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Run to God and Run Fast


Why is school prayer only allowed during tragedies?

By

god

god (Photo credit: the|G|™)

Published February 27, 2012

| FoxNews.com

My thought exactly. Reading this story today after the gruesome attack on yet another group of innocent students the first thing people asked for was prayer. And rightly so.

Todd Starnes article here expresses that sentiment. After the updates this morning on this story, my first thought was, “why pray now?”

Public schools or any other public domain has outlawed it.  The government is doing their best to get rid of our religious liberties.

The truth is we seek out those or the God of the Universe when we think we have no where else to go. Yet the public school system doesn’t allow the students or staff to pray.

I  find it interesting in Mr. Starnes article it was the School Superintendent who called for people to pray.I have found in my personal life those who all of a sudden are stricken with a tragic event, even with little or no contact with me prior to it find me. I am more than willing to pray for people; I spend sometimes hours alone with God doing so. The comfort for all things is in his presence.

So if that is the case, and as Todd Starnes so well wrote in his article why do we run to God when tragedy strikes? Why aren’t we running to God when it isn’t? God is there in both cases. Waiting. Yearning to hear from us.

How does that make God feel? We only pick up the phone and dial his number when we need him or want something? Don’t be surprised if the line is busy.

God isn’t a one way street companion. His love for us is infinite but he certainly prefers for us to reciprocate that love.God is a gentleman and will not force his presence on us.

Yet, we cry out to him in our time of need when we haven’t spoken to him in months.Like a child who has wandered from home. No call. No text. No email. The parents haven’t heard from them and have no idea where they are.Then out of the blue they show up at the door wanting money. What would you do? How would you feel? My first reaction might be to slap them upside the head….and scream “what do you think you are doing!”

That is not the recommended reaction but I am sure some parents would agree.As Christians we would love them just as Christ loves us. But absence can bring about consequences and so it is with God.God wants our attention because he knows what is best for us. When we take time out of our busy lives to give him attention he gives us even more.He meets us wherever we are giving us grace and mercy we simply don’t deserve.

This tragedy like many others are results of the society we have created. We kicked God out of the schools and in walked the enemy.  The downward spiral of “life without God”  has given rise to alcohol and drug abuse, homosexuality, bullying, violence, anxiety and depression issues.

Our kids are suffering. Our families are falling apart. It isn’t life as usual anymore. At least it is not at all the way it was when I grew up.

I am deeply saddened by this unnecessary tragic event.

For the families and students of Chardon High School I offer up prayers for comfort and peace. For those injured I pray for healing. For those who have lost precious ones may they gain the presence of God.

Folks, we need to pray daily for our nation, schools and land. We need God back in our society, government and homes. We need to repent. We need Jesus showing up everywhere.

We need to get back to the cross.

But the only way he is going to come back is with an invitation.
Invitation to Life

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Copyright @ 2012 All Rights Reserved


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Is This Really All There Is?


ScriptureSeedsLogo

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Odds are just when you think you know something, you find out you know nothing. Does this describe anyone I know? Of course not. None of you ever thought of yourselves as Albert Einsteins brother or sister…..or did you?

Between the ages of about 18-25 most young adults including “yours truly” thought our parents were dumber than rocks. Of course winding down from believing so much of ourselves we are hit by the same rock we  thought hit our parents. Suddenly! You wonder how your parents got so smart so fast.

Once you come to the conclusion you don’t know anything you can start from scratch learning something.

It was about that time in my life I began asking myself the question, “Is this all there is?”

English: Planet Earth

Image via Wikipedia

Reproducing an answer over and over in my mindless mind, I came up with, “There has to be more.”

YES. That was it. There has to be more. But where? How? Who? What? When?

Was I the only person in the universe questioning the reason for my subliminal existence? Who else was affirming this great inquisition? I felt alone in this dreary probe to find the meaning of life.

I can’t say where, how, what or when the truth began to surface, but I did know who. “Who” was the start to this interrogation of my heart of hearts. “Who” was the beginning of an exercise in seeking a reason or reasons to pursue living. Not that the alternative ever entered my mindless mind but “I WANTED TO KNOW WHY I WAS HERE!”

Why are you here? Why has anyone been here? What is the point?

My mindless mind was shrewd enough to go to the “Who” because I knew “Who” knew.

Sometimes the best place to start anything is at the beginning. John 1:1In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”

The answer to the million dollar question “Is this really all there is”  begins between the chapters and verses of those pages.  Years of study would never fill the infinite wisdom of God.

Little did I know the words between the words and “reading between the lines” would bring forth answers to questions I didn’t know existed.

Understanding the depths of God‘s world revealed to me the meaning of life was written in those words. Every page, word, number, sign has meaning. Extensive spiritual education fed the authors of the Bible led by the Holy Spirit. There is no other description humanly speaking to give it. I was enthralled how my mindless mind began weaving the truths into my soul and everything looked different.

Instead of viewing the few years on this planet earth as a trudge daily, God wove a vision of my future that left planet earth spinning on it’s own. I was hooked.

The more I yearned to flip through those pages, the more life got in the way. So you know what I did?

I started praying asking God to give me the time and ability to really place him first in my life. After 4 years that prayer was answered.

Diving in head first, the words began to come alive.  Hebrews 4:12″ For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. “

As you glide your eyes and heart over God’s words, he speaks to you. Conversations flow back and forth as you see beyond the words into the supernatural. The veil is lifted. God’s heart and desires become your heart and desires.

So if you are like I was asking the question “Is this really all there is?” The answer is no. There is so much more.

And if my mindless mind can find it, so can yours.

White release dove.

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Copyright @ 2012 All Rights Reserved


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Sorry Moses. Starbucks is closed.


So this Moses guy. You know, Moses the guy standing on “Holy Ground?”

Well,  I have a confession to make. My husband is hunting so I don’t have to worry about his take on the subject.

Moses is my kind of man. Yep, if there was a character in the Bible who could have my heart it would be him. Not sure why but  Charlton Heston may have had something to do with it.

Scene where Moses is taught how to tend sheep ...

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His story has always intrigued me. Why wouldn’t it? He was born a poor Hebrew until he floated upstream and just happened to land at the feet of royalty? yea, right. Like God had nothing to do with that.

He grows up in the Egyptian palace of the Pharaoh believing he was something he really wasn’t. No one told him any different so he lived the high life.  Now Moses’s brother was Yul Brenner. Together they made a pretty good team even though Mr. Brenner was a spoiled brat.

They grew up only to find Moses was not Egyptian but Hebrew. Moses was more shocked than anyone. Can you imagine? Finding out Yul Brenner was not your real brother?

Moses’s life was turned upside down.  He gets kicked out of the house. out of Egypt. into the desert.

No restaurants. No shoe stores. No Rodeo Drive. No Starbucks. No Cokes. No Happy Meals. Worst of all, no Dasani.

What was he going to do? How could he live without that first cup of coffee?

He’s in the desert for who knows how long, (God) so how does he survive? (God)

Did you get that last part? That was the lesson.

The next 40 years Moses was a sheep herder.

One day he decided to climb Mt. Sinai where he saw a “burning bush” that wasn’t really burned. Yea. Go figure that one out.

God spoke to him and told him to deliver his people out of Egypt into the Promised Land like it was just another day job.

Let’s take a “Coca Cola” break and think about this.

Up until now Moses’s life had gone from the Palace to the Pit. or the desert. Gold, silver, lobster, wine, Armani Suits. Ants, bugs, rags, worn out sandals and dirt. Then God tells him to go tell Pharaoh to “let his people go.”

“What? You want me to do what? ”

“and take your staff with you; it will come in handy.”

Handy? Ok. Moses wasn’t too keen on this whole “deliver the people” idea so he asked God to find someone else.

Sure! I don’t think God does that.

As the story goes, Moses and Yul Brenner go to the palace. Only Moses wasn’t wearing his Armani suits so they didn’t recognize him at first.

Pharaoh laughed at him in his rags and long, dirty hair.  He wasn’t about to let the slaves go. Who would serve him? Who would be there to wash his feet? duh…

Pharaoh deserves the ‘Most Stubborn Stupid Award.”

Finally, after much prodding along with many plagues of horror he let them go.

Moses had delivered the people. Only he had no idea what he had gotten himself  into. The Israelites were lets just say, “not the easiest bunch”  to deal with.

God performed miracle after miracle for the Israelites. Yet, their unbelief remained. Complaining and whining all the way home.

My admiration for Moses exists due to his humble courage to take on a job no one would want. It is apparent by his longing for God to strip him of this plight that his driving force was God. A right minded person would  run off the mountain if they saw a burning bush.

Moses believed God. There was no doubt it was God all the way. He knew God had spoken to him. He knew God was leading him. He knew God understood the misery and suffering of such an endeavor. He knew God would never leave him.

Moses succeeded because he was convinced God was God. He had his moments, but his heart was set on the call. His heart was set because Moses believed God.

Oh, that I would have that belief. Oh, that we would all be so convinced. or courageous. or humble.

BTW: God wants you to pack your bags, lightly.

We may not be Moses, but he has some modern day Red Seas for us to cross.

Copyright @ 2012 All Rights Reserved


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I Gave my Sledgehammer Away


Do you know what doors are for? Really?

The door is open so the 78 degree weather can come inside today. It is February after all. OH. February is winter.

My back door opened is a reminder of the many doors that open in our lives. Or the ones that shut.

Doors go either way. How we respond to them is the key. Often doors are signs from God 

Use to be when a door shut I would respond with an offensive attitude asking, “why? I want to go through that door!”

Age has taught me along with years of spending time alone with God and his word those doors he shut kept me from getting into more trouble than I was already in.  Now I thank him that he is God! His ways are not mine! (be really thankful for that)

When you ponder the idea of open and shut doors from God isn’t that a clever idea?

He made it so simple yet we search around for other doors only to walk into the one that ends up hitting us in the face.” Oh, I wondered where I got this bruise on my head.”

Going out on a limb here I finally wised up (no jokes please) and started praying for God to shut doors he didn’t want me to force open. Now I am small but have managed over the years to pry open doors shut so tight you couldn’t open them without a sledgehammer.

I have to ask myself now, “what was I thinking?” Pushing, pulling, beating, screaming until I squeezed through it. Once in, it wasn’t door #3 giving away a free car.

What happens when you beat your way through the wrong door? It knocks you down and lands on the broken nose you gave yourself trying to open it in the first place.

You know what happens next? (that is if you are smart) You cry out to God Almighty to remove the door.

What if God leaves you under the door for a while? It sure gets heavy. It hurts. It is painful.

I can’t blame God for this heavy, painful door smashing my face. I did force it open. He tried to stop me. BUT NO! I had to be rebellious or what is the saying? “Curiosity killed the cat?”

Finally after so many doors fell on me I decided maybe God was trying to tell me something!  Ok. I heard that!  You have no room to talk here!

He closes doors for my protection or stops me from getting into the wrong relationship. or the wrong project. or the wrong class.  or listening to the wrong words. or hanging out in the wrong places. or running my big mouth when it should be shut.

Mark 4:24, 25 24 “Consider carefully what you hear,” he continued. “With the measure you use, it will be measured to you—and even more. 25 Whoever has will be given more; whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them.”

Closing doors from God’s perspective for us means he may be removing from our lives that which he doesn’t want there like books, movies, entertainment, or even people. Yes, people.

Anything that takes us away from God is removable by him. For our good. And believe me, once you find yourselves under so many of the wrong doors, God looks better than ever!

God isn’t behind door #1. or #2. or #3.  He’s behind the door that is open.


http://freedomborn.wordpress.com/2012/02/20/hillbilly-ten-commandment

http://larrywho.wordpress.com/2012/02/17/planning-preparation-survival-part-2/

http://thewayeverlasting.com/2012/02/17/quote-standard/

Copyright @ 2012 All Rights Reserved


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Do you love your cashier?


My visit to the grocery store this morning was a usual enlightenment. The produce man was sitting on the floor dividing up the apples from the oranges. The cake baker was counting her cakes. The number of shoppers like myself were only a few including the woman who graced our presence by wearing her pajamas.

What struck me though was the one and only cashier up front. She looked tired. Unhappy.  She never smiled and her “how are you” was one of “I don’t really care how you are.”

I felt compassion for her as she looked down the aisle at the long line that had grown. Why didn’t they bring another cashier to help her or a bag boy?

Cashiers have a tough job. Theirs is one most of us never want.  It is a thankless position. A part time job for extra money or the full time cashier trying to make a living.

Cashiers:

Stand on their feet for hours at a time.

Are subjected to abuse of all kinds.

Are expected to know everything from what row the coffee is on to “why isn’t it still on sale?”

Are exposed to raw meat, filthy money and dirty  hands.

Are exposed to unruly, screaming children at the hands of parents who do not discipline them.

Are open targets for thieves, drunks and a few nice people.

Endure long lines of aggravated, impatient customers due to cuts in personnel.

The following are a few everyday occurrences in the life of a cashier…..as I have witnessed….

Customer: “Is this ice cream on sale?”
Cashier: “I’m not sure. You can check the weekly specials.”
Customer: “What? You oughta know that?
Cashier: “Ma’am, it will also show on the door of the frozen food section where you found it.”
Customer: “Just ring it up and it better be on sale.”
Cashier rings up ice cream. “No ma’am it is not on sale this week, that was last week. Do you still want it?”
Customer: “Yes, but only at the sale price.”
Cashier: “I’m sorry but it is not for sale.”
Customer: “Fine. I don’t want it then. And you shouldn’t be working here if you can’t do any better than that.”

or this one…..

Customer: “How much is this 6 pack of beer?”
Cashier: “I’m not sure ma’am.”
Customer: “Oh, it don’t matter anyhow. I got food stamps. While you’re at it get me a carton of cigarettes too.”
The cashier watches as the customer gets in their brand new BMW.

Cashiers are people, not sitting ducks for us to throw rocks at. or steal from. or verbally abuse.

Cashiers usually work because they need to.  I can’t imagine anyone subjecting themselves to such scrutiny for the heck of it.

Cashiers paychecks are usually based on minimum wage. They aren’t paid to know everything.

Cashiers have feelings just like we do. Give them a break.

The next time you are in the presence of a cashier, be kind. Be nice.

Smile.  Give them a tip. Ask how they are doing. Treat them like you want to be treated. Show them respect.

Show appreciation for the job they do everyday. Show concern for their well being in the midst of chaotic and hateful people.

Take up for them. Show them understanding of the daily grind they are subjected to as they try to make a living.

Who knows. Maybe they will think Jesus paid them a visit, not just another customer.

Luke 6:31 “Do to others as you would like them to do to you.”

http://cashiersconfessional.wordpress.com

http://mychristiancoffeeshop.wordpress.com

Copyright @ 2012 All Rights Reserved


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Sugar Cane Blockheads


Blocks of cheese. Lego blocks. Blockheads. Cell blocks. Building blocks. How to block Websites. Road blocks. Blocked lists. Blocks of wood. Toy blocks.

Blocks of ice. Alphabet blocks. The Judge blocked your testimony.  Writer’s block. Quilt block designs. Heart blocks. House blocks. Senate blocks. H & R Block.

A pile of Lego blocks, of assorted colours and...

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Code: blocks. Text blocks. Jail blocks.  The block down the street…..what was that last one again?

The block down the street. You know. The one you use a lot. The one that leads to your house. or school. or church.

What do these blocks represent?

Confinement. Education. Learning. Prison. Falling. Stubbornness. Cold hearts. Stopping. Jail. Defiance. Circles. Building. Governing. Taxation. Creativity.

Blocks can be good or bad depending on how we use them.

In the case of the Israelites, they were not happy in Egypt nor when they left. So, they ended up in the wilderness much longer than God planned. Kind of like us.

We are masters at going around and around and around the same block.  The Israelites may have started this winding road journey but we latched on to it without a hitch.

Unfortunately,  I could teach this subject.  Learning the hard way always came easy for me and I didn’t realize at a young age when I started this pattern the Israelites had already perfected it. Well, it would have been nice to have been the first at something.

The wilderness journey they took exhausts me thinking about it. Why do we have to be so stubborn? It’s not like God didn’t lay out a plan. We just think we know it all on our own. Yes. I am talking to you! and me.

The quote, “I’ve been around the block a few times” has a lot of different meanings but in this case it really is what it says.

How about going around the block of greed? selfishness? doubt? fear? unbelief? worry? The Israelites were very good at doubting and unbelief even as the manna fell from Heaven everyday. Even as they were led by a “pillar of cloud” by day and a “pillar of fire” by night. Lets just say they saw the cup half empty. The miracles in front of them didn’t dissuade their complaining and defiance.

Exodus 13: 21,22 “By day the LORD went ahead of them in a pillar of cloud to guide them on their way and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so that they could travel by day or night. Neither the pillar of cloud by day nor the pillar of fire by night left its place in front of the people.”

You would think they would have gotten the message. What message?

The message we haven’t gotten yet. The one about the Holy Spirit leading us. The Holy Spirit doesn’t  leads us around the same block; that is unless we haven’t learned our lesson.

In other words, when we don’t listen, he allows us to jog around the same block until our shoes are worn out. Do I sound like I have done this before?

I see him waving  as we venture around “forever street” over and over again.  He motions for us to follow him instead of following the “yellow brick road”  or running a virtual marathon around ourselves. The Holy Spirit waits for us to chase after him.

One thing for sure. God is a patient God. Sometimes too patient. He  allows us to ferment our doubt and fears with more vinegar until we find the sugar. And for some of us the sugar is still in the cane.

Venezuelan sugar cane (Saccharum) harvested fo...

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Caesar, we don’t own a tractor.


Tax

Tax (Photo credit: 401K)

It’s that time again. February is the month.  The time frame is set in stone. At least it is winter and going outdoors is not an option. So I may as well do it. Only I don’t want to. I dread it every year. A “thorn” in my side.

Losing in rummy over and over is better than having to itemize my taxes to send to the accountant. I spent hours Saturday working on this inevitable mess of paperwork spread out all over the kitchen table and I am still not finished.

Doctor receipts. Drug receipts. Charitable statements. Property taxes paid. W-2 forms. Investment statements. Interest statements. Tuition paid. Dental receipts. Statements for who knows what and a 30 page Organizer from the Accountant to fill out full of questions unheard of.

Itemizing our deductions have paid off to some extent except when viewing  the W-2 form to see how much Caesar has already taken out. I realize it is Biblical to pay taxes; I have issues as to whether he is using our hard-earned tax dollars for the latest “gladiator contests” or “beast hunts.”

Mark 12:17 Then Jesus said to them, “Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God‘s.” And they were amazed at him.

I have to wonder what really belongs to Caesar. My religious liberty. My kitchen floor. Our goldfish. My soul.

Julius Caesar (1953 film)

Image via Wikipedia

My feeble brain tries to wrap itself around the questions asked. Now I do realize Caesar has many occupiers who fund the public welfare that many of these questions would apply.

For instance: Did you use gasoline or special fuels for business or farm purposes? We do not own a tractor.

Did you engage in any put or call transactions? I thought they put you in jail for that.

Did you receive  unreported tip income of $20 or more for any month in 2011? No, I am not a waitress. I am the maid and no one tips me.

Did you purchase a new technology vehicle, including a qualified plug-in-electric drive motor vehicle in 2011? Why would I do that? I have the best car in the world. It is called, “paid off.”

This one really caught my eye. Under Itemized deductions in the Miscellaneous categories ; evidently you can deduct your gambling losses. What?

Page 20 of the Organizer asks these questions?

Do you plan for your marital status to change in 2012? ugh…if I thought it was going to change I certainly wouldn’t tell you!

Do you plan to change the number of dependents? ugh…only if God chooses us to follow Abraham and Sara’s footsteps. (please God no!)

Do you plan to have a substantial change in your income? Now how would I know that? Oh, I get it. The IRS wants their piece of my pie before it is cooked!

Who comes up with this stuff? Is this for real?

And who started this Estimated Tax assessment? The other name for this is, “Prepay.” Caesar wants  his before you get it. What? How is that fair?
I wonder if Caesar would refund my refund before they take out any of our taxes? duh…

The Bible says in Romans 13:6 “This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God’s servants, who give their full-time to governing.”

In other words we are to pay our taxes. Caesar is supposed to get what is rightfully his? What is rightfully his? OH! I know what the problem is!

Caesar needs a new Bible. After all his is centuries old. Wine and coffee stains. Pages torn out. Wrinkled and smudged.

Maybe his dog ate the pages out about taxation. He has to know the tax laws and codes need some tweaking.

Well, we can get him a Bible. I’ll  text Gideon. I am sure he can get one to Caesar.

Anyone have his number?

David Barton – The Bible and Taxes

http://thefaithbook.wordpress.com/2012/02/09/mr-president-i-still-believe/

http://thewayeverlasting.com/2012/02/17/quote-standard/

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