Archive for the ‘Curious Musings’ Category

All Who Belong to God

Monday, January 22nd, 2007


Do you belong to God? If your not sure ask yourself these few simple questions. Can I look back through my life and see that God’s hand has guided me, often leading me back on track when I have started to wander far from safety? Has God ever spoke to me through my circumstances, encouraging people, music, or various other forms of media? Has God ever comforted me, when all else in life has failed me and left me discouraged and full of despair? If you have answered yes to any or all of these questions than you can be confident that you belong to God.
I’m asking you this question because I want everybody to understand that all who belong to God will eventually have a personal encounter with Jesus, God’s Messiah. I know this to be true because the Holy Spirit will not rest till we are all brought to the safety of His fold. God’s word says that all who belong to God will come to know His son, Jesus . This is He whom God sent to the earth to make a way for us to develop a real and personal relationship with the Father. You see, because you belong to God His Holy Spirit has been ever near to you, guiding you, speaking to you, comforting you, and drawing you near to Himself so that He may reveal to you His plan of redemption.
Jesus says, “No man can come to me, except the Father which has sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day. It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that has heard, and has learned of the Father, comes to me.” [John 6:44 -45] “All that the Father gives me shall come to me; and him that comes to me I will in no wise cast out. For I came down from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of him that sent me. And this is the Father’s will which has sent me, that of all which he has given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which sees the Son, and believes on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.” [John 6:37-40]
I’ve often heard it said that all roads lead to heaven. Well, I don’t think it’s quite that simple, though I do believe that for those who belong to God all spiritual paths do eventually lead to Christ. Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man comes unto the Father, but by me.” [John 14:6] “…If God were your Father, you would love me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me.” [John 8:42] “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give to them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand. I and my Father are one.” [John 10:27-30] “… He that believes on me, believes not on me, but on him that sent me. And he that sees me sees him that sent me.” [John 12:44-45] “He that has my commandments, and keeps them, he it is that loves me: and he that loves me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.” [John 14:21]
So I guess the next big question is can we trust what Jesus has to say? Many people say that Jesus was just another prophet. They say that He was an amazing man, peaceful, and full of great wisdom, but just a man. Well, I say He can’t be just a prophet and an amazing man, either He is who He says He is, or He was a false prophet and an absolute mad man. No other prophet ever dared make such outrageous claims as Jesus, who claimed to be God Himself, stuck with His story even unto death, than rose again to prove His point. So Therefore I conclude that, “the secret of the LORD is with them that fear Him; and He will show them his covenant.” [Psalm 25:14] For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.” [I Timothy 2:5]

Pruned if I Do and Pruned if I Don’t

Saturday, October 14th, 2006

One day awhile back, when things weren’t going so hot, It occurred to me that if I were to wait for everything to go right to be happy, I may never be happy. You know how life can be, it’s often laden with disappointments, inconveniences, and just general frustrations. I’m beginning to realize that I can be happy every day in spite of my circumstance, if I make it a point to be.
Jesus says, “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch of mine that bears no fruit, he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit.” [John 15:1-2] You see, I’m pruned if I do and I’m pruned if I don’t, so I might as well make the most of things.
God allows trials, troubles, and temptations in our lives to prune us. He lovingly snips away any weak, diseased, and dead wood, carefully shaping us into the image that will bring Him the most glory. It is through this pruning process that we develop the fruit of His spirit which is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance.
This is uncomfortable of course, yet necessary. We must remember that if we suffer for righteousness sake we should be happy, and not afraid of the terror, nor be troubled. For it is better, if the will of God be so, that we suffer for doing well , rather than for doing evil. For Christ also has once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, and we being put to death in the flesh, are quickened by His Spirit. [I Peter 3:14&17-18]
I’m guessing that this pruning process may not be a pleasant task for God either. Out of all the garden chores I have to do, I find pruning to be the hardest. It’s not the hardest physically, but, it just breaks my heart to go hacking away at my favorite flower bushes and fruit trees. I go through the same reluctance every spring. This year I put it off so long that I almost missed the entire season. I knew I didn’t want to do that though, because a few years back I didn’t prune at all, and my plants only yielded a fraction of their potential growth.
So I guess this law of nature applies to us as well. In order for us to grow at our best we must also endure some seasonal pruning. Just like in the garden, we toil, but it is God who gives the increase. Jesus says, “Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can you, except you abide in me. I am the vine, you are the branches: He that stays in me, and I in him, the same brings forth much fruit: for without me you can do nothing. [John 15:4-5]
So I suppose I will endure this pruning with total faith and trust in the vinedresser. He purchased me at tremendous personal cost, so I know that He has only my best interest in mind. Not to mention that it sure beats the alternative. Jesus goes on to say, ” If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.” [ John 15:6] So you see, I have a choice. I can allow myself to be pruned by loving hands, or be loped off due to lack of increase.
Christ also says, “If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, you shall ask what you will, and it shall be done to you. Herein is my Father glorified, that you bear much fruit; so shall you be my disciples.”[John 15:7-8] Since I’m pruned if I do and pruned if I don’t, I might as well choose life, with joy! I am most happy when I bring glory and honor to my Father, the vinedresser. After all, thats what I was created for in the first place.

What You Say is What You Get

Saturday, October 7th, 2006

Well here I go talking about confessions again. Not the kind that some share with the Catholic priest to purge their soul every now and then, I’m simply talking about all the words that pass through our lips on a daily basis. This is something that God started trying to train me in about seven years ago, and I must be a slow learner because this subject just keeps coming up again.
I’m not surprised, my mouth has always gotten me into trouble. I tend to be a little blunt, maybe a little too sharp on the wit, and enjoy talking so much that I never shut up. So I’ve been trying to listen more and speak less, keep my vocabulary less colorful [not an easy habit to break], and to speak only words that edify and encourage.
Well, just when I thought that I might be making some progress in this area, I’m learning that watching my tongue goes a lot deeper than just my social graces in conversational speech. I’m beginning to see that my confessions, whether negative or positive, have an affect on every circumstance in my life. I agree with those who say that the only thing that we can control about our circumstances is how we react to them, but what I’m learning is that what we confess about them is just as important.
It helps to remember that “faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”[Hebrews 11:1]. One of the biggest mistakes I’ve been making is confessing what I see in my circumstances, instead of what I know to be true. Its so natural to look at my problems, remember how I’ve struggled in the past, and blurt out something negative right off the bat. Yet God’s word teaches us to believe His report, which is, “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, said the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. Then shall you call on me, and you shall go and pray to me, and I will listen to you.”[Jeremiah 29:11-12]
Throughout His time here on earth, Jesus gave us an example of how to confess through faith things hoped for, and not seen. Where He saw disease He confessed wellness, where He saw brokenness He confessed wholeness, and where He saw bondage He confessed freedom. Jesus’ life teaches us to, “call those things which be not as though they were.” [Romans 4:17]
Jesus said, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him that believes.” [ Mark 9:23] “For truly I say to you, That whoever shall say to this mountain, Be you removed, and be you cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he said shall come to pass; he shall have whatever he said.” [Mark 11:23]
So I am slowly learning to” walk by faith, and not by sight“. [2 Cor. 5:7] I now realize that the circumstances in my life that look like mountains, appear as such, because that’s what I’ve made them out to be. By confessing negative consequences over these situations, I was confessing Satan’s ill report over my life rather than God’s will. God’s word says, “A man’s belly shall be satisfied with the fruit of his mouth; and with the increase of his lips shall he be filled. Death and life are in the power of the tongue:” [Proverbs 18:20-21] So you see I have found it to be true, that what you say is very well what you will get.

Love is not a Feeling

Thursday, September 7th, 2006


Love is one of those words that conger up a whole lot of nuances. No two people would likely define “love” in the same way. Many would say that love is a feeling or an emotion, but I beg the differ. That warm fuzzy feeling that most people call love is pretty ambiguous. It comes and it goes, and it burns and it wanes, often for no specific reason.
I don’t believe that love is a feeling, but an act of our will. This is why it is possible for people to remain married for fifty plus years. I can guarantee that warm fuzzy feelings are not what has kept them together through the years, but pure commitment and determination. You make a commitment that you are going to love through thick and thin, good and bad, better and worse, and then you commit to continue to do just that.
The Bible has, what is in my opinion, the best description of what love is and is not, and what love does and does not do. First Corinthians 13:4-8 describes love in the most simple, yet most profound way I have ever seen. It says that LOVE;
-Suffers long
– Is kind
– Does not envy
– Does not boast itself
– Is not puffed up
– Does not behave itself unseemly
– Does not seek its own
– Is not easily provoked
– Thinks no evil
– Does not rejoice in iniquity
– It rejoices in the truth
– It bears all things
– It believes all things
– It hopes in all things
– It endures all things
– And, It Never Fails
So when dealing with our spouses, children, friends, and even strangers, we need to look to our creator who gives us an example of unconditional love. Remember that He loved us while we were yet still sinners, and He gave His life for us. [Romans 5:8] As imperfect humans we are not capable of this kind of love on our own. We must look to God to be filled with His perfect love, so that we don’t come up empty when those around us are less than perfect. We must put on love, which is the bond of perfectness, [Colos. 3:14] and remember that love covers a multitude of sins. [1 Peter 4:8]

Juicyfruit Tree

Sunday, August 20th, 2006


I don’t Know if you’ve ever been there, but about the time I was really growing up [28 or so] I went through this wilderness period in my life. Looking back I realize that it was a continuous series of changes, all good, that turned my world upside down and somehow landed me in the wilderness. It was a place where I felt hopeless, powerless to control my circumstances, and although I was never alone, totally desolate. It was there in the wilderness, at the end of my journey, that I first experienced the presence of God in an undeniable, discernible way.
I came to the point where I was wandering around the desert and crying out to God to send someone, anyone, who would understand me, a true friend. I was dying of thirst and hungry for answers to all of life’s wrenching questions. Also I knew I should be back in church, and I would challenge God to send someone to invite me to the right church, after all who would know better?
Well, God arose to the challenge and next thing I know Teresa saunters into my life. She was bright, cheery, and didn’t seem to have a burden in the world. Oh don’t get me wrong, she had her fair share of problems, she just didn’t have any burdens. She was a vibrant tree of life, a shade tree, and full of ripe juicy fruit! Now let me tell you, there is nothing more refreshing in the desert than a Juicyfruit Tree, except rain perhaps, but that comes later.
So needless to say, I gobbled it up every chance I got. It was becoming fairly obvious to me that Teresa’s vigor was coming from a higher source, so when she invited me to church I replied with my usual response. “Is it one of those freaky-deeky Holy Roller churches?” “Yeah! It’s great! You’ll love it!” she exclaimed. “Well, I’m not comfortable in churches like that.” “No offence, of course.” I responded.
So the weeks passed on, and I’m still wandering around in the desert questioning and challenging God. “Lord I’m beginning to see that You are what is missing in my life, why don’t You just send someone to invite me to the right church?” “EXCUSE ME, HOW MANY PEOPLE WOULD YOU LIKE ME TO SEND?” Whoa, was that God, Speaking to me? “I HAVE SENT MORE PEOPLE THAN YOU CAN COUNT, BUT SINCE THEY DIDN’T OFFER SOMETHING YOU’RE ACCUSTOMED TO, YOU DIDN’T LISTEN.” “DID IT EVER OCCUR TO YOU THAT IT MAY BE TIME FOR A CHANGE?” Well, there wasn’t a whole lot I could say at that point, besides, I was still stunned at the fact that I heard God speak. I could just see Him up there thinking, “Wow, she’s thickheaded, I guess I’d better help her figure this one out.”
I was up bright and early the next Sunday [quite an accomplishment for me] and called Teresa to see what the church times were. “Oh, I’m so sorry, I can’t make it today.”, she apologized. “Thats okay” I said, “I wanna go anyway.” So I did, and the strangest thing happened.
The moment I walked in the door I was enveloped in God’s Presence. Tears just started pouring down my face, and every tear brought healing. I don’t even remember what the sermon was about. I just wanted to bask in God’s presence and allow his living waters to quench my thirsty soul. For the first time in my life I actually felt the Holy Spirit raining down on me, and that rain brought life back to my desert.
I now know what made Teresa a Juicyfruit Tree, it is the fruit of the Spirit of God, which is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance.[Gal.5:22-23] Jesus said, “Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can you, except you abide in me. I am the vine, you are the branches: He that stays in me, and I in him, the same brings forth much fruit: for without me you can do nothing.” [John 15:4-5]
He also said, “Come to me, all you that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke on you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and you shall find rest to your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”[Matt. 11:28-30] Therefore I urge you to taste and see that the LORD is good, blessed is the man that trusts in Him.[Psalm 34:8] “For every tree is known by its own fruit. For men do not gather figs from thorns, nor do they gather grapes from a bramble bush” [Luke 6:44]

Cracked Pots?

Friday, August 18th, 2006

Church Lady
We are all, too familiar, with those Christians who walk around looking all pious, smug, and self righteous. I’ve often wondered “what is up with that?”. These are people who are supposed to be free, full of joy, and a light unto the world. How is it that they are so miserable?
Perhaps they are so self righteous that they don’t need to seek God’s face daily, to receive His mercies and grace anew, like I do, or they forgot that God desires mercy from us more than sacrifice [Matthew 12:7].
I think perhaps the real problem is that they try to cover up any cracks in their pots. Isaiah said, “But now, O LORD, you are our father; we are the clay, and you our potter; and we all are the work of your hand.”[Isaiah 64:8].
You see, we are all just earthen vessels, the irony here is that the more cracks you have in your pot, the more God’s glorious light can shine through you. “For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made His light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God”s glory displayed in the face of Christ. But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, to show that the transcendent power belongs to God and not to us” [II Corinthians 4:6-7].
You see, It is in our weaknesses that people see God’s power. Just ask Paul, who when he cried out to God about his imperfections, got this answer, “My grace is sufficient for you: for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Paul then came to this conclusion, “Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weakness, so that Christ”s power may rest on me. [II Corinthians 12:9].
Also it is in our humility that people can see God’s glory. Just ask Mary, who in Luke chapter 7:36-50 is referred to as a sinner, yet when she humbled herself Christ had this to say about her, “Why I say to you, Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to who little is forgiven, the same loves little.”[Luke 7:47]. “Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God, that He may lift you up in due time.”[1 Peter 5:6]. “For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”[Matthew 23:12].
So don’t worry if you look all cracked up, Christ said, “You are the light of the world.”…”In the same way let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” [Matthew 5:14&16].

A Brief Geology Lesson

Wednesday, January 11th, 2006


We were formed from the earth, so I guess we are but sand. Yet when heat and pressure are applied to sand over time, a rock is formed. HEAT + PRESSURE = ROCK. Therefore, it is safe to conclude that heat and pressure are necessary to make us strong. With time we will no longer feel like we are being sifted through the sieve of life. A rock will not fall through the cracks. The Book of Peter says;
“Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you: But rejoice, inasmuch as you are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, you may be glad also with exceeding joy.” [I Peter 4:12-13]
“That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perishes, though it be tried with fire, might be found to praise and honor and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ.” [I Peter 1:7]
“But and if you suffer for righteousness’ sake, happy are you: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled; For it is better, if the will of God be so, that you suffer for well doing, than for evil doing.” [I Peter 3:14&17]
“But the God of all grace, who has called us to his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that you have suffered a while, make you perfect, establish, strengthen, settle you.” [I Peter 5:10]

There Is a Season

Thursday, January 5th, 2006


” To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.”
[Ecclesiastes 3:1-9]

Ever since I can remember this particular song by The Byrds has been one of my favorites. You can imagine my amazement when I found out in my teen years that this song was taken out of scripture. Though I was amazed, I wasn’t surprised. I had always heard that God’s Word was a book full of great wisdom. Though, this may have been the first time that I realized that, even I could relate to the truths recorded in it’s pages.

As young as I was, I had lived long enough to observe that life is a series of ups and downs, gains and losses, and joys and sorrows. I wish I could say that at that moment my life was changed forever, that I was filled with an insatible hunger for God’s word, and that I dove in head first to find all it’s priceless treasures.

Well, that didn’t happen until later, but the seed that was planted by my parents was watered with grace and love, as God’s children have shown His glorious light into my life, and the seed grew.

No matter what season we are in right now, we can take comfort in the fact that we have God’s words of wisdom to get us through it. So let us look to the New Year with great enthusiasm. We can face any challenge as long as we keep looking to the source of our comfort and are willing to live by His words. With time, I have come to the same conclusion as king Solomon.

“What profit has he that works in that wherein he labors? I have seen the travail, which God has given to the sons of men to be exercised in it. He has made every thing beautiful in his time: also he has set the world in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God makes from the beginning to the end. I know that there is no good in them, but for a man to rejoice, and to do good in his life. And also that every man should eat and drink, and enjoy the good of all his labor, it is the gift of God.” [Ecclesiastes 3:9-13] 12/31/05