Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Unconditional....

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Mark 10:21 (KJV)  Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me.

In My Utmost for His Highest, Oswald Chambers used that verse for his devotional for September 28.  And he highlights an amazing principle in a way we might not ordinarily think of it.

Very often, that verse is used to illustrate putting other things ahead of or in place of God.  Making other things idols.  While the application is true, Chambers brings up another focus that is really the essence of this verse.  And the point Jesus was really making.


Monday, September 29, 2014

In Memory

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Our dear friend, Pastor Dale Loy, unexpectedly went home to be with the Lord this past weekend. Please keep his wife Sharon and their children in prayer.  The family were missionaries in rural Belize.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Without Ceasing

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1 Thessalonians 5:17  Pray without ceasing.

We need to have an attitude of prayer. To be ready to pray "at the drop of a hat". That's not some hyperspiritual, "holier than thou" attitude.  It's more like being like a spiritual fireman.  If you've seen any of the fire department TV dramas, the firemen on duty live at the fire station, eating and sleeping there so that they're immediately available to go out and fight the next fire or deal with the next emergency.

We're supposed to be like those firemen, except in the realm of prayer.  Some of the needs are described in James 5:13-15, "Is any among you afflicted? let him pray. Is any merry? let him sing psalms.  Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord:  And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.".  Spiritual firemen.  And there are other parallels.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Sound Doctrine For These Times (Video)

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license, courtesy of Wikipedia
We've been sharing some of my pastor's teaching on the End Times timeline.  But, as we draw closer and things become more chaotic, we can't forget that God has given us the Bible and Biblical understanding to protect us from becoming part of the chaos.

It's a lack of understanding that leaves us open to the wiles of the devil.  It's that same lack of understanding and connection to God that allows us to become tares instead of wheat.

When we understand who God is, what He's done for us, and how much He loves us, we blunt the effects of Satan's attacks on us.  The devil loses power and we grow in relationship with God.  Here's what my pastor shared on this subject:


Monday, September 22, 2014

Pray, Ask, Get.... Or Not

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1Timothy 2:8  I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting.

James 5:13-15  Is any among you afflicted? let him pray. Is any merry? let him sing psalms.  Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.

Those verses say a lot about prayer.  It's a subject that's been on my mind a lot, lately.  I'm a member of several online prayer groups, as well as talking to people with prayer need as I make followup calls for our church.  And several of my fellow Christian bloggers have been led to blog about prayer, particularly in the ways it's personal to them.  In that, we're not going to be much different.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Lay Aside....

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picture from  New Era Events, Inc. blog
“Putting our faith in Christ is not about trying harder; it means transferring our trust away from ourselves and resting in him.” -- Tim Keller

Picture a man holding up a boulder, like our illustration to the left.  Trying harder would be like us doing that.  Depending on what the boulder is composed of, it might be light enough to hold up.  But, even then, there's a limit to how long we could continue to hold it.  We have to deal with that fact.

Take a look at what God says.  There's a clear picture in Hebrews 12:1 of how He looks at our boulder lifting.  It's evident that Tim Keller has it right.


Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Assurance, Satisfied, & Settled on the Sure Foundation‏

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Here's a great meditation from Todd Parsons that takes our discussion on Monday in a slightly different direction.

It's faith that keeps us connected.  A recognition of the hope that comes from God's love for us.

The grace that saves us and delivers us also builds our faith to stay connected. The power that makes a wonderful eternity possible also makes our daily life more bearable.  And it ensures we have instantaneous access any time we need it and are willing to reach for it.


Monday, September 15, 2014

For Real?

image from the Library of Congress, Prints and
Photograps Collection, no known restrictions for use
It's amazing what physical ailments can do to us.  Particularly if the change forces a change in lifestyle or in our physical appearance.  That part of our discussion may be slightly R rated.

We've seen a ton of articles and TV news items about our wounded warriors, veterans returning, physically (and maybe psychologically) damaged from going to war to protect us.  Some end up homeless, many have sight or limbs taken away by IEDs and the battles for our freedom.

Our illustration is a returned World War II vet, with a volunteer from the Red Cross helping to write a letter.  He looks happy.  I suspect it's a staged publicity picture, depicting how much difference the Red Cross can make or how easy the transition back to normal life wounded vets could experience. Definitely rosier than modern reality.  Think with me on this.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Walk in Blessing

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Acts 10:34 (KJV)  Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons:

John 5:19 (KJV)  Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise. 

1 John 2:6 (KJV)  He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.

Romans 12:2 (KJV)  And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

Those verses highlight a real truth.  God doesn't favor certain people, nor does He exclude some from His favor.  All are free to accept His Grace and salvation.  It's clear to most Christians that the ideal is to be Christ-like.  He took His lead from the Father.  We need to take our lead from Him and be transformed.  How we walk with God should make a difference.  There are a couple of situations that got me thinking about that recently.  One of them splashed all over the news.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

The Because of Love - Jesus Knows Your Hurt

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photo from the "Looking for My Burning Bush" blog
Here we are, again, on a "guest post Wednesday,  And I thought I'd throw a double header at you. Our friend Todd Parsons shared a meditation and some verses on love.  Awhile back, another friend, Mrs. Shawn Mullin, did a cover of Dallas Holm's "Jesus Knows Your Hurt".  It's not a professional recording.  In fact, from the video sizing, I suspect it was done with a smartphone.  The video is clear and the audio is fine, even though it was done at home.  But, most important, the sweet spirit and the anointing are there.  And I think the two go together.

I've put Todd's meditation first, with the song afterwards, as a means of meditating on the whole.


Monday, September 8, 2014

Spiritual Ebola

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photo from Flickr and supplied by NIAID

The other night, I was trying to fit several things into the same time frame.  My day had been hectic. I had prayed when I got up, but I was just getting to my devotional reading for the day.  A recent online conversation weighed heavily on my mind.  And I was trying to catch up on the news, where the latest information about the ebola breakout caught my attention.  All of that combined to create an interesting train of thought.

Today's illustration is a colorized electron microscope view of the ebola virus.  It looks like it could be a nice abstract painting.  But, from the news stories, we know that ebola is anything but nice. That's the heart of what we want to share today.


Friday, September 5, 2014

Sapir - Freedom's Blue: Sea and Sky (Excerpt)

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It's early September.  We thought we'd share one of the devotions from our September devotional.

The devotional book is for Kindle only. It's titled Sapir - Freedom's Blue, subtitled Sea and Sky, and is part of the Breastplate Gems series, Book 9.  The series is inexpensively available on Amazon, this particular book, here: http://amzn.to/1w66hcd.

Today, we think about the value of our salvation.  It has enough worth that anyone jealous of it would, at the very least, want to keep us from possessing it.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

The Visible Kingdom To Come - Part 1

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license, courtesy of Wikipedia

Last week, we shared two sermon videos from my pastor. Both dealt with the timeline leading up to and through the Millenial Reign.  Today's two parter (note that it's labeled Part 1) consists of the two morning services from Sunday of  Labor Day weekend.  The second service was less timeline oriented, so we chose not to post it for Friday.  But it is important. We've included a link to the YouTube video at the bottom of this post.  Since both are upwards of 40 minutes each, you may not want to view both in one sitting.  But we do recommend that you take the time to watch both.


Monday, September 1, 2014

It's About Relationship

The image is used under Creative Commons license,
from en.wikipedia.org, picture by Johnny Automatic
Luke 10:20 (KJV)  Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.


"Jesus Christ is saying here, 'Don't rejoice in your successful service for Me, but rejoice because of your right relationship with Me.'".


That's the verse and beginning devotional statement for August 30th, by Oswald Chambers in My Utmost for His Highest.  That sentence is so true.  Yet, there's more.

There was a recent online discussion, once again about Paul Washer and his teachings about salvation.  I wrote about that, awhile back.  More recently, we discussed repentance and salvation.  And it all gets really interesting.