A Message!

A Message!

I said, “I will watch my ways and keep my tongue from sin; I will put a muzzle on my mouth while in the presence of the wicked.” When you rebuke and discipline anyone for their sin, you consume their wealth like a moth–surely everyone is but a breath. Hear my prayer, Lord, listen to my cry for help; do not be deaf to my weeping. I dwell with you as a foreigner, as a stranger, as all my ancestors were. Look away from me, that I may enjoy life again before I depart and am no more.” Psalm 39:1, 11-13 NIV

This is a message–if we read the entire Psalm–all need to heed and use when we are up against situations over which we have no control.

If we never acknowledge where we are and how we’ve missed the mark and seek God’s forgiveness and accept the consequences of our actions, we will never be in position to receive all He has for us. The message–live according to The Word–loving all–will keep us from falling far from Him.

If we dared to live our lives–removing the stench of hatred and bigotry-we would all profit from loving one another.

This then is a message we should share–functioning in life with integrity and honor, never concerning ourselves about what others may discover because of the way we live our lives in total transparency. Nothing hidden–nothing to shame or embarrass us.

Please pass along the message to those in the White House so the rest of us, Everyday Americans don’t have to be ashamed to be Americans. eda

 

Repent!

Repent!

“Now, fellow Israelites, I know that you acted in ignorance, as did your leaders.But this is how God fulfilled what he had foretold through all the prophets, saying that his Messiah would suffer. Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord, and that he may send the Messiah, who has been appointed for you—even Jesus. Acts 3:17-20 NIV

You have no part or share in this ministry, because your heart is not right before God. Repent of this wickedness and pray to the Lord in the hope that he may forgive you for having such a thought in your heart. For I see that you are full of bitterness and captive to sin.” Acts 8:21-23 NIV

In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent. For he has set a day when he will judge the world with justice by the man he has appointed. He has given proof of this to everyone by raising him from the dead.” When they heard about the resurrection of the dead, some of them sneered, but others said, “We want to hear you again on this subject.” Acts 17:30-32 NIV

When we completely turn away from things that we know God does not like, and turn to Him, God honors our repentance and forgives our sin. If we do not repent and continue in the ways of ignorance and wickedness; He does not forgive us and will hold us accountable for our actions. 

For all those who think they have no need to seek God’s forgiveness–they have only themselves to blame for the judgment that is sure to come.

Get into God’s Word, know how He wants us to live and treat others–loving unconditionally, and defending the rights of the poor and needy and whenever we fall short–quickly repent and seek His direction and forgiveness.

accountability

Recognizing Truth!

Recognizing Truth!

Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, for I have come here from God. I have not come on my own; God sent me. Why is my language not clear to you? Because you are unable to hear what I say. You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies. Yet because I tell the truth, you do not believe me! Can any of you prove me guilty of sin? If I am telling the truth, why don’t you believe me? Whoever belongs to God hears what God says. The reason you do not hear is that you do not belong to God.” John 8:42-47 NIV

POLITICS ALERT!

In an era in which people accept lies for truth and say truth is a lie, how on earth are we supposed to know truth when we see or hear it?

Jesus told us that truth will set us free in verse 32 of this same chapter. But whose truth? The truth of the masses who are willing to believe anything that is not proven or simply because of who said it? I think–if we’re going to listen to people–especially other Christians–we must know what they say lines up with The Word!

The following excerpt was taken from an online article on November 1, 2016:

In an interview Tuesday morning on CNN, wealthy GOP donor Foster Friess explained why supporting Donald Trump — who has been married multiple times and has bragged about grabbing women by the genitals — is actually very compatible with Christian values. “I don’t think [Christian voters] should be conflicted if they’re really embracing their Christian values,” said Friess, in a pitch to win over Christians shying away from supporting the Republican presidential candidate because of his controversial comments.

Friess argued that because “one of the gifts Jesus gave us was forgiveness,” the Christian thing to do would actually be to forgive Trump for his past sins. “What value is our Christian faith if we don’t forgive someone who’s seeking to move forward?” Friess said, noting the “whole message of Christianity here is evident in Donald Trump’s progress, where you look at where he was 10 years ago and where he is today, we have to be excited about that.”

What’s notable in what Friess says is that since “forgiveness” is a Christian value, why is it not extendable to Hillary who has exhibited knowledge of God?  The Republican Party has investigated the Clintons for decades and have yet to find anything prosecutable in anything they have done. When both Bill and Hillary messed up, they apologized and sought forgiveness. Though they are not perfect–none of us are–they have exemplified more Christian values than Trump is even capable of knowing exists.

And Trump’s progress is questionable to say the least. He is still promoting fear, hatred, and bigotry. He is yet disrespecting women and thinks nothing of his behavior. He is yet lying on a consistent basis and igniting hatred in the hearts of those who support him. He is yet promoting violence against Hillary.

There are those who say Trump loves this country. How has he demonstrated that love of country? His four deferments indicate he could care less about the security and safety of this country since he refused to join the military and yet–now claims that he can teach the Secretary of Defense military strategy! This is the same man who claimed to know more about ISIS than the Generals who have been involved in fighting them. But more importantly–he thinks he’s smart not to pay taxes–taxes that are used to pay our military to help keep this country safe. Is that love of country?

Trump claims he’s a smart businessman. How many smart businessmen end up filing bankruptcy multiple times and losing almost a billion dollars in one year?

Trump claims he respects women yet has no problem attempting to intimidate Hillary during a debate in then interrupting her at another to call her a “nasty woman” in the middle of her giving a response to the moderator. There’s also his questionable obsession about his daughter’s body, which borders being incestuous fantasy.

There has been no evidence in anything he says or does that Holy Spirit is guiding him in anything. There is no unconditional love for others and we know this since he fuels the chants of “lock her up!” His claim that she is “the devil” is fueled by hate mongers such as Alex Jones who admits he has said that President Obama and Hillary are the devil and “we can tell by the smell of sulfur on them.” Now–whose truth is that? Sounds like that came straight from the pit to me. There is no joy and hope in what Trump says, only despair if he’s not the one in charge! That’s the narcissistic personality that reigns in his life. Remember, at his convention, “I know what’s wrong and I am the only one who can fix it.”

This person can’t even discipline himself and has demonstrated he can’t focus on anything for more than 30 minutes at a time, unless he’s entertaining the masses at his rallies. There is no evidence of the fruit of the Spirit operating in his life and there is no truth than can be manufactured to even create the illusion of his being a Christian.

evidence of Holy Spirit

Perhaps, more importantly than anything else is the fact that Trump believes he has no reason to ask God for forgiveness since he has done nothing wrong. And that’s the way he sees his life–he’s never done anything wrong because he’s a god that lives by his own rules. If we do not ask God to forgive us, there is no forgiveness to be had. And just asking to be forgiven without repentance is simply mouthing empty words.

In order for us to recognize truth that others pretend to speak, we must know that truth aligns with The Word in the context God intended, not how we selectively misuse it.

Now, I know there are people–Christians–who are concerned about who might be appointed to the Supreme Court. Is the concern because they do not trust God to be God and speak to the hearts of all involved? Or is that they simply don’t want to see a woman in the White House? The other concern–supposedly–is they feel they must support the person who is pro-life. Well, here’s a question for them. How is it that a pro-life group can support rights of life in the womb, but not rights of life outside the womb? There is more outrage about people having abortions than there is about people being killed–especially when it comes to the “Black Lives Matter” group. What happened to being “for life” in this situation?

Apparently, those who think being pro-choice is a sin and that’s because they haven’t developed a right relationship with God because God–the God of heaven–gives us choice in all we do and He has established the consequences of our choices and “never makes us do anything.” And for the record, being pro-choice does not mean a person is “for abortions.” It means we believe that a woman has the right to choose what she does and deal with the consequences of her choices. That’s the way God does things–allows people to choose.

As for the 2nd Amendment argument–that Hillary is trying to take guns away from people–that is so much hogwash being perpetuated by the lies promoted by the haters. She wants to make sure that guns are kept out of the hands of those who would use them to commit murder. She has no problem with people owning guns to protect themselves. And please don’t respond to me about “hunting rights.” No one needs an automatic, rapid-fire weapon to kill a deer or anything else. The animal would be so shredded there would be no point in having killed it in the first place.

So, enough of the smokescreen about why people want Trump in office. He is a despicable, white man and people don’t want to see a woman as President. There are people who would rather put political party affiliations before country and that should be a sin. God didn’t create politics–men did–in their effort to ignore Him. Remember how Saul became a king–because other tribes had kings and did not honor God.

Now, why should anyone believe anything that’s been said? They shouldn’t without seeking God for themselves and praying for discernment to recognize truth–in all people, in all situations, at all times. Truth–regarding any situation–has already been addressed in God’s Word and if we have a right relationship with Him, He will always guide us to truth in His Word and His Truth is applicable for all people. 

Repentance and Forgiveness!

Repentance and Forgiveness!

Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. Here there is no Gentile or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all. Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Colossians 3:9-14 NIV

In order for us to receive forgiveness, we must willing to admit when we’re wrong. If a person can never admit being wrong or in need of forgiveness, how can they be forgiven?

Many are those who always cry, “forgive, forgive” but that’s only when it pertains to someone else, not them. And the other side of the coin is–the person who keeps doing wrong, never repents of the wrongdoing–never turns away from doing wrong–because they never admit they are wrong. Apologies–it would seem to some–are for losers and therefore–a winner never apologizes for anything–in their mind. So, if there is no admittance or apology, there can be no forgiveness for if there is–it is just a matter of words, not sincerity since true forgiveness, comes with a change of heart.

We are told–in The Word–that from the abundance of the heart–the mouth speaks. From that we can conclude by what we hear–what is in a person’s heart. If all we hear is hatred and bigotry, lies and finger-pointing, then what we hear is what’s overflowing in their heart.

If we attach a color to every trait or virtue–what color would our hearts be? We’ve heard of people having a black heart (pure evil), but is that what resides within us? For all those virtues that are positive–love, joy, hope, forgiveness, humility, and sincerity,–let’s color them yellow. For all the negative traits–lying, hatred, bigotry, fear-mongering–let’s color them black. Now, let’s take a look at what appears to be a halo over people–is it light or is it darkness? Darkness does not drive out light, but light certainly drives out darkness so it would benefit all for us to have light in our hearts rather than darkness.

Not one of us–living past the age of seven–can say we’ve never done anything wrong. And as kids, when we did something wrong we were punished–if we had loving parents. As adults, we have to recognize when our behavior is not conducive to maintaining peace or when infringing upon the rights of others. When we do wrong–we admit it–apologize and seek forgiveness and let it go, not holding grudges.

When we repent–turn away from those things that offend God and turn to Him to stay on the right path, He forgives and never reminds us of all the wrong we’ve ever done. But the enemy–the prince of darkness–will always seek a way to get into our minds to remind us of what we’ve done in hopes of keeping us distracted. We don’t have to let the enemy influence our thoughts or our deeds. We simply have to remember who it is we serve and serve Him with gladness and joy in our hearts.

However–if we never acknowledge doing wrong–there is no true repentance and therefore forgiveness is not received. For what we do not admit when we’re wrong, God cannot forgive us. And if we say we’re sorry for doing something when we are not–the lack of sincerity will be revealed in our continued wrongdoing.

Beloved, let’s love one another with a sincere heart–allowing the light of hope and joy to override the darkness impelled by fear and hatred. God is love and if we love Him, we can love others for love resides in our hearts in abundance. And if we love, we can forgive when others admit their wrongdoing and we should not hold it against them.

Redemption

Redemption

Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever. Let the redeemed of the LORD tell their story— those he redeemed from the hand of the foe, those he gathered from the lands, from east and west, from north and south.Some wandered in desert wastelands, finding no way to a city where they could settle.  They were hungry and thirsty, and their lives ebbed away. Then they cried out to the LORD in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress. He led them by a straight way to a city where they could settle.Let them give thanks to the LORD for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for mankind, for he satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things. Psalms 107:1-9 NIV

Who will do all things for us when we cannot do for ourselves?

The Lord–mighty and loving in all His ways,

Never ceases to counsel, guide and forgive us,

Never willing to let us be defeated by thought or deed,

Always whispering truth and filling our hearts with love,

We have been redeemed through His Son from above.

Giving thanks to The Lord for all He has done and is doing in the lives of all who love Him. For I know that without Him in our lives, we would not be able to accomplish anything worthwhile. And though the immediate future seems uncertain and dark, my complete faith and trust is in Him, not man or woman–for I know whoever is willing to hear Him speak will obey and do all things to His glory.

The glory of The Lord covers us like a veil when we are walking the path He establishes for us and when we stray–even for a moment–we can count on His loving arms to pull us back–so nothing the enemy plans for us will ever prosper.

No, there is not one perfect human being among us, but even though we are flawed, when we are willing to obey His Word and live it on a daily basis as a demonstration of who He is and not who we are, we remain in the shelter of His love.

There is none like Him–none who carries our burdens when we give them to Him; none who loves us even when we are unlovable and none who forgives us for our waywardness, giving us chance after chance to get things right with Him.

If we have never received His love, now would be a good time–to turn to Him and away from all those things that keep us from receiving His many benefits. When we are filled with His love, we don’t have room for hate in our hearts. When we are filled with His love, compassion for others drives us to do whatever we can to help our neighbors and others in need. When we are filled with His love, we do not seek fame and glory or recognition for the things we do for we know whatever we do–He sees and rewards.

There is no need for us to wallow in self-pity or fear or unbelief. We simply need to be reminded that we have a Savior and Redeemer and His name is Jesus. Let the Redeemed of the Lord, say so! I am redeemed!

It’s Time To Repent!

It’s Time To Repent!

Then the word of the LORD came to me: “Son of man, these men have set up idols in their hearts and put wicked stumbling blocks before their faces. Should I let them inquire of me at all? Therefore speak to them and tell them, ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says: When any of the Israelites set up idols in their hearts and put a wicked stumbling block before their faces and then go to a prophet, I the LORD will answer them myself in keeping with their great idolatry. I will do this to recapture the hearts of the people of Israel, who have all deserted me for their idols.’ “Therefore say to the people of Israel, ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says: Repent! Turn from your idols and renounce all your detestable practices! Ezekiel 14:2-6 NIV

The Word of The Lord!

If we keep our focus on Him–the Sovereign Lord–and worship only Him, we would not need to repent of detestable practices, but since we don’t–we need to repent!

But many will say, “Repent of what? I’ve done nothing wrong.”

When men and women see themselves as the only authority in their lives, then there is a need to inspect what they do, measure it against The Word, and see if what they’re doing is based upon The Word or their own desires. Once they realize–how out of order they are, they need to repent–turning away from whatever they’re doing that is not like God and turn to God and do things God’s way.

So, here’s the list of things we need to repent from:

We need to repent from lying and spreading falsehoods just to make a point.

We need to repent from supporting, endorsing, and enabling those who are doing ungodly things.

We need to repent from promoting fear, hatred, and bigotry to win people’s hearts with an ungodly strategy.

We need to repent from worshiping people.

We need to repent from doing ungodly things.

We need to repent from trusting people more than we trust God.

We need to repent from seeking the news media outlets for truth rather than seeking God’s Wisdom and His Truth in His Word.

Once we repent from doing all the things that we know are not like God, and ask Him to forgive us, then we will see restoration–of civility, and the promotion of love and the establishment of peace.

Without repentance–totally turning away from ungodliness and a complete turn to God–there is no forgiveness. God knows our hearts and insincerity has no place in our lives when we are seeking God to guide us.

Believers know or should know the heart of God and His desire for all to love and live in peace. It’s time for us to repent of any wrongdoing–according to God’s Word–and do things God’s way. We are His ambassadors–the example of who He Is–but if we are living in opposition to His Word–the world will never know who He Is and how much He loves all who come to Him.

Looking Ahead!

Looking Ahead!

I want to know Christ and experience the mighty power that raised him from the dead. I want to suffer with him, sharing in his death, so that one way or another I will experience the resurrection from the dead! I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me. No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us. Philippians 3:10-14 NLT

“Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it” (Winston Churchill).

On the surface, it would appear that there is a contradiction to what Paul is saying and what Churchill said (hundreds of years later)–but is there really? On the one hand Paul is telling us to forget the past–all the wrongs committed by us or against us before we knew Christ and look ahead–focused on Jesus. And on the other hand–Churchill reminds us to remember–all those things that led us into precarious situations and learn from them so we don’t do them again.

If we really look at what is being said and the context in which it is said, there is no contradiction–but a concern–expressed to help us to keep moving forward.

Holding onto to past hurts and never forgiving others–keeps us in a holding pattern and for some–in a rut–stuck in the past and never able to move forward. We are reminded in God’s Word to let go–of those things that burden us–and keep us from achieving what God has planned for us. I can say–without hesitation–that keeping things bottled inside because of something that happened in the past causes more damage–physically, emotionally and spiritually–than it ever helps.

So what if someone hurt your feelings? So what if they stole from you? So what if you didn’t get the job you wanted? If we allow hurt feelings to get in our way or keep us from living a full life–the only person we’re hurting is us. People–bad people–steal from others all the time, but things can be replaced, so we must keep moving forward and not allow that deter us from receiving God’s best. And yes, many of us have been overlooked for positions we wanted and were qualified to do, but perhaps–just perhaps–those who overlooked us did us a favor by freeing us to receive what God has for us. 

But what we must remember–not holding grudges–is to think about what led us into the predicament with an open mind, so we can learn what not to do. If someone hurt our feelings–how did we get to that place? Was it because of our misplaced trust–low self-esteem or simply being naive? If they stole from us–was it because of our negligence in securing what belonged to us? If we were overlooked for a position–was it because we trusted mere mortals more than God? Did we seek Him–and His wisdom in making all decisions? If we are not able to “study” what we’ve done in the past, we’ll never learn from it and will–keep repeating the past–ensuring the same results. And this is what Churchill was talking about–in the broader sense of what leads to wars and loss of life.

What did we learn from history about racial equality? Did slavery–treating other human beings as sub-humans not teach us anything about the fact that none of us are superior to another? Did we not learn from the past that in any society, women should be treated with equality–same pay and respect shown to men? Did we not learn that words have power and we should watch what we say about and to others? Must we continue on a merry-go-around that is moving faster with each generation–trying to hold onto to myths about people–until we are flung off because of our pride? We cannot keep doing the same foolish things over and over expecting different results–which is the definition of insanity (Einstein).

It’s time for us to get off the merry-go-round of life holding onto misguided beliefs about people that do nothing to unite us as human beings, but do everything to keep us from grasping and achieving what God wants for us. Let’s learn–from past histories and yesterdays–how to treat each other with loving kindness so we can forego all the bitterness that is bound to occur when we refuse to learn from the past.Let’s move on–looking forward to all the great things God has in store for us.