^^^^^^_______________________FLATLINED!

flat·line
ˈflatlīn/
verb

informal
past tense: flatlined; past participle: flatlined
  1. 1.
    (of a person) die.
  2. 2.
    fail to increase; remain static.
    “their share of the vote has flatlined at at about 3%”
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Definition of flatline

intransitive verb
1a :to register on an electronic monitor as having no brain waves or heartbeat
b :die
2a :to be in a state of no progress or advancement
b :to come to an end                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     I was pondering on this word the other day as I sat in the car waiting for my son’s bus.  My thoughts were mainly in regards to myself…my lack of passion to do certain things that I used to find most enjoyable; things that I still take an interest in, but have no enthusiasm,  gumption, will, nor fortitude to carry out to completion.
I’m referring especially to my Christian life.  I used to be a vibrant follower of Christ, thinking only of Him and His sacrifice for me on the Cross.  It was my driving force… it caused me to do things I thought were impossible, to go to dangerous places without fear, to put on the whole armor of God.  
I find that these days, my helmet of Salvation is still in place, and I do wear the belt of Truth, although I rarely share it; but my breastplate of Righteousness is usually on the floor along with my shield of Faith, and my shoes of Peace that spread the Gospel of Christ, are lost in the closet.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      But the Bible tells us in:

Ephesians 6:11-18King James Version (KJV)

11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;

15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;

16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.

17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:

18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;

I must admit that unfortunately, I don’t do that most days.  Instead of running the race that Jesus has laid before me, I’m sprawled out on a gurney somewhere, needing CPR (Christ’s Perfect Revival) in my soul….  My Christian life has almost flatlined!                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               I need healing from The Great Physician!  I need to lie on the operating table, and allow Him to purge my soul from the disease of sin in my life!  Then…I must put on the whole armor of God,  on a daily basis!   Only then will my zeal for Jesus return!  Only then will my heart beat again!

Anita

        

A GOD TO GLORIFY!

The promise I drew this morning says this:

”If we suffer, we shall also reign with Him; if we deny Him, He also will deny us.” -2 Timothy 2:12

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If you suffer for the cause of Christ today…because of your testimony, then know, you will one day reign with Him!

Here is the little poem that went with the verse….

”A charge to keep I have,

A God to glorify;

A never-dying soul to save,

And fit it for the sky.” -Unknown

Let us do all to the glory of God!

Anita

WITH WHOM IS NO VARIABLENESS

Here’s a little poem I found in one of my old inherited books.  It gives me much comfort to know that God never changes!  Take a look… -anita

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”Every good and perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness neither shadow of turning.” -James 1:17

 

It fortifies my soul to know

That though I perish, truth is so;

That, howsoe’er I stray and range,

What’er I do, Thou doesn’t not change.  

I steadier step when I recall

That, if I slip, Thou dost fall.”

 

-Arthur Hugh Clough 1819-1861

HIS FULL ATTENTION…

My son moved yesterday.  He put most of his things in storage, but he brought back the piano we had given him.

After I got Joe on the bus, and my husband off to work, I sat down and began to play the old songs we’d sung in my dad’s church.  The old hymns hold such glorious words!

I only took five piano lessons when I was very young.  When it was time for recital, I was too shy to perform…so dropped out.  I had just learned to play with both hands in one key.  My mom could read notes, and I had an ear, so had her show me another key.  It’s really strange, but if I know a song…I can play it in either one of those keys!  I’m not an accomplished piano player by any means, but I can “soothe” my own soul when I ‘tickle the ivories’!

This morning, as I sat playing in the dark, an old hymn came to mind.  It was one of my dad’s favorites called,  How Marvelous!   Here are the words…

  1. I stand amazed in the presence
    Of Jesus the Nazarene,
    And wonder how He could love me,
    A sinner, condemned, unclean.

    • Refrain:
      How marvelous! How wonderful!
      And my song shall ever be:
      How marvelous! How wonderful!
      Is my Savior’s love for me!
  2. For me it was in the garden
    He prayed: “Not My will, but Thine.”
    He had no tears for His own griefs,
    But sweat drops of blood for mine.
  3. In pity angels beheld Him,
    And came from the world of light
    To comfort Him in the sorrows
    He bore for my soul that night.
  4. He took my sins and my sorrows,
    He made them His very own;
    He bore the burden to Calv’ry,
    And suffered and died alone.
  5. When with the ransomed in glory
    His face I at last shall see,
    ’Twill be my joy through the ages
    To sing of His love for me. -written by: Charles H. Gabriel 1905

What a heart-warming memory…to recall the days of sitting at the organ and playing songs that glorify my Savior!

I’m reminded of another song called, Alone.  It was written and sung by Clint Brown.  The words that really strike a chord (no pun intended) with me, say this:

You don’t need majestic choirs, with awesome voices raised….  You don’t need a congregation, to offer Me your praise;  You don’t need a mighty orchestra to bless me with your song….  You get all of My attention, when you worship Me alone!”

I urge you to find a quiet place today, and worship the Lord…alone.  Remember all that He has done for you…thank Him for His blessings and provisions…sing to Him…pray to Him…tell Him how much you love Him!  You will find, you have His full attention!

Anita

Lose Yourself!

Sorry I’m so late in posting!  My husband had to sing at a wedding today…out of town, so I am just now getting around to blogging 🙂  Since it’s so late…I’ll make it short.

The verse…the thought I’d like to leave with you today is this:

“Whosoever will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me.” -Mark 8:34

Look at that first part.  If you are planning on following Jesus, you have to stop doing what YOU want to do, and start obeying Him.  It’s not easy to follow Jesus, and He made that very clear when He said: “take up your cross”;  He was saying…do the hard thing…and follow Me.

Take a look at this little poem I found…

“Take my love; my Lord, I pour

At thy feet its treasure store,

Take myself, and I will be

Ever only, all for Thee.” -Unknown

You have to lose yourself to find Jesus!

Anita

HE is the map!

Proverbs 3:6 –(KJV)

In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

Take a look at the definition of the word, acknowledge.

ac·knowl·edge
əkˈnäləj/
verb
  1. 1.
    accept or admit the existence or truth of.
    “the plight of the refugees was acknowledged by the authorities”
    synonyms: admitacceptgrantallowconcede, accede to, confessownrecognize

    “the government acknowledged the need to begin talks
    Before God can direct our path through life, we have to
    *1.  accept the fact that He exists
    *2.  admit that He is Truth
    *3.  allow Him to lead us
    *4.  recognize that we are nothing without Him
    *5.  confess our need for His presence
    *6.  concede to His will!
    He, God Almighty is the “map” we need to follow.  If we do, we’ll reach our destination safely!
    Anita

KEEP READING…

Here is a submission from Ben Murray, the Senior Pastor at Grace Bible Church in Astoria, IL.  He has some good things for you/me to consider….  Take a look. -anita

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The year is closing in on 3/4 complete. Are you happy with how it has turned out? What would you change?

 

Many of you started reading the Bible as a New Year’s resolution. Are you still in it every day? Are you in it once a week? How are you doing?

 

I want to encourage you to keep reading. For those of you who tried reading the Bible in a year, it might feel hopeless. You might think that you are way too far behind to ever catch back up to where you need to be. Keep reading.

 

Never believe the lie that you are too far behind to catch up with your goal. Never believe the lie that you do not have enough time to read your Bible.

 

Your soul depends upon it.

 

I may sound extreme. I might sound legalistic. I might sound harsh.

 

But your soul depends upon seeking the Lord.

 

Jesus says that we need to “love the Lord with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and all your mind. And love your neighbor as yourself” (Luke 10:27; Matthew 22:37-39; Mark 12:30-31). According to Jesus, these are the greatest commands of Scripture. Are you showing this love by the amount of time you prioritize to spending with God in reading Scripture?

 

Be in prayer about finishing this year strong. When one of my cross country runners is struggling 3/4 of the way in the race, I do not tell them “give up.” Instead, I give them advice on how to finish the race strong. I tell them to look forward- to reset goals. I tell them to open up their posture and arm swing to get their lungs more open. I tell them to change their stride.

 

I tell them not to give up.

 

Please, don’t give up your goals from this year regarding spiritual growth. Instead, renew these goals. Reset strategies. Follow the commands of Paul in Philippians 2:12-13

 

“Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed- not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence- continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.”

 

God calls you to love Him and serve Him with all you got. You can do it, God will give you the strength.

 

-Pastor Ben

Blog: deeplygratefulwordpress.com

SHACKLES AND CHAINS

So many times we pass homeless folks in the street, and never dwell on the things they endure every day…every night.  In fact, we don’t give it a thought!

I know…some of them want to be there…on the street; but what about the others?  What about the one’s that fell on hard times and just ended up there?  My heart goes out to all of them!  Yes!  Even those who seemingly want to stay where they are…especially them!

If the devil has blinded you so much that you believe you are in a ‘good’ place while sleeping in doorways, wearing tattered clothes, hungry and in need of a shower…if you think you’ve found happiness in a bottle, a syringe, a pill, or the like…you are bound! Not with chains…but fetter chains.  You are shackled – bound by the legs, and you can’t get free!  Only Jesus can do that for you!

The following is something that I wrote a long time ago.  I was waiting in the car one winter morning while my husband ran into 7-11.  This particular woman came into view, and  I’m sure because of what I witnessed, she was one of those who had fallen on hard times…but was trying to get out of her present situation. Take a look…

Sleeping in a doorway

She stands.  Her cart filled with treasures she’d rescued from the trash the night before.  As the sun peeks over the horizon, it reveals the turmoil in her mind.  It’s visible on her face, as one emotion after another crosses her mind and contorts her features.

“Relief” goes first.  Relief…she has survived the long, cold night.  Relief…she’s alive!  No one has killed her…no one has dumped her body in a near-by alley.  Relief!  Her eyes light up, and the trace of a smile crosses her face.

“Hopelessness” rushes in next.  He molds her features, as he squeezes the light from her eyes reminding her that she must face another night in a few hours; taunting her with the thought of, “What if I never see tomorrow?”.

The twins, called “Failure” and “Desperation” flood her soul and cause her face to become hard…like stone.

I sit in my warm car, parked on the street and witness these things.

It is bitter cold.  Clad in a thin coat, she ties a dirty, knitted scarf around her neck.  Then in total defiance, throws it over her shoulder as if it were a fancy feather boa.  She walks off down the sidewalk, head held high!

That’s when I realized…she won’t be in this place for long.  “Dignity” had just showed up!

-anita 2010

Don’t ignore the homeless today!  Share a warm cup of coffee with them…tell them about Jesus.  Only HE can break the shackles and loose the chains that bind them.  Only HE can bring healing and dignity into their lives!

Anita

 

ARE YOU A PRODIGAL? I AM…

My son came over for a visit the other night, and per the usual, when he left, I stood outside and waved at him and watched him until I could see him no more.

I think I learned that from my grandma and grandpa K.  We lived here in Colorado, and they lived on a farm in Kansas.  They hardly ever got to see us, so when we would come to visit, there would be a huge feast with all the friends and relatives invited.  When we would leave to come back to Colorado, my grandparents would stand at the end of the lane that led to their farm and wave until our car was out of sight.  I would look out the back window, and they would be wiping tears from their eyes as we drove off.  They were old, and thought that perhaps that would be the last time they would see us here on this earth.

As I stood and waved good-bye to my son, the story of the Prodigal Son in the Bible came to mind.  Read: Luke 15:11-32 for the whole story.

The verse that really captures my heart is verse 20.  “When he was still a long way off, his father saw him…” -Luke 15:20

Before we go any further, look at the definition of the word, prodigal.

adjective [usu ADJ n]

You can describe someone as a prodigal son or daughter if they leave their family or friends, often after a period of behaving badly, and then return at a later time as a better person.

know that definition and verse 20 in Luke 15 is talking about me.

I behave badly everyday!  I hate to admit it, but it’s true.  I am NOT perfect in any sense of the word!  I sin in my thoughts.  I sin in my language.  I sin in my attitude.  Unfortunately, most of my day is lived without a thought of my heavenly Father.  I’m too distracted by the things that need to be done.  I’m frustrated, irritable, and down right angry at times.

Then…the ungodly language comes spewing from my mouth.  The vengeful thoughts come pouring in…and my attitude is not one of gratitude!  Am I alone in this boat?  Probably not.  If you’re honest…you’re most likely sitting right next to me as we row our way through this sea, called life.

BUT GOD….  God is standing right where we left Him.  He has His hand over His eyes, searching…looking intently for us to come back home.  When we are still a long way off, He sees us, and runs to meet us.  We tell Him how sorry we are for leaving His presence, but He hardly hears us…He’s too busy making plans for a wonderful feast to welcome us home!  He washes us clean, dresses us in His robes of righteousness, puts a ring (an unending circle of His love) on our finger, and welcomes His wayward, lost child back home!  GRACE!  It’s so big!  I can’t begin to explain it.  Only God can show you what it means!

If you’ve wandered far away from God, if you’ve been on the path of sin too long…come back home!  Your heavenly Father is standing at the end of the lane.  His eyes search the horizon.  He’s looking for you!   He wants to wash you clean, dress you in His robes of righteousness, put that ring of love on your finger, and have a celebration, because His long-lost child has finally come home!

Anita

THE WALKING DEAD? OR…THE CHURCH, ALIVE!

There are so many things on the internet now about Detoxing your body.  There are certain spices that ‘do the trick’ in just a few days time… drink recipes, soups, even complete meals.  They are great!  I’ve tried a few and they do work.

But…what about our spiritual state?  Are we dead men walking?  My spiritual man,  needs to be Detoxed on a daily basis!

Jesus warned the Pharisees in the Bible about washing the outside of the cup and making it look clean…but leaving the inside dirty. Look at Matthew chapter 23.  The whole chapter is dedicated to this very thing!  Verse 25 says, “Woe to you Scribes and Pharisees, impostors, who wash the outside of the cup and of the dish, but within are full of plunder and evil*!

Yes…some of us take such good care of our bodies…we look like the statues of Greek Gods on the outside…lean, muscular, beautiful… but inside, there’s ugliness of every kind.  Look at verse 27 in the same chapter…

“Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you are like unto whitewashed sepulchers (tombs, graves),  which indeed appear beautiful outwardly but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness.”

Some of us think that just because we go to church on Sunday, read The Gathering Journal blog, or some other christian blog everyday, pick up our Bible, our Daily Bread…or some other devotional book once in a while,  “talk the talk” of a Christian, and say our repetitious, almost memorized prayers at meal-time and at bed time, that we have Detoxed our spiritual man.  Let me say…those things help…but we need more.

Jesus advised us to:

Romans 10:13 KJV

For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord, shall be saved.

This is # 1!  I believe this verse reaches farther than Salvation.  Of course, to be saved, we MUST call upon the name of the Lord; but I believe that if you are saved already…if you have a personal relationship with Jesus, certain situations will arise, and if you call on the name of Jesus…he will deliver you from those things.

Then in the following passages, Jesus advises this:

Ephesians 6:11-18King James Version (KJV)

11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;

15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;

16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.

17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:

18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;

Philippians 4:8King James Version (KJV)

Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praisethink on these things.

Lets stop being “The walking dead…” and let’s be THE CHURCH, ALIVE!

Anita