What You Say is What You Get

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

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

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?

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].

Psalm 139

June 25th, 2006


1 O lord, you have searched me, and known me. 2 You know my sitting down and my rising up, you understand my thought afar off. 3 You compass my path and my lying down, and are acquainted with all my ways. 4 For there is not a word in my tongue, but, see, O LORD, you know it altogether. 5 You have beset me behind and before, and laid your hand on me. 6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain to it. 7 Where shall I go from your spirit? or where shall I flee from your presence? 8 If I ascend up into heaven, you are there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, you are there. 9 If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; 10 Even there shall your hand lead me, and your right hand shall hold me. 11 If I say, Surely the darkness shall cover me; even the night shall be light about me. 12 Yes, the darkness hides not from you; but the night shines as the day: the darkness and the light are both alike to you. 13 For you have possessed my reins: you have covered me in my mother’s womb. 14 I will praise you; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvelous are your works; and that my soul knows right well. 15 My substance was not hid from you, when I was made in secret, and curiously worked in the lowest parts of the earth. 16 Your eyes did see my substance, yet being imperfect; and in your book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them. 17 How precious also are your thoughts to me, O God! how great is the sum of them! 18 If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand: when I awake, I am still with you. 19 Surely you will slay the wicked, O God: depart from me therefore, you bloody men. 20 For they speak against you wickedly, and your enemies take your name in vain. 21 Do not I hate them, O LORD, that hate you? and am not I grieved with those that rise up against you? 22 I hate them with perfect hatred: I count them my enemies. 23 Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: 24 And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

Progress is a Process

April 19th, 2006

long road.jpg

“For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice. O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?”[Romans 7:17]

I Know that I am not alone with Paul in this sentiment. Every Christian I know has felt this way at one time or another. As Christians we long to be like Christ to please our Heavenly Father, yet we find ourselves wondering why we are so slow to catch on.
We must realise that progress is a process. The defininition of process is;{A series of actions, changes, or functions bringing about a result}. The good news is, that while progress is ours the process belongs to Christ. All we have to do is know the promises in God’s Word, believe them, and stand on them. “For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.”[Romans 4:3]
God’s Word says “… sin shall not have dominion over you: for you are not under the law, but under grace.”[Romans 6:14] “For your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now; Being confident of this very thing, that he which has begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.”[Philip. 1:5-6]. You see it is not by our power that we are made righteous, but by His Power.
I suppose I should warn you that the process is not always painless. For we are ” Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body.[2 Cor. 4:10] For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.[2 Cor. 4:16]
Even Christ had a difficult journey while on this earth; “Though He were a Son, He learned obedience by the things which He suffered; And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation to all them that obey him;[Hebrews 5:8-9] “For we have not a high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need. [Hebrews 4:15-16] and “… we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.”[2 Cor. 3:18]
“Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed,…work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which works in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.”[Philip. 2:12-13] “And be not conformed to this world: but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”[Rom. 12:2]
“Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful, who also will do it.”[I Thes. 5:23-24] And may the Lord deliver you from every evil work and preserve you for His heavenly kingdom. To Him be glory forever and ever. Amen.[II Tim.4:18]

Don’t be Caught Unarmed

February 4th, 2006

armour types.jpg

“… my brothers, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Why take to you the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, with which you shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; [Ephesians 6:10-18]

I know we sometimes feel like we are fighting a losing battle. No matter what we do, in trying to improve the circumstances in our and others lives, we seem to be losing ground. Perhaps it is because we try to fight life’s battles on our own terms, in our own power, and with our own limited perception as our guide. Because our perception is limited, there is no better place to look for answers than to our creator, who arms us with everything we need to fight life’s battles, literally. In God’s Word, He reveals to us the armor and only weapon we need to fight, and all the instruction we need in using them.
First our Father demonstrates to us our biggest mistake, that of trying to fight these battles in our own power, and instructs us to; “be strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might “. Also, He makes clear to us who our true enemies are; “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places”.
Then He presents us with the armor we need to defend ourselves against these powers, and teaches us how to don it. He gives us the Spirit of Truth so that we have discernment, righteousness so that we don’t stumble before our enemies, and “feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace”. But “above all” He gives us the shield of faith we need “to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked”. But we must wear “the helmet of salvation” which bears the ensign of Jesus Christ, who already fought life’s battles, and died, yet arose victoriously in the power of God’s might.
Oh, but we can’t forget the most critical weapon of all, essential because it is the only offensive weapon He offers us. We must wield “the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” with boldness and confidence. Remember, that every time Jesus was faced with evil, as when tempted by satan in the wilderness, He used the only weapon He needed; The Word. [Matt. 4:1-11]
Finally, we are to be constant in prayer, alert at all times of the spiritual forces at work in our lives, and the lives of those around us, “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood”. “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: {For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;}”[IICor.10:3-4]. Therefore it is clear that our greatest weapon is prayer.

Your Mercies Endure Forever

February 1st, 2006


Blessed is the Name of The Lord, for Your mercies endure forever. You have poured out Your grace on me though I am unworthy, yet You are making me righteous. I was in darkness, but now I behold Your glorious light. I was lost, yet now, I am found. I was deceived, but now delivered into truth by Your Holy Spirit. You’ve turned my mourning into gladness, my grumbling into praises, and my sorrows into joy. Lord You are my rock and my fortress, on You alone do I depend for all things. You show me how to live, and what to live for. Justice and freedom are found in You alone. I searched the earth for them and found them only in You. It is to You that I turn in search of justice, it is to You that I plead my cause. Lord give us, Your Body, wisdom and understanding, that we may show those who inhabit the earth Your glorious ways. May we be full of mercy and grace, as You are, so they may see You in us, and long to know You. Lord may Your Body be of one spirit and one mind. Reveal to us the error of our ways, so that we may serve You in spirit and in truth all the days of our lives.
So be it all, in Jesus’ precious name.

A New Years Prayer

February 1st, 2006


Dear Father, You have blessed us {Your Body} with yet another year, but only You know what each new day brings our way. We behold a new day, bright and cheery, full of glorious potential, a day to be embraced with joy and gladness. Lord, may we live each day purposefully to bring You glory and honor. Help us to be mindful of our time, to embrace each moment and savor it as precious, for our times are in Your hands. My prayer is that we draw closer to You, hear Your voice, and walk in Your will for our lives. Lord, may we seek Your face and spread Your joy and grace where ever we may go. May we look to the future with great expectation for all You are going to do through us. May we look up to You to be filled, and around us to be poured out, than to You, to be filled again. Lord let us choose to make New Years prayers instead of resolutions, for in our own strength we can do nothing, but in Christ we can do all things, by Your power. Lord fill our homes with Your presence this year. May our homes be a sanctuary, dedicated to You and You alone. May all who enter therein be blessed by Your presence, find Your peace, and be drawn by Your Spirit. Lord thank You that You are teaching us to walk by faith and not by sight. Thank You that You are teaching us that joy can always be found in spite of our circumstances, and that we can carry Your peace with us always, where ever life may take us this year.
In Jesus Precious Name, so be it all.

Psalms 37

January 18th, 2006

1 Fret not yourself because of evildoers, neither be you envious against the workers of iniquity. 2 For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb. 3 Trust in the LORD, and do good; so shall you dwell in the land, and truly you shall be fed. 4 Delight yourself also in the LORD: and he shall give you the desires of your heart. 5 Commit your way to the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass. 6 And he shall bring forth your righteousness as the light, and your judgment as the noonday. 7 Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for him: fret not yourself because of him who prospers in his way, because of the man who brings wicked devices to pass. 8 Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not yourself in any wise to do evil. 9 For evildoers shall be cut off: but those that wait on the LORD, they shall inherit the earth. 10 For yet a little while, and the wicked shall not be: yes, you shall diligently consider his place, and it shall not be. 11 But the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace. 12 The wicked plots against the just, and gnashes on him with his teeth. 13 The LORD shall laugh at him: for he sees that his day is coming. 14 The wicked have drawn out the sword, and have bent their bow, to cast down the poor and needy, and to slay such as be of upright conversation. 15 Their sword shall enter into their own heart, and their bows shall be broken. 16 A little that a righteous man has is better than the riches of many wicked. 17 For the arms of the wicked shall be broken: but the LORD upholds the righteous. 18 The LORD knows the days of the upright: and their inheritance shall be for ever. 19 They shall not be ashamed in the evil time: and in the days of famine they shall be satisfied. 20 But the wicked shall perish, and the enemies of the LORD shall be as the fat of lambs: they shall consume; into smoke shall they consume away. 21 The wicked borrows, and pays not again: but the righteous shows mercy, and gives. 22 For such as be blessed of him shall inherit the earth; and they that be cursed of him shall be cut off. 23 The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delights in his way. 24 Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the LORD upholds him with his hand. 25 I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread. 26 He is ever merciful, and lends; and his seed is blessed. 27 Depart from evil, and do good; and dwell for ever more. 28 For the LORD loves judgment, and forsakes not his saints; they are preserved for ever: but the seed of the wicked shall be cut off. 29 The righteous shall inherit the land, and dwell therein for ever. 30 The mouth of the righteous speaks wisdom, and his tongue talks of judgment. 31 The law of his God is in his heart; none of his steps shall slide. 32 The wicked watches the righteous, and seeks to slay him. 33 The LORD will not leave him in his hand, nor condemn him when he is judged. 34 Wait on the LORD, and keep his way, and he shall exalt you to inherit the land: when the wicked are cut off, you shall see it. 35 I have seen the wicked in great power, and spreading himself like a green bay tree. 36 Yet he passed away, and, see, he was not: yes, I sought him, but he could not be found. 37 Mark the perfect man, and behold the upright: for the end of that man is peace. 38 But the transgressors shall be destroyed together: the end of the wicked shall be cut off. 39 But the salvation of the righteous is of the LORD: he is their strength in the time of trouble. 40 And the LORD shall help them, and deliver them: he shall deliver them from the wicked, and save them, because they trust in him.