Saturday, May 31, 2014

Quotation Saturday


2 Sam. 22: 2 And he said, The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer;

Today is one of my favorite poets birthdays, Walt Whitman. Introduced at a very young age to his writing of poetry, I fell in love with expression via the written word.

“The art of art, the glory of expression and the sunshine of the light of letters, is simplicity.”
Walt Whitman - Introduction to Leaves of Grass

“I am satisfied ... I see, dance, laugh, sing.”
– Walt Whitman - Leaves of Grass

“And as to me, I know nothing else but miracles.”
Leaves of Grass

''The proof of a poet is that his country absorbs him as affectionately as he has absorbed it.''
–Leaves of Grass 

Did you ever feel like some people were immortal and they would just always be around like Elvis Presley or Mother Teresa, then they die and you see they’re human after all? To me, Maya Angelou was one of those immoral figures in my mind. Rest in peace sweet soul. Your words ARE immortal, they will live eternally.

“Let gratitude be the pillow upon which you kneel to say your nightly prayer. And let faith be the bridge you build to overcome evil and welcome good.”
~ Maya Angelou, Celebrations: Rituals of Peace and Prayer

“Soft you day, be velvet soft,
My true love approaches,
Look you bright, you dusty sun,
Array your golden coaches.

Soft you wind, be soft as silk
My true love is speaking.
Hold you birds, your silver throats,
His golden voice I'm seeking.

Come you death, in haste, do come
My shroud of black be weaving,
Quiet my heart, be deathly quiet,
My true love is leaving.”
~ Maya Angelou, The Complete Collected Poems

You are the sum total of everything you’ve ever seen, heard, eaten, smelled, been told, forgot - it’s all there. Everything influences each of us, and because of that I try to make sure that my experiences are positive.”
~ Maya Angelou

"I believe that each of us comes from the creator trailing wisps of glory."
~ Interview with the Academy of Achievement (1990)

"You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them."
~ Excerpted from Letter to My Daughter, a book of essays (2009)

“Maya Angelou entered our lives at Virago in 1984, when we first published I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. "Entered our lives" is too tame. She danced, sang, and laughed her way straight into our hearts. She brought us a best-seller, but more than that, she brought us a reminder that the human need for dignity and recognition is a gift easily given to one another, but also frighteningly easy to withhold.”
  ~ Lennie Goodings


~ INFLUENTIAL ~

“You don't have to be a person of influence to be influential. In fact, the most influential people in my life are probably not even aware of the things they've taught me.”
~ Scott Adams

In my life I was always being influenced by something whether good or bad, it shaped who I am today. The two people above, Maya and Walt, had a marked influence on me. I write and love the written word.
~ Joni




Monday, May 26, 2014

A Different God?


Philippians 4:6-7 (NIV) “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

I have a question. Do any of you feel that you are worshipping, having faith and following a different God than the God Moses, Noah and Abraham followed and listened to? Did they have a ‘different’ relationship than the one you and I have?  Someone said, that Moses and Noah had “Faith and a very personal relationship of actual communication on which to rely.”

This statement befuddled me. ‘Different’? ‘Personal’? ‘Actual communication’? He went on to say, “We have 66 books to search, read, take into our hearts, and ponder. Our Faith in Him may be rock-solid, but we base it on His Word.” But does that mean we have a different God? In no way does it mean that. The God of Abraham is the One and only True LIVING God. In no way shape or form is He different now from way back then!

While the statement of Him being different might be true to those still searching for Him. The readers and believers of the Word, it is not true of me and MY experience with God. For one, we have to trust that man dictated the WORD in its entirety. We have to trust man through many translations in knowing what God Himself was saying. We are left to ponder His Word, not drink it in and bathe in it; there IS a difference.

Well I’m telling you right up front, if you don’t have a very REAL and PERSONAL relationship with GOD, (yes the same God of Noah, Moses, Isaac and Abraham) then you my friend will be tossed about in utter confusion and caught up in every wind of doctrine. God did not always speak to Moses via the burning bush. If you read and believe, you’ll know this to be true.

We humans are extremely limited in our vision, that is that we can only see that which is material. God is not material. To have an up front personal relationship with God, you must embrace the spirit and I don’t just mean the Holy Spirit sent to us in the New Testament, I mean the God Spirit walking with us from the beginning of time!

I very clearly understand that God does not speak to me as He spoke to Adam and Eve, or to Moses (via a burning bush) and the many others He spoke to, but my faith is not built on just the Word of God put forth in scripture. My faith is built on the Word’s of God spoken to ME.

A few months ago, January to be exact our minister who had been serving our church for 14 years left. Why did he leave? He said God placed on his heart to go and tend this other church that was weakening. He was called by God to go and tend that church and try to assist in reviving it.

Is that any different than God telling Noah to build an ark? Moses to free His people? I sincerely don’t feel it is much different, and yesterday’s service physically showed that to me. Pastor Dave had a break and Pastor Tim was told to give a sermon of what God placed on his heart.

When you attend church, you will physically SEE God working in the heart, mind and soul of a follower. If you don’t attend church you more than likely will only see what you want to see, read and believe from the scriptures. 

Pastor Tim made it clear. If you are an intellectual Christian, your faith is based on intellect, knowledge of the Word. Christians the world over have to give themselves completely to God. There is a balance of the will, the mind and the heart that takes place and in that relationship you’ve formed with God, He speaks to you! Yes, the same God of Abraham, Isaac, Noah and Moses. You balance the intellect (head), the Word (will) with God Himself  (heart) and are SHOWN the TRUTH of His Word via Him, placed on your heart, not man’s interpretation of what God places on your heart. (I’ll touch more on the balance later in the week)

Acts 2: 17 And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God,I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams:

From Pastor Ron of the Titus Institute: “We see that man forfeited at the fall, direct communication with God on a personal basis. He then only received direct revelation through intermediaries. God communicated infrequently and only as He deemed necessary to fulfill His redemptive plan.

When we get to heaven we will have direct communication with God again. That is part of the blessing of redemption.

2 Cor.5:8 "absent from the body present with the Lord."
1 Cor.13:12 "For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then I shall know even as also I am known."
Praise the Lord!

Then how does God communicate to His people today?

Through His Word, the Scriptures.”

I understand the ‘personal’ relationship between God and Moses, Jacob, Abraham and Noah and the others. I understand the relationship of the trinity God (OT), Son (NT) and the Holy Spirit (NT), yes, via the scriptures, and with that knowledge I balance my servitude to the Lord and have a whole and entirely DIFFERENT relationship with God than say the intellectual Christian. < (the man who only seeks knowledge of God)

I have a very personal relationship of actual communication on which to rely. Just because mine appears different than theirs, it is essentially no different at all.

Thanks my friend, for stirring my mind and giving me more to ponder. And thank you God, for placing a very meaningful sermon on Pastor Tim’s heart.

More to come later this week…
 
Isa. 43:10 Ye are my witnesses, saith the LORD, and my servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me.


Sunday, May 25, 2014

Poetry Sunday ~ All Good Men


All Good Men
©Adam Zipp

The gunpowder and smoke,
the sounds of a roaring hell,
that is where the glory is shed,
along with the blood stained rivers,
the sick lay wounded in their beds.


Turn away from the pain,
let the night sky fall down like rain,
it is said that good men die young,
but good men stand up to be strong.


Good men fight,
They play the songs of the war bands,
they guide us all with an unseen light,
and always take our hands.


Liberty lives within strong men,
even when evil lashes out like a roaring fire,
the darkness will seep out from the Lion’s Den,
If good men do not aspire.


They never fought alone,
One good man can win a battle,
but when grouped with many men,
together a war can be won.


The men who fought,
they are strong and wise,
they have been through the pits of hell,
always risking their lives.


In the cold months ahead,
in the long warmth of the dead,
may we give thanks to those living and gone,
for everything they have done,
let us thank a vet.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Quotation Saturday ~ Memorial Day

The flag at Fort McHenry, Baltimore Maryland, war of 1812

Luke 4: 18 The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,

In honor of Memorial Day, once known as Decoration Day when the graves of those who fought in the Civil War was decorated in remembrance of their service to our country.
Last night we watched the movie Patriot and you really get the feel of the bloodshed of the early 1776 war, as I imagine all wars. So in honor, memory, and respect for ALL who have died fighting, I give you my Quotation Saturday.

Honor, Courage, Patriotism, Hero

“They hover as a cloud of witnesses above this nation.”
~ Henry Ward Beecher

“A hero is someone who has given his/her life to something bigger than oneself.”
~ Joseph Campbell

“Courage. Kindness. Friendship. Character. These are the qualities that define us as human beings, and propel us, on occasion, to greatness.”
~ R.J. Palacio

“For love of country they accepted death, and thus resolved all doubts, and made immortal their patriotism and their virtue.”
~ James A. Garfield

“We come not to mourn our dead soldiers, but to praise them.”
~Francis A. Walker

“And they for who their country die shall fill an honored grave, for glory lights the soldiers tomb, and beauty weeps the brave.”
~ Joseph Rodman Drake

“The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is its natural manure.”
~ Thomas Jefferson

“Courage is contagious. When a brave man takes a stand, the spines of others are stiffened.”
~ Billy Graham

“It doesn’t take a hero to order men into battle. It takes a hero to be one of those men who goes into battle.”
~ Norman Schwarzkopf

“They are dead; but they live in each patriots breast, and their names are engraven on honor’s bright crest.”
~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

“Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and success of liberty.”
~ John F. Kennedy

“And I’m proud to be an American, where at least I know I’m free. And I won’t forget the men who died, who gave that right to me.”
~ Lee Greenwood



Friday, May 23, 2014

I Walk with Him

Luke 18: 25 For it is easier for a camel to go through a needle's eye, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.

I see a confused nation. They’re walking around dissecting the bible as if it was written to be dissected. They believe in every wind of doctrine and follow false teachers in a parade of arms waving them on.

Some might say I walk around in a blind ambition but let me tell you, I am not blind to what the Lord is showing me. Maybe He tells you to dig and dig to find the truth, dissect book by book to find the true meaning of the Word. Maybe He is the one leading you into  false doctrine? I doubt it.

People are a curious lot. They need answers to all their questions and they will shovel anything that someone is out there ready to cover them with. They will call it deciphering Bible prophecy and to my mind, they’re trying to know God’s mind and that is, to me, impossible and not able to be dissected.

I think what people are trying to do is put a Religion into a box, wrap it up and look at the beautiful present they have before them. I was always taught to think outside the box and not to conform to what others want me to think and believe, thus the very reason I consider myself a Spiritual Christian.

There is a verse in the bible that has always stuck with me:

Matt. 18:3 And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.

While I don’t feel in any way that this is a literal statement meaning we should all walk around with pacifiers in our mouth spewing goo-goo ga-ga, I do feel it is meant for us to become of the utmost innocence that only a child knows.

When a newborn babe is wrapped in your arms, you are touching innocence from the realm of God in the purest sense of all creation. Did you ever wonder what was going through their minds as they looked around at their new surroundings? I always thought they were wondering how to get back to the God realm and as they grew and grew they found that there is only One way to get back there and throughout life in all their journeying they were being led back TO Him.

I never felt in any way that God wanted me to pick His words to pieces, dissect book by book looking for meaning, I always felt God taking me on a journey based on faith. The newborn has faith like no other. He is striving to be led by his Creator. He doesn’t need to understand the why’s of the things God wrote, or the how’s of how he did it, or the when’s as in the precise time God created the world; all that a newborn knows is trust and faith.

To become as little children always meant to me, to take on the innocence and purity of faith and all that means. If you cannot see with your own eyes that bible prophecy is coming to fruition and you need some stranger to dissect and point it all out in black and white, you’re throwing mud in the face of faith. You’re slaughtering all that God intended you to be, a faith-filled servant.

“Religion is the belief in someone else’s experience, Spirituality is having your own experience.” ~ author unknown

If you are going to fall into the snare of religion, you are only following others and what they learned on THEIR journey. To be a spiritually vibrant person of Christ, you will have your very own journey/experience led by God, it is YOUR story to relay to people, not regurgitated words of someone else.

We live in a world where ministers are telling us, “We sin, we go to hell”, “You are saved by the blood of Christ, you’re going to heaven”, “Sin all you want, you’re saved, you’ll go to heaven.” By the way they make it sound, we’re all destined for heaven. I tend to think God had it right when He said, “Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.” Point blank, no explanation necessary.

When I think of Jacob, Peter, David, Noah and the other sinners God used for his message to be delivered, what they all had in common in the end, they had FAITH in God and ALL His works and needed no clarification. (google and wikipedia wasn’t on hand) so they HAD to become like little children tasting the truth on their tongues as newborn babes in purity and innocence.

I Walk with Him.

Rom. 1: 17 For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Poetry Sunday ~ My Graduate


Ex. 40: 36And when the cloud was taken up from over the tabernacle, the children of Israel went onward in all their journeys:

My Graduate
2014

Out of my womb, placed in my arms
Not yet touched by worldly charms.
I counted ten fingers then ten toes
Traced your lips, then tapped your nose.

I saw in you complete perfection
I cradled you with motherly affection.
I watched you as you began to walk
Loved when you babbled thinking it talk.

I tended your journey as you strode
Lending you strength with every load.
I gave you love and watched you grow
I did all I could, just so you know.

Today is the day I hold pride in my hand
You get your diploma and there you’ll stand.
A flip of the tassel, to the future you’ll stroll
Taking on life and your new manly roll.

Go with God always letting Him guide
Forever I’m here for you to confide.
My work in you now seems complete
March to life’s drum, your very own beat!

Congratulations Adam on a job well done!

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Graduation

Prov. 8:10 Receive my instruction, and not silver; and knowledge rather than choice gold.

Well this is it, two more days and my son graduates from high school. I remember five years ago when we moved to Nebraska and Steven said we should put him in school. I was so not up for putting him in school.

You see, I home-schooled Adam. I didn’t feel society had anything to offer him and putting him in school would only taint him. Boy was I wrong. When we mentioned sending him to school he got all excited. As I often do when I’m faced with a task or something, I pray. And pray I did. Adam and Steven were already on board with the whole school thing and now I needed some guidance.

Adam was seven when we moved to Texas and now at thirteen we were moving to Nebraska. I was shaping him and forming him for the world and now I had to let him go into the world and see how he’d respond. Would society accept him? Would they taunt and tease him? Would they take away from him all the work I did?

His first year of school was ninth grade and they saw that he was different; he was a ‘home schooled homeboy’. He had a lot of city upbringing in him and he was among the country folk who have a whole different way of living. Wouldn’t ya know it, it was the outcasts that accepted him first.

His first year was rough with all of the bully’s eyes on him. He was different, he stood out, he had different beliefs than they had. Sure this was a God loving place but you see, when kids are normally taught God and thrown into society at six, it is society who shapes and molds them. God shaped and molded Adam so he was different in that aspect. It was obvious that society had not shaped him.

I clashed with the rules of the system big time. When Adam got pushed I told him to push back but the system was different. When someone walked up and punched you in the face, you were told to go to the office and NOT hit back! I was raised in the city and if someone hit me, we hit back or get a worse beating the next time if we ‘tattled’. When I see the bully NOT get punished because, “we just want to get him out of the school.” But Adam got punished for hitting back? Yeah, something is wrong with the system!

And we wonder why these kids are getting bullied and going back to the school and killing many? I don’t wonder at all. I know they are angry at a system that sees these kids as their property, not individual human beings! When a school has a dress code and no one abides, there is no punishment for non-adherence. The girls are allowed to wear up the butt tight shorts, but bullies are allowed a free pass? Something is seriously wrong with the system.

By eleventh grade it was a little better, except now Adam had his own mind formed and was learning rights; the rights of the people. He’s not a stupid kid, he could see where the kids rights were stamped on at many levels and this angered him, so much so he wanted his future to be as an activist.

By this time he was seventeen and I felt he was old enough for violent video games. I had never allowed them but now at seventeen, he was obviously his own person able to make his own decisions on what he wanted. Video games didn’t shape him but they allowed him to get out some pent up anger.

Did I force him to get all A’s, no. Did I force him to become like everyone else and aim for college, no. Is this a mistake I made? I don’t feel it is. He is his own person and knows what he wants. He don’t want college and while everyone is telling him it is wrong not to go to college, he knows his rights and he knows that college would just force him into doing things he DON’T want to do.

Now it is graduation year. He is eighteen and knows how to be a human being in society. Sure it is going to be hard, who in this world has it easy? Are any of you in the career that your college choice has you doing? Did you go to college and now work at McDonald’s, farming, the job of your choice? So what was your point in college again? I know, I know, many chose astrophysicists, a teacher, a doctor and that is your line of work, but again, it was YOUR choice right? Or did mom and dad make you excel and you went to college and now are NOT working in your chosen field?

Life is hard. I wasn’t given a handbook saying this is the right and wrong way; I had to wing it just like millions of others. Was all my choices right? By no means. Are they wrong? Not at all. But God gave us the freedom of choice and living in a supposed free world where our rights are infringed upon daily, Adam has a choice and he CHOOSES not to go to college. Is it a mistake? I don’t know. But if it is, it is HIS mistake to make not mine.

I do know that sending him to school was the best choice I could make for him as a child and as graduation day approaches I can SEE the choice I made living in him. He wrote me a Mother’s Day card last week. He told me how he loved me and thanked me for allowing him choices; to choose God, to choose his future and to be able to choose anything he wants in life.

To me… that is what parenting is. To realize that the little human being that has been entrusted to you be allowed the freedom of choice. By allowing society to raise and shape them, graduation day will be the results of that product. Sometimes there will be good results and sometimes not so good results but as I see it, my choice has rewarded me with good results.

I thank God every day that He brought us to Nebraska. Adam was formed by God, shaped by poverty and molded by the land and his surroundings. When Adam receives his diploma, I will see God finishing up what He brought us here to do. My baby is no longer mine to do with what I want, he is now a product of God’s and my best advice to him will be, ‘Go with God.’ I don’t often hold pride in my hand, but on this day I will stand proud of the young man that Adam has become. After all, he is Adam Omega, my first and my last. 

Joel 3:14 Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision: for the day of the LORD is near in the valley of decision.
 
 

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Poetry Sunday ~ A Mother's Love


Pss. 131: 2 Surely I have behaved and quieted myself, as a child that is weaned of his mother: my soul is even as a weaned child.

A Mother’s Love

A mother’s love can’t be bought
It’s given without condition
Loving you more than enough
From her own admission.

I find in life friends come and go
But a mother’s love keeps growing
She lifts you up when you fall down
Her endless love keeps showing.

Her heartstrings always tied around
The baby that once was you
She never sees you growing old
Only sees the child she knew.

A mother’s love cannot be bought
She’s forever your lifelong friend.
I admire her more than she knows
Her endurance I commend!

Happy Mother’s Day to all the mothers out there. Prayers of comfort for all whose mothers have passed on.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Quotation Saturday ~ Happy Mother's Day


Pss. 101:2 I will behave myself wisely in a perfect way. O when wilt thou come unto me? I will walk within my house with a perfect heart.

MOTHERS

I cannot forget my mother. She is my bridge. When I needed to get across, she steadied herself long enough for me to run across safely.
Renita Weems

There is more power in a mother’s hand than in a king’s scepter.
~ Billy Sunday

Through the blur, I wondered if I was alone or if other parents felt the same way I did - that everything involving our children was painful in some way. The emotions, whether they were joy, sorrow, love or pride, were so deep and sharp that in the end they left you raw, exposed and yes, in pain. The human heart was not designed to beat outside the human body and yet, each child represented just that - a parent's heart bared, beating forever outside its chest.”
~ Debra Ginsberg

“Womanhood is a wonderful thing. In womankind we find the mothers of the race.There is no man so great, nor none sunk so low, but once he lay a helpless, innocent babe in a woman's arms and was dependent on her love and care for his existence. It is woman who rocks the cradle of the world and holds the first affections of mankind. She possesses a power beyond that of a king on his throne.
...Womanhood stands for all that is pure and clean and noble. She who does not make the world better for having lived in it has failed to be all that a woman should be.”
~ Mabel Hale

“Be a Mother who is committed to loving her children into standing on higher ground than the environment surrounding them. Mothers are endowed with a love that is unlike any other love on the face of the earth.”
~ Marjorie Pay Hinckley

FAMILY

We do not develop habits of genuine love automatically. We learn by watching effective role models – most specifically by observing how our parents express love for each other day in and day out.  
~ Josh McDowell

You want to mess up the minds of your children? Here’s how – guaranteed! Rear them in a legalistic, tight context of external religion, where performance is more important than reality. Fake your faith. Sneak around and pretend your spirituality. Train your children to do the same. Embrace a long list of do’s and don’ts publicly but hypocritically practice them privately… yet never own up to the fact that its hypocrisy. Act one way but live another. And you can count on it – emotional and spiritual damage will occur.
Chuck Swindoll

It is the office of the parent to train the child to independence. As the schoolmaster’s aim ought to be to train his pupils to a stage where they are able to face the work of life without any more help from him, so parents have to recognize that there is a point at which their commands must cease and their children be allowed to choose and act for themselves.
~ James Stalker

“You can kiss your family and friends good-bye and put miles between you, but at the same time you carry them with you in your heart, your mind, your stomach, because you do not just live in a world but a world lives in you.”
~ Frederick Buechner

HOPE

He that lives in hope danceth without music.
George Herbert

I choose joy… I will invite my God to be the God of circumstance. I will refuse the temptation to be cynical… the tool of the lazy thinker. I will refuse to see people as anything less than human beings, created by God. I will refuse to see any problem as anything less than an opportunity to see God.
~ Max Lucado

Many things are possible for the person who has hope. Even more is possible for the person who has faith. And still more is possible for the person who knows how to love. But everything is possible for the person who practices all three virtues.
Brother Lawrence

If you’ll quit moaning and crying, I’ll use the things to make you into someone I can use in the lives of others to show them that no matter where they’ve been, no matter how deep the hole, no matter how painful the trial, there’s hope. There is victory.
~ Kay Arthur

Sunday, May 04, 2014

Poetry Sunday ~ A Vital Season

Pss. 92:13 Those that be planted in the house of the LORD shall flourish in the courts of our God.

A Vital Season

The chirping of the birds awake
The chimes ring out in tune.
The morn has come and I’m alive
Praise God my morning croon.

The trees are showing color
Leaves dance with vitality
Wind is brisk the lulling sound
Sings loudly out to me.

Winter sleeps, as grass turns green
The season bursts with vigor
I sit in awe of God’s own hand
That touches the seedling trigger.

A vibrant season stands before us
Now’s our chance to flourish.
Speak to the wind, sing out God
Allow the journey to nourish.

Eph. 5: 29 For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church:

Saturday, May 03, 2014

Quotation Saturday


GOSPEL

“By the light of nature we see God as a God above us, by the light of the law we see Him as a God against us, but by the light of the gospel we see Him as Emmanuel, God with us.” 
~ Matthew Henry
 
“I don’t preach a social gospel; I preach the Gospel, period. The gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ is concerned for the whole person. When people were hungry, Jesus didn’t say, “Now is that political or social?” He said, “I feed you.” Because the good news to a hungry person is bread.” 
~Desmond Tutu

“The Church cannot save, it cannot heal, it cannot baptize with the Holy Spirit, it cannot lead us into all truth. Only the Lord can do these things. When our emphasis becomes the Church more than the Lord, we have been reduced to worshipping the creation instead of the blessed Creator, and our faith has been reduced to a form of godliness which denies the very power of the gospel. We are not changed by beholding the Church; we are changed as we behold the Lord (II Corinthians 3:18).” 
~Rick Joyner
 
“The gospel is for the salvation of the world, and we are sometimes in danger of locking ourselves inside the rescue-shop and plundering the stock of blessings for the sole purpose of spiritual self-gratification, while millions stream empty- handed past the closed doors into eternal darkness, hearing the joyful sounds and seeing the advertisements, but never being given a chance to test the goods.”
Graham Kendrick
 

PEACE

Resign every forbidden joy; restrain every wish that is not referred to God’s will; banish all eager desires, all anxiety; desire only the will of God; seek him alone and supremely, and you will find peace. 
~ Francois Fenelon
 
In the midst of the awesomeness, a touch comes, and you know it is the right hand of Jesus Christ. You know it is not the hand of restraint, correction, nor chastisement, but the right hand of the Everlasting Father. Whenever His hand is laid upon you, it gives inexpressible peace and comfort, and the sense that “underneath are the everlasting arms,” (Deuteronomy 33:27) full of support, provision, comfort and strength. 
~ Oswald Chambers

If we only desire a small piece of God in our lives, we will similarly have only that same measure of His peace in them. 
~ Brian G. Jett

God cannot give us a happiness and peace apart from Himself, because it is not there. There is no such thing.
C.S. Lewis

FORGIVENESS

Forgiveness is the key which unlocks the door of resentment and the handcuffs of hatred. It breaks the chains of bitterness and the shackles of selfishness.
~ Forgiveness is the key which unlocks the door of resentment and the handcuffs of hatred. It breaks the chains of bitterness and the shackles of selfishness.
Corrie Ten Boom

To excuse what can really produce good excuses is not Christian charity; it is only fairness. To be a Christian means to forgive the inexcusable, because God has forgiven the inexcusable in you. This is hard. It is perhaps not so hard to forgive a single injury. But to forgive the incessant provocations of daily life – to keep on forgiving the bossy mother-in-law, the bullying husband, the nagging wife, the selfish daughter, the deceitful son – how can we do it? Only, I think, by remembering where we stand, by meaning our words when we say in our prayers each night, “Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.” We are offered forgiveness on no other terms. To refuse it means to refuse God’s mercy for ourselves. There is no hint of exceptions and God means what He says.
~ C. S. Lewis
 
The most miserable prison in the world is the prison we make for ourselves when we refuse to show mercy. Our thoughts become shackled, our emotions are chained, the will is almost paralyzed. But when we show mercy, all of these bonds are broken, and we enter into a joyful liberty that frees us to share God’s love with others.
Warren W. Wiersbe
 
None of us are there yet, but if we each have this attitude, we will put to death our reactions to criticisms and offenses. And though we may still stumble, we will learn that carrying the cross is not merely dying to self; it is embracing the love of Christ that forgives the very ones who have crucified us, that the battle that comes against us has actually driven us into the embrace of God.
~ Francis Frangipane
 

Sunshine Award

Sunshine award