Tuesday, October 30, 2007

The Road to Reality

I realize that I'm supposed to be writing about what I learned from the Word today...but truthfully, we've been battling so much sickness this week that I haven't spent as much time as I'd like to have in my Bible.

However, I am reading a book that I can't put down. It's by K.P. Yohannan, founder of Gospel for Asia, , and it's called, "The Road to Reality...Coming Home to Jesus in an Unreal World".

I gotta tell you, Dr. Yohannan's first book, "Revolution in World Missions", changed me at a very deep heart level. This book is doing no less.

I love writers who are willing to be transparent and honest.

They challenge me to live by a higher God's standard.

I can't put into words how awesome this book is, but I can tell you that I believe he was inspired by the Holy Spirit to write it.

Dr. Yohannan's books now holds two of the spots on my "Top 5 Books of All Time" list.

What books have changed your life? Do tell....

Have a great night,

Monday, October 22, 2007

The Names of God

Tonight is a hard night for me. I just found out that a friend of mine was killed this weekend in a tragic accident.

As I write this, I feel as though my heart is going to break. She left behind a husband and two young children.

I ache for them. I ache knowing that I'll never see her again...never get to talk with her about the Lord again. Never listen as she shares her ponderings on God with me, and asks me questions about Him...I feel as though the conversation was in mid-sentence....there was so much more to listen to her much more to share.

The tears keep coming, and I am reminded again of how precious the Lord is to I think of His names, the one that keeps sounding in my head is Jehovah-Rapha, the LORD who heals me.

Even the name LORD (Jehovah) is amazing to means all sufficient One...the LORD..He needs no ones help.

So, as deep as my hurt is right now, as deep as the pain is that this family is going through, Jehovah-Rapha is all sufficient to heal the hurts of all of us...single handedly.

A few months ago I might have written this post from a more "scholarly" know, all book learning with little practical life experience.

Amazing what a dose of humility and tearing down by God will do to a person.

You see...this summer was truly the summer of my discontent. It was the summer that I spent wondering if all this "God-stuff" was really true. Was He really Who he claimed to be? If so, where was He in the middle of my heartache?

Why didn't He stop the trainwreck that I had to go through this summer, before it happened?

Why does God allow satan to "sift believers like wheat" (that's what Jesus told Peter satan had asked permission of God to do to him)?

Yes, this summer was my crisis of faith. I never expected that I'd have one...I have been so deeply in love with God and His Son since giving my life to Him in 1999, that I never once thought I'd doubt Him.

WOW! Was I wrong.

But you know what I learned? I learned that God is bigger than my doubts. He is bigger than my questions about Him. He can take them...and He longs to answer them with the lovingkindness of who He is.

I realized that He wants so much more for me than I could ever want for myself, that He is willing to refine me in His fire until He has formed me as the person that He created me to the image of His Son.

I realize that I'm rambling here, but I do hope you'll cut me some slack tonight. :)

Yes. Jehovah-Rapha wants to bring good from this tragedy that happened to my friend and to her family. Just like He brought good, and continues to, from the pain of my summer.

He wants to shine through this painful time and show Himself loving and gracious to my friend's family...and I hope that He will choose to use those of us in this community who know Him and love Him, to be instruments of His love.

Won't you please pray for this family with me?

And, will you please join me in praying for the pastor that will lead the funeral service? Pray that he will ask God to get him out of the way, and that he'll just let the Holy Spirit speak through him.

Pray, please, that the pastor who leads the service will be BOLD in sharing the Gospel..there are many in our community who need to hear the Good News of Jesus Christ..the propitiation for their sin debt...Him crucified and resurrected so that they might receive the FREE gift of eternal life, if only they will repent and follow Him.

Pray that the chosen pastor won't back down from sharing the Truth, the Life, and the Way....Jesus Christ.

Now is not a time for a soft-shoe dance. I am praying, and will be fasting, asking God to use this tragedy to bring salvation to many..and that the pastor who will lead the service will be only a vessel that God can pour out His Spirit through.

Won't you please join me? There are so many hurting people here who need the LORD. Will you join with me in prayer and fasting this week?

For Him and Because of Him,

Sunday, October 14, 2007

He will baptize with the Holy Spirit and Fire...

I love it when I spend time in the Word and have an "Ah-Ha" moment, as I like to call them. In truth, I believe that these are really times when the Holy Spirit gives us understanding, and they are rich times.

I had one of these the other day as I was studying Matthew chapter 3.

1 Now in those days John the Baptist came, preaching in the wilderness of Judea, saying,
2 "
Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand."
3 For this is the
one referred to by Isaiah the prophet when he said,
4 Now John himself had a
garment of camel's hair and a leather belt around his waist; and his food was locusts and wild honey.
5 Then Jerusalem
was going out to him, and all Judea and all the district around the Jordan;
6 and they were being
baptized by him in the Jordan River, as they confessed their sins.
7 But when he saw many of the P
harisees and Sadducees coming for baptism, he said to them, "You brood of vipers, who warned you to flee from the wrath to come?
8 "
Therefore bear fruit in keeping with repentance;
9 and do not suppose that you can say to yourselves, '
We have Abraham for our father'; for I say to you that from these stones God is able to raise up children to Abraham.
10 "The
axe is already laid at the root of the trees; therefore every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.
11 "As for me, I
baptize you with water for repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, and I am not fit to remove His sandals; He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.
12 "His
winnowing fork is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clear His threshing floor; and He will gather His wheat into the barn, but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire."

There's so much here...and I don't have much time right now, so I'll just share with you my big realization that the Lord showed me.

I've always struggled with what it meant in verse 11 that "He (Jesus) will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire". WHAT that meant, I couldn't ever get. I know that some would teach that it means that when one receives the Holy Spirit, they also receieve the gift of tongues as happened in Acts on the day of Pentecost.

However, I don't see that as a through-line through Scripture. I don't believe that in order to have the Holy Spirit, one must have the manifestation of speaking in tongues. I, as well as other belivers that I know, have prayed earnestly to receive that gift if it's God's will, and never have. Paul even wrote that he would prefer that people have the gift of prophesy over it's clear to me that not all believers will receive it, anymore than that all believers will receive all the other gifts.

But, when I "SAW" it the other day in my study time, I was blown away!

As you study through Chapter 3, you see over and over again what the Messiah is going to He is going to separate those who are truly His from those who are not.

These verses are replete with contrasts:

The people of Jerusalem, Judea, and the districts around the Jordan would going out and confessing their sins and being baptized for repentance..they were, in essence, getting ready for the arrival of Messiah...
The Pharisees and Sadducees were coming out to be baptized with no fruit of repentance or confession

The Pharisees and Sadducees wanted to rest in having Abraham as their father
John made it clear that wouldn't cut it (Abraham's FAITH is what God reckoned to him as righteousness..clearly the Pharisees and Sadducees weren't operating in FAITH)

Israel is represented in Scripture as the Olive Tree..yet John makes it clear that the fruit in keeping with repentance must be there in them, in order not to be "thrown into the fire"

Then in verse 12 we see the example of the winnowing fork...the wheat Messiah will gather into His barn
the chaff He will burn up with unquenchable fire

So, my big "moment" was in verse 11....based in the fact that these verses are all about contrasts, I realized that when we are told "He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire", that is also a contrast.

The Holy Spirit is the baptism that will be given to those who are His...those who bear fruit in keeping with repentance. Those who receive Him as Lord and Savior, and follow Him.

The baptism of fire is what is referenced in the very next verse...the unquenchable fire.

This may not be a big deal for you, but it was huge for me..I've always wondered, "Lord, I was baptised in Your name, I repented...but what's this baptism of fire? Is that something else?"

Now I know. It is something else indeed, and I won't ever have to go through it.

Have you repented? Have you received the gift that Jesus gave you when He died on the cross to pay your sin debt? It's free. It's yours to receive. All He asks is that you repent of your sin, turn from it and follow doing so, that you'll receive Him as your Lord and Master and die to self so that He may live through you.

It's the most important decision you'll ever make..for it impacts your eternity.

In Him,

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Please - Sign Petition to Keep Jerusalem Undivided!

I PLEAD WITH you to go to the below blog and read the post for October 9th.

Please click the link found within and sign the petition to keep Jerusalem undivided. Please!

Jerusalem, along with all of Israel, is land that was promised to the Israelites from God Himself, way back in God's covenant with Abram.

As you study through prophecy of the Old Testament, you will see over and over again that God reconfims His covenant with His chosen people, the Jews. The land is a HUGE part of God's covenant with her.

After WWII, God led His people back to the land that He had given them. It's inconceivable that they would surrender control, even partial control, of Jerusalem to their enemies. They've already done that with the Gaza strip, and what has it benefitted them?

There are times in Scripture when God's people made covenants based in fear, with enemy nations, and they were dismal failures.

Yet, the covenants that God made with His beloved people will never fail.

Covenants based in fear are worthless. A covenant of faith in God...perfect.

Please, I beg you, please go and sign this petition. Show our President and the UN that we will stand with Israel, and for her.

Remember the tragedies of WWII? Remember the horrors that happened because those who could didn't stand up and protect Israel soon enough? Think of the lives that could have been saved had we, and the other allied forces had acted on her behalf more quickly.

While you're there, please sign the one about the Temple Mount too.

In Yeshua,


Thursday, October 04, 2007

The Sovereignty of God

Today I got up early, and was looking forward to rekindling my love of studying God's Word over a great cup of iced coffee...ALONE.

Yet, my little guy is an early bird. I promise, I worked like mad to train him to be a late riser, but the older he has gotten, the more he has chosen to defy me. :)

God just wired him that way, I think. He loves to get up early.

So, before my coffee was even brewed, he walked in, chattering like a mockingbird.

It turned out wonderful, though. We had about an hour and a half together, and we studied Matthew chapter 2 on an in-depth level.

One of the cross references was Psalm 103:19 "The LORD has established His throne in the heavens, and His sovereignty rules over all."

Wow! What a powerful verse.

These past months, I've really struggled with the sovereignty of God. I was taught, as a child, that satan controls this world, and God will control everything after Jesus comes back.

Yet, that isn't what Scripture says. Over and over again, it speaks of the sovereignty of God...TODAY. Even Peter was told by Jesus that satan had gained permission, by asking (of God), to sift him like wheat. The operative words here, though, are that satan had to ask permission of the Father first.

I believe, from my study of the Word, that nothing happens in the life of the believer without God's permission.

Romans tells us that we are a slave to that which we obey..either to sin or to righteousness. So, I believe that it's different for someone who doesn't belong to Jesus. I don't think that satan has to ask permission in their lives, although I'm still studying that hypothesis out.

I do believe that satan can't even breath a nasty breath on one who has been sealed by the Holy Spirit, in Christ, without God's permission.

So, to see that verse today was really amazing for me.

I asked Caedmon all about it...

WHO established God's throne? He did, Mommy.

WHERE is it established? In the heavens.

WHAT does it mean that God is sovereign? He rules, Mommy. He's in control.

WHAT does that mean to us, Caedmon? We can trust Him, Mommy.

WHO does God's sovereignty rule over? ALL, Mommy...everything.

Then there was a cross reference that took us to Revelation, where we learned about the new heaven and the new earth. (Did you KNOW that the new earth will have no seas?! I didn't!)

It talked about the new Jerusalem being the bride for Jesus. ( I'm paraphrasing a bit..but that's the gist.) I was SO excited when Caedmon said, "But Mommy, I thought the church was the bride of Christ."

Yippie! He's listening!

And, I was reminded of something quite dear to my heart, in this interchange with my little guy...this conversation we had today about God's Word, and his questions that stemmed from our study, are the EXACT reason why I hope to find a church where our children are welcomed in the service with us.

There is nothing that takes the place of these kinds of discussions with my children. Nothing. That's my job as a Mother, to ground them in the Word...and I hope to find a church home where the Word is taught, and not through a paraphrase, but through the Word itself. ( Oops! I think I just picked up the soapbox!)

I want to be able to talk with my children about the hard questions that they have of Scripture. Goodness knows that I have my fair share of tough questions for Scripture!

I was also reminded today that time in the Word, 1st thing in the morning, with Caedmon, just makes him a different little boy. It truly is like the Shepherd's staff for him...he was wonderful today, and yesterday I was ready to bar-b-que him for dinner!

I guess he's just like his Mommy in that...I'm not much fun to be around when I haven't had my time with the Lord, either.

Today was a wonderful day. I needed it. :)

He did too!


Tuesday, October 02, 2007

A friend loveth...

There are so many verses in the Bible about friends.

Today I was reminded of one of the sweetest..."A friend loveth at all times".

Tonight was really special for me. I had the privilege of going to dinner with several of my most favorite people in the world!

As I sat looking at each of their sweet faces, I was humbled as the Lord reminded me of the gift that these precious women are in my life. Such true, cherished, awesome friends! Each a precious token of love from God, and people that I hold so dear to my heart.

And, as I looked at a new face at the table, and heard her words of hunger for God's Word...and her excitement over having been given the gift of inductive Bible study, I was just sure that at any minute, I would burst into tears of joy.

For even in these past dark months that I've been going through, God honored the cry of my heart, through another of His servants, and the ladies Bible study kept on without me. Another took the torch and carried it faithfully, and I was free to snuggle deep into my Father's arms of love, in order that He might renew me, restore me, love on me, heal my heart....

But what a rich and amazing gift it was tonight, to hear the joy of this new friend as she expressed the thrill of all she'd been see the JOY of her salvation...and to know that God will always accomplish His plans...and that we can rest in knowing that we are but His servants...that He is, and always will be, the One in supreme control....

Tonight was like healing balm for me...oh, how I love these ladies...each so hungry for God's Word...each so hungry for God.

Sweeter friendships, I've never known.

How can I ever express how much you mean to me? Tonight was like a homecoming for me. I've missed you all so much! Thank you for your faithful prayers. Thank you for your love.

I am blessed, and I love you each so much!