Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Divine Appointments

Have you seen the movie, End of the Spear; or, the documentary, Beyond the Gates of Splendor; or read the book about Jim Elliot, the missionary? If you haven't, I totally recommend all of them. J Long (and amazing) story short, he and the four missionary men he was with were murdered by the indigenous tribe they were witnessing to. As tragic as that day was, it was a divine appointment set by God for His glory.
Even longer story short, after their deaths, Elisabeth Elliot and her daughter Valerie continued working with the indians. Forgiveness allowed them to have amazing success with the once murderous tribe. Jim Elliot's life was lived honorably and he was known to have looked for God in everything he did. Jim Elliot once said, "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose." He gave his all in faith to the indians. There were other missionaries that chose to give up their lives so the indians could have life in Christ. This reminds me of what Jesus said in Matthew 10 & 16 and in Luke 17; if you lose your life you find it but if you save your life you'll lose it.
Jim Elliot's son eventually forgave the man that killed his father and he even calls him Grandfather now, they call themselves family. This tribe almost murdered themselves into extinction but now they thrive and God's word guides them.
I told you this because that is the kind of believer (and forgiver) I want to be which is why I have been praying that God will do whatever it takes to bring our tribe to Christ.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Salt and Light

Had to share....

Salt and Light  

Scripture reading: Matthew 5:13-16 (Mark 9:50, Luke 14:34 f.)

13 "You are the salt of the earth; but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trodden under foot by men. 14 "You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hid. 15 Nor do men light a lamp and put it under a bushel, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. 16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.

Meditation: Jesus used ordinary images, such as salt and light, to convey extraordinary truths. What does salt and light have to teach us about God and his reign on earth? Salt was a valuable commodity in the ancient world. People traded with it, like we trade with gold and stock. Salt also served a very useful purpose in hot climates before the invention of electricity and refrigeration. Salt not only gave food flavor, it also preserved meat from spoiling. Salt was used as a symbol of fellowship and the common meal.  The near-Eastern expression to betray the salt meant to betray one's Master or some person who was owed loyalty and devotion.  Leonardo da Vinci in his painting of the Last Supper depicts Judas in the act of tipping over the salt shaker, thus symbolically identifying himself as the betrayer of his Master.  Jesus used the image of salt to describe how his disciples are to live in the world. As salt purifies, preserves, and penetrates, so the disciple must be as salt in the world of human society to purify, preserve, and penetrate that society for the kingdom of God and of his righteousness and peace. Why did Jesus speak of discarded salt as being useless?  Salt was often put in ovens to intensify the heat.  When the salt was burned off and no longer useful it was thrown out on the road or on the roof top where it would easily get trodden upon. Perhaps Jesus wanted to contrast useful salt used for giving flavor and for preserving food with salt which was burned and no longer of much benefit, to encourage his disciples to be faithful witnesses and to not neglect the opportunity to influence others for the kingdom of God through the witness of their lives and their testimony to the power of the kingdom of God.  Jesus also used the image of light and a lamp to further his illustration. Lamps in the ancient world served a vital function, much like they do today. They enable people to see and work in the dark and to avoid stumbling. The Jews also understood "light" as an expression of the inner beauty, truth, and goodness of God. In his light we see light ( Psalm 36:9). His word is a lamp that guides our steps (Psalm 119:105). God's grace not only illumines the darkness in our lives, but it also fills us with spiritual light, joy, and peace. Jesus used the image of a lamp to describe how his disciples are to live in the light of his truth and love. Just as natural light illumines the darkness and enables one to see visually, so the light of Christ shines in the hearts of believers and enables us to see the heavenly reality of God's kingdom. In fact, our mission is to be light-bearers of Christ so that others may see the truth of the gospel and be freed from the blindness of sin and deception. Jesus remarks that nothing can remain hidden or secret. We can try to hide things from others, from ourselves, and from God. How tempting to shut our eyes from the consequences of our sinful ways and bad habits, even when we know what those consequences are. And how tempting to hide them form others and even from God. But, nonetheless, everything is known to God who sees all. There is great freedom and joy for those who live in God's light and who seek this truth. Those who listen to God and heed his voice will receive more from him. Do you know the joy and freedom of living in God's light?

"Lord, you guide me by the light of your saving truth. Fill my heart and mind with your light and truth and free me from the blindness of sin and deception that I may see your ways clearly and understand your will for my life. May I radiate your light and truth to others in word and deed".

Friday, January 13, 2012

RE: God intervienes football with a message

God is great! Thank you for sending this, Dan! I am passing it on!!
(Read below pic)

Tebow phenomenon gets eerie Friday, January 13, 2012

By Adam Schefter

There's no need to embellish in this story. Facts speak for themselves.
On Jan. 8, 2009, in the BCS Championship Game, then Florida quarterback Tim Tebow wore eye black with the inscription John 3:16, a reference to the Bible passage that says, "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life."
NFL Insider Adam Schefter
Check out Schefter's Insider blog for more NFL coverage and analysis.
On Jan. 8, 2012, three years to the date that he caused millions of football fans to Google the meaning of John 3:16, Tebow played his first playoff game against the Pittsburgh Steelers. And … Tebow threw for 316 yards.
Tebow averaged 31.6 yards per completion, the highest single-game postseason completion average in NFL history.
Ben Roethlisberger's second-quarter interception, which led to a Matt Prater field goal and a 17-6 Broncos lead, came on a third-and-16.
The Steelers finished the game with a time of possession of 31:06.
And at the time Tebow threw the game-winning 80-yard touchdown pass to Demaryius Thomas -- the NFL's longest postseason pass in overtime history -- CBS' final quarter-hour overnight ratings were, yes, a 31.6.
Now some people believe in UFOs, some don't. Some believe in the afterlife, some don't. Some believe in coincidences, some don't. And some people believe in the power and talents of Tebow, some don't. But there can be no denying that the events from Denver's wild-card win over Pittsburgh are downright eerie.
When this string of 3:16 facts was relayed to one NFL executive this week, he paused and said: "Is that right? I'm converting."
That's how many people feel now. Tebow is winning more converts with each win. What Denver did in beating Pittsburgh behind Tebow was hard to imagine, but maybe it should not have been. The Broncos were the sixth team in NFL history to reach the postseason with a point differential of minus-50 or worse in the regular season -- and all six of those teams won their first playoff game.
But -- and here's why Broncos fans should worry -- each of the previous five lost its second playoff game. Denver is trying to buck that trend Saturday night in New England against Tom Brady and the Patriots. If anyone is capable of doing it, it would seem to be Tebow, who has made history that no other player has. But this will be the biggest challenge of Tebow's career.
People can argue about whether Tebow is a bona fide quarterback, whether these 3:16 numbers are accidental, but one fact is beyond argument.
With Tebow as their starting quarterback this season, the Broncos are 8-4, including a wild-card win over the defending AFC champions. There's no arguing over who will be Denver's starting quarterback entering the 2012 season.

Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.  Colossians 3:17

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

God is Pushy

I've been trying to deal with being considered pushy. I was described as an un-fun, over-worried Christian. I looked up the definition of pushy. It means to be offensively assertive or forceful, aggressively or ruthlessly ambitious. That shouldn't describe a Christian, or should it? I think it describes God, though. When I look at His word, it over and over give examples of people He punished because they rebelled (rejected what God says to do, disobeyed). He told Saul that his rebellion was like the sin of witchcraft and that his arrogance was like the evil of worshiping idols. He even goes as far to say that because Saul reject Him, He rejected Saul (1 Samuel 15:23). We know what happened to Saul, God destroyed him, utterly. Now, is God being Christ-like when He gets pushy like that? 

It isn't easy to be a Christian. Never has been. Even Jesus said that when we are hated to remember that He was hated first. How can someone hate such a sweet guy, though? Okay, okay. So he whipped a few people in the market place, and called some respected Pharisees and Sadducees some mean names but hey, He just called it like He saw it. And, yah, the parables He told were picture stories of the sins they committed against each other. People didn't want to hear about their sins. Come on, who wants to be wrong when they are just trying to have a good and fun life?

Is God so pushy. (wink, wink)

Monday, January 9, 2012

Are we doing what Jesus would do?

Why are there double standards in the Christian community? I'm not talking about the secular government. I am talking about the souls of God's family.

Why is it okay to say don't do drugs, don't steal, don't lie but it's not okay to say, don't have sex with people you aren't married to? Are we raising our children to respect the holiness of marriage? Not if we are accepting of adultery.

Why is it okay to say don't murder but not okay to say don't kill a baby? I know Christians who excuse some abortions and even use birth control/hormone therapy which is the same as an abortion because one of the 4 ways it prevents pregnancy isn't prevention at all but instead it ensures a woman has her period so that in the event she does get pregnant the baby is still small enough to be aborted. Did you know that? Now that you do, tell everyone. Christians must educated themselves because the ruler of this world is Satan (John 12:31, 14:30) and he is a liar and he deceives (John 8:44).

I've been thinking more about God's family vs. our family; can we be both? I believe we can. This link shows a gal talking about 3 generations in her family that are out in the world to preach the Word. It's only about 60 seconds long but it impacted me to believe in the hope that our family can be 3 generations that totally believe in God's Word and preaches it fearlessly!!

I do know who Jesus calls His family; those who do God's will.

What is God's will? That none should perish. Who are we keeping from perishing? Can we name one person that we've preached the Good News to and baptized?? Are we the light of the world or are we just of the world?

The Bible tells us what Jesus did and what He said to do, so I know He would expect us to speak against divorce and for waiting until marriage and the joy living God's ways brings to a life. I know He would expect us to give thanks before we eat, I know He would expect us to call sin a sin and to not accept it but to expose it (Ephesians 5:11). In love, He wants us to teach our family to pray and to talk about His ways (Deuteronomy 6:7; 11:19) every day and all day. So can we honestly go to our family get together(s) and be silent but still claim to be part of God's family? Even when Jesus whipped people and kicked over the money tables and set free all the animals in the most holy place, the temple, He did it in love. The Bible tells us that it is God's will that no one perish. What will make someone perish? Not accepting Jesus as their savior.

What would Jesus say about our family? If He looked us in the eye and gave us a command, what would He tell us to say to them? Would He say, "Just smile and if someone asks you about me, tell them I love them, then give 'em a piece of fried chicken and a hug."

No, I do not think Jesus would say that.

Because of God's Word, we know what Jesus did and we know what He would do, so we have to ask ourselves, are we doing what Jesus would do? When we are with our family, both Christian and non, we have to preach so they can find out what God says, and so we always know who we are in Christ.

I know God's Word is offensive to many in our family, they don't want to hear it but it is good for them. I do not want Jesus saying to me, "You are not part of my family because you produced no fruit or the fruit you produced was bad fruit, I never knew you. Get out of my face sinner!" (Matthew 7:20-23)

Are you of the world or of Christ's family?

Monday, January 2, 2012

Preparing to Suffer

Preparing to Suffer

Great post for us preppers that are trying to avoid suffering by preparing not to starve or die of thirst. How is your spirit? Are you prepared to suffer for the cause of Christ? I know you are. God bless you!