Sunday, November 29, 2015

beware brain eating amoeba

The other day I heard about a brain eating ameoba called Naegleria Fowleri.  This ameoba travels in dirty water and will invade a host, or human, through an opening such as your nose, mouth or an open wound.  This amoeba will then travel through the body to begin eating away at the brain.  At first, you will never know it is there. It is silent and unnoticed.  There will begin to be symptoms that can be thought to be caused by other things.  There may headaches.  There may be twitching muscles.  But often, by the time doctors determine the amoeba is there, it is too late. The  amoeba has eaten so much of the brain tissue that death is imminent for the host person.  A seemingly healthy person will be destroyed from the inside by this tiny amoeba.
Why do I tell you this? Well, I have realized that seemingly healthy christians can be eaten from the inside but what seems like a small thing.  A small sin can sneak in.  A small thing can find an opening in the armor and work its way to our soul.  It will begin to eat away at our soul. There may not be any signs at first.  When symptoms begin to show, it can be put off as something else.  When in reality, if left unchecked, a small sin can slowly destroy a christian life from the inside.

What do I mean? Take bitterness for example.  A small amount of hurt can become bitterness. Bitterness can grow into hatred. Before you know it, relationships are destroyed and a person's soul is at stake.
Hebrews 12:15 looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled;

Several years ago, there was a man attending our church. I will call him RH.  Now RH was a good church going person who loved to sing about Jesus.  Unfortunately, RH had a terrible root of bitterness. He had had a disagreement with some of his family members years earlier and he would never let it go. He would not forgive them. He hated them for what they had done.  He would not move past it.  When RH became elderly and sickly, he had no family to help him.  He was taken care of by people sent by senior care.  Some of these people took advantage of this situation. He was not well cared for and became a victim of neglect. His care provider basically moved herself and her family into his home, left him in his hospital bed and trashed his house.  When he became very ill, he was taken to the hospital where he died. My father, who was his pastor at the time, tried hard to help him, but he was a stubborn old man.  When he died, his family would not attend his funeral.  He had no friends to come and no one but the pastor's family to attend his funeral.  His unforgiving heart, had become so full of bitterness and hate that he had destroyed about every relationship he ever had.  Mostly, he had allowed one hurt to destroy his life.  He died alone and miserable.
There are many sins that can sneak in and seem harmless, but if left unchecked, can become the seed of destruction for a christian life.

Romans 13:11 And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed. 12 The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light. 13 Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy. 14 But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts.

Romans 1:24 Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, 25 who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever.

Paul described, in his letter to the church in Rome, many of these sins that can bring destruction to a soul. He was concerned about the little things that were becoming big things.  He described how God gave such men over to the uncleanness and lust in their hearts. Lord, have mercy on us.  I hope I never get myself into the position that God gives me over to my sinfulness.

In Joel 2:2 “Now, therefore,” says the Lord, “Turn to Me with all your heart, With fasting, with weeping, and with mourning.”
God wants all of our heart to be cleansed and be His. He wants to be the master of our heart. He warned against allowing sin to creep back in to keep us clean and pure.

Matthew 5:8 Blessed are the pure in heart, For they shall see God.

1 Peter 1:22 Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart,

We need to be obedient to the word of God and heed the warnings of God.  We need to be made pure and clean.   I want to see God and I want to stand blameless before him.  He is calling his children to be pure and blameless. He is seeking us to allow Him to fully deliver us from our sinful nature.  We need to keep that sinful nature in check and keep it obedient to the Word of God. He wants to preserve us and keep us from harm and destruction.

Philippians 2:12 Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; 13 for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.

14 Do all things without complaining and disputing, 15 that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world,

God's plan for us is so much better than what we choose on our own.  When we choose to allow hurts, disobedience strife, lust, etc to gain a foothold, or eat away at us, we are choosing destruction.  God does not warn us away from such things to make our lives miserable or boring.  He is trying to protect us, keep us and provide joy, peace and safety.   Just like a good parent warns their children away from danger, he warns us.  God is a good God and he wants only the best for his children.  We need to heed the warnings he has given in his word.  Do not allow an amoeba of sin to take hold and eat away our soul.  Stay in touch with the Savior and he will give us the warnings we need so we can be a strong and healthy soul growing in safety from sin and destruction. God bless and please pray that God reach into our hearts and remove any root or hidden part that is holding out for our destruction. May we all be purified completely in His time.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

link to a powerful message

A powerful message from David Wilkerson titled God's Wonderful Love
it really makes you examine your ownself

Sunday, November 22, 2015

a broken angel

I have, well, had a little statue of an angel in the flower bed by my back door.  She was really cute. I really liked coming home and seeing that little angel statue sitting in among the flowers.  The other day I got home and she was laying down on the ground.  I reached down to pick her up and found her broken in half.  When she fell over, she broke. I realized as I felt sadness about my statue, that I had been feeling broken for sometime.  This little broken angel reflected how I have been feeling.

Life can get the best of us sometimes. Stressful times at work, struggles to meet all the demands of life and all the things that come with being part of a family can sometimes weigh on us.  Sometimes, we hear news that becomes a weight or even knocks us over. The past few weeks have felt like there has been a bombardment of terrible news and bad situations that keep coming.  I don’t know about you, but I sometimes carry those weights and burdens around.  I am the personality type that always wants to fix things.  I struggle when I cannot fix things. I wish I could fix certain situations, but alas, I am but one woman and I cannot.  However, I do know that God can fix everything I cannot.  I forget that fact sometimes.  I become burdened down and even feel broken at times.  I admit that I have felt broken.
As I went in the house thinking about my broken angel, I realized that God is the strength we need at all times. He said to cast our cares on him for He cares for us.(1 Peter 5:7 and Psalms 55:22)   He also said His yoke is easy and His burden is light. (Matthew 11:30) He is the strong tower we can run to and be safe. (Proverbs 18:10) He takes on all of our  cares and struggles.
We can come to the Lord and He will take everything we carry and everything that can break us and give us strength to go on.

I Chronicles 16:11 Seek the Lord and His strength; Seek His face continually.
I forget sometimes that His strength is all I really need. He is stronger than I could ever be. He reminded me that afternoon, that He was just waiting for me to ask for help.  He was waiting for me to call on Him and give everything that was weighting me down and  causing me to feel broken to Him.  He was wanting to help the whole time. I began to talk to the Lord and remind him of the things that I found troubling.  The struggles and the situations that I want to change, but can’t, of the people that need Him, more than they need me, that I need Him.  I needed His strength.
Psalms118:14 The Lord is my strength and song. And He has become my salvation.

I have felt the weights lifting and a feeling of peace and joy taking hold of my spirit. Those heavy burdens do not have to be mine alone to bear. He is a very present help. Psalms 121:1-2 says: I will lift up my eyes to the mountains; From where shall my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, Who made heaven and earth.

God is my help. God is my strength. He is always there and ready to provide us the strength to walk through fire and every situation that comes our way.  He does not leave us and He does not forsake us. He is always stronger and more powerful.  He is God. He is good. He does not leave us when we need Him. I am so thankful for the strength He has given me in the hard times. The situations that were weighing so heavily on me haven’t changed yet.  They are still there and I still pray about them. However, I feel stronger and I know that I have strength from God to move forward through those situations.  I do not have to be beaten or fall broken under the weight.  He has it and He will carry it for me.
Psalms 18:1  I love You, O Lord, my strength.

I can sing and praise God because He is my strength in the face of adversity, in the face of pain and struggle, His strength is always there.

I love this song. I could sing it all day.  Sometimes I do.

You my strength
Strength like no other
Strength like no other
Reaches to me

You are my hope
Hope like no other
Hope like other
Reaches to me

In the fullness of Your grace
In the power of Your name
You lift me up
You lift me up

Unfailing love
Higher than mountains
Deeper than oceans 
Reaches to me

Sunday, November 15, 2015

my God is real

The other day on facebook, I saw a post that atheism is temporary because someday every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that He is Lord.

For it is written:
“As I live, says the Lord,
Every knee shall bow to Me,
And every tongue shall confess to God.”
Romans 14:11

I am troubled by the thoughts that there are those who do not recognize the truth of God.  There are those who deny His existence, His power and His Word.  I am troubled by the realization that these individuals will one day face God. They will recognize the error of their decisions to deny God. They will be condemned to an eternity without God in hell.  That is disturbing, but that is the word of God. It should be disturbing to us. God is real and eternity only has two options: heaven in the presence of God, or hell where God is not present.
I, personally, choose to have a relationship with the one true Savior, Jesus Christ. That is the only way we will face the best choice for eternity.

But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven.
Matthew 10:33

God is real. There are so many that do not believe this fact. They will even consider the statement of God's existence to be a fact as laughable. I know there are those who consider religion to be a fairytale and the talk of God or gods to be stupid and outdated.  There are those who believe the Word of God to be erred and false.  They consider it to be a story made up by a bunch of men.

So, considering all these men, are they correct?  NO!  I declare them to be in wrong.  They are in grave danger.  I am greatly burdened by the knowledge that these people are in terrible danger for eternity. Do we as christians understand the gravity of the situation? No, many of us don't.  We talk about it and plan outreach, but do we understand that the point of the Great Commission was to pull souls from the pits of hell?  Do we understand that our purpose is to bring glory to God  by living and preaching the gospel so others would be saved?
I heard a 'preacher' one time say that he was fine as long as his family was saved. He wasn't concerned about all those sinners out there.  Seriously????  Has he even read the Bible????
We are to be bearing fruit. Fruit is bringing forth new life.  New life is salvation, new souls adding to the Kingdom.

Colossians 1:9 For this reason we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; 10 that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; 11 strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, for all patience and longsuffering with joy; 12 giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light.

The Apostle Paul understood this aspect of living for Christ. He understood the truth of Jesus Christ and he preached the gospel.  He understood that God intended for all to hear the gospel and he wanted to reconcile all things to himself.

Colossians 1:19 For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell, 20 and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross.
21 And you, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled 22 in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy, and blameless, and above reproach in His sight— 23 if indeed you continue in the faith, grounded and steadfast, and are not moved away from the hope of the gospel which you heard, which was preached to every creature under heaven, of which I, Paul, became a minister.

He is burdened for the lost.  God is not willing that any should perish.  2 Peter 3:9 says: The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.

He has commanded His people, His body to reach out, to preach the gospel.  We are to be His hands, feet, arms, mouth, body and heart.  His heart yearns for the lost souls.  If we are to understand the heart of God, we are going to yearn and desire to see souls saved.  He is bothered and concerned for those who don't know him, those that haven't heard of him and even those that deny him.  He knows they are unrighteous.  He knows they are full of sin.  He knows their faults.  He knows, yet he still loves them so much that He died on the cross for every single soul that has ever or will ever walk on this earth.  Every single soul was intended to be His.  Sin has destroyed faith, belief, and trust in the one true God.
We the church, should be the light shining to show the world that God is real, He's alive, He is on the throne and searching for every soul to come to Him.

The church has fallen asleep and complacent.  The church has failed over the past years to be that light set on hill and never hidden.  We are to be a beacon of hope and faith.  We need to come back to our first love and be about our Father's business.  We need to burn with passion for the work of God.
We need to be like the prophet Jeremiah who described the word of God in his heart like fire shut up in his bones.  He could not hold it in. He had to preach it.  He had to speak it.
We need to have the love of God for souls so powerful, that it is like that fire.  We would love them so much, we are willing to speak the gospel, pray for them, yearn for them,  seek for them,  labor for them.   We should have the power of God operating so strongly in our lives, that miracles and wonders would be evidence to those wondering if God is real.  The power of God should be so real in us, that there is no one who could deny God when they even get close to us.   It was said that people were healed just be getting in the shadow of Peter walking by.  People would lay out their sick loved ones just hoping for his shadow to pass over them.  People flocked to hear Jesus and see the mighty miracles.
God's power is the same yesterday, today and forever.  Hebrews 13:3
He said he will draw all peoples to himself. John 12:32  He wants to draw people, entice them,  cause them to want Him.  He desires to have all people believe, before it is too late.
Are we prepared as the body of Christ to perform the works to which  He has called us?  We are not to be complacent, or lukewarm.  He will spew out the lukewarm.  The time is getting short and it is time for the body of Christ it awaken,  arise and move in the power of God Almighty.  It is time to gather in the sheaves that are white and ready for harvest.  It is time to feel the burdens of the heart of God.
For the time is coming when every knee shall bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

not our way, but His

Have you ever noticed that God asked great, crazy things of the prophets in the Bible?  

I was reading in Isaiah chapter 20 this morning. Just look at what God asked of him in this one instance:

20 In the year that Tartan[a] came to Ashdod, when Sargon the king of Assyria sent him, and he fought against Ashdod and took it, at the same time the Lord spoke by Isaiah the son of Amoz, saying, “Go, and remove the sackcloth from your body, and take your sandals off your feet.” And he did so, walking naked and barefoot.
Then the Lord said, “Just as My servant Isaiah has walked naked and barefoot three years for a sign and a wonder against Egypt and Ethiopia, so shall the king of Assyria lead away the Egyptians as prisoners and the Ethiopians as captives, young and old, naked and barefoot, with their buttocks uncovered, to the shame of Egypt. Then they shall be afraid and ashamed of Ethiopia their expectation and Egypt their glory. And the inhabitant of this territory will say in that day, ‘Surely such is our expectation, wherever we flee for help to be delivered from the king of Assyria; and how shall we escape?’”

Do you realize that God asked this man to go around naked and barefoot for three years!!!!!
He used that as a way to prophecy to Egypt and Ethiopia.
I don't know about you, but I would be hard pressed to follow that command.  Isaiah must have been ridiculed, mocked, and humiliated. What did people think of him or say to him?  I really wonder.

There are so many times we think we know what God would want us to do.  Do we really?  Do we really understand and hear the voice of God and His commands?  Would we obey if we think it is outlandish or if it something we deem as crazy?

This makes me think of the basic commands we already know he has given.  Am I willing to completely give myself over to those basic commands?  You know the ones that say things like:
Love your enemies.
Do good to those who hurt you.
If they ask for your coat, give them your cloak too.
Forgive 70 times 7.
Love one another, forgive one another.
Go forth and preach the gospel

Romans 12:1-2 says I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

He asks us to present ourselves as a living sacrifice.  He states this is only the basic or reasonable thing he asking. It is not over the top, crazy or even above average.
It is average.  I can say I have yet to completely understand my reasonable service. I have yet to be just the average follower in God's eyes.  His average follower that he asks for is given over wholly to His service.  Not just what I think He wants, but completely obeys the commands of God in spite of personal comfort, or opinion.
Isaiah did not question the command of God to strip down and run around naked for three years just so God could make a point.  He obeyed.  That is what God is asking for: obedience.  Obeying without question, obedience to the reasonable requests he makes of us.

1 Samuel 15:22 says So Samuel said: “Has the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, As in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, And to heed than the fat of rams.

God wants obedient children, not just sacrifice to make up for our disobedience.
He is eager to use us for the kingdom of God, but we must be willing vessels. We must be obedient, even when it may not make sense to us.
Does God always make sense to us? The answer is 'no.'  We are merely humans, the creation, while he is the Heavenly Father, the creator.
We may not always see the big picture, but He does. We may not understand why we are asked to do something in particular. It may not even look like it was effective or accomplished anything, but God knows what the purpose is.  His plan will go forward and He will use us if we are willing.

Isaiah 55:8 “For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
Nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord.

Let's really learn to hear the voice of God and obey. He knows what He is doing.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

I know who holds tomorrow

I was thinking about a song my mother used to sing, I Know Who Holds Tomorrow.  I am so glad I know who holds tomorrow.
YouTube link: I know Who Holds Tomorrow
Jeremiah 29:11 says For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.  God has plans for us and He wants to give us hope.  He is our hope and we can trust that He will only bring us what is good and right for us.  We may go through difficulties and trials because we are living in this world. We are human beings and we are subject to illnesses, troubles and strife.

Psalms 31:24 Be of good courage, And He shall strengthen your heart, All you who hope in the Lord.

Psalms 42:5 Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him For the help of His countenance.

We can find hope and peace in our Savior.  I will never forget listening to my mother singing this song. She had such a beautiful voice. When she sang, she was praising God in song and prayer. She meant the words of this song.  She knew that Jesus held her tomorrow and he was holding her hand. My mother prayed every day, sometimes, I think all day long.  She had a relationship with her Savior that went beyond just attending weekly services, and saying a blessing over her food. She had a relationship that extended into her every day activities, her words, her actions and her thoughts. She talked of Jesus as a  dear friend and One whom she loved. She knew Him intimately. She knew Him for she talked with him and spent time with Him. When she faced difficulties with her health, she knew she could turn to him for the help and healing she needed. When she was worried about her children, or family members, she ran to the Lord in prayer. When financial struggles came, she prayed. When good times came and blessings poured down, she praised God for the blessings. When she failed, she poured out her heart to her Savior.
I am forever influenced by the example of her faith. I am forever imprinted with the understanding that the Bible on her nightstand lay open because she was reading it and studying the Word.  I am here because of her prayers.  I am given a legacy of relationship that I need to develop and live as well.  Just because mom knew Jesus doesn't save me.  But because she knew Jesus, I saw what He could do.  I saw the healings, answered prayers and the evidence of a true Savior.
I know who holds tomorrow and who holds my hand.  I have experienced my Savior, Jesus, as he forgave my sins when I repented. I experienced his Holy Spirit coming inside my soul and filling me up with His love.  I know when He speaks to me. I don't always  take the time to listen, and yet He still loves me and speaks.  He is leading me and guiding me.  I can look back and see the times that He has answered my prayers and poured the blessings down. I am blessed.  I can sing from my soul to the One who gave me life. I can sing to my Lord and praise Him for his blessings.  I can hope for a good future because He holds it in His hand.