Saturday, December 19, 2009

Christmas cheer or Christmas sorrow


Below is an excerpt of a Christmas letter from Mark Gregston from Heartlight Ministries.  His ministry is to teens in severe trouble.  Thought it really brought up some significant issues to consider during the holidays.

My tendency has been to open past Christmas letters with “Merry Christmas!”, “Happy New Year!”, “May the joy of Christmas, "Glad tidings,” “Let’s all be jolly,” or “May peace surround you and yours.” These are great words of encouragement, but hardly what the parents I rub shoulders with are feeling during the Christmas season.


Most are going through a tough time, are experiencing a great sense of loss, or are at “wits end” to know what to do as they see their family struggle through difficulties with their children. As they reflect on their year, sadness fills their emotions and it is not going to be a Christmas that they hoped it would be. A mother told me last week the two words that describe her year are “sorrow” and “suffering.” That’s the world of people that I am involved with.

It’s ironic to me that Christmas and its message of hope is celebrated at a time of the year when many people least feel it. Oswald Chambers wrote that sorrow has an amazing way of burning up "shallowness.” So, my prayer for you is that any sorrow you've experienced this year will move you to a deeper understanding of the One we celebrate, and that your hope would lie in His promises.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Matt 24:11-24



Please tell me if you have been seeing this become more prevalent in your world around you or not.  I really want to hear from you.  I am just overwhelmed with watching the ELECT be deceived and drawn away from God.  I have watched with great saddness as the love of many grow cold.  I have seen many led astray.  Read the scripture below and comment on it if you would.

Matt 24:11-24
11 And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray. 12 And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold. 13 But the one who endures to the end will be saved. 14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.

The Abomination of Desolation

15 "So when you see the abomination of desolation spoken of by the prophet Daniel, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand), 16 then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. 17 Let the one who is on the housetop not go down to take what is in his house, 18 and let the one who is in the field not turn back to take his cloak. 19 And alas for women who are pregnant and for those who are nursing infants in those days! 20 Pray that your flight may not be in winter or on a Sabbath. 21 For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been from the beginning of the world until now, no, and never will be. 22 And if those days had not been cut short, no human being would be saved. But for the sake of the elect those days will be cut short. 23 Then if anyone says to you, 'Look, here is the Christ!' or 'There he is!' do not believe it. 24 For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Looking for behavior modification


I have been recently reminded of exactly how Christians appear to the non believing world.  Most of us Christians walk NOT by the fullness of the spirit but by the "do's and don'ts" of our chosen demoninations.  We appear to the world as unhappy, bitter, angry, empty, judgmental, CRITICAL, and above all else, unloving Christians.  I have actually heard it said, "Who would want that!"  So when we are wondering why the world is going to "you know where" in a hand basket, think of how exactly you appear to the non believers.

What if the world is a reflection of Christians as a whole.  If we believe that Jesus' blood paid for our sin, if we believe that God is all powerful, and if we believe that the holy spirit dwells within us, how are we reflecting that to the world? 

The only Jesus the world will see,
really is in you and me. 

If they are not coming to Christ, could it be that we are not showing them the true Christ, but some manufactured, man-made version of what we think Christ should look like.  Just thinking here.  What if Christ was so evident in our lives that we couldn't help ourselves; we would love without trying, correct without condemnation, and draw others to Christ.  What if we met with Christ each morning in prayer and in His word.  What if thru that we became the true embodiment of the living Lord.  Then we may see a change in our world in which we live.  Guess what, THERE is the place where we will see a TRUE REVOLUTION!!!!!!!!!!  Revival always starts in our own hearts.

Let's stop playing Christians and instead seek the Lord with all our hearts.  Let's not lean on our own thoughts of how we should look, or what man says we should or should not be doing  Let's acknowledge God in all we do, and give Him the glory.  Then in and thru all this, HE will direct us.

Praise God!!!!!!!  Merry Christmas during this wonderful season!!!!!!!!

Give the best gift of all this year,, Be Jesus to the world!

Monday, November 30, 2009

An approach to reading the Bible

In a daily email message I receive from Pastor Mark Brown's Journey deeper into God's word, is the following suggestions to each of us.

This is what Pastor Brown says he now does when preparing his insights. 

How I read the Bible


So what is my approach to opening the Word?

* I find a quiet place


* I look at my watch and work out when I will stop (seriously, now the issue isn’t forcing myself to read but to stop!)


* I come before God and admit my sin and seek forgiveness


* I pray the Holy Spirit will guide me


* Then, I either read systematically through a book (like Luke) or I allow God to reveal a passage


* I read the passage until stuff starts to appear.. ideas and thoughts as they relate to me


* I read the greek or hebrew version


* I ask God to reveal stuff


* And then I write a reflection

Manufacturer's recall of human units email

Received the following as an email from my mother-in-law.  I love this

RECALL NOTICE

The Maker of all human beings is recalling all units manufactured, regardless of make or year, due to a serious defect in the primary and central component of the heart.

This is due to a malfunction in the original prototype units code named Adam and Eve, resulting in the reproduction of the same defect in all subsequent units.

This defect has been technically termed "Subsequential Internal Non-Morality," or more commonly known as S.I.N., as it is primarily expressed.

Some other symptoms include:

1. Loss of direction

2. Foul vocal emissions

3. Amnesia of origin

4. Lack of peace and joy

5. Selfish or violent behavior

6. Depression or confusion in the mental component

7. Fearfulness

8. Idolatry

9. Rebellion

10. Excessive Drinking

The Manufacturer, who is neither liable nor at fault for this defect, is providing factory-authorized repair and service free of charge to correct this SIN defect. The Repair Technician, Jesus, has most generously offered to bear the entire burden of the staggering cost of these repairs. There is no additional fee required.


The number to call for repair in all areas is: P-R-A-Y-E-R.

Once connected, please upload your burden of SIN through the REPENTANCE procedure. Next, download ATONEMENT from the Repair Technician, Jesus, into the heart component.

No matter how big or small the SIN defect is, Jesus will replace it with:

1. Love

2. Joy

3. Peace

4. Patience

5. Kindness

6. Goodness

7. Faithfulness

8. Gentleness

9. Self control

Please see the operating manual, the B.I.B.L.E. (Believers' Instructions Before Leaving Earth) for further details on the use of these fixes.

WARNING: Continuing to operate the human being unit without correction voids any manufacturer warranties, exposing the unit to dangers and problems too numerous to list and will result in the human unit being permanently impounded.

DANGER: The human being units not responding to this recall action will have to be scrapped in the furnace. The SIN defect will not be permitted to enter Heaven so as to prevent contamination of that facility.

Thank you for your attention.


GOD

Please assist where possible by notifying others of this important recall notice, and you may contact the Father any time by "kneemail".

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Sharing my testimony little by little


My life is as unique as I am, and the same is true for everyone.  I think it is important to know one another's story.  I am going to begin to share mine in hopes that you will know me a little better, and so you will be encouraged.

There have been many chapters to my life.  One of the more profound chapters in my life centered around the matter of addicitons.  I walked thru the majority of my adult life with the knowledge that my dad struggled with acholism.  It was a hard and difficult thing to watch and live thru.  I hated it and what it did to this man whom I had always looked up to.  Then, we as a family had watched one too many movies about addiction, and believed it was time for an intervention.  Who really is equipped to set someone free from an addiction like that? 

What I can tell you is that no amount of begging, loving, bargaining, money or being willing to help will do it.  I can tell you from the words of my own father, "sometimes you can love someone too much".  So if you find that you are dealing with a loved one with an addiction, remember that you cannot set them free.  My dad had to get to the end of it, or as some say, he had to HIT bottom.  He had to want to be free of his addiction.  He had to admit he had a problem.  I don't know what the bottom is for anyone.  No one ever does.  It is different for everyone, and no one knows their own bottom.  All I know is we had to step back, and love him enough to let him find it.  That was and is the hardest part of it all.

My dad told me once that when he was young he didn't think, wow I want to grow up to be a drunk.  It happened over a long period of time.  The signs all developed so slowly.   However, this was not the end of the story.  My dad went thru treatment following our intervention.  He felt ganged up on, and cooperated to appease each of us.  So you tell me, do you think it worked?  NO!  It was a big fat  expensive failure.  He learned how to hid it better and he actually started smoking again in rehab.  It wasn't until years later when he was legally forced to seek help did he finally get clean.

One of the stories of hope and love however came from what God did in my life during this time.  I had been been asked and was going to be married.  I wanted my dad to give me away, and walk me down the isle.  I wondered how it would come about with my dad rarely being sober.   I even considered asking my big brother to do it, but knew that this would further hurt my already broken relationship with my dad. I went to him, and told him of my desire to have HIM give me away.   I then told him something that FOREVER changed my relationship with him, and taught me to love and accept him unconditionally.  I told him that he could decide whether he walked me down the isle drunk or sober.  It was up to him, but either way I wanted him to do it.  Guess which one he chose.  He was completely sober, and it was one of the sweetest time I have had with my dad.  He supported me and calmed me.  It was EVERYTHING I had dreamed it would be.

I share this story today as a result of a message I heard today at church regarding leporsy.  I was reminded of the horrible effects the alcohol had on my dad similar to the effects leporsy has on the body.  How it totally disfigured my dad.  The effects were so far reaching at times the external decay was difficult to see.   Also, this is a result of a research paper my older daughter is doing about whether alcoholism is inherited or environmental.

The best part of this story is that he finally beat the disease.  He gave his life to Christ and one year later, with God's help, he became a recovering alcoholic.  He did this and remained sober for almost 11 more years.  Unfortunately, the damage the alcohol had on his body was VERY severe.  He struggled the last several years of his life and the final months were pure agony.  However, I had a glorious 11 years with my dad.  He was clean and living for God. 

I visited my dad alone at times in his last year of life, and we had the best talks.  There was one time he told me he didn't feel much like talking so I asked him if I could read the bible to him.  He told me to read a story out of Kings.  I read the story to him, and he shared a bit of  his history with me.  He said, "that is the story my dad use to read to me".  I was so tickled to have that information.  Why is that part of this story?  Because if I had chosen to go another path during MY BIG DAY, I would not have had the privilege of reading to my dad then.

I walk away from this time in my life and look upon it with such blessing.  It was hard and it hurt deep, but I can tell you God taught me how to love the way He wants us to love one another.  It was sacrificial, it was hard but I can tell you I have NO regrets.

I miss my dad, but I know he has a NEW body now and I know that he is no longer struggling to be sober or need help getting thru the day. 

I will share the REST OF THE STORY on another post.  I don't know why I was motivated to quote Paul Harvey, but it just hit me. 

Have a blessed day and know that if you love the "hard to love" there are rewards that cannot compare to any other rewards.   I cannot tell you exactly why it is other than the scripture mentions loving those who love you compared to loving your enemies.  I can't explain it, but if you give it a try you will experience it.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Weight loss (some simple tips)

Quick note of challenge

Find a parking space during the holiday season that is farther from your destination than usual.  Do not fight for those coveted spots up close.  Have a giving attitude during this season of giving.  Also, the added benefit of doing a good deed, you will be taking from your waste line. Always keep safety in mind.

When available, take the stairs and avoid those germ invested elevators.  Get exercise that way and stay germ free.

relationship vs religion

Interesting to think about, law may change your outward approach or response to the world, but it is funny how you still have those same thoughts, and how still want to say, do or respond that old way.  Why do you think that is?

Paul says in the scripture that the law kills.  HMMM 

When I walk with Jesus, I respond from within!!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Weight loss (some simple tips)

If you have been following some of my points in reference to weight loss, here are some more points to live by. You are learning and retraining your relationship with food. You will need to give yourself permission on occasion to treat yourself. Remember these changes have to be something you can do for the rest of your life. We are not looking for a quick temporary fix. This is why you should pace yourself.  Treating yourself every once in a while is not the end of the world nor is it the end of your progress.


Allow me to put it to you this way. When children are toddlers and learning to walk, no one spanks them for falling.  All of us would encourage them to get back up and do it again. We clap our hands when they step and we tell them it is ok when they fall. Same with this for you when you are trying to make lifestyle changes. Progress is NEVER perfection. It is two steps forward and one step back.

Don't strive for perfection here, we just want progress. Say it again, DO NOT strive for perfection, we just want progress.   So NEVER give up!!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Think about this while pursuing weight loss

When you are trying to loose weight, always ask yourself this simple question, "can I sustain this for the rest of my life?"  It is important that you make LIFESTYLE changes.  The reason that most diets don't work is because it is your way of eating that you always return to.  Meaning, you change for a while until you loose the weight and then you GO BACK to your old way of doing things.  The old way of doing things is the reason for the weight gain in the first place.  So may I suggest that you will need to change your behavior.

You will notice that the things that I have suggested regarding weight loss are sustainable life long changes you can make.

So one simple change you can make is to look at the distribution of foods on your plate.  Ladies of average size should have NO more than 4 - 6 oz and men around 8 oz. of meat on their plate.  The carbs should represent a small portion, leaving you with most of your plate being taken by fresh veggies and fruit.  If not fresh, COLORFUL steamed, sauteed, grilled ect, veggies.  There is always some sort of fruit in season.  If you find none you like, try some of the canned or frozen fruits and look for those that are not packaged in pure sugar.  I tell you the convenience of the can is great.  You just have to make wise choices by reading the ingredients on the can.  I find if there are more than a few ingredients, I just don't buy it usually.  I cook with canned veggies some times and pour off the water in the can and add my own water and seasoning.  Most of the veggies are preserved in sodium.  Believe me it will be salty enough.

During this time, start trying things you haven't liked before that you know are good for you.  You may think you don't like certain veggies, but I promise you, we can train ourselves to like a lot of foods.  You just simple introduce it repeatedly.  I use to find ways to make broccoli, turnip greens, spinach, asparagus, etc. taste good. (using various methods of cooking and seasoning)  However over time, I have found that even my children like all of these cooked in a variety of ways.

Also, ask God to help you in this effort.  Let me tell you that a thinner me and a thinner you is going to be a healthy us.  Therefore, God is able to utilize us longer and more efficiently.  A little time focusing on our health can be  a worship and service unto the Lord.  If you look back at my blog regarding our body as the temple of the holy spirit, you will find that the priest took care of the temple as an act of service.  I believe we are to tend to and care for this temple.  We are NOT to worship the temple as some do in our society, but we are to worship the Lord in this temple and with this temple.

Think about asking God to come into your temple and empower you today to care for it as HE would see FIT.  (Get it -- FIT) 

Have a wonderful day and be blessed.
Lots of love
Bev

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Weight loss (some simple tips)


When you first feel hungry, drink water and wait 30 minutes. Did you know that most of us do not recognize the difference in the feeling of thirst and hunger? These sensations are actually different however, many misunderstand thirst for hunger. If after the 30 minutes of drinking your water you are still feeling hungry, then eat.

Think portion control. 

Always remember to eat slowly.  DOESN'T matter if you only have a few minutes to eat, or that the kids are needing "this or that", you have to eat slowly. It takes time for the "FULL" signal to be sent from the stomach to the brain.  If you consume too quickly, you will overeat every time.  Once you overeat, you will have STRETCHED the stomach and will require more food to feel full the next time.  Eat slow and reduce your portions.  In time, you will actually SHRINK your stomach size and require less food to feel full. 

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Jesus' prayer

At one of the hardest times in Jesus' life, this is the prayer He prayed for us. 

“I am praying not only for these disciples but also for all who will ever believe in me through their message. I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one—as you are in me, Father, and I am in you. And may they be in us so that the world will believe you sent me. “I have given them the glory you gave me, so they may be one as we are one. I am in them and you are in me. May they experience such perfect unity that the world will know that you sent me and that you love them as much as you love me. Father, I want these whom you have given me to be with me where I am. Then they can see all the glory you gave me because you loved me even before the world began! “O righteous Father, the world doesn’t know you, but I do; and these disciples know you sent me. I have revealed you to them, and I will continue to do so. Then your love for me will be in them, and I will be in them.” John 17:20-26

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Weight loss (some simple tips)

Allow me to veer from my normal ramblings.  As I have said and many of you know, one of my areas of interest is fitness and health.  I wanted to take some time to encourage you today in a new and different way.

As the "EATING" holidays approach, you may find you are in the midst of the tempting Halloween or Fall Festival candy.  Call it what you want, but I call it about 10 more pounds. 

I have  a few tips and suggestions for those of you that may want to begin to loose weight, begin again to loose weight, or perhaps you just want to make sure you maintain your current weight and not put on those extra pounds during these EATING  holidays.

Here are my personal suggestions:

1. When you eat out at restaurants, when ordering your meal, ALWAYS ask for a"TO GO" box.  When the food arrives, IMMEDIATELY divide your meal into perfect halves.  One half should go into the box and closed.  This portion will ride home with you, and be used for lunch the following day.  If after 3-4 days you have not eaten these left overs, PLEASE discard.
Now you are free to eat your food that remains.  Enjoy.  REMEMBER it is NOT necessary to eat everything on your plate. 

Little side note:  I know your mom probably told you all about the starving in Africa, mine did too, but if you cannot box up the excess and send it there, you still do not need to be sacrificing your hips for the sake of the hungry.  You DO NOT have to clean your plate.

2. Try to reduce your portions.  Things to consider, meat portions for women should be no more than 4 oz.  Most restaurants' smallest portions is 6 oz.  8 oz is the average.  If you want to eat more than that, order fish or a salad.    If you are a wine drinker, 4 oz is an amount that is healthy for the average woman's body and 8 oz for an average man's body, anything more than that becomes toxic in your body, and you loose all of the benefits of the wine. 

3. Determine what your goal weight is and multiply that by 10.  That gives you an estimated average number of calories you should consume for one day.   (example: your current weight is 150 and you want to weigh 130 --   130 X 10 = 1300   and 1300 is the total estimated calories to consume daily.)  So if you have an event coming up where you know you will go over this number, you simply cut back the day before and give those calories to the next day.  Plan ahead.  You can use the online calorie counter ( calorieking.com )  or a book you can buy at any bookstore.

4. Last but not least, get your heart rate up at least 4 times a week for 30 minutes each.  If you cannot do this, you can try to do 2 hours a week somewhere within the week to be broken into intervals that work for your schedule.  I suggest brisk walks.  I will write occasionally different workouts that can enhance your exercise.  Remember: be a body in motion!

Please let me know if this helps out.  I will be posting health tips on occasion, based on interest and response.  So let me know if you find it helpful.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

The existence of God argument

Heard a message this morning that totally grabbed my attention.  It made too much sense NOT to share.  So here goes.  In reference to some one challenging your faith and what you believe in, this guy likened it to APPLE PIE.  Ok, your experience is that you have had, eaten and enjoyed the apple pie.  You tasted it, you know that you had it, you even know you REALLY liked it.  Then someone comes along and tells you that there is NO SUCH THING as apple pie.  You know the absurdity in that statement.  So you begin to argue logic with the UNBELIEVER.  The unbeliever continues to win his logic with you because there is NO apple pie present.  However, NEVER allow someone to take away your experience.  You know there is apple pie.

When you walk with God, you know Him personally, you have experienced things that you know to be ONLY possible with God.  You don't have to prove it to others with logic and arguments.  Just live it out in front of them and know that they just haven't had the apple pie yet and to them it doesn't exist.  Think of ways you can introduce the existence of apple pie to those who don't believe.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Conform or transform???

Have you ever thought about this? Religion has a way of helping bring about behavior modification.  We alter our outward behavior.  This allows us to be accepted by the general body.  However, Jesus was pretty specific about what he meant by sin.  He went to the MOTIVE.  He focused on our thoughts and ultimately our beliefs.  When we are walking daily with Christ, we will begin to see a transformation from within.  We will see our motives change.  We will love because it is who we are. We will give because we cannot help ourselves.  We will serve because we cannot imagine NOT serving.  We will pour out on others out of the overflow of our full hearts.  Only Jesus can change us from within.  It starts with the RENEWING of our minds.  Begin to fill up your thinking with the TRUTH that can only come from Jesus.  Be filled with the holy spirit and see the most amazing transformation.

I so enjoyed the message at church yesterday and was just reminded how much God loves me.  It always overwhelmes me to think on the love God has for me.  He knew me before the foundation of the world.  The good news is the gospel of Jesus.  He is the hope of the world for eternity with God.  Jesus really did pave a way.  Don't try to figure it out, just embrace it and be thankful.

Let's begin to look for Jesus to transform us to reflect His image to the world, not settling for a religious program that will outward mold / conform us in to an empty, hollow shell of a conformed man.  (Jesus told the Pharisees they were like white washed tombs.)  I think they are a perfect example of what I am talking about.  Behavior modification NEVER last and is exhausting to try.   Why not just sit before the master and allow Him to mold you instead into the true image you are LONGING to be!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

So which will you choose?   Religion or relationship??

Fellowship vs. Sin

Father, I hear you. Sin cast a CLOAK over our eyes. Reality is not this physical world. The true reality is the spiritual realm. You are everywhere. Scripture says we don’t war with flesh and blood, so our war is against Satan and his angels, principalities, and powers of darkness in this age.

Adam walked with you freely until sin came and broke fellowship with you. He was able to be free from sin, but then sin entered the world and a cloak of darkness came over him almost as if the very flesh came over him and he was aware of his nakedness.

Christ came and put on flesh, became flesh, to save us from this body of sin. The body restricts our ability to see and experience you freely and fully.

Paul asked who will rescue me from this body. Sin came alive in the body that day and the desire for self worth, self satisfaction, self worship, and self praise. All came alive in the body. If you eat you will die. Adam ate and didn’t die immediately; therefore leading Adam to believe that sin didn’t bring about death. Adam may not have seen sin’s death effect that tied directly to his actions.

All that we touch and see is not our ultimate reality. Even our expression of praise to You Lord are difficult to do in the body. I remember times of feeling constrained by the body. I felt inadequate to express how I feel toward you in the body. Like the body itself had become a prison restraining my freedom of worship and praise to you. I have been so overwhelmed with no adequate ways to express what was in me. Words were not adequate. David in his love and excitement of Your presence, danced naked in the street. I believe he was naked and unashamed. It was just as Adam was in the garden originally.

Our eyes are veiled so that we cannot see You. Because of our sinful nature we would die. We cannot see your glory. Our body became a veil covering us from Your presence.

Jesus is our gate to enter into your presence. He then became the sacrifice on the altar to forgive our sins.  Then the blood was/is offered to purify us and wash us clean. His body was broken to become the broken bread for us to eat, and the blood poured out was the wine for us to drink.  Now this was done in order for us to fellowship with You, oh God in the Holy Place. As we come to the altar of incense the fragrant aroma of our prayers lifted to you became the closet we get to the veil with Your face pressed against the veil as we pray to you. But the veil was torn and you made a way for us to be in your Full Presence in the Holy of Holies at the arc of the covenant, Your earthly footstool. It is a place of the tomb’s demise. Where Jesus laid 3 days watched by the Cherubim, guarding this precious body. That became Your footstool and our access point or GATE.

As I enter your gate (Jesus) and accept the payment of the sacrifice at the cross, and the bread to be broken for me (by his stripes I am healed) and the wine (purify me by the blood); (all of what Jesus did as I accept it, I become righteous thru believing it) and fellowship with you and pray before You at the tomb/deaths defeat/ Christ’s victory/ at the arc/ footstool and am pressing in against the veil.

This body is the prison and must be willingly crucified to sin (for sin brings death but distance from the closeness of fellowship and being known by You. Sin separated us from You. That is true hell; separation from God.)
Jesus paid the price for my fellowship the sacrifice and offering is done so we now only sacrifice to sin. That is where the high price is paid. So I will no longer allow sin to exist in your body. It is costly and separates. It separated relationships with others as well as separates us from God.

When we sin against another, it separates fellowship and trust. Forgiveness is possible and trust can be restored but not always with man. However with God it always is possible. Simply confess (agreeing with God of what He says is sin and our participation in the sin) Ask for and Accept the forgiveness. Repent (turn from the sin—Go and sin NO MORE—Go and do right) walk in fellowship once again. Just accept Christ’s payment.

Because sin requires blood sacrifice and skin is what covered Adam’s sin, they ripped Jesus flesh. That was MY sin ripping at his flesh. I look on the cross and see the true consequences of my sin. That is what sin brings. It had to look like that. That is what Jesus was willing to do for me. My sin beat him, my sin spat in his face, my sin mocked him, my sin drove the nails in his hands and feet, my sin pierced his brow, and my sin pierced his side with a spear. It was my sin that did it all. My sin brought death. But my God resurrected and brought life to my Jesus, and He brought life to my body. Praise God and Hallelujah (ALL praise to YAHWEH -- YHWH)

Enter His gates with thanksgiving; Jesus is the gate keeper into the presence of God. We can stay in the fellowship of the Lord. We can stay at the temple. Especially because (know ye not that ye are the temple of God) we are the temple. Enter His courts with praise; we enter into the presence by the sacrifice of Jesus, his blood is our righteousness, His body becomes the broken bread and wine of fellowship we eat on and become one with. Our prayers become the pleasing fragrance in the nostrils of our Lord. We can choose to stay in the temple by walking in obedience to God’s commands, resisting sin and all the temptations. Sin is what takes me back out into the desert. Staying longer in the desert can lead me farther and farther away from this place of worship. If I will confess and repent I can enter back into the gate. But I can choose to stay in the temple or in the desert. I choose daily where I will be. My will and my flesh determine my location with Christ, not Satan. So where are YOU?



Sunday, November 1, 2009

Not behavioral changes/ go deeper and change your beliefs

This is the devotion for the day in "Daily In Christ" from Neil Anderson. This is a foundational truth in living victorious as a Christian.

A CHANGE OF BELIEFS Ephesians 2:4, 5
God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us . . . made us alive together in Christ

Twenty-three-year-old Jenny was a pretty Christian young woman with a seemingly pleasant personality. She had loving parents and came from a good church. But she was torn up inside, having never experienced anything but a depressive life. She had bombed out of college and was on the verge of being fired from her job. She had suffered from eating disorders for several years and medical treatment for her problems seemed futile.

I was in the midst of planning an intensive one-month spiritual retreat for some of our seminary students, and somehow I knew that Jenny needed to be there even though she wasn't a seminary student. I invited her, and to my surprise, she agreed to attend.

Shortly after we arrived, I sat down with Jenny privately. "I didn't invite you here to change your behavior, Jenny," I said. "Your behavior isn't your problem."

"I've always been told that my behavior is my problem," she answered, looking a little surprised at my statement.

"I'm not worried about your behavior. It's your beliefs I'm interested in. I'm praying that you will change your beliefs about God and who you are in Christ. You're not a failure. You are a child of God, no better and no worse than any other person at this retreat. I want you to start believing it because it's the truth."

For the first time in her life Jenny had been affirmed as the person of value to God that she was. And she began to believe it. During the next 30 days, a miraculous transformation took place in Jenny. Her circumstances didn't change, but she did.

Too often we try to change our behavior without changing our beliefs. It doesn't work that way. We must change our beliefs before we can make significant changes in our behavior. Nothing will change your behavior more than a true knowledge of God and who you are as His child.

Prayer:

Father in heaven, what a liberating privilege it is to call You my Father and realize that I am Your child.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Changing our critical attitude

Oh my goodness, been listening to some interesting stuff. The topic dealt with criticism as sin. Just the fact that we have a critical spirit is offensive to God. The reference was from Miriam's criticism of her brother Moses in Exodus. It led to her being exiled for 7 days outside the camp because she was struck with leprosy. This was after Moses had pled on her behalf to God to forgive her. All the Israelites could not advance the camp for 7 days as they waited on Miriam.

Well let's take a look at just how often we have been critical of God's chosen vessels. (the ones that God chooses to work thru) I know I have been guilty. I had to confess this to God, and get back into right fellowship with Him. I don't know about you, personally I don't want anything to keep me from meeting in the holy place with God. No thing between me and my savior.

So to continue in our criticism is sin.

So would this be having a hypocritical (hypo - CRITICAL) attitude? This is the same thing that is often so offensive to us as we read the attitudes of the Pharisees in the New Testament with Jesus. If you do not find yourself here at this time, mark my words, this is a place those of us who walk with God for a time, can easily find ourselves. I don't rightly know how it happens, but it quickly goes from humble insight of others shortcomings, or discernment; but turns into prideful self righteousness and a critical spirit.

Let's be alert to this in our thoughts, attitudes and words. These are usually aimed at our leaders in church, government or homes. Just remember if you are beginning to wander in the desert, and not be filled with the joy you are accustomed to having; you may be in sin due to a critical attitude or spirit. REMEMBER in yesterday's post, we can enter into the tabernacle/fellowship thru purification of sin or we can wander in the desert in our sinful state. Where we are with God is up to us.

Have a blessed day and looking forward to whatever God will show me tomorrow.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

April 19 entry

I wrote this April 19, 2009.  It just goes with the stuff I wrote earlier today.


I am absolutely overwhelmed today. Can't even begin to express in words all that I have been hearing or sensing from the Lord. I have been looking at the Seder meal that Jesus would have participated in on His last week of physical life. As I researched many aspects of it, I began to allow myself to go places in my heart and in my mind. I have so much to tell much to tell about it. It is several fold. If you are interested in knowing more. Read on...

Scripture references will be

John 3:1-21 &; Numbers 21

Psalms of ascent 120-134 &; Psalms called Hallel Ps 113 - 118 recited during the 4th cup of wine at Seder

Oh and add 1 Cor 10 that shows the baptism of Israel...



1. It started with the revelation of sin in my life. Small or big is no matter. I saw my sin and was sad. But if there is no condemnation then what is the sin to do. Actually the sin can lead to life. Look at What Christ says in Jn 3 to Nicodemus. He says just as the snake is lifted up to save those bit by the snakes, the son of man will also be lifted up for all who look on him will have LIFE. Well then sin may be the thing that is not condemnation but simply and indication of where we are and what we need.

2.Then comes the willingness to look at sin. The Israelites that were bit by the snakes had to look upon the bronze snake to be saved and live. I think we have to allow the sin to indicate to us that it is sin and then we need to be willing to look at it and its effect it had on Jesus on the cross.

Sin like the snake brings death, but willingness to accept God's designated path to right standing with Him will bring us life. This is so good I am not doing it justice

3. Seder prep- family looks for all leaven in the house. All leaven is removed from the house in prep for the Passover. Leaven or yeast is compared to sin. They use a candle and a FEATHER to find and sweep up ALL remnants of it that is found. What if we sweep our lives before the light of the Lord and willingly confess the sin that is exposed ... NOT to condemn us but to prepare us for the true sacrifical Lamb. We have to LOOK at the sin then see the sins effect on the Lamb. With each rip of the flesh each thorn piercing His brow, representing the sins effect on the body. My body unless I accept and receive the sacrifice for me.

4. The seder or passover breaks bread, eats the meat from the sacrifice. they must break NO bones, the head, limbs and organs in tack. any left must be burned. So the meat is torn. The family did the sacrifice not the priest. So we all slaughter the innocent lamb. The blood is applied to the door so the angel of DEATH would pass by. Side note: notice how many times Jesus refers to himself as gate or way. Then think of the blood above the door again.

5. Let me tell you I began to read the Psalms that would have been read during the passover and began to weep. Psalms called Hallel Ps 113 - 118 recited during the 4th cup of wine at Seder.

Then I read the Psalms of Ascent that they would recite or sing on the way to Jerusalem and represents the 15 procedures done during the Passover seder. These are also parallel to the steps to the temple. There are 4 cups to drink during the seder. Each represents the "I wills" of God in Ex 6:6-7 I will bring out, deliver, redeem and take.

So why do you think an OT ritual would be so full of meaning to a NT girl? In the presence and inspiration of the Holy Spirit and the light that is the truth of the Word of Jesus, it was amazing. It is symbolism that God has used to explain the uncomprehensible to me in terms I can understand. Ritual in act is nothing, but add the spirit's inspiration and you have an igniting fire.

I feel like I have eaten a tasty bit of food and I want you to share it with me. I haven't done it justice but I so long for you to know this with me. I want you to taste it and smell its aroma. WOW I am in awe right now.

Spending time with God

I have been thinking on this one thought over and over. I have talked about it at great length to anyone who will listen. I did a Beth Moore study on the Tabernacle and loved it several years ago. Before that, I was moved by a scripture I read where we are told that we are the temple of the holy spirit. I thought if that is true, shouldn't I know what it means to be the "temple". I began researching it began to see something beyond what I could imagine. I loved all that I found. More recently God has been adding on to this entire concept. If history is any indicator, I am certain that He will continue to elaborate on this for some time to come for me.

So today what I wanted to talk about is this concept of the tabernacle. The Israelites wandered in the desert for 40 years. This trip was not a long journey. However it was for them. I suppose this was a time of learning and understanding for them. I believe it was also a time of dealing with the influence the pagans had had on them. In the time in the desert, the Israelites built a mobile worshipping center. A place for their God to dwell among them.

Scripture tells us to enter His "gates" with thanksgiving and His "courts" with praise (Psalm 100:4). So we enter into His presence thru the gate, Jesus tells us He is the gate (John 10:7 & 9) After entering the gate, the first encounter would be the place of animal sacrifice which was the payment for sin. For us, it would be the cross where Jesus was sacrificed for all our sin for those who believe. The blood is taken and used to purifiy, the basin used to wash clean the priest of the tabernacle. Jesus' blood purifies us so we are right before God. It gives us entrance into "fellowship" with God. Intimate closeness.

Now we are entering into the Holy Place where the bread and wine are on a table. For us as Christians, we can sit and eat, I think it is a time of fellowship, in that, we find nourishment for our hungry souls. At this point it brings us to the altar of incense. This is where our prayers become a SWEET AROMA to God's nostrils. At this altar, we can press into the full presence of God. We are just outside the Holy of Holies. On the other side of the veil, is the ark of the covenant where God would sit and talk with Moses. I believe it could be the very reflection of the tomb where Jesus laid with cheribum watching guard over him until the resurrection.

So what keeps us from experiencing this intimacy that was paved for us to receive? It is our birth right as born again Christians. So when we are not experiencing this fellowship with God, we need to take note of our lives. Look at areas of sin in our lives. If it is sin, we are to confess it to God (simply agreeing with God on what He calls sin) , repent (turning from the sin) and walk in obedience once again (just do what you know is right to do -- Go about doing some good) Once we have done this, I believe we have made it right back into the tabernacle all over again.

Sin separates, destroys and brings death. You want to know what our sin looks like to God, take a look at Christ on the cross. It was my sin that beat Him, my sin ripped His flesh, my sin pushed the torns into His brow, my sin spat in His face, my sin pierced His side, my sin hammered the nails into His hands and feet, my sin hung Him on the cross; And His love held Him there. Our sin is the pride of life, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes (1 John 2:16) and the cross shows us exactly how it looks.

So just as the Israelites, we can wander in the desert, or we can enter His gates with thanksgiving and into His courts with praise because of Jesus. We receive His sacrifice, and believe we are cleansed and purified. We believe that we are made right with God (righteousness of Christ). This gives us the right to be in fellowship with the ONE who created us, and gave our hearts the permission to beat and continue to beat. We get to enjoy the spiritual nourishment of God. As we are fed by God, we get to sit and talk with Him (prayer); the very same God that breathed breath into us and allows us to continue to breathe. This is the one that has the power to take our lives when He is ready. We can stay as long as we wish in fellowship with Him, or we can go back out into the desert. We have the freedom to stay or to go. We also have the freedom to stay out in the wilderness as long as we please. The separation comes from the sin in our lives. Of course Jesus said He would never leave us nor forsake us, however, I know we can quench the spirit that is within each one of us when we refuse to deal with the sin in our lives.

Satan is always looking for ways to bring this about. He knows that if we spend time with God and get fully satisfied, we will be an awesome witness to a lost world. We will see others coming to the same God thru Jesus Christ. They will want what we have.

So LET"S become Jesus Christ to this world. Let's introduce them to the TRUE fellowship that comes only when we are with God. It is the ONLY thing that truly satisfies.

Day 1

The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil,for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. Psalm 23:1-4

This is today's scripture verse from the Bible page.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Introduction

I am blessed to be a child of God. I am bought by the price of the blood shed on the cross for me. I love Jesus and I want to encourage others to walk closely with Him. Then based on that intimate walk, become Christ to those around them, to be walking out the WORD of God; to become the living Word.

I have been sharing my thoughts with others for some time on Facebook. As time has gone by, I have been humbled by the interest and response I have been given from several of you. I had a friend share with me that perhaps it was time to start a blog. I didn't know where to begin and this friend showed me the way. Thanks Marty.

God has been entrusting me with certain insights for some years now. Not always knowing what to do with them, I would do nothing. There came a time in particular that a dear Christian friend was concerned for me and asked me how she could specifically pray for me. I told her that I was overwhelmed with things that God was showing me, and I felt at times as though I would explode if I could not express them.

I feel confined at times with the physical body I am placed in. I get so overwhelmed with what God reveals to me that my body becomes like a prison. I cannot adequately express my excitement, thankful gratitude, awe, love, thrill, etc. in the confines I am currently housed in. My sharing on Facebook has provided me an enormous opportunity for relief.

Now, I am expressing these thoughts here. I am placing these gifts out here for anyone desiring a gift of encouragement today.

Let me know if you find this encouraging. I am excited to have a site to express and share these ideas, thoughts and inspirations.

The day

TODAY IS THURSDAY AND IN RELATION TO EASTER, THIS IS THE DAY THAT JESUS WOULD HAVE BEEN ON TRIAL. HE WOULD HAVE BEEN CELEBRATING PASSOVER LAST NIGHT AND HE WOULD HAVE EATEN HIS LAST SUPPER. HE WOULD HAVE WALKED TO THE GARDEN OF GETHSEMANE SINGING PSALMS WITH THE DISCIPLES. BUT TODAY HE WAS STANDING BEFORE PONTIUS PILATE AND HEROD BEING SENTENCES FOR CRIMES HE DIDN'T COMMIT. HE STOOD INNOCENT BEFORE THE JUDGEMENT SEAT. HE TOOK MY PLACE AND STOOD TRIAL FOR MY SIN. IMAGINE THAT.

HE PAID THE PRICE FOR MY SIN ON THE CROSS. THAT WILL BE TOMORROW. GOOD FRIDAY.

I AM THANKFUL IT DIDN'T END THERE. I WOULD BE TERRIBLY DEPRESSED. BUT THANK GOD FOR SUNDAY. HE IS RISEN.

PRAISE THE LORD!!!!!!!!!!!

What I think church should not be

Thursday, May 7, 2009 at 2:07pm |
You ever wonder the purpose of the church. I have been in some great conversation with my brother on this very matter. I tell you that delving into this question both in the word, in prayer and in my own thoughts has surfaced a lot of stuff. The top thing I am thinking is a corporate opportunity to praise God. God is ALWAYS worthy to be praised. If you think about it, His awesomeness goes beyond comprehension and measure. So we could praise Him our entire lives and never praise Him for all He is or all He does. Church is an opportunity to be examined by the WORD. As the word is spoken by an annointed, chosen man of God who is filled with the Holy Spirit, the word will pierce our hearts, bring about conviction and repentance. I believe it is a time to be built up and encouraged by other believers as well as correction. It is a time of fellowship with other believers and a time to serve one another. We can pour into others lives at this time. We should be spurring one another on to good works and encourage each other to live filled with the spirit. I am open to a discussion on this point. You can add to this or even dissect it. I am by no means an expert. Just someone trying to process this issue. However, not wanting to divide and debate. Just wanted to start a dialogue of thoughts.

I guess on the flip side of this issue (all prompted by listening to CS Lewis' Mere Christianity") is the thoughts of what church is not. It is not a country club. It is not a place to go once a week to meet with God so you can feel better the rest of the week. It is not a place to go to mark off a list saying I did this. It is not a dumping ground to confess our sin so we can make room for the sins again this week. It is not a place to go to feel better about yourself because you see others in worse shape than you. It is also not a place to go only if you are perfect. So brings me full circle. What is the purpose of church. I believe if the church were operating in its full capacity, we would be a light to a lost world, we would be the GLORY of God here on earth. How about them apples. I started out talking about what the church isn't and ended up back at its purpose. I can stop now. Join me in this discussion if you want.

Seek God's face and not His hand

Heard this saying this morning and really decided to ponder it. "Seek God's face and not His hand." Wow, simple words but very profound. I have for some time been aware of the necessity to seek God and not his healing, blessings; basically all He can DO for me. The things He can do for me will come because of WHO He is. But we miss so much if all we seek is what He does for us and leave feeling empty. No child ever is satisfied with just what the parent gives thru gifts and "stuff". Deep down, they truly want to spend time with and be with and be known by their parents. That is where it is most satisfying. I dare you to test it and see. I dare you to seek the healer and not the healing. Healing may or may not come, but you will be joyful either way. Seek the rewarder and not the reward. Seek the blesser and not the blessing. Seek the redeemer not the redemption. I have heard it said that we are HUMAN BEINGS and NOT HUMAN DOINGS. Look for the BEING in God and not the DOING of God. Let's give it a try. Will we be more joyful and satisfied. I dare you to try it to see for yourself!!!!

This is the best devotion!!!!!!!

August 14, 2009
"The Discipline of the Lord"
ODB RADIO: | Download
READ:
My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord, nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him —Hebrews 12:5It is very easy to grieve the Spirit of God; we do it by despising the discipline of the Lord, or by becoming discouraged when He rebukes us. If our experience of being set apart from sin and being made holy through the process of sanctification is still very shallow, we tend to mistake the reality of God for something else. And when the Spirit of God gives us a sense of warning or restraint, we are apt to say mistakenly, "Oh, that must be from the devil."

"Do not quench the Spirit" ( 1 Thessalonians 5:19 ), and do not despise Him when He says to you, in effect, "Don’t be blind on this point anymore— you are not as far along spiritually as you thought you were. Until now I have not been able to reveal this to you, but I’m revealing it to you right now." When the Lord disciplines you like that, let Him have His way with you. Allow Him to put you into a right-standing relationship before God.

". . . nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him." We begin to pout, become irritated with God, and then say, "Oh well, I can’t help it. I prayed and things didn’t turn out right anyway. So I’m simply going to give up on everything." Just think what would happen if we acted like this in any other area of our lives!

Am I fully prepared to allow God to grip me by His power and do a work in me that is truly worthy of Himself? Sanctification is not my idea of what I want God to do for me— sanctification is God’s idea of what He wants to do for me. But He has to get me into the state of mind and spirit where I will allow Him to sanctify me completely, whatever the cost (see 1 Thessalonians 5:23-24 ).

Dare to rummage around in my brain

Oh my goodness. The bible study I was doing Sunday afternoon referred to Jer. 29:11. As I read it, I read it with way too much familiarity. Then God threw me a curve ball by adding in vs 12-14. I had been praying for God's will to be revealed in a situation and this was part of the answer. It just absolutely blew me away as I read on "Journey Deeper into God's Word" which is a group on Facebook

You want to know the will of God for your life, I believe it is everyday being available to where He takes us and being His hands and feet to those He brings to us or where He sends us. I believe the key to this scripture and the WILL of GOD in our lives is is truly that we SEEK HIM WITH ALL OUR HEARTS.

What if that is it: will of God for our life -- TO KNOW HIM as we are known. NOT what we DO but that we just BE before Him, allowing Him to reveal Himself to us.

Think about it, in the garden what did sin interrupt? Walking daily in the garden just God and man in sweet fellowship, while all of creation was under man's dominion.

Just some ponderings I am having.

Request to pray

2 Chronicles 7:14
>
>
> I remember reading about the children of Israel who turned from God
> time and time again, only to realize their mistake and pray for
> forgiveness. Each time, God would forgive them and they would walk
> with him for a time. So, I am going to ask you to join me in praying
> for our nation every day. Please read the email below. God is in
> control.
>
> May God Have Mercy On America ; Protect Our Troops
> When I was in Atlanta last week, there were signs in people's yards
> that said, " America , prayer is our only hope" - with 2 Chronicles
> 7:14 underneath.. We certainly need God's help!
>
> I have no idea who started this, but I certainly agree with this
> e-mail. I heard a preacher on TV tonight who said if we pray for our
> nation things will turn around.
>
> After a day of contemplation and soul searching, I have decided to
> reach out to my friends and relatives and ask you to do something
> that has been troubling me for a long time.
>
> Our nation is/has been on the slippery slope for a long time. If you
> look around you will find corruption, greed, moral decay, and a
> steady move away from the things that made us great. The principles
> upon which this nation was founded are no longer our backbone.
> However, we can reverse this trend.
>
> 2 Chronicles. 7:14 in God's Word, He states,
> "If my people who are called by my name
> will humble themselves and pray
> and seek my face and turn from their
> wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven
> and will forgive their sin and heal their land."
>
> I am convinced that we must pray for our nation and its leaders and
> ask for forgiveness. So I ask you to join me in this plea to our Lord.
>
> Would you please send this to people in your address book? Ask them
> to pray EVERY DAY. (25 to the 5th power is9,765,625 people.)
> IMAGINE if each person reaches TEN others... Or all TWENTY FIVE!
>
> If you do and they comply, we will lift up millions and millions of
> prayers a day to our Creator. He will hear us, and in faith will
> answer.
>
> Here's a quote from Ronald Reagan:
> "If we ever forget that we are one nation under God, then we will be
> a nation gone under."
>
> I truly believe this is why the United States of America is in the
> shape it's in today.
>
> Most people have forgotten that we are ONE NATION UNDER GOD! Let us
> as Christians stand up and remind people of this.

Why do you study the bible

If you are in the midst of a bible study, this is a reminder to think on the REASON you are doing it. I have heard a bunch of differing reasons. To appease God, to gain more knowledge etc. However, I firmly believe to do it for any other reason than to grow in relationship with God, to get to know Him whom you believe in and to equip you to serve, love and minister to a hurt world, you will be dissatisfied at the very least. Think on "why" you do it. And then focus on the ONE the book is all about. Honestly it should be encouraging our love for others and God. Just something to think about today.

More stuff going on in my head

Have had some much on my mind. I think being in my head is like the traffic we had going in and out of Chicago over fall break. I cannot even express the amount of traffic in my head.

One thing I was thinking: The enemy of our soul has done such a number on humanity. MAN had dominion over the earth. It was ours, not satan's. So he came along and convinced MAN that God was holding out on him and that He didn't want MAN to have fun, enjoy life, or have wisdom. On the other hand, God gave MAN a stearn warning that all will certainly not be well if ... (Here we can apply any given sin.) So MAN decides to go along with satan. He decides to COOPERATE with HIS enemy. MAN decides to really turn from and away God, and goes his own way. What on earth did it cost him? EVERYTHING. Think about it. To begin with, he lost Dominion over the earth!!!! GEN 1:26 & 28 According to Gen 2:15 he was to watch over the garden. DUDE, dominion means dominance or power through legal authority. Also, to rule, dominate, tread down.

It also cost us fellowship with God. Once the enemy convinces us to sin, he has managed to separate us from our relationship with God. Sin defiles and brings death. We are to confess (agree with God about our sin) Repent (turn from it) and again walk in righteousness (Christ bought it for you with his blood) Accept the payment and refuse to work with the enemy who only wants to separate us from true fellowship with God

So here is my point. The enemy LIED to Adam and he is still lying to us. His job is to convince us that God doesn't want the best for us. He wants us to believe that there are things, stuff, and highs that will fulfill us. He is more than happy to provide those things. To get us CAUGHT up in something, anything that will distract us from God. Then once we give into the temptation, he turns on us and condemns us. Then we feel guilt and we then feel our separation from God.

So we need to wake up and be alert. Roman 6:14 says that sin no longer has dominion over us for we are under grace. In whatever amount you COOPERATE with satan is the amount of dominion YOU ALLOW him to have in your life. Once we are bought by the blood of Christ, we are NO longer subjected to the enemy's dominion. EXCEPT that which we ALLOW.

prayer time

1. Commit to pray (don't make it mundane and routine, but make it regular)
2. Resist catching up on other tihings when you are scheduled to have time with God.
3. Don't try to fit God into your schedule, instead work your schedule around God.
4. Set certain times for study
5. When determining what to study, look at your life, find areas you are struggling in or decision to be made. Look the topic up in a dictionary or concordance and research it.

Notes from Facebook posting - Part 1

With God you can make a fresh start each day/ even each moment. My past can become the fertile ground for a ministy to arise

Freedom brings Victory over powerlessness once we take responsibility for OUR part in the bondage of our lives. that is how we will overcome.