Did Jesus have a Facebook Page?

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The Obvious Church and the Lost Members


 

“Prayer doesn’t fit us for the greater works: it is the greater work.

My Utmost for His Highest

 

God’s church isn’t a building, classrooms, a kitchen, or parking lot.

The Bible Mini-Series

The Bible Mini-Series

It isn’t carpet, fresh paint, chairs or pews.

Most of Jesus’ ministry was done on mountain sides or hills.

The disciples didn’t preach or teach in church buildings; they had none.

Today, underground churches in China and countries opposed to Christianity are in homes or dilapidated buildings. Some of God’s greatest “church” disciples are sitting in prisons in foreign lands because they refuse to renounce their faith.

However in America church is in buildings. Cathedrals. Temples. If members don’t make an active appearance for “Sunday mornin preachin,” projects, classes, meetings or community activities, don’t count on your name making the “thank you for your service” list. Unfortunately “church” is more in the business of physical, tangible help instead of spiritual guidance and direction.

Sadly, there are many who are unable to attend church activities for reasons they have no control over.

Are they less of God’s church than those who do?

Are the sick, injured or helpless unworthy of a “church building’s” favorites list because they aren’t able?

How many are sitting in a hospital bed reading their Bibles and praying, or sharing Jesus with their ill roommate?

How many are home-bound sharing Jesus on Facebook, the internet or text messages?

Advocating notoriety for God’s service in today’s world is a claim of busyness and physical labor. The social calendar is full of meetings, dinners and class action lessons of “why can’t we do more?”

Maybe God wants the church to move out of their buildings and into the hearts of the lost.

Maybe God wants us to hear the Holy Spirit whispering in our spirit what he wants us to do, not the next door neighbor.

Maybe God wants the church in general to get quiet and listen to him.

Maybe God wants us to be still and know that he is God.

God is trying to tell the church the Holy Spirit can do multiples of what we can do in the physical.

But the church has to invite the Holy Spirit to come back. Maybe many of us who have been sitting, listening and spending time alone with God understand this need more than those who are physically exhausted doing work the Holy Spirit has never ordained.

 

Matthew 6:6 But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.

 

 

 

 


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Are you suffering with Christ?


 

The matter of suffering is questionable at best.

Most of it isn’t fun.equipped

Takes way too long.

Is often quite miserable.

So why does a good God allow us to suffer?

The answer may be more than one but the process of finding out is part of the answer.

No one understands suffering more than God.

Maybe God knew how much more horrible it would be for us to suffer completely had he not come up with the grandest solution.

Jesus suffered everything; all, the entire human race’s sin, vileness, evil.

What we go through is most likely minor, minute in comparison.

Maybe we suffer to carry other’s burdens.

Maybe we have pain in our bodies that is relieving someone else’s pain who is going through much more than we are.

Maybe God wants us to learn the intimacy of suffering with the Savior. Why?

It is our birthright in Christ.  We come into this world sinners only saved by grace and that grace is sufficient for our sorrows and distress. Yet through that grace we become new creatures in Christ. And since we become new creatures we will experience some of all he has experienced.

You might say, “Some things are not to be shared.” While that may be true from our fleshly standpoint, in Christ God wants to share everything with us.

Don’t start yelling that this is an admission of pain. No, it is the focus of walking through the deep waters with Jesus. It is learning the ability to take steps with him as he navigates the deep and dark by hearing, listening and heeding his voice to victory.

It is a closeness to his “Spirit” that strengthens our spirit in the midst of whatever we are going through.

When we reach the plateau of understanding God’s allowing us to suffer is for his purposes, his kingdom and glory, your faith has grown to a new height. This new level produces a “bigger picture” of what God is doing which in many respects may be equating his character with ours.

The eventual result is God perfecting his union with us.

cross

(Photo Header by John Randy Harrison)

 


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“Houston, still has a problem?”


 

Having lived in Houston for 5 years in the mid 1980’s, I can vouch that such large cities attract problems.

Thankfully Texas in general is thriving now but when I lived there it had hit rock bottom.

Shutting down oil reserves and companies all but killed the state and Houston was hit extremely hard due to its location near the gulf.  Job loss was so extreme Harris county had over 1 million homeowners walk away from their properties.  Sign companies, one of the few who made out well couldn’t keep up with the orders for “Foreclosure.”

Residential areas were lined with empty, trashed out homes changing the view of this huge metropolis into a visible “ghost town.” Literally, it crashed and burned.

Not wanting to be there to begin with the depressed market certainly didn’t help. Riding around planted a sense of sadness into the hearts of those who remained leaving me with a helpless plateau.

The realization that placing all you’ve got into one basket could have been Houston’s theme. In other words, diversify but only with God’s leading.

Thus was the instrument of panic.

The Federal Government at that time decided to buy oil overseas to safeguard ours. Now some decades later we are still doing so having been held captive to the Middle East providing them with billions in revenue; much of which has been used against us and anyone who doesn’t agree with the Islamic agenda.

Was it the right move? I didn’t think so then and don’t now. I witnessed firsthand the consequences of such panic.

Fast forward and Houston is once again the object of a city government trying to make something work than isn’t supposed to but mostly goes against Biblical principles.

Despite my dislike for being there, most “Houstonians” I met couldn’t have been nicer. They were hard working, caring, church going, and Bible thumping people with a southern twist to “boot.” Yes, they still love their boots, hats and trucks.

The outrage over Mayor Anise Parker’s efforts this week to stifle free speech by demanding Preacher’s send in their sermons for review is not only a selfish act of extreme proportions, it is unconstitutional and illegal.

If every politician chose some belief system of their own to use against a certain group or individuals as she has done, chaos would have consumed the human race by death. This is the very reason God had the constitution written as it was.

The latest admission was the change from “sermons” to “speeches” to make it sound irreligious giving the city council and Mayor supposedly a civil right to their evil deeds.

If she wants to be fair she should,

Require anyone who is claiming the homosexual lifestyle to never say, write or demean in anyway a Christian organization, or any other religious group of their beliefs.

Remove any or all information that may be offensive to pro-lifers, prayers in schools, patriotic monuments of veterans, and public buildings with Biblical references.

Stop atheists from suing any Christian group from upholding their beliefs in public forums and for that matter personal lifestyles.

The list could go on. But if any of these types of attacks are done the attackers should be held legally accountable and brought to justice.

As many in that area including Ted Cruz rally to stop this injustice, I can tell the Mayor and those who support her agenda heedful advice.

Texans are strong-willed fighters for Biblical truth.texas

She is picking on the wrong group of people.

 


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Maxicat Adventures


 

A change of pace here and atmosphere.

Our live- in cat is by far a personality of her own. She remains very healthy and carries some feral instincts I doubt she will ever lose.  

She can be grumpy and irritable but also loving and caring on her own terms. In other words don’t bother her if she doesn’t want to be bothered. Never mind she has no problem waking us up in the middle of the night to go out the front door for her nocturnal escapades.

Mark went outside a few weeks ago just after dark to go swimming. He felt someone or something was looking at him. Turning around there she was perched on the roof of the house as if to be smiling and saying, “Hey dad, I’m on the roof and there is nothing you can do about it.”

One afternoon the teenage boy of the guy who cuts our grass watched Maxi in amazement saunter up to our 6 foot fence and take a graceful leap to the top in one move.  Resting a moment, she observed the surroundings from her elevated position as if to enjoy the view.  Hopping down to the ground landing completely poised on all 4’s she was off for an afternoon stroll in the woods. Not bad for an 11 year old feline.

But make no efforts to take this cat to the Vet for anything.

About a month ago I noticed her mouth was swollen. An infected tooth was the first battle.

As usual you could hear her wailing and whining all over the clinic. It was embarrassing. Thinking that horror was all she would have to deal with we had to administer 10 days of antibiotics. None too happy she wised up and hid under the dining room table, ran upstairs and hid behind the couch or landed in a deep dark closet where hiding out would supposedly rid her of this nasty tasting stuff we forced down her throat. What she didn’t know was her teeth had to be cleaned. Oh how I dreaded this.

The morning she was to go no food and water kept her in screaming mode. Following me around the house like a child wanting a new toy the look on her face was “why aren’t you feeding me? Where is my water you stupid cat person?”

I must admit it was wrenching my soul that I knew what she didn’t. The cat carrier awaited for another journey to what she thinks of as a feline “hell.”

I could see what she was thinking as we pushed her into the carrier, “How could my people do this to me over and over when they know I hate it!”

The house was eerily quiet all day with her gone. Her loud mouth had vanished.  Her yelling for wet cat food was absent. Her notorious presence was noticeably missed.

A mad, doped up cat.

A mad, doped up cat.

Later, the call came from the doctor telling me how well she did. Mark brought her home that afternoon only to watch her drunkenly try to maneuver walking anywhere. The anesthesia was still very much in her system causing her to walk sideways until she fell over.

We thought it was funny but she saw no laughter in her plight.

Over the next week administering more meds she was more difficult than before. Even now she is distrusting of us thinking we will shock her into returning to the cat abyss.

I can’t help but think how God must feel when we don’t trust him.

As we hide under the dining room table or lock ourselves in a dark closet from him are we grieving his heart? Do we run the other way when he wants to administer his medicine knowing it is what is best for us?

When he tries to explain himself do we react like a cat who has no idea what is being spoken?

I know how it made me feel trying to explain to Maxi why she needed antibiotics and a Vet visit to restore her “pearly whites.”

Helpless, as if I couldn’t get my point across. Knowing in the long run we would save her from a possible pre-mature death didn’t filter her little brain.

She was no different than us. We want the end result but forget the in-between misery of knowing what we are going through is God’s bigger picture.

Are you running from God?

 jonah


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Shifting Air


 

“If only I could swim to the top I could breathe.”

A reflection of the hearts of many? A desperate call for help?

Reference Jesus as the “Breath of Life.” He is the clear waters, the first and last gasp of human air.

He gives the strength to swim to the top; the oxygen tank waiting to fill us with God himself. (Ephesians 3)

The supernatural is shifting things around. Like the waters that pass by the “breath” of God is blowing.
The Holy Spirit “wind” is covering the earth bringing with it a massive release of God’s glory.

It is so powerful it is almost tangible.

Look beyond the natural and grab it for yourself.

 


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The Unbelief of Unbelief


Why do we find it so hard to believe God?sin

Because we aren’t believing much of anything not even those closest to us.

Jesus understood this. His best friends didn’t believe him after spending 3 years of intimacy with him. He told them over and over he would return and yet they spent the entire weekend of his death whining and whimpering that he was gone. (John 14:28)

Instead of believing his words prior to the greatest weekend in history they chose to ignore them.

Why are we shocked when others don’ believe us especially those we are close to?

Maybe God wants us to know how he feels.


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The “Iron Dome” of God


 

As a Christian and avid supporter of Israel, the Iron Dome is a modern day technological miracle.

Receiving the September Issue of “The Jerusalem Post, Christian Edition” is the story of this literal “piece of work.”  I recommend reading the article written by Viva Sarah Press either online or in the magazine. It is well worth the few minutes to absorb this historical treasure.

www.jpost.com

Intrigued by this missile defense system as it exploded in the air it has not been given the credit it deserves. Discovering how much of Israel and its people were saved by this action packed invention is staggering. A few notable points made in the article are:

It has a 90 % success rate.

The world’s only dual missile defense system, it counters any attacks within a 43 miles range such as artillery, mortars, aircraft, helicopters and rockets by intercepting them in the air.

Some of the components were made out of a toy car sold by Toys R US.

Multiple threats can be intercepted at the same time.dome

A female around 5’2” inches tall and 105 pounds can activate the Iron Dome.  I’m available.

Less than 4 years the Iron Dome was completed.

Weather conditions do not affect the accuracy of the Iron Dome.

The word “Esthetics” was important in the strategy and scheme of things. In other words, make it look intimidating and contemporary.

Thank the good Lord the United States aided in funding for the development of this system.

It is one of a “multilayer” planned missile defense systems the Israeli’s are working on. The other two are the “Magic Wand” and the “Arrow.”

So who thought of this brilliant machine?

Brigadier General Daniel Gold.  He has a Doctorate in electrical engineering and business management. Using his education, intelligence and business sense he had missile experts and engineers of all ages working to create this master of war.

Called names by many, his motive was to save lives and he was in no mood to wait on any establishment to come up with a better idea.

Now there are 9 of them already being used in Israel and more to come. The surprising success rate during the Israeli/Gaza conflict is a stamp of prodigious proportion.  Since 2011 the Iron Dome has intercepted over 1000 hits.

Writing before about how Hamas was dumbfounded as they watched their own missiles change course in midair, there is no doubt of God’s intervention.

The success of the Iron Dome is a probable factor in the admittance of God’s place in the protection of his people.

Joshua was told by an Angel of the Lord to march around the Walls of Jericho. And the walls came tumbling down killing who knows how many of their enemies.  (Joshua 2)

2 Chronicles 20 speaks of how the Spirit of the Lord spoke to one of the Levite’s. The Spirit told all of Judah what, how, when and what to do in the face of 3 enemies.  Multitudes died; not one of Judah’s enemy was left and it took 3 days for God’s people to get all the plunder.

Joel 3:9 God tells his people, “Prepare for war!”

And how many battles did David fight? Lions, tigers and bears oh my?

God knew there would be wars and rumors of war. He wants to coach and train us for battles of all kinds. (Ephesians 6) The dispute of war is there is no dispute. Evil is unfortunately in the world we live in and we are either going to fight to win or die losers. I prefer to do it God’s way and win.

Now, who would have thought using a toy car from Toys R US would aid in one of the greatest military arsenals ever built? Hhhhhmmmmmm…….

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