Did Jesus have a Facebook Page?

Christianity 0ut of the Box


4 Comments

Seasons of Familiarity


 

 

“I’ve grown accustomed to your face……”face

What a “familiar” tune. I wonder if the writer, Alan Jay Lerner knew the gravity of such lyrics.

How often do we take for granted those faces so close to us?

Joseph knew it. His brothers were agitated by his presence. He was their father’s favorite; the “golden boy.” He angered his siblings so much they lied, betrayed and sold him.

David recognized it. He was just a young sheep herder. What did he know? Bringing lunch to his older brothers in battle he began asking too many questions about this “giant” which launched them into a fury of rage.

And what about Job? Who needs enemies with friends like he had?

These 3 men had some interesting commonalities:

They were surrounded with large families/friends who rejected, abandoned and mocked them.

They were treated with disdain and contempt for their inquisitive nature.

They were ignored by the very people they loved most in life; considered outcasts in their own surroundings.

They were dreamers with big dreams. Men of God who knew they had a purpose larger than life. Men who chose to seek the Creator to discover their reason for being here. Men who began small but ended in greatness and authority.

Simply put, they were different.

So was Joan of Arc

Thomas Edison

Mother Theresa

Martin Luther King Jr.

“Being familiar with someone else does not lessen the pain for those suffering. It is simply an inexcusable detraction of love, yet it happens every day.”

 Many throughout history have understood, felt and known the same differences. And with those differences came pain, suffering and loneliness. Why?

Because they knew they had a destiny and chose to find it. Their difference led them to desire the abundance God wanted to give them.  Their dissimilarities became incentives for their rise to become leaders and trailblazers for the Kingdom of God.

The difference in one human from another can pronounce their future; it is a prophetic force of wanting more than those around them.

But this force intimidates, agitates and speaks loudly the conviction of others.

It is misunderstood and uncomfortable to live with.

The truth is those familiar with the destiny of the David’s and Joseph’s is what can’t be seen.  Greatness, power and authority are invisible to the carnal eye but the presence of supremacy and muscle responds with the adversity of smallness.

Those who choose to live in the bubble of their own making never allow God to lead their lives as he sees fit. Comprehending Job’s ability to withstand the enemy fire remaining loyal to God or Mother Teresa’s heartfelt compassion for the poor and impoverished is a fearful state for the ones who never embrace their own difference.

Significance comes with risks.

Prominence comes with loss.

Distinction comes with rejection.

Merit comes with abandonment.

Yet only the serious “God” seekers will rise above the pain and agony of hatred and animosity from others to fulfill their destiny from Heaven.

What is your difference and what do you plan to do with it?

 Galatians 3:28 “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”

 

 

 

 


1 Comment

Speak Up, Speak Out


 

Forcing myself to go grocery shopping yesterday after a set-back from Strep throat was not my idea of a good start for the day. However the need for the few foods we were out of was the incentive to make the effort.  I thank God for the husband I have who is a master of the art of grocery buying.

Knowing the busy time at this particular store is around 3 pm when the base lets out, I go in the earlier part of the day to avoid the mass invasion.

After finding the few items I needed I headed for the one cash register #4 that was open. One man in front of me appeared disgruntled because the woman in front of him was buying a cart full of who knows what with WIC/food stamps. By the looks of this large, overweight woman she was eating a lot more than bread and milk.

I could tell the cashier was frustrated as we stood and waited while she attempts to break down the cost between the food stamps/WIC products.

No one working in the store even checked to see if people were waiting in line.

Finally I left #4 and headed for the Customer Service desk. The “broom boy” was sweeping and I asked him to get someone out to ring up my food.

He knocked on the door. A young woman, the CSM stepped out and asked what I needed.

“Please ring up my food.” I replied.iphone-welfare

CSM, “Ma’am you can go to register #4. She will do it for you. “

Me, “I just left her line. Why should I stand there for 15 minutes while that over-weight woman is getting free food that my family is paying for when I have food in my cart that I am paying for out of my pocket?”

CSM, “Ma’am, I will ring up your items on register #1.”

Her attitude changed immediately as if to be shocked that I spoke out against the fact I made such a comment. In fact she became surprisingly respectful. She knew exactly what I was talking about.

Far too long, we have as Christians stood by in a corner of self-humility and kept our mouths shut. Living on the premise we are supposed to be quiet and full of “turn the other cheek” motives, we have allowed evil to run right over us.

Well wake up.

Receiving the latest “Decision” magazine from the Billy Graham Association is an article written by Franklin Graham titled, “Cowards or Overcomers; Standing Strong.”

Living in the same community as Franklin Graham for 17 years I am well aware of his childhood and behaviors. Many people don’t care for him and he fit well as a youth as the son of a Preacher.

However, my perception is he inherited his love for God from his famous father but he also received his mother Ruth’s vivacious and often feisty mouth. The combination of the two is now serving him well.

Some have seen him as arrogant, controlling and demanding but God is using those traits to speak up and speak loud about the truth especially about America. He is not afraid of the speaking the Gospel nor does he care what people think of him.  He is not afraid to speak the truths of abortion, homosexuality or the great mishaps of our present government.

But in this article he is adamant in his words of how the church has failed to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit that has now handed down our society of immorality.

“Twisting God’s word leads to rejecting God’s message. We must guard against handling the Word of God in a cowardly fashion but rather preach the entire Word of God because his grace and His judgment flow from his love.”

Those words he wrote will shatter many leaders in the church.

He is referencing the church as cowards bending to the altar of tolerance instead of truth, buckling under the crossfire of discomfort or offense, and leaving our America with a gaping hole of undernourished Christians.

Robbing Peter to pay Paul isn’t in the Bible. God doesn’t force us to give anything away.

God never stipulated that governments are to reach down the throats of hard working people to give to those in need or who can work and don’t to become dependent, drunk, or overweight. We are by a giving heart to help those whom God places in our paths to help.

As Franklin Graham says, it is time for Christians to “stand strong” speaking the truth in boldness with love.

The church is supposed to be God’s army. An army doesn’t sit back and keep still or quiet in the midst of a war. An army takes the initiative to fight for what is right no matter the cost.

Read the Bible and you will see the hand of God in many battles and wars.

And they weren’t won by a bunch of cowards.

Proverbs 28: 1 “The wicked flee when no one pursues, but the righteous are bold as a lion.”

http://billygraham.org/decision-magazine/july-august-2014/cowards-or-overcomers-standing-strong/#

 


1 Comment

Heaven on Earth


The following is a comment a dear, blogging friend of mine wrote in response to one of my posts about being broken spirited. Her words so touched me because I believe many are thinking and feeling as she does.

“It bothers me so bad that our world is falling apart; but it is supposed to be isn’t it? The only way to get to heaven is through living hell on earth. Speak clearly, speak up, and spread the word. Jesus is coming. Jesus is coming back and all those that don’t believe me or tell me to toss my Bible aside, I will pray for your souls as one day you definitely meet your maker.”

She is speaking truth here; the world is in probably the worst mess ever. And for many of us, like Terry Shepherd we have been through hell on earth. We may all have different forms of it, but it is nonetheless a hades we most likely never saw coming.

For the record, if you haven’t read Terry’s story please do. She has inspired many with her words and heartfelt love for her brother.     http://terry1954.wordpress.com/

Often I have heard others repeat the words of living in dire straits, miserable circumstances or life/death conditions and wonder “is this the only way to get to heaven?”Colony-of-heaven-on-earth

It wasn’t God’s intention for the people he created to live on such a mudslinging, hate filled planet. He never wanted us to go through life in fear, fighting and sickness.

Adam and Eve were created into paradise. Imagine the Garden of Eden in all its beauty and abundance. God supplied everything they needed.

There was no need for the local Farmers Market, BI-LO or Wal-Mart.

Finding a “Gap” store, Belk’s or Old Navy wasn’t even thought of.

Forget wearing Nike or Reebok’s. Who needs them?

Fresh flowers, blooming plants and all kinds of trees provided the most beautiful landscape one could possibly want.

Flowing waterfalls or ponds added to the scenery aiding in the daily need for water.

And we can’t forget man’s best friends; all of them.

We can only imagine the extravagance God must have gone to in designing his own perfect garden for humanity.  

But can you envision how God must have felt knowing we would fall into sin ruining his perfection?

He planned every move down to the Cross of Christ because Jesus is the only way to have Heaven on earth. What, you say?

Yes. In the midst of our fretful, miserable lives he gave us Heaven on earth with Jesus Christ.

It is almost a mindset after being born again. When we ask the Holy Spirit to come live in our hearts we are really asking God to bring Heaven to us.

“Our father, who is in Heaven, hallowed be the name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven.”

God wants us to see, feel and touch Him in everything.  He wants to be the upfront visual in our worst days, the most fearful moments and those unbearable circumstances that seem to never go away.

He wants us to divert our energy (what little we may have) towards him, view our pain as temporary and know in our hearts his presence is really all we need.  There really is so much truth in his words, “I will never leave you, nor forsake you.” (Deuteronomy 31:8)

So as we try to make it through one more day, one more attack remember who is right beside and behind us.

Remember God is already there. He beats us to the punch of pain, sorrow and sadness. After all he gave his son to die for each one of us.

Search for Jesus in everything; the good, bad and the ugly. That my friends is where you find Heaven on earth.

 

Isaiah 41:10

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.


2 Comments

Freedom


Humans have a morbid, self-serving idea of saving ourselves. While we are at it, we esteem to save others. We cannot. Only God saves, yet we bargain, interpret and negotiate as if it is our “right.”

As long as we ourselves try to get “right with God” we rebel against the cross of Christ.

The Atonement isn’t a right or a cause. It is the greatest gift from God to all humanity; and we had nothing to do with it. The only part we have in the Atonement is to accept it as a free will, lifesaving event.

We must come to a complete place of humility, resign ourselves from ourselves becoming self-less to receive his offering.  Doing so reveals the depth of our sin, and the awesomeness of his sacrifice for us.

It represents everything we are not, and everything that Jesus Christ is.

We insult God by asking him to save us. It is past-tense; done; finished. He already did it once and it need never be repeated.

Once received we should pray; pray for others. Become a “prayer warrior” in an effort to show others the cross. Hopefully this will bring them to their knees to receive Jesus for their own redemption.

Job’s captivity was turned around when he prayed for his friends.

The Atonement is your free “Get Out of Jail” card.

2 Corinthians 3:17

2 Corinthians 3:17


4 Comments

Broken Spirited? Get Up and Move


 

A broken spirit feeds every aspect of a person’s life. Depression sets in like a fierce lion on its prey. The hold it can get is so deep, lies become truths; sleep is impossible and fear turns into hopelessness. I know because I have been there and done that.

While limping through that path, I felt like a puzzle that fell apart and no one was around to put the pieces back together. Literally speaking, I understood the meaning of being broken spirited.

But….somehow deep in my sickened soul I knew my puzzle would be found. Little by little, one piece at a time the puzzle began coming alive.puzzle 2

How did I get from there to here?

The metamorphosis was a one-step-at- time with God leading the way. All I did was follow.

The Bible has and is my strength; my guide and the most inspiring book I have ever read. It penetrates my thought processes until they change or grow into what he is teaching me. His words actually build my faith when I don’t realize it. By that I mean when I first started I had no faith to speak of; didn’t really understand or know what it meant. Now, I am honestly amazed at the faith I have because it is truly supernatural. It isn’t anything I could get on my own; it had to come from God.

Here are some examples of where I was in my thinking to where I am now.

Use to be trusting in doctors took precedence over my health. Now, I believe God over any doctor or clinic. The issues that have plagued me over the years use to grieve me so much it would take a lot longer for me to get over them than it does now. God has given me a desire to get up and do what he wants me to do which aids in better health.

Getting offended by people was a spirit breaker. God has taught me how not to get offended by anyone or any situation. I am not bothered by the opinion of others towards me.

Instead of viewing people as they are in the natural, God has changed my thinking to see them as he does. This allows me to forgive easily and pray for them.

I look forward to every day now. Waking up is a joy knowing God has a purpose and plan already in his schedule for me.

Contentment and peace have replaced dread and depression.

Courage and boldness have replaced fear and panic attacks.

Wisdom and knowledge from God have given me understanding and discernment into the lives of others and circumstances I would not otherwise have learned.

Truth is what needs to be spoken and God has given me the mouth to speak it.

My entire outlook has evolved from being a victim to a victor; from the person who tried to keep the peace my own way to doing it God’s way. My view of life has taken on the truth that all things really are possible with Jesus; he is the answer to any problem.

The relationship with Jesus is the center of everything. When you embrace him, seek him and yearn to understand he is the best friend anyone can ever have, you will begin walking a bright, new path no matter what you are going through.

I have mentioned this before but in the movie “Joseph,” Ben Kingsley plays the part of Potiphar. His incredible talent adds to the storyline of Joseph’s plight and rise to the 2nd highest authority in Egypt. Once while Joseph was in prison, a conversation arose about his unjust incarceration. Mentioning it to Potiphar, his response was,

“Prison or not, Joseph is always free because wherever he is, so is his God.”

I am now free.chains


5 Comments

Broken spirited? Get up. (Part 2)


 

 

No one enjoys getting kicked. Even worse is the layers of kicking after the initial kick. No one is immune, but the degrees and timing can have major consequences or setbacks.

The flesh can’t get up on its own for long. It doesn’t know how, is totally ill-equipped and without restraint.  Temporarily it may be able to ward off beatings and get right back up but many variables aid in that goal. These inconsistencies or fluctuations waver, change or likely disappear leaving the stalwart standing alone.  

The fool believes they are born smart, intelligent and able to take on the world. And even larger fool is the one who grows up still believing such a lie.  The day arrives when the walls come tumbling down and the flesh is left as a pile of dead skin. Lifeless.Rottenecards_2957358_qvw4xjsdxr

The “skeleton” asks the question, “how did this happen? I had it all.” That is your pride speaking.

You missed his call. His memo; his text.  His book remains on the bedside table collecting dust.

You failed to listen or just weren’t listening. You ignored the truth and never invited him in for that morning cup of coffee and personal conversation.

So you begin your pity parties; self-loathing and whining.  Playing the victim appears to give some attention back to your “land of me” (Tucker Carlson) lifestyle.  But as time passes these implementations lose their substance and appeal. Your desire to fulfill them becomes a drag on your system; a circle of endless pain with no solutions.  Stuck, trapped and hopeless becomes your daily walk.  And you have to where to look or go…..

Or do you…..

 knock


5 Comments

Broken spirited? Get up.


 

 

Proverbs 18:14 “The strong spirit of a man sustains him in bodily pain or trouble, but a weak and broken spirit who can raise up or bear?”

A broken spirit is devastating. The difference in one’s emotional, mental and physical health is deeply rooted in a spiritual connection to Jesus. In fact it can make the difference in life or death.

Imperatively speaking is the truth we hold to hope for the future.  Add to that is the joy of getting up to a day we wish for; a morning without pain; a job we look forward to fulfilling.

But how many actually do wake up to the life they always envisioned?

How often do we meet people who say, “My life has turned out exactly as I planned it” and are thrilled about it?

If there are any, I would like to meet them.brokenchainsman

A broken spirit affects everything.

The way we think, act, behave, and live out our days.

Imagine waking up every morning to a spouse who lies, deceives, manipulates and verbally abuses you.

Imagine going to a job every day you loathe.

Imagine working with a terrible boss; one who thinks of no one but themselves and treats the employees worse than dirt.

Imagine having to deal with a family member 24/7 with loaded baggage from “hell” and refuses to do anything to change it; or worse takes some form of violent action against innocent people.

Imagine waking up in an Iranian prison every morning to people who hate you for your Christian faith so much you are beaten, starved and brainwashed.

Imagine teenagers kidnapped from your family by a terrorist group who uses you for bait.

Where is God?

No matter our plight or position, whatever or wherever we are affects not only ourselves but everyone around us; and sometimes a whole lot more people we may never know.

As for children and youth, it has been the target of the enemy to thwart those Satan believes God has raised up for his purposes. Centuries of attacks on the unborn, children living in the worst conditions to ultimate horror have raised arguments of an unholy, uncaring God who is nowhere to be found in these precious lives. Not only has Satan allowed this to make God look like he simply left it has elevated the position that God isn’t the Almighty after all.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

Upon discovering that any child under the age of accountability if taken from earth automatically goes to be with Jesus is the opposite of what Satan thinks he is getting away with.  Such cases of horrific living conditions or children forced in the hands of evil sometimes God will allow them to come with him to spare them of even further terror or dreadfulness. Our peace lies in knowing they are with Jesus and we will see them again, and forever. 

This in no way resounds the grief and heartbreak of losing such innocents, but the truth is there is no better place to be than with Jesus in Heaven.

For those who are of accountability God still extends huge amounts of grace and mercy because of his love for us when we fail, or mess it all up. The condition or circumstance isn’t the point here; but the personal relationship with the resurrected Christ.

So if our spirit is broken into pieces, shattered and left out to dry, how do we get up? How do we move forward?

To be continued….

 

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 824 other followers