Sunday, December 30, 2012
*I believe one of the big reasons God introduced the Old Testament laws to His people was to show them, and us, that we would never be able to live up to them. As the law was perfect and we...well, we weren't!
So, in the human - small picture of things, the perfect law was a guide on how to live God's way...which is why many people memorize the 10 Commandments or have them on a plaque on their wall. But in the big picture of things the law's perfection was meant to highlight our imperfection and our huge need for a perfect Savior! Then, since this perfect Savior was able to save perfectly, this granted us the ability to be able to fulfill every single one of those laws by obeying just ONE...the New Commandment! Yes, I am still mindful of the 10 Commandments, but it is the one New Commandment that has become my focus, as it fulfills every one of those 10.
Please follow this link, as it not only shows this wonderful Galatians 5 verse that we will talk about, but many of the other verses (in the right-hand column) that tell us how important this New Commandment truly is and what it covers.
Wow, how perfect for us, huh!? And we are even empowered to do that ONE command by the Holy Spirit who has been given to each person who asks the perfect Savior to do for them what they could never, ever do for themselves!
So, why am I using the word perfect so often? Well, it's because we humans use it so often. "Well, no one's perfect"! Like, somehow, deep down, we think we ARE supposed to be perfect and so we are trying to talk ourselves and others into being OK with not being that way! I dunno...I just know we are not perfect...and it's OK not to be that way. God never made us to be robots that act perfectly...as God wants us to deeply understand!!
Trying to perfect our behaviors only keeps our eyes on ourselves and hinders our ability to love others. Think about how it was for God's people in the times before Christ. There were over 600 laws and commandments to follow exactly...so, no way was there time to do much else. There was very little time to serve and be available to those around you. Take some time in Leviticus and Deuteronomy. The law was perfect, and perfectly good! However, an imperfect people cannot obey a perfect law so as to satisfy it...as the human nature is too prone to satisfying self. And God says that if we fail one of them, then we fail them all.
"If someone obeys all of God's laws except one, that person is guilty of breaking all of them."
Come, sit among the roses,
Let's chit and chatter
About what life supposes
Come, sit among the flowers
Lets wonder about the times
As we while away the hours
Come, sit, relax in my garden
The thorns will be few here.
The welcome will not harden.
Come, sit ’n sip some tea.
In this ofttimes scary world
You’ll find a safe place to be.
Come, sit, please be at ease
Patience and kindness reside here
Though, they’re my only guarantees
If you read my poem, (As you can see I really enjoy writing poetry) you will have noticed the last stanza (the last 3 lines). I share this because I truly believe that this is essentially what God wants from us. He wants us to get to the place where we absolutely stop trying to be perfect. Where we can sit with one another and be OK with being imperfect...because God does not expect or ask that we have perfect behavior. What He asks or commands is that something else gets perfected. Our love. To the point where He commands it. So, we need to change our focus.
Change our focus?? Yes. From law to love...then, in so doing, you better believe that our behavior will follow, as it says in Galatians 5: 16-18...
"Let me explain further. Live your life as your spiritual nature directs you. Then you will never follow through on what your corrupt nature wants. What your corrupt nature wants is contrary to what your spiritual nature wants, and what your spiritual nature wants is contrary to what your corrupt nature wants. They are opposed to each other. As a result, you don't always do what you intend to do. If your spiritual nature (love) is your guide, you are not subject to Moses' laws."
If I am focusing on loving God and the people He created, then my urges to harm them become less and less.
If my heart is directed at what God values, then my behavior is much more appt to follow in kind.
If I am living my life learning to obey this one command, then I begin to sin less and less, and become helpful and have good behaviors more and more...which begins to satisfy the reason for the law.
"Love never does anything that is harmful to its neighbor.
Therefore, love is the fulfillment of the Law."
When you are endeavoring to follow a law...then you are keeping your focus on yourself. You are making sure you do this right and do that right so as to stay within the parameters of the law. Just like when you are driving your car and the police, who make sure the law is obeyed, are out watching: You watch your speed very closely. You keep your eyes on the road and your hands on the wheel. You cannot have your eyes or mind on the conversation going on with the people riding with you. No, your job is to drive within the law.
However now, God said in Galatians 5:13-14 that the freedom we now have from having to focus on obeying the law doesn't mean we can now put our focus on anything we want. No. God says to use our freedom for focusing on love....because in doing this, we ARE fulfilling the law. We are now driving carefully, but even more so, because of the love we have for the people (which includes ourselves) in our car, as well as the people in the cars around us.
"For you have been called to live in freedom, my brothers and sisters. But don't use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature. Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love. The entire law is summed up in a single command: "Love your neighbor as yourself."
*Please take time and get into the written word yourself. Seek God and follow His Son's life as your example. It's important that you also do your own study and never just rely on what others say, teach or preach.
2 Timothy 2:15
Study to show yourself approved to God, a workman
that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
Saturday, December 29, 2012
Looking at this coming year as a time of metamorphosis...
Jesus often used parables because they challenge the devout seeker to dig deeper...as truth is precious and is not always apparent for just anyone to see.
I wrote the following parable...a narrative really...through the eyes of a caterpillar who feels the stirring inside of it's forthcoming growth and change...of the fears, the hopes, the dreams of change...and perhaps, if it had the words, what it would say about it.
I wrote this in hopes that it would help us, as a part of God's creation, to be reminded that it is also in our destiny to go through growth and change...if we allow it to happen. As God's desire for us is that we become His. He bought us with a high price...so yes, He does own us ~ yet, He only takes full possession of all the areas of our hearts when we decide to believe in His love and power enough to give them to Him.
To say yes to God's idea of truth, love, and grace...even if it sounds odd to you...as His ways are very different than ours!
To submit to rejecting the feelings of condemnation, because you are now fully saved! As these feelings just inhibit your willingness to submit to God's wanting to mold you into the likeness of His Son.
To submit to growing from milk to meat...from childhood to maturity. From the familiar carnal life we are used to living - to a Holy Spirit-led Christian life.
To say yes to the journey.
I correct and discipline everyone I love. So be diligent
and turn from your indifference.
1 Pet. 2:2
As newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that
you may grow thereby.
1 Cor. 3:2
I gave you milk to drink. I didn't give you solid food
because you weren't ready for it. Even now you aren't ready for it.
Instead, by speaking the truth in love, we will grow up completely and become one with the head, that is, one with Christ.
"A Becoming Life" - metaphorical poem in three parts, written in traditional style. Please look up the words that are unfamiliar to you.
I. Commencement of Innocence
I was born into this place, a realm brand new to me.
T’was pristine and strange, so wonderful - amazing to see.
I looked up, a deep blue chasm. Too beautiful to believe!
Thus a fervent desire to be there, pressed upon my heart to leave.
For the moment my eyes had opened, my mind was wholly torn.
In what way could I take flight, devoid of wings since I was born?
A longing to escape, had left me entirely perplexed.
Oh, inured had I become, and so positive I’d been hexed.
Yet, I saw others like myself, who were new such as I.
Then I wondered if they also, had the yearning to fly?
They all were completely engaged, with no lingering or waver,
As leaves bidding strong return, must give a sumptuous flavor.
Hence I ate and continued on, plumping up with fervor and zest.
Wondering which tasty leaf, would sprout wings the very best?
I ate and watched to see, when other’s would obtain their wings.
Though none did I see appear, while all were feasting like kings.
Then, a deep stirring inside me, that was speaking to me so sweet.
A steady drawing, a pull and an urging, I agreed was meant to entreat.
Still open to question, (at last) I listened closely to my heart.
The desire within, so strong, to do whatever was my part.
As I followed, a gentle tug inside me, each step along the way,
I felt an embrace all ‘round me that was sweeter then the buffet!
Scary and exciting altogether, as it wasn’t from this world.
Oh, to let it happen, still - I fought to keep it hence unfurled.
What marvel did I perceive? Should have I resided nigh the ground?
This, still unproven. Thus far, ’twas better I remained earthbound!
II. Challenge of Reformation
Tho it appeared others were doing it. They kept eating - becoming so fat!
Indeed, I thought it prudent, to reside right there, and persist in doing that!
Conversely, I yearned to be amenable to the persistent urging inside.
That call to become something more, to it I never wanted to hide!
To maintain a true heart - disclosed. As it pointed to the sky.
Truth will not be ignored, thus, I would listen and keep it nigh.
Yes, I was born with a heart to fly, though devoid of wings.
Reflection took me to the sky, to see the splendor of things.
I, bound within that swathe, a design chosen for me.
My purpose to fulfill, though not plain for eyes to see.
A heart full - here a thousand things, invention, queries and fears.
A hope, a life extraordinary. Vigor, to enrich not only my peers.
Feelings a bit scary, as I, embraced by that command.
Then, tenderly swaddled - while losing sight of the land.
Sometimes, yes, the growing pains, were more then I could bear.
With the languor of my condition, oh, at times seemed quite unfair.
As my life continued changing, I truly could not have told,
What was occurring within me, was too mysterious to behold.
No denouement did I have, in where my fate was taking me,
Yet, boundless trust did I boast, in the hope of my destiny.
As the world and time passed, yearnings of freedom did ensue,
My heart, calmed by knowing, the freedom nature would imbue.
My dreams of alation, were further frequent and so haunting!
Moreover the intuit of release, was deepening and more daunting.
The labor pangs, oh my birthday, get ready, get set, now begin!
Yet, clashing were my forebodings, with my desire to remain within.
The cynosure of that dwelling, a solace nothing else could outdo.
Though untoward it was to stay, I wanted most to halt my debut.
Yet, the grace I began to feel, to help ease each fearful notion,
Commenced to calm the throngs of voices that could fill an ocean.
III. Fulfillment of a Dream
The palest glow, a glint, a spark, a glimmer of subtle light,
Came a preview of my future, a grand foretaste - my birthright.
As a thread of anticipation filled my heart - a wisp of serendipity,
The encouragement to move and stretch - grew with intensity.
So is this true, this ineffable state, was I ‘bout to be free?
This had surely become, something more then a propinquity.
A blinding light, an amazing scent, bid - break from this shell!
To be nimble, lithely - to flee at last! Courage to say farewell.
Each breach so quintessential. A ripping and a veracious tear,
A renewed fervor, a freedom from restraint, and a plethora of air.
Oh, this inspired creation. The incipience of a brand new life.
Over soon was that struggle, where hesitance and doubt were rife.
The unfurling of my outgrowth, exercising the endowment to me.
Was new and novel and scary, and was a part of my own epiphany.
The wait, oh, I thought, would it never end? How long need I dawdle?
My cosset no longer needed or to imprison - nor to mollycoddle!
The breeze, it came, to dry my wings. A whiffle to command a flutter.
Utterly astonishing, wholly ineffable - sprouted plumes, soft as butter!
Bar the leap from that safe place, into something I’ve never known.
A thing that is otherworldly. Kindled fears of plummeting as stone.
So redolent those blossoms - wondrous! Release of fears brings reward!
Elation in flight, a labyrinthine in air, an exemplar - perhaps a vanguard?
The blooms, so enticing! Whispered, “Come, relish your Pyrrhic victory!”
The reason for my life and becoming, the telling of this passionate story.
With joy of emancipation, as I heeded the weaving of this - my life.
My imbued verve exemplifies surrender, nurturing joy and less strife.
The wonder ‘round you. Nature, the first sacred canon - blessed harmony!
Grasping the impact. An offering of boundless lessons, to live abundantly.
By Jenny Elaine Sorge
Friday, December 28, 2012
|A child's rendering of a Lightening Bug|
* * * *
Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
* * * * *
1 Peter 2: 11-12 Beloved, I beg of you, as wayfarers and as foreigners, depart from all these desires of the body that make war against the soul, And let your way of life be beautiful before all children of men who speak wicked words of you, that they may see your works and praise God in the day of examination.
We have a life...Jesus...within us that can make a huge difference in people's lives. Whether people know it or not they are looking to us to show them that God is real. Telling them is one thing....but, when they SEE God in us...when they see the life He is bringing about IN US...then it will be much harder for them to argue the fact that God is real.
Then IF God becomes real to a person, then this fact moves them to open their heart to Him a little wider...and when this happens you better believe God's Holy Spirit wastes no time in capturing the moment in time when that happens. If you will do nothing else for the Kingdom of God this coming year...at least do this - pray that God puts it deep inside your heart to shine Christ to those around you. Through planned and unplanned appointments...however, if you are open to keeping your light lit, God will bless you with many unplanned appointments.
Your appointment could be just noticing someone with a big smile that answers the prayer of one who prayed secretly that morning that God would show them that He is real.
You just never know.
Or it could be a planned activity with a whole group of people that is filled with the joy of the Lord. The following is a wonderfully planned appointment...a church in Armenia planned this "Jesus Loves You" flash mob.
Thursday, December 27, 2012
This has been a particularly difficult Christmas, as I wasn't able to be with my parents who live over 700 miles away, as well as my daughter who lives even farther...so needless to say I am glad that Christmas is over.
Christmas, actually has not been the best time of year for me for a long time...but yet it does keep me mindful of the many people in this world that have a very difficult time at Christmas too. I'm sorry to put a damper on your holidays, but I would ask that you take a moment and pray for the people around you that may not have a smile on their face during this time of year.
Unfortunately, there are more people experiencing deep depression as well as committing suicide during this time of year than at any other time. As a person who has experienced depression I can say that it feels like you're drowning. Everyone gets the blues, but a tendency toward a deeper "blueness"...or depression can truly rob a person of so much.
During this time of year God has been bringing home to me what it means to trust Him with my whole heart...to climb up onto His lap and snuggle up and just be with my Father. Yet, there are many people who don't know that they can do this. They don't know that there is Someone much bigger then they are that loves them.
Please take some time and ask the Lord to use you in the lives of those around you this coming year...those whom you notice at the store or at work who need to be shown mercy and God's love. Who need to be introduced to the Great Physician...the One who came to save them in more ways than one.
Yes, I am almost positive that there will be people that you'll run into either in line at the grocery store, at the bank or at work who has cried and asked God to show them that He exists...that He is there. So every smile or caring gesture you impart may very well be the one thing that makes the difference in some one's life. But even if someone you meet or stand next to hasn't prayed that prayer ~ you better believe that God will use your show of love for His glory...and it will bring you even closer in your growth to becoming more like Christ!
Instead, we will lovingly speak the truth, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of His body, the church.
Tuesday, December 25, 2012
Color in your Christmas with love!! The devil has tried to take what God has created and twist everything. So, lets take everything back!
Lets take the time to share with our children about the greatness of God this holiday. The enemy thinks he always has one up on us, but he never does. He tries to twist the wonderful things God created for us, but we can shrug his stupid stuff off and show our kids God's beautiful gifts and His creativity...and how He made us to be creative too ~ because we were made in His image. Take a walk today and find pine cones and evergreen and talk about how God created everything in His creation to remind us of Him...like the evergreen, that is 'ever' or always green and when we make it into a wreath it is round with no end, to remind us that God's love never ends. Then when we put a star on the top of the tree it reminds us of the star of Bethlehem.
The candy cane was created by someone who loved Jesus and wanted people to remember He is our Good Shepherd (the shape of a crook) and the red part was to remind us about how Jesus bled and died for us, and the white part was a reminder of how that blood makes our sins as white as snow!
I'm sure you can think of many of the other things that God has put in His creation that shows His existance and His love for us! Take a walk after your presents and your meal today and see for yourself! Or take time this week to be creative....
Wednesday, December 19, 2012
The following is my reply (with a few edits) to a post in another blog, that I decided to post here. The concern of the article was essentially that we were not winning our war against the gay agenda because Christians are becoming less interested in the fight.
What is sad to me is how much the enemy has lied to us. Over **1/3 of the American population are professing evangelical Christians, and there are only around ***4% of the population that are professing gays. Yet, even tho we...the 1/3...have a power and a love so great, that if #activated could overwhelm not only the gays, but also all the other groups that are just as sinful as they are or we are (even tho we have picked out this group as tho they are more sinful), like the pedophiles, the Satan worshipers, the wife abusers, the gossipers, greedy, the KKK and their affiliates, and all the rest who are spreading ##deliberate destruction...we have chosen to fight using 'weapons' with much less power.
If we spent our time learning what it means to become more like Christ, then seeking and focusing on God for that outcome, then the light we would become would be such a force, that it would cause people to come to Christ in amazing numbers. Our fight is not against people, it is against the devil. The gays are sinners just like we were and are...and if we choose to spend our time and energy using God's power and love, the kind Christ used towards sinners, instead of secular means, to change things....wow, would things happen! This is just one small example, but take a little time and read "In His Steps" at http://www.gutenberg.org/catalog/world/readfile.php?fk_files=1456228 > It's about a church that decided to walk as Christ would, and in so doing made a huge difference in the lives around them. This is a free e-book of the original that was written many years ago. The issues were different in this story, but God isn't.
#We can choose to be just another dogmatic special interest group, or choose to walk as Christ (Christ-ian)...because they are very different from one another. We choose to walk in the steps of the Holy Spirit. These things don't just automatically happen. We choose to be as Christ...be a witness...be a sweet aroma, that draws people where ever we go. 2 Cor. 2:14 "But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and manifests through us the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place." Being like Christ means to be careful when speaking and handling the truth...it must be mixed with love in how and when it is spoken. Eph. 4:15 "Instead, we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church."
## Most gays are just people...sinners...like you and me who are trying to live their lives the best way they know how, with what they have. They are not out to impose on anyone. Most are not extremists and just want what every sinner wants...freedom. Yet, the other groups, who do intend to impose on others, have gotten almost no pressure put on them, especially as compared to the gay community. This all seems very cock-eyed to me! Yes...absurd.
Tuesday, December 18, 2012
Let The Son Shine On You!
Let The Son Shine On You! *
Let The Son Shine On You!
Let The Son Shine On You!
Exodus 33:19-22 *
The LORD replied (to Moses), "I will make all my goodness pass before you, and I will call out my name, Yahweh, before you. For I will show mercy to anyone I choose, and I will show compassion to anyone I choose. But you may not look directly at my face, for no one may see me and live." The LORD continued, "Look, stand near me on this rock. As my glorious presence passes by, I will hide you in the crevice of the rock and cover you with my hand until I have passed by.