Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Do You Hear What I Hear? Part III

John 19:26-27
When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, "Woman, behold, your son!" Then he said to the disciple, "Behold, your mother!" and from that hour the disciple took her to his own home.

Jesus on the cross.A moment in time where he became the lamb to be sacrificed.Pain beyond comprehension.Misery unlike any other.Yet here in the midst of it all, we find Jesus still looking out for others.Not focused on himself and his needs.The cross reveals the love of God in the clearest picture possible.

I John 3:16 - By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers.
What amazing love and affection Jesus showed with his dying breath.
He loved his mother, and "the disciple" (some say it was John.
Whomever it was, he was the only male disciple at the cross during Jesus' death.

We need to understand that these who loved Jesus and had come to the cross, did so with great fear and personal risk. Jesus was a revolutionary in the eyes of Rome. He was a heretic in the eyes of the religious ruling council there in Jerusalem. Any supporter of Jesus who stood at the cross ran the risk of ridicule and arrest. It didn't matter. The women stood there. Why? They were there because they loved him. There is no other explanation. They simply loved him and did not want to desert him in his greatest hour of need. He had done so much for them that they were willing to stand by him no matter the cost.
Jesus' love was further demonstrated in that even in death, his mind and heart were set on taking care of others. He was touched by Mary's hurt and pain. In the last moments of his life upon earth, he arranged for her care.
We should realized that he is also moved by the hurt and pain we experience. Jesus is not some entity sitting off in the universe somewhere, gazing on earth with a bored expression. He is up close and personal and takes what affects us personal.
Jesus' death and resurrection secured for all who believe (Romans 10:9-10) the grace and mercy and help from God to see us through this lifetime and into eternity with Him.
Because Jesus Christ died for us, and we (his followers) died in him, he is able to heal and save and abide with us.

Wow! Think on these things.......
He is risen!
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Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Do You Hear What I Hear? Part II


Luke 23:43
Jesus answered him, "I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise."
This is the second time Jesus spoke from the cross.
Yesterday we began with Jesus saying, "Father, forgive them for they know not what they do."
Today was see Jesus responding to one of the thieves that was crucified with him.
We still find Jesus' attention turned to others besides himself. Even in the middle of the most excruciating pain any man could endure, Jesus' heart was for the task at hand. Making sure the plan and purpose of God was carried out completely.
In the previous verses before Luke 23:43 we see two thieves also on crosses, on either side of Jesus. Both hanging there for crimes they had committed, and both mocking and deriding Jesus. What a picture of human depravity to strike out at Christ, the One who did not sin.
Somewhere during this time, one of the thieves came to his senses, turned from his sin, and found pardon and salvation in Jesus Christ. The thief acknowledged his sin and guilt (Luke 23:41). This thief passed sentence upon himself, acknowledged his wrong, did not make any excuses for his actions, and did not attempt to blame shift. This thief, hanging on a cross, saw himself correctly. This is the very heart of the gospel-- A man must see his sinful nature. Until he can see this, he will minimize, justify, make excuses, or shift blame to someone else.
Until the Holy Spirit of God opens our eyes so we can view ourselves accurately, we will never have a need for God or for salvation. This thief was brought to the end of himself. Hanging there on that cross, there was no where to run, there was no hope whatsoever of being saved by his own merits, or by his own efforts. Here in this reality, the thief turns and cries out to Jesus, "Lord, remember me when you come into Your kingdom."
The thief asked Jesus to "remember me." How appropriate that the thief asked Jesus to remember him for he was an outcast of society. Who would remember him? The angry mob there at the cross would not remember this man. His friends would not remember him. His family would probably want to forget about him and all the shame he had brought down upon them. But there was One of whom the thief could ask, "Lord, remember me," and receive an immediate response. There on that cross the thief was taught and shown the greatest theology lesson in the history of mankind. The forgiveness and mercy of God!
Think on these things this week.....
He is risen!
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Monday, March 29, 2010

Do You Hear What I Hear?


Luke 23:34
And Jesus said, "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do."
Hanging on the cross, his body racked with pain, the first words that Jesus says is about forgiveness. How incredible is that?
Jesus could have prayed that His enemies be instantly put to death.
He could have prayed that the earth open its mouth and they be swallowed into hell.
He could have prayed that they all be placed on crosses and made to suffer as He was. Instead, He prayed that they would find grace in the eyes of God, and that God would forgive them for their sins.

Jesus demonstrated what He had been teaching His disciples all along. That we are called to respond differently than the world does when we are wronged. Jesus modeled a lifestyle that was not bound by the dictates of this world, but rather by His father in heaven.
On the cross, Jesus practiced what He preached. Jesus loved His enemies, blessing those who cursed Him. Doing good to those who hated Him, and praying for those who despite fully used Him and persecuted Him. Jesus demonstrated something that we all need to realize today. Contrary to the writings of modern day psychologists, man's two main needs are not "security and significance," But rather forgiveness for sin and redemption from sin.
Think on this today....
Romans 4:7 -
Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven and whose sins are covered.

Ephesians 4:32-
Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.
He is risen!
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Saturday, March 27, 2010

A Shut Down Day


Saturday! Weather is shaping up for a good day. Lot's of sunshine. I sound like a weather man, don't I?
We aren't having services tonight as the men will be visiting a local group who enjoys putting on special events especially for those here at Rapha.
Since we aren't having the meeting, I have a day off, so to speak. I don't have to prepare a message or get up a worship set. I can just "be here" at Rapha. Do whatever is needed to be done and just enjoy the day.
Part of my day will be in the porch swing in front of the classroom.
It's a good location and one that lets you see the compound so you can kind of keep up with everything. It's also a good place because everyone passes by at one time or another during the day. Some will stop to talk which is always good. Some will merely say "howdy" and move on.
Tyler (grand son) spent the night with us last night. It's always good to have the grand kids come and visit. I don't know for sure (I had to leave early) but I bet his "aimme" made him pancakes this morning. Don't let Vicki know, but she spoils Tyler. I do too so there you go.
Next week is Easter and my thoughts always turn to the events leading up to Jesus' resurrection. It's the events and human drama that took place before his death and resurrection that have always drawn me, and this year is no different. I'm not sure exactly what is going to happen, but I do know that next Saturday's meeting will special and a little different that the way we usually conduct our services. Seth Barber will be speaking and as always, I look forward to him coming to share. Seth always brings a "right now" message that seems to hit home with the guys.
We are looking at bringing back Danny Daniels (possible in May). Danny has been with us in the past and always brings what I refer to as "the Blues and the Gospel". Also, possibly in June, Nori and Barbie Kelley will be traveling through. Nori and Barbie currently live in Japan and will be home visiting and touring. Make your plans to be with us for these two very special events. You won't want to miss them.
Verse of the Day:
Revelation 21:4
He will remove all of their sorrows, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. For the old world and its evils are gone forever.
God on you..........
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Friday, March 26, 2010

A Very Hard Day


From The Book Of Job:
"The Lord gave me everything I had and the Lord has taken it away!"
"Should we accept only good things from the hand of God and never anything bad? So in all of this, Job said nothing wrong."
I don't understand everything that happens to people in this world.
I do know that the free will God has granted to us is misused and from our bad choices, bad consequences happen which affect others.
It is hard for us to make choices that affect only our own lives and no one else. It's not only hard, it is near impossible. Every choice has layers to it that affects people around us.
If a person decides to get drunk and then drive, because of his bad choice, he is putting everyone he comes in contact with in jeopardy.
Job, in his prayer actually says...hey God! I know that you are a perfect God and I know that this is a fallen world filled with imperfect men and women. No matter what happens, I will seek you. IF good should come my way, I will rejoice and worship you. IF bad should be my lot for the day, I will still worship you. This is where a lot of people fall off of God's bandwagon, so to speak. They are all pro-God as long as life is handing them the good stuff, but you let things start to go South and we are all up in God's business blaming him.
I am not saying that we should be all Pollyanna when bad things happen, but we do need to keep everything in perspective and in the middle of our pain and suffering, keep asking, "What are you trying to show me through this Lord?"
It seems as though this past week has been a week of sickness and death.
Death has touched us through two that we know.
One who died accidentally and another who lost a son.
Our prayers have been with these two and we continue to ask God to show mercy and compassion during this dark time.
Life will go on.
What are we going to do? Are we going to let ourselves become bitter and angry or do we allow our brokenness to draw us nearer to God. To bring all our questions and lay them at the feet of Jesus. It's not about getting answers to the "Whys" we ask, but about us falling deeper to trusting Jesus. That no matter what comes my way, I do not quit or give up but continue to follow Jesus.
The situations we face, good and bad, will draw out emotions/ feelings, but we have to look beyond what we are experiencing to what is the real truth. This is where I find strength and grace to carry on when in the past, I would have crumbled and given up. Real truth is found in Jesus. Found in Him today! No matter what you are currently going through, lean hard into Jesus and do not let go of Him. He will see you through.
Psalm 23:4 reads: Even when I walk thought the dark valley of death, I will not be afraid for you are close beside me." Jesus is the friend who sticks closer than a brother.
Today, you are not alone, no matter what pain you are facing.
Today, you are not forgotten no matter how far away you feel from God.
Today, you have not been abandoned. He is there to comfort and lead you.
May you find His peace today for whatever situation you are struggling with.
Know that we pray for everyone who stops by GREEN STREET LETTERS.
We don't have to know your name or where you are from, but our prayers are for God to touch you and restore you through the few moments you spend here.
That you may run into the real, deal God and understand that He alone is the truth you have been searching for all your life.

God on you.......
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Thursday, March 25, 2010


I am saddened.
I am not shocked by the attitude.
Scripture said it would be this way "in the last days."
Yet, I never thought I would see it in my lifetime.
The lack of a moral compass in my country, the United States of America.
The lines between what is acceptable and what isn't is now defined
by the human heart.
The human heart, which according to Scripture, is deceitful above all things, is now the moral, absolute compass of what is and isn't appropriate.
The human heart now defines and declares what is
acceptable and appropriate and should be embraced by all.
Behavior and words that are openly displayed for all to hear and see
now fill this nation that 10 years ago would not be tolerated or condoned as correct behavior.
A high ranking government official uses a gutter-term during
a public gathering to describe how he felt about the passage of a bill.
The same official later states, after being uncovered, that he was told that his
usage of the word made the day, so to speak.
My heart breaks for this country.
We have become so polarized through our speech that we no longer listen.
We are too busy pushing agenda's and lambasting the other side.
The name of Christ is shopped about like cheap ware in a flea market.
His named is dropped in speeches in order to get votes.
Words like "faith" and "family values" are cast around
so as to give the impression that high moral values are at play.
Why do I bring all this up?
I'm not sure, except to say that we should be praying hard and long for God's will to be made evident.
I'm not sure that things will change. After all, if you read II Timothy Chapter 3,
you'll see that in the last days certain human character defects will be more evident
than ever before.
I hold true that this is the what we are currently seeing in this nation as well as around the world.
Verse 5 states that many will "have a form of godliness" but deny the power that is found in true Godliness.
In other words, the name of Jesus will be bandied about in order to create the
appearance of being a believer.
Having such a facade only to further personal and selfish ambitions in the
business and government world.
I'm not smart enough to play these silly games.
But what I do know that there is a time when
we all will have to give an account of our life here on this planet.
CNN or Fox will not be there to cover it.
Every eye will see and hear.
ABC, NBC and CBS will not be asked to give a follow up address to put a spin on what takes place.
The final word rests with Jesus. Lord and Savior.
LORD over all who claim to be lord.
KING over all who claim to be king.
PRESIDENT over all who claim to be president.
PRIME MINISTER over all who claim to be prime minister.
In other words, no matter what the title of governmental heads....
Jesus rules above their influence...
above their power.....
Imagine what that day will look like....

God on you...
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Cloudy Thoughts

Genesis 1:2
The earth was without form, and void, and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.

Here we read where God confronts chaos. The unruly, disorganized behavior and functions that identified His creation. God did not intend for it to be this way, and He is not about to let it remain in this state.

What do we know from Genesis 1:2?
The face of the deep was present.
The face of darkness was present?
But the Spirit of God was there confronting the chaos.
The word "VOID" from the Hebrew, also means "meaningless" or with out meaning. God not only creates life but it is His good pleasure to give purpose and meaning to life.

God is the creator, not the inventor.
Inventor's make machines and then stand back to watch them run.
God has poured Himself into his creation.
Just as today, for those who receive Jesus as Lord over their very lives, have the Holy Spirit of God poured into them.
This presence of God's Holy Spirit creates a new life and a new dynamic that runs contrary to the dictates and demands of this world.
No longer am I tied to my sin nature.
I have been set free from the penalty, the power and the presence of sin.
Does this mean the battle is over between my flesh (sin nature) and my spirit?
No, the two will battle till I draw my last breath or Jesus comes to take me home.
But I am no longer a slave to the sin.
I no longer must act on its behalf to do its bidding.
The chaos of sin in my life has been replaced with a sense of peace.
Not the peace that comes when all my circumstances and situations around me have been stilled, but peace that lives deep within that centers me even when everything is shaking and up in the air. When I think to myself, "I should be worried and upset over this situation, but I'm not." A peace from God that bypasses my brain and goes deep within my heart.

As I look around at our country and our government, I see more and more chaos.
I see darkness (spiritual) covering towns and cities.
But even in all of this, I know that the Spirit of God is hovering and moving to work the plans and purposes of God so that His Kingdom will be brought in.
I rest in the assurance that no matter what happens, God is in control and that all things that are happening are working for the good of the Kingdom.
I can rest in this thought.

God on you.......
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Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Freedom


Psalm 107:20
He sent His word and healed them, and delivered them from their destruction.
The Word?
The Word became flesh and dwelt among us....Jesus!
In the beginning was the Word and the Word was God and the Word was with God.....the mystery of the trinity.
For the Word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two edged sword....the Bible.
SO in Psalm 107 which one did God send.....?
Jesus?
The complete God....? Father, Son and Holy Spirit?
The written Word?
The answer? YES! ALL of them.
We are blessed to have the complete Holy Spirit of God at work in us daily. Unlike those in the Old Testament who did not receive the fullness of the Spirit, we have been given the comforter to lead us, teach us, speak to us the truth of God daily.
The Bible....
Yes, we are blessed to have a written copy of the truth of God. I don't argue over "did we get all the books for our Bible or are there others out there we don't know about?" I take by faith the Bible I have as being complete. If God had wanted the others in the cannon of Scripture, He would have placed them there. To me, when others seek out what they perceive as the "lost" books of Scripture, they are operating from the notion that got the woman in trouble back in the garden of Eden. You know where the serpent told her to "Eat this and your eyes will be open and you will be like God." Behind that subtle message was the thought that "God has hidden some stuff from you that He really doesn't want you to know. Eat this fruit and it will be made evident to you because you will operate on the same level as God." I trust God for the Bible that I have.
The Trinity....
Jesus lives to intercede for me (Hebrews 7:25).
Holy Spirit is interceding for me (Romans 8:27)
Who is Jesus and the Holy Spirit interceding to?
God the Father.
It's like this prayer circle that goes on 24/7 between the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
When I place my prayers in this circle, I join in .
When my prayers are in line with the Father's heart, then He moves on them.
When my prayers are simply full of "ME" and my own fleshly desires, God chunks them to the side and says, "Try again."
This salvation......
This new relationship I have been brought into with God truly is a new life of freedom.
Not freedom to do what I want to do...
But freedom to do what I ought to do.
God has granted me freedom from the presence of sin.
God has granted me freedom from the power of sin.
And God has granted me freedom from the penalty of sin.
By His word, I am healed....
God on you.....
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Tuesday, March 23, 2010

One In Spirit


Psalm 133
How good and pleasant it is
when brothers live together in unity!
It is like precious oil poured on the head,
running down the beard,
running down on Aaron's beard,
Down upon the collar of his robes.
It is as if the dew of Mount Hermon
were falling on Mount Zion.
For there the Lord bestows his blessing,
even life forever more.
The picture above is of Mount Hermon.
98 % of the water in Israel comes from this mountain as the snow cap melts and
runs down into the valleys below.
IT is a source of life that falls from above and blesses everyone and everything as
it melts and begins the rundown.
Psalm 133 is speaking of unity.
Unity of natural families.
Unity of countries.
Most importantly, unity of the body of Christ.
This unity can only come from God as His Holy Spirit moves over His people, the church.
The unity flows down like the dew or water from Mount Hermon and brings life with it.
This unity written about in Psalm 133 is compared to the anointing oil used to anoint the priest.
In particular it mentions Aaron, Moses' brother.
In our modern times we use oil.....but we use it sparingly.
We would not want to soil anyone clothes if we were anointing them.
God does not do anything sparingly.
He abundantly pours out as we read in this Psalm.
Running down the beard, running down to the collar of the robe.
We are not to desire a small anointing, we are to ask for the full measure.
To be doused, if you will, with the Spirit of God.
Beyond measure.
Beyond what we can stand.
Beyond what our minds can think.
We are to be soaked in the Spirit of God.
One of the by products of this anointing is love and unity.
Not the syrupy, man-made stuff we try to create and label from God here on this planet,
but the real, deal, heaven-sent, love that can only come as the Spirit of God
works in our hearts.
The last part of Psalm 133 says that "This is the place the Lord bestows his blessing, even
life forever more."
I want that anointing.

Father...
I would that you would pour out on all who read this posting today
an abundant, over the top, anointing of your Holy Spirit.
That we would begin to lay down the reasons and point that have caused division
and that we would seek your will in the body of Christ.
Blessed be your name today, O Lord.
In Jesus Name, I pray...
Amen!
Until tomorrow...
God on you...
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Monday, March 22, 2010

The Shema


"The most important one," answered Jesus, "Is this: ' Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.' The second is this: ' Love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no commandment greater than these."

What an incredible statement. God is one. Undivided and without question the only God. OF course, it takes more than statements and clever quips and quotes to make something true. It takes intervention and running into this God. It takes a blending of the Word of God and the Spirit of God working in an individual that awakens this person to the reality of what God is saying.

We become so focused on our everyday lives and situations that we simply want just enough God to get us through the day. Well, aren't you tired of simply "getting through the day?" God is more than my day to day activities. God is more than all my problems and character defects. God is wanting to pull me into his family and his plans. Why? First off because of the love He has for me. More than any person has every loved us before, God's love is greater, higher and deeper than we can imagine.

No matter how many directions you are being pulled in today, God wants to center you and show you a better way of living. You were created to more than surviving. You were created to overcome. Overcome means you don't quit because of the power of God's Holy Spirit in you.

So today...find God. Look for the times when He speaks to you. Maybe in a thought that floats through your mind. In His Word, a verse that seems to stand up on the page. Lay hold of these things and keep them in your heart. Ponder God's presence today. Ask Him to reveal Himself to you.

God on you.....

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NEW MESSAGE DOWNLOADED: STEP #3 LESSON #3-- Straight path's and level ground.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Spring is Here!

Thoughts today turn toward the awesomeness of God. I walk around the camp and see the "green" bursting out all over. I see the spirit's of the men lifted up as the sun shines down.
I see the plum tree outside my office has sprouted new blooms....white, pink and some red....New life coming forth.

I marvel each year as we turn from winter to spring. How life is brought forth from death. How life is birthed on time. The trees bring forth their leaves. Grass begins to grow greener and greener. It is a time to shake off the dust of the past season and move on into this new one that God is giving us.

I think on Psalm 139 today:
O LORD, You have searched me and known me. You know my sitting down and my rising up. You understand my thought afar off. You comprehend my path and my lying down, and are acquainted with all my ways. For there is not a word on my tongue, but behold, O LORD, You know it altogether. You have hedged me behind and before, and laid Your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me. It is high, I cannot attain it.

To be able to rest in the knowledge that God is who He says He is and that He will do what He says He will do is worth more than anything I could imagine.
Thank you, Father, that you have given me life today.
I am grateful for the place you have placed me.
I am grateful for the vision here and for the ones who it came through.
I would that you bless them today X 10. Beyond measure in their lives.
Peace X 10
Rest X 10
Provision X 10
Let the windows of heaven be opened and pour forth such a blessing, because the tithes have been brought into your storehouse.
We receive from you, today, the fullness of Your Spirit....
The Word from Your Bible....
The call to tell our story....
And the strength to carry this out....
In Jesus name.....Amen

God on you......
See you Monday....
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Friday, March 19, 2010

Glenn Kaiser "We shall see the King"

Jesus People....
Calvary Chapel...
Chuck Smith....
Danny Daniels....
Glenn Kaiser and Rez Band.
All part of my history and what tunes me.
I love this song and I am so grateful that Glenn still burns for the kingdom today even after all these years.
As Glenn so aptly puts it....
WE SHALL SEE THE KING!

God on you....
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What Is Your Source?

Where do your thoughts, emotions,feelings etc.....flow from?
Do they come from the sin nature? Are they a by product of such a place?
I know that the Bible says that "the heart is most deceitful and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is?" the Word also tells us that out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks. It may be that our sin nature manifests itself through the heart and mouth as the body responds and obey the lust of the eye and flesh. God's desire is to transform us through the power of Christ and the Holy Spirit who works inside of us. To transform the human heart into a heart that loves God. It is a process no doubt, as I am living testimony to the fact that when God works in a person, it is a long-term, daily progressive work.

God wants us to recognize the limits we have and then allow Him to take us beyond that. He will energize and give vision to people for things and plans that are beyond what they could ever accomplish in their own strength and ability. Isn't that God's way? He chooses the very people who, in the world's eyes, lack the ability or skill to accomplish anything. God chooses, they accept. He empowers them.He leads them. He completes through who ever He has chosen, His plans.

I Corinthians 1:30 reads: God alone made it possible for you to be in Christ Jesus. For our benefit God made Christ to be wisdom itself. He is the one who made us acceptable to God. He made us pure and holy, and he gave himself to purchase our freedom.

Paul also writes in I Corinthians 1 ---> Remember dear brothers and sisters, that few of you were wise in the world's eyes, or powerful, or wealthy when God called you. Instead, God deliberately chose things the world considers foolish in order to shame those who think they are wise. And he chose those who are powerless to shame those who are powerful. God chose things despised by the world, things counted as nothing at all, and used them to bring to nothing what the world considers important, so that no one can ever boast in the presence of God.

Count yourselves blessed today to be chosen and used by God.
Know that His plans are without fail.
Know that He loves you and will not forsake or desert you.
He is a good God!

God on you..
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Thursday, March 18, 2010

Thursday Night

Psalm 95:6
Come let us worship and bow down. Let us kneel before the Lord our Maker.

There are times when this verse truly grabs hold of me and I can do nothing less than fall to my knees and cry out, "thank you Lord!"
Within that cry is a question.
"Why me?"
Why am I the recipient of such a wonderful gift as your offer to eternal life and relationship with you?
There are moments when everything is crystal clear in my thoughts and I think I truly understand God, and what is happening in me.
Then there are moments when I have sinned and I truly feel as though I have disqualified myself from life with Him.
Maybe that is the heart of everything I have written.
That when I do sin, He sends such conviction from the Holy Spirit that He draws me back into right standing. If that be the case, Hallelujah! What as Savior! God's desire is to grow me up from the sin-attitudes and sin-behaviors that come out into the light.

Sometimes I feel like a left handed monkey wrench trying to tighten a right threaded bolt and nut. It just simply doesn't work. In those moments when everything seems muddled and out of control, I must learn to rest in God. I can quit my striving. I can stop my own expenditure of strength to make something happen, and simply rest. Wait on God. Meditate on His word. Worship Him. That is the best.

I truly believe above any and every thing that we have been taught in our churches, we have missed it when we don't see that we were created to worship. That worship is a life that is pleasing to God. Everything that emanates from me is worship unto God. My chores, my job, my risings and my sittings. My going out and my coming in. In the middle of a storm or in the quietness of the dawn, I am worship. Everything in me is worship unto God.

On my guitar there are 6 strings.
Each one is a specific thickness and gauge.
Each one specifically made to be tuned to a certain note and pitch.
When tension is applied to that string, the string vibrates at the appropriate pitch and gives the sound it was created to make. Too much tension and the string's sound becomes sharp. Way too much tension and the string will break.
Too little tension and the string will be flat in sound. Too little tension and the string never achieves the sound and note it was created to make.
The same in my relationship with God.
He tunes me to the right tension in my life so that I will vibrate for His good pleasure.
Why would I desire anything else but to be the string that God created me to be and to produce the sound that he created me to produce?
Wow! You are so right on God....
Think on these things....
God on you........
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It Will Happen

One thing I see among people who don't believe Scripture and even some who do but are not one for studying is an attitude that everything we know in this life will continue.
Almost a refusal to believe the words of Jesus.
John 16:16 - In a little while you will see me no more, and then after a little while you will see me."
Confusing? Could be. Jesus was making it clear that he had to suffer through the death and resurrection then he would be leaving his disciples to return to heaven. He told them not to fear or to let their hearts be troubled because if he left them, he would come back to gather them to where he was.

Jesus is coming back.
When?
I don't know.
What should be my attitude or behavior?
Well, as best as I read it in Scripture, we are to continue doing what we are suppose to do.
Living out the directives of God here in this world.
Praying for the sick.
Breaking demonic oppression over the lives of people.
Visit the prisoner.
Feed the hungry.
In general, be about the kingdom business of the Father.
In the middle of all of this, I am to keep watch.
Watching for signs and hints that things are happening which will give us a clue as to how far along we are in this entire prophetic process.
People ask, "Are we in the last days?" To which I would give the same reply I've heard John Wimber give...."I don't know, but I do know that we are "laster" than we've ever been."
Each tick of the clock....
Each day that passes...We are close to Jesus' return.

In John 16:33, Jesus leaves his disciples with an encouraging word. He says, "I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world."
By clinging to and relying on Jesus' and his teachings, I find strength through the Holy Spirit in me. The Spirit is constantly showing me how weak I am to combat such things that are in the world today. But in my weakness, the power and strength of God are applied and, as it says in Philippians 4:13...."I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."
What falls under "All things?"
All things.

Let these words encourage you today.
We are all in different places physically and geographically as well as Spiritually.
Let the peace of God guard your hearts and minds.
Rest in the knowledge that God is in control.

God on you today....
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Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Tuesday Night


Sun down...
Cool breeze...
Voices over the camp..
Pool game in the rec room.
Domino's in the chow hall.
Talk coming from the back deck of dorm #2.
Evening at Rapha.
David Ruis is singing "Sweet Mercies" on the camp music system.
It is my most favorite time of day.
Here in my office preparing for the night.
Anger management at 7 p.m.
Voluntary Bible Study at 9 p.m.
Tonight I think we are going to be in Exodus Chapter 1.
I always hold these things loosely because God sometimes changes
everything at the last moment.
I am here until 10 p.m.
There will be several who drop by my office to talk.
Some come to simply say "hello" and share their day.
Some come by asking questions about "Bible" stuff.
You know....
"Where did Cain get his wife?"
"Where do you think the Ark of the Covenant is?"
"Did people really live that long in the old testament?"
Every now and then you'll get a surprise.
Someone will stop by and ask, "What must I do to be saved?"
Those are always special.
I will be off tomorrow.
If it is pretty weather, I'll be working in the yard.
Part of me hopes it rains.

It has been a good day.
God was gracious to me during our teaching time this afternoon.
I pray that He will give me something for this evening.
This is a rambling kind of posting but I just needed to do it.
If you find it to be boring....
skip over it.
But thanks for dropping by though.
See you tomorrow.
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Kingdom Part 2

Jesus came to our time and space and took on human form and flesh in obedience to the Father's wishes. Jesus modeled for us what the kingdom will of God is. Without this model, that we find in the New Testament, mankind would have went about using a theoretical concept of how we thought God would want us to carry out his plans. Jesus is the model that we look to for the kingdom work and power of God.

The world that Jesus came too was not the one that God had originally created. Through deception (on the devil's part) and disobedience (on the part of man and woman), relationship with God was broken, and with this act men and women fell into bondage and slavery to the devil, the prince of this world (Rom. 5:12 / John 8:34). Since that time, a spiritual battle has raged with Satan attempting to completely and eternally separate human beings from their creator (Eph. 6:12)

As we wrote in yesterdays posting, I John 3:8 declares that Jesus has been manifested or made known in order to destroy the works of the devil. What are the works of the devil? Easy, what effects of sin do you see in your every day life? For me, it would be those who come to Rapha trapped in addiction. They are convinced that their problems are merely chemical or alcoholic in nature, but as you begin to work with them, they begin to see how their rebellious lifestyle has lead them to this point. That sin became their master and they followed it where every it went, doing what ever it told them to do. It took a power greater than themselves to break the power of sin in their life. That power has a name and that name is Jesus Christ. On a cross of wood and in a borrowed tomb, Jesus broke the back of the kingdom of darkness by paying the price, once and for all time, for the sin of mankind. How cool is that.

Once the power of sin has been broken in our lives by our surrender of our will and life to Christ, He provides us with the power to walk out a daily life of obedience. I don't care how you slice it, that's a pretty good deal. For that I am grateful!

Romans 7:24-25 -- 8:1-2
Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin? Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord. So you see how it is. In my mind I really want to obey God's law, but because of my sinful nature I am a slave to sin.
So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. For the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you through Christ Jesus from the power of sin that leads to death.

Let these words soak deep into your spirit and understand that you don't have to live under the yoke and oppression of sin and separation from God.
Turn, confess, pray and ask God to free you!
God on you .......
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Monday, March 15, 2010

The Kingdom Of God

Mark 1:14-15
Now after John was put in prison, Jesus came to Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, and saying, "The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel."

Such an incredible teaching if one can truly read and understand what is meant by the kingdom of God. It must be an important part of God's plan because it is mentioned 126 times in the gospels.

The kingdom of God is not a mental exercise on my part. It is not a cursory nod to a concept of heavenly authority. It is a reality that exists around us as we walk out our relationship with God.

The kingdom of God has precepts, commands and behaviors that are expected of me. There is a dynamic that takes place as God pours out on me his rule and reign. In turn I give away to other's around me from this rule and reign. In Acts chapter 8, Jesus said that after the disciples had been covered and filled with power (Holy Spirit), they would be his disciples in every town, village and country in the known world. As I receive this kingdom, I am a witness for Jesus. What does that mean? It means I tell "MY" story of what God has done to me. How he changed my life and gave me purpose. My participation or lack of participation will affect not only me,, but people around me.

I John 3:8 says that "The Son of God has been manifested (appeared/ made known) to destroy the works of the devil." That is kingdom of God. God has invaded our time and space is at work destroying the plans and works of the the kingdom of the devil. God does so one life at a time. Have you ever prayed the Lord's Prayer?
Many of us have and yet we never realized the power that we have prayed for as we said those words. "Your kingdom come....Your will be done...on earth as it is in heaven." That prayer cries out to God for his kingdom to manifest here in our towns, in our lives, in the lives of our family and friends." His rule and reign come down....and be done, accomplished, established as the kingdom of darkness is pushed back.

Why not pray for the Kingdom to invade your heart and life today?
That the plans and darkness of the devil be pushed back and replaced with the presence of God's Holy Spirit.

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

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SATURDAY NIGHT'S MESSAGE HAS BEEN DOWNLOADED
STEP # 3 -- LESSON #2 - "CONSIDER YOUR WAYS"

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Then......

Then the disciples went out and preached everywhere, and the Lord worked with them and confirmed his word by the signs that accompanied it. Mark 16:20

Then they went out.
Went out where?
It didn't matter.
Where ever life took them that was the place they told their story.
Where ever they found themselves, they told their story.
In the market place. "Hey...I'll take 2 of those lamb chops.....did you hear about what was going on back in Jerusalem? Well, there was this man named Jesus........"

They told their story among friends and family.
They told their story when they were at Temple and in the local synagogues.
They told their story standing in line at the government offices when they were paying taxes.
They told their story.

As they told their story, they believed that it would be backed with a demonstration of the reality of the Kingdom of God.
People were saved.
People were healed.
People were set free from demonic activity.
Tell the story....
See the power....
Tell the story...
See the power....

Times have not changed.
I still believe that God interacts this way as the Kingdom is being revealed in our time and space.
The rule, the reign, the presence and power of God manifested where conflict is taking place.
What kind of conflict?
There already exists a kingdom of darkness that seeks to hold people in bondage.
You introduce a Kingdom that exists to free people from this bondage, you have conflict.
Scripture states that Jesus has come to "Restore that which was lost".
That my friend, is the Kingdom of God.

Think on these things....
God on you.......
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Friday, March 12, 2010

John Wimber Teaching:

The low-key, no nonsense kind of layed back teaching is not for every one. IT was and continues to be for me. I have spent hundreds of hours listening and taking notes from John. Cross referencing and studying.
I am Vineyard through and through. For that I am grateful!

8 - 21 - 1999


August 21, 1999-- Our first "recovery" meeting at Gadsden Vineyard Church.
I had no clue as to what we were doing.
I was clueless as to how the meeting would turn out.
I didn't even know if anyone would show up.
I had some knowledge of recovery at that time but compared to what I know now....I was woefully lacking.
Sixty-six showed up that night.
I remember that the worship was intense in that the presence of God was thick in that room that night.
I remember the first message I gave for that night was from Psalm Chapter 1.
Don't seek council and advice from your old friends.
Don't stand around with them and let them keep you from doing what you know is right.
Don't sit down with them. It's harder to get up and move on when you have stopped.
I remember ministry time because there were people from Vineyard climbing over chairs to get to men who wanted to be prayed for.It was almost a surreal moment as I stood at the front directing people to others who had come forward to be prayed over.
I guess the one thing I remember the most is after everything was over that night.
The building was empty and I was cleaning up and turning off the lights.
I was full spiritually. I was completely satisfied beyond belief. I remember thinking to myself and then praying, "Oh God...you are so good. Thank you for letting me be a part of this meeting." As soon as I had prayed that, a thought came over me that quickly brought me back to earth......"I've got to do this all over again next week." As good as that first night was, we would gather again and see what God would want to do. What if the music isn't as good? What if my message falls on deaf ears? What if I've missed it and God only wanted us to do one meeting? Thoughts that ran through my brain like rifle shots. Truth is we do go back the next week.......and the week after that.........and the week after that. Each time, we learned something about recovery and ourselves.
Now here we are 10 going on 11 years later and I still have those same questions as we approach our Saturday night meeting. "What if you don't come tomorrow night? What if I have missed it somehow? " But I know that those are just thoughts that I struggle with.
Ever since December 26th of last year, God has been manifesting / showing up through power encounters at the Saturday night meeting. The meetings have grown in intensity and I am truly encouraged by what I see happening to the guys who attend. At the same time, I am being changed. I am being drawn back to my roots from Gadsden Vineyard.
I have begun to revisit some teaching and writings of John Wimber who was the main force behind giving the Vineyard movement "game". John never saw himself as being the head of a church movement, but God had other plans. It was through John Wimber's teaching that I have become who I am. Along the way, over the past few years, I lost track of that. I found myself focusing and believing in things that run contrary to my Vineyard teaching.

God in his infinite mercy and grace has restored me and reminded me of who I am and what my call is. For that I am grateful.
Thank you for letting me share a little bit of my history and my struggle.
God on you today....
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Matthew 28:18-19
Jesus came and told his disciples, " I have been given complete authority in heaven and on earth. Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit."

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Who Am I?


It is so easy to loose your way in life.
To step ever so slightly from the path God has called you to walk and loose track of where you are and who you are.
Oh it doesn't mean you've fallen into grievous sin...
it just means you are not where God intended you to be.
For me that path I am suppose to be walking involves a mental part.
God requires me to always remember the way he created me
and the person he so intended me to be.
It is easy to listen to other people as they define who
they think you should be.
Oh, it isn't an obvious "you should be this"....
rather, in my head...in my mind....I hear a voice that
condemns me and said that I have strayed from the path of God's calling. Others know who they are but I have lost sight of my own spiritual reflection.
Truth be known, I had not strayed, I was just looking elsewhere.
looking for some kind of validation that I was hearing God.
Validation that I was hearing him rightly.
But I was allowing my own flesh to cloud and define what he was saying.
Something happened Tuesday night.
A call to return to who I am suppose to be.
It came in a familar voice that I had heard hundreds of times.
Was it God speaking to me?
It was God speaking through a man that I have come to turst.
A voice that has given me direction over and over during the last 16 years.
I have great peace now.
I feel as though I am put back on the path.
So what was all of this about?
It is about all of us trying to hear God and then walk out daily what He has told us.
It is about finding our place in the body of Christ and then giving.....
Our lives...
Out talents....
and yes...
Our finances....
I am so grateful for the people God has surrounded me with.
People who will speak truth to me and not tell me what I want to hear.
I am so grateful for today..
With all of its problems and situations...
Even those I don't have an answer for...
I am grateful.
I am grateful for another opportunity at life.
Thank you God!
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Wednesday, March 10, 2010

He Is Who He Claims To Be


He was oppressed and treated harshly, yet he never said a word.
He was led as a lamb to the slaughter. And as a sheep is silent before the shearers, he did not open his mouth. From prison and trial they led him away to his death. But who among the people realized that he was dying for their sins---that he was suffering their punishment? He had done no wrong, and he never deceived anyone. But he was buried like a criminal. He was put in a rich man's grave.
But it was the Lord's good plan to crush him and fill him with grief. yet when his life is made an offering for sin, he will have a multitude of children, many heirs. He will enjoy a long life, and the LORD's plan will prosper in his hands. When he sees all that is accomplished by his anguish, he will be satisfied. And because of what he has experienced, my righteous servant will make it possible for many to be counted righteous, for he will bear all their sins. Isaiah 54:7-11
How could he choose to walk out this plan?
How could he go through with it knowing the pain and suffering that awaited him?
How?
Because it was what the Father had sent him to do.
The Father's will superseded his own.
In the garden, Jesus cried out that "if this cup can pass from me, then let it. And in the very next breath, said, "Not my will but yours."
That is the lesson that I want to learn.
Not my will.
Not my desires.
But learn to embrace God's will, even when it contradicts what I want.
Even when everything inside me screams, "NO!"
Seek the Father's will in every area of my life and then walk it out.
Think on these things today.....
God on you..........
mb

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Open Up


Psalm 89:1
I will sing of the mercies of the Lord forever. With my mouth will I make known Your faithfulness to all generations.
Yo! It isn't about me. It isn't about me and the things God does for me. It isn't about me and the blessings that He gives to me. Get it? It isn't about me.
This seems to be a reoccurring theme in my head sometimes. I focus on God, but in the process it becomes about me. I use what God has done, is doing and hopefully will do, as a gauge to measure the God-ness that I see in my life. How sick is that. To measure God by how well I am or how positive my emotions and feelings are is not the way He wants it to be.
I like the verse above from Psalm 89 because it reminds me that if anything, my only part in life is to declare the mercies, the grace, the goodness of God. That's it. I must point to Him, not to myself and show Him as the truth that Scripture reveals. In other words, I have a story to tell. The means I use to tell others, well that is as varied as we can imagine. Take this blog for instance. I never thought it would last as long as it has or gone to the places that it has, but if God (for whatever reason) has used it. I have a story to tell that runs everyday. Some days the story is hard and some days it is easy, but no matter what, the story points to God.
Last night, I was invited by some friends to go and pray for a guy who had relapsed. It was not the typical "Oh I messed up and used" drug tale that we often hear. This guy had been doing great. I won't go into all the details but suffice it to say that there was some demonic stuff going on. We drive to this man's house and he is ready to be ministered to. It was a really neat time as we prayed over this man, his house and his property and then saw the peace of God settle over everything. The spiritual darkness was broken and the man received God. It was awesome x 10!
There was a tremendous amount of gratitude from this man and he kept saying over and over, "Oh! Thank you Jesus........thank you Jesus." We came to this man and declared to him the power and purity that God wanted to bring to his life. It happened and now this man wants to grow and share the same story with others who are suffering similar lives.
That is what I live for.
To declare to you that this Jesus is real.
No matter what you are facing in life today, He wants to be your Lord and Savior and help you through it.
It is a matter of simply surrendering yourself and your will to Him.
You don't have to have a lot of answers or knowledge.
You just have to be sick and tired of being sick and tired.
"I'm Yours Lord. All my mess, all my sin, all my destruction....forgive me for what I have done."
"Clean my slate and give me a new beginning."
"I receive, right now, this new beginning. I believe that you are Jesus Christ and the Lord. I believe that God resurrected you from the dead and you rose to live again forever.I give myself to you. Will You give of Your Holy Spirit to me? I receive Him right now."
"I will live for you."
And we close with "Amen...in Jesus Name!"

Monday, March 8, 2010

Downloaded Message From Saturday Night:
Step # 3 / Yes He Can!

Family Reunion

It wasn't until 1998 that I began to understand how big the family of God (body of Christ/ Church) really was.
I was in Toronto, Canada for a Catch The Fire conference hosted by the Toronto Airport Christian Fellowship and found myself surrounded by thousands of people from other countries.
Now being a good ol' boy from here in the Southern United States, I had never really traveled (that is strayed for us Southerner's) that far from home. But here I was........smack dab in the middle of an international gathering.

My most vivid memory of that entire trip was of a cab ride I took from the hotel to the conference. As I climbed into my cab, another man asked if I was going to the conference and if we could split the cab fare. Being the tightwad I was, I said sure. A conversation struck up between us, his English not being very good but on the other hand, my Taiwanese wasn't that great either. He introduced himself to me and shared a little about his life and how he had come half-way around the world to this conference. As he shared, tears filled his eyes and he asked me if I would pray for him. "Sure," I replied. I asked if there was anything specific and he answered yes. He was a member of a small village in Taiwan and they had gotten word that God was moving in these Toronto meetings. His village collected money to see if they had enough to send someone so that this individual could bring back to them what God was doing in Toronto. This man had been selected to be the village "sponge" (that is how he designated himself) to go to Toronto and "soak" up everything that was going on and then bring it back to pour over the people of the village. He told me that he was so afraid that he would not get everything that God was doing, that he did not want to miss anything for his people. I prayed for him.
I never saw him again during that time in Toronto and since then, I have wondered about this man and the people of his village. I have prayed that God would have come and poured out through this man what was needed. I believe that God did. I believe that God honored the prayers of this man and his people. I came away with a deeper appreciation of the mosaic of God's church. How it is made up of all the different peoples of this planet.

That is why I pray that as you visit here at Greene Street Letters, you would find something that encouraged you or uplifted you or kept you from quitting in your walk with Jesus. I pray that if you don't know about Jesus, you would find the truth and begin this journey in your own life.
I don't write as one who is better than anyone else. I am merely trying to make my way through life and as I do, I simply what to share what Jesus has shared with me.
Know that you are loved by my wife and me.
Know that we pray for you...........
God on you today...........
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Saturday, March 6, 2010

You Did Good, God....

What an incredible day. Sunshine, blue skies, warm temps. I am so ready for it.
Tonight we'll be moving on in our teaching as we address the Twelve Steps.
Since we have now moved into March, we are currently teaching on Step # 3.

Step # 3 reads: Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over the the care of God as we understood Him.

We have come to conclude in the journey to recovery that:
1.) We are powerless
2.) We need a Power greater than ourselves to restore us to sanity.
That Power has a name and that name is Jesus Christ.
Now here at Step #3 we are ready to surrender our will and our life over to the care of Jesus.
It is a huge step that some, I think, do not fully think out what it means.
We are under the leading of the Holy Spirit and He has lead us down through these steps and here we stand at the brink of new life.

It is kind of like what you read in Joshua Chapter One.
For forty years, the Israelites have been wandering around the desert and for that entire time all they have heard is "the promise land."
The promise land this, and the promise land that. Life will be better when we get to the promise land.
By the time you enter the book of Joshua, Israel is camped at the Jordan river and just across on the other side is.............you guessed it............the promise land.
They can see it, they can smell it, they can pick up a rock and throw and hit it. But until they make that final decision to move across it will always remain just a concept, just words.
They had to make the decision to move across and into before their new lives could actually begin.

It is the same in recovery.
You can work Steps one and two a gazillion times but until you're ready to commit to step three, you will always be stuck on the opposite shore from this new life God wants to give you.
Food for thought....
Don't put your tent down in places that will keep you from finding God.
Don't settle for just being near........make the move over into God's will and find out for yourself....

God on you.........
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Friday, March 5, 2010

Weekend Coming

Saturday approaching.
Visitation here at Rapha.
Weather is going to be good.
Warm, sun, family, food....
It will be a good time for the guys.
Visitation always lifts the spirits and adds a little spring to the step.
Shouldn't that be the norm when we experience a
visitation from God?
Shouldn't our hearts beat a little faster when we come into His presence?
Shouldn't our thoughts become clearer as His Holy Spirit rises up within us?
Shouldn't the voices of the enemy that sometimes whisper in our heads, be silent?
I think so.
I am blessed beyond measure, and when there are those times where I know that I truly am in the presence of God, I am reminded of what has transpired in my life.
Let's be perfectly honest at this point.
I am a mess.
I know it.
I have a lot of things that God wants out of my life.
But He is working on me.
I'm not running around with a self-proclaimed blue print
thinking that I can change it all.
I want to write a verse here that may explain where my heart is.
It is a lengthy verse because I am using the Amplified Bible.
Philippians 3:10
[For my determined purpose] is that I may know Him [that I may progressively become more deeply and intimately acquainted deeply with Him, perceiving and recognizing and understanding the wonders of His Person more strongly and clearly], and that I may in that same way come to know the power outflowing from His resurrection [which exerts over believers], and that I may so share His sufferings as to be continually transformed [ in spirit into His likeness even] to His death. [in the hope]
Even as I wrote this verse, there was a part of me that squirms and wants to run away at the mention of joining the fellowship of His (Jesus) sufferings.
But here in this place of being identified with Christ, is where we find strength to carry on.
Strength to get up every morning and go about the business of the day.
Strength to not quit when everything looks hopeless.
Strength to recognize that what we are experiencing is not of ourselves,
but a gift from our Father in heaven.
God bless you this weekend.....
See you Monday...
Here at the Greene Street Letters.
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Thursday, March 4, 2010

'Fess Up

No one likes to get caught when they are doing something they know is wrong.
When we are uncovered, there is always a lot of "I'm sorry" and "I'll never do this again," but the truth is, we are only sorry because we got caught.

I noticed something during a study time that I had not ever really paid attention to before.
In Genesis Chapter 3 after the woman has eaten of the fruit and the man had done likewise, God shows up. He begins to question them about what was going on . The questions come not because God doesn't know, but because He is trying to give them an opportunity to confess and repent.

Both the man and the woman give excuses for their actions (Sound familiar?). The man's excuse was that God had given him a broken and defective woman. The woman's excuse was that she had been deceived by the serpent. If you read their explanations though, you'll find the confession at the end of their statements. It isn't flowery, it isn't wracked with emotion...instead it is a simple statement.
Last part of Genesis 3:12 ---"And I ate."
Last part of Genesis 3:13 -- "And I ate."
A confession for their actions. They both admitted they were responsible. Both admitted that they made the decision to act outside of God's commands. It is such a simple statement but within those 3 words...."And I Ate"....we find the entire history of man's suffering here on this planet.
From those simple 3 words, this couple would lose a son to murder. Not only that, it was another son of theirs who was responsible. From that point on, sin multiplied as mankind grew. With each passing generation, sin continued to lead us downward into a pit of despair and darkness. We were incapable of pulling ourselves from this pit. If you think about it, it only makes sense. How can I pull myself from something that I created. It would take a power greater than me to perform such a gigantic task.

Yet just as the man and woman confessed in Genesis 3 by saying, "And I ate"....it was on a cross that those three words were undone and destroyed by three more words.
Jesus the Christ, hanging between heaven and earth on a cross, at the moment of his death said, "It is finished." Three simple words that contained the salvation of mankind that had tracked and followed him down through history seeking to destroy him. With those three words, "It is finished!" Jesus broke the power of sin that came in with "And I ate."
Praise God! What a savior.
Lay hold of that thought today.
Sin's power has been broken and life, real life has been offered through the shed blood of Jesus.
Think on these things today.

God on you..........
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Wednesday, March 3, 2010

How Long Lord?

I've been in Habakkuk, reading and studying. More reading than studying.
Lots of prophetic Scripture about God revealing his plans for the future of Jerusalem.
It's hard for me to read about God warning the people time and time again. He sent prophets to speak his word. He sent signs to awaken the people and yet they still held onto their sin. Their disobedience multiplied by their rejecting God and turning to idols and other forms of worship.

Poor ol' Habakkuk is stuck in the middle of this mess. Do you ever wonder whether or not he was tempted to join the crowd? Chapter one begins with Habakkuk asking God a question. Well, it more of Habakkuk crying out to God out of frustration and anger.
"HOW LONG! How long O Lord must I call for help? But you do not listen! Violence! I cry, but you do not come to save." Isn't that part of our problem? We look around at the state of our country, at the state of the world and cry out to God...."What's up with all of this? The bad guys are winning. Hey God! What about us? What about those of us who have chosen to be on your side?"

I think I have to remember that God is still in control of everything even when it looks like he isn't. If you read on in Chapter one at verse 5 God answers Habakkuk's cry.
The Lord replied, "Look at the nations and be amazed! Watch and be astounded at what I will do! For I am doing something in own day, something you wouldn't believe even if someone told you about it."

God tells Habakkuk, quit whining and crying (even though Habakkuk probably had reason to) and realize that a greater work is taking place. God goes on to say that you might not be able to see or discern it at this moment, but keep watching and you will see what I am doing.
I find comfort in that passage.
To know that no matter what is going on in my part of the world, God already knows. God is working a plan that I probably can't see. I think this part falls under faith and trust. My faith to trust God that he knows best and that no matter what happens, he isn't caught off guard. No matter what happens, he still is at work to bring his Kingdom in.

In Chapter two there is an interesting verse where God continues his dialog with Habakkuk.
Verse 3, God says, "But these things I plan won't happen right way. Slowly, steadily, surely, the time approaches when the vision will be fulfilled. If it seems slow, wait patiently, for it will surely take place. It will not be delayed."

Be careful what you take into yourself.
Be careful what you watch and listen to.

The news on TV and the Internet is full of fear right now. Don't let that become a part of you.
Fear leads to anxiousness.
Anxiousness leads to doubt.

Doubt leads to making bad decisions.
Why?
Because you are fearful.
Time and time again in Scripture when God would speak to someone or someone would receive an angelic visitation, the first thing spoken was usually "FEAR NOT!"

Find the peace of God for your heart today.
Then walk in it.
Don't let the world or its message rob you of it and know that God's plans are being worked out around you in you this day.
Think on these things.

God on you.......
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Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Family....

Voices drifted through out the room.
Laughter.....
Smile all around.
Handshakes and hugs.
Hot, steaming bowls of Taco soup along with soft drinks.
Finally a cake appeared.
The voices turned to song.
The song? Happy Birthday!
Celebration of turning 50.
Family.

Not family bound by blood, but family bound by experience.
Addiction.
This group that I sat with last night was bound by a common experience which has driven them to a common place.
Their collective goal? To spur one another onward in recovery.
Oh, it isn't perfect and sometimes it isn't pretty.
There is celebration when one succeeds for in that effort they all succeed.
There is sadness and mourning when someone goes back to an old lifestyle. It drives home the point that addiction is cunning, baffling, powerful and ..............patient.
There is safety in numbers. Like minded people whose focus is the same.
There is encouragement in the group.

I spoke from John chapter 5.
The cripple man by the pool of Bethesda.
Jesus shows up and ask this man, who has been cripple for thirty-eight years, a simple question. "Do you want to be healed?" Very direct. No hidden agenda. "Do you want to be healed?"
The man replies with excuses.
"I've been crippled for 38 years." Jesus had not asked him how long he'd been crippled, he merely asked if he would like to be healed.
The man had what we refer to as a false belief. False belief # 4 to be exact.
False Belief #4 reads: I am what I am and I cannot change.
This is a mindset that gets ingrained into the brain of someone in addiction and becomes a stumbling block to all recovery.
Jesus broke through the crippled mans excuses and put him into a place of faith.
You either believe or you don't.
If you believe, then act on it.
A cripple man trying to stand up? How absurd.
But yet it was the trying that faith produced.
What came forth was the complete healing of this man who had never walked in his life.

Addiction is no different.
The excuse given for lack of recovery is very simple. I am what I am and I cannot change. There is some truth to that statement. Those in addiction lack the POWER to change. Step # 2 speaks of coming to believe a POWER greater than ourselves can restore us to sanity.

What about you?
Are you using an excuse to keep from being healed today?
Faith in Christ.....
Sounds simple doesn't it?
Maybe it is.

God on you.........
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Monday, March 1, 2010

What Do You Do Next?

What do you do when you've done your best and it still wasn't good enough?
What do you do when you have tried and tried and tried and it still didn't work out?
What do you do when you feel as though the world is against you?
Questions that come to me every day of every week.
"I have done all that I can and there isn't any more to do."

Maybe it isn't in the doing but the simple fact that your doing is being fueled by your own strength and wisdom.
Maybe the reason things turn out the way they do is because you are the one who has been doing them.

Deuteronomy 2:2 reads: Then at last the Lord said to me, "You have been wandering around in the hill country long enough...turn northward."
Catch word would be "Wandering!"
You show movement.
You are making progress, although you don't really know where you are headed.
You are making effort.
Buy you've settled in to simply go round and round the mountain.
It took God speaking to Moses telling him, "Hey! Mo! Pack up and head north."
God gave them direction and purpose.
He took them from wandering into a predetermined way.

We keep living life according to our way and our nature. How's that working out? Not too good!
Maybe we need to ask God to speak to us and tell us which way to move away from the wandering.
Works for me....
If you keep beating your head against that wall, sit down and pray.
Ask God to give you direction.
Don't move until you've gotten it. It's not hard. He will speak and show you.
Trust Him....we've trusted in our own ability for a long time.
God on you......
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New Download

Seth Barber's teaching from Saturday night - Step # 2 - the way out has now been downloaded and is available for you to listen to.
Very powerful "right now" teaching.
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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 ...