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The Marvel of It All


 

Joseph. The man we tend to forget. The man who had to decide to do the unthinkable.

Bringing to my attention his supporting actor role in the most important birth in history, I felt as if I had left him out of much of the casting. This wasn’t done to belittle his career but the focus was elsewhere.

Mary was a chosen woman. One with an appointment like none other. How would any man be able to live up to the standards of the mother of the Son of God? How would any man be able to do what he was asked to do without some hesitation on his part?

Granted, Mary’s role wasn’t easy by any means but neither was Joseph’s. Over the centuries Mary has been given the lead actor’s position in a drama only God could have written, but Mary couldn’t have fulfilled her heroic purpose without Joseph.

One might refer to Joseph as the back-up guy, or Mary’s support system.

First he had to accept her pregnancy without understanding it. But who would believe such a story?

He had to fight off crowds of accusers for the lie she supposedly was telling.

He lost friends. Coworkers. Acquaintances.

How does a soon- to- be groom explain to his family his betrothed is pregnant by another man?

Yet, Joseph stood against the odds and accepted Mary as his soon- to- be wife in the midst of a presumed scandalous affair.

And Joseph thought this was the hard part.

After God revealed to Joseph in a dream Mary was indeed telling the truth, he would embark on a journey no other man has ever taken.

Matthew 1:20 But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.

How does a man protect the mother- to- be of the Lamb of God?

How does a man walk on foot across miles and miles of treacherous terrain leading his wife who is in her last trimester of pregnancy carrying the Light of the World on a donkey?

And then how does a man who probably had never witnessed a woman giving birth aid in giving birth to the King of the Jews?

Not only were these all “firsts” for Joseph, but he had no other place to take her but a smelly, old hay filled manger with cows and goats watching.

Was that what Joseph had planned for his new bride?

Was this the scene he wanted his legacy to be built upon?

Was this Joseph’s idea of a birthing place for the Prince of Peace? The Anointed One? Emanuel?

My thinking is he never had time to fully comprehend the enormity of it all before it happened.

They had to leave town immediately to escape Herod’s henchmen.  

Joseph didn’t have time to find a Marriott Hotel for the birth; he had to take what was available.

And babies are born on their own schedule. Joseph wasn’t given a crash course in midwifery.

Had God given Joseph a heads up a few years prior to this extraordinary story, would he have skipped town?

Would he have asked, “God, I’m not the man for this job, please find someone else?

If Joseph had thought it through would he have understood the magnitude of his calling?

If he had let it all sink in would he have taken on the fatherhood of the child who would one day be his Savior?

Joseph, the quiet man standing in the shadows probably spent the rest of his earthly life pondering the marvel of it all.

Matthew 1:16 and Jacob the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary, and Mary was the mother of Jesus who is called the Messiah.

nativity

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Listen: The Grass is Greener where?


 

Our sight is often short.

Many times what we see in front of us is the grass that appears to be a plush green. What’s on the other side is the greener hill we have ignored out of our own choosing. Why?

Because we would have to change. Admit we were wrong. Humble ourselves. Knock down our own pedestals. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve had to eat my own words.

Smokescreens pop up everywhere; a fog like mask specifically designed to hide something.

The key is to know how to determine the difference between the smokescreens and the truth.

“You shall know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:32

Aldous Huxley said, “You shall know the truth and the truth shall make you mad.” He may have a point here; at least in some cases.

Jesus made the Pharisees mad over and over.

Jesus made the retailers mad for turning over their tables.

Jesus made his own people, the Jews mad because he claimed to be God.

Why is this so?

The truth isn’t what people want to hear. And they don’t want to hear it especially from people who are prophetic, or know God differently they than do.

A prime example of this is King David and the Prophet Nathan.

In II Samuel 12, God sent the Prophet Nathan to David. The story goes that the two argued quite loudly. David didn’t like what Nathan was saying and Nathan let him know in no uncertain terms he had deeply sinned against God. As a result of David’s sin of adultery and murder his household was wounded, scarred and a heartbreaking mess. Does anyone hear this? Can anyone relate?

You may ask, “Who is this guy Nathan and what could he possibly know?”

Well, he knew God. He was appointed by God as a Prophet to one of the most valuable characters of the Bible; one who would carry the bloodline of the Messiah.

David was young and stupid. Stubborn. Willful. Arrogant. These negative, obstinate characteristics blinded him from God’s truth and what he knew was God’s will. Why?

Because he wanted what wasn’t his.

He lied to cover up the original lie so he could keep what wasn’t his.

He allowed his Kingly appointment to believe he could get away with whatever he wanted.

WRONG!

No position will ever allow any of us to get whatever we think we want. What “appears” to be a season of achieving our greedy desires is only a smokescreen for the truth and will eventually end. That ending usually follows with unbearable consequences.

God is always speaking to us; through His word, nature, people and most importantly the Holy Spirit. God speaks in more ways than are countable because He is a creative God.

Maybe if we started listening we would know when, what and how He is speaking.

Ask God to speak to you. Read the Bible. Pray. Open your heart and ears to His voice and allow Him to share Himself with you.

The air will clear.

The mask will begin to peel off your face.

The fog will lift.

And then…… just Listen.

listening

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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What would Jesus do? (Part 2)


 

Maybe the question should be, “What did Jesus do?”

The phrase, “God is rarely early, but never late” sums up the election results Tuesday night.

So what did Jesus do in America?

He showed up. He made an historic entrance. He shocked the world.

He invoked His presence and sent a clear message of hope.

He agitated evil. He thwarted the enemy’s attacks. He stopped many in their tracks who are now wondering, “What just happened here?”

Psalm 33:10-11 “The LORD frustrates the decisions of the nations; he nullifies the plans of the peoples. But the plans of the LORD stand firm forever, the purposes of his heart through all generations.”

He forged a “bulldozer” through the middle of satan’s traps to lead this nation back to the Cross of Christ.bulldozer

He boldly made known that God is still very much on the throne and involved with our everyday lives.

In a nutshell, God intervened with a miracle and changed the course of history.

God laid it on my heart months ago Donald Trump would become President. I knew it had to be God because he was the last person I would have chosen to be the leader of the free world.

As the election results started pouring in, the devil tried to tell me I had not really heard God correctly. But I didn’t budge. I didn’t allow those thoughts to take hold even though it appeared early on numbers revealed differently.

Overnight, God performed an appointed moment.

He declared Himself King once again.

He let the world know He is in charge and the gates of Hell will not prevail.

Donald Trump is just a man, but God has anointed him to guide us back to Him. There is no other way President Trump would be President Trump now. I use that in the present tense because it is already in motion.

Many Christians still can’t believe God could, much less would use a man like Donald Trump to do His work, but God is God and he can do whatever He pleases. All you have to do is read the Bible. God explains Himself quite well.

Jennifer LeClaire, Senior Editor for Charisma Magazine posted on Facebook that Tuesday morning she awoke to God speaking to her. He told her, “A kingdom will be toppled today.” And so it was that a kingdom of darkness that has been hovering over America for decades fell in one clean sweep of God’s hand.

So where do we go from here?

After the shock wears off for many of you, go to God in prayer and He will show you. He has had this plan in the works since who knows when; He has the answers.

We must continue to pray for our nation and especially the leaders that are now in place. Pray for God’s protection, guidance, direction and that His will be done in all matters.

We must remain close to God for signs and wonders of what and how to respond to the evil that will rear its ugly head and try to fight back.

We need to pray for those who are lost in this battle of blindness and deception that God will speak to their hearts and they will heed His call.

We need to pray the church will wake up and begin to teach, and preach God’s word; not what people want to hear.

We should open our hearts to His goodness and thank Him repeatedly for His great mercy and grace in this awesome move He has made on our behalf as His children.

And most important, we must continue to repent.

We have been in the Year of Jubilee; a time when God restores, heals and gives back what the devil tried to steal which he has been doing for almost 40 years.

A new day has dawned. The atmosphere has shifted. Light has overcome the darkness.

God loves America and is not finished with us.

God wants to bless America so He can use us to bless others.

But more than anything, God wants our hearts to line up with His in a personal and intimate relationship with Him.

God is good all the time!!!!kings

 

 

 

 

 

 

 e forged a “bulldozer” through the middle of Satan’s traps to lead this nation back to the Cross of

 

 

 


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How would Jesus respond? (Part 1)


I hope you read the post from Matt Walsh.

It changes the perspective of Jesus’s responses to people.

It revealed to me how we, as Christians over the last 4 decades went silent.

I can’t speak for Mr. Walsh, but I don’t believe he was intentionally leaving out how Jesus promoted peace. He is peace. But we live in a very fallen, evil world that isn’t peaceful.

Ecclesiastes 3:8 “A time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace.”

In a recent conversation I was told I was a bigot, a homophobic, racist, hateful, and full of intolerance, hypocritical and a “white privileged American.” Never mind these people didn’t know I existed before this conversation yet they labeled me to be what they wanted me to be since we disagreed.

Add to the few angry cohorts who were obviously following this person’s lead, I was in a nutshell, what is wrong with America.

Why?

For telling the truth.

I could care less what people think of me.

Let’s throw everyone who thinks or tries to live a Godly life in a bucket and persecute them until they shut up. Or at least that’s what many who claim to be walking with the Lord are doing, but must be reading from a different Bible than I do.

The timing of my reading what Matt Walsh wrote and this connection to those who think I am their enemy, couldn’t have been coincidental.

I read it before this occurred.

Years ago I remember how my quiet, shy mother began to speak boldly about God. She had no problems reprimanding us as kids even to our grown up ages, but she was noticeably quiet about her love for Christ and all He had done for her. It all changed after God healed her. She began opening up about her faith. She spoke and quoted verses without hesitation. She began an exhibiting an authority in her words about her walk with God.

Once there was a conversation at a dinner table with some Christian friends of hers she had been to college with. The only man in the room was a strong believer who had been a high school football coach and a high school principal for many years. He was very intelligent, handsome (a Yule Brenner look alike) and headstrong. Mom didn’t agree with something he said and she let him know. She had never done that with him. His wife, me and my daughter sat in silence observing this seemingly calm interchange become a demand from his standpoint that he didn’t approve of her new found faith and should keep her mouth shut.

She didn’t.

His male ego was shattered as she continued to speak the truth of God’s word because he was an upstanding man of God and she couldn’t possibly know something he didn’t.

We all had dessert and went on our way. They remained friends for many years after that until he passed away.

Isn’t that what Jesus did?

He spoke the truth even if it provoked people.

He walked in a spirit of authority that was noticeable but also offensive to some.

He was solid in His convictions and remained that way no matter how others responded.

Many in America today, including Christians are blinded from the truth. In their hearts is a rebellion against doing it “God’s way”. Instead they speak unwisely slamming that which they don’t understand because;

  • Their personal relationship to Christ is limited
  • It’s easy to dismiss what they don’t understand
  • They would have to admit they’ve been wrong and change
  • Reading and studying the Bible isn’t a priority

As I have grown in my walk with the Lord, I have noticed a boldness to speak about God that I never had before.

It wasn’t taught in the churches I attended.

Men were the head and we women were told to keep quiet, teach Sunday school and cook church dinners. Have I told you I didn’t inherit the ability to boil water?

The culture squashed speaking God’s word as evil has spread.

We allowed the enemy to tell Christians that we had to be “nice” as Matt Walsh wrote and remain doormats, therefore giving God very little voice.

And look where it got us?

Now having a conversation about the truth is considered unacceptable, narrow minded and repulsive. One woman told me I was exhausting her. Hhhhmmmm…I told her she didn’t have to read what I wrote. But she had no problem reading the very, lonnnnnnnnnngggggg comments from those who agreed with her.

There is a point to walk away as Jesus did, often. Say what He says and there is no need for defense because He doesn’t lie.

In this time we live in speaking out about Christ is needed more than ever.

But in order for it to be effective we have to do it “His way” and be Jesus to those listening.

To be continued…..mind

 

 

 

 

 

 


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A Recopied post from Matt Walsh


This is so good I had to re-post it here on WordPress.

FROM MATT WALSH BLG:

Jesus deliberately did and said things that He knew would upset people. He stirred up division and controversy. He provoked. He didn’t have to break from established customs, but He did. He didn’t have to heal that man’s hand on the Sabbath, knowing how it would disturb others and cause them immense irritation, but He did, and He did so with ‘anger’ [Mark 3:5]. He could have gone with the flow a little bit. He could have chilled out and let bygones be bygones, but He didn’t. He could have been diplomatic, but He wasn’t.

He could have told everyone to relax, but instead He made them uncomfortable. He could have put them at ease, but He chose to put them on edge.

He convinced the mob not to stone the adulterer [John 8], and you’ll notice that He then turned to her and told her to stop sinning. Indeed, never once did He encounter sin and corruption and say: “Hey, do your thang, homies. Just have fun. YOLO!”

The followers of Nice Jesus love to quote the ‘throw the first stone’ verse — and for good reason, it’s a beautiful and compelling story — but you rarely hear mention of the exchange that occurs just a few sentences later, in that very same chapter. In John 8:44, Jesus rebukes unbelieving Jews and calls them ‘sons of the Devil.’ Wow.

That wasn’t nice, Jesus.

Didn’t anyone ever tell you that you can catch more flies with honey, Jesus?

Of course, you’d catch even more flies with a mound of garbage, so maybe ‘catching flies’ isn’t the point.

While we’re often reminded that Jesus said, ‘live by the sword, die by the sword,’ we seem to ignore his other sword references. Like when he told his disciples to sell their cloaks and buy a sword [Luke 22], or when He said that He ‘didn’t come to bring peace, but a sword’ [Matthew 10].

Now, It’s true that He is God and we are not. Jesus can say whatever He wants to say. But we are called to be like Christ, which begs the question: what is Christ like?

Well, He is, among other things, uncompromising. He is intolerant of evil. He is disruptive. He is sometimes harsh. He is sometimes impolite. He is sometimes angry.

He is always loving.

Christ was not and is not a cosmic guidance counselor, and He is not mankind’s best friend, nor did He call us to be. He made dogs for that role — our destiny is more substantial, and our path to it is far more challenging and dangerous.

And nice? Where does nice factor into this?

Nice: affable, peachy, swell.

Nice has nothing to do with Christianity. I’ve got nothing against nice — nice is nice — but even serial killers can be nice to people. They generally are exceptionally affable, except when they’re murdering. That means they’re nice to, like, 97 or 98 percent of everyone they meet.

I guess they’re following Christ almost all of the time, right?

And tolerance?

Tolerance is easy. Any coward can learn to tolerate something. Tolerance is inaction; intolerance is action. We are called to refuse to tolerate evil. We are called to get angry at it and actively work to destroy it.

Who’d have guess it — anger is far more godly than tolerance ever could be.

Obviously I’m not suggesting that anger is automatically, or even usually, justified. Christ exhibited righteous anger; righteous anger is the sort of anger that naturally fills our soul when we confront the depths of depravity and sin. It is wrong to seethe with rage because someone cut us off in traffic or gossips about us behind our back, but it is also wrong to feel no anger when babies are murdered and the institution of the family is undermined and attacked. Anger is good when it is directed at things that offend not us, but God. Just as Christ’s intolerance, like the intolerance we’re commanded to have, stems from a desire to save souls and defend Truth.

Even when we have righteous anger, we do not have carte blanche to act on it in anyway we please. But, according to the Bible, there are times to use strong language, there are times to cause a scene, there are times to hurt people’s feelings, and there are times when we might need to use physical force.

Jesus told us to turn the other cheek when we are personally attacked; He never told us to turn our backs entirely and let lies spread and evil grow.

So, enough with the niceties.

Christians in this country sound too similar to the the Golden Girls song, and not enough like the Battle Hymn of the Republic. There’s too much ‘thank you for being a friend,’ and not enough ‘lightening from His terrible swift sword.’

We’re all hugging and singing Kumbaya, when we should be marching and shouting Hallelujah.

We’re nice Christians with our nice Jesus, and we are trampled on without protest.

Enough, already.

I think it’s time that Christianity regain its fighting spirit; the spirit of Christ.

I think it’s time we ask that question: ‘What would Jesus do?’

And I think it’s time we answer it truthfully: Jesus would flip tables and yell.

Maybe we ought to follow suit.


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Now where is that frog?


 

Last night I posted on FB a picture of a tiny green frog on our dining room wall. Edgar our, ferocious predator cat was determined to get this frog for himself.frog-1

With such a high ceiling there wasn’t any way any of us could have reached this wayward tailless amphibian.

Somehow I don’t think it stopped Edgar. Either he stayed up all night waiting to catch this little guy or ……. He ate it. There is no sign of the frog and Edgar has hardly moved from his sleeping chair all morning. If he gets sick later, then we’ll know what became of the tiny intruder.

The lesson here is that Edgar didn’t learn his lesson from the last time he caught a frog. If he actually did eat it this time he really is a slow learner. He is one to catch a critter and beat it, or torture it to death which I find totally disgusting but not eat it.

His instincts as a feline are to hunt and catch. Altho he is a spoiled baby who has been completely sheltered since he adopted us last June (2015) that instinct is proudly demonstrated in his big world of our back yard. Unlike Maxi our female cat who has left us many gifts, Edgar growls as he runs in the house with arms or legs hanging out of his mouth. He wants to show us his great catch, but don’t even think for one minute he will let you have it.

Aren’t we just like that with God?

We choose to hang on to that which isn’t good for us instead of giving it to God for him to deal with?

Old habits are hard to break. God may even want us to let go of certain habits that aren’t necessarily bad but God may have an alternative that is better.

Psalm 55:22 “Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken.”

Sounds easy, so why aren’t we doing that?

Maybe you should ask my cat.

 

edgar-in-chair

 


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Our Furry Friends: Unconditional Love


 

Watching the Annual American Humane Hero Dog awards the other night, I once again cried as each nominee was presented. The stories behind these brave animals are no less courageous than humans. Many risk their lives for us humans in various ways.

The Arson Dog, named “Judge” has worked more than 275 fires often bringing evidence leading to many arrests.

The Therapy dog helps the person who needs coaching in life skills.

The Police K-9 or Military Dogs are trained to find bombs, weapons or protect those in their command. “Layka” took shots and lost a leg while guarding her combat unit in Afghanistan.

There was one little dog who was what is now called a Hearing Guide dog. This precious little creature saved her human from getting hit by a bus because she can’t hear environmental sounds.

“Hooch” the French Mastiff who won has a story of his own. When found by Zach Scow 3 years ago in a rescue it was determined Hooch had had his tongue cut out. Emaciated from not being able to eat, he was rushed to a vet for treatment. He is fed by hand now.

2016-american-hero-dog-hooch

Ironically, Zach Scow almost died also from liver damage because he is a recovering alcoholic and drug addict. The two are now inseparable and Zach owes a lot of his stability to this survival of the fittest.

Hooch is now used to calm non-verbal autistic children while learning social skills. He also cares for women who have been abused. His peaceful nature is contagious; so much so that some of the first words spoken by these children of autism is “Hooch.” 

How have we humans missed it?

How is it that the unconditional love and loyalty from dogs hasn’t caught on with people?

For the most part, dogs have a natural ability for qualified love. It’s not in us, and unless a dog is abused or neglected that instinct remains.

God is unconditional love.  Maybe He knew we would respond well to dogs so He placed a great deal of that love inside of them.

He also gave them the instinct to know when something is wrong. Out of the love they have for their owners, dogs respond by letting us know when to be alert, on guard or even move us out of the way of trouble we didn’t see coming.

Isn’t that how God is with us?

He is our guide.

He alerts us to danger.

He often removes us or removes that which He doesn’t want in our lives for our own protection, spiritual maturity and growth for the kingdom of God.

Psalm 27:11

Teach me your way, O LORD, And lead me in a level path because of my foes.

 

Dogs know automatically what their purpose is in the life they’ve been given.

Our purpose is to have and maintain a close, personal relationship with God.

Maybe we can learn from dogs how to be more obedient to our calling.

2 John 1:6 “2 John 1:6 And this is love: that we walk in obedience to his commands. As you have heard from the beginning, his command is that you walk in love.