Saturday, December 31, 2011

The Sacrifice of God


If you make a sacrifice and you already know the outcome will be ok and better than ok, is it still considered a sacrifice? I often wonder things like this. I don't mean it pridefully or insultingly. God knew the outcome of giving His Son would be Victorious. Why do we consider it such a big deal of sacrifice then for Him to have done this? God knew Jesus would rise again. God knew Jesus would reign with Him on His right hand. God knew the success of Jesus dying. Can it still be sacrifice when He knew, not just assumed, but literally saw the future and knew? When I asked this question several weeks ago, I didn't do it in a way to provoke God, I wanted to search through this mystery. I felt as though I was missing a treasure, an "ah-ha" moment if you will. And it came. It came in power and amazement!!!

The only aspect I can see (I would love to learn more if you see anything as well!) is that the sacrifice...it still takes my breathe away even now to recognize this...is Jesus BECAME SIN. He became the ACTUAL compilation of ALL SIN. And God, His Father, could not look upon Him. God had to turn His back on Jesus. This was the sacrifice. THIS WAS THE SACRIFICE!!!!!!!!! God knew who Jesus was. He knew everything, because He was Him. He knew how pure, loving, and sinless He was, yet in that moment, God had to turn away and leave Him. Here is what the word says:

"God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God."
1 Corinthians 5:21

"About three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eli, Eli,[a] lema sabachthani?” (which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”)."
Matthew 27:46

Even though God knew who Jesus was, He didn't get offended at what we did and say "screw this,"...He ALLOWED IT ANYWAY. This is the Love of God. THIS VERY ACT IS WHO GOD IS. He tolerated our sin on His perfect Son to give us freedom.

How do you think Jesus felt? It wasn't simply a walk to a cross and then being nailed and raised to die. He endured days and days of torture. He was thirsty and hungry (Yes Jesus felt these things to, He gave up His divine right, to live as a man, Matthew 4:1-11) and was alone (Mark 14:50). The only thing that kept Him going was His Father and doing His will. But then, then, then....even what He had left. God left Him. He had to. Jesus was sin and God could not look upon it (Habakkuk 1:13). Jesus was alone. God had to turn away and allow the SACRIFICE. It didn't matter if Jesus was raised three days later. It TORE God's heart to have to do that. I believe it hurt Him and pained Him.

All I can say is Thank You Father. Thank You for doing what You did not have to do. Thank You for creating a way for me to know you and that I don't have to sacrifice animals to do it (seriously do I hear an Amen!!!!!)! Thank You for giving Your life fully and with full knowledge of what You were doing. I love You and Honor Your Holy Name.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Opposition

If you ever feel like opening yourself up for attack and opposition all you have to do is leave a comment on a national story. It's very simple and will do wonders for your ability to be controlled and contianed. I have never done this until a couple days ago and have received over a dozen hate mail responses. At first I was a little taken back, but now that I think about it, I shouldn't be surprised. God is not the focus of society. We read these stories that the media glorifies and uses for publicity and ratings and get tempted in, we feed ourselves exactly what the world wants us to "eat": SIN. Story after story arise about horrible, brutal and completely demonic situations and most people without the Truth of the Lord sit there with their mouth ajar wondering "How can God do this?" or "Why do these things happen?" when we have porno shops, abortion clinics and little girls whose parents dress them up like sluts for pageants, we exploit, tempt, and tantalize everyone with stuff, self glorification, and success and we wonder...we have the audacity to wonder? I am sick of people blamming the One True and constant thing in the world. I am so sick of people blamming my Lord for what is not His fault. It is our fault. (It is different to question in trauma and pain). When will we start looking at ourselves? When will society say "enough" to the things that are not ok? Can I hope for this any longer? I don't know anymore. I have a lot of unplugging to do. I can't remove myself from the world, but I must "feed" myself Truth, I must put before me the things of the Lord, I must live radically for the Lord because time is running out before we will not be able to speak the Name of Jesus without being hurt.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Meeting the Donkeys

Bryan and I have been traveling a lot and enjoying lots of time with our family. One really neat adventure I had today was meeting 9 YES NINE very cute and VERY sad donkeys! They were on the side of the road behind a fence, but that didn't stop me from saying "hello" to each and every one of them. I LOVED them, especially the fuzzy brown one. We were on a back road, so no other cars or people were around and I sang and talked to them! Bryan took tons of photos, here's one of my favorites. I reminded them that Jesus rode on a Donkey and they are very special creatures.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Merry Christmas

We were unable to send Christmas cards by mail this year, but we still made a beautiful card that we would like you to have.

We pray your Christmas will be a time of Thanksgiving and Joy. That we would not forget that Jesus' birth was only the beginning. Jesus was born, lived and He died for our sins, YET ROSE AGAIN. The good news continues...He is coming back for us. In the midst of all the presents, traveling, and eating, take time to reflect upon how beautiful Jesus's birth actually was.

And if you feel that you are without someone you love and perhaps that you don't even know yet, remember that God offers His tears as well. Christmas is just one day...but we must remember like Jesus's life did, God also has a beautiful plan for our pain and sorrow too. Don't give up.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Reclaiming Light

It was an adventure that lead to it
Don’t all unexpected discoveries begin innocently enough?
The known becomes unknown
The plain becomes bewildering
And what was once blank becomes alive with depth

It was the shadows that pulled her in
It was the Light that guided her way
For once she surrendered
All that wasn’t seen, was finally revealed

Could calling bring forth?
Can obliviousness rescue?
What becomes of her?

For only shadows can bring forth such Light
And her path was set before her

Saturday, December 17, 2011

On FAITH...

There's a reason God says "walk by Faith and not by sight." The world tells us one thing, yet the heart says another. God speaks to the heart and see’s its grasps. He knew we needed to hear that Faith is not something that our bodies do by what it experiences, but rather what we know when we close our eyes...our hearts.

Faith isn’t meant to be a pretty word on a magnet. In all reality, Faith...REAL FAITH, isn’t always pretty on the eyes. It’s like watching a movie about the Holocaust and seeing a grotesque stick figure being beaten. It’s not always comfortable to watch or look at. It will make you want to turn away and ignore it. It’s like a starving child on TV, a man about to get killed in battle, or a sick body unrecognizable on a gurney. True Faith is not necessarily a feel-good situation. Sometimes it’s a person walking blindly in the dark, battered, bruised, hungry, and tired...BUT it’s that THEY KEEP GOING IN HOPE. That is Faith. The end result or possible victory is unknown, but they Believe.

We pacify and diminish Faith. Perhaps at one immense opportunity to have True Faith, we’d fail instantly. We’d replace Faith with “it’s not fair!” or “I’m not strong enough!” or even “Then maybe there is no God.” I am not talking about a traumatic moment where these questions can lead to healing. I am talking about an anger we submit to whose only purpose is to lead us away from God, and because we don’t understand, we allow it to do just that. Real Faith is what you decide when you really can’t feel the emotion of it in your heart. It’s what you have when you are just about to give up. It’s not something that instantly changes or gratifies your soul or solves what’s going on. It doesn’t result in an immediate reward or the pain automatically vanishing. It doesn’t subside our sorrow. It is walking forward one step at a time...one foot in front of the other. Faith is not a feeling, sometimes it is a choice. But there can be triumph!

Faith is a weapon because *atan doesn’t want us to walk forward. He doesn’t want us to forget our past, our hurts and trials. He wants us to remember them so they cripple us and cause us to doubt. He wants us to stop moving forward, give up and act upon what we see or have seen and experienced as if somehow all the bad in our lives was a punishment or because God did them to us. The reality of the world is that there is an enemy and he destroys the Holy and Righteous. And sometimes it looks as if he wins, but he does NOT. We CAN choose to believe and have Faith even when we do not see the result. That is exactly what 2 Corinthians 5:7 means when God says “walk by Faith and not by sight.” Choosing Faith is brave and it can shake the ETERNAL realms. It is a freedom that is NOT welcome by the enemy. When we can learn how to recognize this Truth, we will be able to hear the Lord and have a great Peace and Love no matter what happens. We will not be like the seed that gets choked by the trials and tribulations (that are real situations not just recognizable) mentioned in Matthew 13. There are BEAUTIFUL consequences when we have Faith. But there cannot be Faith without something else on the other side to NOT choose. It is only Faith when we are nearly sacrificing what our bodies want to do... to not believe, be offended, and give up. There is NOTHING God cannot walk with us through. We may feel like we are alone and that our Faith isn’t working, but GOD cares for us so much. He knows where we are and He see’s you.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

We Live in a World...

We live in a world where slowly and slowly the wrong people are coming to power and influencing in ways we never thought would be possible. We live in a world where tolerance and accepting sin is somehow beautiful and right. Where claiming the Truth of the Bible makes one seem ignorant, foolish, or my favorite...judgemental. We live in a world where we don't even recognize the contaminating affects of the media in music, TV shows, and movies. We love our entertainment, and jeopardize our values and wonder why our children are acting out, hating, and hurting at such young ages. We rather be entertained then actually live. We look around completely dumbfounded when we see catastrophe's happen. We are the first one's to blame God and ask, "Where is God in all of this?" and we somehow erase the choices people have made since the beginning of time and believe we are getting "better" not worse. We live in a world where even churches and believers compromise their values and God's Truth so they can be socially accepted. We make churches into coffee shops, play grounds and more about events to keep families busy and active thinking they are doing something spiritual when they are not. We should be diving in and preparing for a time that is coming where if we don't know what we believe then we are in danger of being deceived by one who has been preparing for this since we existed. If we think this is about politics, we are wrong. If we think this is about governmental influences, we are wrong. If we think it is solvable, we are wrong. The problem is...we are in great danger...all of us....Christians and non-Christians. If Christians don't start waking up and feeding on God's Truth, then we will not know the lies that will overtake us and we will listen to them. *atan is a deceiver and his plan is known to us. He will mask as an angel of light and come as an anti-christ. But do you think it will be easy for us to deny him? Do you think he will be a "bad" person? He will seem like a good person. He will disguise himself even as Jesus. He comes to do one thing and one thing only, to kill your souls and keep you from the Truth by any means possible. Christians are already beginning to be hated, mocked and persecuted. It will get worse, it will be worse then even the Holocaust and millions of people will stand by and not even blink because of the influence of the "holy one" (the anti-christ). The non-Christians I don't even know how to address. They will be a pawn in a sickening and cruel game. Their only hope will be Jesus and the risk and possibility of choosing Him will be very difficult if possible at all. So what do we do?

1. Do not think you are strong enough. The ONLY strength that will help anyone now and then is the strength of Jesus Christ. The Bible says there is power in the name of Jesus. You are always susceptible to being deceived so know Truth and ask the Lord to help you discern.
2. Read the word. READ THE WORD. KNOW THE WORD. Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to you treasures from God's word. READ....READ....READ. Saturate yourself in Truth. We are made to see millions of advertisements a day whether we like it or not...there is an agenda to deaden our minds and hearts with things that do not matter....we have to literally "feed" ourselves Truth if we are going to listen to it and have it before our minds.
3. Live now how you would if the end was upon us. Live your Faith radically. Every person you see is either going to Heaven or going to hell. This sounds harsh, but it is the reality here. The hate of the world and the reality of pain has propelled people's hearts into apathy. Look around you today, see the sadness in someones eyes...notice the anger that covers up a pain or loss instead of the actions and love instead of being offended.
4. Do not submit to casual Christianity and do not be afraid to stand up for Truth even in a church setting. So many churches are compromising...see old post "When the Crosses are Gone". So many preachers and teachers are teaching what itching ears want to hear instead of Truth.
2 Tim 4:3
"For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear."
5. Have Peace and Trust the Lord. There are many things to worry about in this life, but we must let go of what we cannot control. We can discover some of the "birth pains" of the end times and know a basic timeline of events in the future concerning the end times, but we have to understand we are not God and not meant to know and comprehend everything. The hardest part I have had in the trials I have walked through is simply trusting when I don't understand. This is what faith really is. We must TRUST God has us and He will keep us.
6. Do not obsess about the end times or the things yet to come to where you are no longer useful in the right now. We can take any issue of the Lord and obsess about it to the point of where we check out of the task before us for that day or our lives.

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Saturday, December 03, 2011

Rewind

I remembering hearing the debut of this song "Something's Gotta Give" that Rebecca St. James's brothers, Joel and Luke, wrote during one of her concerts in 2006. I have no idea why it popped into my mind after all these years, but I really like it's message and the rhythm. I could only find a few video's of the song and only one that is clear enough to hear it well. I don't know what the photo means for whoever posted it, but the song is what I am really posting. I remember when Rebecca was just starting her career as a singer and my Mom got to meet her and she signed a journal she published for teens just for me and I read and did every excercise in that book! It also had a photo of her HUGE family and even Joel and Luke at the time who were so much younger. I think she is a worhsipper who worships with True Faith.

Friday, December 02, 2011

Just a Seed

Prayer is more of a seed than a garden
It is a tiny nothing that is able to grow into something beautiful
It takes time and the result is not instant
Perhaps it is more of the knowing "it will be something beautiful one day"
that keeps us in delight and anticipation
like an awaited gift that will arrive when we least expect it
The quietness of my soul
and the focus of my heart
nourish it into a glorious revelation
and I need to remember the moment
that my prayer became a seed