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Christianity 0ut of the Box


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Who was Alexander the Metal Maker?


Yeah, who is this guy?sound doctrine

The Bible never ceases to amaze me. How anyone can think it is dull must not be reading the same one I read. Just when I begin to pat myself on the back for all I have learned (LOL) God reveals one verse unknown to my list of classroom unchartered territories.

2 Timothy 4:14 “Alexander the metalworker did me a great deal of harm. The Lord will repay him for what he has done.”

Whoa.  He might find someone else to add as a reference on his resume.

Researching him, very little is found.  There are other references to an “Alexander” in the NT who all came from Ephesus. Whether these 3 are 1 in the same is questionable. However the determination that 2 of them resided in Ephesus within the period of time Paul wrote 1Timothy and 2nd Timothy so it is highly possible at least 2 of them were the same Alexander. To be clear, there were other “Alexander’s” mentioned in the NT but evidence doesn’t speak to them as being this particular person.

1 Timothy 4 goes into some detail of Paul’s instructions to Timothy before his “departure.”  He outlines instructions of how to act, what to do and to “keep his head” in all situations.

Sounds almost like Timothy didn’t have both oars in the water? Or not?

Why was Paul warning him?

He goes on to explain how many would:

       Turn away from sound doctrine

       Cater to their own selfish desires

       Listen to only what they want to hear

       Surround themselves with those who believe as they did

       Turn away from the truth

       Accept myths as the truth

What?

How did Paul know his words written toward the end of the 1st Century (time?)  would describe exactly the 21st Century?

Paul continues to inform Timothy, all his friends deserted him except Luke.  He asks Timothy to get Mark and bring him because he is a great support in ministry.  He also asks Timothy to bring with him some items he forgot such as his cloak and scrolls.

Now why is that in the Bible? Was Paul forgetful? Scatter brained? 

Paul prepares Timothy for his possible meeting with this metal maker, “Alexander.”

My take on this “Alexander” fellow reminds me of some big time names I won’t name.  He sounds like a modern day politician who indoctrinates others to his way of thinking or at least tries to.

 He was not to be trusted and was quite vocal about his stance against the Gospels.

 He refused the message Paul gave; may have done personal harm to the Apostle and could have been labeled “evil.”  Sound familiar?

Roaring Lion

Roaring Lion

And if I am not mistaken Paul refers to him as a “lion” in verse 17.

This Alexander guy was hardly mentioned but made such an impact on Paul he made sure Timothy was on his guard around this man.

Paul also clearly defined God saved him from the “Lions mouth” giving Timothy the assurance of protection and strength.

So….we should be able to take a lesson from our dear, old Paul…..

“Alexander’s” may be standing right in front of us, but what Alexander doesn’t see in between us will  stop  him.


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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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A Funny Thing Happened on the Road to becoming a Disciple


Ask the Apostle Paul about it and he might answer,

Yea, you won’t believe what happened to me on the road to Damascus. All of a sudden I was thrown off my horse and blinded. Then, Jesus spoke to me and told me to stop persecuting him. As if that wasn’t life changing enough, he told me to go and tell the world about him. ”

Now who would believe a story like that?

The same person who believes God threw a man into a whale and 3 days later spit him out.

It isn’t easy being a disciple.

snoopy

Certain responses come with the territory of spreading God’s word.

Persecution

Unbelief

Labels like “he’s a real lunatic, crazy or he’s just really lost it.”

Isolation

Ridicule

Anger


Why does this occur?

Most people, even Christians don’t volunteer to seek the spiritual. Instead they follow Paul’s religiosity until God knocks them off their “horse of pride.”  His example sets a precedence of idiot causes. Prior to his conversion he was considered a highbrow scholar who incited such mass murders as was done to Stephen. He wasn’t a nice guy.

The non-converted Paul would fit well in today’s society. He would be a pioneer of radical bigotry; a smooth two faced graduate of an Ivy League University with Honors. President of his class, he is persuasive and charming.  He always gets the girl.

His conversion would not meet with a grandiose reception. Blacklisted, ousted and seen as a traitor, his Doctorate Degree in Religious Studies soon becomes a joke.

Paul, the ‘Man of the Hour” has turned into a “Jesus Freak.”

So what really happened on Paul’s journey to Damascus?

The notable society of Paul “wanna-be’s” probably believed he had changed, but a transformation like his was the beginning of “Kingdom Discipleship.”

Earthly discipleship is viewing spiritual things with natural eyesight.

In other words, serving man instead of God.

“Kingdom Discipleship” is training to see the natural from a spiritual set of eyes or serving God.

Earthly discipleship is running rampant. The veil remains on many  faces.
(2 Corinthians 3)

Paul spent years after his conversion learning how to look through spiritual eyes.

Like Paul, when we seek and yearn for God’s presence, a natural shift takes place. Over time, a spiritual metamorphosis occurs and the veil is lifted.

It may be gradual but the world begins to look different. Your opinion changes or at times it  can do a 180. What you saw before was covered or making sense of life’s issues was impossible. A key component of knowing you have graduated is the frustration of trying to explain to others how different it all looks to you now.  You might find yourself in conversations screaming, “don’t you see this? It is clear as a bell!”

All of a sudden life will make sense even in the midst of hell.

All of a sudden the central reason or purpose for any of us existing, CLICKS.

All of a sudden, the world is connected to that one person; Jesus.

If you will volunteer to seek God on your own, you won’t end up getting thrown off your horse like Paul.

And once the veil is removed?

Start working on that “Kingdom Discipleship Doctorate.”

Yeah.  And you thought you were finished with school. LOL!

doctor of Ministry

http://theteentheme.wordpress.com/2013/05/28/surrender/

http://samuelatgilgal.wordpress.com/2013/05/29/look-to-the-bible-for-moral-guidance-and-for-wisdom/

http://wayneaugden.wordpress.com/2013/05/29/are-you-a-real-christian-this-was-an-interesting-article-i-found/

http://samuelatgilgal.wordpress.com/2013/05/29/loving-the-cross/



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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


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Unhinged Jesus Fans


We are a nation of distrust. The church has disintegrated into more projects, staff meetings, and entertainment to entice new believers. Unfortunately this has brought with it a sense of “unbelief” in actual spiritual matters.

There are many prophets on the horizon. Why wouldn’t there be?

Photo by Randy Harrison
http://www.pbase.com/jrandyh

All through the Bible God gave us prophets. He wanted to give us reflections of the future. Why?

So Christians wouldn’t goof up or muddle through life as train wrecks or unhinged Jesus fans.

Get this: Moses had to practically yell at the Pharaoh about the coming plagues. He laughed at him. He probably wasn’t laughing when all those bugs, frogs and flies landed in his bed.

Isaiah prophesied the coming of the Messiah many years prior to Jesus’ birth. Isaiah 53:5

Daniel reminds me of a radical prophet. No one can say his life was boring.

1.    He was a “dream interpreter” Daniel 2:44-48

2.    Is famous for making friends with lions  Daniel 6:1-28

3.    Was a handwriting expert. Daniel 5: 1-29

And then there was Jonah. You can run but you cannot hide.

Paul was considered an Apostle and a prophet. Trouble seemed to follow him.

And of course God had a few women prophets or prophetesses.

Miriam: the sister of Aaron aided in the Exodus from Egypt. I wonder if she realized her impact on women’s ministry or if they considered her a “feminist.” Exodus 15:20

How about Deborah? She was not only a prophet, but a judge, and military leader of Israel’s army. Do you think she was given the same rank as the men? Judges 4 & 5:

If I had been Euodia and Syntyche I would have rebelled against my names. What parent would do that to a child? Anyway they were considered by Paul as co-workers in spreading the gospel and active in evangelism. Philippians 4:2

Most of the New Testament disciples were prophets; Matthew, Andrew, John, James. Etc.

The general public is often suspicious of prophets.

“Oh, I don’t bother with prophets. Most are false anyway.”

Or

“Prophets don’t exist today. Anyone who claims to be is questionable or crazy.”

If there was ever a time in history when we need prophetic insight it is now. Why would God leave us empty handed?

Do you believe God inspired prophets in the last 20 years to prophesy 9/11? or how about the grim reminder of hurricane “Sandy” this past week? Do you think had we been listening we might have been able to better prepare or even pray that God would intervene in such disasters?

Milford, CT

God wants us to prophecy. 1 Corinthians 14. Prophecy encourages, edifies and comforts others. Had I not been listening closely to the Holy Spirit at various times in my life, I would not have known what to do in certain crisis situations that arose.

As I have spoken before God loves to be creative. He enjoys giving a “Word of Knowledge” over and over and over! Maybe I am hard of hearing or something but he did that in January and February of 2007.  Every morning the first word that I thought of was “move.” It was like written before my sleepy eyes in bold print. I didn’t want to move again!  We moved in August of 2007. Had God not prepared us early, my husband might not have the job he now has.

Another example of God’s humor is he enjoys telling me ahead of time what mail I am getting! I know that sounds silly, but he loves to remind me about certain bills or the tax statement is on its way! Usually I would sense in my spirit what letter was going to show up. Without a doubt within 24-36 hours his specific piece of mail was in my box.  Finally I asked him,

“God, why are you giving me a heads up on my incoming mail? “

God: “I am interested in every area of your life, including what you receive from the Postal service.”

I was humbled.

Either I missed a memo about the “ousting of prophecy” or it was never written.

http://ladydeidre.com/2012/11/01/hawk/

http://learningtobeblog.wordpress.com/2012/11/01/sneak-attack/

http://samuelatgilgal.wordpress.com/2012/10/31/for-our-good/

http://butchdean.wordpress.com/2012/11/01/the-heart-believes-by-faith/

Copyright @ 2012 All Rights Reserved