It’s Later Than We Think!

“Dear friends, although I was very eager to write to you about the salvation we share, I felt compelled to write and urge you to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to God’s holy people. For certain individuals whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord.Yet these people slander whatever they do not understand, and the very things they do understand by instinct—as irrational animals do—will destroy them. These are the people who divide you, who follow mere natural instincts and do not have the Spirit.” (Jude 1:3,4,10,19 NIV)

We spend so much time trying to encourage one another to stay strong and to stay focused on what Jesus and Paul say, that we tend to forget what Jude said in defense of Godliness. In fact, we must remember there are more writers in The Bible than those who wrote the history, the psalms, the wisdom, and the instructions for church doctrines. They are all good, but we must also remember that when God speaks--He speaks to more than one person–saying the same thing, in a different way (in the mouths of two or three witnesses shall every Word be confirmed), and Jude is often overlooked, except by some–who repeat the last two verses as a benediction–signalling the end of a service.

Jude reminds the Believers of what has come before with immorality and ungodliness as he points out–in his time–history was repeating itself. And here we are–in 2015–watching history repeat itself, again. “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeating it” (Santayana). Jude summarizes the events from Sodom and Gomorrah to his present time, in warning them to know the enemy’s influence.

Have we learned nothing from reviewing past events? Or are we so immune to learning history that we deliberately establish our fate–a fate of gloom and doom for the masses?

There are those who scoff at Believers’ convictions about eternity and the lake of fire. That is their right to do so, but it doesn’t change what God has already determined. People–in their logical minds–can attempt to change anything they want to change, but it is only those things that God has established and ordained from the beginning that will matter in the end. As Jude said, those whose only appeal is to their own logic are not guided by Holy Spirit and therefore whatever they think, matters not.

But we who Believe and know that Holy Spirit will never guide us into changing what God has said or encouraging us to promote ungodliness, should act on what we know is Truth and not get caught up in the trends of this world. We have the mind of Christ and it’s time the world knew that. We who know Truth should never be conformed to the dictates of the flesh which guide ungodliness.

We are told that “judgment will begin at the household of faith” for the Believers. If the Believers will not be able to stand before God and be judged–according to righteous judgment–what hope then can unbelievers have?

The time is far spent–it’s much later than we think. Whenever Jesus returns–we are closer to that return than ever before, and it’s time for Believers to stand on God’s Word, no matter what the enemy does to influence people to live in opposition to God. For the Word has said that rebellion is as witchcraft–they who rebel against God have been unduly influenced under an evil spell–and it is up to us who believe to counter the attack–with all godliness–living according to God’s Word and sharing the purpose of salvation to all who will believe, allowing Holy Spirit to guide our every word and deed.

True Witnesses Have Relationship With God!

“You are my witnesses,” declares the LORD, “and my servant whom I have chosen, so that you may know and believe me and understand that I am he. Before me no god was formed, nor will there be one after me.” (Isaiah 43:10 NIV)

There is no one group–who have professed to be the only witnesses–whom God loves more than any other who believe Him because of those things that others have revealed through His Word and His love. When God spoke through the prophets in “that day” they knew exactly what He meant. God showed up and showed out–confusing every group of people who worshipped gods they made with their own hands. What He wanted them to understand is that He, the God of creation, was before any of the gods people erected from the materials that God created.

I’ve addressed this before, but I fail to understand how anyone could give “power” to inanimate objects created by hands of men and think that object is more powerful than the One who created the materials by which it was created.

Our God–in all of His awesomeness-has no beginning or end. Before time was–He was and after time ends, He will be and for now–He isl Unfortunately for some–they have not figured it out yet.

There are those who think that mere men–who have changed the intent of God’s Word to suit their own beliefs–have the only connection with God. This is why when they observe Communion (a sacrament observed by many churches), they only serve the elders with others looking on them. How ridiculous is that? Did they not read and understand that Communion is an event in which all partake? And with all of the flawed logic and theology presented by them which constantly changes, they proclaim they are His true witnesses.

So, who is a true witness? Anyone who in relationship with God, understanding the intent of His Word and does not attempt to use The Word to manipulate people, is a true witness of God. We who know and understand that God is not a respecter of people–we are all the same–we know how He does things and we also know and understand His thoughts are far above our thoughts. We understood the need for Him to come down to earth in the likeness of flesh to reconcile mankind back to Himself and was called Jesus, who upon returning to Heaven, provided us with power through His Spirit–Holy Spirit who dwells upon the inside of all true Believers and Witnesses of the One True God.

If Holy Spirit does not dwell within, how can one say they are “true witnesses” of the Living God who will not tolerate any mocking Him by manipulating others. This particular group states (I say this from personal experience from conversations with their “elders”) that their corporate group in New York is led by Holy Spirit, but Holy Spirit is not available to anyone else so they must do what they are mandated to do within their publications.

The devil is a liar! Holy Spirit is available to all who desire Him in their lives and does not discriminate, nor encourage alienation of family members or any other who choose not to believe their foolishness. And now they promote themselves as believers of Jesus when not too long ago, they denied He was the Son of God.

Know God for yourself–Know God’s Word for yourself–and know when the devil rises us to deceive and manipulate those who are gullible enough to promote false doctrine. If you know Him because of relationship with Him, you are a true witness of He who created all things and without Him–nothing was created.

What Song Are We Singing?

“About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them.” (Acts 16:25 NIV)

For anyone who pays attention to time–as we know it–it is always darkest at midnight, which is really the indicator of a new day. Think about it. We usually see the dawning of a new day when the sun rises in the east and we see it settling into its end at sunset in the west. Whether it is dark or light, time keeps moving forward to get to the next day.

If we were to view the challenges and problems in our lives as simply a moment in time, then we would be able to arise above the “feelings” of defeat, knowing that a new day is dawning and with it, new opportunities to achieve the success God has promised us. “Whatever you put your hands to, out of obedience, you will have good success.” What He said to Joshua still applies to us. When we are obedient, we must do something, not dwell in pity and caterwauling. 

Paul was obedient in promoting the Gospel and doing everything he knew was by unction of Holy Spirit. And because he was obedient, the naysayers–the arrogant and envious, and the greedy–found fault with him and he and Silas were beaten and thrown into jail. Now, they could have had a pity party and sat there singing “woe is me” songs and the other prisoners would have heard that, too. Instead, they sang songs of praise to God and prayed, believing they would be delivered, doubting nothing.

So, when the earthquake freed them from their chains, they could have taken off in the midst of confusion, but they chose to stay where they were. As a result of their decision, the jailer and all his household, chose to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and were saved.

Would the other prisoners have seen the power of God at work had they been singing sad songs? Had they muttered and grumbled, would their shackles have been broken? When we face challenges and trouble seems to know our address by heart, what songs are we singing? Are our lips and tongue saying what aligns with The Word or what aligns with the moment–our feelings?

Our reaction to challenges and troubles will determine whether we see the new day dawning with a new attitude and new mercies or whether we sink deeper into despair, not realizing that time moves forward whether it is dark or light outside. A new day, a new opportunity, new mercies each morning–thinking on the promises of God, not the darkness, creates an inner light within us and we know we can get to the next day.

What are we doing in the midnight hours of our life? Are shackles being broken or are the depths of despair shoveling deeper, preparing to bury us alive? Make sure our song and communication align with The Word and even in our midnights–hope in Jesus Christ will sustain us and because others will hear and see what we do, they will understand the power of God and believe.

Students Need Wisdom!

“Wisdom will save you from the ways of wicked men, from men whose words are perverse,who have left the straight paths to walk in dark ways, who delight in doing wrong and rejoice in the perverseness of evil, whose paths are crooked and who are devious in their ways.” (Proverbs 2:12-15 NIV)

All too often, high performing kids in school will be led astray by other kids who are merely attending. Why? A momentary lapse of wisdom, ignited by a temporary need to fit in with others, can and will cause irreparable damage to a person’s reputation–especially when they were once viewed with great esteem.

Getting a little personal–as it pertains to my grandson–I hope to steer parents to paying attention to their kids. On Monday, my grandson was asked, “When you gonna do your 30?” The question was asked by table-mates at lunch, just before the start of his next class. Instead of going directly to class, he and others went into the boys’ locker room to do “30 seconds” of fighting–a direct violation of school policy. Both boys were suspended for 10 days.

When I was called to pick him up and he told me what happened, I was floored. My grandson had never been involved in a physical altercation and when I saw the disappointed looks on the faces of his counselor, the assistant principal, and the principal, I knew they were just as surprised as I was. A parent of another student–not involved–contacted me because they said, “he is our mild-mannered, most respectful honor student.”

Before we could get home, a six-minute ride, he was disappointed with himself and said so. He realized that he had messed up majorly. I was so quiet he asked me if I was angry and I responded that I was more disappointed than angry because of the disciplinary action permanence on his transcript. He didn’t realize the impact of his 30 second action. He does now. I had to sleep on a punishment because it needed to steer him into thinking before acting and in not allowing other people to mislead him.

He’s written an essay about the dangers of not paying attention to “time” and the fact that a person cannot get it back. He’s missing out on learning, playing in the school band, being with his “real friends” and he knows the absence could result in losing his class ranking, which up to now–was #3 with a 4.154 g.p.a.

We’ve had all “the talks” before, but he forgot what he was taught and now, he’s learned a very valuable lesson about redeeming time. 30 seconds was not worth what he’s lost, including privileges at home and an increase in responsibility with household chores–during his 10 day hiatus, which is certainly not a vacation.

We really have to know “the language” of kids to help them avoid the snares and pits the enemy plans for them.

Take a Little Time!

Since tomorrow is not promised to any of us, take a little time to enjoy The Lord, family, and friends.

Stop and look at the cloud patterns–use your imagination and journal what you see.

Stop and look at the changing colors of the leaves and marvel at how great our God is.

Stop and watch the animals preparing for colder weather.

Stop and take a deep breath, enjoying the ability to breathe.

Stop and listen to your children and actually “hear” what they are saying.

Stop and listen to your spouse and let them know you hear them.

Stop and take the time to read  or re-read passages of scripture that enlighten and encourage.

Stop and take the time to talk to the Father, prepared to listen to what He has to say.

Stop and take the time to smile at a stranger.

Stop and take the time to let friends know you appreciate them.

Stop and take the time to cook and enjoy a great meal.

Stop and take the time to relax and do absolutely nothing.

Stop and take the time to read a good book.

Stop and take the time to take a walk and enjoy the view.

Stop and take the time to reflect upon the very moment in which you live because it will not come again.

Take a little time to enjoy the life you have. If tomorrow comes, begin again, by taking the time to enjoy it and if tomorrow doesn’t come, you will have enjoyed your last day!

Stop and think before you react and know that God loves you and so do I!

Take a little time to consider what has been said!

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Love, Pray, and Move Forward!

“But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous” (Matthew 5:44,45 NIV)

One of the reasons many of us never reach the heights of success that God has planned for us is because we get stuck–stuck in disappointments, by those who create problems for us, by inner-feelings of inferiority and low self-esteem. We get stuck on getting revenge trying to avenge those situations over which we have no control and end up moving backward instead of forward. We get stuck trying to “make” people like us or pay attention to us, when they don’t have to like us. We get stuck trying to control situations that are totally out of our control.

The solution to being “unstuck” in any situation–love those who love you, but love the ones who hate you as well. Pray for all–those you love and those you may not like, but you love. Keep loving and keep praying and all the while you’re praying, keep moving forward. We have no control over people and what they do, but we do control what we do. We do not have to allow what others think of us– to stop us. We do not have to allow what others do to us to hinder us. Pray–for wisdom and discernment–understand that your success is not contingent upon others liking you, but whether or not your plans are aligned with God’s plans.

When people hate you–pray and smile at them. When they talk about you–pray and pray some more. When people attempt to misuse you–back away and pray for them and self. And all the while you’re praying–keep moving forward, without holding onto the hurts and disappointments–keep going. Life happens and sometimes we just have to deal with it where we are. Cry, scream, get angry, but get over it quickly and move forward.

If you really want to make the enemy upset–keep smiling, keep loving, keep moving forward and never let set-backs cause you to stop moving in the direction that God has destined for you. Bless others when you need a blessing. Love others when you need to be loved. Encourage others when you need to be encouraged. Pray for others when you need someone to pray for you. And through it all–never lose sight of God’s love or His plans for your life.

God knows and sees all–He will take care of us and those who have attempted to destroy us as well. He rains on the  just and unjust, the righteous and the unrighteous–and all is accomplished by His design. Remember this–it takes a lot less effort and time to love than it does to hate. It is so easy to love others and so time-consuming to hate!

Time to Let Go!

There are times in everyone’s life that things happen–some we caused, some we did not control, some we could not control–that will cause us hurt.  That’s life–stuff happens.  What happens after the “stuff happens” depends upon our response to the events.  We can hold on to hurts and allow the hurt to direct our lives and decisions or we can let it go and allow God to heal the hurt and trust Him to direct us along a path to happiness.  It is our choice.  For those who are hurting and cannot go back in time to change anything, it is time to let go.  Forgive self, parents, friends, enemies, predators, teachers, siblings, children, spouses, former spouses, bosses, former bosses, anyone or anything that has caused you to hurt–it’s time to forgive, let it go and let God do all that He has promised to do in your life.

Father, in the name of Jesus,

You promised that whatever we asked for in Your Son’s name, it would be given to us.  I am praying for everyone who is holding on to hurt–give them the courage to let it go and be healed.  No matter what the hurt is, no matter who or what caused the hurt, give them insight–let them see how the hurt can turn their lives down paths that You had no desire for them to travel.  O God, help them to forgive self and others for decisions that led to the hurt, but cannot be changed.  Help them to move forward and to not dwell in a pit of pity.  Move upon their hearts that You may soften their hardened hearts.  Help them O God to let go of the past and leave it there.  And when they let go of the hurt, keep them focused on Your love and all the many benefits that come with receiving Your love in their lives.  I thank You for hearing and answering prayer in the hearts of all who are willing to receive that bountiful blessing of peace today, right now!  I declare it is done, according to Your Word, Amen!

It’s Time!

There comes a time in everyone’s life when we must face the realities of living. If we are blessed long enough to see and understand each milestone of life, we certainly can appreciate God’s love and humor.

The milestones:

1st birthday

5th birthday

10th birthday

13th birthday

16th birthday

18th birthday

21st birthday

30th birthday

40th birthday

50th birthday

60th birthday

70th birthday

80th birthday (promised life)

90th birthday (long life)

100th birthday (special long life)

We come into the world dependent upon others and if we live long enough, we are often dependent upon others at the ends of our lives. Isn’t it about time we show our appreciation for everyone in our life that makes our lives special and worth living? We never know when the end will be, but we can make the most of every moment in time we have–right now! It’s Time to care about how we live and what we do at each milestone in our lives!