Keep On, Keeping On!

“Keep on loving one another as brothers and sisters. Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have show hospitality to angels without knowing it. Continue to remember those in prison as if you were together with them in prison, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering.” (Hebrews 13: 1-3 NIV)

How simple are these instructions? Keep on loving, keep showing hospitality to strangers, keep remembering those in prison and keep remembering those who are mistreated! Who are our brothers and sisters? Who are the strangers we should be nice to? Who do we know in prisons? Who is being mistreated?

Our brothers and sisters are everyone in the Body of Christ–no matter what denominationalism is recognized and honored, all Believers–are joint-heirs with Christ, we are the spiritual seed of Abraham, and children of the Most High God. If then, we are all children then we are all brothers and sisters in The Lord! I love meeting my brothers and sisters who I’ve never met–at car rentals (had a great time of fellowship at Enterprise once with two brothers in The Lord upon our first meeting), in supermarkets, at the park, in parking lots, at phone stores, online, in restaurants–everywhere I venture, I meet a new brother or sister and we just rejoice like we’ve known each for all our lives. In the spirit–we have–which is why we have no problem loving one another.

Showing hospitality to strangers should never be a problem for those of us who Believe since we never know who it is we’re treating right. And it shouldn’t matter. If we treat all we know the way we would be want to be treated, they will know who we are. And I don’t mean we should treat people who are celebrities or politicians with more respect than any other person with whom we have no relationship. The beggar on the street deserves our respect just as much as any other person of any type of status. I’m not advocating being foolish, but in exercising the wisdom God has so abundantly given us, in all things. I realize that sometimes, we can not, avoiding certain people is an exercise of using wisdom rather than putting ourselves in danger. We must be wise as a serpent, but gentle as a dove–not being hateful, but mindful of our safety and staying out of harm’s way. The enemy is a master of deception and some of his demons will try to use this instruction to worm their way into our lives and destroy everything we’ve worked to accomplish.

Remembering those in prison means so much more than just empathizing with those locked behind bars a prison cell. Some people are prisoners of their mind because they don’t have the mind of Christ are constantly at odds with themselves. Some people are prisoners of their addictions and don’t know how to break loose. And some are prisoners of spouses, parents, or children–locked into situations they cannot escape. We must continue to pray for them and those who are locked up in prisons–for standing for justice and holiness.

There are so many people who are mistreated that this space is not room enough to enumerate them. But there are people who are persecuted for their faith in God; parents are mistreating children, and children are mistreating parents and grandparents; spouses are mistreating each other, governments are mistreating the people and total strangers are abusing and mistreating those they encounter. Lord help us all to seek You for wisdom in all situations! For anyone who mistreats someone else, they demonstrate they have not received the love of God, are incapable of loving themselves and therefore, cannot love others. We cannot give or demonstrate what we do not have!

Lord, help us to keep looking to You to know how we are to do all You have asked us to do. Help us to keep on keeping on, doing all that pleases You, mindful of the fact that You know our hearts and see all we do.

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How Are Your Angels Performing?

“The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear him, and he delivers them.” (Psalm 34:7 NIV)

Before the resurrection of Jesus Christ, we see “angels” discussed as being the messengers of God. After the resurrection, especially in Revelation, we see the angels are still referencing the messengers of God in the church–those in leadership. I say this for clarity only simply because of the misrepresentation of angels in the entertainment industry. There are angels (spirit beings) who have been assigned to every Believer and in the end, we shall judge their abilities pertaining to us.

The bible tells us in 1 Corinthians 6:3 that we shall judge our angels as well as those things that pertain to this life. Contrary to what many think and say, those who believe God shall judge what people do–according to the Word--not their opinions or bias. Whatever God says, we say. And we shall judge those angels (in the spirit realm) who have been assigned to us to protect us.

While many may not believe in angels, I know that my angels have been on duty and because of them, I am still here today. They have warned me about impending danger and cushioned me from being harmed, irreparably in two accidents that should have killed me. In both accidents, cars were totalled and my physical injuries were superficial at best. I walked away from both of them without a scratch, but suffered delayed reactions due to the impact. As a result, my vision was impaired from the last accident and at one point, I was told I’d be blind before long. That accident occurred in 1994. Though I strain at times to see words clearly, I can still see. My angel(s) took the brunt of that impact and I am here to tell the story.

Now, let me move on to the gist of this passage. Those who reference (not be afraid of) The Lord, obey Him out of that obedience, can expect their angels to be encamped around them and delivered from dangerous situations. This does not mean we should be foolish and try to tempt the devil. We are to be wise as a serpent–moving cautiously in life–aware of the tricks of the enemy–never intentionally jeopardizing our lives or the lives of others.

In those instances in which we are not responsible for any danger to ourselves or others, we are protected and delivered from harm, Satan’s plans cancelled and they sizzle out with the interference of our angels. I tend to liken the darts Satan flings at us like a tennis game. We see what he does and lob the ball back into his court and he never stands a chance at winning in his attempt to defeat us when we know how to keep the ball in play.

Today, thank God for the angels who have been assigned to protect you and remember to always be willing to hear Holy Spirit when He speaks a word of caution to keep us safe.

Kept By His Word!

“The LORD watches over you— the LORD is your shade at your right hand; the sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night. The LORD will keep you from all harm— he will watch over your life; the LORD will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.” (Psalm 121:5-8 NIV)

Thank You, Lord for watching over us

Waking us each morning, protecting us each night.

Walking with us, guiding our steps,

Keeping us from faltering along the way,

Creating a clear path, according to Your plan.

Thank You, Lord for keeping us shaded by Your hand,

Making sure no harm is done by moon or sun,

Healing diseased bodies, broken spirits,

Comforting saddened hearts, quickening weakened minds,

Providing us with wisdom to know when to move,

Knowing when to stand still and wait.

Igniting creativity, stirring up the gifts given,

Desiring to please You in all we do.

Thank You, for the angels You have assigned

Giving them rule to assume the roles

Needed to keep us from dangers seen and unseen.

Thank You, Lord for loving us enough

Sacrificing Self, Dying for our sins,

Rising from the Grave, Interceding for us.

Thank You, Lord for providing all we need,

On this planet to do Your Will and for

Arranging a place for our eternity, with You,

Forevermore, greeting us at Heaven’s Gate.

The Lord is My Refuge!

“For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways” (Psalm 91:11 NIV);

Who will command angels to guard us? The Lord will, if we say, “The Lord is my refuge” (vs. 9) and make the Most High our dwelling place, “The Lord” will make sure no harm overtakes or comes near us.

If He is our refuge–our shelter from harm–and we live within the safety of His arms–we have no need to fear anything. Not only will He make sure that nothing harms us, He won’t let disaster come near us. Say it now, “The Lord is my refuge!”

When Wall Street comes tumbling down or soaring high, “The Lord is my refuge!”

When doctors give us an uncertain prognosis, “The Lord is my refuge!”

In the middle of storms of nature or emotions, “The Lord is my refuge!”

When it seems like all hope is gone, “The Lord is my refuge!”

When we cannot see solutions because of the problems, “The Lord is my refuge!”

When we have more questions than answers, “The Lord is my refuge!”

When we have more bills than money, “The Lord is my refuge!”

When spouses don’t act right, “The Lord is my refuge!”

When children or grandchildren get on our last nerves, “The Lord is my refuge!”

When lawmakers don’t do their jobs, “The Lord is my refuge!”

When preachers won’t preach the Truth, “The Lord is my refuge!”

This should not just be a mantra, but a way of acknowledging who we believe and trust because when we make this acknowledgment, He will encamp angels all around us to keep us from harm. He will remind us that by His Spirit we have access to all truth and He will direct our paths. He will bridle our tongues before we say anything stupid if we just say, “The Lord is my refuge” first.

Our angels have been given an assignment, to protect us and guard us in all of “our ways” so no harm can come before us. If we will do what He says, He will do what He has promised. Are we going to do it? No weapon formed against us shall prosper because our angels will intercept and deflect any of the fiery darts that the enemy sends our way. Hallelujah!  “The Lord is my refuge!”

Laugh A Lot!

“A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones” (Proverbs 17:22 NIV).

With everything negative that is going on in the world today, we all need to find something to laugh about–just to take the edge off–so we can live to see another day–to laugh a lot.

What can we do to make our hearts cheerful? We can find a reason to laugh, even in the midst of uncertainty or sadness. Laughter makes the woes of the world seem not so bad.

What if–everything negative news report was presented in the media by drunken sailors who hadn’t shaved for months. Every time they opened their mouths, moths would fly out and eventually create a wall that moves with every sound. As they attempted to chase the moths, their pants would fall down around their ankles and they would trip each other. Can you picture it? Laugh out loud!

What if–we spent our time finding things to laugh about rather than focusing on those things that could make some of us cry.

What if–we pictured God and Jesus having a blast with the angels in heaven playing their version of (Wii golf) and when the angels win, they get a chance to do a silly dance!

What if–you sat back and remembered all of the things that have made you laugh–baby’s antics, teenage angst, in-laws–whatever it is–find something to laugh about. Take a picture of you doing something outrageously silly and post it on your refrigerator. Then every time you get depressed about anything–look at the picture and laugh out loud.

Smile more, pray more, laugh a lot and do your heart good; just don’t sit and be depressed about anything. God is too good to us and for us to remain in a depressed or saddened state for too long.

If you can’t think of anything to make you laugh–picture this--I’m sitting here typing with my hair askew, miss-mated socks, dentures sitting beside me making faces at me, with a growing desire to make pull out nose-hairs and glue them to my husband’s balding head, while he sleeps.

Not! But did you laugh?

Go ahead, laugh it up! Forget about the world and all of its problems–laugh at everything the enemy attempts to do to you and imagine the look on his face, when everything you desire shows up–in an instant! Laugh at the devil, laugh at yourself, laugh at anything and everything–just laugh! Time will come soon enough to be serious again, but for right now–let’s hear it–a really deep, belly laugh that lasts for at least five minutes. Feel better now?

 Lord, help us to learn to laugh, even when we feel like crying and when we’re laughed out–put a praise in our mouths and joy in our hearts, never doubting Your love for us!

 

 

What Are We Judging?

“Or do you not know that the Lord’s people will judge the world? And if you are to judge the world, are you not competent to judge trivial cases?” (I Corinthians 6:2 NIV)

In reading Paul’s letter to the church at Corinth, we see him addressing the difference between the “worldly judges” and “God’s people as judges” within the body of Christ. Of course there is a vast difference between the protocols of court systems then and now, but the gist of the matter is that Christians should not become embroiled in disputes so serious that they cannot be resolved within the body.  This is based upon the presumption that Christians will do no wrong and thereby have no need to be brought into court.

The presumption that Christians will do no wrong is certainly not true today and many infractions that occur in the church can only be handled as a legal matter with a worldly judge–in some instances, judges whose behavior demonstrate they do not know God.

Why are Christians involved in legal matters and being sent to jail? Worldliness–secularism–abject rejection of wanting to please God–has led to the down fall of many who proclaimed to be Christians.  Well-known leaders have fallen because of their notoriety; especially those who humiliated and condemned in public forums those who were caught up before them. Not soon after their public condemnation, they found themselves in the middle of similar types of trouble.  When we point fingers at people–knowing we’re doing the same things–we can only look forward to the finger pointing that is bound to come our way.  “Don’t judge a matter that will judge you in the same manner for the same thing” (paraphrased) Paul reminded the church in Rome.

So what matters are we to judge? If we continue in the same chapter with Paul, he tells us that we are to judge our angels, so we should certainly be able to judge trivial matters that arise in the church.  In another passage of scripture, we are told not to associate with a brother or sister-in-Christ who sins.” In other words, we have a duty to bring acts that are in opposition to God to the forefront, but we are not to judge the person–that is God’s role. We have neither heaven or hell to which to send people. When people oppose God, they will endure God’s judgment, not man’s (unless it is a legal matter concerning violation of man’s laws).

What does this mean? We identify and call what is sin, “sin” and leave the worldly matters and the people to their own destruction.  “For the wages (payment due for sin) of sin, is death.”

Lord, help us to understand You better and to serve You with gladness, with nothing but love in our hearts for You and others. Thank You for providing us with an advocate Who intercedes on our behalf when we fall short and come before You seeking forgiveness, after we have repented of anything that opposes You. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen!

Laugh A Lot!

A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones” (Proverbs 17:22 NIV).

With everything negative that is going on in the world today, we all need to find something to laugh about–just to take the edge off–so we can live to see another day–to laugh a lot.

What can we do to make our hearts cheerful? We can find a reason to laugh, even in the midst of uncertainty or sadness. Laughter makes the woes of the world seem not so bad.

What if–everything negative news report was presented in the media by drunken sailors who hadn’t shaved for months. Every time they opened their mouths, moths would fly out and eventually create a wall that moves with every sound. As they attempted to chase the moths, their pants would fall down around their ankles and they would trip each other. Can you picture it? Laugh out loud!

What if–we spent our time finding things to laugh about rather than focus on those things that could make some of us cry.

What if–we pictured God and Jesus having a blast with the angels in heaven playing their version of  (Wii golf) and when the angels win, they get a chance to do a silly dance!

What if–you sat back and remembered all of the things that have made you laugh--baby’s antics, teenage angst, in-laws–whatever it is–find something to laugh about.  Take a picture of you doing something outrageously silly and post it on your refrigerator.  Then every time you get depressed about anything–look at the picture and laugh out loud. 

Smile more, pray more, laugh a lot and do your heart good; just don’t sit and be depressed about anything.  God is too good to us and for us to remain in a depressed or saddened state for too long.

If you can’t think of anything to make you laugh–picture this–I’m sitting here typing with my hair askew, miss-mated socks, dentures sitting beside me making faces at me, with a growing desire to make pull out nose-hairs and glue them to my husband’s balding head, while he sleeps.

Not! But did you laugh?

Go ahead, laugh it up! Forget about the world and all of its problems–laugh at everything the enemy attempts to do to you and imagine the look on his face, when everything you desire shows up–in an instant!  Laugh at the devil, laugh at yourself, laugh at anything and everything–just laugh! Time will come soon enough to be serious again, but for right now–let’s hear it–a really deep, belly laugh that lasts for at least five minutes. Feel better now?

Lord, help us to learn to laugh, even when we feel like crying and when we’re laughed out–put a praise in our mouths and joy in our hearts, never doubting Your love for us!