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Showing posts from September, 2019

Should I stand on this?

Has anyone accused you of being a little 'fickle' on occasion? Maybe you know someone who is a little bit on the 'fickle' side - constantly changing their mind, not very steadfast in their determination, erratic in their choices. Fickle people are very unstable - they lack solid roots. It is easy to get a little off-course when we lack foundation - when our roots aren't firmly planted in truth. When there is an intentional 'twisting' of the truth about Christ, in any form it may come, there is a chance the 'roots' one has planted may get challenged a little. Adding anything to the perfect work of the cross of Christ is just wrong, but how many times are we guilty of 'adding to' the required 'works' a believer must do to be 'right with God'? We are being 'fickle' whenever we do!

I can't believe your fickleness—how easily you have turned traitor to him who called you by the grace of Christ by embracing a variant mess…

May it be complete

Paul, a disciple of Christ, born out of the ranks of the Jews - a former persecutor of the believers in Jesus. Would you begin a conversation with these "credentials"? Whenever we are establishing new "relationship" with people, isn't this similar to what we do? We discuss what we do for a living, if we are married or single, how many kids we have, where we went to school, what our hobbies might be, or where we stand on a particular topic of interest. Each of these "facts" somehow give us some "credibility" in the group we are associating with, don't they? If I had to start a conversation with my 'former' credentials (those things that defined me in my past), I am not sure many of you would ever want to associate with me!

I, Paul, and my companions in faith here, send greetings to the Galatian churches. My authority for writing to you does not come from any popular vote of the people, nor does it come through the appointment of s…

Iron-Deficiency

The Word of God can become an intensive training tool in our life - - we CAN come to rely upon hearing it, using it in practical ways to assist with the day-to-day decisions of life, and leaning on it when no answer seems apparent. It can become our source because we have come to know the one who stands behind it! Did you ever stop to think that the Word of God might just put a little 'iron in your soul'? I wonder how many of us might just suffer from 'iron-deficiency' now and again, having neglected to take in the Word, making it part of our daily intake?

I'm homesick, God, for your salvation; I love it when you show yourself! Invigorate my soul so I can praise you well, use your decrees to put iron in my soul. And should I wander off like a lost sheep—seek me! I'll recognize the sound of your voice. (Psalm 119:174-176)

You can ask God to "put iron" in your soul - there is nothing wrong with this request. When we think of the soul, we are reminded it …

Shhh....do you hear that?

I have seen some majestic waterfalls, but I know there are even more out there to be discovered. One thing that really catches my attention with these huge cascades of water is their intense sound. The thundering of the water as it cascades, falling upon rocks below, echoing throughout the canyons in which they dwell - it just roars and almost deafens one who gets too close. Have you heard the term, "Talk is cheap"? It means it is easier to talk ABOUT something than to do it! Another meaning would be it is easier to talk ABOUT someone than to do something for them. We could say talk is "cheap" in many respects - if our words aren't a sincere revelation of our motives (inner heart), they are simply have no real "force" behind them. They may 'thunder and roll', but do they carry any really power behind them? The words that 'cascade' from our lips should be to build up - not tear down. They should be to lift exalted praise to the one who …

A new way - a new list

God's presence - my words - his attention - answers given. Isn't that how each of us would like things to work each and every time we need his answer to something we are dealing with? God's personal attention in our lives is the hope of each believer. I have never had a personal trainer at a gym (although I could use one), or a personal financial adviser, but I imagine those who enjoy the influence of these individuals in their lives see real benefit to their advice. But...all they offer is advice - we still choose what to do with the advice we receive. When we come to God, he gives more than advice! He gives answers! I cannot imagine a better personal trainer than the Holy Spirit! I cannot fathom better advice than what we find in the Word of God! I doubt there is anyone's attention more devoted to each of us than God's!

Let my cry come right into your presence, God; provide me with the insight that comes only from your Word. Give my request your personal attentio…

Everything fits

There are times we think proudly to ourselves, "Whew! Now, did you see how well I kept everything together today?" We look back over our day, see the chaos of all the multitude of events we tackled, and proudly assess the accomplishment as "ours". In fact, we couldn't be farther from the truth! The accomplishment of "stability" in our lives is really the result of the influence of the Word WITHIN - of Christ dwelling within our spirit! We will endure slander - it is part of human nature. We will be faced with lies - even if they are maybe half-truths, they are still lies! The darkness will sometimes creep in like the setting of the sun is preceded by the dusky sky; at others, it will come with haste, making everything around us seem rather bleak and ominous. These are part of living - no one escapes these (even on a island by themselves) - things just happen. But...for those who love what God reveals (especially within them), everything fits - it all …

Noteworthy stuff

I can recall watching some of those silly sitcoms of the 50's and 60's, one of which was a 'regular' for me - Beverly Hillbillies. The characters ranged from an overgrown boy child who just had the hardest time with girls, a daughter that had no idea of her beauty, a granny who called the shots, a 'Paw' who worked to keep the family in line, a money-hungry banker, and his dutiful secretary, Ms. Hathaway. I was always caught by how 'put together' Ms. Hathaway always appeared and how she came at every call of her boss, Mr. Drysdale. Back in the day, a high-powered executive like Mr. Drysdale would speak authoritatively into the office intercom sitting on his desk, summoning an ever-waiting, always on the alert secretary to the office. Within seconds, the secretary would be "front and center", ready to do the bidding of the executive. It was not an uncommon thing to hear the words, "Take a note", implying that the secretary was to liste…

I guess I needed that....

In treating some patients, there are times when we give medications for the very purpose of acting as "antagonists" to some other medication in the body or a type of electrolyte imbalance. The purpose is to "bind" something of harm to your body or move it out of your system, such as too much narcotic, an over-abundance of potassium, or a blood-level of medication that is harmful at a particularly high level. The antagonistic effect of the medication actually ends up saving your life! The thing that the individual would otherwise not need to have administered, such as insulin, will move potassium out of their blood and into their cells where it belongs, helping to lower critically high levels of potassium. The thing we sometimes need is what we otherwise would not even consider as an 'antidote' or 'remedy' to whatever it is we are dealing with!

"Salvation" is only gibberish to the wicked because they've never looked it up in your dictio…

Agitated, but not undone

"Here comes Trouble, with a capital T". Trouble is different for everyone - there is no set definition of trouble because it can morph into so many different paths depending on the individuals involved. Some of us seem to "find it" without even looking - it is like we are a magnet and trouble is some form of metal. Others seem to "make it" as though it were some natural outcome of everything they put their minds to doing. Still others seem to do everything they can to "avoid it", regardless of the cost - sometimes even avoiding all manner of living because if they didn't, it would find them. Trouble cannot be avoided sometimes - but we can find a good way to deal with it when it comes!

Take a good look at my trouble, and help me—I haven't forgotten your revelation. Take my side and get me out of this; give me back my life, just as you promised. (Psalm 119:153-154)

To trouble something or someone is to disturb the mental calm or contentm…

It is all out war

There are certainly times when we feel we have some form of an enemy breathing down our neck and to be honest here, we just want to run like a crazy person from the "threat" we feel. In a literal sense, we have very real enemies who come against us, determined to make life miserable for us. In a spiritual sense, we have one really big enemy - Satan. In an emotional sense, we have lots of enemies, such as fear, pride, and lust. Regardless of the enemy we face today, we need to hear the words: The closer they get to us, the farther they are from the truth God reveals when we draw closer to him! The way we don't succumb to their attack is by drawing closer to God while under attack!

As those out to get me come closer and closer, they go farther and farther from the truth you reveal; but you're the closest of all to me, God, and all your judgments true. I've known all along from the evidence of your words that you meant them to last forever. (Psalm 119:150-152)

The en…

New answers

Desperation is a condition in which hope has faded and what is left is a deep sense of hopelessness, a compounded by a sense of just wanting to give up on it all. These are the times when we are just crying out to God, "Hey, are you listening here???" It is our heartfelt plea for God to answer us because we need help and help seems to be escaping us. There are times I think God has allowed me to get to the place of extreme desperation - of not feeling like I could go any further. He allowed it! He put me in a place where I came smack-dab face-to-face with the inability of my own talent, inadequacy of my own strength, or insufficiency of my own resources in order that he might become my all-in-all. When we get to the place we are relying on our talent, strength, or resources in an exclusive manner, God sometimes needs to put us in the place where we will realize how futile that self-focus really can be.

I call out at the top of my lungs, "God! Answer! I'll do whatever…

More than positive intent

Is there really an real time in our lives when we are too young, immature, or obstinate to be important to God? Sometimes I think we discount our potential based on our chronological age, accomplishments, or obedient responses! God doesn't! He sees potential in the words of a child just learning to speak and the aged who share from a vast wealth of accumulated knowledge. He sees only the best in the one who seems to struggle with obedience repeatedly because he knows how badly we don't want to do the stuff we do. The potential one has in his eyes is really determined by the way we choose to yield our hearts and spirit to him - even when we do it less than perfectly.

I'm too young to be important, but I don't forget what you tell me. Your righteousness is eternally right, your revelation is the only truth. Even though troubles came down on me hard, your commands always gave me delight. The way you tell me to live is always right; help me understand it so I can live to …

Fixed exactly as I needed to be fixed

We've talked frequently about not only making right decisions, but what it takes from us when we make wrong ones. We don't always DO right, but we want to think we are right nonetheless. With God, he IS right, therefore he DOES right. With us, we aren't always connecting our new stand in Christ with the actions that should come as a result of our new 'connection' with the one who actually IS right. There is no decision he makes that is NOT on target. Don't you wish you could say the same about yourself? How many times have you bought a certain outfit (on the best sale of the year), determined that the "price" was what mattered, not that it even looked all that great on you, or that you actually needed to squeeze another outfit into your closet? Sometimes of 'doing' gets a little out of alignment with out 'being', doesn't it? 
You are right and you do right, God; your decisions are right on target. You rightly instruct us in how to…

Line me up

My heart is broken. I feel lonely. This sucks!Who really cares about me? Why is this happening now? We often use words to express our heart, don't we? Honestly, there are just times we need to cry out and truly express our heart. The times when we feel like nobody knows our pain or that we even exist are times when we just want to cry out, "Hey, is anybody listening?" It probably is not because God has actually turned AWAY from us, but rather that we do not sense the presence of God at that very moment and we think he has 'forgotten to listen'. It is no secret, but we have come to DEPEND on the presence of God with us and we equate that to the approval of God in our actions. Whenever we ask someone to "look kindly upon us", we are asking them to express approval of our actions. I am sure we all know that our actions are not always worthy of approval, but we have come to depend upon the approval that originates from God before we take those actions!

Turn …

Time for a miracle or two?

My continual struggle to keep weight off is something I have had to deal with since just about every hormone producing organ in my body has been surgically removed! Now, I must eat well, exercise often, and just not be as selfish in my choices as I would like to be. If you have ever just 'craved' something, but you didn't really know what it was you were craving, we are a little similar in that regard. There are just times when something is 'desired', but I have a hard time pinpointing what it is I desire. Times come, though, when I know exactly what it is I 'crave' or 'desire' and there is no need to every leave unfulfilled. Those are the times when I desire a word from God - I just have to stop long enough to hear it!

Every word you give me is a miracle word—how could I help but obey? Break open your words, let the light shine out, let ordinary people see the meaning. Mouth open and panting, I wanted your commands more than anything. (Psalm 119:1…