Three words…

…all civilizations, and ages both on earth and heaven hinges on them
…they profoundly transform those who hear, say, and believe them
…they annihilate shame, guilt, burden, loneliness,depression, and death
…they provide supernatural joy, freedom, and hope
…they expose and destroy all lies, suffering, and evil
…they hold all the mysteries of creation, time, and purpose
…they drag “lies” kicking and screaming into the light and banish darkness
…they wreak havoc on all evil authority and authenticity
…they redefine success and sincerity and sacrifice
…they are immediately understood and leave their mark when spoken
…they hold in their meaning all beginnings and endings
Three words…
“He is Risen”

I am a Contender

Photo by Rodolfo Clix

  Many people assume that faith means having a heart full of peace and quiet confidence in the Lord. I must tell you that I have not had quiet confidence lately. I have had a sad and sorrowful few days. I have been exhausted in every way. I have not had beautiful prayers rolling off my tongue. I have had a restlessness within me. I have NOT hidden my suffering or weaknesses which is absolutely the thing most Christians are either taught to do or somehow believe they must ONLY reveal to the unconverted world some formula or portrait that the walk of Faith means you won’t suffer. This is not to say that there is no relationship between faith and peace. There most certainly is, however the more extraordinary fact is as believers we often find ourselves in the position of having to fight for dear life just to recall the basics of our faith. As Jude wrote, we must “contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to those who follow Christ.”

One author said, The fabric of things break down; there is a failure of all human resources. But it is out of this very failure that the Lord speaks. To deny that suffering of all kinds has not only a legitimate but a central place in Christianity is to deny the gospel. “We must go through many hardships to enter the kingdom of God,” teaches Paul in Acts 14:22.

So friend, if you are feeling the strain of your journey. If you are grieving or sick or alone in your hardship I would like to encourage you as I have been encouraged through God’s Word that day after day I must take heart, put on the armor of righteousness, and face the enemy who would destroy my Faith if he could but he cannot because Jesus and Cross of Jesus which is the ultimate suffering is where the battle was fought and His resurrection is my strength and can be yours as well.

Quote credits: Mike Mason

At Street Level

at street level, the life of faith is always a matter of Trust. I am always reminded of this when I look around in a world I barely recognize. I desire Truth in my soul just like I need air to breathe.

…what is the power of this longing that this world cannot satisfly? It is the longing God placed in us for “paradise complete” and the “not yet”.

…at street level, the life of faith is always a matter of Trust.

“For we live by faith, not by sight.”

2 Corinthians 5:7

The Terror of The Thirties

woman wears black top close up photography

Photo by lilartsy 

The Terror of The thirties,  so say the Russians of old.

The Law of the first of December and  no one could escape the woes.

Hundreds of thousands upon thousands dead in the snow.

The Linengrad devil tried to steal their souls.

Randomly killed for a quota and no outcry could be heard.

Stalin killed his own family just to feed his evil rage.

Rivers of  blood shed we never seen to learn.

The terrors of the thirties let us turn the page.

River of Strength

There is no one else to follow Lord,

All the kings of this earth are fallen,

Not one is free from deceit and greed!

 

The steeple bells do not ring of Your good news Lord,

Many shepherds have disregarded you as Truth,

Oh but there is a River of Strength that makes gladness

 

I will follow the gladness of your River for she is strong

she is unshaken by destruction and her water strengthens  like honey

there is no other path to follow but she flows to your Throne

 

Gravity feels heavier…

Photo by Victor Freitas

I am breathing underwater and not wondering how

I am praying to be rescued but not sure if the time is now

Gravity feels heavier than it use to but in the water I am weightless

I can no longer hear the angry world and could not care less

You are so close I can hear but not touch you

You are The Holy One well acquainted with Truth

Human Nature

Photo by Ethan Jones

Four days ago I turned sixty-five. I always think and ponder life at this time of a new year. My sixth-five years of attempting to be a student of my human nature and yours have been interesting to say the least.

TRUTH: Humans are scared of what we don’t know, especially if it changes life as we know it.

Godly Wisdom: Change and failure MUST occur so that humans will grow. Most of us stop growing in our early twenties. Can you believe it? Ephesians 4:15-16 – But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, [even] Christ.

TRUTH: Parents desire things for their children that perhaps they missed or lost when they were children. Or worse, parents have the illusion of controlling their child’s happiness when it is simply a lie.

Godly Wisdom: Children are a gift and parents have a responsibility to raise them without resentment. Children are ours for a season in which we are to do our best to pour Truth into them. This can only be done in faithfulness to God’s Word and Jesus Christ. Ephesians 1:13 “and you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit… “

TRUTH: Grown humans often still “desire” something we did not get in childhood.

Godly Wisdom: Childhood is filled with wonder but just as well it is full of disappointment trauma, abuse and hurt. These must be recognized, named, worked on but according to God’s Word the do NOT define us. John 3:16. ” For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son that whoever believes in Him will have everlasting life. ”

TRUTH: Fear about what might happen is completely useless to us humans. 2 Timothy 1:7 ” for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and a sound mind. “

Conclusion: I am a feeble student at best. I have more questions than answers the longer I sojurn. I have seen the evil and the good. I have embraced God’s Holy Spirit pursuing me, and pointing me to Jesus Christ always! I have rebelled, stumbled, disobeyed, fallen, and I have been hated and have hated. I have seen the Transformation from dark was to light. I stand on the I infallible foundation that God is absolutely Good and their is no evil in Him whatsoever. I know this because humans are well acquainted with evil and there is none Good but God.

1 John 5:20 “We know also that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true. And we are in him who is true by being in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life.”

Carrying on. ..

The Reality of Inaccurate “feel good quotes” …

crop person hand in broken mirror

Photo by Bruno Pires 

Sometimes as I scroll my Facebook and Instagram I see what seems to be a fabulous and profound quote…but then…but wait…I saw one that said, “rise above the storm and you will find the sunshine.” Another one I saw said, “Nothing is worth it if you aren’t happy.”  Well, while this might sound like accurate loquaciousness in the emotional sense, it is not accurate in the journey of life, at least not in my experience of 64 years on the planet. A storm is defined in the dictionary this way, “a violent disturbance of the atmosphere with strong winds and usually rain, thunder, lightning, or snow OR a tumultuous reaction; an uproar or controversy.”

And happiness has nothing to do with some situation or someone’s worth…there are limitless relationships, and situations that are totally worth it and totally hard!

The Truth is that you are born into a storm, into a world of tumultuous reaction, uproar, and controversy. It is called a “Fallen World of Sin and therefore broken.” I see no way that a human being can “rise” above any storm on their own.    See Romans 6:23.

Some might see my outlook as discouraging which is not my goal. However, if you believe God’s Word and you read and understand what occurred in Genesis chapter 3 then you will also understand that if you read the whole Bible there is good news and a solution to “THE STORM”…and He, Jesus, is the provider of Joy.

That is because happiness is an emotion in which we “experience feelings ranging from contentment and satisfaction to bliss and intense pleasure,” whereas joy “is a stronger, less common feeling than happiness.”  (Dr, Hud McWilliams). We experience joy when we achieve selflessness to the point of personal sacrifice.”

In the storm of an abusive childhood, or a miscarriage, a broken marriage, a health battle, an addiction, a mental illness, financial destitution, a death of your most beloved, and on the list goes…there is not a way around this storm! This storm touches everything and everyone from sunrise to sunset…There is no place in scripture where it says that we, in and of ourselves, will rise above anything. “Jesus said, without me, you can do nothing.” John 15:5

Many places in scripture we are promised, by God, that he will go with us through the storm, the suffering, and His Spirit will not leave nor forsake us. It does not tell us that we will be relieved from the lonely unlit path of the storm or that we will not get hurt by the storm. Again, the promise is that God will be with us through the pain.

In a time when Bible illiteracy in and outside of the Church is evident, I believe words of encouragement need to be accurate more than ever.

2 Corinthians 1:3 “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.