Wednesday, November 7, 2012
Well, Ive been silent all these months. I've read. I've listened. I've mourned. I've prayed. I've sought answers and strategy and attempted to refute those answers and the strategy that I received. My prayer has been for Father's will to be accomplished here on this earth as it is in His Heaven. I sensed a check as to what to ask for, because I believe He has a bigger picture and a greater plan than I know. His plans always are bigger and greater than anything we can conceive or dream. Years ago, while sitting in church listening to a volunteer from the local crisis pregnancy center, Holy Spirit told me three times that abortion was not the worst thing that could happen to someone. I was shocked and asked what He meant. His answer, in my spirit, was that those little ones are instantly in His presence and are fully who they were created to be. The parents and abortion providers who are driven from seeking Him because of the venom and lack of love directed at them by those seeking to "save" the unborn, are much worse off if they spend eternity without Him. He wasn't giving me an endorsement for abortion, but a glimpse into His bigger picture. I shared some of that reasoning at a meeting months later for picketing abortion centers. I said that we were operating as the world does in our actions and attitudes and those were not winning strategies. We needed to be more concerned about reaching those involved in the abortion process through our love instead of our anger or judgment. I was thanked for my remarks and told that I didn't understand the situation. Thankfully, many years later, love appears to be the strategy that many followers of Christ are working from in the abortion arena. Father God has a bigger role for His Church and a greater plan for America than we can accomplish without our reliance on Him. I've observed our Christian populace relax in our nation when we have leaders that appear to be closely aligned with our creed. We don't seem to have much intensity in being the Light and Salt we are called to be. We have become so similiar to the world in which we live, that most observers would only know we are "christians" by our church attendance or the crosses we wear. We have become ready victims to the lure and seduction of the world in which we live until something or someone challenges a "right" that is perceived to be ours! Oh, Church, we were created and called for so much more! We weren't called to follow blindly behind the world's ways while we sing our religious dirges. We're called to be Light and Salt to a dying world! We're called to repair the broken fences in our nation and to shore up our walls! We're called to walk in love towards our brethren in Christ and to reach out in love to those outside the family of faith. The Word states that His love never fails and that when the world sees how we love each other, they will be drawn to Him. Anyone got a better plan than that? I don't think so! Psalm 20:7 states, "Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God." This election, as all others I've observed, have had our "chariots" of Republican and Democrat. We had our "horses" named Obama and Romney this time. Our hope, our salvation cannot be in anything but the Lord Eternal, Jehovah! Regardless of whether your "horse" won or lost, we have a challenge and a call to be a source of life, love, hope and peace that reaches across party lines, religious beliefs and any other divisive thing. Will we heed the call this time, or will we decide to hunker down and just ride out the storm as many did last week when Sandy hit the northeast? Now is not the time to cease being the Church. Now is the time for the Church to manifest the person of Jesus Christ to our perishing nation. It is easier to just be religious, but that is not what we are to be. Stand and take up the mantle of salvation that we have been given and light the path for our nation to once again become, "one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."!
Thursday, August 9, 2012
Well, my mind and heart are at it again, so I'll try to share them with you. I was taken to church as an infant and have spent most of my life in it since then. My desire is not to tear down, but to try to build up the Church of Jesus Christ...His Bride that He is coming back for! I was introduced to Holy Spirit in my 30's and didn't feel comfortable talking about Him until my 50's. No, I'm not a slow learner, I just wasn't hearing enough about Him to hear Him often and I had little knowledge of His power. His presence was real, but His power was not recognized or acknowledged and I thought the people who professed to walk in that power were a little weird, anyway. I often wondered why we, The Church, were not seeing and doing the same types of things that Jesus and the apostles did. Why weren't we seeing the transforming, healing power that sets others free in all areas? The more I studied the Word the more hungry I became to know Him and to follow after Him. During those years I had two very close friends die when I believed Jesus had healed them. In a gutsy, but desperate move for this Baptist-raised daughter, I even took one of them to a Benny Hinn meeting to get her healed. She died and less than a year later my other precious friend passed suddenly from a liver disease. Both of them left young children and husbands behind and one very discouraged and confused friend...me. I decided I wanted nothing more to do with His "supposed healing power" since it had not worked for my two friends. That's how I lived for awhile. Not seeing and recognizing the power of the risen Christ and seeing how the Church was filled with hurting, ill and dying people, I began a journey to try to find this Risen, Victorious Christ the Word conveys instead of settling for something less than He! That journey is ongoing and never-ending, but I am finding The One Whom I have sought! I am much less concerned about church activities than I am about learning to live as The Church! The early Church cared for one another and no one went without. They operated under a true understanding of Christ's resurrection and ascension that empowered them to go about doing good as Jesus did...healings, miracles and abounding in grace and love. His Spirit dwells in us. His heart is our new heart, therefore it's a good heart. My hands touching someone are filled with the same power and love as Christ's because He lives in me! WOW! The Church is not "like" family, it is family! We sure aren't taking great care of our family and yet, Jesus said that the world would know we are His because of the way we (the Church) love one another and that it would draw the world to Him because of that love. The Gospel is the good news of Jesus Christ - His death, burial, resurrection and ascension that leads to a life more abundant than anything we can think or imagine! Let's live that truth. Let's be the Church! Let's lay hands on the sick and see them healed. Let's offer love and grace wrapped in truth and see the lost, lonely, downcast and abused start living as the favored of their Abba, 'cause that's who they are! Let's start living and moving in the power of Holy Spirit who is breathing a fresh breath over the Church! Let's!
Thursday, August 2, 2012
WOW! I am so impressed at the showing in support of Chick Fil A yesterday in the United States! I read so many reports of the large crowds of supporters and the small showing of protestors...it was all over the internet. I wasn't there. I couldn't go, even though I am in agreement with Cathay's statements and support his business as often as I can. If you went, this blog is no condemnation towards you...this is what my response was to this latest drama. As I shared in my last posting, this past year has been a year of a many-faceted changing of things I believed and followed. Not a changing of my Savior and my Father, but a changing from being a works driven and people-pleaser to a love and grace giving, God-pleasing warrior! Years ago as I was in a church meeting listening to a representative of the local Crisis Pregnancy Center share their vision and purpose, Holy Spirit spoke to me and said, "There is something worse than the abortions that happen to these little ones". I was shocked and asked Him two more times what He said and I received the same words. Then, I asked Him to explain what He was saying so I could truly undertand. He replied that when these "little ones" lives are ended, they are immediately in His presence fully formed and fully grown to live out His purposes for all Eternity. Those that committed and submitted to those lives ending will spend that same Eternity without Him if they are never shown the gift of love and forgiveness of His heart towards them and are unable to believe it because of the lack of those same gifts in believers. Eternity with Him or Eternity without Him! Which is greater? He was not condoning abortion in any form, but was showing me His heart of love and compassion for those we (the Church) were condemning. I feel the same way about the same-sex marriage issue and any other issue that causes us to become bile erupting volcanoes instead of love erupting light! Yes, those are sin and sin is bad, but so is gossip a sin and gluttoney a sin (as well as a whole list of other things) and those sins are church embraced and often, church driven. What is really going on here? We are in a BATTLE! Not a battle against homosexuality, abortion or same-sex marriage, but a battle against the Church being the Light & Salt we are called to be! The enemy of our souls has devised a pretty slick plan to keep us out of the true battle. He gets us whipped up over something about our "rights" and others' "wrongs" till we're too whipped, too defeated, too angry and too judgmental to fight like the soldiers we're called to be. II Corinthians 10:4-6 tells us that our weapons of warfare are different than the world's and yet, we continue to fight the world's way. No wonder we haven't won very many battles! Can you think of any we've (the Righteous) won by battling as the world does? I remember the condemnation that arose over the church in America when Madeline Murray O'Hare was able to get prayer removed from public schools - the church hadn't done enough...and America has continued it's downward slide in spite of all of our boycotting and placards and Christian broadcasting! What's the answer then to a world of choas, sin and darkness if we don't fight the same way as the world system? Our God, The God of the Angel Armies, gave us His battle plan in II Chronicles 7:14. "If My people (we, the Church), who are called by My Name, will humble themselves and pray and seek My face, and turn from THEIR wicked ways, THEN will I hear from heaven and will forgive THEIR sin and heal their LAND." How effective of the enemy to convince us that prayer really doesn't change much and it certainly isn't quick enough, so let's fight his way and keep loosing battles. It makes us feel godly that we supported a "good" business and boycotted a "bad" one...after all, we are followers of Christ! Followers? Then let's start following! He ate with sinners, went to their homes, touched the unclean and loved the unloveable...are we truly followers just because we bear His name? He never loved the sin, but He ALWAYS loved the sinner! The only people he took issue with and chastised, were the religious ones who had a form of godliness, but no intimacy with Him. I know this is long and I know effectual, fervent prayer requires more of us than fighting the way we have been, but we were told that we have to die in order to live, we were told that God's ways are not our ways and we were told the battle plan. A filet is a generous piece of meat or fish with the bones removed, usually taken from the most tender selection of meat. We need to be choice filets of the King, tender in our love and compassion with all the dry bones removed so the meat we offer is desired by the ones in this world who are dying for lack of food!!! Think on these things...
Thursday, July 26, 2012
When I checked my Blog site this morning, I was shocked to realize I had not posted in a year! A year!!! Where did it go and where was I? I've been on a journey and it's been a good one. I had a serious heart condition as a result of illness when I was nine years old. That illness and the damage it caused my heart, had been progressing for the last 54 years. Last year, about this time, I started to get very tired and had little energy or ability to do much other than sit and read, which I did. My husband, the doctors and I decided it was time something needed to be done because my health was deteriorating rapidly. I won't bore you with the details, but I had open heart surgery at Cleveland Clinic at the end of January. They performed four procedures on my heart and my recovery has been exceptional. Miracles and God's hand were evident every step of the way from the dear ones who paid for the surgery, the complete peace I experienced, the believers who were part of my surgical care team, those who cared for us with meals and love, and the beautiful recovery of my heart! That's just a portion of what He's been doing in my life, though. He's taught me so much more about His Grace and His forgiveness than I ever knew before! My walk of faith has grown by leaps as I've experienced His love, forgiveness, grace and favor this year. I went into the surgical suite, for an operation I had feared, with absolutely no fear! I'm learning how to walk with the assurance that, Christ in me, is why I can boldly pray and expect Him to answer. The full power and glory of the risen Christ lives in me so when I lay hands on someone who is sick or hurting, it's Christ in me who does the heaing. It's my faith in the One Who Heals as the Healer, not my faith in whether I believe He heals or whether I can heal. It's Christ in me, My Provider, Who supplies everything that I need. That's not my job, my husband's job, or the government's job...He's my Provider! I'm also understanding more about the battle we are in as children of The Most High God! I'm seeing more clearly the enemy's attempts to "kill, steal, and destroy" those who belong to Yahweh, what a clever deceiver he is and how he has no right in our lives unless we give it to him in agreement. He "roars like a lion", but he is no match for my Lion of Judah! I despise the enemy for what he has done to the church and how we have followed him like sheep being led to slaughter. Our lives have become feeble attempts to make our own mixture of works and recognition rather than drinking deeply from the Well that will NEVER run dry or become polluted! We have pushed and published religious fervor until our nation has regurgitated our mixture and, by doing so, rejects God because that's all they know of Him! The Bride is dirty and tattered and no longer the sweet fragrance of salvation we are supposed to be. I certainly don't know all the answers and I'm still wading through some junk I've collected, but I'm going forward with the One Who has all the answers and wants to reveal them to those who will hear His voice. I'm listenting, expectantly, for the voice of my Shepherd...who will follow?