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Yesterday a friend of ours called to say that he felt the Lord was accelerating things. Since that call my spirit has been stirred and I’ve been asking the Lord what are you saying?

Today while I watched Glory of Zion during which they began to sing about turning.  One of dancers came forward and she told she was doing a study on movement.  Turning denotes a change and forming according to her study.

On Facebook also a friend posted “You can’t the next chapter of your life if you keep re-reading the last one.”

When words come at times I get aggravated because my life isn’t demonstrating or moving in what others seem to be effortlessly flowing in.  I wonder am I so that out of touch? Other times I hear and see the words and know I am in the midst of the very same.  And last but not least other times it explains to me what has been happening.  It gives me the courage to continue.

While reading in Joshua the Lord began to show me about the changing of mantles and leaders.  The book of Joshua speaks of total obedience and courage. 

The Lord usually will speak to me from several sources. As I am reviewing all of these indicators I know He is ready to bring us into what He is doing if we will let go of the old, allow him to turn us (as the potter forms pottery).   Allowing the Lord full reign can be scary.  What will happen? What will I look like if I allow Him to totally reform me?  How painful will it be?  Yet those of us who have been through this process before know that all He takes or changes is so worth it.  All that He does is only good. When it’s over we wonder why we didn’t allow it before.

So if the turning process is allowed and completed without us jumping off the wheel, we will be placed on time in time within the acceleration of what He is doing. We do have a choice, just as the disciples of John the Baptist had a choice to go with Jesus or stay with the old (John).   He does not chastise us if we choose to stay where we are.  However we cannot go with Him if we stay where we are.  Staying doesn’t change our salvation but it does impede our growth.

I have a sense that I will be out of loop for a while, that if I allow the taking out and down I will come out at some date as the Song of Solomon says leaning on my beloved. For a person who likes to be in the middle of it.  I am at a point of choosing will I allow Him to place me once again as an invisible to work His reworking on His pottery wheel.  My hearts cry has always been to be a vessel of use. 

I have certain items in my kitchen that I use all the time.  I have certain knifes that I reach for because they are my favorites.  I want to me a favorite one that the Lord reaches for when He wants something accomplished.  In order to be that vessel I need to allow the re-forming.  Who I was in my last season is no longer valid for the next one.   If I stay the same He doesn’t need that tool now. 

How long does this process take?  It takes as long as He sees it needs to.  When I was in ministry school there was this statement made regularly.  It takes us forever to get us into His presence but once we get there really get there we don’t want to leave.  It does not worry me how long will I be invisible to Him. It worries me more how long will it take for me to let go of all I need to, to be able to get into that place of turning.

What areas of your life does He want to turn (as on the potter’s wheel)?

What do you see accelerating in your life or around you?  Are you ready?

Have you been obedient in all things?

 Are you full of courage for the journey ahead? 

Are you ready for new leaders and mantles?

Do you have a sense of what He wants to do in you and are you willing to allow it?

It’s All About Me

I have jokingly said over the last few years as I wave my hand in front of my face. “It’s all about me!”  I got this line from the movie “Cheaper by the dozen.”  During this movie the boyfriend of the oldest daughter, makes a comment very closely resembling It’s all about me.  I laughed and thought at the time this is so true so much of the time. We people act and treat others as if this is true.  Really stop and look at others and even yourself.  How many of us may not say it but think it.  Many want others to treat them as if they are the reason the earth turns on its axis.

Today while catching up on the blogs I follow I came accross a peom entitled the same.

http://christianity.about.com/od/membersubmittedprayers/qt/iflifewasaboutme.htm

It isn’t the exact idea but its close.  I think it would be good if we all did an internal inspection of what we’ve been saying and how we’ve been acting.  Who do you think it’s really all about?  If you say Jesus or God I believe your correct. Does your life portray it? Does every decision reflect this truth?  What about your lifestyle?  What about your money? What about your family, your spouse, your children?

I probably will continue to jokingly say “Its all about me” when I realize I am pushing for my own thoughts, opinions and own way. Its my way of saying okay I realize I am centering on myself sorry.

So what do you think  how much of your life do you live it as it’s all about you?

I heard this morning

 You have said: Let me show you what I can do. (I knew instantly that the Lord was speaking to me about my life. Not a statement that I have said but in how I have lived my life. It was like a light bulb turned on.  Wow I was trying to prove to God that I could do great things for Him.  I have for years tried to prove my place and value.)

You do not need to prove anything to me. I know who you are – I made you. I know what you can do.  I also know what I can do through you.  But you cannot arrive there in the flesh.

Dean and I visited a church we had never attended, the pastor said that the Lord told him years ago that most ministers live and die and never get into the plan that He had for them.  A few years ago I would have argued this point. As the years have passed I have seen for myself and seen in others that it is true. We start off in the right direction. However somewhere along the line we take over.  The illustration has been made many times and yet it is so true we must use God’s Positioning System (GPS) and take notice, following the instructions rather than thinking we can make a faster better trip ourselves.  

During the same message he went on to give seven signs of self-sabotage.  All of which were good points however I wanted to change number one from focusing on what is not working to not listening and responding correctly to God’s direction.  I could even take it further to not pursuing what God would have you to do every day.  I think where I have struggled in my life are situations in which “I think” I know what to do.    I start off good but take over and it becomes my mission not His.  Not even intentionally.  How do I get myself into this time and time again? It seems I’ve taken 50 years of doing it mostly my way.  I have had season of dependence, usually it is seek the Lord until I hear His voice. Then I am off and running with it.  My biggest problems are the situations where I thought, I know what to do. 

In 2 Samuel 5:17-21 the Philistines came to attack David and he was victorious.  The philistines left in such a hurry they left their idols.  David and his men burned the left images.  A side note we should recognize the importance of immediately dealing with idols.  We never entertain them or keep them for any reason.  Then in Chapter 5 verse 22, the Philistines came up yet again.  We see in verse 23 David inquired of the Lord.  When the philistines came at him again in the same situation David sought the Lord rather than rushing to do what he had done previously.  Because David had sought the Lord, listened and then acted upon what God said and he was victorious.

I know this story.  I have read and studied them, yet I am not sure I have applied them.  I said years ago that repentance was a wonderful place to live.  God in His great mercy brings us to repentance.  I want to be sure and rejoice that He loves me so much He corrects me.  That once again I can readjust my course to get positioned back into His plan.  I have found so many times over my life that not knowing His plan is almost better for me.  If I do not know then I can’t run ahead and do it my way.

So in response to His word, I am repenting, calling on His mercy, asking Him to wash me of my independence, self sufficiency, stubbornness, arrogance and flesh. 

Thank you Lord for showing yourself once again to me.

.

 

 

 

 

The Exchanged Life

If you are like me life takes over way too much of the time. If we are not careful, most of us get caught up in what we have to do and what is coming up. We forget the goodness and the abundance of God. When I was in ministry school in my homiletics class a fellow classmate preached a message entitled “The Exchanged Life.” Sadly I have no remembrance of who it was. I know it was a he and I still have the notes. I think the title as much as anything has influenced me over the years.

Have we really exchanged our life? Think about how much have you exchanged your life?

Of the two life views, the Christian life and the secular life view, what percentage of each are you? Example – 60% Christian, 40% secular.

The chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever. This purpose became our purpose when we placed our faith in Jesus Christ. The Christian life is no longer just about being born again and following a certain set of rules and morals then going to Heaven. We are to be alive to God, to love Him in the present moment – to enjoy Him – and make a difference for Him each day. We are to glorify Him in all of life. We are to live for Christ until we die or He returns. This process is called sanctification, which literally means the process of being set apart, in others word, the process of being made more holy, more Christ like.

This is what the Exchanged Life is all about – the process of sanctification, the process of becoming more like Christ. In order to live this life we need to redirect our focus and life to abiding in Christ, living in Christ and not for ourselves. How does this happen?

1. Knowing the God of the Word and His Word. He leads His children in truth through the Holy Spirit. (Romans 8:16; 2 Corinthians 5:17; Romans 7:10).
2. Invite the Spirit of God to empower you to live in His light. We need God’s grace and Spirit to live like Christ (Philippians 4:13; 2 Corinthians 4:7).
3. Initiate and choose to act righteous. We have a responsibility to choose to obey Him (Romans 6:13-14).
4. Trust He will honor what He has spoken. That He will empower you with His Spirit. Trust He will work out His plan, purposes, and truth in your life. (Joel 2:28-32; John 16:13; Philippians 3:12-16).
5. Sanctification is a process that takes time working through struggles and trials. But God is always with us. (2 Corinthians 6:1-18; Romans 8:18-27).
6. He will work all things together for our good. The victory will be His as His will and purpose for our lives is realized. (Romans 8:28-31).
7. He will be glorified in and through us. He uses our troubles and struggles to mold us and eventually to bring Glory to himself. (Romans 8:28).
8. When we have faith and trust in Him in spite of our struggles that is honoring and pleasing to Him. Remember faith is trusting that God is in control even when we don’t see the results when we want them. He will give us peace that is beyond our human understanding. (Hebrew 11:6; Philippians 4:7).

This process at times is painful yet when each step is completed we wonder why we fought against it so long. I don’t want to say everything that happens to us is so wonderful, yet in the end it maybe. Remember it isn’t the end yet. I don’t want to stay on this subject (I am not talking about the death of loved ones) I just want us to take a step back and look at what God has produced in us so far.

I believe when we let go completely and let Him live through us we will be the most fulfilled and satisfied. We will be at peace. We will also be the most successful. I am challenged again to look my life over and see how much I have “Exchanged.” Does my life look more like me or more like Him than it did?

How abundant are the good things that you have stored up for those who fear you that you bestow in the sight of all, on those who take refuge in you. In the shelter of your presence you hide them from all human intrigues; you keep them safe in your dwelling from accusing tongues. Psalm 31:19-20 NIV

How To Live

Dean and I are big fans of the television program NCIS.  If you follow that program you know that Gibbs (Mark Harmon) has a set of rules of which he lives his life by. I think that we as Christians should follow the same habit.  The greatest rule book is of coarse the Bible.  Yet I have compiled a smaller list of which grows and changes reguarly. Here are some of the ones I think we should live by:

1. committ your life daily to the purpose of glorifying Jesus Christ.

2. Spend some time each day meditating on God’s Word and applying it toyour life.

3. Get rid of grudges daily

4. Spend a little time nearly every day getting more intimate with your mate and children. 

5. Spend some time each week having fellowship and fun with at least one or two committed Christian friends of the same sex.  If married do it by couples

6. Be involved in a daily routine.

7. Do something nice for one person each day. It will show you how significant the little kind things you do for others can be in their lives. It’s good for you and for them.

Having a plan in life helps us to get where we are going.  Having some rules to live by helps us not to lose ourself in the pursuit of our goals.

So what kind of rules do you live by?

 

R. I. S. E.

About a year ago I read an article I found on Crosswalk.com. This article has some great ideas especially for us to review at the beginning of a new year.  As I looked it over for myself I thought I would write a small review and encourage you to take in its points and possibly apply them.

R: Reduce

Ask yourself what is something in your life that you could reduce that isn’t helping you in _______ (Your walk with God, Your relationships, Your work etc. )?

I: Increase

Ask yourself what is something in your life that you could increase that could help you in _______ (Your walk with God, Your relationships, Your work etc. )?

S: Substitute

Ask yourself what is something in your life that you could substitute that would help you more in _______ (Your walk with God, Your relationships, Your work etc. )?  An example would be Splenda for real sugar or reading a book instead of watching TV or walking instead of driving.

E: Eliminate

Ask yourself what is something in your life that you could eliminate that isn’t helping you in _______(Your walk with God, Your relationships, Your work etc. )?

These are a small portion of the article Rise Up and Move: Are You Ready?  By Kris Swiatocho, The Singles Network Ministries.  http://www.thesinglesnetwork.org/  You may have to do s search on crosswalk.com to find it. 

I am reviewing these points myself, while making them a matter of prayer.  . Dean and I are making some HUGE changes again of which you will hear more about in the next few weeks/months. These four questions are helping me to take the necessary steps to align with what God is saying to us, His Word about this year and our circumstances.

I would encourage you to also read over these, pray about them and even check out the full article.

Blessings to you in 2012.

Here are the th…

Here are the things I believe the Lord is saying. Each person and each expression of His body (church group) needs to assess each of these personally and corporately.  The points may manifest a bit differently in each but He is working to accomplish and allow the enemy to accomplish His purposes in each of us.

  1. 1.      GOD FIRST – self searching to make sure He is first in every area.  This year will prove what is and what isn’t. You will then have a choice. To put Him first or not in every area. I came across this article in which the Lord began to speak to me of its  prophetic importance to me and what He is saying in 2012 to all.

“PURITY TO YAH”—Ancient seal discovered in Jerusalem“Who may ascend into the hill of the LORD? Or who may stand in His holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who has not lifted up his soul to an idol, nor sworn deceitfully. He shall receive blessing from the LORD, and righteousness from the God of his salvation” (Psalm 24:3-4: Trans: NKJ).

“A pure heart create for me, God, and a firm spirit renew within me. Do not fling me from Your presence, and Your holy spirit take not from me. Give me back the gladness of Your rescue and with a noble spirit sustain me” (Psalm 51:12-14: Trans: Robert Alter). Then later in the same article:

Certainly, we sense a spiritual call to Israel for purity: “But who can endure the day of His coming? And who can stand when He appears? For He is like a refiner’s fire and like launderers’ soap. He will sit as a refiner and a purifier of silver; He will purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer to the LORD an offering of righteousness” (Malachi 3:2-3). David prayed (see Psalm 51 above) that God would create in him a “pure heart”. Hebrews 1:3 speaks of the divine Son, Messiah Yeshua “making purification for sins.” And Ephesians 1:13-14 (ESV) portrays those who have availed themselves of that purification as being sealed “with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.”

 Taken from: Israel Prayer List [israel-prayer@glory-of-zion.org] Prayer Update From Israel (December 28, 2011)

  1. 2.      TROUBLE – Jesus Met His disciples on the water (Matthew 14:22-27, Mark 6:45-51, John 6:16-21)– miraculous – He will meet His in trouble. (Psalm 46:1) There will be lots of trouble this year.
  2. 3.      SHAKING – Continued Shaking – economical, physical, emotional, society, weather – natural disasters and miraculous events. (Hebrews 12:27-28). Embrace what He is doing, look for the significance of each event. He is trying to get something, acknowledge what it is he wants and give it.

“What you are willing to walk away from will determine what He will bring you into.” –John Kilpatrick

  1. 4.      BATTLE – The battle intensifies – warriors flourish – people choose, – There will be clear lines between those who are of God and who are not. The time of the Warrior is now.
  2. 5.      DOMINION/AUTHORITY – It is/will be utmost important for Christians to embrace their identity, their personal spheres of authority, and act within them. Those who are passive will not make it. The battle will overtake them rather than they overtake in the battle.

Whenever someone tells you they believe they have heard from the Lord, you need to ask the Lord yourself, it must line up with His Word, His Nature and His Charcater.  It should also bear witiness within you that it is truth. However unless you know the person (including me) be careful! 

Dirty Bath Water

I wrote yesterday a review of an older book and today I’d like to comment on another aspect of that book.  I found this interesting statement, “There is clearly a lot of dirty bath water surrounding the reality of God. Examples would be: Holy Wars. Inquisitions, Animal sacrifice. Human sacrifice, Superstition, Stultification, Dogmatism, Ignorance, Hypocrisy, Self-righteousness, Rigidity, Cruelty, Book Burning, Witch-burning, Inhibition, Fear, Conformity, Morbid Guilt, Insanity. The list is almost endless. But is all this what God has done to humans or what humans have done to God?”  italics added by me (The Road Less Traveled, M. Scott Peck, 1978, p 222).

What humans have done to God.  Well how refreshing to consider the idea that we have false ideas about who God is and who is not.   Our belief system seems to want to blame something or someone and God is a good place to go.  How many times have we wondered why God would allow or do such a thing.  Is it really God?  Could it be our (humans) own actions that cause the issues that we blame God for?

Should we take a look at who God really is and compare it to what we believe.  How would find out who He is?  First the Bible and secondly through relationship with Him.  Not church attendance or membership but cultivating a deep intimate relationship in which you listen as he speaks. Then and only then can we truly determine the purity/reality/truth of our beliefs.

I am purposing to examine my beliefs and how they relate to my actions. I want to make sure the waters that surround me are pure.

I’ve been doing a lot of reviewing as of late.  Including one of the books I was given years ago was a book by M. Scott Peck, “The Road less Traveled (1978). At the time I was not happy that it was recommended to me.  My objection was it wasn’t a “Christian book.”   My mind and life was so messed up I didn’t want to put in anything that would deter me from my path to find God.

As I look back even then I was so very religious in my quest. I did cruise through the book lightly. Then and now I see the same revelations. Here are the ones that stuck out to me.

Life is a series of problems. Do we want to moan about them or solve them? Do we want to teach our children to solve them? (p15)

Yet it is in this whole process of meeting and solving problems that life has its meaning. (p16)

Benjamin Franklin said, “Those things that hurt, instruct” (p16)

 

This tendency to avoid problems and the emotional suffering inherent in them is the primary basis of all human mental illness (p17) Neurosis is always a substitute for legitimate suffering (p17)

Peck then suggests, to constructively move past our problems, embrace the suffering and grow, we must: Delay gratification, accept responsibility, be dedicated to truth, and learn to balance. (p18) He also comments, people simply do not take the time necessary to solve many of life’s intellectual, social, or spiritual problems. (p28)

I have listed below what I believe are the highlight sentence thoughts that support his four claims.

Delay Gratification: ”This inclination to ignore problems is once again a simple manifestation of an unwillingness to delay gratification.” (p31)

Accept Responsibility: “We cannot solve life’s problems except by solving them. This is because we must accept responsibility for a problem before we can solve it.” (p32)

Dedicated to Truth: “What does a life of total dedication to the truth mean? It means, first of all, a life of continuous and never-ending stringent self-examination. “(p51) “A life of total dedication to the truth also means a life of willingness to be personally challenged.” (p52)

Learn to Balance: “To be free people we must assume total responsibility for ourselves, but in doing so must possess the capacity to reject responsibility that is not truly ours. (p64).

History tells us that John and Charles Wesley, had a few questions they would ask of themselves on a daily basis in order to keep themselves tracking towards holiness and service to others. Should we consider asking ourselves some questions? Do some of the points written by M Scott Peck lend to constructing some questions we should ask? Should these questions sound something like this?

Am I ignoring problems or solving them? What problem in my life do I need to attend to?

Am I accepting responsibility in order to solve my problems? Where am I laying blame rather than solving problems?

Do I need pursue self examination and allow myself to be personally challenged in my beliefs, thoughts, attitudes, and actions?

Have I surrounded myself with people who think and live like me so much so that I do not search out truth in every area?

How am I doing in balancing my life and priorities? Am I leaning one way too heavily?

What am I going to do in regards to the answers to these questions? Where’s the fruit and/or what is the fruit of my life?

If we did embrace these questions regularly would they change anything? Or would we be delaying gratification by ignoring them? Personally I am better at problem solving once I accept responsibility for my own life.

The New idea

This morning Dean and I were eating breakfast listening to the news (sorry don’t remember which channel).  They gave a small advertisement about a new piece they were going to do.  It was about a group of people who were planning on starting up a large endeavor.  I was immediately drawn to the words.. “The New Idea.”  Is it really a new idea?  I am sure I read about this same type of idea in the Bible it’s called the fivefold gifts.  Apparently the business world is grabbing onto the idea and making it work.  I wish the structures of church could as well.  When will we get it?  It is no longer about one person’s dream/vision/thoughts…It is going to take all five working together to get the job done.  I guess that is why I am so impressed with Glory of Zion they seem to be making it work or I should say working with it.

 I’ve been saying this for years, that those who get it and start with what God is going to do will continue and those who don’t will eventually die out.  Those groups who are slowly dwindling and are on life support can make the choice to continue on mans system or unorganized and allow the breath of God to breathe life into them.

 Could this be our personal problem as well? Have we allowed others to structure who we are?  Have we allowed the system to tell us how to be and who to be?  Are we waiting for the “church” to tell us what should do?  I use church loosely, (defined as we understand it as a group who meets together at a place) Maybe we should personally restructure who we are and what we believe?  I truly believe those who choose to let go and go back to our first love, the simple lessons of the early church and our Jewish roots. Those who embrace the teachings of Jesus in their everyday life will see a rebirth. Let’s stop talking about it and live it.

I am tired of all the claims… I am tired of all the talk. As our good friend Becca Greenwood says, where’s the fruit?  Too many groups do a lot of talking but I don’t see a whole lot of fruit. I am not into hypocrisy.  I told a minister friend just a few months ago, I like what you are saying but I am a wait and see person. I am going to wait and see if your words match what you doing.

 Once again I have heard tons of talk, but have only found a few and a very few who actually “do” what they say.  I want to be one of those who backs up what they say with what I live. I want to belong to a group who feels and lives the same way.  I don’t think the people I am talking about do it on purpose I don’t think they think of themselves or see any hypocrisy. Yet once again where’s the fruit? The proof’s in the pudding.

 Dean and I are making some major changes in our life and as we let go of “everything.” We have begun to be able to embrace everything He has. We are looking for the breath of God to breathe upon us once again. As we breathe deeply of Him our lives are being transformed into His plan for us.

I encourage you to take a deep look invite others who see things differently to look deeply as well.  As Holy Spirit to search and expose all that is not of His plan, it might be good but it still isn’t Him. Ask that any beliefs, thoughts, attitudes and habits be exposed and reviewed for His approval. Commit to living the life He has for you. 

I can’t change the “church structure” or leaders but I can change me. You may also be in the same position, but you can change you.