Merry Christmas?

Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me…” 

–Matthew 28:18

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 As the great debate begins again between the authority of Jesus and the authority of St. Nick during the Christmas season, I think the verse above clearly states Who the Victor is…

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Maybe a better question would be; If Jesus is allowing Santa to also speak during this time, what is he saying that we should be hearing?
I know neither of them promote war and violence and both of them promote love, joy, peace and giving…

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No, I do not give them equal status but Jesus don’t share the stage with just anybody, ya know?

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~Just my thoughts, yours may be different… That’s Ok.~

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Love in Him!

jesus.santa


A Psalm for All…

This is one of my favorite Psalms. It has something that applies to everyone, everywhere at sometime in their Life. If you have not yet faced any of the situations, circumstances or trails listed in these passages… just hold on, your time is coming!

God is faithful and He uses all the sad times, bad times and glad times that Life is made up of, to prove His love and His faithfulness to his children…

You are one of His children…  If you do not know that yet, let me be the first to tell you!

You may be away from home right now or you may deliberately be heading in the opposite direction from your destination, but you are still His child and He wants you to know that…

Please don’t be one who has to keep silent in the end; be one who shouts praises to the love, graciousness and faithfulness of Our Father…

Love in Him! 

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~ Psalm 107~

1 Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.
2 Let the redeemed of the Lord tell their story— those he redeemed from the hand of the foe,
3 those he gathered from the lands, from east and west, from north and south.

4 Some wandered in desert wastelands, finding no way to a city where they could settle.
5 They were hungry and thirsty, and their lives ebbed away.
6 Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress.
7 He led them by a straight way to a city where they could settle.
8 Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for mankind,
9 for he satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things.

10 Some sat in darkness, in utter darkness, prisoners suffering in iron chains,
11 because they rebelled against God’s commands and despised the plans of the Most High.
12 So he subjected them to bitter labor; they stumbled, and there was no one to help.
13 Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and he saved them from their distress.
14 He brought them out of darkness, the utter darkness, and broke away their chains.
15 Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for mankind,
16 for he breaks down gates of bronze and cuts through bars of iron.

17 Some became fools through their rebellious ways and suffered affliction because of their iniquities.
18 They loathed all food and drew near the gates of death.
19 Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and he saved them from their distress.
20 He sent out his word and healed them; he rescued them from the grave.
21 Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for mankind.
22 Let them sacrifice thank offerings and tell of his works with songs of joy.

23 Some went out on the sea in ships; they were merchants on the mighty waters.
24 They saw the works of the Lord, his wonderful deeds in the deep.
25 For he spoke and stirred up a tempest that lifted high the waves.
26 They mounted up to the heavens and went down to the depths; in their peril their courage melted away.
27 They reeled and staggered like drunkards; they were at their wits’ end.

28 Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble, and he brought them out of their distress.
29 He stilled the storm to a whisper; the waves of the sea were hushed.
30 They were glad when it grew calm, and he guided them to their desired haven.
31 Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for mankind.
32 Let them exalt him in the assembly of the people and praise him in the council of the elders.

33 He turned rivers into a desert, flowing springs into thirsty ground,
34 and fruitful land into a salt waste, because of the wickedness of those who lived there.
35 He turned the desert into pools of water and the parched ground into flowing springs;
36 there he brought the hungry to live, and they founded a city where they could settle.
37 They sowed fields and planted vineyards that yielded a fruitful harvest; 38 he blessed them, and their numbers greatly increased, and he did not let their herds diminish.

39 Then their numbers decreased, and they were humbled by oppression, calamity and sorrow;
40 he who pours contempt on nobles made them wander in a trackless waste.

41 But he lifted the needy out of their affliction and increased their families like flocks.
42 The upright see and rejoice, but all the wicked shut their mouths.

43 Let the one who is wise heed these things and ponder the loving deeds of the Lord.

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The End or The Beginning?

You decide

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What if a Man?

keys.justthinking Matthew 16:19
I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”

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What if a Man, … an extremely wealthy man came to you and made this offer?

“I wish to purchase your property, all of it, including you and all your offspring for all generations to come. I will pay you all that I have and I will provide all that you and your family will ever need forever. All I ask is that you and all your descendants stay on this property, live on it, have fun on it, use it anyway you please and never ever leave it. If what I am offering to supply you is ever not enough, I will provide even more land, houses, fields etc. ….. Oh and one more thing … I Myself request to stay with you, love with you, live with you and be apart of you all forever…”

What would your answer be?

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Love in Him!

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You may also enjoy this post… I sure did !

TWO CHOICES

http://morningstoryanddilbert.wordpress.com/2013/11/20/two-choices/

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I Am, Do you Know This God?

Exodus 3:14

God said to Moses, “I Am who I Am. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I Am has sent me to you.’”

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I am looking for a god who will love me through all my bad choices and free will decisions and stand up in the end to save me because it is HIS WILL to do so, even if my decisions and my choices were the wrong ones. One who bases his judgments on his love and desire for me his creature and not on my ability to obey or understand Him or His demands. One who leads me on right paths for His names sake, even if I don’t choose that path for myself. One who will overrule me should I willfully go in the wrong direction and save me in the end in spite of all my willfulness and failures! Who is not so much a gentleman that he cannot be My Father, even when I don’t like him or desire his interference. One who DOES NOT allow me enough freewill to destroy myself in eternal torment! A god who loves me enough to never let me go for any reason that any human being can think of, because he thinks Greater Thoughts than any human being. A god who saves his enemies by making them his friends.
This is the GOD I am searching for. One who is sure of me even when I am not sure of him.  
If you know a god like this, please tell me his name, He is the One I am searching for. I don’t need one who will let me down in the last day, because I let him down somewhere along the way. I need a god who is much, MUCH BIGGER and more dependable than that…
And if there is not ONE like this that you know of, please just keep the one you know to yourself… Because he is not the one I am searching for!

Love In Him!


When you have nothing Good to say.. say nothing?

Matthew 5:36-37

New International Version (NIV)

36 And do not swear by your head, for you cannot make even one hair white or black. 37 All you need to say is simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one.

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I am so thankful today that our Father has put me in a position where if I have nothing good to say, I do not have to say anything. I think, much too often today, what we hear preached from the pulpits and what we see in the church are the results of fulfilling expectations, our expectations of one another, and doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with God’s purposes or plans for His Body and Bride in His world…

Congregations have expectations for their pastors and pastors have expectations for the congregations they serve. Sometimes as I served a congregation as their pastor I felt that the Lord was leading us in a very different direction than the direction we were heading. We had had all the committee meetings, business meetings and congregational votes and consensus’s and were agreed we were heading in the right direction, on the right path. Then as I prepared messages to lift up and lead the congregation in our chosen direction to our chosen goal, I sensed we had made the wrong decision and were heading in the wrong direction. Most of the time I just put off these feelings of uncertainty as an enemy attack because we were doing the Lord’s will in enemy territory as I believe many of us do today. I continued to prepare messages to lead us in our chosen directions and to uplift us along the way, after all, are we not suppose to encourage and exhort each other?

I quickly learned not to discuss any doubts or uncertainties I had with those I was supposed to be leading; because, we had prayed, and sought the Lord’s will and directions in whatever our endeavor was at the time. As their leader, I felt I was expected to ignore any signs or warnings that we may be moving contrary to, or not in time with or in line with the Lord’s leadings. We were all united in the task we had chosen to take to  make a difference in this world…

I was afraid of not meeting the expectations of the congregation…

I have found out since I am no longer leading those congregations, or any congregation now, that some folks in those congregations also were not so sure of our directions or our plans at the time. They have confided in me since, that they too were suspicious of making bad decisions or taking wrong turns, but didn’t want to seem disagreeable or not enthusiastic about the endeavors we were undertaking.

They were afraid of not meeting my expectations or the expectations of the majority rule…  

I will not go into all the details or even make judgments concerning whether or not the choices and endeavors were correct or not. ‘God makes all things work together for good, for those who love Him, those called according to His purpose.’ …So, even bad decisions and wrong directions will eventually work out for good… not because they are or were good in and of themselves, but because of God’s goodness towards us, even when we are in the wrong!

I am just thankful that for the time being, I am not in a position where I have others looking to me to meet their expectations and I don’t have any expectations of anyone which I am expecting them to meet. Life is much, much simpler this way!

Love in Him!

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Romans 8:26-29

New International Version (NIV)

26 In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. 27 And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.

28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who[a] have been called according to his purpose. 29 For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.

        

      


Going to Church vs. Being the Church

Matthew 28:18-20

New International Version (NIV)

18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

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 In my opinion, America for the most part has been taught to go to church instead of being the Church.

We see from the text above that Jesus instructed His disciples to Go into all the nations and ‘make disciples.’ We have gone into all the nations and built church buildings and planted congregations.

We see above, that we were told to go and baptize (immerse, instructing) them in (into) the name of (character, essence) of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. We have baptized them in water, neglecting to instruct them in the essence, power, and character of the Triune God.

We see, we were asked to teach them to obey (do) everything He, Jesus taught His disciples to do in their/our ministry to the world. (heal the sick, cast out demons, declare the good news of the kingdom to the poor) …We have taught them to concentrate on one aspect of Jesus’s mission. Our personal salvation and relationship with God.

We see that Jesus told His disciples; He would be with them in all His Authority (power, provision) as they went on their missions out into the world. We have taught them their mission is serving in the church; to support the work of God throughout the world; to work on church projects and church programs and church councils, etc. That when things get so bad and too hot to handle to lookup and search the clouds for Jesus because He will be coming back to snatch us all away from the cruel world which is to suffer the wrath of the Almighty…  

I often wonder how much different the world would be today if we were truly doing what He did and told us to do in this world. How much different would the Church, His bride look to the lost if she were really healing the sick, casting out demons and caring for the poor and outcast of society? I suppose we will never know for sure how things would have turned out had we really followed the Great Commissioner and not just taught others the Great Commission?

I hope it is not too late for Americans to stop going to church and start being The Church and Bride of Christ in this fallen world… What do you think?

Love in Him! 

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 John 14:11-13

New International Version (NIV)

11 Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the works themselves. 12 Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. 13 And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.

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Insecurity… Why? Who’s your Daddy?

Romans 8:14-16

New International Version (NIV)

14 For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. 15 The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” 16 The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.

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I think one of the greatest problems facing the Church today is insecurity. This has been caused by denominationalism and becoming secure in ones doctrines, theologies, traditions and ceremonies. It presents itself as dogmatic reliance on a system of beliefs, rituals and practices which provide comfort and security because we believe we are doing it right, and God is pleased with our way of doing it…

Most all of the Christians who are part of this Protestant denominationalism claim to be saved by Grace through Faith, but equate faith with believing that their particular brand of worship, doctrine and theology is superior to other Christian denominations. This faith in ‘what one believes’ is the culprit of anger, argument, disunity and insecurity in the Body of Christ…

I am not going to write another thesis on this problem, many have already been written and apparently to no avail. The problem continues to grow and more and more folks are choosing to leave Main-line Denominations and attend non-denominational or home and organic fellowships. Worst still, many are giving up on God altogether, assuming He is as hard to please as all the other pagan versions of god who require this and that from humans in order to achieve divine favor and protection… much like it was in biblical OT Israel’s time, each having their own local version of gods who must be pleased.

If you believe you may have fallen into this delusion of denominationalism, I am sure the Spirit has already pricked your conscience by now so I do not need to go on. I will offer one true test of insecurity for you to judge your reaction against or agreement with.

  • If you strongly disagree with the following statement and refuse to even consider that it may be true, you are most likely very secure in what you believe, but very insecure in Who you believe and in Who believes in you.

“Jesus Christ has already done anything and everything required to save the world and everyone in it from beginning to end and everywhere in between.”

How you receive and answer this statement will reveal where your trust actually lies. It is either in Christ alone or it is in what you believe about Him… Your choice?

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Acts 3:17-21

New International Version (NIV)

17 “Now, fellow Israelites, I know that you acted in ignorance, as did your leaders. 18 But this is how God fulfilled what he had foretold through all the prophets, saying that his Messiah would suffer. 19 Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord, 20 and that he may send the Messiah, who has been appointed for you—even Jesus. 21 Heaven must receive him until the time comes for God to restore everything, as he promised long ago through his holy prophets.

Love in Him!