|So last night was spent just listening to some great music and a little great teaching....it always is a good night when I can relax and chill after a study night and just appreciate Christ as my life and the amazing way He is weaving His Life in me and some of my old ways of thinking and through me and He shows me that He is just so good and leads me into this life of freedom as I give up this life of my control. Everything is so connected... so relational to Him and this becomes very evident when I keep my spiritual eyes and ears open to Him. |
Discussion the night before was about how come this new covenant teaching on Grace and Life is not 'really' taught....you know...like in sermons etc....our holiness? our righteousness, our identity in Christ? What difficult concepts to grasp for some of us who have been raised in a more legalistic environment. And what is so cool is that our identity in Christ is only understood by the revelation of the Holy Spirit. The hidden or missed understanding of this message is shown clearly even in Scripture. "We can have everything in Christ and not know it" as Frank said just yesterday....to me anyway :). I remember going through this time of muddlement when I first came into Grace. I see this in others....I know that we can miss the message of the grace of God unless the Holy Spirit leads us into this understanding by revelation. This totally makes us free, though doesn't it.....sharing the truth with others is wonderful but without the Holy Spirit doing His work in the minds and thoughts and hearts of those others....they won't see. And when you see a glimmer of understanding....in someone who maybe didn't have it before....So cool! Like a light goes on....and you know you can give up your right to be right....and correct....and the one who is going to enlighten.....it ain't never going to happen....everyone is at a different place ..... and God knows just where that is ....and you can fellowship with others who no way maybe share the same
doctrine ..because being right is so no longer important and if we think we have arrived at a total understanding...I don't think so...because what we think...doctrinally, right now....has to be open for change...as there is always more being revealed as we are open to the Holy Spirit...and so this IS progressive....and always a process..........and we can love and reason with people...and also let things go ....if they have to be let go...if someone doesn't see or 'disagrees' or whatever...because, that is between them and God and He is the One doing the revealing....not us....we can't beat the new covenant teaching into anyone....so when someone like in a group you belong to or whatever...(Bible study group) or just a friend or an aquaintance. ... is not 'getting it', the best thing to do....is ....just love them through it...pray that the Holy Spirit would reveal Truth to them....that their spirits would hear and see.... and that might be stem from seeing Christ in you.....That is what I was impressed with last night and to see the Light start to come on in a life that so desperately needs to know that Light in a real way....that is awesome.
Thanks again to those who nudged me to this place that I am ....not staying here....but living here right now...right where I am..with Him... now....and allowing me to ask for the Holy Spirit to allow revelation to continue to come onto me in this Life that is Christ....so much farther to go.....but O Joy of Joys.....what a journey it is turning into!!
1 Corinthians 2:1-10 (NASB)
"And when I came to you, brethren, I did not come with superiority of speech or of wisdom, proclaiming to you the testimony of God.
For I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified.
I was with you in weakness and in fear and in much trembling,
And my message and my preaching were not in persuasive words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power,
So that your faith would not rest on the wisdom of men, but on the power of God.
Yet we do speak wisdom among those who are mature; a wisdom, however, not of this age nor of the rulers of the age, who are passing away;
But we speak God's wisdom in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God predestined before the ages to our glory.
The wisdom which none of the rulers of this age has understood, for if they had understood it they would not have crucified the Lord of glory;
But just as it is written,
Things which eye has not seen and ear has not heard,
And which have not entered the heart of man,
All that God has prepared for those who love Him."
For to us God revealed them through the Spirit, for the Spirit searches all things, even the depths of God."
Thursday, November 30, 2006
Wednesday, November 29, 2006
So many things I realize that I could live without
So many things that I despise and still I live them out
There's so many reasons in my brokenness it seems
To lose my life and let a Servant be my King
I've been crucified with Christ
And I no longer live
Jesus.... forever lives in me
So many words that never say the way I really feel
So many ways to live a life to make 'I love You' real
There's so many times I know I'll choose to die to me
To magnify the One who died to make me free
I've been crucified with Christ
And I no longer live
Jesus.... forever lives in me
Your Name is high and exalted
Far above everything that's named
Your Name's the only name, Jesus
By which all men can be saved
Your Name is a strong tower
I run to You and I am safe
My greatest honour, Lord,
Is to speak Your Name
Jesus, my Lord Jesus
Emmanuel, You are with us
Jesus, Jesus, Jesus
Christ is the Lord
I come and behold You
You cover me
Lord I have set my love on You
I dwell within
Your secret place
Under Your shadow Mighty god
Monday, November 27, 2006
|My thoughtful and insightful brother, J. Samuel Thomas .....is reading Sparks.....how absolutely wonderful for him. This is from his blog. Never think you are not being read in the blogosphere. Your thoughts because of Christ in you.....touch others. |
"Yet Another Profound Statement From T. Austin Sparks."
The True Church Now With Christ In Heaven
"Why am I saying that? Because it is of very great practical application and value. For the Church is a heavenly body, seated with Him (Eph. 2:6). We therefore need have no moment’s worry about the true Church.
Come down to the earth and see how men worry about their ‘church’, and their churches, and their ‘things’. They have got to look after the ‘thing’: they have got to take care of it, they have got to keep it. They are the custodians of this thing, and they watch jealously and fiercely over it. What a lot of worry they have, and what a lot of trouble—just because it is something on the earth that has got to be looked after.
What a grand thing it is, then, to be in the realm of the heavenly Church, where there is no need to worry about trying to preserve something and keep it going and see that it does not pass out!
There is nothing of that at all about a work that is a heavenly work, that is united with Christ in Heaven. There is all the difference when you are on heavenly ground. You need not worry or fret to try and keep the thing going, lest it should break down, and you would be left without your ‘pet’, without the thing for which you spent all your time and your resources.
A heavenly thing is in the custodianship of One Who—thank God—is above all these things, and at rest."
Do you know that?
1) Psalm 118 is the middle chapter of the entire Bible.
2) Before Psalm 118, Psalm 117 is the shortest chapter in the Bible.
3) After Psalm 118, Psalm 119 is the longest chapter in the Bible.
4) There are 594 chapters each before and and after Psalm 118.
5) That if you add up all the chapters except Psalm 118, you get a total of 1188 chapters.
6) Incidentally, 1188 or Psalm 118 verse 8 also is the middle verse of the entire Bible.
The central verse should have a fairly important message don't you think?
Here it is.
Psalm 118:8 "It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man."
Hmmmm......Truth is stranger than fiction!
Sunday, November 26, 2006
Psalm 23 (The Message)
God, my shepherd!
I don't need a thing.
You have bedded me down in lush meadows,
You find me quiet pools to drink from.
True to Your word,
You let me catch my breath and send me in the right direction.
Even when the way goes through
I'm not afraid
When You walk at my side.
Your trusty shepherd's crook
Makes me feel secure.
You serve me a six-course dinner
Right in front of my enemies.
You revive my drooping head;
My cup brims with blessing.
Your beauty and love chase after me
Every day of my life.
I'm back home in the house of God
For the rest of my life.
Wednesday, November 22, 2006
|How do we live in a world that is so performance oriented, so success oriented, so posession driven and so intent on doing everything possible to make everything about what you have, what you look like, what you can do in your own ability, what you can achieve in your own strength, as believers? When me, myself and I, are of the utmost importance, when the top 5% of the people in the world (my statistic), make the rules, the standards for our behaviors, our acceptance quotient ....you know? How do you live, how do you relate to others, your family, how do you expect our kids to understand and emulate anything other than what they see in the world around them ...secular or Christian mind you because as of late and probably for a long, long time....one seems no better than the other?|
This question, topic came up this week....it is a biggie....because as we look around, things are not too great....things are frustrating and scary and painful and just not right.....
The answer is simple....we cannot do anything....we will not now or ever change anybody, ourself included, no matter how bad things get, look and actually are. The way is not about doing anything....unless it be by just coming to the place of complete brokenness and realizing that it is here that total surrender to God (all our self, our rights, our actions, our lives, really) is the only response to this despair that is around us. As we allow Christ in us to touch others through us, in that one-on-one wonderful, spiritual, amazing way that He does....things happen....not because of us....because it is Him....and He is the only answer to other people's pain and disappointments. It is in that supernatural exchange of Him and His character that others realize (or not), that this is something different....something good.....something real.....and something they are desperately seeking......!
I checked out walkingchurch this a.m. and saw a stirring account from T. Austin Sparks.....shared by RoG.....and my thoughts were ....about how different we all are in spite of our sameness because it is the same Christ that we live in and move in and have our being in.....and how no way no how....do I want to be anything more....in this world's estimation.....there is way too much disappointment out there.....unless He is the one leading me there.....and I wonder why would He? There is an insurmountable amount of stuff that He is doing right here....one-on-one.....through this very imperfect and badly battered vessel....and that is sometimes more than I can fathom.....how I so appreciate the ones that He has used to minister Himself through to me.....I don't need more or any fame or name or other than what is here....it is enough...it is more than "I" can handle....I marvel that He is doing things in the people around me......glimpses of lives....in the process He is manufacturing for them.....one time meetings....life-long relationships....He is the one making the difference....whatever my situation or circumstance.....from mountaintop to valley low....makes no never mind to the One who can work through anyone .....anytime.....to others....as we continue to keep our eyes....spiritual and otherwise on Him alone.....everything else is just not satisfying......and everyone else is just not enough. He is Grace.....He is the One....that can do anything....but it probably won't be large-scale movements and miracles....although He can do that.....but I see Him in the way I view Him so much in the Word as He ministered.....so miraculously ....one-to-one......as He touched the lives of the individual...right there in front of Him.....focussed on that one heart....giving His love and time and attention to that one......that is how we live ....and how we can continue on in this world....by allowing Him....to touch the lives of those around us....right where we are.....at this moment....not looking for an opportune time, not looking for a better thing....a better audience...a more perfect appointment......just stepping out of the frame...and letting Him do what He would. Nothing else will work.
How cool it is when this life we live in Him, just flows from one moment to another.....all connected....all relationally connected....all set in motion to astound and amaze us as we see His Hand, His direction, His agenda...on us....on me.....how much He is enthralled with the likes of me. This I do not understand at times. But He has impressed upon me this week who I truly am.....and I know that He is the One who has shown me this in a very real and Hands on way if you will. His grace is sufficient for today...for me....for this moment....as I need to see it...He knows all this and at times the glimpses of this blow me away.
Sorry for the ramble.....sorry if you don't understand.....He knows of what I speak.
Saturday, November 18, 2006
Winning into Freedom
If there is even a trace of individual self-satisfaction left in us, it always says, "I can't surrender," or "I can't be free." But the spiritual part of our being never says "I cant"; it simply soaks up everything around it. Our spirit hungers for more and more. It is the way we are built. We are designed with a great capacity for God, but sin, our own individuality, and wrong thinking keep us from getting to Him. God delivers us from sin - we have to deliver ourselves from our individualtiy. This means offering our natural life to God and sacrificing it to Him, so He may transform it into spiritual life through our obedience.
God pays no attention to our natural individuality in the development of our spiritual life. His plan runs right through our natural life. We must see to it that we aid and assist God, and not stand against Him by saying, "I can't do that." God will not discipline us; we must discipline ourselves. God will not bring our "arguments...and every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ" (2 Corinthians 10:5) - we have to do it. Don't say, "Oh, Lord, I suffer from wandering thoughts." Don't suffer from wandering thoughts. Stop listening to the tyranny of your individual natural life and win freedom into the spiritual life.
"If the Son makes you free...." Do not substitute Savior for Son in this passage. The Savior has set us free from sin, but this is the freedom that comes from being set free from myself by the Son. It is what Paul meant in Galatians 2:20 when he said, "I have been crucified with Christ..." His individuality had been broken and his spirit had been united with his Lord; not just merged into Him, but made one with Him."...you shall be free indeed" - free to the very core of your being: free from the inside to the outside. We tend to rely on our own energy, instead of being energized by the power that comes from identification with Jesus.
Be conscious of God. Romans 8.
Thursday, November 09, 2006
Taken from Neil T. Anderson's book... Victory Over the Darkness.
Who I Am in Christ
I am Secure....
Romans 8:1-2 I am free forever from condemnation
Romans 8:28 I am assured all works together for good.
Romans 8:31-34 I am free from any charge against me.
Romans 8:35-39 I cannot be separated from the love of God.
2 Corinthians 1:21-22 I am established, anointed, sealed by God.
Colossians 3:3 I am hidden with Christ in God.
Philippians 3:20 I am a citizen of heaven.
2 Timothy 1:7 I have not been given a spirit of fear, but of power, love and a sound mind.
Hebrews 4:16 I can find grace and mercy in time of need.
1 John 5:18 I am born of God; the evil one cannot touch me.
Monday, November 06, 2006
An Eritrean gospel singer, jailed because of her Christian beliefs and allegedly tortured, has been released after two years in detention, said Amnesty International.
The human rights group announced Helen Berhane was let go after being held without charge at the Mai Serwa military camp north of the capital Asmara.
"She’s not in good health but at least she's released," Martin Hill of Amnesty told BBC radio on Sunday.
"We understand she’s at her home, or her family home."
Hill said the singer was confined to a wheelchair, the culmination of injuries to her feet and legs.
"The authorities reportedly tortured her many times to make her recant her faith," Amnesty International said in a statement. The organization said it didn't know the exact day Berhane was let go, but concluded that it happened this week.
The group's website says the 30-year-old performer was arrested on May 13, 2004, shortly after she released an album of Christian music. She was detained after refusing to sign a document vowing to end all participation in Christian activities.
The site said Berhane "spent most of her time in detention in a metal shipping container, suffocating hot during the day and freezing cold at night" with no toilet or washing facilities.
Eritrean government criticizes Amnesty
Eritrea's Foreign Minister Ali Abdu denies any knowledge of her case. Instead, he reacted to Amnesty International's announcement by attacking the organization.
"Who has given them the right to be the global police of this world?" said Abdu.
Amnesty International says 2,000 members of evangelical church groups have been arrested over several years.
The government permits only three Christian groups to meet: Orthodox, evangelical Lutheran, and Catholics. Berhane belonged to the unregistered Rema Church.
The number of Muslims and Christians in the African nation are about equal, but the government fears an imbalance could create a violent conflict and is concerned about a rising number of Christian groups.
The U.S. State Department listed Eritrea in September among eight countries cited for severe violations of religious freedoms. The others were: Iran, Burma, China, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Sudan and Vietnam.
With files from the Associated Press
Sunday, November 05, 2006
Spiritual Warfare and Sin: Don't Suffer Shipwreck
This charge I commit to you, son Timothy, according to the prophecies
previously made concerning you, that by them you may wage the good
warfare, having faith and a good conscience, which some having
rejected, concerning the faith have suffered shipwreck....
--1 Timothy 1:18-19
Yet the ministry is one of the most perilous of professions. The
devil hates the Spirit-filled minister with an intensity second only
to that which he feels for Christ Himself. The source of this hatred
is not difficult to discover. An effective, Christ-like minister is
a constant embarrassment to the devil, a threat to his dominion, a
rebuttal of his best arguments and a dogged reminder of his coming
overthrow. No wonder he hates him.
Satan knows that the downfall of a prophet of God is a strategic
victory for him, so he rests not day or night devising hidden snares
and deadfalls for the ministry. Perhaps a better figure would be the
poison dart that only paralyzes its victim, for I think that Satan
has little interest in killing the preacher outright. An
ineffective, half-alive minister is a better advertisement for hell
than a good man dead. So the preacher's dangers are likely to be
spiritual rather than physical, though sometimes the enemy works
through bodily weaknesses to get to the preacher's soul.
God Tells the Man Who Cares, 90-91.
"Lord, the battle is intense and the enemy is strong. I pray for
every one of my fellow-servants this morning, especially those who
may be close to succumbing. Give Your great grace and victory
|Okay, so .... I haven't posted since ....|
Attended the Grace Walk Conference in Waterloo this weekend. See prior post about this. What can I say....it was a great review of some truths that I have accepted and a wonderful time to prepare for an upcoming study of these very truths that were reviewed at this conference. One very exciting thing to come out of the conference was that new life in Christ was accepted by one attending. Hallelujah! He uses all venues to bring those He so chooses unto Himself at His appointed time. To think that this new believer starts their journey with a strong message of who they now are in Christ...what that identity is and looks like and how God will reveal all to them as they just learn to fully trust in Christ who is their Life, was just truly joy unspeakable.
Another truly wonderful part of this time was being able to share this experience with my two daughters and their friend who came along for the purposes of "shopping" and having a short pre-winter weekend get-away. Three 16 year old girls and me....what a time was had by all. :) It never fails to amaze me how the minds of teenage girls work and this time with them, out of the normal routines, provided joy unspeakable to me as well. It was a time to share, a time to listen and a time to watch as every detail and every discussion was an opportunity for Him to teach us at the very place we are....what He is doing and who He is and how that is lived out in our lives wherever we are. So very cool and I am glad that He allowed me this time to see all of that!
We stayed at a very nice Inn just outside of St. Jacobs and I would love to return to this area a little earlier in the fall another time to breathe in the uniqueness and beauty that exhibits itself there. Again, I digress.
What I really wanted to post was that as I caught up with the things at home after a very long...nap...I read the news release about Ted Haggard. This just reminded me of how precious this life in Christ is and how when one focusses on self and not on Him....no matter who you are...no matter where you are.... how that can change your life, how you must live with the consequences of failing to look to Jesus who is the very Life you live if you know Him....really know Him. We who know what our true identity in Christ is ....know that the flesh can rise up in a man...or a woman...and that has nothing to do with who that man or woman is in Christ....and only God knows the heart of this man... but the enemy is chuckling today....what a blow to the 'evangelical' circles....another broken life .... we can accept this and know that yep, we all can allow these things to interfere with our relationship with Christ and know that it is not anything to do with who we are in Christ...that this is brokenness in raw form....and we all come to that place and sometimes over and over again....we have all been there in one form or another...and how Haggard responds is entirely about His relationship with Christ but it hurts 'the church', and gives ammunition to those who do not know .....and that makes my heart ache for this man....for his family....for all who are brought to their knees ....because of the flesh....because of self....whatever you want to call it....and for all those who turn away from 'the church' because of this. We know that this brokenness is sometimes not only necessary but beneficial.....and yet this shakes us still.....But God, will work this for His good .....idols of man are tumbling down....and God is still God and we are not.....and He is still on the Throne. May He take the Haggard family and the Haggard 'followers' through this time of brokenness.