The Heavens Declare the Glory of God, the Firmament the Work of His Hand

The Heavens Declare the Glory of God, the Firmament the Work of His Hand

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Friday, August 30, 2013

I am a Christian but don’t attend church except Christmas and Easter. Sunday is “family time” - and besides, don’t want to miss kickoff.

I am a Christian but seldom read the bible. What with work, soccer, PTA, boy scouts, football and chores, there is just no time.

I am a Christian but need to unwind after a hard week. A drink with the guys just takes the edge off.

I am a Christian but…….

“Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.. Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching.

If you love Me, you will keep my commandments.” John 14

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

It sounds trite to say I love you.

As I have come to understand just how much God, our Abba Father, our Creator and sustainer of life has done for me, I love Him so much, yet “ I love You” seems so insignificant.

The Word of God speaks of love:

For God so loved the world…. John 3:16

God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8


Over and over The Word tells us how much God loves us; and over and over it tells us how we are to love others:

let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. 1 John 4:7

 

with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love…Ephesians 4:2

But, how to love God…..

We are to abide in Him. We are to offer sacrifice of praise, we are to be obedient to do what He has told us in His Word. We are told to love the LORD our God with all our heart and with all our soul and with all our strength.. Deuteronomy 6:5

Knowing I owe His so much and have so little to offer Him in return for all He has given me brings tears to my eyes.

I am grateful He can see my heart.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

There is an appointed time for everything:

A time to be born, a time to die
A time to plant a time to harvest
A time to laugh, a time to weep…


Timing is everything. Scripture teaches us that God has made everything appropriate in its time.

Matthew Henry’ Commentary reminds us:

“To expect unchanging happiness in a changing world, must end in disappointment. To bring ourselves to our state in life, is our duty and wisdom in this world. God's whole plan for the government of the world will be found altogether wise, just, and good. Then let us seize the favourable opportunity for every good purpose and work. The time to die is fast approaching. Thus labour and sorrow fill the world. This is given us, that we may always have something to do; none were sent into the world to be idle.”

For a child of the King of kings and LORD of lords; nothing can separate us from the love of God. Not loss of job, financial downturns, foreclosure, Middle Eastern wars and rumors of wars or loss of freedoms. Neither sickness, nor disease; not even death, for we are rooted and grounded in Him.

Struggles come and struggles go. We’re up, we’re down. Our faith soars, our faith slips and it slides. But as we conform more and more into the likeness of our Saviour our emotions level, our pulse grows strong and steady. It is only then that we realize...

everything will be alright. We are safe because our Father has ahold of our hand, we have nothing whatsoever to fear.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

"Who would have thought that the very moment the Egyptian people woke up and started cleansing themselves and their country of oppression, the West would take sides against us, allying itself with the wolves of tyranny?"

Coptic scholar Kamal Ghobrial

Pray for Egypt, and for the Christians of the Middle East, in Syria, Iraq and otherwise. Unfortunately our radical secular humanistic leaders have led the West into ignoring Christian suffering and siding all too often with the worst of Islam. It should be obvious that the Egyptian army in this case is a force for good, and for stability, but it is being undermined by the US and by the EU.

May God help us all!

Monday, August 19, 2013

As America swirls the bowl of immorality and degradation, pulling with it many family and friends are we burdened, broken or bored.?.  As we see evidence of deceit and corruption not only in the government but also within the church do we faint and grow weary or does it force us to face the reality of our own sin and self-serving lives. Living a life of ease, content in our personal comfort zones; do we recognize our own part in this idolatrous, disobedient world of Christianity.?.

Have we been faithful or foolish, tolerant or truthful, lukewarm or long suffering.?.

Where are the Daniels who lived a life of holiness.?. Where are the Isaiah' or Ezekiel' who dared to speak the truth.?. Where are the Jeremiahs who wept over their land and its people.?.

"O Lord, the great and awesome God, who keeps His covenant and loving kindness for those who love Him and keep His commandments,  we have sinned, committed iniquity, acted wickedly and rebelled, even turning aside from Your commandments and ordinances... Righteousness belongs to You, O Lord, but to us open shame... because we have sinned against You..." Daniel 9

We have rebelled against our LORD. We have disobeyed the voice of the Lord our God. We have not walked in His teachings nor followed His commands.

We must be complicit no longer.!. We must, with resolute determination, stand and fight the good fight of faith.  Will others join us; maybe, maybe not. Will we be ridiculed or laughed at; maybe, maybe not. Will the church welcome our endeavors, or demand silence; maybe, maybe not. 

But, will God our Abba Father be pleased,.?.

ABSOLUTELY.!!.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Pastor Bill Randles reminds us:
The burden of Egypt. Behold, the Lord rideth upon a swift cloud, and shall come into Egypt: and the idols of Egypt shall be moved at his presence, and the heart of Egypt shall melt in the midst of it.  And I will set the Egyptians against the Egyptians: and they shall fight every one against his brother, and every one against his neighbour; city against city, and kingdom against kingdom. (Isaiah 19:1-2)
And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.(Matthew 24:6-7)
Egypt, the largest Arab nation in the world, is currently erupting into a bloody civil war. The factions are the Egyptian military, the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) and the embattled Egyptian people. In the crossfire are the suffering remnant of Coptic christians, whose rights had been somewhat protected under Mubarak, but who have been openly persecuted under the MB.
The transformation of Egypt has long been regarded as one of the centerpieces of the foreign policy of the Obama administration. Egypt's recent upheaval began with the unprecedented Obama speech at Al Azhar University* in Cairo in 2009. At the time, the Muslim Brotherhood was a suppressed dissident group in Egypt, but Obama insisted that the MB be brought into the event, over the protestations of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.
Events which have since ensued in Egypt; the Islamist inspired "Arab Spring" , the toppling of our longtime ally and peace Partner with Israel, Mubarak, the Egyptian election of US backed Islamist, Mohammed Morsi, the open persecution of the Egyptian Copts by the MB, the over run of our Egyptian US Embassy, and burning of the American flag on 9-11, and recently the ouster of Morsi by the Egyptian Army.
As of now, Egypt has descended into a bloody civil war, as outraged MB mobs assemble to face down the Egyptian army in order to violently re-install Morsi, the MB candidate. Yesterday, 623 MB supporters were killed in confrontations with the Egyptian army, and thousands were injured in the clashes.
The MB has been avenging itself in a typical cowardly fashion, by the wholesale killing of indigenous christians, (Copts), the rape of Coptic and Catholic nuns, the kidnapping of christian children (pre-teen girls, for marriage and 'conversion')and the burning of christian churches. Egypt is descending into a nightmare scenario.
The Word of God has much to say about this supremely influential Arab nation in the last days. The prognosis for Egypt is both terrifying and bright. Egypt is slated to suffer a harsh night of tribulation before the breaking of the dawn, according to Isaiah and Ezekiel.
We can see by comparing our opening scriptures, that ss a judgment from God, a terrible civil war will break out in Egypt, with much violence and destruction. Jesus was quoting Isaiah 19, the vision of Egypt, in the sermon on the last days, on the Mount of Olives, in Matthew 24. The difference is that Jesus applies the description of the Civil War in Egypt, to the situation throughout the whole world.
 In that day shall Egypt be like unto women: and it shall be afraid and fear because of the shaking of the hand of the LORD of hosts, which he shaketh over it.And the land of Judah shall be a terror unto Egypt, every one that maketh mention thereof shall be afraid in himself, because of the counsel of the LORD of hosts, which he hath determined against it.(Isaiah 19:16-17)
Egypt has been seized by a mortal fear, particularly of the Jews, and God himself is in that fear. Keep in mind that Egypt was point man for the Arab world in four major modern wars with the state of Israel. The Arab coalition enjoyed the advantage of superior numbers, firepower, transport and supplies, yet in each war were soundly defeated. Of course Israel alone didn’t defeat Egypt and the others, the God of Israel did!
The lead hijacker of the 9-11 plot was an Egyptian, Mohammed Atta. An Egyptian pediatrician, Ayman Al Zawahiri is the late Osama Bin Ladin’s right hand man. The Muslim world has in the modern world been radicalized by the writings of  Egyptians Sayyid Qutb, and Hassan Al Banna. In short, the Egyptian people are very influential in the current terrorization of the world in the name of Allah.
Egypt has a time of reckoning coming before she can be healed. But Egypt will eventually be healed,
Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will bring a sword upon thee, and cut off man and beast out of thee. And the land of Egypt shall be desolate and waste; and they shall know that I am the LORD: because he hath said, The river is mine, and I have made it. Behold, therefore I am against thee, and against thy rivers, and I will make the land of Egypt utterly waste and desolate, from the tower of Syene even unto the border of Ethiopia.(Ezekiel 29:8-10)
Radical, violent, anti west, anti christian, Anti Jewish Islam is going to rule over the largest Arab population in the world. Already the newly liberated from Mubarek Egyptian population met in the streets of Cairo by the hundreds of thousands, to hail the once exiled fundamentalist preacher Qadrawi, who called for a march on Jerusalem.
Something soon is going to happen in Egypt that is so awful, Egyptians will have to flee their own land and live as refugees . The land will be rendered uninhabitable for forty years!
No foot of man shall pass through it, nor foot of beast shall pass through it, neither shall it be inhabited forty years. And I will make the land of Egypt desolate in the midst of the countries that are desolate, and her cities among the cities that are laid waste shall be desolate forty years: and I will scatter the Egyptians among the nations, and will disperse them through the countries.(Ezekiel 29:11-12)
But Prophecy asserts that Egypt will in the end turn to the living God, and drop Islam once and for all. God says He will make himself known to the Egyptians, and that they will turn to Him in a time of great distress. In mercy God will reveal himself to them.
And it shall be for a sign and for a witness unto the LORD of hosts in the land of Egypt: for they shall cry unto the LORD because of the oppressors, and he shall send them a saviour, and a great one, and he shall deliver them. And the LORD shall be known to Egypt, and the Egyptians shall know the LORD in that day, and shall do sacrifice and oblation; yea, they shall vow a vow unto the LORD, and perform it.(Isaiah 19:21-22)
Consequently the Egyptians will  make peace with Israel, and after some time, (probably during the millennium), return en mass to their own land.They will be trading partners and brothers, the Egyptians, Israel, and Iraqis.
In that day shall there be a highway out of Egypt to Assyria, and the Assyrian shall come into Egypt, and the Egyptian into Assyria, and the Egyptians shall serve with the Assyrians. In that day shall Israel be the third with Egypt and with Assyria, even a blessing in the midst of the land: Whom the LORD of hosts shall bless, saying, Blessed be Egypt my people, and Assyria the work of my hands, and Israel mine inheritance.(Isaiah 19:23-25)
Yet thus saith the Lord GOD; At the end of forty years will I gather the Egyptians from the people whither they were scattered.(Ezekiel 29:13)
In the millennium, Egypt is directly addressed  by the Lord Himself. He warns her to make sure she is in attendance at the Feast of Tabernacles, lest he withhold rain from her. Thus, there is a glorious future for Egypt, after the long night.
Then the survivors from all the nations that have attacked Jerusalem will go up year after year to worship the King, the LORD Almighty, and to celebrate the Festival of Tabernacles.  If any of the peoples of the earth do not go up to Jerusalem to worship the King, the LORD Almighty, they will have no rain.  If the Egyptian people do not go up and take part, they will have no rain..”(Zechariah 14).
* The Harvard,Yale,and Cambridge of international Islamic terrorism,providing the intellectual and philosophical credibility for the Jihad

Thursday, August 15, 2013

O that old rugged cross, so despised by the world,  has a wondrous attraction for me;  for the dear Lamb of God left His glory above to bear it to dark Calvary.

In that old rugged cross, stained with blood so divine,  a wondrous beauty I see,  for ’twas on that old cross Jesus suffered and died, to pardon and sanctify me.

To the old rugged cross I will ever be true;  its shame and reproach gladly bear;  then He’ll call me some day to my home far away, where His glory forever I’ll share...

And I will stand amazed in the presence of Jesus the Nazarene, and wonder how He could love me, a sinner condemned unclean, or will I be able to stand at all.?.

I can only imagine.

Monday, August 12, 2013

What am I missing.?.

My list of concerns for our congregation and its leadership seem to be continually expanding, ever growing heart breaking burdens.!. Am I being too narrow, too critical, too judgmental too “picky.”

Many things  within the congregation have troubled me in recent months. The latest a prayer request sent out to the membership. No problem there. At the end of each prayer request the sender includes quotes from various authors, seldom using scripture. Red flags began billowing gently in the breeze as I read past prayer request with questionable quotes from questionable secular authors while excluding The Word of God.

Today however… well, you be the judge:


“Let us never forget to pray. God lives. He is near. He is real. He is not only aware of us but cares for us. He is our Father. He is accessible to all who will seek Him.” ― Gordon B. Hinckley, Standing for Something: 10 Neglected Virtues That Will Heal Our Hearts and Homes

and

“...there is a God, there always has been. I see him here, in the eyes of the people in this [hospital] corridor of desperation. This is the real house of God, this is where those who have lost God will find Him... there is a God, there has to be, and now I will pray, I will pray that He will forgive that I have neglected Him all of these years, forgive that I have betrayed, lied, and sinned with impunity only to turn to Him now in my hour of need. I pray that He is as merciful, benevolent, and gracious as His book says He is.”
Khaled Hosseini, The Kite Runner

On the surface, these quotes sound good, until one realizes that Gordon B, Hinckley is a past president of the Mormon church and Khaled Hosseini is a Muslim.

Paul urges the church to “be strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might … but with subtle quotes like these coming from church leadership the church will quickly become a herd of
goats devouring any and everything that' placed before them, the blind leading the blind; if it hasn’t already.

What am I missing .?.
 

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Time marches on, it leaves a trail of tears, the bitter the sweet, the proud the shamed, all come to the feet of Jesus to cry for mercy. Sooner or later we all must acknowledge that our God is an all consuming fire. Will we all stand before Him as saints or sinners; the forgiven or the condemned.?. 

Have we received the sweet with thanksgiving and rejected the bitter with weeping and wails? Have we sang praises for our mountains and bemoaned our valleys? As pilgrims in a foreign land, we all too often seek the good while ignoring the better and the best, not realizing;

Trials not treats teach man to trust.


May God open our eyes to see His glory and His light that we might shine as jewels in His crown.

The LORD is good, a strong hold in the day of trouble; and He knoweth them that trust in Him.” Nahum 1:7

‘Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus. Oh for grace to trust Him more.!.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Keep standing on the promises of God;

"Stand therefore, with truth like a belt around your waist, righteousness like armor on your chest, and your feet sandaled with readiness for  the gospel of peace. In every situation take the shield of faith, and with it you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.  Take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is God’s word.  Pray at all times in the Spirit with every prayer and request, and stay alert..." Ephesians 6
 
And when having done all, STAND.!!. 
  

Sunday, August 4, 2013

"If our doctrine does not lead to devotion, then something is seriously wrong. We have not finished with our task until head, heart and hand all agree. Such sanctified integration of our personalities will not be perfectly attained until we see our Lord face to face. But we must strive to that end here and now. Having received the evangel, we must be engaged in evangelism. And the more clearly we have grasped the former, the more passionately we should give ourselves to the latter."

From: A Lesson on Evangelism by Charles H. Spurgeon

Every Christian is either a missionary, a soul winner or an impostor.

"For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek." Romans 1:16

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Onward, Christian soldiers, marching as to war,
With the cross of Jesus going on before.
Christ, the royal Master, leads against the foe;

Forward into battle see His banners go!


At the sign of triumph Satan’s host doth flee;
On then, Christian soldiers, on to victory!

Hell’s foundations quiver at the shout of praise;
Brothers lift your voices, loud your anthems raise.


Like a mighty army moves the church of God;
Brothers, we are treading where the saints have trod.

We are not divided, all one body we,
One in hope and doctrine, one in charity.


What the saints established that I hold for true.
What the saints believèd, that I believe too.

Long as earth endureth, men the faith will hold,
Kingdoms, nations, empires, in destruction rolled.


Crowns and thrones may perish, kingdoms rise and wane,
But the church of Jesus constant will remain.

Gates of hell can never against that church prevail;
We have Christ’s own promise, and that cannot fail.


Onward then, ye people, join our happy throng,
Blend with ours your voices in the triumph song.

Glory, laud and honor unto Christ the King,
This through countless ages let men and angels sing.


Then onward Christian soldiers - and with His Word prevail

Keep buried deep within your heart; with Him WE CANNOT FAIL.!!!.