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Archive for the ‘Discouragement’ Category
This one has it’s own page. Please visit that and make sure your speakers are somewhat turned up.
One of the things I am struck with while reading the accounts of the Lord healing people in the Bible and by the casting out of demons, is the absence of any suffering going on while being healed. I believe I am not the only one who knows that healing is a process that starts with torture. None of us are healed overnight, none of us are healed instantly either. When we take aspirin for a headache, the headache lingers on for a while before the aspirin does it’s job. When we break a leg, the leg is broken for a few months until it heals. While the headache subsides and the leg heals, there continues to be pain. In the case of the broken leg there is the pain of the fracture itself, then there is the pain of healing, then the pain of strengthening while you learn to walk again.
In life we will go through various stages of suffering. It can be mental or physical, it can even be emotional. All require time to heal. You can never walk away unscathed from a relationship breakup anymore than you can walk away from the death of a loved one. Both take time to get over with.
If being healed instantly was entirely possible, we would be mindless robots and not flesh and blood.
Suffering teaches us a lot, or at least it’s supposed to. It teaches us to be humble. It teaches us not to look down on others who suffer (whatever type of suffering that is…) I know that I am watching my brothers suffering through a lot…I watch them as they work two jobs, doing what they can just to keep the house and family afloat. Or even work one job, with a lot of time off in between. I listen to the breakup of a family.
Right at the moment I am going through some major stuff in my body. There is the sleep apnea, obesity, my left knee and hand are experiencing moments of pain…probably either arthritis or gout. I notice my left index finger has moments of being stuck…normally I would think it’s due to my age…but who knows what is going on. My back is also hurting. God only knows what is next….
But I am becoming instinctively aware of things others are going through. Not that there’s much I can do to help them…that requires intervention from a God that is bigger than I am, and able to provide all the help that I can’t give. I mean I can’t actually cure such things as emphysema or alcoholism, cancer is out of my league for sure. I can’t touch neurosis…and unfortunately I don’t have the answer to homelessness and starvation. (Actually I do have that answer, but no one would either listen or act on it).
All of what I have written are long term are relatively long term. Even a headache, a rather short term malady, can be long term depending on the state of the one who is going through it. But we can learn a lot through suffering, through our own, or through others….
On January 1 I posted a basically saying that we gotta keep moving forward.
Allow me to reiterate that and also to offer an apology.
We gotta keep moving forward folks!
We may have plans that we want to do such and such, but if we are just stuck in a rut (I know I am), then those plans just don’t mean a darn thing.
I don’t know what’s going on…maybe I’m too pre-occupied with stuff. I tend to worry a lot, and still much more since my mother passed away. Although things are working out ok, they can be better.
I’m at a loss for companionship. My people skills are gone to “pfft!” I hardly ever speak verbally to anyone anymore, my interactions with others is extremely limited. Although I am a natural comedienne, right now I am so crying on the inside.
Oh yeah, being a natural artist (or at least being an artist), I realize that the better half of the time I need to be alone to work on my talents…but even my artistic side has seemingly dozed off.
I still have ideas running around in my head, but I guess the push to create just isn’t there. I would chalk it up to perhaps being depressed, but that’s not a valid answer.
All I can do right now is pray and ask for your prayers!
I spoke the harsh truth, out of anger and love. But what did I get? Separation and finality?
We all must risk this when we are on the straight and narrow. Sometimes we do speak out of anger when we see something that our brothers are doing wrong. When I attempted to correct the brethren with nothing but the truth, I got locked out.
They may be awesome in the Lord, carrying much truth with their words. But wielding a sword carries a burden with it. Once you take the first swing with a two edge sword, the cut is often final.
Don’t get me wrong, I believe there is a place for boldness in preaching the gospel truth. I believe that fire and brimstone preaching is still needed today, but I don’t believe that calling anyone a devil, nor calling out a Christian brethren as anti-Christ is showing biblical love, or for that matter biblical truth, and I don’t believe that calling a person a devil is part of the fire and brimstone message, and never has been!
Let me allow the Bible to shed some light on what I am talking about:
“And the contention was so sharp between them, that they departed asunder one from the other; and so Barnabas took Mark, and sailed unto Cyprus; And Paul chose Silas, and departed, being recommended by the brethren unto the grace of God. And he went through Syria and Cilicia, confirming the churches.” Acts 15:39-40
Nowhere in the bible, in the midst of disagreement between the disciples, do we hear one of them calling their brother a devil. We can surely find a brother perhaps “back-sliding”, and thus becoming angry at their sin. But this is never righteous justification to call a brother a devil, nor a demon. Yes, perhaps we don’t like them going up against our beliefs, going up even against the Christian beliefs, but that is never reason enough to call someone a devil.
Choosing in our own anger to call such a brother a devil is damaging to the soul…perhaps not our own, but surely to the brethren. God always loves even the backslidden Christian, always calling out to them to draw nearer to Him. But even the boldest Christian, who in their own anger basically curses their brethren, is in danger of hell’s fire!
Calling another Christian a devil will have the consequence of alienating them not only from you, but also poses the danger, possibly, of alienating their Christian walk. They can veer off the straight and narrow, which is already difficult enough for most Christians, and go into the twists and turns of despair and anguish, even unwanted and unnecessary depression.
How would you personally feel if a brother all of a sudden called you a devil even if you were in error? Is there grace in their message? Is the message from God? Is this what the love of God conveys, that a person in error is a devil?
We often talk about how the modern day church is too sugar-coated, but the opposite can, and always hold true:
No one wants to go into a church that condemns the soul! No one wants to be around a Christian who condemns the soul!
I’m not saying you should not rebuke a brother. A rebuke should be firm but leave room for God’s grace, and where grace abides, love abides even more! God’s grace will always end with the soul reconciled to God, this is God’s love we are talking about after all!
Am I wrong? What are your thoughts? I’d love to hear them!
I suffer from acute gout attacks in my feet, ankles, and knees. At first it started only in either of my big toes, but unfortunately as the years have passed, it’s affected my body all the way up to my knees. Any search on the internet will explain that gout attacks are basically inflammatory arthritis. Think of the cartilages that hold your joints together being attacked by broken glass.
The pain can be mild to really severe. Thankfully they have treatment options which I use: diet, medication, and cold packs. But I’ve had attacks where I am sidelined for almost two weeks at a time. During these there is little I can do except stay in bed and cry like a baby (sometimes, not always).
The one thing I can say about my gout attacks is that God humbles me through them. I see both sides of God in them: the part of an angry God, and the part where He’s full of mercy – I never know how long I will be down for the count. I will admit, when He’s pressing down on me I don’t enjoy it at all. At times I feel He’s letting me down by allowing me this much pain.
Some articles I’ve read about gout suggest that if a person does not take care of themselves, by losing weight, dieting, and exercising, it can eventually disable you permanently. Would God do such a thing? Disable a man so he can’t walk anymore?
I’m not really sure about that. I mean, it’s happened: God has both disabled and enabled a person.
The key, of course, is to trust Him completely.
When you are in a relationship with God, itâ€™s nearly impossible to close it off. He is the Potter, and we are the clay. Seriously, He is able to find even the microscopical of all cracks. Getting hurt is never easy, but knowing God has a plan in the works, you know you are in a winning situation!
Just a short post for today:
As you can tell by now, I am on a Halloween kick this season. Yes. I am on a roll, so let’s let it roll….
Ok, so if you are a Christian, and you have been one for a while now, then answer me these two questions:
Does God ever take a vacation?
DoesÂ evil ever rest?
Now I know you know the answers, because the answer to both questions are
God took his day of rest on the 7th day after creation. But ever since then He’s been very active. Based on the level of God’s interaction with His creation, you would be hard pressed to believe that God rests. Frankly, there’s too much for God to do! He’s busy correcting His children, leading them, guiding them, even punishing them at times.
God is at it 24/7 man! He doesn’t have time to waste.
You know as ChristiansÂ we spend so much time downing the 2 hour or so events of October 31st/Halloween that we sometimes forget that October 31st is a creation of God. We take all that is evil about the world (witches, demons. goblins, and ghosts hauntings) and roll it up into a nice little package that last for less than 2/24ths of a single day!
Are we forgetting that evil doesn’t rest? Why are we actively pursuing a witch hunt on just a single day?
Just a short thought for today.
Thereâ€™s a story I remember writing years ago, when the internet wasnâ€™t around. I titled it The Lost City. The story centered on a group of young adults. These people were very smart, compassionate, and driven. They accomplished almost everything they put their minds on to do.
However, they had one slight problem. It only worked for them. No one else took notice. No one heard no one else saw. When someone did notice, hear, or see, they could only offer encouragement (or in todayâ€™s case discouragement) but no definite direction.
Itâ€™s strange, because I wrote the unfinished story in my youth, when I used to write a lot. It was most likely due to my loneliness and my solitude. Or perhaps it was due to my creative mind wanting to expand beyond my artistic range.
I also remember writing a lot of poetry. A lot of it was focused on the young man chasing the love of the young woman he was enraptured with. That poetry was written because at one point I wanted to be in love. As time went on, and life really got started, I lost the ability to write like I used to. Perhaps I realized I was actually a part of The Lost City.
Although I fell in love with the whole church experience at one point, I noticed one thing: A community is only as strong as its ties. How can we reach out and help anyone if we donâ€™t have anywhere to turn? I’ve written before of so many churches I’ve been to having no “openings” for a new member. Community goes beyond welcoming a new church member. It must extend to grafting that new member into the body, making them a part of the family. If we don’t do that, then we fail to increase the kingdom of God, and that arm, hand,Â or leg, or foot may never find a home.
I’ve actually lost faith in the miracles healings of Jesus. Yes, I believe He, and the disciples after Him touched and healed many. But such is not the case today. We have many “disciples” in the church today. We have many Christians…and yet we still have the blind, the lame, the mute, and the homeless, and the starving with us.
My question is why? Jesus commanded us to reach out to these people. How many times did the Christian cross the road? Every single time they saw they were approaching someone evidently in need. There are so many “believing” Christians in the world today, you would think that we would have a heart like Jesus and be the exception.
Maybe my faith is lacking here: but we have so many Christians in the world today, and yet we still have the blind, the deaf, the lame, and the mute. We also have the hungry and starved among us.
The blindâ€¦ Christianâ€¦ believer. They will see. But are they blind the way we think they are? In fact, they can see, but refuse to see. . How many times did the deaf hear? They never in fact did, if not they would have rejected the fallacious word that are going on in so many of the churches that cater to crowds of popularity, also they never heard because they simply didnâ€™t want to help. They also never bothered to stop and listen when a brother was in need. They just brushed him aside and continued on their way. Everyone has heard donâ€™t mix business with pleasure. How sad that we invest in so much pleasure, that we ignore the business of helping people in need.
“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ Matthew 25:40.
Christians need to be aware that four walls don’t necessarily define a church…unless those four walls are built out of fleshy hearts, and can open up a hole where others may fit in. It’s not about programs, and available resources. It’s about people. It’s not about leadership issues. Jesus is the one that’s in charge after all…or rather He should be.
I know there are well meaning Pastors out there…Sheppards Â who watch their sheep closely. You are few in number. But I also know there are hundreds…millions…thousands…who are without a (true) Sheppard. They cling to their backpacks, their shopping carts…they have no place to go.
It’s not the Pastors job to reel them in…it’s not your job to provide for them.
It’s the job of your church..your community, your congregation.
The ideal church would be a body of believers that is set on fire by the Holy Spirit. We all say we are Holy Spirit filled Christians. But the sad fact is that there are few Holy Spirit filled Christians Â that are beacons to the ships out in that vast ocean of lost ships.
We wonder about the Bermuda Triangle. About the many lost ships and planes out there.Â We never stop to consider that either we are in the Bermuda Triangle, or that we see, on a daily basis, people on the edge of that Triangle…heading into it.
The poor in spirit, the hungry, the destitute, the hopeless. They are all heading into it. Yet the Christians who have everything, are stuck, with their butts glued to the pews. Not aware of anything going on outside.
Are we listening, intently, to the false prophets who have nothing to say? Are we comfortable where we are at? Our brothers out in the highways and byways are standing there with a cardboard…are we passing them by on a daily basis without a thought?
What’s going on in God’s storehouses?
I don’t exactly know where our country took a left turn. Many Christians will, and do, blame the President. But the President is just one man running a nation that, for the most part has abandoned whatever Christian roots it ever had.
But the President isn’t in charge of what’s going on within the walls of the church. The President really doesn’t care.Â Jesus should beÂ the onlyÂ oneÂ who is in charge, butÂ now it seems that the only ones in charge are the worldly Christians. And what’s going on is a far cry from the Great Awakenings of the past. There is no longer a call to Holiness and repentance that is so widespread that it catches fire.
Many pastors it seems, have taken a laid back approach to their sermons. It’s more of an encouragement. Granted encouragement is always needed, especially for the Bible believing Christian in today’s world. But we can’t preach a laid back approach to sin. We can’t be soft to sin. Jesus, John, Jeremiah…none of the Biblical fathers were soft on sin. If you were caught in sin you had a choice: get out of sin quick!
Now as a Christian I am well aware of God’s enduring grace. And that’s important. It’s God’s grace that sets the Christian on fire, wanting to absolutely soak in God’s loving presence. It’s also God’s grace that is the overall theme in the Evangelicals life. It’s what drives us. or should, to seek the lost.
But the evangelistical Christian Spirit has for the most part been quenched. We no longer have Christians preaching on what really saves us: repentance from sin.
Both John and Jesus, when they came on the scene preached repentance of sin and a turning to God. Unfortunately it’s gotten to the point that we only preach the turning to God part.
Are we preaching half a truth, or half a lie?
A half and half gospel isn’t going to do anything. It’s not going to save souls, and it’s not going to guarantee that we get anyoneÂ to heaven.
By now, everybody knows that Jesus loves them: the fornicators does, the adulterers do, the gay person does, even the mother of all liar does.
In fact, were it not for the gospel of love, no true Christian would remain with Christ.
But the gospel of love is half of the story. The fact is that we are all guilty, or were guilty, of stripping and tearing Jesus down. We are all guilty of still nailing Him to the cross with our sins.
The other half of the story…conviction of sin, and the resulting repentance, is far too important to overlook.
Anyone who continues in willing sin is a total stranger to God.
I know all about sin. I know that even after I confessed Jesus as Lord and Savior, I still had sin in me. Even the Bible points out that “If a man says he has no sin he is a liar.”
But with God’s help, and an understand that sin separates us from God, we can overcome sin, we can get back into fellowship with Christ. But we cannot, and we must not, have one foot in the world, and one in heaven. We must not be divided on the issue of sin. As Christians we are called into the fellowship of Christ, we are called to the banqueting table, to buy gold refined in fire.
To continue in sin after knowing the truth is death.
Deepening sadness as I lay in the dark
I’ve failed to preach the gospel no saved souls in sight
I’ve cursed and berated my fellow brothers
Yes, I’ve despised them
I’m not alright
There is love to be shown in a world without light
But angry Christians still put up a fight
Over a man dressed like a woman..
Oh what a fright!
Yet even the rich and famous need a godly light
It’s true when a Christian shuts up
The world itself is pulled away from the light
We need to stand up, stand outÂ and stand tall
Not judging the lost, but speaking the light
Too many Christians aren’t living extraordinary lives
LivesÂ full of love and piety
Instead they fight against the issues of this world?
When all Jesus ever said was “go and seek the lost”
Many people have already chosen their own destinies
Their own wills, their own ways
We cannot help the blind who want to be blind
I am not an example of Christ