Out of the blue, one of my co-workers asked me an interesting question as we sat across from one another this week:
“What brings you satisfaction in life?”
That’s a big question that I was not at all prepared for, so I wasn’t exactly sure how to answer. There are, after all, a lot of ways to answer it. After I gave it some thought I realized that the real question, for me, is not what brings me satisfaction, but what takes my satisfaction away.
On the whole, I am very satisfied with my life. God has been oh so good to me and my husband! In addition to all we have in Christ, we have a wonderful marriage, a baby boy on the way, health, security, and so much more. God has been abundantly good to us, and I am beyond satisfied. I am overjoyed! More Here...
That question should evoke a passionate answer, should result in my heart singing praises to Him because He has always only given love to my heart. Problem is, I'm way to busy trying to get my heart 'ready for God' to realize the kindness He has embraced me with, I'm so focused on myself that I don't ever hear the question.
There is a story in the old testament when David and his men were on the pursuit of the Amalekites who had raided their homes and kidnapped their families. In their journey two hundred of David's men reached a point of exhaustion and could no longer travel, they stayed behind while David and the remaining four hundred men went on to find the Amelekites and rescued their families along with all the stolen goods that had been taken.
On their way back they met up with those left behind, David's first words to them are - How are you doing? - A few of the men who battled and rescued the families were angry with those who stayed behind and said that because they did not go with them, they would not receive any of goods they retrieved from the Amalekites. David steps in and says "My brethren, you shall not do so with what the Lord has given us, who has preserved us and delivered into our hand the troop that came against us." 1 Samuel 30:23. From that day on, the share was the same for the man who went to battle and the man who stayed with the supplies. More Here...
I want to begin this post with a question: do you believe Satan is active in the world today?
“Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour“ 1 Peter 5:8
The following is a quote from a minister with first hand experience of one of the most Satanic cults I’ve ever heard of (originating out of "the far East"):
“This satanic cult, ‘lightning of the east’, is one of the most evil and deceitful cults I’ve ever seen in China. They are positively wolves’ in sheep’s clothing; they attack Jesus Christ, twist and defraud the Bible, destroy families and lives, causing great hurt and destruction to Christians who have bought by the precious blood of the Savior! They are devils dressed as ministers of light, workers of Satan, false prophets after the way of Balaam. May the Lord have mercy upon the elect that they may be able to discern, to reject the lies and the deceitful words from Satan, May our brethren returning from ---------, be on the alert! May those that were deceived quickly repent and return!“
This cult has various names, “The Congregation, Church of Almighty God, Seven Spirits Sect, New Power Lord’s Church, True Light Sect, or True Way Sect”, but it’s more common name is “Lightning from the East” or “Eastern Lightning”.
Several years ago I watched my younger siblings do it. I’ve often wondered whether I would ever follow in their footsteps. Been questioned about it plenty of times.
But I already have Jesus in my heart. I love Him dearly. He is everything; He’s the only thing.
For nearly 25 years God’s will has superseded mine, despite countless stumbles along the way. I’m certainly not perfect, but I strive to do the right thing. To love people like God has inexplicably loved me. I believe in Him as sure as I do oxygen or the intoxicating smell of cinnamon buns baking in an oven. When all else fails, He never has, does, or will.
I’m already assured of living with Him forever someday. What else is there? More Here...
I'm not above telling about the times I've done stupid stuff. An old post, Adventures in Yardwork, is a classic example of a story that might make you laugh at me and think about just how stupid I can be. Here's another (slightly longer than usual) story that may enable you get a chuckle at my expense.
My dad came up with an incredible pizza recipe many years ago; before I was born, I assume. When I was a kid I spied on him when he made pizza so I could steal the proverbial "secret sauce" recipe. Only it wasn't proverbial -- it actually was secret sauce -- and I didn't "spy," per se. I just asked him what he was putting in there.
Flash forward to the present, in which my wife and I are really getting into planting things and making food with fresh herbs, vegetables, and all that stuff. Not just because it's healthy (after all, chocolate chip ice cream with caramel topping is an evening staple for me), but food made that way tastes substantially better than it does when using dried spices or canned vegetables. More Here...
I'm realizing that I have a lot of fear in my life. It's been around for so long, and I'm so familiar with it, that I think, in a lot of ways, I've become accustomed to it and I just let it be there. Fear can be a hard thing to get around or get rid of; I mean, how do you just stop being afraid? Hard, right? It's a very basic human emotion and often, one of the strongest. You can choose not to react to it, but how do you just stop feeling it?
I'm a regular human being; just an average Joe on the street that many people wouldn't take notice of. And even if you did, I'd probably walkaway from our conversation without you thinking that I'm weird. My friends know I'm weird, but to the causal conversationalist, I'm just a normal guy. But, whether like a lot of people or unlike them, I'm afraid of a lot of things. Afraid of what people might think of me, afraid to stand out, afraid of confrontation, afraid of the future, afraid of unhappiness.
I'm also afraid of giving my life totally to God, because I won't be able to control what happens to me -- even though, ultimately, I can't control that anyway -- or how I become in that future. This is a silly reaction because I am confident in God's infinite love for me, and because of that love, I can be confident that any plans God has for me are great plans. This is what He means in 1 John 4:18, when He says, 'perfect love casts out fear...' Because of God's love, and because of our love for Him, we shouldn't fear His plans for us. Our future as a disciple of God may not be easy, but it will be alongside, and drawn nearer to, our God, whom we love. So it should always be good. More Here...
I read this article and one teen's response to the article tonight, and it got me thinking about what exactly is my stance on homosexuality. Obviously, I have to stick by God and say that homosexuality is most definitely a sin. Everyone in Church already knows that, and we don't have to beat it death. So the tricky part with this issue is how exactly do we deal with homosexuals outside of church? Or is that not even the best way to question it? What we should be asking is what is the best way to love homosexuals?
Some people take a hard line conservative approach that we should absolutely not legalize gay marriage in Canada. Yet in Canada, some people may take that position not really knowing what the consequences are and what it really means to this particular group of people. I'm thinking that there needs to be some sort of relational connection before we just make such a conservative stance especially when people in Church tend not to know anyone who happens to be gay.
At one point I did take a zealous conservative approach like that until God taught me more about love and what it really means. Love still means being a friend to those who are lonely and reflecting Christ as best as we can with the help of the Holy Spirit. And pardon my harsh language but there is a part of me that is deeply hurt when the Church makes unloving actions like bullying on a homosexual who has just come out of the closet. More Here...
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And a voice from heaven said “This is my Son, whom I Love; with him I am well Pleased”
With these words, God the Father proclaimed His love for the Son Jesus Christ. He also announced that with this one -- with this child -- He was well pleased. Of all the generations before; whether Abraham, Moses, Joshua, King David or Josiah only one would bear the honour of God announcing to the world; with him, I am well pleased.
The Christ exonerates and glorifies the Father in all that He does. He is only concerned with the Father’s will and follows it obediently, even unto death. There is reason God is well pleased with the Son. It is not only that Christ is the son; it also rests on the eternal bond of trust and self sacrificial obedience that exists between them. More Here...
This post was originally going to be about our love for God, sort of a second side to the previous post about God's love for us, but something else has intercepted my thoughts, and I want to talk about it. The thing I want to talk about is Fear.
Fear is something with which I am very familiar. I had terrible nightmares as a child, and I occasionally still do. The kind of nightmares that follow you into the daytime and feel like a creepy presence around you. My little sister has them, too, and we both agree that these nightmares are inspired by demonic forces with the intent of making us afraid, and making us believe that they have some kind of power over us.
When you fear something, you are, in a way, subject to it. Fear comes from your knowledge of something or someone's ability to inflict itself on you. If that thing can have no ill effect on you, there is no fear. Our fear of demonic forces comes from our belief, however unfounded, that they can do something to us. Demons do have a certain amount of power in this world, as seen in Acts 19:11-20, where the demoniac overpowers seven men who falsely claim the power of Jesus, and in Ephesians 6:10-12, where God tells us plainly that our struggle is against demonic powers. But, as Christians, our Father is greater than the spirits in the world. In 1 John 4:1-6, John is talking about demonic spirits and why we don't need to have any fear of them. We've already overcome them; our God is greater than they are. More Here...