Did Jesus have a Facebook Page?

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Answers


I was writing this a few weeks before  Nepal was hit with a 7.8 Earthquake as if God was telling me ahead of time it would happen. He wants to clarify himself for our sake.  My prayers are for those left behind and that they find survivors; that God will extend his hand of help but that mostly that he will show up.nepal

Isaiah 54:16

Behold, I have created the smith that blows the coals in the fire, and that bring forth an instrument for his work; and I have created the devastator to destroy.

What does that mean?

That little line or verse right before the famous one triggered my quick thinking. Of course this happened about the time my laptop began to drain its charge so you can imagine how my quick thinking got lost.

In this process is the ongoing conversation I have with God. At times I can imagine his bothersome look as I dive into those worldly fleshly inquiries. I often think he thinks,

“Why can’t my people just believe in me?” Well yea, but then we wouldn’t be people.

Questions have arisen probably for centuries like, “Why do bad things happen to good people? Or “Why do Christians suffer?” What about “Why does God allow natural disasters?”

To start with is the question of all questions; if God is a good God then how did evil come from a good God?

If there is good then there is a counterpart of evil.

This fact is such a misconception people automatically blame God for everything that goes wrong when they should be running to Him for answers.

God gave us a free will. He knew before Adam and Eve ever sinned they would sin. In a rebound sort of way this brought about the awesome sovereignty of God. This may sound strange but God had to allow evil to counter his good; otherwise the world could never reach its full potential. 

Focusing more on the Nepal earthquake are a few reasons why these terrible tragedies happen.

We live in a fallen world; nature is part of the natural laws that God designed. Unfortunately some of those laws play a part into earthquakes, tsunamis and hurricanes.

Some might question the lack of prayer or followers of Christ in a region or area that is hit by a natural disaster. No matter the reason for it we as Christians are to help others in need.

Then there are the reasons that God may use natural disasters to draw attention to Him. He may also allow them for the greater good.

These answers may not be of comfort to many especially in the line of fire.

Typically the person who doesn’t know God or understand him will automatically deny his existence and label him as the perpetrator of evil. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Reverse your thinking and ask God, “how much evil have you spared us from?”

That is when we begin to thank God for his protection from that which we have no idea we even needed it.

grace


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The Christmas I will never forget…


It’s been a while since I blogged.

2014 has been a year marked by loss, illness and unexpected shockers for me personally.

Yet on the flip side has been the evidence of God in every circumstance and pain.

The valley has been deep and long but I have truly felt the presence of God walking with me step by step.
It gives recognition to his provisions one day at a time.leeches

Christmas was a first for me as I spent the morning in the emergency room. I barely got through opening gifts when I almost passed out. I surprised myself by asking Mark to take me to the hospital but I had nowhere else to go.

It was early enough the waiting room was for the most part empty so fortunately they took me back immediately.

When the doctor arrived who was obviously not interested in working on Christmas, asked me my symptoms. I will spare you of the details but suffice it to say they were quite unpleasant. After a quick exam he looked at me and said, “If all checks out you have Viral Gastroenteritis.”
He left the room and I never saw him again.

He ordered blood work, chest and stomach X-rays along with a constant check of my vitals.

The nurse filled 3 vials of blood. I wondered if I had any left after that.

After the x-rays, the nurse returned to hook me up to an IV.

She informed me that, “yes” I did have what the doctor diagnosed.

We discussed eating the BRAT diet only for a few days to allow my stomach to rest. So much for Christmas breads and cookies now. 3 prescriptions and I could be on my way. It was my choice to finish the IV to give my immune system a much needed boost which I thought was a little strange.

I asked the nurse, “Do I need the entire drip?”drip

Nurse, “You can if you want but your electrolytes checked out very well.”

So the sugarless Gatorade and Power aid drinks had done their job.

After the drip finished we left. 3-4 hours in the emergency room on Christmas morning was more than enough.

Once home, the bed called and a good nap was in order.

Rather curious as to my lab report which the hospital gave me, I began a search of what these medical terms meant.

According to the report, all the blood work came out normal and or better. The only questionable level was the one producing a stress result. Mine was a little higher than it should be which is why the nurse asked me about my life before we left.

“Are you stressed out?”

Me, “ugh, yes. This year has been one of the most difficult I have ever lived.”

After giving her a few details she understood especially after I told her of recent developments with other people in my life who are going through major life changing concerns.

After absorbing all the lab work results, I sat back in awe of God.

It wasn’t the Viral Gastroenteritis that I was experiencing, but how God has kept me healthy in other areas that are of great importance.

The results revealed that after years of antibiotics for sinus and other infections, Probiotics have worked to keep me from getting what is called Clostridium. The doctor was concerned that may have been a factor, but turns out it wasn’t even close.

The lab results also revealed my kidneys, liver and pancreas are functioning very well. God has truly blessed me with almost perfect blood pressure. 

While the enemy had been filling my mind with his evil diagnosis’s  for who knows how long, God came up with a victory I didn’t see coming. To be honest I was overwhelmed with His healing power running through my ill body.

Years of strange sicknesses and chronic infections finally revealed they had been attacks. It simply doesn’t make sense for lab tests and blood work to show up perfectly normal over and over while illness has ravaged me for almost 18 years. I sensed these results were a major blow to the devil and his sinister plans for me.  As he tried to ruin my Christmas, God turned it for good. 

God’s truth often works where we aren’t looking. And sometimes he allows us to go through something unpleasant to find out how he is preserving us behind the scenes. 

Many times it isn’t what we think we face and endure as much as it is what God is protecting us from.

For me, that list must be very long.

God is just plain awesome.  

2 Thessalonians 3:3 But the Lord is faithful. He will establish you and guard you against the evil one.


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The Spiritual Warfare Crisis


You don’t have to look far to find spiritual warfare. Maybe its modern communication, technology or social networking but the devil is having his day; or so he thinks.

Whether war, kidnappings or brutality is the attack he is pulling out the best “guns” he has left in an attempt to capture the souls of God.

Persecution has become a totem pole of who can say the worst about their opponent as by evidenced of the election Nov. 4th.

Here in my own state of SC the disgusting, sick and radical lies made about Governor Nikki Haley and Senator Tim Scott backfired. Both won their elections by landslides. What the devil meant for harm for 2 Godly people turned against their accusers. Maybe and hopefully Americans are waking up realizing that getting away with “whatever” isn’t working. 

The fight has been going on since the Garden of Eden. The battle has been won but we humans must heed the truth of God’s word and apply it to ward off the flames of the evil one.  Why? Because Satan just doesn’t want to give up.

One main reason so much is wrong in the world has been a loss of teaching on “spiritual warfare.”  Well, we need it and fast.

Ephesians 6 is full of the Armor of God.  He sheds light on giving us his artillery, weapons and wisdom to “thwart” the enemies’ assaults.

One of the best ways to learn God’s word is to read the same verses over and over and over. Doing this for years is a constant learning experience as God manages to come up with something new the more we read them.  Words jump off the pages as if to come alive. (Hebrews 4:12)

My enthusiasm for the Amplified version of the Bible has grown especially since I really didn’t like it at first. However God can communicate no matter what version it is. Now I find myself soaking in the descriptiveness of this version. And for the record it is Joyce Meyer’s favorite and now I know why.

Verse 13-15 speaks of “standing” firm with God’s armor covering us.war

13 Therefore put on God’s complete armor, that you may be able to resist and stand your ground on the evil day [of danger], and, having done all [the crisis demands], to stand [firmly in your place].

After reading this for months God said,

“Check out the NIV version and compare the two.”

NIV 13 “Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.

Immediately the Holy Spirit enlightened me.

“Stand your ground or Stand over, around and through  the crisis.”

My interpretation is it is a matter of persistent endurance; righteous patience and solid focus on Jesus.

How do we stand?

Continued…..


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I Beg to Differ (Conclusion) Prepare to Surprise Yourself


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Without realizing it, I grieved 4 years ago when we were told by the surgeon immediately after he had cut a foot out of dad’s colon, the next 3 days were critical.  Hitting me like a brick this wakeup call set in motion that God had allowed me time to prepare for his passing. I am sure that is not the only reason but I was extremely grateful.

Informing my husband and daughter months after this major surgery I simply wasn’t coping I embarked on the journey of letting him go.

The following is what God taught me. Hopefully his guidance here will help others.

 

Begin seeking God immediately about letting go of anything especially other people. In other words; hold people loosely.

Ask the Holy Spirit to show you scriptures that will aid in giving you strength and whatever he thinks you need to deal with loss. Prepare.

Speak all that needs to be spoken. This is especially helpful for people who live away from those they love. Technology today grants no excuses for lack of communication.

Understand how temporary this life is on earth. We are truly passing through.  Pray for the salvation of those lost ahead of time.

Lean on Jesus. Place any fears, doubts, or worry at the Cross for him to replace with his presence and peace.

Understand our security lies in God alone; not people, places or things. If a “crutch” has been built, ask God to remove it and replace all protection, confidence and refuge in him. Get to the place where you go to God as your sanctuary.

Allow God to restore in our hearts that person in the perfection of Christ Resurrected. In other words he will become that one we lose.

 

The key is to seek and stay as close to God as you can.  These principles work not only in the loss of loved ones but many other types of losses.

I can promise you this works. The person, the child of my father that I asked to be at the day of his funeral showed up.  God gave me more than what I thought I would ever need. He endowed me with strength that I do not possess in my emotional and physical humanness. His peace and presence surrounded me when in the past I would have fallen apart. His compassion for knowing my loss was engraved in my soul. He knows what it is like to lose a loved one.

The difference surprised me.

The difference overshadowed any grief I had had in the past.

The difference made the present circumstances which had been a lifelong dread, very bearable.

The difference was all “Divine Intervention.”

The difference was all God.

All Jesus.


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I Beg to Differ (Part 1)


Fear not [there is nothing to fear], for I am with you; do not look around you in terror and be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen and harden you to difficulties, yes, I will help you; yes, I will hold you up and retain you with My [victorious] right hand of rightness and justice.

Isaiah 41:10

As many of you know I lost my father last week. 88 years on this earth is a long time, but God graced his family and friends by allowing him to be with us that long.

In truth, God saved my dad 3 times before he took him April 29 from possible death over the last 30 years.  Each was a miracle and dad bounced back resuming his witty sense of humor while recovering each time.

4 years ago we almost lost him after major surgery that placed him in ICU with a 3 day window of life or death. Remarkably, once again he awakened defying the odds that even his surgeon did not expect. Not only did he survive and struggle to regain his independence, he did it with a clear mind and his satirical funny side. He was a lifeline of upbeat drollness giving the hospital and recovery staff a daily lift.  And then he brought it home.

Dad was a product of consistent prayer and faith he and my mother had for their 64 year marriage.

I write this post as a tribute to both of them for their love for each other and the stable foundation they gave me with God in the center.

The thought of losing him during that time 4 years ago was not on my radar. Literally, I fell apart. Coping with daily life became an emotional drain which landed me in my doctor’s office full of anxiety and panic. My doctor and her nurse are dear friends of mine.  Understanding my inability to move forward we addressed the issues.

Once it all set in I knew it would take more than therapy and Lexapro to arrive at a place of accepting the inevitable even if God gave me a few more years with dad around.

What I discovered over the last 4 years challenges the phrase, “We can never be prepared to lose a loved one or a friend.”

In my next post, I want to share with you God’s provision, comfort and supply he gave me to not only get through dads passing, but exceed that which only God can do in us. I even surprised myself. 

I beg to differ that we can be prepared for the death of anyone. 

To be continued….


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Catch that Fear


 

Most people have at one time or another been caught completely off guard.

You get dumped. By a text message. Or Email. But still dumped.

The phone call came you weren’t expecting.dumped

The pink slip was in your mailbox.

The doctor’s diagnosis isn’t what you wanted to hear.

How many times can one take the SAT? The Bar exam?

When these moments occur how do we usually respond or react?

The list of adjectives could be long, vile and/or rated R. We could weep, throw things or move to another country. Some might actually answer those texts/emails with “I am dumping you.”

Others could get a 2nd opinion. Take the tests over and get a prescription for Lexapro.

 Isaiah 41: 10 “Fear thou not, for I am with thee; be not dismayed, for I am thy God; I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.”

 But, what if, yes, what if you were right in the middle of getting caught completely off guard your perception of what you see or hear in the natural all of a sudden becomes a supernatural revelation of wisdom that what you are being told isn’t true?

What if you spiritually see a word in front of your eyes that is indicative of your present circumstance?  The word is flashed before you almost as a blinking light.

What if in the moment you are stuck in a firestorm of fear being thrown at you and a thought of your next move comes out of your mouth that you had no idea you were going to say?

And what about that “dumping” or pink slip you just received? Maybe it is a sign something better is out there?

Psalm 34:4 “I sought (inquired of) the Lord and required Him [of necessity and on the authority of His Word], and He heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.”

God goes beyond our 5 senses of sight, hearing, touch, smell and taste by allowing those who closely follow him into the spiritual world he lives in.5-senses-cards

The enemy is blasting us with fear.

He shows up when we are alone, kicks us while we are already down and sets up “fear” assaults to distract us, stop us and move us away from God.

His “fear” attacks come in all forms such as threats, flattery, gossip, wrong diagnosis, job loss, poverty, illness, confusion.

The latter, confusion has become a satanic drop shot. Busyness and coordinated efforts to fill our lives with useless activities, people and wrong direction has unleashed disorder and misunderstandings leaving even the closest of friends as enemies.

Get and stay close to God. Learn to hear him or how he speaks. Understand he doesn’t do anything the usual way. Look beyond your senses and perceive him supernaturally.

You might find yourself catching the fear before it catches you.


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“Passover” Armor


 

I listened to a 3 minute video yesterday by Rick Warren. No matter what you may think of this man, his family endured the worst year of their life in 2013. Their 27 year old son Matthew who had suffered mental illness most of his life decided it was over. After committing suicide the Warren’s took a 3 month hiatus. The video is a significant tribute of how God held him together. His appearance was remarkably charismatic. He smiled and spoke with confidence and grace. He was a father who misses his son, but a man who knew how and where to go for the help he needed to deal with such a tragedy.

Ephesians 6:11 “Put on God’s whole armor [the armor of a heavy-armed soldier which God supplies], that you may be able successfully to stand up against [all] the strategies and the deceits of the devil. (Amplified)

We all need each other at different times in our lives and especially when our hearts are broken.
But no one can give us what God can.

The “Passover” is one of the best examples of God giving a prevention method to his people before the enemy hit. Those who listened and acted were spared the horrors of the “Angel of Death.”

As Pastor Warren spoke he told of how his family had given every possible medical and psychological attention to their son for many years. Supportive prayer was the ultimate therapy. But Matthew chose to wear the armor of someone else instead of his own.

King David was evidently a small guy; Saul the King of Israel was a big man.  Before David took it upon himself to kill the “Giant” Saul offered him his armor.  Sorry, but that would be like my husband giving me his clothes to wear.

1 Samuel 17:38 “Then Saul clothed David with his armor; he put a bronze helmet on his head and clothed him with a coat of mail.” (Amplified)

We are not meant to wear another person’s armor. David knew this because he knew the Holy Spirit was with him long before he faced the Philistine.  He knew he should follow God’s leading, not wear armor that would fall off of him.

As we fast approach Easter, the Passover is like a shield of covering to all of us. The protection God gave in Passover was settled at Easter.

Understanding this awesome gift is only done by going through our own crucifixion based on Jesus’ death and resurrection. Surrendering sin, confessing our hearts desire to be more like Jesus allows the Holy Spirit to take up residence within us. God never meant for him to be a guest.

Once done the Resurrection life of Easter should enter and occupy every area of our lives. Then God will be able to fill us with his holiness.

Does your armor fit?

If it doesn’t then you must have the wrong designer.

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