Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Better Off Without Jesus

Better Off Without Jesus...WHAT?  If I had not heard a little of Chuck Bomar story I probably would have thought this was a book about atheism.  Isn't it funny how we can judge a "book by it's cover" or title.  That's not the core of the book though or my post.  Every once in a while I read a book and  I wish I could pen the whole book on my blog.  Take a deep breathe, I am not going to do that but what I am going to do is just give you a few glimpse of something that has stirred my soul.

First chapter: Why Physical Presence Isn't Always Best: Jesus says to His disciples, "Nevertheless, I tell you it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you".  John 16:7

My thoughts on this first chapter.   Once again I was in awe of the limitations Jesus took on in a earthly body.  He could only be in one place at a time...the Son of God...think about...only one place at a time...not even a cell phone back then.   In that respect He was all human, just like us.  

The trust He had in the Holy Spirit's ability to do exactly what He said He would do is total trust.  How many times have we read God's promises and still struggle with them?  He trusted the Spirit because He knew him personally.  Not just an hi, hello, how are you knowledge or do you have a minute, I would like to tell you something.  We cannot trust someone we do not know or someone who does not do what they say they will do time and time again.  Break my trust once, I will give grace but break my trust more then once...trust broken.  HE HAS NEVER BROKE A PROMISE. 

    Here is a small portion of chapter one.  Chuck says, "One of the biggest lessons I've learned is that focusing on myself actually muffles the voice of God right out of my life.
   Our Western culture would lead us to embrace Jesus solely as a beneficial addition to our individual lives, goals and dreams.  We think we need to invite Him to join every area of our lives.  But the truth is that He calls us to join in with His.
   Understanding this difference is absolutely essential if you want to be in tune with God's voice in your life.  If you want to hear God speak to you individually, you must begin thinking beyond yourself. 
The bigger picture: As we look at Scripture, it is abundantly clear that our coming to faith isn't just for our personal gain.  It's not to make our lives better, but instead to make the excellencies of God known.  And may I add, all over the world. II Cor. 5:14-15

One of the questions Chuck ask at the end of chapter one was:  What is your biggest insecurity when it comes to hearing God speak to you? 

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Safe Storms?

Floyd over at:  http://theregoi.com wrote a post on storms and in the middle of my reply I thought why not just post part of my comment. 

I love storms.  In Papua New Guinea we lived on the ocean and could see the storms build and actually watch the wind first bend the coconut tress almost completely over. Next would come sheets of rain across the ocean turning it darker. Then it would finally hit our tin roof, louder then a room full of people.  Loved being safe on our porch as we watched  lightening light the sky, palm leaves blowing past us. 

A storm is really not safe...have seen many of roofs ruined, trees blown down, people heads cracked open from a falling coconut.  A person would be a fool to try and outrun a storm or go play in the rain puddles as the lightening strikes all around them.  But we felt safe as long as we stayed under our tin roof far enough back on the porch and just waited till it passed.  The day after would be clean up ...sometimes it would take several day.  Sometimes those days would be filled with sadness over a life lost during the storm. 

None of us are safe from the storms of life. Matthew 5:45 says it rains on the righteous and the unrighteous. Sometimes you can see one coming and try to prepare for it but nothing stops it.  And at times it comes so quick there is no time to prepare, like a dreaded phone call, a health issue and losses that leave us filled with grief.  Either kind we must find a place to  be safe if we are to weather the storm.

God left the world unfinished for man to work his skill upon. He left the electricity still in the cloud, the oil still in the earth. How often we look upon God as our last and feeblest resource! We go to Him because we have nowhere else to go. And then we learn that the storms of life have driven us, not upon the rocks, but into the desired haven.
 George MacDonald quotes

 Floyd's post made me think of Job 26: 5-14,  Behold, these, (storms) these are the fringes of His ways.

God wants to give us wisdom in the storm.   Job 28:23-28 God understands its way. And He knows it's place. For He looks to the ends of the earth. And He see everything under heaven. When He imparted weight to the wind. And meted out the waters by measure. When He set limits for the rain and a course for the thunderbolt.  Then He saw it and declared it.  He established it and also stretched it.  And to man, He said, behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom.  And to depart from evil is understanding. 

I think that is why I like storms, it shout of God power and His wisdom that He wants to give us as we stand in awe of Him.  Who can start or stop a storm?  Can you, Can I?   And  only God can bring a rainbow out of a storm.

                                                How are you doing in your storm? 

Monday, August 12, 2013

Building Houses

It's always a mess if you live across the street from houses being built.  Dust all over everything, roads being blocked and tore up with the heavy equipment it takes to build.  Everyday you can watch a new row of houses built, walls going up to protect the houses, street lights, sod being laid.  Costly project especially out in California where we live.

I think about those who will move into the soon finished houses.  Each family bringing their choices of decorating, each family usually taking on more debt then they can afford.  Each family with it's own story of how they got from where they were to that new home.  Each new home will house several souls who may not know the Lord.

Watching the building across from my friends house and then watching this link I am going to post is, well two different worlds.  People are watching a house going up in the jungle too, the  only heavy equipment is the helicopter swinging the lumber in, no roads.  To keep cost as low as possible, teams of people have come to help, paying their own way into this remote location.  The house going up across from my friends will probably sell for around seven hundred and fifty thousand dollars.  Cost of jungle house even using a helicopter  about 45 thousand. 

But that is not the biggest difference, the houses build across from my friend has a different motive then the one in the jungle.  After gospel is presented to the Hewen people and there are believers also a functioning church the missionaries will tear their houses down, give the lumber to the people to build say a medical clinic, their church or even add to their houses.  The people in the village who will hear the gospel soon are excited, helping the missionaries build their houses.  knowing something big is coming or why would these white folks work so hard to live here. 

 Back to the village in the jungles of Papua New Guinea.  If you have a few minutes watch how a house is built in the jungle,  see the inside, but most of all look at the face of the people in the film clip.  You will probably see some of them in heaven someday. 

If you ever get an urge to help build a house...try New Tribes Mission...connect with a missionary who needs a helping hand.  Ever want to build something that you can take to heaven with you...a saved soul housing the spirit of the living God is how.  Become part of their team by supporting a missionary.

           Thanks for taking the time to watch the link...how did it speak to your heart?

Link to:"http://www.linkytools.com/thumbnail_linky_include.aspx?id=207479"

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Heart Beats


                           The Bible talks about people with different kinds of hearts.
FAINT HEART ---which is contagious Deuteronomy 20:8 "The officers shall speak further to the people, and say, 'What man is there who is fearful and FAINTHEARTED? Let him go and return to his house, lest the HEART of his brethren FAINT like his HEART. 

HARD HEART---has some side effects. Hebrews 3:8,13,15 Do not HARDEN your HEARTS as in the rebellion, In the day of trial in the wilderness, but exhort one another daily, while it is called "Today," lest any of you be HARDENED through the deceitfulness of sin. while it is said: "Today, if you will hear His voice, Do not HARDEN your HEARTS as in the rebellion."

STOUT HEART--- unrighteousness Isaiah 46:9-13 Remember the former things of old, For I AM GOD, and there is no other; I AM GOD, and there is none like Me, Declaring the end from the beginning, And from ancient times things that are not yet done, Saying, 'My counsel shall stand, And I will do all My pleasure,' Calling a bird of prey from the east, The man who executes My counsel, from a far country. Indeed I have spoken it; I will also bring it to pass. I have purposed it; I will also do it. "Listen to Me, you STOUT-HEARTED, Who are far from righteousness: I bring My righteousness near, it shall not be far off; My salvation shall not linger. And I will place salvation in Zion, For Israel My glory.
STONY HEART---Ezekiel 11:19; 36:26 "Then I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within them, and take the STONY HEART out of their flesh, and give them a HEART of FLESH, " I will give you a NEW HEART and put a new spirit within you; I will take the HEART of STONE out of your flesh and give you a HEART of FLESH."

BROKEN HEARTED-Presence of GOD---Psalm 34:18 The Lord is near to those who have a BROKEN HEART, And saves such as have a contrite spirit. Luke 4:18 18 "The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, Because He has anointed Me To preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the BROKENHEARTED, To proclaim liberty to the captives And recovery of sight to the blind, To set at liberty those who are oppressed;
TENDER HEART--GOD will hear 2 Chronicles 34:27 "because your HEART was TENDER, and you humbled yourself before God when you heard His words against this place and against its inhabitants, and you humbled yourself before Me, and you tore your clothes and wept before Me, I also have heard you," says the Lord.

WILLING HEART---Always gives Exodus 35:5,21,22 'Take from among you an offering to the Lord. Whoever is of a WILLING HEART, let him bring it as an offering to the Lord: gold, silver, and bronze; Then everyone came whose heart was stirred, and everyone whose spirit was willing, and they brought the Lord's offering for the work of the tabernacle of meeting, for all its service, and for the holy garments. They came, both men and women, as many as had a WILLING HEART.

WISE HEART--God works through them Exodus 36:1 "And Bezalel and Aholiab, and every WISE HEARTED artisan in whom the Lord has put wisdom and understanding, to know how to do all manner of work for the service of the sanctuary, shall do according to all that the Lord has commanded."     Written by the Faith, Hope and Love Ministry

We just got back from a week trip to the northern part of California.  Our goal was to meet with four missionaries scattered in different places home on furlough.  We were encouraged  listening  to their stories of seeing people groups come from a faint, stout or stoney  heart to a place of brokenness after hearing the gospel to a place of a tender, willing and wise heart.  It matters not your location for the gospel to penetrate a heart.  It matter greatly the condition of our hearts whether we allow God to use us.   

 How often my heart is not broken for the lost.  If my focus is pleasing Betty or getting the latest stuff out there or even just being lazy my heart will not beat for the lost around me. 
                                                   Can I ask, what does your heart beat for?