Great Love!

Great Love!

The LORD is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love. He will not always accuse, nor will he harbor his anger forever; he does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities.For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us. As a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him; for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust. The life of mortals is like grass, they flourish like a flower of the field; the wind blows over it and it is gone, and its place remembers it no more. But from everlasting to everlasting the LORD’s love is with those who fear him, and his righteousness with their children’s children—with those who keep his covenant and remember to obey his precepts.The LORD has established his throne in heaven, and his kingdom rules over all. Praise the LORD, you his angels, you mighty ones who do his bidding, who obey his word.Praise the LORD, all his heavenly hosts, you his servants who do his will. Praise the LORD, all his works everywhere in his dominion. Praise the LORD, my soul. Psalm 103:8-22 NIV

How great is the love The Lord has for us! His love–so great–that it covers our sins and forgives us, giving us chance after chance to get living right for Him!

Now The Lord doesn’t “cover” our sin so it is hidden; He covered it with His blood that we might be washed clean, emptying the desire out of us to disobey and filling us with commitment to obey. That is not to say we become perfect at any given time, but because of His everlasting, enduring love, we walk in faith, knowing He will correct us when we stray from the path He determined for us.

Are we on the right path–paved with love?

There is a common, foundational belief that whatever is in us is all that will come out of us. Therefore, in order for us to walk the life path of love He has destined for us, we must be filled to overflowing with His love–allowing the love to flow onto others, saturating them until there is no room in their hearts for hate. So, if hate is what we see coming forth from people it is because that’s all they have within their hearts.

How do we change what we see?

Our lives should be “squared” with love, hope, faith and integrity–so that all that escapes from us is an illustration of what is in us. So, if anyone is lacking in love, hope, faith, and integrity, meet up with those who have demonstrated an unyielding love for others and pray that all they have within will be grafted into your heart.

Without love–we will not care for others and make decisions that are best for all.

Without love–we will not see the needs of those who dare to think differently than we do.

Without love–we will not see that all human beings deserve respect.

Without love–we will not understand that there is no superior race of people.

Without love–we will not understand the power of words in what we say, type, write, tweet or wear on a T-shirt.

Without love–we will not appreciate the diversity of cultures that surround us.

Without love–we will not live to be of service to others.

Love understands and reaches out with hope, speaks with integrity and builds relationships with faith.

Hate destroys.

What’s in your heart? Whatever is there is all we’ll see and no matter what is said, actions always speak louder than words.

Remember, there is no greater love than the love God has poured into us to share with others.

Serving others always begins with love, endures with love, and ends with love.

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Steadfast!

Steadfast!

Listen, my son, accept what I say, and the years of your life will be many. I instruct you in the way of wisdom and lead you along straight paths.When you walk, your steps will not be hampered; when you run, you will not stumble. Hold on to instruction, do not let it go; guard it well, for it is your life. Do not set foot on the path of the wicked or walk in the way of evildoers. Avoid it, do not travel on it; turn from it and go on your way. For they cannot rest until they do evil; they are robbed of sleep till they make someone stumble.They eat the bread of wickedness and drink the wine of violence.  The path of the righteous is like the morning sun, shining ever brighter till the full light of day.But the way of the wicked is like deep darkness; they do not know what makes them stumble. My son, pay attention to what I say; turn your ear to my words. Do not let them out of your sight, keep them within your heart; for they are life to those who find them and health to one’s whole body. Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.Keep your mouth free of perversity; keep corrupt talk far from your lips.  Let your eyes look straight ahead; fix your gaze directly before you.  Give careful thought to the paths for your feet and be steadfast in all your ways. Do not turn to the right or the left; keep your foot from evil. Proverbs 4:11-27 NIV

Wow! Keep your head up–looking forward–not backwards–keeping your eyes fixed on what’s ahead, not what’s behind! Know what’s in your heart and guard what God has put there for only what is in your heart will come forth and be seen by others. Carefully think about the path of life you take and then be steadfast–unwavering in all your ways.

Steadfast (according to Merriam Webster) is to be immovable, not subject to changing, firm in belief and determination or adherence.

The steadfast love of The Lord–never ceases, never comes to an end. His mercies are new every morning! Hallelujah!

There is much to said about the physical posture and spiritual posture in this selection from Proverbs. If we keep our eyes focused on what is ahead of us–chances our we are holding our heads up, not down and we can keep the muscles in our neck and back toned, avoiding some of the effects of gravity with atrophied muscles which lead to hanging flesh and aggravation of nerves and muscles.

From a spiritual perspective–if we keep our heads up, we demonstrate a posture that proclaims our confidence in God. We always look to how we can lift others so they too will be able to hold their heads high–not in arrogant pride, but in a confidence that says, we trust God. When we look forward–we are ready to receive all the goodness He has for us, putting aside our pasts and those things that kept us from receiving God’s best. When our gazes are straight ahead; it’s difficult to look down upon others.

When we trust God and know that His plans are what is best for us, we can confidently put one foot in front of the other without worrying about stumble, because if we stay on the path He has determined for us, He will clear the way and nothing will hamper our journey.

I can’t speak for anyone else today, but I am confidently moving forward in all I hear God speak to me, trusting the path He has established and I will not allow what others say or do to deter me.

This is the day The Lord has made and I shall rejoice and be glad in it–holding my head high and looking ahead to all He has for me!

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In Humility!

In Humility!

The path of life leads upward for the prudent to keep them from going down to the realm of the dead. The LORD tears down the house of the proud, but he sets the widow’s boundary stones in place.The LORD detests the thoughts of the wicked, but gracious words are pure in his sight. The greedy bring ruin to their households, but the one who hates bribes will live. The heart of the righteous weighs its answers, but the mouth of the wicked gushes evil.The LORD is far from the wicked, but he hears the prayer of the righteous. Light in a messenger’s eyes brings joy to the heart, and good news gives health to the bones. Whoever heeds life-giving correction will be at home among the wise. Those who disregard discipline despise themselves, but the one who heeds correction gains understanding. Wisdom’s instruction is to fear the LORD, and humility comes before honor. Proverbs 15:24-33 NIV

It is with great humility that I acknowledge the quest I’ve taken upon myself is going to be the biggest challenge experienced in my life.

Though there are some who may be hesitant to grasp the reality of a potential presidential run by me, others have embraced the idea to the point of being willing to board the bandwagon that as yet, has no wheels. I am thoroughly humbled by their trust and support and candidness.

I remember saying to my walking buddy, that in this place and time (as always with me), I need people to help with my campaign, but I don’t want anyone around who is simply going to agree with everything I say. I need people in my life right now who will question everything I do–to ignite critical thinking about everything I say or do. I’m not afraid of correction and when I’m wrong, I’ll be the first to admit it.

There is much I do not know about undertaking the challenges of a presidential run, but I’m an avid researcher and know how to say, “Uncle” and call upon others who have the knowledge and expertise that I don’t. I’m willing to learn and work hard to earn the trust and respect of those who believe in me and to maintain their trust and respect.

One person expressed their concern about me risking trading my faith because of all the unethical behavior associated with politics or compromising my stance with regard to biblical principles that I teach and write about–prolifically. I appreciate her concern and addressed it and she was assured that I would do nothing without putting the issue before The Lord and would obey Him.

Now, I realize that my belief in the Bible and relationship with Jesus Christ may cause some to halt–mid-stream in a desire to support my run and I can certainly understand it. But let me say this much to clear the air before we even start to put those wheels on the bandwagon. I have not changed my views about what God has said and won’t change my views about what God has said. I recognize that people–every human being capable of making a logical decision–have a right to do so without my intervention. Though I may not agree with their lifestyle or decisions, none of that will stop me from loving them as a human being and praying for them to receive God’s best for their lives.

God is pro-choice (giving us all free-will and not forcing us to do anything) and therefore, I am pro-choice. This does not mean I am pro-abortion, nor does it mean that I or anyone else has a right to tell anyone else what to do with their lives. I believe that every woman has a right to make the best decision she can about her life and I know there are situations in which an abortion is the right choice and the only person who has to live with the choice, is the person making the decision–not me or others.

I cannot see myself–as a Born-Again Believer–attempting to force my views upon others when I don’t have to live their life. I am concerned about all life–especially the lives of babies, mothers, children, senior citizens,  and students and know that it is the responsibility of the Believer to take defend the rights of the poor, vulnerable and needy. So while I admit, I do not understand the choices some people make (and I’m sure that’s equally true in how others feel about me), I can respect their right to make decisions about their lives. As long as a person’s rights don’t infringe upon mine or mine infringe upon them–we’re good. The wisest people know that whether we agree about anything or not, there are consequences for everything we do that will impact our lives either negatively or positively.

I’ve also been reminded how the enemy will work overtime in trying to dig up dirt in an effort to create animosity against me. I know what people cannot find to undermine me they will manufacture in an attempt to discredit me. I can’t stop them. People can say whatever they want to say and nothing they say defines truth about me or others. Therefore, they can have at it. I do not have to respond to foolishness or stupidity or trumped up allegations about anything and I won’t. As I pointed out to a couple of people–my life is “literally” an open book. Anything, anyone wants to know me–good, bad, indifferent–can be found in one of my books or in a blog post and they’re all available online. I have nothing to hide.

Knowing the challenges I’ll be facing over the coming months will certainly keep me communicating with my Daddy and because He loves me, He’ll guide me every step of the way. If by chance I happen to misunderstand something He’s telling me, Holy Spirit will be right there to remind me and set me back on track.

Father,

Thank You for wisdom and insight and humility to understand I need You–every hour of every day–I need You. Thank you for loving me, correcting, and my guiding me in all that needs to be done and for sending people in my direction that can and will keep the wheels on the bandwagon turning in the direction in which You would have us to go. Remind me that nothing I do or encourage others to do should be done in an effort to bring glory to anyone other than You.

In Jesus’ name I pray and thank You, Amen!

 

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Words And Deeds!

Words And Deeds!

And so I tell you, every kind of sin and slander can be forgiven, but blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come. “Make a tree good and its fruit will be good, or make a tree bad and its fruit will be bad, for a tree is recognized by its fruit. You brood of vipers, how can you who are evil say anything good? For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of. A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him. But I tell you that everyone will have to give account on the day of judgment for every empty word they have spoken. For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.” Matthew 21:31-37 NIV

For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God. John 3:17-21 NIV

What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.” Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds. You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder. You foolish person, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless? Was not our father Abraham considered righteous for what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did. James 2:14-22 NIV

We can talk and talk and talk–say a lot of words–empty words, meaningless words–and if we don’t act upon what we say--doing all the good things (not the evil), then our words mean nothing. If our words mean nothing, why are we yet talking?

It is amazing how those in the White House want people to believe what they say, but what they say is not believable because of all the lies, piled upon lies emanating from their lips and then we do not see the “good” deeds; we see the horror of their actions reenacted across the nation by those who will suffer the most from voting for a con man.

How were they conned? They heard what he said–ignoring what he has done all his life–and they believed his words which were calculated lies. They will suffer and so will he, but the rest of us will also suffer from his negligence–and his lack of faith and belief in God. For surely if he believed God and were saved, America would not be in the mess we’re in right now.

Meditate on God’s Word–think about what is said and then reflect upon what you see, drawing your own conclusions.

In the same way, good deeds are obvious, and even those that are not obvious cannot remain hidden forever. I Timothy 5:25 NIV

Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. James 3:13 NIV

Justifying The Lying!

Justifying The Lying!

The LORD said to Job: “Will the one who contends with the Almighty correct him? Let him who accuses God answer him!”Then Job answered the LORD:  “I am unworthy—how can I reply to you? I put my hand over my mouth.I spoke once, but I have no answer— twice, but I will say no more.”  Then the LORD spoke to Job out of the storm:“Brace yourself like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer me.“Would you discredit my justice? Would you condemn me to justify yourself?Do you have an arm like God’s, and can your voice thunder like his?  Then adorn yourself with glory and splendor, and clothe yourself in honor and majesty.Unleash the fury of your wrath, look at all who are proud and bring them low, look at all who are proud and humble them, crush the wicked where they stand. Bury them all in the dust together; shroud their faces in the grave. Then I myself will admit to you that your own right hand can save you. Job 40:14 NIV

God is not human, that he should lie, not a human being, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill? Numbers  23:19 NIV

And in that day I will become angry with them and forsake them; I will hide my face from them, and they will be destroyed. Many disasters and calamities will come on them, and in that day they will ask, ‘Have not these disasters come on us because our God is not with us?’ Deuteronomy 31:17 NIV

For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit, Romans 14:17 NIV

For the kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power. 1 Corinthians 4:20 NIV

For God is not a God of disorder but of peace—as in all the congregations of the Lord’s people. 1 Corinthians 14:33 NIV

God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them. Hebrews 6:10 NIV

If we look at the plight of America and Americans, we can see that there are problems all around us. Job had problems after Satan got permission from God to test him. Though the assaults were devastating–the loss of property, children, and covered with boils–Job maintained his faith in God. Because of his faith in God, all he had lost was restored.

The story of Job is the oldest known book of the bible and in it we find what real faith in God is. Yes, we acknowledge our circumstances, but we don’t dwell on the negatives and try to see God in all we do. In all of the story–with his friends trying to persuade him to curse God and die and even his wife–Job remains steadfast–determined not to allow anyone to deter his faith in God. And the one thing we must remember in all of his trials–Satan couldn’t do a thing to Job without God’s permission and because God knew Job–He allowed the unfolding events in Job’s life.

Does God know us well enough to know our end from the beginning? Of course He does. He knows who will remain faithful to Him without lying on Him in the process. He knows who will obey and do what they’re told to do whether they understand it or not. He knows the level of our faith and nothing we say or do to justify a lie–especially about Him–will surprise Him.

God is not surprised by the lies people tell on Him–especially those in the “church” arena. In fact, part of the problem is that people are “in churches–the physical buildings” but they are not the church which we are supposed to be. “Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst?” 1 Corinthians 3:16 NIV

We are the body of Christ–whoever believes and obeys! It is the body of Christ (the collective group of Believers) who is the church–not a building–where people meet.

Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. 1 Corinthians 12:12, 13, NIV

Now if we are the Body of Christ–and have been filled with His Spirit--we know when He speaks and we know He will never lie to us and everything He speaks, aligns with The Word of God. So, why then are people–the church leaders lying on God and then trying to justify the lying?

It is simple as breathing. People lie because Satan is their father and we know that it is true because God’s Word tells us so. Since we know God won’t lie we also know He would never choose a liar to govern people. But God allows things to happen and it is possible that Satan got permission to test God’s people as it pertains to the 2016 Election and the people failed the test–because their faith was not in God, but a man–a mere mortal.

And this is why we have the situation in Washington that exists–church leaders failed the test, but God never fails. God has not forsaken those who truly love Him and will obey–even in the midst of persecution and derision. He knows our thoughts from far off and He knows the direction He wants us to take. It is truly unfortunate that many will suffer because of those who sought to control other people rather than allowing Holy Spirit to do His job.

There is no justifying the lying and all those who are yet lying–claiming God chose Trump to be president are lying. If God was in the business of choosing elected leaders then those same people who hated Obama with a vengeance would have to acknowledge that God chose him to be president, too since God is not a respecter of people. Now which it is-is God choosing presidents or is He allowing people to choose through the election process?

God choosing presidents

Right Now Faith!

Right Now Faith!

Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.This is what the ancients were commended for. By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.By faith Abel brought God a better offering than Cain did. By faith he was commended as righteous, when God spoke well of his offerings. And by faith Abel still speaks, even though he is dead. By faith Enoch was taken from this life, so that he did not experience death: “He could not be found, because God had taken him away.” For before he was taken, he was commended as one who pleased God. And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark to save his family. By his faith he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness that is in keeping with faith. By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going. Hebrews 11:1-8 NIV (Read the entire chapter)

Many people claim to have faith in God and yet their actions refute their claim. How do we know? True faith, means we do not doubt–no matter what happens. For did not Jesus say that if we have faith–as tiny as a mustard seed–and did not doubt–we could move mountains?

This “now” faith differs depending upon how one explains it. Some say the “now” is an adjective–modifying faith and some say it is an adverb–indicating when. No matter how anyone explains it–faith–the confidence we have in God–to do what He said He’d do, whether we can see it or not, should be sufficient for the moment of our need. For if we can see the results of our faith, we no longer need to have faith for it.

We can declare by faith, that we will obtain a good job and proclaim it even though we don’t see it–yet. While we’re proclaiming it, we must do something in order for us to obtain what we say we believe. So now, we’ll go to school or fine tune job skills until we get that job. “Faith without works, is dead.” Once we have obtained the job desired, we no longer need faith “to get it,” but we’ll certainly need faith to keep it. So we perform the job with integrity and honor no matter what and even though we cannot see the end of days when we might leave it–we maintain our faith to keep it.

I’ve taken a rather circuitous route to get to this point–to encourage all those who are resisting the madness in the White House. Don’t get discouraged! Maintain your faith in what you do to see that justice prevails for all and that we will see an end to the madness! We don’t have to see how it’s going to happen, but to have faith that it will happen–without doubting.

For all who read how the rest of the chapter relates the faith of those blessed by God–note this one thing: It was the individual’s faith in God that was recognized and blessed and though some died–without seeing the end result of their faith–their faith in God was maintained. Though Noah had never seen rain before, his faith in what he knew God had told him to do, kept him going in building the ark, no matter how people laughed at him or ridiculed him, he kept building. When the rain came, they were no longer laughing, but it was too late for them to change course, once the ark was closed and sealed. I realize not everyone reading this believes in God or has a relationship with God, but I’m counting on my relationship with God and my faith in Him to know; all will be just as He planned it. I’m counting on His love for us to see us through all the turmoil and chaos and we’ll be left standing with a praise in our mouths, giving Him glory!

And that faith I have–is for right now–this very moment in the time of need for many who are fearful and distressed over what we see which causes us to doubt that God is able–right every wrong. Truth will prevail and every wrong deed will be avenged by God as we continue to fight the good fight of faith.

 

An Apt Description of 45!

An Apt Description of 45!

In his arrogance the wicked man hunts down the weak, who are caught in the schemes he devises. He boasts about the cravings of his heart; he blesses the greedy and reviles the LORD. In his pride the wicked man does not seek him; in all his thoughts there is no room for God. His ways are always prosperous; your laws are rejected by him; he sneers at all his enemies. He says to himself, “Nothing will ever shake me.” He swears, “No one will ever do me harm.” His mouth is full of lies and threats; trouble and evil are under his tongue.He lies in wait near the villages; from ambush he murders the innocent. His eyes watch in secret for his victims;like a lion in cover he lies in wait. He lies in wait to catch the helpless; he catches the helpless and drags them off in his net.His victims are crushed, they collapse; they fall under his strength. He says to himself, “God will never notice; he covers his face and never sees.”Arise, LORD! Lift up your hand, O God. Do not forget the helpless. Why does the wicked man revile God? Why does he say to himself, “He won’t call me to account”? But you, God, see the trouble of the afflicted; you consider their grief and take it in hand. The victims commit themselves to you; you are the helper of the fatherless.Break the arm of the wicked man; call the evildoer to account for his wickedness that would not otherwise be found out.The LORD is King for ever and ever; the nations will perish from his land. You, LORD, hear the desire of the afflicted; you encourage them, and you listen to their cry, defending the fatherless and the oppressed, so that mere earthly mortals will never again strike terror. Psalm 10:2-18 NIV

Thanks to the Psalmist, we have an accurate description of the despot in the White House–both of them.

Now, we can count on The Lord to do what He does best--use those who want to be used to His glory and not their own. We will defend the rights of the poor and the needy because we are commanded to do so in God’s Word.

We will move forward, standing firm, never wavering–speaking out against injustice wherever we find it.

We will continue encourage one another in the service of The Lord no matter how many times we hear “an evil report.” We will believe the report of The Lord. No weapon formed against us shall by any means prosper--not the threat of hindering others from entering into the land of the free and the brave; not the intent to gaslight–brainwashing the gullible–for they refuse to see what is right in front of them.

We will walk by faith and not by sight and see this battle through to the end and know victory in Jesus’ name.

We will stand against the wiles of the enemy for we are not ignorant of his approaches or strategies to commit evil or influence others. Nothing he does shall harm us and he shall be held accountable for all of his wicked deeds and those who follow him or are easily influenced by him to do evil, shall suffer the same fate.

The Lord is a strong tower and we will find safety and strength in Him!