Posts

Showing posts from 2014

God's Timing

1 Peter 5:6 "Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time,"
            Are you in reach of God?  No, not salvation, that puts you in the presence. Are you under His hand? Much closer in proximity. 
            Like any good father, God desires to bestow His greatest gift, His love so that we may "know" Him. Jeremiah 29:11-14 tells that God has a plan for you, to prosper and not to harm, to deliver you or provide you freedom from the bondage of sin.  He provides the bail, but you have to step out of the cell. That takes a complete trust in Him and a desire to leave the false sense of security you have obtained from being in the "cell" for too long.
            You have the responsibility to obey, follow His plan. Why? For the maturing of your faith.  To learn, develop, and implement your call, purposed to provide others the same opportunity you have been given through Christ...freedom and eternal life.
 …

Evidence of the need to be competent and practice your faith in Christ. James 1:21-22

Image
Watch this video and see the effects of combat medicine on these professionals. We
too are effected by the "stress" of the type of combat we face everyday.  How do you deal with
it?  Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is common in those who have faced significant trauma physical and emotional. It is a stronghold with deadly outcomes.

In scripture, God tells Jeremiah (Jeremiah 29:11-14) to tell the people of Israel that "I will be found
by you if you seek me with ALL of your HEART".  Proverbs 3:5-6 tells us to trust in Him and not our own understanding. Why? Because you and I are incapable of "understanding" all the ways of a sinful world. In order to navigate, we must depend on the map.  God wrote the map "Bible" to guide you and me and He gave us His Jesus and the Holy Spirit to help communicate direction.

You must learn the connection in order to practice as a competent disciple. Are you free?


The Great Commission- Knowing your responsibility.

Image

Remembering Our Brothers/Sisters In Battle

Image

A Christmas Gift- Part 3

Luke 2:1-20
          How do you think Christ learned the discipline of love, surrender and submission? Don't you think He learned it from His parents Mary and Joseph? 
Now let us look as Joseph. Here he is getting ready for marriage, newly engaged, in love with Mary and he finds out that she is pregnant. How humiliating! How indignant of her! How many questions went through his head? I can imagine he wanted to know who did it? The rage he must of felt. But wait, Joseph took a look at the greater picture. He manned up. He realized that if he revealed his rage to the public, it would disgrace Mary. Understand, Joseph could have only surmised that Mary became pregnant by another man. But he decided to divorce, discontinue the engagement in private. Now think about this. Here is this guy, planning his future with grand ideas of how it might be. The promise of having a woman completely devoted to him. He was honorable as was Mary. They each honored the requirement of God to maintain th…

A Christmas Gift- Part 2

Luke 2:1-20 

Christmas reminds us of God's greatest gift, Jesus Christ our Messiah. God loves us so much, he sent His only son to come to Earth, surrender His reign so to take on the flesh of man and become vulnerable to man's injustices.

          Christ had to surrender and submit to the will of His father in order to accomplish His designated purpose, to be the ultimate sacrifice for the atonement of our sins. I mean, in God's design, the only way for Him to give mercy on us was to have love expressed in such a way as sacrificial giving. Christ not only loved His father, but us as well, yes even you and me. How do you think Christ learned the discipline of surrender and submission? Don't you think He learned it from His parents Mary and Joseph?  
Think of Mary. As you look at the story of Christ's birth in the scripture reference above, Gabriel came to Mary said that she was favored by God. He then told her that God wanted her to conceive a son and name him Jesus. …

A Christmas Gift-Part 1

Christmas reminds us of God's greatest gift, Jesus Christ our Messiah. God loves us so much, he sent His only son to come to Earth, surrender His reign so to take on the flesh of man and become vulnerable to man's injustices.
            Christ had to surrender and submit to the will of His father in order to accomplish His designated purpose, to be the ultimate sacrifice for the atonement of our sins. I mean, in God's design, the only way for Him to give mercy on us was to have love expressed in such a way as sacrificial giving. Christ not only loved His father, but us as well, yes even you and me.
            Well, preceding Christ's birth, there were two people who had decided to express their love for God through the act of surrender and submission. An act that would cost them the right to themselves through great personal sacrifice. Even through this, they committed themselves to be obedient servants available to God. 
            Over the next couple of blogs, follow …

Take Your Stand

Ephesians 6:10-13 "10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms."

Ever since Christ's ascension, those who profess to have a relationship with Christ have had the responsibility to "go and make disciples".  The first "witnesses" of the true Christ, those apostles who were called together by Christ were transformed from being just "civilians" of this world to being "ambassadors" of the kingdom of heaven. The Bible teaches that we are not to be of this world but in it, Romans 12:2.  We are each responsible to clearly understand our roles as disciples, Mathew 28:16-20. You and I are His first responders to rescue those who hav…

Live Boldly For Christ

1 Peter 2:15-16 "For such is the will of God that by doing right you may silence the ignorance of foolish men. 16 Act as free men, and do not use your freedom as a covering for evil, but use it as bondslaves of God".
            The laws of our land may change justifying the sinful ways of man. What once was considered wrong is now right and what was once considered right is now wrong. 1 Peter 3:17 "For it is better, for if God should will it so, that you suffer for doing what is right rather than for doing what is wrong".  Read Proverbs 14:32, 2 Corinthians 13:7, Revelation 22:11.
            As a Christian or a pursuer of the faith, you should, for your own sake seek and keep to the promises of God. Do not conform to the world, but rather transform it. But how can you do this if you do not know Him or His word? 
            Do not allow the freedom of man (laws that justify living the way you want to) justify your complacency in living out your life for Christ.  E…

Love Thy Neighbor

Philippians 2:3-4 "Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; 4 do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others."
            In the passage above, Paul is writing to the people of Philippi teaching them how to live out their new faith....live like Christ.  We see in the preceding verses, Paul is suggesting that if there is any evidence of your salvation (surrender and submission to God(Father, Son, Spirit), than here is what you do to put your faith to practice...LOVE.  Not love the way man has defined it, but, love in the way God has defined it and how Christ exemplified it.
            God loves you. Interesting that so many may obtain a glimpse of that understanding, but because of man's poor representation, fall short of "complete" understanding.  Well, GOD DOES LOVE YOU and wants to be a part of your life.  Not only does He want t…

A Reason For Discipline

Proverbs 3:12 " For whom the Lord loves He reproves. Even as a father corrects the son in whom He delights".
You and I live in a time when we are bombarded with cleaver advertising slogans like "Just Do It", "Have It Your Way", "Pleasure is the path to Joy", and so on.  Why do advertisers appeal to your ego?  To lure your mind to accept that you have a right to do as you want.  This idea actually reciprocates the concept of what they are suggesting they are doing.  Adds in essence tell you what to buy, when to buy it, why to buy it, and how much to spend.  Some even go as far to suggest that you are not valuable enough until you purchase their product.  Do you see any suggestion of a desire to care for your "rights"?
            Until now, I did not believe that secular advertising companies believed in the Bible or that God existed.  Do you know why I think they do?  Those that write such wonderful slogans have an understanding that pe…

Are You Sleeping?

Acts 28:26-27 " Go to this people and say, "You will keep on hearing, but will not understand; You will keep on seeing but will not perceive; 27 For the heart of this people has become dull, and with their ears they scarcely hear, and they have closed their eyes; Otherwise they might see with their eyes and hear with their ears and understand with their heart and return, and I will heal them."
            Paul was speaking to the nation of Israel while they were attempting to persecute him.  Paul identified that the people were not open to the truth that would set them free from their bondage of the sin they were imprisoned by. Paul was trying to "wake them up" to see, hear, and believe that the messiah they seek is alive.  The people of Israel were transformed by the world as opposed to transforming it, much like many in the body of Christ, the Christian church in America is today (Romans 12:2).
            We see Paul's desire to "do" what Christ…

Open Your Eyes

Acts 4:12 "And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved."
Too often you see in society and in the church those who idolize people because of their social or economic status.  Also, there are those in society and in the church whom enjoy being idolized. Many are idolized because of either financial, social, political, economic, or "spiritual" power/influence.
            Those who obtain such status may not be required to provide credentials to establish trust but provide false promises or unsustainable "entitlements" (false salvation) which entertain the selfishness of those they seek recognition.
            Paul knew that having an intimate, personal relationship with Jesus could provide true salvation of which is sustained through eternity by the power of Christ's death and resurrection. Remember, we are not of the world but in it, John 17:16. Romans 12:2
       …

Adopted By Faith

Mark 3:35 "For whoever does the will of God, he is My brother and sister and mother."
It is fitting that this passage would be found in the book of Mark.  Mark "lived" out his faith in Christ.  He was a true servant.  Christ was talking to the Galileans helping them to understand how to identify genuine believers. Mark tells how Christ fulfilled His calling even in the midst of those who would judge Him and even one day call for His persecution.
            Notice in the verse above, Jesus says, "whoever does the will of God", who we know was His father.  James 7:20 "So then, you will know them by their fruit". Life does not exist without evidence.  Saying something exists without evidence of its existence is very difficult to validate. Being one who cannot validate what is said is not considered credible.  James 2:26 "So just as the body without the spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead". I understand as a medical first r…

Christ is your Anchor

Isaiah 26:4 " Trust in the Lord forever, For in God the Lord, we have an everlasting Rock".
            Isaiah describes that God is interested in saving or "rescuing" His people. God is the head of a very large rescue team, the body of Christ. As team members, we must have a mature, intimate relationship with our leader and with each other. Why?  Relationship develops opportunity to learn of each other and develop trust in the ability of each member of the team and the leader of the team.
            As a former firefighter-paramedic I understand when rescuing someone hanging out the window of a burning building, dangling on the face of a mountain cliff, or trapped in the confines of a deep shaft, the rope and anchor to which my harness is tied to must be strong and unmovable. 
            Isaiah is telling us that we can rest in the assurance that God is that strong, immovable rock, our anchor.  It is your responsibility, as part of the team, to know your job, pa…

This is Discipleship

Image

Complete in Mind

1 Corinthians 1:10 "Now I exhort you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all agree and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be made complete in the same mind and in the same judgment."
            Denominational and cultural divides within the body of Christ are a result of man's pride.  This scripture identifies Christ's intention to bring unity in the body. Paul got it. Why did man fall away?  Possibly due to the lost influence and discipline of the Apostles whom brought accountability to the early church. Paul's influence was Spirit led. He was not leaning on his own understanding.
            We must, through an intimate, genuine relationship with Jesus Christ, surrendered and submitted to Him, understand His desire to use us to again bring unity through discipline.  The body is not complete without it. 

            RELATIONSHIP!  Bite into that and chew.  Savor the flavor of that concept in your life. Let it nourish your spi…

The Toil of Labor

1 Corinthians 15:58 " Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord".
The current of complacency is strong, pulling you or I off the course the Lord has set.  I must be content in knowing that the work I do for the LORD will go unnoticed by most.  Who is there when the soil is being plowed?  Who is there when the seed is planted?  GOD! The one providing your and my direction.
          I may never see the fruit of my labor unto the LORD while hear of earth, but will always have the opportunity to see Him in the midst of the field.

IMPERIALS - STREAMS IN THE DESERT

Imperials - Nothing Less

This is one of the first Christian contemporary bands I had been introduced to.



Knowing Your Worth

Image
Proverbs 22:1 " A good name is to be more desired than great wealth, Favor is better than silver or gold."
            I woke this morning wanting to share the importance of knowing your value. As a Christian, your identity is not established through your career, your denomination, the church you attend, your family heritage, your culture, your nationality, nor the earthly mentor you associate with.  Your identity is solely established in Jesus Christ. This makes you significant.  Why? Christ identifies your worth to Him. He confirmed it on the cross.
·Genesis 17:2 " I will establish my covenant between Me and you, And I will multiply you exceedingly." God was telling Abraham His intentions to use Abraham to build the nation of Israel.  God promises the same for you. His desire is to use you to further His kingdom.  Is the investment He has established in you paying dividends?  Why? or Why not?
·Psalms 119: 5 "Oh that my ways may be established to keep your statu…

Identified In Christ

Romans 1:16 "For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek."
I woke this morning wanting to make breakfast burritos for my family. I quickly realized that I did not have any burrito shells. I had to make a trip to the local store. My family is on a gluten free (GF) diet.  The local store has GF burrito shells available. When I arrived to the shelf, I found the space that houses the GF shells vacant.  Oh no! At that time a manager walked up and asked if I was finding everything I needed.  I exclaimed, NO!  He went to the back attempting to remedy my dilemma, but, to no avail returned with the bad news.  None in storage.
            At that point, I decided to continue my search. I did not give up that easily.  I did not find any products labeled GF on their packages or on the skeu.  I had to turn some products over to read the ingredients.  Yeah! I found a product that was labeled G…

Enduring Trust

Isaiah 12:2 " Behold, God is my salvation, I will trust and not be afraid; For the Lord God is my strength and song, And He has become my salvation."
            How many times have you done something thinking before you started that you had it under control? You thought, "No problem. I do not need any help." Before long, you were overwhelmed, weak, and discouraged.
            Never assume you can live in obedience to Christ's plans under your own will or power.  YOU WILL FAIL!  There is no excuse for not developing a deeper, intimate relationship with Christ. You need His strength, His desires, His guidance, His knowledge, and above all, His loving heart.
            Only you can allow Him to change you. That takes your desire, recognition of your weakness, your submission, and your surrender.  "Seek me with all your heart and I will be found by you. I will restore you and deliver you from your captivity." Jeremiah 29:11-14.
            What condition …

Knowing Your Liability

Psalms 97:10 " Hate evil, you who love the Lord. Who preserves the souls of His godly ones. He delivers them from the hand of the wicked."
            What has influence in your life?  Have you ever considered how  the music you listen to, the t.v. programs you watch, the people you hang with, the work you do, or the people you seek guidance from and the effect each may have in the day to day functions of your life?
             Do you know, as an ambassador of Christ's kingdom, you are held accountable for the decisions you make and actions you do or do not take?  You are responsible for what you speak. You are liable. It is hard sometimes to remember that. The thought of such responsibility can be overwhelming. What do you have to combat the risk of increasing your liability?  Your competency and who you seek as your council is crucial.
            As an RN I hold liability insurance. It is wise to do so.  Mistakes are possible and even likely. I exceed my employers prote…

Enduring Hope

" To hope is to believe. Continue to have hope in what you desire, for if you lose hope, you've lost the dream." ~Clinton Fleming
            In the Bible, there is a description of what happens when one is "justified with Christ" or "made exempt" of the penalty of sin. Paul writes about it in the fifth chapter of Romans.  Paul writes that we can "exult" or "be excited, joyful" in the hope of the glory of God (Father, Son (Christ), Holy Spirit) because of having faith in Jesus Christ. Understand, without Christ, no one can enter the kingdom of God, or "see His glory".  When Christ died on the cross, He broke the barrier, or "veil" that separated man from seeing God. Only those who were "holy" or "made hole", the Jewish priests could enter the most holy place, the place where God made Himself available, the tabernacle. Forgiveness of sin was made through sacrifices of the most pure, first born …

Enduring Peace

Isaiah 26:3 " The steadfast of mind You will keep in perfect peace, Because he trusts in you."
            I would like to start by defining peace using the scripture. In Ephesians 2:14, inner peace is established through Christ's presence in you.  In John 16:33 Jesus stated "In Me you may have peace."
            Inner peace is obtained when you have the presence of God in you.  When you trust God you are able to obtain confidence that will surpass your understanding Philippians 4:7.   I have some questions.
·How do you respond when troubled? Turn to an addiction for instant gratification? Lash out?  Run away?  Avoid circumstance? ·Where do you turn when you are uncertain, fearful, in doubt, angry, disappointed? Do you turn to an addiction (smoking, food, gambling, fornication, porn, etc...)? ·Do you turn to God, but not totally trust Him?
             As evidenced in countless scriptural references, inner peace cannot be obtained or sustained through any other …

Heart of Stone

Image

Enduring Faith

James 1:2-4 "2 Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. 4 And let endurance have it's perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing."    

I woke this morning around 3:30 a.m. thinking about my book.  I sighed at the idea of getting up to write. I did and went to my office. The chapter I am focusing on is Gaining Autonomy. I am discussing the responsibility Christians must accept  in their "freedom" in Christ.  I am reminded of what I have written earlier in the book, you as a believer do not have a right to yourself.  At the time of salvation, you became a "bond servant" to the Kingdom of God.  An ambassadors to the true one and only King.  Christ anguished over His death, but endured the process in order to fulfill His call, to break the veil that separated man from God. His crucifixion was witnessed so that His true identity would be re…

Understanding Leadership

John 12:13-17 12 So when He had washed their feet, andtaken His garments and reclinedat the table again, He said to them,“Do you know what I have done to you?13 You call MeTeacher andLord; andyou are right, forsoI am.14 If I then,the Lord and the Teacher, washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet.15 For I gave youan example that you also should do as I did to you.16 Truly, truly, I say to you,a slave is not greater than his master, norisone who is sent greater than the one who sent him.17 If you know these things, you areblessed if you do them             Leadership is a trait, not just a position. Leadership requires relationship with those you lead. He or she understands the difference between management and leadership.  A true leader carries/serves those whom he leads, not the inversion of this. Leaders are caring, patient, humble, and transparent. Leaders have integrity. Leaders have experience. They understand that authentic leadership must be developed. Leaders …