Sunday, December 25, 2005

An Electric Christmas

So I got back from the hospital about an hour and a half ago. I'm going to be taking it easy for a few days. Apparently you have to make sure all the power to a light fixture is turned off before you try to hook up a new chandelier set. Needless to say (but I will anyway) I received a pretty good shock and made my way to the floor. Thankfully I was conscious and my wife and I spoke for a few moments. When I tried to get up and was unable to we knew it was time to call the ambulance. In the very few minutes it took for the 9-1-1 operator to get help here my wife and I were able to pray it through. There's something very comforting and powerful about being able to praise God in a situation that's out of your control. Acknowledging that it's in His control is a calming thing to do and I encourage you all to do this in the face of all situations.

The medics came through our front door and after a quick ride in a commfy white van with Christmas like lights on top, I spent the day at the hospital getting tests done. They sent me home with the suggestion of hiring an electrician, and instructions to take it easy for a few days.

Thank God for people willing to work on Christmas to help others! Praise God for the calmness we had and for the protection we experienced. And also for the very probable healing, as I can walk around just fine now and was completely unable to do so earlier.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

How to spell "His" name

We have a family tradition of buying an Ice Cream Cake from Dairy Queen at Christmas and having it as a Birthday Cake for the "Big Guy". This year the tradition has given me just one more reason to go forward and into battle.

When asked to put a birthday message on the cake for our Lord and Savior, the young woman on cash replied. "I can never remember how to spell it." Now I'm thankful for the grace our Lord has poured out into my life, and for the work of the Holy Spirit. Because of these I was able to simply respond to her courteously. As was mentioned during the prayer meeting last night, it's important to remember that people are "where they are right now" not "where they're going to be." This is important in that it helps us respond to people as they will be (once they have Love) instead of how they are now. This particular young woman can't be faulted that we (The Church) have failed to lived changed lives, and to be credible witnesses for The Anointed One.

Has anyone reading this noticed that I haven't actually used His given name yet?

For the record, Jesus is spelt J E S U S. :)

Blessings all!! Remember to love everyone you meet, they'll know us by our love after all. And Merry Christmas!!!!!!

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

The 10th Leper

That's me! I'm so very thankful for the work He has done and is doing in my life. The rest of the world can go on breathing the air He provided and eating the food He provides in the health He maintains but I shall be the one who turns and gives thanks.

You know Christ came at "Christmas" in "the shadow of the Cross" (as my pastor says). I'm so very thankful for the saving grace that He has for me. Today I live free! Today I am a servant and even a son. Thank You Father, thank You Jesus, thank You Holy Spirit for all and everything.

Oh here's the recount of the 10 lepers. Luke 17:11-19

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Whirlwind Bible Tour

For those familiar with the Word this will be a great laugh. For those still learning, it'll be a friendly and very funny way to see the whole shebang at once.

Check out this very well done Whirlwind Bible Tour

Sorry for the lack of HTML editing in this post.. work computer...

Saturday, December 17, 2005

The Kingdom of God Is Like

Luke 13:18-21

:19 It is like a grain of mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his own garden. And it grew and became a tree, and the wild birds found shelter and roosted and nested in its branches.

It is something planted in you, it is shelter and home for those who do not deserve, nor who could earn it.

:21 It is like leaven (yeast) which a woman took and hid in three measures of wheat flour or meal until it was all leavened (fermented).

It can not be hidden. What it is planted in, or put inside of, it changes unto it's self. If you have God in you, (you are in God) then you will be changed. And this change will progress until you are fully changed. This is Sanctification, and that will be completed the day you are face to face with our Creator, Christ Jesus.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Proof is in the Pudding

Yesterday as I was studying in Luke and found a section which I simply could not follow. As many Christians know, understanding the Word of God is a work of God The Holy Spirit. As I picked up this morning I was again dumbfounded and unable to follow what Our Lord was teaching the people. I was taking notes and the notes were mostly questions that I hoped to ask someone about, or figure out at a later date.

The mistake I was making was trying to learn in my strength. Big mistake... Believers and non-believers often claim the Bible is too hard to understand. Non-believers at least have an excuse, they don't have the Holy Spirit. Believers on the other hand do have the Holy Spirit. If they are having a hard time understanding something it could simply be that God doesn't want this part of the Word revealed to them yet. However, it is more often than not simply that the believer hasn't asked for understanding and is not letting Him do a work in their learning. This was what I was doing. Shortly I noticed my mistake and asked for understanding.

Immediately I started to gain understanding, and it grew over the next hour. This was answered prayer, practical and effective! This section of Scripture may be very simple for you readers, but I am going to cover it anyway.

So let's look at Luke 11:14-26 Once again Jesus was being accused of driving demons out by the power of the devil. Jesus answers with the simple answer, that can be read of several times in the Word, of a house divided against it's self can not stand. There are several "lessons" in this section but I want to deal with only one. Jesus explains how you can tell if the work was done by God or the devil. Jesus describes the possessed person as a "dwelling" and the demon as a "strong man" who is overcome by a stronger man and therefore driven out of the dwelling. If the demon is driven out, it will find no comfort in the air and will seek to return to the dwelling it knows. If the work was done by Beelzebub the demon will find the dwelling swept clean and well prepared. The demon will gather with it 7 more which are even more evil than it's self and return to dwell in the person again. In this case the state of the person will be worse than it was in the first place. If the work is of God then the demon will be driven out and will not be able to return as the person (or dwelling) will then be protected by One Who is Stronger.

Clearly if Jesus does the work by "the finger of God" then the person will be better off. Jesus does complete works.

I'm not sure why I found this so hard to understand, but I couldn't put together the story and the point He was making. Thankfully, God answers prayers!! Thank You Father!

Thursday, December 08, 2005

A Good Samaritan is a Good Neighbor

Luke 10:24-37 tells us about a conversation that Our Lord had with a Lawyer seeking to test Him. They are talking about what the Law demands in order that a man receive eternal life. They come to agreement that we are to love the Lord Your God with all your heart, soul, strength, and mind and your neighbor as yourself. Now the Lawyer was seeking to remove all reproach from himself and asked who his neighbor is. The Lord replies with a story about the "Good Samaritan" who helped the man who had been robbed and beaten and left for dead. This Samaritan not only helped the man with his wounds, he brought him to an inn and put him up there paying the full price and telling the Inn Keeper that whatever else is spent in the man's care the Samaritan would pay. This is in stark contrast with the Levite and the Priest who had walked past the dying man by going to the other side of the road.

When Jesus asks the Lawyer which of the three had done right, He asks it this way. "Which of these three do you think proved himself a good neighbor to him who fell among the robbers?"

The point Our Lord is making here, I believe, is that it's not the person in need who must be our neighbor but us are able to help who must. When prompted to help someone don't ask, "Is this my neighbor?" but do ask "How can I be a neighbor to this person?"

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Checkout Clerks

Here's a first for the blog, I'm going to make a social comment! Bet ya can't wait! ;)

So tonight I'm walking through the biggest SuperStore in Atlantic Canada when I come across some clerkless checkouts. The customer swipes the items.. bags them.. then swipes their debit or credit card and bob's their uncle they're done. There were two ladies at the machines to "introduce" them to the customers. When I stated I wasn't impressed they were shocked.

I don't know how customer service is fairing elsewhere in the world, but here in Atlantic Canada it is in it's death throws. Banks that used to have 6 or 7 clerks now have 1, maybe 2. And it looks like now we're going to get to pack our own groceries as well. When we go to a store here the only attention we get from staff is hard-sells and up-sells.

The poor young women were stunned that I preferred to get good service over self-service. They couldn't fathom why I would want to interact with a human being during my purchase experience.

I'm not sure what my point is here, beyond this - when we devalue human beings it makes it that much harder to spread the Gospel. As we become more and more disposable it will be harder and harder for people to believe God valued us enough to give up His only begotten Son. Don't get me started on the signs and commercials that equate pets with your children....

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

This Day In My Walk

It's been a while since I posted about my personal walk. I find it so easy to get caught up in "teaching" something I've learned, or forwarding some idea that I have.

I'm at a point where I'm excited about my future again. We as Christians can get bogged down by the world. I'm still in my Valley, but I see the brightness of the future that lays atop the mountain in front of me now. I'm learning about surrender, and about His victory. Mostly, I'm learning how He has purchased me with His blood. I'm His. I'm putting everything in His hands. I say "putting" because I have not yet, I'm sure, fully surrendered. If you're reading this would you pray for me that I would before I have to. That I'd be eager to do so daily, instead of when situations get out of control. Thank you so very much.

On Sunday I had opportunity to meet the drummer from a popular Christian band. He related how there is always work for a bass player in the Christian music industry. This is of little surprise since the same is true in the secular industry. This is one area that I'd like to explore as the Lord directs and releases me to do so. Also, there are several other opportunities to study, and minister of which I have heard.

Today I'm excited about what the Lord has planned for me! It should be this way every day no matter what is going on, but that being said today is a day when it surely is so.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

A Thought About Prophesy

Jews, in Jesus' time and I suppose even today had and have a hard time believing Jesus of Nazareth is the Christ because He seemed nothing like what they were expecting. They were expecting a King, someone who would not only restore Israel but who would defeat all her enemies. The last thing they were looking for is a humble Child born in a manger because no where would have Him. They expected this beautiful stately man, and what they got was a humble man who showed no physical signs of distinction.

Though they had read what Moses, the prophets and psalms have to say about Him they didn't recognize Him. They were expecting the Judge and found the servant in His place. They were not expecting anything but wrath, and were completely unprepared for Grace.

So, given that the Jews were studious, legalistic and highly trained and still completely missed the nature of God. Even with everything going for them, they still inserted their own wants and sensibilities into the Word. What might we do today with our lax attitude towards the Bible? Our constant seeking for something that pleases our sensibilities and doesn't offend anyone. Will our expectations be any closer to the mark than those of the Jews were?

Here's my point. We are told to be watching for His return. We are all interested in the topic. Yet, do we really know what we're looking for? Lets all remind ourselves that God's Word is true no matter if we agree with it or not. Once the believers are taken up in the sky to be with Our Lord, and once He returns to judge the world.. once the thousand year reign is over.. once Satan is finally sent for final judgment.. then we'll know exactly how it all happens. Then we'll see prophesy confirmed.

The danger is, if we insert our own ideas into the Word now we might have to wait until it's all happened before we realize it's going on at all. We should all read the psalms and ask ourselves how the people didn't see the Son of God written in them. Then go back and read the prophesies which have not been fulfilled yet and ask God what they are saying, not ourselves.

Blessings all, the walk we are on is incredible isn't it? Let's keep our eyes open for He who was, and is and is to come - lest He come like a thief in the night.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Lord, Lord and Master, Master

I received a small but scarey revelation this week. It came up as soon as I sat to study again this morning. Many of us have heard or read Matt 7:21-23 and heeded the warning, or not. This warning has always put reverent fear in my heart. It reminds us that Salvation is a "heart issue" it's not a game we can play at. We may be able to "play" church on Sunday mornings, but He knows us to the core. We may call Him "Lord, Lord" yet He may never have known us. We may never have had a relationship with Him. If that's the case then we will be tossed aside for those who truly do love Him.

OK So that's basically the message we've heard in church a few times, unless of course we go to a church that calls Him "Lord, Lord". The implication here being, unless we go to a church that doesn't actually worship Christ, but some other thing or feeling.

Now lets look at the other places in the Word where someone calls Him "Lord, Lord", and even "Master, Master".

Matt 25:10-12, the door closes before some people heed Him and even know that it was ever opened wide. Those who truly love Him will prepare themselves, will be seeking He Who is the Door.

Mark 14:44-46, Jesus kissed the one who was to betray Him. That man, Judas, came in and called Him "Master, Master".

Luke 8:23-25, Jesus fell asleep on the boat with His disciples (the subject is His disciples, or those who were following along with Him, many of whom honestly believed and trusted in Him, not His Apostles) a storm raged and they awoke Him saying "Master, Master we are perishing". He challenges them about their faith.

While the situations all are different, and surely the perceived dangers by those involved are different, the real issue and the real danger is exactly the same in each situation. The real issue is the people involved didn't have faith in Christ Jesus. They didn't truly trust Him, and therefore they didn't truly love Him. If you imagine each situation think of how the people said the words "Lord, Lord" and "Master, Master" can you hear the panic building up inside them?

The one real danger they all face is separation from God. Eternal damnation because they did not trust nor love Jesus, The Christ. Hebrews 11:6 says it's impossible to please God without faith.

Oh I've been panicked, and recently so. Pray for me that I will never reduce my faith to calling Him "Lord, Lord" or "Master, Master" but that I would speak to my sovereign Lord, who is powerful above all things in such a way that acknowledges His total sovereignty and authority above all. Pray I never doubt His ability, His plan, His love, His faithfulness. Thank you. We are so very blessed that He has loved us so very much. Let us not forget He isn't just a loving guy, but He is All Mighty God!