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Archive for the tag “Preparation”

Crossing Bridges

A few weeks ago, I realized that my season of preparation was coming to an end. At least, that’s the name I call this time I’ve had off from the “working” world – that daily grind. I have had over six years of preparation for something that has yet to be revealed; well, that’s what I am anticipating. Although, I have taken another part-time job in something that really isn’t my passion or my real desire to work in this field; I know I have to do it to bridge the gap between where I am now and where I am going in the future.

God chooses the fields where we work. We may feel that we have gotten where we are based on our experience or our schooling; however, it’s God who opens the doors to the opportunities we eventually get. There is a reason we all land in a particular place – whether it’s a job or a neighborhood or a city. God has a purpose in it. I have seen this play out much of my working life. I have moved from one job to another, from one city to another, and it has all been by the hand of God. There was always a growing opportunity in that place. This time, I would think no differently. There is a reason I landed in the position I now hold.

Although this part-time job is probably just a bridge to get me from the season of preparation to the expected opportunity on the other side, there’s still a purpose to fulfill where God places me. He knows the fields where He needs workers. This is our training ground for the next field and then for the ultimate field – the promised field of heaven.

When I think of fields, I always come back to the field of Boaz in the Book of Ruth. Ruth started out that day from Bethlehem searching for a field in which to glean so that she and Naomi could eat. She might have just “picked” the field of her husband’s family farm, but God’s hand was at work in it. Maybe it was the first field she came to or maybe she saw something different about the field and stopped. Who knows how she chose it, but read how it all turned out. Ruth gleaned, Boaz saw her; they became engaged and married; they had a son, Obed, who had a son, Jesse, who had a son, David who would become a great King of the nation of Israel. Coincidence? I think not.

There was a purpose and a plan that God had in place from the beginning of time. Why would He work differently in our lives? I don’t think He does. We may not always have such a great story of meeting a guy and falling in love and then producing a King, but there is something significant in our stories that we just don’t realize here on earth. I think we’ll see it on the other side of this earthly experience.

This earthly experience is our preparation for something greater. And there is a bridge that God has placed for us to cross to the other side – it gets us from this earthly experience to our heavenly home and His name is Jesus. Jesus is our bridge of hope, of redemption, of reconciliation between us and God. He takes us from this earthly life to a spiritual life when we believe He did the work on the cross – taking on our sins and giving us His righteousness. We cannot cross over by ourselves. We don’t have what it takes, but Jesus does.

God saw the problem of sin from the very beginning of time and knew when Jesus needed to come on the scene. God saw it all from the beginning. He knew exactly when to place each of us here in our earthly experience. There is a reason and a purpose for us – God saw the need from the beginning, and the person to fulfill that need. It’s you. It’s me. We may not see it right now, but it’s how God works.

The Bible is proof beyond doubt. We might think of the ones mentioned in the Bible as “greater” people, but they were not. They were just average people living average lives until God intervened. Then greater things happened because of their willingness to step into their purpose. They could have all said no – Moses tried to, Gideon didn’t want to, Mary accepted it without doubt. They each said yes. No matter where we are, God can use us in His plans if we would just say yes to the opportunities when God places them in front of us.

The key is to know when the opportunity is from God; but even if it’s not, God can still use the opportunity and create some good out of it. God promised us that it would be so – read Romans 8:28. There’s still a plan even in this current madness. God is still looking for people to say yes and step into the greater life. The season of preparation is equipping us for what’s to come. Are you ready to say yes when the opportunity comes? Cross the bridge. What waits on the other side is worth it. Jesus did it for us. He thought we were worth it too. Stay focused on Jesus and let Him guide you every step of the way. Just say yes and watch what He can do through you!

For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2:8-10 (ESV)

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In the Gap

We are just days away from another catastrophe, at least that’s what is projected. A hurricane has its sights on Florida or the east coast. I sit in my little home in a safe distance from the coast of North Carolina, but that didn’t matter for Hurricane Fran. I didn’t live here at the time, but heard of its destructive path. What will Irma hold for us? Part of North Carolina was under flood waters last year due to Hurricane Matthew so it could happen again. We just never know which way it will turn and what will be the destructive path.

I watched a video on YouTube yesterday afternoon from a prophet from India. His message was delivered in 2015. During a prophetic conference in Houston, the Lord gave him a message for the people of Houston that devastation would be coming by flood. The prophet reminded the audience that we are here for such a time as this. This is our time to stand in the gap just as Esther stood in the gap for her people.

Houston is known for floods so maybe it was brushed off as just another flood. I remember a time when I went to Houston in the midst of a tropical storm. I remember how deep the waters flooded the streets and the underground area beneath the large buildings. It doesn’t take much for streets to flood. So I can see the people who heard the message thinking we’ve survived thus far, it couldn’t be any worse than what we’ve already seen.

So from the message in 2015 to the hurricane that brought the devastation in 2017, the gap could have been filled to keep this prophetic word from coming to pass. Even as the hurricane was forming, people could have dropped to their knees and cried out to God to keep this from them. Maybe some did. But maybe it was too little, too late. Houston was not spared from devastation. Maybe God needed to send the warning. Maybe He is still sending a warning to us with this next storm.

The prophet said that devastation is to wake us up. It’s a shaking to drop us to our knees. Devastation always comes before destruction. God always warns us before He destroys. He sent the prophet Jonah to the city of Nineveh and gave them forty days to repent before the destruction would come. The people dropped to their knees and repented. God delayed the judgment for a couple more centuries because of their repented hearts.

The prophet also stated that he has seen the US divided in two. Politically, we are already there. Physically, could be an earthquake that divides the nation. However, he said we could be captured and this would divide America. North Korea, Iran, and Russia all have an agenda for America. All eyes are on North Korea, but it could come from any direction, if God allows it. The prophet said that with Trump as President, we have been given a grace period. If his tenure ends early, captivity will come early.

The message I received from the prophet was to stand in the gap and plead with God to keep these destructive things from coming to pass. The prophet made a comment that we are good to hear the word and just walk away. It might not really affect us so we let it go. Or we just don’t care or believe it could happen to us. I am just as guilty to hear these things and do nothing with it, but maybe write about it. Or pray half-heartedly.

Last week, Pastor James MacDonald spoke a word about Jesus’ return. He said that God’s justice is coming. Pastor Tony Evans had a series based on the churches in Revelation. Every church was told to repent. And every church was told to have ears to hear. We are not to get comfortable with the status quo. We are not to compromise on God’s principles. I know this won’t be popular, but we are not to tolerate sin – especially in the church. We need to repent, now more than ever.

On the Jewish calendar, we are in the month of Elul which is the month of preparation. From August 21 (the solar eclipse day) until the Day of Atonement on September 30 is the time of preparation – a time of repentance. Forty days. I think we are in a very significant time. Not one but two historic hurricanes in this one month – maybe even one more before the Day of Atonement. Wouldn’t that be significant? It’s time to get on our knees and cry out to God to keep this from coming to pass. This is our time.

Oh Lord, have mercy on us; please keep this hour of destruction from us. You are the Lord Almighty – Creator of the Heavens and the Earth. You speak and storms cease. You are the only One who can save us from this hour. Please forgive our apathy and our complacency. Please help the church be cleansed and made pure. Help us to see ourselves as you see us and let us repent of our sins. Oh Lord, keep Hurricane Irma from touching our shores, drive it out to sea by Your mighty hand. Lord, let Your will be done as You see fit for this time. Whatever we need to get us where You want us to be; let Your will be done. For this we ask in the mighty name of Jesus – our Lord and Savior, Amen.

Wake up! Strengthen what little remains, for even what is left is almost dead. I find that your actions do not meet the requirements of my God. Go back to what you heard and believed at first; hold to it firmly. Repent and turn to me again. If you don’t wake up, I will come to you suddenly, as unexpected as a thief. Revelation 3:2-3 (NLT)

Season of Preparation

For the last two years, I have been working with a natural, functional practitioner. She began her practice as a chiropractor, but her practice has evolved over the years. I am just fascinated at all she has learned over the years, and I am so encouraged by the way she helps others to better health. For the last thirteen year, I also have benefited from her practice. She is the one who diagnosed me with an autoimmune disease, and the one who pointed me to a healthier lifestyle that I still practice today. She has been instrumental in my healing journey.

Over the weekend, my sister asked me what I plan to do with the knowledge that I am learning from the doctor. I really don’t know what I am going to do with all that I learn. I just know this is preparation for something to come. It has to be since I want to benefit others by what I know. My doctor gave me a seed of knowledge that has grown into a full passion for the health and well-being of building up the body of Christ. I want the body of Christ to be healthy and whole. I can’t say that we are right now, but I hope that one day we will be a picture of true health. I want to be a part of that journey.

So the eclipse happened on Monday. I saw glimpses of the path of totality but my location only gave 93% totality. I started noticing the change in light about 1:45 pm. I noticed an eerie light and had to see what was going on. My colleague had a pair of glasses so I was able to actually see the moon crossing the sun. However, the 93% still gave enough light to drive out the darkness. Isn’t that amazing?

As the body of Christ, we can bring just a sliver of light to drive out the darkness around us. We’re actually supposed to be more than a sliver, but it really doesn’t take much to make a difference. Monday evening was also the beginning of the Jewish month of Elul. I don’t know much about the festivals of the Jewish calendar, but I have learned a few things over the last few years. The month of Elul is the last month of the Jewish year. This is considered the month of preparation before the Day of Atonement which happens forty days later.

As I listened to different speakers concerning this eclipse, I learned a couple of interesting facts about the time of Jonah. Before Jonah found his way to Nineveh, they had already experienced several signs of destruction. They had already experienced a couple of plagues and a civil disturbance. But most notably, they had experienced their own total eclipse that was just a couple of months before Jonah showed up preaching repentance.

If you remember the story, Jonah began to tell the people “Forty more days and Nineveh will be overturned.” The Word says that Nineveh believed God (Jonah 3:4-5). Everyone in that city humbled themselves – from the least to the greatest. The king made a decree for all people to fast and pray urgently for God to relent and have compassion on them. And God did. God saw they had repented and turned from their evil ways. God spared that generation from the destruction that would eventually come.

So this month of Elul, the month of preparation before the Day of Atonement (begins at sundown on September 29), the people of God repent of their sins and do what is necessary to become clean so they will be ready for that Day. It’s a season of calling out to God that He would forgive them and cleanse them. Maybe we as the Body of Christ should do this as well. Maybe we should be on our knees before God asking for forgiveness for ourselves and our nation. Maybe God would hear our prayers and would spare this generation from the destruction that will eventually come. Maybe judgment will be delayed if we humble ourselves before Him.

Maybe it starts with me. And you. We need to come into agreement as all of Nineveh did that we need forgiveness and plead with God to send the Holy Spirit flowing boldly through this land. We need Him desperately. He is the only One who can bring a revival to His Body that would change this nation. But it takes us getting on our knees – humbly – before Him. This is the season of preparation. Are you willing to prepare for that Day?

“This is the crisis we’re in: God-light streamed into the world, but men and women everywhere ran for the darkness. They went for the darkness because they were not really interested in pleasing God. Everyone who makes a practice of doing evil, addicted to denial and illusion, hates God-light and won’t come near it, fearing a painful exposure. But anyone working and living in truth and reality welcomes God-light so the work can be seen for the God-work it is.” John 3:19-21 (MSG)

Sweet Spot

Recently, I heard a message which contained a few statistics on churchgoers. The research indicated that there were four categories of churchgoers. We all start out in the first category as people far from God. We may know about Him but do not have a relationship with Jesus. The second category is ones who have a relationship with Jesus – we understand we have received grace by the blood of Jesus, but still working out what this relationship really means. The third category is people who have a close relationship with Jesus. They depend on Jesus daily for guidance. The fourth category is the ones who have Jesus fully in the center of their lives. They have totally surrendered everything to Him. It’s the most important relationship they have. It guides everything that they do. Of those in the fourth category, the teacher said his research focused on the thirteen percent of the “elite” Christ-centered folks.

The thirteen percent are the ones who love Jesus with all their hearts. They willingly share their love of Jesus with others. They serve Him completely. There is nothing that stops them from sharing everything they have for the love and sake of the Gospel. One out of seven or eight people in the church have this type of commitment. I wish I could say that I was in the thirteen percent. This is my goal though. The church’s mission is really about getting us all to this category. We are to become disciples who make disciples. Disciples have a heart for people – we are supposed to love one another. This is our trademark as a disciple – that’s how others will know we are disciples of Jesus. The relationship with Jesus is the key to loving others. We can’t do it on our own. It’s impossible to love others first. Sometimes though, I have found it’s easier to focus on the vertical relationship than to focus on other relationships.

The church is in the business of moving us from one category to the next. However, we may have a wall that gets in the way of moving from one category to the next. This was really a “ah-ha” moment for me. I definitely have built a wall around my heart. I have gotten hurt in the pass, and it’s just easier to keep people at a distance. I haven’t loved others as I should because it’s a vulnerability that I just don’t want to risk. But the wall is keeping me from living in the sweet spot with Jesus. The sweet spot is the place where everything changes. It’s the place of being in the center of God’s will. We are living with purpose and contentment that God is in control of our circumstances for our good and His glory. The sweet spot is where I become one with Jesus. I always thought it was the marriage ceremony to come in the new Kingdom, but I believe now that is the true place where God wants us right here, right now. To be married to the heart of Jesus – to be one – united in His desires and united as the body of Christ. Living in the sweet spot is a great joy to Jesus. When we’re all in, He can do more through us than what we could ever ask or imagine!

What if this was the goal of everyone in the church body? What if it was no longer thirteen percent of the church but more like fifty percent or sixty-five percent? How would that change our communities? How would that change the perception of “church” today? Would we make a difference in our cities or nation? This takes a different mindset. It takes commitment to the relationship with Jesus. It takes more than just going to church every Sunday and checking a box for the week. It’s a dedication to develop more understanding, more time with Him, more opportunities to serve Him – it’s more cost to us. It’s called a surrendered life. It’s about giving up control. And who actually likes giving up control?! Control needs to be in the hands of the One who can handle it. To become spiritually mature, we need to become more intimate with Jesus. It’s the only way to move from one category to the next. Let’s grow the percentage of those who are in love with Jesus, live in the sweet spot, and make a difference in the world around us!

Note: The teaching message was from Oak Hill Church by Greg Hawkins “The Goal” and “The Plan”

“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. John 15:9-12

Warning Signs

Over the last few months, I have seen a few warnings posted on the door across the street. Each time the warning sign was taken down, but no action was taken (that I could see). Last week, the warnings were not heeded and the Sheriff arrived. My heart hurts for my neighbor. But I am reminded as I sat down to have my quiet time we are given warnings all the time. The Holy Spirit gives us warnings through His promptings. We are given warnings about our health through pains and various symptoms. God warns us about things to come in His word. I am an observant person in most things, but sometimes I just miss the signs. I get distracted by life to really pay attention to what’s going on around me or in me. The only reason I saw the signs going up on my neighbor’s door was because I was outside each time it occurred.

We are told in Scripture to be watchful for the signs that God places around us. Many people I listen to believe we are getting closer to the second coming of Jesus. God says He puts signs in the sky for us to observe. The Holy Spirit helps us and teaches us how to pay attention so that we can learn from these signs. I have been fascinated this past year over “The Harbinger” by Jonathan Cahn. Just the other night, I listened to one of his recent sermons on this coming year – the seventh biblical year. In September, we will be remembering the fourteenth year of 9/11. We as a nation were shaken to our foundations of what we consider our security. We thought we were invincible. We had pride and arrogance that no one could touch us. We were the superpower that no one would dare come against. Soon after it happened, I felt in my spirit that God’s hand had been lifted for that brief time to allow the destruction; to get us to turn to Him. Many did come back to church, but it didn’t “stick.” Life went on. We adjusted to the new normal and moved on.

Since that time almost fourteen years ago, we have fallen away even further. Have we learned from the warning signs of previous years? Will God send another “sign” of His displeasure? This is what Jonathan Cahn is considering in this seventh biblical year of “shemitah” – the shaking, the release of debt year. It’s interesting to hear what he has to say. It’s also interesting to see the signs that are happening in the last few months even. The seventh year began last September. Over the next few months, we will know for sure that God warned us. We could be aware of God’s work by the Holy Spirit. We could pay attention to what’s going on in the world. We could take precautions in our own lives to make sure we have our affairs in order. Or we could just ignore it all and just consider it all hype to sell another book. Time will tell. For me, I don’t want to see signs on my door and do nothing about it. I don’t want the “Sheriff” to come, and I have not been actively preparing the way for Him. I need to be ready for whatever God has in store – good or bad for this coming year. My heart needs repair work done. My life needs to be scrubbed clean of all filth that accumulates over time. And my house needs to be in order. How will you prepare for the coming year? My neighbor got several warnings which were not heeded. Let that not be said of us!

Therefore, with minds that are alert and fully sober, set your hope on the grace to be brought to you when Jesus Christ is revealed at his coming. As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.” 1 Peter 1:13-15

In the Center

In my last newsletter, I sent out a challenge to the readers – to grow in godliness in 2015. I like to encourage them in their health goals. However, I realized most people know how to get healthy, but they just don’t do it. One of the things we need in order to obtain any goals is self-control or discipline. Maybe the area that needs work is our health or maybe its finances or even to help grow in our spiritual life. All these things though require discipline or self-control. Those of us who have the Holy Spirit in us already have everything we need to accomplish our goals. We are given self-control as a fruit of the Spirit. But why don’t we see greater success in our yearly “resolutions?” We give up way before we accomplish many of our goals in life. In my opinion, we just don’t allow the Holy Spirit to work in us to become the men and women God has created us to be.

One of the things I would like to accomplish in 2015 is to memorize scripture. I am terrible in this discipline. I can memorize numbers without really thinking too hard on them, but words are hard for me. I would also like to grow in my spiritual life. Each year I want to see a difference over the previous year. I know I cannot become the woman God has designed me to be staying the same each year. I don’t know if I particularly like how God grows us though. God likes to take us through those difficult places in order to grow. God takes us through them – He does not leave us there! There is always another valley to cross; another storm to conquer; another pit to climb out of. But it’s always with the help of Jesus and His Spirit that gives us a way out.

I want to be in the place God wants me to be in order to grow. As Pastor Steven Furtick (Elevation Church) explained in his New Year’s Eve message (on Genesis 26), we need to be able to get into the “flow” of the Holy Spirit. We might have to dig out a few wells to be able to let the water flow again. There may be areas in our lives that block the Holy Spirit from working in us. This is something that needs to be examined closely and let the Holy Spirit reveal those blockages. Last year, I know the Holy Spirit was working on my blocked wells. I had some digging out to do. I am not finished with the process, but I am much further along than I was. I want 2015 to be successful in God’s way. I don’t know what that looks like right now, but this is something that I want Him to reveal to me. I don’t need more information – I need more revelation!

One of the points the Pastor made was “we cannot fulfill our calling in our comfort zone.” We need the challenge in order to grow. Muscles are only developed when they are stressed. Faith is grown when we take risks; when we are in that uncomfortable place. The enemy would love to block the flow of the Holy Spirit so that we will not accomplish what God has in mind for us. We let the enemy win when we fold too easily! I want endurance. I want security in His presence with me in the battles. Do I really want to grow if that means God is going to place me in those difficult battles? Do I really mean what I am asking God for – His will to be done? The amazing thing is when I am finished with the battle, I will see His blessing. I will see God’s glory in it. It will be worth it in the end.

One of the verses that I really want to memorize is Isaiah 41:10. This verse was given to me a few years ago. God was beginning a new path for me, and He gave me this verse. This verse also encouraged my Mom when she was facing her battle with cancer. I know that God has a plan in all that we face in this coming year. And it’s very comforting to know that God goes with us and helps us in the middle of whatever we’re facing. We will be in the center of His flow when the wells are dug out, and the Holy Spirit is working through us in those difficulties – it’s for our good and for God’s glory!

So do not fear, for I am with you;
do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10

Make Room

My Christmas list wasn’t very long this year. I had a couple of things on there that I really wanted – wanted not needed. In the last couple of days, I have been in the midst of making room for my new stuff. I have had to rethink where I used to have my router to get the best results for my new toy. I had to move a few things around in my kitchen for my latest gadget. It’s a matter of removing as well. Out with the old and in with the new. For many times in my past, I have gotten so much more than I have removed. Over the last few Christmases though, I have learned to let go of things that I no longer need or want. Someone else might like them better, so off they go. I wouldn’t say I was a hoarder by any means, but I always had a problem with letting go because I might need the item again one day. So closets have been full to overflowing, junk draws get more junk, hiding places no longer were hidden.

A few years ago that mentality changed. I like clean spaces with less clutter. I like things in their places. I have found that clutter around my house also flows into my mind and heart. I definitely had a mindset that was not in the clutter free zone. My heart too was full of things that were not honorable or pure. In the last couple of days, I have also been considering this past year – whether I have grown very much in my spiritual life. I realized I didn’t see much in the way of growth. What I see that really happened last year was clearing the space in my heart and mind. Both are less full of the bad stuff and greater room was made for God to work. This past year wasn’t really significant in the amount of work that was done on the outside, but the inside seems to be a bit freer of the junk. I have made room for Jesus by removing the flow of the bad stuff and giving Him more time to input the good stuff.

All this was not possible though unless the Holy Spirit moved in my heart to make the changes. I would not have done it on my own. I like junk. I like junk “food,” junk television, and junk conversations. But none of that honors God. Too much junk really creates a bad environment for growth. And I want to grow. I want to honor Him. I don’t want to come to the end of my life and feel remorse of how I have lived. Life is too precious. Stuff just gets in the way of real growth. I am challenged to grow in the fruit of the Spirit. I need more compassion. I want to be known as a kindhearted, generous person. I want to love others like Jesus commanded us to do. But none of this is possible unless I give Him room to work. This past year, I have seen the movement. I am challenged for 2015 to do more with what He has given me.

I don’t know what 2015 holds, I just know Jesus holds it in the palm of His hand. Nothing comes to me unless the Father allows it for my good – good things and all the bad that will happen next year. I am called to a purpose and He has to get me ready to accomplish all He wants done. That is His purpose in each of us. We have to make room for Him to do His work so that we are ready to finish what has been started. Be prepared this year to be a greater light in the darkness. To Jesus, the glory and honor is His. There is no greater purpose than us serving a loving Savior who is worthy of all our love and sacrifice. My prayer is that all who read this blog will know His love, His sacrifice and His devotion to making us a better light in our communities. May God bless our time here on earth to glorify our Risen Savior! May we all make room for Jesus this next year!

Let the peace of Christ keep you in tune with each other, in step with each other. None of this going off and doing your own thing. And cultivate thankfulness. Let the Word of Christ—the Message—have the run of the house. Give it plenty of room in your lives. Instruct and direct one another using good common sense. And sing, sing your hearts out to God! Let every detail in your lives—words, actions, whatever—be done in the name of the Master, Jesus, thanking God the Father every step of the way. Colossians 3:15-17 (The Message)

The Dash

A few weeks ago, I posted some thoughts on life and death. This topic keeps coming up for me. I was listening to a sermon series from Pastor James MacDonald on Psalm 90. In one of the sermons he asked those listening to count the number of days we have remaining. In Psalm 90, it states in verse ten about “the length of our days is seventy years – or eighty, if we have strength.” So if I calculate my age now until mid range of seventy-five years, I have a little over eight thousand days remaining if I make it to seventy-five. I don’t know the actual days remaining, but God has already set my end date. We all have an end date, whether we like to think about it or not. One hundred percent of us will die one day. Our hearts all began to beat in our mother’s womb and one day it will stop. If we should have a tombstone on our grave, we might have the dates stamped on there with a dash in between.

In Psalm 90:12, the writer asks God to teach us to number our days. The writer goes on to say in verse 14 to satisfy us in the morning with His unfailing love so that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days. Wouldn’t that be nice to have joy every morning? What if we started each day with joy in our hearts; how would our day change? How would our life change? How would we impact those around us? These are the things I am contemplating as I have considered the rest of my days on this earth. The dash on the tombstone is our life on earth. The dash determines our destiny for eternal life. The dash matters.

The “dash” was another message I heard a couple of weeks ago from Pastor Louie Giglio (yes, I listen to many preachers). His message was from Luke 12:13-21 concerning the parable of the Rich Fool. The rich man had many riches – he didn’t have enough room to store his goods. Right now, I am picturing garages filled to the brim with junk; the one thing that should be in the garage doesn’t even fit amongst the junk! Our most expensive possession (outside of the house itself) has to sit outside in the weather. (This is not to mention that many people in the world live in a garage-sized space!) The rich man built bigger barns to hold his goods. He believed that he could then relax and take life easy. He had enough to last him the rest of his days. He just didn’t know how long his days were. In verse 20, God called the man a fool. The stuff the rich man gathered would do nothing for him in his eternal life.

We will all give an account to God one day. I would much rather hear from God “well done, good and faithful servant” rather than “you fool!” Each day matters. Each day I have a choice to make. I want to be wise in choosing things that bring God honor and glory. I want those treasures in heaven to be piled high, don’t you? The garage piled high will get me nowhere. It will only cause a lot of heart ache for the one who ultimately has to clean the garage (and house) out after I am gone. Someone will have all my possessions here on earth one day. Does this sound morbid to you? To me, it’s a reality check to make sure that I count my days wisely. There is more to this life than stuff. Life is a precious gift that is given to us by God for His glory and for our joy. Jesus came to give us abundant life, not abundant possessions! The dash matters.

Then he (Jesus) said to them, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.” Luke 12:15

Blinded

I am a health advocate. My passion is learning about health and helping others to learn as well. Health involves food. I was listening to a conference recently where a speaker was talking about our food industry in the US. The speaker made me very disappointed in our food system. The food industry is sabotaging our health. God provided the foods to eat and gave them to us in abundance. Food can be our medicine or it can be our poison. The trouble is though, it is becoming more difficult to distinguish between what is healthy and what is not. The topic of the message in this particular session was on genetically modified foods (GMOs). Many countries have banned GMOs yet, we can readily find them in our grocery stores.

The talk led me to think about other areas in which we can turn a blind eye to. God has provided a healthy ecosystem for our health and well-being. Trees bring us the oxygen we need to breathe. The earth provides our needs through the plants that are produced. The sun gives the life force that gives our bodies energy by the foods we eat and for our emotional well-being. The systems are in place by God’s hands. He designed this perfect system and we are connected to it in order to live on this planet. We are still discovering what God has given us. Everything God has done for us for our benefit we take for granted, thinking that it will last forever. Most human beings don’t see the damage we’re causing by our destructive ways.

For the last few years, I have had a greater sense of urgency in getting the message across that we need to be awakened from our slumber. We as the Body of Christ have a responsibility to be alert and watchful. God is at work, and we need to be aware of what He’s doing. He wants to use us in His process of completing His plan of redeeming the people on this planet. But if we’re not paying attention, then we will lose the opportunity He presents to us. We need healthy minds and bodies so that we can be alert and ready to respond in obedience to what we are called to do.

What’s this got to do with GMOs? Is this really about food? Or is this about opening our eyes to what’s going on in the world? We need eyes to see. God says that we can ask Him and He will give us wisdom in the circumstances. We need God’s perspective. I know God cares for our planet, but He is more concerned with the people on the planet. We need wisdom to discern the truth of what we see and hear. Nothing is by accident. Everything is allowed for a reason, even GMO’s. God is at work, and we need to open our spiritual eyes. We can no longer walk around in spiritual blindness; there’s too much at stake. There is a desperate world that needs God’s healing hand. Ask and God says He will provide the Holy Spirit to guide us to the Truth. And if we seek Him and call out to Him in repentance then He will heal our land.

Please give us eyes to see, ears to hear and a heart submitted to obedience in accordance to Your will. Amen.

Throwing his cloak aside, he jumped to his feet and came to Jesus.

“What do you want me to do for you?” Jesus asked him.

The blind man said, “Rabbi, I want to see.”

 “Go,” said Jesus, “your faith has healed you.” Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus along the road. Mark 10:50-52

Perspective

I started reading a biography of Winston Churchill a few weeks ago (it’s a hefty book!). This book is a history book of the World War II. I might have studied these things in high school, but I don’t remember too much of what those times. Also, I am reading in the Old Testament. When I see both of these histories together, I see God’s hand in everything. My eyes are being opened to a different perspective. We might think of insignificant things going on in our day and time. However, God is setting the stage in a major way for the ultimate climax that is prophesied in the Bible. From my understanding, everything that needs to happen in order for Jesus to return has taken place. We are just waiting now for His return.

A couple of days ago, I listened to a conference on the end times. Now, I know we don’t know the day or hour of Jesus’ return, but we are told to be watchful. A couple of the speakers mentioned several places in Scripture that tell us to watch for the signs in the heavens. Even in Genesis 1:14 we are told that the lights in the sky serve as signs (signals) to mark seasons (feasts or divine appointments in Hebrew). This year is one of those times we need to look to the heavens. I have been fascinated to learn about the Blood Moons that will occur over the next year. It began on Passover this year and will continue until the Feast of Tabernacles in the fall of 2015.

What’s significant about this? There have been seven Blood Moons that occurred on the Jewish Feasts in the last 2000 years. One hundred percent of the time, these events have been a sign after something significant pertaining to Israel. After World War II, Israel had one brief moment where they had the sympathy of the world, and the nation was reformed in a day. That was 1948. In 1949, the Blood Moons took place on the four Feasts. In 1967, there was a six-day war in Israel where Israel took the significant holy places in east Jerusalem. In 1968, the four Blood Moons again took place on the Feasts. But what about this time? I don’t think anything of significance has happened this past year.

I was reading yesterday morning in Acts 2 about the Holy Spirit being poured out on the disciples at Pentecost. Peter addresses the crowd and delivers his first sermon. He points to Joel for his reference of what was occurring. In that passage there is a mention of the Blood Moons and a solar eclipse that will happen before the glorious day of the Lord. Over this next year, not only will there be the four Blood Moons, but there will be a solar eclipse right in the middle of this time. The moon is considered the signal for Israel and the Sun represents the world. The trouble with prophecy – we don’t know the significance until after the event then we know God has spoken through the prophet.

What does this have to do with perspective? When we look at the events happening right now in the world we need to look at the events with a different perspective. God is setting the stage for the great tribulation that will take place according to the Book of Revelation. This gives us a different perspective on the urgency we need as the Body of Christ to be ready. We still have a lot of work to do with those around us who need the gift of salvation. Time is closer now than ever before. We need to be watchful to the times we live in and look at them with a different perspective. Jesus’ feet are on the threshold of heaven. Are you ready to meet Him? Are your family and friends ready?

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. The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off – for all whom the Lord our God will call.” Acts 2:37-39

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