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He speaks; he really does….


Spending time alone with God is one of the best ways to learn his voice. Along with his word, he gives us himself referencing his truth as the basis for life.

Mastering anything where God is concerned is like teaching a cat not to chase a mouse. It is a journey forever which makes every day a treasure hunt but he gives us bits and pieces of his character allowing us to understand him a little better.

Having uttered our lack here God is willing to talk to us if we ask him. His point isn’t as much the response as it is the relationship.

The skeptics may say, “Well, God might speak to you but he has never spoken to me.”
Don’t blame God; that is your fault. Maybe you should try talking to him first? Why not initiate a conversation with him and see what happens?

“Words of Knowledge” are mysteriously intriguing to me. God has used them numerous times in my life for different reasons. Limiting this great speaking engagement to actual “words” isn’t a fair assessment of God.  His creative and unique ability to speak appears in a variety of ways such as:

Noah’s Ark1175062_10153249759805010_1819584612_n

The plagues of Egypt

Daniel in the Lion’s Den

Jonah and the Whale

You may say those are extreme cases. Sure. But he spoke no less and used visual aids in the process.

How many people do you see everyday building an Ark in their front yard?

The Pharaoh of Egypt may have been one of the most stubborn men to ever live but he had to notice the water turned to blood, millions of locusts, grasshoppers, gnats, and flies that descended on the land.

And what about lions and whales? Go figure.

If only the general public would realize God’s sense of humor is far reaching, artistic and ingenious the world would be laughing instead of living lives full of doom and gloom.

In my own life God has spoken to my heart through his word more times than I can count or remember.

He has used movies, billboards, and people to tell me what he wants me to know.

Once, he had me in a grocery store walk up to a woman sitting on a bench I have never seen before and offer her a ride home. She almost cried because God told her I was going to do this and to accept right before I appeared to her

There have been days when he changed my schedule so that I would run an errand to specifically meet someone who he knew may have needed encouragement or a specific word they otherwise would never hear.

And then there are the mornings when I wake up and see a “word” literally written in the air. He did this for 2 months 7 years ago with the word “move.” We moved 6 months after that from one state to another.

For the last 5 mornings as soon as I have sat down to have my devotions with him and opened my Bible, the book “Obadiah” has appeared before me. Now God knows this interrupts my daily routine with him so it must mean something very important. I have read it every morning immediately after this and cross referenced verses from it.

Let me insert here I have never been that interested in Obadiah nor have I ever spent any time studying it. Simply stated, it was not on my radar. Period.

So why now?

To be continued……2_timothy_3_16

 

 

 

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Setting the Record Straight


On the heels of A & E suspending Phil Robertson of Duck Dynasty for speaking the truth, I would like to reflect on this decision.

He spoke his opinion to a magazine interviewer that had nothing to do with the network Duck Dynasty is a part of. For his opinion he has been relieved of his job.duck

This is more than a direct violation of Free Speech. It is the bias of many in the entertainment industry to spin off any who don’t agree with their beliefs. As this mushrooms, it will be interesting to see if A & E truly support the Gay community when it comes to losing this show and all the money it makes for them.

The divisiveness is due to misunderstanding of what we who follow Jesus believe and the perception of those who disagree with it.

The Bible has a clear stance on homosexuality. It is an abomination to God; it is a sin. (Leviticus 18:22)

The Bible is gender created; male and females. No one is or was born homosexual. No one evolves into a different state of being or humanity. It is a choice one makes.

The choice is no different than choosing to drink alcohol, smoke, lie, cheat, gossip, etc.

The perception has been that those who choose to live such a lifestyle believe that we who disagree with it are bigot hate-filled intolerant hypocrites. A few bad apples in any group doesn’t speak for the majority.

Not only do I have friends and family who have made this choice, I have treated them with respect and shown them nothing but love. I do not agree with their lifestyle, but they are people created by God just like I was.

However, due to this Biblical commandment anyone choosing to become Gay don’t want to be considered wrong or to be sinning. Like other sins, having to dis-avow homosexuality would require change most do not want to accept.

Throughout history homosexuality has occurred but resulted in devastating consequences.

The person who chooses to drink alcohol or smoke on a daily basis will at one point have to decide whether to continue. It comes down to how much they value their life because both are death wishes. But this occurs with any sin.

The alcoholic or drug addict, the compulsive liar or gossip will reap the penalties of their abuse. Whatever the sin, there will be costs to endure.

As far as choosing to be gay, one must first realize it is a sin. Denial isn’t  a “river in Egypt” and won’t give anyone a free ticket to do anything against the will of God.

denial

denial

The Bible is the core of determining the difference between good and evil; right and wrong. Whether a person believes in it or not, doesn’t matter. It is kind of like saying, “I don’t believe in war.” That doesn’t mean it won’t happen.

It is the same with God. Just because a group of people choose not to believe in God or do his will doesn’t mean it doesn’t apply to them. It does.

The truth is the Gay community or those who support them have taken what the Bible says and turned it around to make Christians appear to be that which we are not.

The “Phil Robertson’s” of the world who speak the truth are actually the ones who are sharing love.

He represents many of us who are willing to risk losing everything to tell the truth if it means one person finds Jesus.

1 Peter 4: 8 “Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins.”

Copyright @ 2013 All Rights Reserved


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The Black Widower’s Sticky Stuff


God is full of surprises.

Just when you think he has forgotten your prayers he vindicates you with the promise he made.

Years later the course of action brings justification to prophetic words spoken by the one who saw it coming.  Yes. Over and over you grill into the thick heads of pride and stubbornness,

“You can’t do that, it is illegal.”

The confirmation occurs at the expense of hurt feelings, ruined relationships and lost trust.

It would be so much easier if bone headed brains would listen in the first place.

The all famous slogan of “I told you so,” might get a break in the event the egotistical fool hits rock bottom.

Denial isn’t just a river in Egypt. Mark Twain must have known many who fit this category.  Certain types of personalities tend to reach the level of stupidity using denial as their weapon of choice. Why accept what you don’t want to believe? Make it go away with “No, you’re wrong.”

What is so terrible about admitting we’re wrong?

Is it worth the loss of family, friends and your health?

Is it worth your job, integrity or success?

While the denier slowly peels off pieces of everything and everyone in their life, eventually one gets close enough to witness the unraveling of a mask, or disguise. Once discovered, the true meaning behind this dual personality is one lie after another.

The court of public opinion will never believe the innocent one. Why?

The deceiver is an actor. Broadcasting their wonderful attributes in an open forum they honestly believe they will never get caught. Behind closed doors may be a monster who threatens the very one they are supposed to love. Call it what you will; it is mental and emotional abuse from a cowardly jerk who could care less who they step on.th

But, what they don’t know will get them in the end.

No gloating here. God deserves all the glory.

Eventually, and always the deceiver is found out. Years after the fact not only does the prophetic come to pass, the deceiver gets caught in their own wicked web.

Caught red handed in a spider’s web they spun, God allows the tensile strengthened silk to get slapped with rain and wind causing it to fall apart on its own.  The Black Widower is now left with nothing much but a few strands of non-sticky web that can’t catch anything.

Psalm 37: 5-6 “Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him and he will do this: He will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn, your vindication like the noonday sun.”

Exoneration is God’s business.my boss is a carpenter

Jesus knew all about injustice. More than anyone else.

Isaiah 53:8 “By oppression and judgment he was taken away.”

And while he was away he beat the devil at his own game.
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Copyright @ 2013 All Rights Reserved


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What is God really up to?


The lingering question outlines many who wonder where God is.

As I previously wrote, God is in the midst of us no matter what it looks like; and it looks pretty bad.

However, it is usually in our worst of times whether private or public God makes a show of his greatness.

We pride ourselves on knowing how God is going to do this or that, when the Bible clearly states,

Isaiah 55:8 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD.

To be perfectly honest, I don’t care how God shows up; the point is that I trust him to do so.

One example of his surprises is in 2nd Chronicles 20.

Jehoshaphat, King of Judah found himself in a mess. Armies of enemies were heading toward God’s people.

Moabites, Ammonites, Meunites and all the “ites” made up a vast militia that wanted his kingdom gone.

As Jehoshaphat heard the news, he gathered the assembly of Judah at the Temple and announced to the people what they were up against.

Fear must have swept over him as he began to cry out to the Lord for help. His prayer was detailed with explanations of what was about to happen to his people if God didn’t intervene.

Instead of focusing on the enemy they kept their eyes on God.

So what does God do?Kingdoms_around_Israel_830_map.svg

He pulls an ambush.

The Spirit of the Lord spoke to a man named Jahaziel.

“Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s. Go out to face them tomorrow and the Lord will be with you.”

The next day, Jehoshaphat appointed men to sing and praise God.

A funny thing happened while they gathered together making music.

Instead of coming after the people of Judah, the enemies began fighting each other. In an all-out slaughter, not one was left. It took 3 days for God’s people to gather the plunder which included equipment, clothing and items of great value.

The 4th day, they didn’t play Spades or Monopoly. NO…..they assembled together praising God for saving them.

God sent some nasty plagues to Egypt for resisting Moses to let his people go.

The Red Sea parted in what may have been one of the most extravagant miracles God has ever pulled.

The Walls of Jericho fell while the Israelites marched around it.

And he preserved the families of Judah, the lineage of Jesus, with a surprise trap that no one saw coming.

These miracles made their way to other lands and adversaries.  It was well known the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob was a force to be reckoned with.

I wonder; if God pulled off such supernatural exploits in Old Testament times, do you think he might do it again?

History does repeat itself.

Hmmmmm….an ambush?wlEmoticon-redheart.png

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Copyright @ 2013 All Rights Reserved


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Burning Bushes: The Game of Hide and Seek


Moses knew what a burning bush looked like but he wasn’t prepared for one that didn’t burn up while on fire.

The story lays claim to a great mystery of Biblical proportion even non-Christians have heard about.

While we know God used the bush to get his attention, there is more to the story.

40 years had passed since Moses was kicked out of Egypt but what had changed?

Pharaoh? Had the slaves been set free? Had his people forgotten him?

Who knew, but the change was Moses.

Far from the elite life of Egyptian royalty, he had been in the school of hard knocks for 4 decades.

He went from privilege to poverty; from Egyptian born to his true roots as a Hebrew and from arrogant pride to obscure humility.

So what does this have to do with modern society?

Everything.

If you read the papers, surf the net, or turn on the news it is easy to get depressed quickly. The world is falling apart before our eyes; innocents are being attacked and killed in the name of Allah and America is floating in a sea of moral decay.

Much is being spread of destruction, financial collapse, wars and rumors of wars so where is God?

“I will never leave you nor forsake you.”

I don’t know about you, but I worship a big God.

He is greater than any catastrophic event.

He has armies of angels he has let loose from the heavens with the armor of giants and last I heard he has more money than Solomon….

He can be anywhere all the time and has eyes in the back of his head.

God sees all and knows all.

People of God, he wants us to do as Moses did; stop and look at this site.  The secular world sees only secular pictures only it is what they don’t see that counts.

Moses maybe took a “double-take?” I would have. If for no other reason except out of curiosity.

He laid his eyes upon the supernatural; his feet on Holy Ground.

Maybe God gave him glimpses of his future; his calling to be the “Deliverer.”

Maybe God revealed his love for the Jewish people and allowed Moses to soak in it himself.

Maybe God’s glory was so profound, Moses experienced what no other man would ever encounter.

The saying, “things often get worse before they get better” rings a bell right now.

The enemy is well aware his time is short and he is making good use of it. What he isn’t aware of are the “burning bushes” God has planted around the world.

If the enemy has beefed up his assaults on mankind what do you think God is doing?

Planting potatoes? No!

God is playing hide and seek.

Isaiah 54: 17 “No weapon forged against you will prevail, and you will refute every tongue that accuses you.”

Sending in his forces. Revving up his armies of angels. Transporting military with more back-up power than all of the devil’s demons combined.

God is planting seeds of his warriors Moses, David and Jeremiah to line his people with courage, strength and peace of mind.

He is bringing in his wisdom, knowledge and understanding through the likes of Solomon.

And…..has anyone heard that Joseph has returned to Egypt?

I have. He is already there in a prison in a repeat performance of Joseph, the son of Jacob.

God has said it is too late for the Middle East to win now. He has set his people in place to fulfill his word.

Israel is forever.

God is beating the devil to his latest punch.

Psalm 122:6 “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem. May those who love you be secure.”


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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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What Egyptians think of Obama after the Morsi disaster by Dr. Michael Youssef


For you who have doubted the President’s allegiance to the Muslim Brotherhood, read this article.  Dr. Youssef, an Egyptian Coptic Christian is now a Pastor here in the United States. A very respected and honorable man, he has outlined perfectly that President Obama is a Muslim and against Christians.  Dr. Youssef quickly identifies the President aligning himself with the Muslim Brotherhood. 

Editor’s note: Author Michael Amerhom Youssef was born in Egypt in 1948. He studied at Moore Theological College in Sydney, Australia and was later ordained there as a minister. His ancestors, like all Christian ancestors, belonged to the Coptic orthodox church. He is a third generation protestant. Youssef moved to the United States with his wife in 1977.  In 1978, he received a master’s degree in theology at Fuller Theological Seminary in California. In 1984, he became a United States citizen. Youssef founded The Church of the Apostles in Atlanta in 1987 and currently leads a congregation of over 3,000.

In 2011, President Obama quickly called on President Mubarak to acquiesce to demonstrators’ demands and leave office.

With Mubarak out of the way, Obama proceeded to support the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood, who succeeded in stealing the revolution.

Obama’s support extended to an ex-con named Mohammad Morsi. When Morsi ran for the presidency, the president continued to support him, even when it was clear that the close election was rigged by dubious tactics.

With his wishy-washy message about those who are democratically elected, Obama confirmed in Egyptian minds that he is in the pocket of the Muslim Brotherhood.

With Obama’s full-fledged support of Morsi, you would think that Egyptians would be in love with him. But the deeply troubled Egyptian public is in no way enamored with this White House.

Quite the contrary. Here’s why: More than 40 percent of Egyptian citizens currently must survive on about $2 per day. Lines to purchase gasoline stretch on for hours. The lines for a tank of propane—needed for cooking and other necessities of life—extend for up to nine hours. Electricity is cut off from 2-3 hours per night.

When the Egyptian masses finally couldn’t take it anymore, 22 million people signed a petition to recall Morsi’s election—more than twice the number of people than originally voted for him.

Then something totally unprecedented happened: 30 million people took to the streets. The largest mass demonstration in human history.

The Egyptian Army had tried on many previous occasions to mediate between President Morsi and the opposition. But Morsi autocratically and arrogantly refused to talk to anyone other than his masters in the Muslim Brotherhood headquarters.

In order to avoid the stigma of a coup, the military leaders met with a cross-section of the Egyptian population and religious leaders, including Islamists. As a result, they produced a wise plan calling for an election and appointing the chief justice of the Supreme Court as the interim president.

But here is the irony: while millions of Egyptians responded to Morsi’s ouster by joyfully dancing in the streets, the Muslim Brotherhood advisers in the White House helped Obama produce a non-descript statement. With his wishy-washy message about those who are democratically elected, Obama confirmed in Egyptian minds that he is in the pocket of the Muslim Brotherhood.

It is downright depressing to see the leader of the free world unable to comprehend the Islamic understanding of democracy. To the Islamist, democracy means “one man, one vote, one time.” Once they have their power, there’s no reason to ever have another election.

Thank God for the wise and courageous Egyptian people who comprehended that plan and stopped it before it was too late.

And thank God for the persecuted Christians in Egypt who have cried out to God  while withstanding injustice during the reign of the Muslim Brotherhood.

As a committed Christian, I believe God has heard their cries, even when our president has covered his ears. They have set an example for every harassed believer in the world, including in America, to pray and hope that God will hear our prayers.

Dr. Michael Youssef is founder and president of Leading the Way Ministries and founding pastor, Church of the Apostles in Atlanta, Georgia. Born in Egypt in 1948, Michael Amerhom Youssef studied at Moore Theological College in Sydney, Australia and was ordained as a minister there. He moved to America with his wife, Elizabeth, in 1977 and in 1978, received a master’s degree in theology at Fuller Theological Seminary in California. He later earned a doctorate in social anthropology from Emory University in Atlanta. He is the author of 29 books, including most recently “http://www.amazon.com/Blindsided-Conquest-Michael-Youssef-Ph-D/dp/098481082X/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1373387513&sr=1-1&keywords=youssef” (Kobri 2012).