Everyone Has A Part To Play!

I love it, when a plan comes together. When there seems to be a problem, a solution is just a phone call away. Here is what I’m talking about.  For the past year, I have volunteered at the Community Reformed Church, in Whiting NJ. What do I do? I help with the food pantry, on Monday. Continue reading “Everyone Has A Part To Play!”

Message Of The Cross And The Crucifix

A couple of years ago, my mother gave a small metal crucifix.  She got it, when Anthony passed away back in ’93.  As I recall, it came with Anthony’s coffin and she wanted to keep it.  Years later, my mother gave it to me for she thought it would be a nice way to remember my younger brother.

For me, I appreciated what the crucifix stood for.  It is a sharp reminder of what Jesus went through, on my behalf.  I happily took the crucifix and purposed to hang it up, when possible.  I, also wanted to hang up a large Celtic style cross that I brought in Phoenix, AZ.

The day came and I proceeded to hang both symbols of my faith in my room.  I decided to hang them on opposite walls.  As I hung up the crucifix, the word “surrender” flashed in my mind.  I knew it to be from the Holy Spirit and paused to consider its meaning.  When I hung up the cross, the word “freedom” came to my mind.

After some more consideration, the following phrase came to mind:

To have freedom; one needs to surrender”

What does this means? In my heart, I could tell that Jesus was asking me to surrender; just as He surrender himself.  As I thought this, Hebrews 12:2 came to mind:

2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Jesus was calling me, to die to self.  I had to stop being “Mr. Independent” and be wholly dependent on the Father.  In this, I would achieve the freedom that I desired.  It is a freedom that comes from being in Christ.

For the record, I am still working on it and have a way to go.  What about you?  Are you walking in the freedom that comes from being in Christ?

Where Is Your Hope?

Yesterday, I received news of a man suffering from cancer.  The doctors are not giving John, much hope.  In their opinion, John has about six months.  Thankfully, John and many of his friends know of a certain specialist.  Yes, I am talking about Jesus.

My friends and I are certainly praying and asking God to heal John and see him live well beyond what the doctors think.  I am looking forward to writing something about John surviving to the next decade.  Such is my own expectations of seeing John healed of cancer.

This morning, a question came to mind and I knew who was asking.  The Spirit asked, “Where is your hope?”  The question came in response to my inquiring about what to write.  My mind was also thinking of a young man named Chris.  The man is doing quite well for someone who’s supposed to be dead of cancer, four years ago.  I was also thinking of another friend who died; in spite of our prayers.

Where is your hope? Is it in the miraculous healings?  These were the questions I was being asked and I’m asking you.  Here is my response.  My hope lies in Jesus and not in the miracles Jesus is able to do.  Yes, I love it when Jesus heals someone like Chris of cancer; however, my hope does not lay there. It lies with Jesus.

Because Jesus is my Rock and fortress, I am not greatly shaken by the storms of life.  It is for this reason, I was only sadden when Rick died and not shaken or disappointed.  Like Rick, my hope lies with who Jesus and not what He does.

What of the signs and wonders, you’ve heard of?  What of the glory cloud reportedly seen at Bethel Church in California?  What of Toronto Blessings?  My hope does not lies in the spectacular moves that I hear of.

Though I would love to go and visit the Toronto Airport Vineyard Church and see it, for myself.  Yet, my hope does not lay with what is happening at John Arnott‘s church.  It lies within me.  It comes from knowing Jesus and through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.

Would I have liked to have gone? Yes, I would like to go.  However, I can’t go due to financial reasons.  Yet, it doesn’t bother me for my hope does not lay with signs and wonders.  It lies with knowing Jesus and enjoying His presence.  It’s a presence that can be enjoyed anywhere.

Where does your hope lies?  Does it lay with who God, the Father is?  Does it lay in what God is able to do?  Where is your focus?

Commit Your Blog Post To God And See What Happens

Don’t you just love it when planning one thing and it turns out otherwise?  Here is what I am talking about.  On Friday morning, I had an idea for what to write.  It is based on the Proverbs 16:3:

3Roll your works upon the Lord [commit and trust them wholly to Him; He will cause your thoughts to become agreeable to His will, and] so shall your plans be established and succeed.

I got the above verse from the Amplified Bible.  While reading, I got excited and prepared to write a story about committing my plans to God. After praying and committing the idea to my Father, I proceeded to write.

Guess what?  My proposed story morphed from a blog post on committing plans to one about rejoicing and giving thanks. It made for a nice day after Thanksgiving story.  What happened? Where did my proposed story go?

Here is what occurred.  I committed my planned story to God, the Father and trusted him for help. The Holy Spirit directed my thoughts to line up with the Father’s will.  It seems that my Father had a better plan. 

In the end, I followed through with God’s plan and published two stories. The first is on rejoicing and giving thanks; it was followed by the current post.

I would love to encourage my fellow bloggers to try it, for yourself.  Commit your blog post to the Father and see what happens.  Please remember, it is not about you or what you think.  It is about what God desires to say through you.

The Word is my Flashlight

A while ago, I was considering Psalm 119:105.  As I sometimes struggle with applying this verse, I asked the Father for better understanding.  Here is the Scripture :

105 Your word is a lamp to my feet
And a light to my path.

As I was considering its possible meaning, the Lord showed me an interesting scene. I was walking down a dark forest path. In my hand was a flashlight. The flashlight gave a brilliant beam of light that it was easy to see all the thorns, branches and shrubs in front of me.

Because I could see the obstacles, they were easy to avoid.  As I continued walking, a fork in the road appeared.  With the flashlight in hand, I shined its light to see what path to choose. With its brilliant light, discerning the path of righteousness becomes a little easier and less hazardous.

God is faithful to be with us and will guide us. There is just one problem.  We have to make a choice.  Will I listen to what God’s Spirit is saying to me? Will I heed the warnings and guidance that the light of Scripture has to offer?  If a wrong choice is made, will we turn around and admit it.  If we confess our sins, God is faithful to forgive; courtesy of what Jesus did on the cross.