SILENT NO MORE

This Country, our United States, has a well known group called “The Silent Majority”. We speak, well, silently. We speak via voting, via choosing to eat at Chick-fil-A (particularly in New York City). We buy Bibles, more than one translation. We belong to a Church. We believe in our Christian heritage. We know that freedom is priceless. We allow others to disagree, because that is what the Bible teaches; it is what Jesus did . . . even allowing himself to be crucified.

We should be silent no more. There is too much at stake. Because we who know Jesus have the same power in us that created the heavens and earth. “For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” (2 Corinthians 4:6) That power that raised Jesus from the dead is inside of every Believer!

As I’ve lived my life, a Preacher’s kid, it’s been important to grow in knowledge and to understand the wisdom of the Bible. I’m grateful to have been brought up reading it, to know a lot about it and consequently about the Almighty, All Knowing, and All Powerful Jehovah . . . about Jesus. I’ve been grateful. I wanted to grow spiritually, meaning, I would obey what I knew to be true and put it into practice in my life.

But sharing it? That was uncomfortable, unless I was asked. I would tell myself, “If the Lord wants me to testify about Him, He will open the door.”

Lately it is different. Why didn’t I think this way before? Now, because of the truth of the gospel, the reality of the forgiveness of my sins, eternal life through Jesus Christ, passion is rising. I’ve put a personal message with a Bible verse on piece of paper that I give out. I’m ready to speak up as a Christian. One beautiful server at a restaurant, I’d given her my paper message, walked up to Eric and me, “Are you Christians?” And we talked to her about Jesus.

We can speak “the truth in love” if we’re ready. (Ephesians 4:15) We who know Jesus, Who is the Way, the Truth and the Life, we know that He is the way to peace with God; we should be no longer the Silent Majority. We can be bold. Step up. Speak out . . . “Speaking the truth in love . . .”

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STAY NEAR THE SHEPHERD

Lately, the hope that God is involved in every moment in the lives of us, His children, came into question.

Can I, a faulty child of the Father, expect Him to answer every prayer?

Yesterday I was riding my bike home . . . there were six miles between me and home. The weather had reported “no rain” for the day. It began to lightly sprinkle. I prayed, “LORD, please don’t let it rain (or lightening) until I get home.” It sprinkled on and off. It did not begin to rain until I was three fourths of a mile from home. I walked into the house damp, not soaked, no lightening, safe.

I asked the LORD the question, “How much do You desire to be involved, to interact with me?”

Then I read Psalm 23. He is my shepherd: I shall not want (by implication to fail). He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul. He leads me in the paths of righteousness . . . I fear no evil for He is with me . . . comfort is present . . . a table is prepared . . . He anoints my head with oil . . . my cup runs over . . . goodness, mercy follow me all the days of my life . . . I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever . . .

Yes. The LORD is interested in every day, every hour, and every part of my life.

Keep close. Stay near the Shepherd.

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LIVE READY

Live ready  – – –  watching for His return. “Blessed are those servants, whom the lord when he cometh shall find watching . . .”*
Live ready  – – –  Listening for the “still small voice” of the Holy Spirit.
Live ready  – – –  to smile
Live ready  – – –  to mourn with those who mourn
Live ready  – – –  to be taught… – – – *“He shall teach you all things”
Live ready  – – –  to see opportunity
Live ready  – – –  to step up
Live ready  – – –  to step down
Live ready  – – –  to speak  – – – *“the truth in love”
Live ready  – – –  to be  – – – *“swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath”
Live ready  – – –  to forgive
Live ready  – – –  to follow – – – *“My sheep hear my voice and I know them and they follow me…”

*Luk_12:37; * 1Th_4:16;  *Joh_10:27; *Jas. 1:19; Eph. 4:15

1Jn_2:27  But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him.

Joh_14:26  But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.

Mat_6:15  But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

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IN THE WAKE OF HURRICANE, LIVE IT UP

Why would we not!

We are alive.  Hurricane Irma has passed and we’re still here.  It was a lesson in the power of God . . . my reaction to this force is to fall at His feet (in my head and heart).

As I woke today, two days after hurricane Irma something came to me, (maybe you learned it as a child, like I did) Psalm 100:  “Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all ye lands.  Serve the LORD with gladness: come before His presence with singing.  Know that the LORD He is God:  it is He that has made us, and not we ourselves; we are His people, and the sheep of His pasture.  Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise: be thankful to Him, and bless His name.  For the LORD is good; His mercy is everlasting; and His truth endures to all generations.”

My husband and I have come to the book of Job reading through the Bible, at the same time that our Sunday school class began the same Book.  Remember Job, sitting in ashes; from his head and heart came this:  “Though He slays me yet will I trust Him. . .” (Job 13:15). He had lost it all, like some people in the path of hurricanes Harvey and Irma.  We can do the same, even as we mourn loss of loved ones, property and the familiar.

So, as the song goes, “let’s just praise the LORD . . .”

Go ahead and believe God, obey Him, learn of Him.  “Come to me, all you that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and you shall find rest to your souls.  For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”  (Matthew 11:28-30).

All of us have the option of getting to know Him, the God of the Bible.  Make sure the God in your head and heart matches Him . . . this is where living is found.

What do I have to lose!

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AND JESUS STOOD STILL…

The man was sitting by the busy roadside.  He was one of the powerless, one of the useless; he was a man with no leverage, what could he do for anybody or even for himself — he was blind and a beggar.  Bartimaeus lived when all there was for him was to sit by the highway and beg…for mercy, for food.  When it rained, when the cold penetrated his robe, when the sun scorched his skin — who cared.

One day everything changed.  As he sat by the side of the road, it got noisy, busy, loud —
“Blind Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus, sat by the highway side begging. And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out, and say, Jesus, thou Son of David, have mercy on me. And many charged him that he should hold his peace: but he cried the more a great deal, Thou Son of David, have mercy on me.  And Jesus stood still . . . ”

I often read some before I go to bed.  A few nights ago as I read Mark 10, this story touched me profoundly:  The blind man began to cry out,  “Jesus, thou Son of David, have mercy on me” — then louder “Thou Son of David, have mercy on me”

“And Jesus stood still.”

Later the same night, or rather at 4:30 in the morning, the phone rang.  Our daughter in law called that our granddaughter had a dangerously feverish body.  We prayed over the phone, “Jesus, thou Son of David, have mercy on our little girl.” Then our son and daughter in law rushed to the 24 hour pharmacy with the doctor’s instructions.  By morning her fever had cooled and she was smiling again.

Jesus knew very well what the blind man needed, craved, cried out for — but he still asked him, “What wilt thou that I should do unto thee? The blind man said unto him, Lord, that I might receive my sight. And Jesus said unto him, Go thy way; thy faith hath made thee whole. And immediately he received his sight, and followed Jesus in the way.

Have you heard the song, “Follow, follow, I will follow Jesus; anywhere, everywhere, I will follow on — ”

If we want something of Jesus we must actually ask.

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