Thursday, December 29, 2016

So many looking for change...

So many looking for change...

People change jobs or careers, hairstyles, wardrobes or make-up and exercise plans. They change friends and spouses. They change houses or cars, educational paths, political parties or entertainment likings. Even trading religions or their sexual orientation. Many of these leave only a residual pain without the desired change.

More of this, less of that, etc. etc. etc.

They try a million and one different things but the only change that forever stays is a genuine walk with the One who saves! A personal journey with the King; He who forever remains the same.

As countless have their sights set on new resolutions, may the greatest of all be that you come to know Christ. He's more than religion or financial burden. He came to set us free from our futile desires and save us from our sin that separates us from the Father who lives, loves and forgives.

"If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed." John 8:36

For those who say they're already saved, are your life changes in Him evident to those you call family and friends? Are you sharing Him and His changes within? Is His freedom seen by all around? Do you tell them you've traded temporary change for His cross and a crown?

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

In the hands of...

Some leave it in the hands of fate.
Others maybe with a soul mate?
Me, I I can't leave it lay in the void.
Left to wrestle my thoughts among the noise.
Don't wanna play with devilish toys.
Instead I know just where to go.
I don't have to be the devils side show.
Rather, I seek my Saviors face.
The One who died in my place.
The One who created the human race.
The One who sees every hidden space.
The One whom my heart does chase.
The One who forever REIGNS!
The One whose known as the Prince of Peace!
Who is it that sees YOU through life's maze?
In the end what do you truly gain?

Friday, November 11, 2016

Contending with the Creator

Contending with the Creator?

There are things we face and go through that are beyond our abilities. Sure, we may be able to withstand for a time but inevitably our own strength fades. During these times we often think we can handle the situation better than God.

"Woe to the crown of pride" Isaiah 28:1 Only pride could cause our hearts to swell in such a grievous way!  Are we really stronger than He, smarter than He or wiser than He? God forbid, NO!!! Yet this is exactly what we act like when we butt heads with Him and what He wants for us.

In Job 41 the Lord questions Job about the great Leviathan; his strength, wickedness and ability to devour anything. Vs 34 says, "... he is the king over all the children of pride." In essence he's asking Job, what can you do with such evil? Can you defeat it?

Basically the Lord showed Job how weak we really are as well as how limited our knowledge and understanding is in comparison to God. Even the most vile and wretched creature is no match for the God we serve.

"Then Job answered the LORD, and said, I know that thou canst do every thing, and that no thought can be withholden from thee. Who is he that hideth counsel without knowledge? therefore have I uttered that I understood not; things too wonderful for me, which I knew not." Job 42:1-3

Sometimes we need reminded too. I encourage you to read Job 38-42. Who are we to question the Creator and His capabilities? We are but dust! There's nothing He cannot do! He is greater than we are by far, for He can do everything! Will we struggle in our out strength and attempt to contend with God or come to trust His capabilities far exceed our own?

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

The cause to call on Christ

He's still the Saviour in the storm... the cause to call on Christ

"And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full. And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish? And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith?" Mark 4:37-40

Can you picture being here? Wow, what an incredible scene, right? Can you see past this event to circumstances you might be facing? Does your faith teeter with new developments or changes in intensity?

When these men focused on the storm, they allowed doubt in! What did they ask Jesus, "Master, Don't you care if we die!?!" (paraphrased) Doubt is opposite of faith and it grimly causes us to question Christ! Notice He was with them the whole time and when they called on Him, He answered!

Jesus didn't beat around the bush, He knew they had seen Him do many miraculous things. He was right in saying, "how is it that you have no faith?"

Since He is unchanging, we know He still speaks "peace be still" to our life's storms. Are we calling on Him in faith, trusting and believing He is able or are we doubtfully questioning His care, concern and capabilities?

Sunday, November 6, 2016

The fight against the false witness

Have you ever had to deal with a "false witness"?

"A man that beareth false witness against his neighbour is a maul, and a sword, and a sharp arrow." Proverbs 25:18

Think how destructive these weapons are! A 'maul' or mallet breaks, a sword separates and a sharp arrow pierces!

"A faithful witness will not lie: but a false witness will utter lies." Proverbs 14:5

Safe to say then a false witness reflects the character of Satan. Doesn't he "come to steal, kill and destroy"? (John 10:10) It's also a byproduct of the heart's evil state (Matthew 15:19).

Truth is, "A false witness shall not be unpunished, and he that speaketh lies shall not escape." Proverbs 19:5 The Lord God has a lot to say about such malicious slander! Why? He hates the destruction it brings!

To the false witness---> Be sure "... your sin will find you out"! (Numbers 32:23)

To the believer, secure in Christ ---> "The LORD shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace." Exodus 14:14 May we cry out as David saying, "Plead my cause, O LORD, with them that strive with me: fight against them that fight against me." Psalm 35:1

"Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good." Romans 12:19-21

Though the situation may be overwhelming, there is hope! Trust in the Lord and praise Him in the meantime!

"The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower. I will call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from mine enemies." Psalm 18:2-3

Friday, November 4, 2016

Plug in to the LIFE Source

"Blessed is the man that trusteth in the LORD, and whose hope the LORD is. For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit." Jeremiah 17:7-8

Why is the one who trusts in the Lord blessed? Because it is the Lord who sustains!

According to Webster's dictionary, look at the definition of "sustains":

to provide what is needed for (something or someone) to exist, continue, etc.
: to hold up the weight of (something)
: to deal with or experience (something bad or unpleasant)

Full Definition
1 : to give support or relief to
2 : to supply with sustenance : nourish
3 : keep up, prolong
4 : to support the weight of : prop; also : to carry or withstand (a weight or pressure)
5 : to buoy up <sustained by hope>
6 a : to bear up under
   b : suffer, undergo <sustained heavy losses>
7 a : to support as true, legal, or just
   b : to allow or admit as valid
8 : to support by adequate proof : confirm <testimony that sustains our contention>

A tree planted by the waters draws up waters from the river. It's roots are PLUGGED IN to the LIFE Source! This IS Christ! Are you plugged into Him that you'll more that just survive life's elements, but be FRUITFUL in and through them? Jehovah Jireh is our provider! Is your confidence in Him or are you trying to accomplish this life on your own, by your own menial strength?

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Pay attention! It's that important

3 days in a row the Lord has taken me to these 3 chapters... Daniel 7,10 & 11

There is hope within these prophetic pages, HOPE that applies to those who are in Christ! Though rebellion has been continuously increasing, the Lord's mercies and forgiveness have also been outstretched!

Yes, judgement is upon us whether we like it or not and whether we believe it or not. Yet, here in this moment if we surrender to Christ, there is peace in the midst of the turmoil and chaos! Not the false peace so many are eager to share. Real genuine peace that only Christ can give. It surpasses our human understanding!

My heart has been so heavy for those close to me under severe enemy attack. Remember y'all, the enemy knows his time is short and he's doing his best to wear us all out! He's using every tactic possible... family, friends; those close to us, as well as sicknesses, finances, losses, conflicts between races and with those in authority, countries ready to wage war, natural disasters, etc.the list goes on and on!

Remember though, our hope isn't found in people, places or things. True hope is found only in the King of kings and what the enemy intends to use as harm, (we know he comes to kill, steal and to destroy) our God can use it for our good and HIS GLORY. I know these aren't light issues surrounding and affecting each one of us, but if there's ever a time to make sure we are right with God, walking with Christ, denying ourselves and daily carrying our cross, the time is NOW!!!

Even being forewarned by our precious Lord and Saviour these days would come, doesn't make it easy to endure, but He does grant everything we need in Him.

A couple things we MUST be willing to SELF examine are:
* our prayer life
* our study time
If we are lacking in these areas we need to sincerely with all diligence ask God for help! Everything Jesus said would happen, IS HAPPENING and increasing just as He said a woman in labor experiences. They're closer and with greater intensity!

So, with a grieved and heavy heart I asked the Lord for comfort and encouragement. He gave me Isaiah 40. Please take the time to read it, ponder it, delight in it and give Him praise for it!!! "For such a time as this" are we blessed to be here in the now. Are we prepared? Are we continuing to prepare?

Jesus said, "The harvest truly is great, but the labourers are few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth labourers into his harvest. Go your ways: behold, I send you forth as lambs among wolves." Luke 10:2-3

Be honest... Are your eyes fixed upon Him? Is your oil lamp full? Will Jesus find faith upon the earth upon His return? Are you clothed in Christ and His righteousness?

Monday, October 10, 2016

Go learn the meaning

Oh to have been a fly on the wall for this conversation!!!

"And when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto his disciples, Why eateth your Master with publicans and sinners? But when Jesus heard that, he said unto them, They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick.
13 But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance." Matthew 9:11-13

Honestly y'all, the religious of our day still respond this way. Can you imagine the modern attack the Pharisees would have for Him today?

I love vs 13 where He tells them to GO LEARN THE MEANING of what He said!!! Today He would be ridiculed and accused of being prideful for saying such a thing. After all, the Self righteous Pharisees "knew so much". Not to mention the false accusations of Him being rebellious; with Christ going against their idea of things. I'm certain it would spurn quite the whirlwind.

However, Jesus was neither prideful nor rebellious. He had more wisdom, understanding and compassion in his pinky finger than they had combined as a group. He was right!

How do I know He would be treated this way? I've endured similar encounters, just as countless other true believers have. The Jesus many worship today doesn't even come close to the One who spoke here. Please make sure you have the right One.

May we be mindful, the true Risen Christ stood for Truth, His Father's Truth and He wasn't afraid or ashamed to stand for what was right. Even if it stepped on toes and the pride of others. May His Holy Spirit help us be more like Him!

"Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe." 1 Corinthians 1:20-21

Are we daring enough to ask for His boldness, that we may speak boldly, in love, as He leads?

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

To be or not to be stereotyped

Let's face it, stereotypes are everywhere. Especially in the world of religion. With countless beliefs, theologies, doctrines it's easy to see how one can form their opinion without seeking facts.

Many of you, whether you've been my acquaintance or friend for a few days, years or known me for a lifetime already have your opinions formed. After all, it's natural, right. Or is it?

Are our thoughts based on facts: biblical, scientific or are they theoretically shaped by our modern culture? Truth is, the latter of the 3 wins. Without seeking understanding there is prejudice, preconceived notions and bias misunderstandings everywhere!

It's quite likely I won't fit your idea of a Christian. Honestly, I'm quite thankful for that! Why? Because there are countless misconceptions about my God and His perfect Son that my way of thinking, living, speaking, acting and reacting is probably just as cynical as your presuppositions about my foundation in them.

I'm not trying to be rude or crass. Whether we like it or not, scads of people try to put God in a box; which includes those who follow Him. He's given us a code of ethics to live by and every day is a new adventure. It's a daily walk full of trials, temptations, life lessons and victories. Unless you come to know Him, you cannot understand His people.

If you're afraid of being stereotyped, understand this... whether you whole hearted follow Christ or not, society has already labeled you! Question is, who is it you're living to please?

As for me, "For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ." Galatians 1:10

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Accountability and trouble in the camp!

You're only accountable for your own actions, right? Wrong! Joshua 7 is an excellent account of the consequences of keeping poor company.

1 man's choice to do as He pleased cost 36 human lives! Plus, here's what God had to say about it. "Israel hath sinned, and they have also transgressed my covenant which I commanded them: for they have even taken of the accursed thing, and have also stolen, and dissembled also, and they have put it even among their own stuff. Therefore the children of Israel could not stand before their enemies, but turned their backs before their enemies, because they were accursed: neither will I be with you any more, except ye destroy the accursed from among you." (vs 11-12)

So, Achan's greed was quite costly to the WHOLE camp and his family!!! Joshua's line of questioning after his confession was in order. "And Joshua said, Why hast thou troubled us? the LORD shall trouble thee this day..." (vs 25)

Accountability among ourselves is HUGE! If one among us refuses to obey God, that one isn't the only to suffer consequences. They bring TROUBLE to all around. Matter of fact, after this incident occurred, this place was called "The valley of Achor" which literally translates to The valley of Trouble"!

This is a powerfully true story; one in which we must apply to our lives and especially to those we surround ourselves with! Will you prayerfully choose wisely the character of the company you keep!?

Friday, September 23, 2016

Modesty, beauty and the company we keep

I love that my 6 yr old son relates modesty with beauty!

Ladies, put some clothes on. Fellas, pull your pants up!

Last weekend my son and I did some quick shopping before our lunch date. As we  passed the women's apparel, he started pointing out clothes that would cover a lady's body in a pretty and respectful way. I was truly impressed!

The cool part about it is I haven't directly spoken with him about modesty. Mostly him overhearing conversations with my daughter. This opened up a fun conversation with him! I'm thankful he's learning at a young age beauty comes from within and whether male or female we don't have to show off our bodies to be liked or considered beautiful.

Reminds me of this needed word of direction.

"In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array; But (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works." 1 Timothy 2:9-10

Godliness is beautiful! More than that it is something to be respected. I hope our time together has encouraged you. Remember, how we dress, act, speak also attracts or repels the company we keep!

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Dampered darkness or Christ confidence?

Dampered darkness or Christ confidence? 

Have you ever had to walk in the pitch black? Yesterday I was reminded what this is like. While trying to shut my stubborn "automatic" garage door, I had to walk over as it was closing to manually help it along. Only problem was, I didn't leave the house door open! Lights out! It was dark!

Haha, funny thing is, I know my garage. I know the layout and short distance to the steps to the house entrance. Yet, I nearly froze, walking at snail speed, a sudden uncertainty came over me. "Odd", I thought as I made my way through. "Why do I feel this way KNOWING where I'm going?"

OK so some may say, "What a sissy" or "scarey scardeey cat"! The Lord used this to speak GREATLY to my heart. He said, "Those who are lost and blinded lack confidence without the light. I am with you and so you trust I am near. Those without this peace hesitate with each step, are easily misguided and are overtaken by fear, fret, frustration and distraught even with the simplest of things."

Wow, this 30 second adventure will stick with me forever! How true and right the Lord is!!! It's so important we share His Light so others may see and feel His comfort and peace! Truth is, in an uncertain ever darkening world, it's no wonder we see such heaviness around us.

There are actually several lessons within this, both for the lost and the believer! May God use this to speak to your heart too!

Let us be mindful:
"Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness." 1 Thessalonians 5:5

"For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light:" Ephesians 5:8

Can others around us see Christ's confidence in us?

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Walk not as they walk

Do you understand the magnitude and sharp direction here?

"This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth WALK NOT AS OTHER Gentiles WALK, in the VANITY of their MIND, Having the UNDERSTANDING DARKENED, being ALIENATED from the LIFE of GOD through the IGNORANCE that IS IN THEM, because of the BLINDNESS of their HEART: Who being past feeling have GIVEN THEMSELVES OVER unto LASCIVIOUSNESS, to WORK ALL UNCLEANNESS with GREEDINESS." Ephesians 4:17-19

Do you know why this is so IMPORTANT to/for the BELIEVER?

Here's a few word meanings...
*Walk not-  do not live like them, do not follow them or be occupied by them!
*Vanity of their mind - moral depravity in intellect; thoughts, feelings and the will.
*Understanding- exercise deep thought or imagination
*Darkened - obscured; difficult or impossible to understand or comprehend completely with certainty
*Alienated - estranged; to arouse especially mutual enmity or indifference in where there had formerly been love, affection, or friendliness
*Ignorance - a lack of knowledge, understanding, or education : the state of being ignorant
*blindness- the hardness
*Lasciviousness- negatively lewd and lustful

OK, with this deeper look, reread this passage again with these insights into mind. Can you see the heartfelt serious message the Lord has here?

Friday, July 29, 2016

The complacent charger

Last night I set my phone on the stand up charger. This morning I realize it didn't charge. My son kindly plugged it in and it slowly began refilling. After some time I saw it wasn't charging too quick so I checked the plug. It wasn't fully pushed in!

Ok, ok, some say "So what! Who cares?". Here's the deeper meaning to it all.

On the spiritual side of things, we can get caught up with "going through the motions", as if our time with the Lord is some kind of 'To do' checklist. The problem with this is no different than my phone set ON the charger but NOT CONNECTED. Even taking that next step and ensuring it was "plugged in". I went through all the "proper steps", right?

We must make sure we are connected to Him. He's our life! Remember Jesus said, "I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing." John 15:5

How can we be about His work if we aren't refilled and connected fully. He knows our hearts and doesn't want just the act of doing right. He requires our hearts continuously plugged into His. Is He your lifeline? Are you fully plugged in to Him?

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Diminish not a word

"Thus saith the LORD; Stand in the court of the LORD'S house, and speak unto all the cities of Judah, which come to worship in the LORD'S house, all the words that I command thee to speak unto them; diminish not a word:" Jeremiah 26:2

A few notable points here:

1- specific instruction from the Lord
2- the Lord is speaking to His people through His prophet
3- the Lord is careful about His message

Diminish means to lessen or to take away from. All He gave Jeremiah to speak to His people was to be verbatim, nothing lost, nothing taken away nor made into a lite matter. "Diminish not a word"!

It's a serious thing when the Lord speaks both for the messenger as well as the receiver. The main message Jeremiah was to speak was the same message we are to carry today. REPENT and turn to the Lord!

As Jeremiah was facing possible death for heeding the Lord, I love his response to the rulers. "... do with me as seemeth good and meet to you. But know ye for certain if ye put me to death, ye shall surely bring innocent blood upon yourselves, upon this city and upon the inhabitants thereof: FOR OF A TRUTH THE LORD HATH SENT ME unto you TO SPEAK ALL THESE WORDS in your ears." (vs 14-15)

Do we have the same obedient  boldness to speak as He leads? On the flip side, are our hearts humble enough to hear and receive His message?

Monday, July 18, 2016

The contentious Christian

"Some indeed preach Christ even of envy and strife; and some also of good will: The one preach Christ of contention, not sincerely, supposing to add affliction to my bonds: But the other of love, knowing that I am set for the defence of the gospel." Philippians 1:15-17

I've experienced both types of preachers mentioned here. Actually just yesterday I encountered one of strife and contention. It's safe to say these are ones who need our most diligent prayer.

I love this specific instruction in dealing with these:
"If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness; He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings, Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself." 1 Timothy 6:3-5

"Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves." Philippians 2:3

We know pride is opposite of humility. In which pride will not allow others to be lifted above self and even cutting truth down to fit it's own beliefs, in essence trading truth for a lie.

If we truly bear about the marks of Christ, His love will be seen. After all its by His love He is seen and by this He draws men unto Himself.

"Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good. Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another; Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord;" Romans 12:9-11

Contentious or humble which characteristics are we displaying to others around us?

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Ah to be "a peculiar people"!

Wow! Don't ya just love those "light bulb" moments!?! Haha, you know, the ones God grants during time spent with Him in His Word? That awesome clarity received only by listening to His Holy Spirit.

Ok, this is so amazing to me! Before I share my newfound insights, carefully read this passage. For many believers it is common. However, don't read it like, "I already know it".

"But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light: Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy." 1 Peter 2:9-10

2 words within I want to focus on.

First, being 'peculiar'. Sadly my understanding was limited by modern interpretation of being "set apart"; which is partially true. A deeper look reveals it meaning a "purchased possession"! Yes, we are set apart BUT by being blood bought by the sacrificial blood of the Lamb. Cool huh?!

Second word focus is 'praises'. This is so much more than a song of adoration upon our lips! Though that could and should be a by-product. It actually means virtues. By this it is morally good behavior or character. This IS the GOOD FRUITS (a lifestyle that reflects Christ!) that stem from our obtaining the Lord's mercies and being called OUT of darkness into His glorious LIGHT!!!

I hope this insight has blessed and encouraged you as it has me. I love and enjoy the simple truths He gives and even more so how He builds and adds "line upon line, line upon line. Precept upon precept."

Key question is: Are you willing to walk in His ways and personally apply these truths to your daily walk?

Saturday, June 11, 2016

The barrenness of busyness

The barrenness of busyness should be banned from the believer's life. I admit, I too have been guilty!
Busyness? Yes! It's simply the crime of being too busy. Even in doing the Lord's work. Lately my heart has been heavy and my spirit grieved over these things which are sweeping throughout daily routines and saturating church walls too.
Busyness has no limit. While it is a gift to have a servant's heart and a pure desire to please the Lord, it's spiritual rot to forsake time with Him, even for His work.
Let's face it though, it's more than His work. What about Christian entertainment!? If we are honest with ourselves, we can see not all who claim Christ are His, right. Therefore it's good to recognize not all things carrying a Christian label bring Him glory.
There are countless ways to serve and praise the Lord. Yet, as I explained to a friend the other day and visual portrait like this:
     Let's say you have a cup freshly filled and there's plenty to share so the cup is passed around and as it returns, it comes back empty. Many of us have done just this! The cup represents us being daily filled with the Living waters found in the Word. When we are refreshed each day, we are filled with enough to share BUT when we jump into the days demands without this renewing, what have we to share but an empty cup?!?
So, whether the Lord's work or appeasing our times of fleshly rest, aka "Christian entertainment" we keep going, and doing, filling our "TO DO LIST", but sadly lack our first love, Christ, in the process. There are many biblical accounts that come to mind. The most prominent being Mary verses Martha mentality.
Truth is if we are so busy and neglect our times of refreshing, how quick will we dry up, loose our zeal and passion for the One who gave us a servant's heart to begin with. Our lives and walk become fruitless!
Even scarier than being fruitless is becoming stagnant which leads to complacency and finally results in being lukewarm! One compromise here and there and within time the barren believer looks no different than the worldly one without Christ.
Look at the 7 churches mentioned in Revelation 1 and 2... especially if you're in a leadership position (parents, we too are in leadership whether we realize it or not!), do you honestly know which letter you would receive?
Are we willing to examine ourselves in the light of Scripture? Will we return to our 1st Love?

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Reluctant Leadership ~ Tozer

Reluctant Leaders
A. W. Tozer

The true and safe leader is likely to be the one who has no desire to lead but is forced into a position of leadership by the inward pressure of the Spirit and the press of the external situation. Such were Moses, David and the Old Testament prophets; and I think there was hardly a great Christian leader from Paul to this present day but was drafted by the Holy Spirit for the task and commissioned by the Lord of the Church to fill a position he had little natural heart for.

I believe that it might be accepted as a fairly reliable rule of thumb that the man who is ambitious to lead is disqualified as a leader. The Church of the Firstborn is no place for the demagogue or the petty religious dictator. The true leader will have no wish to lord it over God’s heritage, but will be humble, gentle, self-sacrificing and altogether as ready to follow as to lead when the Spirit makes it plain to him that a wiser and more gifted man than himself has appeared.

It is undoubtedly true, as I have said so often, that the church is languishing not for leaders but for the right kind of leaders; for the wrong kind is worse than none at all. Better to stand still than to follow a blind man over a precipice. History will show that the church has prospered most when blessed with strong leaders and suffered the greatest decline when her leaders were weak and time serving. The sheep rarely go much farther than the Shepherd.

That is why unqualified democracy is not good for a church unless every voting member is full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom. To put the work of the church in the hands of the group is to exchange one leader for many; and if the group is composed of carnal professors it is to exchange one weak leader for a number of bad ones. One hundred blind men cannot see any better than one.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Will you escape perdition?

All too often humanity passes on religion and/or tradition but neither can save a soul from perdition.

No other addition can cleanse the souls sin saturated condition. Though many "like" things gladly audition.

Only one medication sacrifically given is strong enough to cure this in bedded condition.

Carefully take this in consideration, it is sin that causes our separation.

There is One great Physician able to cure this situation. He's experienced humiliation, pain and rejection in order to bring this stupendous reconciliation.

Let's cancel out this recreation of frustration and depression and trust this One who cures sin's cancerous condition which sadly results in eternal damnation.

What an accommodation given without manipulation! Christ is the only nomination given who can completely regenerate this depraved situation.

It was His mission, born of no reputation in order to save this population, matter of fact, every generation!

So much more than pious inspiration. The completion of perfection by Divine intervention.

Will you accept this profound admonition? Will you escape admonition and let go of religion and tradition? Will you embrace His invitation?

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Selfishly sustained

Confronting falsity and admitting failure can be super hard. In this humility there is reward. When we are dishonest, even unintentionally, we hide God's glory, His work and His victories.

I wasn't completely honest in an answer given yesterday, completely out of character. It's true, I tell on myself, lol! As I gave it to the Lord He gently corrected me, and it stung! BUT wisdom was gained.

My answer pointed to me rather than Him. In this there was no opportunity for Him to be seen. I allowed the enemy to use me as his tool in robbing God. Ever think of it that way? I sure didn't!

In my quiet time this morning, He brought me to this verse. "Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God;" 2 Corinthians 3:5

Sufficiency means ability. There is nothing in me or you that enables us to do right much less the ability to handle life's challenges apart from Him. He IS our ability!

Though I'm not sure how or if this will be made right with the one I spoke with, but I do praise God for His sharp love lesson gained.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

The gymnast and growing in grace

Over the last couple weeks I've been watching my daughter practice her gymnastics. Being a former gymnast myself I WANT to show her the right way. Lol. The mind is willing but my body is weak.

It takes practice, diligence, motivation, determination and inspiration. Why? It's challenging both mentally and physically. We must learn the basic baby steps and stretches before we can work up to more intricate moves.

In much the same way is our spiritual life! We KNOW what we want to do, who we want to be but we have to learn our reliance and dependence can't be done alone, rather on the Lord.

Truth is, our own strength only goes so far:  mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually! May we not be so eager to throw in the towel with the "I can't" mentality.

"... the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak." Matthew 26:41 Jesus said, "...With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26

Everything we go through is strength building. The question is, will we apply with what we've learned or struggle in our limited abilities?

Well, on to practice...

Saturday, April 9, 2016

The drama queen Vashti

Hear ye, hear ye! May I have your attention PLEASE...

Raise your hand if you know a drama queen! Haha, it's sad but I'm pretty sure every hand should be raised. It's relatively safe to say these days everybody knows at least one DRAMA QUEEN.

By definition, this is a person who habitually responds to situations in a melodramatic way. In case you haven't met one by experience, I'll share a few of her characteristics. Once you're aware, they're easy to spot!

BEWARE!!! This one thrives off of drama, loves attention, prideful, arrogant, selfish, manipulative, may present a forceful personality, demanding, belittling, disobedient, unruly, discontent and so much more! They are TOXIC!

However, those traits listed above are usually secondhand to what usually entices us to be around them. These people are usually charming, witty, charismatic, FUN & BEAUTIFUL!

In the 1st chapter of Esther, we meet one just like this! Queen Vashti! The King threw a 7 day feast to show off the riches of his kingdom and near the end when his heart was merry with wine he wanted to show off his beautiful queen. Only problem was it didn't suit her desires and she rejected his call.

She was beautiful and in leadership! However, the example she was setting was destructive. Truth is discontentment is contagious! Her pride was puffed up and it ultimately cost her the royal crown. New rules were set and she was cast away.

So, we aren't powerful kings and Queens to write and rewrite rules but we can take note of who we allow in our lives. We are told in Romans 16:17 "Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them."

Mark them and AVOID them! Though a drama queen isn't necessarily women only, it's more so than not. With that said, there's a few more words of wisdom to attain and apply.

"As a jewel of gold in a swine's snout, so is a fair woman which is without discretion." Proverbs 11:22

"A continual dropping in a very rainy day and a contentious woman are alike." Proverbs 27:5

IF you value what you've built, your peace and your sanity then you'll accept and apply these things to your personal life! The root of drama is pride. The center of pride is "I" and so it is too the center of sin!

Haha, I hope you didn't keep your hand up throughout this read... let's face it, we all KNOW a drama queen. Many of us are wise enough to leave them to themselves. Are you?

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

The Word and whisps

The Word of God is so much deeper than any man made strand could ever reach.
Far more stout than the most well taught could teach.
It's truths far more rich than uncountable sands upon every created beach...
shhhhh! It's in the stillness He speaks!

Do you have His Spirit?
Been marked by His blood?
Ever journeyed to the depths at the foot of the cross?
Have you met with surrender and found humility to treasure?
Basked in this splendor?
Found a pure Love so tender?

Dare say that you live apart from this tender touch that will both brake and remake as gentle as whisps on the wings of a dove?

Friday, March 11, 2016

Friend of God

Fun conversation with Jayden this morning.

Jayden: "Wait, what!? God can be our friend?

Me: Oh yes He is

Jayden looking confused... so I explain it like this since his Dad is sitting with us.

Yes, God is our friend but kinda like your Dad, he's your friend, but he's the boss 1st. He cares about you and wants you to do right so when you do wrong he corrects you. He still likes to play and have fun with you too. It's the same way with God except He's way bigger so He's always with you. He cares about you and wants you to do right. He will always be the Boss 1st.

Then I told him about Abraham. "...Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God." James 2:23

I hope our chat has blessed & encouraged you. On a personal note, do you consider God your friend?

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Building up?

Building up?

"They helped every one his neighbour; and every one said to his brother, Be of good courage. So the carpenter encouraged the goldsmith, and he that smootheth with the hammer him that smote the anvil, saying, It is ready for the sodering: and he fastened it with nails, that it should not be moved." Isaiah 41:6-7

Ok, on the surface, this seems like great encouragement, right? They're telling each other to "be of good courage" which means 'be strong'. What are they building though? Actually, they're literally creating idols!

Nothing like a good Ole fashioned pat on the back! After all, the world loves it's own. We, in Christ, can learn from this too. While the world encourages & promotes evil and detestable things, we must build up one another too in the Lord, in His ways and in His Word!

"Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do. And we beseech you, brethren, to know them which labour among you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you; And to esteem them very highly in love for their work's sake. And be at peace among yourselves." 1 Thessalonians 5:11-13

Encouraging others is great but in which direction are they going, more of the world or in Christ? I've pondered this much lately. I encourage you to do the same. Are we willing to take a deeper look into the things & people we applaud?

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Compromise and cancer

Wow! Eye opening!

While listening to the Lord He showed me quite the comparison for the modern church. It's so blatant and obvious yet sick and sly!

Many churches today correlate growth with "increase", right? For many it's about numbers... membership, attendance, salvations (repeating a prayer), baptisms, dedications and so on. "So what?" you might say, "they kept record at Pentecost and when Jesus fed the multitudes by miracles". Yes! They did. But was it the same meaning behind it then as it is now?

Let's take a look!

Today congregations all across America and even many around the world have adapted to "business structure" from planning, meetings, Finances, name it! Being in business for nearly 12 years, it's quite easy to see.

Many say, "that's not so bad, it all works to the good". Does it though? Whose good? Man's good or God's good?

Going deeper, not once did Jesus and His disciples "plan". If Jesus held a "business meeting", please correct me. Truly, I welcome it.

Deeper still, here's the portrait He painted for me.

In order for these churches to "grow in number" they've had to compromise. By this I mean little by little letting the world's ways creep in. Adding this, adding that, music styles change, ploys to bring people in change, adding teachings and doctrines, all this in essence is welcoming sin.

Ok with that said, in comparison, we can look at one of the most deadly ailments to hit a human body, CANCER! What does cancer do? Does it not mimic the very cells it attacks? Yes! Oh but there's growth! Not exactly a healthy growth, actually it's quite opposite.

"Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves." Matthew 7:15

Sadly the compromise within the church is no different than cancerous cells. Cell by cell, church by church, the good as God intended deteriorates. Each compromise allowed weakens the solid foundation it may have been initially been built upon.

The craziest part is, we've been warned by Christ Himself of this apostasy! This great falling away from His Truth! There's growth alright, a deadly compromise and it's spiritual cancer to the soul.

He said, "For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. Behold, I have told you before." Matthew 24:24-25

In essence, these things boil down to "another Jesus" being preached, embraced One who cannot save, cannot heal, cannot restore and one who does not live, cannot hear, cannot love, does not confront sin and is not the only begotten Son of the Living God!

Indeed we are living in the last days before the Son of God is sent for His perfect and spotless Bride. Upon that day, many of these so called churches will be just as full of lost, confused and hurting people as there is now!

If you've been apart of a church for some time I can guarantee apart from the indwelling Holy Spirit you will NOT recognize these things as harmful. It is God who grants the increase, yes, and without compromising Himself.

"Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you," 2 Corinthians 6:17

Dare to take a step back from the known and allow the Almighty to show you His Truth? Is the gathering by which you routinely partake of truly apart of His set apart and chosen Bride or is it a dessert up "biblical" form of morality?

Monday, February 8, 2016

Knowing Him is personal

I remember in my younger days a lot of people knew who I was, but not because then knew me personally; they knew me by association-- they knew others who did know me... that were close to me.

Even still with business I encounter similar situations. Many know who I am but aren't close enough to know me personally. I'm not into popularity. No, I share this because as I pondered these things the Lord spoke to my heart.

He brought this passage to mind:

"Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity." Matthew 7:21-23

Many know of Jesus yet very few know Him personally. Key question is: Does He know you?

He said, "Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it." Matthew 7:14

Knowing Him is personal. Religion leads one to believe it's collective or a grapevine experience. It is not by customs, traditions nor through any other coattail experience that we are forgiven, redeemed, and set free... Come to know Christ, turn to Him. Only He has the power to save.

Will you be a stranger saying unto Him, "Lord, Lord..." only to hear those dreaded words, "I never knew you" and be eternally cast away?

Ladies---> Contentious or Quiet?

A continual dropping in a very rainy day and a contentious woman are alike." Proverbs 27:15

Contentious means brawling or to fight noisily, usually in a public place. Now think of the rain that goes and goes, especially in a certain area the drippings are continuous. Drip... drip... drip... After a time it becomes irritating and annoying.

I know I'm guilty of this. Praise God for showing us the right way and granting mercy & forgiveness in our stumblings! However, especially in our day women seem to enjoy causing a scene publicly. Remember, this can be social media too, doesn't have to be in the streets.

Of this I'm certain, where there is drama there is sin! Ladies, our voices do count... in the right way and in the right place. Outside of this we push others away! If you have a point to prove, in what manner will you handle it?

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Corrupt character and chaotic consequences

"But there was none like unto Ahab, which did sell himself to work wickedness in the sight of the LORD, whom Jezebel his wife stirred up." 1 Kings 21:25

It's likely we've all experienced a "Jezebel", some maybe more often that we'd like. Let's look at this one chapter and see a few of her characteristics.

Vs 5- She plays off Ahab's emotions
Vs 8- She takes control, taking matters into her own hands.
Vs 10- She manipulates the situation and twists truth
Vs 11- She has others do her dirty work, murdering an innocent man

I encourage y'all to read the full chapter, it's quite intriguing! Over and over throughout 1 Kings 16-21 she causes quite the whirlwind, causes many to stumble and fall as well as murder and taunt those who belong to the Lord! However, in the end we see the victorious strength and power of the Almighty God.

Fellas, be cautious as to the kind of lady you have and hold. Jezebel caused quite the commotion with & for her husband. Ladies, be mindful too of the friends you keep and let close.

Bad character is contagious and is quite destructive. However, theres no evil so great that the Great I AM is not even greater still. His perspective and our focus upon Him always are huge! Will we seek His approval regarding those we allow in our lives?

Thursday, January 21, 2016

A moment in the mind

Yesterday my daughter had a bad day at school. When I picked them up she tried to bring her attitude home. After talking through things she said, "I was so mad, I almost said a bad word. I didn't say it though, only in my head."

I thought for a moment & prayed quick before I replied to her. I said, "You know the devil doesn't know our thoughts, but that's where he starts to make us fall. However God does know our thoughts. So, really you thought that bad word between you and Him."

She sat very quiet and quite attentive. I told her it's good she caught herself by not saying it but it's better in life's emotional Rollercoaster to ask God for help. She agreed and we moved on.

I'm reminded of Job as he replied to the Lord. "I know that thou canst do every thing, and that no thought can be withholden from thee." Job 42:2

"Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, thou understandest my thought afar off." Psalm 139:2

Today my son started his day much the same, living off emotions. Please keep my kids lifted in prayer. May we be extra mindful all things we "think" we keep to ourselves are actually between us and God. He knows, He sees.

Things are much smoother when keep on our helmet of salvation and are actively "... bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ" 2 Corinthians 10:5

Monday, January 18, 2016

When history & modern day collide

In preparation for Martin Luther King Jr. Day, I went over a history lesson with my kids about his life, how things were in his day as well as his purpose.

We talked about slavery, human rights, civil rights and freedom. Of course we talked about Ms. Rosa Parks too. My kids were in shock at how people of color were treated, but even more than that they were shocked there were laws that made this way of life "okay".

There were many points we talked about but mostly the high cost MLK, Jr. paid. Hate is learned and love requires a sacrifice. Man's laws may say things are good as it was with segregation but not quite so in God's eyes.

Then we talked about a couple modern day laws that are just the same: abortion and the LGBT Movement. Just because majority or man may approve doesn't mean God's laws, views and requirements have been changed to suit society.

Pray for the leaders but if we live for God we must stand as He stands, love as He loves and hate what He hates. As I share these things with you, I'm sure there are many who may disagree but the Lord assures me in His Word, of these simple truth...

Proverbs 17:15
"He that justifieth the wicked, and he that condemneth the just, even they both areabomination to the LORD."

Isaiah 5:20-21
"Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight!"

Our country has had many dark days as well as plenty of sunshine. Martin Luther King Jr. had a dream, it's up to us to see people as people, who all bleed blood red, as individuals Christ lived & died & rose again to save. None are perfect but Him and the greatest way to equality is love, pure love.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Chaos in control

While watching my kids play this weekend, I had to remind myself daughter about control. She loves to be boss and things to go her way. She gets so frustrated when things backfire or don't go as she's planned.

I gently reminded her, "You'll be a lot happier if you don't try to control every detail." She just gave me her famous, "I know" look.

As I spoke with her, the Lord spoke to me. He said, "People do this all the time. Attempting to control things only I can do & change. This is where faith and trust must walk hand in hand. I am able, but faith is required to trust."

So, I dig in the Scriptures and He reminds me of His truths...

"Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. But without faith it is impossible to pleasehim: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him." Hebrews 11:1,6

"And they that know thy name will put their trust in thee: for thou, LORD, hast not forsaken them that seek thee." Psalm 9:10

We can drive ourselves crazy trying to control the uncontrollable or we can seek the Lord's hand in His help in our letting go. Trading our panic for His peace and walking by faith, trusting He has our best interest in mind. Will we let Him do what needs done?