BE NOT DISMAYED…

 

 

 

“Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.”       Isaiah 41:10 KJV

*****************************

The above verse came from my Promise Box.  I drew it this morning.  I’ve read/heard this verse many times, but as I read it this morning, the word dismayed caught my attention.  I decided to look it up…to find all the facets of the meaning.

It means:

cause (someone) to feel consternation and distress:

“they were dismayed by the U-turn in policy”
synonyms:appall · horrify · shock · shake (up) · disconcert · take aback · alarm · surprise. concern. perturb
WOW! How many times during the day do unexpected things occur-things that we have absolutely no control over?  Only speaking for myself here…but most days, these “occurences” happen more times than I can count!
So, when these unforeseen things…these “series of unfortunate events” happen…how do we handle it?  I know for myself, that the way I ‘handle’ it is not a very pretty picture most times!  I fly off the handle, say things I shouldn’t, hurt people around me with my words, offend God with what I say…and also with what I don’t say but am thinking.   I’m mad at the situation, mad at myself for my reaction to the situation, and…well…just MAD in general; so my day is ruined!
My dad used to have an illustration he used in regards to being dismayed and flying off the handle.  He told a story of three flies that landed in a skillet full of bologna.  These flies went unnoticed by the cook and ate their fill of the delicious bologna that was in the skillet.  The first one thought he’d had enough,  so taxied himself onto the handle, flew off…and fell over dead.  The other two were still eating, and didn’t realize the first fly was gone.  When the second fly was done,  he made his way to the handle, got airborne for a short time, then he fell over dead. The third fly, finally full, made his way onto the handle, raised his wings, and momentarily buzzed off.  He had only been in the air for seconds-and he fell over dead!

 

The moral of the story? …
DON”T FLY OFF THE HANDLE WHEN YOUR FULL OF BOLOGNA!
When we are dismayed at our situation…instead of flying off the handle…we need to drop to our knees and ask Almighty God to sustain us with His right hand of righteousness.
There’s an old hymn that comes to mind:
Be not dismayed what’ere be tide…
God will take care of you!
Under His wings of love abide-
God will take care of you!
Remember, today when things go wrong, and get out of your control, for they will at some point…ask Almighty God to take control of the situation…Don’t fly off the handle!
Anita

PLUNGED AGAIN

Below is a post from our friend and brother in Christ, that works with the homeless community in Lubbock, TX.  After you finish reading this, if you’d like, there is a link where you can thank some of the local folks in Lubbock for helping the homeless there.  Be encouraging…shout out a thank you to our brothers in the ministry down there in TX! -anita

***************************************

Plunged Again

I was in need of my daily shower when it was time to go, and I said, “Nah… It will be a bit more authentic this way”.  So off we went with a goal to actually meet people this time.  And it worked.

My sidekick, Agent Z, and I hit the streets again yesterday/last night.  I asked Z what would be the most important thing we could change this time.  He wanted to actually meet some street-homeless people.  I agreed, but I really thought we would up our odds if we just moved our exploration downtown.  But before we got far, we found a whole bunch of homeless in our part of town and learned a lot more for our efforts.  If at first you don’t succeed….

Yeah, the afternoon sun was actually heating up the streets quite a bit for the last week of Winter.  Agent Z and I thought we might do well to purchase cheap, cold sodas and pass them out as ice breakers.  But before we got that far, as we passed through the intersection of Slide Road and the South Loop, we found at least four beggars stationed on the medians at each cross walk.  We knew we had to get out and introduce ourselves.  For even though this was the other direction from our church (located on 82nd Street), it was only about a mile from our house.

We decided to pull into the parking lot by the Mexican restaurant out by the Rooms To Go furniture store.  And this was when our eyes were truly opened.  As we pulled into our spot, I realized that right there in that busy intersection, barely concealed by the bushes and trees, was a camp spot!  A homeless camp spot right under our noses and practically in plain sight!  How could we have missed it all this time?  We drive right by it every day.  Thousands of people drive right by it every day!  I couldn’t believe it.  We definitely have homeless in our part of town.

We approached the spot, which at that moment was occupied by two people, a man and woman we will call Agent D and Agent T, sitting on a blanket next to a shopping buggy.  Agent Z and I introduced ourselves and sat down with D and T and learned a lot from our brief exchange.

The first thing that really thrills me is that they knew who I was!  I mean by reputation.  They had familiarity with Fat Beggars and were excited to meet us.  And Z had packed (providentially, it seems) a box of Pop Tarts in his bag to share with any new friends he might make, and sure enough when he produced them T, the lady, exclaimed that she had been wanting Pop Tarts earlier that morning.  As evidence of our divine appointment, it turned out Z had even brought the exact flavor she had been hankering for!  What can I say?  It was clear to us all that God was blessing us.  And then we began to learn things.

Yes.  There are homeless in our area.  No.  Most of them do not camp here.  They transfer to our side of town during the day and return downtown in the evening.  But a few do stay, and they stay well hidden.  This much we suspected, actually.    But when I asked if any of them ever stay on church property, the notion perplexed them at first.  Agent D began criticizing churches who run people off and named a few names.  But upon further reflection, D spoke of another homeless friend who worked out an arrangement with the Bacon Heights Baptist Church to stay in the play ground on their property.  In fact Agent D began singing the praises of Bacon Heights Baptist for treating the homeless so good!

I had no idea!  I am not saying that Bacon Heights is the greatest church in town (I don’t really know), but I am saying that Bacon Heights has a good reputation with “the least of these brothers” on the streets of Lubbock, and that is truly important come Judgment Day (Matthew 25:31-46).  Go Bacon Heights!!!  I really need to send a thank you note to the pastor there.  If any of my readers here want to click the link in the paragraph above and find a way to send them a note, that would be really cool.

I really could tell a lot more about our plunge, but I don’t want to drag out this post endlessly.  And really there is a lot more we could do still that we have not even begun yet.  But Agent Z and I capped off our plunge by spending the night in the gazebo behind the church we have begun attending up on 82nd Street.  We did not encounter any more street people after we got there (though we did meet a nice police officer at almost 2 a.m.), but we ourselves camped outside our own church and prayed extensively for the place and the people who meet there.  And when I got home this morning, I was in a hurry to shower the two days of stench off myself, since I was in a hurry to run down to the foster care agency and accrue some training credits.

Before I sign off on this post, though, I have one last request for readers (local readers anyway).  I would encourage any followers of Fat Beggars blog living in Lubbock to purchase boxes of Pop Tarts and leave them in the trees and bushes in the landscaped SouthEast corner of the intersection of Slide Road and the South Loop out by the Mexican restaurant out front of the old Rooms To Go furniture store.  I am sure our friends will find them and thank God for them if you do.

Here’s the link to Beacon Heights Baptist Church if you’d like to thank them for helping the homeless!

http://baconheights.com/

Agent X

WORDS MATTER!

Proverbs 25:11 (KJV)

11 A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver.

***********************************

Our words either help, or hurt.  They lift up, or tear down. They convict, or offend.

Words are powerful!  God created the heavens and the earth and all that is in them by speaking them into being!

When we speak curses, or disparaging words to people, we wound their spirits, and cause hurts that take much time to heal…and some folks never recover from the words that were spoken over them!

I’ve heard it said that physical abuse is not as devastating as verbal abuse.  Physical wounds heal in time; but wounds caused by verbal abuse sometimes never heal.  These things stick in our minds and hearts…they get deep down into the cellar of our souls, and fester.

A small seed of “unworthy” begins to grow from those words, and if not plucked out by the root, will flourish like a patch of weeds.  The flower it produces is anything but beautiful…it’s down- right ugly!

Next time we open our mouths to speak…let’s think first, and be careful what we say!

“Words that point us to Christ are always words that matter!” -Unknown

Anita

 

ABIDE (LIVE ) IN ME!

“I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness.”  -John 12:46

***********************************

I think the above verse has a double meaning.  First of all, the verse is speaking to the lost…those that have yet to find the Savior.

When Jesus came into the world, on that night so long ago in Bethlehem, a star shone over the place where He lay-to light the way…to show the path to all who would seek Him.

He lived among us, performing miracles and wonders-showing…proving that He was indeed the Son of God.

When He died on the cross, with the thunder rolling, and the lightening flashing-hanging there, between heaven and earth…He was a beacon…a lighthouse to all that saw Him.  There was no doubt then, that He was who He claimed to be!

But, I believe the verse has yet another meaning.  This verse is not just for the lost who seek Him, but also for the Believer.

How many times do we as Believers forget our standing with God?  I know for myself, I forget momentarily on a daily basis!  Things get out of hand…something bad, or unforeseen takes place, and I begin to panic.  Oh…don’t go looking at me like you’re holier than I am!  Even Peter panicked when he was walking on the water to meet Jesus.  As long as he kept his eyes on the Lord, he was fine…but when he looked at his circumstances-he began to sink.

When we take our eyes off of Jesus…we begin to walk in the darkness of this world.  The word, abide means, “to live in”.  How many of us live in fear?  Fear of not being able to pay our bills.  Fear of being a bad parent.  Fear of being alone.  Fear of sickness.  Fear of disease.  Fear of death.

I believe we all are guilty of fearing something in our lives, but Jesus said if we believe ON Him…we do not have to live in the darkness that fear brings!  You see, there is a difference in believing IN Jesus, and believing ON Jesus.  Many people believe IN Jesus.  The Bible says that the devil himself believes IN Jesus, and he knows His power, and it makes him tremble;  but when you believe ON Jesus, that means you put your full trust in Him.  You realize that He is the Light to illuminate your dark times and guide you down the dark path of life.

So today, if your going through something in your life, and your path seems dark and fearful…BELIEVE ON HIM, trust Him to guide you through the dark, keep a hold of His hand…and fear not!

“Oh God, thank you for salvation through Jesus Christ.  Draw me closer to you, and help me to trust you always, especially in times of trouble!”

Anita

John 12

THE STARLINGS SONG

I wrote the following poem in April of 2008, so I’ve probably posted it before-so forgive me if that’s the case; but Spring has caught my attention!  Every morning I wake to see a beautiful sunrise-just outside my window.  The sound of birds singing praises to God fill the crisp air, and there’s a stirring in my heart for new things yet to come!-anita

****************

Oh bird of black

And midnight blue,

This song you sing…

Who is it to?

 

This sweet refrain,

In boughs a swaying…

What are the words?

What are you saying?

 

At times, I’m sure

It’s to your kin,

To let them know

Just how you’ve been;

 

But when I see 

You all alone…

Your mighty voice,

Raised up in tone,

 

And singing, though

Your heart would burst

To One, unseen…

A glorious verse;

 

It’s like a prayer…

More than a song

When in duet,

Dove coos along;

 

And both,  with voices

Raised divine,

God bends His ear

And for a time,

 

Turns His attention…

His full gaze,

And hears Creation 

Sing in praise!

Anita Mondragon -April 2008

 

 

 

 

 

 

WE DINE TOGETHER…

We Dine Together

I saw the following post on Fat Beggars School of Prophets.  This is really good! I’m with the newscaster…we adults could learn a lot from these young kids!  Take a look! -anita

**********************************

Tonight’s CBS Evening News wrapped up with a cool story from their “On The Road” series with Steve Hartman.  One high school student in Florida saw that eating alone at school is deadly to the soul, so he started a club for students to seek out those lonely solitaires and join them for lunch.  Wow!  Some of the kids interviewed were moved to tears.

I sensed this story was important to share here.  Hartman makes no mention of Jesus or serving God with this mission, and yet it resonates with Americans far and wide on a spiritual level.  I really hate for my Christian friends, so often caught up in concerns for trying to be “relevant”, to miss this.  So, I share it, yet I think this is a parody of my post on POWER LUNCHES just a few days ago.

Nevertheless, I hope you will look at it and consider how it serves Jesus.  I hope you see at least one aspect of what Fat Beggars School of Prophets is doing while you are moved to tears watching it.

Please check out the video clip on the link:

PULL ME BACK…

The following is written by Benjamin Murray.  He is a newcomer to the blog-as a follower, and as a contributor.  This is a really good one!  Hope you will enjoy it as much as I did!  This should be our prayer to God!  -anita

********************************************************************

“Pull Me Back”

Oh Perfect One who walked this earth,

Forgive us this day our

Flippant,

Harsh,

Divisive,

And sinful

Words,

Thoughts,

Deeds,

And ways.

You died for each and every one of them.

You suffered for each and every one of them.

You were separated from Your Father

Because of each and every one of them.

Yet You did so willingly,

Boldly,

And triumphantly!

So we give you our praise,

Gratitude,

Joy,

And worship.

Each sin is forgiven;

We no longer are slaves to sin

Because of You.

Thank You,

Author,

Finisher,

And  Perfecter of our faith.

By:  Benjamin Murray

hebrews-12-2

FEET SWIFT TO SHED BLOOD….

Romans 3:15-17 (KJV)

15 Their feet are swift to shed blood:

16 Destruction and misery are in their ways:

17 And the way of peace have they not known:

*********************

I was reminded of this verse the other night!  My husband was gone-playing a gig, and was not to return until the wee hours of the morning.  I always wait up for him to get home.  We live on a real quiet street, so imagine my surprise when I heard a bunch of commotion just outside my front door!  My dog began growling and barking at the window.   I was sitting in my chair, listening to Country music, and the sound of 10-20 cars could be heard, screeching up and down my street.  This, and the barking, caused me to jump to my feet and look out the window to see what had so greatly disturbed my dog.  At least 20 young men were exiting their cars and running to a house just two doors down from me.  I thought it was a late night party taking place, so I sat back down.

I had just made myself comfortable, when I heard two shots ring out!  I quickly turned off the lights in my house and called the police.  While on the phone with them, I heard two more shots.  As I peeked out the window, I saw these same young men running to their cars to make a quick get-away.

Remember…I was here alone with my eight year old up stairs-sleeping.  My neighbor lady was also alone.

The next morning, I went early to her house to see if she was ok.  She told me the chilling story of how these young men banged on her door, trying to get in.  She told them she was calling the police on them -so they left.

Was this a home invasion two doors down?  Was it a gang taking revenge on one of their own or a rival gang?  Was it a domestic dispute gone wrong?  I have not heard…but the young men running to that house had one thing on their mind, and that was to spill blood!

The world we live in today, seems to be at war-in every sense of the word! Many people do not know the way of Peace!  God is out of the equation…it’s all about doing your own thing…doing what is right in your own eyes!

I thank God for watching over my neighbors, and myself and my son.  He sent His angels to keep stand guard over us…He made a hedge of protection to surround us!

I don’t know about the rest of you…but I’m so glad that I have a relationship with God Almighty, His Son, Jesus, and The Holy Spirit!

Anita

Daniel: Brush With Greatness, by Daniel Leavitt

Daniel: Brush With Greatness,  by Daniel Leavitt

 

Character before prophecy.

 

Psalm 119The Message (MSG)

119 1-8 You’re blessed when you stay on course,
walking steadily on the road revealed by God.
You’re blessed when you follow his directions,
doing your best to find him.
That’s right—you don’t go off on your own;
you walk straight along the road he set.
You, God, prescribed the right way to live;
now you expect us to live it.
Oh, that my steps might be steady,
keeping to the course you set;
Then I’d never have any regrets
in comparing my life with your counsel.
I thank you for speaking straight from your heart;
I learn the pattern of your righteous ways.
I’m going to do what you tell me to do;
don’t ever walk off and leave me.

 

Does Every One Have a Price?

 

Adam compromised God’s law, followed his wife’s sin and lost paradise. Abraham compromised the truth, lied about Sarah and nearly lost his wife. Sarah compromised God’s word, sent Abraham to Hagar who bore Ishmael and lost peace in the Middle East ever since.

Esau compromised for a meal with Jacob and lost his birthright; Saul compromised the divine word, kept the animals and lost the royal seed. Aaron compromised his convictions about idolatry and he and the people lost the privilege of the Promised Land.

Samson compromised righteous devotion as a Nazarite with Delilah, lost his strength, lost his eyes and lost his life.

Israel compromised the commands of the Lord, lived in sin and went fighting with the Philistines, lost God.

David compromised the divine moral standard and adulterated Bathsheba, murdered Uriah and lost his child.

Solomon compromised his convictions, married foreign wives and lost the whole kingdom. Ahab compromised married Jezebel and lost his throne.

Israel compromised the law of God, entered the sin and idolatry and lost their homeland. Peter compromised his convictions about Christ, denied him and lost his joy. Peter compromised the truth of the one church for acceptance with the Judaizers and lost his liberty.

Annanias and Saphira compromised their word about giving life to the Holy Spirit and lost their lives.

Judas compromised his opportunity and supposed love for Christ for 30 pieces of silver and forever lost his soul.

 

There are some we remember them well who didn’t compromise, Moses before Pharaoh, David many times, Paul before Felix, Festus and Agrippa, but no-one is a better illustration of an uncompromising light then Daniel. He provides for us the clearest illustration of what it is to live without compromise. Let’s look at Daniel, Chapter 1 in our Bibles, and just glimpse the uncompromising life of this amazing young man

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fXOhSScVMUs

 

Daniel 1The Message (MSG)

Daniel Was Gifted by God

1 1-2 It was the third year of King Jehoiakim’s reign in Judah when King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon declared war on Jerusalem and besieged the city. The Master handed King Jehoiakim of Judah over to him, along with some of the furnishings from the Temple of God. Nebuchadnezzar took king and furnishings to the country of Babylon, the ancient Shinar. He put the furnishings in the sacred treasury.

 

3-5 The king told Ashpenaz, head of the palace staff, to get some Israelites from the royal family and nobility—young men who were healthy and handsome, intelligent and well-educated, good prospects for leadership positions in the government, perfect specimens!—and indoctrinate them in the Babylonian language and the lore of magic and fortunetelling. The king then ordered that they be served from the same menu as the royal table—the best food, the finest wine. After three years of training they would be given positions in the king’s court.

 

6-7 Four young men from Judah—Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah—were among those selected. The head of the palace staff gave them Babylonian names: Daniel was named Belteshazzar, Hananiah was named Shadrach, Mishael was named Meshach , Azariah was named Abednego.

 

Revelation 2:17

‘He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches To him who overcomes, to him I will give some of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone, and a new name written on the stone which no one knows but he who receives it.’

 

8-10 But Daniel determined that he would not defile himself by eating the king’s food or drinking his wine, so he asked the head of the palace staff to exempt him from the royal diet. The head of the palace staff, by God’s grace, liked Daniel, but he warned him, “I’m afraid of what my master the king will do. He is the one who assigned this diet and if he sees that you are not as healthy as the rest, he’ll have my head!”

 

James 1:27 (MSG)

26-27 Anyone who sets himself up as “religious” by talking a good game is self-deceived. This kind of religion is hot air and only hot air. Real religion, the kind that passes muster before God the Father, is this: Reach out to the homeless and loveless in their plight, and guard against corruption from the godless world.

 

11-13 But Daniel appealed to a steward who had been assigned by the head of the palace staff to be in charge of Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah: “Try us out for ten days on a simple diet of vegetables and water. Then compare us with the young men who eat from the royal menu. Make your decision on the basis of what you see.”

 

14-16 The steward agreed to do it and fed them vegetables and water for ten days. At the end of the ten days they looked better and more robust than all the others who had been eating from the royal menu. So the steward continued to exempt them from the royal menu of food and drink and served them only vegetables.

 

17-19 God gave these four young men knowledge and skill in both books and life. In addition, Daniel was gifted in understanding all sorts of visions and dreams. At the end of the time set by the king for their training, the head of the royal staff brought them in to Nebuchadnezzar. When the king interviewed them, he found them far superior to all the other young men. None were a match for Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah.

 

Living Above Average

Psalm 119:46  King James Version

I will speak of thy testimonies also before kings, and will not be ashamed.

 

What are the Neigh sayers saying?

King Nebuchadnezzar

Daniel 4:34-37The Message (MSG)

 “At the end of the seven years, I, Nebuchadnezzar, looked to heaven. I was given my mind back and I blessed the High God, thanking and glorifying God, who lives forever:

 

“His sovereign rule lasts and lasts,

    his kingdom never declines and falls.

Life on this earth doesn’t add up to much,

    but God’s heavenly army keeps everything going.

No one can interrupt his work,

    no one can call his rule into question.

36-37 “At the same time that I was given back my mind, I was also given back my majesty and splendor, making my kingdom shine. All the leaders and important people came looking for me. I was reestablished as king in my kingdom and became greater than ever. And that’s why I’m singing—I, Nebuchadnezzar—singing and praising the King of Heaven:

 

“Everything he does is right,

    and he does it the right way.

He knows how to turn a proud person

    into a humble man or woman.”

 

Darius the Persian

24 Then the king commanded that the conspirators who had informed on Daniel be thrown into the lions’ den, along with their wives and children. Before they hit the floor, the lions had them in their jaws, tearing them to pieces.

 

25-27 King Darius published this proclamation to every race, color, and creed on earth:

 

Peace to you! Abundant peace!

    I decree that Daniel’s God shall be worshiped and feared in all parts of my kingdom.

    He is the living God, world without end. His kingdom never falls.

    His rule continues eternally.

    He is a savior and rescuer.

    He performs astonishing miracles in heaven and on earth.

    He saved Daniel from the power of the lions.

28 From then on, Daniel was treated well during the reign of Darius, and also in the following reign of Cyrus the Persian.

 

 

19-20 And so they took their place in the king’s service. Whenever the king consulted them on anything, on books or on life, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and enchanters in his kingdom put together.

 

21 Daniel continued in the king’s service until the first year in the reign of King Cyrus.

 

 

 

 

Maewyn Succat

 

The Prayer of St. Patrick

– Anonymous

 

I arise today

Through the strength of heaven;

I arise today

Through God’s strength to pilot me;

God’s might to uphold me,

God’s wisdom to guide me,

God’s eye to look before me,

God’s ear to hear me,

God’s word to speak for me,

God’s hand to guard me,

God’s way to lie before me,

God’s shield to protect me,

God’s hosts to save me

Afar and anear,

Alone or in a mulitude.

Christ shield me today

Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me,

Christ in me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me,

Christ on my right, Christ on my left,

Christ when I lie down, Christ when I sit down,

Christ in the heart of everyone who thinks of me,

Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me,

Christ in the eye that sees me,

Christ in the ear that hears me.

 

I arise today

Through the mighty strength

Of the Lord of creation.

 

An uncompromising faith

  1. Maintains your integrity
  2. Ignites your passion for God
  3. Reduces your corruption
  4. Spreads your influence
  5. Can change the world

HOW MUCH DO YOU REALLY KNOW? …

Here’s a little quiz I found in a magazine called, “Beyond Today.”  Since it’s almost Easter time, let’s see how much you REALLY know about the Real Easter Story… -anita

*******************************

How much do you know about the origin of Easter and its popular customs?  Take the following short quiz to assess your knowledge…

  1. True or False:  Easter didn’t originate with Jesus Christ’s resurrection, but had been celebrated for many centuries prior.
  2.  True or False:  Rabbits and eggs have nothing to do with Christ’s resurrection, but are holdovers from ancient spring fertility celebrations.
  3.  True or False: Easter gets its name from an ancient fertility goddess.
  4.  True or False:  Pagans celebrated the supposed resurrection of their false gods in the springtime many centuries before Jesus Christ.
  5.  True or False:  The word Easter appears only once in the King James Bible-and that one time is a mistranslation of the Greek word for Passover.
  6.  True or False:  Neither the apostles nor other members of the early Church celebrated Easter.
  7.  True or False:  Celebrations such as Easter are condemned in the Bible

 

The correct answer to all of the above questions is true.  Check it out and verify these answers by looking through good encyclopedias.  

Too many people go through life thinking they are honoring Jesus Christ through popular celebrations such as Easter.  But before you celebrate Easter again, consider what Jesus Himself thinks about this holiday!

By:  Beyond Today magazine