My husband and I have been wrestling with this question for so many, many years! At first it began with helping our kids, helping our family, helping our neighbors, helping our church, helping the homeless and then it moves on to trying to help those you have never met face to face. The many questions that run through our minds and offered in prayers seem endless. Everyone has an opinion and at times it becomes almost overwhelming to the point of inaction for what needs to be done in the moment.
Lord, we are on our knees asking how to help those most in need, today! Guide our funds into the hands of those who would help the widows, orphans, hungry and destitute. Help us to move beyond thinking we need to fatten ourselves, comfort ourselves, entertain ourselves and we speak to ourselves first and foremost.
A light layer of dust on the packed dirt was just enough to allow a good shuffle for my naked soles. The ground flat and smooth was well lit beneath a full moon. Here in this place I could be alone with the one who would dance with me. No embarrassment, no shame and no worrying what anyone else would think of my moves. Like a little girl I could twirl with my Father’s hand holding my own. My laughter pleased Him and His eyes were full of love and joy; making me dance for Him all the more.
My ears were flooded with music, each song just as good as the next….”Dance with me oh lover of my soul, to the song of all songs…dance with me, I want to be your partner can’t you see, the music is just starting and I am falling, dance with me, I can take you where you want to go…You steady me, slow and sweet, we sway…you spin me round and round, and we dance”
*Dance With Me, Chris Dupre, Dance With Me, Orleans, We Dance, Bethel Music
There is a book in the bible written by the king Solomon. He had all wisdom (the bible says wisdom not given before or since) and of course all the wealth of any desire. In the book Ecclesiastes he wrote of all he chased and built, but at the end of the day, without God it meant nothing. One of the verses in this book is Ecc 3:11, “Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end.”
I have given a great deal of thought to those few words, “He has planted eternity in the human heart”. When we look at the history of humanity, people have been trying for millennium to seek ways to live longer. We strive in our human ways to achieve that. Medicine, science, philosophies about reincarnation! An idea I put before you is this…why would God plant the desire of eternity in our hearts if He didn’t intend for us to long for it and seek it for ourselves? He then gave us His Word in the bible about how to attain it. However to hold onto the promises we have to understand who God is…Numbers 23:19 “ God is not a man, so He does not lie. He is not human, so He does not change his mind. Has He ever spoken and failed to act? Has He ever promised and not carried it through?”
Definition of ‘eternal’…lasting or existing forever; without end or beginning
I share but a few verses spoken of the eternal…
that everyone who believes may have eternal life in him
For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day
I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand
1 John 1:2
The life appeared; we have seen it and testify to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and has appeared to us
1 John 5:11
And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son
1 John 5:13
I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life
Our greatest foe in the battle of faith today is public opinion. Oh how free one is when we no longer care about what man thinks of our walk of faith. History is a great teacher of those who suffered more for Christ, yet cared less about what man said of them.
Let me be the cheerleader of those who would speak the ‘whole counsel of God’s word’. Those who would not let shaming words of the compromised hold them back from sharing the burning heart of Christ. Need to speak of love? Do so! Need to speak of hope? Do so! Need to speak of sin? Do so! Need to speak of hell? Do so! Need to speak of grace? Do so, but tell the whole truth! We will be held accountable for all we said, but also for what we knew and did not say.
Heb 10:26-31 For if we go on sinning deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a fearful expectation of judgment, and a fury of fire that will consume the adversaries. Anyone who has set aside the law of Moses dies without mercy on the evidence of two or three witnesses. How much worse punishment, do you think, will be deserved by the one who has trampled underfoot the Son of God, and has profaned the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has outraged the Spirit of grace? For we know him who said, “Vengeance is mine; I will repay.” And again, “The Lord will judge his people.” It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
Eze 33:3-6 When the watchman sees the enemy coming, he sounds the alarm to warn the people. Then if those who hear the alarm refuse to take action, it is their own fault if they die. They heard the alarm but ignored it, so the responsibility is theirs. If they had listened to the warning, they could have saved their lives. But if the watchman sees the enemy coming and doesn’t sound the alarm to warn the people, he is responsible for their captivity. They will die in their sins, but I will hold the watchman responsible for their deaths.
Yesterday I heard a friend speak, “doesn’t it just seem like the world’s gone mad?” I sat there in silence. What could my words add to such a statement of truth?
Closing my eyes I prayed silently, trying to make sense of a senseless moment in our time. Reaching for my bible and seeking solace, I was given a greater truth…For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith.
Freedom on Memorial day? I am in awe of those who paid the price for me to even write a sentence which challenges cultural thinking. Yes on Memorial Day we acknowledge those who gave their lives to the ideal we should not be under oppression of any kind. With freedom comes choice. One of the most asked questions about God and Jesus is, “if God is so good and about love then why does He allow such bad things to happen”. Well with freedom comes opportunity for us all to make bad choices. We can often react like petulant children in this regard. We want our freedom but when things go bad we want to blame the very hand of the One who gave us the freedom we strived to ask for.
Today I pray for those families who have given life and limb for winning and maintaining my status of freedom. Then I pray for those who will be challenged in these upcoming years to not only hold onto our freedoms culturally, but fight for the freedom of others across the world.
There is an overwhelming number of posts online showing the American flag next to memorial stones of white crosses, reminding us of the fallen who have fought for our country’s resolve to be one which has freedom. Why these crosses? It was Jesus alone who died on a cross paying for our ultimate freedom. Loving us completely our Lord still lets us choose what we will do with our freedom.
Memorial definition: something, especially a structure, established to remind people of a person or event, a statement of facts, especially as the basis of a petition.
Freedom definition: the power or right to act, speak, or think as one wants without hindrance or restraint, absence of subjection to foreign domination or despotic government, the state of not being imprisoned or enslaved.
When someone needs a hug, do that. When someone needs a ride, do that. When someone needs you to listen, don’t speak. When someone needs to eat, feed them. When someone needs help, help them. Most of all, when someone needs love, love them. It can be difficult to understand what love looks like to each person, but sometimes, it means just simply loving them no matter.
*Thank you brother for inspiring and reminding me to keep it simple.
The man was tired; his eyes scratchy from the wind and grit of looking into the distance. Worse still was the dryness of his throat where he had been crying out time and time again warnings or encouragement to others from his manned position on the watchtower. His was a lonely post where the elements took their toll. At times he felt the desire to descend from this place of watching, into places of more comfort and less responsibility.
Now and again he’d put his foot onto the rung of the ladder leading down into a safer, more inviting, environment. It was in these moments when he’d be reminded of all those he was watching out for. Bowing his head he’d rinse his eyes with fresh water and take a good hearty drink, refreshing himself and his voice once again.
It was time to stoke the fire which kept him warm. It wasn’t enough to poke at coals for comfort; it was time to stir them into a fiery signal to be seen at a distance. His brothers and sisters needed to be encouraged he was watching with them.
More and more we have to ask ourselves as the western church, are we doing what we can? I can’t tell you how often I’ve been encouraged, instructed and sometimes even drilled by our churches in regards to bringing all the tithe into the house! What is rarely discussed is how any of us should be ‘giving’ to necessary needs. Forgive me if I poke at your conscience or that of your pastor’s. Not my intention for a moment to offend; just asking a question.
Let me give examples of needs. Many churches want bigger buildings for more seats to reach more people. Fair enough if we are limiting our vision to fill our own buildings. I myself confess it was a wonderful thing to come to such buildings and I found safety in some of the people there. But why not also use the parks where we can reach everyone? Permits? Fear of those who might take umbrage? Weather? More work to set up our ‘shows’ with sound/lighting equipment? Isn’t God’s Word as powerful in truth no matter the surroundings? Just asking a question.
This is the moment I look at my bible, reading every word! Yes, they had tents, synagogues, houses even. But they also had rivers, roads, outdoor events and dare I say, desert places where people simply were thirsty. Are we limiting what God can do by staying focused upon our planted buildings which, like barns, we desire to make larger in order to store more? Just asking a question.
I earlier asked, “are we doing what we can as the western church”? I have to look around to say ‘no’, we aren’t even close. Yes, we are taught on a regular basis how to give for the needs of our local body and I do agree we should. But let’s be brutally honest about this. If we were the real church that is written about in our book of truth, would we be concerned if there were enough funds to provide for our own comfort and agendas rather than offer what we have to feed our brethren in dire need? Have we “distributed to each as anyone had need”, or did we make a law about having a benevolence fund where we put our building plans above the brethren making their rent or utility payment. More importantly, what about feeding that family without a roof who are running from gunfire because they said they believed in Christ. Just asking a question.
In Paul’s epistles he mentioned many times the offerings of the saints for other regions. We must be awakened to needs not faced before in many of our lives. With the current upheavals throughout the world it becomes apparent we should not be passive. What would it look like to the world if we as professed Christians give offerings to clothe, feed and help our brethren even if it costs our own comfort? Just asking a question.
***Let me be crystal clear to say how much I love my brothers and sisters who serve regions, cities and community. Don’t let my words bring any division to other visions or words of directions.
We love to read of great feats and heroic tales; the inspiring trials of overcoming all odds. We hold these stories and testimonials up telling ourselves, “I want to have that kind of courage, I want to be that heroic.” Everyone of us gets the opportunity to rise up in courage. Our personal stories may be different from those we have read but they are our stories nonetheless.
It’s the moments in between the overcoming that rattle one’s senses. The place where you cradle your head while telling your body to just breathe. In these places you are alone with the Lord asking the incredible question, “What do I do next?” When the answer is, “wait”, our trial begins; all the while doing our best to just breathe.
Isa 40:31 But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.