buildingbodies4christ

building on the foundation of Jesus Christ

Archive for the tag “Boldness”

Time Will Tell

Over the last couple of days, I have been pondering a few things. I know, I ponder quite a bit. Every blog posting is attributable to my thought processes. However, God is stirring my heart for change. Change in me and change in this country. I heard about a mission trip to the green hills of Vermont that had me contemplating a move to those hills to help plant a church. Then I recognized my lack of ability to acclimate to cold weather and I thought better of it. But it still left me feeling a bit uneasy to leave that thought alone. After all, Vermont is the second most unchurched state of the union. There are a lot of lost souls in those beautiful hills.

I grew up in the south. I have lived in this state all my life. I have moved from one end to almost the other. Churches are on every corner in the city, with very few miles in between in the counties. Growing up, gathering on Sundays was just the norm. Sunday nights too. Even Wednesday nights, with our covered dish suppers that were a kid’s delight (after all, who could resist all those desserts!). It’s just what we did. Today is a different story. I think much of that is my generation’s fault.

We have a watered down Gospel. Much of us have decided we don’t need God. We’re doing fine on our own. We do the Sunday thing, because that’s what we do or not; depending on what else is going on. I think one of our problems is we didn’t see God working. We put God in the “out there” category. He just doesn’t get involved in our lives. We did the church thing because that’s what we were taught. But is that all we’re called to do? Just do the church thing a couple of times a week? Where’s the fire that the early church had?

Beth Moore wrote a blog posting this week called: “Is this it? Is this what Jesus meant?” (Check it out HERE.) Her words gave my heart a check. I want to see this outpouring of the Holy Spirit. I want to experience God working through me. We are told that we would have more of that in the “last days.” Where is it in America? Why are we not experiencing an outpouring of the Holy Spirit on this American soil? Are we washed up – so far gone that we just can’t muster enough gumption to do what we’re called to do as Jesus’ body? Where’s the fire? Aren’t we supposed to experience these things like before? Are the kids in Vermont just going to be lost forever?

Anne Graham Lotz also had a blog posting concerning this American Eclipse that is about to occur August 21 (check it out HERE.) God said in the beginning that He put the sun, moon and stars in the sky as a sign and to mark the seasons/festivals (Genesis 1:14). I have heard that God uses the sun as a sign for Gentile nations and the moon as a sign for the Jewish nation. So, if this is a sign for us in America, what is it about? Here are a few interesting facts that I have learned over the last couple of days.

It starts on the west coast at the exact minute that the sun goes down in Israel – which is the start of the last month (Elul) of the Jewish year 5777 (considered the year of completion). Also, there will be another American eclipse seven years later in April 8, 2024; the first day of Nisan on the Jewish calendar. There is a point of intersection between the first and second eclipse path at the intersection of the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers. X marks the spot. Time will tell why this spot is marked.

There was a European total eclipse on August 21, 1914. Two months later with the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand World War I began. The war ended on November 11, 1918 which was just a few months after the American solar eclipse on June 8. In 1918 was the great flu pandemic that killed more people than the Great War. The flu killed over 50 million people from 1918 to 1920. There were also sixteen earthquakes throughout the world that year that registered more than 7.0. There were thirty with a magnitude of 6.0 to 6.9. What does 2017 American Eclipse hold for us and the world? Time will tell.

God is gracious to us to warn us before events take place. Time will tell what this eclipse and the one to come will bring. But we are not to be a stiff-neck people who do not pay attention or heed the call to change. The church is called to repent. We cannot be the light and live like the devil. I think God is calling us to a new level of commitment or I should say back to the same level as in the days of old. Time will tell.

Are you crying out to God yet? Time may not be on our side. If the clock is ticking, let’s be faithful in this last hour. Let’s teach the children about this great God and our loving Savior. We may be forewarned, but we have to heed the warnings and do something now. God, give us the boldness to tell others Your Story to save lives for your glory.

When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?” Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” With many other words he warned them; and he pleaded with them, “Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.” Acts 2:37-38,40

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A New Rhythm

We had a rather nasty storm roll through our area last week causing high wind. My yard was covered in pine cones and sticks. This past Sunday was gorgeous, and I decided to enjoy the afternoon picking up sticks (and pine cones). The morning was spent in church, and I also listened to another service on line. I was ready to digest the messages I heard. Something about activity helps me to process information as well as gives me head space for the Holy Spirit to speak.

While I was outside doing my thing, there were a couple of teenagers who walked by. I heard them coming when they turned the corner to come down my street. They had some type of music playing (loudly) while they walked. As they walked by, I thought it would be cool to have a soundtrack playing as we walked through our lives. What would my soundtrack be? The theme from Rocky? An Enya tune (is she still around)? Something peppy? Or something low key? Or something dramatic with anticipation for the moment? As I was contemplating that thought, my mind drifted into the messages I heard.

On Saturday, I listened to a speaker (Lisa Nichols) who gave a very inspirational talk concerning her book Abundance Now. She had a couple of points that were worth writing down and remembering. In her teen years, Lisa told a story how her grandmother encouraged her before a big swim meet. The meet was going to be an impossible feat as she was competing in an older age class. Her grandmother told her “winners never quit, and quitters never win; and she was not a quitter.”

At the start of the race, Lisa began to repeat “Winners never quit, quitters never win;” over and over. It became her cadence for her strokes. When she flipped for her turn, she saw her close competitor, but she thought they were in competition for dead last. When she finally touched the wall, she was alone – no one was even close to finishing beside her. She had out swum everyone in the heat and set a national record. That saying became the “soundtrack” that played throughout the tough times in her life. I must admit I was a bit envious of Lisa’s story. It’s powerful with lots of things to contemplate.

For the last week or so, I have been pondering my vision or my goals for my life. I don’t seem to have anything really out there to strive for. I don’t really have something I want to accomplish before I die. Sure, I want to have a great legacy; to mark my time here on earth. But I have no clue what I should do for God’s Kingdom. These thoughts led to the message from Sunday morning. That message was “shameless audacity” for praying bold prayers. The pastor said, “The size of your prayers shows the size of your God.”

Hmmm, my prayers seem to be rather anemic right now. I have had a few times in my life where I have prayed specifically for God to act and He did. But this is not a general characteristic of my prayer life. I throw out generalities and ask God to handle things (in His will). If I want God to act in a BIG way, then I have to ask persistently and ask them boldly for His intervention. The pastor mentioned he believed that God likes for us to ask for BIG things – it actually honors Him when we believe He can do what we ask of Him. Prayers shouldn’t be a formality, but a heart turned toward Him – seeking Him HARD! Pursuing Him with shameless audacity.

Lisa didn’t know she had a national title in her, but her grandmother knew of her potential. God knows our potential as well. He knows what He has put in us. But we have to be willing to get in the water and start making the waves by our strokes. We have to be in bold prayer to ask God to move mightily in us and through us. We need to listen to the right soundtrack and make sure we have people in our corner who will cheer us on. There is a point of intersection where our desires and His Kingdom come together.

Swimmers have racing lanes. We each run our own race. God didn’t give everyone the same vision. We all have an individual lane marked out for us. But we’ll never get to the wall if we quit now. I want to finish well, and break all the barriers to a fruitful life. Winners never quit, and our victory has already been won! Thank you, Jesus! Honor God with bold requests, and watch Him do amazing things!

“So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you, seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.” (Luke 11:9-10)

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