Friday, March 20, 2015

Chicken Little or Little Chicken

I have a ache in my heart.  Perhaps a heaviness that others of you may also have. I am wondering if I am the only one.  But of course that is what the enemy always wants me to think.  

I notice how current events follow so closely to the written script we see in the bible.  At times it is frightening.  I can't help but wonder what is next on the kingdom calendar.  I read stories of the significance of the blood moons, solar and lunar eclipse, and their correlations with the Jewish calendar and the feasts.  

I saw an article today about the solar eclipse that is to occur today which is the first day of the first month on the Jewish calendar.  

All of this I share to get to the reason for the title.  If I believe the bible, that it is the word of God and that it is God breathed; then if I believe it, why do I remain silent as historical prophecies unfold?  Is it because I am fearful of how I will look to my loved ones, friends, neighbors and community?  Or is it because I do not want to be Chicken Little who said the sky is falling, and then it doesn't fall.  

I do believe that there will be a time when God will judge sin and the world.  I believe that there will be a time when God will send Christ Jesus back to earth.  I believe that everything in scripture is being fulfilled or has already been fulfilled.  I believe every day we live on the earth, we are one day closer to that return.  

Many current events involving Israel, seem to be heading to a climax.  The story of the ages has been told and just as any great story, there is a point in the plot where it gets very intense.  It feels that way NOW.  

I know I risk a great deal by saying this, but it is time to call for repentance.  It is time to call one another to sanctification and purity.  It is time to pursue righteousness for those that have been straddling the fence.  If you have loved ones that have not received Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, talk to them.  Let today be the day of salvation.  

I risk looking like Chicken Little if nothing changes in the next several years and discarded as an alarmist, but if I am correct and we are beginning to see the beginning of the end, then I would be a BIG Chicken and not just a little chicken if I remained quiet.  


So for the sake of the lost, will we risk the possibility of being a Chicken Little or will we just be a big chicken?

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Phalanx: Battlefield Formation (revised)

(The pictures below are of a phalanx formation. This formation was one of the most successful military formations. Perhaps the church could learn a thing or two about this)

Becoming the Phalanx:


                           
There is a call to action and a call to prayer for the body of Jesus Christ. I think it is time for the Christians to rise up! It is time to suit up for battle. It is time for us to put aside our petty agendas and minor differences and lock arms with fellow believers so we can become the true Body of Christ and do battle with the TRUE enemy of our soul. Our enemy is not fellow believers who may see things a little differently, it is satan. He has done such a fabulous job keeping us busy fighting with each other over baptism, communion, worship style, interpretations of scripture, what we wear, etc. If it is flesh and blood it is not our enemy, it is either our brother and sister in Christ or our mission field.


BUT Our battle is not against flesh and blood. (so remember: if you cut it and it bleeds, it is not your enemy)


Our weapons are not of this world. Our weapons have divine power. They are able to destroy strongholds, and blow up every argument and everything that pretends to be bigger than God. We are able to control our thoughts and make them line up with the word of God which is Christ. (2 Cor 10:3-5)

We need to be intentional to get dressed daily in the armor of God. (soldiers would not go into battle without putting on their armor)
We need to be certain of our salvation by guarding our mind with the helmet of our salvation.
We need to be certain of our right to stand before God because we are right with God through Christ's sacrifice if we believe it and receive it.
We need to KNOW the Word/ the TRUTH which is Jesus Christ "word became flesh
We need to be saturated in the word and immersed in all that God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit is. Our belt is the truth which helps us recognize lies from the enemy.
We need to know what we believe, and what we truly believe is our faith. That becomes our shield which will put out the fiery arrows thrown at us by our enemy.

We come back at the enemy with the word of God which is our offensive weapon the sword of the Spirit. (Ephesians 6:13-17) Our salvation guards our mind, our righteousness guards our heart, and the truth guards our gut or the seat of emotion if we will not act on our feelings but rather measure our feelings according to the word of God.

In Gen 15:6 and Gal 3:6 the scripture says that Abram/Abraham believed the Lord and He credited it to him as righteousness. How do we know that he believed God, because the scripture writes of his actions being that which the Lord had commanded him to do. That is obedience - appropriate actions that follow a command.

According to Romans 10:9-10, if we confess with our mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in our heart that God raised Him from the dead, we will be saved. For with the heart a man believes and is made righteous or justified, and with the mouth he confesses and is saved.

So our righteousness (being able to stand before God rightly) comes through believing God. We should not say we believe God unless we obey Him. If our actions oppose His commands, do we truly believe Him? Ephesians 2:8 By grace we are been saved, through faith.

Therefore if we choose to believe Him and His word, we must study the word so the Word of Christ will dwell in us richly Col 3:16
But do not merely study the word or just listen to the word, so that you deceive yourselves. DO WHAT IT SAYS James 1:22 In other words, don't just listen, DO IT!!!!

Be a word doer!!!!!

The way we will be able to do this is not by our own merit, ability or determination. We will be able to do this as we dwell on Him, and invite Him to be Lord of our lives. As we surrender to Him and allow Him into our lives, we will grow in LOVE for Him and the Love will enable us to obey Him. It will motivate us. John 14:15 (If you love me, you will obey me)

We purify ourselves by obeying the truth and that enables us to love others deeply, and as we crave spiritual milk we will grow up into our salvation. 1 Peter 1:22 - 2:2

As we reveal our love and devotion to one another in the body of Christ, ALL the world will know we are His disciples John 13:35

You see in Christ the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord.  And in Him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit. Ephesians 2:21-22

So once we are maturing in our salvation, being fully convinced by His word, we then need to GO and make disciples of every nation, immersing THEM in all that GOD is as Father, Son and Holy Spirit. We need to teach them to also obey His commands. Matthew 29:19-20

We need to daily choose to put on the armor, to love one another in the body. Our shields are to lock together as we stand arm in arm. We go to battle in the spiritual realm together. Many will be able to seek refuge and heal in the safety of our temple that Christ is building up.  But people: we have to choose to get on our armor every day not just for ourselves but also for one another. We have to choose to walk in unity with the WHOLE body.  A house divide will not stand. The church is SO divided that it cannot stand against the real enemy for warring within its self. We must recognize the tactic the enemy has used on us all and stop allowing him to do it. We need to wake up, wise up and become the sanctuary we are intended to be for the weary soldiers that are on the front line.  These are our missionaries, pastors, pastors wives and children.  These are our teachers, the person that sits beside you on the pew. The weary soldier may be the person who cannot even bring themselves to the physical church. Perhaps they are the hard working single parents trying to keep their heads above water.  Sometimes it is you or me in need of refuge and healing.  We need to allow Christ to join us together as He intended and stand once and for all against the REAL enemy. The destroyer. The one that comes to steal, kill and destroy unity in the body, testimony of the believer, and joyful life along with much more. He is the one that hates us deeply.

I can just see those weary believers seeking a place of rest and healing under the umbrella of those shields of faith as each of us warriors stand over the weak and fallen. I see the shields of faith joined together by Christ to provide the weary soldiers an opportunity to be strengthened. We must remember when they seek this sanctuary, not to be turning on them and piercing them with your own sword.  Let's become the healing place for the weary.

I pray that as you read the blog today, you were able to see the beautiful picture of the body's phalanx creating a dome like structure for weary soldiers to seek rest. Also, I pray you see that Christ is the glue that holds each shield together to create the unity within the body. Just as with Nehemiah who had the Israelites in Jerusalem to build and/or repair a portion of the stone wall, each of us in the body can be responsible for our part of the spiritual wall within our the body of believers. If we will all take the time to get dressed in our armor and train to use our weapon and shield, we will be joined together by Jesus Christ with others who do the same. We will become the church that Christ refers to as the church He will build and the gates of hell will not overcome it. Matthew 16:17-19

Remember, the battle is on no matter whether you get dressed or not. The battle is raging whether you bring your sword and shield or not. The enemy is not going to go easy on you if you do not have it.  On the contrary, you will become his primary target. The choice is not will you go to battle, the choice is will you be ready!!!!!

This is a revised version of the attached link How We Ought to Live.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Righteousness

Romans 4:20-24
Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised. This is why "it was credited to him as righteousness." The words "it was credited to him" were written not for him alone, but also for us, to whom God will credit righteousness--for us who believe in him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead.

When you read these verses, it is just a great reminder that our righteousness, or our right-ness with God is made possible by our believing what God said and says.

The good news is that we are found in Him, not having a righteousness of our own by following the law, but one that is through faith in Jesus; the righteousness from God based on faith. Phil 3:9

Encouragement for the Day: Cloud of Witnesses

Encouragement for the Day: Cloud of Witnesses: Hebrews 12:1 & 2 Therefore, since we also have such a large cloud of witnesses  surrounding us, let us lay aside every weight and the si...

Cloud of Witnesses

Hebrews 12:1 & 2 Therefore, since we also have such a large cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us lay aside every weight and the sin that so easily ensnares us. Let us run with endurance the race that lies before us, keeping our eyes on Jesus,[a]the source and perfecter[b] of our faith, who for the joy that lay before Him[c]endured a cross and despised the shame and has sat down at the right hand of God’s throne.


When I read this verse, although in context, it indicates the cloud of witnesses are the previously mentioned Hall of Faith members, allow me a small liberty with this thought:

What if we as believers lay aside sin because there is a large cloud of current witnesses that are watching us. They are watching to see how we run the race that lies before us. What if they are watching to see if we will keep our eyes on Jesus who is the reason for our belief/faith. 

I pray this is just a simple reminder today that as we live our life, there is a world of unbelieving watchers. I believe as Jesus told the disciples to not keep the children from him, he is telling us that too. Let's live our lives in such a way that we do not keep the "children" - the world from Jesus.  We do not want our freedom and liberty to become a stumbling block for our unbelieving family, friends, neighbors and co-workers. 

Some will say, "they are just using that as an excuse".  My thought is maybe so, but why do we want to give them one? But what if many are just watching in HOPE that it is real, and they may be waiting to see it first in us.  

Our living testimony is the only bible that many unbelievers will read. Many will never pick up the word, but they can watch us. Let us let the word of God be alive and active in us!  

Monday, March 2, 2015

Lessons Learned


Addition 3/4/2015:  Thanks to Lisa Morris, I read the following on Facebook and I just had to tag this blog to this.  12 Bible Verses for the Struggling College Student

It is hard to believe how long I have been seriously walking with Christ. Lately, I have been looking back over my time with Jesus, and it has been enlightening.  It has been good to see the landmarks in my life along, (stones of remembrances) and to think on the faces of those I was walking with during each study.

I have recounted my bible studies over the years, the Christian books I have read, the Christian conferences I attended. Each seems to be marked with lessons I've learned, life stages I've gone through, even trials and a multitude of relationships. As I look back, I can see markers that have helped carve out my course and helped to shape me into the person I am today.

My oldest daughter plans to attend college at my Alma mater. This weekend she and my younger daughter were playing in a tournament in that town. Following the games, on our way home, we took a different route than we have before, and it happened to be the way I drove home from school on breaks when I attended the university. I was flooded with college memories. This drive took us through the town where I attended high school as well which flooded my memory with my high school days. Funny how that drive coincided with the trip down memory lane.

Probably not coincidental. I know God is showing me something.  In times past, He always draws my attention toward things, and then He shows me how it all ties together.  With all this nostalgia, I am really thinking on my life experiences. I began to think through all the lessons learned, the common sense stuff, book knowledge and the overall wisdom that comes with being on this earth for a spell.

So I sat down and made a list of things that I want my girls to know:
  1. Be careful in whom you trust and confide -  But do trust and do confide.
  2. Be confident but not arrogant. (bold, and courageous - with humility)
  3. Do not talk badly about about others.
  4. When you're married, do not talk badly about your husband to others.
  5. Treat your husband with respect and teach your children to respect him.
  6. Do not manipulate people to try to get your way.
  7. Do not put people down or be critical.
  8. Build up others and encourage them.
  9. If you must correct another, do it in love and do it in private.
  10. Treat people with respect, treat them the way you would want them to treat you.
  11. Recognize the love languages of others and meet it.
  12. Relationships are important, but remember according to 1 Cor 15:33 bad company corrupts good character.
  13. Respect yourself and only spend time with men who treat you with respect (you deserve it)
  14. Don't give yourself too freely no matter the promises.
  15. Honor your body.
  16. Think of others and put them first.
  17. Set aside your right to be right when possible. (so chose your battles) Think of ways to be in agreement without compromising your principles. Never try to "fit in" if it means going against your values and that which you know to be right.  
  18. Love Jesus.  He truly did give His life for you.
  19. Love and honor Jesus with your body, actions, words, work and study.
  20. Read the scripture for it is the road map to navigate this life.
  21. Respect all authority that is over you. If authority leads you to go against God's principles, respectfully disobey. God will be with you.
  22. Grow up and mature in your walk with the Lord. 
  23. Line up your values, morals and principles with God's law.
  24. He is your creator and He is an expert in what is best for you.
  25. He is not trying to rob the fun out of life. Jesus came so you could have an abundant life and be full of joy. 
  26. He knows the traps and pitfalls the enemy has laid out for you. He can protect you if you will obey Him and walk with Him.
  27. However, He will not force you to obey. Once you venture away from His protection, He is a gentleman. He will lovingly pursue you, but He will never force Himself on you. This will leave you vulnerable to the enemy, and enemy and world will proceed to consume you
This list is not exhaustive, just exhausting. HAHA. 

So how on earth do I expect them to hold on to this wisdom.  When we love God with all that we are, and love others as we love ourselves, we will do those things and so much more. So I guess you could say, "all we need is love."  (I can hear the Beatles...  and now that song is going to be stuck in my head the rest of the day)

Why do We Need to Exercise?

Accountability is usually a key to long lasting results along with mindset and determination. As a personal

trainer, I can always tell the ones that have determined to be healthier and ready to make lifestyle changes. Making good food choices is a key for weight loss.  We need to be intentional with what goes into our body, that is very important.

I believe exercise is not for the purpose of weight loss.  However, so many people approach exercise that way. I tell my clients that exercise is for our well being and health.  Some studies show that exercise is not an efficient way to lose weight. Per hour we all burn calories just by being alive, the extra effort from exercise will use up some calories above that. Most of the time, we end up eating more to take up that deficit that could have been created. I believe that is because the exercise mentally makes us feel OK to eat even more.  (not always)

So I find that the best approach to answer the question “why we need to exercise “is to feel better, look better, and be healthier.  Basically to be the best we can be.

If a client is wanting to lose weight I always give them a simple calculation based on their current weight and their goal weight to determine how many calories they should be consuming.  Then I always recommend that they begin to journal their caloric intake and in some cases how their emotional state was at the time.  I find many clients eat out of emotional responses rather than hunger.  I also have them record their activity.  I believe that trying to walk approx. 10,000 steps per day is a good goal.  There are all sorts of pedometers on the market, low end around $10 all the way up to $150 for high end that reports to your smart phone. 

My philosophy is “be a body in motion."  The choice of movement is up to you.  I always encourage safety in my classes and with my clients. Start off slower and increase your workouts.

I have believed for some time that interval training should be included in a weekly routine.  I like the idea of two days during the week doing a cardio burst for short segments (for example: warm-up 5 Min. Cardio burst where you go all out for 30 seconds and recover for 1.5  min. continue for 8 segments and cool down -- I recommend building up to the 8 segments if you have not been accustomed to this level of intensity) The remaining days of the week, just try to get in some cardio, muscle work and get your steps in for each day.