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The Marvel of It All


 

Joseph. The man we tend to forget. The man who had to decide to do the unthinkable.

Bringing to my attention his supporting actor role in the most important birth in history, I felt as if I had left him out of much of the casting. This wasn’t done to belittle his career but the focus was elsewhere.

Mary was a chosen woman. One with an appointment like none other. How would any man be able to live up to the standards of the mother of the Son of God? How would any man be able to do what he was asked to do without some hesitation on his part?

Granted, Mary’s role wasn’t easy by any means but neither was Joseph’s. Over the centuries Mary has been given the lead actor’s position in a drama only God could have written, but Mary couldn’t have fulfilled her heroic purpose without Joseph.

One might refer to Joseph as the back-up guy, or Mary’s support system.

First he had to accept her pregnancy without understanding it. But who would believe such a story?

He had to fight off crowds of accusers for the lie she supposedly was telling.

He lost friends. Coworkers. Acquaintances.

How does a soon- to- be groom explain to his family his betrothed is pregnant by another man?

Yet, Joseph stood against the odds and accepted Mary as his soon- to- be wife in the midst of a presumed scandalous affair.

And Joseph thought this was the hard part.

After God revealed to Joseph in a dream Mary was indeed telling the truth, he would embark on a journey no other man has ever taken.

Matthew 1:20 But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.

How does a man protect the mother- to- be of the Lamb of God?

How does a man walk on foot across miles and miles of treacherous terrain leading his wife who is in her last trimester of pregnancy carrying the Light of the World on a donkey?

And then how does a man who probably had never witnessed a woman giving birth aid in giving birth to the King of the Jews?

Not only were these all “firsts” for Joseph, but he had no other place to take her but a smelly, old hay filled manger with cows and goats watching.

Was that what Joseph had planned for his new bride?

Was this the scene he wanted his legacy to be built upon?

Was this Joseph’s idea of a birthing place for the Prince of Peace? The Anointed One? Emanuel?

My thinking is he never had time to fully comprehend the enormity of it all before it happened.

They had to leave town immediately to escape Herod’s henchmen.  

Joseph didn’t have time to find a Marriott Hotel for the birth; he had to take what was available.

And babies are born on their own schedule. Joseph wasn’t given a crash course in midwifery.

Had God given Joseph a heads up a few years prior to this extraordinary story, would he have skipped town?

Would he have asked, “God, I’m not the man for this job, please find someone else?

If Joseph had thought it through would he have understood the magnitude of his calling?

If he had let it all sink in would he have taken on the fatherhood of the child who would one day be his Savior?

Joseph, the quiet man standing in the shadows probably spent the rest of his earthly life pondering the marvel of it all.

Matthew 1:16 and Jacob the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary, and Mary was the mother of Jesus who is called the Messiah.

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Frantic or Panicked? (Part 1)


 

To say we live in perilous times is an understatement. Turn the news on. Read Facebook. Look in your mailbox. One would think the world is ending ASAP.

If you want to be positive, don’t do any of those things I just mentioned; it will only depress you.

It takes effort to get and remain upbeat unless you have faith in God.

Faith? What is that? I can hear you screaming now.

I didn’t have a clue how to have faith in God or how to acquire it.

What happened is when all security in people, things and circumstances were pulled out from underneath me, I realized God was the only  safeguard that works. That was many years ago and I can tell you it was no walk in the park; no joy ride. Someone dug a grave and I fell in full of fear and dread.

Immediately I began seeking God for relief.

You ask, “How do you do that?”

Open the Bible. Ask God to lead you to verses He wants you to read. Write them down.

Make a habit to read them over and over and over. Everyday.

Pray about whatever your fears are. Talk to God as if He is your best friend which He wants to be. And understand prayer doesn’t have to be “all” serious and long. God and I chat off and on all day long about everything. He wants our relationship with Him to be relaxed, peaceful and yet, persistent.

As I began that journey I use this process in any area of my life where there is a need. God’s word is priceless. Get His word so ingrained in your heart and mind, nothing else has room to invade. On that note, don’t watch, listen, or read anything that may bring that panic to roost. If necessary, get new friends; ones that shed light instead of darkness.

God’s word keeps me hopeful. It keeps me going. His word isn’t a band aid. It’s the answer. Period.

Sometimes I read His word just for the heck of it. No need. No want. Just to be close to Him.

I’ll never forget the morning about 15 years ago while reading His word and praying all of a sudden a still, small voice said, “This is faith. You have it. “

It was one of those flashing moments of “ah HA! “ I got it! I understood it, finally.

The key is to keep close to God. As you do that it automatically builds your faith.  I don’t know how but I give God all the credit.

So in the midst of turmoil, unrest and total panic, look to God. Say little prayers like,

“God help me!” or “God, I need you right now!”

Meditate and memorize verses that apply to your need. Then when desperation, panic and fear erupt ask God to bring them to your mind through the Holy Spirit. Get prepared for Him to show them to you as if they float before your eyes!

He wants us to live in peace. If we do our part He will do His.

Peace is one of the greatest weapons against the enemy. That’s another blog post.

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A Letter from my Cousin: The Calling to Minister to Muslims


The following is a letter I just received via email from my cousin Adger Mckay. He is an Ordained minister who has been seeking the Lord for over 7 years as to what he and his family were supposed to do. They have both been in the “wilderness” and finally God opened a door.
 
Adger was raised in a missionary family; lived in Mexico so along with English he speaks fluent Spanish and is learning German. They moved back to the states when he was a young teenager but his experience there set in motion God’s plan for his life.
 
His wife Sandra is from Europe, speaks German fluently as she was born in Switzerland. God knew the amount of refugees that would pour into Germany. He also knew when these two married He would call them to move there to minister to those who are desperately fleeing for their lives from ISIS. 
 
I ask you to pray for Adger and Sandra and their 2 boys as they approach this venture and major move. They will be directly involved with these refugees and at times it could be dangerous so they will need God’s protection and angels to guard and watch over them.
 
As important as their work is, it is truly part of the beginning of this next great “awakening” of God. They will be on the front lines of this harvest for the souls of many Muslims. TY. (Please note my cousins sense of humor in the midst of a life changing move)

 

 

Hello to All,

 The attached photo is part of my evil master plan to make you all so jealous with photos of Europe that you can’t take it any more and begin to fervently pray…like Jesus’ story of the judge in Luke 18:1ff. This one is Sandra’s Switzerland from the Vierwaldstaettersee (yeah, I have to learn that language!!)
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We are in full throttle on the preparations for acceptance as long-term missionaries with (EPC) World Outreach. Sandra and I have tests this Saturday in Montreat, NC…hers is a Bible test and mine is a Language Aptitude test. She will join Christ Community Church there on Sunday, pending an interview on Saturday afternoon. The following weekend we have a counselor that will visit us from the EPC to do marriage/psychological evaluations…might want to pray especially hard for that psych. evaluation : ) I was blessed to be able to preach on Valentine’s Day to my friends at Mosaic in Easley, SC. That was a joy as the Lord opened up some neat prayer ministry as well.
The situation with Refugees in Germany continues to morph quickly…an example is the fact that in 2015 the majority of refugees were adult male, around 69%…so far in 2016, that number has dropped to 40% as women and children desperately flee for their safety and well-being. There is such a prime opportunity to reach these people with the love and truth of Jesus and there is time sensitivity to this mission. The earlier we can build relationship and show His love to the displaced in Germany, the more the receptivity to the gospel. Please join us in this critical ministry of “Engaging the Displaced.”
Thank you for being involved in our lives and callings, we love and appreciate you, the McKays
For now, contributions are still processed through the kindness of Plumtree Presbyterian Church, PO Box 65, Plumtree, NC 28664  (Please note that this address may change soon pending our acceptance by World Outreach/WO.)
 


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2015: My Year from Hell and How God rescued me (Part 1)


 

It was never my intention to stop blogging, but life got in the way with twists and turns I didn’t know existed.  From major Strep throat in the spring, to a busy summer of work along with the worst reaction to medication ever in my life to the virus from Hell, I am ready for this year to be over.

Suffice it to say I have had literally the worst sickness of my life. After 2 doctor visits and many tests run the diagnosis was a virus. Don’t let anyone fool you into believing a “virus” is something simple to get over.  I have been in the bed for 6 weeks and still in and out of it, but getting there.  Top this all off with a kitten we adopted that in the first 6 months of his life has torn the house up!

One main reason for not blogging is the virus has made me so dizzy at times I can hardly stand up much less do anything else. As time has gone by, that is diminishing and I am so thankful to God for his healing.

The good news was all my tests were normal. Unfortunately, there is no medication for a virus or a quick fix. If there had been I would have been all over it. Believe me when I say I have never felt this bad in my entire life. To be writing this right now, is a major plus to say the least.  As Joyce Meyer says, “I am not at all where I want to be, but I am not where I was.” That is my theme.

On the other side of this miserable coin is the love of God. The fact my tests were normal is a miracle considering I thought they would hospitalize me to start with.  Forget driving, feeding myself or doing anything worthwhile; I have done nothing but rest. Doctors’ orders.

However, while resting my new GalazyS6 phone came in handy more than I can say. Not only is a copy/paste app the greatest comfort while one lies in bed but God’s words splashed all over it is truly the only way I got through this.  I was too sick to read from my Bible which I love to do but my phone became a positive substitute.

Hours of laying alone I have quoted healing scriptures over and over until I would fall asleep. Days and weeks of crying when I didn’t have the strength to cry God’s word gave me hope and peace. Minute by minute I discovered the power in God’s word simply by meditating on it. The more I soaked myself in God’s word even in a state of total lethargy, the words proved themselves to be true and work.

A simple few steps from my bed to the toilet I would pray myself there.

The energy to get to the kitchen for a few bites of food of which I lost my appetite completely God’s word gave me the strength to live off of bananas, toast and applesauce. I am small but lost 5 pounds the first 3 weeks I was sick. I can’t afford to lose weight.

Moments of sheer misery when the dizziness and nausea would come in like a flood, God’s word was all I thought about. God get me through this. God get me through this.

I just read Jennifer LeClaire’s article from Charisma magazine about the very issues of being in “hell” while others around you are complacent and misunderstanding of your pain. Of course she brought our dear brother “Job” into the picture who is a prime example of one who is attacked and beaten not only by Satan himself but those closest to him.

I am in no way subjecting my husband or daughter into this rigid scene of battle because God supplied them both for me during this time when I needed them the most. They have been my lifeline besides God.  But even in their case, correctly diagnosing my distress for so long has been difficult for them. There is really much to be said about “walking in someone else’s shoes.”

From God’s perspective, I believe his permissive will in allowing me to go through so many years of hardships has been to teach me compassion, empathy and love for those who are hurting. These last 6 weeks have opened my eyes to understand those in nursing homes, hospitals and sick in bed for long periods of time how they feel and the loss they experience. I can honestly say I know it for myself now.

If I hadn’t known for absolutely sure God wasn’t ready to take me, I would have been begging him to do so, but He has other plans. Even my dear friend in Christ, Larry Nevenhoven prophesied this to me which has given me much hope to move forward.  He also reminded me God’s grace is sufficient to get me through this. Well, I had to find out what that meant. And I did. Maybe not exactly what I wanted to hear while in a dungeon of despair and lifelessness, but evidently God did.

One would never imagine the call of healing yet, the one who is sick knows better than those well, what health is. God’s supernatural grace and power is the only reason for it all.

As I feel I am moving into a state of recovery I must admit during these last 6 weeks all I knew was God. Whether it be from desperation, misery or a pit of depression even in my weakest moments I was crying out to God.

I truly know now what it means when you have nothing else but God, God is all I need.

And it doesn’t hurt to have a phone that lets you play scrabble in between God’s words.

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A True Story: The Heart of a Cat


It was early dawn. My husband who gets up before anyone else on earth, arrived in the den only to hear our 12 year old feral feline wailing and acting strange.  Opening the back door there she stood in front of him holding a 2 inch field mouse in her mouth as if to show him her gift of love.

Little did she know opening her mouth very wide to wail one more time the mouse fell out. He shut the door in an effort to keep the rodent from running inside. Maxi took off chasing him as if to say, “You are mine.”

Mark knew he had to stop this chase. Grabbing the cat after cornering this very frightened creature he brought her inside only to have her sit by the door and whine.

He hadn’t even had a cup of coffee yet.Mark and Maxi 2

Leaving her to her misery of the lost gift he made his early morning joe.

By the time I moved much later he told me of this great adventure.

The cat began wailing at me as if I would let her out. Somehow her instincts knew her prey was still around.

He and I went outside only to find the ailing rat in a hole on the right side of the back door. She runs out and begins to attack. The mouse escapes, running around the table, grill and into a side corner. Grabbing the cat once again we put her inside. She was not happy with her grandparents. Her efforts to once again show her appreciation for saving her life years ago was in the least futile in her eyes.  

By now I needed coffee.

We sat in the den watching tv and resting for a while. Too much excitement at 7am.

30 minutes later I went outside. Not only was the mouse still there, he was crouched behind my Swedish Ivy plant up against the brick on the left side of the door.

Mark attempted to catch him only to have the scared mouse run and fall right into the pool! Swimming for his life Mark finally caught him with the pool net. Giving him his freedom, Maxi ran outside to continue to search. 

She sniffed all around still believing she could locate her hard earned present. Her facial expression said it all.

“Why would you do this to me? I wanted to give it to you to show you my love?”

Isn’t that kind of like God?

Not that he wants to bless us with rodents but the abundance of his own love. Love that captures hearts like no other. Love that is supernatural and healer of all ills. Love that surrounds his people so overwhelming that once it hits you are never the same.

Maybe God feels like our cat sometimes. She gave us love only for us to throw it away. She exerted energy she rarely has these days to announce her gratitude only for us to deny it. She spent hours tracking for a gift we simply refused.

We can learn from our friendly felines the word, “devotion.” They seem to know what it means more than people.

God can take the size of a field mouse kind of love and make it grow.

So go catch a field mouse today and give it to God. It’s a start, and he will accept it with open arms.

Romans 8:38 “And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow–not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love.”


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“Calm is Trust in Action”


Reading that statement from God Calling recently, changed my life. It was as if God was confirming to me his peace was my ally. Think long and hard about those words. Calm is a huge weapon against the enemy.

I won’t sugar coat aging is no fun, but with it comes experience and knowledge. As God has brought me through more deep waters and the fiery furnaces more than I can count, I see dry land and the furnaces are cooling down.

The enemy uses repeat performances. He can’t create anything new. In that we should grasp his attacks realizing the threats are just that; threats. How we respond is the key. Recognize his evil patterns but more than that he is defeated.

Is it possible what the enemy threatens in our personal lives he does the same globally?

Of course. He has no other availability. Words are powerful; in fact so much so God created the world with them. Being the case, the enemy fills our minds with his lies and deceits hoping to compound them so many times we begin to believe what he says.  There-in lies a case for mental breakdowns, fear, doubt and worry. We must counter with God’s word. Believe me I know this works because it is the only way I am still here.

The attacks on my life for years have been numerous, vicious and at time life threatening. The last few years have been relentless. I could barely get through one and the next one showed up worse. We hear we are to never give up. I remember times when those evil thoughts were being spoken over and over to me until I finally asked myself,

“What would I do if I gave up?” Well, that question ended giving up.

God confirmed a revelation to me this morning using my own life’s attacks with the world’s in our present condition which is about as bad as it gets. Sodom and Gomorrah are like a piece of cake compared to modern day society.

Praying seriously for years over the world especially America, I have waited for answers. If you watch the news or happen across it on the internet you will be hard pressed to find anything good. Not that America is good right now; in fact we are in deep trouble.

My heart has ached at the deterioration of this nation. It is so different than when I grew up. I have watched for decades our moral society diminish. We have no one else to blame but ourselves; we all sin.

As many such as Franklin Graham, Anne Graham Lotz and Rabbi Jonathan Cahn express deep concern for our country’s impending judgement, and rightly so, I believe God’s righteousness is about to shine.

Don’t get me wrong. It looks bad. It is bad. It is evil at its worst and should be recognized as such. But God’s righteous grace is so much more than all of that.

He revealed to me as he has stretched me beyond my own fleshly limits to the point of crying out even in silence because I was too weak to speak, so he is doing with America and the world.

The phrase, “God is never late, but rarely early” fits.

His word says he will walk through the deep waters and the fiery furnace with us, but we won’t drown or burn. We may be gasping for air and feel the heat, but all of a sudden dry land appears and someone shuts off the furnace.

He let me know that is where we are at. I believe we are seriously close to the wrath and judgement of God in such a momentous way that we must continue to pray diligently for repentance. But he has heard our prayers and at the moment when it appears it can’t get any worse, God is going to show up and show off.

The world will know it is God foiling the plots of the enemy.

The world especially America will wake up from this dreadful nightmare and fall on our knees in worship and praise to Him.

The world will be swept by the Holy wind of the Spirit of God changing hearts across the globe in an instant. We must look past the natural into the supernatural sphere of God to see what he is doing and where he is taking us.

RIGHT NOW IT IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN EVER TO SEEK GOD’S PRESENCE, BE ON OUR KNEES REPENTING, THANKING HIM FOR PRESERVING, PROTECTING AND GUARDING US FROM IMMINENT DESTRUCTION.

And then wait to embrace the glory of God as has never been upon the earth.

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