Tuesday, November 30, 2010
but we are not crushed.
We are perplexed,
but not driven to despair.
9 We are hunted down,
but never abandoned by God.
We get knocked down,
but we are not destroyed.
10 Through suffering, our bodies continue to share in the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be seen in our bodies.
Monday, November 29, 2010
17 The Lord is Spirit & wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, He gives freedom.
18 All of us have had the veil removed so we can be mirrors that brightly reflect the glory of the Lord. As the Spirit of the Lord works within us, we become more & more like Him & reflect His glory even more.
Sunday, November 28, 2010
Psalm 103:1 Let all that I am praise the LORD;
with my whole heart, I will praise his holy name.
2 Let all that I am praise the LORD;
may I never forget the good things he does for me.
3 He forgives all my sins
and heals all my diseases.
4 He redeems me from death
and crowns me with love and tender mercies.
5 He fills my life with good things.
My youth is renewed like the eagle's!
6 The LORD gives righteousness
and justice to all who are treated unfairly.
7 He revealed his character to Moses
and his deeds to the people of Israel.
8 The LORD is compassionate and merciful,
slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love.
9 He will not constantly accuse us,
nor remain angry forever.
10 He does not punish us for all our sins;
he does not deal harshly with us, as we deserve.
11 For his unfailing love toward those who fear him
is as great as the height of the heavens above the earth.
12 He has removed our sins as far from us
as the east is from the west.
13 The LORD is like a father to his children,
tender and compassionate to those who fear him.
14 For he knows how weak we are;
he remembers we are only dust.
15 Our days on earth are like grass;
like wildflowers, we bloom and die.
16 The wind blows, and we are gone —
as though we had never been here.
17 But the love of the LORD remains forever
with those who fear him.His salvation extends to the children's children
18 of those who are faithful to his covenant, of those who obey his commandments!
19 The LORD has made the heavens his throne;
from there he rules over everything.
20 Praise the LORD, you angels,
you mighty ones who carry out his plans,
listening for each of his commands.
21 Yes, praise the LORD, you armies of angels
who serve him and do his will!
22 Praise the LORD, everything he has created,
everything in all his kingdom.
Let all that I am praise the LORD.
Saturday, November 27, 2010
Genesis 22:1 Some time later, God tested Abraham's faith. "Abraham!" God called.
"Yes," he replied. "Here I am."
2 "Take your son, your only son—yes, Isaac, whom you love so much—and go to the land of Moriah. Go and sacrifice him as a burnt offering on one of the mountains, which I will show you."
3 The next morning Abraham got up early. He saddled his donkey and took two of his servants with him, along with his son, Isaac. Then he chopped wood for a fire for a burnt offering and set out for the place God had told him about. 4 On the third day of their journey, Abraham looked up and saw the place in the distance. 5 "Stay here with the donkey," Abraham told the servants. "The boy and I will travel a little farther. We will worship there, and then we will come right back."
6 So Abraham placed the wood for the burnt offering on Isaac's shoulders, while he himself carried the fire and the knife. As the two of them walked on together, 7 Isaac turned to Abraham and said, "Father?"
"Yes, my son?" Abraham replied.
"We have the fire and the wood," the boy said, "but where is the sheep for the burnt offering?"
8 "God will provide a sheep for the burnt offering, my son," Abraham answered. And they both walked on together.
9 When they arrived at the place where God had told him to go, Abraham built an altar and arranged the wood on it. Then he tied his son, Isaac, and laid him on the altar on top of the wood. 10 And Abraham picked up the knife to kill his son as a sacrifice. 11 At that moment the angel of the LORD called to him from heaven, "Abraham! Abraham!"
"Yes," Abraham replied. "Here I am!"
12 "Don't lay a hand on the boy!" the angel said. "Do not hurt him in any way, for now I know that you truly fear God. You have not withheld from me even your son, your only son."
13 Then Abraham looked up and saw a ram caught by its horns in a thicket. So he took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering in place of his son.14 Abraham named the place Yahweh-Yireh (which means "the LORD will provide"). To this day, people still use that name as a proverb: "On the mountain of the LORD it will be provided."
As I read this section this morning, I thought about what Jesus said...
If you cling to your life, you'll lose it. But if you let go of your life for me, you'll find it. (Matthew 6:25)
Iow, if you let go, God can implement the life He dreamed up for you a gajillion years ago when He thought about creating you.
2 Corinthians 1:3 All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort. 4 He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us. 5 For the more we suffer for Christ, the more God will shower us with his comfort through Christ.
6 Even when we are weighed down with troubles, it is for your comfort and salvation! For when we ourselves are comforted, we will certainly comfort you. Then you can patiently endure the same things we suffer. 7 We are confident that as you share in our sufferings, you will also share in the comfort God gives us.
8 We think you ought to know, dear brothers and sisters, about the trouble we went through in the province of Asia. We were crushed and overwhelmed beyond our ability to endure, and we thought we would never live through it. 9 In fact, we expected to die. But as a result, we stopped relying on ourselves and learned to rely only on God, who raises the dead.
10 And he did rescue us from mortal danger, and he will rescue us again. We have placed our confidence in him, and he will continue to rescue us. 11 And you are helping us by praying for us. Then many people will give thanks because God has graciously answered so many prayers for our safety.
Friday, November 26, 2010
2 Sarah became pregnant, and she gave birth to a son for Abraham in his old age. This happened at just the time God had said it would. 3 And Abraham named their son Isaac. 4 Eight days after Isaac was born, Abraham circumcised him as God had commanded. 5 Abraham was 100 years old when Isaac was born.
6 And Sarah declared, "God has brought me laughter. All who hear about this will laugh with me. 7 Who would have said to Abraham that Sarah would nurse a baby? Yet I have given Abraham a son in his old age!"
Abraham was 100 yrs old when Isaac was born. Sarah was almost as old herself.
My maternal grandmother lived for 108 yrs. Trust me, it's inconceivable that she would survive having a baby at almost 100 yrs old.
But God promised Abraham & Sarah a baby, and a baby is exactly what they got.
Of course, they had to have sex - at their ages - for that baby to be conceived. (uhm, don't got there!) Iow, they had to be proactive in their faith that God would come through in His promise.
How many of us are waiting for a promise from God to be fulfilled?
And how many of us need to keep walking toward that promise? (no, this isn't a situation that undergirds "God helps those who help themselves")
How many of us just need to keep moving in the direction we're going and trust that the thing(s) God has promised will be out there in the future.
I know I need to keep moving in the direction I'm going, even though the devil keeps whispering to me that I shouldn't & keeps pointing out all the "valid" reasons why I shouldn't.
I read Genesis 21, Psalm 101, & 1 Corinthians 16 this morning. That short sentence is what came up off the page. "Then the Lord did exactly what He had promised."
And, ya know, He has in the past.
I guess my only option is to keep moving in the direction I'm going. All other alternatives are unacceptable.
Thursday, November 25, 2010
Dictionary.com defines useless as "not serving the purpose or any purpose; futile, of no practical good."
It took me 2+ years to be comfortable being a servant.
By 2001, I had been a music minister for 27 years in the United Methodist Church - large & in charge ;-)
When I came on staff at Christ Chapel, I came as the assistant to the Music Minister, who literally happened to be half my age. I wasn't in charge of anything, not even myself. I was there to serve - to help out where I could, & to do the bidding of all.
That was something of a change for me. ;-) LOL
(Btw, anyone who says "all I want is to be a servant of the Lord" has never been one. ;-)
It's hard to be a cog in the wheel when you've been the hub for 27 years - or at least thought you were the hub.
The interesting thing is that I got used to being a servant - kinda liked it.
I don't think people realize that of those almost 10 years I was on paid staff at Christ Chapel, I was leading a ministry for only 3 1/2 of those years - for 6 1/2 years I was serving others.
I know I underlined this verse in my Bible during those first 2 years at Christ Chapel - those were 2 years I spent in the woodshed - God was doing "behavior modifications" on me (read: beating out of me the pride, arrogance, & sense of entitlement I had).
I felt like I didn't matter during those years - and a few times since. ;-)
But during those 2 years, God taught me (the hard way) that everything done for Him has some impact, some useful result, even though we may not see it.
You may be moving about your days, feeling like no one notices & no one cares, & nothing you're doing means anything.
Nope, not true. If we're faithful to Him, & be & do what He bids us to be & do, it's of use - somehow it all fits into the BIG picture of His overarching plan for humankind. We just may not understand how until we get to heaven.
How do I know that? I've lived it - and am living it.
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
Let the nations tremble!
He sits on his throne between the cherubim.
Let the whole earth quake!
2 The LORD sits in majesty in Jerusalem,
exalted above all the nations.
3 Let them praise your great and awesome name.
Your name is holy!
4 Mighty King, lover of justice,
you have established fairness.
You have acted with justice
and righteousness throughout Israel.
5 Exalt the LORD our God!
Bow low before his feet, for he is holy!
6 Moses and Aaron were among his priests;
Samuel also called on his name.
They cried to the LORD for help,
and he answered them.
7 He spoke to Israel from the pillar of cloud,
and they followed the laws and decrees he gave them.
8 O LORD our God, you answered them.
You were a forgiving God to them,
but you punished them when they went wrong.
9 Exalt the LORD our God,
and worship at his holy mountain in Jerusalem,
for the LORD our God is holy!
Ya know, I don't have any problem believing God can & will do anything.
I'm not completely sure I have a flawless ability to figure out what He's telling me.
If I know for sure something I'm supposed to be or do is of God, I don't have any problem believing that He'll come through & do unbelievable & unexplainable things.
I'm not sure sometimes if I've figured out what it is He's trying to lead me to be & do.
Anybody else like that?
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
1 Corinthians 13:1 If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels, but didn't love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.
2 If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I understood all of God's secret plans and possessed all knowledge,
and if I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn't love others, I would be nothing.
3 If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it;
but if I didn't love others, I would have gained nothing.
4 Love is patient and kind.
Love is not jealous
5 or rude.
It does not demand its own way.
It is not irritable,
and it keeps no record of being wronged.
6 It does not rejoice about injustice
but rejoices whenever the truth wins out.
7 Love never gives up,
never loses faith,
is always hopeful,
and endures through every circumstance.
8 Prophecy and speaking in unknown languages and special knowledge will become useless.
But love will last forever!
9 Now our knowledge is partial and incomplete, and even the gift of prophecy reveals only part of the whole picture! 10 But when the time of perfection comes, these partial things will become useless.
11 When I was a child, I spoke and thought and reasoned as a child. But when I grew up, I put away childish things.
12 Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity.
All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely.
13 Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love.
Monday, November 22, 2010
1 Corinthians 12:1 Now, dear brothers and sisters, regarding your question about the special abilities the Spirit gives us. I don't want you to misunderstand this. 2 You know that when you were still pagans, you were led astray and swept along in worshiping speechless idols. 3 So I want you to know that no one speaking by the Spirit of God will curse Jesus, and no one can say Jesus is Lord, except by the Holy Spirit.
4 There are different kinds of spiritual gifts, but the same Spirit is the source of them all. 5 There are different kinds of service, but we serve the same Lord. 6 God works in different ways, but it is the same God who does the work in all of us.
7 A spiritual gift is given to each of us so we can help each other. 8 To one person the Spirit gives the ability to give wise advice; to another the same Spirit gives a message of special knowledge. 9 The same Spirit gives great faith to another, and to someone else the one Spirit gives the gift of healing. 10 He gives one person the power to perform miracles, and another the ability to prophesy. He gives someone else the ability to discern whether a message is from the Spirit of God or from another spirit. Still another person is given the ability to speak in unknown languages, while another is given the ability to interpret what is being said. 11 It is the one and only Spirit who distributes all these gifts. He alone decides which gift each person should have.
12 The human body has many parts, but the many parts make up one whole body. So it is with the body of Christ. 13 Some of us are Jews, some are Gentiles, some are slaves, and some are free. But we have all been baptized into one body by one Spirit, and we all share the same Spirit.
14 Yes, the body has many different parts, not just one part. 15 If the foot says, "I am not a part of the body because I am not a hand," that does not make it any less a part of the body. 16 And if the ear says, "I am not part of the body because I am not an eye," would that make it any less a part of the body? 17 If the whole body were an eye, how would you hear? Or if your whole body were an ear, how would you smell anything?
18 But our bodies have many parts, and God has put each part just where he wants it. 19 How strange a body would be if it had only one part! 20 Yes, there are many parts, but only one body. 21 The eye can never say to the hand, "I don't need you." The head can't say to the feet, "I don't need you."
22 In fact, some parts of the body that seem weakest and least important are actually the most necessary. 23 And the parts we regard as less honorable are those we clothe with the greatest care. So we carefully protect those parts that should not be seen, 24 while the more honorable parts do not require this special care. So God has put the body together such that extra honor and care are given to those parts that have less dignity. 25 This makes for harmony among the members, so that all the members care for each other. 26 If one part suffers, all the parts suffer with it, and if one part is honored, all the parts are glad.
27 All of you together are Christ's body, and each of you is a part of it. 28 Here are some of the parts God has appointed for the church:
first are apostles,
second are prophets,
third are teachers,
then those who do miracles,
those who have the gift of healing,
those who can help others,
those who have the gift of leadership,
those who speak in unknown languages.
29 Are we all apostles? Are we all prophets? Are we all teachers? Do we all have the power to do miracles? 30 Do we all have the gift of healing? Do we all have the ability to speak in unknown languages? Do we all have the ability to interpret unknown languages? Of course not! 31 So you should earnestly desire the most helpful gifts.
But now let me show you a way of life that is best of all.
(1 Corinthians 13 is next - the love chapter!)
Sunday, November 21, 2010
Psalm 96:1 Sing a new song to the LORD!
Let the whole earth sing to the LORD!
2 Sing to the LORD; praise his name.
Each day proclaim the good news that he saves.
3 Publish his glorious deeds among the nations.
Tell everyone about the amazing things he does.
4 Great is the LORD! He is most worthy of praise!
He is to be feared above all gods.
5 The gods of other nations are mere idols,
but the LORD made the heavens!
6 Honor and majesty surround him;
strength and beauty fill his sanctuary.
7 O nations of the world, recognize the LORD;
recognize that the LORD is glorious and strong.
8 Give to the LORD the glory he deserves!
Bring your offering and come into his courts.
9 Worship the LORD in all his holy splendor.
Let all the earth tremble before him.
10 Tell all the nations, "The LORD reigns!"
The world stands firm and cannot be shaken.
He will judge all peoples fairly.
11 Let the heavens be glad, and the earth rejoice!
Let the sea and everything in it shout his praise!
12 Let the fields and their crops burst out with joy!
Let the trees of the forest rustle with praise
13 before the LORD, for he is coming!
He is coming to judge the earth.He will judge the world with justice,
and the nations with his truth.
Saturday, November 20, 2010
The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience.
And God is faithful.
He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand.
When you are tempted, He will show you a way out so that you can endure.
Let that sink in for a minute...
We have no excuses for sinning like we do.
It's not something we can't handle.
And God always gives us a way to not do it.
Friday, November 19, 2010
I'm afraid too few of us do this.
Remember Paul wrote this in a VERY socially stratified world. Jews did NOT mingle with Gentiles. NOBODY mingled with slaves. The wealthy had nothing to do with the poor. The educated didn't mingle with the ignorant. The aristocrats had little to do with anybody.
Paul seems to have moved among people easily. I think a great portion of why is because he chose to.
We live in a world that's pretty stratified. We tend to hang with people like ourselves. We don't move outside of our group.
But Paul tells us that we need to cross cultural, racial, ethnic, political, educations, social, generational, & economic lines & build connections with ALL people around us.
Because most of them are going slam to hell...
...and we may be the very person who points them in the direction that finally leads them to Jesus.
Where would you & I be if the person(s) who influenced us to connect to Jesus had decided it was too much out of the box for them?
Right, we'd be on the slippery slope to hell.
WE are that person for many of the people around us.
...share Jesus in the greatest form of evangelism - friendships.
Thursday, November 18, 2010
Indeed, the LORD is robed in majesty and armed with strength.
The world stands firm
and cannot be shaken.
2 Your throne, O LORD, has stood from time immemorial.
You yourself are from the everlasting past.
3 The floods have risen up, O LORD.
The floods have roared like thunder;
the floods have lifted their pounding waves.
4 But mightier than the violent raging of the seas,
mightier than the breakers on the shore—
the LORD above is mightier than these!
5 Your royal laws cannot be changed.
Your reign, O LORD, is holy forever and ever.
Sometimes, when I think about who He is, I am appalled at how sinful I am.
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
I dated this verse September 15, 2005, & wrote these words - "for me?"
Little did I know...
In the years that have ensued, God has given me influence with people at a level that I couldn't have imagined then. Never in a million years would I have guessed what the years ahead would be like.
Even though we're transitioning into a new location in a new work, that influence continues. Even though I know that a good deal of that influence may wane or disappear as we become whatever it is we're to become in Blairsville, it's still going on with some of the people we know, & I think will continue with some of them.
Just last night I had someone call & simply wanted to talk. The day before, I got into something in a texting conversation with someone.
So, what am I trying to say here?
We never know how the road will twist & turn in our lives. The influence He's let me have, especially with 20somethings, is completely unexpected. I'm finding out over & over again that if we just say "whatever"to God, He gets creative with our lives - and God is VERY creative.
Iow, He's able to realse the dreams He dreamed for us when He created each of us.
I turned 60 this year. Since then, I seemed to have a heighten sense of my own mortality. I know I don't have as many years left as I've had- at least here on earth ;-)
There seems to be gajillions of people all around me that just need someone to say to them, "You can do this" or "I'm proud of you" or "I did that once & got into a peck of trouble - better think about that"
And God is the One who's giving me this influence - keeping me vital & green - not young - just alive & connected.
To all of you around my age who read these blogs, I say this - If He'll do it for me, He'll do it for you.
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
15 Don't you realize that your bodies are actually parts of Christ? Should a man take his body, which is part of Christ, and join it to a prostitute? Never! 16 And don't you realize that if a man joins himself to a prostitute, he becomes one body with her? For the Scriptures say, "The two are united into one." 17 But the person who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with him.
18 Run from sexual sin! No other sin so clearly affects the body as this one does. For sexual immorality is a sin against your own body. 19 Don't you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, 20 for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body.
I know what you're thinking - but I haven't had sex with a prostitute!
One of the most disturbing developments I've run into lately is how many Christ followers I know are having sex with their girl friends or boy friends.
Now we can justify it all kinds of ways - "we're in love" - we're gonna get married anyway" - "we couldn't help it" - "why not?"
I think this section in 1 Corinthians pretty much eliminates sex outside of marriage for anyone - including Christ followers - especially Christ followers.
How many people have I walked with through the aftermath of a breakup with someone they thought they were gonna be with forever?
And how many of those Christ followers had the added burden of having to not only deal with the emotions of breaking up, but also breaking of the connection, the bond, & the "oneness" that comes through have sexual intercourse with someone?
too many to count.
The world says go ahead.
Your bodies say go ahead.
(With a sex drive the size of the space shuttle engine in a Volkswager body, why wouldn't it?!)
But God says "don't!"
Why? Is He just some celestial kill joy?
He created sex for a man & a woman in the safety of the marriage commitment because something is created when they make love - an emotional, physical, & psychological bond that is designed by Him to be incredibly strong.
What happens if we create this bond with people & then break it.
Our hearts harden, become insensitive, and our psyche is damaged.
How do I know?
I've been watching people for 60 years. Some things ya just pick up on along the way.
So if you're thinking about starting to have sexual relations with your sweetheart, DON'T!!! - or if you already are - STOP!!!
Monday, November 15, 2010
so that we may grow in wisdom.
I turned 60 this year. I know I probably don't have as much time life here on earth as I've had. ;-)
But whatever time I do have left, I want to be doing something for Him.
I don't wanna be like so many people I see around my age - retire & filly-fart away the rest of my life in self-indulgence until I die.
Mark Schultz wrote a song that sums up my life right now...
It's called "Time that is left"
follow the link, listen, follow the words
What will you do with the time that’s left
Will you live it all with no regret?
Will they say that you loved till your final breath?
What will you do with the time that’s left?
Oh, Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
What will you do with the time that’s past?
Oh and all the pain that seems to last?
Can you give it to Jesus and not look back?
What will you do with the time that’s past?
Oh, Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
What will He say when your time has come?
When He takes you into His arms of love?
With tears in His eyes will He say well done?
What will He say when your time has come?
Oh, Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
(Lord be present in all my ways,
help me follow You all my days oh Father God)
What will you do with the time that’s left?
Will you live it all with no regret
Will they say that you loved till your final breath?
What will you do with the time?
Sunday, November 14, 2010
Saturday, November 13, 2010
Every once in a while, someone will say, or insinuate, that they think I'm wise. I usually laugh. What I want to do is laugh my head off.
When I read these verses, probably the first time I read it in my Life Application Bible, I wrote this:
"Don't forget you're not wise - you just remember all the stupid things you've done."
And trust me, I've done a lot of stupid things in my life. And still do. And the few things I haven't done, I've seen others do.
What if you stick your hand in the fire so many times you finally end up burning your hand off. Is it wisdom at that point to tell people not to put their hand in the fire? No, you're stating the obvious.
I feel like the guy walking around with one hand burned off, telling people to not stick their hands in the fire.
When I came on staff at Christ Chapel, I told them that if nothing else, I could serve as an example of how to NOT live your life in ministry.
I think that still holds true.
The only true Wise One is God. If we want truly wise thing to be or do, we need to look to Him.
Friday, November 12, 2010
"No eye has seen, no ear has heard,
and no mind has imagined
what God has prepared
for those who love him."
10 But it was to us that God revealed these things by his Spirit. For his Spirit searches out everything and shows us God's deep secrets. 11 No one can know a person's thoughts except that person's own spirit, and no one can know God's thoughts except God's own Spirit. 12 And we have received God's Spirit (not the world's spirit), so we can know the wonderful things God has freely given us.
13 When we tell you these things, we do not use words that come from human wisdom. Instead, we speak words given to us by the Spirit, using the Spirit's words to explain spiritual truths. 14 But people who aren't spiritual can't receive these truths from God's Spirit. It all sounds foolish to them and they can't understand it, for only those who are spiritual can understand what the Spirit means. 15 Those who are spiritual can evaluate all things, but they themselves cannot be evaluated by others. 16 For,
"Who can know the LORD's thoughts?
Who knows enough to teach him?"
But we understand these things, for we have the mind of Christ.
Thursday, November 11, 2010
answer me, for I need your help.
2 Protect me, for I am devoted to you.
Save me, for I serve you and trust you.
You are my God.
4 Give me happiness, O Lord,
for I give myself to you.
5 O Lord, you are so good, so ready to forgive,
so full of unfailing love for all who ask for your help.
10b You alone are God.
11 Teach me your ways, O LORD,
that I may live according to your truth!
Grant me purity of heart,
so that I may honor you.
12 With all my heart I will praise you, O Lord my God.
I will give glory to your name forever,
13 for your love for me is very great.
You have rescued me from the depths of death.
15 But you, O Lord,
are a God of compassion and mercy,
slow to get angry
and filled with unfailing love and faithfulness.
17 Send me a sign of your favor.
1 Corinthians 1:7 Now you have every spiritual gift you need as you eagerly wait for the return of our Lord Jesus Christ. 8 He will keep you strong to the end so that you will be free from all blame on the day when our Lord Jesus Christ returns. 9 God will do this, for he is faithful to do what he says, and he has invited you into partnership with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
24 But to those called by God to salvation, both Jews and Gentiles, Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 This foolish plan of God is wiser than the wisest of human plans, and God's weakness is stronger than the greatest of human strength.
26 Remember, dear brothers and sisters, that few of you were wise in the world's eyes or powerful or wealthy when God called you. 27 Instead, God chose things the world considers foolish in order to shame those who think they are wise. And he chose things that are powerless to shame those who are powerful. 28 God chose things despised by the world,* things counted as nothing at all, and used them to bring to nothing what the world considers important. 29 As the scriptures say, "The person who wishes to boast should boast only what the Lord has done."
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
I think the most important thing to catch here is that Jesus is the One Who comes knocking, not us.
Iow, He's proactive in seeking us, not us seeking Him.
I've always found it interesting when people say, "I found the Lord."
I think it may be more accurate to say, "I finally opened the door to my heart & life after years of Jesus standing there, banging on it."
We only feel things about God & respond to them because He's been poking us, trying to get our attention.
Tuesday, November 9, 2010
Psalm 84:1 How lovely is your dwelling place,
O LORD of Heaven's Armies.
2 I long, yes, I faint with longing
to enter the courts of the LORD.
With my whole being, body and soul,
I will shout joyfully to the living God.
3 Even the sparrow finds a home,
and the swallow builds her nest and raises her young at a place near your altar,
O LORD of Heaven's Armies, my King and my God!
4 What joy for those who can live in your house,
always singing your praises.
10 A single day in your courts
is better than a thousand anywhere else!
I would rather be a gatekeeper in the house of my God
than live the good life in the homes of the wicked.
11 For the LORD God is our sun and our shield.
He gives us grace and glory.
The LORD will withhold no good thing
from those who do what is right.
12 O LORD of Heaven's Armies,
what joy for those who trust in you.
I remember singing this song in the '90's at Andrew Chapel, as we all transitioned from traditional worship who what we are & do now. The words, "Here in your courts Where I'm close to your throne I've found where I belong" meant so much to me then, and only are confirmed by the life God's given me since.
go to this & listen to Darlene sing it - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PebI3YUiAvU
You are holy, holy Lord there is none, like you You are holy, holy Glory to you, my lord (2x)
I sing your praises forever Deeper in love with you Here in your courts Where I'm close to your throne I've found better light in you lord (2x)
I sing your praises forever Deeper in love with you Here in your courts Where I'm close to your throne I've found where I belong
You are holy, holy Lord there is none, like you You are holy, holy Glory to you, my lord
I sing your praises forever Deeper in love with you Here in your courts Where I'm close to your throne I've found where I belong (In the lord, yeah)
I sing your praises forever Deeper in love with you (love with you) Here in your courts Where I'm close to your throne I've found where I belong
I sing your praises forever (forever) Deeper in love with you (love with you) Here in your courts Where I'm close to your throne I've found where I belong (2x)
Monday, November 8, 2010
Revelation 1:8 I am the Alpha & Omega - the beginning & the end, says the Lord God. I am the One Who is, who always was, & who is still to come, the Almighty One.
You short circuit your brain? Think about the fact that God simply "is" - He NEVER began, will NEVER end.
He just "is" - always.
And then wrap your brain around this - even though we each have a beginning, we will always "be" - we've started a life that will NEVER end - in either one of two places.wow
Sunday, November 7, 2010
Jude 24 And now, all glory to God, who is able to keep you from stumbling, & who wll bring you into His glorious presence innocent of sin & with great joy.
"innocent of sin"
so, because of Jesus, God doesn't hold our sins against us - He forgives them.
and He forgets them.
so, He doesn't see them.
any of them.
think about that.
so, no matter what I've done (or anyone else has done), if we ask for forgiveness, He gives it.
and doesn't see us a sinful, but as a trophy of His grace.
this is the scandal of Christianity.
this is what people just can't quite believe.
if we ask, we're forgiven - of anything, of everything.
If you're out there in the Internet world, & you're reading this, & you can't quite believe that's all there is to it...believe it - it's true
Saturday, November 6, 2010
I will free your hands from their heavy tasks.
7 You cried to me in trouble, & I saved you.
vs 10 Open your mouth wide, & I will fill it with good things.
vs 13 Oh, that my people would listen to me!
Oh, that Israel would follow me, walking in my paths!
14 How quickly would I then subdue their enemies!
How soon my hands would be upon their foes!
Don't know if this is for any of you out there. Maybe it's just for me?
It's interesting to hear God basically say if you'll just listen to me, then this & that will happen.
Btw, yesterday I finished reading through the Old Testament one chapter a day.
I thought the minor prophets would NEVER end!
And Ezekiel?! Oh my! He went on FOREVER, it seemed.
Leviticus? Oh my, tedious doesn't quite cover it.
Fav book, besides Psalms? Hmmmm... hard to pick one. The Samuels & Kings were preety racy. Genesis was surprisingly interesting. Ruth is always good. Esther, too. Daniel was good. It's hard to pick.
My friend from high school, Jim Iler (his mom, Rosita, was my cub scout den mother - yeah! we've known each other THAT long!), told me the other day that he thought I had a lot of insight into the Bible. I laughed out loud. When ya read it every day, ya pick up a thing or two. Insight? Don't know about that. I do know God will mess with you!
I also told Jim, like I've said before here, that the smartest thing I've EVER done is starting to get up early every day, read the Bible, & listen out for whatever God may want to say.
And the dumbest thing I've EVER done is to wait until I was 52 1/2 before starting to get up early every day, read the Bible, & listen out for whatever God may want to say. ;-)
I'm just saying...
Friday, November 5, 2010
Old song, been around for a LONG time. Written during World War II,
(No, this isn't the one sung by Foo Fighters! ;-)
Don't know why it's in my head this morning...
In Times Like These
(Ruth Caye Jones - Mother Jones)
Vs 1 - In times like these, you need a Savior
In times like these you need an anchor
Be very sure, be very sure
Your anchor holds and grips the Solid Rock
Chorus - This Rock is Jesus, Yes, He's the one
This Rock is Jesus, The only One
Be very sure, be very sure
Your anchor holds and grips the Solid Rock
Vs 2 - In times like these you need the Bible
In times like these o be not idle
Be very sure, be very sure
Your anchor holds and grips the Solid Rock
Vs 3 - In times like these, I have a Savior
In times like these, I have an anchor
I'm very sure, I'm very sure
My anchor holds and grips the Solid Rock
Thursday, November 4, 2010
Just finished reading 1 John. It's all about who God is & what we can find in Him.
(I highly recommend you read it ;-) You'll underline a lot, though.)
Maybe that's who we're supposed to be here in Blairsville - 2 people who show who God is in their lives, & point people to what they can find in Him?
How that's fleshed out is something He will show us as we go along?And maybe isn't that who we're all supposed to be?
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
Psalm 78:21c (God's) anger rose against Israel,
22 for they did not believe God
or trust Him to care for them.
23 But He commanded the skies to open;
He opened the doors of heaven.
24 He rained down manna for them to eat;
He gave them bread from heaven.
25 They ate the food of angels!
God gave them all they could hold.
I don't have any problem believing God or trusting Him to take care of me.
I have trouble deciding if what I'm hearing is from Him, or from me.
Anyone else like that?
Tuesday, November 2, 2010
Malachi 1:6 The LORD of Heaven's Armies says to the priests: "A son honors his father, and a servant respects his master. If I am your father and master, where are the honor and respect I deserve? You have shown contempt for my name! "But you ask, 'How have we ever shown contempt for your name?'
7 "You have shown contempt by offering defiled sacrifices on my altar.
"Then you ask, 'How have we defiled the sacrifices?'
"You defile them by saying the altar of the LORD deserves no respect. 8 When you give blind animals as sacrifices, isn't that wrong? And isn't it wrong to offer animals that are crippled and diseased? Try giving gifts like that to your governor, and see how pleased he is!" says the LORD of Heaven's Armies.
9 "Go ahead, beg God to be merciful to you! But when you bring that kind of offering, why should he show you any favor at all?" asks the LORD of Heaven's Armies.
10 "How I wish one of you would shut the Temple doors so that these worthless sacrifices could not be offered! I am not pleased with you," says the LORD of Heaven's Armies, "and I will not accept your offerings. 11 But my name is honored by people of other nations from morning till night. All around the world they offer* sweet incense and pure offerings in honor of my name. For my name is great among the nations," says the LORD of Heaven's Armies.
12 "But you dishonor my name with your actions. By bringing contemptible food, you are saying it's all right to defile the Lord's table. 13 You say, 'It's too hard to serve the LORD,' and you turn up your noses at my commands," says the LORD of Heaven's Armies. "Think of it! Animals that are stolen and crippled and sick are being presented as offerings! Should I accept from you such offerings as these?" asks the LORD.
14 "Cursed is the cheat who promises to give a fine ram from his flock but then sacrifices a defective one to the Lord. For I am a great king," says the LORD of Heaven's Armies, "and my name is feared among the nations!
God was angry because the Hebrews weren't giving perfect animals as sacrifices to Him.
As I was reading this,I wondered how many of us offer God less than our best -maybe even the "leftovers" in our lives.
Then I read the notes at the bottom of the page - I have a Life Application Bible. Here's what it said...
"The New Testament says that our lives should be a living sacrifice (Romans 12:1 And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him) If we give God only our leftover time, money, & energy, we repeat the same sin as the worshipers in Israel, who didn't want to bring anything valuable to God.
"What we give to God reflects our true attitude toward Him."
We have to give Him all of ourselves, not just what is convenient. We not only have to give Him our time, money, & energy, we have to give Him our hangups, additions, traumas, issues, & baggage.
We have to give Him our dreams, hopes, & plans.
It all comes down to who's really in charge. Are we willing to abandon ourselves to Him, not so that our lives can be obliterated. If we can quit trying to make our life happen, or quit trying to create the life WE think God has for us, then, & only then, can God bring into being the life He dreamed for us when He created us
Monday, November 1, 2010
1 John 2:27 But you have received the Holy Spirit, and he lives within you, so you don't need anyone to teach you what is true. For the Spirit teaches you everything you need to know, and what he teaches is true—it is not a lie. So just as he has taught you, remain in fellowship with Christ.
I know we could use this verse to justify being stubborn & arrogant, thinking we're all that.
Could it be that this verse is saying that in the final analysis, we have to listen to the Holy Spirit & what He tells us to be & do, rather than the gajillion things people tells us?
We seem to always have plenty of people around us (some who are strong Christ followers) who are willing to tell us what they think we should be or do.
But many times, what the Holy Spirit may be telling us is completely outside the "conventional wisdom" of the time.
Sometimes the Holy Spirit will lead us in directions that may not on the face of it make a whole lot of sense, but when we see the overarching scheme of things (which sometimes won't be until we get to heaven), we see the sense of it all, & how it worked into the plan He has for us & all humankind.