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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Resurrection!

Resurrection!

On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: ‘The Son of Man must be delivered over to the hands of sinners, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’ ” Then they remembered his words. Luke 24:1-8 NIV

Jesus took the Twelve aside and told them, “We are going up to Jerusalem, and everything that is written by the prophets about the Son of Man will be fulfilled. He will be delivered over to the Gentiles. They will mock him, insult him and spit on him; they will flog him and kill him. On the third day he will rise again.” The disciples did not understand any of this. Its meaning was hidden from them, and they did not know what he was talking about. Luke 18:31-34 NIV

It is comforting to know that everything prophesied about the Coming Messiah has been fulfilled–just as it was told.

Because of His obedience and willingness to sacrifice His life for love; we all have an opportunity to live with Him for all eternity–just as He said we would.

There are many things that have been said throughout the past week and will continue in churches all over the world today, but the most important thing that can ever be said is, “He rose from the dead so we might have life.” It is through His resurrection that we gain grace–unmerited favor–to live with Him, not because of how good we are.

Actually, our entrance into Heaven has nothing to do with our being good, but on how we live that demonstrates we belong to Jesus.

Are we loving and forgiving?

Are we defending the rights of the poor and the needing?

Are we seeking God for direction in all we do or are we allowing the dictates of man to control us?

No one has demonstrated love with the ultimate sacrifice of giving their life so we might live other than Jesus.

No one has died and rose again–just as He said He would–returning to the Father–preparing a place for us–other than Jesus.

So take a few minutes or the entire day or the rest of the your life and think about what His Resurrection really means to you and enjoy the celebration!

Happy Resurrection Day!

Provocation!

Provocation!

But am I the one they are provoking? declares the LORD. Are they not rather harming themselves, to their own shame?“ ‘Therefore this is what the Sovereign LORD says: My anger and my wrath will be poured out on this place—on man and beast, on the trees of the field and on the crops of your land—and it will burn and not be quenched.“ ‘This is what the LORD Almighty, the God of Israel, says: Go ahead, add your burnt offerings to your other sacrifices and eat the meat yourselves! For when I brought your ancestors out of Egypt and spoke to them, I did not just give them commands about burnt offerings and sacrifices, but I gave them this command: Obey me, and I will be your God and you will be my people. Walk in obedience to all I command you, that it may go well with you. But they did not listen or pay attention; instead, they followed the stubborn inclinations of their evil hearts. They went backward and not forward.From the time your ancestors left Egypt until now, day after day, again and again I sent you my servants the prophets. But they did not listen to me or pay attention. They were stiff-necked and did more evil than their ancestors.’“When you tell them all this, they will not listen to you; when you call to them, they will not answer. Therefore say to them, ‘This is the nation that has not obeyed the LORD its God or responded to correction. Truth has perished; it has vanished from their lips. Jeremiah 7:19-28 NIV

Wow! This pronouncement against all who do not seek God and obey Him and is just as relevant today as it was then!

TO THE EVANGELICAL LEADERS WHO TOUTED THE #WHidiot AS GOD’S CHOICE:

Do you see what happens when God is not consulted? Do you see what happens when truth perishes from your lips and you promote lies? Do you understand–yet–how your lies and promotion of this idiot can bring irreparable harm to Americans–all over the globe? If you do not understand the danger your lies and promotion of an imbecile then you are just as responsible for what he does as he is.

TO THE SUPPORTERS OF THE #WHidiot:

Are you still giddy with excitement of his illegal win of the election? Do you see him promoting or acting on your behalf? Does eliminating your healthcare make you scream with joy? Does the possibility of losing your loved ones–both male and female–in another war excite you beyond belief because of his reckless rhetoric? Aren’t you just tickled pink that your tax dollars are paying for his weekend excursions, his children’s security detail, his wife’s security detail, the construction of a helipad at Mar-a-largo, and the launched missiles that have cost over $200 million dollars? Are you happy yet? How about those good paying jobs–have you gotten yours and aren’t you just thrilled that only the rich will benefit from his proposed tax reform? Doesn’t that make you want to just jump and shout with joy? Did you know you were also “electing” the offspring of an idiot to be in charge of policy decisions? Well, did you?

Since you chose to believe the liar-in-chief–are you ready to accept responsibility for the fact that America will never be as great as it could be because of the madman at the helm? I know you believed the lies he spouted because you voted for him and promoted all the “fake news” about Hillary–aren’t you just super-proud of yourselves?

TO THE RESISTANCE:

Don’t get weary in doing what is right in order to save us from the idiocy brought upon us by lying “religious-pseudo-christians” and the “gullible, frustrated white middle class workers” who simply didn’t know any better.

Stand firm in pushing elected leaders to do their jobs. Call, write, Tweet. Never let them forget how they got their jobs.

Stand firm in pushing the Department of Justice to dig as deep as need to dig to make sure truth surfaces about all the involvement by those in the White House that manipulated the 2016 Election.

Stand firm in your resolve to make sure, when one gets weary, another encourages and  keeps up the pace.

Stand firm in your resolve to push the media in staying focused on the investigations and not all the distractions #WHidiot is creating to delay the process.

For those of us who know–and have an intimate relationship with God–we know the truth and we will continue praying that truth will save us and will not promote false news, provoking all the other crazy imbeciles who would love nothing more than to “show us” their might.

The Word tells not to provoke God, for fathers not to provoke children and we should know better than to provoke the enemies of America with foolish rhetoric. If we’re going to provoke anything from God–let’s provoke His protection in our obedience to His Word.

War and Empty Words!

War and Empty Words!

In the fourteenth year of King Hezekiah’s reign, Sennacherib king of Assyria attacked all the fortified cities of Judah and captured them. Then the king of Assyria sent his field commander with a large army from Lachish to King Hezekiah at Jerusalem. When the commander stopped at the aqueduct of the Upper Pool, on the road to the Launderer’s Field, Eliakim son of Hilkiah the palace administrator, Shebna the secretary, and Joah son of Asaph the recorder went out to him. The field commander said to them, “Tell Hezekiah: “ ‘This is what the great king, the king of Assyria, says: On what are you basing this confidence of yours? You say you have counsel and might for war—but you speak only empty words. On whom are you depending, that you rebel against me? Look, I know you are depending on Egypt, that splintered reed of a staff, which pierces the hand of anyone who leans on it! Such is Pharaoh king of Egypt to all who depend on him. But if you say to me, “We are depending on the LORD our God”—isn’t he the one whose high places and altars Hezekiah removed, saying to Judah and Jerusalem, “You must worship before this altar”? “ ‘Come now, make a bargain with my master, the king of Assyria: I will give you two thousand horses—if you can put riders on them! How then can you repulse one officer of the least of my master’s officials, even though you are depending on Egypt for chariots and horsemen? Furthermore, have I come to attack and destroy this land without the LORD? The LORD himself told me to march against this country and destroy it.’ ”Then Eliakim, Shebna and Joah said to the field commander, “Please speak to your servants in Aramaic, since we understand it. Don’t speak to us in Hebrew in the hearing of the people on the wall.” But the commander replied, “Was it only to your master and you that my master sent me to say these things, and not to the people sitting on the wall—who, like you, will have to eat their own excrement and drink their own urine?” Then the commander stood and called out in Hebrew, “Hear the words of the great king, the king of Assyria!  This is what the king says: Do not let Hezekiah deceive you. He cannot deliver you! Do not let Hezekiah persuade you to trust in the LORD when he says, ‘The LORD will surely deliver us; this city will not be given into the hand of the king of Assyria.’ “Do not listen to Hezekiah. This is what the king of Assyria says: Make peace with me and come out to me. Then each of you will eat fruit from your own vine and fig tree and drink water from your own cistern, until I come and take you to a land like your own—a land of grain and new wine, a land of bread and vineyards.“Do not let Hezekiah mislead you when he says, ‘The LORD will deliver us.’ Have the gods of any nations ever delivered their lands from the hand of the king of Assyria? Where are the gods of Hamath and Arpad? Where are the gods of Sepharvaim? Have they rescued Samaria from my hand? Who of all the gods of these countries have been able to save their lands from me? How then can the LORD deliver Jerusalem from my hand?” But the people remained silent and said nothing in reply, because the king had commanded, “Do not answer him.”Then Eliakim son of Hilkiah the palace administrator, Shebna the secretary and Joah son of Asaph the recorder went to Hezekiah, with their clothes torn, and told him what the field commander had said. Isaiah 36 NIV

Oh what lessons we can learn by reviewing history about wars and words.

Liars didn’t just start lying in the 21st Century; they’ve been around for a long time–and they lied to gain an advantage over gullible people–people easily swayed and deluded.

In this passage of scripture–the field commander–(unnamed at this point) lies to Eliakim, Shebna, and Joah in the hearing of the people–attempting to make them doubt what they already knew–The Lord would deliver them. In other words–the commander was trying to “gaslight” the people, but the people refused to answer him because they had been warned not to say anything. And saying nothing, means more than spewing empty words that will only provoke violence.

Someone should read this passage to the #WHidiot before he gets us all killed with his empty rhetoric. He doesn’t have a foreign policy plan and has never had a plan. He didn’t realize the enormity of the job in the Oval Office and thought he could make up stuff as he went. His empty words–not understood by anyone–fell on the ears of the world watching and wondering, what he meant about Assad getting a message. Representative Maxine Waters had the best advice for him, “Shut up!” He needs to be quiet and stop trying to sound tough, when he’s shaking in his boots because he doesn’t have a clue and he won’t listen to anyone who does.

While he was running his mouth, the king of Jordan looked stunned at the ignorance displayed by the so-called president of the United States. What a joke we are to those watching this ship sink!

It would be interesting if he ever did any homework about anyone he’s hosting at the White House and it would even be more interesting if he learned diplomacy and etiquette for a real leader.  Attempting to have “policy talks” with King Abdullah and his 35 years of military service compared to a repeat draft dodger–is laughable at best! The idiot-in-chief knows nothing about being in the military, procedure or foreign policy, nor does his son-in-law, or daughter. And they’re in the White House advising him because what…?

At any rate, The Lord delivered and Hezekiah proved to be faithful to the God of Heaven and remained steadfast in his belief that His God–was God.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful to know that we had a “modern-day Hezekiah” praying and acting on our behalf–even in the face of danger–knowing that God is not a man that He should lie?

Unfortunately, we don’t have a Hezekiah in the White House and we know because he suffers from a “savior-complex,” thinking he has all the answers and he alone can fix stuff. So the rest of us–who do know God, must pray and be faithful unto Him who is able to deliver us and not count on the #WHidiot and his empty words or we shall surely fall by the wayside.

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Knowing Your Gift!

Knowing Your Gift!

For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully. Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Romans 12:4-10 NIV

One of the reasons many people never accomplish what God has planned for them is because they have really identified and refined the gift He has given each and every one of us. Every person has been given at least one gift and many have multiple gifts they have identified and refined–some natural and some spiritual, but we need the spiritual gifts to identify the natural, develop and fine-tune them.

What keeps people looking sideways at others as they move along the continuum of life–envying and coveting the gifts of others— is they have lost their focus and never sought God for understanding of what He has given them. In order for us to walk the path He has designed for us, we must always seek Him, first.

There are times when it appears–to others–that some of us are off track, but that’s because when we do things that seem unusual, we do them at God’s guidance and not man’s and therefore they would not understand. Being obedient to God is not always; especially when the outcome is uncertain and we have to complete an obstacle course, that could be perilous. Nevertheless, if we trust God, we must simply follow through on what He has spoken to our hearts and if others don’t understand–it’s okay.

When we look at Paul’s life and how he started–being a stalwart defender of what he was taught by men–and then after his Damascus Road experience appeared to take a 180 degree turn in his promotion of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He was actively engaged in the community of Believers and non-Believers–inspiring many and even though he lost his life–he was obedient to God.

I know some are concerned with my current direction in actively engaging in resisting a Trump presidency, but they can rest assured, I have spent time with The Lord and know I am obeying what He would have me do in this season. Whatever happens in the interim, I know–what He wants me to do and I know it is for the good of all, not just myself.

We know that in order for evil to reign and change the landscape–good people sit silently and watch it unfold–doing absolutely nothing. My gift is research and writing and then expounding upon the truths found–by any means necessary. That gift is not only meant in teaching God’s Word, but in the secular setting in which we all reside on a daily basis. If I did not research a subject matter, I could not teach it effectively and if I am not teaching effectively, I am not utilizing the gifts He’s given me.

Here’s the thing–man has no ability to gift us with anything other than material items that will rust or fade in the course of time. The gifts God gives us are for our use for as long as we walk the earth. Therefore, I will not allow what people think of me–one way or the other–to hinder my obedience to God. I’m mindful of Noah when people thought he was crazy in building an ark and talking about rain when it had never rained; Moses leading the Israelites out of Egypt; Daniel opening the window and praying out loud even though it was forbidden; Esther going to the King without being summoned. The list could go on and on.

The bottom line for me is–man has no eternal resting place for me, but my Father in Heaven does. Guess who I will obey? No matter what what happens, I’ll know I played a part in the historical events unfolding in this season and will hold them dear to my heart.

Lord, open the eyes of those who are blinded by fear and whose hearts are clouded with doubt and uncertainty. Let them see there are more with us, than against us–both naturally and spiritually and that victory in Jesus will be celebrated.

Speak To Our Hearts, Lord!

Speak To Our Hearts, Lord!

So Eli told Samuel, “Go and lie down, and if he calls you, say, ‘Speak, LORD, for your servant is listening.’ ” So Samuel went and lay down in his place.  The LORD came and stood there, calling as at the other times, “Samuel! Samuel!” Then Samuel said, “Speak, for your servant is listening.” And the LORD said to Samuel: “See, I am about to do something in Israel that will make the ears of everyone who hears about it tingle. At that time I will carry out against Eli everything I spoke against his family—from beginning to end. For I told him that I would judge his family forever because of the sin he knew about; his sons blasphemed God, and he failed to restrain them. Therefore I swore to the house of Eli, ‘The guilt of Eli’s house will never be atoned for by sacrifice or offering.’ ” I Samuel 3:9-14 NIV

The more carnage we see in the world, the more I wonder–are we listening to God? Or more importantly, is He speaking to us?

Though Eli was instrumental in training Samuel to serve The Lord, his sons acted in completely diabolical ways–even to disrespecting the temple by having sex with prostitutes there. Eli knew what they were doing and yet did not stop them and therefore, God warned him what would happen. His sons were killed and when Eli got the news–he also died.

I sense the death of a nation–spiritually–and though we have been warned, time and time again about not just the behavior of others, but our own, we are yet ignoring God. And when there is a spiritual death–eventually–physical death follows. Perhaps, this is the reason we see what we see across the globe, and especially in America.

Some might say, God is not speaking to “the prophets” any more and they would be on the right track. There are yet some prophets–called by God–to whom He is speaking, but more importantly, we have His Word and His Spirit to guide us in all things. Some of the “prophets” that are speaking into the lives of people are actually entertaining others “in the name of The Lord” and they are responsible for the consequences that will befall them.

What we have to understand about “righteous living” is that God holds each and every person who “claims to know Him” accountable for their own actions. We are not responsible for the actions of others–we are responsible for what God has spoken to our hearts and our obedience to His Word–individually! If every individual–born again Believer–lives The Word–not just in private or in the confines of a building–we have the power to influence others and we should. If after we share the love of God with them and encourage them to serve Him, they choose to go their own way, they are responsible for the consequences that fall upon them–not us.

I cannot speak for others, but I do believe that the time for God to speak to us and we hear and obey, is now–while we have a chance to win others to Christ–not political parties–so that we may know peace and all will receive and share His love. So, that is my prayer–for all Believers–that God will speak to our hearts–and we will hear and obey.

 

Lord, speak to our hearts, ignite our desire to obey and serve You like never before. Guide us in all that we do, allowing Holy Spirit to keep us on the right path–continuing to share Your Love and the gift we have been given through Jesus Christ–eternal life. Lord, help us to see–not just with our physical eyes, but with our spiritual eyes to know we are honoring You with all we do.

Victory In Jesus!

Victory In Jesus!

Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves the father loves his child as well. This is how we know that we love the children of God: by loving God and carrying out his commands. In fact, this is love for God: to keep his commands. And his commands are not burdensome, for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him. I John 5:1-4, 14,15 NIV

Victory–the state of knowing that we have overcome or done something exceedingly well, is a right for those who believe God and keep His Word. It is a privilege that Believers are assured of when we do things God’s Way and an expected right–according to His Word.

Every athlete–whether little league, minor league or professional league–loves victory and no one–likes to concede defeat, but in any competition–there is a winner and someone must lose.

So much of what we encounter today–all those life challenges we face–the trials that tend to overtake us when we’re weary, puts us in a position to be defeated, but we can know victory.

One of the things we have to remember is that we learn from the losses and rebound–energized, ready to take on the next challenge. For many of us–we tend to experience more defeats than victory, but victory in Jesus--knowing we can count on Him–does much to encourage our hearts and keep us going.

How many times do we end up repeating the same mistakes–doing what didn’t work the first time–hoping it will work if we just keep plodding through the messes we make in life?

When we’re trying to persuade others–how much sense does it make to keep repeating the same hyperbolic phrases that have no substance and indeed has a tendency to make us look foolish?

The only thing that bears repeating to anyone is the love of God, dwelling within us–gets us through any challenge that life offers. Constantly reminding people of The Word of God–provides them with fuel to ignite the stamina within to keep going and going and going–until victory is won.

When we know and understand The Word–we know that perfect love–unconditional love for all–casts out fear–leaving no place for it to dwell. The love of God overflowing from our hearts onto all we know, creating a pathway of love that infects all who tread upon it–guarantees the victory–that all can enjoy.

Beloved of Christ–Brothers and Sisters in The Lord–let us continue to love, showing others by our example how love wins the day, uprooting hatred and fear, supplanting it with love–so we may all join in the victory dance in Jesus!