My Family

My Family
My Family

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Waiting in Bethany

Today's guest speaker was Dr. Robert Smith and he talked on How Do You Live When Jesus is Silent.  He used the Scripture from when Lazarus died and Mary and Martha have sent for their Savior, their friend, their Lord.  Actually they sent for Him before he died when Lazarus was gravely ill.  They expected Jesus to come, to hear from Him right away, to know His salvation.  Surely He would come and save their brother.  They had witnessed many of His miracles and knew what He was capable of.  The believed in Him as Lord of all.  So where was He?  Why did He delay?  He waited 4 days after Lazarus died before He appeared on the scene.  4 days!!  To Mary and Martha it must have been an eternity.

So Dr. Smith's question to us was how do we live in those 4 days?  Waiting in Bethany for our Lord to arrive?  We wait knowing that He is coming with more greatness than we can imagine -- Resurrection power even!!  We wait knowing that His delay is not denial for He always wants good for us and plans to prosper us.  God is not limited by time.  He is not limited by anything.  We need to remember that our limitations and our limited mind cannot control God either.  While we are waiting in Bethany, many things may happen to discourage us but we should hold fast to our belief that God is for us!!  And He will appear on the scene in His own time!!  And it won't be too late...

Wednesday, June 15, 2011


Forgiveness relates directly to grace and how we have accepted Jesus.  That, of course, doesn't make it easy.  Grace is something we don't deserve. defines grace as free and unmerited favor.  There is nothing we can do to deserve God's grace.  There is nothing we can do to keep it.  Jesus paid the price for it.  Bc He did that, I have been forgiven of much.  What, you say, did I do that was so bad?  Well, God doesn't rank sin so all sin is black to Him and all sin must be separated from Him.  So you may not think my sin is bad -- my sin, however, held Jesus to the cross.  He died for me!!  Just like He died for YOU!!  Forgiveness is what we receive when we receive grace.  Likewise, we should practice forgiveness.  Remember, sin is not ranked by God.  So someone else's sin against us still needs to be forgiven.  We have been forgiven much; thus we must forgive much.  I choose to forgive...

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Is Jesus Hiding?

Pastor JD challenged our thinking on Sunday with the thought that Jesus plays Hide and Seek with us.  He questioned why the God of the universe would make Himself so unknown so unseen that not all folks would see Him.  He resounded questions of the cynical about our God.  He asked why do the wise and understanding miss God?  Then he offered answers for why they do.
1.  Our hearts are naturally blind.  We are filled with rebellion and blinded to God's goodness.  It is only by grace that we are given sight.
2.  God will not be found through human achievement because if He could be that would contribute to human pride.  JD used the story of Naman here where Naman had to degrade himself and bathe in the Jordan river 7 times before he was healed of leprosy.  It wasn't his wealth or his popularity that healed him but only God's grace that healed him.  In Ephesians it states that God gives us this grace freely so that no man can boast. 
3.  God will be found by those with a childlike heart.  Someone who is humble, submissive, not cynical is the one who will be open to hearing God's word and his heart will be open to responding to God's will.  Surrender to God precedes knowledge about God.
4.  God will be found by those who want to know HIm not use Him for something else.  God is not a genie and can tell if our intentions are pure. 
So what was the benefit of this message to us?  We are thankful that we have had our eyes opened and have already seen Jesus as the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.  We also are encouraged that those we are preaching to or ministering to may not always be able to hear because the eyes of their understanding have not been opened by the Lord.  We should pray for them in addition to our talking to them so that they will hear through the Holy Spirit for it's only by His grace do we hear.  So keep on praying and keep on seeking for the lost to see Him. 

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Has God Forgotten Me?

I listened intently tonight as Pastor Marc testified of his wife's battled with depression and the victory she won over it through the Lord.  He was careful to clarify earthly steps that we should take but he added a Scripture that I think we should all meditate on.  It is Psalm 77 in which David cries out in distress:
I cried out to God for help;
   I cried out to God to hear me.
2 When I was in distress, I sought the Lord;
   at night I stretched out untiring hands,
   and I would not be comforted.
 3 I remembered you, God, and I groaned;
   I meditated, and my spirit grew faint.
4 You kept my eyes from closing;
   I was too troubled to speak.
5 I thought about the former days,
   the years of long ago;
6 I remembered my songs in the night.
   My heart meditated and my spirit asked:
 7 “Will the Lord reject forever?
   Will he never show his favor again?
8 Has his unfailing love vanished forever?
   Has his promise failed for all time?
9 Has God forgotten to be merciful?
   Has he in anger withheld his compassion?”
 10 Then I thought, “To this I will appeal:
   the years when the Most High stretched out his right hand.
11 I will remember the deeds of the LORD;
   yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago.
12 I will consider all your works
   and meditate on all your mighty deeds.”
 13 Your ways, God, are holy.
   What god is as great as our God?
14 You are the God who performs miracles;
   you display your power among the peoples.
15 With your mighty arm you redeemed your people,
   the descendants of Jacob and Joseph.
 16 The waters saw you, God,
   the waters saw you and writhed;
   the very depths were convulsed.
17 The clouds poured down water,
   the heavens resounded with thunder;
   your arrows flashed back and forth.
18 Your thunder was heard in the whirlwind,
   your lightning lit up the world;
   the earth trembled and quaked.
19 Your path led through the sea,
   your way through the mighty waters,
   though your footprints were not seen.
 20 You led your people like a flock
   by the hand of Moses and Aaron."
How many times have I cried out to the Lord when I can't find the words to say and all that comes to mind are His reminders of His past victories in my life, the times when He has not let me go.  He is always there with me in trouble and led me through the mighty seas.  I hope you haven't had to endure this kind of pain but if you have then take heart bc this is not new pain.  God is still with you.  He will never leave nor forsake you.  I'll be glad to pray with you...just ask...

Saturday, April 2, 2011


Pastor JD was very effective in teaching us about prayer tonight using two parables from Luke to illustrate how we should approach the throne with our requests.  First he noted from Luke 11, in the Lord's prayer, where Jesus taught the disciples to begin their prayers with "Father."  The Greek word here is actually Abba meaning Daddy, a more endearing word than Father.  We should come to Him as a child would her daddy, with persistence, with expectation, with the knowledge and trust that He will provide for her.  Then JD used the parable in Luke 11 which describes how much earthly fathers who are evil will give their children and how much more our heavenly Father who is good will provide for His children.  If we could really grasp this fact our prayer life would be totally different.  The next parable JD spoke of came from Luke 18 and it compared God to a unjust judge and us to a pesky woman wanting justice for herself.  Comical as this is, it is there to point is to the fact that we are to be persistent and consistent with our prayers.  Most "Christians" spend 5 minutes/day in prayer.  What do you pray for when you pray?  I know my heart was pricked by this message especially when JD added the note that how much of it would be that we would dwell in the house of the Lord forever as described in the Psalms.  Is that the one thing that YOU desire of the Lord?  I know that my prayers are filled with many other things but I learned a lot about prayer tonight. 1. Prayer actually changes things.  Prayers are like laser beams.  They build on each other until they are strong and powerful prayers.  2. We desperately need the mercy of God, but guess what, it's abundant.  The subtle disbelief that we are absolutely dependent on God keeps us from praying whole-heartedly.  3. We should pray trustingly, like children.  Sometimes God answers our prayers by giving to us what we would have asked for had we known what He knows.  4. Our greatest petition is for more of the Holy Spirit. 
So, what do you have to ask of Daddy and will you come to Him with child-like faith?

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The Limits of God

I have come to realize that there are no limits with God.  There is no eleventh hour, no last minute, no deadline to meet.  There is also no final hour, no final breath, no final word on a matter other than Him of course.  We try to impose our limits on God, our own timetables on Him when all the while He has a plan, a plan that is better than anything we could've imagined for us.  Jer 29:11 promises that when it says, "For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, and to give you hope and a future."  So why do we fret when our plans are laid our for us by our Heavenly Father, good plans even? 
I must confess that we've been waiting on the Lord for something for over 3 years now, something we feel is from Him.  If it isn't from Him and He has something better then Holy Moly!!  But I have hope in Him, hope in our future in Him, in our prosperity in Him.  I believe He is going to do as His word promised.  One day soon I will be able to share with you the fulfillment of this promise and I can't wait.  God is so good!!!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Get Noticed by God

"There is no one too bad or too good to get Jesus' attention." Pastor JD began his sermon today with these words as he talked on Luke 8 beginning with verse 40, the stories of Jairus and his daughter and the woman with the issue of blood.  Jairus was everything a good synagogue ruler should be pious and upright and yet when he came to Jesus to plead for the life of his only daughter he fell prostrate before him.  Such things were unheard of back then.  Jesus agreed to go with him and while he travelled the crowd pushed in on him.  In the crowd was a woman with an issue of blood, an issue which had plagued her for 12 years.  She was considered unclean, unfit, unworthy to be in crowds, unloveable, broken.  Yet she thought, she knew if she just grabbed the fringe of Jesus' garment she would be healed and made whole again.  Her life would be changed forever.  Once she grabbed it, the power was imparted and she was immediately healed.  Jesus, knowing it had happened stopped the crowd and asked who had touched Him.  Why did He ask?  Surely, the Son of God knew who it was.  It was to give her an opportunity to step forth in faith, in front of others.  Once she did come forth, He spoke very tenderly calling her daughter, the ultimate adoption on the spot!!  Her faith had made her whole.  While Jesus was speaking (you know the story), someone came to say that Jairus' daughter had died but Jesus went to her anyway saying she would be healed too.  When they arrived funeral arrangements had already begun and wailing was rampant.  Jesus said she was only asleep.  Can you imagine??  But He tenderly went to her and took her hand and told her to get up.  Here we have a beautiful image of Jesus visiting with us at our deathbed, holding our hand and speaking softly to us -- all this while "the shadow of death" falls over us.  JD gave this analogy of death for Christians:  It feels like separation will last forever.  However, think of it this way.  A mack truck is coming your way.  Would you rather be hit by the truck or by the shadow of the truck?  As Christians we are only hit by the shadow of the truck or death.  Isn't that awesome??  We don't have to fear death!!  Jesus will be right there at our side.  What a great sense of relief that is?!  Several things I want to make note of here.  Jesus' primary ministry was reconnecting us to God, not resurrecting the dead, healing the sick or any other side note or tangent.  God wants to have a relationship with us again and this is made possible by Jesus and His sacrifice.  Remember, what I said about Jesus' primary ministry being to reconnect us to God.  Well, sometimes that means we don't get our miracles.  But when we're fully connected to the Father, earthly miracles just don't matter quite as much.  I don't mean not to ask because the Word is clear that we should ask all in His name, just sometimes the answer is no. 
1.  COME TO HIM. -- don't let the law or the crowds keep you from Him.  The crowd did not keep the woman from Jesus and she was made whole and what's even more important she was adopted into His kingdom.
2.   BE PUBLIC ABOUT IT. --  Jesus called her daughter after she owned up so confess Him as your Lord in front of your friends and loved ones. 
3.  YOU CAN SCARCELY UNDERESTIMATE HIS TENDERNESS & COMPASSION. --  He cares.  He doesn't change.  He's interruptible.  On the cross He took our defilement.  He absorbed our uncleanness so that we become clean.
4.  WHAT YOU THINK ABOUT GOD DETERMINES HOW YOU RELATE TO HIM. -- If you really understood who He is, you would want Him, you would pray, you would yield to Him.  God is always working for our good.  His power guarantees He can.  His love guarantees He will.
So, which are you, the good synagogue ruler or the unclean woman?  Which one deserved Jesus' help more?  Which one got it?  Yeah, me too...