Archive for the 'Encouragement' Category

No Worries

April 2, 2012

Cares are like cast-iron manhole covers that are thrown onto the well of joy within the heart of a follower of Jesus. He wants us to live free of them.

‎”Cast all your cares on Him, for He cares for you.”

This is a matter of practical discipline, where we must put the brakes on, stop, come, and sit before Him… then allow Him to show us the list, one by one, of the cares that we are carrying, that He wants to remove from our backs.

Try it… you like it!!!

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End Time Events

March 20, 2012

I’m about to share some things regarding events that are soon to be upon us. This is not done out of a desire that my theological insights be praised, but out of concern that many people are being misled. If they are, their belief could cost them dearly in the days ahead. I encourage you to study these matters for yourself, and then to help get the word out, if you come to the same conviction.

Let me clarify some terms I’ll be using here.

First is trib or tribulation: As used here, it denotes the seven-year period of the beast’s (antichrist’s) reign, marked by 3.5 years of persecution, followed by 3.5 years of God’s wrath.

Next, the beast, or antichrist: The world ruler who will violently oppose all that is of God, whom Jesus will destroy at His second-coming.

I’ve been ruminating on end time events for several years now. In doing so, I came to believe things, independent of others’ views, that are contrary to what I was taught as a child, which was the Pre-Trib Rapture theology. Imagine my surprise to find later, that others had come to the same conclusion, that being, the persecution of the Bride, followed by a Mid-Trib Rapture.

The Scripture makes it clear that “all of those who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus, will suffer persecution.” Because of its wealth and prestige, the Church in the Western world has for some time, felt itself above it all. It’s about to get a rude awakening.

In the book of Daniel, we are told that the king who is to come, i.e. Antichrist, will wage war with the saints and will overcome them.

Dan 7:25
“He shall speak pompous words against the Most High,
shall persecute the saints of the Most High,
and shall intend to change times and law.
Then the saints shall be given into his hand
for a time and times and half a time.

In Revelation 11, we see the two witnesses, the two lamp-stands, the two olive trees, who torment the earth with the testimony of Jesus and demonstrations of the power of God. At the end of the first 3.5 years of the reign of the beast, he kills them. After 3.5 days of the world’s drunken boasting, God raises them from the dead and calls them with, “Come up here!” The unbelieving world is gripped with terror and on the cusp of God’s wrath.

Dan 12:7
“Then I heard the man clothed in linen, who was
above the waters of the river, when he held up
his right hand and his left hand to heaven, and
swore by Him who lives forever, that it shall be
for a time, times, and half a time; and when the
power of the holy people has been completely
shattered, all these things shall be finished.”

OK… my thoughts…

I believe the two witnesses to be believing Israel, and believing Gentiles: the Bride of Christ, the Church… the natural olive tree, and the wild one grafted-in. At this time, she has been purified by the Lord to the extent that His power in her is unmistakable. She opposes the beast and all that he stands for. She is persecuted by him, even to the point of a worldwide slaughter, that wipes out the power of the Body of Christ (see Dan 12:7 above).

Jesus asked His disciples this question, “Is the servant greater than his master?” Just as His power was crushed at the cross (seemingly), so too will the Bride be shamed and put to death by the beast. Immediately afterwards (3.5 days), the “rapture” occurs. (This is why Paul wrote by the Holy Spirit, “…we who are alive and remain…”) And just as Jesus was raised in triumph over the enemy, so too will the faithful-unto-death Bride be accorded that honor. The table is turned once again… for all time.

So, if you believe that the Church is to be taken out of the world before the antichrist appears, you may want to dig a little deeper. Yes, we will escape the wrath of God… but, we will not escape the great persecution.

Lest you believe I’ve jumped the tracks, please know that this is not solely my take on these events. Many other saints see it this way.

Dream From The Lord

May 17, 2010

I had a dream last night: I was in a worship service, when we got word of a Muslim attack on another church. Several of us left and started walking to it. It was up in the mountains.

When we arrived, we saw that the compound where the church was, had been burned. And there, standing in the midst of it, was the post and beam framing of a new sanctuary that had been under construction. We entered it, to see that the interior, which was plank paneling, and the framing itself, were unmarked by fire.

I became aware that there were some Muslims in our midst, but that didn’t stop us from loudly praising Jesus for the miracle of preserving the new construction. At this point, I became aware that one of the Muslim men was actually the leader of the mob that had burned the compound. He became enraged and started threatening me. As the threats were coming forth, myself and some others started praying silently.

I was praying that the Lord would fill the sanctuary with His glory and that He would cause the Muslims there to see Him for who He is. As I prayed, I could see a change beginning to come over the two men who remained, one of whom was the leader. I prayed more intently as I saw this.

At first, it was if they were encountering angels, as they became combative. Then they started weeping as further revelation broke over them. Then, as I was watching the leader, I saw the Glory of God rest on him for a moment and then lift. He began to weep more and I began to pray more. Specifically, that God’s Glory would fill the sanctuary and never leave it, and that everyone who came to see the miracle of the unburned church would encounter God. Finally, the Glory returned to him and stayed. A new brother had been born.

I and the others, took him back down the mountain and introduced him to the church family where we had been worshiping. I became aware that we were in the south of France.

Next, I became aware that I was praying that my daughters would come there and go to see the unburned church.

I next found myself back on a dusty country road, walking with my backpack, just as I’d came to be there.

That was the end of the dream.

Wow, what a dream!

Love’s Expression

February 26, 2010

I spent eight years in a major Evangelical movement. They were for the most part, good years for me. I grew tremendously and healed from major trauma. It was because the focus of that body was on the the tender aspects of Jesus. But the more I grew, I started being disquieted regarding what seemed an unbalanced view of Him. Based in the notion that He is mainly positive and doesn’t go around upsetting people’s apple carts, it didn’t appear the well-rounded Jesus we see in the Bible.

Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t run around longing for the warrior side of Jesus to be expressed to me or to those whom I care about. But, He is that and more. And in these last days in which we are living, it is vital that the Bride know that. Preferably before He proves the point by some manifest means, as he warned the seven churches in Asia.

So the next time you’re in that place of intimate worship where it seems you’re sitting in His lap with your head against His breast, meditate on the fact that it’s a Lion’s heartbeat that you’re listening to. Then let the awe of that and who He fully is, take you to a new and deeper place in Him.

Reprising It

September 5, 2009

Have you ever noticed how deceptive our flesh is? Take for instance, how we think we have this great spiritual insight, only to have the Lord strip away the scales from our blinded eyes and give us an “Isaiah tours Heaven” experience. That happened to me today.

My life with my mother was not a pleasant one. Due to her upbringing, she developed a very unhealthy way of relating – that of constant criticism. It found its zenith in our relationship and deeply wounded me as a child. I still am, it would seem.

The Lord had me move in with she and dad to care for them about a year ago. (He told me to a year prior, but I didn’t want to believe He’d do that to me.) Dad passed away in March (read about that here). Well, she has not changed for the better and today, I lost it with her. After she refused to cease a critical attack upon my asking her to do so, I found myself delivering a very stern, “The Lord rebuke you! May the Lord rebuke you!” Being that it came from deep within, I was convinced that the Holy Spirit had just spoken.

In speaking about it with a close friend a little later, he was used of the Lord to open my eyes. It would seem that our wounds can express themselves. The scripture that comes to mind is, “See to it that no one comes short of the grace of God; that no root of bitterness springing up causes trouble, and by it many be defiled;” Heb 12:15  By the time our conversation was finished, I’d had one of those holy moments where the Lord lovingly scourges us. So at church in the morning, I hope to get prayer for my all too human condition.

Alzheimer’s Didn’t Win

September 1, 2009

My dad passed away this past March from complications related to Alzheimer’s disease. He was 88. And while he may not have been given the skills early in life to be the dad he could have been, he did open the door of his heart the night Jesus knocked and he is now home with Him. I share this here to relate the following.

Although dad’s mind left him, the Holy Spirit never did, and from time to time, He’d remind us of that. Like the way dad didn’t know who I was, but would call me, “Brother”. Or the day he looked at me and pointed, then said, “You’re going to go suddenly”, speaking of my departure from this earthly realm. (I take great comfort in that, knowing I’ll not be laying around in a bed.)

It wasn’t until a week or so after he’d gone home that the realization hit me about the times he’d tried to walk off from the house, because as he said, “I have to go home and see my mother”.

Yes, he died from Alzheimer’s, but I’m here to tell you, that disease didn’t win.

On Being Judged

August 29, 2009

The scriptures make it clear that we will give an account of our lives to God, after this life. They also make it clear that our sins were already judged on the cross of Christ, some 2,000 years ago by man’s reckoning, yet before the foundation of the world, by God’s. So what’s the deal? What are we, as believers, going to be examining with Daddy?

We’re told that, “Man looks on the outside, but God looks on the heart”. Man sees the actions, God sees the motives. Therein lies the clue. Why we’ve done the “good works” that we have, will be brought into the light.

“Wood, hay and stubble”, will all be consumed in the fire of absolute truth at that judgement, resulting in loss. Only what is pure will remain and be rewarded for eternity. Only what has been done from love will be so accounted. All else is destined for destruction.

Financial Freedom

August 27, 2009

In these times of economic travail, the temptation comes strong to “take the bull by the horns” and “make it happen”. It can be a sure route to nowhere, if not to disaster. Jesus said, “There’s a way that seems right to man, but the end thereof is death”. He was speaking of self effort.

The primary key to God’s blessings then, isn’t in our laboring with everything we’ve got. You can look around you and see people who are doing that very thing, only to have their lives crumbling in on them.

No, the primary key is this: A yielded and compliant heart before God – a heart that is willing to follow after Jesus, wherever He leads. Take a look at Isaiah 58. Read it, meditate on it, get it into your heart. It’s God’s plan for our success.

Abuse

January 17, 2009

“I was 35 before I came into an understanding that I’d been abused. By then, the crop had come in. And although the garden reeked of rotting fruit, the gardener was now in the patient process of digging at the roots.”

This is an excerpt from the Author’s Story page.

Don’t Even Try

January 14, 2009

A good friend of mine is a believing Jew. And while he loves the Lord, he wrestles frequently with the temptation to “keep” the Law. Last night, I had one of those “Aha!” moments, when God suddenly opened my heart and poured out understanding. The following is the email content that I wrote to my friend as a result of that encounter:

“I believe I just had some insight:

The Law (Mosaic, not moral) imposed certain requirements on the Jews.
Jesus fulfilled every one of them, thereby satisfying all of its demands.
He is our substitute, in that He did what we could never do.
We don’t have to keep the Law, because He did and satisfied it in our place.
Grace is a free gift to us, paid for by His keeping of the Law.
For us to seek to keep it, is to dishonor/disallow Christ’s work in our place.
He is the keeping of the lawAll we need is Him.

All we’re required to do now, is to love Him with all of our hearts.
And out of that love, will flow the keeping of His commandments.
But it’s not the keeping of His commandments that makes us righteous.
It was His keeping of the Law and offering Himself in our place that does that.
Freedom, freedom, freedom!!!!!!”

So, if you, like my friend, find yourself continually trying to measure up and earn God’s love, get it into your heart that Jesus is enough. You can’t add anything to what He has done for you. And you don’t need to. That’s why it’s called, “Good News”.