Rain falls, saturates the dry earth and plants. Tree, flowers, crops, soil, all benefit fron the rainfall. With no rain the plants wither and dry, the ground hardens and cracks, thirsting for a shower to end the draught.It appears all is lost when rain refuses to fall.
"O God you are my God; early will I seek you; my soul thirsts for you; my flesh longs for you; In a dry and thirsty land where there is no water." Ps.63:1
I need the rain. You do too. Not the moisture falling from the skies...no, the rain that refreshes our spirits, the falling of His presence, saturating the depths of our spirits. Likes the trees and plants His rain falling on us, causing growth and producing fruit many feed from. The showers God sends to our inward man cause the cracked dry soil of our existence, become a dark rich loam, growing new seedlings in undeveloped areas, those places we have ignored too long. His showering to make us a well-watered garden, a picture of gracefulness, where everything produces after it's kind. We being so saturated that living waters gush from within us so others may drink and be satisfied. God send the rain.
May the Lord send his rain down on you and fill your every moment with His Holy Presence. May you be known for His love in you. May His wisdom in you be obvious to all. May His kindness be your character, His name never leave your breath. May you grow, give, and gather through Jesus, the name above every name. Let it be.
Thanks for reading, God bless and keep you all.
For the lonely and friendless, no one cares for,
Lord, have mercy.
Those bound by grief and sorrow, and all seems lost,
Lord, have mercy.
The one never knowing love,
Lord have mercy.
For the multitudes in the dark,
Father, bring The Light.
Many see no end to their addictions,
God be gracious.
Those oppressed in evil thoughts,
God be gracious.
For the depressed and torchured soul,
God be gracious.
All that are blind to hope,
Father, bring The Light.
Turn night into day, revive the fallen,
restore the broken, mend our wounds.
Lord have mercy, God be gracious, Father bring The Light!
How long do we live by two opinions? Who do we really believe has the answers? I believe sincerely and entirely, that we have arrived at the crucial place in time as a nation, that Israel faced three thousand years ago. Elijah, a man of God and known also as the "prophet of fire," had spoken the word from God that famine was coming to the land. Famine came for seven years, no rain. When the time for the famine to end, the prophet stood before Ahab the king and the people of Israel, and asked an important question we must ask ourselves. Our refusal to ask this important question is to say "we are happy with the denial we dwell in, nothing bad will happen, don't take the Bible literally, Bill Maher said only a fool would do so." Taking the Bible literally, or thinking it is not really God's Word, but merely a old document with interesting stories, as our president believes.
Don't think for a minute that you are in good company by disbelief. If you find out in the end that it is not only truth, but the way you were designed to live and the path to walk on, the consequences will have an eternal impact. The question Elijah asked was:
"How long will you waver, hobbling between two opinions? If the Lord is God,follow Him, but if Baal is god, then follow him."
Their response: "But the people were completely silent." 1 Kings 18:21 NLT
To tell you what happened in case you do not read the whole story. He made the people a deal. We will build two altars, and place a sacrifice on both. Then we will pray, you to baal, me to God. The God that answers with sending fire down to consume their sacrifice, that is the God we will serve. The people agreed.There were 450 false prophets of baal, one man, Elijah, stood for God. He let them go first. From morning until evening they cried to their god to no avail, cutting themselves with knives to show their dedication so baal and the crowd could see. Then Elijah's turn came, he had four pots of water poured on his sacrifice two times, until the water flowed into the trench below the altar. He said a simple prayer, the fire from God fell, ans consumed the sacrifice, the altar, even the water in the trench! Then the people fell on their faces, and said "The Lord, He is God!" Then Elijah had the false prophets seized, and he killed everyone of them.
"That's cruel, he killed the prophets!" That is what the false prophets of our day say. They only see what scriptures say that reflectt the Lord, merciful, gracious, and kind, as an evil ogre that wreaks vengeance on mankind. They do not know the cruelty and evil done to the people by these false prophets. The evils are similar to the evils in our society removing God from the minds of the people, moving Him to the back of the bus.The men and women of our day, that have the courage to stand and say that we are judged as a nation for transgressions and social evils condoned by, even paid for by our government, are made out to be foolish, backwoodsy types. Their accusers pass themselves off as the intelligent, educated in truth, humanitarians. that refuse to pass judgment on evil, but condemn good. Laws are passed to protect the guilty, and punish the victims.
This is not a call to do what Elijah did to the prophets to be done to the humanists and secularist of the day. That is not my purpose. We should lay the challenge on the table, the questions asked back then, asked now; "how long will you, America, waver, hobbling between two opinions? Tell intelligencia prove to us that gods exist, or remove them from our land, destroy the false teaching.
Give us absolute proof that your dating methods, namely carbon dating are 100% acurate, or declare it to be a religion that takes faith to believe. Give us absolute proof that man evolved from ape, that life began from a single cell, or call it a religion, get it out of our schools where you have said religion does not belong. Take a thousand year-old skull, and date it along side of those "neanderthal" skulls you find, and give the people proof of your truth, or admit theory, an "educated guess" is all you have. You can't do that. But you, O intelligent ones, poison the minds of our youth decade after decade, from your bitter hatred of God. You have helped produce a spiritual famine in this land, in this world.
You and I that claim to be followers of Christ need to look around us, see the fruit of these false teachings. Immoral living, our people are consumed with self-service, loving pleasure, blind to addictions and the hopelessness of our generation. We like what we see on the modern prophets of baal's TV talk shows, how we find their doctrines of acceptance and tolerance of evil behavior as good. They are blind guides that have lead us into a ditch. We have been set-up. You and I must make a decision to choose between the two opinions. Either God is God, or He is as they say, not the Creator and we do not have to follow biblical teachings as truth. If God is truly God, and we turn to Him in repentance for our self-seeking, sorrowful for accepting their teachings as truth, and questioning His moral law. spiritual famine will end, the latter rain will fall and refresh us again. We can be the answer to the masses, by challenging them to prove their god's existence.
Archaeologist continue to prove the validity of scripture, mostly those that the secular historians guaranteed didn't happen. According to them, David's kingdom, nor Solomon's ever existed, now proven. Since they cannot deny Jesus was an actual person, they work very hard to disprove his resurrection by finding his true tomb, with bones and all. Save your time brilliant minds. Take it from this uneducated man, He is risen. The proof is in my heart, with the joy, peace, I did not know before I by faith, accepted Him as Savior and Lord for real. I hope every scientist and professor that have no hope but this life comes to the same reality, coming to Christ for the real answers.
Thanks for reading, God bless and keep you all.
I sometimes think how negative my posts are. You probably agree, writing constantly about addictions and/or related social problems and loss can drag one down emotionally. The intention is to bring readers to an awareness of the problem we see in society, and be active either by prayer or getting involved with some area of recovery. I realize it is hard for the individual when we work forty hours, have children to attend to, or perhaps involved in other areas of ministry or service. There is no need to feel guilty for your lack of involvement if you know you cannot. Do what you can where you are planted, and trust God will fill areas. Jesus told us to pray for God to send laborers into the harvest.
I too, become downcast at times. God knows, and always knows how to give me that pick-me-up needed. This morning, after having a major personal disappointment over the weekend, (by the way, this was my own presumption that led to this heartbreak), God did it again, rocking my pity-party with spiritual revelation from the Word. The story from Acts 16, where Paul and Silas were spreading the gospel, and a young girl with a familiar spirit kept following them, and apparently telling all these men were from God, in a mocking manner. Paul had enough, told the demon to leave the girl, and it departed. The men that sponsored her fortune telling lost their share of income. They took the two preachers to the courts, where they were beaten and chained and thrown into prison.
"About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening. Suddenly, there was a massive earthquake, and the prison was shaken to its foundation. All of the doors immediately flew open, and the chains of every prisoner fell off! Acts 16: 25-26 NLT
Here is the good news
We may be in the darkness of midnight in our society. Many are chained to addictions, wrapped up in deep hurts from their pasts, tied up in bad relationships, bound by fears, and it seems things couldn't be darker. And our lives are imprisoned in denial and codependency. But if you and I begin to pray, and sing praises to God every day, as we rise in the morning, throughout the day, before we lie down to sleep...the chains are going to fall off, and the prison we have built will be shaken to its foundation, and the doorss will swing open to freedom. Supernatural things are going to happen, as we focus on the One who set the captives free!
I have seen impossible situations myself and others have been in since I entered into recovery, suddenly reversed, as prayer was offered to God, expectantly, and taking Him for what He said He would do if we asked. I remember being so blue and downcast from things going on and looking at the mountain of problems instead of the problem solver, the One who makes mountains a flat plain with a word. When I turned and focused on Him, and gave Him praise for His ablility, and strength given to me in my weaknesses, thanking Him in gratitude for His goodness and mercy, love, and kindness...my blue feelings left immediately, and joy returned. Prayer, thanksgiving, and praise to God, to Abba, Adonai, Elohim...El Shaddai, the Triune, self-existent Almighty Father Who is more than enough, the One that a single name cannot describe, roars into my situation, and the enemies seige is broken and scattered! He does not like His kids bullied by the evil one, and like you would defend your children, He defends us but with the power that know no boundary.
Look for supernatural results in times of trouble, in hopeless situations, where all seems lost. Like Paul and Silas, He hears your petitions, He listens for your praise and thanksgiving, and He reacts for you! Thanks for reading, God bless and keep and defend, and free you and yours!
Growing up in Southern Ohio, we have access to major highways that intersect, I-75, I-70, I-74, etc. This is a real benefit to the residents mainly for convenience to be able to go from state to state, or for having the ability to live a distance from your job and arrive at work fairly quick. The intersecting highways also bring amusement parks, restaurants, and access to state parks and lakes. THere is another thing that arrives with all of this convenience...drug traffic and it's side effect, crime.
As much as we hate to admit it, our lovely little communities are drug zones that need attention via community clean-up. On Tuesday evening, a heroin forum is being held by the Coalition for a Healthy Middletown, at Miami University Middletown branch. The plan is to discuss what can be done to stop heroin use, eliminate crimes related, and stop the spread of the hep-b, sexually transmitted diseases including HIV. Myself, along with several members at our Celebrate Recovery group at Stratford Heights COG plan to be there, mainly to hear resolution and offer our help. Help is needed. 49 people died from heroin overdose last year. 305 felony arrests, 90% were heroin related. Shocking to some, oh well that's life to others. To many, this is not their concern until it is they, their spouse, or their children who are affected.
What I would like to see come from this meeting more than anything, attendance. Every person who has lost their child to drug use of any kind, each family that has a family member incarcerated, or that believe or know as fact that a loved one has a substance abuse problem, to show up and listen. We cannot live silently in denial and be codependant with this epidemic any longer, this is for real. I have many ideas that would be helpful, and I know what works; rather I know Who works, but it takes our admission that this entire area is poisoned by addictions. Looking the other way does not fix anything and sorrow lies ahead for many.
"Deliver those who are drawn toward death, and hold back those stumbling to the slaughter. If you say, 'surely we did not know this,' does not He who weighs the hearts consider it? He who keeps your soul, does He not know it? And will He not render to each man according to his deeds?" Prov.24:11-12 NKJV
If you don't care, God knows it. If you have children growing up, or like me, grandchildren, don't be silent until your home is filled with sorrow, consequences 49 families experienced from heroin overdose. "That won't happen in my home," you say. Congratulations, you have joined the "it will be okay club", a large number of unique people that are sure their children will tell them when they decide to try drugs. Come out of the ether, you didn't tell your parents your personal sins, neither will they.
Take the time to come to the meeting at MUM Tuesday evening. Perhaps you may hear what you need to hear, or say something that may cause others to go beyond discussion to action. Thanks for reading, God bless and keep you all.
Since my time in recovery from alcoholism and drug abuse, I have heard many in meetings say, "church isn't the place to recover, that will get you back where you were." It is not a vendetta against the church, it is having watched people go to church for their cure, and wind up back on the bar stool. People in church do not have an idea how to help, AA, NA, do know what must be done. Celebrate Recovery was a breath of fresh air to those wanting Christ-centered recovery, there is more to this story for a later time.
What is God like?
In recovery meetings, the attendees often gain a different view of God. Not the evil ogre they always thought, or aloof and unhearing, they discover a God of love, mercy, and kindness. I do not try to correct the misguided any longer unless opportunity arises. I understand they are beaten enough by self-inflicting and guilt. I do hear their stories of church abuse, or from misguided teachings, and thus understand their disdain for the local church.
Outside of recovery, the church has witnessed a dramatic loss of members from the upper-middle to the lower-income classes, nearly cut in half since the 1980's. From sexual abuse to cult-type leadership desiring control, to ingraining separation of church and state in peoples minds and removal of prayer from schools and government buildings, many of these people have developed bitter contempt for anything related to church. Relativism, pleasure seeking, science without conscience, greed for more, and sloth can all be attributors to lack of church attendance for many, I'm sure there is more.
"And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of His return is drawing near." Heb.10:25 NLT
People that take their children to church are to be commended. We should know that the child is learning the truth and sound doctrine. The problem may be that the parents do not know anything close to sound doctrine, and for years have taken the teaching they receive at church as truth. We all really need to considered what we believe, why we believe it, and why it is important. If the church is teaching error, and you know doctrine based on scripture, a flag goes up anytime a message is delivered that does not agree with the Word. And when the child comes out of Sunday School or youth groups, the parent should ask them, "What was your lesson about today?"
Does the church hurt families?
Consider this; if you attend one service per week, the church gets an hour of teaching time to it's members. That's 52 hours in a year out of 8,760 hours. The school system gets 1170 hours to teach kids the three r's, and indoctrinate them in their views that disregard religious belief. I have no idea how much time the children watch TV, play video games, participate in sports and other activities. How could the church on such a schedule hurt your children, your family?
I am convinced that church does not hurt families, especially those living in a Christ-centered home. FAMILIES HURT FAMILIES where religion is concerned. Teaching the young traditional religious beliefs that have been handed down for generations, based on family lore regarding what you have to do in order to make heaven, without biblical basis, is destructive. Placing activities ahead of God throughout a child's entire growing years, is harmful. It is as though we teach them that sports and fun is all that matters, God will always be around when needed. Never having one on one's with your little ones to show through scripture the awesome nature of God, His many characteristics and attributes, is allowing others to teach them He is nothing more than a myth.
There is so much to say due to the lack of interest in our society, and how we no longer seem to hunger for goodness, and view church as a stop in and visit poor old God, putting on the façade of good living for the neighbors and minister. I feel that the church is still Christ's body, we need each other, the world needs us in Him.
What do you think?
Thanks for reading, God bless and keep you all.