WHO AM I…REALLY?

Here’s a really good one for you to ponder on today!  It’s from our own Lee Pierce.  Really think about this when you read it…I believe we can all agree with Lee on this one!-anita

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Do you ever wonder about yourself? Ever think of something you’ve said or done in a particular situation that rather surprised you? Said or done something that seemed completely out of character with the “normal” you?

When I think about myself, I feel like a chameleon sometimes. Depending upon who I’m with, my demeanor, my language and choice of words or topic, seem to change to “fit in” with the person or group I’m encountering at a given moment. If I’m with business people, I work hard to sound business-like, whatever that means. When it’s music people, I want to be sure to talk music. Of course, when it’s people in the church, I want to make sure I sound holy enough. Bible savvy. I’m well aware that part of this is simply circumstantial; I want to be relevant in the situation. Talking about a new effects pedal I just tried out on my guitar while I’m a participant in a business meeting probably will not go over well. But there’s more to it than that, I believe.

There’s an element of acceptance driving much of this in our day-to-day encounters. I want to be accepted. I want to be liked. I’m a bit afraid of what people might say about me, I guess. Author John Eldredge puts it this way: “What people think of me is a very powerful motivator…It shapes our theology, our politics, our values.” He goes on to question whether we even go through a day being totally true to who we really are. Eldredge then asks, “Do you even know the true you? Is there a true you?” His point is that our personality has a motive behind it. Some motives are good, others not so much so. Some motives are born out of love, others out of cunning or manipulation. If I’m true to myself, my actions will align with my self-image. But how seldom is that alignment present I must admit.

So who is the true me; who do I want myself to be? These are very large, philosophical questions of life but very important nonetheless. And, by the way, very hard to answer. As I’ve grown older, both in age and in my walk of faith, I find myself more and more wanting to please the Lord. To do and say things that will make Him happy for me. And for reasons that have nothing to do with fear. No, my motives—when I really stop and think about them—are more driven out of love and, especially, out of gratitude. He has done so much for me in my life…and I want to show Him my thanks every single day. In every single encounter with any other person. Am I able to always do that? Unfortunately, the answer is no, at least not yet. Like the old song says, He’s still working on me.

Of course, I want my wife and family to love me. I want my associates in music and business to think well of me. But I believe I’ve discovered that, in most situations, if I try to do/say what I think will please my Lord, the people to whom my words/actions are directed will be pleased and blessed very well, also. I think the bottom line here is this: consistency. If my love for the Lord and my desire to please him colors each encounter I have with another person, I’m pretty sure I’ll be much less of that chameleon I referred to earlier. Better yet, I will be more of the person both He and I want me to be. Where love and a servant’s heart guide both my words and actions, I’m convinced this will make me someone others can trust and enjoy encountering. As I see it, that’s not a bad outcome!

Lee Pierce

What If All of Them Actually Showed Up? (Preachers Preach and Teachers Teach)

Here’s another one from Hard Times Ministries.  Think about this as you read it… unfortunately, I believe Mr. Thompson is correct.  Look at the mega churches that already exist; full of people-but the pastor benefits the most.  Mansions, private jets, large estates, numerous cars, suits that cost thousands of dollars….  And the rest of the money in the coffers goes to a bigger building, more staff, and the like.  James 1:27 says: ” 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. -anita

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Suppose in the course of inviting thousands, perhaps even hundreds of thousands of people to church that they actually showed up?

Suppose the good guys, the bad guys, the hobos and bums and prostitutes and drug addicts and bankers and lawyers and doctors and policemen and the well-to-do and the homeless were all to show up for church seeking salvation—what would we do?

And there we have it in its totality.  If all the people who are down trodden and those seeking the ultimate in spiritual truths we would do—nothing any different than occurs now.

There would be music, a sermon, an offertory, altar calls and probably a high mention of a building fun to house all the new members.

All of the people would be categorized, rounded-up more or less for the married, the singles, the divorcees and overcomers and the women’s club and geriatrics, and toddlers and teens and the men’s bible study, etc.

You see, nothing would really change. The congregant would determine some mechanism, some type of apparatus to house the masses to simply continue what they were already doing.

There would be no discussion of rallying up this army to go OUT THERE where we should all be doing just as Christ commanded!

If they all showed up, we’d see nothing any different than what we see now.  There would really be no changes to society as society would not even notice as it would have mostly NO EFFECT on or in our communities.

With our masses assembled, we’d possess our armies, our crusaders, the laborers that are all indeed needed, but nothing would change. Nothing would change and that’s probably why the army fails to appear among our churches.  Our churches are passive.  They sit idly by and pay the staff to perform the word that Jesus requires us to do.

The idea of harvesting resources and dividing it out among those who need it would elude the leadership.  NO, they’d want it for more staff and once again, for an inanimate building. The concentration of energies and resources for the nurturement of people would be eclipsed by the vanity of sheer numbers. For the truth of this is we already possess some of these armies, these spiritual warriors among our mega-churches and we know where they gather.  They gather not in the communities that need them, but in large, massive buildings that soak up all the monies that could be serving those who need it most.

So in answer to the question about what would we do if thousands upon thousands of people assembled at the doorways of our churches?  We’d really do nothing, nothing really at all for our world would be exactly the same as before.

T. F. Thompson

SPEAKING IN RED PRINT

 

Here’s a good one from Hard Times Ministries.  Search your heart…is this you?  I see myself in there, unfortunately! -anita

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Matthew 6:31-34

31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Nothing can be more American than self-sufficiency. On the whole, Americans are extremely independent and actually boast about not only self-rule, but autonomy from others.  No one in this country likes to be servant to another or dependent upon them for subsidence. No, Americans are proud and love to go it alone.

As Christians who profess to be Bible Believing, these bible thumpers don’t exactly express what part of the bible of which they believe.

When we awake in the morning, we awake to an alarm clock that represents all of the authority of the industrialized corporate world.   Many punch into a clock that records their presence, while others are monitored via their behavior as their performance is measured piecemeal.  The commonality we all share as Americans is that we ‘snap to’ it when our Employers demand attention.

My question is:  how well can we say that about Jesus and His words.  Some Bible emphasize his words emphatically by casting them in Red Print so as to stick out.  And in like manner, we seem to avoid His words as they are so easily detected to be shunned.

We shun his words as we are certain to avoid the consequences.  The fact is: we love mammon, money more than we do God’s kingdom.

I am sure, that if you are as I am, you’ll lie about it and ascertain that you are a firm, committed Christian. And even though we utter the words, the actions speak differently. The truth be known, we love our comforts, status, position, wealth far, far more than we love Jesus.  No, we are not about to give up all the things Jesus Commanded us to as he spoke in Red Print. Jesus preached that we had to lose our life in order to gain it.  As true, dedicated Americans, we are too busy working, losing our life to our jobs to give it to Jesus.

I don’t judge those who struggle for a living.  However, I do believe we should be careful about those values we say that we profess.  Much of what we say about Jesus insomuch as to how we believe is false. I don’t believe it is a wanton lie, but on the other hand, it is poke by man for us to believe as if it were in Red Print rather than the words of Jesus.

T. F. Thompson

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ANOTHER DAVID…

Our Worship service at the Mission on Saturday was such a blessing!  Praying for folks with all kinds of requests.  I was amazed when I realized that none of them asked for prayer regarding their homeless estate.  They were praying for others-family members, friends, strength to witness…it was a real eye-opener to me.

We that are not homeless, usually ask prayer for our “miserable” situation such as a job change because we hate the one we have, a better place to live, a more reliable car,  ….and the list goes on.

These folks however, are homeless.  They have no job-but wish they did…ANY job; they live in the street, sleeping in door-ways, or beside dumpsters…or maybe a cardboard box; they have no car-reliable or otherwise…yet they were not asking prayer for themselves-only for others!

As happened last time we went, my little “Prayer Warrior” Joe, was standing next to me in the battle against Satan and his demons that seemed to overwhelm the room at times.  I prayed for the last person in line, and when I opened my eyes-Joe was already out in the crowd of people praying for those that didn’t have the courage to get in line and ask for it.

I saw him walk up to someone and presumably ask them if he could pray for them.  They shook their head no, so he patted them on the shoulder, and went on to the next row.  He was undaunted in his quest to pray for those in need.  The man who had been sitting next to the person that refused prayer, called Joe back to pray for him.  He was a big biker looking dude.  Joe grabbed both of his huge hands, knelt before him, and prayed.  I wish I knew what he said in his prayer, for when he was finished, he rose, shook the mans hand, patted him on the shoulder, and went looking for another person to pray for.  As Joe walked away, I saw this rough-looking biker begin to wipe the tears from his eyes.  He was sobbing now, and could not control the tears as they ran down his face.  His countenance had changed.  My “little David” had struck at least one of the giants in this mans life with his prayers!

We as adults need to have that kind of faith.  The kind of faith that believes NO ONE is beyond God’s grasp…that NO ONE is beyond redemption.

When we become adults, something happens to our innocence, our belief that ALL things are possible with God.  We begin to reason, and think logically, but forget that miracles still happen if we’ll only believe.  We forget that prayer changes things!  Jesus said, “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” James 5:16    Are we righteous within ourselves?  NO!  We are righteous, or, in right standing with God because of what Jesus did for us on the cross of Calvary.  Because we are washed in the blood of Jesus, God hears our prayers and answers them for Jesus’ sake!

Let’s stop offering obligatory prayers to God.  Instead, let us call on Him, in faith, believing that He will answer our prayers!  Let’s put on the whole armor of God, and walk into the battle unafraid…undaunted by what we see; let’s look with the eyes of a child, and like the little shepherd boy of the Bible-little David…and like my little Joe,  let’s go slay some giants in people’s lives!

Anita

THE LAMB OF GOD…

 

29 The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! -John 1:29 NIV

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Last night, as my son and I said our bed-time prayers, we were entreating the Lord for one of our loved ones, and one of my friends.  They both were taught the things of Jesus, but have deliberately chosen to  walk away from the Truth and go their own way.

As we prayed for them, my son stopped and said, “Your friend is more lost than ….. (our loved one!).   At first, I agreed with him because of the things she now practices,  but as I thought about that I retracted my statement.  I explained to my son in this way…

“Say your home is right here ** ….and you are only one block away from it, but you’re walking in the dark, you can’t see, … you’re lost.  Then, let’s suppose that your brother is five miles from the house; he’s walking in darkness as well and can’t find his way home either…he’s lost too.  The point is this, You may be closer to home than him…but you are both still lost!  Like the old song says, ‘Almost…but lost!’ ”  When you’re speaking of Heaven- there is no “Almost.”  You will either make it there, or you won’t. If you don’t KNOW Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior,  He will have no choice but to say “Depart from Me…I never knew you!”

I tell you this, because Jesus IS the Sacrificial Lamb of God!  He IS the Way, He IS the Truth, He IS the Life, and you’ll never reach “home” unless you call on Him and repent of your sins! 

Come to Him…call on Him!  He’s waiting with arms open wide to receive you!

Anita

REFUSING TO FORGET

Here’s another good one from T. F. Thompson-Hard Times Ministries.

There is good advice in this article!  Take heed-for remember, Jesus Forgives, and FORGETS our past; our wrongs against Him are buried in the deepest sea, never to be remembered against us anymore…forever!  We’d do well to do the same with those who wrong us! -anita

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Over the years, I’ve heard people say that they were willing to forgive but refuse to forget.  Without cutting hairs on this topic, it seems the sea of forgetfulness is a good as any virtue offered the Christian.

Most certainly, I would hope Jesus ‘forgets’ my sins or at least doesn’t judge me eternally on the basic of my faults.  In other words, addressing people as such:  He told a lie, therefore he is a liar.  This type of logic covers a host of sins and bad behaviors.

For some reason, and not to my amusement, it is generally believed that a good person can go bad overnight and that it is almost if not impossible for a bad person to turn good. Of course, a deeper inspection of this introspection would reveal the negative thinking and the obviously flawed thinking behind it.

Most of this hinges on memory.  We judge others based on how others have ‘wronged’ us and vow to protect ourselves in the future.  NO one is going to contest your need for protection, but at times we take this way too far.

I know some compulsive people who have all the wrongs against them down to the year, month, week and day of occurrence. In the details of any conversation, these incidents come up again and again with a seemingly newness to them. In other words, the ‘victim’ experiences the emotions over and over again—to the point that healing can never take place.  These people are infused with hurt and pain.

Thus, I think for some people that they can’t and won’t forget and some can, but refuse to make the effort to try.  Anyone can see the damage as a result.

In this way, forgetting and forgiving go hand in hand.  Here, the two must meet—otherwise a person is stuck in a quagmire of emotion. My experience teaches me that even for those who are active, who are sincere in forgiving require years to overcome the damage.  But overcoming is exactly our task, for it is probably most impossible to minister to another if we are forever foraging back into our own pain.

Reaching out to others requires a risk.  The risk is necessary in order for both parties to grow.  Insomuch that Jesus reaches out to us daily, we must do the same for others.  All of this involves loving the unlovable.  Without this it is impossible to truly love. Forgiveness begins with forgetting—at least forgetting so new memories may be established.  The new memories, good memories are those worth remembering forever.

T. F. Thompson

 

CONFESSIONS OF AN AMERICAN CHRISTIAN HOME – OWNER

Here is a really good one from Agent X -Fat Beggars School of Prophets!  This really hit home with me.  We must decide what matters more…”stuff” or souls. Thanks for the reminder, X! -anita

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Confessions of an American Christian Home-Owner

“Why did I keep the car?” – Oscar Schindler

You know that scene near the end of Schindler’s List as the Allies are liberating camps in Poland and Schindler bid’s his Jews goodbye?  As he makes his farewell statements, he breaks down confessing how much money he wasted and regretting how many more lives he could have saved?

Schindler, according to the movie – after watching three full hours of unflinching Nazi horror, breaks down in tears and bemoans the fact that he did not sell the car.  If he had, he could have saved 10 more lives.  His lapel pin could have purchased two.  And as the world is changing from darkness to light before his eyes, he laments how much he wasted on himself.

This post is my Schindleric confession – my practice run for the Great Day of Judgment when the King separates the goats and sheep (Matt. 25:31-46).  Like practically every American Christian I know, I will be reduced to throwing myself on the mercy of the court.  When the King calls forth the sick, the prisoners, the homeless and questions them about whether I showed charity, I will be hanging on every word!

But if I take a page from Oscar Schindler, perhaps I will confess my wayward home-owning like this:

What I Could’ve Done…?

…closets…  I had closets.  So many closets.  Walk in closets.  Even had a storm-shelter closet.  A closet in the garage.  I could have prayed in my closets (Matt. 6:6), but I did not.

… and the kitchen, the dining room, the china cabinet, and all those dishes.  Oh, how I complained about washing those dishes.  A table that would seat eight, and yet we ate in front of the TV or at the drive thru.  I could have thrown parties – and I did!  But I invited my rich friends as I tried to impress them with my wealth!  But I could have thrown Luke-14 parties and invited the sick, the lame, the blind and the poor!

… the guest room… Oh my God!  The guest room.  How much did we spend on the Amish-made quilt with the matching drapes, and of course we had to send off to Singapore for those delicate doilies we placed on the night stand to decorate a room only five guests slept in for the last 27 years!  And then when the kids left for college one-by-one, their rooms opened up too!  They resumed their lodging at the holidays for a few years, but once married, they began staying at the Marriot whenever they came home to visit.  And night after night those guest rooms went empty while Jesus slept on the street across town.  We could have invited those cold, lonely human beings to join us for the night, or we could have hosted foster children, but obtaining a cabin in Ruidoso somehow seemed better at the time.  What was I thinking?

I was thinking of the Jones’s and how to keep up with them, and of living the American Dream.  I was thinking of myself, and I forgot Jesus.  I am so sorry.

I was an idolater.  I told my friends and family that I was committed to following Jesus, that God, the Father, was my God, but really I worshipped at the altars of Mammon (money), Aphrodite (sex), and Mars (power).

MONEY, SEX, and POWER

Money.  I could never get enough money.  Everything, it seems, begins and ends with money.  Money was my alpha and omega.  Money was my highest ideal and my bottom line.  Yes, I loved money.  I even chose a college education I hoped would earn me more money.  I was addicted to money and could not imagine a day without it.  I really thought money made the world go round while I looked down my nose on people who did not have it and did not know how to worship it properly.  Yes, when it came to money, I was a… a… LEGALIST!

And then I bought a house.  I shopped for a mortgage that would get me more house for less money so that I could keep more of it for myself.  I wanted a nice house.  I wanted to live on the nice side of town and send my kids to the best schools. And I did.  And when I saw my neighbors (the Jones’s) purchasing golf carts to use dumping the trash or rolling around the neighborhood, I had to have one too.

I drove a 4X4 truck with a big V-8 engine that sucked gallons of gas to the mile, and my wife drove the oversized SUV.  And we usually went to church in separate vehicles.  But at least we showed off our nice cars down at the fancy church that recently moved out to the white-flight side of town and constructed a million dollar, stained glass sanctuary in an effort to keep up with the Baptists.

All of this costs money.  Lots of money.  And we worked long days and weekends to ensure we had it all covered.  But when the Jones family, next door, put in new landscaping, it seemed like we had better do it too.  And we shopped around and found a service that employed illegal aliens for $5/hr, and that is how we afforded it all.  And then we put in a pool out back, which of course meant we needed an 8 ft. fence instead of the 6 ft. fence we had at first.  And that seemed to cut into our giving at church a bit for about a year, but when the pastor delivered a rousing sermon on tithing, we managed to get that back on track.

But then there was the sex.  And isn’t that why you go to so much trouble to get the money?  You want a hot wife, no?  She wants a rich man!  (I know that.)  But then the first wife and I didn’t work out so well, so I had to leave the first house to her and start again.  But fortunately the business took off a couple years after that, and I got a trophy wife and a bigger house.

The ex-wife and I still go to the same church, but we can no longer tolerate each other as a family, so at least I only have to see her once a week.  Meanwhile I am getting a good deal out of the hot, young thing I traded up for.  Except that I need Viagra to keep her happy, and well, she is just way more energetic than me.  And I am really not into the same music and all.  So, I guess as long as I am confessing… I might as well admit that I spend a lot of sexual energy on the internet and cable TV.  Have you seen those ads for the sex toys they send to your house in discreet packaging?  Well, its true.

And my wife… well… she does seem a bit obsessed with her appearance, alright.  The shoe rack in her walk in closet is enormous.  I can’t count that high.  And her vanity is full of high end cosmetics.  She is planning for surgery to fix her neck and nose next spring.  Personally, I think she looks great, but the pool boy made a remark about it to her, and she can’t let it go.  In fact, come to think of it, he seems a bit aloof around me since she brought that up.  And well, actually, I did have a tryst with that babysitter one night a few years ago.  (She was eighteen, I am pretty sure.)  So, I really can’t complain about it.

You know what?  That’s enough about sex.  I will get in trouble if I tell all….  Any confession I make about myself implicates others who don’t want to be outed.

Finally, I will confess my worship of power.  And I can’t help but think of my three-car garage right off the top.  Yeah, I usually drive the 4X4, even though it’s a gas guzzler and even though there are no trails or mountains between home and work.  But we have a classic Corvette under a cover in the third stall.  That thing is a treasure.  I got it up to 134 mph once.  That’s power!

But really, the ironic thing is that we have a “Welcome” mat at our front door.  But it lies really.  It lies because the little home security sign in the flower bed lets you know that you are, in fact, not really welcome.  Again, I think of those guest rooms going empty night after night while Jesus sleeps on the streets, and I wonder if a homeless person walked by my house, what would suggest they are welcome here?  Because the “Welcome” mat rings a little hollow, huh?

We have a flag pole out in the front yard too.  Yeah, we blend our Christianity with our patriotism and fly the flag of apple pie and American freedom.  Ole Glory brings a tear to my eye, even when Jesus can’t.  We even sacrificed a child to Moloch, I mean, homeland security, when he joined the United States Marine Corps.  We mix the humility of Jesus carrying a cross with American Pride as if the two belong together, and thus we worship at the altar of power with all we’ve got.

And honestly, that 8 ft. fence turns our castle into a fortress, really.  And we protect the place with a Glock 9 mil, security cameras, and a security service with a 4 minute response time.  Yeah, when it comes to owning a home, we definitely worship at the altar of power.

Rich Man and Lazarus

In Luke 16, we get the parable of the rich man and Lazarus (the beggar at the rich man’s gate).  They both die and enter judgment appropriate to their lives.  If the rich man had taken a page from Oscar Schindler, then maybe – just maybe – he could have redeemed himself.  But when he passes the point of no return, he begs that he might send word back to his brothers who are still living in the excesses of wealth.  He is not given that chance, but in this post, I am given the chance he was not.

There are sins that, though not inherent to it, go with home-owning like peanut butter and chocolate.  Being a home-owning Christian in middle America is ripe with idolatry.  I will come clean, finally, and confess, that I have done wrong.  And if I, like Oscar Schindler, can come to my senses and measure the car in lives lost, I find that I have been a murderer who can only throw myself at the mercy of the King.  And if there is still time, maybe – just maybe – I can move into the House of God.

In My Father’s House there are many mansions (John 14:2).  Oh, how I long to go there.  Oh Jerusalem, our feet shall stand within thy gates! (Psalm 122:2).

What if, and I am just spit-balling here, what if the house I live in is God’s house after all?  What if he is the Master of the house where I live?  Is such a thing possible?  Oh, how blessed I would be!  What would it look like if that grand place were His and not mine at all???

May the servant not be found sleeping when the Master returns! (Mark 13:32-37).

Agent X

LILY

 

I’m not sure if I’ve posted this before, but it is an Easter poem I wrote back in January of 2008.  I was thinking about the events that took place;  I closed my eyes and thought about the day of the Crucifixion…and then the Resurrection; how the earth itself mourned the death of the Creator.

This is a little on the abstract side of writing.  It’s a story of a flower that awakens early in the Spring, only to find she’s been moved from the garden to the hill of Golgotha and is about to witness the Crucifixion of her Creator. -anita

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Tremble before Him all the earth!  Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad and let them say, “The Lord reigns!”  Let the sea resound, and all that is in it.  Let the fields be jubilant and everything in them.  Then  the trees of the forest will sing…they will sing for joy before the Lord. – I Chron.  16:30-33

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‘Neath a blanket of glimmering, soft, snowy white

The naked trees sleep peacefully through the long Winter’s night.

 

The flowers sleep also, as they dream of Spring

When the sky will be blue, and the grass will turn green.

 

Then Spring dons her bright robe of emerald-green,

As nature awakens from her long, cold dream.

 

Lily stretches and yawns, then bursts forth through warm ground.

As birds upon wing, their sweet songs resound.

 

She’s looking for Daffodil, Violet, and Rose

In the garden so fair where they slept in repose.

 

But to her complete dismay, she awakes all alone

To the snap of a whip, and a shuddering moan.

 

She’s not in the garden…she’s been moved, far away

To a desolate hill, where the sky’s turning gray.

 

Two men hang already, on crosses nearby

for crimes they’ve committed, they’ve been sentenced to die.

 

Bewildered, and shaken, Lily looks all around

Then she turns to the right as she hears a loud sound.

 

Another man with a cross, trudges slow up the hill;

His face soft and kind, yet determination of steel.

 

He walks with a purpose, despising the shame…

But He was born for this moment; it’s the only reason He came!

 

He stops for a moment, and looks in Lily’s direction.

His gaze focused full, soft eyes make a connection.

 

Why!  She knows this man!  Its Jesus, The King…

The Creator of all…even her!  Everything!

 

How could this happen?  What could He have done?

And, what’s wrong with those soldiers?  Don’t they know He’s God’s Son?

 

She knows He is innocent of all He’s accused,

Yet He’s broken and battered…He’s beaten and bruised!

 

His eyes are all-knowing as He searches her heart.

He knows every room there, every secret, each part!

 

He knows she’s bewildered, confused, and afraid

By the things that she’s seen.  Her mind is reeling, and dazed.

 

So He bends down, fingers touching her petals so pure…

And in His eyes, she can see, Mankind’s long needed cure!

 

One drop of His blood falls, and stains her robe of pure white;

Then He picks up His cross and willingly marches towards His plight.

 

She marvels at His will…His tolerance, so great!

Why!  He could call 10,000 angels to come to His aide!

 

But He takes every jeer, every slap – all the loss;

He’s determined to die…up there, on that cross!

 

And as He hangs there, stripped naked between Heaven and earth,

He cries, “Father! Forgive them, for they don’t know My worth!”

 

He says, “It is finished.  What is lost, shall be found!”

Then He closes His eyes; Lily hears no other sound.

 

Then Nature mournfully speaks out loud, as the trees bow themselves to the ground;

The Sky cries great tears, for the Creator is gone…God’s Son, has kept His vow!

 

The Earth shudders, and shakes.

Lightening flashes, Thunder breaks.

 

The Sun is black now, and refuses to shine;

And the Wind, mourns and howls and plaintively whines!

 

As Lily stands all alone, she takes the scene in…

The Creator, God’s only Son, has died for all of man’s sin!

 

Night soon draws neigh, as Lily waits in the dark.

She sees them take His body down, and watches them depart.

 

She hears He’s been buried in a rich man’s borrowed tomb;

The all is quiet, she’s all alone, hoping morning will break soon.

***

Three days have passed, and the Sun just rose.

He’s been entombed, in quiet repose.

 

But a new day has dawned!

The victory over death has been won!

 

For a voice calls out, ringing loud and clear…

It falls ever joyous on Lily’s ear!

 

“He has risen…Just like He said!  He is alive…no longer dead!

He has for sin with blood atoned, now sits with God on rightful throne!”

 

All the flowers of the field rejoice, for a new day is born.

There’s no time for sadness…that time, has gone!

 

He was dead…Now He lives!  Earth, bless His name!

Praise God, for sinful man He came!

 

Anita Mondragon  -January 2008

 

 

 

 

WHEN JESUS SAW THEIR FAITH…

 

Mark 2King James Version (KJV)

And again he entered into Capernaum after some days; and it was noised that he was in the house.

And straightway many were gathered together, insomuch that there was no room to receive them, no, not so much as about the door: and he preached the word unto them.

And they come unto him, bringing one sick of the palsy, which was borne of four.

And when they could not come nigh unto him for the press, they uncovered the roof where he was: and when they had broken it up, they let down the bed wherein the sick of the palsy lay.

5 When Jesus saw their faith, he said unto the sick of the palsy, Son, thy sins be forgiven thee.

But there was certain of the scribes sitting there, and reasoning in their hearts,

Why doth this man thus speak blasphemies? who can forgive sins but God only?

And immediately when Jesus perceived in his spirit that they so reasoned within themselves, he said unto them, Why reason ye these things in your hearts?

Whether is it easier to say to the sick of the palsy, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Arise, and take up thy bed, and walk?

10 But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (he saith to the sick of the palsy,)

11 I say unto thee, Arise, and take up thy bed, and go thy way into thine house.

12 And immediately he arose, took up the bed, and went forth before them all; insomuch that they were all amazed, and glorified God, saying, We never saw it on this fashion.

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

A dear friend of mine and I had a brief discussion on the above passage yesterday.

Sometimes, we struggle so much with our own problems…our own demons,  that we grow weary…our Faith declines, and depending on how long we’ve been praying and not receiving the answer we’re looking for-our Faith becomes almost non-existent.  We begin to “accept” our fate.  I know…I’ve been there!  I lived my life-or rather, existed in that state for fifteen years.  We believe God for our eternal salvation, and almost everything else, but OUR problem…this ONE thing that never seems to have a solution, in our eyes becomes too great…even for Him.

This is when other Believers need to come to the aid of our brothers and sisters in Christ.  We need to lift them up before the throne of God, and because of OUR faith, they will be delivered!

In Exodus 17:11 – 13 it says this:  So it came about when Moses held his hand up, that Israel prevailed, and when he let his hand down, Amalek prevailed. 12But Moses’ hands were heavy. Then they took a stone and put it under him, and he sat on it; and Aaron and Hur supported his hands, one on one side and one on the other. Thus his hands were steady until the sun set. 13So Joshua overwhelmed Amalek and his people with the edge of the sword.…

I want to pick out a few words from the above passage.  The first word is Amalek.  In Jewish folklore the Amalekites are considered to be the symbol of evil. … According to the Hebrew Bible,

We all know that God wants His children to live an abundant life; a life without worry, poverty, sickness and disease.  If Believers are struggling with any of these things, be sure, they are from the devil – NOT from God!

Next, I want you to notice that the battle went on for so long that Moses got weary…he was tired!  He could not hold his hands up without help.  When our problems become so great that we have difficulty in lifting our hands to praise the Lord, we are in desperate need of help from our brothers and sisters in Christ!

Now, look at this…they put a stone under him so he could sit down.  There are many scriptures in the Bible that talk about us as Believers needing to stand firm on the Solid Rock…the Rock of Ages…Jesus, the Cornerstone!

But look at the rest of the story.  Aaron and Hur supported his hands-one on the left, one on the right, they held him steady until the sun went down.  They stood beside him in the battle until it was over!

And then look what happened…the Amalekites were defeated with the edge of the sword.  We defeat the devil with the Sword of the Lord which is the Word of God…the Bible!

Look back over your life for a moment.  How many times were you in deep distress, and a pastor deacon, layman, or a friend in Christ came along side and prayed for you…daily held you up before the throne of God, stuck by you till the end?  Thank God, I had several folks stand by me, encourage me until the end of my trials!  Had they not been there for me…the devil would have won the battle I was going through, for I,  in myself was too weak to fight.

Be sensitive…look around.  Do you see one of your brothers or sisters struggling with something?  Lift them up in prayer to the Lord; then go to them, encourage them, FIGHT WITH THEM against the evil that is coming their way!  In Jesus Name…

Anita

 

AHA! …or DO YOU GOT YOUR EARS ON???

Have you ever had an “Aha!” moment with God?  I myself have had many!  Some of those moments came while I was reading something-usually the Word of God, and a light seemed to come on.  Some were when I heard some words spoken by others more wise than I and at other times, I’ve had these enlightening, mind-blowing moments watching a movie, most of which were non-religious.

Like a miracle from God, these moments seem to come when my Faith is waning.  See, God can speak through ANY circumstance; the Bible says, “He (God) uses the foolish things of the world, to confound the wise.” – I Cor. 1:27

The sad thing is, these “Aha!” moments seem to dwindle as quickly as they appear!  And yes…just like the Children of Israel, I soon fall back into my rut of disbelief and doubt regarding  what God has done, is doing, and will continue to do-even long after I’m gone!

We read the miraculous deeds of God in the Bible, and shake our heads when we read on and discover the same folks that stood in awe of the miracles, are now complaining and standing in unbelief of what God can and will do for them.  Remember the parting of the Red Sea?  You would think that this particular miracle, in and of itself would never be forgotten, and that knowing this…seeing this occur, would surely outweigh any future unbelief; but not so!

We, in this day and age, look down the end of our self-righteous noses, and judge the Children of Israel for their lack of devotion to God Almighty, because after all…look at the many times He delivered them with visible miracles, yet they doubted! “How ridiculous!” we scream, and go on to say how, “If God did a miracle like that for me…I’d never forget!”

But we do forget.  From one trial/deliverance to the next, we forget how God brought us out…rescued us…took us through.

It’s time to stop doubting!  Time to look for the “Aha!” moments that God has for His Believers!  He’s talking all the time, but we aren’t listening.  Turn on your radio!  Listen for the voice of God!

God says….  “BREAKER, breaker…do you got your ears on?”

That’s when we should respond….  “That’s a big 10-4 Good Daddy!  Over…” and wait for God’s instructions!

Over and Out!

Anita