Wednesday, January 28, 2015

The Task at Hand ~ Share the Message ~ Jesus Saves

Paul said long ago in his many letters that the task at hand was (is) to share the message of Jesus Christ which is Salvation through faith, believing in Him. Not through works. Once we acknowledge this, embrace it and receive in our hearts, we don't want to sin; even though we may still sin, we don't consciously make it our choice to do it. Though we may continue to sin, we don't want to find ways to affirm our sins, we don't want others to sin or suffer from sin.  Does that mean we punish sinners, we gather round and throw stones? No. It means we forgive them and share the message of Christ. Jesus saves, do not put your trust in mortal men who cannot save Psalm 146.

Jesus asks us to follow Him. That for some appears as sacrifice, as conformity. That is not it. We can read in Jeremiah 29:11-13 "For I know the plans that I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."  In Isaiah 54 we read that "no weapon formed against us shall prosper". Share this message with non believers, with your enemies... so that they too can come to Christ. "For He who is in me is greater than he who is in the world" - 1 John 4. "You can do all things in Christ" - Philippians. "If Christ is in you then you are alive...then who can be against you" Romans 8 ..."And, we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose". Romans 8

Monday, January 26, 2015

Jesus is Calling ~ Sarah Young

As a Christmas gift, I received the book by Sarah Young, Jesus is Calling.  Both my husband and I find it very inspiring in that it helps you to feel the word of God. Not that the Bible is unable to do that. I just think that the author's choice of scripture is the reason for this feeling of closeness to the Word. How? Instead of focusing on this world and our sinful nature, the author finds scripture that acknowledges this and moves us forward in the Word... I mean that the author's choice in scripture has us embracing this 'Genesis' corruption, this wrongly embedded  information of sin, and lets it rest in the background as a reason for our failures and though while a reminder of sin, we rediscover what Jesus meant for us to, "sin no more ...dust off our sandals and move on in a forward direction".
So, for an example, I post here today's "Jesus is Calling" word (s) for forwardness in our life selected by Sarah Young.

Jan. 26, 2015
Give up the illusion that you deserve a problem free life. Part of you is still hungering for the resolution of all difficulties. This is false hope! As I told My disciples, in the world you will have trouble. Link your hope not to problem solving in this life but to the primise of an eternity of problems-free life in heaven. Ins tead of seeking perfection in this fallen world, pur your energy into seeking Me: the Perfect One.
It is possible to enjoy Me and glorify Me in the midst of adverse circumstances. In fact, My Light shines most brightly through believers who trust Me in the dark. That kind of trust is supernatural: a production of My indwelling Spirit. when things seem all wrong, trust Me anyway. I am much less interested in right circumstances than in right responses to whatever comes your way.  John 16;33; Psalm 112:4,7

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Pro-Life ~ Pro-Mom and Dad ~ Pro-Family

Its wonderful that we as a nation are becoming a more pro-life nation. One problem I have with most discussions that I heard including speeches by our representatives is the lack of or even no mention of fathers. Even in the above picture, where is the man/father in the front row. He has a role in this as well. I sometimes think we demonize men as if they all want to have their child aborted as if they have no voice and if they did we seem to suppose that they are against life. Wrong! Until we include them in all discussion about the unborn we still fail. What I want to see more of is the discussion of family! The promotion of family and that men and women together procreate and it is their child we are standing up for, the life of THEIR (God given) unborn!

Most Filth Comes from the Mouth ~ May the Words of my Mouth be Pleasing!

C.S. Lewis wrote that the sin of the flesh is bad but the filth that spews from the mouth is worse.

The Bible reminds us that the one sin that cannot be forgive is blaspheming of the Holy Spirit.
Mark 3:29
In Colossians 3, 'Rules for Holy Living', we can read..." you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator" Col. 3: 5-11.

Jesus himself told us "Anything you eat passes through the stomach and then goes into the sewer. But the words you speak come from the heart - that's what defiles you."
Matthew 15:17

"I will watch my ways and keep my tongue from sin; I will put a muzzle on my mouth..."
Psalm 39: 1

"May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to you O Lord, my rock and my redeemer."
Psalm 19:14

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

How Hungry are You?

When it comes to being hungry for God, we are as hungry as we want to be. Dr. David Jeremiah on Moody Radio gave a very interesting sermon on this. He pointed that our relationship with our Lord Jesus Christ is based on choice. We choose to be with Him and we choose how much we want to be with/near/ Him ... we choose the quality of our relationship depending on how hungry we are for that kind of relationship. Our Spiritual hungry is the reality of faith. Blessed on those who hunger and thirst for Him, for righteousness... for they will be filled ~ Matthew 5:6 Those who come to me will never go hungry ~  John 6:35.

Belonging to a Church is belonging to a Family ~ Alive in Christ

Loving each other as members of the Church is so easy and such a selfless an experience.  In this way, race and other differences we might think exist, disappear. Being one in the Body of Christ allows us to overcome any and all differences.  If you haven't found a church or never been to one, then take a look around and seek out a place for you to worship ~ to become united with others in Christ Jesus. The church is not a hardened institution of ritual and conformity as many people think full of hypocrites. It is a family. The family is an intimate group. Because of that, it is alive as it truly represents the Body of Christ to which we all are welcome. We are welcome as sinners especially; we go as repentant sinners because we want to overcome our sinfulness in this world so that we can be made forever alive in Jesus Christ and live eternally with Him. 

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

The Legitmacy of the Bible ~ The Word of God!

Ever since man thought of himself first, the Bible 'as the Word of God' has come in second or not at all. In recent news, there again is the ongoing discussion among scholars, scientists, and lay men about whether or not the Bible is the Word of God.  I can tell you without a doubt that men believe what they want. In fact, God designed it to be that way.  I blogged about choice. You have to choose to believe in the Creator of Heaven and Lord, of all things and unseen. God wants us to choose Him, of course. He loves us.

Speaking as a sociologist and social psychologist, people all over the world believe in something or that something is good vs. bad, in a certain man/woman, or in a system, in a location over another location, in a kind of diet over another kind... they will believe what they read if the choose to believe it.

I can also tell you as a scholar of social thought/behavior, that when we write, we make sure we write about what we know to be true and what we know to be true is only what we agree to be true and that is even a matter of belief, believing that what we know is true. We also don't write things down unless we have a passion to do so, a motivation, a will to do it. Even with 'science', there is a will to do it. A will or desire to know the truth about who we are and a means to justify what we believe in. Freedom and justice for all, if not because we believe in that, then what for.

The powerful and wealthy would and could just take over. We usually don't write things to scare people or cause harm. We usually write about lofty ideas about who we are and where we came from. Our ideas don't just pop up out of thin air. Ideas are socially constructed based on what a group believes to be true, or what is likely a best practice regarding the long term. Overall, we write what we believe to be true; good, bad and or ugly.

If there were a Creator, and I absolutely believe there is, our ideas would come from Him and from nowhere else. We would write them down, and they would be ours. I don't think that people would write a book as the Word of God if there were no Creator to put the idea in them. People believe in what makes sense to them. For Christians, the Bible is the Word of God and this makes perfect sense.

Some argue that where you are born determines what you believe. But, what still remains is that people choose to believe in their life in that place as true for them; and in this instance, the question of God or not as part of that equation is not necessary. That principle is that people believe what they either experience or are told by their peers within their social hierarchy.  Just because people live in different places does not negate believing in a Creator. Such a belief does not go away even if we say science tells us this and that.What is funny for me about science is that people including scientists will believe that the sun is a star, not because it is. But, because either they organized methodically a theory, or that someone they esteem told them and or they simply choose to believe it when ironically they themselves did not or could not do the 'science' they applaud out of choice and nothing more.

In order to really know that the sun is a star, one would have to be able to reach up and touch the sun in order to know that it is a star.  But, then what is a star... only what we believe it to be. Everyone even scholars have to use the word believe because that is what we do as humans. No other creature as far as I know believes in anything like we do. We believe that our President is a good man, that the sun will come up in the morning and that everything will work out, it always does.Why? Because, we believe it will even when the odds are against us.

Having a Creator, means that we already know He created the sun, moon and stars. We don't have to reach out and touch them. We don't even need scientific method. For some though, scientific method is comforting. For me, scripture is. 

Monday, January 19, 2015

Our Creator, Our Father in Heaven is all Loving and Forgiving!

Yes, be assured that our Creator, our Father in Heaven is a loving God and forgiving God. He loves us because He created us and wants to have a relationship with His creation, but He wants that relationship to be one of choice. Yes, He loves us ~ Praise the Lord!  In return, He wants our love for Him to our free choice... to choose to love Him.  If you were to marry, wouldn't you want your spouse to love you freely of his/her own choice or would you want their love for you to be forced or perhaps programed? Maybe some of you would say, "I prefer programmed, no risk/hurt". Down the road, speaking as a sociologist and social psychologist who spent time in eastern Europe, living with a robot, a program that does not have free will to choose who/why it relates to, leads to doubt in us in our identity as there is no 'real' relationship. Really! How or Why? Because, we would lose sight of our own identity.
It is amazing to know/realize just how complex a creation we are. Our identity is not just a program. It is only possible through social interaction that we have personhood. We know who we are and are not through social interaction in which we are making choices, good, bad and ugly ones. Yes, even those that we might look back on and categorize as bad or ugly ones actually contribute to our character and identity as a person - a social creation.  Our Heavenly Father is social too. He is the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. He also wants a social relationship with His creation. One that glorifies Him as the Creator and one that brings us close to Him- Our Glorious Creator.

Our Father in Heaven is a forgiving God. He sent His son to atone for our sins, so that we can have eternal life.  However, our Father wants us (out of choice) to remain faithful to Him, as He chooses to remain faithful to us. He wants us to be with Him forever. However, we have been corrupted (from the beginning) and now for us to live with Him eternally, our sins must be overcome, dealt with. Yes, that is why He sent His son who died for our sin once and for all; but still God asks that we choose not to sin. In this fallen world, He knows that is nearly impossible but we should show that our choice is not to and though we will fall down and make bad choices, we continue to strive to make good choices, we strive to not sin. We can do that knowing He loves us. Our faith in Him helps us; knowing that He loves us and forgives us helps us to not want to chose sin. In every sin instance, we must run to Him and ask for forgiveness... it is freely given and it should be freely received ~ Matthew 10:8

Christian Words for Women ~ Put your Hope in God

What Christian words can comfort Women today?

Throughout the Bible, we read stories of women who were manipulators, schemers, prostitutes,desperate, helpless, and occasionally hopeful and noble. Both the Old Testament and the New Testament relate stories in which we can see happening in the 21st century the same sinful behaviors for the same reasons. Some argue that women face more difficulties today in that there are many demands, temptations put before them in that women are lured into thinking that they should or can be their own savior. Worse, they don't need anyone to tell them what to do with their body. They are led to think that they don't need a man, they don't need a father for their children. They are encouraged to be proud of their achievements that prop them up before men and even before the Lord. They believe that they deserve and can have it all. In that case, what relationship could they have with the Lord? What Christian words would be comforting, when God's word often ask us to rest in Him, trust in Him.
Both men and women think that the Bible is not relevant as in 'current'. It does not have women heroes that modern women can identify with. But, it does, they are women like Ruth of noble character or Esther who saved her people through calm, deliberate action which was very risky; but she was brave and her quiet submissive boldness paid off. Esther and Ruth were submissive, quiet, calm and deliberate. They were not loud and they did not proudly strut their know how before men and the Lord. They did not show that they were better than men or other women or order people around so that they could get their way.
Sadly, post- modern society asks women to be loud, to be proud to show that they are their own super star, hero and in control of their own destiny. Because of that, many women today are not quiet, calm, modest, simple in their way and beauty. What Christian words could comfort them? Maybe they have no need.
After all, Christian words for women ask them to be modest in their appearance, to be submissive to their husbands, to rest and trust in the Lord.  In the New Testament we can read "Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight" 1 Peter 3:3-5 ... and therefore, put your hope in God ~  He who loves you and cares for you.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

See "My Super Brainy Husband"

Today on Super Brainy Husband, John talks with me about the meaning of being a man, husband, and father.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Food, Faith and Scripture ~ The God Who Feeds Us!

"Everything that lives and moves about will be food for you." Genesis 9:23
People and animals were vegetarians in the Garden of Eden " I give you every seed bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. And, to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds of the air and all the creatures that move on the ground ~ everything that has the breath of life in it ~ I give every green plant for food" (Gen. 1:29-30).  Though God covered Adam and Eve after the Fall with animals skins, they were not instructed to and nor did they eat animals. It was not until after the Flood that God instructed Noah to eat everything that lives and moves about will be food for you, just as I ave you the green plants, I now give you everything (Gen. 9:23).
When Moses took the Israelite people through the desert, they were given manna from heaven.  "At twilight you will eat meat, and in the morning you will be filled with bread, then you will know that I am the Lord your God" Exodus 16:12. God is merciful and extends grace to His people, He provides for us and in this we should always trust. Give thanks and praise for all His provision! Say grace at dinner with your children so that they too know the God feeds them, not the supermarket, not the pizza guy though he may deliver it. God is the Creator and Great Provider!

Monday, January 12, 2015

Extending God's Grace by Extending God's Word!

There is life and death in the power of the tongue. I am a great sinner in that respect. I have all too often said the wrong thing to make myself appear better or stronger, or more self sufficient. That's prideful. I deal with that sin everyday and ask God for His forgiveness. We need to be Salt and Light and that means extending God's grace that he has given us, forgiving us our sins. To do that, all we have to do is extend God's word.
There are many instances that we can put this into practice. I heard a wonderful example just today on one of my favorite Christian radio stations. The speaker said that she was in a restaurant with her niece. The place was buzzing and their waitress was running between four tables. She forgot their order, she brought an order that they did not even ask for and then she disappeared. The young teenage niece said to her aunt, "this is poor service." The aunt said "yes, it is." They ate their dinner and then asked for the bill. The waitress brought and promptly with the eyes of the niece upon her, the aunt generously tipped the waitress and told her that she hoped it would make up for the bad day she was obviously having.  The niece saw how grace is extended, and how words in that act are just as important. The tip and kind words for bad service was actually extending God's grace. We slip up everyday, we don't give good service to those around us or to God; yet, He forgives and extends His grace. Go out today, and extend God's grace which we so freely receive and he so freely gives ~ Matthew 10.

Prepare for His Coming ~ Freely ye have received, Freely Give!

Trust that God has heard your prayers, Thank God for those things prayed for, hoped for... as they are fulfilled. Think positive, share your prayers, hopes and faith that what you have hoped for already is. Our task is to show the Lord our Father in Heaven that we are overcomers, and we intend to and will overcome this world by the Blood of the Lamb; all of which prepares us for His Coming! For the Kingdom of Heaven is at Hand. As you have been forgiven, forgive and as you have been healed, heal, as you have been cleansed, cleanse, as you have cast out the devil, cast him from others, and as you have been raised from the dead, raise others ~ give them the good news! "Freely ye have received, Freely give"

Matthew 10: 7-8

Take Up Your Cross ~ Saving our Children

I was listening to Collin Smith this morning on Moody Radio. His message was what we as Americans need to hear, what we as Christians need to remember, to live and share with our children. He said that we need to take up our cross publicly and especially to show our children that there is sin in the world and we need Jesus Christ. We need redemption. Smith went on to say that we live in an affirmation society. I couldn't agree more. Even for non-Christians or any person living in these times, this modern culture of affirmation leads to mediocrity. In a society that affirms all behavior there is nothing to aspire to... we are already super stars. Smith read aloud the lyrics to Lady GaGa's song "Born this Way".  I paste here an small segment of those lyrics.

It doesn't matter if you love him or capital H-I-M
Just put your paws up
'Cause you were born this way, baby
My mama told me when I was young
We are all born superstars
She rolled my hair and put my lipstick on
In the glass of her boudoir
There's nothin' wrong with lovin' who you are
She said, 'cause He made you perfect, babe
So hold your head up,
girl and you'll go far
Listen to me when I say
I'm beautiful in my way
'Cause God makes no mistakes
I'm on the right track, baby
I was born this way
Don't hide yourself in regret
Just love yourself and you're set
I'm on the right track, baby
I was born this way, born this way

There are many out there who will think that such lyrics are positive because we are born this way. We should be ok with who we are, no looking back, no criticism, nothing wrong with who we are cause God made us that way.  Smith says that this kind of dialogue with our children is damming. He says that it rejects all that Christ came to do for us which was to redeem us because we are sinners and there is no way to the Father without Him. I agree that we lose sight of what Christ did for us by not remembering we live in a fallen world. We were created by God but being born into this fallen world we have become corrupt... in fact, corrupted the moment we are born. We have to realize that sin is in us and that Christ bore our sins on the tree 1 Peter 24 so that we can be saved. Our children need to know this so that they too can be saved.

Friday, January 9, 2015

If the Son Sets You Free, You will be Free Indeed ~ Sinners at the Table of Life

All too often we think of ourselves and count our selves to be righteous and thus welcome at the table. We think that we can claim such a  right since we can say that we in our recollection committed any sin. We have had good standing in the community, we are not the black sheep of the family, we no record of crime nor have ever been arrested and thrown to prison. We come to the table every evening puffed up and never once thinking of ourselves as sinners.  We may give thanks for the food but do we give thanks for God's forgiveness for our sins firstly so that we can be at the table. Everyone who lives in this corrupt world is a sinner. Calling ourselves Christians as in being dead to sin and alive in Christ means that we recognize sin in us and are able to be alive because Jesus Christ shed His blood for our sin. Thus, we can say we are alive in Christ, alive only because of what He did for us, not by our works. Anyone who accepts this sacrifice is a new creation. The point of this post is to remind us about our sin and God's mercy and grace in our lives. It is because of His sacrifice that we are at the table of life enjoying food with family and friends. There are those who have sinned and now find themselves denied access to the table of life. The table of life is that which we share with family, friends and the Lord. In this world, especially, we need each other, it reminds us that the Lord created us to be social, to be in relationship. He wants us to be in relationship with Him and each other. If you know anyone who is not welcome to the table of life that you are welcome at, reach out to them.

I am reading a book now by Tom Horn and Donna Howell - Redeemed, Unredeemable: When America's Most Notorious criminals came face to face with God. For anyone with a weak mind and stomach, this is not good reading. Yet, it is incredible reading to say the least.  Horn tells us that we all are sinners. We are all living in the swill of this corrupt world. Some are exposed to more than others, they receive less help or are not rescued as children from situations of cruelty, abandonment, ridicule, or simple left alone with no one to guide them, no one to talk to, to have nurture or nourish their mind and heart with positive words and images that the future is bright. The expression, 'you didn't make it' by yourself ' goes both ways. This is how God sees us here in this world, we sees the bigger picture of our lives, our choices, the good, bad and ugly of them and where those choices have taken us. He is with us in all and He asks us to be with others through their choices, to forgive them and bring them back to the table. We stumble in forgiveness because emotions are finite (bound) as in tight. Think of such tight feelings as emotional purse strings that are short and or closed securely to keep in what we value and keep out anyone who wants to access that. Horn writes that God trumps our finite emotion as He is able to feel several emotions for every person at once. His emotions are never limited to our predetermined, fragmented human expectations. He does not experience mood swings. He is emotion and it is only by our corrupted humanness in this world that we move from one emotion to another. His is a perfect balance of emotions.  We as Christian people are our own enemies and victims as well as the enemy and victim of others' selfishness and thus we may never find the strength to forgive someone's acts against humanity. I agree with Horn that the same cannot be said of God. I am certain that there needs to be a huge and deep restructuring of the correctional system in this country, one that is about bringing the lost sheep back to the table of life. All Christians ought to know and do know this..."You, my brothers were called to be free. But, do not use our freedom to indulge the sinful nature, rather, serve one another in love ~ Gal 5:13-14." We must serve one another - as all are sinners, all are obligated in the task of bringing another back to the table... because "..., if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed." John 8:36

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Food is a Blessing to Share!

Every meal you cook and eat is a blessing to share with the Lord and your family. It is an opportunity to rejoice and give thanks for. In Deuteronomy, we can read, "Eat the tithe of your grain, new wine and oil and the firstborn of your herds and flocks in the presence of the Lord your God at the place he will choose as a dwelling for his Name so that you may learn to revere the Lord your God always... then you and your household shall eat there in the presence of the Lord your God and rejoice." Deuteronomy 14:23 and 26.
Give thanks and praise to the Lord your God, ask Him to bless your food and household; by doing so, you are welcoming Him to your table and into your life.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Take and Eat: Food and Faith Go Together!

Everyday we need God's Food, which is His Word. For all of those who pray for health and well being I recommend speaking the Word over yourself and others. "Jesus is the Lord of my life, Sickness and disease have no power over me. I am forgiven and free from Sin and guilt. I am dead to sin and alive unto righteousness." Col 1:21,22. "Jesus bore my sins in His body on the tree; therefore, I am dead to sin and alive unto God and by His stripes I am healed and made whole." 1 Pet. 2:24, Rom. 6:11, 2 Cor. 5:21. "I am an overcomer by the blood of the Lamb and the word of my testimony." Rev.12:1
Consuming the Word of God makes us whole. Consuming food is also a part of that consuming of God's Word. There are many scriptures that tell us how important food is to our Creator in His relationship with us. I was just reading "Today in the Word" put out by Moody Bible Institute. I was pleasantly surprised to see that the current issue is about food. The main gist was that though Scripture mentions food, it reaches beyond healthy ingredients and exotic recipes to provide spiritual truths and faith lessons for us. When reading scriptures about food, it is calling us to reach beyond just consuming sustenance. Providing food and eating food in Scripture is about hope, faith, sharing life, sharing one's table, being social, and in that asking God for a better situation or for healing and believing in that; and of course, thanking God for His Blessings. 

All week, I will blog scripture that talks about food from Genesis to Rev. "Everything that lives and moves about will be food for you." Genesis 9:3 As... "Blessed is the one who will eat at the feast in the kingdom of God." Luke 14:15