Great and Unsearchable Things

Things the Lord gives me, and then I write them.

Monday, December 31, 2012

Joy Comes With the Morning

     Waking up this morning, I am discovering something. I like my place in the Lord. I don't mean first place, or second-not like that. I like where God has me, if that makes sense. I am beginning to overcome comparing what He has shown me to what He is showing others, and being at peace with it. I am trusting what I believe, regardless of what others believe, and that is a good thing. I am resting in the truth, as I know it, and it feels good.
     Another thing I'm discovering is that I am not feeling fearful for others I know who I see going over the cliff in their beliefs. Reminds me of something my mother once said, and at the time, I thought it insensitive, but now I get it. She said, "I'm not going to let my children's problems steal my joy." And nothing really should. David said, "Restore unto me the joy of my salvation, and uphold me with they sweet spirit." Hey, if we don't have joy in the midst of all the negatives, devastation can set in. Then we can lose hope and then where are we?
    It's funny for me to be talking about joy, because as I've shared before, I am one who is more melancholy and serious minded. But I feel joy today, and I'm going to milk it for what it's worth. I'm going to ride that bus until the end of the line. Is this what the joy of my salvation feels like?
     It could be I'm excited about having a little get together with believers at our house tonight, and that's what I'm feeling. It has been sooooooooo long since we've done that. As I've mentioned in my past posts, we don't go to an institutional church, since 8 years back, and we live out in the country, so isolation can become a problem.
     I saw someone a few weeks ago who I hadn't seen in years, and she remarked that I needed the fellowship of believers. I knew that was from the Lord. So tonight just a few people are coming, bringing a snack, and sharing anything they may have to share from the Lord. I'm really looking forward to this.
     But really I'm hoping this joy is more than that. I'm hoping it is something the Lord is bringing to life in me as a fruit of His Spirit. Just like it's the season for strawberries or apples or oranges; maybe it's the season of joy in my life. That would be awesome!
      I mean do some people feel joy at all times in their lives? I never have, so I really don't know. I do know that we can't muster it up; not the real kind. I know we can put on a happy face, and try to cheer up, but those things for sure are passing. That is just pulling yourself up by the bootstraps, and are things we have learned how to do to try and keep ourselves strong and self-assured. I'm learning to get away from such frail supports. I remember a line in a Lutheran hymn I used to sing-"The arm of flesh will fail you; you must not trust your own." Yep, that's true. Self-dependence and reliance and strength will indeed fail you. Only depending on and trusting God will last.
     So, here I am with my joy, relishing it, and hoping that it lasts. Then I will know that it is of God! Only things imparted from Him endure through all time and circumstances. If we abide in Him, overtime His fruits will be developed in us. They can do no other, as what is in the vine will eventually go to the branches. Christ is more joyful above all His fellows the Word says, and as He is in us, so are we.
Below is a quote from another website on the subject of Christ's joy. I'll end with that:

'I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth (v.21). Jesus knew that God was his heavenly Father. His joy was rooted in his trust in God. He kept trusting in God through thick and thin. He had total peace about this reality, that he could look into the smiling face of the God of the universe and call him ‘Abba Father.’ He knew with confidence that he was God’s holy child, and we can know that too. 'I praise you;' I, so small and insignificant, with my brief life, who spring up in the morning, mature by noon and die by nightfall: God, measureless in power and grace, without rivals, without beginning or end of days, limited only by his own will to do anything, Creator and Sustainer of all we see (and vast recesses of the cosmos that we cannot see and struggle to imagine), all have been made by him. Yet I, a speck, can address the Almighty and call him my Father praising and rejoicing in him, and he hears me! He is pleased with my delight! That is the foundation of joy; no joy without that.

- Geoff Thomas

HE IS PLEASED WITH OUR DELIGHT!  I like that. "The Joy of the Lord is Our Strength."

Sunday, December 30, 2012

A Call to Spiritual War! Will you Answer?

     Here's the deal-I love truth. I love the truth. I despise lies and lying, and that gets me in trouble. I love clarity. I hate obscurity.
     How does loving the truth get me in trouble? Well, my push for it sometimes makes others feel uncomfortable. Some think it better to pretend all is well, and ignore something that just doesn't feel right between people instead of getting to the bottom of it. Of course, I know there is only so far you can go in this pursuit, especially if someone is lying. And if they are lying about "what happened" then there usually is a lying spirit behind it all. And one doesn't sit down at the table, so to speak, with a demon. He'll lie his way out of it, and turn the tables on you. How that manipulating, lying spirit makes someone feel guilty when they are not, I'll never know. I guess it's his craftiness. I have experienced this reaction, so it is a very precarious and slippery slope to climb when dealing with deception. Each step must be calculated by the Holy Spirit, as only He knows the bottom line truth in people's hearts.
     I have 2 situations before me that the Holy Spirit has told me involves much deception. I want to be able to hear him clearly and respond how He directs me. I feel if I do, the deception will be revealed, or atleast diffused. As God desires truth in the inward parts, He is using His searchlight in me to point out those things which haven't been honest, and is telling me what to do about them. Likewise, He is presenting me with others' deceptions, and wanting me to listen to His counsel about that too. How to respond and when, and what words to use, etc. He has detailed strategies to disarm the enemy in our lives. Being passive and deciding to "drop it" is not always the best policy. There is a war against truth out there, (and in me) and God wants us to conquer the lies in His Name.
     I see a dark tunnel, a cavern in my mind's eye. I see myself picking up a torch, and going in that tunnel. Along the way, I know I will encounter incidents to try and dissuade me from continuing on my conquering quest in His Name. I go forward nonetheless, suffering some wounds and pain. I slay demons as I go, holding out the word of truth; the sword of the Spirit. I finally reach the end of the quest. Is this not what mature sons and daughters do in His Kingdom? Do we shrink back, and let the demons take over, or do we trust in the power of His Name and go forward? Onward, Christian soldiers, I say!!!
     Is is scary? Yes. Do it in fear! Is is worth it? Yes. The victory is His! Is it rewarding? Yes. Our King reigns! Every knee shall bow! Even the demons believe AND TREMBLE!!! Greater is He that is in me than He that is in the world! Amen, fellow soldiers! Contend for the truth and contend for truth. Truth is pure and good and right, and worth fighting for. Amen.

Below is assurance from God's heart to yours and mine as you face the darkness (the lies) in your life. Remember He is in us and He is the light which dispels the darkness. Don't shrink back. Go  forward in His Name.



Saturday, December 29, 2012

Oh, Happy Day!!!

     Found out what my problem is-well, one of the major ones. It's that I can see the perfect, and measure everything by it; myself, others, and circumstances. And I don't know how to stop doing that. I mean if you can see what perfection looks like, how can you not gaze at it and want it? How could you not yearn for it? But then, how can you live on this imperfect planet with any degree of peace seeing that things and people (I do include myself in this) are fallable and corrupt? Well, the answer is you can't. And I can't. Many of my days on earth have included feelings of disappointment, sadness, anger and fear over "the way things are." I include myself and my imperfect behavior in this too.
    A few years ago I went to a counselor so that he could help me sort through my thoughts and feelings. I thought if only I could look at things differently then I could have some degree of peace in my life. After about 1 1/2 years of talking it out, I came out on the other side no better off than before. I had read numerous self-help books in the past, so I knew most of the techniques that psychology employs. The counselor had mentioned that cognitive therapy might work with me, which means that a person is re-trained in how to think about a matter; that they learn to process their thoughts differently. For me to do this, would mean denying what I see as truth, pretending I don't see it at all, and then believing a lie.
     Let me explain, by using my own imperfect self as an example. Let's say I talk harshly to my husband because I have no idea what he's just communicated to me, and I get frustrated because I desire understandable communication between us. This scenario happens daily in our lives. Because I didn't respond to him "perfectly" or how I think a Christian wife should respond to her husband, I feel guilty and then place blame on myself, furthering the bad feelings towards me.
      To change the way I sort this out (or to use cognitive therapy) I might instead look at my reaction as not bad because afterall, "No one is perfect." But this would cause another problem for me. I would fear overtime that I would become insensitive to how I treated others.
And this fear is not unfounded, as I have seen this negative transformation occur in people who claim to have been set free of guilt. They have become apathethic and cold towards others, continuing to stand in their so-called freedom in Christ. So, throw cognitive therapy out the window.
     I understand that neither type of thinking (or believing) produces good fruit, so there must be another way to live and to feel the love of Christ, and reflect Him in the process. I wonder what that way is?  I could repeatedly ask forgivness many times during the day. Only problem is I've tried that, and it doesn't help at all. It  then becomes a ritual of sorts, which loses it's meaning as all rituals do. What I mean by this is that at first I am repentive, but then it feels like I'm not, due to the repetitiveness of it all.
     I know I am missing something. Some might say that I haven't really received the forgiveness of God at all! Don't worry, I've cross-examined myself on that one, too, and if the answer is that I haven't, then that brings even more grief and fear. It seems like every avenue I go down to relieve myself of these negative emotions I live with is a dead-end street.
     The truth of the matter is that I don't like dealing with imperfection. I've tried to explain it  by saying that I live in agreement with all creation that "groans and travails for the manifestation of the sons of God," or for the "restoration of all things" that one day will happen by God's own hand. Until then, perhaps, I will just have to live with imperfection until that time, along with the negative emotions that accompany that reality.
     There is a promise in all of this, though, and that is that one day "the imperfect will become perfect" or put in another way God says that "corruption will be swallowed up by incorruption." I look for that day! I long for that day! I depend on that day coming! It keeps me going, even in the muck and mire, even in the negative feelings, and yes, even in the self- condemnation.
     In the world there is a saying that all good things must come to an end. In God's Kingdom, if you are in Christ Jesus, the truth is that all bad things will come to an end. I am looking forward to that day!!!!! "Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes with the morning." Even so, come Lord Jesus., completing that which you started, for the praise of your Glory!

Here's 2 versions for  you to enjoy:




Friday, December 28, 2012

Let it Flow, Let it Flow, Let it Flow

     Don't know if you'll return, but I saw that someone from Hungary came and visited the blog yesterday. Hmmm......I always wonder how someone finds me. Welcome, my friend. Hoped you were blessed by what you read, and that God brought love and life through it to your soul.

     I am purposing in my heart not to spend another year on this planet, in meaningless activity. Not to say this past year didn't have meaningful experiences in it; it did. But, I am wanting the majority of my time filled with ministering to others who need the love and life of Jesus. Call it a New Year's resolution if you must, but I believe that it is God moving in me to move out and pour out and labor intently for Him.
      This past year I had someone say to me, "What if God wants you to enjoy all of this?" referring to the provision He's supplied us with, and the subsequent "things" our resources could buy, or the things we could do with them for ourselves. I pondered a moment, and without really thinking (that's a good thing, for me) I said, "Doing that is not meaningful to me. I don't really enjoy that," to which he looked bewildered.
     The most enjoyment and meaning I have found is when, as they say, I give it away. Not just money, although I do enjoy that, but more so love to an open and needy heart. This way Christ's love flows through me, and both soul's are nourished; the giver and the recipient. I mean, isn't that what it's all about? "If you lose  your life,  you will find it," is what I am referring to.
     Did you know that there are people right now, today, in the highways and byways, who would benefit greatly by you just spending "time" with them by listening and being there ,and that by just doing that, would communicate His love for them? 
     For example, a good place to start is in the nursing home. I plan on going there and asking a staff  person for a list of people who don't get visited very often, and see if I could visit them in their room and just talk. Yes, it's an unknown I would be walking into, but what of reaching out with His love isn't? But, how glorious it turns out to be when we step out in His Name, and are met with His power and love to do it?
     I've had it with "doing my own thing."(It's funny as I type this I am reminded that this was one of the mantras of the 60's in which I was raised. Wonder how much it subconsciously affected me?) But, even though it might sound fulfilling, I can assure you it's not. Lord, forgive me where I have been self-absorbed. It really is boring and monotonous. It kills my soul.
     God says that if we lend to the poor that we will arise with healing in our wings. "Lending to the poor" is so much more than giving them money. It may be offering to pray for their healing, or teaching them something, or just listening. And the "poor" can mean so much more than people without money. They can be people without people in their lives, too. They can be people without love. And the effect of giving love is not only for them but for us also. It is for our healing, whether emotional, spiritual, and who knows maybe physical too. As always, when we do what is in God's heart, all are filled and healed, because we'll find Him there waiting.
      I've heard the Scripture "give and it shall be given unto you" taught to mean the giving of money, so that we can receive money back. This is blasphemous! In giving out the love He's placed inside of you, wouldn't you rather pant after Him and receive more of His love, as you do, and bring this blessing to the world in this way? Isn't that enough of a "reward"? Isn't that true fulfillment?



Thursday, December 27, 2012

Expressing our Need to Him

     I'm sorry that this is going to sound like another journal entry about me, but I woke up this morning feeling very distraught about myself, so if you'll excuse me, I need to try and write it out of me.
     I am really discouraged that I have a very hard time coping with bad news and happenings and stressful situations. I don't do it well at all, and that makes me even more sad and distraught. Why me? Why can't I be one of those "can do" people, full of confidence and ability to function well? It seems like struggling is my M.O. for some reason or another, and because of this, I feel inept and inadequate and sad. Any wonder I registered "high" on the personality test under the melancholy category? And that makes me sad, too. I don't want to be a melancholy. It has a bad rap. Like Eeyore of Winnie the Pooh who is always slow and talks in a monotone with little or no expression. What a prototype to be labeled after! (I don't however talk monotone, and thank goodness I have an avenue of expression in my writing.)
     But, let's get back to the subject, which is my stress, how I hate it and the fact that I am geared , it seems, to not be able to handle stressful situations well. One time I looked up on the internet about people that are easily stressed, and found out that through an experiment with rats, they concluded that the ones which didn't get much nurturing in infancy were the ones who were more easily stressed, compared to those who did. (F.W.I.W-For what it's worth)
     Without going into all the areas I've studied about people who don't deal with stress well, let me just say that my quest in doing so was so that I could atleast find others who were like me, and then maybe I wouldn't feel so weird or different about it. Sometimes a label does help. To say, "I have such and such" lets the person know they are "in the books" and a source of study and possible treatment. Well, maybe it doesn't help really. I mean, so what? There are some psychiatric researchers somewhere studying about your malady, but if they come up with a solution, they don't have your number anyway and won't call and tell you, so nevermind-it doesn't really help. So far, all I know about their answers to "helping" someone cope is by taking medications which are usually addictive, or have such harmful side effects that the cure is sometimes worse than the problem.
     What about God in all of this? Did He make me like this? Am I doing something wrong? I've had my belly full of good advisers. They are usually the "can do" people who, in my opinion, have no right to even speak, since they are not wired that way anyway. Now, someone who has come out and been set free from stress, who once used to be eaten up with it; that person I would listen to. Spiritual cliches like "just trust God" or " quoting Scripture like, "God has not given us a spirit of fear" or "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me" don't help.  Lectures like "well, you know fear is the opposite of faith" or "read the Scriptures over and over until you believe them. This is how God renews your mind," or even, "fix your mind on things above, and look into the eyes of Jesus" aren't helpful either.
     So, what is God saying to me in all of this, and what is His solution? Is He saying that in the world, I will experience stress and for me to just let it happen. By this I mean, that when a person gets stressed, adrenaline is released in their body, and if they don't use this adrenaline to fight or flight, it is released in the bloodstream and causes harm to one's organs. So, in that aspect, I don't think He would say to just let stress have it's way, which brings destruction to one's mental and physical self.
Uh, what else could He be saying? Yes, "trusting Him"is close to the bullseye, but I am sensing something even more personal and intimate here.
     When I talked to my sister in the Lord yesterday on the phone, we began to talk about how He is our Shepherd, and what that means, and how He wants to be that for us. In this conversation, we agreed that we can know all about Him, discuss it and even teach it, but if we aren't personally experiencing His shepherding in our lives, it is meaningless. So, maybe that is what He is saying to me. Maybe He is saying, "let me love you" as you need to be loved. Let me love the stress out of you.
     So, how do I need to be loved? What am I after here? What could He do that would cause me not to be stressed, or even not be upset about not only what is going on in this present world, but what is going on in my present world, or in me.
     In the current situation I am facing, I need Him to change things so that I don't have to go through it, or I need Him to change my insides so that I can face it without fear. That is what I need from my good Shepherd at his time. Perhaps He waits for us to humbly ask, and we are thinking we should be able to handle things on our own. Dumb, really when you think of it. I mean, why do we need Him if we can do everything ourselves? No, I can't "not fear," on my own.
     In light of all of this, I am asking, my good Shepherd what I just typed. I need You to either not make me face what I may have to face, or help me face it by changing my reactions on the inside, so that I don't feel any fear, but I feel your Loving Presence only. That is what would feel like love to me. Love me, Lord. I'm asking; I need you.


Wednesday, December 26, 2012

His Abiding Presence

     Lying in the bathtub-feeling forlorn, singing a prayer song; a sincere heartcry to my Lord. I needed Him. This was it. Listen to the words of petition to grasp it fully-

 A little later I decided to call three of my sisters in the Lord to check up on them. When I finished talking to them and listened as they shared their lives, and Christ, I found that God had answered my prayer. I once again felt His abiding presence through the sweet communion I had with His Body, as we were connected to Him. He came just like that. He is so sweet. :) He heard my cry.

The Blessed Will of God

     Since I came to Jesus, and found out that He had a will to be accomplished, and that I could play a part in fulfilling that will, as mine bent to His, I have lived my life in seeking Him as to what that will was daily, and ,by the power of His Spirit, have attempted to carry it out. I assumed other believers were wanting that too. But what I see and hear in my spirit is that most people who call themselves His, do not want this at all. They want to claim His name and promises, and live their own lives too, proclaiming His grace and love for them. And my spirit says, "there's something wrong with this picture."
     In light of what I  see and hear, I can do nothing less than to stay on the path I'm on, even if I am by myself; even if I feel outcast and alone; even if I am hated and blamed; even if the accuser in my head tells me I am wrong trying to make me fear, even if................????
     Yesterday when I was thinking about all of this, the Spirit within me repeated His written word saying, "But we have the mind of Christ. We judge all things, but are judged by no man." Now that is powerful and bold! I've heard it said before in Christian circles that we are to claim our identity in Christ, but for some reason, this particular truth, that we have His mind has not been emphasized. I can see why. Because "dying to self" is not taught in the church system much anymore, and if someone were told they had the mind of Christ, then they would confindently believe that what they thought was true, and it would only be truth according to their unredeemed carnal mind. Whoa-how dark is that darkness? Perhaps God has kept this truth from being taught, as a sort of protection to any more of this corruption and delusion from happening.
     Because "dying to self" is not taught, and the process of sanctification is circumvented by most, is why we have these self-absorbed doctrines of grace and love. Grace and love are from God's heart, but as the Scriptures say, men will pervert the truth to suit their own lusts. So we have parallel doctrines being taught today; one from God's heart, the other from the lusts of the selfish flesh. A favorite quoted Scripture from this camp is "God will give you the desires of your heart," ignoring the part before which says to delight yourself in the Lord. In delighting ourselves in Him, does that not include delighting to do His will, too? Can we be delighted in Him without wanting to have His will accomplished through us and in our lives? I've even heard it said that He delights in giving us the desires of our hearts. Really? Even if they are contrary to His will, and these delights are fueled by our selfish, carnal lusts?
     Jesus says it plainly-"If you love me, keep my commandments." Yes, and those into self-fulfillment ,will quickly tell you the 2 great commandments of loving God first, and your neighbor second, which is entirely true, but what is really loving God first, if not wanting to do His blessed will and not your own?
      It really is a convuluted existence and deception if we just do what we want, and then talk of His love and grace, with us putting nothing into the relationship. That is why the Scripture from James becomes so important to complete the picture:"Faith without works is dead." No, it's not saying that works gets you into heaven; it's not even suggesting that. We know Jesus death is the ONLY act of redemption, and yes, we must have faith in what He did on our behalf to be reconciled to God. The works here means that if you believe God for your salvation through Jesus Christ, your life will be given to Him for His use, and through your life, He will fulfill His blessed will. These are the "works" James is talking about. If your life is not spent in laying your life down, you have no works. You may have some, but they will be yours, for your glory and not His. No, the "works" are His works being expressed through you, as you submit to His Headship in your life.
     I hope that this is helpful in sorting through the many doctrines out there in Babel land. I'm calling it that because Babel means confusion. One advantage of being isolated in Him and with Him is the limited exposure one has to the buffet of "truth" offered, although, I must say these "truths" can find their way to you through the enemies' devices, to try and make  you buckle under the pressure and accept his doctrines.
    But, praise God for His keeping power, yes, His Grace, to protect His sheep, under the shadow of His wing. I want to stay there forever. Hey, I think I'll read Psalm 91 again to remind me of His protective provisions, and go run back to my "peep hole"-the secret place. God bless.


Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Being Blessed

     I have often felt bad about the fact that I haven't seemed thankful "enough" for what God has provided me with, and now I am beginning to understand why. First off, I'd like to list some of those things. I have a husband that has always worked hard, I have always had a house to call my own, a car, food, clothes, and a family. These things in my life others have called "blessings" from God.
     Now for the reason why I don't sometimes feel good about having them. It's because as I look around, I see and know of many who don't have what I have. Are they not blessed of God? Why me? I haven't done anything to deserve having these things. Some call that grace, but if that is so, why hasn't God given the poor, the "disadvantaged" grace also? So, in that sense, I suffer from a sort of "survivors guilt," even though I didn't earn what I have, nor deserved it. I am suggesting to redefine the "blessings" of God.
     Looking in the Old Testament, when Abraham had all those cattle and land, he was considered "blessed of God." Again, Solomon, when he gained riches, also "was blessed." Atleast that is what has been said about them. But is that why they were blessed? Wasn't Abraham blessed because of his faith in God, and Solomon because of his asking for wisdom when he could have had anything, which showed his desire to do serve the people in a right fashion, after God's will?
    Jumping to the New Testament, all one sees of blessings are spiritual. Taking Paul as our prime example, he talks about righteouseness, peace and joy being the Kingdom of God, and warning about riches and such. And, Jesus saying that His Kingdom is not of this world, speaks of another realm, and another way of existing and looking at things. The world's way is material; His way is spiritual. If this were not so, persecuted believers around the world if based on their material status and having "things" would not be considered "blessed of God."
     So, am I blessed in those things I listed? Is that God looking down at me and deciding to give me those things? Would I have them if my husband didn't work hard? I will concede that if God did decide to impart material things to me, that He then expects me to ask Him what He would have me do with them, since I am His. I think the Scripture applies which says, "to whom much is given; much is required," and I think that means our material resources also.
     My cousin and I were discussing how in the book of Acts, when the brothers had all things in common, that the Bible says "there was no needy among them." Why? Because they shared their resources with each other, willingly. It's about being with the family of God, and from the heart being moved by the Holy Spirit to give to those around you who you know are in need. The amazing thing is that all of them had this mindset; they were in one accord. My cousin commented that one had to truly be born-again to have this ability. Yes. And be willing to submit to the Spirit of God within, letting His righteousness, compassion, grace and love flow through you to others. Below is a "picture" of what that might look like:


Monday, December 24, 2012

Genuine Forgiveness

     Betrayal, by someone who is supposed to love you,coupled with judgement, is staggering, paralyzing and isolating. It leaves one's soul sliced opened with others to peer at, while you stand there defenseless with no one to comfort you. All of a sudden the mood shifts from well to a sense of doom and gloom. The enemy has struck, and you have been crtically wounded.
     How does someone recover from this? It has been said that time heals all wounds. But it's only God that can do any healing of the soul, if there is healing. Although forgiveness is the Christian answer to healing, and God works in this it's true, I think "feeling the wound" is important too. I mean don't rush into anything thinking you've forgiven just because you are supposed to. This will only be religious forgiven, and not from a sincere heart. It will make you think you have forgiven, but you've only given lip service to God, and buried your feelings inside only to come up again.
     After letting the wound really hurt and burn deeply like a hot coal in your soul, only then can you make a decison what you are going to do about it. Forgiveness must be an act of your will honestly admitting what was done to you and feeling the pain in all it's severity. Don't deny the hurt. I believe that it is only on the other side of this that one can see things as they are with a sober mind. Short circuiting this process is deadly to you, the other person and ultimately the relationship.
     Of course, one knows there are only 2 options: forgiveness or holding onto the offense, and bitterness resulting. But, again it can't be a logical decision based on "should." It has to be from one's heart, even if damaged by the wound the other has inflicted. Reminds me of the cross; the fellowship of His Sufferings.


Sunday, December 23, 2012

Spiritual Blasphemies of Christmas

      For those of you who read the post yesterday entitled, "Temptation to Return," I mentioned at the end of the article that I would share some of the blasphemies the Lord had shown me and my husband concerning Christmas. As these are spiritually discerned, those of you who read these and try to understand with your carnal reasonings, thinking and fleshly emotions will disagree, and perhaps even have anger towards the things I will share. If, however, you understand that you are not your own and that you were brought with a price, and you accept that, you may, with the mind of Christ, (able and willing to "see as He sees") respond how He leads you to and make changes.
     Blasphemy means something that is an abomination to the Lord; something that offends, mocks or hurts Him. It is a strong word. So, what are these practices of Christmas that are so blasplemous to Him?
     For one thing, the whole "celebration" of it is hurtful to Him, as He didn't ask us to do it in the first place. It is a man-made tradition full of good feelings, fun, and self-indulgence. The whole world is being held sway by it, and it keeps growing. It consumes so much time, money and soul energy. People court it like a lover, eventually marrying it for life. They are soul-tied to it, and refuse to let it go. In fact, most feel like they can't let it go. And, indeed they can't because it is cemented to them with false beliefs and justifications, like "Jesus is the Reason for the Season." and He really isn't. Look closely and you will see. It is more like "Mammon is the Reason for the season," not Jesus.
     One reason I know about the hold Christmas and all the trimmings has on a soul, is because of the hold it had on me. When my husband and I began to see these things, which had nothing to do with Jesus, and felt God calling us to not do Christmas, I then realized the hold it had on my emotions. That "magical feeling" people talk about or "the Christmas spirit" felt so good. I mean it seemed like it was the only time of year people were nice to each other and got along. Sitting under the lit Christmas tree, with Christmas carols quietly playing in the background at night, with the little manger scene close by, made for a "high"similar to what some drugs do in giving you " a sense of well-being." I wonder what kind of spirit the Christmas spirit really is? I shutter to think.
     Why don't God's children get this focused on the things of the Kingdom by opening themselves up at all times of the year,  to what He would have them do on this earth instead of going through the motions year after  year after year of Christmas,  patterning themselves after the world? The fact that unbelievers celebrate with as much gusto as believers do says something. The blasphemy to God is that He told us not to conform to the pattern of this world, and celebrating Christmas is a direct violation to His will in this. We, are supposed to be different! I'm guessing that He might have said this, so we would be seen as an alternative way to live, and that He knew how consumed we might become in the things of the world, with Christmas being the main one, and it would become a deadly distraction to our walk with Him. Fleshly lusts, pride and the lustsof the eyes are the 3 broad categories that lead us to sinful living and turning our backs on Him. Christmas is an idol that fills all 3 of these.
     "Come out from among them, and be seperate" says the Lord. We, as His people, are to be a people set on a hill to be seen by all, to be removed from the masses, shining with the light and love of Him and each other. Perhaps many are not only soul-tied to what they think is something God wants them to do by celebrating Christmas, and are so involved with their traditions that they can't see the forest for the trees. It is only as God reveals these things to us, and we hear Him and come out that we are able to then see more clearly. Year by year our vision gets clearer, as we get further from it.
     Yes, the Holy Spirit can use this secular festival that much of the world is participating in for His glory as we ask Him, "what would you have me do?" His creativity will astound you, as He will come up with things we never thought of before, and it will usually involve sharing His love and resources with others and not heaping it on ourselves or our children. The massive gift giving to them subliminally shows them that "it's all about me," a blasphemous gospel indeed.
     All He asks of us is to lay everything at His feet. Christmas included. It's a big institution to even think about giving up, but if it violates Him and His will, is worth it. Just think of what He might fill the void with. He will fill it with Himself; the greatest gift of all, and then "Jesus will be the reason for our Life," as He will be our life.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Temptation to Return

     It' s 5:42 am, on Saturday, Dec. 22, 2012. I'm the only one awake. My dog is laying on the kitchen floor. My husband is asleep in our room, while my 6 year old grandson is asleep in another room. I am sitting here thinking about some things and wondering if I should write them or not. It seems like my blog is becoming my personal journal, and perhaps it is inappropriate to display myself like this. When I do, my hopes are that sharing my thoughts will atleast help one person who either may be struggling with similar thoughts, or that God will use my sharing in some good way unbenownst to me.
     So, I launch out. I am feeling left out, lonely and wondering if I am being judged by others who know that my husband and I don't celebrate Christmas. It's not a long stretch for men, I don't think, to just let it go, but for women, who have grandchildren, and who love all the decorating and baking and things like that, it is. There are emotions tied to the whole scenerio, and this is what creates such a stronghold.
     We haven't celebrated it in many years, but this year, somehow, there is something in me which hasn't died, that has wanted to buys gifts, atleast for my grandchildren. And then, there is that nagging thought that says, "For gosh sakes, it's about celebrating the reality that Jesus came to earth to die for us, isn't it? What in the world is wrong with that?" Other questions I haven't been able to lay to rest are, "Are you just denying yourself all of this, because you are trying to be different? Do you think you are better than others by doing so? Do you think you are more esteemed in the eyes of God?" These unresolved questions besiege me deep inside. I want to be confident in the "what and the why" of our decision in this area, and others which we have believed have been prompted by the Holy Spirit.
     I want to know that it is totally God's will as it seemed I had been more sure years back, but now suddenly these doubts have resurfaced, and the closer it comes to Christmas day, the stronger the doubts become. I did feel free to decorate on my front porch with a small display in my wheelbarrow of a "winter scene." I do love to decorate. Tomorrow night we are having our family over for a supper, just so that we can get together. There will be no gift exchange, only eating and fellowshipping together. Then Christmas day we have invited an older friend over to eat with us, because she doesn't have any family to be with.  Yesterday I bought some flowers and other decorating items, half-off to make a centerpiece with, and I really enjoyed that. So, I have done a very few things I felt free to do this year, but I know it is not a gate to do more each year, but to just do these things only from now on, or maybe not. Again, it's  following the Holy Spirit's voice for our lives, being willing to let anything go.
     There is a writing by G.D. Watson, which I have felt sums up the path God has me on, describing the life He's called me to. He has called us out of many things in this world, which most of other Christians participate in, so these doubts and feelings I am having this year, is probably, once again the enemy trying to lure me back into celebrating Christmas. If he would succeed, I feel that it would definately be a kind of "backsliding" for me.
     Yesterday, I thought I heard God whisper in my spirit telling me that He is using us as a standard for others to see in how the consuming parts of Christmas can be put away, and instead showing them how the good parts can be retained. We are being seen by others to sort of convict them in their indulgences, and in that role, I am feeling some of the fallout. Anytime, we walk in a way that challenges the status quo of an institutional stronghold, there will be consequences, even severe attacks within or without to attempt to stop doing it and return back to the vomit. That is what I am experiencing.
     Below is that writing, which has described my life in the Lord. Some have said that only certain people are called to this kind of consecrated life. (As the author is suggesting with the title, so I don't agree totally to it's content. It does however describe what a consecrated life might look or feel like.) I say all who are His, are called to it. Read it, and you decide, or better yet, ask the Lord.

Others May; I Cannot
by G.D. Watson

If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. (Matthew 16:24-25)
"If God has called you to be really like Jesus He will draw you into a life of crucifixion and humility. God’s call will put such demands of obedience on you that you will not be able to follow other people, or measure yourself by other Christians. At times, He will let other people do things which He will not let you do.
Other Christians who seem very religious will push themselves, pull wires, and work schemes to carry out their plans. You cannot, and if you attempt it, you will meet with failure and rebuke from the Lord.
Others may boast of themselves, of their work, of their successes, but the Holy Spirit will not allow you to do any such thing, and if you begin it, He will lead you to despise yourself and all your good works.
Others may be allowed to succeed in making money, or may have a legacy left to them, but it is likely God will keep you poor. God wants you to have something far better than gold, namely, a helpless dependence upon Him, that He may demonstrate His faithful love for you in supplying your needs day by day.
God may let others be honored and put forward, and keep you hidden in obscurity in order to produce some fragrant fruit for His coming glory which can only be produced in the shade. He may let others be great, but keep you small. He may let others do a work for Him and get the credit for it now. The reward for your work is held in the hands of Jesus and you will not see it until He comes.
The Holy Spirit will put a strict watch over you with a jealous love. He will rebuke you for the little words and feelings or for wasting your time. So make up your mind that God is an infinite Sovereign, and has a right to do as He pleases with His own. He does not owe you an explanation of these mysteries. But if you give yourself to be His child, He will wrap you up in a jealous love, and give you the precious blessings for those who belong, heart and soul, to Him.
Settle it forever, then, that you are to deal directly with the Holy Spirit. It is His option to tie your tongue, or chain your hand, or close your eyes in ways that He does not seem to use with others. And when you are so possessed by the living God that your heart delights over this peculiar, personal, private, jealous guardianship and management of the Holy Spirit over your life, you will have found the vestibule of Heaven."

As I reread this, I see that I have not "settled it forever" and this opening is what is being used to try and get to me to come back and drink of the cup of self-indulgence and participate in spiritual adultery, as God has shown us.  But, I also see that I am closer now than when I first began. Each temptation overcome, brings us that much closer to "settling" the fact that God is God, and as the writing says, "He has a right to do as He pleases with His own." I desire to rejoice in whatever it is that He decides, and to trust Him completely with my life in this way.

If you are still with me, tomorrow I will write in more detail of the blasphemies the Lord has shown us of Christmas.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

The Voice of Truth

      I'm mulling over in my thoughts how we are really helpless in this world against what others will do , want to do, or mistakedly do which affects our lives. Most of the time we don't realize that we are helpless, as we've taken our own actions in trying to prevent something, or our reactions when something does happen as "being in control." Those things are only illusionary at best, preventing us from really seeing that we have no control. Sometimes we are put in situations when it becomes so obvious that we really are HELPLESS; those times when we are "up against a wall" with no way of escape. The only control people have said we have is in how we deal with our unpleasant or even disastrous situations on the inside of us.  My question then is," do we really have control of that?"
     Yesterday I experienced one of those situations. It all came out well, but during the course of it, I experienced much stress and anguish in my soul. I didn't like how I responded. I wanted to "do it right" again. (A dog returning to his vomit, because I wasn't able to lay it at His feet during the ordeal, but rather took things into my own hands out of  fear.)
     In my own eyes, I failed God in this, as I didn't let the Spirit take over, and I didn't "let my light so shine," and reflect Jesus in the situation. And, underneath it all, I blamed God for letting it happen, but outwardly I blamed the human beings involved, as I hesitated to acknowledge me blaming God, which now He is showing me. Because this is so (me blaming God) I am failing once again. Blame is a vicious circle, and better that we not even enter into it, as it has no end.
     I guess , in my pride, I want to be better than that. I want to react in a more superior way than others, and as I type this, I can see the grossness in it all. But, I don't know the way out of it. I feel trapped in it's clutch. During the very stressful ordeal, can I honestly admit that I COULD NOT  react any other way. I know people don't want to hear that, as it sounds like a "victim's" cry, but I'm not talking about using this "helplessness" as an excuse. I am saying I was guilty, and yet felt powerless to do anything other than what I did. And you might ask what did I do? I passed my anxiety and fear unto someone who was innocent in the situation, blaming them somehow of causing it, and they didn't. I could have been kind and loving to them, not letting my own fears and anxiety control me. Now, here is where the crux of the matter is. I can see in my head what I "should" have done, by letting His Spirit have His way in me, but I felt like something else, because of my fears took control instead.
     Oh, I know that sounds like a demonic force or something, when I said "something else took control," and maybe it was. I've considered that in my life before and have asked the Lord about it. I've persued having whatever demons may be in me cast out by believers who said they were trained in that. I've traveled many hours away to get counseling for a week to try and be delivered. I've read numerous books on the subject, and even gone into a Christ centered counseling facility for a month, many years ago, for help. And then, after so many years of seeking and perhaps needing to overcome "whatever," I still am operating like I did yesterday. Did I say I felt discouraged? Defeated? In despair, and even slightly depressed?
     Then, somewhere in me, a voice is saying, "It's because you have revealed the strategies of satan in your blog recently, and he's taking your reactions, which he is telling you in your mind that you are a failure, blaming and condemning you, to try and cause you to throw in the towel completely and be defeated, rendering you powerless in doing your part in the Kingdom of God."
     I have a plaque in my bedroom that says, "Be still and hear the quiet voice of God." My head had to get out all of these swirling thoughts before I could hear Him. Whew! I'm back, and just from a Word of truth from His Spirit. He is showing me that whenenver we focus on ourselves, even in what we perceive as what we've done wrong, is a strategy of satan to block the Lord's face and voice from our view. He only can show us what is really going on in a situation, and He has. Thank you, Lord , getting the false out of the way, and letting the truth rise to the surface once again.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

The Word is Jesus is the Word

     Thy Word is Truth-written in the Word of God. I've been somewhat confused about the written Word of God, and that Jesus is called the Word of God that became flesh. It seems many others have, too, as I've witnessed many who have more/less pushed the written Word to the wayside to just seek more of who Jesus is because of this "seeming"dichotomy.
     But, although I understand that Jesus is indeed the Word that became flesh, I also have retained who He is with the written account of Him. I would say that He is found in the pages of this written Word, and that anything the Holy Spirit might reveal to a person about Him, is validated in this written Word.
     Jesus said to the Pharisees that they searched the Scriptures that they might find eternal life, and then said that He is Life. Does this mean we are not to search the Scriptures? Some might say so. He was saying, I believe, that they were searching the Scriptures so that they would know what to do "right", and then thought that would earn them eternal life, but Jesus was saying that being in Him by trusting Him, was the only Way to eternal Life. I say that by breaking every "rule" of hermenutics. (How to correctly interpret Scripture according to "them.) Having the Holy Spirit resident in us as the One who will lead us into all truth, breaks the rules right there, because we are not subject then to "man's rules about the rules" at that point. The Holy Spirit is our new interpreter and commentator as we open up to His voice in our spirit.
     Back to the point of how the written Word and the Word that became flesh intersect. Here's the big answer: I DON'T KNOW, but I know they do. God is Truth and so anything He has said is truth, as truth has to come from truth only. I know that doubting the spoken word of God before it was written was what satan used to tempt Adam and Eve to sin, and so that shows me it's importance. I also know satan used it in a perverted form, to try and tempt Jesus in the wilderness, and that Jesus countered back using it in it's true form. And let's not forget the truth that God says that the helmet of salvation is the Word of God, so that too is showing it's power and importance. So, please, don't discard or disregard it. I think you'll be walking on dangerous ground if you do.
     There is a Bible Study that I have heard of called Bethel Bible Study which shows the thread of Jesus' existence throughout both the Old and New Testament. Now, one can know in their head all of this about where all the shadows and types of Jesus are written about, and still not know Him. That again, is where the Holy Sprit comes in. He must reveal Him to our hearts.
    I didn't receive Christ by reading the Bible, but when He came to me, it was a verse in the Bible that had been read at a woman's study that He repeated in my spirit and held out as a promise to me if I would receive Him. So, somehow He, by the Holy Spirit, uses what has already been written, which was spoken by Him to the writers, to bring Life and revelation to our spirits about Him. The Word that became flesh and the written Word are intertwined, and can only be seperated if we do it; a deadly dissection, which I feel has come about because men, by their own need to understand have done this, and satan has used it to slowly blind their eyes to the real Jesus.
     I love the written Word andI love Jesus; the Word that became flesh. They both are the truth, and they both by God's Sprit will lead us to the Truth. Jesus is the Truth-read His Word and seek Him. You will find Him.

P.S.-Will those of you who are reading this post please pray for me today? I am a little nervous about picking my 8 year old grandson up from the airport which is 4 hours away. He's traveling by himself, and I want to be there to meet him at the gate. Please pray that nothing will interfer with us getting there on time. Thank you, saints.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

When Heaven Comes to Earth

     Last night my father-in-law treated his children with their spouses to a supper at a well-known seafood restaurant in our town. It just happened to work out that I sat next to one of my brother-in-laws who I have had trouble with in the past. His curt manner and seemingly "criticisms couched in a joke" ways hasn't set too well with me. Whenver he would address me, it triggered my sore spots which were created by my Father when I was a child, whose ways were similar, only he didn't try to hide his criticisms, but seemed justified to deal them out. So, you get the setting.
     As the evening developed, everyone talked of light-hearted topics, only getting slightly risque a few times, and even this died suddenly as others ignored the statements made. It had a good feel to it, with no one in particular, taking center stage. My father-in-law sat to my left, and the brother-in-law to my right, so he was really close.
    True to form, he commented in a slightly negative way that I didn't want an appetizer, then when I ordered he didn't think what I ordered as my entree was suitable either. A few time during conversation, my sister-in-laws, came to my defense with a comment or two. Yah, sisters!
     As our time passed on, I began to realize that the wounds of the past which had been opened for so many years, just weren't there anymore, as my brother-in-laws comments to me, weren't taken seriously, nor did they offend me in anyway. In fact, I rather was able to enjoy his jabs at me, as they seemed like friendly fire, not meant for me to take into my soul, as I had in the past.
     So, what had changed? Had what I have been learning in the Bible Study about Grace taken hold of me? Well, this was part of it, but more truly, it was that God has done work in me to be able to forgive my Father, and not necessarily by brother-in-law, even though they go hand in hand. I was taken back to a time not too long ago, where I accepted the parents God had chosen for me as good. Even with their ways that I had previously thought were damaging to my well-being and growth. I had really accepted God's choosing for me in this way-His Sovereignty. Even if my Dad was criticizing, demanding and angry a lot of the time, and it affected me negatively as to make me be afraid and feel bad about myself, carrying false guilt while growing up and for many years after that, somehow and someway (because God is God and He knows best) He was able to use all of this in me and will continue to, for His Good. So, He knew and He knows, and I've been able to accept that. With that acceptance of God's choice of parents for me, I've then been able to forgive them for everything they ever did to me, and in everything I felt they either lacked in, or had too much of.
     When I realized that when my brother-in-laws comments didn't go to my soul like they had in the past, I saw that God had closed up those holes of entry, with my willingness to forgive, and then He showed me the above as to how that happened. It was His glorious work on the inside of me once again, and the effects of that, produced another outlet of His love being able to flow out of me.
     My brother-in-law was the recipient, as I know he felt it too, flowing his way. My prayer for him is that he would respond to the touch of God he experienced through these undiscernable, but very powerful blessed moments last night, by turning His heart to His, so that he too, can experience the transformation and love that only Christ can bring to a soul.
     It made the evening so much more meaningful than just the going out to supper thing, although that was sweet within itself. But to know that God's love was flowing from one to another and that I got to be a part of that, made it so much more real, impacting, and exciting.
    "When heaven comes to earth" is a good way to describe those little moments that occur in mundane settings, when God's love, peace, acceptance, hope, joy, and anything that is of His Kingdom, is able to transfer from one soul to another. In that, the prospect of new Life and unseen miracles occur.

Monday, December 17, 2012

There is Power in the Blood of Jesus!!!

     I want to talk about the Connecticut tragedy, and do so very cautiously. God tells us in His Word that we wrestle not with flesh and blood, but with powers and principalities and spiritual wickedness in high places. This is referring to the devil and his demons, in a nut shell.
     What I am about to say, I do not know as a fact, but am asking you to consider the possibility. It might offer a key to out-of-control children, and what can possibly be done to fight against who fights against them.
     I am one who firmly believes that the enemy of our souls, uses strategies to try and affect children as young as possible. If he can get a hook in their minds early on, he can cause them and others around them more harm and destruction, using them as his pawns. One of the ways I believe he does this is by means of toys, video games, TV, movies, and books. Whatever he can use to plant dark images in their minds, causing them to be drawn further and further into the darkness, he will. A way he augments this is by suggesting to the parents' or guardians' minds  that these influences have little if no harm at all. He tells them (and they think they are their own thoughts), "All my kids' friends do it. You don't want to make them  feel different, or even, we belong to God, and He's not going to let anything in their minds to harm them."
     But when He mentions the armor that He gives us, it indicates that we are to fight, as the devil is at war with us, and our children!!! Just the other day, I was explaining to my grandson how he can use the "zombie" video game he was allowed to play, as a seed to have him get curious and seek further the things of darkness. I also believe that the enemy can actually have spirits of darkness somehow indwelt in the game, which begins to gain power over them. It is a very ominous thing to let our children be "entertained" by these demonic forces.
     The Connecticut tragedy can possibly be explained by these influences. The innocent looking young man could have been invaded by these forces either due to ignorance or minimizing in either his parents or his mind, the effects these things can have.
    Let's say this was so. What can we do about it in our own lives? As children of God who are parents we can stand against the powers of satan by 1) not allowing our children to be exposed to these things. This closes up some of the gaps the enemy can and will use to enter their minds. Even innocent games and TV shows, and internet usage, I feel, if in excess, can lure a mind to be mesmerized by it, and consumed. It has a power to do that.  2) Come against the enemy on behalf of your child by the blood of Jesus Christ, which is the power that conquered satan's power on the cross. As I saw the enemy's power trying to gain ground in my own children when they were growing up, and when they were making choices that I knew were destructive for them and demonically charged, I fought many battles in His Name and by His power to come against the attacks. It was very unpleasant, fearful and exhausting at times, but I knew that the blood of Jesus was the only power that had and could protect and conquer the enemy who was trying to destroy them. Before I knew about the blood, all I could do was stand by and watch the harmful effects of this destruction. 3) Substitute good things in their lives such as listening to worship music and worshipping God as a family together, exhibiting values of the Kingdom to them such as giving and being kind to the disadvantaged or poor, using your talents to the glory of God and teaching them how to do this in word and deed, having a time together of prayer or sharing together on who He is, and as the Spirit leads, for each child, teach them how to war against satan themselves. They will need to know this as they get older and you aren't there to do it for them. And, of course, cover them with the love of God flowing through you, extended to each one of your children in your daily lives. (As grandparents, who sometimes feel that our hands are tied when we see their parents allowing this, we can pray that the parents eyes would be opened.)
     If you don't believe what I am telling you, you are actually playing into the hands of satan. It is what he wants you to do. He wants you to stick your head in the sand, whistle a happy tune, ignore his devices and be ignorant of how he operates by using what your children are exposed to, and go on. As you are doing that, he is planting seeds in their minds of darkness. But, if you will hear the voice of God, by His Spirit of discernment and respond to it, by using the blood of Jesus as He points out satan's devices to you, it will destroy his power. This firstly involves closing the gaps he has used to attempt to gain ground in their minds, by drawing boundaries on their behalf, even if they don't like it. This is another way satan tries to control-by putting pressure on you ,the parent, to "let them have their way," and to possibly use guilt or fear "they might not like you" to say yes to them.
     Just consider what I have said and ask God sincerely about it. He will show you what to do and how to restructure you and your childrens' lives to be less vulnerable and more secure as we walk through this world which satan has sway over. It's just a fact. We've got to face it, and rise up in His Name, and with His blood and what it represents to the spirit realm, and have the victory over him.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Go and Make Disciples

     Woke up with a desire to not live safely, but to step out and let Him live through me by going to places where the needy for Him live and share Him with them. When He begins to take the pre-eminency inside us, we begin to experience His desires, instead of our own.
     The other day, as I shared on the blog, ("Like A Mighty Rushing Wind"-12/13/2012) I stepped out of my comfort zone, and followed what He led me to do, and it was glorious! But, it wasn't exactly going into the unsafe zone, as there were people all around me in a opened environment outside Walmart. The scary parts for me in that scenario were whether or not it was legal to give out the books without asking permission, and just simply the slight embarrassment I was thinking I would feel (which I didn't ,because I was able to "humble myself" to His will) in doing it. So, that was really not that threatening, but enough ,I suppose ,to make it seem so at the moment.
    When my son and daughter-in-law were attending the School of Urban Missions, I had the opportunity to talk casually with the President of the school. He shared with me about his brother who, he felt, had been called of the Lord, but who he also said was "serving the Lord from a safe place," suggesting that he hadn't really trusted God in this calling.
     When he said that term, some strong reverberation was brought to my spirit pointedly directed at me. It's been kept there until this moment. I have found that when God emphasizes something someone does or says, even when they are not talking about you specifically, that it is a word for you, meant to communicate something for you then, or held in escrow to be revealed or brought up again in the future. Does God ever speak that way with you?
     Of course, when I first had the desire in my heart this morning, I replied back to it by saying, "There is no way I can do that." I'm a scared-y cat." And immediately, a voice replied back, "Of course you can't, but Christ that lives in you can." Being shaken back to reality by His comment, I wondered where He would have me go and what He would have me do and say.
     Then I remembered an idea He gave me a few days ago. He showed me 2 places to have the Bible Study about the dynamics of Grace that I am currently having in my safe home with my sister-in-laws. One is to have it in a library room in town. I had inquired many years back about holding a meeting in one of their rooms and they told me they don't do advertising for it, that I would have to do it on my own. I had wondered how I could get the message out to those "out there" who I didn't know, but who were needing to know Him. Then a few days ago, He told me to print out simple flyers, and personally hand them out to women as they walked in the library. It would tell of the subject, times and dates of the study and just see what happens. He, by His Spirit, would be responsible for moving on those He knew needed to come.
     The other place was in a room in the office area of the place my friend lives. She lives in an apartment owned by HUD, and I know there are many there who are struggling to cope in life, and who are "in need of the Physician," and of the grace He brings to us when we receive Him. He had placed that in me about 2 years ago, and now it is being resurrected.
     "Today is the day of salvation" He says. There are those waiting to hear and to see the Love, the Light, and the Grace of God through His surrendered children, as we are to be "living epistles," in this world.
     Will you give your life as a living sacrifice? No matter if you feel safe; no matter if you are safe. We can be assured we are safe in the arms of Jesus, by life or by death, as His Spirit moves us out, so that He can "let His Light so shine," through us.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Where Do I Go From Here?

     I don't know how my life is going to look from now on. I guess I'll find out. Why do I say that? If you read yesterday's post, I tell about a new truth that God dropped in my spirit, and it's going to change the texture of my life in every way.
     He showed me that I had been trying to follow His will to obey the "law of Love" which includes all the directives written on our hearts concerning how to treat others. What's wrong with that, you might say? Isn't that what obedience is all about? Well, yes, and well no. Because I had become so distraught over the years in this desire, God showed me that I was attempting to love as He loves in my own strength what can only be accomplished by the power of the Spirit. In seeing that, it lifted a tremendous burden off of me. And, now I am wondering, "where do I go from here?"
     It is part of understanding more clearly the truth of "nevertheless, not I, but Christ that lives in me." I am seeing that it is only His Love in me, that I am to yield to, and then the "righteous requirements of the law will be fully met through me." (Rom. 8:6) Wow-and I sincerely thought that He expected me to do it. I've always said that I knew it was by His power only, but I guess at some level I was not willing to let go of control. 
     Just as certain as failing was in trying to obey the law in the Old Covenant, so is it certain that we will fail in our own flesh to live up to the New Covenant law of Love. And, I believe that if we don't let God work in us, we will never get to this point of either realization or of yielding to Him inside ourselves, so that He can flow through us to others. (Explained more on previous post.)
     Yes, as we die to self, through many, many years of anguish, pain and hardship in many ways, He begins to rise in us, and then Him, not us, will fulfill His will through us. It is afterall, Christ in us, being "released" in us, as we become One, who does it.
     So, with so many years of trying to do it, and not even realizing that, and thinking it was my job to do it, I will now be devoid of those "assignments." I will not try harder, nor will I feel guilty when I fail, for "it is Christ who works in me both to will and to do of His Good pleasure." In other words, He will complete His will to walk in Love through me because it is His love. Amen.
    I've found, since the discovery, that I have been able to see Him more clearly, or even at all. Before, when I was on the job, I only saw my faults and grieved over them, if only internally. I carried that around with me, not even realizing it. Now, all of that doesn't matter. I can't gaze on my "sin" any longer. Doing that hasn't helped any, it's only caused me to get in the way of seeing Him in the beauty of His holiness. (I have so desired this for years.)
     I have once again answered my own question, by talking it out here. I was wondering what my life will look like from now on.  It will look like me being free to gaze on Him, and not on myself. By Him bringing me that awareness about myself (that I was trying in my own strength to Love as He loves) and that I couldn't and shouldn't even continue to try, but I am to yield to His Love in me, greatly aids me in "considering myself dead." I've always wanted to die in that sense, but I also couldn't kill myself either. He had to do it.
     I am expecting the content of my posts to change also. When He changes someone on the inside, it is permanent and affects all parts of their being and life.  And, of course, I expect all of my relationships to improve, because my past "self-focus" has been greatly diminished.
     Death is a good thing, by golly, that Christ and His Life might arise in us!!!

Another regular "Joe" singing one of my favorite songs, which I now, by experience understand more fully today.


Friday, December 14, 2012

Flow Through Me to Others

     As we were reading at the Bible Study, several Scriptures about how we were to love and forgive as Christ loves and forgives us, and how we are supposed to not judge, or we will be judged in the same way, I felt overwhelmed. I fall so short of that daily! And, I feared, I do judge wrongly at times. Is that why I am feeling judged, I thought? I know Christ has forgiven me completely; have I forgiven others in that same manner? And loving others, even the difficult people in my life, not to mention my enemies, how in the world can I love them as Christ did? Feeling this "law of love" bearing down on me, and with it the many violations before me in my mind, an awareness suddenly came to me. I am still trying to live up to Christ's standards in my own strength, or else I wouldn't feel so self-condemning of and disappointed in myself.
     Immediately, the Spirit of God flashed a portion of His Word in my mind-"that the righteous requirements of the law, might be fully met through us."(See Romans 8:1-8, particularly vs. 6) In our study book, the author had said how the River of God flows to us, so it can flow through us. So, "through" was the operative word to me at that moment. I saw once again that it is only by His Spirit, with His Love, that the law of Love can be fulfilled. No, I can't do it. No, I don't do it, and no God doesn't want me, in my flesh, to even try to do it, as in my flesh is no good thing. In fact, if I love out of my flesh it will only be selfish and self destructive love. Or, it will be a co-dependent love, or even self-protective. Nothing good will come out of it.
     I saw also at this moment, how because I hadn't been able to love as He loves, towards certain difficult people, that I had come up with the strategy of avoiding them to protect myself from what I saw as their "aberrant" behaviors, set out to hurt or overtake me, which I reasoned, no one could deal with.  Well, again, this demonstrated to me that I was operating out of "condemned flesh" love rather than letting His love flow "through" me.
     But, by letting His love flow through me, the love, the forgiveness, the acceptance that only He has in Himself, will fulfill the righteous standard that He requires. And, He is the only One who can do it, and He already did. I came not to destroy the law, but to fulfill it, He's told us, and He did that on the finished work of the cross. And He wants to do that "through" us. We must let go of our attempts to "do it right" so that He can "do it right" through us. Wow! I'm overwhelmed again, but in a different and freeing way.
     Do you see this, dear brother and sister? Do you see that, although your heart's desire is to "do God's will" that you can't? All the will-power, all the formulas tried, all the disciplines practiced, can not and will not make you able to live up to His standards of perfection. Only by letting Him free in you (and this will take letting Him remove the barriers in you of pride and self-protection that have been built up over the years) will this happen. Trying harder only leads to guilt and always feeling you fall short, which in turn keeps you in a state of struggle and despondency and disappointment, due to thinking falsely that you were supposed to be able to do it right; even that God required it of you. Oh, how the false impressions that operate through us can cause us so much heartache, but oh, how God can use them to lead us to the truth. Amazing!

"You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."-John 8:32. (Aramaic Bible in Plain English)  And, yes, be set free "from trying harder," in Jesus Name! Set His love free to flow through you!!

 (Thank you, Marijo, (the author of the book, The Dynamics  of Grace, for letting God show you this truth, for writing about it, and in this way, sharing it with others. By submitting yourself to this work, others out there, like me, are being set free! You can order through her website, Joyful Faith Ministries, listed as one of the links on the blog.)

P.S.-Brothers and sisters-I don't want to minimize the first part of "letting His River flow to you," as being hallmark and foundational in "letting His River flow through you." We love Him because He first loved us. And so, perhaps over a very long period of time, we are in the position of opening our hearts to receive that love for ourselves, to then be enabled to "let His love flow through us." It seems I had alot (and I'm sure still have) barriers and dams built in me, that blocked His Love from flowing out, so, much death has had to occur first. In my awakening, I am attempting to share that if we keep on  in God, He will get us there, one way of the other.He is faithful to complete us. But, remember He doesn't expect us to complete ourselves.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Like A Mighty Rushing Wind

      As I was getting ready for the day, yesterday, I went to my closet to find something to wear. My eye was caught by a bag I recognized as some paperback Christian devotionals I had bought inexpensively last  year, and planned on giving away as the Lord led. Then I saw another bag, and lo and behold, it had some more books like the other ones in it. I didn't know I had bought that many books, I thought. I need to give these away.
     As soon as I had these thoughts, the question was being answered, by the Lord it seemed. I was to take them to Wal-Mart and hand them out to people in front of the doors there. I was excited on one level, but resistant on many other levels. As I took the bags to the bed, I was impressed to write something from the Lord to  whoever would end up getting each book. I knew the Lord would direct this "happenstance," by getting the right message to the right person.
     So, I began to write messages such as "Jesus' love is waiting for you," and "He will never leave you or forsake you. He is your only soulmate." It was a blessing to be a part of His plan, but let's get back to the resistance.
     It was tremendous. All kinds of questions flooded my mind, with accusations and even oppression hurled at me. It was an all out frontal attack. I pressed through my fears and feelings, putting one step in front of the other. As I drove to town, the uneasiness was still there, but I remembered in the past, when my family and I used to do things like this, how when we actually "stepped out on the water" all of this would disappear. I was counting on God to do the same for me.
     When I pulled into the parking lot, I looked at the 2 different Salvation Army bell-ringers to decide who I would be close to by determining who looked the friendliest. I chose the younger woman. As I got out of the car with my bag in hand, I walked to her and told her what I was going to do, as we would be working the same turf. I asked her if she wanted a book and she took one with a smile. I liked her smile. It comforted me.
     I took my post on the opposite side of the entry, and suddenly "like a mighty rushing wind" I felt the presence of God in me. The fears were gone, and His strength and courage and confidence took over. Aw-sweet release! I was content, not embarrased, and felt love for the people He would choose.
     He even gave me what to say and how to say it. When someone would approach, I was to say, "Excuse me, ma'm/sir. I'm giving away this book. Would you like one?" Just like that.
     As people are, the reactions were varied. Many took the book, seeming sort of stunned. Some seemed very grateful. Of course, you had some who turned it down, but only one or two seemed to be disgusted when they did. One young woman seemed excited to get it, while another was even jubilant. She had asked me if I knew Jesus, and I told her, Yes ma'm, I did, and she did a little jig. The one that made me laugh, though, was a very serious man who replied sternly, "Well, I'm a full-fledged Baptist!" I'm still trying to sort out what he meant by that.
     The awesome thought about all of this, though, is how God is going to use it to either cause people to receive Him, or to draw them closer to Him. Imagine someone opening the book and seeing the message written that spoke directly to their life at the present time, and it touching them as only God can. Or reading one of the devotionals, and it saying what only God can say to them for that day, and as a result their heart is healed of past woundings or they decide to forgive someone, or they turn back to God. Only God, by His Holy Spirit, can get in their heart and fix or turn them like that. Oh, the wonder and miracle of it all!!
    But, as usual, when God calls us to an assignment that He designs, and we respond, it ends up nothing short of glorious, and He makes sure we get a tremendous blessing out of it too. I guess my point in telling you this, is to encourage you, as God drops His ideas and plans into you, TO DO THEM, even if at first you have to go through the devil's assaults. And, remember (the truth I forgot at first)  that it is Him who will do it; He just wants to use your body!
       At the end of the tunnel there is light, so go for it with Him and in His Name. All people involved, the recipients as well as the one givng, will be satisfied. And so will the heart of God!!!

One of my favorite folk and ballad singers, James Taylor. Isn't this an interesting arrangement? Very unique and refreshingly different from the original.


Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Few There Be That Find It

Robert Frost (1874–1963). Mountain Interval. 1920.

 The Road Not Taken

TWO roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same, 

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back. 

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference. 

"I took the one less traveled by"-Could this not just as easily represent the "narrow gate" that Jesus tells us about; the one that "few there be that find it?' If one chooses to go through it, by choosing to follow Jesus and His blessed will, giving up their own life and taking His, hasn't this choice too, "made all the difference?"

I am going through a time on this road to glory of one of questioning and fear because the result of me being here is very costly-again, it cost us our very lives, often shattering our vision of the way we think  life is to be lived. It is a time of being assaulted with doubts, wondering if I've just made the whole thing up in my mind, and have self-created this imaginary path. Now, that is a steep precipice to travel on.    Standing with Eve before the serpent while he whispers, "did God really say?" watching the world and the majority who call themselves His, frolicking in the paths of the world, while tasting of it's pleasures and delicacies along the way. If I look around for confirmation or assurance, I only find a taunting finger beckoning and tempting me to "come and play," being judged as a kill-joy, or worse, a religious legalist.

Deep in my spirit, I know it is real, and the crushing of my soul's desires and hopes, is what this process is all about, even if God has to let satan tempt and taunt me, to get my roots planted even deeper in Christ. Our wills eventually have to align themselves with His fully, as we keep having to choose Him every step of the way, sacrificing more and more of what we had truly wanted and desired, even our precious family and friends.

"I choose You!" my will cries out, as it is being dessimated at the same time. The agonies of the soul in the death process, (which is part of traveling this road) are excruciatingly painful, with concurrent beautiful wares and self-indulgent dainties, lining the way with their alluring power. "Help me," I cry out to the Lord, asking Him to strengthen my resolve to keep going. "I want to want You only," I tell Him.

What road have you chosen to walk? Is it the wear-worn one (the broad way) or the road less traveled? One is the primrose path, where the rewards are now and self-desired pleasures are many, which leads to destruction; the other is the path of Life because Christ walks with you, enabling you to make it with Him to the end of your time on earth, and which carries you on into eternity.

The beauty of Christ's heart is that if you are still living on earth, you can decide to turn around and get on the other path. He holds out His hand to take yours, if you want to change your route and destination. It is a hard path for your soul to walk on, and it is forever challenging your old ways, tendencies and desires; even asking death to them, but in exchange for all of this, you get Christ, and letting Him fulfill His desires through you on this earth, for the praise of His glory. The decision is yours. "This is the way, walk ye in it," says the Spirit of God to you this day.