Great and Unsearchable Things

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

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Out of the Office :)

This blog will be closed until Oct. 20th. I will be out of the country until then. Please feel free to browse around and read past posts. God bless you all.  

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Hope Which Does Not Disappoint

        Why have hope at all? Look around at some of our lives with the problems typical in most families, one way or the other, or at the world around us with all the evil that is going on there. There seems to be nothing to hope in if we do that.
       I found out the other day that "hope" does not have the connotation that many of us put on it or have supposed. It doesn't mean "maybe it will happen or maybe it won't." But because when we are in Christ, and His Word speaks of hope it means "a sure thing," or "something we can count on." It is something that we know is true, that we can be secure in. It has not yet happened, but we know it will, as we wait.
     How can we know? Because of the sure foundation, Jesus Christ; the One who has made to us His promises. "For the one who promised is faithful."-Heb. 10:23. "All His promises are 'yes' and 'amen,'" 2 Cor. 1:20. They are "yes" meaning they will come true, and we can say "amen" to them, because we know Him who promised and He cannot lie. He is truth and He tells us the truth. Wow! Now chew on that one, and receive the promises He gives us, and know that they will (without a doubt) come to pass.  As a result, we will experience joy, and this will give us strength.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

A Life-Giving Perspective and Response

     I am learning to be grateful whenever the Lord shows me the things yet to be "put to death" in me. What is meant by "put to death"? It happens as a result of the work He's done in me and the effect that has on my ability to make decisions of life, and not of death. In my death state, (before I was born again of the Spirit as I opened my heart up to Christ) I did not have the power to choose life, but now I do. But it is a death process and not a once and for all thing.
     My gratefulness when He reveals my weaknesses, short-comings, and negative sin reactions towards others, is a new perspective that has recently developed in me. In the past, most of my response to this, has been one of disappointment and impatience with myself, which did not produce anything good. It focused on me, instead of on Him and the fact that He was bringing me to perfection, and would complete it.
     Now, my "sometimes" response to Him when He shows me these things, encourages me to stay with it; to stay with Him, knowing for sure that I have not arrived. If I ever thought such a thing, anyway, it would reveal my pride; the very thing that needs to be destroyed.
     "He will perfect the things that concern me," His Word says reassuringly. So, now, I am beginning to respond differently to His showing me the ugliness that is still left in me. I am thankful for this exposing, as I use it  continue to let my mind be renewed, as I read the Word of God and to know what to come to Him with for forgiveness and cleansing, and  to be encouraged by the future promise that He is and will transforming me. Halleluia!!!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Going Higher and Higher

     Sometimes we just have to face the fact that His ways are higher than ours, and past finding out. He takes us to places we don't necessarily feel prepared to go, outside our comfort zones, and yet it is these very places that will take us deeper in Him. Going deeper to go higher-a profound thought.
     Like parachuting for the first time; it can be dangerous and exhilarating at the same time. But with Him, it is neither one. It is safe and calming, if we stay close and trust that He knows what He is doing with us. Letting go is one of the most challenging things He asks us to do. We clutch the handles we have created for dear life! We think they will protect us, but what they do is end up imprisoning us to them; our false securities.
     I have never been one for high adventure. My son once said that my idea of adventure was wearing 2 different colored socks, so you get the picture. But with Him, adventure is a requirement for growth. He asks us to step out, and trust. Sounds easy and we tell ourselves we are doing that, until something comes along that threatens our "stability." Then, we realize that we haven't been trusting Him at all, but only in theory.
     We took our grandchildren to ride on a zip line a few days ago. One of our granddaughters stood on the edge all girded up with the safety belts and waited about 5 minutes before she dared to walk off the edge and ride the line. Before she did, the other grandchildren who had gone before her, were on the other side cheering her on. Then the guy that was the zip line operator said, like the voice of Jesus, "It's alright to be afraid, Shelby. You are going to be fine. I've already prayed." With that, she left her "safe" haven, and took flight. When she got to the other side, she was happy she had done it, and was ready for more.
     When we dare to trust Jesus, as He calls us to higher places, and launch out, we too are happy we did it, and then He readies us for more.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Appetite Regained

     For awhile I had lost my taste for the Word of God, and it was upsetting to me. I had been eating other things, such as men's articles and books about God and His Kingdom and in the evenings taking in movies. Even though they were movies that were pure and clean for the most part, and many of them even about the things of God, I was using my time in this way instead of eating of the truths in God's Word. Overtime, doing this began to kill my appetite for His Word sadly.
      Now, though, by His loving counsel and direction, I have stopped watching the movies and am being very selective in reading men's books and articles, and I'm finding out that as a result, my appetite for and love of His Word is growing once again. I desire to become a veracious eater! Something about eating it makes my heart grow fonder of Him.
     He is the Bread of Life, and somehow reading His Word brings nourishment too! As the psalmist once said, "it is sweeter than honey," and it renews my mind to truth. It is a marvelous mystery how that works, and how He makes it work. All I know, is I'm back on the healthy diet, and am eating of His truths and it is beginning to taste good again, and I'm happy!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Father, Make Us One

     Our human tendency is to want to belong to a certain group, and yet Paul in the book of Romans scolded the Corinthians for doing so. He said that since they quarreled about such things, it proved that they were still immature and not ready to eat meat yet, meaning the deeper things of God.
      They said, "I am of Cephas," "I am of Paul," even "I am of Christ." Besides the fact that they were identifying with a certain teacher and splintering themselves in this way, an underlying feel to it was that they thought their way was the right one, and so pride was involved. Well, wouldn't the "Christ group" be the right one? Not necessarily if this group was touting it as something they should get credit for, with an arrogant attitude.
     I think that is what is the issue here. Again, it was the "can I sit at your right hand?" situation, vying for position of one over another; the "Gentile" mentality Christ warned the disciples about when He said, "don't be like them, because they want to 'lord' it over everyone."
     If we start to "group up" then the hierarchy begins. I talked to someone this week on the phone, and they were telling me that someone from another country had told him that one of the main differences between Western Christianity and his country, where persecution is happening, is that the body is One. He said that they did have elders, but whenever they met together, if someone didn't know who they were, they wouldn't be able to pick them out, from the way everyone is allowed, and even encouraged, to share the Lord equally. (Not until a problem came up, which had to be dealt with, did the elders do anything different than anyone else.)
     If we all would subject ourselves to the cross of Christ daily, and let Him conform us to His image, than that ugly, prideful "king of the mountain" mentality would die. Then, as a result, as we would come together, He would be "Head" of all, and all would be subject to Him, and looked upon equally.
     Is this realistic to hope for this? Absolutely, it is. Christ is coming back for a Bride without wrinkle, spot or blemish. It's time to get ready to meet Him and let Him have His way in us. Then, and only then will we see each other one way- "in Him,"; the place where there is no division.
     Could that be what Paul later states that they were not discerning the Body, and that is why there was sickness unto death among them? Could he mean that because they did not see everyone the same, in His Body, that it produced a sick Body, which would lead to spiritual death? Just some thoughts to bring before the Lord.


Saturday, September 14, 2013

"Touch Not the Unclean Thing"

     I see things in the spirit that other people don't see, and if I respond to them how the Lord is telling me too, I fear I could lose almost everything I have. What kind of things do I see?
     I see the internet becoming more and more entrenched with entertainment, featuring scantily clad women, homosexuals, and a general "Sodom and Gomorrah" type pull to it, even on the front page, and on supposed news sites, the sidebars, and really from every direction. And what would He have me do about it that may cause some derision between me and others? I sense that He is moving me to a place, where I will no longer get on the internet, so that He can protect me, His daughter, from this great pull of the world, which satan is using to get more and more people in bondage to sin. (gradually, of course, as the frog boiling in the water)
     Most don't even realize the change in environment that is going on around them because the previous change gets their senses ready for the next one. And what if I don't get on the internet; how will that alienate me from others? They will see me as "holier than thou," because of their involvement with it and other things of the world that they either don't want to let go of, so they can remain unspotted by it, and they will feel convicted by my choice, or they have been blinded to it overtime, as they didn't listen to His voice when they first started watching, reading, being involved in, or joining in with the culture that is going downhill speedily. God tells us that if we harden our hearts, by not listening to His voice, than we will not enter His rest. In other words, if we refuse to do what He says, we won't be at peace with God. (Unless, it is a false peace that the world gives.) (John 14:27)
    Because we are His "ecclesia" or separated ones, we are called to be just that-separated. "Come out from among them," He calls. (I ICor. 6:17) He doesn't say in vain that we are to not be conformed to the pattern of this world,(Rom. 12:2) or if we love the world, than the love of the Father is not in us. (I John 2:15)
     So, the first thing I think of is how am I going to continue writing this blog, something I truly believe that God has commissioned me to do. I have my blog under my favorites and I think I can just click on it, and not look at the front page. In other words, I can immediately go to my blog and post, then get off. God keeps calling us to a greater and greater place of consecration as we grow in Him. Because of what He has done in us, as we mature, He trusts us with greater and greater levels of trust in Him and what He says, by having us let go of things that will harm us.
     Does my flesh want to let go of this? No, it enjoys it. It likes to not be restrained. However, we are not pleasing the flesh as we grow, but are wanting the Spirit to take more and more ground in us, and that requires hearing from Him and responding to His voice. As we trust Him, and act on it,  I believe, He increases the abundant life in us, so that He might be seen through us.


Friday, September 13, 2013

Jesus Loves Me, This I Think?

     I am in the process of opening up my heart to let God's love flow to me. Before I thought, "I need to get rid of my fear and then His love will come" as something that was on my shoulders to make myself free of, but now I am seeing that as "perfect love casts out fear," I first need to honestly believe that He loves me.
     I have a dear sister in the Lord who has discovered something. She calls it "trusting in the promises." In other words, it is a given truth that He does love me. I just need to believe it or trust that what He says  is true. That is my part-period.
     So, it's not something we keep convincing ourselves of, and in that way, it begins to flow. It already is, and we just need to believe that what He says is true, is true, and as a result, the healing of our souls will begin. This marvelous received love then enables us to have the courage to dismantle the walls and veils that are in us. When this begins to happen, like dams holding back water, the River of God begins to flood us. It will flow out of us to others too, affecting them in ways we don't even know about or realize.
     Do we really believe that God loves us? This is the bottom line from which everything else flows, literally. Even if I understand all the mysteries of the Kingdom of God, and can express them beautifully in words or in speech, or if I have gone to the ends of the earth spreading the truth of the Gospel, or even if I have 10,000 views on my blog daily, or if I can recite the whole Bible by memory, or if I can pray the best prayers, or sing worship songs beautifully; if I don't believe that He truly loves me, (from which all flows) then everything else is meaningless, and I become stuck behind my walls.
     Being enraptured by His love for us, is foundational, and it's there for us if we only believe it. And it's everything we need.
Put your face there!!! He loves me, and He loves you. Believe it!!!


Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Occupy Til I Come

     The candle of the Spirit of God in us as believers, is the power from which we draw upon to lay claim to what Jesus Christ won on the cross. His victory over the devil and his demons, fallen angels, or minions has been finished. Why then, do we still see evil in this present world? The battle has been won over them, but could it be that we, His occupied forces, are not laying claim to His victory, and are shrinking back? Could it be that we don't quite understand how to use the weapons of our warfare, or even that we don't believe what has really occurred?
     The outlandish statement that God makes in His Word tells us that He has given us the keys of the Kingdom, that "whatever will be bound on earth will be bound it heaven, and whatever will be loosed on earth will be loosed in heaven." (Matt. 16:19) To handle this kind of responsibility takes a mature Christian.  If they aren't mature, and they try and use this power, it's like giving a child an AK-47 without any training or understanding about the power he holds.
     But, there comes a time when we, as His representatives on earth, need to step out, in the Spirit through prayer, and boldly declare against the powers and principalities of darkness and spiritual wickedness in high places, that Jesus has won the victory over them, fully expecting them to be rendered helpless when perilous and threatening situations present themselves on this earth. We can pray against any assignments that the enemy has given, and cancel them in Jesus' Name and by the power of His shed blood. His victory is the only thing the devil really understands, and will respond to it in retreat.
    Praying in this way requires wisdom and courage, which God provides for us all if we ask and listen. When we don't know what to pray, the Spirit prays through us, and He will. One thing we must be sure of, when we do, however, is that God hears and will respond, and that the devil was, and will be defeated.

"In this world you will have tribulation, but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world," Jesus reminds us. (John 16:33) "This is the victory that overcomes the world, even our faith."- (I John 5:4)

He did it; believe it and act on it!!! Let's take the hill, fellow comrades!!! In His Name and for His glory only!!!!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

The Resolution of Debating Within Ourselves

      In the past, the whole idea of not speaking up whenever someone says something that is contrary to the Word of God was unthinkable. But recently, I have been considering otherwise. Although God says in His Word to "blow the trumpet in Zion," and "how will they believe if there is no preacher?," and to "contend for the faith," He also says, that people who are carnal cannot understand spiritual things, and to "dust your feet" if you bring peace to a house and they don't accept it. I find it curious that He also says that those who are His will listen to our words. I don't know how far to take that one, or how to access it correctly.
     Then there is the realization that so many here in the West know God's Word, but are choosing to either ignore or explain it away, wanting instead to live their own lives, without regard to His guidance or help. When does one get to the point of living their life before the Lord personally and not "interfering" with other people, who call themselves His, who are either willfully or ignorantly living apart from His Word? I'm not necessarily talking about flagrant sinning, either, but living a life that does not seek Him or His counsel daily, and one in which there seems to be no fear (respect) of the Lord Himself.
     In my frustration the other day, a dear friend and sister in the Lord, reminded me of the passage which says to "work out your own salvation," which was a point well made, but then I am reminded of the one that says, "exhort one another daily so that we don't fall into the deceitfulness of sin." With that one in mind, it seems that we, as His Body, do have the responsibility to help each other stay on track, if we weren't so defensive and independent, when someone does say something to us. I'm reminded by a brother in the Lord who said that we all have blind spots, and need each other to help us see them also, assuming we are serious about not wanting to fall into the deceitfulness of sin.
     So,  when do we keep quiet and when do we speak? Ecclesiastes tells us there is a time for each, and only by the discernment of the Holy Spirit can we know that as we seek Him about each situation and listen to His voice and direction. I, personally, find it hard to keep quiet when and if I see someone heeded for the ditch. Like a reaction to someone physically going to get hurt, and someone goes to rescue them without thinking, I have the same reaction to someone getting off track in their relationship with God. Most of the time, I just pray though, because I know they will get angry if I address them face to face. This doesn't mean I am doing the right thing; I may just be taking the coward's path.
     As you can tell, I am not sure on this topic and am taking both sides, to try and hear God in this, so that I can be at rest on this issue. To learn "to speak the truth in love" is something I have asked God to help me with, and the refining He is doing in me in this direction, is at the heart of this issue. I know that when I come out on the other side, He will have done the work and when there is something He directs me to say to someone, then I will, in love, say it rightly. Or, if He leads me to be quiet, I will do that also, in perfect rest and peace.
     Sometimes, I think my frustration comes from the fact that I see people going the wrong way, and I can't do anything about it. Maybe, just maybe God is trying to show me which things are mine to act upon, and which things are His. I would like to know that differentiation clearly. As He grows me up according to His blessed image, I know that will become clearer and clearer. Thank God, once again, for the work He does inside of us and for the resulting resolution of things we find confusing and foggy.  One day all things will be restored. I look forward to that time.

Monday, September 09, 2013

Tell Me Again, Lord

     I'm afraid, and I don't like those feelings. When I looked at the picture of Assad with his finger pointing at America and the words of retaliation he spoke, if Obama attacks Syria, that makes me afraid. When I think of the Million Muslim March in Washington, D.C., and what might happen on that day, that makes me afraid. When I hear of the blacks who are killing whites, that makes me afraid. When I see all the evil being unleashed through people and the awful things they are doing to other people, that makes me afraid. Many other things, too, make me afraid.
     I can't "unafraid." I can only rely on the courage and  boldness of God, when I am afraid and on His love for me.
 I wrote this poem/prayer to God for those times:

Tell me again, God, about your care and love for me,
Tell me again, how your heart can set me free.
Tell me how Your Son willingly died for me.
Tell me again, how He won't ever let me be.

How He promises to perfect all that is wrong in me,
How He'll take away the fear that strangles me.
How He'll lovingly surround me with His arms of grace,
How one day, I will look into His face.

I know then that all will be well and good,
That the love through His eyes will enrapture me, if it could
Only happen while I'm on this earth,
Then all would be well, and nothing could hurt me.

All this evil around us is taking it's toll on me,
I'm wanting to keep my eyes on You,
But it really is distracting me.
I fear most that I won't be able to see Your face,
And be found wanting; and be a disgrace.

Surround me, O Lord, and be my hedge,
A wall great and mighty; a refuge for my bed,
To sleep in You, and rest in Your arms,
A love so strong; protecting me from harm.

Tell me again, Lord, how you promise to never leave,
How your Love died for me, and that will stay the same.
Never changing; never going; never up and never down,
But always steady and true forever to be found.

Oh, keep my eyes upon You, Lord,
Upon your precious love and care.
To guide and protect and deliver me from fear,
As I run into You, and hide with You there.


These were all good. I hope that if you too are fearful about things on this earth, the truth that "He is our hiding place" will minister and calm your soul. Rest in Him. Pray for me, I'll pray for you.


Sunday, September 08, 2013

Who are the Blessed Peacemakers?

     Yesterday my husband and I had a brief conversation about what a peacemaker is, referring to Matt. 5:9 from the Beatitudes. I researched it this morning through google, and read some commentaries, then an article which I thought sounded very balanced and right. I am including it on my blog today for your prayerful discernment and convenience below:

Blessed Are the Peacemakers

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God” (Matthew 5:9). What is the meaning of these words for us? How does peacemaking affect our witness for Jesus? In a day when much emphasis is being placed on peace, the Christian needs to most seriously contemplate the meaning of this Beatitude.
We must begin with a proper understanding of what is included in this key word. The Greek word for “peace” (“eirene”) is a beautiful word, full of meaning. The word is a picture-word, calling to mind specific mental images when heard. The word means tranquility, and is used to describe a boat sailing on a calm sea. It means harmony and describes a song in which all notes and cords blend in perfect agreement. And it conveys the idea of an absence of strife, calling to mind two people walking hand-in-hand along the road. (Our English word “peace” comes to us from the Latin “pax” from which we derive “pact.” A pact is a treaty between two parties/governments).
The Hebrew equivalent is the word “shalom.” This word is also rich in meaning and was, for the Jew, the common word of greeting. It means all of what the above Greek word means, yet adds another aspect. Not only does shalom convey the negative — the absence of strife and evil — but also the positive, the presence of all good things. To wish shalom on another was in essence to say, “I wish for you not only the absence of all that may harm, but also the presence of everything that makes for a person’s good.”
From the above definitions we see that the word “peace” has to do with the state of harmony, tranquility, and unity as it exists between two parties. However, there are some things that peace does not mean:
a) For some, pursuing peace means evading the issues. Some see peace as simply ignoring that which causes the hostilities among us — a sort of sweep-them-under-the-rug-and-hope-they-go-away approach to problem solving. However ignoring reality is not peace. True peace never evades the issues, but rather deals with them, building the right bridges and moving through the pain until harmony is established.
b) For others, peace is sought at the expense of truth. Peace is paramount and it is “peace at any price.” Most persons want to avoid needless strife, but there are times when standing for the truth will stir up strife. Sometimes the way to lasting peace includes addressing issues which will be painful to work through. Truth and righteousness are just as important as peace, and these factors cannot be compromised. For example, Jude wrote his epistle encouraging the believers “to contend for the faith” (verse 3), an
activity which undoubtedly caused some turmoil. Jesus taught that at times faithful discipleship would place a “sword” between loved ones (Matthew 10:34), indicating that following Him could cause strife. And Paul implies that not all strife can be avoided when one is following Christ (Romans 12:18), although we are to do all that we can to live at peace with everyone.
d) For still others, peace is the essence of the Gospel. The ideal of living at peace with all becomes the thrust of Christianity for certain believers. Peace needs to be seen as a vital part of the Gospel message, but it must be given its rightful place. It is a fruit of the Gospel – a result of experiencing the grace of God (see Romans 5: and Galatians 5:22-23) – not the Gospel itself. Paul outlines for us the essence of the Gospel in 1 Corinthians 15: 1-8.
So then, this is peace — what it is, and what it is not — but what is a peacemaker?
Notice at the start that the promise of this Beatitude is to the “peacemaker” and not to the “peace lover.” Passivity is not the answer; activity is. “Peacemaking” is an action word, implying that the Christian’ is to be busy making peace in this world. There are many who love peace and few who work for it. (It should be noted here that we are not condoning a peace activism which ignores other important biblical principles).
The call to peacemaking implies the presence of contention. Indeed the world today is full of conflict and strife. What is the cause of this hostility? In order to know how to go about establishing peace, we need first to know something about why individuals are at odds with themselves.
James says that evil desires within are the source of conflict (James 4:1-2). People are at war with their neighbors because they are not at peace with themselves. And they are not at peace with themselves because they are at war with God. The heart of the peace issue is the spiritual condition of the human soul. Any peacemaking effort which does not take seriously this truth is at best merely a “truce tactic.”
If the Scriptures teach that the hostilities which exist in the world are results of the strife between God and His creation, then it is logical to believe that it is this aspect of peace which concerns Jesus in the Beatitude. Also, the nature of the Beatitudes is spiritual and personal, not political and global. In light of this fact, biblical peacemakers have a three-fold agenda:
a) First and primarily, Christians are called to lead others into a peaceful relationship with God their Father. This is the basis for peace without which no lasting harmony can be found.
b) Second, the biblical peacemaker works to establish harmonious relationships between individuals and their neighbors, based on their spiritual relationship with Christ, the Prince of Peace.
c) Third and finally, Christians attempt to lead their nations into peaceful co-existence. They must realize however, that this is not their primary calling nor will the effects be long-lasting (see Matthew 24:6). As long as the leaders of nations remain hostile toward the God who made them, they will continue to be hostile toward their global neighbors.

 As Jesus said, there will be hostilities until the end of time (Matthew 24:6-7). Nevertheless what peace can be enjoyed, even if temporary or partial, is better than war. And because lasting peace is only certain when based on conversion to Christ, Christians do not rest content with mere secular peace — but continue to work at introducing individuals to the Messiah who provides a basis for true peace.
Peacemakers are blessed with the title “Sons of God,” for they are manifesting in their ministry a Godlike work. They are living out in their lives a character quality and an aspect of activity which is true of God himself, and being called a "son" indicates a certain degree of maturity of taking the responsibility of one's father, and making it one's own. The Apostle Paul says: God was reconciling the word to himself in Christ, not counting man’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. (2 Corinthians 5: 19-21). See also the larger context in 2 Corinthians 5:16-6:2, and Ephesians 2:11-22.
This promise–to be called “a son of God”–is perhaps the most significant of all. Sure it is good to be promised the Kingdom of heaven, comfort, inheritance, satisfaction, mercy, and a glimpse of God (as all of the other Beatitudes pledge). But to arrive at the place where one’s life demonstrates the characteristics of God, that is the highest compliment and blessing of all. To be so involved in the lives of others, leading them into peaceful relationships with their God and their neighbors, that one is seen as doing a Godlike work is most certainly the greatest tribute which can be made to our heavenly Father.

Thursday, September 05, 2013

Love Heals

     The other day I needed a friend; someone who loves me to sit and talk things out with. I was experiencing some feelings of fear. I called out to Jesus, and He did supernaturally remove the present feelings. I felt them leave. It was a beautiful and loving touch of His presence.
     But, I knew even then, that I needed to be delivered of fear permanently, and so, by His guidance, I called my friend, and asked her if she had time for me to come over and talk, and she did. It seemed like sharing my feelings and thoughts with someone who loved me would help, and it did.
     Earlier, I had also called someone who is an "encourager coach" for a Celebrate Recovery group. I shared a little with her and she told me when their meetings are, which I plan on attending tomorrow night. This group is for people wanting to overcome in areas such as addictions, codependency and life issues; whatever has them in bondage. I have heard that the people who attend these meetings, because they, too have struggled and have understood it, receive you just as you are. I have thought that if I surround myself with fellow sufferers that too will help.
     I am thinking that when I bring my feelings and thoughts of fear out into the open and let others be people of love and mercy to me, that will help in my being delivered. I can't get out of my mind that "perfect love casts out fear." His love released through others can bring healing to many areas of one's being, and so I'm going to avail myself of that. I'm taking action to let others inside, and am excited to see what God does in and for me, and perhaps how He'll use me to help someone else.
     After I shared with my friend what I had been going through, and we were saying our "goodbyes" she said, "I'm sorry I can't help more," to which I assured her that she had helped, just by loving me. She didn't solve my problem, but she did help greatly. As God takes me along this path of healing, I now know that I must let others in because He wants to use them too in this process.
     Would you who read this mind praying for me too? Thank you and God bless.    

Wednesday, September 04, 2013

Opening Our Hands

     "Preference is a luxury of the rich." The awareness of this truth became starkly apparent to me whenever I reflected on the way most of us, as Americans, view and experience life. In our food choices, we say, "I like my hamburger with mustard and pickles only," while another person says, "I only eat mine on wheat buns," and another quickly retorts, "I'll take mine without a bun because I'm trying to watch my weight," and then finally someone says, "I'm a vegan, and eat no animal products at all so I'll just make me a salad out of the lettuce and tomatoes. Have you got any other veggies I can cut up to add to it?" expecting fully that you do. After  all, we are in the land of plenty.
     My husband and I have been to India three times, and have only begun to know of the poverty there. We have seen the beggars at the railway stations and out in the public square, signaling to each other if an American decides to give them money. We have done this only to realize the havoc it caused when beggars, with babies in tow, swamped the vehicle we were riding in. We did not regret giving to them though, because if only one got money to buy their next meal, then it was worth it.
     When we go there, we have been somewhat shielded by our host's protection, as they know how their fellow countrymen, when they see an American, may try and take advantage of us. When they see "white," they see "green," as they realize we are indeed rich, even if we don't. We tend to compare ourselves to those in the whole world who have so much more than we do, and get a warped perspective. But,  we, as Americans, are in the top third of the world's rich; therefore, we are rich.
     Recently, troubled stirred in the ministry we had been associated with, and division happened in what was once one group. On either side were poor pastors and their families, we had grown to love and care for. So for a length of time, we stopped supporting some of the people in order to seek God as to what we should do. Confusion reigned as each side told tales about the other ones, eating away at our trust. Still not wanting to "pick" a side, and to not judge before the appointed time in which God will judge (I Cor. 4:5), we stayed in contact with our brothers and sisters in the faith through email on both sides.
     We came to know that some of their families' had experienced hunger during this time, as we had been their only means of support. That is why I said we have only begun to see the poverty in India for what it is. We never even thought that removing our support from them would result in them being hungry. I guess our mindset doesn't even think in that way because we've never experienced hunger. Even in our own personal, worst circumstances, which got pretty bad at one time, we always had food for every meal.
     So, when we prefer our food a certain way, so many around the world only have two choices: to eat or not to eat, and that depends on if they have the money to buy the food. Living in our glass houses, and choosing not to make ourselves aware of the poor, is akin to "heaping it on ourselves," or "storing our goods up in barns" as Jesus cautioned us against. If we continue to blind ourselves to others' plight who are less fortunate, I feel ,will feed our own selfish tendencies, resulting in hardening our hearts.
      I'm reminded of the people's heartcry recorded in II Kings:6, when there was a famine in the land. Some lepers came upon some food and provisions, and then realized that keeping it to themselves was "wrong." They reasoned that because they had found these things, even calling it "good news" that they should tell others about it and share.
     The timeless principle that we (American Christians) have been "blessed to be a blessing," is so true. God doesn't intend to give to us so that we continue to find more and more things we can buy for ourselves, whenever there are the poor and hungry "begging at the gates." The Scripture in I John 3:1 says it best: " If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need, and has not pity on him, how can the love of God be in Him?"

Monday, September 02, 2013

Who Do You Say That I Am?

     I had not realized the vulnerable position that I was in concerning my beliefs about Christ, until false heresies presented themselves to me. It was then, about 6 years ago, that the weaknesses that I had were played on by satan to try and persuade me that He was something less than who He truly is. Looking back, I can now see that I was not sure about what I had thought I was sure of in the area of knowing Christ as He is, and how much I had just adopted in my mind many things I had been taught as my own without truly being sure. The battle I've been in all of this time, caused so much turmoil and confusion, I didn't know if I'd ever see the light of day.
     But, like the Daystar, as He is, He arose in my sight, testifying to His own self, and I saw Him in the light that He truly and surely is. And what a relief that has been.
     I wanted to know Him as He is, and not how I thought He is, (if those beliefs were wrong) or how others were telling me He is. I didn't ever doubt that He is the Son of God, and I believed and knew He is the same person as God, but to know Him in all of His ways, I wasn't sure.
     The belief system that presented itself to me is one that focuses on the Grace-giver that He is, at the exclusion of the other things He is. It isolates one aspect of Him, separating or dividing Him, so to speak instead of accepting the wholeness of who He is. So, when we use a part to explain the whole, it presents a deformed picture of Him and highly misrepresents Him. This picture of Him can sway believers, if they believe what is being told them, to fall greatly! It can actually cause them to leave God altogether.
     I am so grateful to God for "battling for me" in this intense, and fearful assault, and for showing me the truth. I am now settled with who He is. He is the same Christ that I thought He was, but now I am sure. The truth did prevail against what man has created Him to be.
     Who do you say that I am? Jesus asked His disciples, and still does today. This is so important to know and be solid in, because if you are not, you may "open your mind" and let the enemy present Him to you in his form,  in such a way that could lead you grossly astray and even blind you to the truth of who is Him, thinking all the while, you have discovered Him.