September 8, 2008

Seven Important Words

Here we are in the year 2008 and I can hardly believe the holidays are just around the corner. Fall is in the air and this is my favorite time of the year! Such a relief from the long, hot summer and high electric bills. I like the sudden and crisp coolness of the air. I love to pick a bushel of apples and spend my time cooking up a homemade apple pie!
Thinking today about the changes which have no doubt occurred in all of our lives this past year, I stopped to think about those things which will never change. What will never sway while the seasons and years roll by? As the leaves turn from summer green to fall yellow and red with the changing of the season, those beautiful fall colored leaves will soon drop to the ground because winter is on its way and we better be ready to bundle up! Then comes the precious springtime when everything becomes new again. Thinking on these things, I wanted to write on what we can count on in a world where much changes for us throughout the year (sometimes for the worst) and it can happen to us at the drop of the hat. There is one thing I can think of and it's below, written in red:
The Word of God. Isn't it comforting to know in a world where change is a sure bet, we have a constant when we look at God's truth as it is recorded in the bible?

Do you remember when God spoke from the cloud and told Peter, James, and John,
"This Is my beloved son, Hear Him"?

Mark 9 2-9: And after six days Jesus taketh with him Peter, and James, and John, and leadeth them up into an high mountain apart by themselves: and he was transfigured before them.
3 And his raiment became shining, exceeding white as snow; so as no fuller on earth can white them.
And there appeared unto them Elias with Moses: and they were talking with Jesus.
And Peter answered and said to Jesus, Master, it is good for us to be here: and let us make three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias.
For he wist not what to say; for they were sore afraid.
And there was a cloud that overshadowed them: and a voice came out of the cloud, saying, This is my beloved Son: hear him.
And suddenly, when they had looked round about, they saw no man any more, save Jesus only with themselves.
And as they came down from the mountain, he charged them that they should tell no man what things they had seen, till the Son of man were risen from the dead.

Friends, I am convinced these seven words are for our benefit today just as they were beneficial for Peter, James and John on that mountain. God would tug on our hearts today and tell us these very same words that he told Peter, James, and John so long ago.

Jesus was the word of God made flesh:
John 1:14: And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

How do we hear God's son?
By delving into the word of God. By pouring over his truth. God's word contains everything we need to live a whole and victorious life. Why do we spend so much time looking for new words from the Lord? If God gives you a word or a vision or dream, there is nothing wrong with this just so it jives with his word and it is wonderful if the Holy Spirit chooses to do this, but we simply must give priority to "Hearing Him", Jesus Christ, through the Word of God. We must give this the preeminence in our lives.
I have heard this year of so many tragedies people have had to endure. It seems at times the very foundations of our lives can be shaken and we can be caught in the most dire situations right out of the blue! Well, these things we deal with on this earth are never easy and seldom are we ever able to meet the distress with a calmness. I have never been tranquil when it seems the rug is being pulled out from under me. What do I do? How do I react? First I am shocked, then perhaps I feel anger rising in me. Then I maybe take a few hours and ponder the mess I've been dealt, then after a while I realize that God sees my mess and he is the strong one and I am the weak one.

Then this process (if I allow it to and I don't get a case of the stubborns) will strengthen my faith and my life in the long run. Notice I said in the "long run". But in the present it really irks me :) And aren't we all pretty much the same? We don't want to have to put up with grief and troubles, trials and temptations, but remember what Jesus said:
John 16:33
In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.

June 28, 2008

Paul's Description of Our Narcissistic Society

In the bible we get a clear description of the character of many in the last days. Just go to the book of 2 Timothy, chapter 3:

  • This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. 2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3 Without natural affection, truce breakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, 4 Traitors, heady, high minded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; 5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.

Paul tells us that in the last days, men will be "lovers of their own selves rather than lovers of God". My friends, the number one characteristic of men and women in the last days? Without a doubt, it will be SELFISHNESS.

What grieves my heart above many things I witness today is the overwhelming number of parents who care more about themselves than they do their children. They don't want to sacrifice their time to another - even when that other happens to be their own child. We have so many drug addicted parents who care more about where they will find their next fix than they do caring for their kids. And what of the way some children treat their parents? So many children show little or no respect for the parents who have nurtured them, and loved them more than anyone else has on this earth. These days many of our kids are not satisfied with a barbie doll or model airplane for Christmas, they are counting on a few video games and a new cell phone! All these new gadgets we have available today have done nothing to help us be more humane to one another have they? But they do cost a pretty penny and boy do they entertain us :(


What of the sin of covetousness mentioned above? We are never satisfied with what we have, we covet other people's belongings and sometimes even the life they lead. We expect to get our way in all things. And yes, many of us despise those who are good for the simple reason that they show us the way we SHOULD live and treat others. The sense of entitlement that some walk around with is appalling. Everything should be given to us, we think that we are owed it, that it is "due" us. Where did this sick thinking come from? The selfishness that has grown in our hearts.


We have little or no self-control. We can fly off the handle at others at the drop of a hat. And not always over some big thing, sometimes it can be as small as another slightly stepping in line ahead of us at the supermarket! Well, do we handle this by saying, "Excuse me, I was next in line? Those with no self-control do not handle it this way. They would go off on that person without giving it a second of thought. We don't control our eating habits or drinking habits the way we should. Gluttony is a sin but we don't hear much of it these days. There are preachers who will cut down a drug addict in two seconds flat but never take a look in the mirror and it dawn on them that THEY themselves have no self-control.


It's pretty bad when you have to endure the pain inflicted on you by a traitor but think if you had live with the knowledge that the traitor resides within your own family! My friends, this is becoming commonplace in families today. Traitors who care nothing for others and yes, even their own family members who have loved them and cared for them through thick and thin.

The narcissistic society today

What Paul describes in the opening of 2nd Timothy chapter 3 is essentially a narcissistic society in the last days. I am convinced and I do confess to knowing a little about narcissistic personality disorder. Narcissus was in love with himself. He was in love with his reflection. What do we have today? We have many little Narcissus's running around! And their numbers are rapidly growing.

While our society in general is growing more narcissistic everyday, we must strive to keep our minds and hearts geared toward Jesus Christ and the way HE would have us live our lives. Jesus was all about others. He had compassion and forgiveness toward all and was slow to anger. He didn't judge by men's standards but rather judged in righteousness as he was and is the righteous judge of mankind. Jesus came to serve and he in fact said he was a servant and came NOT to be served by others. He was the epitome of selflessness. The best defense from becoming narcissistic in these last days? The word of God my friends. Read it, study it, put it to work in your lives and cleave to it like it is a life preserver because that is exactly what it is. You would do well to keep it by your side and keep it's truths in your mind and written upon your heart in these last days.

April 22, 2008

Death: No Fear

When I exit life on earth I know I will not have ceased to exist. I will still be alive when my physical body has given up and is buried because everyone who has ever walked this earth including myself have "eternal life". So the question becomes where will each of us spend this eternal life of ours? There is a confidence in a person who quietly trusts in the Lord for their salvation. They don't fear death because death doesn't exist for them. Jesus conquered death, hell, and the grave when he became sin for us. This sinless God/man, Christ Jesus, who endured the pain, anguish and separation from his heavenly father paid the high price to keep those of us who believe in him from having to taste "death".
  • Hebrews 2:9 But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.

Dear friends, please take God's words to the bank, this is truth. When the devil attempts to torment you by doubting God's word with regards to fear of death you should rebuke those fears and doubts and cast them aside at once.

We are all souls and spirits kept (stored) in these physical bodies which deteriorate over time. Given time and circumstances, these bodies of ours break down and give up on us. And what do they "give up" when they stop working? they give up spirit and mind. We are told in the bible that as God's children, we are going to be given new heavenly (spiritual) bodies someday:
1 Corinthians 15:
  • 42 Thus also the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption, it is raised in incorruptibility.
  • 43 It is sown in dishonour, it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness, it is raised in power.
  • 44 It is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body: if there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual one.
  • 45 Thus also it is written, The first man Adam became a living soul; the last Adam a quickening spirit.
  • 46 But that which is spiritual was not first, but that which is natural, then that which is spiritual: 47 the first man out of the earth, made of dust; the second man, out of heaven.
  • 48 Such as he made of dust, such also those made of dust; and such as the heavenly, such also the heavenly ones.
  • 49 And as we have borne the image of the one made of dust, we shall bear also the image of the heavenly one.

These new spiritual bodies won't break down on us such as our physical bodies do which we presently have. The pain we have to endure in these present bodies will never trouble us again once we have been given our heavenly bodies from God. Funerals are sad for us. We miss our loved ones who have walked this earth with us. But just know this: You will walk again with your loved one who has passed from this earth. You will get that chance to walk with them and the next time, you will be walking on streets of gold.

April 5, 2008

Letting Go: Never Painless but Always Beneficial

Letting go of past hurts is never easy, especially at the time they're done to us and immediately afterward. In some cases it takes years to let go depending on the pain or betrayal we've experienced. I have found out that after a good bit of time passes, I am better able to get over these hurts and get back on with living life. The truth is, letting the harsh treatment we get from others rule over us holds us back in so many ways. We cannot focus on living life to its fullest because our minds are constantly going over what was done to us, how unfair it was, and questioning whether justice will ever be done regarding those who have hurt us so badly. These tests and trials, just as various other ones in life, can make us better or bitter. They show us how strong we are and/or how weak we are. They testify to what we are made of and if we find that we don't handle them as we should, (which all of us can attest to at one time or another) at least we can say that we have learned from the experience. This is good because the next time we are faced with a similar situation we will have additional wisdom
which will help us through.
God never intended us to muddle through life, carrying a grudge against those who have wronged us.
Our pain is real, it's true that we have been deeply hurt, we have been done wrong, but our lives were never meant to be spent allowing our entire thoughts and actions revolve around things like these. There are people to love, places to see, and life to live and we cannot be doing these if we are wrapped up and bogged down in past hurts.
Here's help:
  • Acknowledge the pain and hurt you have
  • Pray about it and give it to God to handle, I assure you he is able to do this while you will never be.
  • Then just "Let it be" as the song says. Rest in the fact that in God's time, these wrongs will be made right. The injustice in time will seem less of an injustice to us.

I know from experience that in addition to the above actions, it will take time to heal these past hurts. Know that you cannot enjoy your life while being consumed and obsessed by those who have wronged you. I pray that none of us be overtaken by past hurts because being ruled by them has the uncanny ability to turn us into very angry people and that's never beneficial. The only thing that anger can do is totally handicap us for as long as it holds us in its grasp.

March 20, 2008

Allowing the Tests

I got a phone call recently from a family member who has struggled with drug addiction all of her life. She was back in the hospital due to her body breaking down from years of drug use. Every talk I had with her in the past, all the begging, pleading, angry feelings and sadness I had in the previous years fled away as I listened to the fear in her voice. My fear at this point is that once again she will check herself out of hospital against medical advice. Those we love who are held in the grip of drug addiction tear at out heartstrings and take us for a very sad ride. I have and will again do everything I can for her. I've never abandoned her and I won't now. I am planning to visit but I am NOT planning on giving her a stern talking to on the subject of how the drugs are destroying her. I have done all of this before. A few years ago I finally got to the place where I got out of God's way and stopped enabling her. In order for an addict to get clean (or not) it is their choice and the first thing we must do is step aside. Let them fall without us there begging, yelling, freaking out, and at our wit's end. I admit it is scary to let them go. It's scary to trust in God and get our hands and heart out of the equation. When I say our "hearts" out of the equation I don't mean we stop loving them, I only mean that we MUST have distance at this time for their sakes to allow them to fall without reaching out to stop or ease that plunge they are sooner or later bound to take. I am very afraid of losing her. I don't want her to die. I see it as such a waste if it takes her life in order for her to chase her next high. But here's what God has said to me regarding that:
God told me that we all must ALLOW THE TESTS in the lives of those we love. He has given all of us FREE WILL and whatever comes of this will be of her own doing and by her own hand. There, I said it. Simple huh? No, not quite. All my life I have wanted to have some control over helping those I love in order for them to be ok. This is a control issue that I am dealing with and am much better than I used to be. So here's what I've decided... I will allow my loved one's test. I will love her and be there for her. I will not preach at her or scold her. If I did, it would only be repeating what she ALREADY knows and has heard from me many times before. Please keep this loved one of mine in your prayers, she is very special to me.