Did Jesus have a Facebook Page?

Christianity 0ut of the Box


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“I Promise not to Promise”


Don’t you just love it when another person assumes you will take over when they haven’t even asked you to do so?

Don’t you just love it when you haven’t been given notice of taking over that project they started but don’t want to finish?

Of course not. Just dump it in my lap.

The alternative word here is assumption.

“Oh, btw, would you finish dinner while I run out to play golf?”

“Of course I will even though my life is in crisis right now.”

Assume the person you are dumping on has no idea they have been
chosen to follow you around to be the dumping ground.
How should they react?

It is one thing to start your own projects.

It is another thing altogether to start your own projects then gently hand it over to someone else.
Add to the project is a look of “if you don’t do this you will be guilty for not finishing my project.” Huh?

When did your project become my project?

When you left the stove on with dinner cooking?

When you walked out the door to go shopping?

Don’t make promises you have no intention of keeping.

Proverbs 12: 22” Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord,
but those who act faithfully are his delight.”

If you have any hesitation about making a promise, then don’t do it at all.

All or none. Complete or incomplete.

Volunteering is a necessity these days in many outlets; especially churches. Volunteering is great if done with Godly motives.

The definition of a volunteer is to offer freely to do a task; without pay, or presents or free meals. Yep. Nothing in return.

And if you choose to volunteer for anything, you should do so wholeheartedly for however long you signed up for.

Sadly, we are engrossed in signing up for prestige, fun or even the occasional free meal at the local buffet.

Get your name on the roster and never show up. Except for the parties. Or the trips. Or the basket full of fruit.

When did volunteering become a job?

When you volunteer to do a project and you back out for no real good reason,
ultimately that project is going to fall into the lap of someone else.

“Why should I bother when someone else can do it?”

Unfortunately my years of working with the public and in many instances the use of
volunteers has foiled my desire to believe any of them are doing it for nothing.

In fact, those who employ volunteers do so giving them the “freebies” to keep them happy and volunteering.

Well……maybe what you are trying to accomplish isn’t God’s way of doing it in the first place?

Maybe you should check with the Almighty first to see if that project or activity or group is on God’s schedule for you to do.

Believe me, this has been overdone. Too many people dreaming up more busyness that inevitably amounts to very little or nothing.
If it ain’t in God’s plan, don’t do it.

If you make a promise keep it.

If you aren’t sure you can keep it, don’t make it.

http://samuelatgilgal.wordpress.com/2012/07/28/the-purified-heart/

http://fromafarcountry.wordpress.com/2012/07/30/rational-obedience/

http://settledinheaven.wordpress.com/2012/07/29/he-is-everything/

http://thewayeverlasting.com/2012/07/30/a-prayer-of-humility/

Copyright @ 2012 All Rights Reserved


14 Comments

Wisdom isn’t all it’s cut out to be….


The Farmer rarely has any medical issues. He is fortunate.

Next Thursday I will be assisting him while he has an impacted wisdom tooth cut out. After 3 dentists/surgeon’s diagnosis yesterday we found out why he has been having shots of severe pain in his jaw.

The surgeon told him “it won’t be an easy surgery due to the position of the tooth and the connection to the bone.”

This shall be a test of his patience and my nerves. The few sniffles, or colds he has endured in the 9 years we have been married, you would have thought the sky fell. All I can say to that is he should be thankful he was not born a woman with major female issues and severe allergy problems.

I have no idea what I am in for. This is the part when I ask you to pray for him, but honestly I am the one who will need prayer that God will stop me from doing something to him I shouldn’t!

So far he is doing what I tell him to do (lol) but having surgery will present a whole new dynamic to the words, “You have to rest.”

Now this isn’t funny but it is. The surgeon gave him Ibuprofen 800mg per pill to take every 8 hours for the pain;
2000 mg of penicillin a day for 7 days for infection.

Due to his lack of ever taking medication on a regular basis even for a week or two, he wrote a schedule of when to take what and how much each day. He should be allergic to dust.

Admitting he was a chicken, he will be knocked out with an IV of drunken stupor anesthesia.
In case I need help, he will find a friend of his to aid me in case he gets the notion to break the rules or drive while intoxicated.

Unfortunately I know all too well about the medical field and how it works. Having 4 wisdom teeth of my own cut out many years ago, my experience will trump any ideas he may have of defiance or disobedience during recovery. If he does, I will hide his pain meds.

Character is often revealed in times of distress. We shall see which one of us perseveres with a tranquil disposition or as a roaring lion. Either way, it should prove to be an indulgence in humility and at times comical.

The most fun will be that for the first time, he will be at my mercy. HAHA!

Blessed are the merciful, for they shall be shown mercy. Matthew 5:7

http://thewayeverlasting.com/2012/07/26/giving-up-control-the-art-of-trust/

http://thewayeverlasting.com/2012/07/25/quote-not-you/

http://goldenbible.wordpress.com/2012/07/26/cleansed-by-blood/

Copyright @ 2012 All Rights Reserved

 


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A Tub Full of Garments of Praise


Laundry is never-ending.
Once you get a load finished mysterious
items get thrown into the basket to be washed.
The culprit is never seen adding to the dismal workload;
only the remnants of their dirty life.

Remarkably washing certain items such as money, pocket knives, cell phones, wallets, receipts, or foreign objects you have never seen before manage to escape the ocean in the machine. Or almost.

If you ever wash a cell phone let me know. The discovery made was a perilous moment but saving the phone was acquired through quick thinking and of course google.

Pocket knives have also made it into the tub. These tricky little tools manage to hide deep down in the pants pockets camouflaging their existence. This little mistake we will keep to ourselves. What some people don’t know won’t hurt them unless it begins to rust or fall apart.

In the summer clothes get thrown on the floor after the farmer has been to his garden. After a few hours in the dirt with the sun beating down on you, clothes begin to take on a dingy color, a pungent odor and are drenched in sweat. Whew……..the vegetables he brings home help to make up for the raunchy garb.

A great time of year for laundry is “deer season.” Yep. I have nothing to do with hunting anything unless it is my glasses or feisty cat.  Deer hunting season is about to start and with it comes a ritual of Camo wearing overalls, matching hat, gloves and long underwear in winter. Only these particular pieces of clothing have to be washed separately from everything else in “Scent Away.”

Evidently deer have a very keen sense of smell. Once given a lesson in deer hunting that I didn’t ask for I was taught you can’t wear anything on your clothes or body that has a scent, odor or smell. The deer will run the other way.

Not that I would think of doing this, but being a lover of all animals as I am, accidentally washing hunting clothes in Fresh Spring Lilac detergent would never cross my mind.

However nothing compares to the offensive stench of deep-sea, damp fishing clothes left in the sweltering oven like garage. This occurs when one forgets to inform the maid of the putrid smelling apparel. Once discovered, don’t ever wash with anything else and expect to use double amounts of detergent and hot water.

The question, “why do fish smell so bad?” is one for God.

Filthy, nasty clothes are not on my “favorites” list, but it is no match for our hearts.

God sees transparently through each one of us. What is the Bible verse?

Matthew 6:21 “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

When God looks at your heart what does he see?

Isaiah 61:3 says, “They will be called oaks of righteousness,
a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor.”

The Prophet was referencing the “Oaks of Righteousness” as representative of the
Israelites growing and receiving all that is good from God.

God wants comfort given to those in mourning.

Joy and beauty for ashes.

A garment of praise instead of despair.

And oak trees with firmly planted roots to grow and flourish for his own display.

Sounds like God is in the business of cleaning things up.

Sounds like God owns a Kenmore.

http://samuelatgilgal.wordpress.com/2012/07/25/the-kingdom/

http://theriverministries.net/2012/07/25/symbols-of-the-word-fire/

http://larrywho.wordpress.com/2012/07/25/im-a-radical-what-about-you-part-4/

http://highlyfavored74.wordpress.com/2012/07/25/are-you-full-of-yourself/

Copyright @ 2012 All Rights Reserved


5 Comments

The Monopoly of Persecution


It comes with the territory.

The passion to pursue has to come from somewhere else.

The endurance isn’t a piece of cake.

It isn’t like losing your houses or hotels on Park Avenue or the Boardwalk.

You don’t get to pass go and forget collecting $200.00.

Your treasure won’t be found in the Community Chest.

Persecution is the name of the game. But we weren’t the first to play it.

Out of the muck and mire we are stationed on this board game called life.

Jesus knew it all too well.

The disciples were forced to join in.

Joan of Arc died for it.

Why should we escape the foils of the game? Why should we get immunity from Chance?

We don’t. The slashing of words, the hatred of chit-chat, and the look of gall are part of the game.

Only the game is a dastardly deed for all involved.

Chiseled out of conversation, we all do it. Or have done it at one time or another. I am certainly guilty.

Moses. Was yelled at. Laughed at. Thrown out.

King David. Hid in caves. Chased. Hunted down for kill.

Daniel. Mocked. Betrayed. Thrown into a Lion’s Den.

Mother Mary. Ridiculed. Belittled. Misunderstood. Ignored.

John the Baptist. Lived in the desert. Ate locusts. Was beheaded.

Apostle Paul. Beaten. Starved. Shipwrecked. Imprisoned more than once.

Matthew 10:22 “All men will hate you because of me,
but he who stands firm to the end will be saved.”

And I thought I had a bad day.

Talk about throwing in the towel. Talk about quitting.

Was it all worth the pain, agony and disdain? Was it worth losing everything?

Must have been.

They didn’t give up. They didn’t stop.

The blows, the smacks, the punches didn’t keep them from their goal.

The emotional landslides, double-crossing brouhaha’s and uproars didn’t sway them.

They kept on believing what they were pursuing was the key to life.

They kept on traveling from door to door.

They kept on singing in a rat infested prison dungeon.

Persecution comes in many forms.

Standing for Jesus will get you slapped.

Endorsing his name you will be mocked.

Making the effort to follow him will open doors of ridicule, provocation and mercilessness.

Unfortunately it is almost expected.

Learning the methods of enduring it can be through a process of a daily dose of battering. God never said it would be easy.

Just know as it shows up, it means you must be doing something right.

You must be getting your point across even if you don’t know who they are that are persecuting you; even if you have never met them.

Across the internet lines of defense they will make their comments.

Sending you emails of their intolerant opinions.

Posting messages on social media to juggle your emotions.

Don’t be offended. Don’t be hurt. Don’t be angered.

Pray for them. Bless them. Allow God to work through your forgiveness to reveal his love for them.

Isn’t that what Jesus did on the cross?

Romans 12:14 “Bless those who persecute you. Don’t curse them; pray that God will bless them.”

http://terry1954.wordpress.com/2012/07/24/this-is-what-god-led-me-to-last-night-to-read/

http://godspeaks-i-listen.com/2012/07/24/your-troubles-aint-nothin-really/

http://thefaithbook.wordpress.com/2012/07/23/my-testimony/

http://diasolifeontheborder.org/2012/07/24/gods-reminders-of-his-love/

Copyright @ 2012 All Rights Reserved


7 Comments

Dots


media4lifephotography.com

Connecting the dots isn’t always easy. Just when you think you have them connected something comes along and erases them, disconnects them or moves them around.

Once disconnected, reconnecting them is not as easy as originally thought.

Why? The dots become rigid, uneven or mushy. They won’t stick together. And sticking together allows them to line up correctly.

Life is balance or it was designed to be. As with connecting dots our life needs to be lined up with God who gives us balance.

All of a sudden, evil throws a curve no one saw coming.

All of a sudden we are hit with the incomprehensible.

All of a sudden we are disconnected.

Or are we?

Somehow the workings of God show up in disconnecting dots. Even in the midst of horror unthinkable, he is there with his army shedding protection invisible to the human eye.

“What is seen is temporary. What is unseen is eternal.” 2 Corinthians 4: 18.

In the wake of senseless tragedies our nation wakes up and prays.

In what appears to be the lurking evil of evils the supernatural workings of God spare us from what we don’t see or might ever know.

In the realm of misguided demonic wickedness is a God who brings forth miracles in the middle of impossibilities.

God cannot create disorder but when it erupts, God reconnects the dots placing them in the order in which he designed them.

1 Corinthians 14:33 “For God is not a God of disorder but of peace.”

Whatever you may be dealing with or facing, if it is not peaceful, it is not God. Recognizing the difference is a step of faith; a moment of definition in a world of rancorous poison. In those moments he whispers in your ear a word of hope or wisdom to take the next step forward.

As we move forward trying to reconnect the dots after the Aurora massacre, continue to pray for the families of those who lost loved ones. Pray for the injured to be healed along with any emotional needs to be addressed and treated.

Pray for our nation to humble ourselves to seek God and his presence.

And thank God for reconnecting the dots in our lives to match up with his.

http://highlyfavored74.wordpress.com/2012/07/22/2733/

http://samuelatgilgal.wordpress.com/2012/07/22/the-lord-would-have-the-wicked-made-known/

http://singularspectrum.wordpress.com/2012/07/22/hope-for-aurora/

http://settledinheaven.wordpress.com/2012/07/20/the-rainy-days-of-life-reveal-his-faithfulness-to-us/

Copyright @ 2012 All Rights Reserved


27 Comments

The Vision that Changed my Life


The following is a re-blog of a post I wrote July 19, 2012. Today, July 19, 2013 is our daughter’s 25th birthday. In honor of her and the blessing God brought through her I am re-posting it.

 Finding Faith in Strange Places

God is beyond faithful. He often surprises us with positive answers to our prayers, even when he knows the outcome may not be all we expected it to be. I have found in spending much time alone with God over the years that he even gives me the smallest details of my prayers. That is not to say that sometimes he says no simply because God knows the whole picture and what is ahead. In this case I could not have been more blessed. (Matthew 6:33, “Your heavenly father knows your needs and he will give you all you need from day to day if you live for him and make the Kingdom of God your primary concern.”NLT)

The Truth

Before I go any further, I want to emphasize that I am a normal, wife and mother who simply lives for God. This is a true story and one I have wanted to write about for 24 years. Many will think it untrue or that I was so desperate I just thought it happened. I can assure the readers it was real and I have thought about it every day since then. The reality of this vision at the time was only about having a child. 24 years later I now know it was so much more.

The Vision

I wanted to have a baby, but it was not happening. I really started praying and crying out to God that my time was running out and if I was going to give birth it needed to be sooner than later. There was something deep in my spirit that gave me the assurance it would happen, but my faith was at times faltering due to the negative tests that continued to show up.

This may sound crazy to some of you but the one place I felt like praying the most was in the Jacuzzi bathtub we had in our very large bathroom.  At night, I would fill it with hot water, turn on the jets and relax. Night after night I spent time asking God for a child. Many of those hot baths I would cry wondering why God wasn’t listening.  I even bargained with God that if he would bless me with a child once the child was grown I would give her back to him.  This went on for 3 years.

It was in the midst of this very unstable marriage that God not only answered my prayer, but showed up. By that I mean Jesus really showed up. I was deep in prayer in the bathtub on this mid October night of 1987 when suddenly I felt a presence in the room. The door was locked so no one could have entered physically that way. I raised my head and there in front of me was Jesus, draped in a glorious white robe with a belt around his waist. He had sandals on his feet and a smile of peace on his face I will never forget. His arms were outstretched holding a baby. I immediately asked him, “Whose baby is that?” He gently answered, “It is your baby.” Then, he was gone. (Deuteronomy 28:4,”You will be blessed with many children.” NLT)


Denial

I jumped up, threw a towel around myself and ran into the kitchen where my ex-husband was reading the paper. I screamed that we were going to have a baby! Explaining what had just occurred was like speaking to the wind. He not only didn’t believe me, he thought I had really lost my mind.  I told him I was not going to do any more tests because I absolutely knew I was going to have a baby. What I did not know was that I was already pregnant.

His Amazing Ways

The miracle here is that our daughter was born on July 19, 1988; almost 9 months exactly from the night Jesus appeared to me.  It was God’s timing all the way around.  The few people that I had told the vision to and the timing of her birth was something of a “chilling” result.  They didn’t think I was so crazy after all.

If you recall in a previous paragraph I referred to the baby as “her.” From the moment Jesus came to me I also knew the child would be a girl. I never once thought differently.

Starting Over

This is not the end of the story. In some ways it is the beginning. I believe now that one of the reasons it took so long for me to get pregnant was because God knew the marriage was not going to last and it didn’t. I became a single parent when she was almost 3 years old.  We packed up and moved back east to live with my parents. The divorce was messy but God intervened more than I could tell you. Marriage at that point was the last thing on my mind. 12 years later God showed me otherwise and brought Mark into our lives.

The Future

The miracle of her birth at the time was a priority; what I didn’t know was how important the vision would become. As I have re-lived that moment over and over there have been other events that now become clear when I see Jesus in the midst of a trial or a test. The vision then became a vision over time. I do not however base my faith in God on that vision; I truly believe that Jesus knew my despair and my heart for God so much so that he made it very clear he was listening and always available. If Jesus can show up in someone’s bathroom, he can show up anywhere.

The vision is a reminder that God is near, always listening and wants to continue to have a personal relationship with everyone.  The vision sparks the freshness of the Holy Spirit that draws us to God in daily devotions and conversations with him.

Present Day

I am not advocating in any sense that everyone has to have a vision as I did to do the work of God. In my case I think God knew my desperation in so many areas that he made it tangible.  The vision is not an event, or an experience but a lifestyle that in itself produces children of God who are impassioned about getting to know the true nature of God; not as the world claims him to be.

It is my hope that those who read this will benefit from the nature of the vision, not just the vision itself. It is a replica of Jesus in and out of life’s chaos and turmoil that Jesus shows up. The vision is the cross where Jesus has given us a way out of all of the division, pain and sorrow this world produces. The vision is an example of God’s goodness, mercy and grace even when we aren’t pursuing him at all.

More than anything, the vision gives us Jesus in our field of dreams; in our despair, in our hearts or even in a bathtub. In summary, the vision is a lifelong ride following the creator of the universe to be just like him.

Acts 2:17 “‘In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams.”

http://thewayeverlasting.com/2012/07/18/quote-finished/

http://samuelatgilgal.wordpress.com/2012/07/18/gods-certain-knowledge/

http://goldenbible.wordpress.com/2012/07/18/faith-passive-or-active/


10 Comments

Annoyances, Interruptions and Pests


Don’t you just hate it when you are sound asleep and the phone sitting next to your ear goes off in the middle of the night?

Clamoring to reach for it to shut it up doesn’t help if you wear glasses and can’t find the button to stop it.

And then your husband says, “Can’t you turn that thing off?”

Ugh….”I would if I could see it!”

Once you finally find it the ringing stops. Checking the number you are once again
riddled with anger because you don’t recognize it. Wrong number?

The desire to throw the thing at your spouse comes to mind
as you hear him snore and you are now wide awake.

Interruptions. Annoyances. Aggravations. Pests. Pain in the neck?

The little grievances invade our lives, promote ill infested moods, and create havoc.

So how do we stop them? Or better, how should we respond?

Let’s change the scenario a little.

Phone rings at 1am. As you reach for it, you knock over the inch of water left in the glass on your bedside table which dribbles all over your Bible, nose spray and glasses. Forget the water on the carpet. Grab the phone.

Your spouse wakes up wondering why you are making so much noise. He screams,

“Why can’t anyone get any sleep in this house? Why don’t you just turn the blame thing off at night?”

Punching the touch screen in the dark with no glasses it continues a ringtone that sounds like “La Bamba.”
Fumbling to find the “accept” button, you manage to hit it without seeing it.

“HELLO, WHO IS THIS?”

“Oh, hi, did I wake you? This is God. I wanted to call and give you a “word of knowledge.”

Hmmmm….the response you give might sound a little different if God called?

OK. Another scenario.

Hubby has gone off and hidden in “Man Land” to watch “Swamp People” or “The Deadliest Catch.”

Hubby hears the door open and he yells,

“Honey? Go away! I told you not to bother me while I am watching my favorite shows!”

Sure. Ok.”

After Swamp People have caught their gator, hubby feels somewhat guilty and goes downstairs to his wife.

“Honey, what was so important you couldn’t wait until my show was over to ask me?”

Wife: “What? What are you talking about?”

Hubby: “You know when you came upstairs a while ago.”

Wife: “I didn’t come upstairs. I have been here in the kitchen for the last hour slaving over the hot stove.”

Hubby: “Well, someone came in and I told them or you to leave and they responded. “Sure. OK.”

Wife: “It wasn’t me. You must be imagining things.”

A week or so later, hubby gets fired. Too much Swamp People and Deadliest Catch.

Getting in his car, he cries out to God.

“God what am I going to do? I lost my job. Please help me.”

God: “ Sorry, I can’t right now. Swamp People is on TV.”

What if God answered us the way we answer each other?

What if God told us as we cry out for help, “I’m busy. Call back later.”

Not that I have mastered this even closely, but I have to ask myself in any given situation,

What would Jesus do? How would he respond to interruptions and annoyances?

Would he act like we do? Would he throw the phone across the room?

Or would he say, “Be still and know that I am God.” Psalm 46:10

Need I say more?

http://butchdean.wordpress.com/2012/07/16/a-roaring-lion/

http://freedomborn.wordpress.com/2012/07/15/forgiveness/

http://goldenbible.wordpress.com/2012/07/14/disobedience/

http://kellylevatino.com/2012/07/16/lose-yourself/

Copyright @ 2012 All Rights Reserved