Friday, May 30, 2008
Thursday, May 29, 2008
Add on....Obviously the Louie mentioned was Louie Giglio (I know this now thanks to some faithful readers of the blog) :)
"He (Louie) was talking about how inconceivably BIG our God is..how He spoke the Universe into being...how He breathes stars out of His mouth that are huge raging balls of fire...etc. etc. Then He went on to speak of how this star-breathing, universe creating God ALSO knitted our human bodies together with amazing detail and wonder. At this point I am LOVING it (fascinating from a medical standpoint, you know.) ....and I was remembering how I was constantly amazed during medical school as I learned more and more about God's handiwork. I remember so many times thinking....'How can ANYONE deny that a Creator did all of this???' Louie went on to talk about how we can trust that the God who created all this, also has the power to hold it all together when things seem to be falling apart...how our loving Creator is also our sustainer. And then I lost my breath. And it wasn't because I was running my treadmill, either!!! It was because he started talking about laminin. I knew about laminin. Here is how wikipedia describes them :'Laminins are a family of proteins that are an integral part of the structural scaffolding of basement membranes in almost every animal tissue.' You see....Laminins are what hold us together....LITERALLY. They are cell adhesion molecules. They are what holds one cell of our bodies to the next cell. Without them, we would literally fall apart. And I knew all this already. But what I didn't know is what laminin LOOKED LIKE. But now I do. And I have thought about it a thousand times since (already).... Here is what the structure of laminin looks like...AND THIS IS NOT a 'Christian portrayal' of it....if you look up laminin in any scientific/medical piece of literature, this is what you will see...
Now tell me that our God is not the coolest!!! Amazing!The 'glue' that holds us together....ALL of us....is in the shape of the cross.Immediately Colossians 1:15-17 comes to mind. 'He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by him all things were created; things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things HOLD TOGETHER.' Colossians 1:15-17 Thousands of years before the world knew anything about laminin, Paul penned those words. And now we see that from a very LITERAL standpoint, we are held together...one cell to another....by the cross. You would never in a quadrillion years convince me that is anything other than the mark of a Creator who knew EXACTLY what laminin 'glue' would look like long before Adam even breathed his first breath!! We praise YOU, Lord!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
Thursday, May 22, 2008
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
Monday, May 19, 2008
"Christianity is not a collection of truths to be believed, of laws to be obeyed...Christianity is a person, one who loved us so much, one who calls for our love. Christianity is Christ."
1 John 3:14
We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love our brothers. Anyone who does not love remains in death.
Thoughts based on Ray Stedman's Devotions based on his teaching.
It is rather fascinating that the apostle who wrote this has become known as the apostle of love. But if you read the gospel records of John, you will note that this is not his nature at all. He and his brother James earned from Jesus the title "Sons of Thunder" (Mark 3:17) because they were constantly wanting to blast back at those who opposed them. John's temperament was not naturally inclined to show love. But when he was born again, there was born into his heart the life of God, and this man began to show love.
Such love is the sign of the new life. It is a love that you not only extend toward those who love you, but toward those who do not love you. It is a love that does not depend upon a reciprocal relationship but loves the unlovely, the unqualified, the ungrateful, the selfish, and the difficult. This, then, is the character of true love, and it is always evidence that a new life has come, the life born of God.
Sunday, May 18, 2008
2 Corinthians 5
"No atonement in the New Covenant Economy. Jesus did not cover our sins. He took them away.
It is only in the receiving of Christ that changes a man.
Jesus died because God reached out to sinful man to reconcile man.
Jesus died for our sins so that we might be made the righteousness of Christ in God. It is all about relationship, intimacy and acceptance by God and by the way we get to go to Heaven. Heaven was made to be a present day reality.
Our message to the world is not that if you mess up you will pay. He has already paid. Our message is to tell what has already be done.
The word (logos) of reconciliation. We have been reconciled! 50 saints to 3 sinners mentioned in the New Testament. Saint means holy one of God.
This is the Good News....something that has been done, not something you have to do. We need to receive what has been done. This is our message - to tell what has been done. We are the ambassadors of God. Freedom! We speak with all authority from God, when we share the Gospel. And He through us leads them to freedom. No shame, no guilt, only freedom.
In Christ, you are the righteousness of God. "
Do you believe?
Friday, May 16, 2008
F. B. Meyer
Just got into "Intercessory Prayer" by Dutch Sheets as recommended by a brother in Christ (thanks meeting of one) and looking forward to Father opening my spiritual eyes to some of the thoughts in this book. It appears to have some amazing testimonials and some very powerful thoughts on what intercessory prayer is to this author as he has experienced.
Romans 8:26-30 (Young's Literal Translation)
26 And, in like manner also, the Spirit doth help our weaknesses; for, what we may pray for, as it behoveth [us], we have not known, but the Spirit himself doth make intercession for us with groanings unutterable,
27 and He who is searching the hearts hath known what [is] the mind of the Spirit, because according to God he doth intercede for saints.
28 And we have known that to those loving God all things do work together for good, to those who are called according to purpose;
29 because whom He did foreknow, He also did fore-appoint, conformed to the image of His Son, that he might be first-born among many brethren;
30 and whom He did fore-appoint, these also He did call; and whom He did call, these also He declared righteous; and whom He declared righteous, these also He did glorify.
From Chapter 7:
"..... The Lord is saying that we don't always know what needs to happen in a given situation. We don't always know what is necessary or right.
I find myself wondering at times, How do I pray for this person or this situation, Lord? What needs to happen?
At other times I have felt led by the Holy Spirit to pray for someone, yet had no way at that moment of knowing why the person needed prayer.
Sometimes mature intercessors are prompted by the Lord to pray, and not only do they no know what they are praying for, but they also don't know for whom they are praying. They just feel a burden to pray. Talk about a weakness - an inability to produce results. Talk about not knowing what is "necessary, right or proper" in a situation.
What do we do in these circumstances? This is when the Holy Spirit wants to help us. He will lead us as we pray, perhaps revealing things about the situation to us, or bringing Scriptures to our minds so that we can pray them in the situation. He will certainly help us by empowering our prayers. But another way He wants to help us is by literally praying through us as we pray in the Spirit."
And this is where it gets interesting and thrilling to me. Unchartered territory in some ways in my prayer life....the odd and the wonderful......stretching me and opening up the preconceived ways of thinking on things....the way they are supposed to be...or have always been. I like being uncomfortable in this place of uncertainty (this hasn't always been the case :), and I am open now like I have never been before. It used to send me running.....now I am there knowing that it has absolutely nothing to do with me....a vessel in His Hands. Let His Glory Fall.
Friday, May 09, 2008
"I am learning the difference between saying prayers, which is an activity, and praying, which is a soul attitude, a "lifting up of the mind to God." Praying in that sense can transform every task, from shoveling snow to defragmenting a computer's hard disk."
Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances.
Let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise.
...always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests.
"I used to read such passages in a fog of guilt, imagining saints who prayed through the night, building up calluses on their knees. I read them differently now, not as a perpetual guilt-trip but as a call to a Godward orientation. Prayer means keeping company with God who is already present. My very concern about the people and issues I pray for actually manifests God's presence within me. I need not jump up and down like a child, shouting, "Look at me!" God is close by, if only I tune in."
Love this, love this...... Cool!
More from "Be Encouraged" by Charles R. Swindoll.
"....give God praise! You're among that elite group mentioned in 1 Corinthians 12:22-24 as:"
"In fact, some parts of the body that seem weakest and least important are actually the most necessary.
And the parts we regard as less honorable are those we clothe with the greatest care. So we carefully protect those parts that should not be seen,
while the more honorable parts do not require this special care. So God has put the body together such that extra honor and care are given to those parts that have less dignity."
"Nobodies ...... Exalting Somebody.
Are you one? Listen to me! It's the "nobodies" Somebody chooses so carefully. And when He has selected you for that role, He does not consider you a nobody.
As Jim Palmer calls us ..... divine nobodies.
Tuesday, May 06, 2008
But whoever hates his brother is in the darkness and walks around in the darkness; he does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded him.
From the daily devotional based on the teachings of Ray Stedman.
John says that he who hates his brother is not a Christian. He is "in the darkness," and he has never come out of it. To say you are in the light and yet hate your brother is a basic denial of faith. Such an attitude of hostility, indifference, or unconcern toward another is a mark of an unregenerate life.
The apostle John says that he who hates his brother is in the darkness and does not know where he is going. He has no understanding that this can lead to murder or to mayhem. He goes blindly on, stumbling on in his hateful attempt to do evil to his friend, brother, or companion, whoever it may be. But the result is, he is only damaging himself and all he loves.
Furthermore, he is blinded. John says, "the darkness has blinded his eyes." The word that is used here means "to make insensitive," and it implies that if we live in this way, we ultimately come to the place where we no longer can respond. Hatred grips us and hardens our heart, and it can no longer be softened.
Christians may temporarily succumb to this kind of thing. They can walk in darkness temporarily, but they no longer are children of darkness. The light of God's love has come into their hearts. If they are not aware of a struggle between the expression of hate or have a sense of concern or guilty conscience over their hateful attitude, then they ought to wonder whether they have really passed from death into life. This is something that the Spirit of God will inevitably deal within the Christian and break, and it may sometimes be by very difficult measures.
I remember an occasion when I was counseling with a woman about a physical problem that really had a spiritual basis in her experience. I discovered she hated another person for years. Hate had turned her bitter and rancid and had poisoned all her thoughts. I said to her, "You must find it in your heart to forgive this person, as God has forgiven you."
She looked at me and said, "I can't forgive her; I'll never forgive her!"
I said, "But God says you must. If you can't, then you need to face the fact that you are not a Christian, because if you can't forgive, then you've never been born again."
She looked at me and said, "I guess you're right. I know I am a Christian, and I see I have just been deceiving myself. I need to forgive." And she did! There came a change in that woman's life that was like night turning to day.
Christians can delude themselves into going along with the world's attitude that they cannot forgive. When worldlings hate, they find themselves locked in an unbreakable grip from which they cannot escape. But when the Son of God comes into their lives, the power of the evil one is broken, and they are delivered from this and can forgive. But we still must agree to it. God is not going to make us forgive apart from our own will, though the ability to do so is there.
Monday, May 05, 2008
"....you were prescribed and then presented to this world exactly as God arranged it."
"In our overly-populated, identity-crisis era, it is easy to forget this. Individuality is played down. We are asked to conform to the "system." Group opinion is considered superior to personal conviction and everything from the college fraternity to the businessman's service club tends to encourage our blending into the mold of the masses."
"...There is an "image" the church must maintain."
"Our fellowship must be warm, but filled with cliches. Our love must be expressed, but not without its cool boundaries. The creative, free, and sometimes completely different approach so threatens the keepers of the "image syndrome" that one wonders how we retain any draft of fresh air blown through the windows of flexibility and spontaneity."
"My mind lands upon a fig-picker from Tekoa...His name was Amos."
Do I write to an Amos? You don't "fit the mold"? Is that what sent you down into the valley of discouragement? You don't sound like every other Christian or look like the "standard" saint...or act like the majority?"
"What the church needs is a lot more faithful figpickers who have the courage to simply be themselves, regardless......He "arranged the parts in the body, every one of them, just as He wanted them to be" (1 Corinthians 12:18)
In writing this I remember however that there is a oneness in Christ. A union of saints by His Spirit. But our uniqueness remains. He made each of us in utter seclusion. (Psalm 139:13-16)Just me and Him...unique .... a one of a kind....but He longs for us to be one in Him. Communion with Him and each other. But not identical cookie cutter Christians.
Sunday, May 04, 2008
Excerpts from Encourage Me by Charles R. Swindoll
"You have become acquainted with disappointments, broken dreams, and disillusionment. Crisis seems to be your closest companion. Like a ten-pound sledge, your heartache has been pounding you dangerously near desperation. Unless I miss my guess, negativism and cynicism have crept in. You see little hope around the corner. As one wag put it, "The light at the end of the tunnel is the headlamp of an oncoming train."
"Tired, stumbling, beaten, discouraged friend, take heart! The Lord God can and will lift you up."
"The neighborhood bar is possibly the best counterfeit there is to the fellowship Christ wants to give His church. It's an imitation, dispensing liquor instead of grace, escape rather than reality, but it is a permissive, accepting and inclusive fellowship. It is unshockable. It is democratic. You can tell people secrets and they usually don't tell others or even want to. The bar flourishes not because most people are alcoholics, but because God has put into the human heart the desire to know and be known, to love and be loved, and so many seek a counterfeit at the price of a few beers."
"....Christ wants His church to be....a fellowship where people can come in and say, "I'm sunk!" "I'm beat!" "I've had it!"
"What do you need when circumstances puncture your fragile dikes and threaten to engulf your life with pain and confusion?"
You need a shelter....Where do you find encouragement?"
Friday, May 02, 2008
Devotional by Tozer
John 12:21 NKJV
"Then they came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida of Galilee, and asked him, saying, "Sir, we wish to see Jesus."
"Toward anything like thorough scholarship I make no claim. I am not an authority on any man's teaching; I have never tried to be. I take my help where I find it and set my heart to graze where the pastures are greenest. Only one stipulation do I make: my teacher must know God, as Carlyle said, "otherwise than by hearsay," and Christ must be all in all to him. If a man have only correct doctrine to offer me I am sure to slip out at the first intermission to seek the company of someone who has seen for himself how lovely is the face of Him who is the Rose of Sharon and the Lily of the Valley. Such a man can help me, and no one else can."
"Can anyone ask less, Lord? Yet how often do I and others enter with 'only correct doctrine' to offer and a 'hearsay' knowledge of God. Forgive me, Lord, and give me a fresh and new vision of You--so that any pasture I spread will be worth grazing in."