Category Archives: Religion

People of the Day

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Do this, knowing the time, that it is already the hour for you to awaken from sleep; for now salvation is nearer to us than when we believed.  The night is almost gone, and the day is near. Therefore let us lay aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light.  Let us behave properly as in the day, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual promiscuity and sensuality, not in strife and jealousy.  But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lusts.
~Romans 13:11-14

Now as to the times and the epochs, brethren, you have no need of anything to be written to you.  While they are saying, “Peace and safety!” then destruction will come upon them suddenly like labor pains upon a woman with child, and they will not escape.  For you yourselves know full well that the day of the Lord will come just like a thief in the night.  But you, brethren, are not in darkness, that the day would overtake you like a thief; for you are all sons of light and sons of dayWe are not of night nor of darkness; so then let us not sleep as others do, but let us be alert and sober.  For those who sleep do their sleeping at night, and those who get drunk get drunk at night.  But since we are of the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet, the hope of salvation.  
~1 Thessalonians 5:1-8

But do not let this one fact escape your notice, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like one day.  The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.  But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up.  Since all these things are to be destroyed in this way, what sort of people ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be destroyed by burning, and the elements will melt with intense heat!  But according to His promise we are looking for new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness dwells.  Therefore, beloved, since you look for these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, spotless and blameless, and regard the patience of our Lord as salvation.
~2 Peter 3:8-15a

Therefore be on the alert, for you do not know which day your Lord is coming.  But be sure of this, that if the head of the house had known at what time of the night the thief was coming, he would have been on the alert and would not have allowed his house to be broken into.  For this reason you also must be ready; for the Son of Man is coming at an hour when you do not think He will
~the Lord Jesus Christ (Matthew 24:42-44)

Open the Eyes of My Heart 

Me, Me, Me, Me, Me!!!

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I keep reading about finding myself — knowing who I am and what I want in life. Many of us are in search for answers to life’s hardest questions. We don’t understand what to think in a world of philosophies ready to be grasped. It’s really quite easy…we just need to keep looking among the myriad philosophies of man to find the one that best suits our desires because…really…it’s all about what we desire….right?

I’m feeling nauseous thinking about all the not-so-subtle illusions of creating our own gods.

So many are doing it.
Why can’t I?

Sure. Yes. Go right ahead.
Create your own sacred space.
Commune with the moon…
Be your own voice of wisdom.
Find your own unique path to god because that’s what he told us to do.

Can you see it?
That’s what he told us to do.

Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the LORD God had made.
He said to the woman, “Did God really say, …?”

“You won’t die!” the serpent hissed.
For God knows that in the day you eat it your eyes will be opened,
You will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

Eat that sweet morsel of forbidden fruit.
Go ahead.
It won’t kill you!

And so we partake. We reach out and look at the beauty of the philosophy we so desperately want to believe is Truth.
But, it’s not. It’s a lie. The oldest of lies.

We are not our own god.
We are not goddesses in need of enlightenment.
We do not need to develop our own sacred space to find peace in this world.

The Sacred is in us.
His Holy Spirit resides in us.

The mystery in a nutshell is just this:

Christ is in you,
therefore you can look forward to sharing in God’s glory.
It’s that simple.
That is the substance of our Message.

So why do we look further?
Why do we try to create beyond The Creator?
Are we still listening to the crafty god?

“My god wouldn’t…
My god says to me…
My god wants me…

That’s not my god, the god I serve wouldn’t say  fill in the blank…”

Go ahead,
Choose the god you desire,
but know this:

The God of the Universe is not bound by us.
We do not get to create Him in our image.
He created us, not the other way around.

Get to know Him.
He revealed Himself from Genesis to Revelation.
He has sent His Word for us to see The Truth.

So the Word became human and lived here on earth among us.
He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness.
And we have seen His glory, the glory of the only Son of the Father.

At the name of Jesus EVERY KNEE WILL BOW,
of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue will confess that
Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Jesus is our Sacred Space.

In Him all the fullness of God dwelled in bodily form.

Through His Spirit we have become partakers of the Divine Nature.

In no other god will you find Life.

When I’m Weak

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Gitz was a consistent help to me during some very difficult days in my life (Sept ’08 – Nov ’09).  Her comments spoke truth, but most especially, her posts taught me how to praise through suffering.  She reached out and spoke beautiful, uplifting, encouraging words to me.  I am so thankful she will be able to see The Love of Her Life soon…

A link to Sara’s post, At Peace, is at the end of this post.

When I’m Weak
Original post published January 9, 2009:

It’s an overcast morning.  I must get to the doctor today.  I was out all day yesterday helping a wonderful friend.  But as is usual for me, too much activity one day causes much fatigue the next.  I would like to stay in the comfort of my home, but…

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. 
~Philippians 4:13

True?  True.

Somedays it feels impossible to move.  Somedays I’m not sure how I’ll get through.  Somedays I need my pillow and blanket to feel the warmth, to bring comfort to my stiff, aching body.

Today is someday.

I’m asking for His strength.  When I am weak, He has promised to be strong.

“My grace is enough for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” So then, I will boast most gladly about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may reside in me. 
~2 Corinthians 12:9

Heavenly Father, help me get up.  I need Your help to move.  You have been my source of strength for many years.  I know You are the One who gives me breath.  You sustain me.  I need more of Your sustenance today.  I will boast in my weakness for I know it is Your power that gives me strength.  Thank you, Father.

An encouragement for me this day: At Peace by Gitzen Girl

Forgive Us

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It is our fault.

Christians should be the most loving, caring, forgiving, gracious, merciful, and compassionate people on the earth. 

If we truly believe in Jesus of Nazareth as the Son of God, the Messiah (Christ) who came to forgive the sins of the world and save us as His own…

…then we are to live as He preached. 

Jesus preached Love. 

It’s our fault if, when people think of Christians, they do not think of Love. 

I watched a show on Shalom TV last night:  Repentance.  It struck me hard.  It is a film documenting a movement of repentance in Germany which acknowledges 2,000 years of anti-Semitic Church history that culminated in the Holocaust.  It features Nobel Laureate Elie Wiesel.

After reading Night by Elie Wiesel years ago, I embarked on a study of his writings.  Seeing his name in the description peaked my interest.  Although I’m only 49 years old and have never been an anti-Semite, I felt compelled to ask God for forgiveness for my ancestors  since I do have some German blood running through my veins.

I don’t really believe it works that way, that I can seek forgiveness for my ancestors.  I do believe we will all stand individually and give an account for the deeds done in the flesh.  However, I feel a deep grief over the 2000 years of Church history.  I feel we have smeared Christ’s name by hateful acts of prejudice toward His people.  And then, I think of all the other people we seem to snub, push aside, act as though we are better than…!!!

What’s wrong with us? 
Do we really believe the words of Christ?
How is it we can be so hateful toward our fellow man and call ourselves Christians?

Christ came to save the lost,
To bind up the wounds of the broken,
To release the chains of the prisoner.

I could get on my soapbox and wax loooong about what we’ve done as Christians, but my point:

We need to apologize.

We need to apologize for the ugly distortion we have taught as Christ followers.

We need to apologize for the evil we’ve done in Christ’s name.

We need to love as He taught us to love the world.

ALL people.

We would not be here, we would not have any of our Christian teachings, if God did not choose the Jewish people through Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.  They are the People of the Book.  They have kept the sacred text indisputably incorrupt (proven through the Dead Sea Scrolls) for thousands of years.  Our Savior came through this people…and look what we have done in His name…

Please.  Please, accept this heartfelt statement of repentance from one lone girl deep in the heart of Texas.

This act of contrition is not for the Jewish people only, but for all people who have seen and heard an ugly word or action done in the name of Christ.

Please, forgive us.
If you do not see us as a loving people, we are to blame.

It is our fault.
Our Savior didn’t teach us to act this way.

Does God Answer Prayer?

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I love to read.  Always have. 
I remember being in trouble for continually reading as a kid.   

Chores needed completion,
Homework needed answers,
Brother needed watching…

But, I would rather read.

I’ve read LOTS of books over the years, but one series continues to spark my memory.  It might be the idyllic cottage setting.  It could be the paunchy pastor.  It’s probably the home-town happenings.  I’m really not able to pin-point the why of it, but Jan Karon has enthralled me with her books.  Have you read them? 

 The Mitford Series

She has an easy way of telling a story and causing the reader, me, to see the simple life as heaven on earth.  Father Tim is a gentle, loving pastor of an episcopal congregation in the fictional town of Mitford, North Carolina.  He moves among his congregation and his community desiring to show love, getting frustrated with the people, yet continually giving grace to all. 

If you haven’t read the series, do it!  You’ll be delighted, I’m sure.

One prayer Father Tim always prays, when not knowing how to pray: 
Thy will be done.

The first time I read of his struggle to pray in a puzzling situation, my heart warmed with confirmation. You see, it was the prayer I had been praying for years. 

I understand my desires are not always in tune with God’s. I learned years ago to pray Jesus’ words, “Thy will be done.” I know if I am praying for His will, He will do it. I’ll always get an answer.

As Father Tim puts it, “It is the prayer that never fails…”

Thy will be done.

You remember…on the night He was betrayed He went into the garden to pray…

On the night
He was betrayed
He prayed,
Thy will be done.

It was God’s will…He was betrayed.
It was God’s will…He should suffer much.
It was God’s will…He would carry His cross.

It was God’s will that He be crucified…for us.

It’s also the prayer He taught His disciples to pray:

Our Father, which art in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name.
Your kingdom come,
Your will be done, (how?) On earth as it is in heaven…

How is God’s will done in heaven?

He is God Most High.
When God speaks, angels move.
His hosts accomplish His will.

Whether or not we understand, we must learn to trust His will.
The host of heaven are at His command, and they move at His word.
We must learn to trust Him.

Even when it includes suffering…

I want to know Christ
and experience the mighty power that raised Him from the dead.
I want to suffer with Him, sharing in His death,
so that one way or another I will experience
the resurrection from the dead!

~Philippians 3:10-11

Idolatry

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Whatever you do to make this life work, without God, is idolatry.

We are idolatrous people. We desire to create our own way in life. We work hard to come up with a way that will make life feel better. BUT if it is not God, if we are trying to fill ourselves up without Him, then we have created an idol.

Seem harsh?
Well, it may just be you don’t want to admit it.
Just sayin’…from my own experience… 😕

Idols can take many forms: career, family, marriage, ministry, sports, yard-work, busyness, religion, possessions, travel, money, prestige, power, education…and the list goes on and on…

I have recently discovered idols in my past. First, I tried to be good enough. Positive performance became an idol to me. I desired to feel good about me and wanted God’s “approval.” So, I falsely thought if I did the right things, I would.

But, now I know only God can make me “good” and yet, I won’t be complete until eternity. Trying to make myself look good to you — well, that’s me building an idol — it’s not resting in what He says is true: No one is good but God.

Another idol: Being a teacher and “godly” mother. I have looked to my children, and those I’ve taught, as an example of my worth. If they did well, then I felt satisfied. I felt full. I took pride in their accomplishments as though they were my own. But, you see, I was taking credit where credit was not due. Somehow, in my twisted thinking, I felt if they were good, then I was good. And God wants me to be good, right? Hmmmm ….

The third idol I have recently identified is my marriage. If I talked about my marriage being the best marriage EVER, and only told happy stories about our time together, then you and I might believe how perfect I could be. And, God wants us to have happy marriages, right?

Recently, I’ve learned that many times we marry the person/idol we want to worship. Maybe we marry the person we hope will fill us. Maybe we see something in the other we would love to have in our lives…? If we put all our trust in our marriages, in our working hard to make them “the best”, or taking from the other to fill ourselves, then our devotion is not on God and His living through us.

So … what have I concluded?  Our careers, our children, our relationships can all become idolatrous if they come before God. And yet, it looks so good from the outside. People may comment on how “perfect” your life appears. BUT.  If I’m trying to get my worth — my value — through those things, then I’m worshiping something other than the God who created me.

My worth is not in my accomplishments.
My worth is in being His creation.

All of me…
For ALL of Him.

(Some thoughts after studying Dan Allender and Jeff VanVonderen…still peeling back those layers…)

Therefore, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in Him, rooted and built up in Him and firm in your faith just as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness. Be careful not to allow anyone to captivate you through an empty, deceitful philosophy that is according to human traditions and the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ. For in Him all the fullness of deity lives in bodily form, and you have been filled in Him…
~verses from Colossians 2