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Sunday, June 29, 2014

You Want Me To Do What?

 
You Want Me To Do What?
 
Pastor Jerry made a (tongue in cheek) announcement that from now on our church building would become a clinic to house and feed the homeless with three meals a day.

Proclamations such as this would frighten some of us and cause much anxiety among most.  Although our church supports local groups who do this type of ministry, our mission is not along those lines.  The congregation realized this was an illustration for what was to follow in the sermon.

Pastor began to read the scriptures from Genesis 22:1-4 regarding Abraham hearing the voice of God that told him to take his beloved son of promise to the land of Moriah to a certain mountain and sacrifice his boy there.

Many years ago, God had promised Abraham that from his seed would come a great nation, and now he was being asked to do the unthinkable.  Perhaps Abraham could have said, “You Want Me To Do What?” but this was not what he said. 

Naturally he was puzzled, but with a heavy heart, and without question he made preparations for their three day journey to make a sacrifice. 
 

As they approached the mountain, - -
Genesis 22: 5 Abraham said to his young servants, “Stay here with the donkey, and I and the lad will go over there; and WE will worship and WE will return to you.”

Abraham’s faith was so strong that he believed God would raise Isaac from the dead if he made this supreme sacrifice, and they would both return together.

Now the lad began to question, where is the Lamb?  

Abrahams only reply was; "God will provide.” 
Abraham did not hesitate, as he bound his son, laid him on the altar and raised his knife.
 
A voice from heaven said, “Abraham Stop, this was a test.” And it was then he saw a ram in the thicket, and the ram became the sacrifice.

 You have heard this story preached many times, so what does this account have to do with us?  The significance was the place.

It is an Archeological fact that this land became Jerusalem, and the same mountain was where Jesus was sacrificed. Yet God himself did not withhold His only begotten Son, but freely gave Him up for us all.

In life we may be puzzled as we face uncomfortable situations, and our creative thinking will try to figure a way out.  Life is not always clean cut and nice, and sometimes it is ugly. 

Consider the depth level.  When all hope is gone, God provides.  We need to trust God that He will work it out for our good and according to His purpose.

God may be dealing with you to pray face to face with those you contact.  Or God may even be asking you to do something for Him, that you have never attempted before.  

Listen carefully for God is still speaking even today.

May we act in obedience with boldness and not be guilty of saying - - - “You Want Me To Do What?”
 


Saturday, June 28, 2014

SOZO



We also are Triune : Spirit, Soul and Body
 

The word SOZO translated into English means Saved, and we usually consider Saved means to be Born Again in our Spirit. 

However in the original Greek language it has a deeper meaning that takes in the entire person: SPIRIT, SOUL and BODY.

When Jesus died and rose again, he enabled us to experience Salvation in our spirit, also Healing for our human body, and healing for our Soul (soul defined as “Mind, Will and Emotions.”) 


The soul is in your Head
Your spirit is in your Heart !
Some Christians in error believe the soul is what gets spiritually saved, but the truth is that our soul is in our head.  (Our Mind, Will and Emotions).

The spirit is in our heart.

 
We are in effect a triune person:  It is good to remind ourselves, “I am a Spirit (that unseen Real person which lives inside me) and that part of 'ME' dwells in my body (tent house) and I have a Soul.”  The Soul is where we usually have our problems.   Our thought life and our emotional outlook, and our will.
 
 Our wills are stubborn, and we desire our own way, and of course our emotions tip every which way at once like a teeter totter.

 
Our will must be given to Jesus first before we act on our own.
Not my will but thine be done!  We struggle with our emotions our fears and self doubts and our soul is in need to be redeemed.

 
Romans 12:2  And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.   
 

This is where the Word of God comes in and reading our Bible is important to renew our mind.  It is important to Memorize portions of scripture that speak to you and say them with your mouth to yourself when in trouble.  It is good to hear yourself say God's word.

 
So many of us hurt in our physical body, and although we realize that Jesus wants us well and healthy but this brings us a definite struggle when we do not immediately receive a miracle for our body.

 
Those who walk in miracle ministry tell us that as we seek the presence of Jesus that we enter into the supernatural where miracles happen. 

We cry “How long?” and God answers back, “It takes time for a birth and I am developing it.”

You might enjoy this article from Sozotoday.com/ blog    
http://sozotoday.com/what-is-sozo/
 
 

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Praying with the Holy Spirit


 
Praying With the Holy Spirit 

Our eyes are closed and our thoughts are open and directed toward you O Lord,
Yet we see into worlds unknown by others, and you are there,
Your presence enfolds us to your bosom, and your arms hold us secure,
We are helplessly, transfixed as we realize your very virtue flows through us here!

 
We sense your gentle touch reaching out - - over the miles and through space and time,
In rapture our prayers flow out through you to those in need and those in pain,
You are there already before our voice did call or mention the need today!
Though darkened vision, their faces are yet before us as we call their name.

 
If you are there already, why must we agonize these words of request?
Are you asking that two or three are enough to send the enemy on his way?
Do you need someone to “stand in the gap” and stir the healing flow?
Patiently and soberly our petition is brought before you and there we let it lay!

 
Is it enough to ask once and believe that you have heard?
Should now our prayers be words of thanksgiving and praise?
We know that behind the scenes you are working in their behalf,
Our trust is in you, and all your Word declares and says!

 
We wait and rise for now, shake and alert us again when need is there,
Your word declares that you alone are God and you know our frame is as dust,
Willing to intercede and be your vessel we lean on you, Use us O God, we are here!
Your hand moves when we ask in faith, and it is in you we place our trust.

 
Jeremiah 33:3  Call unto me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you know not.

 

 

Sunday, June 22, 2014

All in the Family


All In the Family

Pastor Jerry was reading from Genesis 21:8-21  The story of God’s promise to Abraham to have an heir, and Sarah deciding to help God by offering her maid to her husband.  The result was a male child who later became a source of bitterness and jealousy to Sarah.

The fulfilled promise of a child to Abraham came late in life and the impossible happened.  Sarah was beyond the age of child bearing, yet she became the mother of Isaac.

Sarah could not hold her resentment and hostility toward the son of the maid and requested Abraham to send them away.  He did as she asked, and the mother and child were driven out into the desert. 

Tired and hungry the servant woman wept but an angel appeared showing her food and water, and provided a promise that God would also make of her son a great nation. 
 
Later in life Ishmael had 12 sons who became chieftains and rulers in the Arab nation.

In many neighborhoods and cities there is a multi-culture of mixed races and religions. As people move from place to place the world becomes smaller.  Naturalism and protecting one’s culture, language and religion are evident.

Multi-Cultural
How do we respond to this racial and cultural mix?

The covenant between God and Abraham incorporated that he move toward Cannon where he was to claim the promised land that would become Israel.

The Jewish religion came through Abraham’s descendants, and Islam from the Arabs, and Christianity all three state; "The Lord God is One God."


What has all this to do with us?  There is never always smooth sailing through life.  Many times there are broken dreams, promises, jealousy and even rage between friends and families.

We are filled with joy and hope, and then come bitterness and strife.

We like stories where the younger brother does well and succeeds.  Jacob, David, The prodigal son to name a few, and of course little brother Isaac.

The good news is to us all and God has methods to redeem and restore lives.  In the symbol of the cross, we find life.

Although we are all one human family – the fact is that unless we receive Jesus as our Lord, we are not Children of God. 

May we be reminded that Jesus said HE is the door and no man comes to the Father except through Jesus.  Jesus is the Way into heaven and He is the truth and the life.

May we all become "One" as we are a part of God’s Family through Jesus the Christ.

 

Saturday, June 21, 2014

What Does Speaking in Tongues Have to do With the Holy Spirit?


 
Many teachers, theologians and ministers endeavor to explain away Holy Spirit the need for Tongues and they are like the blind leading the blind – because they have NO knowledge of what they speak.

They meekly admit they have never experienced the fire or the experience according to the scriptures but boldly teach against it, saying “Let’s not get too emotional.”
 
Their explanation of the Holy Spirit reminds me of the story of the blind men explaining what an elephant is like.  Each blind person had not actually seen an elephant and their varied opinions were different for each person - -and there we are today! Assuming without experience will not get you to the truth.

Being saved (born again) and being Spirit filled are two separate events.  Most Christians assume that they mean the same thing, or that they happen in a single occasion.  But that is an incorrect assumption. The Bible clearly distinguishes between them as two separate acts.

It’s no wonder so many hearts cry out from the depths of unfulfilled spiritual hunger.

Now you may already know that speaking in tongues is probably the most controversial issue surrounding the baptism in the Holy Spirit. If it weren’t for this unique expression and gift of the Spirit, this baptism would probably be much more readily accepted by the overall Christian community.

The words above in Italics and in red are taken from Craig Tanner’s blog “Just One Touch from the King.

I agree whole heartedly with the above comments – but differ just a bit in how easy it is to receive the Baptism of the Holy Spirit.

In the Bible, those who received this gift of endowment of power were earnestly seeking and desiring for God to fill them to overflowing.  There was a hunger and thirst with yearning and craving after what was being offered. 

Their hearts were open to receive from God and there was NO fear that He would give them a false gift.  Although faith was necessary, there was also a willingness to be used of God and to follow Him with almost blind obedience.

The New Testament saints expected those who were baptized with the Holy Spirit to speak in tongues, as this was a sign that the believer had received. 

Acts 8:44-47 While Peter yet spoke these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word.  And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost.  For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. Then answered Peter, Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we?

The gift of tongues becomes a powerful prayer language that will enable the believer to keep built up on their most Holy faith; (Jude 1:20) and to be able to pray according to God’s will.  (Romans 8:26)

I trust R.T. Kendall and you might find more answers you seek in his book.  HOLY FIRE  Available from Amazon.com

The debate about the Holy Spirit has been around for a long time. In Holy Fire, best-selling author and respected theologian R. T. Kendall sets the record straight about the Holy Spirit’s role in our lives and in the life of the church.

May we not settle for less when there is more of God available for seeking believers.

 

 

Friday, June 20, 2014

A Good Book Can Help 2

This is a Chapter from my Book
"Rescue the Stories Book Two" 
 
 
 
Besides the Good Book, (The Bible,) I have enjoyed magazines and books on parenting helps.  When my children were just babies, I subscribed to Parent’s Magazine.  I gleaned many tips and ideas that were of tremendous help to me in those early years.

As time passed, I found a special book - - probably at a Thrift Store or at a Garage sale; but I discovered it to be a wonderful book on raising children.

Here was an outstanding book that incorporated answers to all sorts of behavior problems.  Included were fact-filled chapters covering various ages through the teenage years, along with suggestions on how to cope with different and difficult problems.

During that time, we had five teenagers in our household! Yes, I said five!   Disturbing emotional problems plagued our foster daughter!. Some would say she needed therapy.  I was prompted to give special attention to her each evening.  It was ten minutes with no preaching, but rather just talking and listening. 
 

What wonderful therapy there is for others if a person can just be a good listener!

Before entering her room, I reviewed a current chapter in the book, and prayed asking the Lord how this would apply to her.  Certain lines from the book seemed to stand out, and were to become the answer for that evening. 

Just a sentence or two, and the Lord’s direction on what else to say next, the answer was provided for her need each evening.
Today, with children, and even with friends, using a few moments of quality time, can work wonders!  Share an encouraging thought that will bring them confidence and will show your support!

At times, it might be a line from something you have picked up from a book; a magazine or possibly the internet; that will carry enough weight to bless your child or your friend.

Of course do not forget to utilize the Bible!

Ask the Lord, “What do I say next?”  God may direct you to a Scripture verse that can complement, and then completely cement the thoughts for you to share.

Proverbs 15:23  A man hath joy by the answer of his mouth: and a word spoken in due season, how good it is!
 

Sunday, June 15, 2014

In The Beginning (Trinity Sunday)


 

As I took notes and edited the sermon, Pastor Jerry and his wife read the entire creation story from Genesis chapters one and two. 
Today is celebrated by many main line churches as Trinity Sunday.   Although the word Trinity is not found in the Bible, we do find God the Father, His Beloved Son Jesus and the Holy Spirit through out the Scriptures.

Even in Creation there was a presence of God in three persons.  God Created, The Spirit moved upon the waters, and God said let US make man in our own image.  God was speaking to someone when he said let US.  John Chapter 1 identifies this further as Jesus.

John 1: 1-3 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  The same was in the beginning with God.  All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.

Colossians 1:16 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:

Pastor told a joke about a young child who asked his dad how the human race began.  His father said, God made Adam and Eve and told them to produce and we have the human race.  Not satisfied by that answer the child went to his mother with the same question.  His mother said, “We came from monkeys.”  Returning to his dad, the child told him what mom said, and the father answered, I told you where my side came from and she told you whence came her side.”

Science has stories that are taught in our schools, but if we believe the Bible we need to remember - -  1 Corinthians 15:39 All flesh is not the same flesh: but there is one kind of flesh of men, another flesh of beasts, another of fishes, and another of birds.

Most cultures have a creation story and from ancient paintings and writings the story is similar to Genesis.

The creation took six days and then God rested.  At times we struggle with rest, for often we are frantically filling our days with activity and are too busy to rest.

This world is extraordinary and we are stewards of this God created world.  Many have abused our earth and we are thankful that past Presidents have saved the redwoods, and set aside forests and parks.  We humans get in the way of preserving God’s creation.

Seriously – literally what is true – exact and definite?  We might have questions, because we do not check our brain at the door of the church.  Search the scriptures for in them is life. 

Then believe the Bible - - God’s word for it is true.

Fathers are Needed by their Family 2

This post is from my Book,
“Rescue the Stories Book Three”
 

Dad Reading to his Children
 
Every work place has their own set of abbreviations that mean something to those working there.

At our job at the Family Support Department, there were words and abbreviations known only to us.  

AP meant Absent Parent (could be either one).  NCP was Non Custodial Parent, again either one.    Our main function at our job was to collect the monthly child support payments and forward them to the CP, (Custodial Parent.)

I remember one day, when my co-worker was extremely upset with her husband.  I knew she was angry by the way she tore into her work.  A bee was certainly under her bonnet!!

Later that morning, up the stairs happily skipped one of the girls from the front desk carrying a large bouquet of roses.   She sang a sort of sing song remark as she yodeled, “These just came for YOU,” then she handed the lovely flowers to my friend.  The girl continued, “He must have done something real-ly bad!” 

The other workers who could not help overhearing laughed, but my friends face softened.

When all was quiet and my friend was ready to listen; I began to speak softly just to her.  Not referring to the flowers, or to my friend’s anger, but telling her a short parable.

I began, “You know, darlin’, I have noticed that most of these NCP cases we deal with all have an interesting story.  Many times, the woman becomes so angry with her stupid, no good, useless husband, that she dumps him for what ever good reason she believes. 
 
The amazing part of these cases is that there is usually another women out there waiting to grab that worthless, son of a gun, as soon as he is free.  I wonder if the wife might just be better off to forgive that no good guy, keep him and simply go on with their life?”

That day, she was listening but she said nothing.  I knew in my heart that she had got the message “Big time.”  We never talked about her situation, and there was no need to do so.

The story went on; their home was not broken, he applied for and got a better job.  He continues to be a good father to their children, and they have a somewhat happy home!

Wives (and hubby too) always be forgiving, and Husbands (and wife too), make no opportunity for offense.

Happy Father’s day to you out there, no matter who you are!

 

 

 

Friday, June 13, 2014

The Bible has Weapons of Mass Instruction!

This is a Chapter from my book
"Rescue the Stories Book Three" 


Be A Fighter
 
I am reminded of a time, when our family and our business were both under attack from Satan!  Wow, are you serious?  Yes, our new equipment would break down, and a new replacement would also tear up. 
 
This happened more than two or three times.  Accidents were happening on the job, and trucks would not start or run properly.  Employees were sick and did not show up for work.  We lost bids that should have been ours.  A string of events left us puzzled as to, “Why” was all this was happening repeatedly?

I suppose a “Light bulb,” turned on, and it was like a revelation that the devil was behind all this, and it was he that was causing these accidents.  A short conference between my husband and myself, and we decided on a war plan.

Each morning before my husband left for work, we would join hands, and speak the Word of God. “No weapon formed against me shall prosper.”  “The steps (and business) of a righteous man are ordered of the Lord.” 

Next we would take our authority against Satan, and demand that he take his hands off God’s property.  Last step was to thank the Lord Jesus for watching over our family and our business and for his Angels that we asked him to be charged to watch over us.

The change was almost immediate.  However we continued our strategy and did not let up.  We were determined to “Hold the fort.”

God’s word can be used as a weapon against evil that threatens us.  It is as a sword that cuts deep when used effectively.  If words have power, it calls to reason that God’s Word would be an explosion when it flows out from our mouth.  Speaking out scripture that has come alive to you will set you free in given situations.  Declaring that you are who the Bible says you are, will give you grace and boldness to walk uprightly. 

Early on, I learned that my own righteousness is as filthy rags, BUT because of Jesus, “I am the righteousness of God IN Christ.”  My concept of myself as a sinner, changed when I understood, that I am NOT a sinner saved by grace, but by the grace of Jesus, I WAS a sinner, but now I AM a Saint IN Christ.  

We cannot continue to depend on the prayers of our mothers, grandmother, pastors, and our church members.  It is time for you and me to begin to stand up and grow up in the Lord.  Daily reading God’s Word until the scriptures become a part of us is as food to our spirit.  Speaking the Word to ourselves brings maturity and growth to our lives. 

Growing up spiritually helps us discern truth from error regarding spiritual issues.  Babies cannot discern good from evil.  Babies can also become selfish, and because they rely on everyone else to take care of them, they cannot encourage or equip others in their faith.

Lastly but probably most important is, having your own personal Pentecost which is vital.

This is the secret to Power with God and your communication with the Holy Spirit which will enable you to mature into the grown up mature believer that God expects you to be.

 

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Afraid - You Becha 2




Are you bound and locked up by FEAR ?
Change Your Thinking !!

Change Your Thinking
 
Afraid, yes, many of the Old Testament Prophets were afraid to step out and proclaim the messages God had giving them to announce. 

Gideon was terrified to accept the challenge of God’s call, and his feeble excuse was that he was the least in his father’s household. 

Samuel when seeking to anoint a new king, passed over all the handsome young sons of Jessie, before finally asking is there anyone else?  The youngest and least of all was David only a shepherd boy, but he was the one chosen by God to be the king.  David did not consider himself small or weak, because he knew he could depend on God for his strength.

King David took control of his thought life.  If he thought he was weak, he would say to himself, “Let the weak say I am strong.”

Our thoughts may at times tell us that we are not talented, not smart enough, or creative enough. 
 
The strange thing is - - that God calls those who are not able in their own strength to do his work.  He expects you and me to lean on him and follow what he tells us to do.  We each have a part in God’s big plan and as we step up to do our part, we then are so busy we cannot dwell on those negative thoughts that once plagued us.  J

We often are guilty of putting ourselves down with “Poor me, not good enough thinking,” and we forget how special we are to God.  

Perhaps it is time for us to change our thinking, to change our words, our attitude and change our life.  I have been told that we cannot think on two different things both at the same time.  (And it is true)

So when I am in a funky mood, I have learned to sing, to praise, and change the channel (of my thoughts).  This helps me, and hope it helps others too.

Some experiences in life are not to be shared, and God will show us what those incidents are.  When I have something so secret that I really prefer no one else to know - - I share it with Jesus and He never condemns or laughs at me. 

He may smile, but that is alright. too, after all he is proud of me regardless of my faults, because I am His child.

 

Sunday, June 8, 2014

A Pentecostal Church


Pastor Jerry was reading from Acts 2:1-14 as today was considered Pentecost Sunday.

Acts 2: 1-4 When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting.
 
Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

Pastor confessed that he personally has never experienced the tongues of fire, the wind or the filling of the Holy Spirit as mentioned in the book of Acts. 

Pastor was very courteous and careful to stay with the scriptures and explain in his opinion what happened on that First Pentecost day.

Because of the loud noise, many who were in the city came to see what was happening.  Some wondered, others were afraid, and some mocked and made fun. 
 
The signs and wonders did get the attention of the onlookers for they heard the disciples speaking in many languages the wonderful works of God..

Peter stood and told the crowd this was prophesied by the prophet Joel 2:28-29:And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, That I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy; Your young men shall see visions, Your old men shall dream dreams. And on My menservants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days; And they shall prophesy.

In the early 1900’s a revival broke out in California at Azusa St, as people prayed and were seeking to be filled with the Holy Spirit. 
 
This phenomenon soon spread and groups began to form Pentecostal denominations.  The Four Square Church has for their four fundamentals, Jesus Saves, Jesus Baptizes with the Holy Spirit, Jesus Heals and Jesus is coming again.

Pastor says, many denominations believe this, but use their own language to explain what the scriptures mean to them.

Over the years the term Pentecostal has taken a negative view due to what onlookers called excess. 
 
Like the Apostles, being accused of being ignorant persons, but full of zeal without must Scriptural understanding. 
 
Experience is important, but we must also be grounded in the Word of God and use care to be LED by the Holy Spirit.

The Holy Spirit wants to reign within the believer and be the controlling factor in our lives.

Paul gave some Spiritual guidelines about using and limiting the Holy Spirit Gifts during a church meeting, but Paul was careful to explain NOT to forbid speaking in Tongues and that he Paul, personally prayed and spoke in Tongues more than they all.
 
We are being sent forth to communicate what Jesus Christ means to us.  The disciples used verbal proclamation, of what they had experienced and had seen.  Our spoken words must be clear and understandable as we witness.   

There will always be Nay Sayers who will criticize and find fault, but we are to not be swayed by the opinions of others.

Pastor asked a question, “How many would be flabbergasted if the Holy Spirit took control in our service in such a way as in Acts chapter two?”

We don’t like to give up our independence and self control.  We like to be in charge.

If the Holy Spirit truly was active in each of our lives, there would be no conflicts only peace.  However there are some who refuse to give over their will to the Lord.  We have controversy because of Nay Sayers. 

Read the Bible as it tells truth and we will discover that life is not utopia, and often the Guidance of the Holy Spirit will make us and others uncomfortable.

In the real world, the Mighty Works of God crash in and force people to deal with evil and conflict.  This is not a pretend church, for we have a covenant with one another. 

The Holy spirit was not sent to make us “Feel Good,” but to empower us to be witnesses.” 
 
Happy Birthday Holy Spirit.
 
 

Friday, June 6, 2014

Squish Squish


Soft Squishy Foot Steps
 
The soft sand was like a huge wet sponge that sank into oblivion with each step.
 
These thoughts came to me as I walked across a section in our home, what we call our conversation area.

I had forgotten all about it, but my husband, Robert reminded me that several years ago, we had a broken pipe under our kitchen sink, and until we realized what was happening, our kitchen and conversation area was flooded with several inches of water.

The insurance company sent out a restoration man with huge fans that were supposed to dry up the wood under the carpet that was pulled back in certain regions.  Then after a day or two the repair person said we were fine.  That all happened a number of years ago!

Recently as I step from the kitchen through the conversation area, I feel a squish squish and it was like stepping on a wet sponge.

Robert says, “It looks like we are in for some major replacement of floors soon.”

As I though about this, it reminded me of little habits and sins that we allow to enter or even flood our lives, then we forget all about it until much later.

Later comes when we do not expect it, and those things we thought were swept under the rug come out to haunt us.

However I am thankful for the Forgiveness of God, and that he will not bring up those things from the past.  We might remember, but he does not.

If something needs repairing – something that we put off and now decide it must be dealt with, it is time to do just that.

So dear readers, “May our steps always be planted on the solid rock and not on squishy sand.”

 

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Anointing with Oil



Anointing With Oil
 
Many years ago, when the service station attendant would assist you and pump your gas, there was a certain station near our church where I usually filled up my tank.

Each time I visited the station, I handed the grey haired man with glasses a chick tract and he seemed to look forward to the next one.  One day he told me that he and his wife were going to visit our church.

The day arrived and as the invitation to receive Jesus was given they both walked to the front to experience being born again.
 
They were both faithful to Jesus and to the church, and he became the volunteer gardener cutting the grass each week at the church and playing his guitar for the services.

One Sunday at prayer request time, he stated that he wanted prayer to stop smoking cigarettes.  He had tried many times on his own but was deeply entrenched in the habit.

What happened next was something that I had never seen before nor have seen since.

Pastor read the scripture that says to anoint the sick with oil and they shall be healed.  Then he read where Jesus put mud on a blind mans eyes and his eyes were made whole.

Then Pastor walked down the aisle where our friend stood and commanded him to stick out his tongue.  The man did so, and Pastor with his finger dipped in olive oil, quickly swiped across the man's tongue and pronounced, "Be clean from your habit of tobacco" - - and just as fast Pastor returned to the platform.

From that day forward our friend was free from tobacco and never again had even a desire for a cigarette.

I have seen God perform miracles many times, but this was the most amazing demonstration of breaking a habit that I have ever witnessed.  Our Pastor was willing to be a Fool for Jesus.

I was reminded in the Bible there were many STRANGE THINGS that happened: “voices from heaven, bright lights, dead raised up, meals multiplied, water became solid enough to walk on, prison doors opened and many other wonderful signs and wonders.”

Perhaps we should all take note and be willing to become a fool for Christ’s sake.

I might add that as we have our intimate time with our Lord and listen closely to what the Holy Spirit is instructing, we will be glad we did not hold our peace.

May we be bold and follow instructions from God is the bottom line. 
 
Taking off and flying free on our own will lead to a crash landing, so listen up –“Ya all hear now.”
 

 

Sunday, June 1, 2014

We Know Why We’re Here, Don’t We?


 
Sharing the Gospel
Pastor Jerry read from Acts 1: 6-14 and gave an illustration.  We hear a screech of brakes and a crash – metal on metal (or plastic on plastic) and the police ask, “Are you willing to be a witness?  Just say what you heard and what you saw.”

The apostles were being asked by Jesus to be witnesses of what they had experienced.  Today we are also called to be witnesses, first in our home town and then to regions beyond.

Acts 1:8-11  But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight.  Suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them. “Men of Galilee,” they said, “why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.” 

Some have a problem in being a witness.  Perhaps they have observed heavy handed earnest believers pressing for committal upon unwilling listeners.

We are very safe here, but in places such as Sudan a Christian woman is due to be executed because she refuses to convert to Islam.

Often new employees are handed a “mission statement” and are required to sign that they understand and will abide by the companies goals.  Business, schools, Government agencies and even Churches also have “Mission Statements.” 

Core values are listed and the road to success is outlined.  There is a vision and purpose of our church to “Make Christ Known and to direct members to follow Jesus according to our mandate, the Bible.

Problems develop if we are vague in purpose, and if members progress in different directions.  We must be in tune and harmony with one another and move in concert.

Prayerfully decide what is unique about our group and our ministry to those around us.


The Holy Spirit brings Confidence, Boldness and Anointing - -
 
One statement is common and that is to be a Witness.  Jesus promised that we would be endued with power after that the Holy Ghost comes upon us and we shall be witnesses.

Jesus prayed that we be “One.”  We are to love our neighbor, visit the sick, and care for one another.

People are watching our behavior and the question is, “Do they see Jesus living in us?”

You may ask, “How can I be a witness?  I am shy.”  God will give us the confidence we need, and we can discover new ways to witness.  Yes there is always visitation, the telephone, texting, e-mail, on twitter and FaceBook on the computer.

While a business is seeking a profit financially, our profit is in bringing others to know Christ.

Pastor ended his sermon with the question:  “Are you willing to become a witness?”