In miracles? I do. Let me tell you about my blog title and its image. They are more than just those things. More than a title. An image. They are symbols. Emblems. In fact, these things are no…
Source: Do you believe?
In miracles? I do. Let me tell you about my blog title and its image. They are more than just those things. More than a title. An image. They are symbols. Emblems. In fact, these things are no…
Source: Do you believe?
This past week has been one long blur, resulting in a combination of medicines and my body’s need for healing sleep. At times, I was so miserable that all I could do is lay still trying to avoid my progressively worsening cough. I couldn’t breathe. Literally, I couldn’t get the air I was in taking to filter to my lungs. The Dr. said I had asthma induced bronchitis. Nice to know, I guess, but I just wanted to feel better. From experience, I knew that it would not take long until the miracle of modern medicine would work it’s magic and I would soon be back to good health. I did let my mind wander to the days of pre-medicine though, and tried to imagine what it would have been like for many who, experiencing the same type of sickness I have just suffered, had no hope for cure. Perhaps they had access to medicinal herbs or lived close to one of the major cities where some sort of medical knowledge might have been helpful, but for the most part, there was no known cure for many of today’s common illnesses.
I then let my mind journey even farther back through time, to the days when the streets of Bethlehem, Nazareth, Jerusalem and Judea were nothing but tired and worn trails of dust. They were also the only way that the cities of Israel were connected to each other. More than likely, caravans carrying wares to be sold in the market along with travelers making their way throughout the countryside could be seen on these streets on any given day. Another guaranteed sight, if one were to be walking the streets outside of any of the cities of Israel when Herod reigned in Judea on behalf of Rome, would be the various people for whom illness had driven them outside the city gates. In order to keep the greater populace living inside the confines of the city walls safe and healthy, those people having contracted leprosy, tuberculosis or other forms of highly contagious diseases were forced to find refuge along the highway or catacombs outside the city. The chronically ill were additionally forced to cry the word ‘unclean’ to passerbys so that no one might mistakenly come in contact with them. Think of this existence. These poor people were already feeling miserable, had been forced from their homes – in most cases, alone – they had to rely on charity for food, and if that wasn’t enough, also had to announce their uncleanness and unworthiness to all who might pass by them. The physical, mental and emotional toll on these individuals must have been overwhelming.
At some point, during this time period, word of unusual events started spreading throughout the country. For this small window in time, there lived One who might actually be able to help these ostracized folks. Eager to share what they had seen, men, women and children ran from city to neighboring city yelling and crying out the name of Jesus. This name, the wonderfully, powerful name of Jesus fell on the ears of the sick, laying outside the city. Maybe they felt hope and the possibility for a real life again. Maybe they had become so hardened that skepticism was the only emotion they could feel. Regardless of their reception of the news, the fact that something unusual was taking place in Israel could not be escaped. The documented love that Jesus had for the sick can be found in the New Testament eyewitness accounts of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. John even ends his writings by saying in John 21:25, “Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written.”
I let my mind wrap around the incredible surge of feeling that might have been felt by those who experienced the actual, physical touch of Jesus. For the outcast living outside the city, this touch meant even more as they had not experienced a touch from anyone in a very long time. No hugs, no handshakes, no pat on the back in passing, they were unclean and unable to be touched. The touch of Jesus not only healed these people permanently from their illness, but it radically changed the course of their life. Take a moment, let your mind roll around the opportunities that presented themselves to the sick through just that one touch by Jesus. As I lay trying to recuperate this past week, I savored the thought of feeling Jesus heal me of my cough. I stand in awe of His power and can only imagine what His personal touch felt like.
I will testify though, that I am better today and I give the credit for my health to only God. The prayers of a few close friends, availed much and I am confident that I felt the touch of God. We do not live during the time that God opened the doorway from heaven and allowed His Son, Jesus, to physically walk the earth. We do, however, live in a time when we, who believe and accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior, have His Spirit living in us. Jesus is not here, in person, to minister to the lost and sick, so it is up to us as His ambassadors to take his message to those outside the city gates. If the city is represented by the Church, in our times, then we must leave the safety and confinements of the church and go where the sick, unwanted and unloved live – outside the city gates. As Christians, we can bring the life changing, healing touch of the Master to those who truly need it but have no idea how or where to find Jesus. So many people wander outside the gate. They may not shout the word, ‘unclean,’ but they undoubtably feel unclean. Only those who have been washed in the blood of the Lamb, can ever feel clean and whole.
1 Samuel 16:7
English Standard Version (ESV)
7 But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.”
I love that God finds my beauty on the inside and not on the surface. Sometimes it’s not a pleasant experience to look in the mirror because time is not forgiving and gravity takes it’s toll. Some people are blessed to have a good genes and they retain their figure and youthful look but for most of us, it’s a daily struggle to be one of ‘the beautiful people’.
Often, a thought builds in my mind and I feel led to share what ends up becoming a full article. Sometimes, I am fueled by outrage at a current event and have to address it immediately. There are times though, where a subtle conversation or comment shared in passing is repeated over the course of time. When this happens, I know I have received a prompting from God to share what He is revealing to me.
I spend some time, not by choice, at the dermatologist several times a year reversing sun damage in the hopes to prevent skin cancer from surfacing. As a teen, I spent hours soaking in the sun as I tried to obtain a golden tan. Unsuccessful in most attempts, I would end up suffering from burns and the resulting peels that revealed only freckles and no tan. Unfortunately, I never learned and repeated this process so much over the years that now I have to reverse the damage that took years to build. Frequently, the damage to cells in your body take place years before the evidence of the resulting skin cancer can be seen. I’ve been told that typically, the length of time from initial damage to visible results can span ten years. I think there’s a lesson to learn here….(besides the obvious of avoiding sun damage). How long does it take for damage to reach the surface?
In casual conversation, I mentioned to a friend that she has flawless skin and she looked really great. After thanking me for the comment, which was genuine admiration, she clouded for a second before she said that my compliment made up for years of feeling ugly because she couldn’t tan. She was always more pale than her friends and didn’t feel like one of the “beautiful people.” I can relate because I’m so pale that I can literally blind people from the sun’s reflection off my skin. I felt immediately humbled to receive a glimpse into what had been years of suffering that my friend had experienced. In her case, she has emerged as the recipient of flawless and youthful skin because she avoided the sun. The feeling of beauty is only skin deep though because the feeling of inadequacy runs deeper than the surface.
Later, the same week, I was talking to another friend and somehow the conversation turned to her years of feeling invisible. In her youth, she had been heavier and always felt as if she was completely invisible to the world. As she matured, she lost weight and became more comfortable with herself so that people started noticing her. The attention she received could have easily gone to her head but she knew that regardless of what she looked like, the real person could only be known from the inside out. She said it was eye opening to see that people want to associate with those they perceive to be beautiful, so much so, that sometimes it’s hard to know who your real friends might be.
How many other people feel like this? How many neighbors, co-workers or relatives are suffering from what lies below the surface? If it takes ten years for some skin cancers to surface, how long does it take for emotional scars or feelings of inadequacy to become apparent? How many people do you know who are suffering in silence? Are you someone who has a hidden hurt? It’s such a comfort to know that there is One who looks past the surface and not only knows the real you but who can also hold and heal those secret scars. God knows you and He loves you! Psalm 139:13 New International Version (NIV) says, “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.” How awesome is that! Not only does God see you and know you, He is the one who created the inner most you. He formed your soul and knows your secret thoughts and painful past. Turn those hurts that you have held on to for years over to Him and let Him free you from long held feelings of inadequacy.
“For man looks on the outside but God looks on the heart!”
It was well recognized that Martha Raye endured less comfort and more danger than any other Vietnam entertainer.
Most of the old time entertainers were made of a lot sterner stuff than today’s crop of activists. The following is from an Army Aviator who takes a trip down memory lane. “It was just before Thanksgiving ’67 and we were ferrying dead and wounded from a large GRF west of Pleiku. We had run out of body bags by noon, so the Hook (CH-47 CHINOOK) was pretty rough in the back. All of a sudden, we heard a ‘take-charge’ woman’s voice in the rear. There was the singer and actress, Martha Raye, with a SF (Special Forces) beret and jungle fatigues, with subdued markings, helping the wounded into the Chinook, and carrying the dead aboard. ‘Maggie’ had been visiting her SF ‘heroes’ out ‘west’. We took off, short of fuel, and headed to the USAF hospital pad at Pleiku. As we all started unloading our sad pax’s, a ‘Smart Mouth’ USAF Captain said to Martha… “Ms Ray, with all these dead and wounded to process, there would not be time for your show! To all of our surprise, she pulled on her right collar and said ……”Captain, see this eagle? I am a full ‘Bird’ in the US Army Reserve, and on this is a ‘Caduceus’ which means I am a Nurse, with a surgical specialty….now, take me to your wounded. He said, “Yes ma’am…. follow me.” Several times at the Army Field Hospital in Pleiku, she would ‘cover’ a surgical shift, giving a nurse a well-deserved break.
Martha is the only woman buried in the SF (Special Forces) cemetery at Ft Bragg.
There are two words that I’ve really grown to dislike. I might even go as far as to say that I detest and resent them. Used separately they are fine and normal words, but combined they convey restrictions that God never intended to be placed upon man.
These two words have become such a source of irritation to me that I feel the necessity to expose why we should not strive to be politically correct. When someone you know is suffering, shouldn’t you be able to pray with them or express that you are praying for them? Prayer is my first action when I hear of a loved one or friend in need, however my second thought is to make sure the expression of this action might not offend anyone within hearing distance. When a conversation at work turns to a theoretical hopefulness of eternal life, why are we not allowed to simply speak up and assure our co-workers that eternal life is not only a hope but rather a promise if we only believe in the finished work of Jesus Christ? Why are churches feeling the need to change their charters to reflect the belief that marriage is an act between a man and a woman? Why have schools taken prayer and God out of school? Why do we limit and silence the beliefs of many in order to pacify the few?
POLITICAL CORRECTNESS – that’s why. And I’ll take it a step further and say that EVILNESS is a more appropriate answer. All the good and right that God put in place when He created man has either already been or is in the process of being perverted by Satan. The spiritual battle taking place between God and His heavenly armies and Satan and his demons has moved so near and become so intense that humans can almost hear the battle sounds with our limited hearing. The feeling of immense anticipation is so strong that people across the globe are taking note. The Holy Spirit is directing Christians to speak out loudly to friends and family because it won’t be too much longer before the curtain that conceals the supernatural dimension is raised and all hell will literally break loose on earth. Satan is working overtime to move all humans to a global way of thinking. If everyone on earth were to be like minded then political correctness would be political mandate. How close are we to this? You tell me! Read the morning headlines…..we are nano seconds away from universal chaos on all fronts: political, financial, spiritual and physical. Only God’s great love for mankind is delaying this action. He could easily split the heavens wide open and demand that all acknowledge the truth in His thunderous voice yet He has given each one of us a choice to find Him. He has made His presence known throughout all of creation. Everything, seen and unseen, reflects His presence so that no one can claim ignorance of His existence. He has commanded that Christians go into the world and preach His gospel to every person. There should be absolutely no excuse for anyone not to believe, love and worship Almighty God…but for the pervasiveness of POLITICAL CORRECTNESS.
The agenda of the current White House administration is directly opposed to everything that is fundamentally right. Our founding fathers established a nation whose pursuits were life, liberty and happiness. Each day brings the uncovering of a new liberty stripped from American citizens. With rapid fire, the Constitutional Amendments are being shot into the abyss. True and genuine happiness has been replaced by temporal enjoyment of possessions. As long as the average citizen’s lifestyle is not affected, they remain lulled into passivity. Life… The lives of countless thousands American soldiers have been altered either for years or permanently and now we are being pushed into another war. When potus said we won’t be going to ground in Syria, you better know that we are already there. In spite of all of these daily occurrences, the art of POLITICAL CORRECTNESS has silenced the moral majority of this great nation. It is high time that we stand up and speak boldly for Truth – in more ways than one. Shake the liberty tree with patriotic passion and don’t let anyone prevent you from pointing eyes to Jesus. We should not be policed by POLITICAL MANDATE, which is where we are quickly headed. We answer to a Higher Authority, but it’s your choice as to how you choose to use your voice. Choose wisely, because time is running out!
This is the debate of the century – Darwin, Scopes….on and on, there have been many who have debated the origin of the universe. Dating back to the Egyptians, Phoenician’s and Caananites, men have attributed the creation of all there is to the gods they worshipped: the sun, the moon, cows. They were at least smart enough to know that a Higher Being had to be part of the process. Then came Darwin with his nonsensical theory that men evolved. This is another example to prove what I have written about in prior posts, satan will do everything he can to mimic and blaspheme the works and word of the One, True God. Follow the above link for information about this new documentary debunking evolution.
I heard a co-worker talking the other day of how ‘people say evolution is not true, but if that’s the case then why are teens hitting puberty earlier and children so much larger.’ Really? Is there seriously a valid point there? The answer is that yes, there is indeed an evolution taking place, but only in that we, as a society, are evolving our food processing and preparation standards to allow for GMO’s and hormones that are adversely affecting our bodies. We manipulate genetics and chemicals forcing anatomical reactions as our bodies try to metabolize things we were never meant to ingest. This is NOT evolution!
There has never – EVER – been a true and documented case of a living thing evolving over the span of mankind. Just because human skeletons have been found with smaller bones, larger heads, different shapes means nothing aside from the obvious which is that someone looked different than the person who found the bones. Not only have we not evolved, we cannot create living from nothing. This is something that only God can do.
Evolutionists and atheists are only puppets in the hands of satan as he works to spread his perversion of God’s creation. Only God can speak and have sunlight cut through the vast darkness of the universe and then position the earth in just the exact proportion to this sun in order to sustain the heat and light necessary for life to continue for thousands of years. God also placed the earth in orbit to circle the sun and He added a moon so that the night would not be black and the oceans would have a current. He then doodled the stars in the heavens to shine at night as a testament of His majesty. He created animals. Every animal known and unknown to man. Flying, walking, swimming and now extinct animals were all created by Him. Finally, He topped all of His other creations, and formed man. This is a dumb-downed version of creation, but think about each item that God created and then ponder how everything is affected by the most minute effects of each aspect of life. From the cause and effect of the combination of wind and light to the oxygen created by plants, all of these results prove the genius and mastermind behind what could never happen randomly. I am not even qualified to describe how a human is formed. Two cells – two tiny cells converge and multiply in just the right combination to form a baby. There is so much detail and complexity involved in this process that I could never imagine trying to duplicate it. Our finite minds cannot come close to understanding the infinite power and intelligence of God. He is far beyond our understanding.
Satan will continue to try and blind people to keep them from the truth but I believe that God is allowing so much to be revealed to this generation in order to awaken the consciousness of everyone. He loves all people so much!
2 Peter 3:5 But they deliberately forget that long ago by God’s word the heavens came into being and the earth was formed out of water and by water. 6 By these waters also the world of that time was deluged and destroyed. 7 By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly.8 But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. 9 The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.
Evidence of the flood from Noah’s time keeps surfacing as do Hebrew antiquities that support writings in the Old Testament. Daily revelations and discoveries are showing up in the news. God is making sure that everyone knows who He is and what He has done. There will be no excuse, as He wants no one to perish and is giving everyone an opportunity to turn to Him. There is one Creator, one God and that is the Lord God Almighty who made a way to Him through Jesus. Don’t miss this opportunity. He is knocking on your heart’s door and revealing Himself to you!
I found this article alarming but yet quite revealing. As I’ve said so many times, satan is a master deceiver and manipulator. If you don’t know Jesus and have a solid understanding of the Bible AND have a close walk with Him, it’s easy to be swayed a bit at a time. In this piece, people are described as needing to feel an experience as part of their worship. Isn’t that the truth! We have become so accustomed to being entertained that a good old fashioned church service where the focus of worship is hearing the Word of God is a thing of the past. Today’s church services consist of media, drama, bands, lights, glitz and pizazz leaving 10 minutes for the message – which is most often just a team building mantra. I am most certainly not against media, drama teams, worship music, etc as long as it is an enhancer for the actual message rather than the main event. God has given us great talents and it is so special to share them together, but Christians were exhorted to meet together to encourage one another, to learn His Word and further commanded to preach His good news to all people.
“Given that much of Christian culture is the result of putting a monotheistic gloss on pagan ritual, this seems like the only way that Christianity will survive in England,” reads another quote. Why should there be a need to bring paganism into the Church? This is exactly how satan baby steps people away from the Truth. Do you think the Israelites snapped in an instant and made the golden calf to worship? They, unlike us, witnessed God in person. He led them in the desert with a pillar of fire at night and cloud by day. Miracle upon miracle was seen by all before they left Egypt as God saved them from plagues. They each – every single one of them – crossed the Red Sea on DRY land because they saw God part those waters. Good gravy Miss Masie, after witnessing all of that how, seriously – HOW – could they have turned almost overnight into people who worshipped a gold cow (made out of their own melted gold, I might add!)? I’ll tell you how. It wasn’t an overnight change. Satan plants thoughts and suggestions in the mind. Like, wouldn’t it be nice if we could all co-exist? (I hate those bumper stickers!). We all worship the same god….NOT even close! And if we all worship the same god, we should have a little sumpin-sumpin for everyone. Do you see how this works? Baby steps! There is no place for non-Christian rituals or beliefs in the Church. EVER!
Christians are to be holy, set apart as unto Christ. We are His bride and he paid a huge price to redeem us from the bondage of sin and eternal separation from Him. We are not to conform to the image of this world. Mary was a godly woman or else she would not have been chosen to be the mother of Christ, but that is all that she was. She has no power. The same goes for any past man. There is not going to be an answer from saint anyone. They are powerless humans (dead humans – although in heaven based on their belief in Jesus’ finished work on the cross) and repeating vespers or chantings about them are not going to do a thing for you. Taking communion, although commanded as a remembrance event for Christians, will not save you and is not any part of your salvation. The wine or grape juice most definitely does NOT turn in to Christ’s blood nor the wafers or crackers into His body when drunk or eaten. (Really?!!). Trees are a beautiful part of nature but they have no power to save you, although Jesus’ power was revealed when He died upon a tree and yet rose again after conquering death once and for all! The earth is absolutely a marvel when you think of how a nano inch out of orbit would allow for no life existence. The earth did not create itself though so what is the point in worshipping a planet? Animals are wonderful companions, beautiful to watch and nourishment for our bodies but there is absolutely nothing an animal could ever do to save your soul! In fact, they have no souls themselves. The Bible makes mention several times that satan is a powerful angel, described as the morning star. He is beautiful yet flawed as he tried and failed at becoming god. Why would anyone worship a failure?
There is only one true God. His name is Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Yahweh, I Am, Prince of Peace! Only He is worthy of worship and praise. Only He can save your soul. He created all things past, present or future and one day every knee will bow and every tongue proclaim that He is King. It really does not matter how you worship Him as long as you worship Him in spirit and in truth. You may sing His praises, you may take communion, you may listen to spoken words but what you must not ever do is to add to what He has already finished. There is nothing more insulting to God than your rejection of His completeness. He doesn’t need you to be at church or do nice things or take communion or be baptized (one of the biggest lies that satan spreads is the false belief that you must be baptized to be saved. This is a topic for another day, but baptism is only an outward expression of your inward belief in Jesus finished work on the cross. You identify yourself as belonging to Him when you are baptized. And as this is a conscious decision that you must make for only you, infant baptism does nothing for the infant – ever. Do not be misled), and on and on….he has already done everything for you! Anything you add or take away from His saving act is nothing but the use of paganism. You might as well worship the grass outside because it’s just as powerful as any other ritual you might embrace. Did you get that? There is only power in the blood that Jesus shed for you.
Don’t be swayed or blinded by satan as he attempts to change the church into an all encompassing one world religion. There is no such thing on earth today and there won’t be until Jesus establishes His millennial kingdom where all people will worship Him.
Matthew 6:24 “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other…”
Sometimes I feel as if life is one big balancing act and I am wobbling on a teeter totter just trying to make it through the day in one piece. Do you ever feel like that? Some days it’s a losing battle and I find myself tilting to one side and completely throwing off the portions of my carefully balanced life. I truly try so hard to make everyone that I come into contact with happy. I don’t like feeling as if I have let someone down or caused additional work for anyone. So, I add more to my plate and keep walking down the middle of that fence so as to appease everyone.
Have you ever tried walking on the top of a fence? My guess is that not many from today’s generation will be able to respond affirmatively but the kids I hung out with while growing up would spend hot, lazy summer days making up games to play while hanging outside. We would play endless games of hide and seek or ride bikes through the neighborhood. Sometimes, we would try our luck at balancing as we walked the length of fencing behind each other’s back yards. Somedays we would make it farther than others but invariable, we would lose focus and in turn, fall to one side of the fence or the other. I’m sure that the talented tight rope walkers of the world could walk for miles wile balancing on the peak of a fence, perhaps even while blindfolded. There comes a point though, for everyone, whether from change in height, hunger, exhaustion or various other conditions or factors, that the laws of gravity will prevail and pull to one side or the other. It is impossible to spend your entire life walking a fence and no doubt it is exhausting.
Similarly, as the opening verse says, you can’t serve two masters. I can speak to this from a work related experience. For a short time, I reported to two different supervisors. I have to reiterate that it was just for a short time. What a nightmare! It is impossible to please both, stay in sync with both, organize for both or just try and keep up with both. One or the other is going to demand more time and take precedence. This is exactly how God described our inability to serve Him alone. If we lose our focus and take our eyes off of Him, it is a certainty that we will fall to one side and be consumed by other priorities. A priority doesn’t have to be something horrible or evil, it can easily be something that would normally be good, but if it pulls your focus off of Christ then you may be feeling that pull to the side.
Sometimes, we walk the fence because we don’t want to offend anyone. PC anyone? Heaven forbid we define right from wrong in a public forum or the work place! Rather than speaking out, it’s just safer to remain invisible and keep quiet. It’s less offensive to point out the obvious wrongs being done in our country because we may hurt someone’s feelings. There are two poison apple topics in the work place: politics and religion. Guess what the enemy is using to morally corrupt America and our freedom? You got it. Politics and religion. So, we keep trying to balance the fence. A little progressivism here and a little God loves all faiths there and we are able to maintain our balance on top of the fence.
“I know all the things you do, that you are neither hot nor cold. I wish that you were one or the other.” Rev. 3:15
Picture one side of the fence to be extreme cold and the other side is polar opposite being boiling hot. God says he does not want us to be lukewarm or balancing on the fence. Pick one or the other. Either you are for Him or by virtue of silence, you are against Him. That doesn’t sound good, does it? How many times are we silent when we should speak out? I know that I have been silent in my lukewarmness more times than I could ever count. So, basically I have been cold. It’s one side or the other, my friends. You absolutely cannot walk the fence and you cannot be lukewarm. By standing in the middle, you have chosen the cold side. By keeping silent about your faith, you have sided with another master. We have the ability to make our own choices. We can choose our actions, our words and our thoughts.
Joshua 7 tells how the Israelites went to battle and they lost. This was not the norm for them. If you wanted to secure a sure and safe bet then you were guaranteed a positive return by placing your money on Israel kicking their opponent’s butt. That they lost was shocking and disturbing to all, especially to Joshua who had led them into battle. When they got back to camp, Joshua fell to the ground in prayer and God revealed to him the root of the Israelite loss. One of the men, Achan, had hidden some of the spoils from the battle of Jericho in his tent after God had commanded it all destroyed. Achan saw something he wanted and he hid it while pretending to obey. Because of one man’s disobedience all suffered defeat. The Israelites constantly walked the fence between serving God and serving the gods of other nations. You’d think at some point they would have learned. Sometimes they banded together in their disobedience and other times, as in the example of Achan, they acted alone. Joshua tells the Israelites in chapter 24 that God is jealous. He will not let you serve two masters. Joshua said choose Whom you will serve, “but as for me and my house, we will serve The Lord.”
That is one powerful statement! What choice will you make? I choose the Lord’s side!
I have been asked, on more than one occasion, why I don’t just keep my mouth shut? Sometimes I probably should because I would save myself embarrassment. Being blonde, I tend to frequently speak without thinking which is not always a good thing!
There is one topic for which I will never be embarrassed or ashamed to speak loudly and clearly. I will not apologize for my passion for Jesus Christ! How many people do you know who love you unconditionally? Hopefully, you can include your parents, grandparents, siblings, spouse and children in this category. So that’s good, but let’s move to the next question. How many people would forgive you for the same offense 70×7, or better known as infinity? I’m guessing your list just narrowed but there are still several left. Next question, how many people, having never done anything wrong,would stand before a crowd of angry accusers, crying “crucify him”, so that you would not have to face eternity away from God? I think almost everyone’s list reduced to one or two, and I’m betting that this is wishful thinking because the normal human reaction to threat is an adrenaline push for survival. The action of personal sacrifice is foreign to our fight or flight tendencies. Let’s assume though that there is at least one left on your list and move to the next question. How many people would willingly endure floggings, beatings, mocking, and abandonment by all those close to them and then be forced to carry a heavy wooden cross through town and up a hill after a night of torture in the heat with no water to quench thirst? After reaching the top of the hill, would they lay on that cross on their back that had been beaten and left open with torn and bleeding flesh to be nailed through their wrists and feet so that they could hang on that cross as it was posted in the ground? Keep in mind, that they had done nothing wrong – EVER- and the only reason that they were allowing (all power in heaven and earth were available to take them away if asked) this to happen was so that you would never have to endure any punishment. I can’t think of even one person who would do that for me and if you are being honest with yourself, you will admit the same. This sacrifice is exactly what Jesus did for men, women and children of all generations! There is no one, past or present, who has or could do anything to earn His love and sacrifice. Instead, we use His name as a curse. We don’t read His love letter to us. We avoid talking about Him because it might offend others. We spend inordinate amounts of time watching television instead of talking to Him. We, like Peter – one of Jesus’ disciples, who knew Him unlike any other – repeatedly hide and pretend we don’t know Him. Being God, who had no beginning or end, He knew us and He knew what we would do, and He still left heaven to die for us. He died for me. This is exactly why I will not shut up – ever! When you are able to put your life in perspective with eternity and truly realize the depth of the love that He has for you, it is impossible (or it should be) to be silent and not share Him with others.
Hand in hand with my passion for Jesus is my love for America. We live in the last safe haven for freedom and the ability to worship without fear of persecution. If you are paying attention to your surroundings and news from non-traditional outlets, then you know that this freedom is rapidly being replaced with the antithesis of peace. The office of the American presidency has been staffed with Muslims who are hell-bent on erasing Christianity from our children’s textbooks, from television, from public places and from society. The amount of damage they have done to this country in such a short time is astounding. If we do not speak up then pretty soon we will not be allowed to speak. We can’t stop a speeding bullet but perhaps we can slow it down long enough to spread the Good News of Jesus Christ to more people. I am going to borrow this next sentence from Frankiln Graham “Complete obedience is what the Lord desires. We must never back down from fully following Christ because we fear public opinion or the ridicule of others. 1
Jesus Christ has commanded us to “go … and make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28:19)—that commandment applies to each one of us, all of His followers. We can’t fix all the social injustices and problems of our day, but we have been called to take this Gospel to the ends of the earth.”
To speak or not to speak? I HAVE to speak of His love and mercy because He is so worthy!
Sometimes it feels good to be labeled. Top company producer, Olympic gold medalist and mom are all some of the labels that bring instant pride and satisfaction. Every now and again everyone likes to be recognized and appreciated. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with rewarding good work or efforts. We like those kind of labels. Some labels, however, cause instant irritation or anger such as fat girl, freckle face, shorty….This is because we associate our identity with labels either self-imposed or bestowed by others. Other labels that identify race or color are not welcome in conversation because they are symbols of hatred and isolation. What about being called a Jesus Freak though? Would it embarrass you or make you feel politically incorrect? What actions would it take to make you a Jesus Freak? Would you be considered for one if you are just a nice person or maybe someone who doesn’t hang out with the partiers of the crowd? Do you have to go to church for someone to think you are a Jesus Freak? What if, are you ready for this, you read your Bible in public? Certainly that qualifies you for that title. Is this a label you would wear in secret or would you wear it proudly?
I have often wondered, especially when I see recent headlines, if I had been born in Communist China or one of the countries controlled by Islam, would it be easier for me to be a Christian? Sometimes it’s easier to choose a side when the line is clearly drawn and the choices are black and white. I am so thankful to be an American. There is so much opportunity and freedom here that we could never experience anywhere else in the world. I am proud of my citizenship and the men who gave me the right to go where I want, live how I please and worship freely, but sometimes I think that maybe I might be a stronger Christian if I had to follow Christ under the chance of persecution. The ability to read our Bibles and sing songs of praise to our Creator is so easy, maybe too easy, that we take it for granted. Are we wasting our opportunity to learn about Jesus and know Him in a way that so many across the world would love to have? How many Christians in America have to meet in secret for Bible study so that they are not arrested or tortured? How many Christians here have to smuggle pieces of the Bible across town so that little by little they can build a Bible. Have you heard about anyone in America lately being gunned down for their beliefs? No? Neither have I but I bet you have heard of Saeed Abedini, the 33 year old Idaho pastor who is being held in an Iranian jail for his Christian faith. http://www.foxnews.com/world/2013/05/22/prayers-from-prison-american-pastor-held-in-iran-releases-letter/
Countries around the world from Pakistan to China to India to Russia make it a capital offense to worship Christ yet those Christians are on fire for Him. We have it so easy and we hide in the country. What’s wrong with that picture?
If you have a chance, pick up the book Jesus Freaks http://www.amazon.com/Jesus-Freaks-Stories-Those-Ultimate/dp/1577780728 It is the compilation of stories of a new generation of Christians who live what they believe, stories of persecution – past and present. Read this book and then decide. Decide Who you will serve because by not taking sides, you have decided. “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile,” Romans 1:16.