Monday, November 12, 2012

Protecting Women

I am late to the battle. I know that. I have lacked understanding.
Let me get right to my point.
Our women need men. It is not a matter of equality.
Women, real women, the way God created them to be, want to be protected.
The proper order of things is that a woman will defer to a man to be protected by him. As a man my job is to protect the women in my life, to encourage and love them and protect them from outside enemies and from their own inner musings.

This election season has burdened my heart. "The war on women" is a phrase heard over and over. Those who seek to harm women have accused those who stand to protect women of being at war against women. Nothing could be farther than the truth.

We are a people created by God with a free will. We are a nation of freedom.
It is in the name of this freedom that certain ones proclaim there should be no limits to our freedoms. They say women must be given free contraceptives, women need to be able to access abortion services on demand.

My understanding is that generally women want relationship more than sex.
The heart of a woman is to raise and nurture family.

So why would those who proclaim to be for women's freedom fight so hard to give them access to birth control and abortion unless the goal was that women are objects to be used for sexual satisfaction without cost? These are not people seeking to protect women, these are people seeking to use women. Worse, they have recruited, abused and lied to some of these women and gotten them to advocate for the same things. It has been a cultural shift that can only be understood as a spiritual attack on the mind and understanding of women.

Have women been used and abused by men in our culture historically?
The answer is certainly yes. Do women get paid less than men for the same work. Honestly we must say yes. As a business owner I hired women because I though I could pay them less. Historically me have been the providers and women came in behind to fill in the shortfall.

The enemy has succeeded in turning the world upside down. I can't even get to the heart of my thinking without generalizing or writing page and page that will completely offend.

Prayer for a friend

You are favored by God. As the enemy requested to sift Peter like wheat because he was a chosen vessel, so he has requested of you. Because you also are God's chosen vessel! Even as Jesus declared to Peter: "Satan demanded to have you, that he might sift you like wheat, but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail; and when you have turned again, strengthen your brethren." So is this promise for you. You are one who strengthen's others with your gifting. The enemy cannot have you. This is God's declaration to you!

When your heart is overwhelmed make the following declaration:

The voice of the Lord is majestic. His Word is Truth. My feelings are only passing emotions that exist only in my soul which God has saved, and he is in the process of healing. His Word is my truth, my life, my hope, and my strong tower, my fortress of strength when my heart is overwhelmed.

I declare what his Word declares about who I am.
I am victorious even when I don't feel it.
God will vindicate me.
God is my healer. He is healing me. He heals my soul.
Holy Spirit is my comforter. He comforts my pain.
He knows everything about me and he has gone through it all with me.
His presence went before me and follows after me.
His presence is my strength.
He himself, Jesus, the creator of the world, the One who created me, is cradling me right now.
He is my great reward.
I can trust him when nothing else makes sense.
Jesus is my treasured possession that no one can ever take from me.
He is my shield. He surrounds me with favor like a shield.
When my heart is overwhelmed, he stills my heart and teaches me to trust and to rest in him. Even when I don't feel it, I declare that he is my rest, and my shield, and I will trust in him.

Oh God, I love you! My heart is overwhelmed. I declare Jesus is all I need. You are my healer. You are more than enough for me. I believe. I believe. You are my healer. You are my strength. I have no more strength. Be my strength. These thoughts, though overwhelming will not overwhelm me. The enemy has come rushing in like a flood, God will raise a standard against him. (Is. 59:19).
This battle is not mine but the Lord's. He is the one who declares me innocent.
His blood shed for me makes me innocent. I believe. I believe. His Word is Truth. His Word, not my own thoughts, are my truth. God fights for me. I run to him. Hold me daddy, hold me daddy. I am yours. I am yours! I trust you alone.

Letter to my son

Hi Son,

It was great to see you. I really think you are amazing! You always have such a positive outlook. You are a refreshing person to be around! You are so compassionate and easy to be around! I can see why people want to be friends with you! I also think you have a gift and passion for (things) that you should continue to pursue that!

It was nice to get a peek into your life while I was there. It reminded me of a story about the son of a rich man who took his inheritance and went and spent it on "the good life." In the end he ended up living with the pigs he was hired to feed.That was the story I was reminded of.

Son, God has such great things for you! I just want to remind you that you are a son of the King. In life we have two choices. We can choose to live from our soul or we can choose to live by the spirit. There is a whole side of life that you seem to be ignoring and I want to remind you that it is available to you!

I kinda watched the stuff you had on TV. Even my flesh, the soul, likes it because it caters to our lowest desires. But it seemed so pointless! Is that all life is about, watching videos and laughing at sex jokes? At what point does that just lead nowhere?

In the story I was reminded of, the son finally comes to his senses! He had lived in an opulent house and ended up living with pigs. He decided he could live better as a servant in his father's house than where he was. You can do better son!

In the story, the son goes back home, and his father is there waiting for him.
He welcomes him back with open arms. There is nothing that the son has done that the father does not forgive.

An even better story is that in the reality of the Kingdom of God, God sent Jesus to pay the price for everyone who chose to blow their inheritance (which is all of us). You know, the good news is not about being good, or living correctly for God. It is knowing and accepting the fact that God has paid the price for every stupid thing we have ever done!

You are an awesome person son, and you live in a community that has so much need for what you have to offer them. You were always the most spiritually sensitive of all our family. You can hear God better than all your siblings! I want to challenge you to listen for and return to papa!

God came to save our souls. Our soul is our inner man-our mind, our will, and our emotions. THAT is what God came to save! Our mind is corrupt and depraved!
But the Bible says that we are to renew our mind by reading the Word. Do you have a Bible? Just read it. Stop playing games, and watching TV, and spend some time reading Psalms and the New Testament. God came to save your will. We all choose to do our own thing, that is easy for everyone. The soul God has saved chooses to submit his will to God's will for his own good. There is no inner peace when we demand our own way, but when we listen for and do God's will, the inner peace that so eludes us comes and fills us with joy beyond comprehension. Remember what the presence of God feels like! The third part of our soul is our emotions. Emotions can ruin us as we swing from happy to depressed, from content to pissed in a matter of seconds. God saves us from being led by our emotions and helps us to realize that feelings are fleeting but his love for us in every circumstance is constant.

        God loves you! Never forget that! I love you too, enough to write this! It is hard for a parent to speak to his adult son, and I am afraid that you will think I am judging you, but I want to encourage you: You were raised to be more than you currently are! God is waiting for you to give yourself to him completely! Even as I am typing this God is speaking to me that you are right where you need to be. Because of who you are and how you were raised, you are influencing people. People look at you and wonder what it is that makes you what you are-and it is the imprint of God on your life. You are a minister of his presence just how you are, and as you begin to press into him that reality will become so much more clear to everyone around you. They KNOW already that you are the Kings kid, and they are just wondering when you are going to start living like it!

Son, I'm asking Holy Spirit to invade your life! Your part is really simple. Just say "Yes!" That is all there is too it. Just say "yes" and thank him for what he has done. He does the rest.

The riches of the Kingdom is the Presence of God. His Presence is always available. It is only a question away. "Father, would you come?" And he comes.
Son, I invite you to invite Him to come visit. He will come bearing gifts!
That is how he rolls!

His name is Jesus. He is the visible image of the invisible God. There is power in the name of Jesus. He is God himself, and God himself saves you! He made himself nothing. He died a criminals death for you on a cross. He is Lord. You don't have to put any confidence in human effort. We boast in what Christ has done for us. God's way of making us right with himself depends on faith. Everything else is worthless when compared to knowing Christ! Get to know him! He loves you and so do I.


How am I supposed to live?

I did not choose to be born.
I did not choose when or where.
God created me, and somehow here I am, aware.
I am here on this planet. How did I get here?
I just did. I was alive. Then I chose my own way. And I died.
Yet God had a plan. Before the world was.
He sent his Son. He paid the price, and he died in my place.
Now I am alive in him. How can this be?
All I have comes from him.
So why should I fret and why should I worry?
He is the creator. He is the author. He is the finisher.
What if the greatest thing I could do was to amount to nothing!
The world seeks great things.
David said: "I don't concern myself with things too great for me."
What if this is the challenge God has for me?
Don't seek great things for yourself.
Make disciples he says. Does that mean I'll be famous?
One day at a time. Be who your are.
The gifts that you have, are for his joy and pleasure.
No one on earth appreciates you like he does.
Do as he asks. Humble yourself.
Turn from your sin. Be a servant to all.
But not for your glory. It must be for him.
He is in charge and he opens your doors.
Go through when he opens them. Don't choose the others.
His sheep hear his voice. They won't follow another.
I follow my leader the best that I can.
I often fall short, but he picks me up again.
I am not worthy, that's why I need him.
His grace is sufficient, I'm dependent again.
My creator, my leader, he works in me.
He will lift me up for the world to see.
He lifted up Jesus, on a cross hung him there.
He bids me to follow, what more can I do?
Dying to self is my place of joy.
For the joy set before him, he offered himself.
I am his treasure and he is my reward.
His presence is better than silver and gold.
So here I am Jesus. I find myself in you.
You set my feet on a rock, and that rock is you.
I have found my creator, he gives me such joy.
I will worship him forever, what more can I do?
I will live for his presence, and live for his will.
If I amount to nothing, he will love me still.
I can't improve on his plan, so on this rock I will stand.
Gazing at Jesus, the God who became man.
Unless the Lord builds the house, I labor in vain.
My children are a gift I will not have shame.
I will rest in his love and I will rest in his care.
He gave me this life to lay down for him.
The greatest love is to lay down your life for a friend.
I give it to Jesus. That's how I will live.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

The narrow path

August 26, 2012

Holy Spirit is drawing me. Deep calls to deep. I feel my humanity, the old nature, my soul, and it stinks. Yet the drawing of the Spirit of God is unmistakable. Lord I come to you, and you accept me as I am. You know that I am but flesh, yet you choose to take up residence within, and redeem this soul.
I wait in your presence. Holy Spirit come.
You fulfill your promises to us. You take us on a path that at times is difficult for us, but we must travel this path to reach our destination.
The Lord showed me a picture of a mountain top shrouded in clouds and mist.
I was on a path that went all the way around the top of the mountain, but it never ascended to the summit. I kept on the same path, going round the mountain just below the fog line for a long time, always ending back at the same place. Then he showed me a narrow way, a path up to the summit, a path shrouded in clouds and mists. This is the way to the summit! It is narrow, steep, and the view is foggy. I can't see far ahead, and I can't see the distant view. All I can do is ascend the steep, narrow path one step at a time. Each twist and turn comes up slowly and it is all I see. But I know the destination of this walk by faith will be to stand on the summit of his will for me, and I believe that he will part the clouds as I reach the summit and provide me a view, his view of the world below.
A song we sing goes like this: There is a place, a wonderful place. Where accused and condemned find mercy and grace. And the wrongs we have done and the wrongs done to us, are nailed there with him, at the cross, at the cross.

The path upward is the path of the cross. It is the path of death to self, the laying down of our lives to obtain kingdom life. It is the walk by faith. Walking in the place of obedience. The first path, the path that went around the mountain, it was in the will of God. Yet it became a plateau, a path that only went round and round until the new path was identified and traversed. Behold, the old things have passed away and new things have come! The things and places of the past, even done in the will of God,  must be left behind when the Spirit of the Lord is leading to new destinations.

It is God who leads us to new destinations. Our part is to listen and to get onto the correct path. Where are you on your path with God? Does he have you on a long road of continuous faithfulness? Is a turn coming ahead? Have you missed a turn? Is there a narrow road you need to take that you have been avoiding? There are many paths to our destination. Some are easier than others, some are faster, some have more stops along the way. But it is God who is at work in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.
Do you trust that the path he has for you is the best path? Trust him with all your heart.
The cross is a wonderful, painful place. The birth process is a wonderful, yet painful place. New life comes from a wonderful, yet painful process. We must embrace the pain that leads to new life. Jacob wrestled with an angel. Abraham sacrificed a son. Personal loss often leads to new freedom. For some letting go is a painful process necessary to move forward. For others fighting for something of value is the painful, wonderful process whose reward is new life.
Most often for me the place of pain is the point of decision. Once the decision is made, the pain subsides and the new path is traversed. So why do I stay at the point of decision for so long wallowing in my pain? Is this true for you? Make the decision. Lay down your life. Trust God for the outcome. Trust that he is who he says he is! He is able to redeem your mistakes if you make a wrong choice. He just wants your heart. When you submit your life to him you become a sweet smelling aroma to him. Though you feel your fleshly soul stinks to high heaven, your obedient spirit man is a pleasing aroma to him, because it is Christ in you, your hope of glory that he sees, and it is well pleasing to him.
Go for it with all your heart!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Casual Obedience

Casual Obedience

I am a follower of Jesus, but sometimes I turn my back to him. (This is the Biblical definition of evil). But always when I turn back to him (repent) he welcomes me back with open arms. He is always waiting  for me with a loving embrace! Mercy triumphs over judgement! Thank you Jesus!

There also always seems to be in my soul a battle for control. Lordship is allowing Jesus to speak to my heart, and doing my best to walk on the path he directs me to take. Sometimes when I do this I miss the mark, or it is a scary path, but it is my heart of obedience that pleases him more than the resulting circumstance.

This last week I have been noticing in my heart that at times I sense the Lord speaking to me, and I don't exactly turn my back to him, but I do delay my walk of obedience. I was taking a walk, and I decided to return to where I started, but rather than go straight back, I took a longer route. Now that was ok for the walk that I was on, but I realized that I do the same thing in my walk with God.

I don't generally run straight for the battle line like David did. I delay. I walk around the long way. I think about it. This really isn't the trust of Lordship like it ought to be. Yes, timing is important in our walk with God. There are times that God will speak to us and we need to wait on the timing to move forward. However, generally speaking I believe that when God speaks to our heart that we need to move to instant obedience. My obedience has been rather casual most of my life in God.

I remember a teaching I heard one time, that in terms of meeting peoples needs, or choosing to speak a word from the Lord to a stranger, TO NOT DECIDE TO, is TO DECIDE NOT TO. Sometimes our window for obedience is only a few seconds. We miss so much blessing by not trusting God with instant obedience.

I am faced with major life changing decisions. I have dragged my feet for over two years. How much have I missed? I found my heart in turmoil until I obeyed. God was asking me to do something outside my paradigm of vision for my life, and it took me that long to figure out that he indeed was asking me to lay down all my past career choices. I am on a new path now, but I find myself wanting to take a roundabout path so that I can "process" what he is doing. 

I am tired of going slow and taking the long way, and dragging my feet to the next destination. I want to get there now. So guess what, now I have to wait!
There are things I have no control over that I must wait for. So while I wait, I am doing my best to rid myself of all the baggage from the past that is holding me back. I have a lot of baggage. Some of it is hard to give up. But this path of obedience cannot continue to be casual. I need purposeful obedience. Forgetting what lies behind, I press on to the mark of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus!

I have a sense that God wants to do a new thing in all of us. We all see as "through a glass darkly" the will of God for our lives. We never know when some little decision will have a huge impact on our future. Sometimes we think we are facing a huge decision and it turns out not to be that big of a deal. Other times we make a quick instant decision with no idea that we are choosing something that is  going to affect our lives for years.

I am at a point where I know that I must leave the past behind. I get that. I also have a general sense about the future path, and yet...and yet. The natural path I see does not line up yet with the sense I have of where God has for me to go!
So all I can do is walk forward day by day. Doing my best to toss away the baggage of the past and find the path of the future. It is an exciting place.  I want so much to apprehend his promises for me. I don't see it clearly. Others seem to see it, why can't I?

Ok, here is what I do see about the Kingdom of God. Most of what we do in life is mundane, everyday stuff. Getting out of bed, preparing for the day, greeting our family, preparing meals, doing our work, praying, reading, resting, etc. But this IS all Kingdom stuff. If I think I am destined for some glorious ministry maybe I need to re-think my purpose. The most glorious ministry in the heart of God may be changing diapers and doing laundry!  Which brings me back to my point about obedience. He who is faithful in the little things is faithful also in much.  Which means if I want a glorious ministry, that I need to lay aside my casual obedience and grab hold of God instantly when he speaks. When I have to wait, then I must be faithful in what he wants me to do while I wait.

In any crowd there are only a few leaders.  There a 7 billion people on this earth.  Very few will lead. Most of us are just sheep. Yet the chief shepherd laid down his life for the sheep. Our calling is to be faithful sheep. The Lord of the universe is intimately acquainted with the depths of our hearts. Is this enough for you? Don't seek great things for yourself. God is able to lift you up. The humble he will not despise! The best leaders are changing diapers unseen by the crowds.  The greatest saints are cleaning up the daily messes of life everyday. Mother Theresa did not work alone. 

Our days on this planet are few in number, and only a few will attain the great things they dream of. Yet God's measure is not man's measure. His ways are not our ways. A daily walk with God in a relationship of humble instant obedience (not casual), is the greatest ministry anyone of us can have. Are we loving our neighbor as ourself? Who is our neighbor? Are we caring for our kids and family members like we should? Are we our brother's keeper? Are we living in peace with one another? Are we seeking great things for ourself? What does it mean to love one another? Are we doing for others what we want them to do for us? Are we storing up treasures in heaven, or seeking some kind of glory in this life? 

Take a few minutes to consider if your relationship with the King has been too casual. I know mine has been. By his grace and loving embrace, I will walk side by side with him every step of the way no matter where he goes. Remember the little things are the big things to him!

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Thoughts on Ps. 112

Ps. 112 I have written above Ps. 112 in my Bible that success is experiencing the presence of God! I have been finding his presence, yet I am still discouraged. Is it because I live by feelings and not by obedience. His grace is so good. Lack of peace draws us to him no matter how dense we are. He is patient. Praise the Lord. Happy are those who fear the Lord. Yes happy are those who delight in doing what he commands. Do you have gifts, callings, ambitions, or goals, but the Lord is saying put those on hold and listen to me? Are you delighting in doing what he commands or are you trying to do your own thing?  Happy are those who delight in doing what the Lord commands, even if it is outside the box you have put him in in your own understanding of who he is. If you delight in doing what he commands: Your children will be successful everywhere; an entire generation will be blessed. You yourself will be wealthy. I have written in my notes that you will have a full spirit, i.e. you will be filled with the spirit, which is true wealth, and your good deeds will never be forgotten. The implication here is that obedience to God leads to a wealth of peace and prosperity in his presence and involves doing good deeds for others. Interesting-death to self-will leads to obedience to his will, good works and wealth, be it the inner wealth of his presence, or the overflowing abundance of goodness to the next generation. When darkness overtakes the godly, light will come bursting in. They are generous, compassionate and righteous. All goes well for those who are generous, and lend freely, and conduct their business fairly. Such people will not be overcome by evil circumstances. Those who are righteous will long be remembered. They do not fear bad news, they confidently trust the Lord to care for them. They are confident and fearless and can face their foes triumphantly. They give generously to those in need. Their good deeds will never be forgotten. They will have influence and honor. the wicked will be infuriated when they see this. They will grind their teeth in anger, they will shrink away, their hopes thwarted. Here are the words to describe the spirit led man-generous, compassionate, righteous, full of light, fair, fearless, trusting, triumphant! Is this you?

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Psalm 118 Prayer I took some liberties to turn this into a prayer! 1 Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good!     His faithful love endures forever.:  Repeat this again with me: “His faithful love endures forever.” 3 Repeat this with your family and friends:     “His faithful love endures forever.” 4 Do you  fear the Lord? Then repeat this over and over:     “His faithful love endures forever.” Make the following declaration: 5 In my distress I prayed to the Lord,     and the Lord answered me and set me free. In my distress I will pray to the Lord, and he will answer me and set me free! He will answer me and set me free. He will answer me and set me free. 6 The Lord is for me, so I will have no fear.     What can mere people do to me? 7 Yes, the Lord is for me; he will help me.     I will look in triumph at those who hate me. 8 It is better to take refuge in the Lord     than to trust in people. 9 It is better to take refuge in the Lord     than to trust in princes. I am going to trust the Lord. He is helping me. He is with me, and I am taking refuge in Him. He is for me and not against me. He only sees his son in me! He only sees Jesus in me. He sees my great need and sends his Spirit to comfort me! 10 Though hostile circumstances surround me,     I will destroy them all with the authority of the Lord. 11 Yes, they surround and attack me,     but I destroy them all with the authority of the Lord. 12 They swarm around me like bees;     they blaze against me like a crackling fire.     But I destroy them all with the authority of theLord. 13 My enemies are trying their best to kill me,     but the Lord is rescuing me. 14 The Lord is my strength and my song;     he has given me victory. The Lord is my victory. He is my strength and my song! He does not give me anything I cannot handle, because he is with me in every circumstance. He is my salvation. I will walk through the valley of the shadow of death, and he will be with me, and he will prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies! 15 Songs of joy and victory are sung in the camp of the godly.     The strong right arm of the Lord has done glorious things! 16 The strong right arm of the Lord is raised in triumph.     The strong right arm of the Lord has done glorious things! 17 I will not die; instead, I will live to tell what the Lord has done. 18 The Lord has punished me severely, but he did not let me die. He will not forsake those who turn to him in obedience. My secret place of strength is the throne room of my king. I will enter that place with thanksgiving and gratefulness for all the blessings he has poured out on me. I will give thanks to the Lord! 19 Open for me the gates where the righteous enter,     and I will go in and thank the Lord. 20 These gates lead to the presence of the Lord,     and the godly enter there. 21 I thank you for answering my prayer and giving me victory! He IS giving me victory!  Though I may feel broken, discouraged, and rejected, he is my rock of strength and my salvation! 22 The stone that the builders rejected     has now become the cornerstone. 23 This is the Lord’s doing,     and it is wonderful to see. 24 This is the day the Lord has made.      I will rejoice and be glad in it. I will wait patiently for the Lord alone to save me! 25 Please, Lord, please save us.     Please, Lord, please give us success. 26 Bless the one who comes in the name of the Lord.     We bless you from the house of the Lord. 27 The Lord is God, shining upon us.     Take the sacrifice and bind it with cords on the altar. Jesus was the sacrifice. Like him I too will lay down my life for the glory of the Lord. My life does not consist of my possessions, or of my achievements, but the Lord is my inheritance!  28 You are my God, and I will praise you!     You are my God, and I will exalt you! 29 Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good!     His faithful love endures forever.   Say it over and over: Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good!     His faithful love endures forever Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good!     His faithful love endures forever! His faithful love endures forever!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Processing Need

PROCESSING NEED I have a pressing financial need that I want to bring to God. He is my supply! He promises to supply all that I need through his riches and glory! The word tells me that his yoke for me is easy and that his burden is light! So why do I feel like I am carrying a heavy burden? I am going to bring this need to the Father. I am going to ask him for a miracle. I am going to ask him to bring water from the rock for me as he did for the children of Israel in the desert. Lord you are my supply. You are my everything. You know that my current need exceeds my perceived resources. But I also know that I have everything I need in you! You promised Abraham and his descendants (which I am by faith) the whole earth. So I have, by your promise, access to everything on earth. This promise is based on faith, it is based upon relationship with God. You God, bring into existence that which did not exist before. So, God of supply, even as you brought water and provision into existence in the desert for the children of Israel, I ask you to do it for me. I believe that you are not only able, but that you have promised to do it for me!  I have been made right with you God, by Jesus. He has brought me into this place of highest privilege. I am standing before you confidently and I am full of joy! It is awesome to be standing before you, cleansed by the blood of the Lamb. My problems seem to melt in comparison to this glory of yours that I perceive. Yet when I go face the world my need will still need to be met. I have this need, this problem, this trial, and it is good for me because it teaches me to endure. The reason for it is not only to teach me to endure, but it is also to develop strength of character in me.   It is this character that is strengthening my confident expectation of provision. This expectation will not allow me to be disappointed. I know this because you have already given me Holy Spirt who fills my heart with love. Now as I perceive my trial and my need, I can see that yes you could provide for me as you did in the wilderness when your brought forth water from a rock. However, I do not want to limit your hand in how I am to  receive your provision. You are a creative God and you want me trust that your ways are not my ways. I can see areas of pride where I do not want to humble myself. Perhaps you want me to humble myself. You have told me to do everything I can, and then after having done so to stand. As I am bringing my need to you, I am realizing that I have not done everything that is available to me. My full need does not have to be met tomorrow, only a portion. Only a part of the need must be met and there is a way that I can ask people for help that will require humility on my part and I sense you want me to humble myself not just before you, but before others. So here I find myself in this place of asking for and wanting a miracle, yet Holy Spirit is nudging me that if I humble myself (wow my pride is strong), he will make a way. This need is designed to draw me into his presence, to get me to spend time with him, and to help me to become like him. He is the most humble person I know, this God whom I serve, and this trial are designed to make me more like him. Darn, and I wanted an instant miracle! So here is the deal. God has shown me that I have something else to do before I am completely out of resources. In the mean time he has other work for me to do that will help to move me along the path of provision. I really would like to see this entire need met tomorrow by a miraculous move of God on my behalf, but he is more concerned with my character and my learning to endure than he is with me having instant gratification. Oh the ways of God! So now I  have concluded that tomorrow I need to humble myself and do a couple things I really don't want to do. Yet this is necessary obedience on my way to my miracle. I still have a great need.  Now however, my confident expectation is that God is able to meet it, wether it is by a divine intervention, or through faithful, daily, simple, obedience on my part. God wants me to be like him. He is everyday faithful, his ways are simple, he is not a show off (he is meek). Yes he can make water come from a rock, but usually he just allows the stream to flow. My confident expectation is that my need is going to be met. It will be met in his timing and not in mine. He knows better than me. His ways are not my ways. Do I still believe for the big miracle? You bet! But by spending time with him today and asking him for the miracle, he has shown me that his peace is sufficient for me. I have never missed a meal, I have never had to beg. He gives peace that passes understanding. I have off-loaded my perceived heavy burden, and replaced it with his yoke, which is much lighter and much easier to bear. I'm not 100% happy about this, I wanted an instant miracle! I wanted all my problems to go away! However, the fruit of this, is this short little teaching that perhaps will help you to process your need before God! Do you have a need for a miracle today? Take some time to spend with your heavenly papa. Grab a Bible and a note pad and let God speak to you. I just happened to be reading Romans 5 as I processed my need and you see how God spoke to me. The peace that passes understanding is a blessing that will never fade away!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Breakfast Group Thursday

 Some thoughts I shared with a small group of people I meet with: Where we going? What are we doing? I don't think we need rules, but we do need direction. We are on a trip to the promised land. We are on the yellow brick road! There are lions, and tigers, and bears, and even witches! Principalities and Powers that want to defeat and discourage us! You people have no idea the impact you have had on my life the last 2 years! I have faced stuff I never dreamed I would have to face. We are continually going to be facing trials and tribulations, because to whom much is given, much is required. We are going to be tested!  We are going to be tried! We need a group-not necessarily this group, but a group to hold us up. We have learned to go deep, and to share unimaginable promises that have come straight from the throne of grace. We didn't make this stuff up. God did! I can't fathom some of the stuff God has said to me. But if He said it then I am going to believe it! So here is my heart. I am not interested in trying to keep something alive that doesn't have life in it anymore. So if there is life here I am going to show up. We vote with our feet. I have spoken to other business people I know, that I would like to get to know better, and I would like to invite them to this group, or else I'm going to start another group if necessary.  How do we get hundreds of hope centers if we don't multiple our numbers? God appeared to approve of the church growing. God wants us encouraging one another,  and we can't allow ourselves to get isolated, because that is when we get picked off. We have friends that need us! We need to give them hope! We need to remind one another that no matter the circumstance, God surrounds us like the air we breathe. His presence is our atmosphere wether we feel it or not. We know because He said so. He is going to walk with us. When those in this group are struggling we need to give them our attention. We need to intervene on their behalf. We need to stand against the enemy. We can't prevent one another from sifting, but we can pray that their faith will remain. You guys helped my faith to remain through the lean season. Now, I need tools and help with what is beginning to look like may become an abundant harvest.  Each circumstance has its unique challenges. I each circumstance we can ask God:  What are you wanting to show me in this season? We can invite Him in! We can ask for wisdom together! I want to ask God for wisdom on behalf of those in need! I want to ask Him for favor for them. Wisdom, strength, revelation, patience! If you are onboard,  then let's figure out how we can get deep each time we meet. If you are struggling, then the time is yours to share your need. What is God showing you? If it is for all of us, then share it so we can process it together. Pray I continually hear the same message in my spirit. It is God who gives us the ability to gain wealth. Cease striving and know that I am God. You cannot serve two masters. My life, even my business life must be about worship and building the kingdom. forgetting what lies behind I press toward the mark of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Crafted Prayer

Father I invite you into my life again today. You are the creator and initiator of life, salvation, healing, and good works done for your glory. You have given me the gift of life through your Son, who offered himself for my sin, the sin of my family, friends, and of the world. Oh what a good God you are! You are worthy of praise and thanksgiving! I exalt your Holy Name! Intimacy with you is my secret to abundant life flowing like a river from within me! You have created me a unique person in this world for a specific purpose, and you are conforming me to the image of Christ as I walk through this life. I embrace the circumstances of my life today as a gift from your hand to conform me to this image. Where I sense you leading me to lay down my life as your Son did to serve others, I ask for grace to do it lovingly. Where I sense the enemy bringing confusion and temptation to my mind, my, circumstances,  and my flesh, I ask for discernment and a willingness to run to the battle lines to stand against the attack. Help me Lord to choose to employ the weapons of our warfare that you have given to us, your body. You have given us these wonderful gifts: truth, righteousness, peace, faith, salvation, and the Word of God. I choose to put these on as your armor for me. In addition to these,  you have given us the choice to forgive, to love, to walk with joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, and self-control. Help me to choose to access your Spirit to produce this fruit in my life. Help me to rest and trust you, in and with all circumstances! Lord I ask that you would help me to love those I come into contact with today. Help me to be emotionally present with them, and to be open with them. Help our hearts to connect with you and with one another. I ask that I could be as Jesus to my wife and children. The life of God begins at home, so let me treat my family with as much or more respect that I would anyone else I was trying to impress. Let me not take them for granted, as life is short, fragile, and unpredictable. In my work Lord, may I trust the results to you! You have given me a skill set unlike any other person, so help me to find it and use it for your glory. May I not become frustrated at failure, lack, or overwhelmed with too much to do. Help me to remember that you are the redeemer, builder, supplier, and wise God. Lord help me to remember that the point of my work is to serve others for your glory, and that sufficient for each day is the trouble therein. May my business be a hope center for those I employ, and for our customers and vendors. Lord, my old nature is selfish and stubborn, but you have given me a new nature that is holy and blameless in your presence! Help me to walk in this new nature, in confidence that Christ lives in me, and that I share in the riches and glory of Christ, in whom lie all the hidden treasures of wisdom and knowledge. May my roots grow deep in this revelation so that I will grow in faith, strong and vigorous in truth, and that my life would overflow with thanksgiving for all you have done. You have nothing against me because you see me through the blood of your son, holy, blameless and without a single fault. Oh how good you are! I praise you and exalt you! What a wonderful God you are! Chris

Friday, March 9, 2012

Seeing our Future Face

I want to review some of the things God has spoken over the last couple years. He isn't going to keep dumping information on us until we get what he has already given us. I want to re-cap what he has said about seeing our future face, and how that applies to us today. Papa wants us to laugh, and sing, and dance and have hope in this world.  Even though we are faced with many challenging circumstances, he has promised to meet our needs. Have we ever really done without? Has our fretting about anything ever gotten us anywhere? He gives us greater grace. See your future face. God has not shown you your future face for you to create it in the image that you think you can bring it forth in. God is the one at work to bring it to pass. Think of a project that an artist or builder is doing. It is a mess, under construction and incomplete, being sculpted and chiseled, added to and cut away constantly, until completion. This life,  is God constructing you into his image. You are not a failure. You are his workmanship created for good works in Christ. He is forming his character in you. You are only complete in him. Let him have his perfect work in you. Rejoice in trials and tribulations. Laugh at your circumstances that seem so overwhelming. You are on the road headed for the promised land. Rest in the fact that he is the driver, the author and finisher of your faith. He has you in complete control. I am reminded of a family taking a vacation. The travel to the destination can be full of stress and bickering, or it can be part of the adventure, embraced as part of the fun. What is your perspective? Are you going to sing on the trip, or argue with the ones you are going to relax with? God has made it abundantly clear that he wants us to embrace our journey with love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-contol. These are the fruit of His Spirit living inside of us. Let Him manifest himself in you, through you, and out of you! He is a good God! He is taking you to a destination. It is into Him. He has given you a glimpse of your future. Now let him bring it to pass. Cooperate. This thought makes me happy! Even in the last few days, papa has helped my perspective too. I have been remembering the days after I first got saved. The peace, the joy, the revelation that I am going to heaven to be with him forever! I couldn't stop smiling! He wants us to live like that every day! Enjoy life! Don't always have a perspective of grief. He wants us to belly laugh, dance, and sing each day! We are the kings kids! It doesn't get any better than that!

Lessons from Psalm 78

Listen to God to learn hidden lessons, the parables that can't be understood without paying attention!Teach these truths to your children, and teach them to teach their children.Tell of his power and his mighty miracles, so that each generation can set their hope anew on God.Remember his miracles and obey his commands-it's that simple.Teach them not to be stubborn, rebellious, and unfaithful, refusing to give their hearts to God.Remember the warriors of Ephriam, who though fully armed chose not to enter into battle. They turned their backs on God when the day of battle came. They refused to live by his laws, forsaking the ways of obedience, faith, and trust. They chose not to confront their enemies but gave in to them. They forgot the former miracles God had done for their ancestors.But God has not forgotten. He went with the people through the Red Sea. He split the water for them and led them through. He splits our circumstances and leads us through. In the wilderness of suffering he splits our hearts, and living water begins to flow. Even as God passed through the offering of Abram, he passes through our offering of ourselves as a living sacrifice.This is well pleasing in his sight!We must not refuse to battle the enemy. When we give into sin, we are refusing to battle the enemy. We are being like the warriors of Ephriam who turned their backs on God. We are always faced with that choice. Turn to God or turn away! Trust or rebel. Do we test God in our hearts and demand what our flesh wants? Or, do we ask him for what we need? Do we speak against God and complain, or do we praise him and make known our needs without complaint? Do we accuse him of performing miracles in the past but not today? Believe that God cares for you today and trust him!He can open the doors of heaven, he did it in the wilderness! He rained food down upon them. He gave them the bread of heaven (the Word of God?). They ate the food of angels, all they could hold! He let them satiate their greed and they stuffed themselves to judgement. They kept on sinning, they refused to believe his miracles, and so their lives ended up in failure and years of terror!They forgot about his power and how he rescued them from their enemies. They forgot his miraculous signs and wonders. Remember them!Ten times he judged the enemy, but the enemy refused to budge, and yet God was at work even as the circumstances of the people grew worse. But he led his own like a flock guiding them safely through. He kept them so that they were not afraid. Do not fear, perfect love casts out fear! The sea closed on their enemies and it will close on your circumstances. Just walk through the circumstance and let him bring you to the promised land, the land that he will win for you! He will bring your inheritance and settle you in the home he has prepared for you.God does this for you. Do you continually test his patience? Do you turn your back on him and refuse to follow his decrees? You need simply to turn to God, embrace the battle, simply hear his voice and respond in obedience. Don't bow down to other Gods, things that feel good but bear the fruit of shame and guilt. Embrace his Presence, not the things that turn his Presence away.The Lord will rise up like a mighty man, like a warrior is he. He will rout your enemies and send them to eternal shame. The Lord does not choose those who turn their backs on him, but those who turn to him in faith and trust and embrace the battle for holiness! He is building you into a towering sanctuary of his Presence, solid and enduring. Run to the battle, do not turn away!