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You know that Bridge over Troubled Water?


Reading a recent article about Art Garfunkel, I was saddened by his words.

The year was 1970. The hit song, “A Bridge over Troubled Water” rang through the air waves internationally. The lyrics and music along with Garfunkel’s angelic voice gave it recognition, he and Paul Simon didn’t see coming. Instantaneous fame became their way of life. Even those with a crow’s voice like mine were heard trying to sing it.

I remember hearing it over and over with tears falling from my eyes. The words were so profound one couldn’t ignore their touch.

When you’re wearysimon-and-garfunkel
Feeling small
When tears are in your eyes
I will dry them all

I’m on your side

When times get rough
And friends just can’t be found
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will lay me down
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will lay me down

When you’re down and out
When you’re on the street
When evening falls so hard
I will comfort you

I’ll take your part
When darkness comes
And pain is all around
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will lay me down
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will lay me down

Sail on Silver Girl,
Sail on by
Your time has come to shine
All your dreams are on their way

See how they shine
If you need a friend
I’m sailing right behind
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will ease your mind
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will ease your mind

Who would have thought 45 years later the two musical geniuses, Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel would remain apart by the very song that was meant to “bridge” people together.

According to the article and Garfunkel’s side of the story, he received the glory and recognition because he sang it; Paul Simon wrote it and was left out of the limelight for his talent and gifting.

The two became bitter, resentful and angry. Simon supposedly broke the two up. Garfunkel became a Math Teacher. Simon went his own way.

Growing up in the same place, they were in high school together. Simon who is a mere 5”2 inches tall and Garfunkel at 6 feet tall became friends as Art felt sorry for the short Paul Simon and became his body guard against bullying and ridicule for his height. I can relate although I didn’t have Art Garfunkel to back me up.

It was during this time the two began what would eventually become one of the greatest musical duos in modern history only to be halted by greed and jealousy.

This division is so relevant today it has become mainline.

People are fighting over the ridiculous.

People are angry over words that appear offensive even when they know it’s a lie.

America is divided by its own greed and jealousy to a point the bridge is almost broken in half.

Reading Paul Simon’s lyrics bring to heart a friendship of backbone, strength and courage to be there for one another in times of pain, darkness and when down and out.

But that is hard to find in these days. Humans have no way of bridging the needs of others without the bridge that is already built.

In 1970 I would have thought his words resonated any best friend a person could have humanly speaking. That may be true to a certain extent, but no one person or persons can fill that gap; not even close.

The bridge is Jesus Christ.

The connector is the Cross of Christ as the redemption for our sins.

He is the one who dry’s our tears, shines his light and eases our pain. He is the dream maker who sails beside us, in front of us and behind us.

Jesus Christ is the bridge upon which the foundation of the world is saved.

He is the bridge who laid down his life for every troubled water we may swim in.

And he is the only bridge that gets us across to the other side in victory.

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It’s not just any weekend…..


This time of year is like none other. For me personally Easter weekend many years ago played a major part in the basis for my journey.

Reading in My Utmost for His Highest the other day it said,

“It’s not what you do, but who you are.”

Isn’t that at the core of the crucifixion?

Isn’t that the result of the Resurrection?

It is who we are in Christ.

Jesus Christ; after the fact is life.

If you allow yourself to ponder, think and truly recognize all He did for us on the cross, all the other stuff is mute.

 

 


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Are you suffering with Christ?


 

The matter of suffering is questionable at best.

Most of it isn’t fun.equipped

Takes way too long.

Is often quite miserable.

So why does a good God allow us to suffer?

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

No one understands suffering more than God.

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

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

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

Maybe we suffer to carry other’s burdens.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The eventual result is God perfecting his union with us.

cross

(Photo Header by John Randy Harrison)

 


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Freedom


Humans have a morbid, self-serving idea of saving ourselves. While we are at it, we esteem to save others. We cannot. Only God saves, yet we bargain, interpret and negotiate as if it is our “right.”

As long as we ourselves try to get “right with God” we rebel against the cross of Christ.

The Atonement isn’t a right or a cause. It is the greatest gift from God to all humanity; and we had nothing to do with it. The only part we have in the Atonement is to accept it as a free will, lifesaving event.

We must come to a complete place of humility, resign ourselves from ourselves becoming self-less to receive his offering.  Doing so reveals the depth of our sin, and the awesomeness of his sacrifice for us.

It represents everything we are not, and everything that Jesus Christ is.

We insult God by asking him to save us. It is past-tense; done; finished. He already did it once and it need never be repeated.

Once received we should pray; pray for others. Become a “prayer warrior” in an effort to show others the cross. Hopefully this will bring them to their knees to receive Jesus for their own redemption.

Job’s captivity was turned around when he prayed for his friends.

The Atonement is your free “Get Out of Jail” card.

2 Corinthians 3:17

2 Corinthians 3:17


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The Thief that got Away


Our moral rectitude in modern society is based on the conclusion we are here temporarily so what is the point?

Depending on your belief or non-belief system constitutes how one looks at the future and what to do while here in this earthly existence.

Past the future are 3 positions:

The Afterlife: Reincarnation brings you back as a rat who once was a goddess or god.

Dead: You retreat to a state of being “dead” as you were before you were born.  (Atheist)

Eternal Life: Heaven with God the Father!

Personally I choose #3 because there has to be more than this and I kind of like the thought of living forever with the Creator and riding down his golden streets. 

If you really “think” about it, why would God go to the trouble of creating masses of people century after century for a few decades of misery? Why would he bother to create a whole lot of people he continually works to save?

For those who believe the earth is a spinning ball of dirt floating through a galaxy of stars with nowhere to land, go ahead and find your spaceship. The concept everything is meaningless and we are wandering endlessly is a mindset on hold. The earth and its inhabitants are an accident waiting to fall off into some mud pit of non-existence.

 

In the first place it is an underestimation of God to believe we are here ONLY “for a short time as this.” He had a plan beyond our graves which includes giving every human being a “Destiny.”

Common sense tells us someone had to be in charge. If you don’t believe that, you are probably lurking around trees with no leaves and empty Mason Jars waiting to be filled with Guava jelly or Peach Preserves. You are simply missing the point of living.Titian_-_Christ_and_the_Good_Thief_-_WGA22832

No vision means there is no destiny.

No destiny means there is no value.

No value means there is no purpose.

He hung on a cross next to him. His criminal lifestyle was ending with this cruel, painful death.

To the average person, he had no value; no purpose because he never found or looked for his destiny.

 He lied his way through the few short years he lived. Worthless and useless, this thief deserved this cruel death as the crowd cheered to the Roman soldiers, “kill him!”

Yet even in the worst possible place on earth, God’s mercy was a few short feet from where he hung.

The thief maybe lacked a lot intellectually, but he was not stupid. Common sense told him this was no ordinary man they were crucifying. He had done nothing wrong. He had performed miracles unknown and given life to the dead. He had changed the world he knew in a matter of a few years.

On the other side was a criminal hurling insults at Jesus.

“If you are the “King of the Jews, the Son of God, save us and yourself!” (Luke 23: 32-43)

The thief replied, “Don’t you fear God? We deserve our punishment. He doesn’t.”

In that moment Jesus gave him value, purpose and destiny by welcoming him into Paradise.

Our value is not based upon our accomplishments, but our existence.

Our existence and entry into Heaven is only through the Messiah.

And his credit is perfect.

 


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Yes. God was there


Life isn’t the same as it was 4 days ago.

What we didn’t see coming is an unfolding of America. Just one more installment of warning.

Planned hostility was no coincidence this particular week. The outrage of such a precise weapon took time and patience to construct. Clues as to why it was where it was and on tax day are yet to be discovered. But make no mistake, someone or some group is trying to tell us something.

Some may be asking “where was God?”7ef33dc2-f21d-3702-8f8f-8eb8fa4e078e
“Why did God let this happen?”
As horrific as Monday’s bombings were, I have no doubt God was in the middle of it all.

The bombs were built for catastrophic damage much more than was accomplished. Maybe God had something to do with that.

God was the doctors, nurses, EMT’s, on-site clinic workers, policemen and security.

He arrived as Pastors, preachers, ministers, Rabbi’s, Priests, Chaplains and lay people to pray for the injured and lost.

God came as family members, friends and neighbors to offer comfort and love anywhere it was needed.

th (2)He reached out as counselors, therapists and social workers to aid in mental and emotional support.

God showed up with a mighty multitude of his angels to fight off the darkness that has become America.

The battle wages on into a war but God’s presence will overshadow any attack.

How do I know this? Because had God not been there, Boston would not exist today.
The enemy determines to kill, steal and destroy completely. The devil would have finished the job had God not been standing in his way.

If anything, the extension of God’s grace and mercy covered Boston Monday.
Without God’s every day intervention, the earth we inhabit would have blown up long ago.

Jesus’ death and resurrection conquered the “prince of this world’s ultimate conclusion, but he still has some power left and he is exercising it.
As individuals and a nation we need to seek the Cross of Christ in a heart of humble need for redemption.

America deserves punishment. We need to repent, now. Doing so will allow God to show the devil the exit door out.

While God waits for us to seek him for this soul searching revival, don’t think for one minute he is that easy to get rid of.

Our attempts to run away from the cross are a fleeting moment of reprieve. God may pardon us for a while, but it won’t be long before he comes looking for us.

He knows how clumsy we are and how many mud pits we dig for ourselves.

While we look the other way, he stands guard at the next “quicksand” we get caught in so he can retrieve us. He pulls us out; washes off the glop, gunk and slime for the umpteenth time and says, “Go, and sin no more.”ninja-angel-sodom-bible

Running away from God doesn’t work. I know I tried it.

You see, he can be rather annoying. As you are making your way into the world as a 22 year old self-sufficient, invincible idiot, he follows you around.

He bothers you. A whisper here, a tap on your shoulder there and what is worse is when he begins to sound like your mother.
If that isn’t enough he also gets his angels in on his sneaky tricks.

Finally, you ask God,
“Why are you following me around? Can’t you see I am trying to do this on my own?”

God, “I could but I won’t. My promise to you is that I will never leave you, nor forsake you. I love you too much to ever leave you alone.”

Wow.

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http://samuelatgilgal.wordpress.com/2013/04/17/paradoxes-to-carnal-men/

http://jsparkblog.com/2013/04/17/question-if-god-is-good-then-why-did/

http://faith1stministries.com/2013/04/17/who-is-to-blame-for-this-mess/

http://vineoflife.net/2013/04/16/who-is-the-man-atop-building-overlooking-boston-blasts/

Copyright @ 2013 All Rights Reserved


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Borderline and Questionable


Confusion is the devil’s playground.

He loves to get us all fired up, quarreling, fighting or nit-picking over religious doctrine or who is qualified to teach about speaking in tongues?

He is less likely to attack the non-Christian; he allows them to remove themselves from God so they are easy prey. Let him get in the middle of feuding Jesus people and he will laugh all the way to their banks.

History repeats itself. Or maybe I should say satan repeats himself. He is the king of repetition; you would think we would have learned by now his attacks are copycat copies.

What about the real thinkers? The theological “logians” or legalistic, persnickety, anti-pew speaking Jesus followers?  Or the over-educated scripture dissectors who preach the ability to view your personal walk with God as their judgment.

Lighten up people! This feeds the enemy exactly what he wants. As we single out the “grammar Nazi” equivalents of Bible rhetoric we are losing the very hearts of the people we were sent to disciple.

Yes; they watch us. They wait for us to make mistakes, sin or fall into traps of indignity or scandal. As we claim our perfection that we really don’t have they expect it. As we call each other out on self-admiration of our own spirituality, the non-believer is scratching his head wondering “and you call yourself a Christian?”

Far be it for us to relinquish our humble attitudes of knowledge. WE are not God.

Fabricated theories, bogus ideologies and the hacker who has nothing better to do but stir up trouble are all hitting Christians fast forward. Living in a tested society of wills we are subjected to refrain from “rubbing someone the wrong way” even if it is God’s truth.  How dare we offend anyone!

Jesus was mentally and emotionally assaulted as well as physically. What did he do? Get uptight? Throw a pity party? Hurl reprobate charges in a slice of revenge? NO…..

Jesus picked up a stone and offered it to the wired, charlatans, “You who have no sin can throw the first stone.”

One by one the dissemblers walked away in a noticeable stretch of blasted humility.

We are imperfect.531021_367415066683516_1576327644_n

We are incorrect probably more than not.

We will say or do the wrong things.

We will make mistakes.

The non-believers, skeptics and doubters will always expect Christians to be perfect. How ludicrous is that? Outside of the fact God created us to need him, being perfect is not an option. We can’t be perfect and need God at the same time. And, any perfection to come is only through the Cross of Christ.

God’s people should uplift and encourage each other instead of meticulously bellyache over pointed scriptural differences and principled dogma. God is perfectly capable of using the ill-advised or rookie to get his purpose accomplished. Who are we to question his actions?

Throughout history God has used murderers, adulterers, mentally ill leaders, thieves and the most educated Pharisees to perform the work he placed them on earth to do.  So how do we rate with these fallen Christians? How do we establish ourselves different from them?

We can’t. We are them.

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http://trishadm.wordpress.com/2013/04/10/imperfection/

http://terry1954.wordpress.com/2013/04/10/daily-prompt-imperfection/