To do the will of my Father… Does anybody know what time it is?

Galatians 3:28 (KJV)

“There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.

These days there is much controversy over words, terminology, doctrines, etc… Everyone seems to be a false teacher, preacher and such. Seems believers can’t agree on who is a true messenger of God. Some that have been identified are from the Word of Faith movement, others popular evangelicals, and mega-church pastors, some obscure names as well.  Are popular Christian authors just in it for the money? Is anyone capable of teaching, and preaching the simple truth? Even the simple message of the gospel is disputed? Repentance, confession, acceptance..

John 3:16 (KJV) is the scripture that probably led most people to believe in Jesus.

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. 

For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God (John 3:17-18 (KJV).

Believing in Jesus seemed to be the only requirement for salvation. For God so loved us. Yes… God so loved us that He gave up His only Son so that He could be reconciled with us, His creation. Believe on Him that’s it. If we do that, He does the rest. 

“I grew up hearing everyone tell me ‘God loves you’. I would say big deal, God loves everybody. That don’t make me special! That just proves that God ain’t got no taste. And, I don’t think He does. Thank God! Because He takes the junk of our lives and makes the most beautiful art.”
― Rich Mullins

If we can believe that the living God loves us, that He sacrificed His Son for us, He does what no man could ever do in his own power.

Words, words, words, but not the Word. Seems to me what man has to say about the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Bible and the things of God is more important and gets more attention than what the Word says about Jesus Christ, God and all things of God.

2 Timothy 4:3 “For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.”

Matthew 12:37 – For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.

Psalms 19:14 – Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.

Matthew 12:36 – But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.

What is that? We will be held accountable for every word that comes out of our mouth. Let those words not lead another into darkness. 

To do the will of my Father… that is the only mission on this earth for Christians. Time is short. While Americans are crying make America great again! God is unraveling His perfect plan for His chosen few. Yes. Few. Because many are called, but few are chosen, says Matthew. Choose ye the narrow road. “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.”

Why are God’s people concerned with the moral state of this land? Did not the Lord say to expect this in 2 Tim 3? Did He not say it was only going to get worse in the last days? Are we in the last days? It sure feels like it.

Romans 13:11 “And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed.”

I asked myself if anyone knows what time it is? Does anybody really care?” Then I remembered a song from my youth, that my favorite group, Chicago sang – “Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?” I hadn’t heard it in decades so I looked up the lyrics.

As I was walking down the street one day
A man came up to me and asked me what the time was that was
on my watch, yeah
And I said
Does anybody really know what time it is
I don’t
Does anybody really care
care
If so I can’t imagine why
about time
We’ve all got time enough to cry
Oh no, no
And I was walking down the street one day
A pretty lady looked at me and said her diamond watch had
stopped cold dead
And I said
Does anybody really know what time it is
I don’t
Does anybody really care
care
If so I can’t imagine why
about time
We’ve all got time enough to cry
Oh no, no
And I was walking down the street one day
Being pushed and shoved by people trying to beat the clock,
oh, so I just don’t know,
I just don’t know
And I said, yes I said
Background Vocal:
People running everywhere
Don’t know the way to go
Don’t know where I am
Can’t see past the next step
Don’t have to think past the last mile
Have no time to look around
Just run around, run around and think why
Does anybody really know what time it is
I don’t
Does anybody really care
care
If so I can’t imagine why
about time
We’ve all got time enough to die
Oh no, no

Seems like the hour has come upon us and we are still running around like chickens … well you know how the rest goes. If we don’t know what the will of God is … we need to find out and quick!

Be blessed. If you are ready…like Rich Mullins used to sign…Be God’s!

Thanks for reading.

IMG_6215
The Coming King Sculpture at The Cross at Kerrville Texas. Jesus Christ returns in glory Revelation 19:11. 

 

Speaking in Tongues

Our lives are shaped by our experiences. Happy childhood = happy adulthood – for the most part. Tragic childhood = strife. And there are always exceptions. Still, no one seems to understand us better than someone who has been in our shoes – for the good or the bad. Someone crosses our path that speaks our language and poof – someone understands me. A kindred spirit – that’s what I’ve heard it called.

Have you ever sat and listened to a speaker and you notice he or she is delivering the same message you heard earlier, but it was tailored for your specific tongue – at that moment? I don’t even know that – that makes sense. But…I attended a conference last weekend. This speaker was teaching on the importance of being free to love. The topic is a familiar one… how can we express love to others, if we are not free to love. Loving others and allowing others to love you go hand in hand – and it includes loving self.

Well, I have been talking to my husband about the whole concept of love the last couple of years. I spent ten years in a very abusive marriage. The Lord had to work in my life to teach me how to love and how to allow myself to be loved, to feel love. Anyway, the Lord did not send me someone that loved me unconditionally, or that stood by me, or any kind of support. He did not plant me in a church. He did not surround me with Christian women, though I knew many. He sent me two friends that walked with me in spirit. One knew my struggles because she too had survived an abusive marriage. My male friend was a bible study teacher. He and his wife held bible studies in our home.

I had three daughters, but this time, they were teenagers and two were in full rebellion. It was not easy raising teenagers on alone. So how did the Lord teach me about love?

The Lord gave me rebellious children, with constant needs, a grandchild to raise, with constant need. He stripped me of my employment. He shut all the doors to any employment opportunities. He left me without a vehicle. All my friends, except for the two abandoned me. I have a huge family, but I might as well have been an orphan…

I was attracted to the teachings of David Jeremiah and Rich Mullins… to completely different voices.

Yes, the Lord taught me about love, to love, to allow myself to be loved by stripping me of all my worldly identities, my worldly resources – non-existent as they were. And he gave me rebellious children as a mirror. For me, it took an absence of the spoken word to allow God to reach through decades of pain and rejection. His word had to penetrate walls so thick and wide… He alone could tear down those walls. I learned the only way to hear the Lord – is to shut my mouth – and limit the other voices trying to get in my head.

Anyway, back to this teacher last weekend. I was listening to this speaker and suddenly I realized – I am so dumb. All these teachers, preachers, authors, speakers and such are speaking the same message they are just using a different language to convey meaning. They all put their own spin on the message. They all believe it to be new revelation. Then it was like the light bulb coming on. If I happen to attend two conferences with two different speakers, the audiences will be different. If I go to the west side and listen to a speaker who rose from the streets to preach the gospel – his message will sound different from the speaker at the convention center – who grew up in middle class America and attended Dallas Theological. The language matters. Experiences matter. American is a very diverse place. Some people need convoluted language to convey/understand a simple messages e.g. soulical plague. Come on! Others need only – the simple message.

So then, if the message of the gospel is a simple message – and it is presented to every man in his own tongue. Then truly, the messenger is the one we need to be cautious of. Different voices appeal to different people. And if someone wants to hear only good things that’s what he or she will gravitate too.

We have to test every spirit – to make sure it is from God. No one wants to be the town crier, but in these last days – deception is on every corner. The Scriptures tell us the deceivers are already in our midst.

So if any message appeals to you, if you feel a connection with the messenger – he/she feels your pain, your struggle – then take the time to make sure their message aligns with Scripture – and not your feelings. The heart is deceitful above all things. I have to constantly remind myself.

Jeremiah 17:9 “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it?

1 John 4:1 Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.

2 Timothy 3:15-17 And that from childhood you have known the sacred writings which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.

2 Timothy 4:3-4 A time will come when people will not listen to accurate teachings. Instead, they will follow their own desires and surround themselves with teachers who tell them what they want to hear. People will refuse to listen to the truth and turn to myths.

Colossians 2:8 See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ.

Thank you for reading. Be blessed.

…that place between life and death…

that place can be different for all of us. Where is that place for you? When do you find yourself in that place? I find myself there when I am overwhelmed with financial responsibilities and no means. Unemployment leads me there. I get to the point where I just don’t want to face another creditor. I tell them I lost my job, but they don’t seem to care. Friend and foe find it easy to blame me for my difficulties, which only serves to make me feel worse about my situation. I have to work hard at keeping creditors at bay, but it gets tiring. Depression, Hopelessness and Powerlessness  are close friends. And they want to pull me into the abyss of despair any time they are close by. They are relentless. They shoot fiery arrows continuously and even the most innocent are used as catapults. When they are around death is a welcomed alternative. It’s not always a suicidal mind… Death is just preferable to dealing with so much strife…a.k.a trial and tribulation. If it were as easy as closing and opening the eyes to find oneself in the presence of the Lord, that would be ideal. Alas, death is not so compassionate. Compassion seems to jump out the window when trials and tribulations are present.

Praise God that we have a Comforter! We have One that gives peace that surpasses all understanding. When we face trials of every sort we are to count it all joy, says James.

(1:vs.2-3) My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.

I have a friend that is in that place. Illness lead her to that place. She was doing OK keeping Depression, Hopelessness and Powerlessness  at bay, but an injury got the best of her. Somehow, her injury turned into a staph infection that required hospitalization in ICU. That was two months ago. She is still there. The doctors tell me she should be up and about. The only drugs she is on are antibiotics for the infection. She should be alert, but instead she is unresponsive most of the time. They have to tube feed her and she is on oxygen. Doctors are clueless. When I mentioned the possibility of depression, they quickly agreed. Yet, her depression was not being addressed.

In previous visits she had been somewhat engaged during our visit. We listened to Rich Mullins music which she enjoyed. She had a difficult time talking because she was so weak, but we managed. Today, she was the most unresponsive since she went downhill. I asked her if she had given up and she nodded yes. Because she has been ill for some years, she had talked with me often about going into this dark place where she did not allow anyone to enter.She alienated herself. She had been taking medications for depression but she did not really care for the way they made her feel. So, today I asked her if she was in that place, she nodded yes. I asked her if she believed Jesus was with her and she nodded yes. That our God is an awesome God, she lit up a smile. At this point, as much as she wants to live, she is tired of being in this sort of vegetative state. She is feeling abandoned, alone and tired. I told her she is in that place between life and death. Kinda like that place between awake and asleep. She wants to live, but death seems much more inviting. I prayed for her and she seemed to take it all in. For brief moments she was with me. Even her nurse noticed her come to life, but it did not last long. She quickly withdrew back into that dark place. She was too weak to hold on. I sat with her for two hours and maybe she spent 15 minutes with me. In that time, she admitted she was depressed. She felt abandoned. She was in that dark place and could not pull herself out. I prayed.

that-dark-place

I told her I was going to alert all believers to pray for her, to do battle for her, because she could not do it alone.

The Lord is my Shepherd…

2 Chronicles 20:15 – And he said, Hearken ye, all Judah, and ye inhabitants of Jerusalem, and thou king Jehoshaphat, Thus saith the LORD unto you, Be not afraid nor dismayed by reason of this great multitude; for the battle [is] not yours, but God’s.

Ephesians 6:12 – For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high [places].

Will you pray with me for my friend Guadalupe Lacy?

Scripture reference welcomed.  Thank you for reading. Be blessed.

Waiting on God

couds
Reflection

Hebrews 11:13-16

“These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off were assured of them, embraced them and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. For those who say such things declare plainly that they seek a homeland. And truly if they had called to mind that country from which they had come out, they would have had opportunity to return. But now they desire a better, that is, a heavenly country. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them.”