Did Jesus have a Facebook Page?

Christianity 0ut of the Box


16 Comments

My family could use prayers


My dear blogging friends,

This morning my dear, sweet father James Craig went to be with the Lord.

He was 88 and a wonderful, loving father and devoted husband.

Our daughter and I will be traveling this week to be with my family and the funeral.

Truly it is amazing that I am at peace right now. However I knew last week it was coming as God spoke to me about it  and it is only God’s love within me holding me together.

Any prayers would be appreciated.

 

Thank you


2 Comments

“Raindrops Keep Falling on her Head”


Outside door # 1 it is raining. Outside door #2 it is raining. However the cat doesn’t understand why it is raining behind both doors.

After her long morning nap, she makes a pit stop at her food bowl for a snack. Once done, she sits in front of me with those beautiful green eyes wanting to go outside door # 1. As she hits the back steps raindrops start dropping on her little sweet head.

Maxicat

Maxicat

Not long after that, she is climbing the door wanting back in. Cleaning the moistened drops off of her fur she looks at me once again heading for door #2.

The repeated conversation I have had with her over and over is that the rain is outside door #1 and door # 2. She ignores my attempt to explain the weather and scampers out.

Jumping to the steps and onto the sidewalk, she is quick to notice raindrops dropping on her head again. But why she meowwwwwwssss?

Her tiny, pea-brain believes the climate is different out front from the back. Try explaining that to a cat. She remains hopeful it will change.

Her thinking isn’t that much different than ours. How many times do we find ourselves repeating habits hoping for a new outcome?

“They” the people who seem to know says it takes us humans 21 times duplicating the same habit over before we can break it. How exhausting.

A habit by definition is a “behavior, tendency or frequent repetition or exposure performed regularly until it becomes involuntary.”

“Habits” in and of themselves have been given a “bad rap.” Automatically we assume habits are evil or wrong.

Sleeping 8 hours a night is a good habit.

Smoking is a bad habit because it is harmful to our bodies.

Eating your vegetables is a good habit.

Watching too much TV is a bad habit.

Gossiping can become a bad habit.

Spending too much time on your laptop is a bad habit…..ugh…..

Pathological lying is a very bad habit.

Drinking a soft drink everyday is a bad habit.

Feeding your cat everyday is a must.

Indulging in a chocolate bar everyday can become habitual unless you do it for recreational purposes like playing tennis and you need that boost of energy.  For the record a Snickers bar will do the trick.

Reading the Bible everyday is a good habit.

Wait, what was that last one?

READING THE BIBLE EVERY DAY IS A GOOD HABIT?

But isn’t that legalistic? Does God want us to spend time with him out of habit?

No…..but what may start out as a planned habit to be with him may turn out to be a joy, comfort and peace.

Psalm 119:105 “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.”

Some habits are worth forming. The onset may be a humble and upright goal; to perform a task as it were to eventually become the highlight of your day. Or that one thing you simply cannot live without.

At least that is how it started years ago with me. Now, reading the Bible, praying and spending time alone in the morning with God is the one thing I can’t live without. My day is complete and instead of getting a boost from a chocolate bar, his words fill me up.

Now, no longer a habit, God is my goal and purpose.

Jesus is the center and everything else falls into place around him.

Now if I can just get Maxi to understand why raindrops fall on her head behind both doors……nah…….

http://samuelatgilgal.wordpress.com/2013/02/07/gods-love/

http://butchdean.wordpress.com/2013/02/06/the-spoken-word/

http://samuelatgilgal.wordpress.com/2013/02/06/look-to-the-scriptures/

http://settledinheaven.wordpress.com/2013/02/07/sihs-think-on-these-things-proverbs-45-9/

Copyright @ 2013 All Rights Reserved


6 Comments

Hope for the Hopeless


We spend our days hoping.

Hoping for what?red heart

A new car; boyfriend; a miracle of healing; new job; new spouse! LOL!

Have you ever hoped for something so much you would do almost anything to get it?

The levels are foundational depending on your goal.

I hope the neighbor’s puppy stops whining and howling whenever she is outside.

Many across our nation right now hope to get a job.

The shy high school kid hoped to get a date at the prom.

The boy across the street hoped his father would be home soon from Iraq.

Heather McCoy hoped to breathe normally; she got new lungs and she is on her way to receiving that blessing.

Fundamentally we can’t live without hope. Why?

It is something to look forward to. Hope is a reason to keep going. It is the means to an end. Hope is the future.

Romans 8:24-25 “For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.”

From a personal standpoint I can honestly say we really cannot live without hope. Having experienced “hopelessness” myself, is one of the worst places emotionally a person can be.

The dark space it inhabits reeks of death. Lost in a sea of desperation, gloom and wretchedness this dungeon becomes a reality in and of itself. Trapped and unable to escape it yields an unbearable misery.

The only way to get out is God. Deliverance comes one step at a time, one day at a time but it will show up in between the moments the “hopelessness” rears its ugly head.

First and foremost is to never allow yourself to get to that point. Dig your heels into God’s word; pray and reach for Jesus on the Cross. No pill or therapy is a substitute for God and his awesome promises.

If there was ever a period of time our nation needs hope it is now. We stand in the midst of fiery trials, wars, natural disasters and a lost generation.

Obvious is the nature of need in our society. Grappling with surviving many don’t realize they are crying out for discernment and rationalization of why life is the way it is.

Hope brings the heart back where it belongs. Instead of wearing it on our sleeve, it is safe and protected where God created it in the first place.

Learning the ropes of climbing out of the pain of “no hope” is easy to recognize once you have been there. Yet many like me made it out only by the grace of God but his grace was sufficient.

Now on the other side or out of the dirt and mire gives a whole new meaning on what our focus should be. Shoveling off the filth our position changes to resting and remaining in the hope of God to bring us through whatever we face. Our perspective becomes a panorama of Jesus on the cross bearing our burdens for us.

Hope is set on a lonely hill where he did for us what we could never do for ourselves.

He arose 3 days later after defeating hopelessness in an array of glory and righteousness.

Darkness was beaten by light.

And that my friends is the “Hope” of the world.

http://jesuscarriesme.com/2013/02/02/focus-more-on-eternal-glory-than-on-temporary-suffering/

http://jsparkblog.com/2013/02/01/gods-divine-art/

http://samuelatgilgal.wordpress.com/2013/02/02/christ-and-practical-logic/

Copyright @ 2013 All Rights Reserved


2 Comments

“If you don’t have a Sword, Sell your Cloak and go buy one”


The following is a list of NRA National Organizations with Anti Gun Policies

http://nraila.org/Issues/FactSheets/Read.aspx?ID=15

After reading through it, I was angered by those involved in movies and TV who have made fortunes off of violence. The fact that guns or weapons are used and yet these actors are outspoken against using them in the civilian culture is hypocrisy at its worst.

Actors like Kevin Bacon, Richard Belzer, Benjamin Bratt, Sylvester Stallone,Steve Buscemi,George Clooney, Kevin Costner, Matt Damon, Michael Douglas, Andy Garcia, Louis Gossett, Jr., Mark Harmon, Robert Redford, and Sean Connery to name a few have made millions using some form of armed weapon on the big screen or TV.matt damon

The list goes on and on of companies like Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream, the YWCA and Hallmark Cards who share this fight on gun control.

Many listed are multimedia companies or connections to the movie and TV industry. They don’t have a problem luring people to watch on-screen bloodshed and savagery as long as they make money. Yet, the real world should be absent of protecting families, schools and neighborhoods
with anything armed or considered a gun.

Instead of restricting use of our 2nd Amendment rights, why aren’t Diane Feinstein and her cronies going after Hollywood? In the last 40 years there is a marked difference in the programs on TV and movies.

Did Andy and Barney use foul language?

John Wayne and the “Rifleman” used rifles and guns; but only to fight evil.

Can you imagine sexually explicit scenes on “I love Lucy” or Mary Tyler Moore?

And what about teaching the Gay Lifestyle on “Leave it to Beaver” or “Eight is Enough?”

Today I received in the mail a letter from Franklin Graham of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. The purpose was to get the word out that restricting guns will not stop bad people from doing bad things. It was clear the emphasis should be placed on the mental health of our country.

The BGEA immediately sent a Rapid Response team the day of the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting. They are presently training 10,000 trainers across the country to aid in servicing churches in a program called “My Hope.” Our country is in desperate need of a massive change to fight off the evil that has invaded us.grahams

The summary of the letter was and I quote, “The problem –the real crux of the issue-lies not in the instruments of violence used, but in the evil and depraved heart of man.”

When Jesus wrote Luke 22:36 about selling your cloak to buy a sword, he meant it for protection and to fight off the enemy. He warned us of “wars and rumors of wars” along with the everyday battles of life. He gave us the right
to protect ourselves and our families by using weapons.

He would rather our hearts be changed to eliminate the assault of hatred and disorder caused by those who harbor such emotions, but he knows what we deal with.

And God said,

Psalm 120:7 “I am a man of peace; but when I speak, they are for war.”

http://samuelatgilgal.wordpress.com/2013/02/01/the-heresy-of-monarchianism/

http://vineoflife.net/2013/02/01/when-we-say-yes/

Copyright @ 2013 All Rights Reserved


4 Comments

There is No War on My Cat


Reading the news lately the shock of discovering there is a war on our “furry felines” of course routed my attention immediately.

The following article http://news.yahoo.com/staggering-stats-cats-kill-billions-animals-162839117.html gives statistics involving the hunting/killing of birds and mammals by our ever-loving feline friends.

At least we are not New Zealand who recently posted a ban on cats!

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jan/22/new-zealand-cat-lovers-campaign

An environmentalist, Gareth Morgan in New Zealand decided cats are killing native birds. In an effort to rid New Zealander’s from their prize kitties he suggested;Maxicat 011

  1. Euthanizing them is not necessary but an option
  2. Neuter them and do not replace them when they die
  3. Keep all cats indoors
  4. Make registration mandatory

What? Who is this guy? He should be flogged and hung out to dry.

Seems he has managed to dip out of sight after his declaration of “natural born killers” on the loose. New Zealand is one of the largest cat owner countries in the world.70% of the cat owners there disagree with his absurd and foolheaded assertion. He is fortunate at this point he doesn’t live anywhere near me.

So now this has spread to the United States where our precious pets of the feline nature are blamed for killing billions of animals a year. Had my Maxicat not “killed” for her food the first year of her life because she was feral, she wouldn’t be with me today.

A study done showed most cats who are pets kill between 4-18 birds a year and between 8 and 21 small animals a year. Out of 84 million owned cats, the majority are given the option to go outdoors to perform their so-called dastardly deeds upon the helpless targets of attacks. Enter at this point; what about the dogs who kill cats?

The majority of “bird killing cats” are feral. So why are they picking on our pets?

In my neighborhood alone are many feral felines running around. These wild kitties are homeless and in need of love so they struggle to survive on their own.

Last spring I wrote a blog about 2 Mockingbirds who graced a tree in our front yard with a nest. We lived here first but try explaining that to a mean, noisy Mockingbird who decided he ruled this roost. Stepping outside on the front porch was a dangerous move for any human and especially Maxi.

“Daddy Mockingbird” attempted over and over to swoop down and peck us on our heads to inform us we were not wanted. As a “father bird” he was instinctively doing what father’s do; protecting his eggs from the undesirables of the world.

Waking up on a warm spring morning, I made my coffee and peered out the back door looking for the cat. Only Maxi wasn’t present.  But she had definitely been there. My guess was the “mom and daddy Mockingbird’s” tried pecking her on the head a little too close and well, let’s just say she got the best of them.

If you want to get rid of mice, rats or moles get a cat. Maxi has quite a resume of taking care of those varmints around here.

A final note made in the study found that removing cats from the outdoors might have a negative impact on the ecosystem. Also noted was cats are a checkpoint for preserving certain species of birds and mammals from other prey.

Maxicat 004

Maxicat

So…..STOP PICKING ON THEM!

http://theteentheme.wordpress.com/2013/01/29/immersed-in-gods-word/

http://larrywho.wordpress.com/2013/01/31/dont-you-judge-me-ya-hear/

Copyright @ 2013 All Rights Reserved


Leave a comment

Growing Up is like the “Handwriting on the Wall”


When is a good time to grow up?mad

Ugh…..18? 21? 30? 70?

Kids/teenagers rush to grow up; can’t wait for this and that.

All of a sudden around the age of 25 reality alters the desire to act like an adult; except you are an adult according to age. The clock ticks forward, not backwards.

Some may be slower to gravitate towards this fate; some never get there. After all, growing up is hard to do.

Responsibilities take over the carefree, fickle lifestyle, or it should. For many that day never arrives. One may choose to ignore the accountability that comes along with growing up; only it leaves you behind in a fast paced world of getting ahead.

But…don’t we need good examples of growing up?

Shouldn’t those in positions of authority set a precedence of maturity?

You would think so. That is not the case. Not in America today.

How can we expect our young people to mature when the leaders of our nation act like a bunch of bumbling idiots?  The arrogance and insolence presented from the top down in our principal authorities has become the norm.

The slaps on the wrists made by controlling figureheads is like a teacher punishing 7 year old “Johnny-boy” for pulling “Polly’s” hair in class. They are children; not adults; they are supposed to act like children because they are.

Yet we have elected officials who deem themselves above the law, makers of all things legal and disagreeing with them is punishable by hanging.

When or who declared them God? That’s just it; they aren’t. No one has the jurisdiction of God’s order. Implementing such a false decree is subject to…. remember King Belshazzar?

Mene, Mene, Tekel and Parsin..” (Daniel 5)

Watching grown men and women fuss, feud, argue and slander each other is not only embarrassing but a sad example of what we have become. The pettiness and triviality being placed on issues such as keeping within a budget, not wasting money or borrowing beyond our means without paying it back is ungodly and not Biblical.

Psalm 37: 21 “The wicked borrow and do not repay, but the righteous give generously.”

It is time to grow up.

It is time to establish moral principles and ethics back into our afflicted and deranged culture.

It is time to show our youth who God created America to be in the first place.

It is time to read the “Handwriting on the Wall” lest we become Belshazzar’s descendants.

http://theteentheme.wordpress.com/2013/01/29/immersed-in-gods-word/

http://samuelatgilgal.wordpress.com/2013/01/29/may-gods-plans-be-defeated/

sonofgod-01

Graphic by http://churchgraphics.files.wordpress.com/2013/01/sonofgod-01.png?w=409&h=631


7 Comments

Packaged Faith from the Sewer


Hebrews 11:1 “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.”

From Dei Wellman on Faith: the young in Christ need to understand that it takes time to gain a relationship with Jesus — it’s not instantaneous. One has to work at a relationship, in order to gain Faith, to understand that God has got them in the palm of His hand. Learning and understanding and doing Provers 3: 5 – 8 takes time. James 1:6.http://ladydeidre.com

From Pastor Rob Barkman on Faith: It is one thing to want to believe that God exists and He is watching over us etc etc etc. It is an entirely different thing to come to an end of ourselves, where we see we have sinned against God, we can do nothing to save ourselves and we can only come before Him. Knowing that He must save us from our sins because we can do nothing to merit that salvation of our own doing. I believe this is the first step to God-given salvation. Our greatest need is to come to understand the person of God, His holiness and justice; the nature of sin and it’s fruits; and our sinful condition.
http://settledinheaven.wordpress.comfaith

 

God just comes up with some of the most fascinating ideas. He performs what we don’t see coming. He adds parts of this and that and lo and behold we receive loads of what we didn’t ask for.

It’s kind of like “packaged salvation.”  We received it all when we accepted Jesus as our Savior but that is only the beginning.

Visualize a newly, endorsed convert. The enemy runs and hides, angels begin singing “Hallelujah! Hallelujah!” and God gets to tear open another package of damaged goods so he can fix it.

The package comes with an index full of directions, plans and additions. Like most people, (especially men) they don’t read the directions! They ignore the detailed plans and the execution of those plans.

The process of repair can take a very long time. Some need to be sent off to a “repair shop” for an overhaul.

Others want reconditioning, reconstruction or replacement of parts.

And some, well they just need to learn how to read the directions.

No matter where you are in the packaging process, God adds qualifications or character traits to each follower as they mature. For instance; who knew God would provide a need for someone they didn’t think about or even know to do anything about because they were so busy doing what they were suppose to do to start with?

A few years ago I noticed a foul smell coming from our bathroom. It seems that someone prior to living in this house really liked flossing their teeth. Instead of throwing the floss in the trash, they threw it in the toilet! It became apparent the sewage line was backed up…….whew…..it was awful. Anyway I called a plumber and begged them to send someone ASAP. They did. He was as shocked as I was when he stuck the long, long, very long snake in the sewer line in the yard and came out with floss. A lot of floss. Wads of used floss. He shook his head and told me, “You wouldn’t believe what people put down their toilets.”

Writing him a check for his work, I sensed the Holy Spirit telling me to ask him about his family, and life. He had lost one job, but finally found that one. His wife had been sick for 5 years and could not work due to a brain tumor. He spoke of how he loved this woman and how he had taken care of her, but wished he could do more for her. All their money had been spent on medical bills.

He started to cry. Her washer machine had broken and she had to wash their clothes by hand. He told me he couldn’t afford to buy her a used one much less a new one.

I handed him the first check.

I handed him the second check.washer

Gazing at the 2nd check he asked me “what is this check for?”

I replied, “Go buy your wife a washer machine.”

Tears flowed from his eyes like a flood.

“I can’t take your money. You don’t even know me.”

“Yes I do” I replied, “You are a man trying to do the right thing. Now go buy your wife a washer machine.”

Hugging me and thanking God, he waved goodbye and drove off.

I refrained from telling Mark this story until……3 weeks later I received a letter in the mail from his wife. Now it was my time to cry.

The letter remains in my desk drawer as a reminder of how the Holy Spirit works behind the scenes. You see, it wasn’t about the money or the sewer backing up and it certainly wasn’t about me.

God knew what he needed. God knew how he had unselfishly cared for his sick wife. God knew this man needed a faith pick me up.

When we prioritize our lives with God, that which we don’t see coming, shows up in a package of faith he gives us. He takes care of us in areas we don’t have time or the ability to deal with because we are wrapped up in doing his work to begin with.

As God gives us the Gift of Faith, it grows with each and every one of his miracles he performs; and most of the time when we least expect it.

God will place people in our path, give us favor with those we don’t know and even use a stopped up smelly sewer as a reason to build not only our own faith, but to pass it on.

http://media4lifeministries.com/2011/11/09/faith-a-gift-from-god/

Copyright @ 2013 All Rights Reserved


4 Comments

The Minstrel in my Head


How I wish it were so. Instead are the sounds of rolling waves, back and forth, back and forth. The ballad is far from a serenade of a nightingale.

Yes, it is more like that of a crooner yodeling in my ears.evicted

This sad effort is of the one who has spoken debilitating thoughts to prevail my yearnings for the truth. This nave or monster roars as if he is the ocean with an alias name wishing to dwell in the depths of ear canals. It shall not be so.

This is a priority. What you hear, listen to or puncture your heart with seals your existence.

The good news is once you hear the songwriter’s articulate whispers the meddling voice of that dastardly beast becomes a no-brainer to listen to.

His tone is confident and understanding. He yields an intimate breath of life into yours with words of knowledge and wisdom. The presence of quiet is his solemn oath of peace. What he speaks is genuine, faithful and eternal.

Yes, it lasts forever.

Once you have met the great “I AM” everything changes. You want to go to war for him. You want to fight with passion for others to be unveiled as you were. Sharing HIM is all that matters.

Once you have crossed the line from a “soapbox from hell” to the flow of his breeze swishing by you, devilish angles become loathsome to you. Evil is now your allergen.glad your gone

Your personal aspirations to avoid sinister alignment of any kind become a sparring match for a “war horse.”  As you dwell in the shelter of the Most High he becomes your fortress against the villains’ darkness. Slowly, but surely you will rest in the shadows of the Almighty waiting and longing to hear his voice only.

Knowing his voice so clearly, you wonder how you missed it from the start.

If he is here now, where was he then?

Oh, but you see He isn’t the one who was lost. He stood beside you, behind you, attempted to block your way from the entrance to corruption.

It wasn’t until you allowed him to stop you, his voice became prevalent; a virtual sound of clarity and hope.

His words are his presence in the form of love. Like pearls, his languages of truth are secrets to his Kingdom.

So, the yodeling crooner is now a far off distant memory.

And the Minstrel of Heaven is the only melody playing in my Head.

http://samuelatgilgal.wordpress.com/2013/01/19/who-serves-who/

http://goldenbible.wordpress.com/2013/01/19/gods-holy-hill/

http://ghettoscorner.wordpress.com/2013/01/19/father-of-all-liespoetry/

http://womenswindow.com/2013/01/18/out-of-the-body-and-into-the-brink/

Copyright @ 2012 All Rights Reserved