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Showing posts with label surrender. Show all posts
Showing posts with label surrender. Show all posts

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Should We Submit to All Authorities?

October 27, 2020 - LISTEN NOW

Romans 13:1-5

Everyone must submit to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except from God, and those that exist are instituted by God. 
So then, the one who resists the authority is opposing God’s command, and those who oppose it will bring judgment on them-selves. For [civil] authorities are not a source of fear for [people of] good behavior, but for [those who do] evil. Do you want to be unafraid of authority? Do what is good and you will receive approval and commendation. For he is God’s servant to you for good. 

But if you do wrong, [you should] be afraid; for he does not carry the [executioner’s] sword for nothing. He is God’s servant, an avenger who brings punishment on the wrongdoer. But if you do what is wrong, you should be afraid, for it is not without reason that they bear the sword. Indeed, they are God's servants to administer punishment to anyone who does wrong. Therefore, it is necessary for you to be acquiescent to the authorities, not only for the sake of God's punishment but also for the sake of your own conscience.

Crazy laws requiring masks to walk your dog, to be in place in between bites of food, even when having sex. Crazy laws to stay six feet apart, not shake hands and leave a restaurant by 11pm. Legalized spying on your neighbors, deemed Contact Tracing, has pitted friends against each other. And mandatory vaccinations are on the way.....

Worst of all, many if not most churches across America remained closed. One has to wonder who the pastors and priests are taking their direction from...God or the Governor?

I’ve been told that many parishioners have approached their church leaders and have been rebuked, saying that “the Bible tells us to be subjected to government or government authorities,’ such as described in this verse, Romans 13:1

But if you read the entire passage, you can see that the directive must be taken in context: we are to obey rulers or government officials who put in place by God. 

How many of your legislators, your governors, your local school board members or your community leaders ...or maybe even your church deacons...are appointed by God? I don't know about you, but I find it difficult to listen to men who issue tyrannical rules and order "we the people" to stay away from God. 

But as a follow-up, 1 Timothy 2:1-2 gives us something to actively to do: 

“First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way."

And further, in Psalm 22:28, we are to put God in the middle of it all: 

“For kingship belongs to the Lord, and He rules over the nations.”

Today's Prayer: 
Dear Lord, we pray for our leaders, not just the president and first lady, but for our state and local elected officials. We pray for Constitutional Sheriffs to take charge of our counties. We pray for calm among the chaos. We pray for intelligent voters to select those who would uphold our laws and secure our communities. We pray that Thy Will Be Done, in our country and in our individual lives. In Jesus's precious name. Amen. 

Thursday, October 15, 2020

Four Powerful Words: Be Still and Know

October 15th, 2020 - LISTEN HERE

Psalm 46:1,10

God is our refuge and strength, a helper who is always found in times of trouble.....Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.


These two verses come from a Psalm that proclaims the power and security of God. In the center of these two verses is one of my favorite phrases in the entire Bible is “Be still and Know.”


To be still means to be quiet. To stop fighting. Stop squabbling. Stop being suspicious of each other. Let go of the artificial separations that have divided us. As Catherine Davis said in our prayer time together at www.ChristianRevival.net, “There is only one race – and this is the Human Race." 


Pull off your masks and see smiles and full faces of those around you. Be the Child of God you were chosen to be.


God’s people need to be still in the midst of the storms of chaos and violence sweeping many of the cities in our country. Once quiet – and in a meditative state – let this verse come to mind:


Exodus 14:14“The Lord will fight for you, you have only to be silent.”


In the silence comes strength and peace. Visualize the gift of God to our senses. Find the peace of God in the mountains, in the forests, by the ocean, in a cathedral...in our own soul.


To Know means to have an understanding. But when I think about Knowing God, it comes with an assurance that goes beyond basic understanding.

  • To Know God is to completely trust Him.
  • To Know God is to believe we can Ask anything and expect to receive it from Him.
  • To Know God is to feel His awesome presence in everything we do. We have confidence that we can rest in His love with an unshakeable peace.
  • To Know God is to find refuge in His strength and expect Him to always be with us in times of trouble

Be Still – and Know....the four most powerful words we can carry in our heart and mind at all times about our relationship with God, our Father.


Today’s Prayer:

Dear Lord, quiet our mind, our heart, our spirit. Allow us to find the stillness that allows us to feel Your power and know your strength. To Be Still and Know is the only true way humans can connect with Your holiness, Your power, Your compassion, Your love.


We know cognitively that You are omniscient (all-knowing), omnipresent (present everywhere), omnipotent (all-powerful). Your Word says that we are in “all ways” to acknowledge You and THEN You will guide our lives. Lord, we surrender to Your plan when we can simply Be Still and Know. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Photo 159065345 © Abigail Graves-Werner | Dreamstime.com



Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Love Covers a Multitude of Sins

September 22, 2020 - LISTEN HERE - With special guest, Patrick Lathum

1 Peter 4:7-8 

Because everything will soon come to an end, be sensible and clear-headed, so you can pray. Above all, continue to love each other deeply, because love covers a multitude of sins.

I’ve been talking for months now about the pervasive and mostly overlooked disasters of this man-made COVID19 crisis. The entire fiasco has been set in place to usher in the destruction of the human race.
  • Masks are the first step. They are a visible tool used by those in control to plainly see how many are willing to be obedient and how many are willing to be compliant. The mask is an external measure of global behavior. A mask makes visible how many “bought” the fear-based story of a “deadly” virus that has been shown to have a 99.96% survival rate.
  • Social distancing is social engineering. Humans are now suspicious of each other. Stay away from me! Don’t touch me! Stand far apart – I might “catch” something from you!! Humans are meant to touch, hug, and hold each other. We are being conditioned to accept being non-human.
  • Mandatory vaccination is a physical assault on the body. The COVID19 vaccine is planned to be laced with a product called hydrogel that is not removable from the body. Maybe you’ll lose your phone or your vaccination record? No problem. We’ll conveniently put that chip in your hand...
Jesus said, “Now learn this lesson from the fig tree: As soon as its branches become tender and sprout leaves, you know that summer is near. So also, when you see all these things, you will know that He is near, right at the door.” (Matthew 24: 32-33)

Are we seeing the beginning of the end? Even if this is just a “season” we are passing through,  we are reminded to be sensible, clear-headed, and prayerful.

We see the chaos, the murders, the vandalism, the political division, the COVID19 reminders every day. Rather than fighting back, we need to remind each other to pray...and to operate from the place of divine love

Why? Because “love covers a multitude of sins.”

When we tap into God’s divine love and share that with someone, especially those we would rather NOT love! – this is an act of forgiveness. And maybe this verse is a lesson, a reminder, that some offenses are not worth confronting.

Instead of “being offended” at every personal slight, ignorant remark or comment, we can actively choose to NOT be offended...and just let it go. Remember that forgiveness, charity, and love really can “cover a multitude of sins.”

Today’s Prayer
Dear Lord, we see the times and read the signs around us as you predicted. Even if we are not correct or accurate in our human assessment about things coming to an end, but nonetheless, times are troubling, we are grateful that Your Word admonishes us to pray and to love. You say we are to pray for those who harm us and love those who hate us. Lord, give us the strength and the courage to do this more every day. In Jesus's name. Amen 

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

For Everything, There Is A Season

September 15, 2020 - LISTEN HERE

Ecclesiastes 3:1  
   - with Special Guest, Catherine Latham of the HighWire

To everything, there is a season and a time to every purpose under the heaven

Most of us know this verse and the long list ‘seasons’ in subsequent verses. Ecclesiastes 3 was popularized by rock band, The Byrds, in 1965. The lyrics are taken almost verbatim from the King James version of book of Ecclesiastes, although the sequence of the words was rearranged somewhat for the song.

“For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:
a time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to harvest;
a time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;
a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
a time to throw away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
a time to seek, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to throw away;
a time to tear, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
a time to love, and a time to hate;
a time for war, and a time for peace.”
This list represents nearly all the important perspectives in our lives. Some are happy, some are sad; some are building, some are taking away; some are harsh, some imply rest.

No matter which side of the pendulum you are on right now, almost every pro/con, every ebb and flow of life is necessary to participate in Earth School. Whether we succeed or fail, our experiences are how we learn, grow, and evolve.

We all prefer life to run smoothly, with as little disruption as possible. We complain about being bored, but the truth is, most of us like our boring routine. We don’t like surprises that upend our well-established boundaries and borders. Routine makes us feel safe.

The current circumstances have turned every element of life upside down. We’ve had many changes come at us out of the blue and in rapid succession. We haven’t had time to adapt. We find our activities and our mental functions are frozen, like deer in the headlights. The easiest, safest thing to do is to comply with the New Rules, even when we know they are wrong.

What if we respond to this storm from a perspective of, “this too shall pass”? What if we are experiencing this “season” in our life for a purpose? With God's presence within our hearts, we can navigate the situation with peace, and without fear, knowing He is in control.

Sometimes the only way we know how far we have come is when we emerge even stronger, wiser, and freer...many years down the road.

Today’s Prayer:

Dear Lord, we come to You today knowing that every situation, every circumstance, every activity has a purpose in the Plan of our life when we put our trust in You. We were never assured it would be easy, but we were promised You would be with us, every step of the way. Our part is learning to trust. Life’s lessons are how we grow personally as a human and grow spiritually as a child of God. 

You never allow the season to be more than we can bear...and You promise to always help us bear the load. Thank You for the seasons in our life, when we laugh and when we cry. All we really need, Lord, is You by our side. Thank You that Your plan for my life has long been set in place. We ask for courage and protection, and a quiet heart to stay the course. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Photo credit Photo 166302967 © Puripat Penpun | Dreamstime.com

Tuesday, September 8, 2020

What is God's Grace?

September 8, 2020 - LISTEN HERE

Ephesians 2:8-9 

For you are saved by grace through faith, and this is not from yourselves; it is God’s gift— not from works, so that no one can boast.

Grace is the most important concept taught in the Bible. Scripture is filled with verses about God’s grace. 

In fact, grace is mentioned more than 150 times in the Bible, beginning in Genesis where Noah found grace in the eyes of God, all the way through to the last verse in the Bible.

What is grace?

It is the unmerited, unearned love and favor of God. God the Father gave us the most important free gift in the Universe: salvation in Jesus Christ.

Because it is a gift, it means nothing has to be given in return or paid back. This is a gift, not a loan. A gift is free, even though it was purchased by the giver. In this case, the purchase price was the sacrifice and death of God’s own son.  

Since salvation is a FREE gift that comes to us through faith and by His grace, it cannot be earned. In fact, the Word says quite clearly that no one can "buy" their way into heaven with enough good deeds or with good enough motives. You can’t get into Heaven by being super nice or by being generous or by doing good things for others; the ticket to heaven is only through Jesus Christ.

By God’s grace, our eternal life was guaranteed with the blood of His Son and the forgiveness of all our sins – now and forever. This immeasurable gift was given to us when we accept Christ as our personal savior. We didn’t work for it and we certainly didn’t deserve it. Through His grace, we now receive wisdom, understanding and a long list of blessings “according to His riches in glory.” 

What an awesome God!

Dear Father in heaven, there are not enough words in any language to describe the feeling of gratitude we have for Your grace, and now much You love us. We are grateful that becoming one with You does not have to be earned because no amount of busy-ness could possibly be enough to enter the gates of heaven. We humble ourselves before You, Lord, with a child’s heart and simple gratitude. Thank You for being who You are. Thank You for your grace which we are so grateful to feel and experience. In Jesus's name, Amen. 

Photo credit Photo 174320893 © Paulus Rusyanto | Dreamstime.com

Thursday, September 3, 2020

Lord Teach Me; I Will be Silent and Listen

 September 3, 2020 - LISTEN HERE

Job 6:24 

Teach me, and I will be silent. Help me understand what I did wrong. 


We found today’s verse in the middle of Job’s dismay – He was trying to understand why he lost everything, including all his worldly possessions and all seven of his children. Job cried out to God, asking God to understand where he had strayed, what he had done wrong, what sin needed repentance. Job pleaded with God to get him out of the horrible predicament he was in.


Job tells God that he will be silent and listen as only God could help him to understand the errors of his ways.


How often do we cry out to God, to show us the way, to give us answers, to help us to understand a given situation, to resolve a difficulty...?


Do we then choose to be silent – and to really listen for God’s reply?


God’s voice is subtle. It can be a windchime in the wind, in the chirp of a bird. His message can come through a word or a phrase in a very familiar song played at “just” the right time. His lessons can come through a single line in a movie or from a conversation overheard while standing in line.


If we are silent, stop our mental chatter...and then really listen – God can find a space where He can teach us...and we are willing to learn.


No matter how tough things became, Job never gave up. He always trusted that God knew what He was doing and believed that eventually, he would understand why God put him through so much adversity. In the end, his faith prevailed and God restored everything to Job, even greater than what he had originally lost.


We need to LEARN to look at life through the same lens: When we ASK, we need to be silent so we can hear God’s response.  


Today’s Prayer:

Dear Lord, thank You that we can find guidance in every book of the Bible, even the oldest books of the Old Testament. Your Word, Your teachings, Your training rings true from thousands of years in the past – and will be true for thousands of years forward into Eternity. Your Greatness abounds, Lord, and we pray for any and all understanding and clarity we need in our lives that is keeping us at distance from You. Oh Lord, hear our prayers. Silence our minds. Teach us how to be ever closer to You. In Jesus’s name. Amen.

Photo 161390938 © David Burke | Dreamstime.com


Wednesday, September 2, 2020

Be Silent and Wait Expectantly

September 2, 2020 - LISTEN HERE

Psalm 37:7 

Be silent before the Lord and wait expectantly for Him; do not be agitated by one who prospers in his way or by the man who carries out evil plans.


It can be so incredibly frustrating when we see evil-doers that seem to get away with crimes, vandalism, theft, assault and even murder. We hang our head and raise our voice in disgust and in anger.


But the Word tells us to behave differently. We are told to not be agitated but to wait silently and expectantly on the Lord. God tells us to “Be Still and Know.” He tells us He will fight our battles. He even tells us that Vengeance is His.


Being human is hard...and participating in Earth School is even harder. We see so many disturbing events and behaviors by those around us. During these troubling times, it is more important than ever to draw close to God. Jesus paid the price for us already; He bore the burden of our sinful ways and once we accept Him into our life, we are His forever. The more difficult life becomes, the darker the times seem to be around us, the more fervently we need to read His Word and spend time with Him in prayer.


Loving our fellow humans can be so difficult. We are told to love our enemies and admonished to pray for those who persecute us. We hear you, Lord, but that doesn’t make it any easier when we can barely tolerate what is going on around us.


In today’s terms, I would say that we “fake it until we make it real.” We know we’re doing this for You and in Your name.  The only way out, the only answer is to know: Jesus is the Way. Today, as every day, we need to draw closer and closer to Him.


Today’s Prayer:

Dear Lord, we thank You that Your Word gives such clear instructions. We are to be still, even silent, and way in calm anticipation for You to clear the path and unmuddy the waters. We can watch without participating – physically or emotionally – with the disturbing events around us. We know that in the end, Lord, we are with You and no matter what, We Win. Thank You, Lord, for every victory, small and large. We are grateful for the “still time” with You and we are forever grateful we are Your Kids. Thank You the Eternity is coming. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Photo 156883826 © Alexis Blackwell | Dreamstime.com

Thursday, August 27, 2020

Is Your Faith Bigger than a Mustard Seed?

August 27, 2020 - LISTEN HERE

Matthew 17:20 

Jesus told them. “For I assure you: If you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will tell this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”


Jesus said this to His disciples when they were unable to cast out a demon from a child with seizures. He scolded them for being rebellious and unbelieving. Then, HE gave them a DIRECT message, told them what to do: have REAL faith.


According to Webster’s dictionary, FAITH in a noun. But we have accepted faith to be something akin to “wishful thinking” like when we say, “have faith it will happen.”


But real, spiritual FAITH is like anti-matter: it has substance, it has weight and is the strongest, most explosive power in the Universe. If the tiniest speck of REAL faith can move literal mountains, how much more can we manifest into our lives of we learn how to harness that God-given power into our Earthly lives?


I spent a little time trying to find the SIZE of a mustard seed. It’s 1-2mm in size - about the size of 1/8 of a black peppercorn. Surely, we must have that much faith, right? Then why aren’t our obstacles “tossed into the sea” every single day? What else should we be doing? 


I have learned that Spiritual faith is not only a noun; it is also a VERB. When exercised properly, FAITH is intense action, not a passive pleading.


If the amount of FAITH needed to move literal mountains is a tiny speck, we are not using it nearly enough. We are not tapping into FAITH to right the wrongs in our country, in our world….in our personal lives. Think about how powerful and intense FAITH really is when applied like a verb.


FAITH comes from the very heart and Power of God. Faith is a powerful principle; something to be exercised. If you reread that verse, FAITH is not passive hope. FAITH is something we need to learn how to use.


Try this exercise:

  • Close your eyes
  • Draw God’s energy into your consciousness
  • Rap that energy in intense Spiritual love
  • Send out a “bubble” of intention toward the obstacle to be removed (blow it up!) or attaching that “bubble” like a suction cup to something you want to come into your life
  •  Hold it steady – for minutes, hours, or even days - until you “know” things have changed and you’ve felt the shift

Remember, we are fighting powers and principalities. We need to use spiritual tools. God has given them to us. Let’s learn to use them.


Recap of this week’s Happy Hours on FAITH:

  • Monday: Hebrews 11:6 - Without faith, it is impossible to please Him
  • Tuesday: Romans 8:31 – If God is for you, who can be against you?
  • Wednesday: Jeremiah 32:17 - Nothing is too difficult for God
  • (Today) - Matthew 17:20 – Nothing is impossible with FAITH


Today's Prayer:

Dear Lord, You admonished Your disciples and You gave us a directive: Have the tiniest speck of REAL faith, REAL power, and NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE. You assured us we can do ANYTHING by tapping into the REAL Power of God.


How much more could we do for each other if we behaved, if we believed, we are the TRUE Children of God? What if we stood Your Word and LITERALLY internalized Your promises? Today, collectively, we step into the power You have given us. They will be done…in Jesus’ Name. Amen.

Friday, August 7, 2020

The Lord Gives You Peace in ALL Things

 August 7, 2020 - LISTEN HERE

2 Thessalonians 3:16

May the Lord of peace Himself give you peace always in every way. The Lord be with all of you.


With so much going on in the world, it’s easy to let your head run in circles and allow your heart feel empty because you’re waiting for the “head things” to settle down. But the Lord gives us peace ... in every way...if we trust and believe.


I don’t always find it easy to trust – whether the trust in another human being ...or full trust in God. It’s a practice I work on every day.


Being a ‘human doing,’ it’s my nature to put my hands back on my life’s steer wheel at every bump in the road. But trust implies surrender...letting God be totally in control. Surrendering the small steps is an upward spiral.


Surrender, trust, surrender, trust...until reaching a place of really trusting that God is in Full Control of each day, minute, second of our lives. He knows the number of hairs on his head; surely he knows the best plan for our lives.


Today’s Prayer:

Lord, each day gives me a new opportunity to grow closer to You. Trusting you in small things allows me to LEARN ....and that’s what we’re here to do on Earth School. Words are inadequate to express the gratitude we feel when we trust You with one of our fears, and You deliver....allowing us to grow ever closer to You. Thank you, Abba Father, for teaching us to grow. In Jesus’ Name Amen.

Photo 178130080 © Phuttaphat Tipsana | Dreamstime.com