Pray for America

Pray for America

There is a shift in the atmosphere. It has been moving for quite some time but the shift is getting louder and the images are becoming more clear. Do you hear it? Do you see it?

There are forces moving beyond our natural visibility that may not be recognized. But if we look closer to the situations of the hour we will see the heads of deceit and anger and unrest. This is not the unrest of a people group or of a nation, this is an unrest of demonic influences. These forces are fearful of the days ahead as they know their time is short. So their fury is unleashed into the hearts of people who will listen, causing the havoc that we are witnessing during this hour of time.

“For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorizes of the unseen world, against mighty powers in the dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.”  Ephesians 6:12 (NLT)

Though I will never choose to make my blog political, politics obviously plays a huge part in our world. We may not be of this world but crazy enough we live in it. Besides, God has used people in the political scene or who carry authority in this earth, for his purpose. So it is worthy of discussion.

Politics has always been in play. Look at Moses. The Lord told him to bring the children of Israel to a place where they could worship outside of the city. He petitioned (familiar word) pharaoh many times. Pharaoh unwittingly played a huge part of that move. Because he fought against the voice of the Lord plagues covered the land and brought the eventual destruction of the Egyptian military, setting the children of Israel free.

Even during the days of Jesus Rome was a city of power filled with political unrest. Some people believe that the disciples first assumed that Jesus would be part of a movement that would overthrow the strong political power of the day.  It made sense as Jesus was a descendent of King David and many times was called the son of David. A couple of the disciples longed to sit on his left and right side in his kingdom. But he informed them that his kingdom was not of this world.

During the Roman Empire religious leaders argued amongst themselves regarding doctrine and beliefs similar to what the church does today. But they united as they used their given power of that time to motivate the crowds to loudly petition the death of Jesus. There was chaos in the streets.

Pontius Pilate gave the Jews a choice which prisoner they would like released during the Passover. He assumed the people would prefer to release the kind teacher who did many miracles. It surprised him that instead they wanted Barabbas who was known for being part of an uprising. Perhaps he was part of the Zealots, a group of people who were bent on overthrowing the Roman Empire–which had become a government of oppression.

This may have caught the first Christians off guard. They had seen the miracles Jesus had performed and believed that he was their answer. Hadn’t Jesus come to deliver them from this political turmoil and oppression as Moses had delivered the children of Israel?  Wasn’t he the one who would help them attain freedom from the mayhem that was swirling around them?

Today when we look at the streets of our towns in America we are appalled by the violence and the hatred. Where is all this anger coming from? Why has there been such a loud shift in the last couple years in our land regarding life, regarding unity, regading respect for our land and our freedom?

Instigators who wanted Jesus killed whispered pandemonium and lies into the ears of those in the crowd to stir up anger and dissatisfaction. The same people who had honored him only a week prior now chanted words of death to Jesus. Today our quiet cities have been stirred by the same sinister voices. There seems to be an underhanded plan to tear down America from the inside out. Those silent initiators may be thinking that they have incited the crowd, but the forces behind their motivation have a much more evil intent, as satan’s only intent is to steal, kill and destroy. (John 10:10)

I live in a community where races of all colors and creeds work together, shop together, go to the parks together, attend school together and even worship together. All is fine. So I don’t believe that this hatred is all-encompassing.  I think that it has been purposely inspired by those determined to destroy our nation through discord, anger and dissatisfaction.  And the media is playing into the hands of this upheaval, as predicted.

Unfortunately there is already anger and discourse in the hearts of men and woman today. So it doesn’t take much encouragement or coercing for these individuals or groups to attack and scream and lash out and to even kill one another. They may not even be aware of why they are angry or that they are being used as pawns for a greater cause.

I think of Judas Iscariot, known for betraying Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane.  He apparently wasn’t aware that what he was doing would bring such destruction to Jesus nor to himself. He just knew he would be paid greatly for his services, but he ended up paying a greater price. What is the price people are willing to pay who are demonstrating with such rage?

You may feel some exasperation brewing in your souls. You may be frustrated that this attitude of rage and disrespect is playing out in our streets and getting so much attention, knowing it isn’t the voice of the majority. Be careful that you do not fall prey to the anger and become as guilty as those who are creating so much strife.

“Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.” Matthew 26:41 (NIV)

Where are we, as believers, suppose to stand in this line of fire? Fortunately we can still express our views without retaliation, I hope. We can protest (though I am beginning to believe that is asking for a playground of violence).  If you feel called you can join those in the political areana or speak out regarding your opinion. And of course, we can always ignore it and put our heads in the sand and “pretend” all is well.

But above all we should PRAY!

Pray together with others; pray without stopping. Pray for truth. Pray for peace. Pray for wisdom. Just pray because apparently prayer moves heaven!!! Go figure.

Remember the story of Peter who was miraculously set free from prison? People had gathered together to pray for him after they had learned that James had been killed. An angel came to his rescue, releasing him from prison. The prayer group was so astonished that he had escaped; that their prayers had actually been answered.

Like I have stated many times in other posts: God is NOT caught off guard. He will use the very circumstances of the day to bring about his truth, his glory and his redemption. It may not be broadcasted on TV or forwarded on social media. But behind the scenes of craziness—- people are still getting set free and saved.

When Jesus died on that cross, circumstances did not look very bright either. What were the first believers suppose to think? The one who promised to deliver them was now dead. But behind the scenes a great story was being played out. The enemy thought he had won the battle. But his plot had initiated the greatest story ever told. Jesus defeated death. He actually went into the belly of hell and took the keys of sin and death from satan. And then he rose back to life and is still offering eternal life for all who want it!

The condition of our country may appear grim. Darkness may seem to have won, but we don’t know what is transpiring behind the scenes. Hallelujah God does.  I have no clue what America may look like in a couple of years. We may see much darker days in this land. Laws may get passed that flabbergast us and go beyond all reason or common sense. Landmarks may come down that defined the history of our country. And our freedom to post our opinions may be monitored or scrutinized.

Should we run? Should we hide? Should we live in fear? I read a book that inspires hope to those in despair. It offers forgiveness to the broken, inspiration to the downtrodden, and eternal life to ANYONE who desires it.

It is the Word of God and it is alive.

“God’s word is living and active. It is sharper than any two-edged sword and cuts as deep as the place where soul and spirit meet, the place where joints and marrow meet. God’s word judges a person’s thoughts and intentions.” Hebrews 4:12

There is a shift in the atmosphere. It is a shift of God’s hand moving and preparing our hearts. There is a shift of God wooing us to come to him in the midst of chaos. Do you hear it? Do you see it?

Listen: The voice of the Lord is calling his own.

He who is the faithful witness to all these things says, “Yes, I am coming soon!” Amen! Come, Lord Jesus!” Revelation 20:22 (TLT)

 

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HEADLINES

HEADLINES

“A tower is consumed in fire, leaving 79 people missing and presumed dead.” 

“A car plows over protestors, one killed, 19 injured.”

” A 3 year-old is missing; parents are being questioned.”

“Stores are laying off thousands of employees as their doors close for good.”

Nuclear weapons are pointed in our direction.”

Terrorist…bombs…death…suicide…gender confusion….political unrest…and so on and so on…

Do you get tired of the depressing news that flows through the flat screen, into your living room or over your car radio, or pops up on-line? Let’s not forget the social media or internet craze where you can slide through article after article of information. Some may be interesting but other can be quite disturbing and it isn’t even a political season.

Our own mind can play our personal thoughts and cares on an endless loop tape…over and over. What do you constantly think about? What plays over and over in your mind?

All these words of gloom or distress plus the anger and fear that seemingly reside in our atmosphere can become overwhelming.

The other night as I was drifting off to sleep the heaviness of the world’s news, the sadness of those going through dark seasons, the cares that the next day may bring kept filling my thoughts. Suddenly Philippians 4:8 came to my mind.

“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.  Philippians 4:8 (NIV)

Instead of filling my mind with the news of the land I should be filling it with the hope of Christ. So I began to consider this verse. What does it mean?

So what is TRUE?
The truth is that God loves us. He sent his son to this dying planet to save us from darkness. He IS returning some day. Life does not have to end in defeat. The truth is that no matter what is seen with our eyes there is hope beyond measure in this life and beyond.

What is NOBLE?
Being noble is being virtuous and honorable in a world of self-satisfaction. A noble person thinks of others first, such as giving up a seat on a bus for an elderly person or returning a wallet found on a park bench to the rightful owner– with the money still intact. Or perhaps dying for a world full of lost souls so they can spend eternity with their creator.

What is RIGHT?
It seems the world we live in has lost the definition of right and wrong?  But God is truth and though we have people trying to change that fact and people trying to make a twisted choice as right, it doesn’t matter. God is still right. It is still right to give innocent babies life. It is still right to spread the gospel of hope. It is still right to help those in need.

What is PURE?
Purity is undiluted. It isn’t mixed with properties that would taint it. Purity makes me think of a newborn baby who has not tasted sin. Or perhaps purity is the spilled blood from Christ’s body as he stretched out his arms to die.

What is LOVELY?
It could be your dream home on the ocean front or a field of flowers. I see a tender touch of a mother’s hand on her sleeping child or an elderly couple still holding hands after decades of love, even when faced with trials.

What is ADMIRABLE?
It is when a person risks his own life to save another life by forging into raging waters where a car has overturned. It is when a teacher does not give up on a child who may need extra help.  It is when a doctor flies into a third world country to help those less fortunate; or when parents adopt a special needs child because they long to share the compassion and love that fill their hearts.

What is EXCELLENT or PRAISEWORTHY?
I look around me and see the people I rub shoulders with and know that I live amongst people who are excellent. I see people who have gone through incredible heartache yet whose hearts are still soft because they have allowed the Creator to walk with them through fires of life.  Now they are giving a helping hand to those who experience the same thing.

I look beyond the chaos of this life and I see a purpose. I see a God who is slow to anger and full of grace.  He is waiting for those who will turn to him. He is waiting for you and for me to quiet our hearts and give him our cares.

He is excellent. He is praiseworthy.

So I choose to think about and meditate on the things that bring life and hope. And I thank the Lord that no matter what the news may report, no matter what the movies may portray and no matter what people may say, God is STILL in control.

The events of the day do not change the fact that he is God. It does not throw him off guard or trip him up. He is aware of our future.

His word even states:
” Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”  Philippians 4:5-7 (NIV)

I pray that you find peace today. Whatever you may be facing or whatever you are listening to that may strike fear in you, I hope you can give it to God! Be careful what you pour into your mind and dwell on. And especially be careful whom you may choose to spend time with.

As you keep your mind on the things that bring hope I pray you find rest in HIS peace.

May the headlines that flow through your mind be true, noble, right, pure, admirable, and worthy of excellence and praise.

God bless.

Waves of Regret

Waves of Regret

I was off the grid for a couple of days. It was different not being able to communicate with others, but it was also relaxing. I was on a vacation at the ocean with some fun and delightful people I call family. It was quite coincidental that before I boarded the plane for my trip I was handed a book, a novella to be exact, called “Seaside”, written by Terri Blackstock.

The story is about an older woman who desires to take a short vacation on the ocean shores with her two grown daughters. She had found peace in her latter years and wanted to share that same peace with her daughters hoping that relationships could be healed. Part of the story plot mentions past regrets.

That word struck me. I had recently listened to a popular comedian tell her life story with that “R” word riddled throughout her testimony of life. I suppose as we get older we might have the opportunity to look back at our lives and possibly fill our life stories with many, “what ifs” or”if onlys”, if we allow ourselves to go down that path. I don’t think that those thoughts and words do anything positive for the soul.

I was talking to someone about these expressions; “if only” and “what if” and realized that perhaps God already knows our future, and just perhaps he already knows what choices we will make. (I say that in jest, as I understand it to be true.) So if that is the truth then there isn’t any room for an alternate dimension of ourselves making other decisions with different outcomes like we may see in the movies or read about in books. Instead there is a God that takes the choices we will or have made, right or  wrong, and uses them for our good.

 “And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.” Romans 8:28 (NLT)

That is the crazy yet miraculous thing about walking with the Lord.  Though we may have made “wrong” choices they may be the very choices that can actually be our spring-board into success, if we allow it. Don’t get me wrong. I am not saying to go ahead and be stupid. I am saying when you make a mistake or go off the right path for you, God stands there ready to use that mistake as your stepping stone of strength to go from glory to glory. It might not necessarily be a wrong choice but a choice that leads you down a different path with unexpected consequences.

You hear these testimonies quit often. The rehabilitated drug addict turns around and is reaching out to other drug addicts to save them from destruction. The thief goes to prison and hears the gospel of hope then decides to share that hope with those imprisoned with him. The baby who was lost on the streets of a war torn country is adopted by loving parents who give her a good education. That education is later used when the individual finds her lost family and chooses to use the education she received to help those less fortunate from her homeland.

Let’s take a look at young Joseph who was thrown into a well by his brothers and then sold into slavery. Later in his life he is thrown into prison and forgotten for years. But eventually he is used by God to save a nation from famine, including his relatives that previously sold him. It was if he was predestined to be a slave and a prisoner in the land of Egypt .

OR-

Perhaps God knew what Joseph’s brothers were already going to do and so used their evil plan to save them from starvation. It was if God took what was meant for evil and used it for good.

Joseph states,
“Even though you planned evil against me, God planned good to come out of it. This was to keep many people alive, as he is doing now.” Genesis 50:20 (GWT)

Possibly it is a choice of sin. Think about King David. There was a time that he desired Bathsheba and had her brought to his chamber. When he finds out that she is pregnant he summons her husband to come back from battle in hopes that he will stay with his wife. But when her husband decides not to sleep with his wife David realizes what he did and decides to have her husband transferred to the front of the battle where he is killed. All these wrong decisions create chaos as he tries to cover up his sin. But God is not blind to these things and David weeps with sorrow over his choices.

He then marries Bathsheba but the child that is born from their relationship dies of an illness. Later Bathsheba gives birth to another son and names him Solomon. From this  bloodline comes the birth of Jesus, the Christ, the savior of the world. If you think about it, it is almost as if God predestined King David and Bathsheba to unite.

OR-

Perhaps God used all the wrong choices that he knew David would make for David’s good and for our good. Despite his choices David still loves God which causes him to repent in anguish. God sees his heart and still has a great purpose for him.

There is a God that takes the very choices that we make, and uses them for our good because he promises that all things will work together for good to those that love him and are called according to his purpose. He is capable of taking what was meant for evil and turning it around for our good.

Why? Because he already knows the choices we will make and even though we are sinners and often make bad decisions he uses those decisions and polishes them with his blood and then hands them back to us better than they were before.

So back to you and me. Do we make some wrong choices? Most likely. But should we live in regret? Not at all. Of course we should not live in sin, but if we do sin we should repent to restore our relationship with our Lord. But maybe the choice wasn’t sinful but just not the best option. Still there should be no regrets. Regret is for those who have no hope. We have hope. We have hope that the God of creation, the God of salvation, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob will turn all things around for good in our lives because we are called for his purpose and because we love our Lord.

On a personal note I remember a time when it seemed I made one wrong choice after another. I thought about the parable of the sower found in Matthew 13. The seeds planted on good soil reaped a crop up to 100 times what was sown. I called out honestly to the Lord saying, “I have made a crap load of wrong choices how can I reap a harvest?” Then I heard him speak tenderly deep inside my spirit. “But what do farmers use to plant a good crop?” I realized they use manure (aka: crap). It would be those very choices that the seeds of my faith would fall into. The crop springing from those decisions are returning to me as blessings because I surrendered them to the Lord, instead of fretting over them.

Trust him. He seriously loves you and me more than we understand. And he can turn any wrong choice into a blessing as long as you let him, even things that were NOT YOUR choice but were dealt unjustly to you by someone else. Hand them to the Lord and he will give them back as a blessing. He still is a miracle worker. He is amazing!

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11 (N(V)

 

Rest

Rest

“Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow. It empties today of its strength.”
-Corrie Ten Boom

When life has gone crazy
And I can’t hear Him speak
When dreams seem blurry
And my knees feel weak-

When it seems like I’m waiting
And waiting some more
When I don’t understand
what I’m even waiting for-

When trouble surrounds me
Like a tempest unleased
When I’m tired and weary
And confusion has increased-

When I say, “Why Lord?”
And don’t hear a sound
When I want to just quit
And stomp on the ground-

When all of these things
Seem to knock at my door
That is the time I put my
Trust in Him more.

That is the time
I rest in the hands
Of my heavenly Father
Who cares and understands.

That is the time
That faith in action grows
When I don’t know the future
But I know that He knows.

If God stood by Noah
When the flood waters rose.
And He stood by Moses
The deliverer He chose.

If He stood by three Hebrews
That were thrown in a fire,
Won’t He stand by us
In our darkest hour?

He said to not worry,
He said to rest in His care.
He can handle our future
He’s already there!

So I trust in you Lord
I surrender each test.
I know that you love me!
In you I will REST!!!

“Never worry about anything. But in every situation let God know what you need in prayers and requests while giving thanks. Then God’s peace, which goes beyond anything we can imagine, will guard your thoughts and emotions through Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7 (GWT)

 

 

 

 

 

Rise Up Sleeping Warrior

Rise Up Sleeping Warrior

I don’t know if you like to drink tea. My preferred drink is coffee…black coffee. But there are occasions that I really enjoy a cup of tea. Again that is black tea and it must be HOT,  unless is a very hot day. In that case I like ice tea; REALLY cold ice tea. If at any time my hot tea starts to cool down, or my ice tea begins to get warm, I will throw it down the sink. Lukewarm tea is just gross.

This caused me to think of the verse found in Revelation 3:15-16 ” I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish that you were cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold or hot, I will vomit you out of my mouth!” (NKJV)

I suddenly seemed to understand what the Lord was trying to explain. This was a warning to the Laodicean Church. According to the material that I have read about the city of Laodicea, the waters there were constantly lukewarm. The icy waters that flowed towards the city from the mountains became lukewarm by the time they arrived and the hot water from the hot springs that were brought into the city also become lukewarm before they arrived. So this message made a lot of sense to them because they had become lukewarm like their water system.

But what does it mean to us today and why would the Lord want a people either cold or hot? The “hot” terminology usually means that the individual is on fire for the Lord. What he says and the way he lives vibrantly screams, “Jesus is Lord”!  More times than not it appears that this is the individual that is radically saved from a dark lifestyle and suddenly comes into the light and wants the world to understand his transformation. That may not always be the case. There are several people that were raised up in the Christian home that believe likewise.

But then there are the cold individuals. The consensus with these individuals is that they do not believe in the salvation message at all. In fact some of them may actually be atheist. Or perhaps they firmly believe in another religion all together. The funny thing about that is that the “hot” crowd probably believed in the “cold” lifestyle at one time in their lives.

I think about Paul who wrote so much of the new testament. He was from the “cold” crowd. He was so angry with what people who called themselves Christians believed that he was having them arrested and killed. He even watched as the first Christian martyr, Stephen, was stoned to death. But he had such a radical transformation that he went from cold to hot in a short time. There wasn’t any time for the stagnant lukewarm lifestyle to invade his life.

So who are the lukewarm people? I would say they are the ones that are ho-hum people. They really don’t have anything strong to say about anything. They may even be believers, or confessed to be at one time. They may go to church quite regularly but it really doesn’t mean much to them.  They have come to the place of believing the sayings: “each to their own” or “live and let live”.  Compromise and goodness is their theme. That is an easy place to fall into, especially if you were raised in the church. Jesus has become too familiar and unimportant.

It is similar to getting an inoculation or vaccine. A small portion of the actual disease is shot into your body.  Your body is able to build up your immune system against the disease so if the real disease would try to attack your body you would have already built up antibodies and the disease couldn’t destroy your system. So it is with some people . They have heard “Jesus saves” for so long that they have become immune to it and don’t even recognize the real move of the Lord.

That immunity has snuck right into the church. It seems more important to be accepted by the world than being a light that shines in the darkness.  Because we no longer pour over scripture we question the black and white truths we have heard and begin to walk in that all too familiar gray area. We begin to compromise.

Our time may be spent on good things but we have forgotten our need for a Savior. We have fallen out of love with the one that delivered us from sin and death. Instead of spending any time with him we fill our time with entertainment or even “good” causes and cares of this life. Soon we believe we are fine and all is well. We have become lukewarm.

Believe me when I say that I am speaking to myself. I don’t write this blog thinking I know so much or that I have my act together. As I write it I realize I am speaking to myself. And these words I write actually begin to convict me. I realize that I have compromised in so many ways. Like I said, it is easy to do. Somehow we are lulled to sleep and don’t even remember drifting away from truth.

But God is good. He always leads us back to his truth IF we will listen. Chapter 3: 19-22 in the book of Revelation continues with the Lord saying,

“I correct and discipline everyone that I LOVE.

Take this seriously, and change the way you think and act.

Look, I’m standing at the door and knocking.

If anyone listens to my voice and opens the door, I’ll come in and we’ll eat together. I will allow EVERYONE who wins the victory to sit with me on my throne, as I have won the victory and have sat down with my Father on his throne.

Let the person who has ears listen to what the Spirit says to the churches. (GWT)

So I challenge you, as I challenge myself, to listen to what the Spirit is saying to the churches. It is time to wake up. It is time to ask the Lord if there is any area of compromise in your life. Why? Because the Lord Jesus LOVES you and wants you to be victorious.

Let your light be a hot burning flame of salvation to those around you.

It is time to take your position in Christ.

Rise up sleeping warrior.

God bless.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tragedy

Tragedy

Recently a tragedy happened in a place that I use to call home. I know tragedies happen quite frequently in the lives of many people throughout the world. You hear about them so often on the news that sometimes you forget how violently it many have shaken an individual, family or at times even a nation. But for some reason this particular tragedy hit too close to home and yet I never knew the people personally.

June 29th, while I was busy about my day, the fishing boat Miss Destinee capsized in the frigid waters of Kodiak, Alaska. Two of the crew members were immediately rescued while the other two were listed as missing. I watched the episode unfold on social media as family members and friends hoped and prayed for the best. Despite the best efforts of the Coast Guard and others, the two young people: a brother and sister ages 18 and 22  lost their lives as the unforgiving cold waters rushed quickly inside the capsized boat.

The news gripped my heart as I sat on my cozy couch reading the social media posts and the news releases. I prayed and I wept. I didn’t understand why this particular event stirred me to the core. Maybe it was because they lived in the town I use to call home or that they were friends of people I knew closely or the fact that I had just been there at the church a few weeks earlier joining the young lady and her older brother as they led worship.  (I know in my heart that they are now worshiping our Lord…live!) Or maybe my heart ached so furiously because I was sure their parents and remaining older sibling were being crushed with incredible heartache and loss. As a parent I cannot even begin to understand that pain. Whatever the reason for my personal heartache, I had been impacted by the loss, though indirectly.

Life is precious. Each life is precious. To have a life snuffed out so early and so senseless is heart wrenching. It fills the minds of those left behind with questions that have no answers.

Recently, it seems I have known more people who have passed on to eternity. Perhaps that is because I am older and have lived long enough to witness tragedy or perhaps it is because I see it more clearly. Though I have not been impacted by war as some of my friends around the world have, nor gone into war as my son experienced, I hear the echoes and vibrations of its influence. From the terrorist attacks abroad and on our soil,  or murderous acts of selfish rage, or horrible accidents to an incurable illness; death is real. Lives are lost and mourning begins.

I do not have any expertise regarding the pain these individuals are going through. I have friends that have lost close loved ones.  I’ve attended several memorials and funerals. I’ve cried with those in mourning. I’ve prayed for those left alone. But I cannot give a word of comfort from a deep place of experience. Still I want to somehow reach out and tell the world that someone precious is gone from our world. Someone precious in the sight of the Lord has passed on.

I use to wonder what the scripture meant that said:
“Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his faithful servants.” Psalm 116:19 (NIV)

But I have come to believe that he sees each life individually as valuable.  Jesus even wept when Lazarus died, knowing he would come back to life on this earth and live in eternity with him.  I believe that he considers the death of his followers, his children, as precious because he knows how unique each life was on this earth!  And he has a specific place for them in heaven, created just for them — for you and for me — that he is saving. It is like when a friend saves your seat at a particular event. HE is saving our place, with our name already written on it. And when we arrive he welcomes us with open arms and gets excited to see us!

He said: “If I go and prepare a place for you, I am coming again and will receive you to Myself, that where I am you may be also.” John 14:3 (NASB)

God is powerful, yet God is tender. He is wiser than us and his ways are higher than ours. If God knows the number of hairs on our head, and knows the number of days we will live, we must each be extremely important to his heart. I believe that he values your life and my life, the lives of those that have died before us, and the lives of those not yet born more than fine costly gold or increasing strength and power.

He loved us enough to send his son to DIE.  It was a costly death. It was a death that left Jesus alone carrying the heavy weight of all the world’s sin and illness. It looked like defeat. But He died so that we…you and I…can LIVE with him in eternity. Otherwise there would be no hope and we would die a second death into the darkness of hell.

I cannot understand why an early death happened to the two young people or why good people suffer. I know that God never promised us continued days of happiness in this life. He did, however, promise that there will be many trials in this world. But he added to that statement saying that he will give us peace through it and we were to be of good cheer for he had already overcome the world.  (John 16:33)   Thank the Lord.

One of my life versus is: “Trust in the Lord will all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.” Proverbs 3:5 (NIV)

So I trust him though I don’t always understand.  And I pray for those that are mourning a loss of someone who was extremely special in their lives. God is wiser than we are and loves us more than we can comprehend; only wanting the very best for us. Some of the tests that we have to go through seem impossible! But God will make a way. He said in the book of Luke that what is impossible with man is possible with God.

Whatever you may be facing today. I pray that “the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:7 (ESV)

God Bless.

 

 

 

Do Not Fight the Wind; Face It!

Do Not Fight the Wind; Face It!

The WIND seems out of control
As I stand looking out to the sea.
Suddenly it stirs familiar strongholds
That were hidden deep inside of me.

The WIND picks up speed.
I’m frightened by its power!
Yet those strongholds are quickly scattered.
Giving me hope in my darkest hour.

The WIND continues to rage on
Splashing salt into my eyes
As heartaches are washed away
Along with old fears and past lies.

The WIND roars with great furry
As I walk into its immense might.
I feel darkness blowing away
And hope replacing the stormy night.

The WIND keeps on howling
But I face it with hope in my heart.
Wisdom whispers truth in my soul
Releasing new vision and a new start.

Where does this wind come from?
And where does it go?
I do not question it,
Nor do I know.

It seems like a violent storm
As it brews with such rage.
Yet it is breaking down the walls
That had held me inside a cage.

Does heartache come from God?
Is pain from him too?
Does he allow darkness at times
So we can begin brand new?

If the winds of life seem too violent,
If the storm wants to hold on
Don’t despair; but trust GOD!
He will give you a new hope and new song.

In spite of the disappointment,
In spite of the raging wind
Trust him to carry you to the other side.
There your new life can begin.

“The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going, so is everyone who is born of the Spirit.” John 3:8