Saturday, January 30, 2010

Shut'em Down!


Malachi 1:10
"I wish that someone among you would shut the Temple doors so that these worthless sacrifices could not be offered! I am not please with you," says the LORD Almighty, "and I will not accept your offerings."
Man..what would happen if the Lord showed up at church tonight here at Rapha or at your church and said, "Lock the doors....I'm shutting you down." What if God said that our worship and our offerings made him sick and he was not going to accept them? I think we forget that everything that transpires in the Kingdom of God (especially when man is involved) comes from the heart. God doesn't look at the outward act or reverence and accept it because someone said, "Amen" or put $5.00 in the offering plate. He looks to the heart to see the motive and reason of why we do what we do. Is it to appease him? Is it that we are trying to hide sin and wrong behaviors from him? Is it because we think we can earn our way into his good graces by "doing" a bunch of religious stuff? What if every time we entered into a corporate gathering of believers, the true intentions and motives of our heart suddenly appeared on our foreheads? That others around us could see the real reason we go to church....sing in the choir......lead Sunday school....would we even return to church ever again?
I know that this is a drastic example of the verse in Malachi, but the truth of the matter remains that our heart and the state of it in the eyes of God is always the mirror that we should see ourselves in.
Verse 12 reads: But you dishonor my name with you actions by bringing contemptible food, you are saying, "it's all right to defile the Lord's table."
How many attend church each Sunday with sexual sin in their lives and hearts? How many sit and sing "Victory in Jesus" and yet all the while they live a lifestyle that is outside the will of God? Maybe the reason life is hard and our prayers don't seem to be answered is that we have removed ourselves from under the grace of God because of the sin we harbor. God help us.
Yet even with all of this, Jesus still responds by saying, "Come to me all who are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest." He is still willing to forgive, empower and restore those who turn from their sin. Today is a good day.
Don't wait until God locks the doors of your church and says, "I'll think I'll take it back since you aren't going to use it!
God on you....
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Friday, January 29, 2010

Quick Study

I wanted to post an entire episode of QUICK STUDY for you to see. It will not be everyones cup of tea, so to speak, but it will aid some in their study of the word.

If you would like to know more or check out the complete weekly viewing you can go to www.thestreamtv.com where you can download the show to your computer or I-pod or mp3 player.

Let me know what you think?
God on you....
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Thursday, January 28, 2010

Rod Hembree Host Of QUICK STUDY

One of the best shows on television is a program called QUICK STUDY. Hosted by Rod Hembree and his wife, Janice, along with his father, Rod Hembree, the program takes you through the Bible in one year---Genesis to Revelation. Being a practical book for living, Quick Study applies the teachings to everyday life. It isn't deep and you won't find great mysteries unlocked, but what you will find is sound Bible teaching done in a way that is fresh and simple. You can go on line to www.thestreamtv.com and download daily programs of Quick Study along with the weekend show Walk In The Word.

This is a great program for someone just beginning to study the Word. I have been following QUICK STUDY since 2005 and each year I see something I missed or understand something in a different light.
Great show....check it out.
God on you........
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Who Are You Looking For?

THEY MISSED HIM!
(Author Unknown)
They were looking for a Lion, He came as a Lamb, and they missed Him.
They were looking for a warrior, He came as a peace maker, and they missed Him.
They were looking for a king, He came as a servant, and they missed Him.
They were looking for a liberator from Rome, He submitted to a Roman cross, and they missed Him.
They were looking for a fit to their mold, He was the mold maker and they missed Him.
They were looking for their temporal needs to be met. He came to meet their eternal needs, and they missed Him.
He came as a lamb to be sacrificed for your sin. Will you miss Him?
He came to make peace between God and man. Will you miss Him?
H came to model servanthood for all mankind. Will you miss Him?
He came that we might have true liberty. Will you miss Him?
He came to give eternal life. Will you miss Him?

What are you looking for? Lion? Warrior? King? Liberator?
What are you looking for?
When we submit to the lamb, we will meet the Lion.
Join with the peacemaker and we will meet the warrior.
Work with the servant and we will meet the King.
Walk with the submitted and we will meet the liberator.
Concern ourselves with the eternal and we will have the temporal.
If Jesus is not fitting into the mold you have, then come to the mold maker and get His new one. Submit to His plan for your life and you will see the eternal need met first, then all the other things you have need of will be taken care of as well.
God on you...
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Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The Invisible Man

John 3:30
He (Jesus) must become greater and greater, and I must become less and less.

Taught from this verse last night's 9 p.m. Bible study.
Why?
Because I have been kind of stuck on that verse. Not that it is a mysterious verse or that it has hidden Biblical truth. But sometimes the greatest truth is what we truly see for the first time. It's not that it is hidden, we just haven't really taken notice of it before. For whatever reason, this time you read it, the Holy Spirit kind of makes the verse jump off the page and it strikes you as a "Hmmmmmm!" moment.

On so many levels, this verse from John where John the Baptizer makes this statement is powerful and yet the very heart of what relationship with Jesus is all about. Yes, in the natural John realized that his call was being lessened as the ministry of Jesus began to take off. Jesus would continue to gain notoriety (not that this is good) and that the focus of people would shift from John the B. over to Jesus. John knew this. John understood this. John seemed to be o.k. with it. John had been given a call and he had been faithful to what God expected of him. Now, with Jesus coming on the scene, John's time was winding down and would soon end.
What does this have to do with me?
As I walk out this daily life in relationship with Jesus, I must become the invisible man. My will, my own personal agenda, my own desires must be relinquished and surrendered so that the will of God can be magnified in me. It is about my will being supplanted by God's will so that my behaviors become the by product of this surrender. I do, people see, they realize that it is God working in me and not my own attitudes and behaviors.

Psalm 34:3 reads: O magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together.
Magnify? Make God so large in me that he fills every space, every part and there is no room left for me (my old nature) to exist.
Some of you may be saying, "That is really wishful thinking there Mike."
Maybe.
But you know what? If we don't begin to do this, it will never happen.
It beings with me simply realizing that the more I can become transparent in my attitudes and motives, then my behaviors will reveal God's work in me.
One of the things that I teach is: We are not called human "DOINGS" we are called human "BEINGS". That maybe...........just maybe..........if I focus my attention and efforts on following God and let him turn me into who I should "BE" then maybe, just maybe.......I will "DO" what God is calling me to do. If I decrease in my own will and increase more and more in the will of God, then the doing will become natural, almost like 2nd nature, we do because we simply do. Why? Because that is who we are.

Turn loose and let God have his way today.
God on you............
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Tuesday, January 26, 2010


I look into the mirror and I recognize the face,
but I'm not sure I know the man.
I know what he is capable of if left to his own choices.
As the song so aptly puts it
"when I had the choice between good and bad, I picked bad
two out of three"
If I look close enough, I see changes.
I notice that there is a more serious tone to this man.
He still laughs and is tender hearted but there is a resolve
within him that causes him to push on toward "The prize"
as the Apostle Paul wrote about.
Oh, this man would never compare himself to the Apostle Paul,
but he understands that everything here on earth, in this natural
world is fleeting and fading.
That the only real truth is the truth found in God's word.

This man holds no degrees from universities.
It's not that he disdains such, it is simply that he has not been
released to pursue such venues.
He has one thing and one thing only.
A call.
It started in 1963.
He heard it fully in 1964.
He ran from the call in 1965.
He looked within himself and could not find anything
that would let him know fulfilling this call would be possible.
Trouble was, he looked within himself.
He should have looked up.
Looked up to where the call came from.
He ran for 31 years.
Oh during this time, God was faithful and kept this man
from destroying himself, but the man never really fulfilled
anything during this time toward the call he had heard.
He simply held jobs and paid his bills.
Loved his wife and help raise two sons.
But all the while, this man knew that he had rejected the call.
He felt as though he had disqualified himself because of his running away.
He could not read or hear anything about the book of JONAH and not
feel pain and guilt, shame and sorrow for what he had done.

Change started to take place in 1994, May 26th of that year.
God spoke...
Not audible but within.
A conversation took place between the man and his God.
The man asked questions and God responded with "Go and do!"
The man obeyed, still not believing that this would lead to answering
the call from so long ago.
In 1997 an offer was made because of the things this man had done.
"Have you considered being ordained into the ministry?"
The man replied with a resounding "No". But in his heart
he knew that this was God, once again in love and mercy
extending the call.
The man said, "Yes, I'll do it."
July 6, 1997 the call was accepted.
The man stepped fully into faith on August 1, 1998.
That step took him to places and people he never dreamed of meeting in his wildest dreams.
It put him squarely into a world of hurting people.
the man, with no answers, said, "I'll be your voice."
And God responded.
So here today, January 26, 2010
This man daily goes about the very thing he swore he could not do back in 1964.
The man knows it does not come from himself, but from God.
This man has learned to rely on God for everything.
What falls under everything?
everything!
It would be nice if this story was all neat and wrapped in a pretty package with
a huge bow on it to make it appealing,
but the truth is
following has been hard.
There were times the man wanted to quit
but didn't.
Just when he was at the point of quitting, God would show up
and reveal something or show the man something,
or someone would stop by and share an encouraging word that
renewed the passion within this man.
he would once again rise and start the journey God had called him to.
Today this man, me, is very grateful for everyone who believed in him,
even when he didn't believe in himself.
I do not hold any false notions about my own self worth in what has transpired
over the past 13 years.
I know that God has been at every turn.
He deserves the glory and honor.
I'm just grateful that he let me be a part.
God on you...
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Monday, January 25, 2010

It Was A Good Weekend

Monday.
A new week. A new day. Another opportunity to grow in Christ Jesus.
What does that mean?
It means I get to face situations and circumstances (as well a other people) where I get to make choices according to what I have learned over the past weeks, months and even years. I get the opportunity to not live as I would choose, but to line up my choices with the Father heart of God and say, "What would you have me do?"

Saturday night was a really good night.
Worship time was powerful and at the same time, I saw many displays of men trying to follow where God was directing us. I saw men "try" things for the first time. Postures of worship. Praying and giving thanks to God. I saw men who stepped out in faith and said, "I will be foolish for you Lord!".
There was much brokenness and healing that came Saturday night.
We finished up the 4th teaching from Step #1 of the Twelve Steps.
For those who might not be familiar with the 12 steps, they are merely sign posts or a guide to help us open ourselves up to Jesus.

Step# 1 says, "We admitted that we were powerless over alcohol (drugs) and that our lives had become unmanageable."
To admit is more than simply saying that you have a problem.
It is a realization that you no longer are capable of living life on life's terms. What is the proof of such a statement? Look at your life. It is out of control and bad choice after bad choice has become compounded until you stand amidst the rubble and ruin of relationships, legal issues and financial ruin. Yet even in all of this, our minds tells us, "You can get out of this." That is the lie that we have fallen prey to. In and of my own strength, my own will and my own cunning, I can break free and not have to answer for any of it.

I have downloaded the sermon from Saturday night so feel free to listen to it or download it to your computer or mp3 player for later listening.
Thanks for stopping by Greene Street Letters and I pray that you find God today in your own life.

God on you...........
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Saturday, January 23, 2010

What I Learned This Week!

1.) When I add to God's instructions, I invite trouble into my future.
A.) Genesis 12:1-4 - God instructs Abram to leave a.) his country, b.) his relatives, c.) his father's house. Easy! Three things to do. Abram leaves his country. Abram leaves his father's house. Abram leaves his relati......whoops! Abram took his nephew with him and this would come back to cause him trouble on down the road. We do not get to interject our will into God's will. We don't get to mix our wants and desires with what God has commanded us to do. When we seek to add to what God has told us, we are only setting up some heartache ahead. Lesson that I have to really learn.

2.) We may get what we want but not want what we get.
A.) Genesis 13:10-13 - Abram lets Lot choose which part of the land he desires to possess and live in. Lot, looking up, sees the most lush and green, fertile place his old traveling eyes have ever seen. "I want to go down there and live. What was the name? Sodom and Gomorah? Sounds like good folk to me." Trouble was that when Lot got there he quickly became a part of their society which was not a good thing. The very thing that Lot thought he wanted to own became the very thing that caused the loss of his wife. Be careful what you want, God may indeed let you have it.

Just some of the lessons I was taught this week.
Hopefully I won't have to ride in this rodeo again and I can move on.
After all, my wife says that I am very teachable.
I agree.

God on you....
See you Monday....
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Friday, January 22, 2010

Thoughts From Philippians

(For those of you who follow this blog: I am currently posting Monday through Saturday, so feel free to peruse the archives on Sunday and read some of the earlier postings)

Thoughts From Philippians
Phil. 4:4 - Rejoice in the Lord always, and again I say rejoice.
Rejoice? Give thanks. Let your body catch up with what your heart knows to be the truth. I love watching NFL games and the way people go crazy when their team scores. Jumping up and down, hugging one another, screaming at the top of their lungs. They are responding to what is happening before them. The thing about what the apostle Paul has written is that our rejoicing is not because God "scored" or "knocked one out of the park," our rejoicing comes no matter what situation or circumstance we face. That when confronted with the worst of the worst, our hearts turn to God and his faithfulness that has been played out in our lives over and over. He is worthy of my rejoicing in him. Only God can give me the peace that by passes all understanding and gets down in side of my heart. My brain is screaming, "Hey! Excuse me! This doesn't make sense!" I should be upset or worried but I have a divine peace that only God can provide that brings me to a stable place emotionally and spiritually. That is the peace I crave to live in daily.

Phil. 3: 8 - Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ.
Paul states that he considers everything in his life (his position in the Temple, his status in society, his education, what money he had acquired, his reputation) a loss. All these things that the world looks on and rates as being valuable and worthy, Paul says that in his spiritual ledger of assets and liabilities, they are all negative. They are liabilities. Paul goes on to say that he has written them off. That nothing in this world, of this world and from this world compares to the surpassing greatness of knowing (not head knowledge or information but one-on-one relationship) Christ Jesus (Paul refers to Jesus as HIS LORD). In my own life, how could I ever make such a statement unless I had weighed or considered my lot in life? That I see clearly the true nature of what the world has to offer me in light of what Jesus is offering me. Paul goes on to say that all the "world" stuff is dung...........manure.............crap.............worthless. Those are hard words. Not very pretty words. I don't think you'll hear many preachers ascending their pulpits this Sunday and declare that the things we think are of importance is nothing more than fecal matter. Maybe sometimes we need to say what needs to be said. Not with street language or gutter mouths but with truth. I need this kind of truth in my life. What about you?
God on you...........
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Thursday, January 21, 2010

Now For The Rest Of The Story

I found an interesting article in Dr. David Reagan's E-zine LAMPLIGHTER. It tells of an event that happened on the day Apollo 11 astronauts landed on the moon. Mankinds first steps on a body outside of our own earth.

As most of you know the two men who landed on the moon were Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin. What has not been known, until recently, were the events that took place after the landing and before the astronauts left the lunar lander to began their historic excursion.

Two and a half hours after landing, before exiting their module for their first moon walk, Buzz Aldrin radioed Mission Control and said, "This is the LM pilot. I'd like to take this opportunity to ask every person listening in, whoever and where ever they may be to pause for a moment and contemplate the events of the past few hours, and to give thanks in his or her own way."

Aldrin then proceeded to take communion personally and privately. In an article he wrote for Guideposts in the 70's, Aldrin described the communion service as follows:
In the radio blackout, I opened the little plastic packages which
contained the bread and the wine. I poured the win into the
chalice our church had given me. In the one-sixth gravity
of the moon, the wine slowly curled and gracefully came up
the side of the cup. Then I read the Scripture, "I am the vine, you
are the branches. whosoever abides in Me will bring forth much fruit."
I ate the tiny Host and swallowed the wine. I gave thanks for the
intelligence and spirit that had brought two young pilots to the
Sea of Tranquility. It was interesting for me to think: the very first
liquid ever poured on the moon, and the very first food eaten there, were
the communion elements."
The communion service was not announced at the time. In fact, it was kept secret by NASA until Aldrin revealed it in his book, Return to Earth, published in 1973. The reason for the secrecy is that at the time of the Apollo 11 mission, NASA was fighting a law suit brought by Madalyn Murray O'Hair who had objected to the Apollo 8 crew reading from the book of Genesis during a broadcast as the crew circled the moon.
Think of the accolades that Neil Armstrong received for being the first man on the moon, but think of the pleasure of God as Buzz Aldrin recognized his Lord and Savior there on the moon.
As Paul Harvey would say, "And now you know the rest of the story."
God on you.......
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Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Cliff Notes Bible

I recently came across the entire Bible written in 50 words. Here it is.

God made, Adam ate,
Noah built, Abraham split,
Joseph ruled, Jacob fooled,
bush talked, Moses balked,
Pharaoh plagued, people walked,
sea divided, tablets guided,
land entered, Saul freaked,
David peeked, prophets warned,
Jesus born,
God walked, love talked,
anger crucified, hope died,
Jesus rose,
Spirit flamed, Word spread,
God remained!
Even though that was fun to look at and quiet humorous, it is a good example of how "NOT" to do a Bible study. You can't take parts and pieces and string them together. Between each of those phrases that I wrote above, there are intricate pictures and parts that reveal the heart of God for his people and how his plans are all tied together leading to a restoration of this creation and his subsequent rule and reign.
Most people are quiet content to live by the "Cliff Notes" version of scripture, thinking that as long as they strive to be good people then they have been successful in having relationship with God. God didn't call us to be good..he called us into relationship with him. A relationship that begins with my giving back to God the most precious thing I possess, my very life. He, in turn, gives back that life filled with his Holy Spirit. From there, I begin the daily walk following him as I go to work, to the market, to my home.
Find the life that is in the Word of God.
God on you today...........
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Tuesday, January 19, 2010

"I Don't Like It!"

Funny how people don't like God. Well, it isn't that they don't like God, it's that they don't like his rules or ways. They are all over the God of love.........in this, they concoct a "god" of their choosing. He loves everyone. He forgives everyone. Truth be known, he does forgive everyone. Ahh...but there is a caveat to this. He forgives everyone who turns from their sin (which by the way is carried out in a direct rebellious act against him) and confesses their need to be saved from the penalty of sin.

Then there are those who get angry and rail at God and say, "You are not fair!" To which I would say, "you're right. God is not fair." You see, I have played that fair card against him before. I told him during a particular hard time in my life, " Hey God! This isn't fair and you're not fair!" I received an answer really quick. The thought came to me swiftly, "You're right, it's not fair. If it was fair, you'd be in hell and I never would have had to send my son to die for you." Needless to say, I got it and I have never pulled that card out again.

Humans just can't seem to grasp why they don't get to call the shots in this G0d-t0-man relationship. Why can't all roads lead to God?" Why can't every religion be right? Well, I'm not the one to answer that. It all leads back to God.
Let's take a look at a passage from Acts 4:
"Neither is there salvation in any other, for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved."

Did you catch that?
Salvation comes no other way than through Jesus Christ.

Instead of arguing about the exclusivity of the claims of Christ, we should be rejoicing and giving praise to God that there IS a way to have a restored relationship with him.
How petty man is to think that he can judge God and either condemn or acquit him on the basis of his interaction with humanity.
The pettiness of man stands on the seashore, looking to heaven while shaking a fist, all the while proclaiming, "I won't believe in God who is so narrow minded and claims to have only one way to approach him."

God help us all that we become broken in spirit and see with new eyes and fresh mind the folly of our own desires. To lay rules against what we will and will not accept from God is the ultimate folly. By doing this, we seal our own fate and destiny and give the devil a foothold into a heart that will soon be hard and cold.

We only have to look to one of the most quoted verses in scripture to see the heart of God. A heart which has not changed and will not change.
"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him, should not perish, but have everlasting life."

God on you today as you discover more about yourself and your relationship with God.

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Monday, January 18, 2010

New Message to Download

I have downloaded the message from Saturday night.
Part three of our look at Step # 1 of the twelve steps.
Powerless!
Message: The "I wills" of God
Scripture: Exodus 6:6-9
Enjoy
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Here We Are Again

Seems like the weekend goes so fast.
Monday already.
New opportunities to grow this week. I'm still a stinker in need of God.
I marvel at the more I see myself under God's light, the more I find that is just junk and needs to be shed of (that's a good southern term...shed of....). That means get rid of.
Attitudes.
Behaviors.
Critical in my thought and speech.
All of these are focal points this week. That doesn't mean that I will be free by Friday afternoon and stand as some kind of SUPER follower of Jesus. It just means that I'm a work in progress.

Please pray and give to the relief effort in Haiti.
Suffering and misery on a scale that boggles the mind.
Water, food, shelter, medicine...all in short supply.
Give to the Red Cross or other agencies that are helping the efforts to rescue the people.

Exodus 6 we find God declaring what he is going to do for Israel as they are trapped in slavery.
Unable to free themselves, their cries have gone up to God and he has begun to act on them.
In Verse 6, it begins with God making a statement.."Therefore, say to the Israelites, ' I am the Lord and I will free you.'"
God goes on to list how he will accomplish this and what he is going to do the Hebrews.
"I will free you from your slavery"
"I will redeem you"
"I will be your God"
"You will know that I am the Lord your God"
"I will bring you into the land that I have promised"
The God closes out this dialog with the same statement that he started it with.
"I am the Lord!"

3 times in the course of these verses he identified himself.
Not because they didn't know it was him.
They didn't know him.
This is our problem in the good ol' US of A.
People are under the assumption that knowledge ABOUT God is the same as knowledge OF God.
It isn't.

Eric Clapton is one of my favorite guitarist. I have listened to him from 8-track to CD (that's a number of years by the way). Seen him in various movies of concert footage. I have read his autobiography. I even got a chance to see him in 2006, but if for some reason, I had rushed the stage screaming, "Eric! It's me! I've need to talk with you." Eric would have taken one look and said, "Security! Oh Security!"
You see, I know about Eric Clapton. I don't know of Eric Clapton.
We treat God like this.
We collect opinions (some good and some bad) formulate them into a logical pattern of thought and we come to the conclusion that we know God.
How sad!
Knowing God comes through having relationship with Him.
Ever growing, always changing relationship that draws us closer to him each day.

Know God today...
Don't just know about him.

God on you........
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Saturday, January 16, 2010

Hello My Name Is MIchael and I'm A..........

Weather is a lot better today than it was a week ago.
Today, cloudy and drizzly (is that a word?) with temps in the high 40's and low 50's.
Weather will keep everyone in today. I'm sure most of the guys here at Rapha will catch up on their sleep, homework or laundry.

As I read the letters that the apostle Paul wrote, I find myself curious as to how he viewed himself in his relationship with Jesus. Now for the most part, I think that today most people give no thought as to how they fit into relationship with Jesus. But truth is, we do occupy a place and unless we understand how we fit, we miss some wonderful benefits and blessings that come with knowing.

In Philippians chapter one, Paul writes (NLT) "This letter is from Paul and Timothy, slaves of Christ Jesus." He refers to himself as a slave. What an interesting choice of words. The closest thing we could come up with would be a prisoner, such as one in the county jail or state penitentiary. The word slave used in Philippians 1:1 is the Greek word doulous. A word that means servant or one who is submitted. The submission is of a voluntary will that finds a greater good by occupying the servant place rather than be free to choose and do as one pleases.

Sometimes I think we of this day and age have lost sight of the commitment that comes with being saved. We have glossed it over to simply mean all my mess has been cleaned up and forgotten and if I'm good then I get to go to heaven when I die and sit around on clouds all day and play a harp. Man! If that is all there is to being saved, you can have it. In fact if that is the view that is held concerning salvation, then it is the most selfish, self-centered, it-is-all-about-me view that is as far from the truth as it can possibly be.

Paul, probably the most religious man ever to walk this earth, threw all the religion and benefits that he had away to live and die for this Jesus Christ he had been persecuting through the destruction of the church. Paul chunked it all and said, "I am yours! Do what you will." He lived it! The view today seems to be only to include Christ in our daily lives as part of it and not central to it. This is not good theology. Ours is to simply hear and follow. I know many who want to boil down their relationship with Christ to measuring their feelings. "I feel as though God said this" or "I feel like God is leading me to this place". What does the word say? We don't get to follow based on our feelings. It is a wonderful thing when you are overcome emotionally by God. But God does not lead through our feelings. II Corinthians 5:7 --We walk by faith and not by sight. Romans 10:17 -Faith comes by hearing and hearing the Word of God.
This is not to discredit the feelings, but to realize they are not the gauge and measure of following Jesus.

So how would you describe your position in your relationship with Jesus?
Slave...
Servant....
Co-pilot...

God on you.......
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Friday, January 15, 2010

Friday---I Made It!

Friday for me is a really good day.
I am usually on standby to teach in case one of the volunter's can't make it.
I tell the staff that I always have "one in the chamber" so speak. A teaching I can fire off at a moments notice.

Actually what happens is that I have a few verses that are always held and as I began to teach and share, God usually takes me off in the direction he wants me to go.
One of the greatest gifts given to for coming here to Rapha is the ability to teach on the fly.

It began with my first class back in 1998.
I had been coming out and helping with worship, praying with the guys and just what ever was needed. Steve approached me about the posibility of teaching a class. When I asked what it was he wanted taught, Steve left it up to me. The thought came to me 'Why not teach a God-101 class'. Just the basics of who God was and the plan of salvation.
As I began to do this, I quickly learned that focus and direction could quickly change that would lead the class to other areas in s. I did not open myself up to being diverted but found that God would take us from scripture to scripture showing specific points. As the years passed and the classes I taught piled up, I developed a keener sense of hearing God during the teaching and simply following where He was taking me.


Sometimes the greatest teaching wasn't even a teaching.
God desired to come and touch the men with His Holy Spirit.
Why? What was the point?
I have come to the conclusion that it is like the scripture in Mark 10:13-- One day some parents brought their children to Jesus so he could touch them and bless them...

Did you catch that?
They came for no other reason than to simply have Jesus touch them.
Anytime God chooses to interact with his creation, it isn't about simply making us feel better, but in the "touch" we come to an awareness of how broken we truly are and see him as the only answer to any hope that may exist in us.

I have seen many who, when God's Spirit comes upon them, do become aware of their lot in life. That hell is the only destiny they have waiting out there in their future and that Jesus is the only answer, the only hope for salvation.
I pray that God would touch you today....
Right where you are....
And that in His touch you would discover the truth about yourself and the eternal truth about God.


God on you......
mb

Thursday, January 14, 2010

What A Trade Off


Joy!
One of the aspects of the fruit of the Spirit.
God's Holy Spirit.
Produced in us, not created by us.
Not bound by circumstance or situation,
but joy that comes in spite of circumstance and situation.
Joy is a flavor of love.
Galatians 5 speaks of the "fruit" (not fruits) of the Holy Spirit.
It says that the fruit of the Holy Spirit is "love" and
then goes on to name the different flavors of that love, Joy being one of them.
Joy is love that is expressed.
Love that cannot be contained.
Love that is not self-driven or self-created, but emanates from within
from a source outside of our own capability.
Joy is love that cries out "THANK YOU JESUS!"
Not for any other reason that for who he is.
Psalm 32
V.1 - Oh, what joy for those whose rebellion is forgiven,
whose sin is put out of sight.
Joy for that? You bet! Our rebellious ways and heart are cleared and forgiven for no other reason than Jesus.
We confess and repent.
He is faithful and just to forgive.
Joy!!!
V.2 - Yes, what joy for those whose record the Lord has cleared of sin.
Whose lives are lived in complete honesty!
There isn't even a carbon copy (do you remember those?)
or a floppy disk (o.k. now I'm dating myself)
There isn't a file folder with your sins listed.
The record of your past deeds is expunged with your repentance.
The turning away from sin and the turning to God.
Because the list has been cleared, now I have the blessed opportunity
to live my life in total honesty.
Abandoning myself into God's hands!
Now if that doesn't set you on fire, your wood's wet.
Find that joy today.
Recognize the giver of such joy, Jesus Christ.
Live in.
Revel in it.
Wallow in it.
Splash in it.
Then give it away to someone else.
Share your story.

God on you....
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Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Middle Of The Week, The Road, The Ditch.

Being in the middle is not a bad place.
Here today, Wednesday, most people consider this to be the middle of the week because no one actually counts the weekend. Truth is, Thursday is the middle of the week. Wednesday just seems more neat for some reason.

The days have begun to fly by. We are almost half way through this first month. Christmas seems years ago and New Years Day has been relegated to the back burner. We are back into a normal schedule (if ever there was such a thing) here at Rapha. Classes, Afternoon recreation, night meetings. I function when there is familiarity or routine in my life. I can adapt to change, but it isn't my most favorite thing to do. Seems as though the older I get the more I struggle to maintain a "same-ness" in my life while everything around me changes.
My son's are in the "30's" now, pretty settled in their lives. That is change that is hard to grasp to me. That my sons are getting older............why that means..................I'm getting older. Yet in all of this change there is a comfort and a constant that I hold fast to.

Jesus Christ.......the same............yesterday, today and forever.
No matter how crazy things get, Jesus is the stability that I lean on to get through the day.
No matter what events upset the very fabric of my life, Jesus is the rock I stand on that gives the ability to face whatever comes.

Matthew 7:24 ---
"Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock."

I like this verse.
On my part, I am to listen and not simply "hear" the words of Jesus. Notice that the action lies upon the one hearing. Weighing what you hear and understanding it to be real truth that can effect change into your life, you act on it. Putting what you have heard into practice. That means it becomes a part of your daily routine. Jesus likens such a person to be like a wise man who built his house upon THE rock. Not a rock. Not any rock. Not the prettiest rock. Not the biggest rock. But the only rock that is capable of being that foundation. A rock that has been tried and found to be worthy and capable of with standing whatever nature and the natural world can throw and hurl to bring the house down. Jesus! It's just Jesus. The person and power, the purity and presence has no match. It's just Jesus.

As Larry Norman put is so aptly back in the 70's......"Why don't you check into Jesus...He's got the answers."

God on you.......
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Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Very Simple Message



James 1:14 - 16
Temptation comes from the lure of our own evil desires. These evil desires lead to evil actions, and evil actions lead to death. So don't be misled, my dear brothers and sisters.

It is so easy to get caught up in the fear and doubt surrounding this time and season in our lives. The world seems to be spinning out of control and common sense seems to be in short supply in our government. Morals have been discarded to walk in what seems to be freedom of "I'll do what I want to do." That global warming everyone is talking about....I'm not so sure it isn't the fires of hell growing hotter and hotter because of humanities brazen attitude of rejecting God.

I found myself confronted with something yesterday that I never had thought of before. Someone posted to this blog earlier in the week and attached a link to a pornographic site. Because of this (coupled with my ignorance on how to stop it), I have stopped the comment portion to this blog. I will begin to post my E-mail address so you can respond if you want to. I am not going to let such actions by others stop me from spreading the truth I have found concerning God. I will do some research and see what it will take to keep such things from happening in the future. I have no idea of who did such an act, but I'm not angry with them....I do pray for them. Something here must have stirred them to do such a thing, and if that stirring brings God's Holy Spirit to their life, then it was well worth the intrusion.

Oh that we would all grow in our relationship to Christ. That we would truly walk, talk, eat, sleep, breathe the reality that God is who He says He is and will do what He says He will do. That we become a message to those around us that cannot be denied. When the Holy Spirit of God is introduced into situations and places, he will stir things up. Where there is spiritual darkness, there will either be a great drawing unto himself, or his light of truth will drive away those who wish not to see and understand. That is why Jesus, in Matthew 5, stated that we were "salt and light". These qualities given to us by the Holy Spirit, cause effect in our society.

Why not be these things (salt and light) today to the people you come in contact with. You don't have to promote it, but rather live it. Be open and listen to the conversation around you. I guarantee that at some point today you will hear and have the privilege of entering into conversation where you can share your story of what God has done, and continues to do, for you.

so, G.E. and Morton's to all of you as we simply "BE" salt and light.

should you wish to contact me, you can do so by E-mail at
rapha7@bellsouth.net

God on you.........
mb

Monday, January 11, 2010

Back To Work

Monday morning........back to work.
Short Weekend but a good one.
Once again we had several visitors at the Saturday night meeting. Always good to see men come back who have gone through the program here at Rapha.
That is my heart's desire for them to come back. I have no problem if they are having trouble finding a church home, for them to come back and be a part of our Saturday night meeting.
I would love to see a community of new born's (recently saved) grow here at Rapha.
I would love to see it grow to the point that we had groups for families (kind of like a recovery Sunday School if you will) that met before the service. Then families would come together and we would worship and share and hear the Word of God. A place where commitment could be made and expectations be placed on all who come. That we would not simply gather to sit and sing so we could leave and come back the next Saturday and sit and sing some more. But that we all were challenged to leave this place and during the coming week, "Do the Stuff" or the works of Christ in the marketplace and school and home.

For 2010, the God has set the bar for us to teach the Word of God, encourage those who come to be more than casual Christians but become students of this Word. To grow and give away freely what has been given to each of us.
2010 is the year to know who we truly are, our position in Christ, and to operate from that place. To realize that the greatest power given to us is the truth of God. Defeating the enemy is not about a power encounter where we try to our muscle him, no! It is simply stating with our mouths and living with our lives the truth of God.

I have posted the message from Saturday night ( 1/9/10). Continuing in study of Step #1 and how God uses this in our lives, the message is "TREASURE IN CLAY JARS".
enjoy..

God on you....
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Saturday, January 9, 2010

E.M. Bounds On Prayer


"Prayer affects places, times, occasions, and circumstances. It has to do with God and with everything that is related to God. It has an intimate and special relationship to His house. A church should be a sacred place, set apart from all unhallowed and secular uses, for the worship of God. As worship is prayer, the house of God is a place set apart for worship. It is no common place. It is where God dwells, where He meets with His people, and where He delights in the worship of His saints."..............E.M. Bounds
I think that there is an attempt to mix the things of the world with the things of God.
Prayer has become, to some, a means to feed their soulish desires rather than follow the dictates of Christ, the very one we claim to have surrendered our lives to.
We want the blessing of the eternal God to give us the temporary things that the world loves and finds value in.
Our prayers have become a kind of spiritual shopping list that we feel entitled to. That somehow we have been given the right to wander up down the isles of blessings picking and choosing without thought to the cost.
We assume it is part of the "package" deal we received when we were saved.
we need be mindful that each blessing we receive is blood soaked.
That each wonderful gift God pours out to us came with the price of pain and suffering that we cannot relate to.
Pain and suffering for sin that rightfully we should have to pay for.
Yet we flippantly go about our daily lives as though there is no expectation from God as to our purpose and being here on planet earth.
We focus on our own (I confess this) petty needs while hundreds, even millions die daily and have never heard the Gospel of Christ.
We soothe our conviction because of lack of praying and then acting on what God tells us, by putting an extra $5.00 in the plate at church.
We mumble prayers about "Bless those on the mission field."
Maybe it's time for me to take prayer more serious than I do.
Part of what I write is a kind of self inflicted guilt about not praying as much as I think I should.
Part of it is the reality that it's not the quantity of prayer that is needed but the quality.
Oh God! Teach me to pray.
We somehow have the notion that God desires us to be busy in Jesus name. These programs that we institute may be good and fine but if God has not directed them, then we are operating from that selfish place.
Do you see that we think we are very spiritual because we have taken a few moments to talk with God. We are measuring our own spirituality as if to pat ourselves on the back and say, "Jesus will really appreciate the time I spend with Him.
How wrong could we be. Yes! God desires to answer your prayers and to communicate with you, but not when we are still being driven by hearts that are selfish.
This relationship with Christ is where I turn the attention from myself and focus on Him.
Faith tells me that Jesus will never desert me nor forsake me.
That being so, then why do I shun the companionship and company of Jesus to run after the things of the world?
Is it that we simply use Jesus as the great talisman or genie lamp to rub and because our grimy,
little hands moved over the lamp, Jesus is at our every call and must grant us our wishes.
God forgive me! If that is my focus and my heart I truly am in need of taking a look at what
I think salvation to be.
Being saved is about falling in love.
In love with Jesus.
Not the syrupy, Lifetime Network, kind of love.
But a love that goes so deep, burns with such heat, consumes with such passion, that I
would die for this Jesus rather than renounce my allegiance to Him.
It is from this place that prayer becomes more than simply speaking to the air, hoping that there is someone there that hears.
I want to learn to pray.
I want to be lost in prayer.
Let 2010 be the year of prayer.
God on you.......
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Friday, January 8, 2010

Go!

I find it hard to believe the technology that is available today.
Technology that the church is slow to embrace because the world uses it to further their message of "SELF" indulgence. For some reason the church has always believed that everything the world uses cannot possibly be something that God would use. Truth be known, God is the creative source behind technology. The devil / satan / lucifer (what ever moniker he may be going by) only copies what he sees God doing and then perverts it for soulish purposes.

I remember giving an interview for our local newspaper back in 1998. At that time, the church I pastored was beginning to create and host a web page on the Internet. We had a message board where anyone who wanted to could come and post a message. These messages usually started threads, or comments from several other people. We felt like this was a good way to engage those who were "Church-a-ly" challenged and maybe did not know who Jesus was.
When the article came out, several other pastors in town quickly commented that they would never have a web page with a message board because that was opening yourself up to anyone saying what ever they wanted to. Truth is, it isn't that way because if your diligent, you would have someone patrol the board, removing comments that may have contained profanity or other such foolishness. The point was that these men were afraid of using technology to further the gospel.

Let me state right up front, I am not a "techie".
I am about as challenged as they come but, as my wife says, I am very teachable.
This is why I am all about trying to learn what is out there that I can use for the Kingdom.
That is why I embedded, or placed, on this blog the little I-pod icon where you can listen to our messages and worship. You can even download them to your I-pod or phones. I want to get the word out that there is a better way.
That way being Jesus.
I'm not pushing any denomination.
I'm not pushing any agenda.
I don't want you sending money.
I have no Holy Ghost dish rags to get the demons off your dishes.
No miracle healing shammy's.
I only want to share the pure, unadulterated Word of God that is life to those who are dying.

That is why I sit here day after day checking the stats on this blog to see where it is going.
I confess to you that this has truly undone me.
To thing that this blog, these words that I'm writing here in Attalla, Alabama are going around the world and are being read in multiple countries. That is what technology is about.
I know that the word of God does not return void. What does that mean? It means that when ever the word of God is read it will produce fruit or an awareness that real truth is being viewed and heard.
I trust God to do what he intended his word to accomplish. Simple as that.
That is why I want to encourage you to listen to the messages we post each week.
Please forgive my Southern accent and the fact that sometimes when I get wound up (that's excited for those who don't speak Southern) I sound more like Goober Pyle from the Andy Griffith show.
I pray that the heart of the message would bring you hope and lead you to a place where the God you understand today is more than the God you understood yesterday.

Thank you for stopping by the Greene Street Letters and I trust that you'll come back and that you'll tell your family and friends about us.
God's blessing to you........
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Thursday, January 7, 2010

Whoa....Dude!

I have thoroughly enjoyed watching our ducks here at Rapha this week. The cold weather has created ice over the pond and, as such, the ducks are having a hard time adjusting to it. Early on, they came flying in to land on the water only to find it solid. Talk about rude awakening! They skidded, and went into spins. They did face plants right into the ice. It was hilarious to watch because you could just hear their little duck "minds" saying, "Hmmmm. This has never happened before. I fly in. I put out my feet to break myself. I land on liquid. What's up with all this hard stuff?" After a while, they got the hang of it because they did not quit or fly away never to try again.

Life with God is kind of like that.
We become comfortable in our walk and we have a tendency to think that it will always be like this. But then something happens, an outside influence, that changes everything. Just like the cold turned the surface of the pond into ice. We may not recognize the change or even be aware of it until we try to walk or live according to the way we've always done. We suddenly find ourselves spiritually doing face plants, spinning wildly out of control, thinking to ourselves, "What happened?" All the while God has been trying to tell us to pay attention and not get comfortable in the way we have approached life. When we encounter times like this, it leaves us disoriented and with a helpless feeling that everything has changed and we cannot continue. It makes us want to give up and quit. Like the ducks though, we should keep trying to land and learn from each attempt. This is the most important question I have found that God asks of me when I fail or mess up. "What have you learned?" What did I put in my heart that will aid me next time I try to "land on the ice"?

It's about learning as we walk through life, realizing that every day is different and situations and circumstances do not remain the same. The problems and situations I face today, are a lot different that the ones I struggled with back in 1969. This is the beauty of this relationship I have with God. He is ever teaching me, showing me and instructing me on how to learn from mess ups and mistakes. Some people have a problem because they refuse to learn. They keep doing the same thing over and over and over again, hoping for a different result (by the way this is the recovery definition for insanity).

Keep your spiritual eyes and ears open for the changes that come to you.
Learn to "slide on the ice" if you will!
God on you......
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Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Did You See Jesus Today?

Cold tonight.
Makes me wonder who is sleeping out in it.
Searching for a warm place.
2 litre drink bottles filled with hot water from the Quick Shop,
stuffed inside a ratty coat to keep warm.

Seeking out surgical waiting rooms at local hospitals for a place to sleep.
After all, the attendants don't know who has family there are not.
Crashing on friends couches.
Sleeping in cars parked in deserted places, hoping and praying that no one bothers them tonight.
Some even desperate to get arrested just so they would have "3 hots and a cot"
Some find themselves in places like this because of bad choices they made in life.
Now is not the time to point fingers and say, "I told you so."
Now is the time to help.
Jesus spoke of this in Matthew 25.
"For I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home. I was naked, and you gave me clothing. I was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison and you visited me."
The righteous ones Jesus was talking to said, "When? When did we do those things?"
Jesus replied, "I assure you, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!"
Jesus takes it very personal when we act outside of our own selfish interest and motive to help someone who truly needs help.
When our motive is love for that individual...not the syrupy kind of love
the world offers.
The "agape" unconditional, God-love that comes only through
the work and direction of the Holy Spirit in the life of a believer.
God on you.......
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Greene Street Letter 6 / 18 / 01


A reprint of the Greene Street Letters from June 18, 2001
Genesis 3:23
Therefore, the Lord God sent him (Adam) out from the garden of Eden to cultivate the ground from which he was taken.
This verse caught my eye last week as I was reading and sparked something as I studied it. The phrase "to cultivate the ground from which he was taken" seem to speak to me.

We know that Adan and Eve had broken covenant with God and, as such, had been removed from the garden. God cursed the ground on Adams' behalf that it would only yield its fruit and produce from the sweat and work of the man. But now for some reason, God has taken Adan and given him the task of cultivating the ground from which he was taken.
We can look at this phrase (the ground from which he was taken) from two different points.
1.) God placed Adam in a place using the generic term for ground. By this, I mean that Adam cultivated the substance that God used to form him.
2.) This place God put Adam was the THE very spot Adam was formed from. The very place that God reached down and took the dust from.
If we view this verse using the second view that how would you have felt if you were Adam? How would you have felt about getting up every morning and going to the place that reminded you of every thing you had lost. How would you have felt every time you chopped a weed or plowed ground, being flooded with memories of Eden and what it had been like to live there?
What must it have been like to feel the cool breeze on our cheeks as day turned to dusk and remember that it was this time of day when God came down to walk with you? Every time you caught the smell of freshly turned soil, your very being groaned over your mistake.

What I have described here is not what I believe God had intended for Adam to go through. I am fully convinced that God did not place Adam in this place to work so that he would remember what he had lost. Adam was paying for the consequences of his sin. I do believe that we may view our circumstances sometimes when we find ourselves struggling with our past, especially past mistakes.
You see, our human nature (especially when driven by our flesh) has a tendency to not be able to get over or around my past deeds. I have prayed for many (including myself) that seem destined to wallow in past mistakes, never being able to free themselves and move on. The memories serve as a personal jail to keep them bound up and in fear.
Where does this reaction to past mistakes come from? The devil! He loves to keep our attention focused on the mistake. This keeps us from seeking forgiveness and mercy and grace from God so we can get on with the business of life and His Kingdom. It's not that God won't forgive us and cleanse us from past mistakes....He will. We have a tendency to not let Him because we buy into the lie that God can't forgives someone like us...we are too bad or our sin is too great.
Either Romans 8:1 is true or it is the ultimate cosmic joke!
"There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus."
In the above verse, when is there "NO" condemnation? NOW! Not yesterday, so that you feel like you've missed it. Not tomorrow, so that you feel as though you have to wait for it, but now! This moment! This day.....NOW!
Webster's defines condemnation as To pronounce unfit for use.
The enemy is the one who brings condemnation on you. It is his lying voice that whispers, "You'll never change, you'll always be tied to sin...see I told you could not live in freedom. Why that freedom is for others...not you."
When someone is condemned in the court system, it usually means the death penalty has been applied for the crime in question. Same sentence is pronounced in the devil's kingdom. He merely says, "Here you go, you sinner. You deserve to die." His goal is to simply keep your sin before your eyes without offering any hope.
But God's Spirit is a convicting spirit. Webster's defines conviction as "To prove guilty and relegated to serving a sentence." Yes, when I sin I confess my guilt, but Jesus through his death and resurrection nullifies the sentence and we receive his pardon or forgiveness. Cool huh? So lets see...condemnation or conviction? Doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure that one out.
Galatians 5:1 reads: It was for freedom that Christ set us free, therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery.
God did not place Adam in the place of his origin to constantly remind him of all he had lost. God placed Adam there to give him hope. God was saying, "Adam, this is what I am going to restore in you and to you. All those thing that were lost." He wanted Adam to not spend his time focused on what was lost or the mistake that was made, but to look and see the goodness and hand of God around him. God was giving Adam hope and faith that the work that was begun by God's hand would be accomplished.
Philippians 1:6 - For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.
My confidence is not placed in me or in what I can do, but in Jesus and what He can do when I say, "Yes" to him. Don't let the devil rob you of your life by condemning you to a yoke of slavery to your past. Let Jesus set you free so that you can experience real life and not merely an existence.

God on you........
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Monday, January 4, 2010

Paradox Of Emotion And Reality

Excuse me if I don't buy into the line about what it means to be
a Christian.
I turn on my T.V. and see so many people teaching and preaching
about the incredible life that comes with being saved.
Now don't get me wrong.
I'm not saying that being a Christian isn't the greatest.
It is!
Man! I have been on the ride of a lifetime over the last
16 years.
But the ride has ups and downs.
In and outs.
Over and unders.
If you listened to the guys and guy-ettes on T.V.
you'd think that every one who is a Christian is the following:
1.) Rich (that's with hard cash)
2.) Beautiful (on the outside)
3.) Never had problems again
4.) Everyone had great relationships with everyone they knew
5.) They lived a life of what is commonly referred to as "mountain top experiences"
or
never being depressed or gloomy or tired or want to give up and quit.
Well! Truth is .......
that view is a bunch of hooey.
Here again, please catch what I'm trying to say here.
Life as a believer is the greatest.
It is the greatest because when the wheels come off....
when your own dog bites you....
when your check bounces...
when people make fun of you because you are some sort of "holy joe"..
when everything happens at once and you are clueless....
Jesus is there to get you through.
Sometimes there is a bonus and he takes you out of the trouble.
But no matter which---through or out...
You come away wiser and full of faith because of the trouble.
Here is one of my most favorite passages in scripture.
II Corinthians 4:8-9
We are hard pressed on every side by troubles,
but we are not crushed and broken.
We are perplexed, but we don't give up and quit.
We are hunted down, but God never abandons us.
We get knocked down, but we get up again and keep going.
Did you catch that?
All the stuff that happens....stuff we simply refer to as life?
Hard pressed...that means pressure and stress and worry and doubt and fear.
Perplexed? That means we don't have any answers to our problems.
In the past, I would have cut and run back to my old ways and habits in order
to escape having to deal with such things.
I'm older and wiser now. Not that I have arrived, I haven't.
I'm still learning.
Till the day I draw my last breath or Jesus comes to take us home...
I will be learning.
Happy New Year.
Please check out the latest message from 1/2/10 our Saturday night meeting.
I just finished downloading it to the pod cast thingy-ma-bob!
God on you......
mb

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Day 2....where does the year go?

January 2nd.
Cold and breezy.
Visitation here at Rapha.
Camp meeting tonight.

New Year's Eve service was really good. We focused on Psalm 51 which was King David's Psalm of repentance for his sins with Bathsheba and the murder of her husband.
Cool part was that David was uncovered by his right hand man, Nathan.
Being the King, David could have pulled out all kind of royal "do overs" that would have gotten him off the hook. If things got to bad, he could have pulled rank on everyone and simply said, "Dude, I'm the king. Get over it!"
But David chose none of those. He knew that he might be king but that there was a king over him. Someone we refer to as "King of kings". Hmmmm.

I love the fact that David even realizes that looking religious and posing doesn't accomplish anything except make you look good in the eyes of your fellow sinners.
V.16-17
You would not be pleased with sacrifices, or I would bring them. If I brought you a burnt offering, you would not accept it. The sacrifice you want is a broken spirit. A broken and repentant heart, O God, you will not despise.

David knew that God is always looking at the heart not the actions. The actions of an individual do not show the motive behind why a person does a certain thing. David said, "You know what? I could have brought you a bazillion sheep and cows to offer as burnt offerings at the Temple. But it would not have made right the motive I had in my heart when I sinned against you, O Lord."

Even back in Verse 4 David writes, "Against you and you alone, have I sinned. I have done what is evil in your sight. You will be proved right in what you say, and your judgment against me is just."

Recognizing your own guilt and then accepting responsibility for it is huge.
Recognizing your own guilt and that you have sinned against God is huge.
Seeking forgiveness for this sin is the only way to break the power of sin and then move on with your life.
Let this be the year we accept responsibility for our sin, but at the same time recognize that only God has the power to forgive and free us from our sin.
2010....let's go out and live it!

God on you.......
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Tuesday Bible Study

Psalm 119:130 The entrance (or unfolding) of Your words gives light. it gives understanding to the simple. Pulled up at the camp last ...