Rest

“Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow. It empties today of its strength.”
-Corrie Ten Boom

When life has gone crazy
And I can’t hear Him speak
When dreams seem blurry
And my knees feel weak-

When it seems like I’m waiting
And waiting some more
When I don’t understand
what I’m even waiting for-

When trouble surrounds me
Like a tempest unleased
When I’m tired and weary
And confusion has increased-

When I say, “Why Lord?”
And don’t hear a sound
When I want to just quit
And stomp on the ground-

When all of these things
Seem to knock at my door
That is the time I put my
Trust in Him more.

That is the time
I rest in the hands
Of my heavenly Father
Who cares and understands.

That is the time
That faith in action grows
When I don’t know the future
But I know that He knows.

If God stood by Noah
When the flood waters rose.
And He stood by Moses
The deliverer He chose.

If He stood by three Hebrews
That were thrown in a fire,
Won’t He stand by us
In our darkest hour?

He said to not worry,
He said to rest in His care.
He can handle our future
He’s already there!

So I trust in you Lord
I surrender each test.
I know that you love me!
In you I will REST!!!

“Never worry about anything. But in every situation let God know what you need in prayers and requests while giving thanks. Then God’s peace, which goes beyond anything we can imagine, will guard your thoughts and emotions through Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7 (GWT)

 

 

 

 

 

Rise Up Sleeping Warrior

I don’t know if you like to drink tea. My preferred drink is coffee…black coffee. But there are occasions that I really enjoy a cup of tea. Again that is black tea and it must be HOT,  unless is a very hot day. In that case I like ice tea; REALLY cold ice tea. If at any time my hot tea starts to cool down, or my ice tea begins to get warm, I will throw it down the sink. Lukewarm tea is just gross.

This caused me to think of the verse found in Revelation 3:15-16 ” I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish that you were cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold or hot, I will vomit you out of my mouth!” (NKJV)

I suddenly seemed to understand what the Lord was trying to explain. This was a warning to the Laodicean Church. According to the material that I have read about the city of Laodicea, the waters there were constantly lukewarm. The icy waters that flowed towards the city from the mountains became lukewarm by the time they arrived and the hot water from the hot springs that were brought into the city also become lukewarm before they arrived. So this message made a lot of sense to them because they had become lukewarm like their water system.

But what does it mean to us today and why would the Lord want a people either cold or hot? The “hot” terminology usually means that the individual is on fire for the Lord. What he says and the way he lives vibrantly screams, “Jesus is Lord”!  More times than not it appears that this is the individual that is radically saved from a dark lifestyle and suddenly comes into the light and wants the world to understand his transformation. That may not always be the case. There are several people that were raised up in the Christian home that believe likewise.

But then there are the cold individuals. The consensus with these individuals is that they do not believe in the salvation message at all. In fact some of them may actually be atheist. Or perhaps they firmly believe in another religion all together. The funny thing about that is that the “hot” crowd probably believed in the “cold” lifestyle at one time in their lives.

I think about Paul who wrote so much of the new testament. He was from the “cold” crowd. He was so angry with what people who called themselves Christians believed that he was having them arrested and killed. He even watched as the first Christian martyr, Stephen, was stoned to death. But he had such a radical transformation that he went from cold to hot in a short time. There wasn’t any time for the stagnant lukewarm lifestyle to invade his life.

So who are the lukewarm people? I would say they are the ones that are ho-hum people. They really don’t have anything strong to say about anything. They may even be believers, or confessed to be at one time. They may go to church quite regularly but it really doesn’t mean much to them.  They have come to the place of believing the sayings: “each to their own” or “live and let live”.  Compromise and goodness is their theme. That is an easy place to fall into, especially if you were raised in the church. Jesus has become too familiar and unimportant.

It is similar to getting an inoculation or vaccine. A small portion of the actual disease is shot into your body.  Your body is able to build up your immune system against the disease so if the real disease would try to attack your body you would have already built up antibodies and the disease couldn’t destroy your system. So it is with some people . They have heard “Jesus saves” for so long that they have become immune to it and don’t even recognize the real move of the Lord.

That immunity has snuck right into the church. It seems more important to be accepted by the world than being a light that shines in the darkness.  Because we no longer pour over scripture we question the black and white truths we have heard and begin to walk in that all too familiar gray area. We begin to compromise.

Our time may be spent on good things but we have forgotten our need for a Savior. We have fallen out of love with the one that delivered us from sin and death. Instead of spending any time with him we fill our time with entertainment or even “good” causes and cares of this life. Soon we believe we are fine and all is well. We have become lukewarm.

Believe me when I say that I am speaking to myself. I don’t write this blog thinking I know so much or that I have my act together. As I write it I realize I am speaking to myself. And these words I write actually begin to convict me. I realize that I have compromised in so many ways. Like I said, it is easy to do. Somehow we are lulled to sleep and don’t even remember drifting away from truth.

But God is good. He always leads us back to his truth IF we will listen. Chapter 3: 19-22 in the book of Revelation continues with the Lord saying,

“I correct and discipline everyone that I LOVE.

Take this seriously, and change the way you think and act.

Look, I’m standing at the door and knocking.

If anyone listens to my voice and opens the door, I’ll come in and we’ll eat together. I will allow EVERYONE who wins the victory to sit with me on my throne, as I have won the victory and have sat down with my Father on his throne.

Let the person who has ears listen to what the Spirit says to the churches. (GWT)

So I challenge you, as I challenge myself, to listen to what the Spirit is saying to the churches. It is time to wake up. It is time to ask the Lord if there is any area of compromise in your life. Why? Because the Lord Jesus LOVES you and wants you to be victorious.

Let your light be a hot burning flame of salvation to those around you.

It is time to take your position in Christ.

Rise up sleeping warrior.

God bless.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tragedy

Recently a tragedy happened in a place that I use to call home. I know tragedies happen quite frequently in the lives of many people throughout the world. You hear about them so often on the news that sometimes you forget how violently it many have shaken an individual, family or at times even a nation. But for some reason this particular tragedy hit too close to home and yet I never knew the people personally.

June 29th, while I was busy about my day, the fishing boat Miss Destinee capsized in the frigid waters of Kodiak, Alaska. Two of the crew members were immediately rescued while the other two were listed as missing. I watched the episode unfold on social media as family members and friends hoped and prayed for the best. Despite the best efforts of the Coast Guard and others, the two young people: a brother and sister ages 18 and 22  lost their lives as the unforgiving cold waters rushed quickly inside the capsized boat.

The news gripped my heart as I sat on my cozy couch reading the social media posts and the news releases. I prayed and I wept. I didn’t understand why this particular event stirred me to the core. Maybe it was because they lived in the town I use to call home or that they were friends of people I knew closely or the fact that I had just been there at the church a few weeks earlier joining the young lady and her older brother as they led worship.  (I know in my heart that they are now worshiping our Lord…live!) Or maybe my heart ached so furiously because I was sure their parents and remaining older sibling were being crushed with incredible heartache and loss. As a parent I cannot even begin to understand that pain. Whatever the reason for my personal heartache, I had been impacted by the loss, though indirectly.

Life is precious. Each life is precious. To have a life snuffed out so early and so senseless is heart wrenching. It fills the minds of those left behind with questions that have no answers.

Recently, it seems I have known more people who have passed on to eternity. Perhaps that is because I am older and have lived long enough to witness tragedy or perhaps it is because I see it more clearly. Though I have not been impacted by war as some of my friends around the world have, nor gone into war as my son experienced, I hear the echoes and vibrations of its influence. From the terrorist attacks abroad and on our soil,  or murderous acts of selfish rage, or horrible accidents to an incurable illness; death is real. Lives are lost and mourning begins.

I do not have any expertise regarding the pain these individuals are going through. I have friends that have lost close loved ones.  I’ve attended several memorials and funerals. I’ve cried with those in mourning. I’ve prayed for those left alone. But I cannot give a word of comfort from a deep place of experience. Still I want to somehow reach out and tell the world that someone precious is gone from our world. Someone precious in the sight of the Lord has passed on.

I use to wonder what the scripture meant that said:
“Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his faithful servants.” Psalm 116:19 (NIV)

But I have come to believe that he sees each life individually as valuable.  Jesus even wept when Lazarus died, knowing he would come back to life on this earth and live in eternity with him.  I believe that he considers the death of his followers, his children, as precious because he knows how unique each life was on this earth!  And he has a specific place for them in heaven, created just for them — for you and for me — that he is saving. It is like when a friend saves your seat at a particular event. HE is saving our place, with our name already written on it. And when we arrive he welcomes us with open arms and gets excited to see us!

He said: “If I go and prepare a place for you, I am coming again and will receive you to Myself, that where I am you may be also.” John 14:3 (NASB)

God is powerful, yet God is tender. He is wiser than us and his ways are higher than ours. If God knows the number of hairs on our head, and knows the number of days we will live, we must each be extremely important to his heart. I believe that he values your life and my life, the lives of those that have died before us, and the lives of those not yet born more than fine costly gold or increasing strength and power.

He loved us enough to send his son to DIE.  It was a costly death. It was a death that left Jesus alone carrying the heavy weight of all the world’s sin and illness. It looked like defeat. But He died so that we…you and I…can LIVE with him in eternity. Otherwise there would be no hope and we would die a second death into the darkness of hell.

I cannot understand why an early death happened to the two young people or why good people suffer. I know that God never promised us continued days of happiness in this life. He did, however, promise that there will be many trials in this world. But he added to that statement saying that he will give us peace through it and we were to be of good cheer for he had already overcome the world.  (John 16:33)   Thank the Lord.

One of my life versus is: “Trust in the Lord will all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.” Proverbs 3:5 (NIV)

So I trust him though I don’t always understand.  And I pray for those that are mourning a loss of someone who was extremely special in their lives. God is wiser than we are and loves us more than we can comprehend; only wanting the very best for us. Some of the tests that we have to go through seem impossible! But God will make a way. He said in the book of Luke that what is impossible with man is possible with God.

Whatever you may be facing today. I pray that “the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:7 (ESV)

God Bless.

 

 

 

Do Not Fight the Wind; Face It!

The WIND seems out of control
As I stand looking out to the sea.
Suddenly it stirs familiar strongholds
That were hidden deep inside of me.

The WIND picks up speed.
I’m frightened by its power!
Yet those strongholds are quickly scattered.
Giving me hope in my darkest hour.

The WIND continues to rage on
Splashing salt into my eyes
As heartaches are washed away
Along with old fears and past lies.

The WIND roars with great furry
As I walk into its immense might.
I feel darkness blowing away
And hope replacing the stormy night.

The WIND keeps on howling
But I face it with hope in my heart.
Wisdom whispers truth in my soul
Releasing new vision and a new start.

Where does this wind come from?
And where does it go?
I do not question it,
Nor do I know.

It seems like a violent storm
As it brews with such rage.
Yet it is breaking down the walls
That had held me inside a cage.

Does heartache come from God?
Is pain from him too?
Does he allow darkness at times
So we can begin brand new?

If the winds of life seem too violent,
If the storm wants to hold on
Don’t despair; but trust GOD!
He will give you a new hope and new song.

In spite of the disappointment,
In spite of the raging wind
Trust him to carry you to the other side.
There your new life can begin.

“The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going, so is everyone who is born of the Spirit.” John 3:8

A Blogger’s Testimony

We all have a testimony to share and I thought a fellow bloggers was worth passing on to others. He speaks from his heart. Too often we forget the joy we discovered when we became a follower of Christ. Hearing the revelation from another believer is inspiring. And the video that follows was uplifting as well. Be blessed.

I’m going through a season of growth at the moment and have been asking God to reveal those things that I lack spiritually when it comes to salvation and embracing everything He has for me in Christ. I’ve been a little confused in the area of Holy Spirit baptism, because although I often feel ‘filled with […]

via My Holy Spirit Baptism — Perfect Chaos

Be Encouraged

I have been busy and haven’t had the opportunity to write. And now that I have a few moments I am not sure what to even write about. That is a strange concept for me. I realized that my intentions have always been to send an encouraging word out to those around me. So I hope that is what this is to you. I feel that each person has a specific gifting that embodies them. Its purpose, as a believer, is to encourage those around us.

Thessalonians 5:11 (NKJ) says it best, “Comfort each other and edify one another, just as you also are doing.”

We all have some type of gifting that comes naturally that we can share with others. And even though we each have our own part in this world or in the body of Christ, we are ultimately considered one body.  If we do our part we are actually helping the body of Christ to work as one unit. And where there is unity there is so much that can be accomplished.

That is the main reason that the enemy of our souls, satan, comes to steal, kill and destroy. (John 10:10) If he can divide the body of Christ, then chaos will be sure to follow, making the progression of the promise of salvation seem unimportant. Soon the hearts of men and women will come to a muddy sludge and darkness will try to prevail.

But expressing our gifts towards one another helps those in the body of Christ work as one unit accomplishing what God has sent us to this earth to fulfill. We all desire to fulfill our destiny; to fulfill our purpose, not just inhale air. And just like our own body has hands that reach out to someone who has fallen and feet that may take us to unimaginable places to bring hope, God desires the body of Christ to bring hope and healing to those around us.

In the book of Romans Paul talks about specific gifts. Whether it is grace, prophecy, serving others, teaching, leadership skills, giving, showing kindness or even encouraging others, we are to do it to the best of our ability; to do it with excellence.

“If your gift is to encourage others, be encouraging.” Romans 12:8b (NLT)

I hope the words I have spoken in the past or the words I speak today will encourage someone. Again, that is my intention. That is my purpose for writing, for praying or simply for smiling at another individual. I desire to encourage those around me.

It’s similar to a cheerleader at a football game or a spectator at a marathon. I desire to shout enthusiastically to those that are running the race with vigilance and to whisper comfort to those who have stumbled along life’s way or have stopped to rest.

DO NOT GIVE UP.

Some people will understand the words I am saying and shout a quiet hallelujah to themselves. Others will think, “oh how nice”. But perhaps there is someone who says deep in their spirit…”I am tired. I am weary. I am confused. I hope you will pray for me.”

To each person (especially to those who are tired) I want to share one of my favorite scriptures found in Isaiah 20:31.

“But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” (KJV)

The key here is to WAIT upon the LORD. Call out to him and then wait. Listen to his tender voice whether it be through the reading of his word, through the wisdom of a trusted friend or simply his quiet voice deep in your spirit. The LORD promises to RENEW your strength.

And I can promise you that if you do not give up, if you continue to trust the Lord even when it looks impossible, you will be rewarded just like the marathon runner who continues to run to the finish line. I remember running in cross-county in high school. So often I just wanted to quit. But I kept telling myself the finish line is just ahead.

The word of God does not lie. “.. let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessings IF we don’t give up”. Galatians 6:9 (NLT)

Remember if God is for you, WHO can be against you. We are one body yet we are a team of individuals and we are each victorious through Christ! Be encouraged. God bless.

 

Fear

FEAR

It is real and it is present. And it seems to be rearing its ugly head a lot lately.

Terror–fear on steroids–appears to be trying desperately to gain a lot of attention these days throughout the world.

It only takes turning on the TV or getting online to view the darkness that is overwhelming us. Besides the insidious terrorist attacks there are people shooting wildly at strangers or wielding knives.  Some people seemed to have gone out of their minds rioting and vandalizing or spewing vileness from their mouths that are filled with rage and selfishness.

It is hard to hide from the cyclone of madness. It is in our face daily. If you do not have the resource to hear people talk, or watch the TV or read the paper or get on the Internet you might have the privilege of not knowing the heightened sense of uneasiness and fear that is present.

It would be nice to believe that all is well as you drink your latte’, go to the gym, listen to your music in the car on your way to work or watch your child’s soccer game. But though your backyard might be filled with birds singing and children laughing this madness hangs in the air.

What affects others can affect you. I remember a time when several thousand acres were burning throughout the summer down the road from us. Though I was not personally affected, I ached for those that were, so much so that I couldn’t just “enjoy” my summer. I had to help those in need.  And I did.

Let us not forget how we reached out to one another during 9-1-1.  Now that I hear about all the hurt around us I pray for those that are being affected by terrorist attacks though I am not in the midst. I hurt for those that are involved in shootings, in violent riots, and in day-to-day fear.

Yes, fear and evil have existed since the beginning of time. Some people have endured war in their towns and villages and watched in horror as loved ones have died. Some have endured fear in their neighborhoods because it wasn’t a safe place to live or even in their homes because evil prevailed within their own family. It has always been present.

But then there are others of us who have had the opportunity to have a fairly safe environment to live in, kind neighbors and perhaps a pleasant household. We are not real familiar with the darkness and hatred that can consume the atmosphere.

So when we hear on the news the seemingly constant terrorist attacks it can be frightening, especially when we see it in countries that use to seem fairly safe. Fear can grip our hearts; fear and hopelessness.

But I want to declare that NOTHING on this planet and I mean NOTHING is bigger than our Lord. It is he that should be getting the glory, not the thrill seekers of darkness. HE is the VICTOR and HE is our DELIVERER and HE is our COMFORTER and HE is our PEACE!!!

“If God is for us, who can be against us?” Romans 8:31

Paul goes on to say in Romans that nothing can separate us from God’s love. Even if we have trouble or are persecuted, or hungry or destitute or in danger or threatened. Despite all that we may endure, we STILL have overwhelming victory.

How we be victorious if we or others around us go through such hardships? The thing is Jesus ALREADY has gotten the victory on the cross. He died, took the keys of death from satan and overcame eternal death for ANYONE who wants it. He rose again so that we can also rise in victory— in this life and in the next.

I heard it said that there are 365 verses in the Bible that state: “Do not be afraid”.  That sounds pretty significant as there are 365 days in a year. God does not want us to live ONE day in fear.

He desires us to understand the power of his blood and of his love so that our minds can be at peace.

“God did not give us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind”
2 Timothy 1:7 (NKJV)

Remember: “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear…” 1 John 4:18

That is not to say that we will not be afraid. But it is to say that God, the God of love, the God of the universe is with us. When fear arises we call upon him. We should learn the  scriptures so that we can put them to the test. We trust the God that inspired it. HE walks with us through darkness, through dangers, through hope, through life, through peace and even through death.

HE WILL NOT LEAVE or FORSAKE us.

In Deuteronomy 31 Moses was handing over the leadership of the children of Israel to Joshua.  Moses told Joshua to let the people know that the Lord was going before them and they were not to panic nor be afraid for he would never leave them or abandon them.

If he is the same yesterday, today and forever then he speaks the same to us. He will not abandon us. Though there seems to be turmoil, he walks with us through it as he did Shadrack, Meshack and Abedndgo. They WERE thrown into the fire for not bowing a knee to an idol. But they were NOT consumed. In fact the Lord stood with them in the fire. Those that threw them in were killed but they did not even smell of smoke.

What about you? Are you steadfast about not bowing to other idols in this life yet are being attacked or persecuted? Are you going through the fire? Have you been affected by the latest terrorist attacks? Or are you fearful of simply going places because of unstable people that might randomly attack you? Perhaps you are experiencing your own battles of sickness, death of loved ones, financial woes or other fears.

God can and WILL walk with you through it, deliver you out of it and even stop any smell of attack that tries to attach itself to you.

I remember once hearing about Christians being attacked in other countries. My heart was so broken that I felt guilty for even worshiping in church. But the Lord reminded me that he inhabits his praise, that the best weapon of defense was to praise his holy name. That is exactly what would usher in his presence, destroying the enemies strongholds.

“The joy of the Lord is my strength and my shield. I trust him with all my heart. He helps me and my heart is filled with joy. I burst out in songs of thanksgiving.” PS 28:7 (NLT)

I pray that you catch a hold of God’s love for you. That you come to realize that though there is sorrow in the world he is not going to abandon you. He is your refuge and strength in times of trouble.

God bless each of you as you put your trust in the Lord who can save you. I also pray that his peace would surround your hearts. May we believe the words that Jesus spoke and live by them.

“Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me” John 14:1 (KJV)