A True Christian??

Just reflecting.. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me.
When I began following Jesus FOR REAL, some 18 years ago, there were a lot of changes I had to make. I had to review much of what I was taught as a child and put it behind me. It was not bad, it was just childish beliefs that were no longer necessary in a maturing relationship. There were also many ideas and ideals that I thought were cut in stone for believers, that I discovered were not, and I had to turn loose of these things as well. Some of the beliefs I held, I believed were foundation stones holding up the Christian faith. I also had to lay these aside as Jesus became more and more real to me!
None of these things were wrong, in and of themselves, they were just stepping stones to allow me to get to where my Lord was leading me today. They were never intended to be burdens I had to carry with me on my journey. Today my burdens are easy and my way is light, not because I am smart or spiritual, but because I was willing to let go of some of the things I thought were so necessary to being a Christian. I have found the One Who is important for being a Christian, actually He found me buried under all the burdens of belief and performance commonly associated with being a true believer.
No one can convince me any longer of what is important or required for being a true follower of Christ. I know Him now and He is the only reason for being a Christian!
Have a Happy New Year!
Love in Him!
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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.

        

      


The Highest Calling…is yours

…PURE and SPOTLESS BRIDE…

FORGIVEN

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Jesus came for this very High Calling.. to show a lost, sin focused, ashamed, disgraced, guilt-ridden, fallen Bride (humanity) the Agape Gracious Love of her Creator, Father, Savior, King and Husband.

 Jesus came to show us God so we can show Him to those who do not yet know how much He misses them.!!

His Bride is a Pure and Spotless Bride… Her Husband has taken care of that. He has a Beautiful White Garment waiting for Her when She is prepared to meet Him!

How are you loving HIS Lost ones today??

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Heretic Inerrant Infallible are You Sure?

Titus 3:10

King James Version (KJV)

10 A man that is an heretick after the first and second admonition reject;…

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 love.the.word ~This is a post I would prefer not to write. Why? ..Because these three words reveal the fear, confusion and uncertainty which exist in the Body of Christ today. I don’t know about you but I hear all three of these words far too often in Christian conversation. Two of them, inerrant and infallible, never appear in the Scriptures at all and the other, heretic, only once.. in the King James Version and a few other older translations.. My problem is not with the words themselves but with how they are used today to [ defend the Scriptures ] and what is implied by those who use them..

Let’s start with Heretic… This word was used by Paul in his epistle to Titus. Titus was on the island of Crete which at the time was still pagan to some degree.. Paul was instructing Titus on how to deal with those who would seek to tear apart and lead astray the newly formed fellowship of believers on this island.. For more info. follow ‘Crete in the days of Paul’..   Paul was actually using the word translated as heretic to describe certain Jews who were infiltrating the immature fellowship of believers and leading them back into Judaism. Paul was NOT using this word as a description of someone who has a different view of doctrine within the Christian faith, as it is most often used today… Paul also was NOT using this word to direct Titus or the Cretans to crucify or destroy the reputation of the ‘so called heretic’ who was not apart of their Christian fellowship, but to avoid the teachings and advancements of those who claim no part with the Christian faith and message.

Simply put: Paul was not telling them to condemn one of their own.. He was instructing them to avoid those who were not apart of their fellowship and were teaching contrary to the message of Grace.. which Paul proclaimed. 

Next, let’s look at “Inerrant and Infallible” …These are both relatively new words in Christian discussion and I am not going to spend a lot of time with them.. They are being used today to defend the ‘Authority of the Scriptures’ which does NOT need any defense at all. …I personally believe the Scriptures are God Breathed and Divinely inspired.. however I also believe ‘Humanity’ is God breathed and Divinely inspired as well.. ever thought about that?? 

The insinuation with the use of these words today is: “the Bible is faultless and contains no errors”… Now, I will not even address that theory, however I will say this:

“Even if that is the case, we, you and I are not Inerrant nor Infallible, therefore how could we know this to be true? …If our conception and understanding of God has been flawed, which is the case of our fallen nature.. is it even possible for us to recognize or comprehend that which is perfect and flawless?

No, I’m afraid as I said above, this all has all come about as a result of confusion and uncertainty in the Body of Believers today.. We are missing the point… we are missing the Truth… we are missing the message… We are missing altogether the reason the Scriptures were written to begin with.. and this is why we are grasping at straws today. This is why today the emphasis in Christianity is on Faith, Belief, Bible, Authority, Submission, Doctrine, Theology, Principles, Applications…. the list could go on and on and on…. but none of these things are the point.

baby.jesusMy friends… THIS and this ALONE is the point of all the Scriptures ever written… He is the Author and Authority of Scripture… He is our Defender and needs no defense… He is Inerrant, Infallible, Perfect in every way… Flawless beyond our greatest imaginations… He is the Truth, He is The Word of God… Do you see Him??? He is a Person, a baby divine/human being in person, Who is so far beyond our pagan ways of religion and recognizing Truth that we are missing HIM altogether today In His Own House…

Sorry for the OUTBURST, but I for one am tired of all the bull^%#* that is going on today in the Church … We do not even know anymore that we are the Body of Him.. We don’t even relate to Him anymore… We argue over what we Believe about Him, about what He said and what He meant by what He said.. We fume and fuss over all the other STUFF that has absolutely nothing to do with HIM at all and then when we can’t or won’t agree on what a book about Him says… We crucify our bothers and sisters in Christ because they don’t see things as perfectly and flawlessly as our own particular version or vision of HIM is…!!!

See, I am doing what I try never to do… so I will scratch-out my rant above.. This Blog is intended to excite you and to tempt you to Jump into the Word of God and to Explore for yourself the Magnitude and the Mystery of Him.. the Person of Jesus.. The LIVING Word of God… Yes, by all means use the book that reveals Him, but never, EVER confuse the Book with HIM !! … Jesus is SO much more than what is written about Him. Christians are supposed to be in a relationship with A PERSON not the Book as is depicted by the first picture. Sure, I would love a book written about my wife because I love my wife… but I would never prefer to have the Book without my wife… do you understand?… and also I would never criticize you if you read a book about my wife and misunderstood her or something about her because you had never met her in person. 

I hope I have made my point and I do not like Points because they stick, prick, hurt and cause many unnecessary disagreements and quarrels.. which is happening today and with that I will conclude!

Love in HIM.!! 

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John 21:24-25

New International Version (NIV)

24 This is the disciple who testifies to these things and who wrote them down. We know that his testimony is true.

25 Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written.

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Check this out too… if you want more

   http://www.getalongwithgod.com/being-real/warriors-without-a-battle/

  


Missing the Signs and Wonders?

– John 6:25-26

When they found him on the other side of the lake, they asked him, “Rabbi, when did you get here?”…Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, you are looking for me, `not because you saw the signs I performed` but because you ate the loaves and had your fill.

 ~ Have we had our fill? Have we missed the SIGNS?… Have we become so accustomed to having the Bread broken and handed out to us… that we are missing the Miraculous signs and Wonders which follow those who believe? ..After eating bits and pieces of bread and fish and becoming full.. the crowd left.. but they left behind 12 basketfuls of miraculous supply and they missed the POINT, altogether. [ Jesus the Bread of Life ]

Love in Him!


One of THOSE days!?

Proverbs 19:21
Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.
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delete    ….Many of us today have our own plans and ideas of Life and the way we believe things are supposed to go…
We believe we are doing our duty as believer’s by rising early in the morning and asking God to bless us and protect us as we go about our day. We believe God exist as our savior, protector and friend to help us accomplish our purpose and destiny in Life…
Oh, how wrong we are..??
Today is an example of One of THOSE days… when I learn how wrong I am about Life at times… I left the picture above a little small and a bit fuzzy for a reason… Why did I do that? …Glad you asked… because I believe we see God’s promises and plans for us as a small, blurred picture at times… We can still tell what is going on… but everything seems to be somewhat out of focus.. Know what I mean?
Let me give you a for instance…
This morning I got up early as usual, got coffee and settled down to think, ponder and meditate on God’s word.. so I could receive some inspiration on what to post today… After all, posting about “Good God things” is good right??   I think He wants me to do this blog or I wouldn’t be doing it..  I have kind of a routine I follow and I don’t think anything is wrong with routines in general.. but sometimes I get frustrated, aggravated and agitated when other stuff begins to ruin my routine…. Does that ever happen to you? ……
Today as I was routinely going about my good God things that I know He had planned for me to do today because I am doing what I know He wants me to do…. things started happening.. The phone rang and I answered it. …It was my daughter and she asked what I was doing…
Me: …Same thing I am doing every morning… writing. What’s up?
Her: Oh not much, just, and, but… (15mins.) and now this …and that, (30mins.)  not really sure what to do… maybe I should… or maybe if we.., (45mins.) …What do you think daddy?
Ok. There you have it… routine shot, time I like to post by past, subject of the post forgotten!!!  All the inspiration gone, ….Frustration, anxiety, agitation rising and now….. “What do you think daddy?”
God had changed MY PLANS… God had interrupted MY ROUTINE… God had messed up all MY TIME I was planning to spend doing GOD’s WILL for Him today…
And that is where I mess up all the time… How about you??
Now, please don’t misunderstand me… I love my daughter, she is a mature, beautiful mother of three of the Grandest kids…and step-mother (don’t tell her I called her a stepmother) to two more of the Grandest kid’s…   She is a strong and courageous follower of Jesus and deeply spiritual.. For her to ask my opinion on something is a compliment and a position I cherish… understand?
MY BLOG is not is not even working right today.. not double spacing for paragraphs and such… Acting crazy …. SO, I am going to stop and see what GOD’s PLANS are for me today! 
Before I go, can I just say… Things are always going according to GOD’s plans for my Life and for your Life, but things don’t always go as we believe God has planned for our lives to go. …I know that is hard to understand.. especially when we are in the middle of a change in direction that has caught us off-guard…because we were/are doing good things for God… and God does not mind us doing good things for Him until He has GOD things to do for US… Get it?
Let me say it another way…. I tell people all the time: Even if you are going the wrong way and doing the wrong things… God planned for it to happen that way. God allows us to do things OUR way, God even allows us to do things the wrong way ..and He has planned for all of that to happen to us as part of His plans for us. ..We are always in God’s plans or His will so to speak. …He has planned for it all… Life with all of its certainties and uncertainties IS GOD’s plan for us…
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God planned for MY DAY not to go MY WAY today… HE had plans for me to do something different, He had planned for me to see something new and in a different way.. He planned for MY BLOG to be on another subject than I planned… and I GUESS He even planned for it to look different… from the way I LIKE IT TO LOOK.!!! …I had to stop today, and see it GOD’s way… and with that I WILL END… but God will not..! He has other plans for me today…that I know nothing of yet? …And of that, I am CERTAIN…
SO, the Next time things are not working out for you… God may be showing you something different too….

Love in Him! 

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god's.plan
Jeremiah 29:11

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the
Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you,
plans to give you hope and a future.
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I do not even know where the “tags” for this post came from… or why?
DO YOU???

God? Just your Imagination?

We must keep ourselves in touch, not with theories, but with people, and never get out of touch with human beings, if we are going to use the word of God skillfully amongst them.

~ Wisdom from Oswald Chambers ~ Workmen of God, 1341 L

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Parables are works of art, specifically, works of short fiction. They are intricately constructed and complex in their intent. In some ways, they are intended to hide the truth; they don’t reduce truth to simple statements or formulae. Instead, they force the reader to take things to a deeper level, to engage the imagination, to think and think again. In this way, they invite people to ask questions; they stir curiosity; they create intrigue. ~ Teaching style of Jesus, (The Voice Translation)

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para.sower

Most likely, I could publish this post now ______________ and leave it to your imagination?? How would you feel about that?…

Most would think I had made a mistake and simply search for another post which provided much more information, ..A few would look at the picture, read the few written words and recognize it to be about the Parable of the Sower, ..form an opinion based on preconceived notions, ideology or theology and go on about their day… Still fewer would stop.. take the scant information presented and begin to meditate or ponder over it…

All of the folks used in this example would get a message from the post… but what would that message be?? All would have observed the exact same information, but all would also come to very different conclusions. Why?? …Imagination, or the lack thereof…

You see, I believe today in the present day Church we have lost the ability to use our imaginations… We use a lectern style of teaching which provides much information and seeks to draw all the listeners (students) to the same logical conclusion based on the systematic presentation of facts and figures. How about that..? These are the type of lectures given in modern college, university and seminary settings…   I will not go any farther with this idea.. I will let you use your imagination and picture it in your mind for yourself.

I have written another post similar to this, “The Bible a Love Story” , and you may like to read it when you have time. I do not want to go into a lot of information and detail on this subject.. I just hope to draw your attention to what I believe to be a problem today in modern preaching and the presentation of the Gospel..

The Gospel is a story, a story which contains “GOOD NEWS”… The gospel is not an assembly of facts to be understood. No, the gospel is a story to be told ..imagined ..pondered ..pictured ..questioned ..mulled over, so to speak! The Gospel is not the whole Bible presented through “systematic theology” the whole Bible is “The Gospel” presented through stories about God and His relationship with Humanity and Humanity and our relationship with God… It is not necessarily meant to be understood without provoking our curiosity and awakening our desire to explore… I am going on a ‘rant’ and probably repeating myself so I will try to wrap this up!… Look at the following verses if you will..?

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 

Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 

You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back from captivity.

— Jeremiah 29:11-14 

We hear the first part of this dialog all the time as a promise for us today.. and it is, however it is also part of a dialog (conversation) God is having with Israel and He is explaining to them why they have been exiled. (taken captive) He is promising them that one day “they” will truly search for Him with all their HEART and when they do… they will find Him and THEN He will bring them back from captivity…

Heart seeking is not head knowledge. Heart seeking is hunger for more than knowledge. Heart seeking is the desire for a deeper relationship and deeper intimacy with the one you Love… Heart seeking is what is done in romancing another whom you have desires for and designs for… it is sensual and gratifying… Then and only then.. are we ready to leave the captive confines of our minds, our hearts and become willing to fall passionately in love with God.. Then and only then.. can He touch us and communicate with us on a level that sets us free to love and adore Him in the same manner as He does us… Then and only then, can He open up our Imaginations to see His Kingdom prepared for us.. our new home.. our new understanding of Him.. Then and only then can we truly know and see Him as He is…!!!    Sorry, I can’t go on, the tears are coming too fast… 😥   and I don’t want to make this too long… or “X Rated”

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This my friends is what is in God’s Imagination…. Now, What is in yours..???

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Love in Him.!!

 I tell you, even though he will not get up and give you the bread because of friendship, yet because of your “:shameless audacity” he will surely get up and give you as much as you need.

 “So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.

Luke 11:8-10 New International Version (NIV)