Did Jesus have a Facebook Page?

Christianity 0ut of the Box


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Speak Up, Speak Out


 

Forcing myself to go grocery shopping yesterday after a set-back from Strep throat was not my idea of a good start for the day. However the need for the few foods we were out of was the incentive to make the effort.  I thank God for the husband I have who is a master of the art of grocery buying.

Knowing the busy time at this particular store is around 3 pm when the base lets out, I go in the earlier part of the day to avoid the mass invasion.

After finding the few items I needed I headed for the one cash register #4 that was open. One man in front of me appeared disgruntled because the woman in front of him was buying a cart full of who knows what with WIC/food stamps. By the looks of this large, overweight woman she was eating a lot more than bread and milk.

I could tell the cashier was frustrated as we stood and waited while she attempts to break down the cost between the food stamps/WIC products.

No one working in the store even checked to see if people were waiting in line.

Finally I left #4 and headed for the Customer Service desk. The “broom boy” was sweeping and I asked him to get someone out to ring up my food.

He knocked on the door. A young woman, the CSM stepped out and asked what I needed.

“Please ring up my food.” I replied.iphone-welfare

CSM, “Ma’am you can go to register #4. She will do it for you. “

Me, “I just left her line. Why should I stand there for 15 minutes while that over-weight woman is getting free food that my family is paying for when I have food in my cart that I am paying for out of my pocket?”

CSM, “Ma’am, I will ring up your items on register #1.”

Her attitude changed immediately as if to be shocked that I spoke out against the fact I made such a comment. In fact she became surprisingly respectful. She knew exactly what I was talking about.

Far too long, we have as Christians stood by in a corner of self-humility and kept our mouths shut. Living on the premise we are supposed to be quiet and full of “turn the other cheek” motives, we have allowed evil to run right over us.

Well wake up.

Receiving the latest “Decision” magazine from the Billy Graham Association is an article written by Franklin Graham titled, “Cowards or Overcomers; Standing Strong.”

Living in the same community as Franklin Graham for 17 years I am well aware of his childhood and behaviors. Many people don’t care for him and he fit well as a youth as the son of a Preacher.

However, my perception is he inherited his love for God from his famous father but he also received his mother Ruth’s vivacious and often feisty mouth. The combination of the two is now serving him well.

Some have seen him as arrogant, controlling and demanding but God is using those traits to speak up and speak loud about the truth especially about America. He is not afraid of the speaking the Gospel nor does he care what people think of him.  He is not afraid to speak the truths of abortion, homosexuality or the great mishaps of our present government.

But in this article he is adamant in his words of how the church has failed to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit that has now handed down our society of immorality.

“Twisting God’s word leads to rejecting God’s message. We must guard against handling the Word of God in a cowardly fashion but rather preach the entire Word of God because his grace and His judgment flow from his love.”

Those words he wrote will shatter many leaders in the church.

He is referencing the church as cowards bending to the altar of tolerance instead of truth, buckling under the crossfire of discomfort or offense, and leaving our America with a gaping hole of undernourished Christians.

Robbing Peter to pay Paul isn’t in the Bible. God doesn’t force us to give anything away.

God never stipulated that governments are to reach down the throats of hard working people to give to those in need or who can work and don’t to become dependent, drunk, or overweight. We are by a giving heart to help those whom God places in our paths to help.

As Franklin Graham says, it is time for Christians to “stand strong” speaking the truth in boldness with love.

The church is supposed to be God’s army. An army doesn’t sit back and keep still or quiet in the midst of a war. An army takes the initiative to fight for what is right no matter the cost.

Read the Bible and you will see the hand of God in many battles and wars.

And they weren’t won by a bunch of cowards.

Proverbs 28: 1 “The wicked flee when no one pursues, but the righteous are bold as a lion.”

http://billygraham.org/decision-magazine/july-august-2014/cowards-or-overcomers-standing-strong/#

 


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“I want to know what I am doing here! Does anyone know?


Fire in the Sky

•Now that I have your attention have you ever asked yourself that question? Are you one of the many on this planet who wonder if we are the only people in the universe? And if we are, what are we doing here?

In the last week I have heard 3 people who do not know each other speak this same question. OK.  My brain may not be what it use to be but I don’t know a coincidence when I see one because I don’t believe in them anymore.  The skeptic might, but God could care less. God works in mysterious ways..not coincidences. In fact he doesn’t need them to fulfill his plans.

He is creative, rarely if ever does anything the same way twice and takes you on journeys you don’t expect. Some you wish you could forget! This is definitely not a question I can ignore so I am asking you! WHAT ARE YOU DOING HERE?

My answer is God only knows. He put us here for his own purposes; I do know that. I know why I am here, but it has taken many years, much pain, suffering, and resistance on my part to find that out. God never said it was easy, especially if you are like me and pull a Jonah on him. I don’t recommend that route; it is no fun. I didn’t end up in a whale but I am not going to tell you where I ended up. Just don’t go there.

Now I can tell you where to find it. The answer is in the Bible. At least that is what our Pastor said this morning. I can vouch for him as he is a well-educated man who seems to know what he is talking about most of the time.

What I find so amazing is he gave reasons today to read the Bible to find out what we are doing here. I already knew this because I have been reading and studying the Bible for years and it really works. The more time I spend alone with God, the more he speaks to me even telling me what I am doing here.

It really isn’t that hard. You just pick up your Bible, say “Speak Lord, I am listening,” and start reading. I am not telling you to read it all in one day, two days maybe. NO! lol. Take your time. 

Allow God to speak to you; just be open and realize he doesn’t usually write it on the wall. I have lost count of how many times I have asked him to write it on the wall, but the good news is when I don’t know which way to go, he SUDDENLY! reveals it to me. I have even offered to buy him a chalk board with the chalk to speak to me. The problem with that was he let me know in no uncertain terms he is a lot more creative than a chalk board.

I thank God literally that his thoughts and ways are higher and better than mine. (Isaiah 55) This is a touch of who God is. A small portion of his character. It is fairly simple; he is a lot smarter than we are!

I can’t speak for you, but if you really want to find out what you are doing here, ask God. Read the Bible. Study it. God created us for his purposes, for his kingdom. It is up to us as individuals to seek him to find out our personal story. A good place to start is Acts 17:22-28.

We are not accidents. We did not just appear. We did not evolve.

We were created individually by the most loving, caring Father to be here, at this time, at this place, for his reasons. Jesus Christ is the center of everything. Once you allow God to place this in your heart, he will lead you to your purpose.

I am writing mine.


“You’re on this planet for a purpose. Find it.”by Grantley Morris. netburst@net.burst.net

Photograph by John Randolph Harrison

http://www.pbase.com/jrandyh/image/20091540



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When it Becomes Personal, Not just Business


I must be doing something right.  Joyce Meyer spoke that maybe God brought that person into your life to shave the outer crusts off of you.  Well, I feel shaven.  Just when you least expect it, someone shows up that you believe will  make a great friend or neighbor, only to find out it is all about them.

How do I deal with this person? What does God want me to do as they pursue relentless persecution and constant attacks to get what they want? How do I react when they walk out the door with a face of contempt and say, “Don’t worry, it’s nothing personal. Just business.”

I guess I should feel like Jesus did. He did nothing wrong. He stood there while being questioned about claiming he was the Son of God and gave no response. His heart was in the sacrifice he knew he would give to receive the love of the children of God in return. He knew it would all be worth it.

Just as Jesus felt for us as sinners, I feel the same for those who don’t know him, or have no desire to know him. They are lost in a sea of themselves; their pride does not allow them to see they are not the only ones in the universe. The veil has not been lifted because they do not even know it is covering their eyes.

Returning to me doing something right. I kind of like the sound of that.  A few years back I would have reacted completely different towards someone who is sitting beside me throwing their verbal animosity and hostility in my face. This is a christian site so I won’t announce my declaration of war that I use to have because it would land me in jail but I also know it is not the answer.

Instead God has taught me the meaning of forgiveness which gives me freedom.  God has taught me to pray for my enemies. This releases me from trying to find the answers and let God take care of it. He has taught me that those who hurt, hurt others.  He has taught me that those who have repressed emotion have a great, spiritual need. He has taught me if I pray for those against me, he will fight for me. (Isaiah 49:25)

During this time of spiritual shaving the Lord showed me two verses in the Bible that lead me to believe he is not only in control, he is my vindicator.

Luke 21:14-15 But make up your mind not to worry before hand how you will defend yourselves. For I will give you words and wisdom that none of your adversaries will be able to resist or contradict.

Proverbs 16:7 When my ways are pleasing to the Lord, he makes even my enemies to live at peace with me.

The truth always stands for itself. The real truth that is. I would like to think those who “contend” with us may be angels in disguise God has sent to do something other than shave us.  The shaving is painful, often annoying and bothersome to put up with. Unfortunately it works.

The flip side of this is at least you know those attempting to sliver into your life for whatever reasons are an application of God’s discipline even if we don’t like it. The result is God helps us separate the sin from the sinner and to view that sinner as God sees all of us including ourselves. That makes it all worth it.


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unlikely God


Our cat is very vocal. One thing for sure is you know where you stand with her. She is 9 years old, quite active, and has been featured in contests and articles I have written about her.  I must admit she is a beautiful cat. When we took her in she was a feral cat. It has taken a long time to get her to be loving and caring; even during those times it is on her terms. My husband questions that even now.

The Cat from Gladiator

Maxicat

People say our pets don’t speak our language but ours does. She answers me when I call her name, “Maxicat?”  When she walks into the room where we are sitting she announces herself. 

She speaks the most when she is hungry! She won’t stop meowing!!! Recently I have been feeding her Meow Mix Select with crab and salmon. You will not get out of the kitchen without feeding her this delicacy. Her persistent “loud” cry is enough to get anyone’s attention.

This month our Pastor has been speaking on “Whispers from God.”  I am not advocating that God speaks like our cat but maybe he is trying to get our attention. God speaks in many different ways.

In my own life he has spoken with words like pictures that I see in front of me. He has allowed the Holy Spirit to warn me when I was about to make a wrong decision. At times the warning was so strong I would almost feel sick. God has spoken to me through his word countless times which helps me now understand why the Bible is so important. He has spoken to me through other people. In a “dark place” as our Pastor calls them,  God gave me a vision. This vision changed my life.

I have learned God uses anything and anyone to get our attention. He usually does not scream at us with a loud cry like my cat, no! he is a lot more creative than that. We need to make it a priority to be alert, waiting for God to speak to us in his way, in his time. Doing so not only gives us guidance and direction, it helps solidify our relationship with him which is the reason he created us .   For more information on “Whispers from God” please go to http://www.unlikelyclay.com