Blog Archives

In It Together

_71435662_m3750096-family-splDear Millennials:
You desire truth and authenticity, the freedom to be and do you; you want enough safety to become vulnerable; you want significance. I want that, too.

Like you, I learned to be cautious and mistrustful.  I am anti-establishment and ever seeking new ways.
Dear Boomers:
Do you remember wanting these things? I do.
What happened? Why did you give up on these and settle into the status quo?

I know so many of you – you still value authenticity, social justice, idealism and freedom.  You have not lost the fire in your hearts that cause you to work for a better world.

 

Dear generations in between:
You want identity, prosperity and freedom.
Do these not add up to the same things that milennials and boomers seek?

We are in this world together, searching and working for the same things.
Let’s join hearts and hands and include each other:
Boomers need you, Xers, Mes and Milennials;
I hope you recognize that you need us as well.
There is such a lie that has been promoted – Anyone over 40 is done.
No! We’re still here; we’re alive and desirous of the same things.
Instead of opposing or excluding each other, let’s come together in the unity of our ideals and searches;
Then we’ll see what God makes from all of this.

Grandiosity; Reality

Here is a short list; a sampler, if you will, of who we are:
Temples of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 3:16)
Reflections of God’s glory (2 Corinthians 3:18)
God’s workmanship (Ephesians 2:10)
dearly loved children (Ephesians 5:1; 1 John 3:1)
Light (Ephesians 5:8)
Dead and raised with Christ (Colossians 3:1-3)
God’s chosen people (Colossians 3:12; 1 Peter 2:9)
A royal priesthood (1 Peter 2:9)
A holy nation (1 Peter 2:9)
Saints (Colossians 1:12)
Heirs (Romans 8:17)
Joint heirs with Christ (Romans 8:17)

Apart from God, this is nothing more than grandiosity.
Because of Jesus and in Him, however, this is reality!

Ambassadors

festival crowd

Ambassadors of God’s Kingdom are varied indeed:
Some are conservative while others are progressive;
There are liturgical believers and evangelicals;
Rich, poor and those who live “in between”;
Well educated, professionals, tradesmen, laborers, those who don’t work at all;
People of every race and tradition.

Yet these ambassadors have the most important thing in common:
They belong to Jesus.
They love and serve Him;
They share in the joy and abundant life he gives;
They want to bring others into God’s household
So that the family will grow.

The Truth Spoken in Love

There is a trend in much of the western Church these days:  “All or nothing.”
Either I embrace everybody, including all religions, choices and lifestyles as true….
OR
I reject people, based on their beliefs, identification, words and actions.
Me?  I say neither of these is biblical.
Jesus definitely met people where they were; yet he didn’t accept their choices out of hand.  He told the woman caught in adultery, “Go.  Sin no more.”  That was after he confronted her accusers and refused to condemn her.  He told the rich young ruler, whom he loved, to sell everything he had and “come, follow me.”
He accepted the offering of tears and ointment from a woman known to be “a sinner.”  His reply to the teachers of the law indicated that he forgave her for all she had done.
When the woman who had come to the well in Samaria encountered Jesus, her life was changed.  He totally read her mail; yet did not condone her lifestyle.  He addressed her as a real person – likely an experience she had not had in her whole lifetime.

I can accept anybody as a person, created and loved by God.
I can – and do well to – disagree with all that is not biblical and true.
One road leads to Heaven; not all of them.
One God is true; not whatever or whomever someone decides to glorify.
Sin is sin; idols are idols.

I have heard more than one source say that love means I accept people, behavior and all.
No.  Love means I accept the person and speak truth to him or her.

Are you looking for abundant, healthy, eternal life?
Give your heart to Jesus:  The Way, The Truth, The Life.

One of My Favorite Songs Right Now

This is “Rule” from the Passion 2017 collection.

It’s by Hillsong United and Crowder.

It’s AWESOME; enjoy!

Now Is a Good Time

fantastic-forest-clock

A large number of prophetic words have to do with 2017 being a year of breakthrough.  many are saying that those who have waited for years to receive answers to prayers will finally get them; hopes and dreams are being awakened; upgrades are coming.

I say, now is a good time for that!

What words have you personally received, either from the Holy Spirit directly or through a person?  Now is a good time to claim them

What have you asked God for?  Healing?  Salvation of loved ones?  Now is a good time to pray, believing.

What is God’s call on your life?  Now is a good time to walk in it.

Does it seem especially dark?  The news certainly communicates that.  Now is a good time to “Arise and shine” – Light is much easier to see in darkness.

Now is a good time to walk closely with the Living God.  He is good; his love endures forever; he has wonderful plans for you.  Trust, obey, believe, receive!

Jesus, teach us to ask as big as your answers and to reach as high as you reach.  Thank you.  Amen.

Audacious

Faith so audacious,
We dare to believe
That God is greater
Than all we see;
That He is more powerful
Than any circumstance;
We are guided by His will;
We simply don’t live by chance.

 

Faith so audacious
We trust Him and pray,
Till we have heard Him;
Then we obey.
Living with expectancy;
Bold because we belong
To Papa God’s household;
The Lord most gracious and strong.

 

Faith so audacious
We happily rest
In God’s loving arms,
Where we are blessed.
We receive His provision;
Papa’s unending care;
Then we give it to others,
Rejoicing in all we share.
Faith so audacious
We know He will heal
Injury and disease
With power so real.
We still look for miracles
From Jesus, Risen King;
We live out courageous faith
For God is our Everything.

Zechariah

Luke 1:5In the time of Herod king of Judea there was a priest named Zechariah, who belonged to the priestly division of Abijah; his wife Elizabeth was also a descendant of Aaron. 6Both of them were righteous in the sight of God, observing all the Lord’s commands and decrees blamelessly. 7But they were childless because Elizabeth was not able to conceive, and they were both very old.

8Once when Zechariah’s division was on duty and he was serving as priest before God, 9he was chosen by lot, according to the custom of the priesthood, to go into the temple of the Lord and burn incense. 10And when the time for the burning of incense came, all the assembled worshipers were praying outside.

11Then an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing at the right side of the altar of incense. 12When Zechariah saw him, he was startled and was gripped with fear. 13But the angel said to him: “Do not be afraid, Zechariah; your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you are to call him John. 14He will be a joy and delight to you, and many will rejoice because of his birth, 15for he will be great in the sight of the Lord. He is never to take wine or other fermented drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit even before he is born. 16He will bring back many of the people of Israel to the Lord their God. 17And he will go on before the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the parents to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous—to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.”

18Zechariah asked the angel, “How can I be sure of this? I am an old man and my wife is well along in years.”

19The angel said to him, “I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God, and I have been sent to speak to you and to tell you this good news. 20And now you will be silent and not able to speak until the day this happens, because you did not believe my words, which will come true at their appointed time.”

21Meanwhile, the people were waiting for Zechariah and wondering why he stayed so long in the temple. 22When he came out, he could not speak to them. They realized he had seen a vision in the temple, for he kept making signs to them but remained unable to speak.

23When his time of service was completed, he returned home. 24After this his wife Elizabeth became pregnant and for five months remained in seclusion. 25“The Lord has done this for me,” she said. “In these days he has shown his favor and taken away my disgrace among the people.”
I learned recently that the phrase , “your prayer has been heard” (v 13) carries the sense of a prayer that has been let go for a very long time.  This could probably read, That prayer you used to pray before you gave up on it…

I relate to that:  There are things I have sought the Lord for; then given up on because they haven’t happened.  I’m betting you have some of those as well.

In the light of this understanding, Zechariah’s reaction makes perfect sense.  It is far too easy to allow doubt, discouragement and unbelief to move in.

The question is, what shall we do with prayers that don’t seem to get answered?

I only have a whisper of insight:  Keep on keeping on.  One thing Elizabeth and Zechariah did right was to continue in their lives and work.  They “were righteous in the sight of God.” (v6)  When the Lord’s timing came, he gave them their desire.
I understand with all heartache, quandary and “hope against hope” about fighting that sense that “It’s too late.”  Zechariah and Elizabeth certainly struggled with that one.  God’s answer:  He gave them what they had asked for.

Is it ever too late for God?

THINK ON THESE THINGS

11202658_10206923360233876_3499304965961310035_n

Whatever is true, noble, right, pure, lovely or admirable – if it is excellent or praiseworthy, think on these things.
Philippians 4:8

FOR THE BEAUTY OF THE EARTH

Early-sunrise-over-the-forest-800x1280

For the beauty of the earth,
for the glory of the skies,
for the love which from our birth
over and around us lies;
Lord of all, to thee we raise
this our hymn of grateful praise.

For the beauty of each hour
of the day and of the night,
hill and vale, and tree and flower,
sun and moon, and stars of light;
Lord of all, to thee we raise
this our hymn of grateful praise.

For the joy of human love,
brother, sister, parent, child,
friends on earth and friends above,
for all gentle thoughts and mild;
Lord of all, to thee we raise
this our hymn of grateful praise.

For thyself, best Gift Divine,
to the world so freely given,
for that great, great love of thine,
peace on earth, and joy in heaven:
Lord of all, to thee we raise
this our hymn of grateful praise.
——————————————————————————–

by Folliott S. Pierpoint
(1835-1917).
He was 29 at the time he wrote this hymn; he was mesmerised by the beauty of the countryside that surrounded him. It first appeared in 1864 in a
book of Eucharistic Hymns and Poems entitled “Lyra Eucharistica, Hymns and Verses on The Holy Communion, Ancient and Modern, with other Poems.”