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Showing content with the highest reputation since 07/09/2019 in Blog Entries

  1. 2 points
    Recently a pastor sent out a letter to his congregants requesting suggestions as to what topics his people would like to have him address on Sundays. Another church felt the necessity to highlight the recent racial divide in our nation. To address the issue, they brought in two individuals who represented an ethnicity different from those of their own congregation. They discussed issues that needed understanding and even correction. I guess the purpose of the interaction was to bring people out of their comfort zones and into the reality of racial division. It seems that there is such a quickness to respond to societal problems that we fail to understand the true reason for racial conflict is SIN and BIBLICAL DISOBEDIENCE. When we fail to address these root causes of racial conflict, we will never find the solution to racial disharmony. When I see churches walking away from Biblical principles in favor of carnal analysis, my comfort zone is in jeopardy. Churches are becoming responders instead of initiators. We tend to react to issues instead of acting on the principles of God’s Word. We tend to bend over to the whims and actions of others instead of standing firm on the infallible, inerrant Word of God. If we continue to bend, we could face the danger of breaking and becoming ineffective for God’s usage. People are having a difficult time hearing God because they tend to limit Him by their wants instead of their needs. True Believers want unfiltered truth that speaks to their spirit. Selective topics tend to enforce complacency or to satisfy “itching ears.” Christians do not need to be lectured on interracial issues, for they are taught not to be a respecter of persons of differing social/economic and physical characteristics. All people are created in the image of God and are to be loved and accepted no matter what their physical makeup. The Church needs to continue to promote the teachings of Jesus and not enter the carnal arena that involves social issues that tear down instead of build up. When Christians leave the principles of Biblical truth, we have lost our way. Satan wants Christians to fight by his rules of engagement. We must never take the bait. Always remember the brighter the light, the more the darkness will be dispelled. We must stay focused on our calling. The Church must display love. The Church is not to be a judge, but a witness of God’s Grace. The Church must not enter the “colosseum” of conflict, but stand on the foundation of Truth. The Church is not to be integrated with the opinions of the world, but to display the Truth of the world’s Creator. When people have a hard time hearing from God, it is usually the result of frequency interference that comes from hearing interpretive truth instead of Holy Spirit inspired teaching. People have a hard time hearing God when they act outside of the Biblical framework. LET CHRISTIANS STAY FOCUSED ON WHAT GOD WANTS FROM THEM INSTEAD OF WHAT THEY WANT FROM GOD.
  2. 2 points
    I rarely dream, I really don't envision dream as antidote. It's usually rest when I'm awake that cracks the door of Heaven's gate to get a glimpse of God inside these kingdom bones, where He abides. The cataclysm of the flesh when crucified, put to the test, and then the flash of Risen feet up to Your Face brings me relief. The trust You give, upon your Word, is oath enough for us to serve* and from deep within the wells of hope scale ladder steps Jacob's eye felt** __________ * Matthew 5:33-37 ** Genesis 28:10-22
  3. 1 point
    Matthew 24:12 And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. This aspect of love that has been growing colder as one of Christ’s prophesies in His Sermon on the Mount listed in the 24th Chapter of Matthew, and I will explain. We can get something like Cancer that invades our society and people do not realize it is spreading. Satan likes to introduce things in a slow, but very subtle manner. Watching society go through these subtle changes for close to 70 years, has made me realize that the love of many is, in fact---- growing colder. And as Christ prophesied, it is happening, and many do not realize it. How changes in society can alter our opinions Opinions are first of all---are not really of God, while perceptions should be aligned with God. We have really made our opinions tantamount in this opinion-seeking society where everyone is desiring our opinion from political polls to the products we buy. We are constantly being asked for our opinion in this society. MY opinion certainly can be prideful thing. How many times have your heard “That is my opinion and no one can change it”? Opinions are really brought out in this verse and others. Romans 12:16 Be of the same mind toward one another. Do not set your mind on high things but associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own opinion. Or from the World English translation of the Bible: Proverbs 18:2 A fool has no delight in understanding, but only in revealing his own opinion While perception or perceive is this: Mark 8:17 But Jesus, being aware of it, said to them, “Why do you reason because you have no bread? Do you not yet perceive nor understand? Is your heart still hardened? Proverbs 1:2 To know wisdom and instruction, To perceive the words of understanding, And this from the Passion translation: Proverbs 24:14 For then you will perceive what is true wisdom, your future will be bright, and this hope living within will never disappoint you. So opinions are really of no value to anyone but yourself, in an often prideful way. While, perceptions are God’s gift to us when we ask for His wisdom---as James 1:5 says:. 5 (If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. We have to keep our mind on God in this world that seems to value our opinions. One aspect is found in Philippians 4:8 which says: Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. Mediating on these things keeps us from forming prideful opinions or certainly can help. Christ never spoke with His Opinions on anything---- why should we, as Believers in Christ allow our incomplete opinions to motivate us in our Faith in Him. After all it was the opinions of many who came together demanding His Crucifixion.
  4. 1 point
    Hardships God does not lead, His children around hardship, but leads them straight through hardship. He leads us through the valleys and out of darkness in life to streams of living water, for our nourishment can be found within the Bread of Life. Good can come out of, bad situations never give in to empty solutions, easy way outs. Difficulty is part of life, hard times will come and go. And may very well be to get your attention. Good can come from hardships, like the precious jewel at first its ruff around the edges, the Jeweler just like God works on that special jewel and never gives up. For within he sees what can be, God has a plan for us for. He is the Master of all. We can find joy in hardships, loneliness, and disappointment. Joy is more about attitude, and what we learn during those times rather than its circumstance. strengthening the disciples and encouraging them to remain true to the faith. We must go through many hardships to enter the kingdom of God, they said. - Acts 14:22 That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. - 2 Corinthians 12:10 Endure hardship with us like a good soldier of Christ Jesus. - 2 Timothy 2:3 - Debe
  5. 1 point
    Never lose hope your holding on to when things seem unclear . The Lord himself promises to make His way known. His way will always bring peace to your spirit.
  6. 1 point
    WHY AT GOLGOTHA? by Teddy L. Desta “Carrying His own cross, He went out to The place of the Skull (which in Aramaic is called Golgotha). There they crucified Him, and with Him two others, one on each side, with Jesus in the middle. ” John 19: 17-18 They crucified Jesus at a place called Golgotha (in Hebrew) or Calvary (in Latin). The translation of the name means the Skull. Then we have to ask: Why did God choose this place with a strange shape, and therefore with a strange name? It cannot be a mere accident or coincidence that the place be called the Skull to reverse the fall of mankind. If not by accident or coincidence, then what is the reason for God to choose, of all places, a place called the Skull for the greatest event in human history? Back to Eden From the beginning, God planned that man should always live in His presence, always listening to His voice and responding to His commands. But as we read in Genesis chapter 3, the first man, Adam, disobeyed God’s commandment by virtually seeking an independent life free from God’s voice. When Adam, deceived by the devil, ate the fruit from the forbidden tree of the knowledge-of-good-and-evil, he became wise-in-his-own-eyes. The consequence of Adam’s disobedience was severe. Because of Adam’s original sin of rebellion, God cursed the earth. God banished Adam from His presence, kicking him out of the Garden of Eden. The earth fell under God’s curse. Man became alienated being on earth. Satan, instead of man, became the ruler of this world. Sin, sickness, decay, and death became the new normal on earth. Worse still Adam’s disobedience introduced a sin-nature into the human race. Mankind is born with the perpetual inclination to rebel against the will of God, with the bent to choose the evil over the good. The sin-nature became the source of strife among the human family and the cause of the wrath of God on wicked communities. Adam’s choice to be wise in-his-own-eyes became mankind’s undoing. Forward to the Future The good news in the midst of the gloom-and-doom of the fall is that same day God has made a promise of redemption. God’s promise, as progressively revealed, was designed to undo the sin-nature to restore mankind back to Himself. Keeping the promise, in the fullness of time, God sent His Son, Jesus Christ into the world (Gal. 4:4). Jesus, through a life of total obedience and submission to the will of God, was sent to achieve the complete antidote to Adam’s disobedience and its dire consequences. God sent Jesus to pay fully for the original sin of Adam (i.e., atonement), to take out the sin nature from man’s heart (i.e., sanctification), to remove the curse from the earth (i.e., restoration), and to bring mankind into full fellowship with God (i.e., infill with the Holy Spirit). Discerning God’s way to achieve these goals holds the key to understanding the mystical meaning of the cross and Golgotha. Unlike Adam’s choice of autonomy, Jesus’ life was the opposite. Total surrender and submission to the will of God marked Jesus’ life. It became God’s will if by one man’s (namely, Adam’s) disobedience sin, death, and pain entered the world, that the obedience of another man (namely, Jesus Christ) provide the antidote for their removal from the world (Rom. 5:19). That God will defeat the devil at its own game, made Jesus’ life, starting from His birth in a manager total surrender and submission to mark to His death on a rugged cross to God’s will. “Who being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God. But made himself of no reputation and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men. And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.” Phil 2: 7-8 It is clear now that God’s design was to defeat the devil by his own devices. Jesus took it back from the devil living a life of full surrender and obedience to the will of God. The Cross on Golgotha As the ultimate sign of His total surrender to His Father’s will, Jesus embraced death by crucifixion. To do the will of God, Jesus showed a readiness to be spat upon, flogged, stripped naked, and nailed to a rugged cross. Jesus did not defend Himself in the face of blatant lies. He refused under intense provocations to vindicate Himself. He remained on display—naked—on the cross, while the citizens of Jerusalem looked at Him the full day. Because of the manner of His death, according to their customs, the Jews considered Him cursed of God and the Romans as one of the worst criminals they have to deal with. The place where God made His Son to die, Golgotha (also known in Latin as Calvary), is not accidental. The name means the skull, and as the result it carries a deep spiritual meaning. This name God purposefully selected to underline the original sin, the sin of rebellion against the will of God, and what it takes to reverse the fall from grace and restore humanity to full fellowship with Himself. To atone for original sin and to achieve the total reversal of its consequences, Jesus surrendered His will by agreeing to go the path of crucifixion, to die on a hill called, the Skull. That day, Jesus, metaphorically, became the Skull as He emptied Himself of the self. In submitting to a humiliating and agonizing death on the cross, Jesus has to empty His mind of the self-centered mindset, as He has to get rid off of rationality, self-preservation, and self-respect, etc. By emptying His head, Jesus, hence, became a skull of sorts in the eyes of his enemies and friends. When, thus, Jesus let God’s will take over completely in His life, He passed the test of obedience to God’s will. To reverse the original sin of Adam, which is disobedience, we see Jesus accepting God’s will, how bitter and painful it might have been. Calvary became the place where Jesus, by totally surrendering His will to the Father’s will, reversed the Fall. At Calvary, God dethroned the self and enthroned the Holy Spirit in the heart of man. Jesus’ through an act of obedience that led to His death, He opened the way for the Holy Spirit to come and indwell the heart of man. Jesus atoned for the original sin, satisfying the demands of a just God. His death provided a remedy for the sin-nature, providing full access to Grace that will help people to live a holy and surrendered life. The devil ensnared Adam presenting him with the Lie, making him disobey God. God used Jesus to reclaim for humanity which the devil has stolen. But Jesus’ life was also a pattern for others to follow. Jesus Our Pattern Jesus’ life was also an exemplar for total submission and obedience to God’s voice and Word. Jesus has now made possible the way back to the full presence of God which Adam had lost for his progeny. Jesus’ life on earth set a pattern how to live a surrendered life that is pleasing to God. For example, Jesus followed only what He saw His father in Heaven was doing (Jn. 5:19). To do the Father’s will was His sole pleasure (Jn. 32-34). Jesus, through His life of total surrender and submission, reversed not only the Fall but also created a pattern of life for the children of God to emulate and follow (Phil 2:5, Heb 12;1-2, 1 Pet 2:21). Hence, the Spirit of God will say to us. It is this pattern of the life of utter surrender and obedience to the will of God that the Holy Spirit emphasizes today, saying: My people, in your day, I AM also looking for those who willingly will go the road of the SKULL. I AM looking for an Isaiah who said “Yes” to My order. He walked naked and bare-footed for three years to obey My voice. He despised the shame for the sake of His God. I AM looking for a Hosea who obeying My Voice married a woman of no-repute. He allowed Me to prophecy to Israel through his act. He was ready to be counted among the transgressors for My sake. I AM looking for a Jeremiah who said "Yes" to wear a yoke of iron for many days before My people. He was ready, obeying My voice, to buy some real estate when all round him was only war and terror. He was prepared to be called an idiot for My sake. I AM looking for an Ezekiel who was ready to lay at the public square for more than a year, starving himself by eating the ration of famine. He did not shy away from the shame of being called a lunatic for My sake. I AM looking someone like the Virgin from Nazareth. Mary let her LORD to form the Messiah in her womb. She shunned death by stoning when she said “Yes” to her God. She was not ashamed or afraid to stand by the cross of her Son. From the outset she allowed the Sword of God to cleave her heart. She negated her will for My will. Today, I AM looking for servants who will gladly embrace the shame and the rejection of their age for My sake. Yes, I AM looking for those who will go for Me all the way to the place of the SKULL. Yes, I AM looking for those who for the joy set before them will despise the shame and carry their cross outside the gate. To them I will give an imperishable name. To these shall belong the glory and the power of the kingdom—forever. “I saw the souls of them that were beheaded (=head-less) for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, which had not worshiped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands. And they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.” Rev 20: 4 Wanted: A HEAD-LESS GENERATION. xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx PTL (2005)
  7. 1 point
    At the time, I didn't know it was the Cross, At the time, I didn't know it was the Cross, That the Lamb was made a curse, Took our punishment on earth. At the time, I didn't know it was the Cross. Over time, I heard the message of the Cross, Over time, I heart the message of the Cross, From the preaching of the Word Where holy people lived sincere. Over time, I heard the message of the Cross. Then one time, they pled, "The sinner's prayer repeat!" Then one time, they pled, "The sinner's prayer repeat!" Although it came from simple folk, I saw and heard what God's heart spoke, When one time they pled, "The sinner's prayer repeat!" In Time of times, the Son of Man will make His call, In Time of times, the Son of Man will make His call, 'Cause the trumpet shall announce 'Come up hither!", to the clouds.* In Time of times, the Son of Man will make His call. In these times, can we look back to the Cross? In these times, can we look back to the Cross? I-sai-ah so prophesied** The Son's Sacrifice is life. In these times, can we look back to the Cross? _______ *1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 and Revelation 11:12 **I wrote this as a folk song and used the British pronunciation for Isaiah ("Eye-zeye-ah"). See Isaiah 53
  8. 1 point
    God can always turn your real sadness and heartaches into unspeakable wonderful and amazing joy.
  9. 1 point
    There is no treasure so great than knowing Christ is infinite.
  10. 1 point
    God's word is infallible! Nothing pertaining to God will ever be proven false.
  11. 1 point
    Praise God for His immeasurable grace. If His grace could be ever counted, we would have no hope in our life. His great loving kindness cannot ever be matched!
  12. 1 point
    Why worry about the things you have no control over. God has everything under control. He already knows the end results of your worrying. Keep praising Him and thanking Him for His working on your behalf.
  13. 1 point
    The Israel-Palestinian Problem: A Biblical Solution by Teddy L. Desta (2003) The problem in the Middle East, particularly the relationship between Jews and Palestinians, can find a solution only when any human-made peace plan follows God's peace plan outlines presented in the Bible. The following is what we see in the Bible about the Israel-Palestinian problem and its solution. Since the Bible speaks about the broader Israel-Arab relationship as well, what is here can be called the Bible's Middle East peace plan (BMEPP). Unlike any other geopolitical region, God has made clear His mind about the future security and destiny of the Holy Land. Only if God has not shared His plan about the future of the Holy Land, then that we would have been free to let the best of our political thoughts and diplomatic practices to guide us in our search to write a Middle East plan. But since God has shared His mind about the Holy Land's future, then we must read His policy from the Bible and follow His precepts and blueprint. In a sense, we will succeed in our search for peace for a problem only when we make the Bible our starting place. To do otherwise is to set up ourselves for failure. Today, to a considerable extent, the world community believes that political, economic, and social justice for Palestinians can come only through a two-state solution. Most Palestinians buy the idea of TSS believing that their problems will get resolved when they get their national state. Other Palestinians such as the extremist nationalist groups like Hamas and Islamic Jihad want a one-state solution, wherein they can altogether displace Israel and set up an Islamic Palestinian state. However, both solutions (i.e., a two-state solution in which each side enjoys its sovereign state or a one-state solution where Hamas dominates), have one major problem: Both plans fly against the will of God. Currently, peace plans proposed by secular Zionists, the USA, regional countries, international organizations, the Palestinian Authority, or Hamas will all fail because none of them take the Word of God into consideration. Ideally, in all instances where God has made His will known, mankind must find out God's will and follow it. But what has God said about the Israel-Palestine problem? What are His peace parameters to solve the Israel-Palestinian intractable problem? This paper is dedicated to identify the biblical premises of the Middle East peace plan and to make a few recommendations. First, the Bible allocates property rights to the Jews in today's highly contested areas, commonly called "the Occupied Territories" (see, Gen. 15:15-23; Josh. 13-19). The Bible states that today's the West Bank and East Jerusalem (i.e., the so-called Occupied Territories) lie within Israel's ancient heritage. Therefore, those lands by default will revert to Israel in her restoration (See, for example, Jeremiah 31; Ezekiel 34: 13-16; Micah 7: 14-16; Obadiah 17 – 21; Zephaniah 2: 4-9). Hence, any human-made peace plan that ignores or contradicts the declared will of God about the territorial extent of restored Israel is doomed to fail. Surrounding nations are advised by God to respect Israel's land, and place in the region or otherwise face the consequences. Israel itself is required to abide by God's Word regarding any peace deals it makes with Palestinians, surrounding Arab nations, or the international community. "This is what the LORD says: "As for all my wicked neighbors who seize the inheritance I gave my people Israel, I will uproot them from their lands, and I will uproot the people of Judah from among them. But after I uproot them, I will again have compassion and will bring each of them back to their own inheritance and their own country. And if they learn well the ways of my people and swear by my name, saying, 'As surely as the LORD lives'--even as they once taught my people to swear by Baal--then they will be established among my people. But if any nation does not listen, I will completely uproot and destroy it," declares the LORD." (Jer. 12: 14-17) Second, the Bible promises an elevated position to Palestinians in a one-state solution. However, the OSS is preconditioned on the purging of Palestinians from hating the Jew. "Ashkelon will see it and fear; Gaza will writhe in agony, and Ekron too, for her hope will wither. Gaza will lose her king and Ashkelon will be deserted. a mixed people shall dwell in Ashdod, and I will cut off the pride of Philistia. And I will remove their blood from their mouth, and their detestable things from between their teeth. Then they also will be a remnant for our God, and be like a clan in Judah, and Ekron like a Jebusite." (Zechariah 9: 5-8) Hence, for Palestinians, some cleansing precedes their elevation in the OSS, which Israel leads. Potentially, there can follow an "assimilation" of the Palestinians into the Jewish social and political fabric. However, many Israelis and Palestinians, significant western countries, and international organizations reject the idea of a one-state solution for different reasons. First, by international law, Israel is obliged to leave any territory it has acquired by war. Second, for historical reasons, Jews deserve their state in which they make a clear majority. Third, the two sides have wounded each other so profoundly that to make them live in one-state is unwise and impractical. However, Israel's extent of territory is determined by the Bible, and not by international law. Second, the Jewishness of the state cannot be premised solely on a numerical majority. Third, there is scriptural precedence where Jews and Palestinians coexisted and cooperated. For example, King David, who built the first unified Jewish state, had had cordial relations with Palestinians. King David was so successful in his relationships with them so much that he gave a contingent of Palestinians an honored and trusted position in his army. King David's chosen bodyguard or elite force the Cherethites and Pelethites were Philistines (a.k.a, modern-day Palestinians). It was this Palestinian contingent that was loyal to David at the moment of the coup d'etat carried against David by his son, Absalom. "All his servants marched past him—all the Cherethites and Pelethites, and six hundred Gittites who had followed him from Gath. The king said to Ittai the Gittite, "Why should you come along with us? Go back and stay with King Absalom. You are a foreigner, an exile from your homeland. You came only yesterday. And today shall I make you wander about with us when I do not know where I am going? Go back, and take your people with you. May the LORD show you kindness and faithfulness." But Ittai replied to the king, "As surely as the LORD lives, and as my lord the king lives, wherever my lord the king may be, whether it means life or death, there will your servant be." (2 Sam 15: 18-21) Moreover, some of the most respected warriors in King David's army were other types of -- in modern parlance -- Palestinians (see, for example, 1 Sam. 26:6; 2 Sam. 23: 24-39). For instance, Uriah (the husband of Bathsheba) was a Hittite. Uriah's devotion to the God of Israel and the nation was peerless. It is this kind of relationship between Jews and Palestinians that God envisions to bring back again. The East Bank, too All attempted Israel-Palestinian peace plans overlook what God has said about restored Israel and the East Bank. The original Promised Land includes lands on the east bank of the Jordan River, given to the tribes of Reuben, Gad and half the tribe of Manasseh as their inheritance (Numbers 32, Joshua 13:15-23; Jeremiah 30:3). Gilead, and Bashan (which are famous pasture lands on the east side of the Jordan River) are part of Israel's original as well as restored inheritance (Jeremiah 50:19; Micah 7:14). "But I will bring Israel back to their own pasture, and they will graze on Carmel and Bashan; their appetite will be satisfied on the hills of Ephraim and Gilead." (Jeremiah 50:19) "O LORD, protect your people with your shepherd's staff; lead your flock, your special possession. Though they live alone in a thicket on the heights of Mount Carmel, let them graze in the fertile pastures of Bashan and Gilead as they did long ago." (Micah 7:14) Today, the lands of Ruben, Gad, and half the tribe of Manasseh are part of the Kingdom of Jordan and mainly inhabited by Palestinians. Hence, God's prophetic statements about the East Bank (i.e., Bashan and Gilead) carry several implications. First, God's plan to restore Jews to Gilead and Bashan could imply a confederation or federation arrangement between the state of Israel and the Kingdom of Jordan. Such a provision will open the door for Jewish settlements in their ancient lands. Second, it implies that God's plan will bring all Palestinians — those in Gaza, the West Bank, and East Bank — under one polity umbrella. Once Palestinians in the Diaspora get the right-of-return, there will be ample room for their settlement. Israelis settling on the East Bank will smooth relationships between Jews and Arabs a lot. Third, even though it will be a Jew-Palestinian inclusive one-state polity, because of God's promises to Jews, the state will remain Jewish in its legal profile. However, in the commonwealth, Palestinians will enjoy full citizenship recognition and rights. They will exercise extensive political and social influence. But their elevation is as conditioned by the prophets Jeremiah and Zechariah; they must accept Jews and the state of Israel as legitimate entities in the Holy Land. Fourth, some right-wing Israelis who say Palestinians must transfer from the West Bank to the East Bank must reverse their position. Instead, they have to prepare themselves to re-settle in Gilead and Bashan. God's Peace Plan for the Broader Middle East God also has a peace plan for the broader Middle East region. Such a more comprehensive peace plan is significant because the Israel-Palestinian conflict has a regional component to it. God promises the unthinkable -- to bring peace between Israel and its Arab neighbors. These two sides have been at war several times, and many Arab countries still consider Israel as an enemy nation. But God promises peace between Arab nations with Israel. The Prophet Isaiah writes: "In that day there will be a highway from Egypt to Assyria. The Assyrians will go to Egypt and the Egyptians to Assyria. The Egyptians and Assyrians will worship together. In that day Israel will be the third, along with with Egypt and Assyria, a blessing on the earth. The LORD Almighty will bless them, saying, "Blessed be Egypt my people, Assyria my handiwork, and Israel my inheritance." (Isaiah 19: 23-25) According to God's plan, a moderate Arab state (for example, Egypt) and a radical Arab state (for example, Syria), will have a positive relationship with Israel. The trio will form an axis of blessing for the world. God will make the Middle East a peaceful place as He brings together these irreconcilable forces which have been behind the turmoil in the region for so long. Iran, a non-Arab Middle East power, is a significant part of the region's security. Iran, since 1979, has played a determinantal anti-Israel role, calling for Israel's destruction as a state. God's Word speaks about the future of Iran using its ancient names such as Elam, Medes, and Persia. God promises to place His throne in Elam. Iranians will embrace the God of Israel. "I will establish my sovereignty over Elam. I will destroy their king and their leaders," says the LORD. "Yet in days to come I will reverse Elam's ill fortune." says the LORD" (Jeremiah 49: 37-38). Here God promises to remove the government in Iran and substitute it with a government based on God's will. Since one of the major obstacles to peace between Israel and Palestinians has been the clerical regime in Iran, its removal augurs well for the orderliness of the region. Advice to Israel Hence, given God’s promises to restore to Israel all her Promised Land, what should Israel need to do to win hearts and minds among Palestinians who, according to God’s Israel-Palestinian peace plan, will constitute a significant portion of its population? Israel should be careful not to dispossess Palestinians or to marginalize them. Current Israel must emulate its forefathers, such as Abraham, Joshua, and King David, in treating Palestinians with fairness and justice. For example, Abraham, though Promised the Land, when offered a cave to bury his wife for free, he insisted on paying for it (see Genesis 23). Abraham did not feel entitled to get the Land for free. He did not take advantage of God’s promise in engaging in an unfair deal with the indigenous people. He respected their property rights. God ordered King David to build a sacrifice altar at Mount Moriah. But the place where God wanted David set up the altar belonged to a Jebusite farmer, a non-Jew indigenous person. Although King David was the most influential person in the nation, he did not confiscate the farmer and used his Land to build an altar to God. Even if the farmer wanted to give the Land for free to his king, David insisted on paying for the Land (2 Sam 24:24). David never abused his kingly power (Cf. Jeremiah 22:15-16). He never used religion as a cover to take away property from his people, Jew, or non-Jew, without due compensation. God’s orders to His people is that they stay a just and a fair-minded people. He orders them to show mercy and justice without discriminating against the poor and the stranger (Deuteronomy 24: 14, 16; 25: 13-16; Isaiah 10: 1-2). God expects His covenant people to have the same law for natives and immigrants. Jews must apply the same scale of justice to all, regardless of citizenship status. They must be impartial in administering justice (see Proverbs 20:10, 20:23, 21:22). The following are a few suggestions for I-P peace-makers to consider. i). Civic engagement Both sides need to take a few crucial steps to start and foster people to people contact to develop a positive rapport between the two communities. As much as hate and conflict are man made, equally, understanding and peace are man-made. Peace-building needs courage and effort. Ideally, the Israel Government must facilitate how civic societies and goodwill persons start the first step in building bridges across the two communities. The process can start small but can grow into a snowball social movement. Such group-to-group meetings may involve sharing stories and perspectives, asking for forgiveness, weeping together, and discussing visions for a better future. The stronger the bonds of friendship grow between the two peoples, the less the opportunity arises for hardliners spew hate and incite violence. ii). Goodwill outreach Israel, for all understandable reasons, has now won the armed part of the struggle for the Land. However, it has yet to win the battle for the hearts-and-minds of Arab-Palestinians. Israel-Jews now must do their utmost to stretch their humanitarian and goodwill hand to Arabs-Palestinians, particularly to the most vulnerable parts of those communities. Israelis/Jews have the resources (funds, human resources, and technology) to do goodwill outreaches in many areas of life in helping Arab/Palestinians. The program can include several types of opportunities. Some of these opportunities could provide rare medical services, giving scholarships to bright Palestinian students in Israeli elite universities, creating job opportunities to outstanding Palestinian graduates, and providing funding Arab/Palestinian entrepreneurs. [1] Israel must be open to discuss possibilities for members of the Palestinian Diaspora (who are no threat to its national security) to visit home and even return for good to their homeland. iii). Justice The rule of law and a fair system of justice should prevail. The country’s court systems, both Israeli and Arab courts, must work impartially for both peoples. The life, liberty, and property of Arabs-Palestinians must be of equal standing to Israeli-Jews. A just legal and justice system that works reasonably and efficiently for all helps to develop a sense of nationhood that encompasses both sides. This measure is critical to building peace and a durable future in the Land. iv). Education The future of the Land belongs to the young. We must start now to educate both Jewish and Arab children to learn to accept each other citizens of the Holy Land. Policymakers and civic leaders from both communities must sit down and write a school curriculum that fosters mutual understanding, empathy, and shared purpose among the young. Weekend and summer camps where Jewish and Arab-Palestinian children interact closer can foster long-term relationships between the two communities, which can last generations. v). Empowerment Israel-Jews must start taking tentative steps allowing Arab-Palestinians to rise in the ranks in the civil service, academia, mass media, and civil society. The state must enable public exposure and recognition for Arabs/Palestinians who excel in their field. This move is vital to ally the fear of Arabs/Palestinians that their fate is always to be downtrodden, ever passing as second-class citizens. vi). Diplomatic initiative Because Hamas’s and Islamic Jihad’s anti-Israel stands, the people of Gaza, so far, have paid a heavy price. But now Israel must think creatively to address the Gaza problem. Israel must take its good relationship with Egypt and powerful Gulf states to make a bold diplomatic move. Israel must promise to lift its blockade against Gaza, provided that an international consortium of four countries (under the aegis of the UN, EU) agrees to take total responsibility in Gaza to administer the area at least for ten years. The consortium running the mandate will ensure that Gaza disarms, fosters civic societies, develops a healthy economy, and engages with Israel, the WB, and the rest of the world. Israel, by starting these bold steps, it can show the world its readiness and willingness to end the suffering in Gaza. vii). Democratic and Jewish Creative thinking is necessary to represent Arab-Palestinians in government and society and to integrate them eventually into the social-economic fabric. If this vision followed through properly, then Israel can establish a political system that is both democratic and Jewish. But how can the Jewishness of the state of Israel guarantee in the presence of a near-majority Arab-Palestinians? The state can be Jewish in orientation and symbols on the likely assumption that once Arab-Palestinians receive due political recognition, economic opportunities, and social respect, they will accept the idea the state remains Jewish/Israel in name, orientation, and character. The Palestinians would do this out of historical understanding and goodwill. They will reciprocate in kind. The peace plan that God has in mind for Israel-Palestine and the broader Middle East region deserve recognition. It is this plan that we must learn, embrace, and apply. No one can make God a liar. "Let God be true, and every human being a liar. As it is written: "So that you may be proved right when you speak and prevail when you judge."" (Rom. 3:4) Note: [1] Israeli billionaire hopes to bring water to parched Gaza (see: https://apnews.com/5f91122b9b0a71e36a5876b5f13dde4a) xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx Glory be to God © TLD, 2017 - 2030. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Teddy L. Desta and with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
  14. 1 point
    The Lord does hear all your precious prayers. He knows the desires of your heart. Always be full of hope, for He is your constant Helper and Healer.
  15. 1 point
    Honesty And trust in God during the scourge of the COVID-19 virus. I am reminded of Romans 5:10 (KJV): “We shall be saved by his life” Numbers are shadows; People are real. Front lines tell sorrow; My walls don’t feel. We cannot burst, There is no balloon to blow up. We are faced with a living That doesn’t celebrate us. Prayer, like an eagle, Soar far above To a caring Father Who gave us his Son. We hear your “I know!” We see empty Tomb’s stare. In hope, we shall walk out in Heaven, on earth.
  16. 1 point
    Lord, You had nowhere to lay Your head? These days, we covet those open-air beds, Where You relied on the softness of Abba And His peace as a pillow to drift off on. Lord, You sometimes had to flee elbows pushing on You. These days, we long for the unmasked skin, too, For when greetings once embraced life, And we shared the same air without worry or strife. Spirit of God, continue to blow where You will. We invite You for knowledge, and now more than ever for feel. These days, confined by Caesar, We're more constrained to squeeze each moment for where You are.
  17. 1 point
    By Victor Remes ‘He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High. Psalms 91:1a Right, in case you didn’t know and was wondering why there are queues outside your local supermarket; people wearing masks and rubber gloves. Well, it’s because we are in a season of a complete nationwide lockdown caused by the covid19. As our UK Government has enforced the law of social distancing and setting out only a few law/rules to follow, our normal lives have been completely turned upside down. People are being faced with a life-threatening illness, families worried about tomorrow for their loved ones, People being let go so that large and small businesses can afford to survive; children having no school, college or uni. Places, where we would normally go to meet with friends and family, are closed including church; not going to lie; the church part got me. You get the idea. As we need to adapt to a new normal, we are left to figure out what we can do to keep going throughout this time. Some have turned to pick up new hobbies like Tiktok; haha you won’t catch me there anytime soon. But I’ve been spending my time exercising, reading more books, practising the guitar. Doing this of course when I am not working. Something that I’m trying, is dedicating my time with God. I feel that this world crisis that we are having isn’t a coincident, really, I believe He’s got us where He wants us to be right now. The time we have right now I believe that God wants us to spend it mostly with Him. Especially for those that never had proper personal devotions/prayers before and only are dependent on Sunday church to be their fix for the week. In the opening verse of this piece; I’ve picked Psalms 91:1a to help me. Let’s break it down. “He who” (You) “Dwells” otherwise meaning (spending time) “In The Secret Place” (where no one can distract you / or Where God can meet with you). “Most High” (with God). So, putting that together “You spending time where there are no distractions and where you can meet with God”. This truly puts you in a place to experience the mystery of God and having humility allows us to truly meet with Him. In Exodus 34:29-35 – Speaks about Moses after spending time with God was unaware that his face had become radiant because he spoke to God. and because of this radiance Moses was left with no chose but to wear a veil when facing the people of Israel as they were afraid to come near him because of the power of God. The only time he would remove this veil is when in the presence of God. In Matthew 17:1-2 – Also speaks about Jesus having this radiance because of the presence of God. It actually says that Jesus was “Transfigured” and that “His face shone like the sun and His clothes became as white as the light”. What am I trying to say here? Notice that both Moses and Jesus after spending time with God were both transfigured by the presence/power of God. With everything going on, I know we have time; let’s dedicate 10 mins worshipping, 10 min reading the bible and 10 min praying that is a total of 30 mins. I want us to remember this, God loves to spend time with you, just as you are, this is where humility comes into play. You can speak to Him about life, anything you want to talk about. But you will also need to learn, is hearing His voice and by doing this you will, therefore, build or even strengthen your relationship with Him. I hope this has encouraged you to take the necessary actions needed in your Christian walk. Let’s come out of this pandemic transfigured by the glory of God. God Bless You All Peace! Please visit our blog on the following link: https://pathofwarriors.wordpress.com
  18. 1 point
    The Christian language is being used more today than any other time in recent history. Scripture is being elevated to a “must-read” basis. The verbalizing of Biblical truths has reached the social Media with an unashamed zeal. The problem with the Believer’s exuberance is that sometimes Scriptures are presented to enforce an interpretation that is incorrect. Many Christians are running to the “rapture” runway anticipating that the Lord’s return is at any time. As a result of “escapism,” people are not preparing for the difficult days ahead. Believers must not pick and choose the verses that fit into their unchallenged Scriptural beliefs. Much of Biblical learning has been through other individuals and the organized church. Regurgitation of doctrine that has not been thoroughly examined by the Believer gives way to the misunderstanding as to the actual intent of the Scriptures. I thank the Lord for Godly Pastors that have taught the Word of God, but they are not a substitute for searching the Scriptures for oneself. The Apostle Paul stated clearly that the Gospel he preached was not something he learned from man, “…but by the revelation of Jesus Christ.” (Galatians 1:11-12) The people of Berea heard the Gospel, but “…searched the Scriptures daily whether those things were so.” (Acts 17:11) Jesus rebuked the Pharisees for their mishandling of the Scriptures. He told them that because of their ignorance of the Word, they had made the commandments of God ineffective. (Matthew 15: 6, 9) During this time of global uncertainty, Christians need to be certain as to what the Scriptures are actually saying. Instead of picking and choosing verses that reinforce our interests, we need to see in what passages the Holy Spirit wants us to be interested. More damage is done to the Church through Scriptural misinterpretation than through Biblical silence. The Bible is a “life manual” for every Believer. It is to be used and studied by every Christian. It is not a grab bag of blessings from which we pick through trying to find one that will give us a “quick fix.” Many of the Biblical blessings are contingent on the Believers obedience to the Word. I believe that the Bible is a closed Book to non-Christians. (The Holy Spirit can open the Bible to whomsoever He chooses, but basically the Bible is the Believers Handbook.) According to II Timothy 3:16, the Scriptures are “…profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.” Doctrine is teaching, instructing, and training of the Believer. Reproof is convicting one of miscalculated actions. Correction is straightening up those whose actions have deviated from the Word. Instruction is tutoring one in character development (Righteousness.) When we understand that the Bible is the inspired written Word of God, we will live with the confident expectation that if we follow His Word there will be no limit to what God can do through us. The Bible is full of human illustrations of those who obediently followed His Word. There are also examples of those who tried it their way and experienced the futility of their actions. Open the Bible and start seeing what the Scriptures are actually saying. Follow the Word and see things through God’s perspective.
  19. 1 point
    My soul, what do the words "Messiah Jesus" mean to you? Meant to be the healing Instrument Meant to show Divine Love, how it's spent Meant to be a Friend to us when we were less Meant to give us will to worship Him Meant to gladden the Father by blind suffrage Meant to vote for Joy, invite us in Meant to take the grand of Good and grace Commands Meant to be Way whereon sinners win. "Messiah" means New Covenant The Path of cobbled promises Fulfilled to lighten loads A "Not-Guilty" run-on sentence by His Blood
  20. 1 point
    “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law” (Galatians 5:22-23, NIV). It can be difficult at times to faithfully practice the spiritual disciplines. Tasks like reading the Bible and prayer can all too easily take a back seat to the trivial pursuit of binge watching one’s favorite shows on television. At the end of the day, we can find ourselves frustrated and a bit drained spiritually. We’ve accomplished little, and our souls hurt greatly. The Apostle Paul addresses faithfulness in his list of the fruit of the Spirit found in Galatians. These fruit are the spiritual traits of the Christian believer. These spiritual fruit are woven together in a web of faith. Therefore, love leads to joy, and joy leads to greater love. Likewise, patience leads to goodness and vice-versa. While each of these fruit is a gift from God, bestowed upon us by the Spirit of God, we can cultivate the spiritual fruit in our lives, creating an increase in their volume and vitality. As we demonstrate faithfulness in our practice of the spiritual disciplines, our fruitfulness increases. As we read and listen to God’s word, pray, and study, the spiritual fruit of love, joy, peace, and all the others yield a more bountiful harvest. Faithfulness leads to fruitfulness, and fruitfulness leads to faithfulness. May we ever be faithful in the disciplines of our faith!
  21. 1 point
    I believe Peter’s evangelistic sermon that was delivered in Jerusalem forty days after Jesus’ resurrection paved the way for the beginning of the Church. Some three thousand people responded to his invitation to accept Jesus as the Messiah. (Acts 2:41) The new converts began to assemble throughout the city as a conclave of Believers. The Bible states that they “steadfastly” continued in the Apostles’ teachings as they fellowshipped with one another. They had meals together as well as praying with singleness of heart. Signs and wonders were administered by the Apostles. They shared their material goods and responded to those with financial needs. With one accord the early Believers regularly attended the activities in the Temple. There was a positive attitude that was displayed in whatever they did. They did not search for hidden truths, for the Gospel was clear and precise and they received it with gladness and singleness of heart. You could hear them praising God as they traversed the streets of Jerusalem. Their changed lifestyles brought them favor from people everywhere. The Lord evidenced His pleasure with the Church by adding to their numbers daily. (Acts 2:42-47) Peter would later preach another sermon in the Temple and as a result, five thousand men were converted. (Acts 4:4) The new Church continued to be knit together by their one heart and soul. Their attitude was others first, themselves last. The Apostles displayed great power in their witnessing of the Truth. (Acts 4:32-35) As the Church continued to grow, Satan attempted to disrupt its momentum by using a number of different tactics. In one of the satellite/cell gatherings, he used money as an instrument of division. It seems that a husband and wife had sold some property but decided to keep back part of the money from their group and lied about what they had received. Peter confronted them by proclaiming that they had not “lied to men, but to God.” (Acts 5: 4) The consequences of their actions cost them their lives. (Acts 5:1-11) The result of that incident did not negatively affect the Church but actually helped them achieve even greater growth. People were added almost daily to the groups of Believers. (Acts 5:14) Tremendous healings were experienced as people from other cities came to Jerusalem not only to witness the miracles but also to receive physical deliverance. (Acts 5:12-16) The Church was growing so fast that it used multiplication instead of addition in describing the growth pattern. (6:1) Satan used the tactic of murmuring when some Believers complained that certain widows were being neglected. (Acts 6:1) Administration adjustment was made and the Church continued to multiply. (Acts 6:7) Compare the New Testament Church with the churches today. In search of a new and improved Church, we have adopted a movement that is socially acceptable instead of being Biblically correct. Our faith today is inundated with individualism instead of a functioning family unit. Satan is alive and active in the Church today because we treat our faith as an option instead of a commitment. Church growth is a result of God being pleased with the obedience of His Believers. When we conform to His ways, God will form the Church into an earthly lighthouse that will bring people out of the darkness into His glorious Light. The Blueprint is there, all we have to do is follow the directions.
  22. 1 point
    Every morning when we wake up, we face an element of uncertainty. Of course, we usually have predetermined expectations, but there is still the potential for the unknown or unexpected to appear. Each day of our life begins as a blank canvas and ends either with a beautiful picture of positive accomplishments or an abstract painting of negative results. The strokes we use in depicting our daily experiences will determine what type of picture will be presented at the end of the day. The brushes we use in initiating and responding to everyday experiences depend on the attitude of the painter. What our painting should show at the end of the day is how Jesus was involved in our experiences. What happens when our landscape turns into a potentially life changing event? What about a surprise illness that carries a life ending sentence? What about an accident that causes limited physical freedom? What about minor challenges to our Faith? What will our painting show at the end of each day? The outcome of any painting is determined by who is brushing the canvas. As a Believer, we see life’s storms, but we also realize that Jesus is in the storm with us. Sure, we struggle with the challenging “waves,” but we realize that as long as Jesus is in the boat, we will not sink. At the end of the day, we finish the painting by showing that beyond the storm are peaceful waves circling our boat. How long the storm will last matters little, for we are not alone! What does your painting show?
  23. 1 point
    We all know what we think determines the direction and quality of our lives. As humans we falter more then we would like,but remember this " continue to ask for forgiviness" and " also "continue to work on filtering those things that hinde progress ".............. Remember, you are the temple og the Holy Spirit. Fill your thoughts with the promices of God found in his word-- promises that always bring peace, joy and freedom;promises of safty,promises that also of a hope we will see Jesus Christ. As you fill your thoughts with God's Word, (victory will come alive in every area of your life).
  24. 1 point
    Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through him! But.... I hear that book end too many times. ... if God is love, why would he condemn anyone? Answer: Love without justice is not real love. It's a mockery. ... If God really wanted everyone to be saved, couldn't He just make it so? Answer: Love without choice is not real love. It's mechanistic. God didn't create robots. ... Why can't there be more than one way to heaven? Answer: Truth is not subjective! I will die one day. That is a fact I cannot change just because I want to. ... Doesn't God just want me to be happy? Answer: Happiness is a fleeting feeling. Happiness is too shallow. Your purpose is much deeper than that. ... what about those who don't get a chance to hear about God or those who don't have the capacity to choose: like the mentally ill and really young children and babies? There's the biggest one, right there. What about someone who has never heard of Jesus? What about stillborns? Are they going to hell because they never had a chance to hear about Jesus? Oh, ye of little faith! Don't you think God, in His great wisdom, doesn't know innocence from guilt? The Bible actually says that God's foolishness is wiser than our wisest! I love that! Just think, God can be foolish sometimes. And His level of foolishness makes our wisest moments look like child scribbles! He alone knows the heart of all men. Women and children are included in that. Truly it is a matter between God and each person individually, but for the sake of answering the concern, here are some Bible verses that touch on the subject. Romans 1:18-23 The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse. For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles. A few notes on this passage - 1) God's existence is self-evident. (2) It should be emphasized that this passage is talking about people who "knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him". There are actually a few historical examples I can point to of this point. In the midst of Roman polytheistic mythology and Emperor worship, one Roman Emperor rose up who believed there was only one true God. Coincidence? I don't think so. Another example. In America, before the Europeans came, the Aztecs religion called for human sacrifices. Then one emperor rose up that claimed there was only one true God and did away with human sacrifice. Coincidence? I think not. Montezuma, this man's son, killed his father and brought back the old religion and the human sacrifice. It is reported his son brought the old religion back and that it was worse than before. Then the Conquistador's came and wiped them out. Coincidence? I think not. But Romans 1:18-23 is not the only passage that sheds light on this subject. I do not believe the answer is no one is innocent. I believe ignorant innocence IS possible. John 15:22 - If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not be guilty of sin; but now they have no excuse for their sin. John 9:41 - Jesus said, "If you were blind, you would not be guilty of sin; but now that you claim you can see, your guilt remains." Twice in the book of John, Jesus says that, in essence, if you were ignorant of your sin, you would not be found guilty. So... the truly innocent... only God knows. But there is room for forgiveness for those who truly are innocent in their ignorance. That certainly includes stillborns, mentally ill, children too young to understand, and those who have not heard the name of Jesus. Yet again, I say, Only God knows who is truly innocent. What we must do is learn to trust His judgement. For He is trustworthy! The only one who is trustworthy! Will you trust Him today?
  25. 1 point
    I wish to preface this, I am by no means against public schools! I taught at public schools for years. They do a LOT of good. At the same time, I think people should be aware of some of the things going on in public schools. These are not universal, but they are trends. Please be warned. I truly do believe any child can successfully navigate public school, but without parental guidance, it is becoming much more difficult to do so while keeping a biblical mindset. If you child goes to public school, chances are... If your child goes to public school, chances are they will have some great teachers, but... If your child goes to public school, chances are they will be taught that they cannot pray, even privately, in school. If your child goes to public school, chances are they will be told they cannot talk about their faith while at school. If your child goes to public school, chances are they will be taught that they can choose to be a boy or a girl as early as Pre-K If your child goes to public school, chances are they will be taught sex-education (with detailed images) as early as 7th grade. If your child goes to public school, chances are they will be almost expected to be sexually active by the time they have finished their first year of high school. If your child goes to public school, chances are they will have at least one or two teachers who fit under "those who can't, teach." If your child goes to public school, chances are their teachers will be encouraged not teach how to write in cursive. If your child goes to public school, chances are their teachers will be encouraged not to teach spelling. If your child goes to public school, chances are their teachers will be encouraged not to use the dictionary anymore. if your child goes to public school, chances are their teachers will be encouraged to have students learn words through context and drawing pictures. if your child goes to public school, chances are their teachers will be encouraged not to have students memorize times tables. If your child goes to public school, chances are their teachers will be encouraged to allow students to use calculators for everything. if your child goes to public school, chances are their teachers will be encouraged not to have students memorize historical dates or events. If your child goes to public school, chances are their teachers will be encouraged to grade on a curve. If your child goes to public school, chances are their teacher will be encouraged to pass everyone, regardless. If your child goes to public school, chances are that school is considering going to pass/fail for all its classes. If your child goes to public school, chances are that school is considering banning homework. If your child goes to public school, chances are that school focuses on statistical perception over intimate need. If your child goes to public school, chances are they have been told they are "no good" at a subject by at least one teacher. If your child goes to public school, chances are they have reported bullying at least once and nothing came of it. If your child goes to public school, chances are they know/heard someone who was offered, is offering, or has used drugs to/as a students. If your child goes to public school, chances are the curriculum highlights the "bad" history of America. If your child goes to public school, chances are the curriculum revises/hides America's "Christian" history/heritage. If your child goes to public school, chances are the curriculum teaches the origin of life through the lens of Evolution. If your child goes to public school, chances are the curriculum forbids teaching of any form of Creationism or Intelligent Design. If your child goes to public school, chances are the curriculum will include books with sexually explicit sections. If your child goes to public school, chances are the curriculum will include all other religions, except perhaps Christianity. If your child goes to public school, chances are the curriculum will change within every two-six years. If your child goes to public school, chances are the school is more focused upon perception than education. These have all been real-life examples from when I have been a teacher. I've taught at many different schools, urban, suburban, rural, diverse, low-income, high-income, high school, middle school - all over the state of Kansas, from Topeka to Liberal and places in-between. Not all of them have been implemented in the schools that I taught, but there was high talk of it and the general consensus of where education was going was heading in that direction. A lot of these are patterns from "pattern-setting states" such as California and New York - in the realm of education. Examples of personal stories that relate - I had a principal come in to my classroom one day, angry after some of my students failed a test, and informed me, verbatim - "You are teaching middle school math, not elementary math. If they do not know how to multiply and divide by now, they aren't going to. Give them calculators!" I once taught in a severe autism room, and I worked with a mute child on the alphabet. Within two weeks, I had him making 20 different sounds of the alphabet where before he could only grunt, cry, and scream. I learned that the doctors had long ago told his family he would never learn to speak, so no one had tried. I was told that since he was a 6th grader, he was too old to learn how to speak and I couldn't work with him on it any more. At one school I was told to ignore the official policy for loud/belligerent students, not to send them to the office and not to write them up because it looked bad for the school in the eyes of the district. I then was told I was the problem, not the students, and that I needed to fix things. Every year, almost every class, I have had at least one student come up to me and tell me that another teacher, either that year, but mostly years ago, had told him/her that he/she was "stupid", "slow" or "no good and never will be" in a certain subject (usually math). Likewise, every year, almost every class, I had at least one student come to me about a bullying issue and tell me he/she did not trust the administration because nothing had been done about bullying in the past. When I was in school for education, a teacher asked our class why we wanted to be teachers, almost half of the soon-to-be-teachers answered something akin to - "nothing better to do." A few years back, I read an article praising a district in California who, it was for elementary school, informed their teachers they would be grading upon social abilities over cognitive abilities. So if Suzy and Joe worked together and said that 2+2=7, they could not be docked as wrong, as long as they got along well together. Please don't take this wrong, there are a great number of amazing teachers in our public school system! In fact, I would say 99.9% of them are great. I always had great coworkers working with me. I also had great administrators who truly care for the students (though that was sometimes hit and miss for me...). There are a great number of great students with amazingly smart heads on their shoulders coming out of our public school system. This is more of a warning, a "beware!" this is out there, and I'm afraid it's a growing trend.
  26. 1 point
    Your Heavenly Father wants complete control of your life. So let go of everything that ails you at Jesus feet with confidence that He is in control of all of your life. Your Heavenly Father longs so much for you to walk in peace and rest. "So what's stopping You?"
  27. 1 point
    God is Love and with His love in our life. We are complete.
  28. 1 point
    The Promises of God stand forever. He is fully commited to you. The allegiance of man is temporary, but the faithfulness of the Lord never fails!
  29. 1 point
    The Lord is with you in the mist of trouble and He knows your heartache. Let Him be all the comfort that you long for. For He is the light that leads you out of all your darknesses.
  30. 1 point
    The Lord cherishes all those who draw near to him. Draw near to Him and He will draw near to you!
  31. 1 point
    The mind may be sharp, and the body keen, but is the spirit awake? Have we deadened ourselves to the point of apathy? Have we let the derision leave us indecisive and the quandary to turn us to despondency? Have we left our wishes to our past and our 'ought's to our future? And the mass of entropy leaving us inept in the present. When shall we live, if not now?Where shall we stand, if not on truth? How shall we gain, if we do not pay forward? And how shall we improve if we do not change? We ask ourselves how we can move in the face of such despair? The question should be... how can we not? And have we done enough?
  32. 1 point
    True wisdom and understanding can only be from God. He desires to give it to us all. Praise God.
  33. 1 point
    Spectator Christians love to interject questions about Scriptures that fail to meet their human understanding. Sadly, these week-end Believers look at the Bible as if they are reading Cliff Notes. They look at the Scriptures as summations and highlights of the activities of Jesus. Basically, I call this Biblical Dieting, which is consuming just enough spiritual nourishment to sustain their faith. There is little benefit to Scriptural surfing. It is when we submerge ourselves in the Word that we discover the intended Truths. One of the questions that people ask is, “Why did Jesus agree to allow demons to enter the swine after being expelled from the demonic man? (Luke 8:26-39) For Jesus to grant that request would cause collateral consequences. To wipe out the swine would cause financial chaos to the surrounding area. Jesus, realizing the ramifications of this decision, still granted Legion’s request. Why? Some of the things that Jesus did will bring the reader to the point of repentance for not doing more for the Kingdom of God. The first thing we see in this story is Jesus’ compassion and resolve. One day, Jesus and His Disciples had set sail from the seaport of Bethsaida to the Gadarenes. That evening, they encountered a storm that put their boat in jeopardy. Through Jesus’ action, the storm turned into a wave-less sea. When they arrived at their destination, Jesus encountered a man so possessed with demonic beings that he was forced to live among the tombs. Jesus made the trip to reach a man whose life had become lost to demonic control. (Matthew states there were two men. Matthew 8:28) Jesus was there to set him free! To what lengths Jesus will go to set people free from their bondage! It does not matter what chains are holding you, Jesus will break those bonds and set you free! The second thing that stands out in this story is the authority and power that He had over Satan and his soldiers. The demons could do nothing without Jesus’ permission. Legion knew his time was short and asked that they not be sent into the “deep.” The word deep means “abyss, bottomless pit.” This is the place where Satan and his army will be bound for 1,000 years. (Revelation 20:1-3) By releasing the demons into the swine, Jesus put fear into the demons, knowing that they could be sentenced to the pit at any time. The third thing this story shows is that there are consequences for one’s actions. It is believed that even though the Decapolis territory, of which the Gadarenes were a part, was basically of Roman and Greek identity, Semitic (Jewish) believers were also implanted in that area. Some of these Jews even followed Jesus. (Matthew 4:25) If, in fact, Jewish people were involved in raising swine, they were in violation of Jewish law. (Leviticus 11) The destruction of the swine could have been indirect judgment. After the demoniac man was set free, Jesus told him to go home and tell others what the Lord had done for him and how He had had compassion on him. He went back and began to publish throughout the Decapolis what great thing Jesus had done for him. (Mark 5:19, 20) What a great Lord we serve. No one is out of His reach. Let us get in the boat in search of those who need deliverance. No matter the difficulties we experience on our trek, always remember Jesus is with us! Like the freedman of the Gadarenes who shared his wonderful story, every Christian needs to share their story of victory! (References: Matthew 8, Mark 5, Luke 😎
  34. 1 point
    Because of Jesus Christ, you are blameless in the eyes of the Father.
  35. 1 point
    "If God is for you and not against you... then He is for your healing and against the disease.How then can the disease prevail against you?"
  36. 1 point
    When I arrived at work one June morning, my legs trembled, my heart raced, and I fought tears. My work had to be done, somehow. Sleep had eluded me again. After I waded through the morning, lunch break came. I stood in line and ordered my meal, collapsed into a chair, and cried. Sarah* joined me, an older woman who had become a dear to me. She asked me what was wrong. I struggled to describe my turmoil, asking her why it was happening. Then Sarah opened her Bible and read a verse aloud that astounded me: “But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you,” 1 Peter 5:10 KJV. I wept as I listened, too upset to eat or fully absorb its meaning. However, her kindness and love gave me hope. I stopped crying and was able to eat during the second lunch period. Sarah's kindness has been a treasure to me. And I've remembered this verse. Reading interpretations of it were enough before. But now I have dug deeper to grasp the truths here. God saves his own by grace, through Jesus Christ, calling them to one day share his eternal home. Soothing words were paired with words I didn't want to hear: “after that ye have suffered a while”. The word “suffering”, refers here to the human suffering of Christians. But, I've learned that God has a good purpose in mind. God uses suffering to make us “perfect”, or “to render complete”. He does this by refining the dross from us to leave precious gold. None of us enjoy pain, but God will use it to make us holy like his Son. It may not seem good now, but it will be worth it in the end. “Stablish”, or establish, means "to fix, make fast, to set" Once that is done, we can grow spiritually. Another word for this is “confirmed”. God wants Christians to be solid in their faith and live it out. Jesus commanded Peter to “strengthen the brethren,” (Luke 22:32). In that verse, “establish” was translated as “strengthen”. In 1 Peter 5:10, Peter said that God wanted to "stablish them (in every good work and word);" God is so good to teach and enable us to grow, in person, and through others. When Peter said, “strengthen”, he means that God also uses suffering to make our souls stronger. We can live with struggles that we wanted to flee from before. James 1:4 tells us to “let patience have it's perfect work”. Suffering is what teaches us endurance. And, “settle” means laying a foundation, or grounding us. For example, in Eph. 2:17, believers are urged to be grounded “in love”. And in Col. 1:23, believers are urges to be grounded “in the faith”. These are true believers who continue to live their faith. Since God's work in us is life-long, the work he began will continue to become more complete. Our souls will grow solid in our faith and grow stronger. We will learn to live lives of faith and love unfazed by whatever life gives us. There is hope. I'm so thankful. Words that had confused me before are now the right words to encourage me. *This name was changed to protect privacy.
  37. 1 point
    Thank You Dear Father God for all You are doing for Me, My Family and Everyone Else. In Jesus Name. AMEN
  38. 1 point
    Faith-oriented readers will especially love this wholesome western story of an underdog who rises above his hardships to build an unusual and large frontier family, against all odds. Now he just needs to find a wife, but the only girl he's ever loved is a wealthy, high-society banker's daughter who doesn't even know him. Author Lacy Williams has made us fall in love with young Jonas, the patriarch of the unique White family, and with Penelope, the banker's daughter from a nearby town. You won't want to put the book down until you know whether Jonas will ever succeed in finding someone who loves him as much as he truly deserves. The country around Calvin, Wyoming, comes alive under the author's pen, and you'll be ready to move there by the time you finish reading. This clean, wholesome, engaging adventure is appropriate for all ages, and it portrays matters of faith in a positive manner without being judgmental or preachy. I predict you'll be eager to move on to other books in this series, to find out what happens with all eight of Jonas White's fascinating children as they grow to adulthood and begin to establish their own homesteads and families.
  39. 1 point
    Whoever is kind to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will reward them for they have done.
  40. 1 point
    The subject of sickness and infirmities has continued to affect the Christian community. Conjectures, theories, and opinions abound with biased rhetoric. The people who are most affected by this subject are usually those who are suffering from the physical challenges in their lives. Those who are relatively healthy tend to express their opinions, based not on Biblical understanding, but on their own comfort zone. Over the years, I have heard the “pain free” people judge the suffering individuals with a callousness that has caused the afflicted to suffer even more pain. I know that the initiators of verbal assistance mean the right thing, but many times they have caused more damage than resolve. To question why a person has not been healed is to elevate themselves to the position of an interpreter of God’s will. Before we release our tongue, let us make sure what is behind our motive. Are we motivated by Grace and love or are we Christian Pharisees that try to defend our interpretation of the Scriptures without having compassion. The Bible tells us of a man named Trophimus whom Paul had left sick at a place called Miletum. (II Timothy 4:20) The question immediately arises as to why Paul had not simply laid his hands on him and healed him. Was there sin in Trophimus’s life? Did he lack the faith to be healed? Was he possessed with a demon? Was he a true Believer? Was he in a backslidden condition? Was his prayer life almost nonexistent? Was he hanging around with the wrong crowd? Was he missing worship gatherings? Had he failed to call on the elders? Had he failed to have hands laid on him? Was he anointed with oil? We don’t know much about Trophimus’s life, but we know he was a part of Paul’s missionary team. (Acts 20:4) He also had accompanied Paul to Jerusalem where he was misidentified as being in the Temple. (Acts 21:29) I doubt any true Biblicist would find any of the above questions that would fit Trophimus! I have found many wonderful, faith filled, God trusting, Jesus praising, Holy Spirit guided individuals who have entered the dimension of suffering. They have done everything Biblically required of them, yet their healing has not become a reality. What I have seen in these individuals is their unfailing love of Jesus. When I see their relationship with their Lord, it almost generates jealousy within me. They see more of Heaven than they do of earth. I believe that many sufferers are also drawn closer to Jesus because other Believers fail to bring the comfort they so dearly need. I am not about to give a dissertation as to why God-loving saints are not healed. All I know is that we are called upon to read and follow His Word. If we have done our part in achieving healing, the rest is up to God. Some of the greatest joys in life are experienced through fellowship with those experiencing life-challenging situations. You will be surprised how much you will learn and experience through the one who is suffering with a rebellious body. There is no faking their Faith, for they are living the Faith. The next time you have the courage to visit a “suffering servant” do not monopolize the conversation, but listen, for you may hear God speaking through your friend. For those who believe that healing is the only option, please be tolerant and understanding. Every Believer is answerable to the Lord and will have to give account for their spiritual walk. If you have achieved healing, rejoice! If another has not received healing, be supportive. We must never judge, for we never know all the facts. Jesus heals, but we must acknowledge there are people today like Trophimus, Epaphroditus, (Philippians 2:25-30) and Paul. (II Corinthians 12:7-10) May God grant us understanding!
  41. 1 point
    Faith can only be proven by actions. For followers of Jesus, a lack of Faith is seldom a matter of disbelief. If we can put our faith in others we surely should be putting our faith in Jesus.
  42. 1 point
    Being a Believer is more than making a Sunday appearance. A believer is a walking, talking, action figure that exemplifies Jesus on a daily basis. His behavior is not defined by emotional or circumstantial responses to the daily challenges of life. He does not spend time dwelling on the secular initiatives of the worldly. He is not fazed by negativity, for what comes out of his mouth is verbalized Scriptures. He holds up the Word of God as he faces the obstacles of life, knowing that God’s Word will not return void. (Isaiah 55:11) He looks beyond the storms and sees the rainbow. He stands on the foundation of the Word knowing that the challenges of life will never unsettle the spiritual footing upon which he has built his faith. (Matthew 7:25) His ongoing conversation with God is evidenced by his displayed vocabulary around others. The Believer’s life is so hidden in Christ that people have a hard time distinguishing his life from the life Jesus displayed when He walked the earth. He doesn’t wear a label, for his life identifies his faith. His prayer life centers on the needs of others. He is so full of compassion that he overflows with a passion to reach out to “whosoever.” There is no timidity in his life, for he knows his calling and is not ashamed of the Gospel. He does not complain but proclaims the sovereignty of God. He does not cause or add division but pursues unity. Unforgiveness is a word that has no place in his thesaurus of words, for he has learned the seventy-times-seven principle. (Matthew 18:22) The Believer loves the Lord with all his triune being (body, soul, and spirit). He stands before the world proclaiming as the Apostle Paul did, “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me…” (Galatians 2:20) The question must present itself as to who is truly a representative of Jesus Christ. I am sure there are people that exemplify the nature and substance of Jesus, but it is becoming more and more difficult to identify them. When I evaluate my daily activities, I find that many times my spiritual scale is severely out of kilter. I know the Scriptures, but how to consistently translate them into God glorying actions has proven to be a very challenging undertaking. The Apostle Paul wrote about that same struggle in Romans chapter 7. We must get to the point where we stop trying to fit God around our lives and start centering our lives around Christ. We must stop majoring only on the Scriptures that contain blessings, and start recognizing the verses that train us for spiritual warfare. I love the Word, and not just the “feel good” verses, but even the chastening chapters that deal with my inconsistencies. It is hard being chastised, but the alternative of leading an inconsistent life should cause every Believer to accept His correction with a thankful heart. We all make mistakes, but no error is fatal if we learn to fall on our knees in repentance. (I John 1:9) Sometimes I feel I spend more times on my knees than I do walking in the footsteps of our Lord. Being a Believer is not a spiritual game, it is a way of life! We can go to church every Sunday and have a spiritual pep rally, but God would rather have our obedience than a ninety minute sacrifice once a week. He sees us lift up holy hands in worship, but He would rather we hold out holy hands to those who need Him. Many Christians go through their spiritual routines with little or no conviction. Believers must make every day a renewed commitment of being a blessing, rather than seeking a blessing. Let every day be a day of spiritual growth. Let us bring our mind and body under submission to His will and not our own! AMEN?
  43. 1 point
    As an endless vacuum of space is to my body, as airless, as hostile, as treacherous, the earth is to my spirit. My spirit is chocked, It’s lungs struggle with gasps, It’s skin crawls with pain of burns, Its molecules liquefy, in few seconds in this world. That’s is why my spirit wears its Space Suit, His perfect priceless Spirit. This Suit holds me together, It lets me breath, It sustains and stabilizes my innermost parts. Looking through this hard glass in my helmet, My spirit survey’s this earth, Its depravity, Relentless pull of its gravity to sin, Doom in every direction, Definitely not even few minutes, I will survive without The Suit. My spirit peeks, corpses floating, ones who thought The Suit is restraining, Their spirit fully dead, not decomposed, half froze, They all believe they live, Maybe they live but only their body, mere mortal body, Where is their spirit? It doesn’t survive in an environment like this, purely hostile, so very treacherous, not without The Suit. At times even my spirit wonders, “Why should I love, why be selfless?” My body takes over, it says, “This is home, you can live and flourish,” But my spirit fights back, “No, it is not, it is deprived.!” I walk wearing The Suit that protects. Other floaters in their body, mocks me and say, “It is so heavy, let go of The Suit, you will survive.” My spirit alone whispers, “How foolish it is to abundant The One Thing that sustains.” I touch and feel the tether of His love, that holds me as I float in this serious vacuum called the earth. My spirit feels secure, He can pull me into the airlock as He wills. I live and breathe in This Suit called His Purest Spirit. But one day my mission will be fulfilled, And I will fly back home. Home is the place that is breathable to my spirit, how beautiful and pleasant. This Suit like weather fills home everywhere. There I will live, home to my spirit. How glorious, I will see Him face to face, and be united as His perfect bride. The Groom of my Soul, with the tether He waits to fly me back home. As soon as I succeed in this mission of my spirit, I will fly home. Until then, I will hold tight to His tether and breath through His Suit and that’s all I require, as I float through this earth.
  44. 1 point
    God Does "Answer" Our Desires,Concerns, Prayers and Other things We bring up to him. It may not be in the timing we would like. It may not be in the way we expect. But, know this,. He has answered you and you will receive your answer in his perfect timing. AMEN
  45. 1 point
    Something's gotta give in our country. The evidence is staring us in the face. The voice of God is slipping further away and being replaced by compromise and political correctness. Radical groups from within preach hate and murder reopen wounds of racism and division. Many news outlets lie to us outright thus putting salt on the open wounds. None of it promotes peace. New revelations everyday about schemes and plans to remove a sitting President. Society points its fingers in all directions except where they belong for allowing this poison to remain. What would God think? At some point the Word of God has to be restored as the guide for our country. The debate about building a wall, human trafficking and drugs.. They pale in comparison to the outright rebellion against God being witnessed across the board. The Word teaches that if we pray and seek God, He will hear us and heal our land. Unfortunately, God will not act unless we do. The world still needs Jesus . Perhaps more today than it ever has. We know that our battle isn't against flesh and blood. Fleshly weapons will not turn this country around. The battle begins on our knees.
  46. 1 point
    And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, establish, and strengthen you. (1 Peter 5:10 RSV) I am notorious for making New Year’s resolutions that never quite get off the ground, but which somehow manage by the grace of God to leave their mark on my body, mind, and soul. What I mean by this is that, while I neglect to carry out a disciplined, biblically-based, Church-sanctioned program of New Year’s life renewal, God, in his infinite goodness and perfect timing, allows my resolutions to unfold nonetheless over the course of the year and find their fruition through trial and painful transformation until I become a little more the man I was meant to be. This year, however, God elected to make a preemptive strike in my life by turning a little Christmas overindulgence into a full-blown medical emergency, literally knocking me off my feet and causing me to step back and reevaluate both my life choices and the attitudes that had inspired them. While I thought that my little ordeal would excuse me from my regular writing obligations, I became convicted that God was making me painfully aware of the necessity of letting his divine discipline lead to a thorough and open confession of my greatest needs and his greatest love. Light and Momentary? My Christmas started off with a wonderful Italian dinner with my wife’s family at our home. Following the appetizers, we feasted on antipasto, chicken parmigiana, stuffed shells, and desserts galore. There were quite a few trips to the glass Christmas tree filled with candy as we opened presents and shared good times. After my family left we had some friends over to play games by the fire. I remember thinking – as I always do at this time of year – that this minor bit of intemperance was only for a time, and once the New Year was upon me, I would gradually get back to the business of watching my weight, spending more time with God, and growing as a godly man. It was then that I noticed I was not feeling too well. After a night of intense abdominal pain, and a day spent going from the walk-in clinic to the Emergency Room, I found myself admitted to the hospital with an acutely inflamed gallbladder that needed to come out. I must confess that one verse that did not come to mind during my festival of unrestrained bodily agony was this beautiful passage from 2 Corinthians: So we do not lose heart. Though our outer nature is wasting away, our inner nature is being renewed every day. For this slight momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, because we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen; for the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal. (2 Corinthians 4:16-18 RSV) While I tried to maintain my composure throughout the entire tribulation, I freely admit that at the time I saw my extreme discomfort as neither light nor momentary, though I was keenly aware that my outer nature was no longer what it used to be. But as I accepted the inevitability of my fate and sank under the influence of the anesthesia, I slowly began to view this divinely-enacted respite from a more eternal perspective, surrendering my control to the One who holds all things in his loving hands. Suffering, Endurance, Character, and Hope While it may seem that most of the passages in the Bible that speak of suffering relate more to persecution for the faith than to personal trials like physical distress, financial hardship, or spiritual sickness, there is a transformative nature to our pain that leads to a greater awareness of our fallen nature without Christ, our need for God’s care, and the true heavenly goal we should be seeking. Look at these words from Paul’s letter to the Romans: Therefore, since we are justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have obtained access to this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in our hope of sharing the glory of God. More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. (Romans 5:1-5RSV) Being knocked on one’s backside by a medical emergency is certainly not akin to the persecution that so many Christians suffer for their faith, but it does force us to fix our eyes upon the only One who can see us through our trials to our eternal end. This little temporary ordeal allowed God to refine me in the fires of pain and harsh realities, burning off my casual selfishness and my petty schemes, my self-important pride and my self-pitying attitude. I became keenly aware that life was not to be taken lightly, and that even the simple and silly lies I so often told myself were giving way to a disciplined and persevering faith that would build my character and open the doorway to hope revealed. A Message of Glory from Memories Gone By That first night home, I remember not wanting to take the prescription pain pills the doctors had given me, but was in quite a bit of discomfort and desperately needed sleep. But as I expected, within a half-hour of taking the medication, I could feel its effects on my mood. I drifted off into a very long night of strange visions, intense images, and disheartening dreams. At one point I saw my long-dead mother walking through our old house in her bathrobe, smiling at me. I ran up to her, somehow knowing she had died and wanting to spend time with her. I remember her saying to me, “You need to go out and play; don’t stay in here with me!” and I desperately tried to explain to her how life goes by all too quickly and then it is gone. I woke up with tears in my eyes, but understood the message I had received. As I meditated on the meaning of my restless sleep, my changed physical condition, and the future considerations it would demand, I thought about how fleeting is the nature of this life and the trivial temporary resolutions we make in comparison to the glory that awaits those who believe in Jesus. I thought about this verse from 1 Peter: In this you rejoice, though now for a little while you may have to suffer various trials, so that the genuineness of your faith, more precious than gold which though perishable is tested by fire, may redound to praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. (1 Peter 1:6-7RSV) I came to realize that the “slight momentary” troubles we experience here on earth are meant to remind us of the glory that we experience now by faith and will experience fully when Christ is revealed. Yes, our lives are fleeting. Children all too soon grow up and the shape of our families changes as the years go by. But we are called to go right on playing – to enjoy life, to endure our trials, and to live and laugh and love will all our might as these wonderful realities point us to the greater glory that will be ours in the end. You Can’t Keep a Good Man Down There is a calm that comes after a storm such as this, offering a moment of clarity so profound that time seems to stand still. In my weakness, propped up in my recliner with a cup of tea and my family around me, I gladly yielded to my helplessness and my need for recovery. And when I think about it, that is really what making resolutions is all about. Life throws so much at us, and we who are faithful must push through the days of joy and pain and seek that holy place of recovery where we allow the renewing power of the Savior to pour itself into our lives once more. New years come and go and we continue the cycle of spiritual transformation from sinner to saint, from the fires of suffering to the glory of the vision that shapes our souls. As I step into the days to come, I rejoice that God is loving enough to allow the afflictions we experience to cause the love and life of Christ to manifest itself in our words and deeds as we continually offer our lives to him. Consider this thought from St. Paul’s second letter to the Corinthians: We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. (2 Corinthians 4:8-10 RSV) What a joy it is to know that, through my suffering, the life of Jesus is being displayed in this fallible, fallen man who has been redeemed by grace. It turns my yesterdays into treasures, my tomorrows into hopeful dreams, and my present into an experience of eternal satisfaction and immeasurable joy. I think that is worth a little bit of belly pain, after all. It is overwhelming to think that the One who has overcome the world is working out that same song of salvation in my battered body and the soul that is being transformed from glory to glory, day by precious day. Resolutions and Real Resolve I spent New Year’s Eve alone this year. My son and older daughter went to be with some young adult friends and my wife and younger daughter spent time with a few families, laughing and sharing some happy memories. But I wasn’t lonely at all. As I sat watching a movie and listening to the rain fall softly outside my window, I thought about the great gifts and eternal blessings I had been given. Their power is what has fueled my unspoken resolutions with true divine resolve and allowed them to unfold over the course of my life. I have a wife who has walked this journey of ups and downs right alongside me and is still there to share the road of trials and triumphs with a glad heart. I am father to three incredible children who still love to spend time with each other being silly and carrying on family traditions that remind us of who we are. I have my health and heart and sense of humor and all those little giftings and idiosyncrasies that make me who I am. Most of all, I have the grace that Jesus has given me that has rescued me from sin and the worst of myself. I have a relationship with the God who is wise enough to guide me, strong enough to move me, and loving enough to drive me to my knees and occasionally my back in order to teach me the wonder of conversion. As you travel the narrow path this new year, may the spiritual surgery that the divine surgeon performs in your life empower you to demonstrate the joy of salvation and the power of transforming love to all you meet. May we surrender our less-than-careful prayers to the One who delights to make all things new as each year rolls around to carry us home!
  47. 1 point
    Introduction Most modern-day Christians are not aware of the Feast of Trumpets, nor have any idea what it is all about! This is also true for the other six holy days that God has ordained to be feasts and Sabbaths. If you were to go to any posting on the web you will find most references to this feast as a 'Feast of the Jew'. Saying that the Feast of Trumpets is a Jewish holiday makes the Feast of Trumpets part of the Jewish religion. Now the definition of religion is this: The belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power, especially a personal God or gods. Religion, in and of itself is 100% false and is man made, and not God authorized! Religion has nothing to do with the God of the universe, it is just some made up story, usually by someone wanting to gain power over the people, whomever the people are. Power is gain by showing that the controlling agent, usually called priests, has the power to manipulate the god or gods, who then uses that power to gain more power and prestige over the people. The God of the universe does not need to gain power, as He owns all that is in and on the earth, and has all the power and majesty just within His name alone! Therefore, God Supreme, Elohim, did not institute a religion when speaking with the Children of Israel, nor was it a religious ceremony when His Son married them at Mount Sinai. To complicate matters further, in ancient times, there were two ruling authorities, the legitimate ruling authority (RA), such as a king, queen, prince or princess of that land. Then there were the priest, who was a benefactor to the original RA, and to the people of the land, through their supposed control of the local god. This two tier system came into existence sometime after the 'Flood'. A competing and troubling concept to this two tier system, was the Children of Israel, who contended that there was only one God, who is the creator and ruler of all. Now we need to understand the symbiotic relationship that the RA had with the priests. The priest was an aid to the RA in that they helped keep the people in line. If the people were to get rambunctious, the priest would tell them that their god was not pleased and that that god would bring about all sorts of punishment on the people. As a consequence of their bad behavior, the priest might even deny the people entry into Valhalla, or heaven. This working in concert with the RA helped the RA maintain control of the people and in turn, the RA gave the priest wealth and authority within that kingdom. The story of Joseph having bestowed on him the second rulership of all Egypt is almost a classic example of what I am describing in regard to this two tier system of control. Each town, village, or dukedom had a god, that controlled that particular village, town of dukedom. However, the belief of one God caused the people of a particular area much grief, because the One God was the creator of all, and therefore was also the God of all god's, meaning that the God of the Children of Israel was God of the local god and therefore supreme to that god. Can you see that this belief in the one true God, would cause a great deal of animosity between the pagan peoples and the Children of Israel. Rome and the Jews During the time of Jesus, the Romans were having a great deal of trouble with the tribes of Judah, Benjamin, and Levi. These three tribes were called Jews by the Roman world as well as others outside of Rome, because Judah was the leading and controlling tribe. The term 'jew' means a 'man from Judea' but today has taken on a negative connotation, especially among Christian sects. So we had the two religious systems: 1) The pagan multiple gods, and their priests who were used to control the peoples while having riches and power granted from the ruler of the land. This system was rampant throughout all of the world, and can be seen in almost all the European, Russian, Mongolian, and Chinese nations, not to forget about South America and Mexico as well. 2) The worship of the one true God, as the Children of Israel would not accept a multiplicity of gods, and therefore stood out against almost all the world. This is one of the reasons that the Jews were hated by all the world, not to mention that the Jew was a bit of a trouble maker due to their exclusivism and a thorn in the side to all pagans within the roman sphere of influence. The Christian Era We can read in the Hebrew/Christian scriptures that after the death and resurrection of Jesus, that the Apostles as well as many disciples, when throughout the known world preaching in the name of Jesus. The main thrust of this charter to preach to the world the Good news, was mainly directed at the Lost Children of Israel. That is, the ten tribes that were taken in Assyrian captivity 137 years before Judah went into Babylonian captivity. Realize that it would have been a waste of time and effort to preach to the pagans, as they were antagonistic toward anything that would have been construed as Jewish! Now we know that Paul did preach to the pagan, however, the book of Acts is replete with stories of those who were antagonistic toward anything that sounded like being Jewish, and preaching Jesus sure was as Jewish as you can get, since He was of the tribe of Judah and the lineage of king David. It was during this time that the Greek word 'Christian' came into vogue to define this new sect of the Jews, who worshipped this man who was crucified and supposedly rose from the grave and was taken up into the heavens, with the promise to return again in the future. Most modern day Christians are not aware of the strife that existed between the Jews and the rest of the known Roman world. Even today, there is animosity between the nations (Goyim) and the Jews, with Christians believing that they are not Jewish and that their religious practices are strictly Christian practices established by Jesus, and are not to be interwoven with Jewish holidays, but in truth the Christians are dead (as in the second death) wrong. Because most if not all of their religious practices came out of the apostate church, who worked hard at separating themselves from all that was called Jewish! The apostate church In acts chapter 8:9 we are introduced to a magician by the name of Simon Magus who wants to buy the Holy Spirit from the apostles and is rejected by Simon Bar Jona (Peter) and told to go his way. We are given some information about this man named Simon, and then away he goes into biblical silence, but not into historical silence, though the apostate church has done a great deal to distance themselves from their founding father, and they in turn have stolen the identify of Simon Bar Jona and claimed that Simon Bar Jona was the one who originated that apostate church. Now I wrote a great deal about this subject in a blog entitled: Easter and Christmas versus the Seven Annual Sabbaths. The apostate church had to separate itself from Judaism Simon Magus, and not Simon Bar Jona, was quite clever, he wanted the power that was associated with the Holy Spirit, while also wanting to become a religious leader to the Romans. As mentioned above, this affiliation with the king of the land had with it a great deal of power, and riches, but there was a problem. Simon decided to form a syncretic church, one that spoke about this Jesus, and pretended to honor and worship Him, but how to do this while not appearing to be Jewish. At the time of Simon, the Romans were tolerate of various religions, mostly because there was little difference between the gods of the Greeks as opposed to the gods of the Romans, or the rest of the world for that matter. so religious tolerance was no big deal to the Romans. Just keep your god to yourself and we are good! But the Jews worshipped the one true God, and they hated Roman rulership. The Jews wanted to be free of Roman rule, and the rule of the Herod's as well. So how did Simon Magus overcome this roman distrust of the Jews? By throwing out the Sabbath, and bringing in the day of the Sun, as a suitable substitute, and called it the Lord's day. Changing the Passover, to Easter though the use of cleverly disguised lies, saying that the day that Jesus came to Jerusalem riding on a Donkey was a 'Palm Sunday' when it fact it was the 10th day of the first month, and the day that the Jews were to select a Passover lamb, "Speak to all the congregation of Israel, saying: On the tenth of this month every man shall take for himself a lamb, according to the house of his father, a lamb for a household. And if the household is too small for the lamb, let him and his neighbor next to his house take it according to the number of the persons; according to each man's need you shall make your count for the lamb. Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year. You may take it from the sheep or from the goats. Now you shall keep it until the fourteenth day of the same month". (Exodus 12:3-6) This 10th day of the first month for that particular year was a Sabbath and not a Sunday. "Then, six days before the Passover, Jesus came to Bethany, where Lazarus was who had been dead..." (John 12:1) The Passover always falls on the 14th day of the first month, so if this was six days before the Passover, then the day that Jesus came to Bethany had to be the ninth day of the month. Now watch this: The next day a great multitude that had come to the feast, when they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem, took branches of palm trees and went out to meet Him, and cried out: Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord! The King of Israel! (John 12:12) Notice, that it is the next day, Which is now the 10th day of the month. If you were to include this 10th day then there are five days until the Passover, however, since the 10th day was already in progress, then there were four days left until the Passover, the 14th day of the first month. The apostate church says that the day that Jesus came to Jerusalem was on a Sunday or 'Palm Sunday'! Then they cleverly count six days until Friday, saying that that Friday was the Passover, so as to support the Easter Sunday resurrection. However, this can not be so because there where now four days left, and if this day were a Sunday, then Wednesday is the Passover and not Friday! John 12:12 clearly shows that an Easter Sunday resurrection is a lie, clearly showing that the apostate church teaches falsely and is the father of anti-Judaism. To continue, they threw out the Seven Annual Convocations/Sabbaths, telling their parishioners that these days were done away with by the death of Jesus! Therefore, when the Romans looked at this new religion, they were pleased, because it looked and smelled just like what they were used to, even though it had these man Jesus as its central God and figure head. While there was a smattering of Judaism, there was enough paganism to make the Romans happy. So happy, that when Rome fell at the hands of the Visigoths in 410A.D. the Apostate church took over from the Romans and instituted the Holy Roman church. This church was to become the central authority and would rule with the kings and rulers of Europe and the Russia's for many years to come. In the 1600's a priest by the name of Martin Luther began a reformation of this apostate church. He gathered many followers and they became known as Protestants because they were protesting the rule of the apostates churches leadership as well as its practices of selling indulgences, a form of legalized thievery. These protestants or protesting Catholics have accepted the teachings of the apostate church and have even added a couple of lies to the sycophancy of lies told especially about the seven annual holy days, that modern scholars call Jewish holidays, when it fact Judah never gave these holy days to his sons and daughters. But God the Father, through the office of the Word, gave these days to the Children of Israel along with the Seventh Day Sabbath. Now a Protesting Catholic will say they keep Sunday as the day of the Lord and they will use all sorts of lies and unintelligent reasons to justify Sunday worship, but unfortunately these are just lies and fables, given to them through the apostate church, and surprisingly, these protesting Catholics are very learned of the scriptures, but they just can not see the forest for the trees. They profess Jesus as their Lord and Savior, but deny the simple fact that He was the Word of God before He was Jesus, and as the Word of God, He gave the 10 commandments to the Children of Israel on His Fathers behalf. So the Sabbath comes directly from the one true God, and Sunday comes from the leader of the apostate church, yet the Protesting Catholics as well as Catholics refuse to honor and obey the God of this universe, instead they pay homage to a long dead magician! The Feast of Trumpets, what is it all about? When I began to write this blog, I decided to go on the web and see what the prevailing understanding was of the Feast of Trumpets, and that is that the Feast of Trumpets represents to the Sunday keeping world, the so-called Rapture! This Rapture is a misunderstanding of Revelations and 2nd Thessalonians, which is understandable due to the fact that most Protesting Catholics really do not understand scripture as the do not obey God and His Messiah, as they give God lip service and pollute His word with many false beliefs that is going to be the subject of my next book: The False Teachings of Christianity! This does not mean that all of Christianity's teaching are false, however, there are many false teachings that it is no wonder that people are leaving the hell fire churches and going to the feel good congregations. However, it is my intent to show that one of the prevalent teachings of the apostate and protesting Catholic churches is that the Feast of Trumpets is a Jewish holiday. Not so, the Feast of Trumpets is also a Christian holiday, just as the other six holy days, that were given to the Children of Israel by God the Father, and in turn was given to all peoples throughout all the world regardless of their religious beliefs. Why is the Fest of Trumpets a Christian holiday as well as a special holiday to all the world? Because the beginning of the blowing of the first trumpet until the last trumpet, tells the world that the arrival of the Christ, and His triumphant return is on its way! The beginning of the Feast of Trumpets herald in the Return of the Christ. In telling Israel that they were to have a Sabbath and a blowing of trumpets (Hebrew: Shofar) God was in fact eluding to the eventually writings of the Book of Revelation and the story of the seven trumpets. "When He opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour. And I saw the seven angels who stand before God, and to them were given seven trumpets. Then another angel, having a golden censer, came and stood at the altar. He was given much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all the saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne. And the smoke of the incense, with the prayers of the saints, ascended before God from the angel's hand. Then the angel took the censer, filled it with fire from the altar, and threw it to the earth. And there were noises, thundering's, lightning's, and an earthquake. So the seven angels who had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound" (Rev 8:1 - 10) This seventh seal is the next to the last seal of the great scroll that had begun to be opened in Revelations 5:1 and when these seven trumpets begin to sound, the return of Jesus as the King of Kings and Lord of Lords has begun and will not end until He has taken over the earth from Satan and all his minions. So you see there Mr. and Ms. Protesting Catholic, and you Catholics as well, that the Feast of Trumpets is not for the Jews only, not on your tin type Nelly! It is also for the Christian as well as the Muslim, Hindu, and the Druid, for when Jesus returns He will not be the God of the Christian only, No! He will be the god of all peoples, tongues, and nations. And because there are seven trumpets, God says that there will be a feast of trumpets, and in doing so is having a bit of fun with us, in that during the time of the blowing of these trumpets man is going to have his fill and will be sick because of these trumpets and the plagues that they bring. This is very reminiscent of the incident of the Quail and what happen at Kibroth Hattaavah,. "While the meat was still between their teeth, before it was chewed, the wrath of the Lord was aroused against the people, and the Lord struck the people with a very great plague." (Numbers 11:33). So lets look at the list of each of the seven trumpets or plagues: Vegetation is struck The sea is struck The water is struck The heavens are struck The Locust from the bottomless pit The four Demons who are bound at the river Euphrates are released And the seventh angel sounds: 7. Saints meet Jesus somewhere between the earth and the fourth heaven! And they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other. (Matt 24:31). Then Jesus and His bride return to the throne room to meet God the Father, and have the wedding supper (Matt 22:1-10). After all has been accomplished, Jesus will mount His white horse, place on the robe dipped in blood and begin the movement toward the earth. And as He goes so does His bride, for she shall be with Him always and go where he goes. upon arriving on the earth, Jesus steps down on the Mount of Olives, in the exact same spot from where He left the earth, those 2,000 years ago! There is no battle of Armageddon! Regarding the battle of Armageddon, there is no such battle, This is another of those tails that are just plain false. The armies of the Beast 'STAGE' or gathered there. Staging is a military term that means a place of bivouac. That is a place to rest and gather forces, to train up, and to get new men/women to fill in the ranks, I.E. England was a staging area for the US Army before moving to France for the 'D' Day invasion "For they are spirits of demons, performing signs, which go out to the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty... And they gathered them together to the place called in Hebrew, Armageddon". (Rev 16:14-16). Now regarding that battle of that great day of God Almighty, you should understand that this battle takes place in the Valley of Jehoshaphat which is also called the Valley of Decision! This is where the battle of that Great day of God Almighty is to take place, and that is not in or near Armegeddon "For behold, in those days and at that time, When I bring back the captives of Judah and Jerusalem, I will also gather all nations, And bring them down to the Valley of Jehoshaphat; And I will enter into judgment with them there On account of My people, My heritage Israel, Whom they have scattered among the nations; They have also divided up My land. They have cast lots for My people, Have given a boy as payment for a harlot, And sold a girl for wine, that they may drink. Indeed, what have you to do with Me, O Tyre and Sidon, and all the coasts of Philistia? Will you retaliate against Me? But if you retaliate against Me, Swiftly and speedily I will return your retaliation upon your own head; Because you have taken My silver and My gold, And have carried into your temples My prized possessions. Also the people of Judah and the people of Jerusalem You have sold to the Greeks, That you may remove them far from their borders. Behold, I will raise them Out of the place to which you have sold them, And will return your retaliation upon your own head. I will sell your sons and your daughters Into the hand of the people of Judah, And they will sell them to the Sabeans, To a people far off; For the Lord has spoken. Proclaim this among the nations: Prepare for war! Wake up the mighty men, Let all the men of war draw near, Let them come up. Beat your plowshares into swords And your pruning hooks into spears; Let the weak say, I am strong. Assemble and come, all you nations, And gather together all around. Cause Your mighty ones to go down there, O Lord. Let the nations be wakened, and come up to the Valley of Jehoshaphat; For there I will sit to judge all the surrounding nations. Put in the sickle, for the harvest is ripe. Come, go down; For the winepress is full, The vats overflow For their wickedness is great. Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision! For the day of the Lord is near in the valley of decision. The sun and moon will grow dark, And the stars will diminish their brightness. The Lord also will roar from Zion, And utter His voice from Jerusalem; The heavens and earth will shake; But the Lord will be a shelter for His people, And the strength of the children of Israel. So you shall know that I am the Lord your God, Dwelling in Zion My holy mountain. Then Jerusalem shall be holy, And no aliens shall ever pass through her again" (Joel 3:1 - 17). This valley of Jehoshaphat, or Valley of Decision is actually in the Kiddron Valley outside of where the Dome of the Rock and where the Temple once stood, and separates Mount Mariah from the Mount of Olives, and seems more in keeping with the fact that Jesus touches down on the Mount of Olives and then goes to Jerusalem to begin His rulership there. Along the way He and His angelic host encounter the army of the Beast and destroy that army, then go to Jerusalem to be crowned King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Now notice, that all of this, that is the return of Jesus, His arriving on the Mount of Olives, and His beginning rulership of all the world from Jerusalem, all began when the first angel began to blow his trumpet, then continuing on until the last angel sounds and the world has had a Feast of Trumpets, and Jesus has now returned and the world wil enter into the 1000 years of peace called the Millennium! Restoring the truth to Christianity! Is the Feast of Trumpets a Jewish holiday, no, it is not! Are Christians to celebrate the Feast of Trumpets? yes they should as it pertains to them as well as it pertaining to all the peoples of this earth. Can you as a member of your church teach that the Feast of Trumpets is for Catholics, Protesting Catholics, as well as the Jews? Yes you can, by explaining to you priest, or elder that the Feast of Trumpets is the beginning and the return of Messiah, as well as the gathering of the saints to meet Jesus in the air. You can help get the truth to the professing Christian world and help restore the truth of Gods word to humanity! Peter Please let me know how you feel about what has been written here! Leave me a message on Facebook or at peterbellone.net. Thank you for taking the time to read this blog!
  48. 1 point
    When We Pray in Unity and Agreement, Amazing Things Happen.
  49. 1 point
    Don't worry or be afraid to stand out for God. He wasn't worried or afraid to send his Jesus to the cross for us. He went that far for us, so how much more then should we go for him.
  50. 1 point
    A song-dialogue-argument beween Pietro Bernardone (father of St. Francis) and the rogue saint/son ("Frankie"): Father: FRANKIE, YOU CAN'T JUST GO "ZIG-ZAG" -- AFTER TWELVE HUNDRED YEARS, SAY THE GOSPEL'S "THIS WAY" OR THAT! GET IN LINE: YOUR GAME IS A ZERO SUM! THINK ABOUT IT, LEAVE IT TO MAGISTERIUM! SO PLEASE TELL ME--HAVE WE A SHADE OF A HERETIC? COME ON SON--TELL ME QUICK, QUICK, QUICK! Frankie: FATHER I-- Father: WHAT? Frankie: I--REALLY DON'T HAVE MUCH TO SAY! Father: (HAH! THAT'S A SWITCH) Frankie: JUST POVERTY, OBEDIENCE AND CHASTITY ! Father: YOU HAVE NO IDEA WHAT YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT! Frankie: BUT WHAT I'VE SAID WILL SURELY HELP SOMEONE--NO DOUBT! Father: THESE HANDS ARE WHAT WILL BUILD A CHANGE. Frankie: WHAT IF HATE CHOKES OUR LIVES AWAY? Father: THIS CHEST HAS MOTIVES TO BE STRONG. Frankie: THIS HEART IS WHERE CHRIST'S LOVE BELONGS. Frankie: NO I AM NO HERETIC! Father: SON--BUT YOU TEAR DOWN . . . WHAT MAKES US TICK! Frankie: THERE IS NO INTENT. Father: WELL--WHAT OF CHURCH, FAMILY AND GOVERNMENT? Frankie: THESE SHOULD MODEL LOVE! Father: NO ROOM FOR MONEY! OH DEAR--[Francis makes a caution gesture to Don Bernardone--like "shhhhh" to supress his father's cursing] AHHHH! Frankie: I DID NOT SAY A MERCHANT HAS NO HOME! Father: WITH AN EMPTY PURSE, MIGHT AS WELL BE NONE! Frankie: DON'T WORRY, FATHER. MAKE A PROFIT, STAY! Father: WHAT? Frankie: WHAT GRACE! Father: HOW? Frankie: HOW BLESSED! Father: FRANKIE, WE GO NOW OUR SEPARATE WAYS! Frankie: BUT TO SERVE--NOT AS ENEMIES! Father: I DON'T SEE HOW SAINT DAMIAN SURVIVES. [more ? than !] Frankie: AS THE BRICKS--WE'RE ALWAYS ALIVE! Father/Frankie: [together, but each angling to demonstrate his worldview] SUCH . . . IS . . . LIFE!
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