Did Jesus have a Facebook Page?

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There is a “There”


 

Reading an article a few days ago about Julianne Moore, the actress claims to be an atheist. Her non-belief stems from early childhood turbulence and instability.

“I learned when my mother died five years ago that there is no ‘there’ there,” she reflects. “Structure, it’s all imposed. We impose order and narrative on everything in order to understand it. Otherwise, there’s nothing but chaos.” http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/julianne-moore-believes-therapy-not-767484

My first thought was, “How sad. How sad for a person to feel like that.”

My second thought bordered on natural cynicism, “Doesn’t she know how good she’s got it? Or is it she wants a reason to blame God? Why not? Where was he when she needed him? Yet how can you blame God if you don’t believe he exists?”

What about the lone flower in a bed of weeds?

What about the cardinal who makes a landing on your backyard tree limb in sub-zero temps?

Or that the sun rises and sets every day?

You can’t make order out of chaos from a human standpoint.
If we see nothing but chaos and attempt to impose order into it, we have nothing. 

 

When you can’t see past the weeds to the flower you are missing the point.

When you can’t see that something or someone is taking care of that bird, how can hope survive?

When you take for granted the sun rising and setting daily, what else do you take for granted?

Focus is imperative to life. When we focus on wrong things, we will never see that lone flower blooming so magnificently right in front of us. That flower didn’t just happen by itself.

At least Julienne Moore’s theory reveals that peace/love/happiness/joy is not found in fame and fortune.

A happy successful life on earth depends on who lives in our hearts. And when we find Jesus and accept him into our hearts, we find that there is a “there.”

God

 


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Update


First let me say my heart hurts over the loss of John Paul Jackson. Even as the Lord was placing on my heart to pray for him, I did not see this coming. God is passing on his mantle now.

I haven’t been around a while. Suffice it to say that while in my doctor’s office Monday, I told her “if I didn’t know for sure God was ready to take me, I would have begged him to.”

These last 2 months I have been sicker than ever before in my life. While the physical body I carry around was suffering to the point of becoming totally immobile, the devil decided to attack me with an overwhelming fear and anxiety. He is a coward and kicks us when we are at the bottom of the pit. However, he has lost.

I am recovering, thankfully to God and his great mercy, grace and his gifts of healing. I have had visions that by June I will be swimming. Hopefully this is the Holy Spirit, not my wishful thinking. But of course that will also be determined by getting our area out of this highly unusual deep freeze.

God has shown me what it feels to be completely homebound, unable to do much of anything for myself. I thank him for my husband who has been my cheerleader and errand boy. He is going through the part of our vows “through sickness.”

The list of lessons and truths I have learned through this last year are long. My doctor and I were discussing the “loss of control” that none of us want. Well, I know some of what that is like. God has allowed me to get to a place where completely trusting him was the best place to be and to stay there. We simply cannot move and have our being without him.

While in the midst of such terrible circumstances the pity parties were on my agenda. That began with the attack of fear which I will go into on another post. It is too important not to write about. God pulled me through and out of it in record time considering past experiences.

Truly humbled by God’s awesome power, he has embedded in my spirit the unlimited everything that he is. I am more convinced than ever this literal place called “heaven” is much more than we can imagine.

As I wrote previously; as difficult as this last year has been I have felt the presence of God’s hand and compassion walking ahead of me. His lap has been my chair; his arms have been my warmth. The fear I have felt has turned to peace. His words have been my comfort and joy and his love has pronounced itself as a trumpet blowing loudly “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”

He has surrounded me. It’s all in the relationship.


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So I bought myself a ScanSnap


 

 It’s a new year so I decided to start throwing out the old and scan the new. 

The amount of paper stored of bills, notices, taxes and receipts were weighing heavy on my mind. Not that my mind has worked very well the last year but it sounded good anyway. Limiting the number of trees cut for paper is an ideal excuse. However for 2 people to have so much paperwork is hard to grasp.scanner

As long as I do all the finances here, my husband will allow me to buy anything to aid in this job since he wants nothing to do with it. The ScanSnap IX100 has already changed my life and is somewhat fun to use. Technology is remarkable.

It loads receipts of all kinds and scans them into my computer. The ScanReceipt program that came with it allows me to set up monthly bills, bank statements, and the dreaded taxes I will be doing soon. Once done, the shredder becomes my friend.

The parallel here is how fragile life is. We take a piece of paper and run it through a scanner and then throw it away. We don’t need it anymore because it has done its job. Lately it looks as if many take life for granted or choose those whose life really matters. If one group deems it unnecessary then get rid of them. The devil has people believing they are God.

After this last year of one affliction attack after another I am truly thankful to God for all he has taught me. One main lesson is “humility” of great proportions.  Realizing the importance of how unimportant so much in this life is brought me closer to Jesus than ever before.

In the midst of constant pain and weakness I have encountered the presence of God more closely than any other time in my life. His presence is often silent, but I feel his outstretched hand holding mine wading through the deep dark waters he has allowed me to swim in.  And it has really been dark. And cold. Yet I am more aware he is leading me towards dry land and victory.

Along the tiresome and exhausting swim he has dropped hints; words or aligned my thoughts with a prophecy I read. In fact I had a dream not too long ago that I told to Larry Nevenhoven for an interpretation that may have been different from my own. He texted back with his wife’s interpretation. I read a posting from theelijahlist.com where her interpretation of my dream was practically written in a prophecy from someone I have never met. The thing jumped off the page at me.

Evidently I am not the only servant treading water. Many postings and prophecies I have read over the last year have been along this same line of thinking because so many are sunk in the river of despair of one sort or another. The names may have changed but the miseries are the same.

The prophets are on the same page. The year of 2015 is a “turnaround year” for those of us who have or are experiencing “hell” on earth.  The Gift of “knowing” God has given me has been revealing such a deliverance for quite some time now. It’s as if I know a sudden change is in the next stroke I swim; the treading for breath is a rest in between following the Saviors leading; an underlying jolt of his love sends warm water to surround me.

God allows us to get completely alone; by ourselves absent from the world to see only Him. My life has been absent for a long time from the real world of earth. And what is so awesome is how much of it I don’t miss now. I have learned what is important and what isn’t and I thought I knew all that encompassed.  I have learned what doesn’t get done, can often wait.

I feel drenched in His peace and comfort that he is pulling me through and out to the other side.

The tide is turning; the faithful are moving and God is getting ready to shine.

Now, I have some scanning to do.

wine

Luke 5:37


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The Usefulness of Uselessness


 

Society doesn’t cater to being of no use. The art of being useless isn’t new. It has been a labor of love throughout the centuries.

Ask Noah. A man who builds a boat for a flood no one else saw coming because his God told him too.  How much wood did he waste? Time? Effort? According to the local environmentalist he was breaking the law; chopping down trees for nothing. (Genesis 6:15)

Noah

Noah

Ask Abraham and Sarai. God tells them they will have a child even though she is barren. Did they have any idea 20 years would go by before God kept his promise? What were they doing all that time? (Genesis 17:17)

Joseph. Stuck in an Egyptian prison for 13 years for crimes he never committed. What good could he have possibly done? (Genesis 39:20)

David who would be King chased after by Saul spent months at a time hiding out in mountain caves to stay alive. Wonder what grungy bugs and creatures he had to fight off while living on the run. (1 Samuel 22:1)

The Prophetess Anna lived her entire life awaiting the birth of the Messiah. Her focus was prayer in the Temple daily since she had been given the gift of prophecy. She knew she would live to see the Savior. Luke 2 speaks of her age as 84 before she held Jesus in her arms. (Luke 2:36)

The Apostle Paul spent much time in prisons, starved, wrecked or injured. Yet somehow between each crisis he wrote many books in the New Testament. But how much time did he waste singing in the dungeon or recovering from his Gospel antics? (Philippians 4:13)

Sound familiar?

How long do we wait for God to answer our prayers?

While we wait, how useful are we?

Noah had the last laugh.

Abraham and Sarah learned how to trust God completely.

Joseph may have twiddled his thumbs a lot but his course in prison taught him forgiveness.

David may have been hidden but he learned how to be a “warrior.”

Anna spent most of her time in the Temple and became an example of utter loyalty and faithfulness to God.

Paul was an educated Pharisee who learned the ultimate in humility.

In our modern day what are we doing while we wait?

Are we only useful if we are physically preaching, teaching, collecting for the poor and homeless? Are we only useful if we are busy??????

Isolation is part of the lesson plan. Without it one who follows Jesus can’t get to know him. Granted the Biblical characters mentioned above had no technological communication advances like we do to spread the Gospel from a prison or cave. Forget a signal, David probably just wanted a decent lunch.

If God allowed these men and women to suffer through years or decades of waiting did he consider that time useless?

Since God hasn’t changed his mind about allowing us to wait, does he consider our time of isolation, prison or building a useless boat useless?pity

Maybe it depends on how we spend the time waiting.

Do we complain about the grungy bugs and creatures we have to fight?

Do we lament our plight as a punishment thereby giving us the right to a pity party?

Are the injuries and pains too hard to sustain justifying getting angry and holding a grudge against those who threw rocks and laughed at us for building a boat for a God no one can see?

Or do we observe and learn from their examples of total reliance on God? That God wastes nothing not even our isolated uselessness?

Do we subject ourselves to His word and grace by living in a misery where we learn what we couldn’t have learned elsewhere?

Do we spend time getting to know the God of the universe as the Almighty I am or do we scratch our heads while crying out to Him,

“What in the world are you waiting for God! “

 

 


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The Accident of Heredity


 

“It’s the saddest thing to see people in the service of God depending on that which the Grace of God never gave them; but depending on what they have by the accident of heredity.”

His Utmost for His Highest 12/30

Reading these words yesterday summarized a teaching God has been giving me for quite some time.

Personal experience and years of getting to know God tell me these genetics can only be changed by long………conversations with the Almighty.

Most often our goals do not meet His purposes due to ignoring His word and guidance. The results are the world we live in; lost nomads in their own seas of deserts.

The Bible is full of “wanderers” who paved examples for us; only it helps to read their stories to learn the outcomes.

Not reading God’s word is a self-fault wilderness; a deserter’s reward for the loss of the Creators design.

With every one of His Biblical characters over time and agony, God chipped away at their natural features. What we are born with must be renewed to follow Christ. That “born again” clause comes into play if you choose to become His servant.c s lewis

So it doesn’t matter what you inherit because the Grace of God will form in our nature only Jesus Christ.

If we truly think about it, God is saving us from ourselves; those negative lapses into earthly derision. He strips us of bitterness, anger and resentment by allowing us to become another “Job.”

God stamps us with His presence which is an automatic rejection and order for worldly persecution. He allows our indignation and egotistical “selfies” to knock us off our golden trimmed pedestals. We end up by our inherited personality caged or imprisoned which adds to the humility of falling flat on our “airbrushed” faces. So much for that trip to the salon.

We are our ancestor’s descendants complete with their good and bad traits. As we love them through our lives, it was never intended by God that we keep their hand-me-downs.

Just because something is what it is doesn’t mean it needs to stay that way.

 Psalm 87:7 As they make music they will sing, “All my fountains are in you.”

 

 


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Changing God’s Purposes Result in Division: The Dilemma of Christian Colleges


 What Does the Bible Say About Division?erskine

Mark 3: 24-26 If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. And if a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand. And if Satan has risen up against himself and is divided, he cannot stand, but is coming to an end.

Erskine President Paul Kooistra recently wrote a letter implementing major cuts from the College and its Theological Seminary. Beginning July 2015, reductions in salaries, early retirements and sabbaticals to completely eliminating the Modern Language department are grim reminders of the fight from Montreat College in the last few years. My husband graduated from Montreat with an MBA.

Erskine in on the same track as Montreat College has been unless agreements can be made according to God’s will.

Recent graduates from Erskine informed me of the campus negativity and atmospheric sadness. In fact, some have told me before they graduated they couldn’t wait to leave.
In all honesty their view of the future of Erskine appeared dim.

Again I will reiterate the “repeat performance” I am witnessing here from Montreat College.

Many of my own classmates have disagreed with my position and that is fine; I am not the least bit offended. However, going into a sanctuary of God’s ordination and attempting to change his laws will only result in division, fighting and possible closure.

If you are a graduate of Erskine and do not understand the fight it is presently enduring, then you need to understand the enemy is on the prowl and Erskine is on his chopping block unless the people of God agree to stop the divisions. 

Fellow alumni, I plead with you to pray earnestly about this dilemma. Erskine runs deep in my veins from decades of family members all the way back to my Grandfather Craig who either attended, graduated or aided in building the campus. Our roots are in the soil of the land it has occupied for generations. Many of you come from families dedicated to the Erskine traditions and institutional customs that gave careers that might not have happened otherwise.

Do we continue to fight over money, personal agendas and power?

Do we feud over who gets what while employees are laid off, salaries are cut and students are left holding a bag of bad memories?

My husband is one of those employees who was cut after 13 years of dedicated hard work at Montreat College due to the same fight occurring right now at Erskine. Like many others in his position, we lost everything including our daughter’s ability to get a reduced college education because of his job. Searching for months for him to get another job we ended up moving to another state leaving family and friends we had had for years and changing our lives completely.montreat

This was a result of the feud brought on by people who wanted to change what wasn’t supposed to be changed.  I am talking about real people with real jobs and real lives.

This is the future of Erskine employees; some of which have dedicated much of their lives to serving God on the ground of His College. Then there will be those who wonder if they are next? Will they be on the “chopping block” of a career they deemed anointed by God? And the students? New Students; will they apply? Will they have the desire for a less than questionable college experience?

A very wise friend of mine who had been a Professor at Montreat college for decades told me over 20 years ago he had been telling the leadership there that if they didn’t start adhering to God’s word, the college would see an early demise. A Professor of Computer Technology and Economics, his wisdom was ignored. Unfortunately, his prophetic warnings began after he left voluntarily.

I speak from the heart here as one who was directly affected by the tearing down of a Godly institution ignited by selfish greed and personal demands. It is no fun my friends and a test of faith to go through what we endured. I thank God by his grace we are in the position we are in right now. He preserved us and blessed us because of the injustice imposed upon my husband.

Fellow Erskine friends.  This fight is just beginning.  It breaks my heart knowing others are now experiencing what we did.

But it isn’t the loss of job or health insurance or a college education that is most important here. God is the great provider. Philippians 4:19.

What is at stake is far more important.

The foundation Erskine was built upon is the Cross of Christ. That foundation has been rocked by those who desire to move away from the saving Grace of God. And God can’t come to the rescue unless his followers pray and ask him to intervene. That being said, he will expect the church and college to repent and return to His word and fellowship.

Prayer works. And Erskine needs it desperately.

Romans 16:17 I urge you, brothers and sisters, to watch out for those who cause divisions and put obstacles in your way that are contrary to the teaching you have learned. Keep away from them.


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The Christmas I will never forget…


It’s been a while since I blogged.

2014 has been a year marked by loss, illness and unexpected shockers for me personally.

Yet on the flip side has been the evidence of God in every circumstance and pain.

The valley has been deep and long but I have truly felt the presence of God walking with me step by step.
It gives recognition to his provisions one day at a time.leeches

Christmas was a first for me as I spent the morning in the emergency room. I barely got through opening gifts when I almost passed out. I surprised myself by asking Mark to take me to the hospital but I had nowhere else to go.

It was early enough the waiting room was for the most part empty so fortunately they took me back immediately.

When the doctor arrived who was obviously not interested in working on Christmas, asked me my symptoms. I will spare you of the details but suffice it to say they were quite unpleasant. After a quick exam he looked at me and said, “If all checks out you have Viral Gastroenteritis.”
He left the room and I never saw him again.

He ordered blood work, chest and stomach X-rays along with a constant check of my vitals.

The nurse filled 3 vials of blood. I wondered if I had any left after that.

After the x-rays, the nurse returned to hook me up to an IV.

She informed me that, “yes” I did have what the doctor diagnosed.

We discussed eating the BRAT diet only for a few days to allow my stomach to rest. So much for Christmas breads and cookies now. 3 prescriptions and I could be on my way. It was my choice to finish the IV to give my immune system a much needed boost which I thought was a little strange.

I asked the nurse, “Do I need the entire drip?”drip

Nurse, “You can if you want but your electrolytes checked out very well.”

So the sugarless Gatorade and Power aid drinks had done their job.

After the drip finished we left. 3-4 hours in the emergency room on Christmas morning was more than enough.

Once home, the bed called and a good nap was in order.

Rather curious as to my lab report which the hospital gave me, I began a search of what these medical terms meant.

According to the report, all the blood work came out normal and or better. The only questionable level was the one producing a stress result. Mine was a little higher than it should be which is why the nurse asked me about my life before we left.

“Are you stressed out?”

Me, “ugh, yes. This year has been one of the most difficult I have ever lived.”

After giving her a few details she understood especially after I told her of recent developments with other people in my life who are going through major life changing concerns.

After absorbing all the lab work results, I sat back in awe of God.

It wasn’t the Viral Gastroenteritis that I was experiencing, but how God has kept me healthy in other areas that are of great importance.

The results revealed that after years of antibiotics for sinus and other infections, Probiotics have worked to keep me from getting what is called Clostridium. The doctor was concerned that may have been a factor, but turns out it wasn’t even close.

The lab results also revealed my kidneys, liver and pancreas are functioning very well. God has truly blessed me with almost perfect blood pressure. 

While the enemy had been filling my mind with his evil diagnosis’s  for who knows how long, God came up with a victory I didn’t see coming. To be honest I was overwhelmed with His healing power running through my ill body.

Years of strange sicknesses and chronic infections finally revealed they had been attacks. It simply doesn’t make sense for lab tests and blood work to show up perfectly normal over and over while illness has ravaged me for almost 18 years. I sensed these results were a major blow to the devil and his sinister plans for me.  As he tried to ruin my Christmas, God turned it for good. 

God’s truth often works where we aren’t looking. And sometimes he allows us to go through something unpleasant to find out how he is preserving us behind the scenes. 

Many times it isn’t what we think we face and endure as much as it is what God is protecting us from.

For me, that list must be very long.

God is just plain awesome.  

2 Thessalonians 3:3 But the Lord is faithful. He will establish you and guard you against the evil one.
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