Thursday, January 28, 2016

The VALUE of WISDOM

Thomas Jefferson, a student of politics, and a highly esteemed man, is remembered well for the many great things he accomplished. During the 2014 banking crisis in the USA this 1802 QUOTE is worth repeating:  "I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies.  If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, the banks and corporations that will grow up around the banks will deprive the people of all property - until their children wake-up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered."   Thomas Jefferson was a Republican. He wisely studied the previous failed attempts of the two previous presidents.  He understood actual history, the nature of God, and God’s authority above any man-made law, and the nature of man to betray the truth for his own interests. Jefferson’s resume:  At the age of 9, Thomas Jefferson studied Latin, Greek and French.  At age 16 he entered the college of William and Mary. He was known to muse his friends while....
writing Greek with one hand, and Latin with the free hand.  At age 19, Thomas studied law for 5 years under George Wythe. At age 23 he started his own law practice. At age 25, Thomas was elected to the Virginia House of Burgesses.  At age 31 he retired from his law practice and wrote the widely acclaimed article “Summary review of the rights of British America”.   At age 32 he was a delegate at the 2nd Continental Congress of the United States.  At age 33, Thomas wrote the Declaration of the Independence.  He also revised Virginia’s Legal Code and wrote a Public Education bill and a statute for Religious Freedom. At age 36 he was elected as the 2nd Governor of Virginia succeeding Patrick Henry. At age 40 he served the United States Congress for two years. At age 41 Thomas was the American Minister to France and negotiated commercial treaties along with Benjamin Franklin and John Adams.  At age 53, Thomas Jefferson was the United States Vice President.  At age 55 Thomas became the acting head of the Republican Party. At age 57, Thomas Jefferson was elected as the President of the United States.  At age 60 he obtained the Louisiana Purchase, and the USA doubled in size. At age 65 he retired to Monticello.  At age 80 he helped President Monroe shape the Monroe Doctrine.  At age 81, Thomas single handedly created the University of Virginia.
At age 83 Thomas Jefferson died on July 4th on the 50th anniversary of signing the Declaration of Independence.  Let us listen to what the spirit of God is saying before we vote, cast our opinions, or discount a person because of the political party they represent.  At a White House dinner hosted by a democratic President for a group of the brightest minds in the nation at that time. President John F Kennedy made this statement: "This is perhaps the assembly of the most intelligence ever to gather at one time in the White House with the exception of when Thomas Jefferson dined alone." Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826), author of the Declaration of Independence and the third U.S. president, was a leading figure in America’s early development. During the American Revolutionary War (1775-83), Jefferson served in the Virginia legislature and the Continental Congress and was governor of Virginia. Jefferson, believed that the national government should have a limited role in citizens’ lives. During his two terms in office (1801-1809), the U.S. purchased the Louisiana Territory and Lewis and Clark explored the vast new acquisition. Although Jefferson promoted individual liberty, he was also a slaveowner. Obviously Jefferson relied on his intellect, not on the Holy Spirit to rightly discern the living Word of God. It seems he valued his intellect more highly than God's wisdom. God warns us that the heart is deceitful above all else, so we are best advised to invite and allow the Holy Spirit to give us understanding as He increases our faith in God, not the almighty dollar.  

THE WIND OF TIME

TRUTH: Grey hairs are flourishing under my colored lengths. The wind of time blows and my life is but a twinkling grain of sand on a Son lit seashore of souls.  I am not precisely a girl, yet I am in-between a mature woman and the winsome youth I once was. I know fear, friendship and how time persists like the wind, pushing me forward while wrinkling and eroding my flesh. Our Father who has no beginning and no end, He who lives outside of time, the Captain of my ship increases my faith in the unseen, unknown will of God as we journey together, not alone. While the winds of faith blister my face, I am stilled without angst for my appearance or my future.  I consider the purpose of His voyage aboard my creaking ship, this body and I am humbled.  A few years ago I would have pronounced with electric enthusiasm that it was God's will to fit me for a position of responsibility to harvest many souls. I began my voyage of faith in Jesus Christ in 1985 with childlike perceptions undistorted by the emotion of experience, I was not expecting so much rejection. Bathed in the blissful objectivity of ignorance,  I surrendered with a naive willingness to be led into a glorious future without strife. "Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed for I am your God. I will strengthen you."  Isaiah 43:10 His promises are many, and in His wonderous way, ever kept. His will be done not mine. AMEN -
Today I marvel at the overwhelming subjectivity that relentlessly proceeds out of my inherent nature to judge all things as I would have it, and NOT in His will, wisdom or superior, often surprising ways.  All knowledge obtained belongs to the thinking subject, which is me ~ This day, I am quick to admit my insufficiency apart from God.  Against all manner of human rationale, a formidable HOPE rises within me during my weakest moments. The noble thoughts of God alone are worthy of recitation.  Nothing I have said, written or done will ever come close to the reality of His unseen, but very steady, unchanging guidance and ever sufficient Word.  The criminal element within our regal, yet wasting human society in this century can be compared to the eloquent dependence God knows we shall ever need, for days gone by, and for the days ahead.  All knowledge obtained in school, university or seminary lacks any pertinence if one has not forgiven one wretched drunk, prostitute or thief.  If we have seen with the eyes of God, if we have perceived a soul's poverty with compassion, mercy and grace, we have walked with Jesus among the homeless and hopeless and been His light. Oh Lord, I thank You for each person who has walked in faith before me and I rejoice in my weakness, in my vulnerable human frailty, for You are in my midst giving me strength to face the change that is yet to come.   Jesus reassures me with the truth. We have no need for a particular priest, as we are all priests.  A mix of feelings blows through my sail as the wind of change whips my vessel into submission. All concerns, fears and reluctance to follow my Captain are decimated by His mighty Presence.  My hope is sure because I know that I shall arrive at my final destination in His good and perfect time.
He placed His robe of Righteousness on me
 "Give unto the Lord the glory due to His name; worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness." Psalm 29:2 "Though you have not seen Him, you love Him; and even though you do not see Him now, you believe in Him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy." 1 Peter 1:8  ~ My Lord has spoken His words and I listen carefully to what the Spirit is saying.  Encouraged by the power of His robe, all is well within my soul.  I put off my perceptions, my preconceived ideas, my substantial experience, my obtained worldly
views and I put on my armor, my robe of righteousness and I wear my helmet of salvation with honor.
I shall not subscribe to the furious fears of man nor the waves of contempt against God in times of trouble.  "Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds." James 1:2 ~ He searches my heart and makes me face the truth of my prejudices, and the pride that is inherent in my selfish nature. With ready confession I admit my weakness and He fortifies me and challenges me to speak with clarity all that He has accomplished by my departure from denial that I need God desperately, ever hour of each day.  With a compassionate heart I accept the frailty of man without thinking myself superior in any way. I am humbled in the awareness that He chose to use a wretch like me.  Thank You Father for throwing me the life preserver, Jesus Christ, my Savior.  "And he said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness." 2 Cor 12:9 ~ "But You remain the same, and Your years will never end." Ps 102: 27

Monday, January 18, 2016

RUN FOREST RUN

Forest was being bullied just like Satan bullies us. He throws rocks at our belief in Jesus, and
he chases us shouting ...ALL LIES like: "you are stupid, damaged and you will never be good enough!" "God does not care about you!" "There is no God, all you have is because of your own effort!" Forest took off running in FAITH and his shackles miraculously fell off. His best friend Jenny encouraged him to RUN FOREST RUN...and like Forest, we all need to be encouraged to run the race before us with zeal, not fear... because we know our final destination! Our Father loves to restore all that has been lost. Just like Jonathon's son in 2 Sam 9:7-13, we are destined to eat at the Kings table and get comfy living forever in the Lord's palace. Many feel trapped in the chains of pain, doubt and fear, we have all felt crippled and felt stuck in this life. "For I am the Lord your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, so that you would be slaves no longer.. I have broken your chains so that you can walk with dignity." (Lev 26:13) The great news is that we have all been summoned by God to come...to come as we are, all a mess, weak and broken. Our Father wants to lavish His love, compassion, understanding, mercy, healing and kindness upon us. He delights in giving us more than we could ever imagine.  
“Don’t be afraid of them,” the Lord said to ….(YOU the reader of God’s living Word) “for they are already defeated! I have given them to you to destroy. Not a single one of them will be able to stand up to you.” Joshua 10:8 TLB --- God commands "Fear NOT" --- Trust that He is capable to defeat whatever is attacking your mind, body or relationships! -- “So David went out and fought with them (his enemy, an imposing foe, a Goliath threat) and defeated them. “The Lord did it!” he exclaimed. “He burst through my enemies like a raging flood.” So David named the place “Bursting.” 1 Samuel 5:20 TLB --- So David OBEDIENTLY went out with courage ...because David trusted God's word and took action, he walked in determined faith to bring God glory.
This implies that in order for US to defeat our GOLIATH challenges, we must TRUST and OBEY.  We must fight our foe by speaking God's word.  "Remember Me" It is WISE to write down the many blessings from the Lord and keep that list ready to read out loud to remind ourselves that God has never forsaken us.  Next time the dragon is chasing you, stop and yell "I belong to the King of Kings, and ONLY what He says about me is true!" Who do you give credit to for your eyesight, the human ability to feel joy, awe or pain? Your Creator is worthy of praise, every day... for each sunrise, for fresh-living water, each sunset, cool breeze, the ability to choose, think, smile, talk, walk and FEEL emotion; delight, joy, warning fears, remorse, and relief.
Faith, forgiveness, mercy and grace are all gifts from God. We have also been given the power to banish evil by speaking the Word of God. If you FEEL like you have been running from bullies, or your past...PUT ON YOUR BRAKES and boldly stare into a mirror and face that fiery-lie-spewing-dragon in your head. SHOUT a SCRIPTURE in his puny face and watch him melt like the wicked witch of OZ! TRUST in the power of the Holy Spirit within, and put Him to work for you. Jesus Christ gave us the authority to slay demons. He is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, just waiting to be asked to restore, renew and strengthen us when we are weak! Our Father is AWESOME, He equipped us with a sword that wins every time! Defeat the beast by telling your victory story! Hallelujah and AMEN!


Encouragement from our loving Father “O Lord our God, the majesty and glory of your name fills all the earth and overflows the heavens. You have taught the little children to praise you perfectly. May their example shame and silence your enemies! When I look up into the night skies and see the work of your fingers—the moon and the stars you have made— I cannot understand how you can bother with mere puny man, to pay any attention to him! And yet you have made him only a little lower than the angels and placed a crown of glory and honor upon his head. You have put him in charge of everything you made; everything is put under his authority: all sheep and oxen, and wild animals too, the birds and fish, and all the life in the sea. O Jehovah, our Lord, the majesty and glory of your name fills the earth.” Psalm 8 TLB  (Jehovah is the name of God in Hebrew Scriptures, JHVH pronunced)
"I will be glad and rejoice in You; I will sing the praises of Your name, O Most High. My enemies turn back; they stumble and perish before You….The LORD (Jesus) reigns forever; He has established His throne for judgment. He rules the world in righteousness and judges the peoples with equity. The LORD is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble. Those who know Your name (Jesus) trust in You, for You, LORD, have never forsaken those who seek You.” Psalm 9 NIV 1985 -- “There is something else deep within me, in my lower nature, that is at war with my mind and wins the fight and makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me. In my mind I want to be God’s willing servant, but instead I find myself still enslaved to sin. So you see how it is: my new life tells me to do right, but the old nature that is still inside me loves to sin. Oh, what a terrible predicament I’m in! Who will free me from my slavery to this deadly lower nature? Thank God!  It has been done by Jesus Christ our Lord.
He has set me free.” Romans 7:23-25 LB -- “But thanks be to God! For through what Christ has done, He has triumphed over us so that now wherever we go He uses us to tell others about the Lord and to spread the Gospel like a sweet perfume.” 2 Corinthians 2:14 LB ---“Be gentle and ready to forgive; never hold grudges. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.” Colossians 3:13 LB --- "And you must love Him with all your heart and soul and mind and strength.’ “The second is: ‘You must love others as much as yourself.’ No other commandments are greater than these.” Mark 12:30 LB

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Branded Bad Girls

Once well regarded in Alaska, Sarah Palin resigned as Governor in 2009 after losing the nomination for the first female Republican Vice Presidential candidate for the United States of America.  For a few years Sarah Palin was publicly celebrated, then in 2012 FORBES magazine dropped Sarah from being among the world's most powerful women.  What branded Sarah as a BAD GIRL, not worthy to run for President? Like Eve in the garden of Eden, Sarah lived a few years in the spotlight, then she was banished because of her indiscretions.   Our Father God does NOT come into our lives to take sides, He deposited the Holy Spirit in us, to take over where we fall short.  Once we become His, it is up to each individual to surrender our ways, and allow God to use us for His purposes.  Our Lord God formed man from the dust of the ground and He placed Adam in the garden He planted in the east.  God caused Adam to fall asleep, He took a rib from Adam and made a suitable helpmate. "Bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh, she shall be called woman."  Whispers from the Tempter quickly convinced Eve to eat the fruit of the tree that would make her as wise as God.  Both Eve and Sarah listened to the wrong adviser and as a result have been branded as Bad Girls instead of becoming known as "Wives of Noble Character".  I can only imagine that Eve and Sarah both felt ashamed and hid
from God just like the kids of Israel, who were terribly oppressed.  Had Eve, Sarah and the Israelites trusted and obeyed God, our Lord would not have needed to use Gideon to intervene. The angel of the Lord appeared to Gideon and said "The Lord is with you, mighty man of valor." Judges 6:12 KJV - The Hebrew meaning of valor is to be valiant, courageous, brave, prepared to fight like a warrior.  Every Bad Girl, or Bad Boy in the Bible who God called and used to teach us His ways--- every single celebrated warrior went through something that demanded courage in the face of temptation or fear.  Was the price that Eve or Sarah paid fair?  Did Eve and Sarah both place a higher value on the things of the world than on their relationship with God?  Our acts of goodness CANNOT and will NOT cover up our willing disobedience, selfishness, greed, idolatry of notoriety, or our denial of Who is in charge.  God is just, and God is holy, and God disciplines those He loves. Each of us will be held accountable for every unkind, or untrue word we speak with the intent to injure the reputation of another.  God is omni-present and He hears every thought, and He knows every motive of
heart.  Eve, Sarah and Tammy all acted in accordance to what they FELT was right and best. They did not resist temptation, they did not hold their tongue, they did not accept responsibility for their errors.  "For a man's ways are in full view of the Lord and He examines all his paths." Proverbs 5:21 - Jezebel was a pushy broad, she was a Queen who thought she was in control. She threatened Elijah in a fit of uncontrolled rage and her tongue was not tamed.  Her death was not pretty and she is not remembered with esteem. Tammy Faye was a Christian singer, author, talk show host and genuine student of God's word.    As a teen in 1956, Tammy was a good girl in high school.  She sang in the church choir and spent her summer attending Bible camp. She worked 
after-school at Woolworth’s and helped her mother at home. Tammy obeyed her mother and church by NOT attending school dances, baseball games, or even the movies.  In 1960 her divorced, single, strict mother suggested that Tammy Faye become a minister. In 1961, Tammy married Jim Bakker and  she stood by her husband throughout the pubic scandal of his affair with Jessica Hahn.  In 1989 Jim was sentenced to 45 years in prison due to fraudulent spending of millions of ministry funds which were used to support the Bakker opulent residence.  In 1992, Tammy filed for divorce. Jim Bakker died in 1992 while in prison. "All scripture is God breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness." 2 Timothy 3:16 - We are all called to trust the Potter with our fragile vases in which the Holy Spirit dwells. God leaks His Spirit through each of our cracked pots to encourage all of us that He will be glorified regardless of our blunders. God certainly does not expect perfection, but He does expect humility and honesty.  How can we despise Eve, Sarah, Tammy Bakker, Jezebel or ourselves?  Each of us were born of Nobel origin, and for God's planned purpose. Our shared FALL. "Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really
say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?”  The woman (Eve) said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’”  “You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took
some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it.  Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.”  Genesis 3:1-7 NIV – TRUTH IS: Eve had NEVER known evil before she met the serpent. She was not afraid of a good looking snake who could talk. She was entirely innocent and she did not suspect the serpent of harm.  His sly suggestion that she could become like God was attractive only because she knew God was very good. Perhaps the temptation to experience MORE good than the perfection of the garden was when DOUBT was first introduced…Did Eve believe that God withheld goodness from her?  The TEMPTER skillfully uses doubt, discouragement, deception, defeat, and delays to make us: DOUBT: Have you doubted God's word and goodness? EVIL makes us feel DISCOURAGED as we focus our minds on a problem rather than God. SATAN uses DECEPTION and DIVERSION as his voice makes wrong things seem attractive so that we desire what contradicts God's warnings. The seductive voice whispers that we are DEFEATED. We then believe the wrong voice and feel like such a failure that we do not even try to stand on the truth. Satan tempts us to DELAY and doubt our decision to follow Christ by convincing us that we do not need to attend church and fellowship with other believers. We get stuck in confusion and DELAY doing RIGHT as we wait for a sign, or a confirmation "walk this way."  God's will is that we ACT and silence the voice that introduces doubt by reciting "GET BEHIND ME SATAN".

Sunday, January 10, 2016

AUTHENTICITY

A transparent, contrite heart is what God longs to hear from. To authentically love God, or another, we must speak the truth, we must be willing to open up and pour out our hearts to Him, and to those we love. If we love God, we listen and obey God. If our relationships are authentic, then the contents of our heart, our hearts cry, our invisible, unspoken motives match up with our visible actions. All talk and no action does not please God. “Let my heart be broken by the things that break the heart of God.” The test of a true religion is when our heart breaks for what breaks the heart of God. When our hearts are convicted to DO something for people that have no way of repaying us for what we do, we are giving with a pure heart. "Test my heart O God, and reveal to me that which needs to change." The brother of Jesus did not believe that Jesus was God in the flesh until the resurrection.
James 1:27 "Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world." God hates religion that is merely an outward appearance. He calls those who sit in church for show, white washed tombs. God hates pride. A person who reads the bible but never cares for the alien, the widow, or the orphan is seen by God as a hypocrite. God loves a pure, transparent heart that obeys His word and makes His love known in the world by compassion and kindness. In the Old Testament we find a special trinity of what concerns the heart of God. Our holy Father repeats His concern for the “alien, the widow and the orphan.” The alien is a person not of our culture, a Mexican. The widow is a person without a helpmate. The orphaned child survives believing they are unwanted.
God desires that we, His chosen, make known by our actions, not just our words, that the alien, the widow, and the orphan are wanted, cherished and loved by God. Our Father commanded the nation of Israel in how they were to treat the forgotten members and what would happen if they chose to neglect them. Because God has a special place in His heart for all of us, He promises to:  vindicate them  rescue them  deliver them  hear them  lift them up  be their father  meet their needs  maintain their cause… READ Matthew chapter 25:36-37 A contrite heart does not simply visit the forgotten, but that a pure heart hurts to see others in need:  you hang out and visit and show compassion  you nurture, you hug  you authentically care by raking leaves, doing dishes  you loved by bringing groceries  you provide encouragement and a good listening, compassionate ear. It is actually reaching out to someone and truly caring, and taking care of their needs. The mark of a true AUTHENTIC believer is their
unselfish love for someone else. 1 John 3:10-11, 16-18. Why single out Orphans and widows? Jesus’ mother was a widow and He showed us His concern for her well-being. John 19:26-27 Communicating love requires that we embody Love, that our hearts are pure and that we speak out of that overflow of God's love. Being transparent like Adam and Eve before the fall, is to be pure hearted, naked and unashamed. (Genesis 2:25) To be without disguise or a need to hide or cover up anything is to be transparent with God, and with those you care about. After the fall people hid their insecurities, their doubts and fears with half-truths, deceit, lying, and hatred. The fear of rejection keeps people from being real, from opening up, from admitting their weaknesses. To be authentic, we must be bold, and NOT afraid. When we present our authentic, vulnerable self to another, they respond, they open up, and they receive the message "God loves you, just the way you are, and He sent me here to love you by meeting a few basic needs."