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Respect Does Not Mean Agreement

Respect is not synonymous with agreeing with another person. I think for some this is a real challenge on a regular basis and for many of us it can be on an occasional basis. It’s lovely when we can agree and see eye-to-eye on everything; but that is not realistic.

I was having a conversation with someone, as I have had in the past many times over. Unfortunately, there is a recurring meta theme that it is desirable to always see things the same way and if not, to sometimes threaten conflict. The need for total, unquestioning agreement is born out of insecurity in many cases.

What do we gain by always agreeing? What if we are agreeing on something that is dead wrong or feining agreement? In psychology, we call the latter, pseudomutuality. Isn’t it more respectful to speak genuine opinion and certainly of most profit, to speak truth based on the Word of God?

I also have had opportunity to dialogue with others recently about what it means to live your life as a Christian especially in these days, which I believe are the end of the age. It is concerning to me when I hear studies citing that up to 88% of Christians do not read their Bibles, at least not on any sort of regular basis.

I’ve had several encounters recently where I made comments about believing we are in the final days, the mark of the beast, being willing to be martyred for the cause of Christ and so on.

I am so concerned for the state of individual Christians and the corporate Church. (I am specifically refraining from using the term the Body of Christ because not everyone in the church is part of the body.) By no means am I saying that I have arrived or have it all understood or figured out. I do firmly believe, however, that we are to embrace the main purpose for our lives – being transformed and conformed to the image of Christ. I also believe that if one does not stand courageously through the power of the Holy Ghost now, that they will almost certainly be doomed as times get tougher.

I think that we/the True Followers, will be labeled as nuts and doomsday propagators as we take a stand. I think a lot of people are not benefiting from pursuing the deep level of relationship that can be had with Heavenly Father, Lord and Savior and Holy Ghost. I know I’m not fully satisfied and want to grow closer on a daily basis.

By the power of Holy Ghost, I’m all in! What does that mean exactly? The bottom line of it is that I want to seek a deeper relationship and hear from Abba daily, in fact several times a day, clearly. I want to stay in an attitude of prayer and be in prayer throughout the day. I want to go to the mat for the Lord! He has raised us up for such a time as this. Now is not the time to cower or shrink back. In Luke 9:62, Jesus said, “Anyone who puts their hand to the plow and looks back, is not fit for the Kingdom of Heaven.” Now is the time to stand, be radical as led by Holy Ghost (not provoking the satanic realm from your own desire), be bold andcourageous (not intimidated) just as we are encouraged in Joshua 1:9 because God is with us everywhere we go! It means being a martyr if that’s what we are called upon to be. Martyrdom is actually a great privilege.

While people are kindly silent when I express these sorts of what I believe to be truths based on the Word of God, I wonder, are they ready? Are they ready? Please, get ready. God, help me to stay ready!

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30 Pieces of Silver Changed the World

Much like the vantage point of the photograph, Judas Iscariot had an obstructed view of all the potential Jesus had in mind for him.

In Matthew 26, we see how this man was overcome by satanic influence. It seems that there was greed, jealousy, bitterness and hatred afoot. He chose the dark side rather than to pursue the calling that would have been pleasing to the Lord.

When he went to seek out a price to betray the Lord, he was granted 30 pieces of silver. He was so bold to plot and plan and look for the first opportunity to betray Jesus.

When the time came, he went up to Jesus and gave him a kiss on the cheek. All the while, Jesus calmly still called him friend. I truly believe that if he had repented at that time, he would have been saved. None of us were there at his last moments and there is possibility that as he was preparing to hang himself he cried out in anguish asking for forgiveness. I’m not here to debate one way or the other on that. We do know that the Bible tells us it would have been better for the man that betrayed the Son of God to have never been born. And we know that God loves each and everyone of us.

We also know that the Word tells us that some vessels were created for clean and some for unclean purposes. It also states that the Father doesn’t want anyone to perish but to find eternal life through Jesus His son.

And clearly, we read that Christ could have called down armies of angels and spared him the agony of the cross.

But, I want us to evaluate the impact that one choice can make. One selfish, fleshly decision, was part of an event that changed the whole world. Even though Judas later felt remorse and threw the 30 pieces of silver back into the temple, the dye was already cast.

So may we walk as wise, not as fools, especially as this segment of time and opportunity is rapidly coming to a close. We will all be accountable for the good and the bad that we have done. May we remember to be quick to repent when necessary. May we be readily kind and show forth God’s grace to a world in need.

He said that whatever we do to even the very least, we have done it unto Him. Quite a sobering thought.

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Have You Ever Been Stung?

Until today, I could honestly say that I had never been stung by a bee, wasp or hornet.

As a human being, we are all tempted to be reactive out of fear. Today, while breaking up some compacted wood chips to spread in my yard, I unwittingly disturbed a wasps’ nest. All of a sudden, there was quite a swarm. While I stood still and declared that in the name of Jesus they would not sting me, three of them in fact did impact me in that manner.

In seeking the Lord about the experience and what is to be learned from it, he has shown me a few parallels in the spiritual realm. While I meant no harm to the wasps, their instinct was to respond out of fear as they thought they were going to be destroyed. So too, we as humans can be moved by the spirit of fear if we are not fully controlled by Love. Only true and perfect love can cast out fear according to the Word of God, the Holy Bible. So many of us have hurt others and been hurt. It all goes back to fear.

Sometimes that fear has anger, hatred or bitterness layered upon it, worn like a mask And that’s one lesson from the wasps today.

Another lesson, is how subtle the satanic realm is. As we are blithely going along trying to live our lives, even do good, we can be surprised by the unseen. All of a sudden, evil will spring forth in attack.

Sometimes we have allowed cracks in our Spiritual armor that gives opportunity. But sometimes, as I was reminded earlier while reading a book called Emerald Eyes by Lois Vogel-Sharp, we live in a world that has evil alive and working because it was given permission by man to dwell in this realm and influence our behaviors and our emotions.

The Word tells us that we are not ignorant of the enemy’s devices.

We must stay alert by leaning into God. We do this by embracing Him in worship that comes directly from the depths of our spiritual being and by continuing to read and meditate upon the Word of God, the Bible.

Worship is a deep topic in and of itself. I would encourage you to be aware of how you can worship the Lord in spirit and in truth daily. That’s where the rubber meets the road for me and for you. It’s not about an experience on Sunday mornings. When we have an experience in church, I hope that that is merely an extension of what is going on for us on a regular basis outside of that setting. And I hope that we don’t confuse praise, volume and emotion with true worship.

God bless you this evening, morning or afternoon as you read this passage and beyond.

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All or Nothing

Ever want to be perfect? Do you ever find yourself thinking that all you do is never enough?

While pondering and silently chatting with the Lord today, He let me know that what was getting in the way was an all-or-nothing mentality. Regardless of the issue, if we have our eyes and expectations incorrectly focused and high to the being unreasonable, we will be robbed of joy and peace.

While listening to a message from Kevin Zadai tonight on social media about the protection found in prayer, I was able to find healing and perspective. Part of what he was highlighting was Psalm 91 where the Lord lets us know of his awesome and mighty protections over us when we make him our refuge, focus and true source of hope.

This is a short post just to encourage you to keep pursuing healing and Love, (which is really who God is and where all true love emanates from to us) and to never let anything that the enemy throws at you steal your joy, your time, your peace, your soundness of mind, your money, your health, or your family/relationships.

Stay strong by standing in the Lord, in His mighty power and remaining free of the burden of trying to make things happen in your own strength and/or in your own time.

God truly blesses His dearly loved children.

Goodnight.