Don’t fall into the lie that you can change God to fit into your box, trust me, any box we humans create will be too small for our Great Big God to fit into.
Changing our ways to be Christ like is something the devil tries to keep us from doing, he wants us to stay in his clutches and makes it look like freedom when in truth it is a deep pit with a heavy lid. Only through Jesus can we find true freedom, only in trying to follow God’s commands and keeping our eyes on the savior do we stand a chance of being out of the devil’s reach. Don’t back away hissing when I say we need to try to follow God’s commands, I know it’s hard and that we don’t always want to, sometimes it even hurts – but it’s the only way to be a Christian. You will fail from time to time, there is no doubt of that, I fail daily too, but you keep trying to do better, that’s what God wants- not perfection, but effort, He sees that you are trying, and He helps you back up when you fail so you can try again. We don’t like being told what to do because the devil is rebellious and he wants us all to be the same, but you will be happier if you learn to do as the Bible commands, I know we all cringe at that word and hiss ‘don’t tell me how to live my life,’ okay, God won’t tell you what to do if you choose not to follow Him, that’s your choice, but if you claim the title ‘Christian’ you must also follow the God you claim to serve, there is no gray area.
And if you do decide to discard the box and see God for who He is and follow His path to see what He wants for life- be prepared to be amazed, because Jesus, who cannot fit into your idea of Him, is greater and more amazing then we could imagine, and He has a greater and more amazing plan for you then anything you could have thought up on your own.
But a Pharisee named Gamaliel, a teacher of the law, who was honored by all the people, stood up in the Sanhedrin and ordered that the men be put outside for a little while. Then he addressed the Sanhedrin: “Men of Israel, consider carefully what you intend to do to these men. Some time ago Theudas appeared, claiming to be somebody, and about four hundred men rallied to him. He was killed, all his followers were dispersed, and it all came to nothing. After him, Judas the Galilean appeared in the days of the census and led a band of people in revolt. He too was killed, and all his followers were scattered. Therefore, in the present case I advise you: Leave these men alone! Let them go! For if their purpose or activity is of human origin, it will fail.
But if it is from God, you will not be able to stop these men; you will only find yourselves fighting against God.”
Acts 5:34-39 NIV
The Christian person has been attacked by many opressors and many enemies over the years since Jesus was here in flesh, even to the point of people on TV and in movies denouncing our God as someone made up out of weakness. Why bring this up on a day we should be celebrating the coming of the Holy Spirit? Because we need to be reminded and encouraged. It is easy to begin to doubt the existance of someone we can’t see or touch, and I don’t know how anyone who doesn’t believe in the Holy Spirit can hope to retain any Faith in Jesus because He is the living Spirit of God in us, but that’s what we believe and I know some Christians don’t -and we love you still even if we can’t see eye to eye on this. But as someone who has felt the power of the Holy Spirit and seen what He can do I have full Faith that He is still active and moving amung Jesus freaks today. Wait. What did she just say? Yes, I said Jesus freaks. I like that title. It shows that we are truly seaking God because those who don’t get it and don’t know Him think we’re crazy, which you might think if you had never known the presence of Jesus that we do. That’s why the Holy Spirit is so important. He is the one who touches souls and fills them and cleanses them, it’s the Spirit of God who takes the murderer and advocate of wrongdoing and makes him a man of God, ( I mean Paul as an example when I say this,) (The Spirit does full turn around healing of the soul in women too- believe me, I should know)
We need the Spirit of God!
Many have tried to dissuade us, torture us and kill us. Governments have tried to turn the people against our Faith or make us so afraid that we abandon Jesus forever out of panic. Paul was beaten daily until his execution. The devil has worked hard to kill us off or make us look like we are the bad guys, in some countries the Governments have warned the people that Christian Missionaries are soul snatchers….ya, that one hit me as odd too… or have marked Jesus speak as pornographic content…. again…odd. What does all this mean? What does it prove? Well. Either it proves that Christas are the most stubborn and unmoveable people you will ever meet, or it means that we put our Faith in a true God who gives you no room for sliding to the left or right because it is obvious to us He is real. What makes it so obvious in a world where signs and wonders no longer simply walk down the street? The Holy Spirit. He makes it obvious that there is no life without Jesus.
As the Pharisee said, “if this is of human origin it will fail, but if this is of God then it can’t be stopped.”
We still believe. Even People who have never been witnessed to by other people discover Jesus, and they believe. how? You can answer that by this point, I’m sure of it. Even if I fell away from my Faith today and my whole family did the same, there would be more who rise up to take our places, and God would fight to bring us back because He loves us. He doesn’t need us, but He wants us because we matter to Him. God is still moving His Spirit through the world, you just have to be open to Him and He will come. If this is of God no one can stop it. God is on our side, don’t ever give up, you are special and chosen and loved, and the Holy Spirit lives in you and fights for you daily.
Thank you God for sending your Spirit to fill us with power. Amen
Life was filled with guns and war
And everyone got trampled on the floor
I wish we’d all been ready
Children died the days grew cold
A piece of bread could buy a bag of gold
I wish we’d all been ready
There’s no time to change your mind
How could you have been so blind
The father spoke the demons dined
The son has come and you’ve been left behind
You’ve been left behind
You’ve been left behind
Songwriters: Larry Norman
I Wish We’d All Been Ready lyrics © Ordure Blanc Music
As a kid I loved this song. It was sort of dark and moody and I liked that. As I grew older and the tune gave way to the words I still liked it for it’s powerful meaning, but now as 2022 has been in full swing for five months and we see how much worse things are getting this song breaks my heart, because I see it. I’m not saying Jesus is coming tomorrow or trying to prophesy end times, I am just saying we need to have eyes that are open. You might sound crazy if you mention the word apocalypse, until you are proven right. This might not be it. Jesus might not be returning for another two thousand years for all we know, but I wish we were all ready. I have heard the people call us Christians fanatics and Jesus freaks and other things I can’t say. I get it. We look crazy to some people, we talk about an all powerful God who takes away sin and makes us clean, a God who loves us as we are and is willing to help us be better. We talk about a paradise and a second coming and Heavenly beings. We sound a little crazy. But if you have met Him. Heart to heart, and found a true connection. If you have seen Him do amazing things, if you have been in darkness and then met His perfect light, you know that you aren’t crazy, you know that He is real and what He says is true.
Don’t get discouraged by the bribes and threats of the fallen world around us. Stay strong and continue to follow.
My Poppa who has been an evengelical minister for seventy some years said something really good the other day.
‘Those in the stands will always find criticism in those running the race, but those who have crossed the finish line will cheer you on.’
Those who aren’t aiming for Heaven will always find fault in those who are, but that doesn’t mean that those who are striving toward God are wrong, it means that the people in the stands aren’t running, they don’t understand the race and have nothing better to do then yell at the people who are down on the track sweating it out. But the people who have run the race and are watching from Heaven, they know what it’s like, they understand and are cheering you on. Don’t give up because the guy buying peanuts in row three seat A5 thinks that you should do something differently, is he running? No. So how does he know what you should do?
Look closer at that guy who is challenging you to give up, do you see the sneer and…is his toungue forked? Never doubt that the one telling you to stop being a Jesus Freak is the devil. It doesn’t matter whose voice he uses to dissuade you, it’s the deciver trying to make you give up. So keep going. And when you can’t run, walk, and when you can’t walk, kneel. Jesus is there beside you cheering you on too. I wish we’d all been ready, but just as much I pray that those who are ready don’t give up before the race is won.
Lent devotional 38
Today I was shoveling our steps to our house of the knee deep snowfall we had last night. Suddenly my shovel his something metal and I had a moment of that ‘I found treasure’ rush before fishing it out of the snow and finding it be the cross we have hanging on our door. The wind had blown it down in the storm. I put it aside, finished what I was doing and then took it around to the back of the house where I could leave it in a shelter to dry. I noticed that something was wrong with it as I inspected it for damage and soon realized that the ‘faith’ on the front of it was covered with snow, so I brushed it off and went inside.
Isn’t that so like life? We dig for something of value in this world and find a treasure of faith. Then a big storm hits and our faith gets blown around and beaten until it falls and becomes buried by the crushing weight of our problem. Then we start to clean up from our pain and problems little by litte, knowing that we need help, and there we find our faith waiting for us, just a little wet and a little buried by the snow. we pick it back up, dust it off, and place it back in our lives where it belongs. Storms are supposed to be conquered through faith, they aren’t supposed to win and knock our faith down. They aren’t supposed to, but sometimes they still do. But God is faithful to us and is ready to help us even when we lose our faith, even when we can’t take anymore, even when we fall asleep in the garden. It breaks His heart, but He gets it and doesn’t give up on us.
“Thank you Jesus for getting me even on days when my faith has taken a beating, I know you are always there and that though you may rebuke me, you will never stop loving me.”
Don’t be ashamed to face God and ask for forgiveness for falling asleep on watch, go to Him and reach for Him, He will hold you close and restore you, because even if you fail Him, He never fails you.
Lent devotional 36
Have you ever been so sad that it turned to anger? I have. I’ve seen things that broke my heart so bad I was angry, in fact I was moving to action in my anger, that’s why God gave us moms because they say, ‘don’t be crazy girl, just go eat chocolate and feel better.’
I wish that chocolate could fix the situation, all it can do is soothe my heart. Jesus went to temple to meet His Father, there He saw a Holy place desecrated. It wasn’t the animals that ruined the glory there, it was the dark hearts of the people looking to make extra money, and the people who wanted fast and easy service for buying their sacrifices. No honor. No respect for who God is. Just quick ritual and done, moving on with life. That broke Jesus’ heart, how dare they! Didn’t they know He was about to die for them? Of course they didn’t. How could they? These people never followed Him. In His pain turned anger He drove them out of His Father’s temple. I love this. It reminds us that He was human too. So sad and angry that He reacted to the situation. To think only days later He would die on a cross and say ‘Father forgive them.’ Why could He ask for their pardon after being so angry with them just days before? Because even in His anger He loved them. He saw every one of those lazy and greedy people as He hung on that cross and said ‘Father forgive them.’ He saw the soldiers, Pilot, Caiaphas, His Deciples, the mockers, the mourners, He saw you and me and said ‘Father forgive them.’
His anger is brief, His love is eternal.
Lent devotional 31
The word respect has lost it’s meaning in the world. When I was a kid respect was something show to adults by defult, but was earned on the playground. You didn’t simply walk up to another kid in a strange hat and go ‘I respect you for wearing that hat.’ It’s rediculous. Yet that is what we hear. Someone once posted to someone else that they respected them because they made their dog wear clothes. That’s silly people. You don’t respect someone for that. I can tell you that I respect other people’s pets, whether they be dogs, cats or horses, I have learned from pain that you treat them appropriately because your friend’s german shepherd might not be a hug lover like your poodle mix back home is. That again is a different type of respect. That is a respect of boundries and to caution until you know where you stand. You can see a person in full cosplay in the mall and feel a sense pleasure at the fact that they chose to be themselves and stand out, but you don’t respect them for it. Respect is a feeling toward someone’s achievements not their choices. You can respect a doctor for being good at his job, you don’t respect him for wearing pink flamingo socks, you can smile at that and appreciate it, but it’s not something to respect. In this disillusion of respect we have lost the true ability to respect God. We flash a peace sign and say we respect someone but do we understand the awe behind true respect? Do we understand why we respect our God?
Ask yourself what causes you to respect God?
Is it like respecting the boundries of a wild animal? No because God wants us close to Him.
Is it like respecting a soldier for fighting for their country? That can definiately be an aspect of it. God does fight for us. But let’s go deeper, more personal.
Is it like respecting your father? There we go. We respect God for His strong loving protection, we respect Him for His sacrificial attitude towards us as His people, we respect Him for His goodness, for His wonders, for who He is. We respect Him because He is so much greater then we are, yet He comes down to our level and cares for us. We respect because He is God our Father. Father’s should be men you can look up to and respect, they should be there for us when we need them, they should care for us and provide for us. God does all of that. And He is infinate God, His position warrants Him respect. Ultimately, He is God and He is good and for that I will always respect Him.
Lent devotional 24
What do you do my friends when you are afraid?
Brother Andrew has said, ‘you have been spiritually mature in faith for a long time, act like it.’
Do we trust God when something that brings us fear takes ahold of us? Or do we try to fix it ourselves?
When we are afraid or something goes wrong we need to give it to God, then we need to trust Him with it. I feel like we are in a tug-of-war with God and our lives are the ropes. We let God have one end and then we yank as hard as we can from the other end and try to pull God over to our side or else to simply pull the rope itself out of God’s hands. Then we dance around like we have won something because we have done it all on our own.
But to have true peace we must hand our fears and troubles over to God and then let GO. Only once we have let go can we experience the rewards of faith and can see what happens when thungs are done the King’s way.
Lent devotional 14
I don’t want Jesus to simply have a place in my life, I want Him to have my whole life.
There are times when I feel like I am telling God to wait His turn. I’m busy right now God, give me a second to finish this please. Will He wait? Yes. Should He have to? No. It’s like I’ve put God into a spot in my life and He gets His time but has to stay put. Remember when we were kids and we sat in Children’s Church or Kindergarten and we had a mat to sit on? That was our spot and the floor was lava so we had to stay on our spot as the teacher read. There are days when I feel like I have given God a listening mat to sit on and that’s where I tell Him to stay. But as Stormie Omartan said once, I had let God into a room in my heart and had locked the door. That was where He supposed to be. But He kept knocking on the door to the next room until I opened it. Then the next one. And the next. Until I threw open all the doors d simply said ‘here God, I am yours’. That’s us. God doesn’t want a mat or a room, He wants all of us. He desreves all of us. What area of your life have you locked God out of? Pray, and ask Him to give you the courage to open the door and let Him in to every area of your life.
Breathing. Have you ever considered breathing? I don’t mean doing it, that’s required, I mean the action of breathing. Breathing is one of the few things that absolutely everything alive does. Bugs breathe, plants and flowers breathe, animals breathe, fire breathes, we breathe, I have heard it said that water breathes- though don’t ask me how. Everything-that is alive-breathes. Why? No idea. There is no reason that the human body should require air to breathe except the fact that God decided that that was how it should work. Truly. Scientists say:
“Breathing is part of a process called respiration. During respiration, a living thing takes in oxygen from the air and gives out carbon dioxide. This process gives animals and plants the energy to eat, grow, and live life!” -10 interesting facts about air-NASA
That is correct, obviously, but that doesn’t explain why that is necessary. Why do we need a respiratory system? Why does the body need to take in oxygen to produce energy? Why not make it produce energy without air? ( Let’s not get into the energy produced by the sun or this post will be too long.) You may ask my point for this line of questioning, here it is. What is the most constantly ignored and taken for granted function of life, until it is gone? Breathing. God made a complex and masterful design when creating the living organism and we need to remember just how amazing our bodies are. So how about right now we sit for 10 seconds and focus on breathing, and just how amazing breathing is.
Everyone says that the person you need to believe in you is yourself. That is sweet but is it true? Maybe for some people. I recently have realized that having others believe in you is an amazing motivator. If no one else thinks you can do it that doesn’t mean you should give up, it simply means that no one else gets your vision. That said, the people around me have always been really supportive. I mean, I’ve dealt with haters, but the people who matter, my friends, my family, especially my parents, have always been supportive, even when that support is a critique or correction to push what I am doing into a better place. Because I know that they support and believe in me then I can take them at their word and not be too offended when that word stings a little. Knowing that when you doubt yourself someone else feels that you can keep going forward is amazing. You all knew that I was rounding this back to this statement so here it is. God believes in you more than anyone else can. He sees EVERYTHING about you. He gave you your gifts and talents, He gave you your drive and He believes that you can do it because He knows that He can do it and He will be forward guard for your every step.
Don’t give up! Your father believes in you!