"Count it all joy when you fall into various trials."

Posts tagged ‘truth’

One Way – the Only Way

Patrick was suddenly aware of the beautiful woman with crystal blue eyes and chestnut-brown hair.  She was stunning.  She was gracious and approachable.  People seemed to enjoy her presence.  He wanted to win her but had no idea how to do it.  He decided to go out and win the hearts of other women.  He felt that somehow, in this manner, he would learn to win the heart of his loved one.  He became a man of some reputation leaving a trail of broken hearts across the city.  Finally, he felt he was ready.

He had studied about her and knew where she would be.  He arranged to be there and to meet her.  He used all of the methods he had used in winning the affections of the other women.  She looked at him with tears brimming in those crystal-clear blue eyes and said, “Patrick, I saw you long ago and loved you.  I have watched as you have pursued other women and it broke my heart.  Now you come to me with all your experience and it means nothing to me.  All I ever wanted was you.  The way to my heart was clear.  You had only to come to me and I would have received you and loved you.”

Patrick’s face showed his dismay.  “Do you mean that you have wanted me all this time?”  “Yes, I have longed for you.”  Patrick asked, “Is it too late?”  “Dear Patrick, since you have found that there is only one way to my heart and that is to come to me and accept my love, I freely give it and forgive you all your previous efforts. ”

Today’s Lesson:

This is the way of our great God. He has provided one way – only one way – into His Presence.  He sees us pursuing false gods and his heart breaks. He knows that the enemy of our souls wants us to believe that there is more than one way to Him.

There is only one way and it is through the shed blood of Jesus.  He is the Doorway to Father God.  He is the Way, the Truth and the Life.  No one comes to God, except through Jesus.

All we have to do is stop our self-effort and our self-focus and turn to Him.  He sent His only Son, Jesus, to pay the price for all of our sin.  He made it possible for any one of us, regardless of our past choices or beliefs, to come to Him.  The only qualification is that we accept what Jesus has done for us.  As we turn to Jesus, He provides us everything we need for life and godliness.  He loves us and wants to spend time with us.  He wants us to fall in love with Him and fulfill our destiny.

He knew that we needed Him and so He didn’t make it complicated.  He didn’t give a different way to one group of people and another way to another group.  He knew it needed to be simple and so He provided only one way.

The enemy likes to bring doubt and confusion.  He wants us to question everything.  Satan’s desire is to keep us off-balance and away from the One Way, Jesus.  He wants you to think Jesus is just an enlightened teacher or a prophet, but He doesn’t want you to know Him and the power of His blood.  But Jesus is not enlightened – He is the Light!  Jesus is not just a prophet – He is King of Kings and the Lord of lords!  Jesus said, “If you have seen me, you have seen the Father.”  He is God!!!

Today, He is inviting you to come to Him.  He is waiting.  Just tell Him that you want to know Him and ask Him to make Himself real to you.  I assure you that He will.

Hearing God’s Voice

I don’t want to share with you the twisted road that the devil had me on before I came to the knowledge that Jesus died for me and He did it because Father God loves us so much; It still amazes me that He sacrificed His own Son on our behalf. And, as if that wasn’t enough, He sent the Holy Spirit to live in us and bring us into Father’s Presence.

My testimony is NOT about what I did before, but what I DO almost every day.

When I first met the Lord Jesus, I fell in love with Him. I discovered that the only way to have a relationship with Him was to spend time with Him. So, that is what I did. For months and months, I spent time in the Bible and talking to Him. He introduced me to God the Father and invited me into the Heavenly Throne Room.

To prepare my heart when I want to meet with Him, I put on loud worship music so I can shut out my surroundings and sometimes I open the Bible – I shut my eyes and I am transported into Heaven and the Throne Room.

I know, I know; you are saying, “Whoa! What do you mean, you go into the Heavenly Throne Room!”

You see we are not citizens of the world anymore. We belong to our Family in Heaven where God is our Father and Jesus is our big Brother. We have imaginations given to us by Father God. (The devil has corrupted them and many people don’t think they are okay anymore, but they are.) So I close my eyes and ask Jesus for permission to enter into the Throne Room (He is the Door.)   He is seated at Father’s right hand. I come in and I am engulfed in Light. I feel the cares of the day fall off and I take my seat next to my big Brother, Jesus. From here I find out what the Father’s will is for me.

OR sometimes, I just crawl up in Father God’s Lap and call Him “Abba” (Hebrew for Daddy”) and tell Him everything that is on my heart and rest in Him. Sometimes, I just sit on the floor and look at Them and watch all the angels.

It is really a wonderful. I can go there anytime. The more I go, the easier it is. You can do it too. Don’t be afraid. Your imagination was given by Father so that you could see Him. He is able to help you see the right things. It is always a good experience.

He loves us and wants us to know Him. He wants us to love Him – romance Him, if you will. It is how you have a wonderful relationship with someone you love. There is no relationship without alone time intimately with the other.

So much of what the world has done tries to convince us that we can find this level of intimacy with another person here on earth, but it is just not possible. But I promise that when you shut everything else out, He will meet you and love you as you love Him.  Learn how to open the door to your heart any time, any where!

The Scriptures uses the symbolism of the Church as the Bride of Christ. There is no relationship more intimate than a Bride with her Lover and that is who we are to Him.

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Religion or Encounter?? You choose!

My Mama didn’t believe in joining a church because of her Mama’s religion. They taught you would get ‘the Mark of the Beast’ if you did. (I didn’t know what that was.) Grandma’s religion had made atheists of all of her kids because it was, what was then called the “holiness” movement. She wore dark stockings, no make-up and did not believe in having much of anything. There was no radio, television, indoor plumbing and for many years, no refrigerator. She carried wood and coal and used an outhouse until she was 90 years old. Her belief colored all of our lives. Mom and Dad could never agree on what to do about church and so they slept in and sent me to a small church two blocks away.

At that little church, we had a series of pastors, at least two of which I believe loved the Lord. The others were merely religious and not true shepherds.

The one that negatively impacted me the most was a man who had been asked to leave his previous denomination – and pastorate (at least that is what I remember.) Reverend was very unhappy. He had five children who were unique in that they didn’t even fit in and I know that was painful for them.

His wife was the one that still causes me to shake my head. One thing I remembered vividly was that she wore silk stockings with a seam down the back and acres of unshaved hair beneath them. She taught Sunday School. Her favorite song was “Holy, Holy, Holy” and I always felt she was singing about herself as she closed her eyes and warbled in a high stringy soprano.

She didn’t like me much. I was a bit of a leader among our small fellowship. The kids voted for me to give the Youth Sunday sermon. When the news got to Mrs. Reverend, she took me aside and said, “Reverend and I don’t believe that we should have someone in the pul-pit (emphasis on pit) that isn’t a member of the chucha (no ‘r’ and strong last ‘ch’).”

I was very hurt and confused. I left and went to a church across town until they left. It was years before I could hear the song ‘Holy, Holy, Holy and focus on the one it was about.

At no time did anyone in that small church talk to me about the Gospel. There was no power and often little love. It was a place where some folks were thought of as pillars and others as necessary but not honored.

When I went through my rebellious years, I turned from traditional ‘religion’ and started looking at alternatives including the New Age. I found the focus on me and I liked it. I had a new religion and I was the ‘god’ of that religion. It was comfortable but it did not satisfy.  I did what felt right in my own eyes.

Many years later, as I drove down the street listening to R. W. Shambach on the radio, the Holy Spirit spoke directly to my heart and my life changed forever. I had an encounter with the Living God.  I learned that afternoon that God was real, He loved me and had a plan for me  the most amazing thing of all, I found out that I was forgiven. God Himself walked me through receiving His forgiveness and washing me clean. No one can ever convince me that God is not real. He is real! I am His and He is mine.

Religion is an ugly thing.  It is a practice of traditions not instituted by God. It is primarily cultural and doesn’t focus itself on the love and Presence of God.   It talks about God but doesn’t really know Him and can be a mere history lesson.

Religion is found in many different forms and even embraces Christianity that has explained away the power of God.  Because they do not experience it, they deny it.  I includes many different belief systems from all around the world. It incites people to have wars to protect their doctrines and beliefs.  There is form but no supernatural power.

Today’s Lesson:

What religion has is tradition, judgement, culture, doctrine, history, and social clubs as well as conflict with anyone who disagrees with them. What God has is righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.

Righteousness is His gift to us at our acceptance of His Son’s finished work.

Peace is ‘shalom’ in Hebrew which means wholeness – complete in Him.

Joy comes from His Presence and has no opposite and is found only abiding in Him.

A relationship with the Living God is far better than religion.

Are you in religion? Or do you personally know and fellowship with the living God?

If you don’t know Him, I invite you to an encounter with the Living God by accepting the finished work of His Son, Jesus Christ.  It is easy to do.  Just call on the Name of the Lord Jesus and believe with you heart – NOT your head – and you will be saved and He will send the Holy Spirit to Guide you into all Truth.  Then ask Him to make Himself real to you and He will.

Let me know if you make this decision.

Righteousness verses Morality

I believe that there is a difference between righteousness and morality.  Righteousness is  a gift from God that puts us in right standing with God and morality is our attempt to be good without God.  When we are righteous, we are by extension moral.  When we are moral, we are not necessarily by extension righteous. We can improve our outward actions but apart from God, we are never truly free.

I would like to introduce you to John, a very moral man with a deep sense of moral outrage about people and actions.  He was big on judging and that is pride.  Scripture actually says to “Judge not, lest you be judged.”

He had attended church ever since he could remember.  John had served as a deacon and an elder on the church boards.  He didn’t like the new pastor and he was upset that he seemed to think that just anyone could come in to the place he considered his own place of worship.

John thought he knew the meaning of the Bible and taught classes.  He told them God hated several different groups of people.

He had marched against the abortion clinics while telling the young women that if they didn’t change their ways, they would be going to hell.  God’s heart aches.  People that hated religion were another of his enemies.  He would hand out tracks at the various festivals and celebrations held in his city.  When a recipient would take one look at the tract, scoff and drop it and then step on it, John would sneer at them and say, “God will treat you just that way some day.”

But the real enemy was anyone who appeared to be a homosexual.  He didn’t even bother handing them a track.  He just told them, right up front, that they were a disgusting abomination made for destruction and there was no hope for them.

Of course, we know that what John believed about these people is not God’s view.  God loves all of us.  Those of us who are in relationship with the Lord were once involved in these and other sins – some even worse.  We were labeled just you have been.  The only difference between any of us is our relationship with our heavenly Father.

The only sin that keeps you out of God’s heaven is rejecting His Son Jesus and His finished work on the cross.

The issue comes when we don’t understand who is real and who is false..  Just as there is a difference in people at a ball park; there are differences in the people who call themselves Christian.

At the ballgame, some people are extreme fanatics that paint their faces and go crazy.  The are all sound and fury, unable to affect the score but annoying everyone, while some sit on the sidelines and eat popcorn and peanuts just observing.  The true team mates get in and play the game.  Of the team that is on the field,  some of them take steroids, gamble and disgrace the team while others work hard and accomplish great things.  It is the same in the church.

In the church, there are people who know Jesus and the Heavenly Father who are filled with the Holy Spirit and there are others who are of their father the devil.  (I didn’t say it, Jesus did.)  Jesus addressed this when he spoke to the Pharisees and Sadducees who were the religious leaders of the day.   “You’re hopeless, you religion scholars and Pharisees! Frauds! You go halfway around the world to make a convert, but once you get him you make him into a replica of yourselves, double-damned.”  Matthew 23:15  The Message (MSG).  Yikes!  Jesus didn’t like phonies either!

Make no mistake, dear ones, the God of the Universe, our Creator, loves you and He loves me.  Satan is a defeated foe, but the church has let him run loose because so few in the church remember the Truth and they have lost their way.

I am sorry and beg for your forgiveness for I was such a one, but recently, I found a fellowship of the remnant of true believers  who KNOW the Father and Jesus and walk in the power of the Holy Spirit.  As His children, we are not to be weak-willed and goofy.  We are to walk in the peace, power, and love of God.

Jesus Christ came to earth to destroy the works of the evil one – Satan.  He destroyed his work and took the keys of death, hell and the grave.  Then he left us to clean up the planet and enforce his defeat.  But the enemy had a few tricks left and decided that if he couldn’t beat us, he would join us.

So, many people hate what the church has become and the idea of a God who answers prayer sickens them. The Scriptures say that the enemy has blinded those who don’t believe.   I was right there with you but now I know better.  Will I obey what I know and cast out demons, heal the sick and lead lost people to the Light of God?  The Bible says that when we seek Him, we will find Him, when we seek for Him with our whole heart.  It is my prayer that you will reach out to Him today.  I do that every day and He meets me.

He has gifted me with righteousness and as a result my actions are wholesome and righteous.  Once I was blind but now I see.  It is a gift that is fully paid for by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  Father God loves us with an everlasting love even when we are far away.  The people who call themselves His children are often the children of the devil.  But there is the real and you will know them by their love.  They will love you and they will love each other.  They will hate the works of the evil one just like Jesus did.  If you know your Bible, he took a whip into the temple and overturned the religious mess made by the priests and the money changers.  He was a man’s man – no ‘namby-pamby’ Jesus of the Easter Plays.  He was passionate and fully alive!

When we give our heart to Jesus and He takes us to the Father, we experience the life of God and we are passionate and powerful, just as He is.

Won’t you join me in this amazing adventure?  E-mail me.

Love Story

Once upon a time far away and long ago – this is how many stories start, but this story is right here, now, and today! The setting may seem to be somewhere else, but all of the things that have roots in the Scripture are here and now! So – here we go!

We have heard that God is love and he wants us to love Him, but we have also heard really bad stuff about him. We call them ‘Acts of God’ which include tornadoes, hurricanes, floods and other mega disasters. If there is a car accident and a child is hopelessly hurt or killed, we blame God. Why do we do that? Did we ever honestly attempt to figure out if God is responsible for all these bad things? Is it possible that we as well as other created beings could be responsible?

We have heard the Bible stories so much that they sound all together too familiar. We don’t even get what they are saying. Jesus came as a baby, grew up, did some stuff, got a bunch of people mad and they crucified him, but He showed them and rose from the dead and then went up into heaven. Who buys that? Why does it matter?

We can look at this story in a different way.

Father God wanted a family that would choose to love Him. So he did a really risky thing. He made a special race of people who were capable of living on a level equal with Him but he gave them free choice. They could choose to love Him or not. The ‘or not’ part is where the risk is.

His first son was Adam was a created being and then he created his daughter, Eve. They had it all! He met all their needs by providing a garden that He Himself planted. They could eat anything in the garden with the exception of only one tree. He came to them every day and they walked and talked together. They were learning about this amazing place. Except for the garden, the planet was in a mess, and He wanted Adam and Eve to occupy it and make it all beautiful. They were to make other children in the god-class. They would be like Him but they would not be Him. They would be able to do amazing things. Everything was there for them to enjoy with meaningful work in establishing dominion as co-rulers.

But, the reason the planet was in a mess was that one of God’s heavenly created beings – a beautiful archangel named Lucifer made a choice and led a rebellion in heaven – and God exiled him to earth. He raged around the planet because he had lost his most favored status. He turned earth into a chaotic place with havoc everywhere. The Scripture says, “the world was without form and void and darkness was upon the face of the deep.” The Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. And God said, “Let there be light, and there was light!” He created everything that was made.

There Adam and Eve were on the earth, in a beautiful garden, and they were enjoying themselves, but Lucifer was roaming freely intent on spoiling Father God’s plan. He took on the form of a beautiful serpent and began to dialog with them about the forbidden tree. He did what he is still doing today. He created doubt in the goodness and loving kindness of Father. He convinced Adam and Eve that Father was withholding something. Father had withheld nothing including the knowledge of good and evil. They just were not mature enough to understand it. They lacked ‘No-Thing!’ But doubt had its way and the deceiver won the day. They ate the forbidden fruit and started the cycle of sin that has created storms, accidents and disasters. Now, the longer we live on this earth, the more the sin cycle creates chaos.

Father loves them and knew what they had done, but He came to the Garden anyway. When they heard Father in the Garden, they hid, then they blamed each other and God explained to them what forces they had set in motion. He killed innocent animals, shed their blood and covered their sin. God’s love always covers. The Scriptures say that without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sin. Then He put them out of the Garden and set up angelic guards to protect the Tree of Life.

Father God knew from the foundation of the world that we would need to be rescued and He, His Son Jesus, and the Holy Spirit put a wonderful plan into effect. He would send his Son to earth to shed His precious, sinless blood and wipe out the sin that man put into effect by his disobedience and mankind would be restored to him. All they had to do was to choose him. Then God would teach them all the things he had planned for them from the foundation of the world. As they draw near to Him, he draws near to them. In His Presence is fullness of joy!

We can now eat from the Tree of Life and go back to the Garden-life and walk with Father because of the Son. He sent the Holy Spirit to live inside us as our constant companion, guide and friend. We can occupy and bring heaven to earth by walking with Father every day in Jesus name.

So, you have a choice. I had a choice. I chose Him. I KNOW He loves me. I KNOW He loves you. Choose Him and prove His love.

It is easy to do. The Bible says that those who call on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ shall be saved. Read John 3:16, 17. Find out how much He loves you and that He is just waiting for you to call out to Him. Each of us come to the realization of who He is in a different way. For me, I was driving down the road, listening to the radio preacher when God took over his voice and I knew for sure that He was real. I just began to say, “I’m sorry Jesus. I just didn’t know. I didn’t know.” So it isn’t a formula, it is a heart thing. Ask Him to make Himself real and I promise that He will.

Genesis 1, 2, 3

Matthew 26:28

Luke 22:20

John 15:26, 16:13

Acts 20:28

Ephesians 1:7, 2:13

Colossians 1:14, 20

Hebrews 9:12, 14, 10:19, 22

1 John 1:7, 5:8

Revelation 1:5, 5:9, 7:14, 12:11

The Body – A Song of Praise by Clare Kaegi-Watts

Presenting Clare-Kaegi Watts, my dear and talented friend. The pictures here are her original artwork done in great detail in pen and ink. 

She is also a poet whose words are a praise to our Heavenly Father.  In her work, THE BODY, you will see that she highlights various parts of her body that she uses to praise the Lord.  (i.e.  Eyes, Feet, Hands, etc.)

It is my hope that the art and the poetry bless you as they have me. 

 The Body

A Song of Praise

Before the light of morning spills across the land

I rise to greet the day and thank my God

For His grace, His love, my liberty.

Some distance walked while still half dark,

Through trees the soft mists shrouding.

The quiet of my LORD’s creation settles, peaceful, still,

Upon my spirit as I seek His sweet presence there.

 

A soft golden ray of light from this day’s sun

Alights upon the silver, polished limbs

Of a tall and stately Gum right in my path.

A movement caught my eye,

A note of song of sweet, pure clarity

As tiny birds of dazzling hue and great fragility

Woke joyful, carefree, singing praises

To their Maker for this new fair day!

 

I stopped, looked and held my breath;

The scene to me became a symphony

Of light, and sound – and wonder.

God’s blessings, beyond number, took perspective

Far too wonderful for words to say

As revelation led to revelation beyond number.

Welling up from deep within, this song of praise erupted ……

 

Oh, LORD Creator, thank You for my EYES that I may see

The beauty of this tall and stately tree,

That ALL Your wonderful creation I too may gaze upon

And praise Your handiwork with, “It is good!”

And precious Savior thank You for my inner eyes

That I may see the wonder of Your Truth.

 

Oh, LORD Creator, thank You for my EARS that I with joy

May hear the sweet song of birds carefree,

The cricket’s chirp, cicada shrill, frog or busy bee;

Or stand and listen to Your wind blow gently through the trees.

And loving Savior, gentle Friend, thank You for my “inner ear”

That hears Your still, small voice of guidance, love and care.

 

Oh, LORD Creator, thank You for my TONGUE that I

With thanks and praise may taste of Your rich bounty –

Of fruit, or herb or honey sweet,

Of bread, or fish or tender meat,

And blessed Jesus thank You for my LIPS that join

With tongue to sing Your praises,

Glorifying You for ALL Your graces.

 

Oh, LORD Creator, thank You for my HANDS that I may touch

The wonders of Your work.

To feel the softness of a petal smooth,

The sweet touch of baby’s cheek.

But especially I thank You LORD for these strong hands

To do Your work and minister to souls in need.

And Abba, Father, thank You for these HOLY hands

Rising with my prayers as precious incense to Your Throne,

That reaching, touch Your great and loving heart –

To receive blessings beyond words known!

 

Oh, LORD Creator, thank You for my FEET that bear me

On journeys far, that I might marvel as I travel

At Your good gifts so great by far!

I bless You, Jesus, for these feet made strong to carry me

Through my pilgrimage to heaven eternal –

And follow in YOUR footsteps straight and true.

Beloved LORD, I thank You for my MIND that through life’s journey

I can ponder on those things of God

That come from You each morning.

That in my memory retain the treasures of Your Wisdom

And Your guidance, meditating daily on Your Word

And think with joy and wonder of those things which are above!

 

But LORD Creator, Mighty, Gracious God, I thank You

Bless and praise You most for my strong HEART.

You took my old cold stony one, and cast it on the scrap-heap,

And in its place You put a heart of flesh, restored,

Washed in my Savior’s blood, cleansed and forgiven.

So now I see, O SO clear! – that ALL I am, and ALL I have,

And EVERYTHING about me

Is gifted from my loving God, that I may sing His praises.

And this body, made by Him,

For Him, a holy Temple.

To God, and Him alone – be glory!

AMEN.

 

 

Aside

Love Story . . .

LOVE STORY . . .

Once upon a time far away and long ago – this is how many stories start, but this story is right here, now, and today!  The setting may seem to be somewhere else, but all of the things that have roots in the Scripture are here and now!  So – here we go!

We have heard that God is love and he wants us to love Him, but we have also heard really bad stuff about him.  We call them  ‘Acts of God’ which include tornadoes, hurricanes, floods and other mega disasters.  If there is a car accident and a child is hopelessly hurt or killed, we blame God.  Why do we do that?  Did we ever honestly attempt to figure out if God is responsible for all these bad things?  Is it possible that we as well as other created beings could be responsible?

We have heard the Bible stories so much that they sound all together too familiar.  We don’t even get what they are saying.  Jesus came as a baby, grew up, did some stuff, got a bunch of people mad and they crucified him, but He showed them and rose from the dead and then went up into heaven.  Who buys that?  Why does it matter?

We can look at this story in a different way.

Father God wanted a family that would choose to love Him.  So he did a really risky thing.  He made a special race of people who were capable of living on a level equal with Him but he gave them free choice.  They could choose to love Him or not.  The ‘or not’ part is where the risk is.

His first son was Adam was a created being and then he created his daughter, Eve.  They had it all!  He met all their needs by providing a garden that He Himself planted.  They could eat anything in the garden with the exception of only one tree.  He came to them every day and they walked and talked together.  They were learning about this amazing place.  Except for the garden, the planet was in a mess, and He wanted Adam and Eve to occupy it and make it all beautiful.  They were to make other children in the god-class.  They would be like Him but they would not be Him.  They would be able to do amazing things.  Everything was there for them to enjoy with meaningful work in establishing dominion as co-rulers.

But, the reason the planet was in a mess was that one of God’s heavenly created beings – a beautiful archangel named Lucifer made a choice and led a rebellion in heaven – and God exiled him to earth.  He raged around the planet because he had lost his most favored status.  He turned earth into a chaotic place with havoc everywhere.  The Scripture says, “the world was without form and void and darkness was upon the face of the deep.”  The Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.  And God said, “Let there be light, and there was light!”  He created everything that was made.

There Adam and Eve were on the earth, in a beautiful garden, and they were enjoying themselves, but Lucifer was roaming freely intent on spoiling Father God’s plan.  He took on the form of a beautiful serpent and began to dialog with them about the forbidden tree.  He did what he is still doing today.  He created doubt in the goodness and loving  kindness of Father.  He convinced Adam and Eve that Father was withholding something.  Father had withheld nothing including the knowledge of good and evil.  They just were not mature enough to understand it.  They lacked ‘No-Thing!’  But doubt had its way and the deceiver won the day.  They ate the forbidden fruit and started the cycle of sin that has created storms, accidents and disasters.  Now, the longer we live on this earth, the more the sin cycle creates chaos.

Father loves them and knew what they had done, but He came to the Garden anyway.  When they heard Father in the Garden, they hid, then they blamed each other and God explained to them what forces they had set in motion.  He killed innocent animals, shed their blood and covered their sin.  God’s love always covers.  The Scriptures say that without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sin.  Then He put them out of the Garden and set up angelic guards to protect the Tree of Life.

Father God knew from the foundation of the world that we would need to be rescued and He, His Son Jesus, and the Holy Spirit put a wonderful plan into effect.  He would send his Son to earth to shed His precious, sinless blood and wipe out the sin that man put into effect by his disobedience and mankind would be restored to him.  All they had to do was to choose him.  Then God would teach them all the things he had planned for them from the foundation of the world.  As they draw near to Him, he draws near to them.  In His Presence is fullness of joy!

We can now eat from the Tree of Life and go back to the Garden-life and walk with Father because of the Son.  He sent the Holy Spirit to live inside us as our constant companion, guide and friend.  We can occupy and bring heaven to earth by walking with Father every day in Jesus name.

So, you have a choice.  I had a choice.  I chose Him.  I KNOW He loves me.  I KNOW He loves you.  Choose Him and prove His love.

It is easy to do.  The Bible says that those who call on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ shall be saved.  Read John 3:16, 17.  Find out how much He loves you and that He is just waiting for you to call out to Him.  Each of us come to the realization of who He is in a different way.  For me, I was driving down the road, listening to the radio preacher when God took over his voice and I knew for sure that He was real.  I just began to say, “I’m sorry Jesus.  I just didn’t know.  I didn’t know.”  So it isn’t a formula, it is a heart thing.  Ask Him to make Himself real and I promise that He will.

url:  https://joyousbells.wordpress.com/2012/02/10/love-story

http://pliableheart.wordpress.com

http://swimlifelessons.wordpress.com/

Genesis 1, 2, 3

Matthew 26:28

Luke 22:20

John 15:26, 16:13

Acts 20:28

Ephesians 1:7, 2:13

Colossians 1:14, 20

Hebrews 9:12, 14, 10:19, 22

1 John 1:7, 5:8

Revelation 1:5, 5:9, 7:14, 12:11

Aside

Desire

DESIRE

On a beautiful horse farm in Kentucky,  a tiny AKC registered Irish setter puppy was born.  He was perfect and his owner loved him.  One day a man came by looking for work and the owner felt he was unsavory and sent him on his way.  After he left, they found that their beloved puppy was missing.  The owner looked for them both, but to no avail.

The man who had taken the puppy was named Hurley and he found work at a salvage yard as the night watchman.  He trained the puppy to be a guard dog and named him ‘Dog.’  It was a dirty place and as Dog grew, he became very scruffy and untidy looking.  His long fur became clumped and matted.  The man tried to make him mean but the nature bred into him was to be kind and loving.  He had to bark when ever there were intruders or Hurley would prod him with a long ugly stick.  He was kept in a cage all day with no food or drink, and when he was let out at night he was fed dry dog food and water out of a dirty dish.  The man was not one to be kind and somehow the dog knew that this was not the life he was meant to live.

Each day was misery as Dog tried to sleep with all the noise of the busy salvage yard.  The nights were worse as he was kept moving by the lazy night watchman prodding him with a long stick.  He desired to be free.  Nothing felt right and he was in deep despair.  Every night as he patrolled the fence, he looked for a way of escape.

One late afternoon, a well-dressed man came to the salvage yard.  Hurley was just getting Dog out of the cage and preparing to feed him.  The man took one look at the scruffy mess of a dog and recognized the fine lines of a champion.  Deep inside he begin to wonder if this was his lost puppy.  He addressed Hurley and asked about the sorry-looking animal.  Hurley looked at him and narrowed his eyes and rasped, “What do you want to know for?”  The man replied, “How much do you want for him?”  Hurley almost shouted, “He is not for sale!”  The gentleman looked at him and said,  “Would you take $200?”  Greed lit a fire in the grubby man’s heart and he pondered for a moment.  “Why do you want this ugly dog?”  The man in the suit replied, “I’d like to give him a better life.”  “Well,” Hurley said,” you can give me a better life also.  I’ll sell him to you for $1000!”  As the suit reached for his wallet, he said “Done!”  and peeled off ten $100 bills.  Hurley took the money and growled, “I shoulda asked for $3000!”

The gentleman opened his car door and beckoned the scruffy sad dog to get in, but he hung back.  Hurley got out his prod and poked at the ugly critter and said, “Dog, go!” and waved the stick toward the car.  With his tail between his legs, he nervously got in the back seat of the Cadillac Escalade and laid down on the floor.  The motor started and his new owner drove through the gates and out of the prison

The new owner’s name was Franklin and he owned a horse farm not far away.  He knew in his heart that the pitiful hound was his lost puppy.  He took him home and called the vet and the groomers.  After a dog spa day and a compete medical check up, the dog felt strange.  He saw other beautiful dogs that were being petted and loved.  He longed to be one of them, but he knew it could never be. He was from a different world. The spa day had resulted in all of his matted fur being removed.  Now he was bald and even uglier than before and he was embarrassed.  He slunk into the breeding barn and found a horse blanket in a back corner and laid down, content to be alone, clean and away from the hated man and the salvage yard.

Time passed and the owner had the dog tested and found that he was indeed the lost litter pup.  They named him Champion of the Overcomers and registered his blood line. From then on “Champ” was his name though it took Champ awhile to recognize he was being called.  Franklin taught him to play and took him for long runs in the beautiful meadows.  He felt their love.  His new owner sat on the grass and held him and petted him.  His fur grew out and he looked so different. He felt brand new.  This is who the lost dog was meant to be. He was a beautiful pedigreed champion with perfect classic lines.  Champ was groomed regularly.  Franklin began to train him for an upcoming dog show.  He would be a real surprise to the local  kennel crowd.

Champ loved the attention and responded to the commands with joy.  When he went through the paces at the contest, he swept the awards winning his class and ‘Best of Show.’  Franklin and his family were proud of him and he was very happy.  So the ugly ‘junk yard’ dog became a true Champion with ribbons and trophies and experienced his true life.  He knew he was born for this.

We, too, are made for greatness and for the One who owns us.  We have fallen so far below the privilege of who He created us to be and we live in pain, lack, and despair.  Broken relationships make trusting others difficult.  Deep within each of us there is a desire – an ache to be more.  We don’t know how to get there but we know  somewhere there is an answer.  We look for more, but the desire has grown distant.  We try drugs, alcohol, sex and food to cover our pain only to find our drug of choice only makes things worse. And just like Dog, we have a Hurley or several Hurleys in our lives to tell us we are worthless and keeps us moving through the junk yard of despair.

So,” who will rescue us from this life” of pain and broken dreams?  Thank God, He sent Jesus Christ to redeem us out of despair, to fulfill our lost desire and bring us back to our Great Father who loves us and wants us to love Him in return.  He has a beautiful life for anyone who will draw near.

Now I want you to know that this is not the ‘religion’ that your parents tried to shove down your throat.  This is a relationship with the great Creator God of the Universe. Contrary to popular press, He is a good God.  His ‘loving kindness endures forever.  You can trust HIm.  You can know Him and He will talk to you.  He already loves you.

So, where is He when you need Him?

He is waiting. The Bible says that those who call on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ shall be saved.  And also, it tells us that if we draw near to Him, He will draw near to us.  Just like the poor lost dog when he stepped into the Cadillac.  He didn’t know that this step would set him free to be in an amazing relationship with his new owner.

Find out how much God loves you and that He is just waiting for you to call out to Him and move toward Him.  Each of us comes to the realization of who He is in a different way.  For you, it may be reading this post and realizing that there is more.  For me, I was driving down the road, listening to a radio preacher when God took over his voice and I knew for sure that God was real.  I just began to say, “I’m sorry Jesus.  I just didn’t know.  I didn’t know.”  So it isn’t a formula, it is a heart thing.  Ask Him to make Himself real to you and I promise that He will.

John 3:16 – 17  God so loved the world (put your name here), that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.17For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world (put your name here); but that the world (put your name here also) through Him might be saved.

Scriptures for further study:

Romans 10:11 & 13 10For with the heart man believes unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.  11For the scripture says, Whosoever believes on him shall not be ashamed.  . . .  13For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. (You can be a whosoever today.)

Psalm 20:4 -5  May He grant you your heart’s desire And fulfill all your counsel!  We will sing for joy over your victory, And in the name of our God we will set up our banners. May the LORD fulfill all your petitions.

Psalm 38:9  9 Lord, all my desire is [e]before You; And my sighing is not hidden from You.

Psalm 107:27-31  They reeled and staggered like a drunken man, And were at their wits’ end. 28 Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble, And He brought them out of their distresses. 29 He caused the storm to be still, So that the waves of the sea were hushed. 30 Then they were glad because they were quiet, So He guided them to their desired haven. 31 Let them give thanks to the LORD for His lovingkindness, And for His wonders to the sons of men! NASB

Psalm 145:19 He will  fulfill the desire of those who fear (this means to regard Him with respect and awe) Him; He will also  hear their cry and will save them. NASB

Proverbs 10:24 What the wicked fears will come upon him, But the desire of the righteous will be granted. NASB

Proverbs 13:19a Desire realized is sweet to the soul. . . NASB

Proverbs 13:12 Hope deferred makes the heart sick, But desire fulfilled is a tree of life. NASB

Aside

Friendship

FRIENDSHIP

Lately I have been pondering about friendships and relationships in general.  What makes a friend?  What is the difference between a friend and an acquaintance?  What if I am a friend to them, but they are not to me?    When one marries another, there is an expectation of permanence so why the divorce rate?  Why do relationships end?

Definition of FRIEND in the Webster’s:

1a : one attached to another by affection or esteem

1b:  acquaintance

2a : one that is not hostile

2b : one that is of the same nation, party, or group

3 : one that favors or promotes something (as a charity)

4 : a favored companion

There were more definitions, but these were the important ones.  I noticed that there is nothing there about the length and duration of the relationship.  It is my experience that some of the some relationships are forever and some are only for a season.

I know that there have been times in my life when I have wounded and offended a valued friend.  Often they have forgiven me, but the trust was destroyed and the relationship was damaged and never quite the same.  I find that I am still saddened by my actions.
I love this quote that I found in the comments at Webster’s:
“A friend is someone who is there through the good as well as the bad. A friend understands a point of view while disagreeing with it. A friend remains a friend through adversity. A friend takes the time to listen despite a lack of interest. The next time someone deletes you as a “friend”, ask yourself, were they really a friend?”
We all desire healthy intimacy with our friends and our spouse, but often the thought of letting down the wall terrifies us.  What if we let that one in and we are wounded?  What if we don’t?
I wrote a poem years ago after my divorce from my husband of eleven years.  The first lines are:  “The barriers between us are all carefully maintained.
                   They are nurtured by guilt, fear, tears and pain.
                   We hold ourselves off at a distance insulated and protected,
                    Unable to make a commitment out of fear of being rejected.
                   And the armour imprisons the wearer instead of making him free . “.
There is more, but you get the idea.
Scripture says that there is One who sticks closer than a brother.  I am privileged to know that One.  When He lives in my relationships, the loyalty and the trust level are much higher.  When the wound is from a fellow who is on the same path, I must trust in the One who created us all.
I wonder if true friendship and relationship are even possible apart from knowing Jesus and the Father?  I am in awe that I can now be wounded by a close companion and walk in peace recognizing that they are not my enemy but one who is struggling to do His will.  For me, I have determined that I will be a friend and cover another’s offenses.  I, too, will be wary if the door they closed opens again but I will receive them..

To conclude this, I choose to love those I have wounded and those who have wounded me.  I choose to live in peace with betrayal.  It is okay to hurt me.  I forgive and release tthe offender and I choose to walk in freedom.  Thank you Father God for your amazing peace and love.
Related Sites:
What to do when friendship breaks down. http://www.whenfriendshiphurts.com/blog/
Scripture References:
Proverbs 17:17, 18:24, 27:9
Psalm 41:9

Resolved? 2012

“I resolve this year to be the kind of person my dog thinks I am.”  (I saw this posted on a church sign and loved it!)  What else have we resolved to do this year?  Have we resolved to de-stress?  Lose weight?  Quit smoking?  Stop procrastinating?  Get a new job?  Clean the garage?  Be kind?  Eat healthy?  Not respond with anger?  Get out of debt?

Is this the first year you have made this resolution?  Do you think you will keep it?  Did you keep it last year?  What would it take to help you keep it?  Can it be done?  All good questions.

Why is it that we can’t do what we want to do?  Why do we try again and again and more importantly why do we fail again and again?  If we do overcome, we have to work  continually not to go back to where we were.  What is the solution?  How can our resolutions actually work?

Paul, the apostle understood how we feel.  He said ” I don’t really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do what I hate.  . . So I am not the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it.”

Yikes!  Sin lives in me?  I don’t want anything living in me that I can’t control.  Do you?  If sin lives in me, then it actually controls a lot of what I do.  I can make resolution after resolution or go through rehab or diet but sin takes over and I do what I don’t want to do!  That stinks!  How can I break this cycle?

Paul continued, “Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death? Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord. . .”

So, there it is.  Jesus is the answer.  We have heard that often, but so much that it just seems like another religious idea.  Can He really make a difference?  When you ask Him into your heart, then as hard as it may be to understand, His Spirit comes to live it you and it really is helpful.   Paul goes on, “The power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death!”

So when we have Jesus in our hearts, the only power that sin has in our lives, is what we give it.  When we let the Spirit of God lead us, we can overcome the challenges that we face.

So this year, join me in resolving to open the door of my heart to Jesus and He will help us to be free.

It is easy to do.  The Bible says that those who call on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ shall be saved.  Read John 3:16, 17.  Find out how much He loves you and that He is just waiting for you to call out to Him.

Each of us comes to the realization of who He is in a different way.  For me, I was driving down the road, listening to the radio preacher when God took over his voice and I knew for sure that He was real.  I just began to say, “I’m sorry Jesus.  I just didn’t know.  I didn’t know.”  So it isn’t a formula, it is a heart thing.  Ask Him to make Himself real and I promise that He will.

Is that it?  Jesus comes in and then it is all easy?  For years, my favorite Scripture has been, ” It is for freedom that Christ has set us free.”  I could never figure it out.  How is it when I had asked Jesus in that I was still not free.  The problem was that I was still making resolutions.  I was still trying to do them without Him.  So this year, I resolve to get out-of-the-way and rest in Him.  He knows me and when I get closer to Him and know Him better, He takes the issues and clears them up.

Happy 2012!

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