Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Light + Salt = Blessings

Seems like the whole world around me here craves miracles and blessings. There's one that's better than em all

Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men. Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven. ~ Jesus in Matthew 5:13-16

Happy 2016. New Year, New Circumstances, New Guidance!

It's a good time to talk about guidance.
I pray that God really blesses you with an amazing 2016, lots of growth!.. yes, more amazing that any year preceding! Personally, I wish at this time of the year I was handed a leather-bound day-timer with a list of items for me to do in the new year, yes, for each of the 365 days ahead. 
How can I know the will of God? We wonder, does God still speak today? Is He interested in me as an individual? Does He indeed have a master plan for my life? If so, how do I discover it? There is a way to be, new inside, and there are indeed things that we can do to be sure of knowing His will.    
At times I feel like, Man!.. there are to many voices in the world vying to be heard these days. There is the voice of the masses, there is the voice our own conscience. There is the voice of our close friends that influences us, and of loved relatives. There is the voices of the devil and of his fallen-angel-buds. Not interested in hearing any of them. And of course, there is the good voice of God.

Learning to know which is which is important. God has said that we can know His will and His way (see Genesis 18:17; Isaiah 30:21).

Jesus said, “No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you” (John 15:15 NKJV). 
Do we engage in selective hearing? I’ve done that before, especially with my two brothers. And sadly at times I’ve been like that with God at times too. God, thanks for the Bible and for Jesus. Please do beyond, far more than we can even imagine. Help us to know You better, to love You more, to hear You with a willingness to do what You say. We commit this new year to You and trust that You will use us to help our friends and their's as well. 
It is not that we don’t know God's will at times. but it is that we don’t always like His will. But the Bible says… 
Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin. —James 4:17
In Romans 12:1–2, we find some prerequisites for God’s guidance:
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. NKJV
We can in that last passage see what we need to stop doing: Don’t be conformed to this world. Too many allow this to happen. This passage has a conditional promise in it, and a great one it is! The promise is that you can know the good and acceptable and perfect will of God. The conditions.. are: one, you and I each must present ourself to Him as a living sacrifice; two, yes.... you and I must not be conformed to this world's system; and three, you and I must be transformed by the renewing of our minds.

I do like that order. It does not say.. Hey, you can know God’s will and then decide whether or not it’s good.. whether you desire to offer yourself to Him. No, first, you repent and then you opt to trust Him–you fully surrender to Christ.
Sometimes, clearly knowing the will of God will be easy, but sometimes it will be more challenging. Remember, God’s Spirit will always work through God’s Word.

Don’t just wait for impressions. Study the Bible, and His Spirit will lead you through His Word to understand it in its proper context. 

Obedience to revealed truth guarantees guidance in matters unrevealed to you. 

Sometimes we cry out to God, “Lord, I know that you’re up there. Please show me Your will—just speak to me right now okay,” when all the while, we are holding the answer in our hands. God’s will is revealed in the pages of Scripture.
God has revealed His plan and His purpose, but we must study the Scripture to know what it is.

King David prayed, “Teach me to do Your will” (Psalm 143:10). Notice what David did not say. Like, “Teach me to fully get it quicker…to understand your will.” Rather, he said, “Teach me to do Your will.” This carries the assumption that it is not a matter of information as much as it is of obedience. Sometimes I think the problem is not that we don’t know the will of God; but it is that we don’t prefer or even like the will of God. 
Ordinarily God won’t show you His will until you’re first willing to actually go do it. God deeply loves you and He is willing to guide you. He has many ways to guide you and he is more than able to do that. Much of the time God guides you through the day when you’re simply doing the next indicated thing that’s the no-brainer obvious best option for all. 
The will of God is very clear, clearer than we normally think it would be. Your personal comfort isn’t always God’s top priority when He’s guiding you. In the future you’ll be glad it wasn’t. Have you asked Him in faith to guide you? How specific or often do you inquire of Him? Sometimes we don’t have guidance because we fear that He will give us an answer that we don’t really want to hear. Fear not.
With leaders on both sides of the equation doin’ their own thing for bucks and other crazy ideological reasons, fear of terror is now sweeping the globe. With shootings like every other day and this still.. horrible economy you need God’s guidance. There’s no better place to be then in the center of his will for you!
The Holy Spirit can daily help us know the Father’s will so that we can each thrive in life.. in the midst of this Last Days chaos and confusion around us. You can indeed see how God’s Spirit will give you power and discernment when others have no idea which way we as a people should go. The Spirit will equip you. Where do we start? Here in the Word!  
It’s God’s will for you to turn from sin and be in Christ because He SO wants to help. He desires for you to be able to Hear Him regarding the best way for you. 
Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened…  Matthew 7:7-8  

Here's a great New Years verse for you.
Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a NEW creature; the old things passed away; behold, NEW things have come. Now all these things are from God.. 2 Corinthians 5:17  Read more -

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Sayin' it, is of course the easy part, but me still thinks it’s indeed my duty to protect innocent people.

Love.. always protects. And it’s the government’s top duty to protect its citizens. This government Admin where I live has failed horribly (elections have consequences) when you and I really want people safe! But am I all alone.. to protect myself?

This is a gracious thing, when, mindful of God, one endures sorrows while suffering unjustly. (2:19)

If when you do good and suffer for it you endure, this is a gracious thing in the sight of God. (2:20)

Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless. (3:9)

If you suffer for righteousness’ sake, you will be blessed. (3:14)

It is better to suffer for doing good, if that should be God’s will, than for doing evil. (3:17)

Rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed. (4:13)

If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed. (4:14)

If anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in that name. (4:16)

Let those who suffer according to God’s will entrust their souls to a faithful Creator while doing good. (4:19)

You will be delivered up even by parents and brothers and relatives and friends, and some of you they will put to death. You will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But not a hair of your head will perish. By your endurance you will gain your lives. (See Luke 21:12–19)

Do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell. (Matthew 10:28)

Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves. Beware of men, for they will deliver you over to courts and flog you in their synagogues, and you will be dragged before governors and kings for my sake, to bear witness before them and the Gentiles.. Brother will deliver brother over to death, and the father his child, and children will rise against parents and have them put to death, and you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved. (Matthew 10:16–22)

Jesus said to [Peter], “Put your sword back into its place. For all who take the sword will perish by the sword.” (Matthew 26:52)

You have heard that it was said, “An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.” But I say to you, Do not resist the one who is evil. But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. (Matthew 5:38–39)

Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. (Matthew 5:44–45)

Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you. (Matthew 5:11–12)

What do you think of Matthew 5:11–12? We Christians can get sick or be hurt, but we are indestructible until God is done with us here. We are freed by the Holy Spirit to rejoice during persecutions because our hearts have been so changed by Jesus Christ that we are more excited and satisfied in the hope of heaven than in any feeling of revenge or a hope of self-defense. This is the basis of turning the other cheek and of showing love to our enemies. The steadfast love of the Lord is literally better than life (Psalm 63:3).

Do I personally own some effective weapons for protecting my family? Yes indeed. For me hate can simultaneously be there where love dwells in my home. As a father I would quickly chop off the head of a diamond back rattler that got close to my child. If I really love my family, I will hate the evil in evil people that would move to destroying my family members. I can daily pray for and show love to evil people ..cuz I am not to hate them (I’m a sinner as well), but if they go to attacking my family members and friends I will have confidence and peace to quickly stop them. I pray I’ll decern well and go for it with quickness.. if or when the need is there.

“Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.”

“Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good.” (Romans 12:9)

“To fear the Lord is to hate evil.” (Proverbs 8:13a)

“You who love the Lord, hate evil! He protects the lives of His godly people and rescues them from the power of the wicked.” (Psalm 97:10)

Jesus “said to them, ‘When I sent you out without money belt and bag and sandals, you did not lack anything, did you?’ They said, ‘No, nothing.’ And He said to them, ‘But now, whoever has a money belt is to take it along, likewise also a bag, and whoever has no sword is to sell his coat and buy one.” (Luke 22:35-36)

“Praise the Lord and Pass the Ammunition.” That’s an American patriotic song written by Frank Loesser. I like that.. pray believing and act wisely. Yes, I love the practical balance it represents. The song was a response to the attack on Pearl Harbor that marked United States involvement in World War II. It was high time for Americans to step in to stop the evil–to protect the Jews as well and other innocent people Hitler’s armies were slaughtering.

Christ was a practical man’s man, no passive girly-boy or wimp. What a good example when He was thinking of His disciples ahead of Himself and protecting them. When Jesus told the apostles to buy a sword, He was not telling them to become violent aggressors or go get vengeance, but was basically wanting them to be ready to protect the people He deeply loves.

God can protect you--I pray that He will. He wants me to be and act wisely and He can protect me. He can let me be martyred for His glory as well. Who even knows what the future holds? Jesus does. My aim in life is to worship God in Christ, to boldly witness, to edify believers, to do what I can to protect others and to consistently show that Christ is more precious than own life. I really want you protected so you can live and hear the Gospel. Yes, I especially want you protected from eternal destruction aka hell. Heaven is a better option!

God is our refuge and strength. (Psalm 46:1)

My God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:19)

You will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But not a hair of your head will perish. (Luke 21:17–18)

God indeed ordains the use of the sword by the state in upholding justice–I pray ours will protect much better with a new leader (1 Peter 2:13–17; Romans 13:1–4). But first!!! Worship. Pray in Jesus for sinners. The reason that we don't pray more for people is because we don't believe that God will answer those prayers. Somehow we buy that lie. But God knows best. He has not let you down. Not even one time and His timing is perfect, flawless, excellent! He is for you and with you there.. not against you, indifferent, or far away.

If we did believe that He answered our prayers no room on earth would be large enough to hold the people praying today. Believers would tactfully witness more and people who know they're messed up inside would decide n get right inside--saved!!
See 1 Corinthians 13

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

The righteous is a guide to his neighbor, but the way of the wicked leads them astray. Proverbs 12:26

Fully trust the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Go with God's word. Feelings, nothing more than feelings. Sometimes they are fickle and fleeting.. and sometimes a blessing.

What you FEEL is not always REAL. So what are you experiencing today -- have you prayed about it? 
What is REAL is not always RIGHT. Lots of stuff in ..our gone sideways kinda culture..that happens shouldn’t have happened. 
What feels NATURAL is not always HEALTHY. How can it feel so good and yet be so bad? It can. 
What is POPULAR is not always BEST. Historically the majority, the crowd, the mob.. has often been wrong.
What you hear and THINK is not always TRUE. Much of what’s on the web or in the Media is way off. Now the Bereans were more noble-minded than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if these teachings were true.“ Acts 17:11
Fake news and made up forged reports aren't new at all. Spend time with Jesus and His people in God’s word to quickly recognize what’s false. Remember, 2000 years ago St. Paul had to deal with this junk. "Don't be so easily shaken or troubled by reports saying the Day Of The Lord has begun. If they claim to have a vision or revelation, or even a letter SUPPOSEDLY FROM ME, don't believe them!" 2 Thessalonians 2:2 
Give yourself permission to NOT believe everything that passes through your mind. Stop believing and doin’ the wrong things. Shoo away all that doesn’t need to be in there. It's one thing to let the birds fly over your head and quite another thing to allow them to nest in your hair. “Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.” 1 Thessalonians 5:21

It's dumb to let anyone become better buds with you than your spouse. I'm talking about anyone other than God.

Be closest friends with the God of the Bible and then on the horizontal.. be best friends with your spouse.
If you are a husband with a non-believing wife, then be a really good husband by God’s power. Yes, let God help you be a good witness. Pray hard daily–PHD. 
If you are a believing wife with a non-believing husband, then be a godly woman, a decent witness. 
Perhaps you are not hitched, but wanting to one day be married. Cool. Start praying for your future spouse now. It’s a good habit to start. You know, be responsible. Apply yourself–apply the word in faith. That will speak volumes to your loved one. Even Christ had a challenging time reaching family members. He prayed and they believed. 
Remember.. here are four words..sets of four words.. that that can change your marriage: Whatever you say dear? I am really sorry. Will you forgive me? Here’s my credit card. Make me a sandwich (from a guy : ). “Husbands love your wives.” (four times in 8 verses God tells us guys to love our wives. How? Do it unselfishly like Christ loves His bride the Church). Do “happily ever after” relationships only exist in fairy tales? Nope. Holding on with patient expectation = HOPE!
Make your spouse your second best friend in the universe! No excuses. 
1. “Have fun together!  Don’t just do the work together, do the fun together too!  My brother and sister-in-law used to play in a volleyball league together for years while their girls were young.  It was a built-in date night, got them with other friends, and was something they both enjoyed!
2. Get excited about the things they get excited about!  If it isn’t necessarily your ‘cup of tea’, so what!  Try a sip!  You may just like it.  My husband has loved baseball since he was a small boy.  I never watched it much, and quite frankly didn’t think it was too interesting.  But after watching Ken Burn’s documentary on it, learning the roots in American history, hearing about some of the great players and asking LOTS of questions during games, I have learned to love it too!
3. Know their story, their weaknesses, their fears…and love them anyway.  Isn’t that what best friends are for?  Remember our theme verse this month, “A friend loves at all times…” (Proverbs 17:17).  I know I’m particularly hard to love in the mornings (and not very loving myself), but thank God my husband loves me anyway!
4. Make them feel good about themselves!  Would you call someone who only makes you feel worthless and insecure your friend?  Certainly not.  Affirm their best qualities.  Celebrate their wins!
5. Call out the best in them.  One of the blessings of a true best friend is that they can speak the truth to us when no one else will.  Hold each other accountable to be everything God called you both to be.
6. Extend grace and forgiveness.  Even the best of friends have a bad day, say a hurtful things, disappoint us in some way.  Offer the grace in those moments that you’d want in return.  My favorite radio pastor, James MacDonald, says “There are no enduring relationships without forgiveness.”  If you want a friendship that lasts, a marriage that endures, you must forgive both big and small.
7. (On the horizontal plane) Put them first!  Don’t let your spouse just be one of your friends.  Don’t just let your spouse be a best friend.  (after your relationship with God) Make them your most important friend!  Your relationship with your spouse should come before any other relationship in your life, short of your relationship with the Lord.” ~ DANIELLE

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Hark! The herald angels sing.

Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel. —Isaiah 7:14
Hark! The herald angels sing,
“Glory to the newborn King;
Peace on earth, and mercy mild,
God and sinners reconciled!” —Wesley
Hark! Full-on praises and all glory to the King! Christmas makes me wanna sing.. and bring.. more of me to Him! 
He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation. —Ephesians 2:14 
Mild He lays His glory by, 
Born that man no more may die.
Born to raise the sons of earth,
Born to give them second birth. —Wesley
Thinkin’.. it’s His birthday, and what’d He’d like to receive most, is you, is your heart, is your future so that He will bless, help, guide and non-stop be with you cuz of love.
All to Jesus, I surrender, all to Him I freely give; I will ever love and trust Him, in His presence daily live. —Judson W. Van De Venter 

Sometimes it’s like.. No flesh! You’ve been loud, you always basically say "Rush, rush, rush so you won't miss out, Kurt" (not a real voice but you know what I mean). Yet, it ain’t really time to hastily rush and run out the door so fast before I get with my first-love.
Dear Lord, Please bless and use us this Christmas to be a blessing to others. Yes, and beyond the Holidays too. Bless us so that we can slow down to hear from You well with a heart to obey. We need You Jesus. Amen.
When I spending time with Jesus.. when I take the time to seek God, the circumstances in my day still seem flawed at times, but my day just goes better and I have peace. I am trying early.. learning to listen ever as carefully as I can to what the Lord might want to speak to my heart.  You know, there seems to be so many things on my heart that I really want to do the moment I wake up, but I’m trying to first pause early to listen. I am asking Him for grace and to allow me to grow in this area, as such grace to obey and pause and hear accurately is indeed a gift that I must confess I have buried with business for a good portion of my Christian walk. God has been patient with me. Thanks Lord, for more grace to please you.
The Lord is my shepherd.
I will always have everything I need.
He gives me green pastures to lie in. 
He leads me by calm pools of water.
He restores my strength.
He leads me on right paths to show me He is good.
Even if I walk through a valley as dark as the grave,
I will not be afraid of any danger, because You are with me.
Your rod and staff comfort me.
You prepared a meal for me in front of my enemies.
You welcomed me as an honored guest.
My cup is full and spilling over.
Your goodness and mercy will be with me all of my life,
and I will live in the Lord’s house a long, long time.
Psalm 23 Easy-to-Read Version