You all know I’m a huge fan of Fat Beggars School of Prophets blog site! Since Father’s Day is coming up shortly…I thought the following would be a great one to share!
X…May God richly bless you and Mrs. X for your compassion!
Look at the verses below…this is what God Almighty has to say about this…I gave two different versions for you to consider. Enjoy! -anita
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. -James 1:26-27 (The Message)
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. -James 1:27 (NIV)
When I was young, I used to test drive cars and trucks for General Motors on their Desert Proving Ground in Mesa, Arizona. I was a durability driver. My certification was good up to 100 mph, which we often did on the 5-mile circle track. That was cool. But the High-G certification required lots of specialized training.
The High-G training car was a 1969 Pontiac GTO with the strangest hose apparatus you ever saw mounted to the wheels on one side. It was a very old, classic car even when I was there in the 1990s. A legendary car that no one had ever wrecked in all those years of training – the techs bored out the engine block in numerous rebuilds and the management kept it in service because no one in training wanted to be the first to wreck it. But the hard part of the High-G certification test was that at 100 mph on the circle track, the trainer could simulate a blow out in two wheels with a rapid inflate/deflate air tank mounted in the back seat!
Then for those drivers who passed the certification process, they would test cars over 100 mph, riding high in the “glory lane” on the high berm track in test cars outfitted with special safety gear and wigwag head lights so that other drivers would see them in the rear view mirror and drop down a lane to let them pass. Any tests over 150 mph, and the traffic safety crew would shut down the track to all other traffic, bring out an ambulance on standby and then the track was limitless.
I have been thinking about that in recent days. When you drive a car in excess of 100 mph, the telephone poles on the side of the road become a blur. You must focus very intentionally on the road ahead while things in your peripheral vision go unattended. And well, just last week, the Fat Beggars Home for Widows, Orphans, and Sojourners just took on a third foster child.
Yeah, we have THREE NOW!
And they are all in diapers!
I posted a year ago about washing dishes with one hand… (I was such a rookie!) This is getting intense now. Ms. Agent X and I went to a Bible study last weekend with some new friends and took the kids. It lasted until nearly 9 pm on a Saturday night. We were exhausted when our heads finally hit the pillow at about 11:30. We woke up waaaaaay too late to make it to regular Sunday School the next morning, and found we could not get ready in time for worship at all – not even the late service. But there was another home Bible study group Sunday night, so we went to that. And again, we were wasted by bed time that night.
Then Ms. Agent X and I finally had a few minutes to debrief on our experiences a couple days later. I told her I had managed to go out one day to lunch with family and only after we were all sitting down to eat, I realized I had not brushed my own teeth yet that morning! She had realized that she wore a pair of pants to the Saturday night Bible study inside out with the tag hanging out and did not know it until we got home! She caught herself throwing away the laundry and putting the diapers in the washing machine!
We are having a wild time here. And I am just thinking that if any of my readers spend much time in prayer, I hope you will remember the Fat Beggars Home for Widows, Orphans, and Sojourners next time you pray. I hope God hears about us and gives us strength, and any friends we have that could help with that would be deeply appreciated.
Yeah, at these speeds, diapers whiz by like a blur!
Agent X-Fat Beggars School of Prophets
1 0. Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? –Matthew 6:26
9. “What do you think? If a man owns a hundred sheep, and one of them wanders away, will he not leave the ninety-nine on the hills and go to look for the one that wandered off? And if he finds it, I tell you the truth, he is happier about that one sheep than about the ninety-nine that did not wander off. In the same way your Father in heaven is not willing that any of these little ones should be lost. –Matthew 18:12-14
8. But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. –Luke 6:35-36
7. “Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom”. –Luke 12:32
6. “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you.” –John 14:1-2
5. “No, the Father himself loves you because you have loved me and have believed that I came from God. — John 16:27
4. For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. — Romans 8:15-16
3. “Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!” — Matthew 7:9-11
2. How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! –1 John 3:1
And what is the message all of these verses are hammering into our hearts?
- You have a daddy who loves you.
- He is strong enough to protect you.
- He is engaged enough to teach you.
- He is tender enough to hug you.
- He is alive enough to play with you.
And the Number One verse regarding the love of the Father is this amazing truth– no matter how far you have wondered, you can still come home! Regarding the prodigal son, Jesus tells us:
1. “When he came to his senses, he said… “I will set out and go back to my father” –Luke 15:17
I don’t believe I have posted the following before. It is from one of my inherited books.
Since Sunday is Father’s Day…I wanted to give honor and praise to the best Father of all-God Almighty! Thank you Father, for always being here for me…for being my Shepherd …for being my all! -anita
My heart was just a wilderness,
Walled in with self and pride;
The brambles of deceit grew there,
And weeds on every side.
The gate was closed and tightly locked,
By Satan made secure;
For he was master of my heart,
His seeds he planted there.
And then came One who had a key,
The gate He opened wide;
The key was love; His fragrance filled
The garden like a tide.
For with His presence came the light,
And with His light came life;
A resurrection now began
To end despair and strife.
The walls of pride He now cast down,
He built there walls of grace;
Blossoms of hope spring all around
And flowers in every place.
And oh, this blessed Gardener,
How patiently He tills,
To make the soil more pliable,
To cure the many ills
He is the Water, Food, and Strength,
The Sun with its blest ray;
To this the garden of my heart
He is my all today.
Olga J. Weiss
The following is from a blogger -M. Dennis. He visited our site, so naturally, I wanted check his out. I only read a few of his entries, but I was impressed with his insight on Scripture and perception of everyday life. This is a good one! Enjoy! -anita
A friend of mine at work likes to use the word, “fungible”. You can read a dictionary definition at the link below, but in general, my definition is “interchangeable”. Two things are fungible if you can swap one out for the other, with no impact on the outcome.
If you’re really thirsty when you get home, a glass or a mug are fungible, since you can fill up either of them, take a drink, and quench your thirst. If someone gives you an important phone number or address, a pencil or pen is fungible (as long as you have a piece of paper – otherwise, the pen will show up better when you write on your hand).
However, not everything is fungible. Some Ford people won’t drive a Chevy (even if it’s a rental), and vice versa. Either a cheeseburger or a salad can stave off hunger, but they’re not the same. A hammer and a wrench are both classified as tools (and I’ve used both as a prybar, in a pinch), but sometimes you need one or the other.
In the same way, the body of Christ is made up of people who each have their own contributions:
Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are varieties of ministries, and the same Lord. There are varieties of effects, but the same God who works all things in all persons. But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.
1 Corinthians 12:4-7 NASB
While many of us may share the same spiritual gifts as others around us, we each have a part to play. God has prepared good works for each of us:
For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.
Ephesians 2:10 NASB
As a result, I don’t think that the people who make up the body of Christ are fungible. Even when there is overlap between our respective capabilities and ministries, I believe that each Christian has a contribution to make, based on his or her combination of gifts, talents, resources, experiences, current location, and opportunities.
When someone needs help – whether material, emotional, social, or otherwise – sometimes the right person to step in is you…or me. Not every opportunity is meant for either of us, but certain opportunities are meant for exactly one of us. Today, there is probably a need from someone else that you are meant to fill.
It’s at this point that some of us check out, or go into defensive mode (“shields up!”). When a pastor or teacher talks about everyone having a role in God’s plan, we start to hear voices telling us that we don’t have anything to contribute. It’s easy to think that we are somehow the exceptions – that we don’t have anything to offer to the body of Christ.
If we’re honest, though: When we think that – we’re wrong. We may not know God’s plan for us, or what He has pre-qualified us to do, but if we believe we don’t have anything to offer (usually because we are comparing ourselves to someone else), we probably need to look a little closer – or just step out, do what we can, and trust God to make use of what He leads us to do.
Even if we serve in roles with many others (like welcoming visitors to church, or passing an offering basket), we bring something unique. We may present a reliable face to those who come to our church. We might be learning subtle cues to communicate with the other ushers when serving the congregation. Or, we may be called to minister to others who serve alongside us. Alternatively, our role may be outside of the church building (and, in fact, most Christians probably have at least part of their role, there).
We can spend too much time trying to “figure out” what God has in mind for us. Or, we could just follow His leading, listen for His course corrections, and watch Him work. Remember that no one else’s part in God’s plan is fungible with your own role, so be sure that you’re trying to make use of the opportunities to do exactly what you were made to do.
M. Dennis-Those Who Sin Differently
Let me just start out by saying, I’m a little more than perturbed, so…if you’re not up for a rant, you better stop reading now!
I’m sure some of you will be calling me a hypocrite and reminding me of my post yesterday about being merciful. Well, let me tell you…I am being merciful! If I felt the freedom to say what I would like to say to some folks, I’d let them have it with both barrels…right between the eyes!
I’m talking about folks that always have something to whine and complain about! Everything offends them! If you say something to them…they are hurt and mad. If you don’t get involved, and don’t say anything to them…then they are angry about that as well.
These self-righteous, never-do-anything-wrong, perfect folks can’t see past the end of their noses! They come to you with their problems, and want to be treated with kid-gloves. They just want you to listen… not give advice or pass judgement.
However, they never ask how you are doing-because they think you have maturity in the Lord, therefore, in their eyes…you never have any problems! Wrong!
But just let you not measure up to their standards…and you will get an ear-full of how awful you were to them, and how mistreated they are by your lack of concern for their dilemma.
They forget that you possibly have more commitments than they. They go to a 9-5 Job, come home to an empty house and have no one to be responsible for but themselves. They can sit down in their easy chair and fall asleep in front of the T.V. They have no husband, no children, no one they home school. They don’t have to cook or clean unless they feel like it. They only have their own laundry to do…not mountains of it to face almost on a daily basis. They can leave the dinner dishes in the sink for a week if they want…
But then there are some of us ladies out there that DO have husbands. We DO have children, and we DO home school. Our husbands like to find a clean house when they return from work, have dinner ready, laundry done, and kids acting with respect.
Now…I’m not saying that these men should expect anything less. We as Christian women realize we are to model the Proverbs 31 women; and for most of us, that is acceptable. But it is far from easy! Our day starts the moment our feet hit the floor, and doesn’t stop until we are in bed; and even then… we are “on call” should something occur in the middle of the night that needs our attention…like mopping up vomit from our sick children…
Some of these folks don’t have a clue as to what being exhausted is! And…a lot of times, they much younger than I am!
At times, these “friends” or neighbors, come and tell you all their problems. You tell them that you’ll be sure to pray for them…but, that doesn’t seem to be enough. When you fail to go beyond your promise, they call you from your open patio door and climb down your throat because you didn’t go and check in on them, take them dinner, or some other such nonsense! Am I mad right now? You bet your boots I am!
I think this is so hard for me to swallow, because as a child, I had to deal with this attitude even then. My dad was a preacher, and as a preacher’s kid, I was expected to be the example…the role model. If the other church kids were into stuff they had no business being into, my brother and I got the blame for it…and half the time, we weren’t even in on it.
So now, here I am at 65, and short on patience for this kind of thinking. Here’s the deal…Everyone is responsible to God for themselves. When I tell folks I will pray for them…I DO! If I would have said I would take a meal over, or check in on them…I would have done that as well.
I guess what I’m trying to say is this…Don’t expect more from someone else unless you are willing to do the same for them! Put yourself in someone else’s shoes. Think about what they are responsible for. And truly…that isn’t YOU.
If, on the other hand, you have promised to do something for someone, as in pray, take meals, visit, etc. then you should keep your word and fulfill it.
The “giver” should do so gladly…and the “receiver” should be grateful-however small the gift, it may be all that someone can give!
If this isn’t you…then ignore me. But…if the shoe fits…
I’ve been thinking a lot about Mercy lately. Not sure if it’s because of my age…sometimes when we get older, we mellow out…over look…forgive more easily…let go of grudges; but, whatever the cause, God has put Mercy in my heart and mind. Not only for those that have personally wronged me, but for the homeless, the addicts, the abandoned children, the destitute of this world.
I remember twenty or thirty years ago, my heart was different. I found myself full of vengeance, anger, rage and bitterness. I only thought about myself. Oh yes! I did have my reasons for this wrath that had completely taken me over, and these feelings were justified, for many ‘wrongs’ had been done to me; but this hate was eating me up…consuming me! I couldn’t even stand myself at times! That’s why Jesus told us in His Word, Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. -Romans 12:19
He used to remind me of that Scripture when my heart was boiling over with hate…and I would tell Him things like, “I know you will repay…but could you please hurry it up! I want to see them suffer!” or, “I got some pointers for you Lord…” or, “Can I help?”
Then He’d gently remind me of my own sins against Him, and how they grieved His heart; but He always led me back to the verse in Lamentations 3:22-24 that say, “His mercies are new every morning…”
There is an old hymn published in Southern Harmony in 1835. The author is unknown. The last verse says this:
This truth through all our life shall cheer us,
Mercy’s free! Mercy’s free!
And through the vale of death shall bear us,
Mercy’s free! Mercy’s free!
And when to Jordan’s bank we come,
And cross the raging billows’ foam,
We’ll sing, when safely landed home:
Mercy’s free! Mercy’s free!
When Jesus had mercy on us, it cost Him EVERYTHING! When we have mercy on others, the only cost to us is to swallow our pride, and forgive like Jesus forgave us! His mercies are new every morning…let our mercies be new everyday to those around us!
Here’s a good one I found on Fat Beggars School of Prophets blog site. If you haven’t checked out this site, it’s high time you did! A lot of good stuff on there!
This particular post reminded me of my Mennonite background from my mom’s side of the family. I still have a cousin that attends a Mennonite church in Kansas. Hope you enjoy reading the following…I sure did! Thanks X! -anita
I found another OLD book on the shelf I thought I would excerpt for you. Again, this is a small book, insignificant, really, and old. Published in 1987 by Gospel Advocate Co., it has collected dust for many years on my shelf. But I never forget one little vignette in it that I will now reprint here for you. It is just the kind of sermon illustration I recall growing up with in the “good old days”, a kind I hear very little any more. Perhaps I am just old and old fashioned, but honestly I don’t think the book over all is really worth much.
The book is called Living in Two Worlds by Mike Cope. I am not recommending the book, but I think this tidbit from it will be worth your time.
From Page 54 and 55:
The kingdom of God, not things, should be central to our lives (1 Timothy 6:11-16). At the core of our lives should be found, not cars or homes or IRAs, but the kingdom of God. Jesus put it this way: “Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and then all the things you really need will be added to your lives.”
Tony Campolo tells of a Mennonite conference debating their historic position that a Christian shouldn’t fight in a war. A wealthy old Mennonite gentleman who wanted to be able to protect what he had if anyone invaded his property attacked the position. He was answered by a younger Mennonite. “It’s all right for you to talk in this lofty manner,” the old gentleman said, “but one of these days they’ll come and take everything you have.”
The young man responded, “This poses no problem for me. You see, Sir, when I became a Christian, I gave everything I had to Jesus. If they come, they can take from me what belongs to him, and that’s his problem.”
“All right,” the old man responded, “They can’t take what you have because you don’t have anything, but they can kill you.”
The young man answered, “No, they can’t. You see, Sir, I’m already dead. When I became a Christian, the life that belongs to this world came to an end, and the new life that I received in Christ can never be snuffed out.”
In frustration, the older man said, “They may not be able to take what you have and they may not be able to kill you, but they can make you suffer.”
Once again the young man answered, “When that day comes, I hope I will remember the words of Jesus, who said, ‘Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.’ You see, Sir, there is not much you can do to somebody who doesn’t have anything, who’s already dead, and who rejoices in persecution.”
If the kingdom of God is at the heart of our lives, we can use the things we have to his glory. It’s not right or wrong to be rich or poor. But wherever God has placed you in this life, be sure that you possess your things as a steward of God and that they don’t possess you.
I wonder if, when Mike Cope wrote these words way back in 1987, he imagined all those Christian homes he was preaching to with their guest bedrooms going empty night after night being filled with the homeless. If he did, he did not tell us and we did not think it, but the implication certainly seethes beneath the surface of his words anyway.
Submitted by Agent X-Fat Beggars School of Prophets
Jesus looked at them intently and said, “Humanly speaking, it is impossible. But with God everything is possible.” -Matthew 19:26
Have you ever questioned God as to, ‘Why?’ He has asked you to do something? I must confess that I have questioned Him many times in my life! He has asked me to do things, that in my own power, I could NOT do! But, I went ahead and did what He requested; …and an amazing thing happened…I actually got the job done! Of course, it was HIM doing it through me, but it was accomplished!
My husband and I are at that fork in the road, once again. My husband, at almost sixty, and I at almost sixty-six have had a mission placed before us by the Lord. Our mission, should we choose to accept it, is Foster Care.
I know! A lot of you are thinking…”It’s time for them to sit back and enjoy life…time to retire…” I get that! But I’ve learned that when God asks you to do something, you can choose not to do it and miss the blessing He has for you! I don’t want to get to heaven, and see a room full of blessings that He had…just for me…but I didn’t receive them because I chose a different path-one He did not call me to, nor design me for.
I must admit that in my mind…I’m all for it! In fact, I’m stoked! But…my body at times, tells me different! The aches and pains of my years, say I’m nuts for even entertaining the thought! But my heart…it tells me that if God called me to do this, there is a reason, and He WILL perfect His request in me.
God does not always call the qualified…but He ALWAYS calls the willing! I’m willing! I want Him to use me like He used Mother Teresa; to quiet the suffering of this world, one person at a time!
So, this…Impossible Mission is one I’m going to accept. And when the aches and pains prevail, and the mission looks impossible…I will remember this verse…
I can do all this through him (Jesus Christ) who gives me strength! –Philippians 4:13
p.s. …We’ll take all the prayers we can get!