Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Lent: Day Forty-three ~ Blessed are...


Gal. 1: 3-5 Grace be to you and peace from God the Father, and from our Lord Jesus Christ, Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father:To whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

Blessed are…

Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of Heaven.

Poor in spirit, not poor in the pocketbook. This, to me, means humility. We are to have humble spirits. We come to God as sinners and are usually spiritually empty inside and we seek the true beauty of the Spirit of God. We are not to come to Him in pride but in the humbleness of our souls.

Blessed are those who mourn for they shall be comforted.

I believe this to mean the mourning of our sinful nature. Jesus is telling us to align ourselves with Him and to turn from the world of sin. In our mournful state the Holy Spirit is bringing us to a purified state of mind and comforts us.

Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth.

Simply put: the humble, faithful and patient. Jesus was meek so when he asks us to be meek He is asking us to look to Him ALWAYS and be LIKE Him. Our inheritance of the land is a gift of the earth by God for being meek, humble and righteous in His eyes. I think the spiritualists will see this as loving God and the land as you love yourself. If you have one ounce of drivel of discourse in you, you are showing yourself as impatient and not meek and humble at all.

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness for they will be filled.

I love those words hunger and thirst. I find myself hungering for Christ daily and the spiritual renewal of the season is filling my cup to overflowing. I thirst. I feel parched when I am not aligned with God and there is only one quenching my soul can drink in to feel full and that is Christ.

Blessed are the merciful for they shall obtain mercy.

This one is pretty easy to understand to some, but not all have easiness with this one. Merciful is to be forgiving and compassionate. I see so many fly off the handle and instantly lash out at others before they have time to even think mercifully. How are they to obtain mercy if they cannot show mercy?
1 Pet. 1:3 “In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead”

Blessed are the pure in heart for they will see God.

A pure heart will be clean, shameless, untainted by guilt. Being pure in heart involves having eyes set on God toward heavenly things not earthly. This one may be most difficult because the media is set on saturating us with earthly outlets that we succumb to very easily.  A pure heart has no deception, no trickery and no hidden motives. The pure in heart are transparent and have a desire to please God in all things. It is so much more than an external purity of your behavior; it is an internal purity of your soul.

Blessed are the peacemakers for they will be called a child of God.

This one seems to be a no-brainer. Some people like to be at war with hateful words in their heart. We are not called to war but to bring peace to ones soul. Jesus gave His life to make peace between sinners and God and when we exhibit the message of peace to others, we are considered peacemakers. Only children of God can bring the peace of knowing God to others.

Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake; for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

I understand this one to mean being persecuted for Christ. I have been told to stop pushing my faith on people just by posting a scripture or a picture with scripture. I am constantly looked at as  ‘holier than thou’, often told that I’m too strong in my beliefs. Too strong? I love the Lord my God. I walk with Christ as if He were beside me every single second of the day and choices I make, I distinguish mentally from the truth that man physically tries to shove down MY throat.

When I see believers allow the world to use them, I see them as weak testimonies to Christ. Their behavior runs side by side with the people whose life is given to all manner of selfishness and moral perversity. Christians who do not walk strongly in their faith typically are not the ones persecuted, for what would the reason to be? They’re not singing the praises of the Lord in a strong stance against the very things of their worldly nature to merit being persecuted for righteousness.

Pastor Dave a few weeks ago talked about the Beatitudes and how we as Christians should discern them. The first four should be seen as vertical, meaning making things align with God. (Man’s talk/walk with God) The other four should be intellectually seen as horizontally, meaning on the worldly level. (How we live/act/behave) By putting it this way everything made so much more sense to me. Clarity. That’s what this week is bathing me with.

To me, the Ten Commandments were the Laws given by God to Moses. The Beatitudes were the laws transformed by God delivered to man via Jesus. I find God to be the most amazing source of life and in death, I pray that I might meet the Maker and find eternal peace.

Praise be to God!

Pss. 5:1-3 Give ear to my words, O LORD, consider my meditation.
Hearken unto the voice of my cry, my King, and my God: for unto thee will I pray.
My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O LORD; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Lent: Day Forty-two ~ A Christian Revival



God proved His love on the Cross. When Christ hung, and bled, and died, it was God saying to the world, “I love you.” ~ Billy Graham

I don’t know if 2014 is supposed to be the year of a revival but as a Christian I can feel something stirring around the world where more and more people are coming to Christ, they're waking up and noticing Him. Movies are being made and it feels as if God is making His move. Recently, one particular movie, God is Not Dead, is having a positive affect on the Christian community.

I noticed the churning earlier in the year with the Duck Dynasty controversy where a man spoke the truth of his faith in Jesus and was condemned. A multimillion dollar franchise was on the line but he didn’t care, he was not going to be swayed by the media to take back his statements he had made which offended people NOT of any denomination, just the politically correct people of America.

Then we see satan fighting back with a movie called Noah where the story’s only real biblical truth of the bible is Noah built an arc and a few other facts tossed in for good measure; much of the tale is fabricated by the writer who ironically is atheist who doesn’t call God, God he calls Him the creator.

In God is not Dead, we have a young man attending college and is met with a professor of philosophy who asks the kids to do an assignment. They have to basically say that God is not alive. One kid says, "No I’m a Christian, God is alive." He almost refuses to do the assignment and the professor got an earful by the young man when he declared in his words that God is NOT Dead and gave astonishing proof! He met the professor head on with God as the Creator and Christ the redeeming Savior.

I have not seen the movie myself but many at my church went to see the movie this weekend and came out with positive reviews of what an excellent movie it was. Will it beat Noah in the dollar amounts taken in at the box office? I doubt it. But will the message be loud and clear that God is not dead? A resounding YES!

It seems this is the year for a revival! A revival that God is ALIVE! I hear more and more frequently people coming to Christ. Our Pastor does missions in some parts of China and he said yes God is alive in China and more and more are coming to Christ. This isn’t just a local revival; I’m talking global revival!

In nations that don’t accept Christ or the banning of bibles takes place, everywhere there is a lone house sitting unknowingly holding Christians gathering together to read the one Bible someone did get a chance to smuggle in.

Did you know that Easter and Christmas the Churches of all denominations, fill to capacity and some even have to add extra seating? Why? Is it because it’s the ONE time a year people go to hear the word that is being spoken about so often that they too want to taste what’s being served up?

I never understood how some people could attend church once or twice a year and feel filled with the fullness of God and see that as their respect to Christ. The last time I checked Jesus DIED for you and me and that is all you can do for Him is give Him one or two days a year?  I know, I know, you read, you believe AND go to Church twice a year. That’s all well and good but as a revival year? If you’re claiming to be a Christian, you might want to rethink the debt you owe to Christ.

This week is Holy Week, the week that Jesus rode through the streets as believers laid palms at His feet and praised His name and sang Hosanna, Hosanna, loud enough for all to hear. Then by the end of the week they sent Him to the cross and watched as He died a bloody death.

I have heard many people ask, “If Jesus was God’s Son, why did He send Him to His death? Why didn’t He save Him?” You know, over two thousand years ago, there were men at Jesus’ feet asking the same thing. Let me enlighten you! He died to save US! To redeem us in God’s eyes. He saved us from our enemy SIN. And y’know, when someone dies for you, in my eyes you OWE Him a little more than a passing fancy. You owe Him your LIFE! Some people see it that way, while others could care less. I understand, somewhat.

You still don’t believe in Him? Well you’re going to see a revival; a fleeing TO Him in the coming year and you’re going to wind up either with Him singing out Hosanna, or against Him waving your hand for Him to move on as He passes by. Guess what, He gives you THAT choice too!

So while my words might sound a bit hokey to some, there are others right this minute asking Jesus to come into their lives and save them, by the thousands!!! THEY don’t thinks it’s hokey, they can FEEL the uprising taking place and they seek salvation to live eternally. Those that have an ear, let him hear.

May the grace and the Glory of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you all!

2 Peter 1:2-8 (KJV) Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord,
According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:
Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.
And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;
And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness;
And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.
For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Lent: Day Forty-one ~ Transformation

Rom. 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

Holy Week begins. This week we are winding down the Lent post. By Sunday I will have written forty- seven days in a row with a Christian theme every day. That is quite an accomplishment for me, since I’ve never written forty-seven days in a row ever before. What is my gain from all this? Transformation. A spiritual transformation! I am truly reaping what I sow.

While some people have gone on their merry way in life thinking Lent is just for the Catholics, I’m here to tell you that Lent is MORE than just a yearly observance in the Catholic church. Lent is so much more to me than an observance; Lent to me is a full-blown spiritual transformation.

To some, people take Lent serious, they will fast from meat from Ash Wednesday until Easter Sunday, some take it more serious than that and take a sabbatical from all things food, and some take it as ritualistic atonement and some never care about the season and don’t do anything. I watch from the background as addictions are still being fed; there is no break from the media onslaught of demoralization, no pause in footsteps of routine, no break from redundancy, no looking to Jesus for even a moment nevertheless forty-seven days.

One of the definitions of transform is this: change in form, appearance, nature or character. There hidden in a nutshell is what Lent is to me. I am busy being transformed but not by my own hand, by the grace of God and the Holy Spirit filling me day after day.

I don’t know if my form is changing, I’ve practically been the same size since I was eighteen give or take a few pounds. Form could mean a change in spirit, spirit being that which FORMS you. Yeah I like that better. Appearance could mean how I appear to others (and I don’t mean changing my hair color or adopting youthful sleaze-wear either.) Nature or character? Well yes! I’ve always been quite a character, that’s been my nature BUT I don’t think that is what that means either.

Lent is a transitional phase each year in my life, ending with the celebration of my New Year on Easter Sunday. I will either stay the same old person or I will be transformed and become the true natured person that God has planned for me. This is a ME thing and doesn’t mean in any way that all people or Christian’s celebrate Lent this way. I am dedicated to becoming a better Christian, and Lent is the best time for me to pause, breathe and drink in everything God pours out to me. This year He wanted me to write from Ash Wednesday to Easter Sunday and thus transforming me.

Forty-seven days of writing has caused me to focus on the Word more intently than I normally would; I have been more focused on God, I have plunged into research, I have dove into a spiritual awakening within and I have provided comfort and knowledge to anyone seeking and I can feel the transformation taking place within me. I think my appearance is changing in that people see the Light of the Lord more fully in me; which in turn shapes my character and the nature of my being.

If I haven’t touched one person in these forty-seven days of posts, then I’ve still gained because it is I who is being transformed by these posts. While my stats are up I’m also seeing that someone out there is enjoying my writing and finding them a comfort and warmth to their own soul.

As we come down to the last seven days of the Lenten season, may you be filled with Christ and may you find yourself growing in new and improved ways. May you find at the end of the week that you too have been transformed!

May God be with you all!

Revival begins in the individual’s heart. Let it begin with you on your face alone before God. Turn from every sin that might hinder. Renew yourself to a new devotion to the Saviour. 
~ Lee Roberson




Sunday, April 13, 2014

Lent: Day Forty: Poetry Sunday ~ Cleansing


Mark 1:44And saith unto him, See thou say nothing to any man: but go thy way, shew thyself to the priest, and offer for thy cleansing those things which Moses commanded, for a testimony unto them.

Cleansing

I feel a peace wash over me
as snow falls from the sky.
Each flake falls down all around
like my God beginning to cry.

One by one His sorrow mounts
the drifts are formed by wind
Cleansing all my spirit
for that which I have sinned.

He blankets my soul as the fields
in warmth His arms surround.
A little wayward shepherd
who was lost and now is found.

I gather all the wandering sheep
mere shadows in the dark.
A shower of unconditional love,
igniting their inner spark.

A soul absolved of impurities
the snow now turns to rain
Restoring you to innocence
now freed from all your pain.

 

 

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Lent: Day Thirty-nine ~ Quotation Saturday


LENT

"God does nothing except in response to believing prayer."
~ John Wesley

"You cannot be proud and expect to be transformed away from your sins. You need to humble yourself and have a spirit of repentance within you. Then you will see real change."
~ Mable Vine

“The Lord measures out perfection neither by the multitude nor the magnitude of our deeds, but by the manner in which we perform them.”
~ St. John of the Cross

"It is not just about giving up our favorite food but its about going further and giving up things like hatred and unforgiveness. You need to clean your heart and prepare yourself for purity."
~ Amanda Jobs

FOLLOW

Matt. 10:38 And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me.

“When you are posessed by evil spirits, it is crafty manipulations that you follow; but when you are posessed by the Holy Spirit of God, it is wise discretion's you pursue!”
~ Israelmore Ayivor

“We tend to think that refusing to exalt Christ is staying true to our self-will and personal freedom when really we are condemning ourselves. Sure, we can pretend to stay true to ourselves, but if you want to talk about reality, all of that is completely trivial if this life is an island and He's the only pilot with a plane and a flight plan.”
~ Criss Jami

“The beauty of obedience is that what God expects you to do, He also enables you to do.”
~ Jim George

WALK

Luke 1: 6 And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless.

“Live your truth. Express your love. Share your enthusiasm. Take action towards your dreams. Walk your talk. Dance and sing to your music. Embrace your blessings. Make today worth remembering.”
~ Steve Maraboli

“With God’s help, your trial today is leading to your wholeness tomorrow.”
~ Elizabeth George

“There comes a time when we must all learn to walk (with Christ) usually after we’ve crawled through the mire of pain and with God we walk uprightly to a better place.”
~ Joni Zipp

FAITH

Matt. 21:21 Jesus answered and said unto them, Verily I say unto you, If ye have faith, and doubt not, ye shall not only do this which is done to the fig tree, but also if ye shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; it shall be done.

“Faith is not the belief that God will do what you want. It is the belief that God will do what is right.”
~ Max Lucado

“I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.”
~ C.S. Lewis

“God will not look you over for medals, degrees or diplomas but for scars.”
~ Elbert Hubbard



Friday, April 11, 2014

Lent: Day Thirty-eight: Reconciled with Christ


Rom 5:10  For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.

Reconciled

This scripture tugged at me last night during our bible reading:

2 Cor. 5:14-19 For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again…. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ,not counting people’s sins against them.

It tugged at me because what did it mean to be reconciled with Christ? Was God mad at me? Did I do something wrong that I needed to be reconciled with Him? Reconciled definition: to bring into agreement or harmony; make compatible or consistent.

Well there you go; a hearty clarification. I think we as humans always think of ourselves as gods over ourselves. That we are strong enough to go it alone without the aid of a higher power, a force so great He created the world in a breath. I’ve never thought of myself so high that I didn’t NEED God, but I thought there might be others out there struggling with this ego trip of arrogance on their own.

I do remember a time where I was so young and vulnerable that I felt invincible. I had lost my child, I was sixteen, and the invincibility carried me into age eighteen where I thought drinking was my shield from harm. That was until the night I overdosed on too much Schnapps and died passing out in my own vomit. I woke in a freezing shower unable to remember how I got there and only remember the bright lights that whisked me into the tub.

When I woke up in bed the next morning I had a totally different outlook on life. It was at that time I felt the need to be reconciled with Christ and a few journey’s later I became a dedicated servant of Christ. Yes I was saved at fourteen where I had given my life over to God, but I fell and I fell hard. I never turned away from Christ, but again, I had an ego of invincibility about me.
I had given birth to a deceased baby and any grown woman knows and understands the travails of childbirth. Well, to a sixteen-year-old kid who didn’t have a live fetus helping in the push, my pain was doubled.

I begged for mercy after my drunken stupor, then I went to work and to this day I live for Christ and Christ alone. I am reconciled with God and strive daily never to be the invincible ego driven brat I was as a child.

God loved me, the unlovable, with a rigorous commitment. He loved me when I tried to ignore His all consuming power. God saw me for the potential that was in me, when I saw none in myself. Christ walked a path for me, the sinner so that I may one day stand before God with all barriers of opposition gone.

And to you my friend I bear a message of reconciliation with God that no man/woman is excluded from. I hope that from my words you see a woman who is passionate about peace and reconciliation; a woman who is striving to be in alignment with my Lord and Savior.

To Him be the Glory!

God is not a deceiver, that He should offer to support us, and then, when we lean upon Him, should slip away from us. - Augustine




Thursday, April 10, 2014

Lent: Day Thirty-seven ~ God is Not a Religion

Luke 2: 40 And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom: and the grace of God was upon him.

God is Not a Religion

Pss. 86: 13 For great is thy mercy toward me: and thou hast delivered my soul from the lowest hell.

“Religion is for people afraid of going to hell…Spirituality is for people who have already been there.” ~ Vine Deloria – Sioux

I hear so many times people saying, “Don’t shove your religion down my throat.” Maybe they are misinformed but scripture from the bible is not a religion; God is not a religion so when I post a scripture and you’re offended and tell me to stop shoving my religion down your throat, allow me to enlighten you.

Scripture is not a religion. Faith in God is not a religion. Now when a Jehovah’s Witness knocks on your door and tries to shove a pamphlet in your face, THAT is someone trying to force their religion on you.

I’ve been approached many times in the parking lot by a JW and as you’re trying to unload all your groceries, they run up and try shoving a pamphlet in your face. Now THAT to me is trying to force a religion on you. When someone physically approaches you and feeds you their religion as if it is the only one and the only RIGHT one that exists.

Spirituality is not a religion either and TO ME that is just what God and all His biblical testimonies are, primarily. The Buddhists don’t own spiritual awareness, the Native Americans don’t have the market cornered on spirituality. Spiritual experiences are for all whether faith in one God or not.

My spirituality is a deep rooted faith in one God. It is rooted in there being only ONE God, who had a Son through a divine Immaculate Conception, who then died for mankind and all his sins, thus bathing us in the Holy Spirit!

If religion is defined as the worship of One God, then yes, I am religious. I will walk with the Holy Spirit and share with you all that that entails, but I will not say that this is the one and only faith that you must adhere to in life or that it is the only RIGHT one. 

We are all of different creeds and I respect that. I cannot judge someone whose only faith is in spiritual awareness and I would hope that I am not judged for believing in the trinity.

When I was a child, I was raised Catholic and very much wanted to be a nun and dedicate my life to Christ but be it as it may, God wanted a different path for me and in every breath I took, He guided each step. He is the one who put me on this spiritual path. He did not sink me into a religion and guide me in the way of becoming a nun; He had different plans for me.

Spirituality is hard to find a definitive definition. Scientist define it “the search for the sacred”. There is a definition on spiritualism that is defined as: the belief that all reality is spiritual. Metaphysics: any of various doctrines maintaining that the ultimate reality is spirit or mind. If God did not want us to be spiritual beings why use the word over 600 times in the Bible?

Why did God take me on this journey? Why did He set my path on the spiritual aspect rather than a religious road? I think it is because He wanted me to know the differences in life based on spirituality.

Being called a Jesus freak is okay with me. I’ve already stirred up thoughts with this Lenten series and some have been good, while others I can sense are tired of it all already. I’m not called to please you, I’m called to please my Lord and Savior who is guiding my fingertips. I am guided by the warmth washing over me by the Holy Spirit and what comes out in these posts are for all to walk away with and think about.

You can walk away in agreement or disagreement that is for you and where you are in your journey of life. All I know is that God is my divining rod. I can choose one way or the other, I can believe in all He has shown me, or I can shrug off all He has conveyed and take a different path. That is free will.

If you pick up a bible and read it, do you walk away with questions, enlightenment, doubts or unbelief? Enlightenment to me is an AHA moment where a lightbulb goes off in my head. And when I read the bible, I walk away enlightened by the knowledge that God has placed on my heart. I have read many different doctrines and the Holy Bible is the only one that gave me clarity.

God is not my religion, He is a way of life for me. I am a very spiritual person who sees God in everything, and I do mean everything. The land, the trees, the soil, the animals, and yes in human beings whether they have the Light of the Lord in them or not, I see them as spiritual beings set on a different path than me.

My religion is my church (Christians) and my church family (where I go to praise and worship) where we are all set on the same path walking hand in hand with the same beliefs. You can poke fun at me, laugh at my pain, correct me because I’m not grammatically perfect, scoff at my imperfections but please, don’t make fun of my spiritual beliefs. I judge no one and don’t care to BE judged.

God is not a religion, He is a spiritual journey. Embrace it.

1 Cor. 16: 18 For they have refreshed my spirit and yours: therefore acknowledge ye them that are such.


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