Broken Records

john 316

Ever notice how some people feel the need to blast the music they are listening to.  I drove by someone who was blaring their music so loud… I cant ever understand it.  Can u not hear it good enough for yourself?  Or is the message behind the song so urgent that you need to force it on the rest of us?

The bible says to travail and pray without ceasing.  (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18) But be assured that God is not deaf to your cries.  He knows our hearts cry before we utter a single word.  I often hear from my fiance, i’m not a mind reader! As in, “Be specific.”  Or sometimes I feel the need to harass him like a broken record to the point of exhaustion, before he will get my point, or understand my need.

In our relationships on earth we often times find ourselves tumult-ed when dealing with the common issue of communication.  God is by far the best communicator of all…but most importantly, He knows how to listen.  Sometimes God wants us to be specific and shout out our prayers, and other times He wants us to simply listen.  Something I often forget to do myself.

Sometimes it helps to practice thankfulness while we wait for the answer.  This shows we have faith in God, and we are thankful for all of things He has already done in our lives, while we wait for things we know He will do.   Also, when we worship amidst the storms, we find that  healing has already come; it is the greatest tool we have, especially when the enemy comes against us and tries our faith.  It is a demonstration that no matter what we go through in life, there is a peace that God grants us, that passes all understanding.   Paul and Silas worshiped so loud in prison that EVERYONE heard, and all were saved from their prisons in life.  You never know who you will affect in this life….sometimes broken records are the ones that leave the most impact, that one word that you hear over and over, will never leave your mind.  And it will be there in your time of need.

Rejoice evermore.  Pray without ceasing.  In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

Like a mother that isn’t deaf to a child.  God isn’t deaf to our cries.  He wants to give his people good things and see us happy.   He will not withhold good things from those he loves.  (Psalm 84:11) He will also not leave you in the situation you are either.  If you are unhappy or fearful in your situation, God has a way out for you!  Pray and trust him to lead you out of the wilderness!

If a sinner gives a loaf of bread to their children, how much more will God give?

“Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.  “You parents—if your children ask for a loaf of bread, do you give them a stone instead?  Or if they ask for a fish, do you give them a snake? Of course not! So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask him.” – Matthew 7:7-11

Some mothers will say, “oh let them cry it out its the self soothing method.” This has some truth to it.  We know that if we consistently run every time a child acts out we teach them that if they cry and complain we will act upon that, and so it becomes a bad behavior.  A bad coping mechanism.  But in the genuine cries of the heart, God hears.  I even believe He cries with us.  Jesus is close to the broken in spirit.  (Psalm 34:18)

God may not always become tangible in word or action to us, but u can rest assured that God will give u peace in your time of waiting, and that He has an answer, and a plan for everything you face.  Simply have faith.  Without faith it is impossible to please God.  (Hebrews 11:6)

Sometimes we feel we need to do the unthinkable to earn Gods grace or prove that we are worthy.  Because Jesus died for us sinners while we were still lost, this indicates that we simply need to accept Jesus invitation, and receive his unmerited grace.   He loves us unconditionally.

In Genesis 22, Abraham was about to sacrifice his son Issac before He realized that God would never make him do that.  Still Abraham trusted God with everything!  It may have been one of the hardest tests anyone could have gone through, but ultimately God showed up to Abraham and showed him who He really is!  He cares about every detail of our lives.  Not only did He save Abraham’s son, He multiplied His son’s.  Jesus had already paid the debt, to spare our lives.   John 3:16 is one of the most popular verses I hear spoken, and for good reason!  It is a summary of the entire Gospel, and the mission statement of every Christian.  It’s even included in some country songs I’ve heard recently.  So at the risk of sounding like a broken record:

“For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.” – John 3:16

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Vienna waits for you

We all have a calling in life; one that is God given.  From the beginning of time we were born with a vision. God knew us while we were still in the womb.  (Jeremiah 1:5)

We all work toward creating careers that we love, that will help us make a living; however, there is a true difference between work, and your vocation.

An artisan is a skilled tradesman.  They use their hands to create.  When the work of your hand is guided by the father, learned from the father, and anointed by the father, you can never go wrong.

I like to think that I am an artisan of the word of God; a pencil in the hand of God, writing letters to the world.

Everything we do in life identifies us with SOMETHING.  Our jobs, the clothes we wear, the food we like to eat, the music we listen to.  We all worship something.

So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” – 1 Corinthians 10:31

We sometimes choose to do certain things because we have to, and sometimes we want to. But what if we chose based on what God purposed for us?

I love to write.  I love getting my thoughts down on paper, and then sharing it with others.  I love expressing view points in artistic ways, and inspiring through words.  But you can also be an artisan of the word by living it.  When your life is a representation of the word, it speaks measures to others without even mimicking a single syllable or striking a keyboard, or singing a note.  Joy exudes from the child of God because of the spirit of God in you.

Pinocchio was created by his master.  He was given life and abilities.  He was created for a purpose.  We have freewill and aren’t guided by puppet masters or strings; however, we can ask God to guide us by His Holy Spirit.

We must never forget our true vocation in life.  God calls us to spread the gospel and to be fishers of men; to recruit others for the kingdom of God.  For the Kingdom of God is calling near.  There is always a work to be done!  You are never too young or old to realize your dreams.

Bill Joel wrote, in regards to the song Vienna, “So I go to visit my father in Vienna, I’m walking around this town and I see this old lady. She must have been about 90 years old and she is sweeping the street. I say to my father, “What’s this nice old lady doing sweeping the street?” He says, “She’s got a job, she feels useful, she’s happy, she’s making the street clean, she’s not put out to pasture.” We treat old people in this country pretty badly. We put them in rest homes, we kinda kick them under the rug and make believe they don’t exist. They [the people in Vienna] don’t feel like that. In a lot of these older places in the world, they value their older people and their older people feel they can still be a part of the community and I thought, “This is a terrific idea – that old people are useful – and that means I don’t have to worry so much about getting old because I can still have a use in this world in my old age.” I thought, “Vienna waits for you…”

At the end of the day each man who works and labors receives a reward.  At the end of our journey, there is a reward waiting for us.  We were not meant to just live and die; we all have a purpose and vocation to fill.  If it takes me until I’m 100 years old to do what God purposed for me, to feel alive then I will strive toward the prize.   “When will you realize Vienna waits for you.”

 

 

“There are two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.” –  Albert Einstein

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Acts of God

“David found favor with God and asked for the privilege of building a permanent Temple for the God of Jacob.  But it was Solomon who actually built it. However, the Most High doesn’t live in temples made by human hands. As the prophet says, ‘Heaven is my throne,and the earth is my footstool.  Could you build me a temple as good as that?’ asks the LORD.  ‘Could you build me such a resting place?  Didn’t my hands make both heaven and earth?’ – Acts 7:46-50

I awaken every morning, make a coffee, say a prayer and turn on the weather network.  I like to keep up with the news, and prepare myself for the day ahead.

A commercial popped up on the weather network about nature.  A dialogue between nature and humans.  It basically speaks about how nature doesn’t need us, we need nature.

In my mind it was almost like dialogue between God and humans.  God created all things, provides for us, and is all powerful.  He doesn’t need us to create or provide for Him, or help Him.  Just as nature will evolve whether we choose to respect it or not. God didn’t ask us to save the earth, but He did ask us to care for what He’s given us. It’s far from the Eden He purposed for us in the beginning, but we have eternity to look forward to.

The earth and all that is in it, will eventually dissipate, regardless of our efforts.  We see it every day, as the end time nears.  But the word of the Lord will last forever. Sometimes when we get ourselves into messes we try to move God’s hand, instead of having faith and using wisdom.  Trusting God to move the mountains when they need moved.

When a storm hits it would naturally be wise to run for shelter.  God gives us wisdom in our dealings on earth, and we certainly should use it.  If I see a tornado on the weather network, I’m going to plan accordingly.

We can’t plan for storms but we can change how we view them, and how we react to them.  Many insurance policies state, “Acts of God.”  While we have no real insurance on this earth, we have security in knowing that God is a loving father, who takes care of His children, and Jesus went on to prepare a better place for us.   No matter what storms we have to face on this earth, we NEED God.

No matter how many times we find ourselves in messy situations, there’s nothing too big for God to clean up.  Like a car that consistently needs washing, so do the children of God.  1 John 1:1 states that Jesus blood cleanses us from all sin.  It’s not just a one time event.  Jesus died on the cross one time for all sins, past, present and future.  As we walk through this world we are bound to fall on tough times, but just keep your eyes on the one that Loves you.

When God gives us the privilege of doing a work for Him on this earth, it is because He loves us and wants to show us His glory at work through us.  In essence we are taking part in true, “Acts of God.”  To take care of what He entrusted to us.  We are the pencil in God’s hand, the vehicle through which he wishes to operate.   When we take care of our environment we do so out of respect for what God created, not because we are somehow a God over it, or that we need to save it.  Nature really doesn’t need us, we need it – to eat, to grow, a place to live.  God didn’t need us when He created us, He created us purely out of love.  But we do need God to be successful in this life.

“Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.” – Matthew 24:35

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It won’t rain always….

 

it won't rain always

Or in our case with such high heat and temperatures, it’s all anyone wishes for is rain.  With fire risks and heat stroke always on the prowl, a little rain is just the cure for a time of drought.  The song writer who wrote the song, “It won’t rain always,” was speaking to the fact that sometimes when it rains it pours, but it won’t rain always.  Weeping may endure for a night but joy always comes in the morning.  (Psalm 30:5)

Today, I am speaking on another note.  That although sometimes we have all the rain we need, sometimes we go through periods of drought.  Periods where we aren’t sure that God is working on our problem.  Like there is no life to our dry desert of a situation.   We went without much rain for the start of this summer.  Now we finally have the rain.  And an abundance of it!  God will always give more than you ever think or ask.  That’s just the God He is.

Sometimes when we are waiting for an answer from God, we focus on our situation, and a little bit of anxiety starts to creep in.  We question whether or not God is on the case.

But the rain always comes; everything always works out.  God works all things together for the good of those He loves.  (Romans 8:28)  And God is ALWAYS on time.

 “Rejoice, you people of Jerusalem! Rejoice in the LORD your God! For the rain he sends demonstrates his faithfulness. Once more the autumn rains will come, as well as the rains of spring.” – Joel 2:23

The latter rain I often hear about, is referred to as the day of the Lord; the end time where God is pouring out His holy spirit on His sons and daughters.  I believe that is the time period we are living in.  When the world is at it’s worst, is when God is going to pour out his spirit in excess.  We just have to choose whether to accept the Holy Spirit’s outpouring.

“See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.  The wild animals honor me, the jackals and the owls, because I provide water in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland, to give drink to my people, my chosen, the people I formed for myself that they may proclaim my praise.” – Isaiah 43:19-21

“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” – 2 Corinthians 12:9

 What you have and what God has given you, will sustain you until the rain comes.  Keep praying for rain, but wait for it.

“This vision is for a future time. It describes the end, and it will be fulfilled. If it seems slow in coming, wait patiently, for it will surely take place. It will not be delayed.” – Habakkuk 2:3

Sometimes God is waiting for the proper season to send the rain, or the answer.  There really truly is a time and a season for all things.  (Ecclesiastes 3)   God often time will use TIME to prepare you for certain things.  So that when the rain comes you will not be overwhelmed. Jesus prepared for His ministry up until He was 30 years old.   We have to prepare the fields and the crops to receive rain.  It takes faith….and patience.  Farmers I’m certain experience some amount of anxiety before a harvest, just as a football player does before a big game.  The farmers prepare the fields to receive the rain, they sow the seed, toil the soil, then they wait for the rain.  Football players train for years, and practice over and over in faith that they might win a victory.   

 

“Then he will send the rains in their proper seasons–the early and late rains–so you can bring in your harvests of grain, new wine, and olive oil”. – Deuteronomy 11:14

 

If it is Gods will that you are praying for, then God will open the door, and no man will be able to shut it.   (Revelation 3:8)  So prepare yourself, then simply wait and flourish where you are, until God moves you.  He brings life to the valley of dry bones, and causes roses to flourish in the desert.  There is nothing impossible to God!  (Matthew 19:26)

 

 

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.   You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” – Jeremiah 29:11-13

 

 

 

 

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Right expectations – The best is yet to come

Thankfulness.jpg

“There are two ways to be happy:  improve your reality or lower your expectations.”  – Jodi Picoult

This is by far one of the hardest things we struggle with in life it seems.  Some days you may feel like you can’t walk right, talk right, or do anything right.  Especially if you wake up on the wrong side of the bed.   It is a thing.

We take for granted the fact that we have all we need (Psalm 23) As humans we are just in a constant state of expectation.  Not that it’s wrong to expect things, even miracles; however, sometimes we have an unrealistic expectation of how things should be, like we know better than God.  Then when things don’t go as we expected, we are left in a very shallow pool filled with disappointment.

You should learn what you want out of life, but Love what God has already given you.  Sometimes God is waiting to see how you handle a little before He gives you more (Luke 16:10) because with great power, comes great responsibility.   (Luke 14:28) Sometimes the answer is yes and it’s a waiting period, and other times it’s a clear no, because it’s not good for you. In any case, there is always something to be thankful for.   When we start focusing on being thankful, we start to realize how much we truly are blessed.  Count your blessings, not your problems!  While you are being thankful for what you have, God is surely working on what you don’t!  He wants us to lack nothing.   (Psalm 34:10)

 “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:18

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” – Philippians 4:6

Whatever the case, God is able to do immeasurably more than we could ever ask for or imagine; according to his power that is at work within us.  (Ephesians 3:20)  I have many times apologized for my actions, when things don’t go as I expect.  Sometimes expectations in life can be a silent killer, taking an otherwise great opportunity and throwing it in the trash can.   If you are given a small task to do in the church or in your life, when you really want to be doing more, do it cheerfully and as unto the Lord, perhaps God is testing your faithfulness even in the small things.  (Colossians 3:23)

We are human and therefore, to err is human.  We simply have to do our very best, and be patient with others.  Do not expect what you do not expect to give (Luke 6:31) and certainly do not judge someone by your expectations.  Learn to forgive, and be forgiven.  (Ephesians 4:31-32)  Do not expect perfect from a world that simply isn’t.

“Be the one who nurtures and builds. Be the one who has an understanding and a forgiving heart one who looks for the best in people. Leave people better than you found them.” – Marvin J. Ashton

You have to “find” the beauty in every day, and even in people.  We are put on this earth to make it a more beautiful place, with what God has given us.  To speak life into people, and otherwise dark situations.  We have the ability to make beauty out of ashes.  Each day is a new day, and although today could feel like the worst day of your life; “the best is yet to come.”

“Weeping may endure for a night but joy comes in the morning.” – Psalm 30:5

 To ensure you are having the right expectations, check with God to see if what you are aiming for is lining up with His will.  If you seek Him first, He will provide all you need.  (Matthew 6:33)

 

 

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A Man With a Measuring Line

man with measure line

“And I myself will be a wall of fire around it,’ declares the Lord, ‘and I will be its glory within.” – Zechariah 2:5

It is said that the ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy. – Dr Martin Luther King Jr

If you wait until the perfect circumstances come along in life to do anything great, you will be waiting forever and a day, and you will never get anything done. (Ecclesiastes 11:4) I’ve learned time and time again not to trust in my circumstances, but to trust in God.

The man in Zechariah 2 had a measuring line. This story is a representation of Jesus coming to restore Jerusalem. So they were measuring in faith.  The Jews were given the okay to go ahead and plan for victory and build on in faith.  They were preparing themselves for God’s promise.  This could also be indicative of the church growing and multiplying in wait for Jesus second coming.

Do you have some measure of a dream for your life?  God has a vision for your life.  A prophet of God once said to me, “One day you will be the head and not the tail. (Deuteronomy 28:13)You were not meant to live in 6 ft of space.” The next day I went to work and measured my cubicle thinking….well not exactly, but I gathered from this that God had bigger plans for me than what I saw immediately for myself.  I was always too focused on my immediate circumstances.

We sometimes have a poverty type of thinking. We think at times that things look impossible. But God assures us that all things are possible through Him.   (Matthew 19:26) So dream BIG, ask BIG and expect BIG things for your life! We have a big God and He is not limited by the things of this world. It’s our minds that are limited to seeing the bigger picture. Most of all commit your plans to the Lord, ask His will, and you will surely succeed.

“Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end.” – Eccelsiastes 3:11

“Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and he will establish your plans.” – Proverbs 16:3

Gideon laid out a fleece. Sometimes we think we hear God’s voice but then we doubt, and foolishly challenge God. In any case, God understands our humanity. If you need a sign ask for one. God did answer Gideon’s challenge time and time again until He believed. But sometimes it’s better to just have faith and wait on God.  God will always show up on time.

“Then Gideon said to God, “Please don’t be angry with me, but let me make one more request. Let me use the fleece for one more test. This time let the fleece remain dry while the ground around it is wet with dew.” – Judges 6:39

God caused the sun to stand still for Joshua. God did do what Joshua asked, but He never again performed such an act again. Why? Causing the sun to stand still probably caused a lot of havoc on the earth. Sometimes when we try to mess with God’s creation, His plans, or try move the hand of God faster, we can run into some sticky situations.. Sometimes He will give us what we ask to teach us something, but it’s best to just trust His plan in the first place.  Things will run a lot smoother.  God had planned to give the Israelite’s victory all along, I’m sure of it.   If God fought for them, He is saying today, “I will fight for you too!”  He is the same now and He was then.

“On the day the LORD gave the Israelites victory over the Amorites, Joshua prayed to the LORD in front of all the people of Israel. He said, “Let the sun stand still over Gibeon, and the moon over the valley of Aijalon.” So the sun stood still and the moon stayed in place until the nation of Israel had defeated its enemies. Is this event not recorded in The Book of Jasharb? The sun stayed in the middle of the sky, and it did not set as on a normal day. There has never been a day like this one before or since, when the LORD answered such a prayer. Surely the LORD fought for Israel that day! – Joshua 10:12-14

Sometimes when we begin to move forward, we take steps back. God wants us to always look forward in faith. If we start looking back on our past failures, it can put a dent in our progress and slow our growth and success in life.

“But Lot’s wife looked back as she was following behind him, and she turned into a pillar of salt.” – Genesis 19:6

A lot of people say the timing was off in life, that’s why I didn’t succeed. But God doesn’t operate on time. There IS a time and a season for everything (Ecclesiastes 3:1) but, if you feel God has set something out for you to do, take a step of faith, measure out the cost (Luke 14:28) then trust God to go before you.

If you ask God’s will in your life you can trust that if something is meant to be, the door will open for you.  (Revelation 3:8)  Sometimes we trust our dreams with people.  That can be dangerous as certain people like to crush dreams.  God nurtures our dreams, and encourages us to have them.  God would not give us dreams if He didn’t also create in us the ability to make them come true.  He will be like a wall of fire around it, and He will be the glory within in.

Become like that man with the measuring line, and look forward to the victory that God has in store for your life. His plan is to give you a hope and a future. (Jeremiah 29:11)

Jeremiah 29

 

 

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What is your pleasure?

eden

“You will make known to me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; In Your right hand there are pleasures forever.”  Psalm 16:11

I’ve seen movies where the bartender, or waitress, or a host at a party may ask “What’s your pleasure?”  Meaning, what is it that I can give to you, that will bring you pleasure?

God is the creator of the heavens and the earth, and He created pleasure.  He knows our desires and what will genuinely bring us joy and pleasure, more than we would know ourselves.  Most people on this earth seek pleasure alone….   Sometimes as Christians we think that God doesn’t want us to experience joy and that we are to live by a book of rules.   But this isn’t the case; He simply gives us direction so that we don’t fall into the traps of this world.  He know’s what is best.  Adam and Eve knew no evil before their innocent eyes were uncovered.  Sin brings shame, guilt, and resentment.  Righteousness brings joy, truth, and contentment.  There is no condemnation for those who live in Christ, but forgiveness and eternal life.  (Romans 8:1) Moderation, morals and boundaries in life do no limit us, they help us safely enjoy what was ours to enjoy in the first place.  God’s word helps us to discern what is truth.  There is liberty and freedom in Christ, not restriction.  (2 Corinthians 3:17)

“The thief cometh not but to steal and to kill and to destroy. I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” – John 10:10

One of the ways the enemy seeks to destroy us is by luring us into things that look glamorous, and then strip us away of our joy.  He knows our weakness better than anyone.   In the end his tricks can leave us with nothing by emptiness.  There is a void in our hearts that can only be filled by one thing.  That is the Love of our creator.

Living for instant gratification, will always leave you feeling empty.  There is no eternal security in that.  When you drive through MacDonald’s, knowing how hungry you are and needing something fast which we all do, you usually eat and then feel guilty after loading your body with all that junk, and then spend the rest of the evening feeling sluggish and rundown.  The devil wants us tired out and unhealthy.

Esau sold his birthright to Jacob (Genesis 25:19-34), all because he was starving, and his flesh was controlling him.  I’m sure afterward he realized the eternal consequence, and the cost, it was not worth it.  We need to learn to ask God to help us when it comes to putting our flesh under in desperate times, so that we don’t create a myriad of problems and lose out on what God has for us.  Sometimes it’s a matter of holding our tongues, and waiting on God.

People seek many different avenues to find their gratification, to fill an empty void that only God can fill.  Addictions to substance and poor behavior, often come about in this manor, and usually leave you feeling worse in the end, or even death can occur.

When we constantly look to please our physical man, and forget to feed our spiritual man, it can have an affect on our well being.  Let God know your desires….He already knows what you will ask before you utter the words.  But, also ask him to help you have wisdom and discernment against things that are dangerous to our well being.  He cares about all the desires of our hearts.  We were created for Eden in the first place…… not the world we live in.  But we can have joy on the earth, and taste a glimpse of Eden, until we reach our destination point.  There is no joy apart from the Lord.  (Psalm 16:2)

 

 

 

 

 

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