my peace

wherever you go

there is need

always it seems

people are dying

for what can’t be seen

Peace

 

trust only in the One

who is our Peace

He moves mountains

valleys are exalted

the mountains melt like wax

in the presence of the Lord

 

we have this promise

I will never leave you

nor forsake you

 

Jesus said,

now and forever

till the ends of the earth

My Peace I give you.

 

– John 14:27: Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you; not as the world gives, give I unto you. Don’t let your heart be troubled, neither let it be fearful…

Webster’s Bible translation

 

pray for the peace of Jerusalem

they shall prosper that love thee.

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when I falter

 

Open my eyes, O God

let me see light, that true light Jesus

and rise in morning prayer today

 

O God, help me

I look up crying

because I need so many things

 

keep my eyes waking

when I falter

your love keeps me

 

my Father God

who saves me

through the mercies of His Son

 

the clouds are swirling

the sea is churning

but I like Jonah am not forsaken

 

they flood my soul

these lies that tempt me

those who hate me conspire to slander

 

please let my eye be single

myself reconciled truly

 

like the covenant blood-bought

saints of old-tyme

 

my petitions earnestly

let me give them to you O Lord

 

even my enemies

I must pray for

 

Jesus Prince of Peace

my body, soul and spirit

 

to God be the glory

and to Jesus shall all

peoples, kingdoms and nations obey.

 

 

 

 

 

 

the price of liberty

You will know it if you ever have to pay it.

Everything is run by the numbers today so we are stuck in a system where we gain from participation in the system for instance:  good wage, performance bonuses, favorable stock numbers, good investments, and fortunate trades; but to do all that with success you have to live it, breath it, never let it go, every day, all day, until the cows come home. That kind of devotion to money makes you sorrowful because it is never enough to please you – that is the good news. King Solomon’s wisdom tells us that too.

Knowledge is another part of life we bank on – we love to find out wonderful facts about history, science, geography, sports trivia, and even the astronomical configurations standing well above us in the sky.

Well knowledge is just knowledge, science is just science – these banks of knowledge and wonders of science are not gods to be worshipped but that seems to be trend today;  wisdom is not present in most knowledge-based cirriculums in grade school or college. So again the Bible says that he who increases knowledge increases sorrow.

The people of academia and all kinds of scholastic achievements and papers are some of the most sorrowful and/or depressed people you will ever find; their bank of knowledge runs low eventually like all of our accounts in this world do, and they are bummed about that as they age, especially those who may have chosen the path of agnostic or atheistic bends in their approach to the divine and then engage young people into that train of thought. Dangerous to the soul, wouldn’t you agree?

We live in a country that has the high acclaim of the most liberty and freedoms in the world according to many testimonies, but the struggle every man has is in his soul, which has nothing to do with the numbers in the stock exchange or a great salary.

The man I think of when I contemplate the kind of pseudo-successful person which fits the profile I described above is a former atheist professor named Howard Storm. This man while still in his 30s, was a high-minded tenured art professor at a Kentucky university and was there working at the university for about 10 years when he and his wife decided to make an art trip to France. Great! Let’s go. I deeply appreciate art myself and even visited Detroit Institute of Arts (finally) in 2015, great art museum.

Professor Storm suffered from a sudden and devastating illness which triggered bleeding in his duodenum part of his intestinal tract and basically ‘died’ on a gurney in a Paris hospital. By his own admission, he said later after he had miraculously survived by means of dramatic prayer on his part while experiencing a spiritual encounter that no one in his position would ever forget, he was a ‘double atheist’ up until that point, a know-it-all professor, and he said also that universities are some of the most close-minded places on earth.

The professor was saved with not only reversal of his grave illness and not because of great medical care, but also he was saved because when ‘they’ came to get him, that is the people he thought were his friends while he was viewing his own limp body on gurney, he realized these ‘people’ were meanly escorting him to a place of not only dark abode but extreme torture. Professor Storm harkened back to his early days of training in church where he learned hymns and was taught the Word of God, and he began praying in earnest to be released from these minions who were leading him to hell.

Before he was ‘set free’ though from these minions, they attempted to convince him that it would be worse for him in hell if he kept praying to God, and they shouted obscenely at him. This kind of hate he apparently never experienced before, but his determination and faith rose enough for him to break out in song, songs like ‘Battle Hymn of the Republic’ and ‘God Bless America’ and he recited the Lord’s prayer too.

Professor Storm’s near death experience eventually turned into a life-saving and soul-preserving experience as he experienced divine intervention as he persisted in praise and prayer to God.

The price of liberty for Professor Storm was a return to what he always knew was true deep in his heart and when confronted with the direct and very real threat of imminent death, his soul not being saved at that point, he found that within him was the treasury of God’s word, more valuable that all the great art on exhibit at Louvre or anywhere in France or the world for that matter.

The price of liberty was for Professor Storm the willingness to not give up or give in to the powers of darkness. Professor Storm found in Jesus a friend that never left him nor forsook him even after years of sin and unbelief.

http://blog.godreports.com/2012/03/atheist-professors-near-death-experience-in-hell-left-him-changed/

 

ANXIOUS ‘BOUT MANY THINGS

Semiradsky_Christ_Martha_Maria-57f55c125f9b586c358e08ca[1]

You cannot help but love this story from the Bible because it is so true of women today. Mary sits at the feet of Jesus wanting to hear every word the blessed Saviour has to say about the life of faith in God.

While Martha is busy all the time it seems, God knows that she is busy for a reason because obviously she is very dutiful and helpful to her guests. We need Martha.

Women are busy with serving and working and blessing others with their work. This kind of life is the story of the majority of women in the world today and even of young girls especially in third-world countries who assume many duties of responsibility before they reach 10 years of age in some cases, simply because they are needed by family members and their respective communities.

The Christian body of believers today look at this epic account of Martha, Mary and Jesus, and they divide themselves into three camps:

  1.  the pro-Mary crowd who love to imagine Mary sitting at the feet of Jesus and not in a fleshly attraction because that was not her motivation, but in a way of pure devotion, and you have to admire that in Mary;
  2. Martha on the other hand was busy fetching water, cleaning silverware, and brooming the home no doubt, God knows, to keep things up and not let the house become untidy nor was she neglectful of her guests and their needs;
  3. the third camp is the neutral one, where we see a picture of beauty and necessity and we don’t care to criticize Mary for not ‘helping’ Martha, and we don’t criticize Martha either for not taking a seat next to Mary in devotion to Jesus.GOD KNOWS. Think of Martha and Mary – women who both obviously love God and know that Jesus is sent from God. They are sisters in the faith. Jesus knew obviously that it was not work or overwork on the part of Martha, really she was tired and anxious about many things and Jesus said so to comfort her not to criticize her. Please read in Luke 10. Unfortunately Martha wanted Mary to ‘recoil’ if you will from her seated position at the feet of Jesus and that is what got Jesus attention. Jesus did not criticize Martha for what she was doing and the preparations she was making in practical ways, but since Martha took opportunity to criticize Mary for what she was doing, Jesus found it necessary to speak to Martha gently and lightly rebuke her so from that day forward there would never be another light accusation launched at Mary from the lips of Martha. The beautiful part of this account is that the activities of both women were affirmed; Mary was given affirmation for her devotion to Jesus as she recognized her need for the Lord was dire and she was not going to be denied the short time she had to sit at his feet; Martha was given a gift by Jesus, this exchange revealed that the Lord cared for her heavy-loaded heart full of worries and stress of everyday living, and that He was there for her whenever she needed him because Jesus did not ignore anyone who expressed need or hurt. Martha really needed Jesus to care for her at that moment and he did care by speaking to her about devotion and that ‘one thing’ is needful and that statement in itself is kind of a mystery, but you get the picture I hope.

Women need to see Jesus for who He is and still today even though he is not present in the flesh, women everywhere that look to him see in Jesus the hope and love that the world and the flesh cannot take away, and many women today still chose the better part because their need is dire. Women need the Saviour to speak to them and if they can ‘sit at his feet’ they can still do that today and every day in earnest prayer and devotion.

God bless all.

THE PROMISE OF THE FATHER

The good news is that everything that God decrees is a surety and is based upon the surety of the covenant God made with man. The beginnings of the Christian faith we know is featured first and foremost as we look at the man God called out of old Iraq, the man Abraham first known as Abram.

God called a man and his family out of a place where basically idol worship ruled the mind and hearts of the people of that ancient land.

Whatever God does he does forever. When God called Abraham out, he spoke to Abraham in a way which few people would understand practically speaking, and maybe that is good because God knows what he is doing and he shows us what we need to know so that we ourselves do not stray from the path he has destined for us in Christ, but we don’t know everything we need to know because we are mortal and look through a glass darkly.

The Promise of the Father is that no one would be left alone and hung out to dry as it were in this world, especially those who believed on the goodness and mercy of God, and as we see reading about the day of Pentecost and upper room, God was not going to show partiality to any nation or people because of cultural or geographic differences. The Book of Joel tells it like it is – He pours out His Spirit upon all flesh! Prophetic utterance follows.

The encouragement God gives us must be shared and shared with others in terms of making disciples or offering a prayer or sowing a seed in a loving spirit of kindness, meekness and accountability. The accountability part is where we get tripped up sometimes because we want to do everything in a way which makes us comfortable and that can be OK as a starting point, but the point is that we must be sensitive to those seeking even if they are a little rough on us when we bring up matters of faith and gospel.

The scriptures says that he that wins souls is wise; that word itself – WISE -is kind of a mystery to me because I know I am not wise enough or as wise as I should be in dealing with people who don’t know the Lord or even His message. I have sown seed and even won a few people to the Lord, at least they came to the cross as I witnessed them repent and believe, but I have missed opportunities too which times I don’t even want to think about. There is no condemnation in Christ Jesus. Remember that God will send someone else if you fail in a particular evangelistic mission because you were selfish or hesistant even when you felt the Holy Spirit tugging at your heart to speak to someone and perhaps you knew you would never see that person again.

I think we all need to practice faithfulness because the hour is approaching when the time for sowing seed will reach its limits because of our age or sickness or time and chance.

Believe in the promise of the Father. Walk in the power of the name of Jesus because you really believe it. Like it is written in the book of Ephesians chapter 1, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of Promise, that Spirit which says ‘Abba Father.’

showers of blessing

What happened on the day of Pentecost as recorded in the book of Acts?

We have more here to find out for ourselves than what Pentecostalism taught or has ever taught or even known. Jesus went to heaven in a cloud. What ever happened to that cloud? The cloud had to break because it was JUST a covering for a short time.

Ten days after Jesus ascended to heaven in a cloud, the cloud broke in a shower of blessing on the disciples! The church was born that day in power and blessing. The Spirit of God descended with such quickness that no one had a chance to even make any carnal observation of what was happening among those assembled in prayer and godly preaching by the Apostle Peter soon followed the cloud burst.

Every man heard in his own language, so there is an individual aspect to the Holy Spirit right from the start which lets us all know that this really isn’t confined to Pentecostalism as such because the move of God is a divine move, not an ‘isms. The Holy Spirit does not respect the person’s economic or social status in terms of this world, so the gift was given for all to receive whose heart was yearning to receive. They were gathered all in prayer. Some people were carpathians, some Egyptians, some from Pamphylia, some people were Arab descent, some Greek, some were Hebrew, etc., but all were praising and thanking God and they were doing so in a language they did not by birth or tradition even understand (Acts 2:7-11). Guess what? Didn’t matter, God is no respecter of persons, in all who seek Him they are visited with the same glory in essence, so that no flesh can glory in His presence. They were speaking of the mighty miracles of God – no churchanity to be found in the Upper Room.

The typical insertion of fleshly observation did arrive on the scene, though, because ‘the crowd’ as it were, the peanut gallery soon arrived, those folks who were not praying or seeking God that day, found occasion to say hastily  ‘well they are drunk, that’s all.’

The man Peter stepped forward with the 11 disciples and shouted to the crowd, “Listen, all of you, visitors and residents of Jerusalem alike! Some of you are saying these men are drunk! It isn’t true! It’s much to early for that, people don’t get drunk at 9 a.m! NO! What you see this morning was predicted centuries ago by the prophet Joel – In the last days, God said, ‘I will pour out my Holy Spirit upon all mankind, and your sons and daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men dream dreams. Yes, the Holy Spirit shall come upon all my servants, men and women alike, and they shall prophesy.

There is much more to read about in Acts 2. Please read that chapter if you can today.

Apostle Peter himself was married and his wife bore him three daughters, all of whom prophesied, so can you imagine what that household sounded like at time of fellowship or breaking of bread?

The day of Pentecost is the cloud breaking of all cloud breakings because it ushered in a time when the sun and rain over time since that day signifies the changing seasons and seed time and harvest, and rain clouds are a blessing to the farmer in the fields after all. Rain has its own seasons though, so likewise the Holy Spirit visits his people for refreshing and we need that time, so let us be ready always to receive that refreshing rain.

Don’t miss the cloud burst of blessings.

Remember too that the day of Pentecost came without money, without price. Millions share the wealth of God’s gift freely and bless each other in turn, and no one has less who believes!

 

 

 

Moses in the New Testament

356px-Philippe_de_Champaigne_-_Moses_with_the_Ten_Commandments_-_WGA04717[1]

You have riches and glory in your hands if you have a good Christian Bible in your hands right now. Men of God wrote as they were lead by the Holy Spirit to bring the Word of God to every generation to benefit from.

Please note that the first mention of the man Moses in the New Testament is found in the book of Matthew chapter 17. Moses is the man who is the central figure in the Old Testament and his presence is found throughout the New Testament. He is a man who most people in the world hold in great esteem and wonder, even those who do not profess faith must be in awe of this man of God, leader and prophet to his people. Under the Most High’s specific instructions, he lead the Hebrew nation out of bondage, coming out of Eypgt; Moses, the man who by any standard other than the calling of the Most High God, would have been an also-ran at best to even his fellow Hebrew brethren, carried the torch if you will and lead the people of God out of the land of bondage, Egypt, and carried them forth into the desert, with the Egyptian army in ruins, bringing them forth in hope under the mighty hand of God.

The first mention of Moses in the New Testament is in what is known as the encounter at the mount of transfiguration, wherein Jesus, with his disciples present and that is significant, was transfigured and His face shone like the sun and His clothes became as white as the light. The only descriptors that come close to that one in Matthew are probably only found in the book of Revelation.

The disciple of Jesus we know as Peter had a great suggestion (at least he thought his idea was a good one) at the height of this time of transfiguration, but he was trying to hard obviously to come up with something that would honor all three men of God so he reacted if you will by suggesting ‘booths’ one for Jesus, one for Moses, and one for Elijah, perhaps reminiscent of the festival of booths observance we read about in the Old Testament.

Jesus being wise do not rebuke Peter, and he didn’t even tap Peter on the shoulder to preempt his speech, because a bright cloud overshadowed them and a voice from the cloud said, “this is my beloved Son in whom I am delighted: listen to Him.”

There is no WOW moment that gets any bigger than this right? All of the disciples heard the voice from the cloud, knew it was the Father and they were in great fear, but of course Jesus knew what to do; he came forward and touched them and said, “stand up and have no fear.”  The disciples were obedient to Jesus and raised their eyes and they saw no one except for Jesus alone.

The theological implications of what I just described in brief are numerous, but dissertation is not needed here.

Moses, Elijah, two of the most reverent and powerful men of God we can imagine up until the arrival of Jesus on earth, were there with Jesus and there was transfiguration of the raiment of Jesus and his whole being. What this first reminds of me is what is described in I Cor 15:49: And just as we have borne the likeness of the earthly one, so we shall bear the likeness of the heavenly One.

Think of it, one day we shall be as Jesus is now if we follow the path he has made for us through instruction of His Word and the Holy Spirit which is the ‘down-payment’ of our inheritance in the faith that is our proud hope and has been witnessed by generations of them that are now passed but ‘believed in God’ until the end.

Moses mention in New Testament is worthy of study and I have hardly started that kind of study myself, but you will find yourself blessed in studying Moses whether you find him in the Old or New Testament.

In the meantime, remember that we now bear the image of the earthy (like Adam), but one day we shall bear the image of the one who loved us and saved us from the power of sin and darkness; Jesus, in shining raiment, on the mount of transfiguration; no fear; the Father saying for the benefit of the disciples and all followers of Jesus from every generation to the present day.

BELOVED SON.

HEAR him JESUS.

The privilege we have is unfathomable, the length and breadth and depth of our faith cannot be measured.

 

MASTER FILE

dsc_9524-2012-01-28-at-08-25-05[1]Today they looked up

as they are always gazing

tethered to their screen shots

much ado ’bout nothing important

 

they scroll to the Master File

and they are looking for me

 

I want the goose eggs they stole

my chicks are gasping and churping

loudly but weakly for breath

 

so…..

they die

every month

for want of strength

to break the opposition

 

too weak to break the enclosure

they die crying and trying

 

and if I just figure out a way

to delete the bad file

to save my hatchlings

the ones that hope

to fly to my yard

and be gooses.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE TRUE ZERUBBABEL

The Greeks thirst for knowledge – yes,  that’s true and in the Bible; the Jews require a sign – yes, that’s true and in the Bible.

The thirst for knowledge is everywhere and increasing, as indeed people want to ‘know the truth’ but the problem I see, is that the very word ‘truth’ has become another way of saying ‘my truth’ which in the minds of people turns what is otherwise known to be truth itself into a shoddy version of someone’s memory of events and/or experience, and sometimes ‘nothing could be farther (or further if you prefer) from the truth.’

The Bible puts everything into perspective but it takes time to absorb and understand what God is patiently trying to convey to all of us, that we don’t own the truth at all and we never will, thank God, but if we are children of the King, we know the truth and he is a man!

The truth is found in one man, the man Christ Jesus; he is the Way, the Truth and the Light. All men are liars and yes the Bible says that too.

I don’t mean that people are incapable of telling the truth, they do tell the truth sometimes and often get punished for doing so, but some can’t help themselves and despite the punishments to be meted out to them, they will continue to tell the truth. The Apostle Paul is the best and classic example of a man who understood and knew the truth and went to great lengths to speak everything he knew to be true and do so without apology; he was beaten, thrashed and utterly publicly castigated for doing so, that is why he said ‘we are like the off-scouring of the world’ you know that part of the grill when after the cooking is done gets unceremoniously scraped into the trash bin.

Notice that Paul said we are like the off-scouring of the world’ because to those of the world who want to curry favor and are stuck in the greed mode, anyone who gets in their way is treated with extreme disdain and even hatred, thus people who love the things of the world more than God are not liking us who have chosen to instead love God more than the things of the world.  God knows who are His own, no man can judge you.

Let’s talk a minute about Zerubbabel in the Old Testament. He was a man right? OK, why he is so important to Bible readers and studiers today?  He was a prince of the house of David in his time.

The prophetic element in Haggai is the spirit of God speaking to us now of not just things from ancient times, but things that now are and things to come, because remember that prophets like Haggai and Isaiah and Jeremiah, and others, were anointed to see beyond the events of their time; their inquiries as they spoke messages from a spiritual treasury were then and are now to benefit us by truth not authored by men.

Thus Christ is the true Zerubbabel – Jesus the Christ the man of peace, came and spoke not ‘his truth’ but that which had its origins in the beginning with the Father, known are all of God’s works from the beginning of time.

Biblical exhortation is to believe God’s Word above all else. Haggai was speaking of shaking of nations, Apocalypse in motion, and the people fearing, hoping, trying to do anything to hold it together, but finding it really hard because evil men wax worse and worse; that is when the contending for the faith spoken of in the New Testament of Jude really sinks in, and you find yourself praying like crazy because there is no other way to handle it.

The Apostle Peter spoke in the 1 and 2 Peter of similar events of shaking and fire and tumult as spoke by Haggai, but we know that everything must be shaken so that those things that cannot be shaken will remain.

Jesus – stamped with God’s ‘signet’ and He who is the express image of the Substance of the Father was stamped in his manhood; and all those who are called by His Name, the name of Jesus, also belong to God the Father and are stamped with this signet (I Cor 15:49).

Rejoice in the Lord always, our redemption is nearer than we first thought.

 

the command

Everyday challenges: the test is to keep the command holy.

If there is one word that I could use to describe to someone what the command is in Christian life: obedience.

It is better to obey than sacrifice according to God’s word. Sacrifice involves denying the flesh and that is good to some degree for the outward man, but the inner man is the place where life is decided. An example of this would be the ‘righteous man’ who appeared in the temple before God and basically bragged about his fasting, his prayers and devotion to holy days, then presumed upon the grace and favor that would be granted him by God; whereas, the guy who appeared in the temple before God and knew himself well enough to realize perhaps having been through all the ‘formalities’ of prayer and fasting and extreme attendance on holy days, etc., in the past and still having a kind of darkness in his heart that kept him from truly serving God with joy, well, this guy smote himself on his chest and asked the Lord to be merciful to him, in other words, confessing that there was darkness there in his heart and he wanted to be freed from that darkness fully, not appear to be in front of others like the first guy I mentioned above.

One guy thought he could attain to righteousness by religious exercise and torture of the body; the other guy, did not know much of anything anymore except that in his heart he wanted to serve God and not be a whitened sepulcher like the Pharisees tended to be, though not all really were.

God knows our hearts in matters of prayer and devotion and that includes fasting and I am for all three, but I have lived long enough and allowed mistakened attitudes to gain foothold where they didn’t have the right in the past, so now, I try to find myself always under the shadow of the cross because that is the best place to seek God’s presence.

I must diminish longings after the fleshly nature, but that combat is not for ‘holier than thou’ rather it is for the glory of God, because the scripture says if we follow after the Holy Spirit and his leading we will be lead, we will face trials, we will be persecuted, we will be in situations which make us want to doubt where we stand and even who we are; that being said, Jesus said, ‘be of good cheer, I have overcome the world’ and you are an overcomer too because you believe in the Son of God who died and rose again that you might be justified in God’s presence, the blood of Christ cleansing you and making your conscience clear, by grace, through faith which is an operation of God (read Ephesians 2:8-10).