Archive for December, 2011

Heart Strings

Posted by on December 23, 2011  |  No Comments

It is not often that I write two blogs in one day. But today just happens to be one of those days.

As a child I recall my introduction to Jesus. I had been rejected and abused by my natural mother for the first two years of my life. Then God provided a miracle. An Aunt and Uncle who wanted me. It is only today that I am certain that God knows His purpose for every one of us before we are even born.

In the midst of emotional pain, He knew how to touch my heart. I was blessed by being raised in a loving Christian family. I remember sitting in church and listening to either a particular soloist or even a particular piece sung by the choir and I would not be able to hold the tears back. Was it God speaking to my soul?  Was He letting me know through song or even through loving spoken words … how to reach down in my heart and let me know His realness?  I am absolutely sure if it!

We’re so vulnerable. And when we don’t fight Him or resist Him, He knows exactly how to bless us. It was the reminder of such a clear and much needed intimacy that again touched my heart and drew me back to Him. The clarity of what He wanted … instead of what I wanted … that called me to repent of needless worthless sins and bow before Him and invite Him back into my life. Nothing the world has to offer comes close to such an awe inspiring relationship.

This remains true today.   “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the Lord, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior; ..” Isaiah 43:1-2

There are many times today that are not “feel good” times. And some of those times are Godly! We are God’s gold and we have to be refined and it is often painful. Our lives are to be modeled after His. And He did not have a glamorous life. But so many of us believe that if we are not on some high spiritual plateau, something isn’t right.  Now I love feeling good and I love to right about feeling good. But I know that the value of what God is seeking to teach me, does not always come through a feel good message.

Our trials can be burdensome, painful and cumbersome.  But we usually come out of them wiser or better prepared for what may lie ahead.

Truth is as necessary in our relationship with God as the praise and feel good experiences. If we have one without the other we are at risk. Truth alone without experience can be hard hitting and seem rigid and unloving. But when we put it to the test and have the relational experience God intended, we reap the feel good and praise experience along with it.

If we have only a feel good relationship and ignore instruction and truth, we are at great risk for deception. The evil one would have us believe that it is important to continually have an emotional high… and he tires to snag us in temptations that would have us depart from the written Word and advice of our life source.

This is a difficult message to convey at times, because everyone wants to feel good. They don’t always want to study and come face to face with changes that might be needed in their lives when considering the instruction that God is offering. If the call to Christianity resulted in feeling good all the time, there wouldn’t be an empty baptismal anywhere. A lot of God’s truth challenges us to make decisions that are based on His Word and not what would feel good to us.  Choosing Christ is a challenge. But when we know that He alone holds our very best interests, making such difficult decisions result in His wrapping of His loving arms around us.  He is a precious, loving father.

It is not often enough that I get to see the results of His truth, love, mercy, forgiveness and patience all at the same time.  But when I see someone “get it” I am so very blessed and my heart is touched and tears burn my eyes.

Today was one of those blessed days. Our witness can reach far and wide. I listen to Daily Audio Bible and at the end of each reading, listeners share their praises and their prayer requests. This has been such a blessing to me and I have called with my own prayer requests as well as praises.  As a result, from time to time a listener will find their way to my web page and then share their story with me.

In turn… I of course add them to my prayers and that’s how we live as Christ’s disciples. Lifting one another up and supporting other believers. Sharing His gospel with one another is so rewarding. Listening to how others have come to know and trust Him, bolsters my faith and trust in Him. It often provides validity.  It is joyous and worth every bit of struggle I might face on any particular day.  Sharing Jesus is like no other experience. Watching people grown in Him is powerful!

Thank you for your continued prayers and support.  God is sooo good!  Praise be to Him and the celebration of His gift to this world!

Filed Under: Wayne's Blog

Oh What a King!

Posted by on December 23, 2011  |  No Comments

“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6

What a gift!  As I contemplate the world today and all of its atrocities, it seems like such a gift has been long forgotten. Even in the midst of religion, the focus has turned from our blessed Savior to segregation, wars and hate rather than a humbling of every soul before Christ. We seem to have lost an appreciation for the generation of life itself; our creator.

It cannot be forgotten that there is a “great controversy” taking place. The King of the Universe colored every sunset, blended the relaxing colors of the sky and sea and created all that lie beneath. He not only shaped our bodies and the intricacy of how they operate; but gave us incredible senses such as touch, emotions, smell and the capability to hear the array of sound that surrounds us as well.

The world in its natural state, apart from what it has become, is beautiful place incapable of simply evolving. It is the masterpiece of the divine who loves life so much.  He went beyond what any human mind could consider in painting a landscape of  beauty and joy in unimaginable detail.

In His great plan for us, He provided every one of us with discernment. The power of choice. One who became arrogant , full of self adoration and lust for power and might, came to lose his beloved position in Heaven. His disregard for the Almighty resulted in being thrown from the heavens above to the earth below. And so the “great controversy” began.  It was an argument that didn’t have to take place. God could have destroyed Lucifer and the people that came to inhabit the earth could have been robotic and seemingly without choice and decision making capabilities.  But that in itself certainly does not sound like a loving God.

Satan gladly accepted the challenge and fully believes he can convince any one of us that God is mean and unjust and doesn’t want us to experience happiness at all. But our God is an AWESOME God!  He designed us, thus He has provided us with His loving and all encompassing Word to see us through from birth to death and includes the promise of life eternal if we will choose Him over the vile and deceptive wiles of the self absorbed and infected evil doer.

At the very core of life and its contemplation, we are given the story of  creation. We can grasp why praise to the ruler of the universe is due. We can study and absorb all of the pure God-glorifying values outlined in God’s instruction to us. Or we can pay attention to our sinful nature which Satan is allowed to manipulate “IF” we let him. His deceptions play to every one of our senses. This is why feelings control the majority of the decision making process for most of the earth’s inhabitants.

But God’s Word is present. Prayerfully open it; invite the Holy Spirit to guide you,  and you can experience Joy, overcoming the world, the promise of eternal life and getting more intimately connected with your creator and Savior … Jesus Christ. By invitation, He will influence and empower you to live for Him.

He doesn’t hide truth from us. He makes clear what sin is. He gives example after example of  choices that those who have preceded us made and what the consequences were.  If we live to glorify God and deny self as He teaches; life eternal will provide opportunity for us to sit at the throne of God and absorb His majesty,  His knowledge and His unending love.  Today it is this that is missing.  True love can only exist in its purest form when it is from God. Outside of God, it becomes deluded and polluted with self.

To me, its when I consider just this basic concept that I have described, that helps me make choices that control my destiny. I desire a closer relationship with Jesus. I want to be empowered to make choices that bring glory to the creator of life itself. I want to be witness to the return of the world to what it was meant to be.  A world without blemish. A world without cruelty. A world that praises and adores its creator rather than shaming our creator.

Consider sin.  Pride, vanity, gossip, thievery, hate, murder, lust, adultery, homosexuality, greed, jealousy, … none of these glorify the majesty of our Creator.  When we consider the story of salvation and redemption that draws us to the cross of Jesus; it becomes crystal clear to us why sin must be eternally destroyed.  Oh what a powerful God we have that can bring us to that realization and touch our hearts so that we will make a decision to live for Him instead of for self.

His love endures forever!  It is life changing! When a daily and moment by moment decision for Jesus is made, nothing can take away the pureness and beauty of His love!

“But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your forefathers served beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.”  Joshua 24:15


Filed Under: Wayne's Blog

The Power Of Choice

Posted by on December 14, 2011  |  No Comments

Correction is not generally very comfortable for most people. I hated it as a child and didn’t do a lot better at adapting to it as an adult. So it would only make sense that when God gives correction, it doesn’t feel any better. But He gives much more clarification than we sometimes get from people.

In Hebrews 12: 5-11, He tells us that He only disciplines those  He loves and that that is a sign of being a true child of God. Much like any child who is disciplined by their father. If He did not discipline us, we would be illegitimate children.

Whether you are just getting to know Jesus or have walked with Him for a number of years, you undoubtedly have gone off course a few times. I have had great spiritual highs when I have fully dedicated everything I do for Him. Prayer and study; continual communication throughout the day;  seeking opportunities to help others, etc.

When I stay in tune with Him, amazing things happen. But staying in tune requires a continual series of choices. They can be small choices. But when we get lazy or distracted, then it is once again time to make determined choices influenced by the Holy Spirit.  Avoiding making small choices can make for some pretty big ones because of our procrastination.

If you fall off in your devotional time, it quickly becomes easy to lose sight of the importance of spending time with Jesus. Just ask me.  It is such a danger and that is what the evil one counts on.  Our focus gets distorted. We start acting differently and feeling differently.

Somehow we begin to lose sight of  Jesus as our model.  1 Peter 2: 11-25 gives us a clear picture of how we need to live and hold ourselves accountable.  We are told not to be worldly and to make decisions against worldly lusts.  Jesus was tempted. He faced all that we face. He denied Himself of worldly pleasures. Today the world screams “indulge in pleasure.”

God gave us the incredible gift of choice. Whether it be sexual, emotional or physical… we can choose to do His will instead of our will.  The beautiful part of this is that He will empower our choices.  The same power that was available to Jesus while He walked this earth in human flesh, is available to us today. Deuteronomy 30:19 says “This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live.”

Discipline can be very difficult. Careful consideration must be given of the guide God has given us for our life. Eternal life.  We can not arrive at the day of judgment and whine about our circumstances or tell Jesus that if we had it all to do over again we would choose differently because we now recognize the seriousness of our decision making.

He tells us to “choose ye this day whom ye will serve…and let it be the Lord.” Joshua 24:15

Now is the time to recognize our error and recommit our lives to His. The love of Jesus is IMMENSE. Such joy and blessings await those who make a choice for Him.  Don’t be distracted by all that is placed in your path to derail you. Listen to the still small voice that calls you to honor and obey.  Fall in love with Jesus. Ask Him to guide and influence you. No prayer goes unanswered and He wants so very much for you to dedicate your life to Him.

This doesn’t mean that everything will be smooth sailing. This is a trust and faith experience. Because of the great controversy between good and evil in this world, we are called to make decisions based on truth and not on feeling. Feelings can be manipulated and have adverse outcomes. But truth is solid and it is on that solid truth… the rock of Jesus that we can place all our hope, faith and belief.

It is becoming less common to witness acts of faith. The world is falling apart. But the promises He offers are still valid. Surrender today and abide continually in Him.

He is an AWESOME God!

Filed Under: Wayne's Blog