Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Brokenness Aside

This song is so powerful!!

Brokenness Aside - by All Sons and Daughters

Will your grace run out
If I let you down 
‘Cause all I know
Is how to run

‘Cause I am a sinner 
If its not one thing its another
Caught up in words 
Tangled in lies 
You are the Savior 
And you take brokenness aside
And make it beautiful 

Will you call me child
When I tell you lies 
Cause all I know 
Is how to cry 

I am a sinner 
If its not one thing its another 
Caught up in words 
Tangled in lies 
You are the Savior 
And you take brokenness aside
And make it beautiful 

You make it beautiful
You make it beautiful

Wednesday, June 12, 2013


So what does the Bible say about violence?
One does not get far in the biblical narrative to find the first heinous act of violence. In the second generation of humanity one brother spills the blood of another. Cain murders Abel, for a reason that comes right from the heart—jealousy. The pattern is set. Something simple like jealousy left unchecked, left to grow and deepen and intensify, leads to acting out in violence. God had warned Cain: “Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must master it.” This is really an amazing statement. Jealously leads to anger, and that sin is predatory, crouching at the door, looking to possess Cain. Violence, in other words, is often the tipping point after resentment turns to rage. What can be done about violence? God told Cain he had better “master” the pathology of his soul. He did not, and blood was spilled.
God’s responds to Cain: “your brother’s blood cries to me from the ground.” And so does the blood of many today.
Lesson number one: violence is the result of a pathology of the soul. Violence does not begin with standing armies, generational ethnic hatred, longstanding social inequities. Violence is as close to us as our own hearts.


Living in Two Kingdoms

How can believers live in an earthly kingdom, and live in the kingdom of God at the same time. What does it mean to be a Christian citizen? If you believe that you live within and under the kingdom of Christ, but you also hold citizenship in the country in which you live, how do these two work together?
What do you do when those kingdoms seem to clash?
In Romans 13, the apostle Paul lays out a bold set of principles:
“Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and he will commend you. For he is God’s servant to do you good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword for nothing.”
The clash of kingdoms sometimes turns to war between earthly nations. But there is also a wide and deep teaching in Scripture about the kingdom of God and how it relates to the kingdoms of this world, the nations. Sometimes these kingdoms clash; sometimes they don’t.
One truth at the center of Jesus’ teaching, at the very core of his message, was that the kingdom of God had come. Jesus himself said, “I must preach the good news of the kingdom of God because that is why I was sent” (Luke 4:43). The Old Testament, particularly the prophetic books, clearly teaches that a future day will come when the kingdom of God will usher in a new age. The Old Testament divided cosmic history into two parts, “this age, and the age to come.” In this age, God’s people are to do their best to live through the periods of peace and the periods of conflict and war that are the everyday realities of this world. But there will come a time when God will impose upon the world his power and his ruling, and usher in the age to come.
In Jesus’ day people still looked forward to the age to come. And we still look forward to the day of the Lord when history will draw to a close and God will remake everything. But Jesus made a dramatic adaptation of this view of reality. Though the age to come is still to come Jesus taught that the kingdom of God had already come.

If you are a believer in Jesus here and now, whether your home country is the U.S. or Syria or Israel-Argentina, Ireland, or Iran, the most important reality of your life is that you live within and under the kingdom of Christ. And belonging to the kingdom of God means a number of life-changing realities. (More next time.)

Random GOD Things

“Universe” means “the whole thing.”
To create, in the most fundamental sense, means to bring into existence.
But it is both the emerging scientific consensus today and the clear assertion of Scripture: “By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.”
Something out of nothing.

Is it a stretch for us to believe that there is a being who can create something out of nothing? Of course it is. In fact, it is more than a stretch, because our minds can’t conceive of God’s greatness. But this power of God is exactly what gives us hope.
Because the creation came out of nothing (ex nihilo), then everything that exists comes from God’s creative act, though the corruptions and sicknesses that have crept in since then are not his creation. This is very important. God did not and cannot create evil. God is not in favor of corruption. He doesn’t like animosity or war or cancer. That is the way things have become, but it is not the way things were created.
My life can glorify God. Creation’s loud speech, that wordless praise, is the song my life is meant to sing. I know how far from the glory of God I fall short. I know how entangled and entrapped my life can become. I know how off-key is the song of my life. But somehow it is possible for my life to offer one more speech directed to the great and the good. To join in the chorus with the stars. Nothing that exists was made evil. If God is great and God is good, then it is impossible for him to create sin or wickedness. He did not and does not create the malevolent or the immoral. Somehow things got spoiled. Things that were whole got cracked and fell to pieces. God began the creation with “let there be light,” and the darkness was filled, but in the history of the world the light keeps getting turned off, and the shadows take over--but only for a while.

“Holiness” means distinctiveness or separateness. Over a thousand times in the Old Testament someone or something is called “holy.” Usually it is God, who is utterly distinct—not in the sense of being removed, uninvolved, or indifferent—but in the sense of being pure. Other times the word is used of teaching devices in the Old Testament to drive home the point that amid the commonness of this world’s pollution, some things can be different. A holy priesthood, holy rites, even holy (consecrated) temple, altar, and temple furnishings.
To seek purification is to seek differentness. Things can be better than they are. Human beings can be better than they typically are. We can do better than the vulgar (a word whose root means “common”). Your experience in life can be higher and better than living like a breathing/eating/working machine with soft parts.

 -------- Mel Lawrenz, PHD, BibleGateway.com

Friday, March 22, 2013

seven things to pray for your children

So, here are seven helpful, specific things to pray for your children:
1. That Jesus will call them and no one will hinder them from coming.
Then children were brought to him that he might lay his hands on them and pray. The disciples rebuked the people, but Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.” And he laid his hands on them and went away. (Matthew 19:13–15)
2. That they will respond in faith to Jesus’s faithful, persistent call.
The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. (2 Peter 3:9)
3. That they will experience sanctification through the transforming work of the Holy Spirit and will increasingly desire to fulfill the greatest commandments.
And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matthew 22:37-39)
4. That they will not be unequally yoked in intimate relationships, especially marriage.
Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness? (2 Corinthians 6:14)
5. That their thoughts will be pure.
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.(Philippians 4:8)
6. That their hearts will be stirred to give generously to the Lord’s work.
All the men and women, the people of Israel, whose heart moved them to bring anything for the work that the Lord had commanded by Moses to be done brought it as a freewill offering to the Lord. (Exodus 35:29)
7. That when the time is right, they will GO!
And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18-20)

Tuesday, March 19, 2013


Once you are a mother, you will forever be a mother, young moms and grandmothers alike. Being a mother involves a lifetime of learning, through each "season" of motherhood. 

We go from having our hair mussed and our eyes worn with lines from dozens of sleepless nights to skin lined with dozens of hard-earned years and the laughter of a thousand evenings around our mouths. Hopefully we will all have calloused hands and soft hearts from the loving on our family and for our family, and grooved into our souls.

I'm learning to teach about Jesus in the midst of our lives, in the fun times, the hard times and the sad times. I've learned it is important to me, and I think to my family, to have at least supper together each night. I've learned that I'm not the only one who hates spanking yet does it anyway because sometimes it's the only thing that will teach an 18-month-old and that later on, when they can reason, you can ask them to help you think of punishments, and let them choose. I am big on saying I love you A L O T. We say "I love you to the moon and back" and "I love you a thousand times infinity" and Gavin says "I love you even after we die and go to heaven and get new bodies." :)

I pray daily for strength in motherhood and the ability to show my kids (and my husband) Jesus, the gospel, the bible, the truth, all of it.

Monday, December 10, 2012

The Book of James- The "How-To" Book for Christians

James is a book of practical living, which challenges us away from just being saved to where the "rubber" of our faith "meets the road" of life.

Key Historical Factors Related to the Book of James:
- it was not a letter addressed to or meant for a particular person or group, but rather meant/sent to all known Christians/Jews at the time as a handbook on how to endure persecution, model authentic faith and be encouraged, he was primarily talking to the Jews in Jerusalem who were starting to face persecution. 
- At the time it was written, most Jews. Greek Philosophers believed we should just gain knowledge, for knowledge's sake. To them its only purpose is that it improves who we are as a person, but no requirement to put the knowledge into practice. This book was written at the end of the "honeymoon" period of being ignored by religious leaders, they were getting comfy and feeling good.
- James is thought to be the oldest of Jesus' brothers (Joseph's Son) (Matt 13:55, Mark 6:3)
-  James did not follow God until AFTER Jesus' died and rose again and came to him. Then her believed in the Lord and became the Christian he was.
- Probably written between 44-60 AD. only around a decade after Jesus' death and resurrection.
- At this time they had NOT split from Judaism yet.
- They were being singled out and picked on for having faith. The persecutions were starting.
Key Points of the Book of James:
- even though we are taught that we are saved by faith alone- James clarifies that good works WILL FOLLOW true faith. Romans 3:28 (So we are made right with God through faith and not by obeying the law.); 2:14 (Even Gentiles, who do not have God’s written law, show that they know his law when they instinctively obey it, even without having heard it.), 2:17 (You who call yourselves Jews are relying on God’s law, and you boast about your special relationship with him.)
- Christ Directed and Faith Centered Life, this is a book about the application of our faith and the importance of learning and growing in Christ.
Our short-term setbacks will produce long-term results that glorify our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ! 
- Faith without Works is DEAD - James 2:14-20
- Right Belief = Right Behavior
- It's about personal responsibility by aligning one's beliefs to be right so that ones behaviors are right.
- Seems to be a commentary for Psalms 15
- We grow in faith & maturity so we can apply our christian character & conduct in how we are to others.
- The knowledge we gain from our experiences in life must be rooted in our hearts so it can bubble up into our daily life! The knowledge in our heart must equal how we live our life.
- If faith has NOT changed you over, you will lead a life of problems, without purpose and one of no distinction or betterment to yourself or others.
- Hands on living to control our attitudes and tongue, to be listeners and to stay away from pride and sin.
Chapter 1: How do we react to pressure? Faith will not break when it is real, even when times are dire. We are stable because who we are in Christ and not because of our circumstances.
I. Trials are a part of life.
1:1 Greetings
1:2-4 Seeking Jesus to deal with problems! We can declare them joy(Matt. 5:11-12; Luke 6:22-23)
1:5 Seeking wisdom to deal with life; receiving from God (Matt. 7:7; Luke 11:19)
1: 6--8! Asking for faith and not doubting (Matt. 21:-22; Mark 11:22-24)
II. Temptations will come.
1: 9-11 Humbleness ; seeking the proper perspective on life (Matt.13:6; 23:12;Mark 4:7;Luke 14:11;18:14)
III. How will you handle trials and guard against impurity?
1:12 Importance of perseverance (Matt. 5:11-12)
1:13-18 Holding on to the goodness of God (Matt. 7:12; 19:16; Luke 6:27, 35)
IV. We have to be doers of the Word, not just hearers.
1:19-20 The importance of listening (Matt. 7:11; Luke 6:46-49).
1:21-27 Our call to be compassionate toward those who hurt (Matt. 25:34-36)
Chapter 2: When Faith is authentic, it will show it in our lives. We will have real, dependable love that transitions into respect for God, for others, and for ourselves!
I. Favoritism and prejudices.
            2:1-4 Paying attention to what is important (Luke 12:21)
            2:5 The poor will inherit the earth (Matt. 5:5; Luke 6:20)
II. Apathy and wrong mindsets.
2:6-9 Love your neighbor as your self (Matt. 22:39; Mark 12:30-31)
2: 10-12 Do not break the commandments (Matt. 5:19)
2:13 Mercy triumphs over Judgment (Prov. 21:13)
III. Obedience and action are the proofs of faith.
2: 11-13 Faith without works is meaningless (Matt. 18:23-34; 25:41-46)
 2:14-26 We show our friendship with God by our obedience (Matt. 7:21-23, 26; 21:28-32; John 15:13-15) (Faith without works is dead)
Chapter 3: When our faith is real, we will show control and humility. We will have constructive ways of being encouraging by our communication!
I. How we use our words reflects what is in our soul.
           3:1 Teachers are more responsible (Mark 9:38-40; Luke 20:45-47)
           3:2 We are judged by our words (Matt. 12:37)
           3:3-6 Real corruption comes from our mouth (Matt. 15:11, 18; Mark 7:15,20; Luke 6:45)
           3:7-12 We cannot do both good and evil together (Matt. 7:16-20; Luke 6:43-44)
II. How we express our attitude shows how real our faith is.
3:13-15 Bitterness and envy destroy relationships and opportunities (Prov. 13:30; 27:4)
            3: 16-18 Blessed are the peacemakers (Matt. 5:9)
Chapter 4: When faith is working, we will be expressing patience. We will be able to handle conflict and strife and resolve the tough issues of life!
I. How we control our desires shows whether we want God's will or ours.
           4:1-3 Desires will consume us (Matt. 4:39)
           4:4 Spiritual adultery (Mark 8:38)
           4:5 Friendship with the world means being enemies of God (John 15 18-21)
II. Pride destroys
           4:6 God hates pride and loves humility (Psalm 49; Luke 14:11)
III. Humility shows our devotion
           4:7 Flee from the devil (Matt. 12:26-28)
           4:8 Submit to God (Matt. 26:39)
4:9 Laughter turns into mourning (Matt. 5:4; Luke 6:25)
4:10 God is the One to lift us up (Matt. 12:17-20; Luke 3:16)
IV. We have no right to judge
4:11 Do not slander (Matt. 7:1-2)
4:12 Only God has the right to judge (Matt. 10:28)
4:13-16 Do not plan ahead without God (Luke 12:18-20)
4:17 We sin when we know God's will but do not do it (Luke 12:47-48)
Chapter 5: When we are patient, we are persevering. We will have confidence and hope in life whatever we face because who we are in Christ.
I. How we handle our money shows our devotion and what matters to us.
            5:1 Woes to the rich and to corruption (Luke 6:24)
5:2-4 Wealth in time is all worthless (Matt. 6:19-20))
5:5-6 Self indulgence is sin and is of no benefit (Luke 16:19-20, 25)
II. Patience perseveres our faith.
5:7 Be patient (Luke 18:1-8)
5: 8-9 Watch because Jesus will return (Matt. 24:33; Mark 13:35-39)
            5:10 The Prophets are our example (Matt. 5:10-12)
III. We are called to act with kindness to others.
            5:11 God is kind to us (Psalm 94:12; Job 1:21-22)
5:12 Do not swear oaths (Matt. 5:33-37)
5:13-14 Meeting needs of others (Psalm 50:14-15)
            5:15-18 Power of prayer (Matt. 6:6-8; Luke 11:2-4)
IV. Our call to care and bring back those who stray from the faith.
            5:19-21 Our call to help restore the stray sheep (Matt. 18:15)

-The opposite end of this coin of doing nothing with our faith is legalism-- the forced practice of being good by means of a set of rules and regulations. Even though these rules may be good, they come from obligation and not from a heart of gratitude.

-Sanctification is not a part of legalism because the qualities of Christ we are called to emulate are not present.

-Psalm 15 and James are about living out a life of holiness, not because we have to, or we feel compelled by obligation; rather, because we want to please the Father, we want to grow in Christ, and we want to be empowered by the Spirit. It is not about receiving our salvation; it is about what we do with it once we have it. (intothyword.com)  This is the Psalm for the Christian who is real, authentic, and desires to glorify our Lord, model His precepts, and be impacting to others!
These are the traits of faith that will produce results in a life that is victorious and impacting (Phil. 1:6; 3:7-11; 4:4-9). Being willing and able to develop your faith and Christian walk will help, along with the empowerment of the Holy Spirit, to build your maturity and character (Gal. 5:22-23; 2 Pet. 1:5-11).

Thursday, November 22, 2012


Praise the LORD. Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever (Psalm 106:1, NIV).

It's Thanksgiving Day again, friends and family across America will gather around beautifully decorated tables filled with warm, scrumptious food to give thanks. Many people will be experiencing personal problems today like ----the lonely but committed soldiers covered in the dust of battle will patrol foreign borders, fighting for our freedom while their families back home long for word of their safety. The homeless will make their way to the nearest soup kitchen, hoping for a warm meal and a smiling face as so many celebrate this day of abundance. An empty place at the table will be a painful reminder of the loved one lost not long ago. A worried husband and dad will sit at the head of the table, wondering how he is going to tell his family that he just lost his job. The list of wounded hearts and unmet needs is endless.
We all tend to convince ourselves that life will be better when we have more money, when we find the right spouse, when we get the kids raised or move into the right house. We tell ourselves that our life will be complete when our spouse gets his or her act together, when we get a fancier car, when we get a promotion, when we are able to go on our dream vacation or when we can retire. We keep trying to find joy, contentment and peace in lifeless places and things.
BUT ------- Jesus Christ is life. He is joy and love, and He took our place on the cross. That's why we can give thanks when it seems as if there is nothing for which to be thankful.
Yes, we live in a broken world and life is filled with pain, challenges, dark times and trials, but today can still be a day of thanksgiving and praise because praise and thanksgiving have little to do with the Thanksgiving holiday and everything to do with our inner attitude toward God. It really doesn't matter how much we lose here, my friend. I have read the Book and we win … for all of eternity! We just need to take the time to remember … and give thanks.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

After Life

I'm working on some research on what happens when we die. And I'm confused, excited and scared!

* 1 Corinthians 15:51-54 - Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed - in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality. When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: "Death has been swallowed up in victory."

* Dan. 12:1-3 - At that time Michael, the great prince who protects your people, will arise. There will be a time of distress such as has not happened from the beginning of nations until then. But at that time your people – everyone whose name is found written in the book – will be delivered. Multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake: some to everlasting life, others to shame and everlasting contempt.

* 1 Thess: 4:15-18 - According to the Lord's own word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left till the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore encourage each other with these words.

In these three passages it sounds an awful lot to me like when we die we will be in our graves, just waiting

 for the rapture. And then when the rapture happens, we all go up to Heaven, or Hell, at that time. Together.

Friday, October 12, 2012

LOVE a good church mission statement of belief's :)

I love this one because it's right on and references the appropriate scripture!

1. About God
God is the Creator and Ruler of the universe. He has eternally existed in three
personalities: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. These three are co-equal
and are one God.
Scriptural Basis: Genesis 1:1,26,27, 3:22; Psalm 90:2; Matthew 28:19; 1 Peter 1:2; 2
Corinthians 13:14
2. About Jesus Christ
Jesus Christ is the Son of God. He is co-equal with the Father. Jesus lived a
sinless human life and offered Himself as the perfect sacrifice for the sins of all
people by dying on a cross. He arose from the dead after three days to
demonstrate His power over sin and death. He ascended to Heaven's glory and
will return again someday to earth to reign as King of Kings, and Lord of Lords.
Scriptural Basis: Matthew 1:22, 23; Isaiah 9:6; John 1:1-5; 14:10-30; Hebrews 4:14,15; 1
Corinthians 15:3,4; Romans 1:3,4; Acts 1:9-11; 1 Timothy 6:14,15; Titus 2:13
3. About the Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit is co-equal with the Father and the Son of God. He is present in
the world to make men aware of their need for Jesus Christ. He also lives in
every Christian from the moment of salvation. He provides the Christian with
power for living, understanding of spiritual truth, and guidance in doing what is
right. He give every believer a spiritual gift when they are saved. As Christians,
we seek to live under His control daily.
Scriptural Basis: 2 Corinthians 3:17; John 16:7-13, 14:16,17; Acts 1:8; 1 Corinthians 2:12,
3:16; Ephesians 1:13; Galations 5:25; Ephesians 5:18
4. About the Bible
The Bible is God's Word to us. It was written by human authors, under the
supernatural guidance of the Holy Spirit. It is the supreme source of truth for
Christian beliefs and living. Because it is inspired by God, it is the truth without
any mixture of error.
Scriptural Basis: 2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:20,21; 2 Timothy 1:13; Psalm 119:105,160, 12:6;
Proverbs 30:5
5. About Human Beings
People are made in the spiritual image of God, to be like Him in character.
People are the supreme object of God's creation. Although every person has
tremendous potential for good, all of us are marred by an attitude of
disobedience toward God called “sin”. This attitude separates people from God
and causes many problems in life.Scriptural Basis: Genesis 1:27; Psalm 8:3-6; Isaiah 53:6a; Romans 3:23; Isaiah 59:1, 2
6. About Salvation
Salvation is God's free gift to us, but we must accept it. We can never make up
for our sin by self-improvement or good works. Only by trusting in Jesus Christ as
God's offer of forgiveness can anyone be saved from sin's penalty. When we turn
from our self-ruled life and turn to Jesus in faith we are saved. Eternal life begins
the moment one receives Jesus Christ into his life by faith.
Scriptural Basis: Romans 6:23; Ephesians 2:8,9; John 14:6,1:12; Titus 3:5; Galatians 3:26;
Romans 5:1
7. About Eternal Security
Because God gives us eternal life through Jesus Christ, the true believer is
secure in that salvation for eternity. If you have been genuinely saved, you
cannot “lose” it. Salvation is maintained by the grace and power of God, not by
the self-effort of the Christian. It is the grace and keeping power of God that gives
us this security.
Scriptural Basis: John 10:29; 2 Timothy 1:12; Hebrews 7:25, 10:10,14; 1 Peter 1:3-5
8. About Eternity
People were created to exist forever. We will either exist eternally separated from
God by sin, or eternally with God through forgiveness and salvation. To be
eternally separated from God is Hell. To be eternally in union with Him is eternal
life. Heaven and Hell are real places of eternal existence.
Scriptural Basis: John 3:16; John 14:17; Romans 6:23; Romans 8:17-18; Revelation 20:15; 1
Cor. 2:7-9

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Switchfoot - Restless Lyrics



I am the sea on a moonless night
Calling falling, slipping tides
I am the leaky, dripping pipes
The endless, aching drops of lights

I am the raindrop falling down
Always longing for the deeper ground
I am the broken, breaking seas
Even my blood finds ways to bleed

Even the rivers ways to run
Even the rain to reach the sun
Even my thirsty streams
Even in my dreams

I am restless
I am restless
I am breathless
I'm looking for you

I am restless
I run like the ocean to find your shore
I'm looking for you

Running for the other side
The world that I've always been denied
I'm running for the infinite
With the tears of saints and hypocrites

Oh, blood of black and white and grey
Oh, death in life and night in day
One by one by one
We let our rivers run
They run restless
Run restless
Drifting and breathless
I'm looking for you

We run restless
We run like the ocean to reach your shore
I'm looking for you

I can hear you breathing
I can feel you leading
More than just a feeling

I can feel you you reaching
Pushing through the ceiling
Till the final healing
Everything completing

Until the sea of glass we meet
At last completed and complete
Where tide and tear and pain subside
And laughter drinks them dry

I'll be waiting
All that I aim for
What I was made for

With every heartbeat
All of my blood bleeds
Running inside me
I'm looking for you

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Rules for Sharing Christ

Jesus made himself and his divine powers known to the world while he was in Jerusalem for the Passover (John 2:13-23). He soon returned home only to be rejected by his own brethren in Nazareth (Luke 4:16-30). From there, he traveled to Capernaum where he cast out devils and healed many of the sick (Luke 4:31-44). It was time for him to choose his first personal disciples.
Jesus had made disciples already. There was Andrew, Peter, Philip, and Nathanael (John 1:35-49). Not to mention, other disciples which remained unnamed or only alluded to by the gospel writers. However, while teaching by the Sea of Galilee, Jesus chose four men–two of which were already disciples–to literally follow him during his earthly ministry (Luke 5:1-11).
Jesus was calling these four men to eventually be apostles. On the day he called them away from their lives as fishermen, he said they would become fishers of men (Matthew 4:19). Whatever role we have in the harvest (John 4:35), the Bible provides us with certain principles to follow. Keep in mind, while we labor, it is the Lord who provides the increase (1 Corinthians 3:7).

The people had heard about Christ. Many of them had seen his miracles. They desired to know more about him. They wanted to hear him teach. So, as he stood by the sea, the crowd pressed him to teach and declare the word of God (Luke 5:1).
If we are to get anywhere in the harvest–leading people to Christ and to the church–we must begin with the truth. Paul encouraged the Ephesian elders to declare the whole counsel of God and leave nothing out (Acts 20:26-28). That doesn’t mean we all need to be deep theologians. My favorite testimony of all the Bible simply said, “I was blind, now I see” (John 9:25). It does mean we should not dumb down the truth or try to lure people with anything else.
Remember, the child of God, born of the Spirit, has the truth written in his heart (Romans 2:14-15). When he’s ready, he will crave the truth and we don’t need to offer anything but the truth (1 Timothy 3:15).

When Jesus approached Peter after Peter had spent the night unsuccessfully trying to catch fish, he tells him to go back out and drop the net again (Luke 5:2-4). Peter may have been apprehensive, but he proved himself to be willing (Luke 5:5).
Many disciples and many churches have failed in following the commandments of God. I don’t mean they’ve taken up idolatry or committed murder. I mean some have failed by doing things their own way and others have failed to do anything at all.
First of all, we should never add to what the Bible teaches us. Through the Bible, we’ve been given all things that pertain to life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3). There is often room for liberty, but our own ideas never trump the Lord’s (Proverbs 3:5). Peter might have thought it was better to wait until later to fish again, but he did as the Lord said anyway.
Second of all, we should always be very active in our harvest labors. We should be active in all of the duties the Lord has given us. However, there are times when our good works become stifled for many different reasons. We should not allow it (Galatians 6:9). Imagine if Peter has refused to go out fishing again.

Once Peter had went out to the sea and dropped his nets again, the multitude of fish was so abundant that the nets began to break. John and James were nearby and they were called over to help. The weight of fish actually caused the boats to begin sinking. Peter immediately fell at Jesus’ knees and declared his unworthiness (Luke 5:6-8).
The time to declare our thankfulness and recognize our dependence upon the Lord is always. However, the natural tendency to do so is diminished when we feel like we have everything we need (Revelation 3:17). If we remain steadfast in the pure truth God has given us and we follow his commandments and principles, we are bound for blessings and success (Galatians 6:8). We must remember to remain humble and thankful. We must always admit our successes are due to God’s grace (1 Corinthians 15:10).

Jesus told the four fishermen, “Fear not, from henceforth thou shalt catch men.” When they had seen what the Lord had done and heard his words, they brought their boats to shore, left everything behind, and followed him (Luke 5:10-11).
This is perhaps the most important lesson we could ever learn in life. It extends well beyond mere rules for leading others to Christ. Our faith, our hope, our religion, our lives–everything–it’s all about Jesus Christ.