Faith & Reason ... a mystery

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Set-Free!

 Set free by Exercising Prayer & Fasting.

What does Jesus say in John 8....If you want to know freedom, Do as Abraham did. He talked and walked with God.

Prayer is a spiritual communion with God as in reverence to the One that supplies the very essence of life, through thanksgiving, adoration, or confession.

Fasting is primarily the act of willingly abstaining from some or all food, drink, or daily routine for a period of time. You replace the absence with prayer or some sort of service to God. In other words, you abstain from something and replacing it with volunteer service or time of meditation.

Philippians 4:6, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”

Are you praying and fasting so as to share life with God?

Praying for you - Don

Monday, September 24, 2012

Needing a Prison Break!

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I am a sinner....You are a Sinner. You are separated from God by that sin. You are granted a prison break because of Jesus Christ. You and I were born sinners...we have no means to break free from sin without Jesus...we have no hope of escape apart from the Death, Burial, and Resurrection of Jesus Christ.

We are captives to that sin and the only means for reprieve is to dedicate ourselves as Christ-followers so that He might reign in our lives.

Paul writes in Romans 6:18, “You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness.”

The truth is that we are free from sin, but we are not free to continue to sin by making my own choices and fulfilling my own desires. I am free because I have made a choice to following Jesus and Jesus alone.

The truth will set you free from bondage of sin, yet it makes you a servant accountable to the Lord Jesus Christ. A servant is not free to do as they choose, but a servant makes a choice to serve the master and the master's will and direction. How does this become natural for a servant? Serving becomes natural or habitual through exercise, through practice, through rehearsal … through a regular development and daily routine of regimented growth.

One fellow sinner to another...you know I love ya and seek to grow closer to the One who sets us free. Don

Saturday, September 22, 2012

2012 Election is Very Important

I agree with the Catholic Church of this stand. This video is very well done and states the truth. Please take a long look and pray for God discernment...than go out and VOTE!


Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Completely, Totally, and Entirely COVERED!!!

 
2 Corinthians 8:1-9
  
"And now, brothers and sisters, we want you to know about the grace that God has given the Macedonian churches. In the midst of a very severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity. For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability. Entirely on their own, they urgently pleaded with us for the privilege of sharing in this service to the Lord’s people. And they exceeded our expectations: They gave themselves first of all to the Lord, and then by the will of God also to us. So we urged Titus, just as he had earlier made a beginning, to bring also to completion this act of grace on your part. But since you excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in the love we have kindled in you—see that you also excel in this grace of giving.
I am not commanding you, but I want to test the sincerity of your love by comparing it with the earnestness of others. For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich"
 
To be Far More than you can imagine 
A Christ-Follower must be willing to confess your sin and purify your heart.


The chapter just prior to our text states in 2 Cor. 7:1, “Therefore, since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God.”

In the first part of 2 Corinthians, Paul establishes the benefits and promises that living for Christ are: The benefits and promises are that believers as ambassadors for God's Kingdom, are recipients of Christ eternal life, and are a forgiven people. It is through these promised benefits that we are encouraged to be far more than we can possibly achieve on our own by confessing our sin, sacrificing our flesh and purifying our hearts to the Glory of God.

How do I do this you may be asking: By daily work in the economy of Mercy! Mercy is a blessing that is an act of divine favor or compassion....when we are living in the knowledge of mercy in our lives, we are willing to confess our short comings, we are willing to strive to help others in distress and we are willing to sacrifice for the benefit of others just as Christ did for us... Here is a news flash...you are guilty! It is through our uniting with Jesus that we are forgiven and through His Spirit and dedication to His word that we gain purity. Romans 3:22-24, “This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.”

THEREFORE:
We run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.” (Hebrews 12:1-3). 

It is “IN” the focus on Jesus and his mercy on the cross, we acknowledge our in ability to overcome sin and we strive for purification through His death burial and resurrection. We are far more than our abilities because He offers far more than we can imagine!

Seeking to be Far More....You know I Love ya, Don

Monday, September 17, 2012

Privilege to be Seized....


A friend, Nicholaus Geisert writes,

     "One aspect of baptism I think that has been missed by the Restoration Movement apologists is the mood of baptism.  Acts 2:38 reflects an answer given to a people desperately wanting to make things right with God.  They want to be baptized and the numbers with which they do so at Pentecost reflect that desire.  This same theme runs throughout Acts.  The Ethiopian eunuch cries out, "What can prevent me from being baptized."  Peter says of Cornelius' household, "Can anyone keep these people from being baptized with water?"
     "Baptism was something desirable.  It seems like we focus on the obligatory part of water baptism instead of the invitation of water baptism.  Here I am, a tired soul in search for a savior, and I'm told the good news about Jesus.  Now i want to follow Jesus and Jesus invites me to do something that he did; to take a tangibly, physical step that he took first. He invites me to participate in an event that began with John the Baptist preparing the way for Jesus, that Jesus did himself, that symbolizes the cleansing waters of the flood, the participation with Jesus in his death an burial, the birth of new life in the Spirit, and the promise of a resurrection to come.  I'm promised that if done with repentance, I will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit and the remission of my sins.
     "You don't have to argue with me that I "should" do it.  I want it.  Who can keep me from it?  To argue for water baptism simply from the command to be baptized (I do recognize that water baptism certainly is commanded) portrays baptism as a burden one must endure instead of a privilege to be seized.  Those who do not participate in water baptism miss out."

    I love the line Nicholas used, "privilege to be seized." How many times people miss out on God's favor because they deny the privilege to be seized? We make baptism into a completed action, when it truly implies that we are to be totally immersed in Jesus. Immersed at our baptism and then to remain completely immersed in Jesus everyday of the year.

Wanting to be completely immersed....You know I love ya, Don

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

There is Power, Power, Wonder Working Power!!!

Daniel 6:23
“The king was overjoyed and gave orders to lift Daniel out of the den. And when Daniel was lifted from the den, no wound was found on him, because he had trusted in his God.”

Walking with God opens opportunities of power.

Power is the possession of control, authority, or influence over people, matter, and things. Your God has the power over your circumstances and your life. You submit to Him and in return, He uses that power to PROVE He is God and is sovereign over every day, every hour, every minute, and every moment. How do we receive that power...through integrity to our commitment to God...in our daily habit of living the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles

Max Lucado writes a funny story, that one New Year's Day, in the Tournament of Roses parade, a beautiful float suddenly sputtered and quit. It was out of gas. The whole parade was held up until someone could get a can of gas. The amusing thing was this float represented the Standard Oil Company. With its vast oil resources, its truck was out of gas.

Often, Christians neglect their spiritual maintenance, and though they are "clothed with power" find themselves out of gas.

Luke 24:48-49
“You are witnesses of these things. And behold, I am sending forth the promise of My Father upon you; but you are to stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.”


The Holy Spirit grants us power and we are to share that power in every fiber of our being.
There is power, power, wonder working power....

The unshakable life is on solid ground by walking with God that open opportunities of integrity, struggle, confidence, and power. The integrity we "commit to" in our walk with God doesn't take away our struggles. It builds our confidence because of the demonstration of God's power in the struggle.

Do you know the power of God in your life?
Give your heart to Him! 
 
Renew your commitment to living integrity in your walk with God.

Make prayer, meditation, reflection, and communion with God a habit.

You know I love ya, Don

Monday, September 10, 2012

Confidence counts!


Daniel 6:22 
“Nor have I ever done any wrong before you, Your Majesty”


Walking with God opens opportunities of confidence.

Godly confidence is the quality and state of being certain of our God. A Christ-Follower has every confidence of success that God will prevail and He will be proven holy, just, and loving. Believers in Jesus walk on solid ground...the circumstances may shake, but the ground they walk on is solid and unshakable.

Lack of Confidence is the the enemies largest weapon in the church today. The enemy defeats us before we even get out of bed with all the guilt we put on ourselves. We parade our failures and our problems across our minds eye...the confidence we gain in Jesus Christ is blotted out... as believers in Jesus, we are guaranteed that God's mercies are new every morning and great is His faithfulness.

Rather than letting the enemy steel our joy, we should be grateful for trials, failures, and short comings...it is the struggles of our life that God is most effective and the struggles are the places God can demonstrate the most grace.

The integrity we commit to in our walk with God doesn't take away our struggles...in fact our struggles build our confidence because of the demonstration of God's power in the struggle.

The American painter, John Sargent, once painted a panel of roses that was highly praised by critics. It was a small picture, but it approached perfection. Although offered a high price for it on many occasions, Sargent refused to sell it. He considered it his best work and was very proud of it. Whenever he was deeply discouraged and doubtful of his abilities as an artist, he would look at it and remind himself, "I painted that." Then his confidence and ability would come back to him.

You can take confidence in the TRUTH that Jesus Christ loves you and wants to know you on the personal level. I love this picture of this cat...she is living the confident life. In Jesus Christ, we also can look in our mirror and see a roaring lion.

How is your confidence these days?

Do you stand and preach the good news that Jesus is the Christ in the way you live your life?

Do you act as if He is the son of the living God in how you live life at work, at school, to your neighbors, in retirement and to anyone that comes in contact with you?

Do you demonstrate Godly confidence?


You know I love ya, Don

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

What about the Struggle? The struggle is not the problem...but a part of the soulution!



 
Daniel 6:17
A stone was brought and placed over the mouth of the den, and the king sealed it with his own signet ring and with the rings of his nobles, so that Daniel’s situation might not be changed.


Walking with God opens opportunities of struggle.

A Struggle is to to proceed with difficulty or with great effort. An example is to struggled through the high grass... when walking in high grass ones needs to pick up their feet and walk intentionally and with purpose.

In a recent issue of his One Minute Uplift newsletter, RickEzell writes: "The pages of history are lined with individuals encountering negative setbacks only to make something positive out of them. They are better for it. In many cases so are we.

"Thomas Edison, when a boy, received a blow on his ear which impaired his hearing. What a tragedy! Later he felt his deafness was a blessing, for it was a tool by which he was saved from distractions. This allowed him to concentrate on his work, and out of that concentration emerged some of the greatest inventions of all times.

"Victor Hugo, a literary genius of France, was exiled from his country by Napoleon. What a tragedy! Out of that period of exile arose some of his most creative works. When he later returned home in triumph, he asked, 'Why was I not exiled earlier?'

"Helen Keller, born blind and deaf, faced obstacle after obstacle in her life. However, on more that one occasion she confided, 'I thank God for my obstacles, for through them I have found myself, my work and my God.'

"George Frederick Handel was at a low point in his life. His money was gone, and his creditors hounded him, threatening him with imprisonment. His right side became paralyzed, and his health deteriorated. For a brief time he was tempted to give up. In the midst of the darkness he picked himself up and began to do the only thing he knew to do--write music. Out of that despair he wrote the oratorio known as The Messiah, which many consider the greatest piece of church music in history.

The thread tying Edison, Hugo, Keller and Handel together is that these people refused to be defeated by their problems. They saw their misfortunes and bad luck not as dilemmas to destroy them, but as opportunities to grow and develop in ways that otherwise would have been impossible.

Daniel could be added to our list. He faced struggles his entire life...yet he pushed on and even when it seemed God would not change the situation, Daniel remained faithful to God and did not waiver. He walked with God. Daniel realized the struggle was part of the solution and the struggle was not the problem.


Opportunities of struggle are a good thing....yes, a good thing.

What are you struggling with today?

 You know I love ya, Don

Monday, September 3, 2012

Does Integrity Matter?....What about Character?

Daniel 6:10
Now when Daniel learned that the decree had been published, he went home to his upstairs room where the windows opened toward Jerusalem. Three times a day he got down on his knees and prayed, giving thanks to his God, just as he had done before.

In East TN in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park are these quiet walks. These are places to pull off and walk among the nature and experience the national park. When Karen and I were dating, we would often find a place to eat and the head up the National Park and go on a quiet walk. It was a great place to spend time together and we would enjoy the park. It was a true experience. In fact, because of those days, it is remains one of my most favorite places to be.

Daniel is over 80 years old. He spent that vast majority of that life in exile. His relief came when he would spend time with God. His refuge was in the love and life He shared with his creator.

Even after 80 years of dealing with the life of exile...Daniel remains a man that walked with God. His quiet walk in his everyday life was to pray and spend time with his God.
    
Walking with God opens opportunities of integrity.

“A store owner interviewed a young man for a job. He asked, "If I hire you to work in my store, will you be honest and truthful?" The young man answered, "I will be honest and truthful whether you hire me or not."

Warren Buffet said, "Somebody once said that in looking for people to hire, you look for three qualities: integrity, intelligence, and energy. And if they don't have the first, the other two will kill you."

Daniel...was a man of integrity. Integrity is the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles; moral uprightness. Daniel was not just known as a man of integrity, he lived his life on unshakable ground because he was a man of integrity. He was honest and demonstrated strong moral principles...he lived those principles and he made them his habit.

Is integrity a habit in your daily life?

You know I love ya, Don