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Sunday, September 27, 2009

ENTERING IN

How do we approach God? What is the proper procedure, and is there a proper way?
I was reading in Hosea today from my Grandfather's old bible and asked God to show me something that would meet my spiritual need. I love reading from this old Bible because so many of the verses are underlined with small notes; verses that got Grandpap through his life, giving strength, promise and faith for the long journey he successfully completed quite a while ago.


I was led to the small book of Hosea, chapter 14. A small book when compared to Jeremiah and Isaiah, but one could think on the concepts of this Prophet for a lifetime. His writings are just as relevant, probably even more so today than when he prophesied.


Hosea in Chapter 14 said to take words when approaching God. What is spoken first in our inner being must be dictated from our heart to our tongue. When we go to petition God we must take good words with us; He is a great King.


Ezra 9:10 also speaks along this line when he says, " And now, O our God, what shall we say..." Psalm 69:30 says to praise His the name of God with song and magnify Him with thanksgiving."


This is not always easy to do. Especially when we have fallen short in some way. The enemy of our soul uses every weapon at his disposal to keep us from entering God's presence. We must gird up our loins, gather ourselves together both physically and spiritually and go outside the camp, from our camp to Him. We can bare His reproach for He took our sins upon Himself. We have to learn how to offer up the sacrifice of praise to God continually, in good times and bad. The fruit of our lips bring Him honor and praise.


Do not let the enemy lie; Hosea 14 says God is ready to pardon. If we fall into iniquity and turn to Him we will be received graciously and be forgiven. We must ask Him to remove our iniquity; then we will be received as righteous in God's sight because of what Christ did for us on the cross of Calvary. If iniquity is not removed we should not expect anything from God.


God's gracious acceptance and the blessed fruits of our repentance and His forgiveness are to be earnestly desired and asked for. He makes Himself and His blessings readily acceptable and available to us. We must not rely upon our own understanding on this issue; and surely do not believe the lies and condemnation that comes from the evil one.


We never, never seek God's grace in vain. Hosea 14:4 promises that He will heal our backsliding and love us freely; He will turn His anger away. The rest of this promise from God brings tears to my eyes and blesses my soul ~


" I will heal their backsliding,
I will love them freely;
for My anger is turned away from them."


" I will be as the dew unto Israel:
he shall grow as the lily,
and cast forth his roots as Lebanon."


" His branches shall spread and his beauty shall be as the olive tree,
and his smell as Lebanon.
They that dwell under his shadow shall return;
they shall revive as the corn,
and grow as the vine:
the scent there of shall be as the wine of Lebanon."


Stay in His presence; when we fall short and when we are full of praise and thanksgiving, whether we are downcast or exuberant. Go to Him with words!
Enter in freely and become saturated with Him. His fragrance will go through our spirits and likewise minister to others.


Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, make you perfect in every good work to do His will, working in you that which is well pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen. (Hebrews 13: 20,21)


It is of Him, and through Him, and for Him that we have our being.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Sabbath Thoughts 09/25/2009

We are very occupied with the child who is presently staying at our home. We got a call from the nurse at the school she attends a little over a week ago and we had to rush her to the emergency room. She spent four days in the hospital recovering from a very high and dangerous sugar count, blood issues in that regard, and her medication has been adjusted as a result of the observations by the doctors.


Her 14th birthday party had to be delayed for a week (it was held this past weekend). Often I wonder why these things happen when doing what we know to be right; not sending a child back into a situation that was untenable. Instant resistance appears in the middle of the voyage. I thought of Christ telling the disciples to get into a boat and go to the other side; only to be met by a severe storm, waves and great fear.


Moses and hundreds of thousands of the Children of Israel being led right to the sea, surrounded by two mountains; with Pharaoh's army in fast pursuit. Again, Moses and a great battle where the only thing that saved the day was his upraised hands, which got so tired that another had to keep them propped up so Israel would continue to prevail in battle. Elijah being told that a great rain was coming to deliver from a severe drought; only to have to put his head between his knees and pray the rain down; checking many times for even a cloud that had promise of rain.


Jesus praying three times in the Garden for the cup to be removed if possible. His final prayer was not My will, but the Father's be done. The Apostle Paul; shipwrecked, beaten and left for dead, stoned, imprisoned, mocked and derided by both Jews and Greeks and Romans. King David running for his life from a mad King Saul; even so far as going into the enemy camp to find a little peace and safety. Jeremiah being cast into a pit of miry water to almost drown after doing and saying what God told him to do and say.


Am I to be treated differently? Have God's ways changed? He is the same, yesterday, today and forever. We develop arms that can bend bows of iron for battle only one way; through training, faith, hardship and the natural human uncertainties that come with our still being in a mortal body. The decision to set the mortal aside for the spiritual person in us, which is where God dwells, is our duty. We must do so as the day of His return approaches.


We must prepare to live like this, not just on Sunday but daily; hourly during times of trial and testing when the fires seem to get hotter.


Regarding the child with us; we have been in a quandary to know how to initiate contact with a child diabetes doctor and a pediatrician here in WV. Her doctors are in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia. We have been beating our heads against a brick wall with Child Protective Services and the Department of Health and Human Services here also. We have had telephone calls and sat in offices for hours on end with no visible results. BUT !! -


The hospital stay unclogged the pipeline! We now have both doctors we needed, the child has been approved on a monthly basis for Medicaid to cover her medical expenses (which was a major worry for us) and what seemed like a final nail in the coffin when she was rushed to the emergency room brought new life and hope.


If any person experienced life to its fullest, in all of its glory, heartache and detail, it was King David. I would like to close with one of his prayers found in 1 CHRONICLES 29:11-13 ~


" Thine, O LORD, is the greatness,
and the power, and the glory,
and the victory, and the majesty;
for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is Thine;"


" Thine is the kingdom, O LORD,
and Thou art exalted as head above all.
Both riches and honour come of Thee,
and Thou reignest over all;
and in Thine hand is power and might; "


" and in Thine hand it is to make great,
and to give strength unto all.
Now therefore, our God,
we thank Thee,
and praise Thy glorious Name."

Monday, September 7, 2009

HIS YOKE

Today I have been singing a chorus from perhaps 45-50 years ago as I was pondering the things we face as Believers. I found the Scripture reference; it is found in Matthew 11:28,29.


" Come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden,
and I will give you rest.
Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me;
for I am meek and lowly in heart:
and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
For My yoke is easy,
and My burden is light."


Why do I find myself cast down in spirit so often? Christ said He gives rest and that His yoke is easy; His burden is light. Why does mine seem so heavy, so often? Am I laboring in vain?


I feel the key to this verse is for me to maintain the same mindset that He has; He said He is meek and lowly of heart. This runs against my nature. I feel of the mindset of the sons of thunder, as Christ called James and John; they wanted to call fire down from heaven! I want fire from heaven to fall on every situation I face that stands in the way of what I want to accomplish. It does not work like this.


Christ said that He came not to do His own will; but the will of the One who sent Him. Christ also said that as the Father has sent Him, so He sends us. Not to do our own will and have our own way, but to do the will of the Father.


It is important to remember that Christ experienced great demonic opposition while here on earth. He was constantly tempted, tried and suffered so greatly at times that He had to disappear into the Wilderness to be alone with the Father. Am I greater than Christ? Do I claim to be stronger than He? Of course not! Why should I NOT SUFFER if He did!


The "yoke" spoken of in Matthew is the bar that joins a pair of scales together; enjoined to the balances. We must remain "yoked together" with Him in all circumstances. As soon as we become unjoined, the burdens increase and eventually become unbearable.


The song I have been singing in my spirit all day was written by Ralph E Hudson, 1843-1901. Would that I had listened to the words as a child and applied this concept to my life over the past 45 years!


HIS YOKE IS EASY
The LORD is my shepherd,
I shall not want,
He maketh me down to lie in pastures green,
He leadeth me,
The quiet waters by,


CHORUS ~
His yoke is easy,
His burden in light,
I've found it so,
I've found it so,
He leadeth me by day and by night,
where living waters flow.


My soul crieth out:
"Restore me again,
And give me the strength to take
The narrow path of righteousness,
Even for Thine own name's sake.


(CHORUS)


Yea, tho' I should walk the valley of death,
Yet what should I fear from ill?
For Thou art with me,
and Thy rod And staff support me still.


Christ promised us that the Spirit of Truth would bring to our remembrance His word. His word, also through songs of worship and praise. Praise be to the Father, Son and Spirit!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

UPDATE ON CHILD

09/05/2009
Great is the LORD and greatly to be praised!


We have been very busy sitting in County, State and Federal offices taking care of paperwork for documentation needed for Janie Lynn. I took off two days work and sat for hours with Janie and my wife to see that things went properly. Questions arise that require three heads to huddle and answer! What is the old saying, "two heads are better than one"? This week has been three heads!


The progress we have made is a work of God in the making. Through much strife and prayer, Janie has received her Social Security Card, a certified copy of her Birth Certificate and is doing very well in a local school. Through the prayers of friends she just seemed to enter the school year without missing a step. The first report card will tell!


A dear friend of mine from North Carolina contributed in a big way yesterday - number one through his prayers and notes, and number two by sending a financial gift to our home. It always amazes me how God works! A friend of mine that I work with gets permits from a State Agency to cull down the deer population on farms in the tri-county area; deer that destroy crops. (He is forbidden from entering our property; we feed the wildlife! ) I reserved a deer at the butcher shop he uses and the gift this Brother sent pays for the deer meat. This will go into our freezer and taste fantastic when the snow starts to blow. Thank you dear Brother Paul! Janie Lynn loves deer meat!!


The ministry of this dear one is called FAITH FIGHTERS MINISTRIES and it is located along the Outer Banks of North Carolina; PO Box 336 Maple NC 27956-0336. He ministers to youth and their families; a ministry from God. Please keep him in your prayers. He took of something he could not spare because of his concern for this child.


In Brother Paul's letter he wrote a verse that helps to take away the fear that we may have bitten off more than we can chew; from a human perspective we have, from a heavenly perspective we are doing as the verse Paul sent in his letter admonishes:


Jesus said: " Whoever receives one little child like this in My Name receives me. "
(Matthew 18:5)


God Bless You Dear Brother!

Musings For A Saturday Morning

I work at the largest High School in the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia. The Martinsburg Bulldogs are the state champions in football and basketball. We played a game from Virginia last evening and I was there for the last ten minutes of the game, on the field which is directly across the parking lot from the High School.


I stood and watched the crowd pass by. It was a parade of Americans wearing their feelings and attitudes openly for all to see. The Bible says in 1 Chronicles 16 that the gods of the people are idols; but the LORD made the heavens. Last evening was almost a full moon. I was pointing out into the sky to some coworkers that the planet Jupiter was visible and had they noticed it as it moved across the sky. Wednesday evening it was very close to the moon; Thursday it had moved quite a bit and last night it was some distance; but still shining brightly.


I looked up several times, then I looked back into the crowd of thousands of people and listened to the passing conversations and general attitude of the crowd. Not one person even glanced up to see the heavenly calm as the crowd yelled and shouted. The Bible says that the sun and moon are a witness of what happens on planet earth. Silently these heavenly bodies looked upon the thousands of people cursing, strutting half dressed, gesturing and yelling at the opposing team. Six police officers, all huddled together talked among themselves as they also watched the crowd.


There were many gods on display last evening. The god of lust and violence was making his self evident. The god of wealth was there as 50,000 dollar SUV's drove slowly by through the parking facility with the boom box thumping. Yet there was another segment of the crowd that was evident to those with eyes to see; a very small minority that sat quietly enjoying the game, with their small children wearing the Martinsburg colors and WVU gear. They spoke quietly and smiled, talked and patted each other on the head as they spoke.


I "ran across" a verse in reading this morning that confirmed what I was thinking. God reassured His children that the Land of Canaan is our inheritance. Although the heathen gods seem to rule, His word stands firm. God says in 1 CHRONICLES 16:19 that even though we are but a few, even a few, and strangers for the time being, and when we go from nation to nation, kingdom to kingdom, He will suffer no man to do us wrong. People are reproved for our sakes by Him. He says, "Touch not My anointed and do My prophets no harm..."


I am not a prophet, I do not think myself anointed; but He is no respecter of persons and what He does for one of His own He will do for all. No matter how out of control things seem to be or become, no matter the power of the gods of this world rant and rage and try to produce fear, there is One in the heavens who is in total control. The gods of this world are on their last parade; they will give it all that they have. But rest assured, He who sits in the heavens laughs! He is our Father. We are His children. His hand is upon us and as the be prepared for the grand finally, it is going to get exciting for those who KNOW THEIR GOD.


Daniel says in his writings of the end of times that the world would continue to spin out of control but that there would be a people who would be wise and understand the times. Like the children of Issachar who had understanding of the times, to know what they were to do (1 Chronicles 12:32), we are to be confident in our God. Issachar received a blessing and a prophecy from Moses before he died that was fulfilled throughout their recorded history ~


" ...rejoice Issachar in thy tents (dwelling place). They shall call the people unto the mountain; there they shall offer sacrifices in righteousness: for they shall suck of the abundance of the seas, and of treasures hid in the sand." (Deuteronomy 33:18,19)


In the midst of great turmoil as we mingle with society under the influence of the god of this world, we are to walk according to what God has said of His chosen; His children. We are not to fear, cower or be intimidated. Deuteronomy gives a good picture for us; how we must operate while here as His representatives. Remember that Christ said He does not desire for us to be removed from the earth as yet; we are here for a purpose. To fulfil and live out His purposes as lights shining amidst the darkness. We must remain confident and fully convinced that this is our past, present and future ~


We live in a society void of counsel, there is no understanding in them. O that they were wise and understood and perhaps they would consider their latter end! We can chase a thousand and two will put ten thousand to flight. Our rock has not nor will He ever fail us or sell us or shut us out.


The vine, the produce is as the vine of Sodom and their fields are as Gomorrah: their grapes are grapes of gall and the clusters are bitter. The wine is the poison of dragons and cruel venom of asps. God has said that this is stored up with Him, among His treasures. We are to be His witnesses in the midst of a dark and perverse generation. Do not fret! Vengeance is His, and recompense. For the day of their calamity is at hand and their things will come upon them unexpectedly. (Deuteronomy 32)


The LORD will judge His people. Judgment for those who do not lose heart, who have an understanding of the times in which they live will be a good day!


Keep the faith! Know who our God is; for those who are in great darkness seeking the light they see in us; to those the Holy Spirit sends across our path, be ready to explain this great hope that we have living in and walking with us.

Friday, September 4, 2009

6 QUESTIONS

Question number one:
Will the LORD cast off forever?


Ouestion number two:
Will He be favorable no more?


Question number three:
Is His mercy clean gone forever?


Question number four:
Have His promises failed forevermore?


Question number five:
Has He forgotten to be gracious?


Question number six:
Has He in His anger shut up His tender mercies?


These are not statements from a reprobate, a backslider, or one whom God has rejected and cast aside forever. They are questions asked and recorded by a man after God's own heart.


After asking these questions in Psalm 77 he admits openly that he was crying to God with his voice and He gave voice to him; He heard his cry. Still, the questions. David said " this is my infirmity.....questionings!


How did David and how will we walk our way through this delima? I fight this battle weekly, sometimes daily. David said, "BUT" ~


I will remember they years of the right hand of the Most High (El Elyon);
I will remember the works of the LORD:
I will remember the wonders of old.
I will meditate on all of His works and talk of His doings.


God's way is in the sanctuary. (Believers are the temple of the Spirit of God)
His ways are in and through us as we yeild. He is still a God who does wonders.


David continues to work his way through these six questions by saying~

* Thou art a God who does wonders

* He declares His strength among the people

* With His arm He redeems His people

* I will remember the works and wonders of old

* I will meditate on His works and talk of Thy doings

* Who is so great a God as our God?

* God declares the strength of His people


The troubled waters that surround us quite often He calms. The waters trying to overflow us see Him in the situations we face and they are troubled. The waters and the depths are afraid of Him; when He appears on our behalf they become distressed.


He promises that when we pass through the waters they will not overflow us. Yes, we must pass through; not try to avoid. We can, we must believe that He is in charge of all things pertaining to us. The clouds pour out water, the skies send out a sound, His arrows go abroad, the voice of thunder comes from the heavens; the lightenings lighten the world. The earth trembles and shakes. He is behind and in control of it all!


His way is IN THE SEA. His paths ARE the great waters. His footsteps are not known. Yet, He promises to lead His people like a flock as Moses and Aaron did throughout their Wilderness experiences.


Continue to cry out in the night; He hears. His promises never fail; He has not forgotten to be gracious; He has not shut up His tender mercies; He will be favorable again! Keep making dilligent search and commune with your own heart, as David did.


Call to rememberance, as David did, His workings of old and remember in the night seasons that He who has promised is faithful and true. FAITHFUL and TRUE!


Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Growth Process

God will bring the blind by a way that they know not;
He will lead them in paths that they have not known:
He will make darkness light before them,
and crooked things straight. (Isaiah 42:16)


I find that when I start to believe I have everything figured out and place it in the little filing cabinet in my brain, God shakes the cabinet and rearranges the files! I believe He does this so I depend solely upon Him in all things; not just things pertaining to holiness, but all things.


Most days I just go through the motions; wake up, three pots of coffee to start the day, do a few things in the yard or run errands then off to work I go...then bedtime for a little rest and start the process over the next sunrise.


Is this the way a Believer is to live in these last of the last days? Have I become so busy trying to make ends meet that I have no time for intercession for others? Have I become so self centered that I do not think of Believers in Islamic countries having their heads chopped off for belief in Christ the Messiah or those languishing in prison and their families not knowing where they are held captive?


I find myself going to the mailbox and seeing the latest mailing of Voice Of The Martyrs...sometimes I do not even open the envelope because I do not want to have a tinge of guilt come over me because I have forgotten them in prayer or support this month, not even to mention this week or day. Has the enemy of my soul so captivated me that I am resisting the leading of the Holy Spirit to pray for others in need; because I have problems and issues of my own?


Guilty as charged.


Yes I do have issues; great, pressing issues and they increase daily. But, if I am not praying for strength for my Brother's and Sister's in the LORD, who is praying for me? Do I lift up holy hands on behalf of others, even when I am in need? Is this not a type the "sacrifice" of praise is all about? It is easy to pray and intercede when things are going well; this upsets the Devil a little; but what really sets this evil being into fits of rage is when I intercede for others when I, myself, am i n the midst of great need and trial.


Like King David, who proclaims that God has taught his hands to war, so that he can, after that teaching, bend a bow of iron, my spiritual authority and muscle is developed throughout great trial, tribulation and warfare. It can be no other way.


Isaiah 43:16-19 gives a vivid picture of the processes and ways of God; it says ~


" Thus saith the LORD, which maketh a way in the sea, and a path in the mighty waters;
Which bringeth forth the chariot and the horse, the army and the power;
they shall lie down together,
they shall not rise;
they are extinct,
they are quenched as a wick. "

* the forces mentioned are brought by God is the way I read this passage;
what we see as opposition are created by Him, or He allows the enemy to form these forces! For what reason? To teach us to war? To make us strong? To reveal that we are truly helpless without Him? To keep our pride and feelings of self sufficiency in check?


I believe it is a combination of these things. Included in this equation is judgment upon His children for disobedience also. When judged, we run to Him for forgiveness, learn to not do wickedly or foolishly again, and we learn of the true love of our Father; that even though we were born in iniquity, He so loved us that He gave His only Son as a perfect sacrifice on our behalf.


Verse 18 says ~
" Remember ye not the former things,
neither consider the things of old.
Behold, I will do a new thing ( pay attention! I will do a new thing!)
now it shall spring forth;
shall ye not know it?

I will even make a way in the wilderness,
and rivers in the desert. "


For us to notice, we have to be in the wilderness and in the desert experiences of life. These are seasons we must go through. Like Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter, there are seasons of learning, seasons of dying, seasons of new growth and seasons of dryness. He is behind it all.


All sunshine would bring no rain. All winter would bring no growth. All Spring would bring no maturity, strength and reproduction. Every season, every wilderness and desert experience serves a purpose; not our purpose as we see fit; but His purpose, as He sees fit.


It is all about Him!


Verse 20 says that " even the beast of the field shall honour Me,
the dragons and the owls;
because I give waters in the wilderness,
and rivers in the desert,
to give drink to My people,
My chosen."


His deliverance of His people, His chosen even has to be acknowledged by the beasts, the dragons and the owls; night creatures, evil beings even know who He is, how He delivers and cares for His children.


Take heart! Even when the darkness is so thick that we cannot see our hand in front of our face, when the heat is so intense that we feel faint, when the waters seem to be coming over our head and the fires rage around us, Christ is in the midst with His hands on the controls. Run to Him!


Our prayers, petitions and praise in the midst of the battles we face glorify God. Oh how the enemy hates this! When this thing finally wraps up for me and I arrive to my final destination; which only by His grace will be heaven where He dwells, I do not want to be as soft as the Pillsbury Dough Boy with no muscle. To not be thus, I must go through what He sees fit to send my way. He is there every step of the way.


Great is our God!
Great are His ways!
He will be found by those who search with all of their heart.