Useless Sucking

Beautiful BrokennessIt sucks being totally useless.

In the moment that God asks us to “stand still and know that He is!” There comes a realization that yes, He is in total control, and there is nothing we can do. Strength is of no use, even prayer, which availath much for the righteous, is of little consequence.

When we pray…we pray that not our will, but God’s will be done.  Unfortunately God’s will, and even His reasoning…are so far out from our own, that many times we find out that we don’t like what God’s will, or even His reasoning is…

Along the same line: when we are faced with something bigger than who we are, which can even appear bigger than even God (Is there anything bigger than God?) we can usually find ourselves totally useless to even attain comprehension of who God is…because we know that  we don’t have any power to change what is.

I’d like to believe sometimes that faith in God is at an all time high in our world today, because faith alone can move mountains.  And to a certain degree faith is always at an all time high. But it’s not the faith that we think it is. The faith is totally and positively our belief that God has the answer, the touch, and the willingness to provide everything we need and desire.

But if God did that…if God provided us with the same things that He provided the disciples with, then nothing would be impossible for us. It would make God pretty useless to us other than the fact that He alone would be able to give us the power to heal, to perform miracles. These are, by nature, the faces of God that we fail to see.

Brokenness comes from God, but so does healing.  Uselessness comes from God, but so does the opposite. Falling comes from God, but so does being lifted up.

My point is that we can be totally powerless when it comes to the situations in our lives. We may not have the power to do miracles, to heal, to be active where we think we need to be active. But God is not just standing by, watching us. God is useful when we are useless.

We just have to see things through God’s eyes, and not ours.

God is on the Move, but He is still There!

 

Even though I feel like I’m just standing still I know that God is on the move.

Of course, I don’t know what He is doing. But even though my faith, along with my nerves has been shaken recently, I know that God is still active in my life.

I don’t know what His plans for me are…other than to prosper me, and give me a beautiful horizon as far  as the eye can see. And though my eyes are weak, and my head is not looking up these days, I know that He is with me. He is preparing quite a table in my honor. But it doesn’t have to be a great feast. I don’t need Him to fill my belly, or to make me drunk with wine. I only need Him to sit at the banqueting table with me. I need Him to walk beside me.

I’m troubled by both the things I see and the things I don’t see. I am perplexed about the future my future. I’m buffeted by my own insecurities. But I need to learn how not to worry about tomorrow today.

The news these days is horrific. There are still school shootings, and automobile accidents. Careless drivers, and vengeful hearts. While in my solitude I don’t fear such things, I do tend to have a certain fear of the unknown.

Yes, God is testing me. God does that with all His children. And my learning to trust God is the point of the testing, the refining: the fire that He often puts us through is only to make us stronger when it comes to trusting Him. I know there was a forth man in the fire, and I only hope and pray (knowing) that there is a second man in the fire with me. But the wonderful thing about God dealing His hand with me is that the fire may seem hot right now, but I know that it can get hotter. But God is there, and He will not give me anything more than I can handle.

My life is in His hands, but I am still somewhat shaken.  That’s good. That’s God letting me know that His promise of never leaving, nor forsaking me still stands.

God of Love, God of Justice

My Brother-in-Christ Tony Wise wrote the following. Spot on Tony!

For a God to be a God of LOVE, God also must be a God of perfect justice. We can see in our natural world that we all crave justice but we all know our justice system is corrupt. There are laws in our natural world because without laws you have chaos because the human heart is evil. So without laws man could just do whatever he/she wants to do without any accountability whatsoever.

Why would we think its any different in the spiritual world? God is Holy and perfect. He is a good God, a righteous God, a perfect God because God is light there is no darkness in Him. God in his perfect holiness gave us the law. Man was sinful before the law was given but the law brought out how sinful our human heart really is according to God’s Holy Standards that we all will be judged by. The whole point of the law was to bring sin out of its dirty hiding place to show how sinful the heart really is and also to show how HOLY God really is.

We can’t keep the law perfectly. No one can. The law is used as a school master to point us to THE Savior of the World Jesus Christ who is the only one out the history of mankind to keep the law perfectly that was sinless perfection. We NEED a Savior. Jesus is the only answer to our sinful heart condition before a Holy God. Without the Grace of God found through Jesus Christ you have to stand before a Holy God and stand on your own righteousness. Well none are righteous. None are perfect but God and  Christ Jesus. So standing before a Holy God on your own righteousness is not gonna work out to good for ya.

We’re all sinners. We all have broken God’s laws and if we were to add up all the sin we have committed in our lifetime according to God’s Holy Standards that we will be judged by NOT the worlds standards then we will probably fill up a library of sin against God we have commited against Him. We NEED Jesus Christ to free us from the power of sin so that we can be in relationship with God the way it was meant to be. Not by keeping a bunch of rules, but by the transformation of the Gospel that leads us to a lifestyle of repentance and holiness because we are in right relationship with God and Jesus Christ.

God is a righteous judge. He will always judge righteously. For God to be a God of Love by that very attribute of God He has to also be a God of justice because you can’t have a God of Love that is also unjust and unholy that is corruptible like man. God has to be HOLY and Righteous to be a God of Love.

What do you think? Does Tony speak about the true character of God? We’d love to hear your thoughts!

Duck Call

I want to chime in on the whole Duck Dynasty issue.

While I don’t watch the show, and actually don’t plan on watching the show, I have to say that we do need more men like Phil Robertson. Not racially driven men, but men who won’t back down to the demands of Christians everywhere to “give humanity a pat on the hand” concerning sin.

I think that the anger of most people is that Phil mentions the homosexuals.

But of course he does! After all, homosexuality is mentioned as one of the sins of the Bible. And mentioning Homosexuality as a sin isn’t a form of bigotry.

The story apparently makes a sharp left hand turn though, and all the homosexuals are trying to turn it into a racial issue…a black racial issue. But according to Phil’s comments, he got along with the black people.

Let’s face the facts: homosexuality isn’t viewed upon as being God’s happiness. And this is what Phil is saying all along. Evangelical, fire breathing, Born-Again Christians know that Homosexuality is frowned upon by God.

I have noting else to add to Phil’s statement, because it’s not Phil speaking, but God who is speaking through Phil.

Could be that God is about to open one of the many seals and things are going to start shaking soon. I don’t know, but the controversy is nothing new. Christians have been preaching against homosexuality for decades now. So hearing a preacher talking about homosexuality on Television, instead of “God bless you, now give me your money” is a refreshing sign that there is hope for America yet.

Whatever we are called to preach, we should obey God, and not man. After all, in the end, we answer to only God.

 

Cardboard Pizza Gospel

Have you ever had Cardboard Pizza?flatbread pizza

No, it’s not a new national chain. Allow me to explain: there are numerous companies out there who profess to be pizza makers who attempt to put their frozen pizzas in a cardboard box or worse yet: shrink wrap and a round, thick bottom cardboard piece and sell it to you. I am talking about the kind of pre-packaged pizza they sell at the major food chains like Walmart, Krogers, Albertsons, Trader Joe’s, etc.

I had some the other day: a brand that is supposedly one of the top brands in the business. I opened up the box, stuck that baby into the oven, and 15-20 minutes later out comes a “delicious” vegetable/mushroom pizza. I emphasize “delicious.” Because, as we all know…the pictures on the cardboard box, as the pictures on the Cable TV ads, they all make these pizzas look so good! And despite being relatively flat…I mean flat as in “We ran an offroad truck tire over this mutiple times” flat. It was rather tasty.

Well imediately after dividing and conquering the four pizza pieces I noticed there was a rather bumpy, if not aprupt,bowel movement…the kind of which I am sure not even the legendary King Kong has ever experienced. With just seconds to spare, I made it to the throne and proceeded to do my business. Now normally, my business on the throne is rather nasty smelling, again refering to King Kong, but this time adding King Kong eats at Taco Bell…but this time it was really not so smelly….this time what came out had a wet cardboard texture.

And so it’s because of Cardboard Pizza, that the major Pizza food chains (Pizza Hut, Dominoes, Papa Johns, etc), have won my undying loyalty and business.

As Christians, we often find ourselves confronted many times by a Cardboard Gospel. It’s a widely instigated, always duplicated, false gospel of a false Christ. It’s a gospel that looks good on the outside, but is relatively flat on the inside. In fact, it’s relatively tasteless.

The worship is there, but it’s pointless. The compassion is there, but it’s aimless. The love is there, but it’s often closed up in a box.

Listen, I am a Christian, I’ve been through it all. I’ve taken a bite out of that Cardboard Gospel, and it sucks! Compared to the real thing: the pure, unadulterated, living, breathing Original Gospel of Jesus Christ, it’s simply not worth the trip down the frozen food isle. I want the Pizza Hut, Dominoes, Papa John deal. If I call on the Gospel of Jesus Christ, I want the best home delivery in under 20 minutes, and I want it hot, and I want it now!

Anything else is….well kinda like wet cardboard left outside after the rain.

On Agressiveness

aaVisciousAggressive, argumentative, and even obstinate have become synonyms with “Christian” in our society, and we haven’t done much to help our cause. Unfortunately, many people see Christians this way and a lot of times we Christians act this way toward one another.  Clearly, this is a fault of Christians whom are not only on the public media, but also in the publics eyes.

Let me state the obvious: NONE of us who claim to be true Christians (or true followers of God) should be arguing with one another in the public’s eye. This brings nothing but a mixed view of what Christianity is all about. It all ends up with what we have witnessed: one Christian accusing the other of not being a Christian at all in front of the eyes of the World. The very fact that we do this turns people who would normally come into the Kingdom completely off to the gospel. I don’t blame them. Falling for this trap from the devil himself is not increasing the kingdom of heaven, as Jesus said we should be.

Too often we forget that sitting across the table from us is a real person who has real needs and real questions, and that they are looking to us for answers. If we simply do not have the wisdom to give them an answer, then we should simply pray for, and with them. There is a time and a place for arguing, but have we forgotten that there is also a time and a place for sitting still and listening to what others have to say?

Many people who are not Christian visit Christian churches, and get involved within Christian fellowship, so it’s important that we go out of our way to show them how different the church is from the outside world. Imagine what a outsider who is already involved with backstabbing, hatred, anger, etc, comes into a church setting, where the fellowship is already displaying the same. They would fit right in, wouldn’t they?

Jesus spoke to the disciples about this very thing: He asked them “Why do you argue among yourselves? To see who is the greatest one of you? But let the greatest among you be the least”

If there is one thing that Jesus shows us about arguing among each other is that in the end the truth always comes out, and that truth is somehow always reflected back at the source. Sometimes that truth is hard to bear. But, that truth will set you free!

If the truth in us, if the reflection we see in the mirror is Jesus, then why do we argue the truth with others? Shouldn’t they see Jesus in us? If we say we love the world, yet hate our brother, isn’t that a broken reflection of Jesus?

STOP Talking!

Stop_TalkingHave you ever been driving down the road and all of a sudden you hear the word “STOP!”?

I learned a hard lesson this week: sometimes the best way to evangelize is not to evangelize at all. I know that as Christians we sometimes have such a zeal for the Lord, and that’s not always a bad thing. Zeal keeps us going with the things of the Lord. Zeal is often contagious, especially when you are out witnessing alongside other believers.

But what happens when you have zeal and you meet a wall, or roadblock? I always like to think that you have the option of either going around it, or go back in the other direction. Of course, going in the other direction is something that a Christian would naturally not do. There’s the tendency to think that we always have to march forward, and never retreat. But that roadblock is there for a reason. Maybe it’s a dead end street, or maybe the road is so torn up that there’s an immediate concern that damage to your vehicle, and to an extent, your personal self, can and will occur.

Zeal will often lead you to think “Well there’s an alternate route I can take, and I can come back this way again when the area is passable.” So you take the alternate for a while, then you come back to the main route, only to find that it’s still a mess.

As evangelists, we have to acknowledge that the Word of God we speak will sometimes fall on unpassable minds, blocked ears, and stone hearts. And it’s at that moment that we have to decide whether to go in a new direction, or stop talking. It’s sad to say, but that person we crave so much for the Lord to touch, will not be touched at all. That person has become a tragic casualty.

It’s not our fault. We have done all we can through our hearts, and through the Holy Spirit. However, even though it is gentle, the Holy Spirit will not land, will not enter, and will not interfere where it is not wanted or needed. If there is a war going on inside of a person, the Holy Spirit will not beg to enter because it cannot have a relationship with a evil heart.

I’ve had plenty of opportunities and heartaches in both witnessing and preaching the Truth, and I think many of us have. But there’s a point where you have to get your humbleness together and realize that not a whole lot of people are going to accept your truth, which happens to be The Truth, because they are simply not ready for it, or outright deny it. When they outright deny it, that’s the point where you HAVE to STOP! There’s no way to get through to the people, and unfortunately the cost of repairs simply aren’t worth it.

Simply walk away, you don’t have to say anything further.

Have you ever given up on a person when they won’t hear, or accept the Truth? Why or why not?

 

A Thought on Halloween.

Ok, with this holiday fast coming up in a couple of days I thought I would write some thoughts about it. Now I just want everyone to know I welcome all input and thoughts on this.

I know that for the most part, Christians are divided on this holiday as well as Christmas. So many are against Halloween because they have read in the Bible were we are instructed to “avoid all appearances of evil” (1 Thessalonians 5:22). My thoughts on this are quite simple: if Christians want to avoid all appearances of evil, then please go out and stay in the desert for 40 years. Furthermore, stay out of the bars, stay out of the concerts, nightclubs, internet, social media, bookstores, coffee shops, hotels, motels…I believe you get the point. At some point or another, we will have to interact with “appearances of evil” whether we like it or not.

But truly, if we were to shun the Halloween festivities, then we should also shun giving money and food to the poor. (On the same line, if we were to shun the Christmas festivities, then we shouldn’t ever give food to the poor, nor cloth the poor, etc.).

As far as I know, neither children nor adults who take part in Halloween is actually initiating evil, calling forth evil spirits, nor acting evil.

Now for a slight confession: my past before Christianity (and even a bit during my early Christian days) has allowed me to visit Halloween Costume Parties at various nightclubs, and I have witnessed some daring, if not suggestive costumes. I don’t know if witnessing such is a sin, but I never “interacted” with them, in fact, I avoided those wearing the costumes…yeah, yeah, excuses don’t work….I get it. :)

Many Christians “point the finger” at others because they have read, heard, or researched where the Druids  and Celtics celebrated Halloween by making sacrifices to their own Gods. My argument is this: no one seems to have any idea just what those sacrifices are.

So many have done their own research, and found that “witches” tend to have their own rituals on this day and night. What many don’t realize is that neither children, nor adults, who either give out candy, or dress up in a costume, or even act like Frankenstein, Dracula, Luke Skywalker, a Hobo, Superman, or Batman, etc, represent or worship evil, and the chances are, that they will most likely go home to a meal consisting of red meat, french fries, and an orange soda. Of course, a Frosty is delicious as well.

If a Christian wishes to condemn the day that has been known as Halloween, and the children of the Lord whom dress up in some funny, and sometimes neat costumes, then they should also condemn the other 364 days of the year, where the appearance of evil abounds much, much more than on a single day and where evil is also not as easily identifiable.

Again, there is nothing evil with putting on a costume, facepaint, and giving out candy to children. But there is something dreadfully wrong when we judge by mere appearances.

I should add, if I have not made it clear, that the worship of Jesus Christ involves a deep, intimate relationship with the Lord, and that many who accuse Christians of worshipping something other than God are judging harshly, especially when the same Christian who is doing the judging is not on an intimate relationship with those whom they judge. If this is the case, then they are guilty of judging with their eyes on what they see, something that the Lord is highly against.

What are your thoughts?

halloween-ghost-creeping-612391

The Haircut and The Truth!

A young man had just gotten his driving permit. He asked his father, who was a minister, if they could discuss his use of the car.
His father said to him, “I’ll make a deal with you. You bring your grades up, study your bible a little, and get your hair cut, then we will talk about it.”

A month later the young man came back and again asked his father if they could discuss his use of the car.
His father said, “Son, I’m real proud of you. You have brought your grades up, you’ve studied your bible diligently, but you didn’t get a hair cut!”

The young man waited a moment and replied, “You know dad, I’ve been thinking about that. You know Samson had long hair, Moses had long hair, Noah had long hair, and even Jesus had long hair.”

His father replied, “Yes son, and they walked everywhere they went!”

The Lord’s Place Or Our Own?

The Dream Mansion in London

http://myfancyhouse.com/2012/11/16/the-dream-mansion-in-london-by-harrison-varma/

When we invited the Lord into our hearts and lives, did we not understand that He would come in and  clean house so that He could move in? Did we not expect His expert service (love) for us to dust, clean, and vacuum every crevice and throw out everything that He did not need, nor have any use for? Even the things that we have kept in the dark corners He has no use for: anger, self-righteousness, bickering, and a whole lot of other things. Yes, these things were once precious to us, but it’s time to let them go. The stains on the walls and floor have to be washed and clean.

Yes, the Lord does accept us for who we are, but that doesn’t mean He is not intent on changing us. We don’t call Him the Potter for no reason at all. The Lord is the Master of our house (hearts, soul, etc), and it’s totally up to Him as to what he wants to do with His Temple. His floor plans are absolutely gorgeous! His windows are huge and polished. But in God’s house there is no need for closets, nor storage space, nor even interior doors.

Many Christians, and then some, hang on to these things, as if they are somehow useful on a later date. But how many of us hold on to old newspapers, or old receipts? Don’t old newspapers present a fire hazard? Don’t old receipts end up being just a small piece of blank paper?

The only thing that the Lord expects us to hang on to is His Word, His promise, His love, and the love we have for each other. Otherwise, He will provide us with what we need when the time comes.

What are you holding on today that the Lord wants to get rid of?

Checkout Cindy Holman’s blog post where she asks the question: How’s Your Nose?