed. He was the Son of God yet He needed to spend time in prayer, He needed time to have conversation with His Father. He went often to a mountain to pray. His prayer life was so rich that his disciples asked Him to teach them to pray.

I heard this truth long ago:  “Prayer is the conversation of the believing heart with God.”

Pray without ceasing…”Men always ought to pray and not lose heart.” Luke 18:1

I have a friend that lives and breathes prayer, she literally “prays without ceasing”. She hosts a prayer meeting at her home each week, she is passionate about prayer. It is her hearts desire that the church fulfill God’s mandate to be a “house of prayer for all nations”.

Jesus felt so strongly about this that He went into the temple and drove out the money changers calling them thieves. There was a lot of corruption going on, not simply selling animals for the sacrifices required, these men were not honest, god-fearing people. God hates lying, deceiving, cheating.

Well, what manner of people ought we to be then? If we call ourselves Christian (Christ One), then we are to pray as He prayed, spending time with God in conversation. We come into His presence with praise and worship, we make petition, supplication, intercession for others, making our requests known to Him. We listen to Him as He speaks to us in our human spirit, through His written Word or through others. We thank Him for the many blessings He has given to us.  A love relationship, that is what it is all about.

Today, take time to be with the one your soul loves, the one who gave all for you. He would have done it just for you, that is how precious you are to Him.

God bless you is my prayer. Joy

LIfe

This morning I am thinking of Mary. She has been on the hearts of so many people, due to the fact that she almost died. (January 17, 2017) Miraculously she was given the gift of life.

Today Mary goes home from the hospital.  This is how her friend put it on Caring Bridge:

“Mary will be restored to her home (and her children) tomorrow. Yes, HOME!!  We can all share in her joy.  Praise God!!! After her return home (and I am sure countless hugs and kisses) she will be visited by Home Health Care to determine need for level of care. Please continue to pray for Mary’s healing, their family, and God’s blessing on this next big step in Mary’s healing.”

I think so often people get confused about miracles and healing. What Mary experienced at the hospital when she could breathe without the help of a breathing tube was a miracle.  (see previous posts)

The doctors thought she would more than likely die.  The breath in her lungs was instant, the moment the tube came out she could breathe on her own, and she began to recover. That miracle was the beginning of Mary’s healing.

Her lungs began to immediately respond and get better and better. The healing process is still going on, which is why prayer for complete healing is necessary.  Mary has had several treatments of chemotherapy and will continue to do so.  Our continued prayer stand is that Mary be completely delivered from cancer, that “she will not die but live and declare the works of the Lord.” Psalm 118:17

How often do we pray and ask but do not believe we receive.  In the gospel of Mark Jesus said, “Therefore I say unto you, What things soever you desire when you pray, believe that you receive them and you shall have them.”   Mark 11:24 KJV  To see we must believe and receive.

Faith is the necessary ingredient for miracles and healing.  It is not hoping or wishing that the thing you desire is yours because you want it to be.  It is not mental assent to what the Bible says is true, or even that Jesus died for you to have it.

Faith is knowing that healing is part of the new covenant in Jesus blood, that God wants you whole body, soul and spirit; you believe and receive it.

There are times when you must stand in faith to recover. There are times when healing does not manifest right away, then you must know that you have been heard and God will do everything He can do.  Sometimes timing is an issue.

God gave each of us a will.  We can choose.  When a person has been battling against sickness or disease and they are tired and don’t want to fight anymore, your will and prayers will not be imposed upon them. God will give them what they want, He will take them home to Heaven, if they are His children.

In our day in America, every source is embalmed with unbelief and doubt…except one…the Bible.   A person may be strong in the Lord in one area but weak in another because of doubt or unbelief. There is no perfect human being.

The Jewish people have a word that incorporates the wholeness that God wants His people to walk in, it is the word Shalom.  I heard someone say that it means, “nothing missing and nothing broken.”

How do we get to that place of wholeness?  Jesus is the answer.

The Bible says, “Except you be converted, and become as little children, you shall not enter into the Kingdom of Heaven.” Matthew 18:5 KJV

Jesus taught that we are to be like little children. The hallmark of a child is trust. Implicit in childhood is total trust in their parent. They don’t question where their next meal is coming from, whether they will have clothes or shoes to wear or a place to sleep.  (Yes, I know that there are aberrations)

If a loving parent provides for the needs of his children, how much more will our loving Heavenly Father provide for our needs.  We are His family.

There are some things that come upon all mankind, like rain, natural things, earthly things, but there are some things that are only for family.

Jesus taught that God is Our Father in Heaven, that He loves His children and wants to see us succeed in every area of life.

He wants us to be whole, so much so that He sent The Word made flesh, Jesus, to live here on earth for approximately 30 years to identify with us and pay the price for sin that we could not, so that we could have access to our Father.

When Jesus finished His assignment, He declared: “I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do.”  John 17:4 KJV

We can trust our Father in Heaven. We can trust Jesus our advocate and His Spirit our helper, comforter, teacher and guide.

Each of us has been assigned a specific time to be here on planet earth.  For such a time as this we have come. God has a plan and a purpose for each of us.  It is for us to discover what that plan is.

It is written in Psalm 139:16 KJV “Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them.”

Kat Kerr says that we were all little spirits with the Father and when the time came for us to come to earth, He knit our little spirit to that dot of flesh in our mother’s womb and we became a living soul. Your life began at conception.

Mary has been given a new lease on life, a new opportunity.  She has fought, her family has fought, extended family has fought, friends and God’s family have fought against the cancer that the enemy sent to kill her and steal her from her husband and children. He did not win!

In the court of Heaven God the righteous judge sat down on the bench.  The advocate for Mary (Jesus Christ the Righteous) presented His case, the enemy (formerly known as Lucifer) presented his case.

Jesus said, “I paid the price required for Mary to be healed. My blood was shed; I was whipped with a cat of nine tails, my blood flowed out on the ground, the bones in my back could be seen.  Only then did they stop. I did this out of love for Mary, to satisfy the demands of the law. I ask the court for acquittal.”

The enemy arose with great pomp to make his case against Mary.  He dragged up every little thing that she had done from the time she was able to make her own decisions.  It was not a pretty picture.

He said, “Your honor knows that I am nothing if not fair.  I have shown the court that Mary is deserving of death. I ask for conviction.”  He sat down, smugly sure that he had won.  He could not wait to get his hands on her. He had plans.

God stood up.  The enemy trembled, that was not a good sign.  He had seen Him do that before and it did not bode well for him.

Turning to Lucifer, the fallen one, He said, “I have heard you out.  You have accused Mary of heinous crimes.  You have belittled her, you have laid out before me a picture accusing her of things she has not even done.  Fair? no, never since your fall have you ever been fair.  There is no justice in you at all.”

Turning to Jesus He said, “I have heard the case that you have made for Mary.  You have done everything possible to secure her healing.  I have seen that Mary wants to be healed and I have heard the many prayers for her life.  Mary gave me her life when she was 12 years of age.  She is my child.  I have made my decision.”

The gavel went down.  “Decision made for the plaintiff.”  Case dismissed.

Jesus has never lost a case.

What about you friend?  If you stood in the courts of Heaven would there be enough evidence to convict you?

Today is the day of salvation.  Turn from sin and give your heart to Jesus, all of the old life will be washed away in Jesus blood, you will become a new man.  A new life will begin.  Ask Jesus to immerse you in the Holy Spirit and He will bring you power to live that new life.

God loves you, so do I.  Joy

 

 

 

Answered Prayer

I wrote the other day how I hurt for my daughter Kathy as she watched her dear sister, Mary, dying in front of her eyes.

Well, today I can bring you a report of Praise to the God of Heaven and Earth.

Mary and all of Kathy’s family are Roman/American Catholic.  They strongly hold to the tradition and doctrines of the church.  They are lovely, caring people.

Our family believes and lives the born-again, spirit-filled, loving Jesus with all of our hearts lives.  The Bible is our guide book and as such we do not pray to saints, nor do we believe that water from a certain place is holy.

Having said that, we respect their family and know that they are as loved by God as we are and that He hears our prayers.

During this whole ordeal all of us, and more, have prayed for Mary. Well, I want to shout it, God heard and a miracle happened.  Here is how it came down.

When Kathy came to the hospital, the prognosis was that death was not far off because Mary’s lungs were in such bad shape.  She was on a ventilator and hope seemed gone.

So many people prayed and sent their love to Mary, but it seemed as though God did not hear and the end was near.

A simple prayer from a heart of love, filled with faith that God is good, made a plea.   That prayer caused the tipping point, the cup filled to overflowing, and God in His mercy made a decision, Mary would live.

Kathy asked the doctor what needed to happen for Mary to be able to begin Chemotherapy, the response was that she breathe on her own and her lungs be improved.

Kathy and the others in the room went to God with the request.  The next day the decision was made to remove the ventilator and see what would happen.

That is when the miracle happened.  Mary began to recover.  By the end of the day she was sitting up smiling and breathing on her own. The oncologist called it miraculous.  We call it a miracle.  Thank you Father, our Lord and our God!

The oncologist is saying that Chemo will begin tomorrow and Mary can possibly go home on Tuesday.

Our prayer now is that the chemo target every spot of cancer and kill it, but there be no destruction to surrounding tissue.

Focused death to cancer, that is what I am calling it!

Continuing to stand in the gap for Mary until the cancer is completely destroyed.

Joy

 

 

 

Sorrow

Do not sorrow as those who have no hope.

Today my heart is heavy.  A young woman, Mary, with 5 children ages 1 to 12 lies in the hospital, overcome by cancer, the Doctors have given her husband no hope.  The human question is why?  That is followed by thoughts of who will care for the kids?

This story has been repeated times without number in the world.  Not long ago we heard the story of Joey, a beautiful young singer, who with her husband Rory were raising a little girl.  After a valiant fight she died from cancer.

My struggle is trying to understand how what appears to be a tragedy can work for good.  Children without their mother or father, some so young they will never know them until eternity.

If I did not know God, if I did not know that He is love, if I did not know that He has good plans for our lives here on earth, I would be drowned in despair.

He said, “I know the plans I have for you, for good and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”

I think of the words of an old hymn…”Though the wrong seems oft so strong God is the ruler yet.”

My girl Kathy’s heart is being rung out right now as she watches her sister Mary dying before her eyes.  Yet there is hope still.  Even at the last minute many condemned to be executed have been given a stay of execution.  Could our dear Mary yet be touched by the Master?  I believe so.

Should our Father in Heaven choose to bring Mary Home, which to our eyes appears  to be premature, He has a plan for Chris and their children.  We will pray.

When we face hard things that to our eyes appear to be so wrong, so unjust, so unfair, we go to our Father for comfort, encouragement and hope.  He has promised to be with us in trouble, to deliver us and satisfy us with long life.

When we cannot understand His hand we must trust His heart.

 

Change

What do you do when life circumstances are suddenly changed, never to be the same again?

Almost everyone reacts.  Few act.  The difference between reacting and acting is like the difference between night and day.

Change is a big word.  It can mean something different to everyone.

What does change mean to you?

When Barak Obama became president under the banner of change, America was excited. The first black president sat in the White House, expectations were high.  Eight years later many were disappointed others were pleased.

This past November Donald Trump became president.  America was excited.  The first successful billionaire business man sits in the White House, expectations are high.  He too ran on promises of change.  Some were angry and others rejoiced.

The map of America after the election was mostly red.  In California and the major big cities of the nation the map was blue.  America as a whole wanted change.

As usual most of America looks to the coasts to set the tone and the media is the standard bearer for that tone.

I recall sitting with my mother many years ago, watching T.V.  The ads would come on and she would ask to go to the store so she could buy the product she saw.  If it was on T.V. it must be good, i.e. it must be true.

Media still has a big influence on the American public. Faith in the media may even have become more pronounced in news programs in particular.

Americans watch “the talking heads” of the media talk and debate, asking themselves what they think.  Opinion is what matters to them…your opinion, my opinion, their opinion. Every opinion except the one opinion that matters, God’s.

For the most part, the American people would say that they believe in the Judeo-Christian God. They may not go to church or believe that Jesus is the Son of God who came into the world to bring people to God the Father, but they profess belief in God.

In the Christian church of today, many doctrines that were held true for centuries are no longer accepted as truth.  It is a time when each does what is right in his own eyes, the Bible calls this an evil day.  The love of money, position and power move many.

But for some of us, this is a new day, a day of awakening. We have prayed for years:   “God, May your Kingdom come and your will be done on earth as it is in Heaven!”  We believe that now is the time, God has heard our prayers, and He is going to get involved.  As someone said, “God is going to show up and show out.” 

A few years ago I was reading Isaiah 60…it read: “Darkness shall cover the earth and gross darkness the people, but the light shall rise upon thee and nations and kings shall come to the brightness of your rising..”

I have heard many proclaiming this truth:  God will move when it is very dark.  Jesus is called the light of the world in the Bible and the contrast between darkness and light is seen over and over again in scripture.

We know that when it is dark, even the smallest amount of light brightens the darkness.  That is not to say that everyone likes the light, because as the Bible says it shows that their deeds are evil. So, there will be those who react to light, to change, by anarchy. They become violent in their anger, lashing out at whoever happens to come close to them.

The Bible tells us that the anger of man accomplishes no good thing. It cannot be perpetuated, it will always deteriorate into hatred which will destroy the person who harbors it, eventually leading to death and destruction.

My pastor and her friend, along with many other Christian people went to Washington D.C. for the inauguration of Donald J. Trump as the 45th president of the United States of America.  They were there to celebrate and support.  It was a joyful time for them.

There was one dark spot where some angry people spit at some celebrants, called them names and would not let them pass through where they were standing.  It made them sad and they prayed that they might know the love God had for them.

Peaceful protest is part of the American landscape. We are a diverse people and have the right to stand up for our beliefs.  But, looting, burning, pushing and shoving, even sometimes beating up someone you disagree with is not the American way.

May God have mercy upon us and restore America to His vision. May His will be done and His opinion be sought after.

Christians and Jews are among the most tolerant people that I know.  In Israel and America a Christian church, a Jewish synagogue and a mosque can stand in the same area. Their people can work side by side without conflict.

When radical factions enter in to any of these groups who believe in one God, there will be trouble and eventually there will be war.

Something must be said about the enemies of America who have an agenda to take her down and make her a subservient country to a one world government.  God will not allow it until the time He has set on His time line.

It is vain to fight against God, you cannot prevail.  Unbelief does not affect God.  He is the great I AM, the one who has always been and always will be.  His will is going to be done.

As we embark upon the four year term of Donald Trump as president.  Let us set aside radicalization and work together in Unity to make America a better place for our children and our grand-children.  Unity in diversity is a wonderful thing.

We live in a country where we can make our requests known.  I write to my congressman and representatives when I disagree with what is being done.  No one comes to put me in jail for being a dissident.  I have the right of free speech.

You can write to your local newspaper, you can produce a program on Public T.V., (for free), you can set up a peaceful protest, there are many ways to communicate your opinion and try to influence others.

Change can be good, it depends on whether you react to the change in a negative way or respond with a construction action.  It is your choice.

God Bless you!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Divorce

Divorce is a cancer upon the world.  There is no good that can come of it because it always divides and subtracts from the people involved.  Children pay the heaviest price.  This subject is heavy on my heart this morning.

Having said that, God can make a mess into a message and a test into a testimony.  I have heard and read many stories affirming this truth and my own marriage is a testimony of it.  I have friends for whom this is also true.

Please take some time to look up these scriptures in the Bible.  I suggest the Message Bible as a very readable, understandable version.

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.  Genesis 1:1

Let us make man after our own image in our likeness.  Genesis 1:26

From the dust of the ground God made man and breathed into him the breath of life. Genesis 2:6-7

No suitable helper was found. God put man into a deep sleep, making a woman for the man out of his side.  Genesis 2:18

For the hardness of your hearts man was allowed to divorce his wife.  Matthew 19:1-12  Romans 7:3

Jesus said, “From the beginning it was not so.”  Matthew 19:8  I Corinthians 7:2

Man was created first, then woman.  I Corinthians 11:3, 8-12     I Peter 3:17

Submit one to another in the fear of the Lord.  Ephesians 5: 21-33

Divorce happens because of self-centeredness.  Each person doing what is right in his or her own eyes.  Proverbs 30:12

Does that mean that there are no reasons for divorce.  Certainly not.

God allows divorce because of adultery.  Though not clearly spoken in scripture, God does not condone one person abusing another.  But, that does not mean that in every case of abuse or adultery God wants a woman or man to depart.  God treats every person as an individual.

Define abuse.  Abuse can be physical, mental or spiritual.  When would God have you stay, when depart?  If your life is in danger, depart.  If your children are in danger, depart.

A friend of mine has stayed with a husband who is verbally abusive and now she has been diagnosed as mentally ill.  She left once and went back, in my opinion she should have never gone back.  I believe it was fear that gripped her and this opened a door to the dark side.  Though she claimed to be a Christian her husband became her idol.

My sister has been with a verbally abusive man for over 50 years.  He has little education but an outgoing personality that has gotten him by in life.  His weakness is putting her down to lift himself up.  In spite of this she loves him and believes that God has told her to stay.  The words he uses have caused her to turn to the Lord for comfort and strength, and He gives it to her.  He also blesses her in many other ways for staying the course.                  I Corinthians 7:16

The Bible tells us that a wife may win her husband to the Lord by her godly respectful behavior.  Surely God puts up with irreverent, ungodly sinners, sometimes for many years before they are won over by His love.  Earth life is short compared to eternity.

At this moment one of my sons is involved in divorce proceedings.  I believe that God chose this woman for my son.  That being said, the Bible says this:   “Many are called but few are chosen.”  I know that is not talking specifically about marriage and divorce, but the principle is there.  God calls some to be married, they can choose to do so or not.  Once married they are called to stay married to their spouse.

God has given each person a will.  We make decisions every day that affect our destiny.  God will never superimpose His will upon anyone, though He has the power and authority to do so.  God is love, and true love thinks of what is best for the loved one.  God often allows what He does not condone.

Self-centeredness:  “It is all about what I want.  Others exist to do my will.  If you don’t do what I want, I have the right to throw you away.  Life is about me being happy.  If I am not happy then you won’t be either.”  Plainly put:  God is not in it, it is idolatry, you are sitting on the throne of your life, you are your own god.

God has a way for marriage that transcends the world’s way of doing and being.  Like the salvation of a soul, it requires a death, death to selfishness, for God’s way of doing is loving your mate, giving of yourself, your time, to be a blessing to him or her.  In so doing, you will receive the blessing of the Lord yourself.

Someone said that God puts people in marriage to kill them.  I agree, because if you don’t die to self-will, you cannot stay married long.

The world’s way of marriage looks like this:  Each person finds someone who will make them feel good, feel completed.  Some want their spouse to do what they do, like what they like or go where they go.  In other words, to be just like them.  God did not create Adam and Adama.  He created man and wom(b)man for the purpose of taking care of the earth, populating it, enjoying each other and enjoying being in His presence.

God, in His written word, specifically tells a believer not to marry someone who does not believe in Jesus as the way of salvation, the way to God, the way to Heaven at death.  Why?  Because they are two different operating systems.

Does this mean then that if two people are Christians and they marry that they will not have any problem.  Absolutely not!  There may, in fact, be more.  The reason is that we live in a fallen world, a world where every man does what is right in his own eyes, a world where God has been put on the shelf or shoved out of His rightful place, thus the adversary of God will target the true believer, he will attack anything of God that looks like it may be successful.

Divorce in the church today is nearly equal to that of the world.  It ought not to be.  The handbook for believers, the Bible, clearly spells out God’s will for marriage.  Then why is divorce accepted among Christians?  My simple answer is because the Bible is not relevant to them or their lives.

As I said, we have arrived at the time when Truth has become irrelevant because each man is doing what is right in his own eyes.  This opens the door for all manner of evil to prevail.  Wrong becomes right, light becomes dark and good becomes evil.

What then shall we say of these things?  God have mercy upon us, forgive us for our self-centered way of doing and being and lead us into your truth, your way of doing and being right!  Amen.

Friend, please know that I bring no condemnation to you or upon you.  It’s just that I am grieved over the hardness of heart that I see around me.  God forgives any who call upon the name of Jesus.  I have a personal knowledge of this.  If you have been divorced, put away, God loves you and there is healing in Him.  Run to Him, He will receive you and love you to life.

This spring my husband and I will have been married for 53 years.  My husband’s first wife divorced him, put him away, for another man, and I had never been married, nor had I ever had a relationship with a man.  We did not know how to be married; we were flawed people who wanted to be loved and accepted, but neither of us was equipped.  We lived together for 35 years walking on parallel paths. I rejoice to tell you that we learned that only in relationship with Jesus are we loved and accepted.  This has brought us contentment with and happiness with each other.

Marriage is mixing everything together so that you cannot find the separate entity anymore.  Somehow you become one and yet retain your individuality.  It is a mystery when it is done God’s way.  And, it is wonderful.  Is it a piece of cake?  No!  You have to work at it.

We “keep short accounts”.  We don’t let offenses go and allow them to fester, we don’t allow divisive thoughts to continue, we communicate and solve issues.  We don’t speak evil to each other or of each other to another person.  We don’t focus on each others shortcomings, we focus on those things that we do well, or for each other.  As I was taught in Lutheran confirmation regarding others:  “Put the best construction on all that he does.”

My prayer for you if you have experienced the pain of divorce is healing in Jesus.  I also hope this has provided some food for thought.

God bless you, Joy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Trophy – looking for love in all the wrong places.

Born in 1948, he was Nin’s 5th child.  Her Mother was not happy.  Yet one more baby for her to worry about.

Kenny was a happy baby.  He gurgled and cooed, smiled with his eyes, and charmed everyone who met him.

Nothing much changed about Kenny as he got older.  He still smiled with his eyes; he was active, always moving, doing something, testing her patience.

Then she became pregnant again, this time another boy.  They were close together, these two sons of hers, so close that many people thought they were twins.  The little brother was a follower.  He mimicked everything his big brother did.  Together Kenny and Larrie made quite a team.

Baby number 7 was born when Nin was 42 years of age.  She was a Down’s syndrome child, at that time called Mongoloid.  The extended family was quick to blame J.B.’s alcoholism.  Nin didn’t care what they thought, she loved her little one.  She gave me the privilege of naming her, I called her Cynthia Kay.  I thought she was beautiful.

Cindy was about 18 months old when Kenny and Larrie took her for a ride in the baby stroller.  Some of the neighborhood children gathered around and made very hurtful remarks about her looks.  Coming home, they asked Nin what was wrong with her, why did the children make fun of her.  The innocence of childhood and the love of family; they didn’t know she was different, she was just Cindy and she was their sister.

People are people the world over, we judge and criticize what we do not understand.  We still do it when we become adults, we are just more covert about it than children are.  How often do we say things to others that if said to us would cut deeply?  We don’t even think about that.  We should.

Kenny and Larrie got into a lot of trouble.  Mostly Kenny leading the way.  They were so cute, it was hard to be angry with them, but Nin did not let things go by.  Sometimes, she made them go to the tree in the back yard and pick the switch that she would use to swat them; but Kenny was a runner and he would take off, laughing as he ran away from her.

One day  a policeman showed up at the door.  It seems someone had seen the boys deface public property and reported it to the police.  Kenny heard him talking to her, ran upstairs and crawled under the bed, getting as close to the wall as he could.  That didn’t phase Nin, she got a broom and went after him.  He had to face the music.  He spent time cleaning up the mess.

When the boys became teen-agers, the issues became problems and heartaches for Nin.  Fast cars, fast girls, drinking and smoking, seemingly following in their father’s  footsteps.  By now Kenny was a very handsome young man.  He had no problem having a girl friend. Close calls driving drunk could have taken Kenny’s life, but God had a plan.

Nin saw to it that the boys had a strong work ethic, so when they were old enough they had to get a job.  Of course, it took money to live the lifestyle they wanted, and with J.B.’s alcoholism getting worse so that he couldn’t work, it was up to them to get it themselves.

Kenny had drive.  He wanted the finer things of life as he got older.  He saw what others had and he wanted it for himself.  He pushed ahead.  Military service side-lined his plans temporarily, but once he was back home he began his pursuit of things.

God brought him a wife, the perfect mate.  Though the ensuing years brought struggle and turmoil, God had a plan.  He lived a double life for quite a few years.  On the surface, he was a happily married man with two daughters, but he was sinning really well in private.

Trophy:  The apostle Paul said that he was the chief of sinners because he had persecuted Christians, though he said that he was ignorant, and that is why God could apprehend him.  Paul was one of God’s trophies.

As I thought about Paul today, I began to think of my brother Ken and wanted to share a piece of his story with you; I believe that Ken is one of God’s trophies.  Oh by the way, when he got older we had to stop calling him Kenny, he was now Ken.  (smile)

These days, Ken serves God as well as he served the devil, the world and his own flesh.  He is in love with Jesus and brings the good news of salvation to any who will hear.  He ministers love with his smiling eyes and kind words.  He is a trophy of the love of God.

I have no doubt that if God has a trophy room, Ken’s smiling face is there.

Love you my brother!

Joy

 

 

 

Prayer, Possession, Position and Priority

Good Morning, it has been an hour now since I woke up.  It is about 5:30.  When I wake up in the early morning hours, I wake up wide awake and I know that I must get up and get with God.  I don’t feel Him, I don’t see Him, but I know I am with Him.  And, I know that He has something that I am to pray about.

Normally, I sleep peacefully through the night and awaken after approximately eight hours.  I wake up happy, thinking about the Lord and ready for the day.

Recently, there are several things that have happened to those I care about.  A few years ago I would have been worried, even fearful for them.  Today, I know that my Father in Heaven holds them in His hand and I can trust that He knows what is needed to bring them to full dependence upon Him.  That is His goal.

My mind wanders around as I pray for my loved ones.  I see them in my mind’s eye.  I see characteristics, pitfalls they may have fallen into and I pray that God will set them free.  The Bible says that in this world there will be trouble; we could all say AMEN to that.  If it stopped there we would have every right as believers in Jesus to feel wretched.  However, that is not the end of the story.

Peter the apostle, tells us that God gave us great and precious promises so that we could escape the lust that is in the world.  In our American Christian mindset we most often think of lust in terms of sex.  It is more than that. Lust takes many forms.

In Eden Adam and Eve lusted to be like God as they listened to the lie of the snake.  They felt that there was something God had denied them.  The evil one accused God to them saying, “God knows that in the day that you eat of the fruit you will be like God.”

Why is this a lie?  Because Adam had been created “in the image and likeness of God”.  Adam looked just like God.  The same authority that God had over Heaven, Adam had over Eden.  He lacked nothing…except one thing, a companion like himself, so God made Eve from one of Adam’s ribs.

Eve also bore the image and likeness of God since she was created by God from Adam’s rib.  They had a perfect environment.  They lived in perfect relationship with God.  It was like Heaven on earth, that is until the adversary sowed doubt and introduced lust into the picture.  Paradise was lost.

The result of Adam’s choice is called sin.  It happens every time someone listens to the accuser and chooses lust instead of life.

What do you lust after?  Power, fame, fortune, a good reputation?  Some lust after food, some lust after knowledge.  Lust is nothing more than idolatry and it can take many forms.  It is a “sneaky” spirit that first must deceive the mind before it possesses the soul.

When I was a young married woman I lusted after my husband.  I wanted to be with him all the time.  Though I did not see it at the time I wanted to possess him.  I cried if he wanted to go outside and I made him miserable if he wanted to be alone.  I “needed” him.

Thank God He did not allow my husband to fulfill my lust!  I had an emotional deficit that I wanted him to fill.  I did not know at that time that I was created with a God-sized vacuum and only God could fill it.  It would be many miserable years before my eyes were opened to the truth and I trusted Jesus to be Lord of my life.

I have shared this in the hope that I might help you see that you can be a believer in Jesus and be a “soulish” Christian who is led by lust instead of being led by the Holy Spirit as the sons of God are to be.

Man is a spirit and when a person comes into relationship with God through Jesus we say that he is saved or born-again.  Since man is a spiritual being the Bible says that we become “a new creature in Christ Jesus.”  The essence of meaning is “something that never existed before.”  This  transformation is immediate.  The Bible says that a believer is “seated with Christ in Heavenly places”.  That is in the spiritual realm.  It is a legal position.  It carries with it Heaven’s authority.

The church is called the “Body of Christ” and each person likened to a member of the Body.  Thus each person has a part to play in the well-being of the Body.  When one part of your body is in distress your whole being feels distressed.  This is why God leads us to pray for one another.

The soul and body of a believer is that part of our being that relates to the natural world, the world around us.

The soul houses the mind (not your brain), the will and the emotions, including your affections, and when your are born-again it enters into a process called salvation.  You are saved from your past sins, being saved presently and will be saved in the future.   Depending on your former lifestyle, this can be messy and you need to be patient with yourself and others as God crafts you into the image He has of you.

It is essential that one who comes to Jesus must commit himself to the Lord with all that he knows of himself at that point in time.  It is absolutely essential that he get a Bible that he can understand so he will read it.  By the way, do not be pressured that you must devour the whole thing at once.  Just start a regular program of Bible reading.  There are many fine Bibles and Bible studies that will help you grow spiritually.

Prayer is the conversation of a believing heart with God. If you want a relationship with someone you spend time with them, you talk to them about yourself and they talk to you about themselves.  It is called, “Getting to know you”.  (smile)

Take some time every day to be with Him.  God wants you to know Him and though He knows you more than you know yourself, He wants you to bring everything to Him.  He loves you so much.

You have a blessed day today.  Joy

 

 

 

 

 

 

Roots

Roots, how important are they?

I woke up this morning at 3:33.  The number three stands for trinity, it is the number of God.  This led me to my subject today: Roots.  What are our roots, where do we come from?

We are body, soul and spirit.  God is Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  God created mankind, He made us man and woman and out of that union comes a child.  Three, in God’s economy a beautiful number.

As I lay there, I began to meditate on last night’s experience.  The church is having Vacation Bible School this week for the children.  They are brought to church where they are taught that God created them, that He loves them, that they are special and He has a good plan for their lives.  I noticed that there were children of many ethnicities there.  How wonderful, how delightful and how unique each child is.

Some children are outgoing, energetic and fun-loving, others are quiet and observant.  Some children love to raise their hand to answer every question and others never make a move, afraid they will be called on to answer a question.  There are children who are taller than others of the same age, or one may be more “fluffy” than another, but they all are learning how to live, how to be a person ever moving toward being an adult.

My friend, Jeri, has struggled with weight all of her life, as we were talking one day she told me that she decided to agree with something she had read; she decided to call herself “fluffy” not fat. Somehow that helped ease the condemnation she felt.

There are many reasons why people are unhappy with themselves or others.  One very good reason is that some of us are taught to hate when we are very little people.  Rejection is perhaps one of the biggest issues that most of us face.  Some of us don’t feel we measure up to someone’s standards of perfection and so we hate ourselves and cannot come to the place of acceptance and peace with who we are.

There are others who hate people who are different in some way than they are, perhaps it is the color of skin, religion or some other prejudice.  I recall a song from “The Mikado” about children being taught to hate.  “You have to be taught, you have to be carefully taught.”  There are organizations whose whole base is hate, they teach their children to hate, perpetuating the work of the adversary of God.

Acceptance of ourselves as we are and acceptance of each other is necessary, mandatory, if we are to be like our Father in Heaven.  He loves and we must love; love the person God created, in spite of “flaws” that may be obvious to our eyes, or the eyes of someone else.

I think it must be said that blind acceptance of what is sin in God’s eyes, taught as tolerance, is not what God teaches in His Word.  God hates sin because it separates us from Him.  He loves family and like any good father He wants to be with His kids. God’s Spirit is always reaching out to draw us closer to Him in order that we might be forgiven and be in relationship with our Father.  God convicts never condemns His children.

Are we not all flawed in one way or another?  After all, we live in a fallen world; there is no Utopia anywhere on earth, and there has only been one perfect person that ever lived on planet Earth, the God-man, Yeshua.

The theme for this year’s VBS is Norway: a fishing village.  Since I am Scandinavian by my roots, I thought it would be an especially unique time.  Well, it was, but not as I thought it would be.  I was looking for teaching about the roots of the Norwegian people, but it was about modern Norway.

I think that understanding where we came from is a major part of coming into relationship with each other.  Children need to be taught their roots, naturally and spiritually and if we have come to adulthood and don’t know where our ancestry came from then perhaps we need to search it out.

Today there are many interested in genealogy, the search for your roots.  Sources abound where you can find out about your ancestry.

I recall a series on the local PBS TV station called “Roots”, I believe by Alex Haley.  According to some this was not an accurate picture of slave trade to Europe and America, it was said that slave trade went on in Africa years before the Europeans showed up.

I am reminded of Englishman John Newton who wrote the song “Amazing Grace” and his part as a slave trader in destroying many African people before he came to faith in God.  People capturing and using people, selling people, is not new.  It proves that there is evil in the world and it accentuates the goodness and love of God.

There is a certain amount of pride that comes with identifying with an ethnic group.  My husband is 100% Norwegian by background and his family is proud of it.  But, it is finding ourselves in the family of God that changes our life and makes us contributing members of society.

We can find our family origin, our roots.  We can find our place in history and still not find ourselves and our part in the world in which we live.  God created man.  Our original roots are in Him.  He is the designer, the manufacturer and when the product needed to be recalled, redeemed, He came to earth as the God-man, Yeshua from the town of Nazareth in Israel to do the job.

Apart from God you are defective.  Come to God through Yeshua (Jesus), He is the manufacturers representative.  He is The Way.  You will find your roots in Him and you will grow up to be the man or woman of God that Father planned for from the beginning.  The way is open to whoever will come.  You will be changed.  You will find yourself in Him; real life will begin.  Will you come today?

We love you, Jesus and me.