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Truth is Truth and Sin is Sin


In all stances there are adversarial contexts and diversions. But truth is truth and it is the resolve no matter what.

There is no other book like The Bible. It is also the most misinterpreted book ever written. The only way anyone can really understand it is by having and cultivating an intimate and personal relationship with God.

Admitting some stories like the Fall of Jericho, Jonah getting thrown into a whale and talking donkeys could cause questionable thoughts, there is none more controversial than Jesus’s conception. However, believing in God truthfully will deliver anyone from the lies and deceptions written about them.

It is beyond my belief the Supreme Court would actually take our money, time and effort to discuss the basis for marriage definition. Read the Bible.

As this debate heats up professing, knowledgeable Christian’s twist the Bible’s definition that marriage is between one man and a woman.

So is the case of an article by Rebecca Todd Peters titled, “Biblical Marriage is not what you think.”

Her background and education should warrant that of one who gets it; she doesn’t.

Literally speaking she has taken the Biblical contexts of how people were living in adultery, committing vile acts with the same sex and portraying Sodom and Gomorrah as a definition of marriage.

Sure the Old Testament is full of adulterers, concubines, and polygamy; that doesn’t mean God approved. It also doesn’t mean those who sinned sexually didn’t suffer the consequences. They did. We are. Just look at the aftermath of Hagar having Ishmael. Centuries and millennia later the war is on between him and Isaac. It has never stopped. Yet Ms. Peters would have you think it was a willing notion of God to approve. It wasn’t. And he still doesn’t.

David took his best friend’s wife then killed him. Not only did their first born die as a baby, David suffered terribly afterwards for his sin.

Solomon took the cake when it came to wives and concubines. If for no other reason trying to keep so many women happy would be enough to be married to one.

I am not making light of this. My theory as to why God allowed the Bible to include such sin is to show the sin and reveal the consequences that followed.catholic_bible

Just because the prevalence of sexual sin is noted, does not mean God approved of it any more than he did of thievery, murder or lying. Sin is sin.

As far as the Supreme Court taking up this issue, the truth still remains they do not get to define marriage any other way than God’s way.

Any action has been taken by those who wish to live as they choose, suing others who disagree with that lifestyle and pushed the agenda down our throats.

Since sin is sin, why not have all the murderers push to change the laws by allowing people to murder without punishment?

Why not do the same with liars? Cheaters? Idol Worshippers? Rioters who destroy and injure others?

The list goes on and on. No matter the sin it is lawlessness. And with lawlessness comes death. And God is in the business of giving life.

Rebecca Todd Peters

Christian Social Ethicist, Feminist Theologian, and Professor of Religious Studies at Elon University

Ms. Peters got her article printed in the Huffington Post. She gives credence to evil as if it is a right just as the fight for marriage is being argued in the Supreme Court. Her credits and education must give her the notoriety to write such garbage. But it has nothing to do with her training. It is her political correctness opinion along with her own misinterpretation of the Bible.

As far as I am concerned the Supreme Court has no right to touch this issue much less vote on it. It has already been established by God.

And God doesn’t change his mind.

 


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Missing Something?


The airport parking lot was almost full so finding an empty space was virtually impossible. Running late into the terminal waving your boarding pass you barely miss crashing into some kids. By-passing the need for relief a fast sprint in and out of visitors finally you see the boarding area. Racing to the attendant to hand her your ticket, she points at the window to show you your plane.

“I am so sorry sir, but there is your plane heading down the runway.”

Out of breath, the plane leaves without you.th

 

Don’t you just hate that?

 

That feeling of missing something. A free trip. Lunch with a friend. The job you wanted but didn’t get.

Is it possible to ever come to a place where you never feel you have missed anything?

The answer is yes. Once you have been stripped of everything material, physical, mental and emotional there is only one thing left. The spirit that lives within us.

God is a spirit. He relates to us through the Holy Spirit he has placed within us.

After we are left with nothing, we begin to get “tunnel vision” where we only hear him, feel him and recognize his voice.

Joseph experienced this. Moses did too. David understood while he ran for his life from Saul.

There are issues within our hearts that must take a hike especially since most of our seeking God is self-centered to begin with.  Often this is accomplished through the idiotic choices we make, or as Joseph did by taunting his older brothers with his dreams. Moses was kicked out of Egypt for killing a man and David outshined the King.

Imprisonment for 13 years, wilderness living for 40 and running from cave to cave to survive will or should knock the self-regard out of anyone.

Once we have lost the quest for earthly desires, missed appointments or the “all about me fun” questioning what is really important takes precedence.  These false choices or actions we had depended on to “make our day” all of a sudden become our adversaries. It is then we first begin to seek God for his presence; to simply sit with him enjoying his company.

We will only find what we are looking for in Jesus. There is no other satisfaction; no other comparable.

“I am my Beloved’s and His desire is toward me.” Song of Solomon 7:10

He yearns for us to go deeper with him so that he may impart to us his secrets, knowledge, wisdom and ways.  

As time passes we begin to place him first realizing what a privilege it is to have this personal intimacy with the Creator of the Universe.  The joy of being sold out for Jesus trumps all pain, persecution, rejection, abandonment, fun, entertainment, and that lost flight to an earthly paradise.

All of a sudden you comprehend Jesus is paradise. 

No need for a plane ticket after all.

 Copyright @ 2013 All Rights Reserved

 

 

 

 


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Faith Unleashed


Faith is a tricky thing. It actually grows when you don’t realize it.
The more time you spend with God, reading his word and praying faith seeps in and makes a home.

Coming from a no-faith place, I remember telling God I didn’t really understand it much less have any.

He quietly led my thinking to the simple everyday tasks or actions we take where faith is automatic or taken for granted like,

Sitting on a chair
Driving a car
Eating or drinking food or liquids believed to be healthy
Lying down on a bed

Faith is taking these natural acts and transferring it to God. In other words trusting God whoever made the chair we are sitting in isn’t going to collapse with us in it.

Certain areas of faith are harder to put to the test than others. It shouldn’t be but it is.

Why is it easier to believe God for that perfect job than healing?
Why do we trust him more for protection than providing our every need financially?

There is no difference. He promises all we need no matter what it is which covers everything from a new car battery to food on the table.
The more a person has tends to lead to self-sufficiency which removes the need for God. One thing for sure is if you find yourself in that league, be prepared. God keeps him promises; even the one that says, “God giveth and God taketh a way.”

Many in the Bible were graced with the label as “faithful.”
Abraham, Joseph, Moses, Esther, Job, David, Solomon, Samson, Daniel, Mary, John the Baptist.

Then there were those who had faith grow as the word was written about them or by them such as Paul, John and the other disciples. Mary Magdalene and the two sisters Mary and Martha who observed the raising of their brother from the dead. Watching a scene like that would make anyone’s faith explode!

The times we are living in are in need of Abraham’s, Moses’, David’s and Esther’s.

So where does God go to find such examples?now-faith-is-the-substance-of-things-hoped-for-the-evidence-of-things-not-seen-hebrews-11-1-kjv
How do we know anyone like them even exists?

Copyright @ 2013 All Rights Reserved


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“Hear ye, Hear ye! Your King is on the Floor!” (2)


We need to get the King off of the floor.

He remains grief stricken for 7 days hoping God will change his mind and spare the child he bore with Bathsheba.

One might wonder if he was wallowing in self-pity.

The household servants may have questioned how long would he remain a limp piece of carpet on the concrete floor?

The thought could cross a mind that he punished himself with a long “timeout” for being bad.

The problem with God is he keeps his promises.

And the King knew this. Yet, he hoped to intervene and change the Lord’s mind.

This was one time David hoped God would not keep his promise and allow his child to live.

It may have been the longest 7 days of this King’s life. 

He overheard his servants whispering. Fearing for his life they didn’t want to tell him the child had died.  His appeal of what appeared to be desperation led them to question his emotional instability.

Once the confirmation of death had been handed to him, he got up, bathed and ate.

His servants didn’t understand his behavior at all.

Why? Why did you grieve until the child died?” It is possible they really wanted to say,

“What the heck is wrong with you? Have you lost it completely?”

His explanation was candid. 203a

There was no point in mincing words.

So what was David doing for 7 days while his child lay ill? Crying out to God? Begging? Pleading for mercy for his son? Sure.  Who wouldn’t? But what else was he doing?

Discerning. Waiting. Remaining calm. Listening. Taking a step back.

He yearned to hear his still, small voice.

He positioned himself to keep calm so he could listen.

The need for quiet allowed him to pause before speaking.

David knew what discernment was. He had used it many times before.

David understood sheep. He raised them. Cared for them.  Long, lonely days with sheep may have taught him the “Art of Discernment.”

So how do we activate the “Art of Discernment?”

Copyright @ 2013 All Rights Reserved


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“Hear ye, Hear ye! Your King is on the Floor!” (1)


Reading 2 Samuel 12 God sends the prophet Nathan to King David.  He comes to him after David has sinned with Bathsheba and killed her husband.

Now, you can’t tell me when Nathan arrived David wasn’t a little uneasy.

Conviction lies in the hearts of those who know the difference between good and evil. Maybe at this point which was too late David was hoping God might have missed his transgressions? Maybe God took a vacation and left no one in charge? Or he hoped God overslept that day?

Yeah, right.

Honestly, what did he think he was going to get away with?

Human nature isn’t privy to Kings, Presidents, royalty.  It has no knowledge of discrimination. It does not play favorites.

David was a King, but first he was a man.

After Nathan rakes him over the coals David speaks.

“I have sinned against the Lord.” 2nd Samuel 12:13

Repentance sets in. Sickened by his actions, he fasts, prays and lies face down dormant on the floor for days. He is motionless in his misery yet hopeful in his heart.

Just like us, he made a real boo-boo. He really messed up bad. He did the unthinkable.

But…..

His response was correct. Is that why God gave him grace? Did he deserve God’s favor after all he had done?

If you continue in 2nd Samuel 12 the servants observe David’s remorseful behavior. Concerned for his well-being the elders of the household remained at his side hoping to feed him. He refused.

 What would you do if your King was lying on the floor face down for hours and days at a time?

Remind him how the neighbors would talk?

Inform him his actions were not that of a King?

Ask him if he missed his last therapy session with Dr. Phil?

Picking this apart are more than one dynamic.

David’s priority as a servant of his God took precedence over being King.

His immediate sorrow for how he had hurt God sent him into despair and depression.

His efforts to pray and fast ceaselessly reveal how David knew God’s mercy extended far beyond his sin.

So what does this mean?

King David knew his God.

He knew the Lord would forgive him, but he also understood the consequences of “reaping and sowing.”

He recognized within his own passion how he would beat himself up for quite some time.

Living with the guilt and shame of his erred ways he wrote his feelings down lamenting his soul resulting in discovering he was a man after God’s own heart.

But….there is more to this story.

What do you think it is?

560799_10152208312597355_353012073_nCopyright @ 2013 All Rights Reserved


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The Agressors of Arrogance


Traveling the same road for years to the store are some areas that have taken a hit as far as progress goes. As if time stands still many houses are old and run-down. Most likely families have remained never moving anywhere else. This is the deep- south where life is slower; people are generational but true to their heritage.trust me

One particular house has always caused me to look a little deeper.

With white painted wood on the outside, it is rather dilapidated and old. It has potential, but definitely needs a lot of TLC. The structure isn’t what catches the eye but the front yard.

A chain linked fence that once use to go around the house is bent and partially gone. Covering the fence is a massive dead tree uprooted from the ground. The limbs extend over much of the yard revealing the demise was long before we arrived 6 years ago.

The size of this tree is so large the culprit that took it down had to have been a tornado or most likely a hurricane that blew in from the coast.  No one has made any effort to remove it even though it is an eyesore.  Who knows if it was too costly or a reminder of days past; whatever the reason I am always curious as to the story behind it.

Driving past it yesterday I sensed the evil that extracted the roots of such a colossal plant. Power so strong the ground probably shook when it fell.

However on either side of this plot of land home to this ugly dead tree, was an upgrade of life.  A few flowers here and there, with some shrubs or plants lining the area.  Not a huge bump of landscape but enough to notice.

God reminded me of David and Goliath.

David: The Bible Mini-series

David: The Bible Mini-series

David, the unlikely aggressor took to the stage of the Philistine’s mockery and came out swinging.  Unafraid, the sheep herder picked up stones and vowed to end this 40 day display of arrogance & taunting.

David didn’t look at the Philistine. He set his gaze beyond the giant and saw his God.

Placing his faith in the God of Israel, he knew before he threw the stones the fight was already over.  The Philistine and his armored militia never saw the curtain fall on their bad acting.

Just like the ugly dead tree, God surrounds evil with his good. The appearance of a “shroud of doom” covering our land, are the “David’s” who are resting in the shadow of the Almighty waiting to trample the great lion and the serpent.

We as Christians must do as David did and look past, over, around or under the destruction that blocks our way.  What we see is temporary; what is unseen is eternal.

 We have the same God David did.  

2 Chronicles 20: 15 He said: “Listen, King Jehoshaphat and all who live in Judah and Jerusalem! This is what the Lord says to you: ‘Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s.

No matter how many “Goliath’s” are out there, God is bigger than all of them.  Trust him to give you a sling shot and the ability to carry out his purposes.

What are you waiting for? Go find your rocks.

line5line5line5

http://samuelatgilgal.wordpress.com/2013/07/10/bearers-of-light/

http://theteentheme.wordpress.com/2013/07/10/i-believe/

Copyright @ 2013 All Rights Reserved


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The Life Apart


“Lead us not into temptation.”

Most people believe it is speaking of elicit sin, wrongdoing or beating your sister up. These are true but limited.  Well, beating your sister warrants nothing short of the stocks.

One of the most accomplished sin designs of the enemy today is busyness; taking on activities out of our realm of God’s wishes.

The temptation to “hit the floor running” at 6 AM until we have run ourselves ragged by 6PM or later has become the norm.

Harping on this agenda to kill ourselves before our time is not God’s idea. We are no good to anyone if we are exhausted. The afternoon coffee or “Energy Drinks” float around for a pick-me-up to get through the rest of the day.burn

We have the idea if we aren’t scheduled to the second of every day doing something; we have accomplished little or nothing at all.  Baloney.

The “rat race” or “climbing the ladder of fame and fortune” are prescriptions for frazzled, irritable, murky, run-down believers who haven’t figured out yet God has a better plan.

Why would he expect us to cram our days running from one thing to another?

Why would he place us in maximum overload?

He hasn’t and he won’t.

Matthew 11: 28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

God’s view of “service” is not ours.

Accomplishment or doing the Lord’s work is not a busyness based theory.

What did Moses do? David? Daniel? Matthew? Paul?

The common denominator was time spent apart with only God. Before they ventured out to usher in his will, they prayed, listened, and soaked in his presence.  Getting quiet with God in his presence will produce purpose and how to carry it out.

Jesus set the example for us. Often, he would leave the disciples to go pray to the Father and be alone with him. He did this in the spirit of rejuvenation and in between the hardships and attacks of the enemy.

God will eliminate that which we are not to do relieving us of becoming over burdened and strained.

What we fail to see which is of ultimate importance is when we seek God first then follow his guidance it opens the door for the Holy Spirit to operate completely resulting in supernatural service.  A solemn prayer life with God will yield more than the total of man’s activities.

We can’t possibly hear God unless we sit still and focus on him.

Who needs a chair?chair

http://goldenbible.wordpress.com/2013/06/18/a-christians-prayer-pt-1/

http://theteentheme.wordpress.com/2013/06/19/make-a-choice/

http://butchdean.wordpress.com/2013/06/19/the-bible/

http://settledinheaven.wordpress.com/2013/06/19/proverbs-15-31-33-devotion-bible-hearing-wisdom/


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The Latest in Stupid


Heil halfwit: Greek soccer player gets lifetime ban after Nazi salute

He claims he didn’t know what it meant and wouldn’t have done it had he known.

Teen shoots himself in the groin, blames suspiciously unsubtle ninjas

The truth was he has “gang” ties. He was in the car playing with the gun when it discharged.

The choices or decisions we make often come back to haunt us.

Or end our careers.

Or land us in the hospital from a self-inflicted accidental wound.

Consequences may not show up for days, weeks or years but it is one thing in life you can count on. Repercussions don’t just go away.

Then there are those desperately stupid choices like:_TheBibleMiniseriesTrailer_712424367

Robber in bank in New York only gets away with lollipops.

The robber handed the teller a note and told her he had a bomb. She told him to fill out a withdrawal slip and he ran away but not before grabbing a bunch of lollipops from the bowl on the counter.

Watching the first two episodes of the mini-series “The Bible” again yesterday before the new one began at 8pm, I was struck with the absolute stubborn foolishness of Pharaoh. His refusal to “let God’s people go” was in an all-out effort to prove he was God himself.

I can’t believe he was illiterate or incompetent; unwise and thoughtless? YES.
Reckless and arrogant? YES. Cruel and heartless. YES.

His obstinate and pig-headed decisions initiated the ruin and downfall of Egypt and the loss of many lives including his first born son. So much for thinking our judgments don’t affect those around us.

The Walls of Jericho surrounded the Canaanite’s who inhabited the “Promised Land” of the Israelites. Before God sent Joshua in with his army to take it over, word had reached Canaan of “the God of Israel” and his power. They were filled with fear and yet they fought against them and lost.  What should they have done?

The Philistines persistent and inflexible desire to control and annihilate the Jews was met with the muscles of Samson, “The Nazarite.”  This fatal determination incensed him to the point of exerting his wrath on any of them who crossed his path. Having been chosen by God, his strength was unmatched.the-bible-episode-2-homeland

Judges 16:30 “Samson said, “Let me die with the Philistines!” Then he pushed with all his might, and down came the temple on the rulers and all the people in it. Thus he killed many more when he died than while he lived.”

In the end, he killed nearly 3,000 enemies of Israel.

Who can forget the senseless and jealous acts of King Saul? As David, a shepherd boy killed the giant Philistine, he gained the love and adoration of Saul’s kingdom. He became an ardent swordsman in the army of the Lord. Saul was overcome with envy of David’s success and popularity; so much so it all but drove him mad. And I don’t mean just angry. Saul went mental.

Instead of embracing the love David had for him and the position God had crowned him with, Saul allowed his emotions to get in the way of living as a wise King.  He also put many including his own family members in harm’s way. He died a broken king due to his own idiocy.

The ages have not changed much. Stubbornness and unyielding pride remain in the forefront of society.

Whether it be an evil salute or suspicious ninjas we have not outgrown the vanity of an egotistical Egyptian leader or the smugness of a Philistine army.

When will we ever learn?The-Bible-Miniseries-300x199

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http://vineoflife.net/2013/03/18/understanding-redemption/

http://johnadavid.wordpress.com/2013/03/18/c-s-lewis-daily-63/

http://settledinheaven.wordpress.com/2013/03/17/as-we-seek-to-be-closer-to-him/

Copyright @ 2013 All Rights Reserved


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Snap, Crackle and Pop


surgery

As I regain strength I want to thank everyone for their prayers. I thank God for my healing and especially since I couldn’t hear. Noise of any kind sent a major singe of pain throughout my head. But interestingly enough…. as I was praying this morning my ears began to open up! It was like snap, crackle and pop!

This is a good time to write about something that is missing from what is being taught in churches…..Healing.  Why is that?

Jesus healed people everywhere he went. As he discipled his disciples they did too….Peter healed a crippled beggar. (Acts 3:6) People lined up on the streets hoping Peter’s shadow would fall on them to be healed. (Acts 5:15-16) Peter healed Aeneas (Acts 9:34) and raised Tabitha from the dead. (Acts 9:40)

Paul was given extraordinary healing powers. When the sick touched his handkerchiefs and aprons they were healed. (Acts 19:11-12)

God wants his people well and healthy. Why wouldn’t he?

If God wants people sick then why are so many running to doctors, or taking medicines? If he wants us sick or ill then we are disobeying him if we do anything towards getting well.

Unfortunately there are many who do not believe Jesus heals today just as he did when he walked on this earth. And by this I mean Christians too. One blogger all but blessed me out for writing that on his blog. This Christian retired Pastor who writes to aid in those suffering from emotional issues such as depression told me healing stopped with Jesus 2000 years ago and we should not as Christians go around telling people they can be healed for fear they won’t be!insurance meds

If I had to live believing that what would be the purpose? What kind of hope do you give people with that attitude? None! If we all believed what this man says, why would we pray for anyone to be well?

We can take medicine, eat right, exercise and have surgeries but ultimately God heals us. God intervenes especially as people pray for healing.

Bible characters such as Moses, David, and Paul could not have lived without God’s healing powers intervening on their behalf. Paul makes references to being beaten, starved and imprisoned in who knows what kind of conditions. How did he survive those conditions? How did Moses live 40 years in the desert without the local medical clinic?

It was the same with food. David hid from Saul in caves for months. David didn’t have a nearby cave serving up hotcakes and Starbucks coffee. Moses didn’t spend his time searching for Outback or McDonald’s hamburgers and French fries.

Did God want them to eat and be nourished while camping out in rat infested caves and dungeons? Or did he supply what they needed along the way…..

He did so for the Israelites as they fled Egypt. He provided all they needed from manna as food, to a cloud to follow during the day and a pillar of fire at night. (Exodus 13: 21-22) He also gave them shoes that never wore out.

God hasn’t changed.

And we don’t have to go far for coffee.

http://denimdevotion.wordpress.com/2013/01/28/when-food-becomes-an-idol/

http://unwalled.wordpress.com/2013/01/17/for-those-battling-sickness/

http://faith1stministries.com/2013/01/28/speak-what-you-believe-3/

http://samuelatgilgal.wordpress.com/2013/01/28/joy-in-the-midst-of-trials/

Copyright @ 2013 All Rights Reserved