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Safety

Safety,  Were do you feel safest?  Who do you put your trust in your Safety?   When you stop and really think about these two questions  they are so true for some people to ponder.    

Holyblues

Holyblues

 

Blue Ridge Hope

. . . thinking about the advent of Autumn in the Blue Ridge Mountains of the U.S., and the hope that believers everywhere have in the imminent return of our Lord Jesus:   We have yet to arrive at the brittle temps. From the Cumberland to Stone Mountain, now, the good air can't be spent.   In the mons of West Virginia the burden of being mom will be lessened on the mountains as the children-leaves are dropped.   Turn colors, wait for the relief, the signs are a'running to our eyes before the freeze.   We can know the season before the Blue Ridge sleeps, and we know the Groom is coming, cause the Bride has rouge on cheeks.

Ragamuffin_John

Ragamuffin_John

 

Change Can Come

Change can come in your life providing you desire it  "If You Wanna change your life,Change the direction of your lips." To Me this is so true because I have seen this happen over and over in my life. In Both Directions Positive and Negitive.     

Holyblues

Holyblues

What Do You See?

Hi! Thanks for stopping by and welcome!   Another day has dawned,...another chance to make a difference!   So,...notice the pix,...what do you see?   "Ah,...it's a tree," you say, or let's get specific, "An evergreen with artificial lights on the branches. Gee, (yes, we all hear the sarcasm), could it possibly be a Christmas tree?"   Yes, and no.   Technical this is not really a tree,...it's made of metal, fire-proof nylon, polymer-who-knows-what, and other do-dads, but it represents an evergreen tree. Just throw a little belief into it.   Actually this artificial Christmas tree has been up at our local hardware store for quite some time, and I've not especially noticed it, except the first time we walked in the door and saw the display and that was only to sigh, "Labor Day has jussssst barely passed,...and (groan) Christmas stuff is already up!" Talk about retail taking the cheer out of a holiday season, but that's for another post!   Today we're talking about perspective. Or rather the topic is 'blessings.' Noticed any in your life, lately?   Please understand, I realize if you are walking through a difficult season of life this can be a challenging question,...and even seem cruel.   "BLESSINGS? YOU HAVE NO IDEA WHAT I AM GOING THROUGH! NONE!"   I know, I don't that insight, but the LORD does.   "Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lordyour God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” - Deuteronomy 31:6   Never leave nor forsake, means NEVER, EVER, EVER,...like in never!   Hello, even before the world began,...the Spirit of God was there,...hovering over the waters.   "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters." - Genesis 1:1-2   What was in the waters that was so precious?   YOU,...were in the waters,...and me,...and every other elemental element that makes up the universe.   Before time began,...there was God,...guarding us. So it's not like the LORD is going to give up on us now in the 21st century.   Even now blessing abound in our lives,...and we are so unaware. Hello, the big blessings are obvious, but the small, every day blessings are beyond measure. Have you had a paper-cut lately, or scrape your knee(I've got a very active eight year old, so I know all about scraped knees). Aside from a bandaid, and little antibiotic ointment (other blessings of our modern age) what did YOU have to do to get that cut to heal?   Oh, yeah,...it did kinda heal on it's own,...didn't it!   Have you studied that water-cycle lately or at least considered it? Home schooling here, and we have a water filled plastic bag taped to our storm door so we can witness the miracle of the water cycle in miniature.   The blessing of rain,...so automatic,...down it falls without our input on a dry and thirsty land.   Of course, sometimes there is too much rain, and too much wind, like the recent hurricanes. And I don't have the answers for the whys and wherefores of such natural disasters, but I know that blessings are being provided to the survivors: water, supplies, help,...our church has work crews in both hurricane locations, nor were we the only body of Christ moved to serve those in need. "Never will I leave nor forsake you!"    Back to the Christmas tree,...an artificial tree at that. Why would a holiday sales display prod my heart to count my blessings? Well, it's all about perspective. What I see, what I don't see, what I can see,...if I have the right equipment.   Ta-dah!   (Sorry no pix,...just imagine a picture of 3D glasses, which wouldn't load to this website, or if you are super curious you can see the pix on my website - address is found in my profile)   These are 3-D glasses, holiday themed. My little guy discovered them. Coolest things ever. Put them on and every small point of light turns into a snowman, or a snowflake, or a pile of gifts. Looking at big overhead lights don't work, nor do the larger Christmas tree lights,...the 'magic' only works with the tiny lights.   Funny thing is that I tried to take a picture of special effect,...and nothing happened. Duh, it's an optical illusion that needs both eyes to work, which means no one could look for you. One has to look for themselves.   The blessings application came to me when I looked at the Christmas tree. Green tree with lights, yawn, but then I put on the glasses, and it turned into a green tree surrounded with teeny little snowmen,...so cute.   The glasses made all the difference,...like faith.   Often we don't see the blessings in our lives,...until we look. The ugly stuff in our lives is easy to see,...and it can really color our outlook. "Whoever seeks good finds favor, but evil comes to one who searches for it." - Proverbs 11:27   Life's messy,...and no where in the Bible are we promised an 'easy' life, but no matter what challenges we face,...we are promised the LORD will never leave nor forsake us.  "Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” - Deuteronomy 31:6     In all fairness (and humbleness)I have to point out, at first, I didn't see the potential of those 3D glasses. How kitschy can you get? I thought they were over the top hoopla, and didn't even look the first time our little guy played with them. "Hello,...," says, I, "What could 3D glasses add to my life" I did mention humbleness, right, cause I got a swift taste the moment I put on those glasses.   Ah,...how cute,...teeny little snowman, with my little guy giggling at my side. He knew the entire time those glasses were cool, and that we were surrounded by snowmen, or snowflakes, or gifts galore! Yeah,...it was really humbling.   Big blessings like my little guy are easy to see, and thank the LORD daily for, but the smaller blessings that surround me,...and are there,...always there,...and yet I don't see them unless I have the right perspective of faith.   What a blessing, and how's that for irony,...the LORD can use anything to bring joy into our lives, to teach, to instruct,...to reproof, even a fakey Christmas tree, and cardboard glasses.   "And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work." 2 Corinthians 9:8   With or without 3D glasses may you noticed all the blessings surrounding you today!   God bless and keep you!  

Katherine Johnston

Katherine Johnston

 

What Is Your Batting Average?

We have all faced difficult times in our lives.  To boast of having experienced the victory over those trials each and every time has brought a sobering and often negative reaction from those whose “batting average” is south of the Christian norm.  The potential for victory over negative situations can be realized by reading and understanding the Word.  But that alone will not ensure the victory.  One must act with faith to bring about the cohesiveness of the Word and the Believer.   Many Believers are tripped up by knowledge without action.  They know what the Scripture says, but they fail to act on the Word.   Many go to their weekly fellowships with the hope they will experience progressive truth, but instead they hear the same basic teaching.  Week after week the same message continues to be proclaimed with little variance.   Facing increasing degrees of trials, Believers seem ill prepared to answer the challenges.   Satan continues to throw strikes at the Christian, and when the Believer fails to “swing” with the Word, the devil will strike him out.  Holding the Word will not get the “home run.”  It is only when we use the Word that victory will be achieved.  By failing to act on the Word, our “batting average” will continue to slide.   One area that continues to be the “sleeping giant” in Christian circles is the feeling that no one truly understands, or is even able to identify, the things that are important in their lives.  To them, there is a feeling of isolation, which leads to loneliness and then to depression.   I have seen Christians that feel that no one really cared or understood them.  As a Pastor, I have felt the pain of isolation and even adopted self-pity when the journey of servitude was met with intense resistance.   There are Believers that are experiencing a disconnection from others.  What little interaction they do have is usually in the form of receiving unsolicited advice.  What people need is to be understood and accepted.    At the tomb of Lazarus, Jesus reaffirmed to Martha that if she would believe she would see the glory of God.  Earlier, He had met Martha a few blocks from her house where she and her sister were being “comforted” by professional mourners.  He told Martha that her brother would rise again.  He told her that He was the resurrection and the life, “and that any who believed in Him would never die.”  Martha responded with an open confession. (John 11:23-27)  Later at the cemetery, Martha had a spiritual hiccup and expressed some doubt.  Jesus simply said to her, “Did I not say to you, if you would believe you would see the glory of God?” (John 11:39, 40)    The Bible is full of statements ensuring God’s involvement with His children.  Spend time underlying all the promises that reveal God’s interest in your life.   Memorize as many of them as possible, or at least the addresses, so when Satan sends his “pitches” you will be able to hit a home run!  Every time the arrows of doubt come your way, hear Jesus say, “Did I not say?”  When you experience loneliness, hear Him say, “I am with you always…” (Matt. 28: 20)  Whatever challenges you face in life, always hear Him say, “Did I not say?”  Know His Word.  Believe His Word.  Act on His Word.  

simplyrhetorical

simplyrhetorical

 

Jesus Is

Jesus is wonderful, He has never failed me. I know from the bottom of my heart he will "Never Fail You".                                  

Holyblues

Holyblues

 

From One Middle To Another

Discipleship is not for you.              I know this is a confusing way to start, but I believe this sentence creates a new path for discipleship, especially for the Middles in the church. Please let me explain.             My professor in college once taught something that rattled me. In any church, ten percent of the people sitting in the pews each Sunday will not let themselves be discipled no matter what the pastor does. This breaks my heart, but I have seen its truth. The figure may be off, but the statement is still valid. Each person fending off faith in our churches has personal reasons; but we can name some, can’t we? Church is a social club. Church is a comfort. Church is something to scratch off my spiritual to-do list. Church is expected. Church gets me business. Church is where I have power. Church makes me feel saved.  We’ll call them the Others.             Then, my professor taught that in any church, twenty percent are Type-A go-getters who reach for discipleship no matter what form the pastor gives it. Drop them in a room with a Bible and leave. In thirty minutes, some form of discipleship is happening.  We’ll call them Type-A’s. These people excite me. They want to know what a disciple is, what a disciple does, how a disciple makes more disciples. They are the energy a pastor needs to feel like the work is not in vain. For these people, church is a university, an opportunity to serve, the base of operations; church is where to bring people looking for Jesus.             As a pastor, most of my time is spent with one of these two groups. I don’t set out to let them monopolize my ministry, but they often do. While seventy percent of my congregation finds its own way, I either vainly reach out to the first group or in vanity feed off the second group. I want to reach everyone, so sometimes I focus on the Others to the exclusion of everyone else. When that becomes unbearable, I fall back on the Type-A’s who would get it if I just left them alone. I want to feel successful, so sometimes I focus on the self-starters to the exclusion of everyone else. When that becomes unsatisfying (or worse, too satisfying), I bypass the middle and reach for the Others again.             As I pondered this truth in myself, the professor said the 70% in the middle were the ones he was teaching us to reach. The ones who won’t join either of the first two groups but are wondering why they are asked to attend church each week. They go because they know it’s good for them, but they don’t think they can really be disciples of Jesus. The notion seems too lofty or too difficult or too saintly for someone like them. But they dream of it a little.   The Middles               For years, we’ve diagnosed the disease killing the effectiveness of the Western church today. At some point, the church forgot her mission to go and make disciples. Hundreds of books are published on the subject. Movements started. Lives changed and hearts transformed. People are taking this seriously, and because of it, I believe the church is positioning for revival, not defeat.             Seeing the work done by so many great leaders, I have a different perspective on all the church closings. What we see is pruning, not diminishing. God is consolidating the church to make her more dynamic. He is removing His blessing from congregations more consumed with comfort and less consumed with mission. This is harsh, I know, and it hurts my heart to say it. In many places today, across all denominational lines, churches are refusing to follow great leaders whose only crime is rearranging the furniture in the House of God to appeal to the culture of today.             Jesus tells us in Matthew 6:22 that the eye is the lamp of the body and if the eye is healthy the whole body will be full of light. But if the eye is evil, malevolent, pain-ridden, the whole body will be full of darkness. We can choose our perspective and that choice will lead us to light or to darkness. Jesus asks me to choose the light. So what I see is the beautiful life of the church ready to set fire to the world. Others who have made their religion more Churchianity than Christianity are truly out there—I see them—but I choose to focus on the ones who are getting back to the mission.             When I do, however, I see movements focusing on the twenty percent who want to get it. I read those books and even I am discouraged about my ability to follow. Sell my house and move to the inner city. Create 90% participation in small groups in my church. Leave my ministry and head to Africa. Be fearless, undaunted, faith-filled, risk-loving, radical, crazy. Lead like Jesus. Live like Luke would mention my name in Acts if he were writing today. I am challenged by them but left speechless, aimless. I don’t know how to follow what they are portraying.             I’m part of the middle group. I’m one of the 70%.             I have some Type A in me, but I also have some ADD. I want to be fearless, but my greatest fear is to be exposed as a fraud in my faith. I am an introvert in an extrovert’s world. Sometimes I wonder if I’m an introvert in an extrovert’s religion. I’m administratively challenged and my ambitions ebb and flow. And I’m a pastor!             Years after my professor sparked this realization in me, I was leading a new church and trying to discover how to crack the code for discipling the Middle Group. Not the stars of the church. Just people. I studied and came up with some ideas over the years, but not until recently did all the pieces fit into place. I think the best way to start explaining is with a fence.   WE NEED FENCES              One of my favorite analogies is learning to play in the yard. When we were little, our parents turned us loose in the back yard. They let us do mostly what we wanted so long as we didn’t go outside the fence without permission. If a ball went over, we didn’t have the right to chase it. If a friend came over, we didn’t have the right to jump the fence and go somewhere with them. That boundary kept us safe and honest while letting us explore our imaginations.             In the same way, discipleship needs fences. Here are mine:   1.      The discipleship process must be biblically accurate. I can’t decide what it means to be a disciple. What I teach must be backed up by Scripture or I’ve jumped the fence.   2.      The discipleship process must be aimed at the Middle Group. It’s okay to make a process for the go-getters, but that’s not the focus God has given me. I can’t chase the ball over the fence.   3.      The discipleship process must avoid doctrinal controversies. Since we are talking about how to live out our faith after salvation, much of this is avoided anyway. The controversies that remain are not central to the faith and we can disciple together while agreeing to disagree.   4.      The discipleship process must teach people how to think, not what to think. We don’t need lemmings, we need lifers. I don’t want anyone to follow me. I want them to follow Jesus in the way God shows them.   5.      The discipleship process must be progressive as a plan but flexible as a path. We can provide guidance while allowing individual freedom. Let people play inside the fence without dictating what that play must look like.   By staying true to these guidelines, I keep myself from creating heresy while avoiding doctrinal controversy. I aim people away from me and toward Jesus. I help people realize discipleship is attainable and expected while leaving room for their personalities. In this way, we help God cast the net wide to serve one more, reach one more, teach one more, help one more grow in Christ.
 

Thank You

I just want to thank Everyone who reads what I write and also Thank You so much for the replies.  I might not respond back but that don't mean I don't appreciate them. I do very much appreciate them and you. I Pray, all is well with everyone and continue to come back.  I know God ain't done using me and you.  God Bless You All.     

Holyblues

Holyblues

 

The First and The Last

After reading Revelation 2 . . .

If the First and the Last were dead
there would be no more,
But the First-Last bond is strong,
that Is why He arose.
Two of the Trinity bore witness of the Son, Who, alive, ascended high above Calvary,
for God is One,
And He cannot tear himself apart
from what He is and owns.
And He cannot move himself away
from the ones He loves,
chosen and called and justified
by His Blood.

What am I Sowing?

It's Fall, the harvest season with cooler temps, falling leaves, and harvests to reap. Most definitely a Pumpkin Patch field trip is in our future. Pumpkin Chocolate Chip cookies, by the way, are even more amazing when made with fresh pumpkin,...and yes,...you can actually cook and eat those orange pumpkins you purchase a the grocery store! Bonus: you get pumpkin seeds,...and yes,...you can eat those, too. Just soak in a little salt water, and then carefully roast in the oven,...very delicious!   With homeschool we've been discussing Autumn, and all the seasons: Spring is a time for sowing, Summer is a time for growing, Autumn is a time of harvest, and Winter is a time of rest,...preparing for the next Spring.   Also we just completed a unit on 'seeds.' Our little guy was fascinated to learn that seeds have all their "future' potential within their framework. In fact split a 'bean' seed and you can see the little rootlet,...ready to take off, already pointed in the right direction to grow and produce roots in one direction, a stalk, leaves, blossoms in another, and ultimately the harvest of 'fruit.' Those roots are buried deep,...seeking nutrients, they spread out providing stability to the entire plant, and that plant can only grow upward in measure to the root structure below. Without healthy roots, it's impossible for a plant to thrive, much less produce fruit.   Jesus taught the Parable of the Sower in three of the gospels, Matthew 13: 1-23, Mark 4: 1-20, Luke 8:4-15,...where some of the seeds fell along the path and were eaten by birds, some fell along rocky soil, no where to root, some fell along thorns and were swallowed up, and yet others fell on good soil and produced a harvest,..."a hundred, sixty, or thirty times what was sown." - Matt 13: 8   "What was sown?" - something to ponder.   Even more pertinent, "What am I sowing?"   Galatians 6:7 "...you reap what you sow."   Hello,...that's a big gulp.   "Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously.Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver." - 2 Corinthians 9:6-7   Obviously one would want to harvest 'good' fruit, but then it does reason in light of '...reaping what you sow,'that one should be mindful of what seeds are being sown in their life. "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law."  - Galatians 5:22-23   "Am I sowing: love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control?" - a humbling question to consider, and no doubt the Lord equates us so often with sheep as we so easily get distracted with life.   "Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you." - Philippians 4: 8-9    Practice? Such as being mindful when we slip up. Oops, I could have handled that situation a little more lovingly. Or perhaps extended more kindness, or forbearance to others,...and/or myself. Let's be honest, quite often it is easier to love others than ourselves. But then we're supposed to"...love others as yourself."What a paradox that can be. How loving, patience, gentle, kind,...ect,..are we to ourselves,...and by extension to  others.   The best news here is that the Lord knows we're not perfect,...and yet loves us.   "But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us."Romans 5:8   John 15: 16-17 "You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you.This is my command: Love each other."    "What am I sowing?" Or rather "What should I be sowing?"   Love,...is the only answer. It's the first Fruit of the Spirit mentioned. All the others sprout from its vine. "...so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God."Ephesians 3:17-19    
 

Around The Christian Compass

Over the past fifty plus years that I have been in the ministry, I have witnessed the Church experience every point on the Christian “compass.”  I have seen ultra-conservatives and radical liberals fight over Church doctrine.  I have seen basic beliefs turned into seasonal adjustments.  I have witnessed both Theocracy and democracy within the confines of the Body of Christ.  I have seen the Holy Spirit as well as the human spirit displayed within local churches.  I have seen shepherds appointed by God as well as self-appointed pastors.  I have seen spectacular buildings that exhibited a “shrine,” as well as undefined locations where Jesus is arrayed.  I have witnessed the Bible as God’s Word, as well as seen “supplementary” books given more credence.  I have seen churches with a posture of reverence, as well as an atmosphere similar to friends meeting at a hamburger joint.   Christianity has become a “fad” experience.  Each year local churches try something new or different with the hope they might entice potential prospects into their smorgasbords of spiritual “delights.”  I have witnessed churches filled with forgiveness and unity, as well as unforgiveness and rebellion.  During Passion Week Jesus lamented over Jerusalem with their diversity of opinions.  He wanted to gather the people together, but they rejected Him. (Matthew 23:37)  Days later He looked over Jerusalem and wept, for the people were missing their life changing moment. (Luke 19: 41, 42)  I believe Jesus is still looking down over His flock and seeing the same divisions that He came to unify.      I have had personal highs and lows in my life.  I have been blessed with victories as well as learned from defeats.  From the mountains to the valleys I have never ceased to praise and worship Him.  There were times my light would flicker, but the fire from the Holy Spirit quickly stoked my embers.   I owe everything to the One who gave me everything that pertains to life and Godliness. (II Peter 1:3)  His Truth and righteousness will always be with me no matter the circumstances.    I am seeing displays of familiarity with God that cause me to be uncomfortable.  Sunday morning gatherings seem more like being at a political rally.   As people get ready to honor the One they serve, there are displays of socializing accentuated with beverages in their hands and the sharing of mundane activities of the past week.  When the music starts it usually takes the full song for people to “settle” down and to center on why they are there.   The casual displays toward God are hard for me to understand.  We have attempted to bring God down to man’s level instead of lifting man into His holy presence.   Where is our reverence and awe?    David gave us a snippet of what it is like to gather in His presence.   “Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise.”  Sunday mornings we need to enter our physical domains with thanksgiving.  Thanking Him for who He is and for the blessings and trials of the past week.  Informational chatter needs to be left in the parking lot.  Once we have entered our “sanctuaries,” praise should fill our body, soul and spirit.  If we are not ready to shed our carnal attitude, we need to stay outside until we are ready to truly honor Him! (Psalm 100 1-5)   It is not a question of how we worship, but rather do our actions honor and revere the One we worship! 
 

Stay Hungry

Stay Hungry with the word of God, He will never let you down.  Continue to trust in him,grow in his word and he will show you  amazing things you could never imagine. Praise God.

Holyblues

Holyblues

 

Giving God Thanks

I love God, he is so good to us. I wanna thank him for providing my needs. I love how he always comes through when we least expect it and from sorces that blow your mind away. I know without a doubt if he is doing this for me he is doing it for you.  I wanna thank him for suppling you needs just as much as he is suppling mine.

Holyblues

Holyblues

What Are You Waiting For?

"Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life." - Proverbs 13:12   What are you hoping for in life?   Or a better question would be, "By what measure do you gauge the fulfillment of your hopes and dreams?"   Even as I write early this Monday morning I can hear a chorus of birds singing outside my office window - beautiful and lulling - perfectly in tune. Only there is no choir master, each bird is singing their own song with all of their heart. I can only assume there is no comparison, "Oh no! That bird in the elm sings so much better than me,...perhaps I should stop singing."   Have you ever used comparison to stop exercising a gift?   I have, years ago when I was attempting to formate a lucid sentence and failed,...again, and again,...and again. My hope was to be a writer, and I was looking for instant success, quite unaware I had already achieved my goal. Writers, write. That's why I couldn't stay away from the pen and paper,...as this was even before I had a keyboard.   If you write, you are a writer.
If you run, you are a runner.
If you play basketball, you are a basketball player.
If you sing, you are a singer.
If you dance, you are a dancer,....I think you get my drift.   There is joy in discovering and developing your passion, your talents, your purpose. The Lord is not arbitrary. There is a reason why you are wired the way you are wired be it for art, music, sports, carpentry, finances, medicine, teaching,...ect.   However comparison kills motivation.
Success measured by worldly standards is not attainable or sustainable. So many who are successful by the world's standards are utterly miserable.
Why are the successful so heart sick?
Success doesn't fulfill their longings,...their hopes,...their dreams.   Tree of life,...i.e. salvation, won on calvary means that your worth has already been decided. YOU are priceless. Your gifts have worth, because you have worth. It's all a matter of perspective for what you are hoping for, longing for, dreaming for,...is already yours.   What are you waiting for?
If you are a writer, write.
If you are a singer, sing.
If you are a runner, run for the glory of God.   Remember that classic scene in Chariots of Fire?   Eric Liddell, "I believe God made me for a purpose, but he also made me fast, and when I run I feel his pleasure."    "You can glorify God if  you peel a potato if you peel it to perfection." - Rev J.D. Liddell.    Have you peeled any potatoes lately?   "Whatever you do, work at it all all your heart, as for for the Lord, not human masters."-Colossians 3:23
 

Positional Standing

Positional Standing The Scriptures are alive with the positional standing of being “in” Christ.  Every Believer that accepts God’s invitation of eternal life has fused into Jesus.  Jesus became the substitutionary sacrifice for everyone by His crucifixion.  Through His death, burial, and resurrection we stand in awe of the love of God.  The Bible states that figuratively we accompanied His actions from the cross to the Throne room of God.  The Word tells us that we were raised up together and made to sit in the Heavenly places in Christ Jesus. (Ephesians 2:6)  Paul states in Colossians 3:1 that we have been raised with Christ.  So many quote positional Scriptures but fail to exhibit that reality.  The characteristic of the elevated Saint is that he is always exercising his mind around Heavenly principles, and not on the mundane things on the earth. (Colossians 1:2)  If the Scripture is correct and we are seated in Heavenly places in Christ Jesus, why do we act so “earthly?”  If we are truly raised with Christ, why are we so easily beset with the problems of life?  The reason is simple; ignorance of the Word.   When our Triune God created man He created him in His own image and likeness (Genesis 1:26). As a result man was destined to rule over an “earthly heaven.”  But due to his disobedience he became an agent of sin.  Generations would follow his lead and the war between good and evil would continue its path to spiritual destruction.   It was not until Jesus’ sacrifice, resurrection and ascension that the image and likeness of God would again be established in the recipients of God’s Grace.  This “new creature” would be identified as the “spirit man.”  He truly reigns with Christ and is seated in the Heavenlies with Christ! (Ephesians 2:6)   What Believers fail to understand is that within every Believer there is the “carnal man.” This individual takes, as Eve and Adam did, from sources that God has identified as “enmity” against Him.  It is taking the opposite of what God intended.  Here is where Christians fail to see that they have a responsibility to deal with their own carnality (things pertaining to the flesh, the temporal).  We see ourselves sitting with Christ, while at the same time failing to deal with our fleshly desires.  We fail to see the Scriptures that command us to take responsibility over our fleshly/worldly actions.  Throughout the Bible we read about putting away anything that would interfere with our spiritual standing.   It is the Believers responsibility, not God’s, to subdue our carnal man!  Colossians states that we are to “put to death” the earthly things in our life.  We are to put away things like, “anger, wrath, malice, and filthy language. (Colossians 3:5, 😎 I urge every Believer to search the Scriptures to discover what their responsibilities are in dealing with their “carnal man.”    We are seated with Christ, but we are also walking in the flesh.  The “spirit man” must be dominant or the carnal man will hinder our spiritual expression.   We need to identify our carnal flaws and then one by one break their hold on our lives. We need to feed our spirits and starve our fleshly desires.  We must stop asking God to do what He has commanded us to do.  When we bring our carnality to its knees we will then be able to say as Paul did, “…the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God…” (Galatians 2:20)  When our carnal man surrenders we will be able to illustrate Colossians 2:6.

simplyrhetorical

simplyrhetorical

 

Praying For Others

I read about someone today and what they are going through the article then said to keep them in prayer. Just to let you know the article was on social media. It hit me pritty good, as I can only speak for myself I found it interesting because I never think of praying for certain people.    What I do is when I pray for ones I know I will say after that "Dear Father God, I pray Your Will Be done with all the Prayers  going aroud the world and Your Will Be Done with them."   I don't think that anything totally is wrong with that.  . I do thing I can be more attentive and brodern my Prayers by using Peoples names which for myself  makes the prayer more meaningful.    (I Believe)   I  think this is from God because of the different things that I noticed I been doing  that I never thought I would be doing and they just happened unexpectedly.  God is Good.  Amen                                                                        

Holyblues

Holyblues

 

1 Peter 4:8 + 9

says  in  The Amplified Bible 8.have a fervent and unfailing love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins it overlooks unkindness and unselfishly seeks the best for others.  9 Be hospitable to one another without complaint. 

Holyblues

Holyblues

 

Looking At Yourself

Sometimes I look at Myself and wonder What Do People see. I know I am not perfect in anyway but I hope that they see  A person who loves Jesus and Lives in away that will make a difference in there life. For You Never know who is watching you and will come to Christ because of you.

Holyblues

Holyblues

 

Suffering For The Kingdom

SUFFERING FOR THE KINGDOM   The American Church has little or no understanding about suffering.  In fact, the Christian movement in America is so sheltered from persecution that there is a developmental complacency within the Church.  The sense of urgency and commitment to the Word of God has faded into a voluntary response.  The assault against Christians has taken on varying degrees of intensity which is determined by the location of the Believers.  In certain parts of the world, the followers of Jesus are severely persecuted and even killed because of their faith.  The amazing thing is that those who are being attacked continue to worship and serve their Savior and Lord.  On the other hand, the American Church continues to bask in the comfort of their air conditioned buildings, seeking to impress God by their attendance.  Any persecution they experience is usually from other Christians who have no real understanding of Kingdom principles.  Gossiping, backbiting, jealousy, and murmuring continue to tear at the very fabric of the Christian faith.  People bring about division through verbal attacks against any individuals, including pastors, which conflict with their personal agendas or beliefs.  Satan has not, as yet, brought outside persecution against the American Church because Christians are doing his job for him.   In Peter’s first letter, which was addressed to the believers in Asia Minor, he mentions the word suffer, or a form of the word, sixteen times.  He is not talking about sufferings as a result of illness, sickness, etc., but physical impressions brought about by expressing one’s faith.  One of the reasons the “western churches” have not experienced physical persecution is because of their lack of promoting the Gospel.  There is a promotion of local church, but so little promotion of Jesus outside of the church.  We try to get people in our buildings, but fail to get the people to the “cornerstone” of our faith.  Satan loves to corral Believers into confined spaces, instead of having them spread out through communities.  Satan wants to keep Christians busy with self-interests, instead of being concerned with those outside of the faith.  The sufferings that confessing Believers experience will bring about a witness of our love for God.  The Word teaches us to not be ashamed when we are buffeted for our witness and life style, for by it we are glorifying God. (I Peter 4:16)  We are to commit ourselves to Him during the challenging times. (I Peter 4:19)  We are to take persecutions patiently, for that is acceptable with God. (I Peter 2:20)  Sufferings will make us perfect (complete) and will stablish, strengthen, and settle the Believer. (I Peter 5:10)  The Christian is not to retaliate, either verbally or physically. (I Peter 2:23)  Jesus suffered for us as a motivating example. (I Peter 2:21)   When Jesus suffered on the cross He set an example for us to follow, and that was to crucify our fleshly desires.  It is not an easy task to rid ourselves of our sinful tendencies, but through determination, which involves suffering, we can experience a life free from the consciousness of sin. (I Peter 4:1)  When we achieve that victory we will live the rest of our earthly life in “the will of God.” (I Peter 4:2)  To understand this is to solidify our standing as true Believers.  Let us soak these verses until the rivers of living water flood our being!  

simplyrhetorical

simplyrhetorical

 

Heart's Nod

Thinking about Romans 7 . . .

Open up the gates of your heart to liberty,

hear the words that Jesus spoke and, yes, still speaks,

and the promise of life in the now and, then, beyond

will resound in your soul, cause your heart to nod

a “Yes and Amen!” when you see the fight

between your renewed self and the lesser angelic side,

and you will happily shout, “Oh, who can deliver me?”,

knowing the answer will come back, “Christ the King!”

Ragamuffin_John

Ragamuffin_John

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