Sunday, March 20, 2016

Schisms: A Rainbow of Deception

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Get Out of the Boat

You Can’t Walk On Water If You Are Sitting in the Boat (via http://link2power.org)

You ever hear someone say about a person that they walk on water? It typically means that this individual is the best at what they do. Well Jesus is the ultimate at what He did. He is asking us to do those works that He did. The etymology behind the…

Sunday, April 29, 2012

The Right Path

This week... Judy Ann provides meditations guaranteed to help you stay on the right path during this upcoming week, and beyond...

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Just Wait ‘Till I Tell Them What You Did...

The predisposition to Tell or Tattle Tale on other people seems an indigenous part of human nature.

Nobody goes to school to learn how to tell tales on others. It comes naturally... and at a young age!

How often do you hear this coming from a group of young children:  “Oooh!  I’m TELLING!”

Comedians like Eddie Murphy have made millions mimicking that very behavior that seems to form the foundation of our human psyche.

And yet, this type of behavior goes contrary to the perfect will of God.

Or, to put it bluntly, it is sin.

Or, to just get plain real with it... GOD HATES THIS (see Proverbs 6:16-19) !

And you don’t want to do something that God hates, do you?

One of the reasons that God hates type of behavior is that it can kill you.



A man's [moral] self shall be filled with the fruit of his mouth; and with the consequence of his words he must be satisfied [whether good or evil]. Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and they who indulge in it shall eat the fruit of it [for death or life].
Proverbs 18:20-21 [AMP]


Years ago, when somebody pulled a gun on me after I had mouthed off... I realized that I needed to listen more, speak less, and pray always.

Not very long ago , I was working with a group of people, a couple of who considered themselves very devout Christians.

One of these individuals had a number of outward expressions of his religious faith.  His style of clothing... his grooming... all he believed to be taken from the Bible and presumably would make him closer to God.  Apparently he did not seem to want to get closer to other people... but that is another story.

The other individual expressed very conservative beliefs.  No socializing.  No fraternizing.  Just keep your nose down and do your job.

Both of these individuals worked with a group of drunken, cursing, blaspheming, fornicating heathens... yet their judgmental wrath seemed reserved for yours truly.  Granted, I believe that the true motivation for their attacks was a classic case of cronyism with a religious frosting (yum, religious frosting!).

The reality, however, is that I have seen more such attacks from people who profess a strong Christian background than from those who say they worship the devil or some other religion. One Christian brother spent so much time trying to find something about my work to criticize that he was four days behind in his own work.  And the person who strove to shield me from his attacks happened to be perhaps the biggest heathen in the organization.  Weird.

In another situation, a manager who allowed employees to decorate their workspaces with profane, vile and pornographic materials wanted to fire me for having my Bible on my desk.  And he, I was told, was a stalwart member of his congregation.

Really?

Some of you can begin to understand why the Lord directed me to write the book, Please Don’t Feed the Atheists. Not that I am so concerned about Christians picking on me.  But what does concern me is the atheists’ reaction to behavior that goes in the extreme opposite direction of Jesus’s greatest commandment:


I give you a new commandment: that you should love one another. Just as I have loved you, so you too should love one another. By this shall all [men] know that you are My disciples, if you love one another [if you keep on showing love among yourselves].
John 13:34-35 [AMP]


Getting back to the topic of doing things that God is pleased with and not doing things that God hates; the scriptures  make it clear that there are behaviors that please the Lord.  For example:


But without faith it is impossible to please and be satisfactory to Him. For whoever would come near to God must [necessarily] believe that God exists and that He is the rewarder of those who earnestly and diligently seek Him [out].
Hebrews 11:6 [AMP]


So, faith (which, according to Galatians 5:6 [AMP], is activated and energized and expressed and works by way of love) is something that pleases God.  So then, if there are things that please God, then conversely, there are things that God hates.  Specifically:


These six things the Lord hates, indeed, seven are an abomination to Him: A proud look [the spirit that makes one overestimate himself and underestimate others], a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, A heart that manufactures wicked thoughts and plans, feet that are swift in running to evil, A false witness who breathes out lies [even under oath], and he who sows discord among his brethren.
Proverbs 6:16-19 [AMP]


Proverbs 6:16-19 delineates seven things that God hates. You can listen to a full study of these things by listening to our free audio teaching entitled, The Things That God Hates. But our specific focus is on the parts highlighted in red above:
  • A proud look
  • A lying tongue
  • A false witness who breathes lies
  • He who sows discord among his brothers in Christ
Let’s be honest... cutting others down is an act of pride.  

If you are threatened by how good Sally Ann looks in her new dress, you might say words to tear her down in the eyes of the other ladies in your fellowship.

The proud look overestimates our own value while underestimating the value of others.

It is what causes people to say, “How can you call yourself a Christian... the way that you (fill in the blank).”

The concept of a Christian being a forgiven sinner who is living on a constant supply of God’s mercy is often rejected (except, naturally, during those times when we need to apply that concept to our personal lives.

The lying tongue and false witness who breathes lies come from the same Hebrew word, “sheqer” which is:


an untruth; by implication a sham.  It is deceitful, false, and a vain thing that has no justification or cause. 


Sowing discord, strife, or contentions between people is what drama is all about.  Not just real-life drama, but also fictional drama.  A movie or television program that does not have conflict will not have viewers.

Think about it.  You don’t watch a procedural to see police officers sitting around the station house eating doughnuts and drinking coffee, do you?  No... you watch to see a bad guy do some heinous thing and then have the detectives find that guy, beat him (or her) down, and then incarcerate them.

Hey... you think that is what God will do to those who cause this level of drama in the lives of their Christian brothers and sisters?  Stand them before His judgement seat and... hmm...

Thoraf Gilbrant and his team wrote the following about this sort of person:


This sort of person not only damages human relationships, but thereby reveals his hatred of God and His covenant, especially of the basic covenantal obligation to love one’s neighbor (Leviticus 19:18, 33f) that underlies more than half of the basic commandments (cf. Deuteronomy 5:16-21). Those who seek to destroy others are therefore not only condemned by those whose lives they attack, but by God himself (v.16), Who hates their way of life (vv. 17ff) and the attitudes that underlie it (v. 14).
After describing the arrogance that leads them to use any means, even violence, Solomon warns that the real problem is not behavior (damaging as that is), but the attitude of the heart. Their hatred grows out of self-centered arrogance that sees others as tools to be used or discarded, and cannot bear to see happiness or love in those whom it despises. A heart that seeks the misery of others will do anything at all to accomplish its ends, as those poems show.


Granted, all seven of those things that God hates (as indicated above) overlap to a degree... considering that they are the fruit of a person who is not walking in love but, rather, hates his brother (and also God).  Still, our primary emphasis this week is on taming our tongues.

When I recounted those earlier experiences of mine, you might have wondered to yourself, “Now what exactly did Brotha DC do?”

Well, I did avoid the temptation to retaliate.  A little.  But when the pressure persisted... I eventually caved.  :-(

However, I did make the effort to remain  in a position of forgiveness towards those who had hurt me.

And, of course, when I got to the point where I was ready to cuss someone out... we went to 1 John 1:9 and repented, turning around from that path and continuing to walk along the path architected for us by Christ.

But why do people judge others... even to the point of making up lies?  Perhaps it could be if one doesn’t express their faith in the exact same way that they do.

I recall being attacked by a Christian who didn’t believe in handing out tracts... he felt that soul winning should be strictly personal, not printed.  Well, I respected his belief... but it was difficult convincing him I did not want to argue about it. Our time would be better spent winning souls and not arguing.

Another colleague wanted to argue with me that we should use the Hebrew name Yeshua to refer to our Lord and not the English derivation of Jesus.  Again, not something I want to waste time fighting over.  From my perspective, if you call upon Him sincerely, regardless of what language you speak... you shall be saved.

In the situation where I received the proud look... the lying tongue... false witness about my job performance and personal ethics... and the end result was discord that resulted in my losing an awesome job.  Granted, the most awesome job I have is loving the Lord with all my heart, soul, strength and mind.  And NOBODY can get me fired from God’s employ.  God don’t listen to your gossip.  He knows all anyway... not just the conjecture but the intricate details.Still... I found it rather confusing when those who should have been brothers in Christ came across as my enemies.

Of course, God has his hand in every situation.  And, when opportunities came to throw my misbehaving colleagues under the bus, I followed the instructions of the Holy Spirit to keep my mouth shut (well, maybe I didn’t keep it 100% shut) and to pray for those who persecuted me, in accordance with Matthew 5:44 and Luke 6:28.  And, yes, I did repent when my lips failed to stay completely sealed.

But that incident is also a reminder for all of us to keep in mind what our religion is truly about.  Is it about spending a requisite amount of time with our butts touching a church pew?  Is it about dressing a certain way?  Is it about pronouncing your words while dipping your diphthongs?  Is it about fasting a certain number of meals, or reading a certain number of chapters of the Bible or not watching movies or not chewing gum or not dancing or...

What is religion truly about?


If anyone thinks himself to be religious (piously observant of the external duties of his faith) and does not bridle his tongue but deludes his own heart, this person's religious service is worthless (futile, barren). External religious worship [religion as it is expressed in outward acts] that is pure and unblemished in the sight of God the Father is this: to visit and help and care for the orphans and widows in their affliction and need, and to keep oneself unspotted and uncontaminated from the world.
James 1:26-27 [AMP]


True religion is the practice of doing those things that Jesus did: visiting, helping and caring for those who are afflicted and in need.  AND, to stay away from the filth of this world (ref. those things that God hates).  AND, to bridle your tongue!

I was thinking about an incident that happened to me many ears ago. I was a teenager, attending university. In the town where I matriculated, there were liquor stores on just about every corner. And those stores sold more than just beer, wine and distilled spirits. They sold milk, snacks, and newspapers. It was a common thing for people to go in and out of those establishments for anything from a pack of cigarettes to a pack of chewing gum.

I was confronted by a young lady at the church I was attending at the time. She accused me of being a backslider... or worse. She saw me go into the, gasp, liquor store!

OH THE HUMANITY!

She also saw me exit that same store. And she admitted that I was not carrying any bottles, cans or containers... just a copy of that day’s newspaper.

When she realized that she had not caught me in some type of sin, she walked away sorrowful...

What that young lady forgot... and what most of us often seem to forget... is that what we perceive is not always what we are seeing.

AND, even more importantly, whether it is or whether it ain’t someone sinning... our obligation is to make prayers and supplications with intercession for them... not to spread gossip to tear down their character.

Quite often, what people see or hear is filtered by what some social researchers call paradigms.  For example:

An employee may be deep in thought about an innovation that could make the company billions.  But, all the boss sees is somebody sleeping or daydreaming at their desk.  Women in the church may see a young hussy trying to steal their husbands while in reality a young woman brought herself a new outfit trying to raise her downcast or depressed spirit... not for the purpose of catching anyone's eye.

A prime example of this is the typical automobile accident. Two cars collide... and two drivers tell differing (and, often, diametrically opposed) versions of what happened.  As Philadelphian TV personality Wally Kennedy used to say, you ask fifty people what happened and you will get fifty answers. However... those vehicles did not back up and crash into each other fifty times in fifty different ways. The danger, then, is taking one’s incomplete picture and making it into an absolute truth (when, in fact, it is not).

The Pharisees accused Jesus and His disciples of being unlawful for doing something (in their opinion) on the wrong day of the week.  Check this out:

AT THAT particular time Jesus went through the fields of standing grain on the Sabbath; and His disciples were hungry, and they began to pick off the spikes of grain and to eat. And when the Pharisees saw it, they said to Him, See there! Your disciples are doing what is unlawful and not permitted on the Sabbath. He said to them, Have you not even read what David did when he was hungry, and those who accompanied him-- How he went into the house of God and ate the loaves of the showbread--which was not lawful for him to eat, nor for the men who accompanied him, but for the priests only? Or have you never read in the Law that on the Sabbath the priests in the temple violate the sanctity of the Sabbath [breaking it] and yet are guiltless? But I tell you, Something greater and more exalted and more majestic than the temple is here! And if you had only known what this saying means, I desire mercy [readiness to help, to spare, to forgive] rather than sacrifice and sacrificial victims, you would not have condemned the guiltless. For the Son of Man is Lord [even] of the Sabbath.
Matthew 12:1-8 [AMP]

God does not want us being Judge Mental... 50% judge and 50% mental.  And if someone is judging you, check this final scripture out from the Apostle Paul:


Let not him who eats look down on or despise him who abstains, and let not him who abstains criticize and pass judgment on him who eats; for God has accepted and welcomed him. Who are you to pass judgment on and censure another's household servant? It is before his own master that he stands or falls. And he shall stand and be upheld, for the Master (the Lord) is mighty to support him and make him stand. One man esteems one day as better than another, while another man esteems all days alike [sacred]. Let everyone be fully convinced (satisfied) in his own mind. He who observes the day, observes it in honor of the Lord. He also who eats, eats in honor of the Lord, since he gives thanks to God; while he who abstains, abstains in honor of the Lord and gives thanks to God. None of us lives to himself [but to the Lord], and none of us dies to himself [but to the Lord, for] If we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord. So then, whether we live or we die, we belong to the Lord. For Christ died and lived again for this very purpose, that He might be Lord both of the dead and of the living. Why do you criticize and pass judgment on your brother? Or you, why do you look down upon or despise your brother? For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of God. For it is written, As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to Me, and every tongue shall confess to God [acknowledge Him to His honor and to His praise]. And so each of us shall give an account of himself [give an answer in reference to judgment] to God. Then let us no more criticize and blame and pass judgment on one another, but rather decide and endeavor never to put a stumbling block or an obstacle or a hindrance in the way of a brother.
Romans 14:3-13 [AMP]

This Weeks Homework

  1. Let us watch our mouths...
  2. Let us exercise the process of watching our mouths...
  3. And, as God reveals things that you may of done that He hates... or things you failed to do that would please Him... REPENT!


Want to go Deeper?


Our long-form audio teaching The Things That God Hates is available for on-line listening... free of charge.

For immediate access, click The Things That God Hates and enjoy!

Emotional Healing Meditations from Judypie

Quite often, we read Isaiah 53:4-5 and think of healing of our physical bodies. But Jesus also provided emotional healing when He died on the cross.

Many of us experienced situations in our youths that turn into time bombs that go off in our adult lives. Whatever your issue... Jesus can heal it. He is willing to heal it. Why not let go and let God heal your deepest emotional issues. Like the woman with the issue of blood... you are on the verge of being loosed from the emotional issues in your life.



Think on These Things

Father, Your Word is my Handbook for renewing my mind to think and speak as You think and speak. By the grace of God I will think on things that are true, honest, just, pure, lovely and of good report. Your Word will renew my mind with Your thoughts, Lord, driving out thoughts of fear, doubt, bad feelings toward others, self-hatred, depression and unbelief in the name of Jesus. Amen.



For the rest, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is worthy of reverence and is honorable and seemly, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely and lovable, whatever is kind and winsome and gracious, if there is any virtue and excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think on and weigh and take account of these things [fix your minds on them].
Philippians 4:8 [AMP]

Letting Go

Father, I glory in what Christ Jesus has done for me. I let go—put aside all past sources of my confidence—counting them worthless, in order that I may experience Christ and become one with Him. I unfold my past and put into proper perspective those things that are behind. I trust in You, LORD, with all my heart and lean not on my own understanding. In all my ways I acknowledge You, and You will make my paths straight. Thank You, in the Name of Jesus. Amen.



7 I once thought these things were valuable, but now I consider them worthless because of what Christ has done. 8 Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ 9and become one with him. I no longer count on my own righteousness through obeying the law; rather, I become righteous through faith in Christ. For God’s way of making us right with himself depends on faith.
Philippians 3:7-9 [NLT]



I acknowledged my sin to You, and my iniquity I did not hide. I said, I will confess my transgressions to the Lord [continually unfolding the past till all is told]--then You [instantly] forgave me the guilt and iniquity of my sin. Selah [pause, and calmly think of that]!
Psalm 32:5 [AMP]



I do not consider, brethren, that I have captured and made it my own [yet]; but one thing I do [it is my one aspiration]: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead
Philippians 3:13 [AMP]



Lean on, trust in, and be confident in the Lord with all your heart and mind and do not rely on your own insight or understanding. In all your ways know, recognize, and acknowledge Him, and He will direct and make straight and plain your paths.
Proverbs 3:5-6 [AMP]

Direction

Father, thank You for instructing me and teaching me in the way I should go and for guiding me with Your eye. Thank You for Your guidance and leadership concerning Your will, Your plan and Your purpose for my life. I hear the voice of the Good Shepherd, for I know You and follow You. You lead me in paths of righteousness of Your name’s sake. In Jesus Name, Amen.



I [the Lord] will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with My eye upon you.
Psalm 32:8 [AMP]



The watchman opens the door for this man, and the sheep listen to his voice and heed it; and he calls his own sheep by name and brings (leads) them out. When he has brought his own sheep outside, he walks on before them, and the sheep follow him because they know his voice.
John 10:3-4 [AMP]



He refreshes and restores my life (my self); He leads me in the paths of righteousness [uprightness and right standing with Him--not for my earning it, but] for His name's sake.
Psalm 23:3 [AMP]

Change

Father, direct my steps by Your word and let no iniquity have dominion over me. Uphold my steps in Your paths that my footsteps may not slip. Thank You that I am ever learning, ever growing and ever achieving. Things change because I'm changing; I am wonderfully and fearfully made. You give me the freedom and courage to be my creative self, which You made unique unto me. In the name of Jesus I pray. Amen.



Establish my steps and direct them by [means of] Your word; let not any iniquity have dominion over me.
Psalm 119:133 [AMP]



My steps have held closely to Your paths [to the tracks of the One Who has gone on before]; my feet have not slipped.
Psalm 17:5 [AMP]



I will confess and praise You for You are fearful and wonderful and for the awful wonder of my birth! Wonderful are Your works, and that my inner self knows right well.
Psalm 139:14 [AMP]

Emotional Healing

Heavenly Father, you saw my heartache and pain when I was brokenhearted. You sent your Word and healed me, and you delivered me from all my destructions. It didn't all happen in one day, but layer-by-layer you healed the emotional wounds [curing my pains and sorrows). Thank you for the anointing of Jesus that is at work binding up and healing my broken heart. In Jesus name. Amen.



He sends forth His word and heals them and rescues them from the pit and destruction.
Psalm 107:20 [AMP]



The Lord is close to those who are of a broken heart and saves such as are crushed with sorrow for sin and are humbly and thoroughly penitent.
Psalm 34:18 [AMP]



The Spirit of the Lord [is] upon Me, because He has anointed Me [the Anointed One, the Messiah] to preach the good news (the Gospel) to the poor; He has sent Me to announce release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to send forth as delivered those who are oppressed [who are downtrodden, bruised, crushed, and broken down by calamity],
Luke 4:18 [AMP]

Sunday, November 6, 2011

The Offensive End (Part 1 of 5)

On a snowy day, an altrusitic act is appreciated. On a sunny day, a simple greeting is ignored. The temptation comes to get offended. We must not give in to that temptation!





21 Then Peter came up to Him and said, Lord, how many times may my brother sin against me and I forgive him and let it go? [As many as] up to seven times?
22 Jesus answered him, I tell you, not up to seven times, but seventy times seven!
23 Therefore the kingdom of heaven is like a human king who wished to settle accounts with his attendants.
24 When he began the accounting, one was brought to him who owed him 10,000 talents [probably about $10,000,000],
25 And because he could not pay, his master ordered him to be sold, with his wife and his children and everything that he possessed, and payment to be made.
26 So the attendant fell on his knees, begging him, Have patience with me and I will pay you everything.
27 And his master's heart was moved with compassion, and he released him and forgave him [cancelling] the debt.
28 But that same attendant, as he went out, found one of his fellow attendants who owed him a hundred denarii [about twenty dollars]; and he caught him by the throat and said, Pay what you owe!
29 So his fellow attendant fell down and begged him earnestly, Give me time, and I will pay you all !
30 But he was unwilling, and he went out and had him put in prison till he should pay the debt.
31 When his fellow attendants saw what had happened, they were greatly distressed, and they went and told everything that had taken place to their master.
32 Then his master called him and said to him, You contemptible and wicked attendant! I forgave and cancelled all that [great] debt of yours because you begged me to.
33 And should you not have had pity and mercy on your fellow attendant, as I had pity and mercy on you?
34 And in wrath his master turned him over to the torturers (the jailers), till he should pay all that he owed.
35 So also My heavenly Father will deal with every one of you if you do not freely forgive your brother from your heart his offenses.
Matthew 18:21-35 [AMP]



We apologize for the less than optimal sound quality on this series... but we hope the messages will touch your hearts.

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Want to go Deeper?
Our long-form audio teaching Forgive Me, Forgive You is available for on-line listening... free of charge.

For immediate access, click here and enjoy!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

What does it mean to be a Christian?
I like what Keith Green said:
Going to church doesn’t make you a Christian any more than going to McDonalds makes you a hamburger...
In other words... a person who has no spiritual fruits and is just a religious nut.


This week’s blog features wisdom from Judypie and Pastor Jake... and a song by Keith Green.


A Morning Prayer
by Judy Ann

Father, in the name of Jesus, I come boldly unto the throne of grace, that I may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in my time of need. Father, I thank You for a good night’s rest. I laid down in peace, and slept; You made me dwell in safety. Grant me the grace to walk through this day in true godliness with contentment. I bind mercy and truth around my neck, and write them on the table of my heart, and I will find favor in the sight of God and man. With Your grace I will serve my employer and everything I do today I do in singleness of heart as unto the Lord. Amen.

At day's end I'm ready for sound sleep,
For you, God, have put my life back together.
Psalm 4:8 [MSG]

Now that we know what we have—Jesus, this great High Priest with ready access to God—let's not let it slip through our fingers. We don't have a priest who is out of touch with our reality. He's been through weakness and testing, experienced it all—all but the sin. So let's walk right up to him and get what he is so ready to give. Take the mercy, accept the help.
Hebrews 4:14-16 [MSG]

Don't lose your grip on Love and Loyalty.
   Tie them around your neck; carve their initials on your heart.
Earn a reputation for living well
   in God's eyes and the eyes of the people.
Proverbs 3:3-4 [MSG]

Servants, do what you're told by your earthly masters. And don't just do the minimum that will get you by. Do your best. Work from the heart for your real Master, for God, confident that you'll get paid in full when you come into your inheritance. Keep in mind always that the ultimate Master you're serving is Christ. The sullen servant who does shoddy work will be held responsible. Being a follower of Jesus doesn't cover up bad work.
Colossians 3:22-25 [MSG]


Christ Likeness
by Pastor Jake

It is impossible for man to rationalize and understand by his own intellect the things of God. Man cannot determine for himself what Christ is like and then imitate Him. His carnal efforts to be like his Savior results in man becoming an imitator of himself. He measures himself by himself. The results are he becomes a wolf in sheep's clothing; he has the appearance of his own estimation of righteousness but inside his cloak of self righteousness and religiosity is a raving wolf working against the will of God. He becomes as a “noisy gong and a clanging symbol;” just another noisy, ritualistic, and empty religious person.

Then you may ask; how are we to be like Jesus? Or you may ask; what is the key to Christ likeness? Of all the wonderful attributes of our Lord the most outstanding was his humbleness. The Apostle Paul sets our Lord's attitude before us as an example; he writes,

Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.
Phiipians 2:5-8 [NASU]

Our Lord saw the need of mankind and humbled Himself that he might fill that need. In the Garden of Gethsemane He totally submitted His will to our Heavenly Father as He prayed, saying,

“My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; yet not as I will, but as You will.”

Through the total submission of our Lord the Father brought forth a Savior for all mankind. He is the “only begotten” the unique Son of God; in this manner there is and never will no other like Him for there is no other where-by man can be saved.

Each of the original apostles were unique as individuals but yet they had these in common with their Lord----they saw the need, thus, like their Savior before them they humbled themselves before the Father; a humbleness that lead to total submission to the will of the Father. Then the Father created them to be unique vessels of His Spirit and word. If we as true believers will also see the need and become totally submitted to our Creator then He will create us in a uniqueness that serves His purpose.

It is only when man totally surrenders his own will and summits to the will of God that the soul of man is swallowed up by the Soul of God and the Spirit of God performs the word of God in his total being and brings forth a son of God whose thoughts and deeds are like those of his Lord and Savior; he does nothing unless he sees the Father do it and he says nothing unless he hears the Father say it. It is then and only then that he has become like Jesus. It is the work of the Spirit and not by the rationalizing and understanding of the human intellect.

The Apostle Paul writes,

For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.
Ephesians 2:10 [NASB]

God is the Creator, the Potter; we are the clay; the one being created in His image. We are to believe, be humble, pray, have faith, be obedient, prayerfully study His Scripture and trust Him to do His will in our lives.

The Apostle John tells us,

“In Him was life, and the life was the light of men (John 1:4).”

Our Lord teaches;

A pupil is not above his teacher; but everyone, after he has been fully trained, will be like his teacher.
Luke 6:40 [NASB]


Our Lord also tells his pupil,

“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden;”
Matthew 5:14 [NASB]

In each true believer there is the life and the word (or light) of God that is the message or the gospel that is the “power of God for salvation (Romans 1:16);” the hope for mankind.

Submit to God and He will create you a vessel of His word; a manifestation of the invisible Father; you will be in His image; you will be like Jesus.

James C Sanford


I Want to Be More Like Jesus
by Keith Green



For more, read “Spiritual Nuts or Religious Nuts

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Love

As we are continuing our series of podcasts on Meditations on Love, we have some powerful blog posts by Jolan and Judypie that further enforce the edict of Jesus’ greatest command. May this week’s blog post inspire you throughout the coming week… month… year…


If You Have Love For One Another
by Jolan



By this shall all [men] know that you are My disciples, if you love one another [if you keep on showing love among yourselves].
John 13:35 [AMP]


Often I think of the blood that you shed
The blood that you shed so that I may live
The love that you showed me that day on the cross
The love that continues to grow in my heart
Why me I wonder?
What did I do?
Me, who is so far from perfect
The idea is skewed
It's like that for all of us
We come to him broken
Ashamed of our past
And yet His arms are wide open.
That kind of love
Is the love we should have
The love we should always show our fellow man
So the question is this?
How do we love?
Others as Jesus continues to love us?
The answer is simple
The answer is this:
Love one another as Jesus loves us!
Simply put. If God can forgive you who are we to hold a grudge?
If God can open His arms wide after all that we have done. What prevents us from doing the same?
We are human and yet we are blessed beyond all measure with the spirit of God

Walking in Love
by Judy Ann

Father, the love you define in 1 Corinthians 13 is my greatest aim, and I ask also for the special abilities the Holy Spirit gives. I believe on the name of your Son Jesus Christ, and I am able to love others just as I love myself because you first loved me. God, you are love, and when I live in love, I am living with you and you live in me. As I live with Christ, my love grows more perfect and complete. Thank you for loving me, in the name of Jesus. Amen.

Go after a life of love as if your life depended on it—because it does. Give yourselves to the gifts God gives you. Most of all, try to proclaim his truth. If you praise him in the private language of tongues, God understands you but no one else does, for you are sharing intimacies just between you and him. But when you proclaim his truth in everyday speech, you're letting others in on the truth so that they can grow and be strong and experience his presence with you.
1 Corinthians 14:1-3 [MSG]


And friends, once that's taken care of and we're no longer accusing or condemning ourselves, we're bold and free before God! We're able to stretch our hands out and receive what we asked for because we're doing what he said, doing what pleases him. Again, this is God's command: to believe in his personally named Son, Jesus Christ. He told us to love each other, in line with the original command. As we keep his commands, we live deeply and surely in him, and he lives in us. And this is how we experience his deep and abiding presence in us: by the Spirit he gave us.
1 John 3:21-24 [MSG]


13-16This is how we know we're living steadily and deeply in him, and he in us: He's given us life from his life, from his very own Spirit. Also, we've seen for ourselves and continue to state openly that the Father sent his Son as Savior of the world. Everyone who confesses that Jesus is God's Son participates continuously in an intimate relationship with God. We know it so well, we've embraced it heart and soul, this love that comes from God.To Love, to Be Loved

17-18God is love. When we take up permanent residence in a life of love, we live in God and God lives in us. This way, love has the run of the house, becomes at home and mature in us, so that we're free of worry on Judgment Day—our standing in the world is identical with Christ's. There is no room in love for fear. Well-formed love banishes fear. Since fear is crippling, a fearful life—fear of death, fear of judgment—is one not yet fully formed in love.

19We, though, are going to love—love and be loved. First we were loved, now we love. He loved us first.
1 John 4:13-19 [MSG]

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Prayers for Presidential Wisdom by Judy Ann

Father, in Jesus’ name, we thank you for the United States and its government. We pray for the men and women who are in positions of authority – the president, representatives, senators, judges, police personnel, as well as the governors and mayors and all others who are in authority over us in any way. We pray that the Spirit of God will rest upon them. Amen.



FIRST OF all, then, I admonish and urge that petitions, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be offered on behalf of all men, For kings and all who are in positions of authority or high responsibility, that [outwardly] we may pass a quiet and undisturbed life [and inwardly] a peaceable one in all godliness and reverence and seriousness in every way. For such [praying] is good and right, and [it is] pleasing and acceptable to God our Savior
1 Timothy 2:1-3 [AMP]



Father, by your Spirit send forth skillful and godly wisdom into the heart of our president and impart to him necessary, supernatural knowledge and discretion. Discretion will watch over him; understanding will keep him and deliver him from the way of evil and from evil men. We ask this in the mighty name of Jesus. Amen.


So now you can pick out what's true and fair,
find all the good trails!
Lady Wisdom will be your close friend,
and Brother Knowledge your pleasant companion.
Good Sense will scout ahead for danger,
Insight will keep an eye out for you.
They'll keep you from making wrong turns,
or following the bad directions
Of those who are lost themselves
and can't tell a trail from a tumbleweed,
These losers who make a game of evil
and throw parties to celebrate perversity,
Traveling paths that go nowhere,
wandering in a maze of detours and dead ends.
Proverbs 2:10-12 [MSG]



Father, your Word declares that blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord. We declare that Jesus is Lord over these United States of America. We receive your blessing. You are our Refuge and Stronghold in times of trouble (high cost, destitution and desperation). We pray that we shall dwell safely in this land, in the name of Jesus our Lord. Amen.

God takes the wind out of Babel pretense,
he shoots down the world's power-schemes.
God's plan for the world stands up,
all his designs are made to last.
Blessed is the country with God for God;
blessed are the people he's put in his will.
Psalm 33:10-12 [MSG]



The Lord also will be a refuge and a high tower for the oppressed, a refuge and a stronghold in times of trouble (high cost, destitution, and desperation).
Psalm 9:9 [AMP]


Father, we ask that you compass the president about with men and women who make their heats and ears attentive to godly counsel and do that which is right in your sight. We pray that the upright shall dwell in our government – men and women blameless and complete in your sight Father. We ask that the wicked be cut off and the treacherous rooted out of our government. In the name of Jesus, we thank you for answering our prayer. Amen

So—join the company of good men and women,
keep your feet on the tried-and-true paths.
It's the men who walk straight who will settle this land,
the women with integrity who will last here.
The corrupt will lose their lives;
the dishonest will be gone for good.
Proverbs 2:20-22 [AMP]

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Freedom From Religion

Holier Than Thou?

It is amazing that there are people who can actually feel such an emotion.


Is the Brightness Still in Me?
by Brotha DC

There was a time in my life when I fell into the category of a holier than thou mentality.  I walked around with a Bible in my hand, sneering at the sinners as they went about their lives ignoring what I perceived to be righteousness.  Then, one day... I decided to accost a young man sitting in the park with a can of beer in his hand.  To my surprise, he (between sips) completely deconstructed my phony religious constructs and had me feeling like a complete idiot.  He simply spoke on the commandments pertaining to the love of God, not to judge a person’s quality of life by setting one’s focus on relatively trival things such as a can of alcoholic beverage.

Over the years, I came to realize that while I may not be one to routinely imbibe in a libation of hops and barley... that doesn’t make me a better person than anyone else.  The late great Dr. David Durham said it this way:
If all you do regarding your salvation is to give up drinking alcohol... all that means is that you will go to hell sober.
Have you ever had one of those moments when you look at yourself in the mirror and realize just how flawed and imperfect you are?  I have.  And when I contemplate the limnitations and weaknesses of my humanity, I wonder how could God even stand the sight of me?

Then... I remember...

This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life. God didn't go to all the trouble of sending his Son merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it was. He came to help, to put the world right again. Anyone who trusts in him is acquitted; anyone who refuses to trust him has long since been under the death sentence without knowing it. And why? Because of that person's failure to believe in the one-of-a-kind Son of God when introduced to him.
John 3:16-18 [MSG]



4 But God--so rich is He in His mercy! Because of and in order to satisfy the great and wonderful and intense love with which He loved us,

5 Even when we were dead (slain) by [our own] shortcomings and trespasses, He made us alive together in fellowship and in union with Christ; [He gave us the very life of Christ Himself, the same new life with which He quickened Him, for] it is by grace (His favor and mercy which you did not deserve) that you are saved (delivered from judgment and made partakers of Christ's salvation).
Ephesians 2:4-5 [AMP]



It is not hinged on how good I can be... or how perfectly I can live my life. It is set by the matchless love that God has for us.  Now that is not an excuse to live a selfish, wreckless, sinful life.  It is, however, freedom in knowing that despite my imperfections, God’s love is perfect.

Religious people don’t seem to have those existential dilemmas.  They look at the (often self-imposed) rules and regulations that they manage to meet and declare themselves perfect.  Even more perfect than others.


41-42 "It's easy to see a smudge on your neighbor's face and be oblivious to the ugly sneer on your own. Do you have the nerve to say, 'Let me wash your face for you,' when your own face is distorted by contempt? It's this I-know-better-than-you mentality again, playing a holier-than-thou part instead of just living your own part. Wipe that ugly sneer off your own face and you might be fit to offer a washcloth to your neighbor.

Work the Words into Your Life

43-45 "You don't get wormy apples off a healthy tree, nor good apples off a diseased tree. The health of the apple tells the health of the tree. You must begin with your own life-giving lives. It's who you are, not what you say and do, that counts. Your true being brims over into true words and deeds.
Luke 6:41-45 [MSG]



Some of the worst problems I have faced in life stemmed from religious people.  For example, I worked with one woman who had religious paraphernalia all over her desk at the office.  She would sit there and sing hymns to herself... and then get up, go into the senior boss’ office... and tell the most heinous lies about me.  Lies that eventually cost me that job.

I could go on and on about such people... perhaps until my fingers ached from typing it all out.  The point is, there are people who truly typefy the title of Christian (a person who is a true follower of Jesus the Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One) -- following His example and living in accordance with His lifestyle.  In other words, someone whose life is the definition of “What Would Jesus Do?”

It is impossible to feel holier than thou when staring in the mirror of God’s word.  Yet, in that mirror is where I will stay planted until I can confirm, as my pal Charlie Peacock wondered, is the brightness still in me?

Examine Yourself
by Judy Ann

Father, in the name of Jesus, I humble myself and submit to Your Word that speaks...exposes, sifts, analyzes, and judges the very thoughts and purposes of my heart. I test my own actions, so that I might have appropriate self-esteem, without comparing myself to anyone else. The security of Your guidance will allow me to carry my own load with energy and confidence. Amen.

For the Word that God speaks is alive and full of power [making it active, operative, energizing, and effective]; it is sharper than any two-edged sword, penetrating to the dividing line of the breath of life (soul) and [the immortal] spirit, and of joints and marrow [of the deepest parts of our nature], exposing and sifting and analyzing and judging the very thoughts and purposes of the heart.
Hebrews 4:12 [AMP]



4 But let every person carefully scrutinize and examine and test his own conduct and his own work. He can then have the personal satisfaction and joy of doing something commendable [in itself alone] without [resorting to] boastful comparison with his neighbor.

5 For every person will have to bear (be equal to understanding and calmly receive) his own [little] load [of oppressive faults].
Galatians 6:4-5 [AMP]



My desire Lord is for people to see You in me..may I reflect your love and grace and mercy..may I be more like You Lord everyday with a heart of compassion ..You are the reason I live and breathe..

Fruit of the Spirit
by Judy Ann

Father, your Spirit lives in me, and I am swift to hear. I have learned it’s more important to listen than to be heard. I purpose to be slow to speak, and choose the words I speak with grace. I am slow to become angry. May my recreated human spirit, under the control of the Holy Spirit bear fruit -- joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness and temperance, in the name of Jesus. Amen.

19 Understand [this], my beloved brethren. Let every man be quick to hear [a ready listener], slow to speak, slow to take offense and to get angry.

20 For man's anger does not promote the righteousness God [wishes and requires].
James 1:19-20 [AMP]



But the fruit of the [Holy] Spirit [the work which His presence within accomplishes] is love, joy (gladness), peace, patience (an even temper, forbearance), kindness, goodness (benevolence), faithfulness, Gentleness (meekness, humility), self-control (self-restraint, continence). Against such things there is no law [that can bring a charge].
Galatians 5:22-23 [AMP]

Growing Up
by Judy Ann

Father, I affirm the Lordship of Jesus over my relationships. When I was a child, I talked, thought and reasoned like a child. I am done with childish ways and have put them aside. The blood of Christ, Who offered Himself without spot to You, Father, purges my conscience from dead works of selfishness, agitating passions and moral conflicts. Holy Spirit, help me grow up in every way, speaking truly, dealing truly and living truly. Jesus is Lord over my spirit, soul and body. Amen



When I was an infant at my mother's breast, I gurgled and cooed like any infant. When I grew up, I left those infant ways for good.
1 Corinthians 13:11 [MSG]



May God himself, the God who makes everything holy and whole, make you holy and whole, put you together—spirit, soul, and body—and keep you fit for the coming of our Master, Jesus Christ. The One who called you is completely dependable. If he said it, he'll do it!
I Thessalonians 5:23-24 [AMP]


Renewing Our Thoughts
by Judy Ann

It is written, "For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways," declares the Lord. "As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts.” I no longer desire to conform to the pattern of this world, but may I be transformed by the renewing of my mind. Then my thoughts and my ways will be changed to Your thoughts and Your ways, in the name of Jesus. Amen



8 For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, says the Lord.

9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts.

10 For as the rain and snow come down from the heavens, and return not there again, but water the earth and make it bring forth and sprout, that it may give seed to the sower and bread to the eater,

11 So shall My word be that goes forth out of My mouth: it shall not return to Me void [without producing any effect, useless], but it shall accomplish that which I please and purpose, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.
Isaiah 55:8-11 [AMP]



Do not be conformed to this world (this age), [fashioned after and adapted to its external, superficial customs], but be transformed (changed) by the [entire] renewal of your mind [by its new ideals and its new attitude], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God, even the thing which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His sight for you].
Romans 12:2 [AMP]



"Do all things without complaining and disputing, that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world.." Philippians 2:14-15

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Who’s Afraid of Death?

Who’s Afraid of Mister Death?
by Brotha DC


A few years ago I was in an office with a bunch of people that liked to get into some deep conversations during slow periods.  Often we discussed the vicissitudes of life... love... etceterra.  But on one occasion, the conversation turned to the concept of death.  “How would you like to go,” the question was asked.
Most wanted to go in some quick and dramatic way... like a skydiving mishap.  Or maybe a quick automobile collision.  The discussion also covered those who were to be executed for a capital crime.  Would a firing squad be preferable to the slow burn of the electric chair?

One colleague finally chimed in.  With a panicked voice, she begged us to please change the subject!  She couldn’t bear the thought of her own demise.  The great unknown of death was terrifying to her... as it seems to be for a lot of people.  Many just try to push the idea aside.  When they do discuss it, the conversation can be like two colleagues I overheard just the other day.  One was concerned that they would be trapped in a paralyzed body with their brain crying out... but nobody hearing. 

I am so happy that I don’t have any such worries or concerns. 

Why?

Because I have a great and precious promise... and you can to.  What promise?  The promise in 2 Corinthians 5:8 that the moment that I am absent from this physical body, I will be in the presence of the Lord.  Check it out:

7 For we walk by faith [we regulate our lives and conduct ourselves by our conviction or belief respecting man's relationship to God and divine things, with trust and holy fervor; thus we walk] not by sight or appearance.
8 [Yes] we have confident and hopeful courage and are pleased rather to be away from home out of the body and be at home with the Lord.
9 Therefore, whether we are at home [on earth away from Him] or away from home [and with Him], we are constantly ambitious and strive earnestly to be pleasing to Him.
2 Corinthians 5:7-9 [AMP]

For those who who by fath make the quality decision to cling to, trust in, and rely upon God’s free gift of love, death is no longer a threat.  So what is this gift?  How can you get it?

16 For God so greatly loved and dearly prized the world that He [even] gave up His only begotten (unique) Son, so that whoever believes in (trusts in, clings to, relies on) Him shall not perish (come to destruction, be lost) but have eternal (everlasting) life.
17 For God did not send the Son into the world in order to judge (to reject, to condemn, to pass sentence on) the world, but that the world might find salvation and be made safe and sound through Him.
18 He who believes in Him [who clings to, trusts in, relies on Him] is not judged [he who trusts in Him never comes up for judgment; for him there is no rejection, no condemnation--he incurs no damnation]; but he who does not believe (cleave to, rely on, trust in Him) is judged already [he has already been convicted and has already received his sentence] because he has not believed in and trusted in the name of the only begotten Son of God. [He is condemned for refusing to let his trust rest in Christ's name.]
19 The [basis of the] judgment (indictment, the test by which men are judged, the ground for the sentence) lies in this: the Light has come into the world, and people have loved the darkness rather than and more than the Light, for their works (deeds) were evil.
John 3:16-19 [AMP]

The great unknown is now revealed. The mystery of what happens after we die is solved. And for those worried that they might not have lived a good enough life to escape hellfire... the good news is that we don’t have to.  Jesus lived the good life that we could never live.  And when we cling to, trust in, and rely upon what Jesus did... then we can receive the eternal life that we could never earn.  And since Jesus told us in John 3:16 that we shall not perish (will never come to destruction... will never be lost) then we can embrace the promise of eternal (everlasting) life.
 
But wait a minute.  People who believe and receive Jesus have been put into a pine box and buried six feet under.  How does that work?  Again, remember the Apostle Paul’s words in 2 Corinthians 5:8 that when we are absent from our physical body, we will be in the presence of the Lord.  So then, what is there to say about Mister Death?

But let me tell you something wonderful, a mystery I'll probably never fully understand. We're not all going to die—but we are all going to be changed. You hear a blast to end all blasts from a trumpet, and in the time that you look up and blink your eyes—it's over. On signal from that trumpet from heaven, the dead will be up and out of their graves, beyond the reach of death, never to die again. At the same moment and in the same way, we'll all be changed. In the resurrection scheme of things, this has to happen: everything perishable taken off the shelves and replaced by the imperishable, this mortal replaced by the immortal. Then the saying will come true:

   Death swallowed by triumphant Life!
   Who got the last word, oh, Death?
   Oh, Death, who's afraid of you now?

It was sin that made death so frightening and law-code guilt that gave sin its leverage, its destructive power. But now in a single victorious stroke of Life, all three—sin, guilt, death—are gone, the gift of our Master, Jesus Christ. Thank God!
1 Corinthians 15:51-57 [MSG]

Wow! When the world has reached the end of its lifespan and the celestial trumpet sounds, those who died in Christ will rise first (after all, they have six feet farther to travel).   Then, those who are alive will rise up with them to meet the Lord in the air. 

Okay, but what happens before the end of the world... before the trumpet blast?

Well, Saint Paul explains in 1 Corinthians 15:54 that death is swallowed up (utterly vanquished forever) in and unto victory.  He goes on in the next verse to ask, “O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” The answer for those in Christ is that death has no victory.  For those who have eternal security through Christ, the sting of death has been rendered impotent.

Delivered From the Power of Darkness
by Judy Ann


Father, we thank You for Christ, our Passover lamb, Who has been sacrificed to clear us of sin. You have delivered us from the power of darkness and translated us into the Kingdom of the Son of Your Love. Therefore we will keep the Festival, not with the yeast of malice and wickedness, but with the bread of sincerity and truth. Amen.

Purge (clean out) the old leaven that you may be fresh (new) dough, still uncontaminated [as you are], for Christ, our Passover [Lamb], has been sacrificed.
1 Corinthians 5:7 [AMP]

God sacrificed Jesus on the altar of the world to clear that world of sin. Having faith in him sets us in the clear. God decided on this course of action in full view of the public—to set the world in the clear with himself through the sacrifice of Jesus, finally taking care of the sins he had so patiently endured. This is not only clear, but it's now—this is current history! God sets things right. He also makes it possible for us to live in his rightness.
Romans 3:25-26 [MSG]

[The Father] has delivered and drawn us to Himself out of the control and the dominion of darkness and has transferred us into the kingdom of the Son of His love
Colossians 1:13 [AMP]

Life in the Spirit
by Judy Ann


Father, I thank You for strengthening those whose hearts are fully committed to You. You prove Yourself mighty on their behalf. LORD, You have done great things for Your people, and we are filled with joy! We are a happy people, replacing the lower life for the higher life of the Spirit. Thank You for the great things You have done and are doing for us in the name of Jesus, amen.

For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to give strong support to those whose heart is blameless toward him. You have done foolishly in this, for from now on you will have wars."
2 Chronicles 16:9 [ESV]

It seemed like a dream, too good to be true, when God returned Zion's exiles.
   We laughed, we sang,
      we couldn't believe our good fortune.
   We were the talk of the nations—
      "God was wonderful to them!"
   God was wonderful to us;
      we are one happy people.
Psalm 126:1-3 [MSG]

Whoever finds his [lower] life will lose it [the higher life], and whoever loses his [lower] life on My account will find it [the higher life].
Matthew 10:39 [AMP]

Complete in Christ
by Judy Ann


My life is complete in You, Lord Jesus. Every answer, every need, every solution I have need of is available to me. You are Jehovah-Rapha, my Healer, Jehovah-Nissi, my Victory, Jehovah-Jireh, my Provider. You are Jehovah M’Kaddesh, my Sanctifier, Jehovah-Shalom, my Peace and Security. My Shepherd, you’re Jehovah-Rohi, Jehovah-Tsidkenu, my Righteousness, and Jehovah-Shammah, my ever-present Friend. Because I am complete in You, Lord Jesus I can overcome my insecurities and bring maturity and wisdom to every relationship for the good and benefit of others. Amen

And you are in Him, made full and having come to fullness of life [in Christ you too are filled with the Godhead--Father, Son and Holy Spirit--and reach full spiritual stature]. And He is the Head of all rule and authority [of every angelic principality and power].
Colossians 2:10 [AMP]

Saturday, June 25, 2011

God Is Love. Are We?

A Love Letter from God
by David River

My Dearest Child,

When I created the heavens and the earth, I spoke them into being. When I created man, I formed him from the dust of the ground and breathed life into his nostrils. But you, woman I did not create from the dirt. I made you from man as a symbol that you are “within” man, just as my bride is “within” me.

I fashioned you after I breathed the breath of life into man because you are too delicate. I allowed a deep sleep to come over him so I could patiently and perfectly form you. As a surgeon would put a patient under anesthesia, man was put to sleep so that he could not interfere with my creativity. From man’s one bone, I fashioned you. I chose the bone that protects his very life. I chose the rib; that which protects his heart and lungs and supports him as you are meant to do. Around this one bone I shaped you... I molded you. I created you tenderly, beautifully, and perfectly.

Your characteristics are as the rib; strong yet delicate and fragile. You provide protection for the most delicate organ within man, his heart. His heart is the center of his being; his lungs hold the breath of life. The rib cage will allow itself to be broken before it will allow damage to the heart. I created you to support man as the rib cage supports the body. You were not taken from his feet, to be under him, nor were you taken from his head, to be above him. You were taken from his side closest to his heart, to stand beside him and be held close to his side and dear to his heart.

You woman are my perfect creation. You are my beautiful little girl. You have grown to be a splendid woman of excellence, and my eyes fill when I see the virtues in your heart. Your eyes are as beautiful as a golden sunset. Your lips; how lovely when they part in prayer. Your nose; so perfect in form. Your hands so gentle to touch. I’ve caressed your face in your deepest sleep. I’ve whispered tender words of love in your ear. I hold your heart here within mine. Of all that lives and breathes, you are most like me. Your pure heart is most like mine. You my precious angel are the climax of my creation. You are a representation of my pure and spotless bride. When man loves you, he loves me, and the more deeply he loves you, the more deeply he loves me.
Adam walked with me in the cool of the day, yet he was lonely. So everything I wanted Adam to share and experience with me, I fashioned in you as a physical representation of myself upon the earth. You possess my holiness, my strength, my purity, my beauty, my love, my protection and my support.

So man... treat woman well. Love her extravagantly; treasure her royally, for she is fragile. In hurting her, you only hurt me. What you do to her, you do to me. In crushing her, you only damage your own heart; her heart, and also my heart.

Woman, support man. In humility, show him the power of emotion I have given you. In gentle quietness, show your strength. In love, show him that you are the rib that protects his very life; that you the bone that shelters his very heart.

Signed,
The One Who Created and Loves You



Be Children of Love
by Brotha DC


34I give you a new commandment: that you should love one another. Just as I have loved you, so you too should love one another.
35By this shall all [men] know that you are My disciples, if you love one another [if you keep on showing love among yourselves].
36Simon Peter said to Him, Lord, where are You going? Jesus answered, You are not able to follow Me now where I am going, but you shall follow Me afterwards.
John 13:34-36 [AMP]

I find it interesting that, in the world, people rarely argue about what Christians would refer to as their sin.  What do I mean by that?

Well, for example, you dont find beer drinkers battling over whether to get drunk off of stout, a pilsner, or ale.  Regardless of what type of beer they prefer... they will raise their glasses together and, as the song says, “Drink!  Drink!  Drink!”

For that matter... you don’t see winos fighting over whether it is better to get drunk off of red wine versus white wine.  Neither will sneer over those who prefer to drink a wine cooler. And you will never hear drinkers of clear liquor battling with those who use brown liquor.

Do heroin addicts protest in front of crack houses?

The point that I am making is... people in the world just enjoy their lives. Those who go to disco nightclubs dont fight those who go to rave clubs. They just want to party... and if someone wants to party differently... then no biggie, right?

So then, why is it Christians will cut each others’ throats over doctrinal differences while ignoring the weightier matters?

We have fights over doctrine and dogma... over musical styles and “acceptable” instruments... whether the church supper should include potatoes or Stove Top stuffing...

Look at those who fight against a woman being in ministry, rather asking themselves if she is being used by God? Is she bringing souls into the kingdom?

I hope we can take the above scripture to heart and truly love one another... rather than to be so quick to tear one another down. If a brother or sister is caught in a sin, a fault, or an error... pray for them... and then make sure you aren’t walking around with a beam in your eye while criticising the splinter in their eye.
Jesus died so that we might have and enjoy life (John 10:10).

Don’t be a curmudgeonly sourpuss, only interested in finding fault. But seek and even believe for good in the lives of your fellow believers.



A Lifetime Filled With the Father’s Love
by Judy Ann


Father, I thank You for the great love You have bestowed upon me, that I should be called a child of God! I submit to Your Word that is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of my heart. In the name of Jesus I repent and renounce anger, bitterness and depression. In the name of Jesus, I look inside that I might experience Your love that is imparted to me. Amen.

1What marvelous love the Father has extended to us! Just look at it—we're called children of God! That's who we really are. But that's also why the world doesn't recognize us or take us seriously, because it has no idea who he is or what he's up to.
2-3But friends, that's exactly who we are: children of God. And that's only the beginning. Who knows how we'll end up! What we know is that when Christ is openly revealed, we'll see him—and in seeing him, become like him. All of us who look forward to his Coming stay ready, with the glistening purity of Jesus' life as a model for our own.
1 John 1-3 [MSG]

For the Word that God speaks is alive and full of power [making it active, operative, energizing, and effective]; it is sharper than any two-edged sword, penetrating to the dividing line of the breath of life (soul) and [the immortal] spirit, and of joints and marrow [of the deepest parts of our nature], exposing and sifting and analyzing and judging the very thoughts and purposes of the heart.
Hebrews 4:12 [AMP]

Father, I pray that I may be filled with the love of God. You are able to do immeasurably more than all I ask or imagine, according to Your power that is at work within me. To you goes all the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.

14-19My response is to get down on my knees before the Father, this magnificent Father who parcels out all heaven and earth. I ask him to strengthen you by his Spirit—not a brute strength but a glorious inner strength—that Christ will live in you as you open the door and invite him in. And I ask him that with both feet planted firmly on love, you'll be able to take in with all followers of Jesus the extravagant dimensions of Christ's love. Reach out and experience the breadth! Test its length! Plumb the depths! Rise to the heights! Live full lives, full in the fullness of God.
20-21God can do anything, you know—far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us.

   Glory to God in the church!
   Glory to God in the Messiah, in Jesus!
   Glory down all the generations!
   Glory through all millennia! Oh, yes!
Ephesians 3:14-21 [MSG]

“Do all things without complaining and disputing, that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world..”  Philippians 2:14-15

Father, thank You for the Holy Spirit who helps me pray when I don’t know how or what to pray for. I affectionately and gratefully praise your name, thanking you for answered prayer. The Holy Spirit helps me love without hypocrisy. I abhor what is evil, and cling to what is good. I will be kindly affectionate to others with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to others, not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord. I rejoice in hope, patient in tribulation, and will continue steadfast in prayer; distributing to the needs of the saints, given to hospitality. Thank You for sending the Holy Spirit Who takes hold together with me against my weaknesses. In Jesus name. Amen.

9-10Love from the center of who you are; don't fake it. Run for dear life from evil; hold on for dear life to good. Be good friends who love deeply; practice playing second fiddle.
11-13Don't burn out; keep yourselves fueled and aflame. Be alert servants of the Master, cheerfully expectant. Don't quit in hard times; pray all the harder. Help needy Christians; be inventive in hospitality.
Romans 12:9-13 [MSG]