Saturday, February 20, 2016

Samson's last prayer...

Good morning all-

Light always reigns over darkness even when you feel like the enemy has won.  In the end, it will be God over all evil.  In the beginning, it was God creating and today it's by faith we live.  The world tempts us to not see the glory in God. It makes us trust our own judgment rather than God's and as we learn we forget to trust.

Samson had been warned many times to not be deceived.  Instead, he fell in love with a woman that would be his demise.  She cut his hair, turned him over to his enemies and without strength he was tortured and blinded.  I guess that's when Samson finally saw the true light.  Not the light of his flesh but the light of God.

His final prayer stunned me today because I know the Bible is clear on revenge.  The Lord says that revenge is His and if we believe Scripture we must believe that too.  But in Samson's final moments he repented and then asked his Father to give him one last thing, revenge.

You probably already know the story.  God did give Samson his strength back and those that stole from him were demolished.  In the wake, so was Samson but if you know the story then you know that Samson also died.  I think what struck me so deep is that God honored his last request and Samson was able to have revenge on his enemies.  I have to believe that through Samson, God took revenge on evil that day.

All of us struggle with the flesh and want some kind of revenge.  Which way is right?  I think the right way is to let God go before you.  He is the only one that needs to take revenge.  We are just vessels and we should be confident in our Lord and Savior.  He promises that He will go before us, so let's give Him the lead. 

Please take in Samson's words and repent of wanting revenge.  Revenge will come if Christ chooses it.  We are to pray, petition and repent.  Don't let the flesh fool you, it can be evil.  Remember God is the God of love. Our duty is to love our enemies even when we want to crush them.

Read Samson's prayer:

Judges 16:28 Then Samson prayed to the LORD, “Sovereign LORD, remember me. Please, God, strengthen me just once more, and let me with one blow get revenge on the Philistines for my two eyes.”

Take your eyes off of you and put them on Christ!  He is the healer, the deliverer and the power behind loving your enemies.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

One Servant Full of Faith for Women Everywhere: How did Paul keep the faith?

One Servant Full of Faith for Women Everywhere: How did Paul keep the faith?: Good morning my sisters- Have you ever wondered how Paul kept the faith?  I do.  He was beaten, jailed, persecuted by his very own people ...

How did Paul keep the faith?

Good morning my sisters-

Have you ever wondered how Paul kept the faith?  I do.  He was beaten, jailed, persecuted by his very own people and yet every letter showed strength, not in himself, but in Jesus. The more I have read the more I have been in awe over the power of his faith and for his knack for being abundantly forgiving.  Like most, we all have trouble forgiving especially when people are cruel.  But Paul never faltered.  He taught the Gospel with verve and intention.  He knew that God was with him, beside him and before him and that when he was done, He would be in heaven.

Reading his letters is like looking into the heart of a lion.  I'm sure he felt despair, anxiety and maybe even fear but through prayer and petition, he shed those worldly things for Godly thoughts.  His shield was his pen and he was determined to leave a legacy even in the face of iron bars and chains.  He writes in 2 Timothy 2 that no one came to defend him.  Out of all the people he walked with and brought to Christ no one stood up for him.  And here's what really gets me, he understands and forgives.  As I read the whole chapter this morning it made me really think about forgiveness and human nature.  It's not easy to forgive anyone that's gone against you, especially if it's in a false manner.  People want to defend themselves and get angry when they feel they've been done wrong and yet, Paul just wanted to forgive.  Maybe his capacity of forgiveness was so great because Christ forgave him.  Maybe it's because he sat on  a road blind and Christ brought someone to his side.  Maybe it's because He had experienced such forgiveness himself, he just had the overwhelming capacity to forgive.  No matter how he was able to forgive, the point is he did and he continued to minister to the loveless through his writings and teachings and on February 13, 2016, he's still ministering to all of us.

I think what caught my eye today was how he truly believed in all circumstances Jesus was with him.  In chains, sitting on a cold floor, he wanted parchment to write.  He wanted to leave a legacy of the Gospel while he was in pain, discomfort and probably horrid conditions.  His sole thought was not for the shower he couldn't take or the toilet that wasn't available, it was to spread the word so that we would know the impact Jesus made on his life.  Do you see the unbelievable beauty of that picture?

God further revealed through the  word to me that fear and worry are not of him.  I think most of us have faced a time of fear and worry.  You have to think that Paul would have been sitting on that floor full of it, right?  And yet, I didn't get that at all.  I read the calmness and conviction in his words.  I read a direction that was met on the road of walking with Jesus.  I felt the power of his faith and the impact Jesus' forgiveness had made on his life.  No where in 2 Timothy 2 did he complain about his circumstances.  Instead he left us all with something to aspire to.  He left us with peace that goes beyond all understanding and in his words we hear forgiveness.  If I had a paint brush in my hands today, I would paint a bird going across the setting sun, singing to the heavens and worshipping God in all His glory.  That's what the letter Paul wrote reminds me of.  It reminds me that even in horrible circumstances a human man with human feelings, forgave, loved and proclaimed the name of Jesus Christ.

Fear and worry are not of God but loving your enemies, praying for those that don't know better, speaking the word of God and believing that Jesus is with you, for you and all around you, is the most important lesson we can learn from Paul.  We are running a race but most of us are chasing after all the wrong things.  We want power but aren't willing to be servants.  We want money but we're not willing to sow it once it's given.  We want people to love us always, without the need to forgive our enemies but most of all we want God's mercy when we don't even take ten minutes a day to be with Him.

I admire Paul and love to read his letters.  They remind me that I'm not here for me.  I'm really here to be with Jesus and to fulfill my purpose for Him.  That's really it.  My hope is that as we all look for Jesus in the scriptures that we will find Him, not in the package we desire but in the package He is and will always be.  The Israelites tried to put God in a box and failed.  The Pharisees tried to squash Jesus' ministry by killing Him and Satan continues to attack the defenseless.  But I have hope.  You know why?  Because Paul killed thousands of Christians and throughout his journey, was made blind to see.  His journey was to proclaim the name of Jesus and 2000 years later, we still are.  It's time we all got Supernatural with God and took off the cloak of knowing what the future holds.  You can't fix your problems alone.  You can't buy peace on earth.  You can't stay strong in the face of adversity without Jesus Christ and you definitely can't fight Satan without being in the Word of God.  This world keeps us so busy that we don't take time for the one thing that will propel us to success.  Jesus is what we need every morning and every night.  We need to breathe Him in just like we do air.  And when we do, we will see a change, maybe not in others but in ourselves.  If we want to run the race to the end, then we must fuel up on the Word of God! So, as I write this I'm challenging you to take more time each day to praise our Lord, to read His word and to meditate on it.  Life is busy but without the fuel Jesus provides, you will crash and burn.  To be a woman in today's world is immensely difficult.  The demands that are being placed on our lives today are more than in any other time in history.  We've gained our right to be in the armed forces, to be CEOs, business owners, career minded people but we've lost something to.  We've lost the ability to rest and to have our men lead us.  We've lost time with our children and we've lost time to be at Jesus' feet.  Our lives are around seeking everything that God did not intend for us.  So, before the roller coaster of life hits, let's sit at the feet of Jesus.  His time is more valuable, don't you think?

As always, my prayer is on you my sisters.  I am praying that through our faithfulness our sons and husbands will find Jesus in a powerful way.  I'm praying that the lost, confused, angry and hurt will one day sit at the feet of Jesus.  I'm praying for Syria, Africa, China, Russia and every country in the world.  I'm praying for our leaders to have wisdom and for those that follow Jesus to pray with intention and to live a life full of the peace that was given on the cross.  Most of all, I'm praying that we will take our eyes off the world and put them in the realm of the supernatural.  I'm praying for a heart like David's, for wisdom like Solomon, for faith like Abraham and Sara and for dedication and forgiveness like Paul.  I'm praying that God would save those that love Him and through His word men and women all over the world will find Him!  Lastly, I'm praying for a Holy experience and the kind of dedication, perseverance, and profound trust that each of us needs to walk in the world.  WE ARE NOT ALONE!

Please read 2 Timothy 2 today and find comfort in an earthly man who believed in a Savior!

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Provision God's way....

Good morning all-

How are you?  It's been some time since I've written.  I have many things on my mind but I think the title of this post has been most prevalent in the last couple of months.  Compassion Sunday is around the corner, Syrian refugees are hiding from the bombing against ISIS, a mayor in Mexico was killed for taking a stand against the mafia and Taiwan just had a devastating earthquake.  Destruction, sorrow, fear and despair are spreading throughout the world.  And then I read the call from the Pope and I had to totally agree.  We are getting more and more desensitized.  Our young men are hiding behind video games and our young women are finding power in all the wrong places.  The other generations have gotten angrier, more disenchanted with hope and our candidates for president lack unity under God.

This is the world we are facing but in the midst, the Pope called us to love.  He is asking the Catholic Church to look beyond taking sugar and alcohol out of their diets during Lent and replace it with sacrifice by sowing seeds, loving their neighbors and bringing hope to the world.  It's a message most people won't understand but the Bible is clear, we are to love God above all others and our neighbors.  That could mean the people next door but I think it's more than that.  It's loving the people that were in a 71 story building, praying for Syrians, the poor and really anyone going through a trial.  It's praying for hope when it seems hopeless and it's asking the God of all mercy to bring peace on earth.

The question I have rolling in my head is "How is God going to provide for all these different people groups?"  I have no good answer but I know that He is and He will because all of these different groups have come on my heart in the last couple of weeks.  Every last one of them.  I can't read a Twitter feed without praying.  I can't see a postcard from Compassion without praying and I definitely can't look at the faces of children as they are being pulled out of a building that looks like the columns that crumbled at Samson's hands.  I am not desensitized because I've been asking God for days to give me His eyes and His heart.  Hate can't manifest itself in our hearts if we pray and we can't stay in our own belief system of provision because only God can provide for all these terrible circumstances.  No Government, No amount of money, No person can heal the sick, feed the hungry or provide hope in the darkness like Christ can.  It's our duty to pray, to have a heart and when we get one. it should be our prayer for God to guide us in how we should respond.  I'm not a military person with great shooting skills and I'm not a physician, nurse or practitioner.  I can't climb a building and I don't know how to use a fire hose.  I can't clean up the Flint Michigan water crisis and I can't solve the homelessness in Kansas.  That's a ton of things I can't do but I can do one thing, I can pray that my heart aligns with God's will and that I pray with persistence and repetition. The rest is in the hands of the only provider we need. 

We have been provided for.  Every dollar, every piece of food and in every act of kindness, God stands at the forefront.  He is with us on earth and He will come back one day.  The world is evil, we know that but the God of our hearts is calling us to soften our hearts through prayer. He is asking us to give up ourselves and the things we believe we provide and give back by loving others more than we love ourselves.  We can find beauty in the provision of Christ when we believe He will provide. I'm along way from staying in this mindset but over the last couple of years, I've come to realize that every thing I have, every moment of peace and every second of joy comes from God, not me, not in the US and not in the world.  It resides in the Word of God and in the Holy Spirit He left behind.  Our God is one with us, for us and for every nation under the Heavens.

Our provision is provided when we give, when we sow and when we love someone else.  That's what Jesus did.  He gave of His time, His love and most importantly, His life.  Let's listen to the men of God who are calling us to believe in the unseen.  Go where you haven't gone for a long time and rest in God's provision and please pray for the world.  Only through prayer will we see God's provision, love and saving grace.

I pray that during this Holy time people in the US and all over the world will unite and ask God to soften our hearts and make us His!

2 Kings 6:23 KJV

And he prepared great provision for them: and when they had eaten and drunk, he sent them away, and they went to their master. So the bands of Syria came no more into the land of Israel.