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Saturday, December 31, 2011

CHECK UP TIME AGAIN


image courtesy photobucket.com

This time of year we reflect and some will decide to make New Years Resolutions!

I am not one to make and break, but it is a good time for a check up.

Phooey and phooey again. This is my usual first response when the HOLY SPIRIT quickens me to re-evaluate my walk.

I want to say; “C’mon now I’m doing okay!” Of course I quickly put that behind me and slowly begin to respond by first looking at the things in my life that are (in my view) without reproach. But even there I waver a little, when my style out distances my substance.

I then become a victim of “Cognitive Dissonance.”  When in realty I’m not a victim for this is of my own making.

Dissonance is often strong when we believe something about ourselves and then do something against that belief. If I believe I am good but do something bad, then the discomfort I feel as a result is “cognitive dissonance.”

Cognitive dissonance is a very powerful motivator which will often lead us to change one or other of the conflicting beliefs or action. The discomfort often feels like a tension between the two opposing thoughts but in the realm of the spirit it is nothing more than an inner conviction to “straighten up and fly right.”

Conviction sets in when the choice is to modify belief to accommodate the error of our ways.
The old adage “Do as I say not as I do,” just doesn’t get it done when relating to GOD for HE says; “Do as I say.” Those are the operative words.

Jesus said; I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bear much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.

Song of Solomon 2:15 take (control of) the foxes, the little foxes that spoil the vines: for our vines have tender grapes.

These two verses tell us three things, our potential in Christ, our responsibility before GOD and how I can blow it with the wrong response.

Well I have put off as long as I can that which I know I must do, so please excuse me while I respond to the Spirit’s urgings.

You might enjoy this song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HeP8R68p8uo&feature=related

Linked with Charlotte’s Spiritual Sundays.  Please visit there for some awesome words!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

ARE YOU STRIVING?

image courtesy photobucket.com

From “Time unto immemorial” is a statement I haven’t heard used since I was a kid.

In those days it was used often and I never knew just exactly what it meant and even today the meaning is somewhat difficult to pin down.

With just one definition as follows; A particular period or part of duration, whether past, present, or future; a point or portion of duration; as, the time was, or has been; the time is, or will be. [1913 Webster]

Jesus, in answer to the question "Lord, are there just a few who are being saved?" Luke 13:24,, "Strive to enter through the narrow door; for many, I tell you, will seek to enter and will not be able.

This view of receiving salvation by striving, is in contrast to salvation full and free by grace are you saved!  I have it heard it said; salvation is free but is not cheap for it came at great price.

At this point we might say from before “Time unto immemorial,” there was a battle that ensued and is still going on to day. That battle is for supremacy of the entire universe and beyond.

Mankind has been caught up in this struggle and like the angels that followed Satan and the good angels that stayed true to GOD, people today are following the leader they have chose.

This struggle is defined in Ephesians 6:12 For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.

This whole concept on the surface seems unreal due to the fact we deal with physical things and much of this warfare is spiritual and mental. Nevertheless it is a battle, and in spite of the end of the Book saying we win, the war is raging with small victories and defeats ongoing.

2Corinthians 10:3-5 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses. We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the Obedience of Christ.

All this doesn’t happen automatically but requires the struggle. The wresting is against a very real enemy. The striving Jesus mentioned in Luke 13:24 doesn’t end with the acceptance of Christ as savior but will continue until the end comes.

1 Peter 4:12-13 Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you,
Which comes upon you for your testing, as though some strange thing were
happening to you; Instead, be very glad--for these trials make you partners
with Christ in his suffering, so that you will have the wonderful joy of seeing
His glory when it is revealed to the entire world.

It would serve you well when things aren't going as they should to remember you are striving for righteousness sake and are in the midst of a Spiritual Battle.

Enjoy this lovely song:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DMZ8D6nTKhg

This post has been linked to  Thought Provoking Thursday
Also linked to Joan’s Grace Café

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

MY DOG BLUE


 "I Found One"
image courtesy photobucket.com

I have had so many dogs I can't remember them all without reaching back into my memory banks for some time.

While I was fond of all of them the one who stood out from among the rest was my dog named Blue.

He was a registered Blue Tick Hound that weighed a little over one hundred pounds. He was well marked with all the blue tick colors and with his long black ears he was beautiful.

Old blue was kinda raunchy as dogs go, doing all of the stuff dogs do such as smelling where strangers didn’t appreciate. I tried to teach him some social etiquette but it was without much success.

Blue was supposed to be a hunting dog and he was all that one should be. Even at the age of fifteen shortly before he died he would try to slip off and escape into the woods and go hunting. He would be so tired, and it was necessary that I go find him and help him to get home. The one thing about Blue was he knew who and what he was. There wasn’t any confusion about that. He looked like a dog he acted like a dog and expected to be treated like a dog and when he wasn’t he reacted like a dog should.

I must say that I was both challenged and learned by this fact that we should be as true to ourselves as Blue was to himself.

It is imperative that a Christian be of the same mind as he, knowing who we are and what is expected of us both by GOD and people.

Philippians 2:1-5 Therefore if there is any encouragement in Christ, if there is any consolation of love, if there is any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and compassion, make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose. Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus,

Whenever I forget myself, and I don’t fully meet the Christian standards,  I am reminded of old Blue and try not to fall short of the standard he set for Me - -  Know myself and know who I am in Christ!

Linking with Jennifer at: Getting Down with Jesus at:
 God Bumps and Incidences: 

GettingDownWithJesus 

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

RELATIONS UNKNOWN


Relatives
courtesy photobucket.com

My father was married before he married my mother, and he had a son by his first wife. While I knew he existed I never met him until I was nearly forty. Even today I have many other relatives whom I have never met, and this is not exclusive to me for most all of us are the same concerning this matter.

There is an old song called “There is going to be a meeting in the air,” and it is my understanding that it will consist of those who are caught up to meet Christ in the air, and those who Christ brings with him at the rapture.

There are numerous pastors who claim to have many thousands of members in their congregations but when Christ returns it will be the largest meeting of Christians ever gathered together at one time.

image courtesy photobucket.com

1Thessalonians 4:15-17 For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep.

For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first.


Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord.

Now normally I don’t like crowds and especially with people I don’t know but I am looking forward to meeting all my brothers and sisters I haven’t ever met.

What a glorious day that will be. But until that day Paul the apostle gives us some extremely good advice;

Hebrews 12:1Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us,

We are earthen vessels that God has designed to be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the person and work of Christ. When this occurs in us, it will result in transformed lives. Into persons that manifest the power of God in Christ-like living. Paul points us to the kind of fruitful life that is the designed end of a being filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding.

Colossians 1:10 that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God;

Thanks be to Paul for that good advice.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ge9V1cOyVQM&feature=related

Linked to Shanda’s On your Heart Tuesday

Monday, December 26, 2011

DAYS OF MONASTICISM




Monestary
Image courtesy photobucket.com

Not too many Christians want to or feel the need to join a Monastery or practice Eremitism which is; “monasticism characterized by solitude in which the social dimension of life is sacrificed to the primacy of religious experience.”

Still there is a desire to come aside and focus on our relationship with GOD without the disrupting forces intruding upon us.

Sunday worship can help fill the gap in our experience but most true worshippers want and need more. In addition to our church going there is what is called retreats where you can get alone and seek GOD but these times are hard to come by due to financial and family needs.

Without our knowing it, our spiritual strength is being drawn upon by other people continuously, the result being a case of the spiritual blahs. This happens and we don’t realize how much they are pulling us down.

Of course there are times when we are aware of our ministry to people in need as in Luke 8:46 And Jesus said, somebody hath touched me: for I perceive that virtue is gone out of me.

In both cases you need to be refreshed lest you become “overdrawn.”

Each Christian must realize that they have spiritual limitations and learn to be a channel whereby GOD’S strength flows through you like a river and not like a lake that will soon run dry.

It is the “responsibility” of each of us to discover the best method to receive our restoration and always to be open to the Spirits’ prompting's.
image courtesy photobucket
 
Romans 8:26-27 In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words; and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.


As you learn to cooperate with the Holy Spirit you will constantly be refilled and never run dry.

Enjoy this song:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d-SI_HRWooA

This post is linked to Deidra’s Sunday Jump Tandem
and linked with Joan Davis Sharing His Beauty

Sunday, December 25, 2011

HAPPY BIRTHDAY


image courtesy photobucket.com

Happy Birthday always has a merry, cheery sound to it. Another year has passed and your new year has started.

The happiest birthday of all was when Jesus was born and the angels sang songs of redemption. It was truly “Joy to the World” for the Lord had come.

Jesus came for a purpose, and a few years later he fulfilled that purpose. As one of my songs that I wrote, says; “When Jesus died he FULLY paid for my salvation.”

Just as Jesus’ birthday initiated the beginning of his purpose, so also your birthday was the beginning of your purpose here on earth. Each day is a step toward finishing your reason for being here. Your being here is not an accident but you have a part to play in the program of GOD. If you always keep this thought before you no matter how menial your daily tasks are you are fitting into GOD’S plan for you.

Jesus’ life wasn’t all preaching and miracles, but in realty that was just a small part of his life albeit a very important part of it.

As a new year approaches it will fit into GOD’S plan and your part will also be part of the overall happening. An automobile will function without a horn but where would the honking be?

Even so GOD’S plan would go forward without you, but something would be missing for you are a very important part of GOD’S program.

1Corinthians 12:18 But now God has placed the members, each one of them, in the body, just as He desired.

You may not feel very important but GOD thinks differently. YOU, individually have been placed where HE wants you to be. Keep this thought before you; you may be a plumber or a housewife but that is not your position in the body of Christ.

You may be a prayer warrior, or an example of what a Christian should be, and whatever you are, this is where you fit into the body of Christ and in GOD’S eyes. You are as important as any other part. Your success will depend largely upon how you view yourself in the kingdom of GOD. You can be as faithful as the apostle Paul and be rewarded as he will be, for faithfulness is the standard not the task alone.

I urge you to read and study 1Corinthians 12 until you see how important GOD thinks you are.

Then as you go forth it will be with new resolve to fulfill the race set before you.

This post is entered today with glorious sites you must visit

Linked with Sundays in my City 
Linked with Charlotte’s Spiritual Sundays.  





Saturday, December 24, 2011

GUILT


image courtesy photobucket.com

Guilt feelings are a hard task master. It is both a fact and a feeling. It is a force that attacks repeatedly and severely. The remedies for controlling these feelings are often ineffective and temporary. Whether real or imaginary the effect is debilitating and painful. It has the power to affect the spiritual, psychological and our physical being.

Guilt is an emotion, a response to failing in some area of you life. There is nothing we do wherein we can’t experience some degree of perceived failure. The casserole didn’t turn out like it should have. Company just dropped in and my house wasn’t clean or some area where you didn’t meet the standard either you or someone has established.

It could be a “Didn’t do or shouldn’t have done,” scenario in either case the result is a yucky feeling.

One thing many agree on is - - if all forms of guilt were eliminated there would be little need for psychologists or psychiatrists for it is there they find most of their patience’s problems.

Wikipedia; A three-fold division is sometimes made between objective or legal guilt, which occurs when society's laws have been broken..., Social guilt... [over] an unwritten law of social expectation', and finally Personal guilt occurs when someone compromises one's own standards.”

The most punishing guilt is when we violate what we believe is our standards, of course these standards are those that have been imposed upon us at a very young age. Starting at the center of the bulls eye when we fall below our own expectations the old phrase “I could just kick myself” seems apropos for we have a high opinion of ourselves.

Even when we deliberately do poorly we still excuse and justify ourselves but that doesn’t get rid of the guilt associated with it.

Guilt carries with it the expectation of having to pay the price for our laxity or inability to measure up to either our or other’s standards especially our family. One of the worst awards one can receive is the “most likely to succeed award” this puts pressure on the individual so that anything less than perfection is failure.

How to get over the guilt syndrome is certainly beyond me for every psychologist has a list of things to do and even with the list utilized at best there is but little relief. Whether there is real guilt or imaginary guilt, deserved or undeserved the result is the same, self condemnation. It is certain that others will condemn you but it is only when condemnation is internalized the damage is done.

The Biblical viewpoint in the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve were without any sense of guilt. There was no condemnation until Adam and Eve sinned. Then the blame shifting began because they were both guilty of disobeying GOD’S commandant.

While there were many of “Thou shall” directions given to them there was only one. “Thou shalt NOT” commandment and they violated it.

When Cain murdered his brother and he was sent from GOD’S presence and Cain said; “My punishment is greater than my strength.” This seems to be the effect of guilt, we can only partially mitigate this and not totally expunge it.

Hundreds of volumes have been written on this subject without resolution so the only thing we can do is learn to live with it and not allow it to become obsessive.

The “How” is the tough part of any answer to every problem. By recognizing that the feeling guilty emotion is the result of falling below some standard you must ask whose standards are these and why must I conform to them.

Starting with the spiritual we look at the scripture Romans 3:23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.

This means we are guilty and now need to seek the remedy if there is one. For simplicity sake we look to; 1John 1:9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1John 3:2 Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is.

I understand from a theological perspective this construct could be improved upon but the main issue which is separation from GOD is resolved. The next issue is violation of standards set up for you by others. These may be friends, parents, society as a whole.

If I want to have peaceful interaction with them I must accept their rules of the road.

Understanding all the while - - that I’m going to fall short of their expectations I must be ready to compensate for my failure. Starting with “I’m sorry.” and showing that you are by whatever means that is available to you. The best and genuine way is to make sure you avoid doing it again.

If their standards are too high then break off the relationship and move on. It is not a right or wrong issue but rather an incompatibility problem that is best dealt with by avoidance.

Your own standards and failure to live up to them is big issue for you have to live with yourself. Some try to lower their standards even as far as “I don’t give a damn,” but that doesn’t get you off the hook so to speak - - for the guilt will remain, just pushed to a lower level of consciousness. When this happens something is eating on you and you don’t know what it is.

After all this blather what is the answer?

To start with; Ecclesiastes 12:13 Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole [duty] of man. And then James 2:8 it is good when you obey the royal law as found in the Scriptures: "Love your neighbor as yourself."

Love them to the point of meeting their expectations of you even though you find them a bit intrusive. This may add a bit of irritation to you but doesn’t allow room for guilt.

Then love yourself enough to accept yourself as being imperfect and walk in forgiveness toward yourself as you work through your problems.

Recognize that everyone can do better and go so far as cutting yourself a little slack, enough as to not condemn yourself for every little failure but not as far as persevering to become the best version of you as possible.

Reject any guilt that doesn’t provide the answer for doing better. Philippians 4:7And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

The peace of God also includes freedom from jarring, discordant passions of the mind. It is a positive enjoyment of the purest, sweetest kind.

It is a foretaste of the bliss of heaven. Nothing on earth is so delightful.

You might enjoy this beautiful song:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a7ob0Jiyq8s

This post has been linked with Joan Davis at: Sharing His Beauty


Friday, December 23, 2011

THE COST OF LIVING


Woe is Me !
The innocent by-stander, caught in the line of fire, collateral damage, wrong place at the wrong time, and many such statements indicate that someone has suffered a loss that is undeserved.

It is only after you have been the recipient of such a happening that the full meaning becomes evident.

Job 1:1 There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job.

Most everyone has heard of this man even if it was in a saying like; “Poor as Job’s turkey.”

This man was called upright by GOD Himself, but was caught in the line of fire so to speak. It was one of the few times when Satan held center stage and the man Job was a ploy used by both sides. The right or wrong, fair or unfair didn’t enter into the equation it was a trust issue; GOD felt HE could trust Job and the contest was on.

You cannot read of JOB’S trial without feeling his pain on three levels; spiritually, physically and emotionally.

His first response was one of disbelief, nothing made any sense. As he sought some understanding his mind was hard pressed and desperation was the order of the day.

Job sitting in Ashes and His Wife
courtesy Bible Illustrations
While he was in torment, his wife’s best advice was “Curse GOD and die.”

His friends could only conclude that he was harboring some secret sin and was being judged for it.

As one has suggested everyone should read the book of Job once a year for each time you will find a different truth for you. In the end Job was justified by his words.

Job 1:22 In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly.

Crystal Godfrey says it succinctly; if you live long enough, you will encounter bad times. It doesn’t matter what country you live in, or what cultural or ethnic background you come from, you will face trouble in this life.

In John 16:33, Jesus tells his disciples, "In the world ye shall have tribulation." 

So, it is not a question of if you will go through bad times but when you will go through bad times.

The question is how will you respond when evil times come upon you?

Each one of us must answer this question for ourselves, one way or another.

Job plumbed the depths of possibility and probability. The outcome was his understanding that GOD is supreme and sovereign and his acceptance of that freed him from the feeling that he was equal to HIM. It is only when we keep perspective in focus that our relationship with GOD can flourish.

One gets the sense that Job found the secret to living and that is to separate the processes of life whether good or bad from his relationship with GOD. While good times, bad times may come and go, one’s relationship with GOD should remain the same. Rich or poor, sick or well, success or failure, if we allow them they will affect our relationship with HIM.

Paul wrote to the Philippian church; Philippians 4:12-13  I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.

Paul did not let present circumstances affect his faith and hope in GOD and change his ongoing relationship with HIM.

I reckon what was good enough for Paul the same ought to work for me.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FR_bds86Ujg&feature=related


This post has been linked to Laura’s, Brag on God Fridays  

Thursday, December 22, 2011

INTERFACE





In English, an interface is a device or system that unrelated entities use to interact.

When I read that - - immediately I thought, “That sounds like something that is a go between to connect two like or unlike things.”

The illustration is given whereby the volume control on a TV is the interface between a person and the workings of the set. Interface is a term used in discussing computers and their functions both hardware, software and the user. It is something like a bridge that allows traffic to flow in both directions.

I had never thought about prayer being an interface between GOD and man but in essence I believe it is.

One of the prime uses of the interface is the linking of two incompatible objects to produce a useful end product. When you consider that man and GOD are different entities the interface can bridge that gap. Some would claim that there are similarities due to the fact that GOD is a Spirit and man has a spirit yet they are not the same.

This problem was solved when Jesus took upon himself the likeness of man in the incarnation. That is why, when Christ came into the world, he said to God, Hebrews 10:5 "You did not want animal sacrifices or sin offerings. But you have given me a body to offer.”
image courtesy photobucket.com

In the offering up of himself for the sin of the world he became the link (the interface) for communication between God and man.

You might say that the name of Jesus is the password we have been given for full access to the Father. Whether it is prayer, worship or service, all interaction is done via the interface (Jesus). It is a fail safe system that always works so rejoice and be glad.

Why don't you try it and see if it works for you. Perhaps someone needs you to pray them through, even now!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FwYsTQyFrc8&feature=related

Linking today with:

Iris at Thankful Thursdays

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

DON’T

 Freeway Collapse 1989 Earthquake

 On a Friday afternoon at 5:03:15 pm it was a normal trying to get home race. The week had ended and people had plans made for a refreshing weekend. There would be time to catch up with chores that needed to be attended to, barbeques, visiting friends and relatives.

On this day October 17, 1989, at 5:04:15 pm (PDT) a magnitude 6.9 (moment magnitude; surface-wave magnitude, 7.1) earthquake severely shook the San Francisco and Monterey Bay regions. The epicenter was located at 37.04° N. Latitude, 121.88° W. Longitude near Loma Prieta peak in the Santa Cruz Mountains, approximately 14 km (9 MI) northeast of Santa Cruz and 96 km (60 MI) south-southeast of San Francisco.

The earthquake occurred when the Crustal rocks comprising the Pacific and North American Plates abruptly slipped as much as 2 meters (7 ft) along their common boundary-the San Andreas Fault system. The rupture initiated at a depth of 18 km (11 MI) and extended 35 km (22 MI) along the fault, but it did not break the surface of the Earth.

My friend Tom Hansen had asked to get off an hour earlier as he had plans to go out that evening. He was in the middle of the Cypress Viaduct section of the freeway when the earthquake occurred and the upper level of the freeway collapsed onto the lower level killing many people, Tom being one of them. I was greatly saddened by the news of Tom’s death for I had known him for a number of years.

We quickly went into the “If only stage” where we said if he had not got off early or had went another way but the reality was what it was, and “Tom was gone” nothing could change that. He had no warning, no opportunity to escape.   Gone in the blink of an eye!

I thought about so many “If only” events I have escaped by heeding the warnings. From childhood so many times my parents told me to beware of perilous things and how heeding the warnings saved me. Beyond the warning there have been intuition moments where I have sensed danger, and have obeyed that inner feeling which led me to safety.

The biggest escape of my life was not to neglect my salvation, and to receive Christ as my savior. Unlike Tom’s misadventure I had a warning (Holy Ghost conviction) to which I responded. Putting it off could have proven to be spiritually fatal to me.

The normal experiences that new born Christians has is growing in the grace and admonition of the lord but within this process there is the opportunity to fall short.

Thankfully we have warnings not to do so and a given way of escape through obedience.

Some scriptures shake me much like the Loma Prieta earthquake of ’89 one of which is found in;
Hebrews 10:29 How much more severely do you think a man deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God under foot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified him, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace?

While many scriptures are directed to the lost others have a dual purpose and apply both to the lost and saved.
image courtesy photobucket.com

Something that is imperative to avoid is doing despite to the HOLY SPIRIT. Some of the ways we can do this is

RESIST; Acts 7:51“You stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears! You always resist the Holy Spirit; as your fathers did, so do you.

QUENCH: We can quench the Spirit; 1 Thessalonians 5:19 Do not quench the Spirit.

GRIEVE: We can grieve the Spirit;  Ephesians 4:30 and do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.

INSULT: We can insult the by ignoring Him, and acting as if He didn’t exist.

BLASPHEME: We can blaspheme the Spirit; Matthew 12:31-32 Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men. And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come.

These and many other warning have been given to us and we are expected to walk accordingly.

John 14:16-17 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.

1 Corinthians 3:16 (NKJV) Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? This truth just blows me away and causes me to abhor the things that are not of GOD for as I struggle against my imperfections I have to call upon the Spirit of grace to help my weaknesses and plead forgiveness for failure.

Rom 8:26-28 Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

To this I can only say, Amen http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KqkvIhs7Ijg

This post has been linked to  Joan’s Grace Café.  

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

THE MOST FAMOUS KISS



image courtesy photobucket.com

Of all the trillions of kisses which one is the most famous?

The movies have been in the running since the first movie kiss on film in 1896. This was a shocking event and

I must admit they really got it on. For the curious check this URL
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wj41SJDXw1g&feature=related

Well once the cat was out of the bag - - seems everyone wanted to kiss on film.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J8lExg24PSs&feature=related

As kissing became the “In” thing it took on the character of deception, especially if “I love you” accompanied it. The time came when young ladies wanted to hear those words, even if they knew it wasn’t true. Of course the devilish young men were more than willing to accommodate them.

One of my favorite actors was Humphrey Bogart and he played the leading man in many movies but he couldn’t kiss for beans even though he played opposite some of the most beautiful actresses.

I was never into kissing much when I was young but some are.
Http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IlmNqRKcqXM&feature=related

I didn’t do very good when I first started to kiss, of course you don’t learn much from kissing mom on the cheek.  I finally got the hang of it and like it a lot.

I can't lay claim to the most famous kiss of all time for that occurred in a secluded garden one dark night.

image courtesy photobucket.com
Matthew 26:14-16 Then one of the twelve, called Judas Iscariot, went unto the chief priests, And said unto them, What will ye give me, and I will deliver him unto you? And they covenanted with him for thirty pieces of silver. And from that time he sought opportunity to betray him.


Matthew 26:47-49 And while he yet spake, lo, Judas, one of the twelve, came, and with him a great multitude with swords and staves, from the chief priests and elders of the people. Now he that betrayed him gave them a sign, saying, whomsoever I shall kiss, that same is he: hold him fast. And forthwith he came to Jesus, and said, Hail, master; and kissed him. This was a kiss of bitterness, so bitter that Judas himself disdained living.


Mathew 27:3-5 Then Judas, which had betrayed him, when he saw that he was condemned, repented himself, and brought again the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders, Saying, I have sinned in that I have betrayed the innocent blood. And they said, what is that to us? See thou to that. And he cast down the pieces of silver in the temple, and departed, and went and hanged himself.

This infamous act of betrayal portrays a lost man and the most famous kiss of all.

Linking today with
Joan Davis,  Sharing His Beauty 
Jen’s Finding Heaven, Solo Gloria

THE WOODSHED


image courtesy photobucket.com

Each of the apostles had their own way of dealing with problems in the church.

Jude tried to encourage and challenge the saints before dealing with deep spiritual problems. Jude 1:3 “It was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.“

Peter spoke with great authority for he was regarded with great respect throughout Christendom. His close relationship with Christ as his tutor resulted in spiritual wisdom.

Paul directed his followers to the Old Testament for authority, and then taught New Testament truths as GOD’S spirit had interpreted it for him.

James it is said was the pastor of the church at Jerusalem. This is where the debate over doctrine was hashed out. He being the Lords brother was straight laced and tolerated no foolishness. He was a genuine yea and nay man with nothing in-between.

When James got through with you, you knew you had been taken to the woodshed and got the full treatment.

Pastors today are faced with many of the same problems as James faced and must deal with them when oft times it isn’t a pleasant job. On occasion people will leave and go somewhere else instead of accepting correction.

Let’s look at a sampling of James declaration; James 4:1-10 Message Bible

1-2Where do you think all these appalling wars and quarrels come from? Do you think they just happen? Think again. They come about because you want your own way, and fight for it deep inside yourselves. You lust for what you don't have and are willing to kill to get it. You want what isn't yours and will risk violence to get your hands on it.


2-3You wouldn't think of just asking God for it, would you? And why not? Because you know you'd be asking for what you have no right to. You're spoiled children, each wanting your own way.


4-6You're cheating on God. If all you want is your own way, flirting with the world every chance you get, you end up enemies of God and his way. And do you suppose God doesn't care? The proverb has it that "he's a fiercely jealous lover." And what he gives in love is far better than anything else you'll find. It's common knowledge that "God goes against the willful proud; God gives grace to the willing humble."


7-10So let God work his will in you. Yell a loud no to the Devil and watch him scamper. Say a quiet yes to God and he'll be there in no time. Quit dabbling in sin. Purify your inner life. Quit playing the field. Hit bottom, and cry your eyes out. The fun and games are over. Get serious, really serious. Get down on your knees before the Master; it's the only way you'll get on your feet.

We can only guess what the problems were but I suspect that he got things straightened out in a hurry. Brow beating aside - - strong preaching will build strong Christians.

So be it. Http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=usv_knN7ESg&feature=related

This post has been linked with Shanda at: On your Heart Tuesday

Monday, December 19, 2011

COULD IT BE?



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COULD IT BE?

Could it be that GOD could ever love me?
Could it be HIS mercy is that wide?
Could it be that JESUS went to Calvary?
Could it be it was for me HE died?

So goes the first lines of a song I wrote several years age and later it says I have found the answer to that question.

A small church, a small congregation, an evangelistic service and on bowed knee all of it came into focus when another lost sheep was brought into the fold.

John 3:3 Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.

The introduction of the term ”Born Again” changed the methodology of becoming into right relationship with GOD. The spiritual rebirth - - not a physical birth, put a different face on redemption.

Prior to this it was the same old me but temporally forgiven. Now it was a new me with GOD’S righteousness, not mine that gave me right standing before GOD.

2 Corinthians 5:17-18 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ

When we personalize those words “He is a new creature” it becomes “I am a new creature,” and is to be the guiding force in our life. This reality, when kept before us doesn’t permit us to engage in the things of the world but will cause us to walk uprightly before HIM. It is only when we forget who we are that we permit ourselves to walk in sin.

Think back on these words of Jesus; Luke 13:23-24 Then said one unto him, Lord, are there few that be saved? And he said unto them; strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able.

Because you have been redeemed you have much to treasure; for you are “Born Again” and are now a New Creature in Christ.

Enjoy this beautiful song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZCI7kZLuknU


This post was linked with:
Messy Mondays with Evatt  
Laura’s “Play dates with God.”

Sunday, December 18, 2011

What is Christmas Really?


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Tis the season to be jerks, or so it seems. Each year we experience the same old ranting by America’s heathens, recycling the same old garbage.

One of the “Man on the street” questions was; “Is Christmas about the birth of Christ?” The answers varied depending who they asked. Judging from what some said it would seem Satan is making a lot of converts and they are vocal about their beliefs.

While just the fact that the question is asked is an irritant but (as the old expression was) “I don’t give a “tinkers damn” about what they think.

What they erroneously believe doesn’t change my relationship with GOD and what their blinded eyes can’t see is; that they are thinking and speaking damnation to themselves concerning the denial of Christ in any way.

Christmas is a day of celebration and has great meaning for those of the household of GOD but for the heathen it is simply a day when they give gifts to their children in lieu of teaching and admonishing them in the way of the Lord.

There are many days celebrated by the religions of this world worshipping the god they have created.

Psalms. 14:1 Godless fools say in their hearts, "There is no God." They are corrupt. They do disgusting things. There is no one who does good things.

Those of the Christian faith look to two special days (Easter and Christmas) and rejoice in them for both speak of new life and a new beginning.

This in a nutshell describes the difference between Christianity and all other religions, one worships the god they have made and the Christian worships the GOD who made them.

This is post is linked to Deidra’s  SundayJump Tandem

And to Michelle’s Hear it on Sunday    

Friday, December 16, 2011

OBTAINING GOD’S PROMISE


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While this is not a treatise on the titled subject it is at least something to think about.

A study of this nature should begin with the relationship of GOD and Abraham; for promises that were made not only relate to the Jews but also to the New Testament believers. Promises made to Abraham and to his seed were ultimately fulfilled in the birth, death, resurrection and seating of Christ in heaven.

The Pentateuch consists of the first five books of the OT: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy, where we find the beginning of the history of the world. Further it plots the course of the Jews until they approach the physical inheritance of the Promised Land.

While they were the children of GOD - - obtaining the promises required an additional step of faith and action.

The book of Joshua gives details, how they exercised faith and fought for that which was theirs. Perhaps it is prudent to point out that they made mistakes and had to pay for them, but this is part of laying hold of the promises of GOD.

When they fell short they picked themselves up and started all over again.

New Testament Christians may have to do the same as the Israelites did in order to obtain what is theirs in Christ.

A caution is apropos at this moment; the Israelites never took possession of all GOD had promised Abraham. In the same way the Christian may fall short of all that is theirs in Christ.

Heb.4:1-2 God's promise of entering his rest still stands, so we ought to tremble with fear that some of you might fail to experience it. For we also have had the gospel preached to us, just as they did; but the message they heard was of no value to them, because those who heard did not combine it with faith.

The scriptures are full of promises which we shall never obtain. This is due to many reasons; such as misinterpreting the scripture, and trying to apply it in the wrong way.

Without trying to make a list of why we come short of what we perceive to be ours in Christ, let me say the main reason is not combining the promise with faith which makes it dead on arrival. Trying to believe for something and believing for what GOD has promised is not the same thing. This is a distinction some fail to make.

When the HOLY SPIRIT quickens one’s faith concerning needs you can be sure you are on the right track, but without that it is just wishful thinking and disappointment lies ahead. It is best to avoid the want and want to line of thinking and be led by GOD'S spirit and your spirit. Soulical aspirations can inspire but when misplaced are not profitable. These inspirations die quickly while the Spirits leading continues.

Another issue is while each of the Israelites received a portion of GOD’S promise, not all received an equal amount both in quantity and quality. One of the mysteries in Christendom is the inequity experienced by Christians.

One preacher gets to build a cathedral and fill his pockets with gold while another struggles for existence.
One will get healed while another suffers and dies. One will have success in business, love and their social life and another has the opposite experience. One will have to give up their life for their testimony while others live off the fat of the land.

While our minds can come up with many reasons why this is so - - the bottom line is, this is the fact of the matter.

In the final analyses to those who have been given more, much shall be required of them, some will succeed and some will fall short.

In the book of Romans 12:5-8 so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another and having gifts, different according to the grace that was given to us; whether prophecy -- 'According to the proportion of faith!” so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another or ministry, let us use it in our ministering; he who teaches, in teaching; he who exhorts, in exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.

Not understanding one’s place in the body can cause you to try - - but fail when trying to minister beyond your ministry gift, for it is crash and burn territory. What is required is to function in the body of Christ where you have been placed and to see to it that your part is not left undone.

We have all received the same salvation, the same HOLY SPIRIT and will receive the same judgment and rewards based on one’s faithfulness.

At that time it will not be as important what we have believed GOD for.

The important thing will be - - who we have believed IN.


Todays post is linked with Charlotte’s Spiritual Sundays.  Please visit there!


Thursday, December 15, 2011

REVERNEND CHAPPELL


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Pastor Chappell was a large man somewhere between austere and country.

He was use to ministering to people of Oklahoma South and since some of the people in our church had migrated from the south they wished to have him come to be the new pastor of our church.

There were certain characteristics that defined him; one being he had a very loud voice. I don’t mean just loud I mean extremely loud, one that would hurt your ears. When he saw the microphone he said I won’t be needing that and he was right.  He had a wife and daughter both of which were very skinny. When talking to them he toned his voice down a great deal otherwise they would have been deafened.

Such a kind man was he, and I liked him a lot.

Due to the fact his experience had been preaching to rural people who worked late on the farm, church always started after dark.  He was in the habit of not starting his preaching until later in the evening. Our church on the other hand started at six on Sunday evenings with what we called an Evangelistic service. He just couldn’t get comfortable preaching the evening service while it was still light.  He once told me that something had to be done because we were working against GOD by not waiting until dark to preach.

This became a problem and some contention arose because by getting out of church by 8 there was time for the members to go out and fellowship or have people over for refreshments especially for the young people.

The pastor was gracious but about a year of “working against” GOD was all he could take and he resigned and moved to Arizona to minister to the American Indians.

As it turned out it was best both for him and the church, even though he was a good man he was in the wrong place.

1 Corinthians 12:14-16 14 For the body is not one member, but many. 15 If the foot says, “Because I am not a hand, I am not a part of the body,” it is not for this reason [a]any the less a part of the body. 16 And if the ear says, “Because I am not an eye, I am not a part of the body,” If they were all one member, where would the body be?”

It is important for both the church and you for you to find your place in the body of Christ because it is there you will be most successful.

There have been times when my wife and I have had to fill in because someone had failed to take their place in the body. We were glad to do it but we were just a fill in.

Romans 12:6-8 So in Christ We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; 7 if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; 8 if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.

No one can replace you for you have been given your place, your job, your responsibility in the body of Christ. If you neglect to fulfill your calling the cause of Christ will suffer.

Realize this; You are very important in the kingdom of GOD.

You will enjoy this song:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oGcz0AOxLSc

This post is linked to Laura’s Brag on God Fridays.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

DEAD AS A DOOR NAIL




(Unquestionably dead, used for both inanimate objects and once living beings.)

This is one of the common phases that I grew up with. From my earliest memories I heard it used to refer to something that had no life left in it.

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With Christmas approaching, our minds are focused upon the birth of Christ but there was a time some thirty odd years later when a group of faithful believers gathered around a place of crucifixion where he had been put to death. 

Sorrowfully they took him down and buried him in a crypt as reason told them that; “He was dead as a doornail.”

After the birth and death of Jesus the next event most notable event is the resurrection of Christ and his appearances to his disciples, which was followed by his ascension and seating at the right hand of the Father.

While each phase of Christ’s human life is important our focus must now center upon the fact he is our advocate before the Father.

1Timothy 2:5 For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus,

Seated
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 Our very existence depends upon His present ministry on our behalf. This process must be played out until Christ’s return. How alive is Christ? He is alive as you are and more so, for he dies no more.

Colossians 1:17 He existed before anything else and he holds all creation together.

John 1:3 All things came into existence through him, and without him nothing was.

The quality of our relationship with GOD is dependent upon acceptance of the full spectrum of the works of Christ and the fact that this GOD MAN is your representative in heaven.

Something that we need/must be aware of every day is that Christ is alive. The awareness of this fact and the presence of the Holy Spirit will help keep us on the straight and narrow.

Because of the fact that He is alive we can say with the Psalmist; “Yes even though I have to go through a valley of death you art with me and you will comfort me.”

He is alive eternally.

You might enjoy this beautiful song. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L0XXxs5b7rg&feature=related

Please visit these great Blog Hop sites below for many good words you will find there.

Linking with Joan at  Grace Café.  
And with Michelle at Thought Provoking Thursday.

SPEW YOU



SPEW; to send or cast forth with vigor or violence or in great quantity.

Some of the statements Jesus made really get my attention. This is one of those scriptures. Revelation 3:16 So then because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew you out of my mouth.

In the verse he was speaking to the church members of the Laodicean church. In His address to them He says they are Luke-warm and He was going to dump them. He then tells them of their problems and gives them a chance to straighten up and live as they should.

The seven churches of Asia are specifically addressed in Revelation and the message to them should caution all churches as to doctrine and conduct. He closes the third chapter with these words; Revelation 3:22 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.

What the Spirit has said to the church is to place the highest value on your relationship with Jesus and let nothing diminish it.

There is a full spectrum of Christians, some are so gung-ho they can get on your nerves if you are the easy going type, but there is another group that only when pressed do they admit they believe in GOD. These people want to live life as worldly as they can in case there is no GOD but still hang on to their belief just in case there is.

This is the way the Laodiceans were; a kind of safety net profession. They wanted what they considered the best of both worlds that would allow them be non-committed, committed Christians.

Any departure from the Word of GOD in conduct is unbelief. GOD and his Word are one. He is what HE says. His words are a revelation of HIS person. John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

We live in what is called the “Dispensation of Grace,” (favor not based on merit) but the Laodiceans found that “Grace” didn’t mean you could walk as mere men.

The apostle Paul addresses the Corinthian Christians concerning their conduct; 1 Corinthians 3:3 for you are still controlled by your sinful nature. You are jealous of one another and quarrel with each other. Doesn't that prove you are controlled by your sinful nature? Aren't you living like people of the world?

If they had any question of what was right or wrong Paul straightens them out and then it was up to them to do right.

I could say more but if I did it might sound like preaching and I don’t want to do that.

Avoid “Spew You Out” at all costs!

Enjoy this lovely song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R0S8Z-dMM40&feature=related

Linking with Jennifer at:  God Bumps and Incidences 

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

HATE THAT SONG


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That Song; “Doing what comes naturally,” I just hate that song. It isn’t that it’s not true it’s because they’s making fun of us.

Someone asked me, “How far back in the woods do you-all live?” and I told them if we lived any further back we would be coming out on the other side.

There were two kinds of people who live where we did, the hill folks and the bottom land-ers. You could tell the difference by looking at their sheets hanging on the clothes line. The hill folks sheets were reddish on the bottom (the red dirt don’t wash out) and the bottom land-ers sheets were dark brown, they had better soil than the hill folks.

A city feller asked me why the sheets were dirty on the bottom and I told him it was because the men folks didn’t wash their feet very often. They figured that they would just get dirty the next day and it would just be a waste of good soap.

We always knew when it was time to buy new overalls. It was when the patches would fall off because the cloth was too rotten to hold the stitches. New overalls were only wore to church until the old ones would fall apart when they were washed then the new ones became regular.

There were a lot of bootleggers where we lived. The sheriff always left them alone as long as they dropped off a jug each week at his place.

Family planning was a must, the girls were expected to be married by the age of fifteen (or sooner) and could cook as good as their momma. When the boys got a wife they just built another room on the main house.

Most all of us got a good education and some who were sickly even made it to the fifth grade cause they couldn’t work it the fields til they were older.

The girls didn’t wear their step-ins except on Sunday when they went to the Pentecostal church or they were wrasslin, the boys liked to wrestle the girls, it were something like courting.

The men wore long johns in the winter and nothing in the summer. We took baths in the summer as soon as the river warmed up enough.

In the winter we would play a game where you would be blindfolded and see if you could tell who it was by smelling them.

In the winter there were not as many chores so making hominy was not only good for food it was also entertaining. It took two or three days to make it depending on whether you had some lye or had to use ashes to get the skins off. Momma would fry some side meat and use the fat to cook the hominy in.

The lowest form of humans was the chicken thieves. The chicken was a staple for us. We raised a lot of chickens. We ate their eggs and would fry the young ones on Sunday, then when the layers got older they got stewed.

The roosters when they got old, they were thrown into the pot and boiled. It took forever to get them tender enough. The old folks couldn’t chew them so they just ate the broth and dumplings.

Flour sacks and cow feed sacks could be washed and the printing would wash off or at least most of it. They were used for making different kinds of clothes. The women would buy some dye and then make them a new dress. They would use the old buttons so they had a new dress for ten cents.

I have much more I should tell you but the dogs have started to howl cause they want to go hunting and I want to go also. If I don’t get back in time for church tomorrow pappy said he would get rid of my dogs so I better make tracks.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oeZz6ATBncU&feature=related

This post has been linked with Tracy at Winsome Wednesday

Please visit and view other good words you will find there.


IT DOESN’T SEEM FAIR!



Life just isn't Fair !!
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 There are many things today that don’t seem fair.  

One of them is hair cuts. Now I don’t have but about one third as much hair as I used to have but I still have to pay full price for the hair cut.

It doesn’t seem fair that the oldest child gets to wear the new clothes and then they are passed down to the younger until the youngest out grows them.

It doesn’t seem fair that the cats get to sleep in the house and the dogs lay out in the cold.

It doesn’t seem fair that the CEO gets millions a year while the janitor who does more work makes a few thousand.

It doesn’t seem fair that my sister married a good looking, rich husband and I…. Well it doesn’t seem fair.

Some say that it isn't fair that GOD will send people to hell just because they revile HIM and reject HIS salvation and do despite to his grace.

Hebrews 10:29 How much more severely do you think a man deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God under foot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified him, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace?

Maybe some things are not fair and all things are not equal but, it is what it is - - so get on with life, and dust off your relationship with Jesus if needed. 
http://www.youtube.com/user/ReginaBrett#p/a/u/1/8A7pNRSECNk

Linking today with Messy Mondays with Evatt 
And at the WellSpring with Laura

Please visit this great blog hops to find many good words there!