Saturday, December 22, 2012

THE RIGHT KINDLING


You cannot start a fire without kindling of some kind, something that will spark a flame.

Since we are still here and the earth hasn’t been destroyed and civilization hasn’t ended – not yet anyway – the Christian call to carry out The Great Commission continues.  We are to go into all the world and be witnesses for Christ.  I am certain we are not the only ones finding this more difficult in these “last days”.   The things that motivate people have changed, apparently drastically, and so our task becomes FINDING THE RIGHT KINDLING TO SPARK THE FIRE in each individual. 

A simple message of “repent of sin and receive forgiveness” no longer resonates in the hearts of those who hear it, for they have little to no concept of sin.  Sin has been validated as normal, common and everyday in the society we currently live in.  In fact, it has been legalized by misguided (though I’d like to believe well meaning) judges in the United States attempting to discern the Constitution devoid  of any Biblical moral guidance for the general citizenry of the country.  Murder becomes a gentle “choice”, reprobate sexual perversion is simply an “orientation”.  To say otherwise is HATE SPEECH.   How clever of our adversary satan to compromise the very message of Gods great LOVE by causing the world to declare it hate. 

To reach the heart of each person requires we carefully work our way through layer upon layer of
  • political correctness
  • deeply embedded false teaching
  •  acceptable social thinking
  • AND the inherent  sin nature of mankind! 
Many have tried to do this by mimicking the ways of the world in order to appeal to a wider audience.  Our message has become watered down in its insistence of being “seeker friendly” or has become completely compromised in favor of filling seats in our church services.   In my humble opinion this has failed and falls FAR SHORT of fulfilling our mission to Preach the Truth, as well as failing to Glorify God as Holy and Righteous.  We find ourselves DEFENDING God as good.   God does not need or desire our pitiful attempts at defending Him!   

Jesus warned against and warned of all that we currently see occurring.  
He prophesied in Matthew 24: 8-13 (KJV)

ALL THESE ARE THE BEGINNING OF SORROWS.   
THEN SHALL THEY DELIVER YOU UP TO BE AFFLICTED AND SHALL KILL YOU;  AND YOU SHALL BE HATED OF ALL NATIONS FOR MY NAME’S SAKE.    
AND THEN SHALL MANY BE OFFENDED AND SHALL BETRAY ONE ANOTHER AND SHALL HATE ONE ANOTHER.    
AND MANY FALSE PROPHETS SHALL RISE AND SHALL DECEIVE MANY.     
AND BECAUSE INIQUITY SHALL ABOUND THE LOVE OF MANY SHALL WAX COLD.  
BUT HE THAT SHALL ENDURE UNTO THE END THE SAME SHALL BE SAVED.

TRUTH is the ONLY kindling that will start the HOLY SPIRIT fire burning in a heart!

The fire of the Holy Spirit cleanses and refines us, but until it’s lit and burning brightly…

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Planting, Watering and HARVESTING!

There just isn't any other feeling quite like the JOY that comes from assisting someone out of darkness and into the Kingdom of the Living God!  That's really all we do you know, assist others.

It is GOD Who calls all people to His Kingdom.  It is His goodness that draws them to Him.  It is His Holy Spirit that anoints them to hear.

Many plant seeds of truth and many more water and nurture those seeds, blessing them with the warmth of the SON and the food of His truth until one day, God graciously allows one of His Ambassadors the awesome privilege and honor of escorting one across the border - from dead in trespasses and sins to ALIVE ETERNALLY in Christ Jesus the Lord!  And what a responsibility - reaping the Harvest of Souls for the glory of God the Creator and Savior!

We are thanking God the Father for just such a "border crossing" privilege, as Kim made confession of Christ as Savior, asked and received forgiveness of sin. 

Many planted truth seeds, many watered and nurtured.  How WONDERFUL it is when the BODY OF CHRIST works together!

MERRY CHRISTMAS indeed!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Tragic Child Massacre!

Like everyone else, I am horrified, sickened and sad beyond words at the senseless, dreadful and tragic loss of human life - especially one's so young!  My heart aches in pain, not only for those beautiful babies from Newtown, CT, but for those who haven't even been allowed to draw a single breath on this earth, because the GOVERNMENT of the United States of America has declared it will NOT PROSECUTE any man or woman who MURDERS an innocent baby as long as it has not drawn a breath outside the womb!

The majority of people would like to separate these two events, and pretend they are not the same thing.  Most will avoid saying the obvious because it isn't politically correct and acceptable.

Since the innocent children died in Newtown, how many MORE innocent have been brutally torn from the wombs of their mothers into just as painful, just as horrible and just as tragic DEATH?

We talk talk talk about CHOICE - but we are afraid to declare the TRUTH.  CHOICE isn't about whether a child conceived has the right to be born and live a life.  CHOICE is made BEFORE action is taken that could lead to conception.  THAT is when a woman has ONLY HER OWN BODY to make choices about.  After conception, her body houses another - a separate body that belongs to a different human being - NOT HER. 

Evil flourishes when people will not stand and speak TRUTH.  Let that NOT be our crime here at Turn the Tide Ministries.  We will stand, we will speak and we will not be silent for political correctness or social acceptance or any other reason.

We have all sinned and come short of the glory of God.  He created us.  He loves us.  Everyone has the right to REJECT that truth precisely because He gave us freewill to do so.  BUT THAT DOESN'T CHANGE THE TRUTH OR ALTER IT ANY WAY! 

Those who have made that terrible choice to end the life of a child live with a knot in their hearts that will never cease.  Those who have repented of sin - this and any and every other sin - and have asked the forgiveness of God our Father and Creator - have received it and sin is remembered NO MORE!

While we are mourning the 20 - don't forget the MILLIONS who deserved the same right to live.

I do not write because I have any moral high ground - I write precisely because I am a sinner who has been forgiven by a gracious God, though I did not deserve it - and for that reason I share the TRUTH of His forgiveness and love with others.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

PURPOSE: SAVED AND UNSAVED


 Purpose of Turn the Tide Ministries:

To preach the Gospel of Salvation through Jesus to the lost and wandering hopeless

To build the Body of Christ in Love while equipping the Saints for spiritual warfare

Matthew 28: 18 – 20

And Jesus came and spoke to them saying “All Authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.  Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded to you, and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

Mark 16: 15-18

And He said to them “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.  He who believes and is baptized will be saved but he who does not believe will be condemned.  And these signs will follow those who believe, in My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick and they will recover.”

Luke 24: 46-49

Then He said to them, “Thus it was written, and thus it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day, and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.  And you are witnesses of these things.  Behold, I send the Promise of My Father upon you; but tarry in the city of Jerusalem until you are endued with power from on high.”

Acts 1: 8

“But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”

What we are supposed to do:

1.       Be filled with the Holy Spirit POWER

2.      Go into every place that the Spirit leads us

3.      Preach the message of the gospel; repentance and remission of sins

4.      Baptize people

5.      Teach the Word of God

6.      Cast out demons

7.      Speak with new tongues

8.      Trust God to protect us from serpents and poisons

9.      Lay hands on the sick and pray so they recover

Nine directives from our Lord; nine manifestations of the Holy Spirit our Helper:

ICorinthians 12: 8-11

1.       Word of Wisdom

2.      Word of knowledge

3.      Faith

4.      Gifts of healing

5.      Working of Miracles

6.      Prophecy

7.      Discerning of spirits

8.      Kinds of tongues

9.      Interpretation of tongues

Preaching the Gospel seems a simple enough dictate but accomplishing it has historically been anything BUT easy!  Preaching has taken many forms over the many generations since Jesus gave what we call “THE GREAT COMMISSION”.  The disciples obeyed Jesus and began with a simple message that caused the religious leaders of their day to run them out of town, jail them or even kill them! 

From the original design of the Tabernacle in the wilderness, to synagogues and to our modern churches, we who believe have continued the tradition of preaching the gospel. 

There are those who preach the Word of Truth  in the churches and at Revivals.  They preach on the airwaves, online and to great auditoriums filled with worshipping believers in the One True God.  They preach – even if sometimes it seems only to the choir - striving because of love of God in their hearts - to find new ways to present the gospel message of salvation so perhaps some will hear to the end they will DO what the message clearly tells us needs to be done.

There are those who are called, anointed and appointed to preach the Word of Truth as fresh revelation and amazing transforming power to those who have never heard, who have never understood and have never received as truth for their lives this same message.  We often separate these two functions, calling one “Pastor” and one “Evangelist”.  In truth, they are both the same; “Preachers” and “Prophets”, bringing forth a message from God to His children.

Over 40+ years I have attempted to follow and obey Jesus, (failing more times than I have room to write about!) both as the member of a church and as a Minister to the church.

There is such JOY!   JOY in my heart when I have the privilege of sharing the matchless and awe inducing truth of God’s Word, and of experiencing the Word brought forth from one who truly loves God, loves His people and allows the Holy Spirit to speak through them!  Whether exhorting and equipping Gods people in a weekly gathering of the saints (church) or calling the lost (those who have not accepted the atoning work of Christ done on the cross of crucifixion) to repentance, Gods Word always has deep and abiding effect on those who hear it.  As Paul the Apostle said, how shall they hear unless someone preach? 

In these perilous times, (and make no mistake, we are always in perilous times, we are constantly tempted to sin and turn our backs on God!  God specifically told us he would make the time of GREAT TRIBULATION short, as He knew we would perish otherwise!)  In these perilous times it isn’t money that is at stake.  It isn’t political power or moral values or social standing or church size or family values or the sanctity of marriage between one man and one woman.  It isn’t even the doctrinal differences and minor difference of issues within or between denominations.  These are all important to us in the span of our lives on this earth, but not in the eternal scheme of things. 

What is truly in peril, what is being weighed and held in the balance what is really at stake for His Church is whether or not we are OBEDIENT TO HIS COMMANDS.  What is really at stake for those who have not received His truth is THEIR ETERNAL DESTINATION!

Every created human being birthed from their mother’s womb has an ETERNAL EXISTENCE.   The question is not “Do you have Eternal life?”  The question is: WHERE WILL YOU SPEND ETERNITY?

Jesus presented two choices.  A place of darkness where there is “gnashing of teeth” or a place of LIGHT PEACE AND JOY through Him in the Eternal Presence of God.  Believe or not as you choose.  Free will was given as much a gift as Salvation is a gift.  Receive the gift, receive the blessing that comes with it.  Reject the gift and the blessing is also rejected.

Church – YOU have been tasked by the Lord to “go into all the world and make disciples of all men.”  That charge, that commission has never been changed or altered.  I exhort and encourage you to answer this call and get involved to MAKE IT COUNT FOR CHRIST!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

NEVER VOID

As I was raising my children I found myself repeating to them numerous times and through many different circumstances these words; The only way you can lose is if you QUIT!
Those words sometimes feel like they are coming back to haunt me, especially when I am dealing with a seemingly impossible situation and it doesn't look like its going to go well, or at least not the way I think it should go.
And then God, in His infinite grace, lets me see a glimpse of what He is doing, always far greater than my thought or ability, and I'm so glad I take my own advice. NEVER QUIT! Gods word NEVER comes back void.  His word NEVER FAILS!

 A soul I was pretty much giving up on ever receiving the truth, God just opened a door to their heart.  NEVER QUIT.  YOU'LL NEVER LOSE BECAUSE GOD IS ON YOUR SIDE !

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

America and God


We’ve been so “Americanized” about our Christianity that although in our churches you hear us say the words ‘its not about us”; in our hearts – ITS ALL ABOUT US!  Why aren’t WE getting things just the way WE want them?  Why aren’t WE seeing just what WE want to see?  Why isn’t God doing just what WE want Him to do?  Need proof?  Look closely at and READ the words of our modern day so-called “worship” songs.  READ THEM!  Here I AM to worship.    I am bowing down, I AM giving glory, I - I - I - I - I – Oh- we’re worshipping alright – we are worshipping the CREATURE (ourselves) and not the CREATOR!  The truth is- there is only ONE I AM and it ain’t you and it ain’t me!  Jesus declared the only  truth, “before Abraham was I AM” 

Ever wonder why so many miracle stories seem to come from what we consider “third world countries” about AWESOME things God is doing in hearts and lives?  Why their churches are growing by 10’s of thousands on a regular basis?  I wonder if it doesn’t have something to do with the fact that they aren’t spoiled and pampered and convinced that the whole world and God included “owes” them something? Perhaps they have a better understanding of “gratitude” because they haven’t had every luxury handed to them since birth and been brain washed into believing its their RIGHT  to have whatever they think they need.  It may even have something to do with an awe toward God that we seem to lack here in our American churches, allowing us to think its no big deal if we “sell” Gods good news or use it to enrich ourselves.  In the name of Christianity we’ve made “celebrities” of those God has blessed and anointed and then gleefully torn them to shreds when they bought into the hype and started to think they really were something! (Do we really need to name names here?  Just think of headlines in the last few years - Swaggert, Baker, Haggard and more!)

It is very difficult to separate politics from religion in spite of the best efforts of America to do so.  (In fact, I maintain it is IMPOSSIBLE!)  Who we are as a nation is absolutely reflected in who we are as people in our personal lives.  Are we a people who follow a moral code and have a reverent fear of God our Creator?  (See Psalm 33:12 Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD.)  America was founded on religious freedom.  NOT freedom FROM religion – but freedom to express religious beliefs as each individual might choose to worship.  NOT freedom FROM worshipping God, but freedom TO worship God in the manner you choose for yourself and your family.  Or not to have any religious expression in your life if that is what you choose.  BUT also not the right to STOP others from religious expression! 

Right now I sincerely hope many reading this are sputtering about “separation of church and state.”  I hope that, because it means we’re being read by those who don’t know the Lord as their God.  And that’s GOOD!  You can’t learn if you never read about things you don’t already know about and it is Gods most ardent desire that every single soul of His creation KNOW HIM!  He doesn’t have ONE specific criteria for HOW you worship either, but just THAT you worship the ONE TRUE GOD.  (See Exodus chapter 20.)  God speaks of having no God before Him, and not bowing down to idols and having no graven images – yet He does not limit your expression of worship to Him.  It is for YOUR health, for YOUR well being and for YOUR blessing that HE desires you to know His truth, because He loves you so very much and He knows the only possibility of YOU being TRULY blessed is to know HIM.

FOR THE RECORD; there is NO such statement found ANYWHERE in the Consitution of the United States of America.  It states that congress shall make NO LAW concerning a religion – not that religion has no place in our laws.  In fact, it is our laws that give our citizens the right to have NO RELIGION IN THEIR PERSONAL LIVES if that is what they choose to do, however,  IT DOES NOT GIVE ANYONE THE RIGHT TO INFRINGE UPON OTHERS INDIVIDUAL RIGHTS TO HAVE RELIGION IN THEIR LIVES!  If the majority of Americans celebrate Christmas – then MERRY CHRISTMAS it is and not Happy Holidays for the majority of us.  Which brings me to this “silent majority” stuff.  If we are in fact the majority,  WE’D BETTER STOP BEING SO SILENT BEFORE WE ARE SILENCED ALL TOGETHER!

You may agree with my sentiments here.  You may not agree with my sentiments.  That’s okay.  That’s the beauty of America.  You have a right to your opinion AND I HAVE A RIGHT TO MINE. 

Friday, November 2, 2012

9000 and counting.....

I was reading the Gospel of Mark recently, and found myself confronted with a question that had never crossed my mind before.  I'd just finished reading about two situations in which Jesus miraculously fed people from very little provision.  Combining the numbers from both occasions, within a short time span, Jesus took a few fishes and several loaves of bread and fed over 9000 people, the Gospel reveals to us.  A very short time later, a great many of the Jews are gathering in Jerusalem for the Passover and it is at this time that Jesus is arrested in the garden at Gethsemane.  Pilot, taking the advice of his wife who experienced a prophetic dream attempts to free Jesus, as he has a custom of freeing a prisoner each Passover, at the request of the Jewish people.

I found myself wondering, how many of the 9000 He had miraculously fed were among those crowds at that time?  And of those in attendance, how many willingly followed the instruction of the misguided religious leaders and called for the release of Barabbas and the crucifixion of Jesus?  How many were easily led to believe what was told them about Jesus by those they thought were "in the know" rather than what they had actually experienced of Him themselves?  Which naturally led me to this next question.  How many of us STILL do that today?

Specifically, as we travel and share the Gospel, we run into so many people (enough that it seems a trend!) who have been led to believe that the "christian life" is supposed to be one of ease, abundance of "stuff" such as MONEY, and attaining every (selfish) desire of our own hearts!  Far too many appear to be of the opinion that "choosing" Christ means all they have to do is attend church once in a while, be respectful toward those who are "leaders" in the church and that God, because He loves them, expects nothing more of them. 

Yet the truth is so different from that picture.  Jesus made it so plain that in this life, we would experience trials and tribulations, and even that "the world" would HATE us for His names sake!  We've been falsely led to believe that if we don't get quick easy answers that suit our idea of "deliverance" in any given situation, it must be "the devil" coming against us or some "hidden" sin we've failed to confess.  Lip service is given to the idea of trials and tribulation and suffering trouble, but in reality, we are so unprepared for actual trials and so wrongly expecting fast easy answers!

                      ??!?! WHY ??!?!   
We aren't being properly instructed concerning the POWER to overcome!  Jesus finished the statement about trials and tribulations and being hated by encouraging us - that HE has overcome the world!  Through Him, we can also overcome!  When trials come, we are NOT being punished, we are being lovingly provided opportunity for GROWTH AND STRENGTHENING in the Spirit!  If we never go "through" we will also never GROW UP IN HIM as Paul talks about in his letters to the churches.  The power to overcome is in exercising our FAITH.  Faith is not a verb until it is put into action!  And overcoming faith is the kind that operates with wisdom and knowledge. 

Like any muscle, our "faith muscle" has no strength if it isn't exercised regularly!  When you first go to the gym, you usually aren't going to lift 350 pounds and do 500 sit ups if you haven't been doing anything previously.  It takes time to build muscle.  And it only happens as you exercise REGULARLY!  None of this happens on a "hit or miss" work out once a week, once a month or once a year!  Faith works on the same principle.  As you regularly "work out" your faith by:
                        
        * reading Gods written word on a daily basis
        * praying and worshipping God 
        * spending time in fellowship with other likeminded believers 
You will find yourself growing in every area of the Christian life.  That is exactly as God intends for each of us.  We are to actively engage in the "work of the ministry".  (See Ephesians - read the whole book, it'll be good for you!) The work of the ministry isn't for Ordained Clergy only, its for every single person who confesses Christ as Savior!  We are all to lead others to a saving knowledge of Christ.  We are all told to equip other saints of God for this work of ministry.  We are all told we are to build up the Body of Christ in LOVE!   Trust me, LOVE takes some real "work outs" to fully develop!  It just doesn't come naturally to our flesh to put others above ourselves.

I often hear people quote Psalm 37:4 as proof God will give them whatever THEY want! 
Delight yourself in the Lord and He will
give you the desires of your heart! 

Do you truly understand what idea is being conveyed here?  This doesn't mean that God will give you whatever YOUR FLESH desires!  He knows better!  He knows our hearts are 'continually wicked'!  What this scripture is conveying to us is that "as we DELIGHT in the LORD"- HE WILL GIVE OR CAUSE OUR HEARTS TO DESIRE RIGHTEOUS THINGS!  Then, as our hearts desire those righteous things, He will bring them to pass!  Or as I like to put it:
God gives you what your heart should be desiring and THEN God gives you those desires!
As we do the exercising, He brings the POWER to bear on our behalf.  You might ask, WHY is it important our faith muscles be strong?   Next time my friends, let's talk SPIRITUAL WARFARE.

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Stay tuned to Tide Turning Tales for regular updates about our travels and PRACTICAL APPLICATION of Biblical truths!  Add your email address or subscribe in Google Reader!
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Monday, October 15, 2012

Miscellaneous meanderings

Ever noticed that sometimes your so "busy" that time just seems to get away from you?  You only have two or three, not difficult, errands or chores to take care of, and somehow, time goes by and you've only gotten one thing done?  Those kinds of days always make me wonder "Where did the time go?  What was I doing?"  Even though I know I was BUSY all day long!

Remember the gentleman I told you about in "Pity Party?"  After feeding him sandwiches and sharing the Gospel with him, I continued to pray for him and ask God to move mightily in his life. 
Several days ago, we were out walking JackDog, and here he comes up the street toward us, riding a bicycle.  He recognized JackDog and I, and stopped to say hello.  And he had some GREAT news!  "I've got a job!  I'm on my way there now!  And I rented a room!  Thank you for praying for me!" and off he went, a new creation in Christ with a new lease on life!

While we were in the Denver area, we decided to stop by one of the churches I (Marie) served on staff with.  SURPRISE VISIT!  (The best kind, don't you know!)  It was so nice to see familiar faces and new faces, greet old friends and renew acquaintances.  Some things looked the same and comfortably familiar - and other things - well, I LIKED the color they had painted the lobby and sanctuary!  Very warm and welcoming.

Friday, October 12th Turn the Tide Ministries packed the RV and got back on the road!  YEAH!
I love to travel, meet new people, see new sights, and JackDog loves all the new smells that come with traveling.  There are actually a lot of folks right here in the good ole' USA who do NOT know the Gospel message of Salvation!  It is our pleasure and duty to inform them, with grace and in the love of Christ, that there is MORE than existence!  THERE IS LIFE, AND LIFE ETERNAL!

First stop, a visit and Evangelism with dear friends in Meeker, who recently began Pastoring a church there.  The kids have all grown so much!  We had opportunity to share in music and testimony at the Sunday service, and later at a Worship Concert, where the Body was increased as souls accepted Christ as Savior! 
WHAT A FANTASTIC BEGINNING TO THIS NEW SEASON OF TRAVEL AND MINISTRY! 

And it felt so good to us to be "back at it".  Since January we have felt like we are operating in a thick gray cloud of grief and sorrow.  First the loss of one dearly loved soul, then the very sudden and unexpected loss of another 11 days later, followed by two very harrowing hospital emergency visits by a third family member - it has been a tough 9 months and we have been tried in the fires.  We are grateful to our loving God and Father Who has SEEN US THROUGH TO VICTORY!

Tell us what's the news in YOUR neck of the woods!

Saturday, September 29, 2012

WHAT IF THERE WERE NO GOD?

So many live their lives as if God did not exist, or at least, if He does exist, He has little to nothing to do with them.  Especially in todays world, we've scrubbed the public arena clean of any hint of "God" or anything close to resembling Christianity.  No manger scenes allowed at Christmas - now there's an oxymoron!  Christmas itself being the celebration of the birth of Jesus, but we can't depict that birth with the Nativity scene?  Why not just bannish the entire Christmas holiday?
  HO HO, isn't that pretty much what is being done, by making it simply, a Holiday Season?

So, what if there really were NO GOD?  No creator of the universe and man?  What if the "Big Bang" theory really is all there is?  Would that change anything?  If everything we know is simply random, and every single person on earth at any given time has the right and privilege to conduct themselves according to their "own" reality, can you even begin to imagine the CHAOS that would ensue?  We have quite a few people already living that way and it wreaks outrageous chaos.  Multiply that by the billions and.... I don't even want to consider it!

But what if there really were NO GOD, and every one of us is simply subject to our own sense of right and wrong and whether we'll obey the laws of our lands or not?  Oh, wait, that leads to the same thing as above - CHAOS.

And if there were NO GOD and this all came about by a "big bang", couldn't there just as easily be another "big bang" that ends the whole thing?  Have you ever given any real thought to the delicate balance of EVERYTHING IN THE UNIVERSE that brings about the conditions that allow us to live at all?  Lets keep this idea simple, because it does get extremely complicated as any scientist worth his or her salt will tell you.  We humans need air to breath.  We suck good sometimes even clean oxygen into our lungs - but then we exhale!  We exhale a poison known as carbon dioxide.  If we inhale THAT back into our lungs, we will die.  So how does that get stopped from happening?  All the tree's and green leaf plants around us on this planet assist us in our simply breathing!  THEY breath in carbon dioxide - and they exhale - you guessed it - OXYGEN!

Now that is just one very simplified thing to consider.  That happened "by accident"?  You can think that if you choose, but it gets deeper, and far more complicated.  Like, there would BE no plants if it weren't for every single insect on the planet, and they couldn't exist without all the bacteria and.... well, if you are a thinking person, you get my point.  And it all POINTS to a very intelligent being who took the time to set it all up in the first place.

How can you believe any of this?  BY FAITH!  FAITH COMES BY HEARING, AND HEARING BY THE WORD OF GOD.  Suddenly, it all makes sense.  It is the existence of God and His Grace and Mercy that even allows the circumstances that allow people to choose NOT to believe in Him, because His creation in working order gives them the safety net necessary to DISBELIEVE!  Now that's truly unmerited favor.

You can live as if there is NO GOD, precisely because IN THE BEGINNING GOD CREATED THE HEAVENS AND THE EARTH.  That empty feeling in your heart?  That spot was created BY Him and FOR Him, for YOUR GOOD!  Let Him fill your heart today and begin to live your life enjoying the ABUNDANT LIFE God wants you to have!  Eternal and full of JOY!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Does God answer Prayer?

Anyone who has ever read the Bible knows the stories.  Stories of people who have prayed, and then God miraculously answered them! 

DOES GOD ANSWER PRAYERS TODAY?
 
You be the judge.  I'm not going to tell you that I have the answer.  I'm not going to quote a lot of Scripture or divulge theology or claim to have received great revelation.  What I am going to do is share a story with you.  Then YOU DECIDE.  If this story touches you in some way, any way - positive or negative, I ask you to please share it - share it on your Facebook pages, in your Twitter tweets, via email, post it wherever you chose, say what you want about it.  I'm just going to share with you what has happened in the last 8 months of my life.
 
 
In January 2012  after being gone for 2 years, we returned to our "home base".  My honorary Aunt was dieing of cancer.  She was not yet 70.  We had come home to help her "go home to Heaven" or to share in the miracle of her healing, whichever it was to be.  We are what you would call "believers".  We dare to believe that GOD IS.  We dare to believe that He not only made Himself known to us through a book we all commonly know as "The Bible", but we dare to believe that He still speaks to His people today.  Some will cheer us for this, and some will call us fools. 
 
 
I prayed, and God graciously prepared me for what was to come.  In my deepest heart, I heard a still, small voice tell me Aunt would not be healed, but would be going Home to Jesus.  Yes, you can disbelieve me at this point, but it won't change the truth, that this is what happened, and there are those I told at the time, and they know the truth. 
 
 
It was at this point I began to pray differently.  Instead of focusing on prayer for my Aunt, who was going to a place that is wonderful and beautiful, so there is no sorrow in that, I began to ask God WHY He had brought us back home?  We soon had answer to that prayer.  There were actually several reasons.  I will share them all.  Some are a bit personal and even a little bit embarrassing, but if it inspires ONE PERSON to trust in the Lord, then it will be worth a moments embassassment to me.
 
 
First, it became apparent that my youngest son was once more involved in drug use.  He was living on the street, barely surviving.  Everything I had done in the past - putting him in a Residential Rehab Center, taking him to counselor after counselor and applying every one of all the "tough love" techniques that exist, not to mention all the prayers that had been prayed appeared to be one big FAILURE.  In fact, though I prayed time and again and told God I was giving my son to Him, the truth is I had constantly "rescued" my child, time and time again, enabling him to continue in the very things that were destroying his life!  What kind of parent was I?  WHAT KIND OF MINISTER WAS I?!? 
 
 
That still small voice spoke to my heart.  "Treat him like you would ANY young person from off the street that you are trying to help.  Stop acting like he's YOUR SON - treat him like he's MINE".  We prayed again - but very differently this time.  No selfish motive involved.  Just a cry from the heart for God to intervene.  AND HE DID.  There's still a way to go - but the path is now clear for real healing, real deliverance, real change and an HONEST RELATIONSHIP between us!
 
 
In the very midst of these events, my mother in law was rushed to the hospital where we were informed she had a perforated colon.  Surgery was one alternative, but she was already so weak physically, it was very unlikely she would survive.  She choose - NO SURGERY.  When questioned, she told her oldest son she wanted to go home to be with Jesus.  10 days after my dear Mentor and honorary Aunt passed over into Eternity, we said goodbye to my sweet mother in law.  Several days before she passed, I received a phone call from my brother.  My own mother had been rushed to the hospital in another state, and was hemoraging!  WE PRAYED.  After 2 days in the hospital, on the day we laid my mother in law to rest, my mother was released from the hospital!  Answer to prayer? 
 
2 years previously, she was miraculously healed of gangrene in her leg.  And she loves to tell EVERYONE about it!  We had prayed for God to provide "a place of refuge" for her, for she had lost everything in hurricanes and had no home of her own any longer.  Out of NOWHERE, she was offered a 2 bedroom, 2 bath home in a retirement community AT NO COST!  The lot fee's were higher than she could afford.  So we paid them for her.    However, we were limited, and began to pray for a roommate to share the home with her.  ON THE EXACT SAME AFTERNOON OF THE MORNING WE KNEW WE WERE NO LONGER ABLE TO PROVIDE HELP SHE RECEIVED A PHONE CALL - AND NOW HAS THE SWEETEST, KINDEST ROOMMATE WE COULD EVER IMAGINE.
 
Just as it seemed we might be gaining a little equilibrium in our emotional world, another phone call, another emergency.  Mom was in emergency surgery - with a perforated colon!  Have you ever cried out of sheer frustration and just wanted to give up?  I have.  I did that day.  I anxiously waited by the phone.  Mom came through surgery - it looked like maybe she would be okay.  Then another call from my brother.  I'd better come, it didn't look like she was going to make it.  Another son arranged a plane ticket for me.  Mom was having serious breathing problems and was semi-comatose.  I spent 6 1/2 of my 7 days there watching her sleep, counting her every breath.  Why was this such a BIG DEAL? 
 
Prior to this, for the majority of my life, I had very little contact with my mother.  In fact, she avoided me for the most part.  I'd grown up in an alcoholic and abusive household, horrid step fathers, with a mom who was practicing witchcraft - fighting a daughter who loved God.  We had no relationship for most of my adult life - until the day she asked me a question.  I hadn't seen her for YEARS!  She was attending her 50th high school reunion, which happened to be in the town where I was living at the time.  Guilt or obligation - I'll never know which, compelled her to call and tell me she was in town.  I meant to say, "thats nice" but what came out was "would you like to have breakfast with me?"  She said yes.  God - that still small voice, instructed me to share the Gospel with her.  Everything in me thought BIG MISTAKE.  She'll just run from me more.  I am happy to tell you that I listened.  I listened, because I had spent 30 years praying for her salvation.  So I shared the Gospel.  She was very quiet.  As I drove her home, she was very quiet.  Then she said it.  Asked me this question- "if I ask you a question will you tell me the truth?"  I had no idea what her question might be, but I passionately agreed, no matter what the question, I would tell her the truth.  "Is Heaven real?"  this was her question!  Years before, when I had visited her and FORCED her to "pray a sinners prayer" with me - I knew she hadn't meant it.  But this - SHE MEANT IT!!  To give the details would take a book - which I'll write one day.  TRUST me - there was SO MUCH in this question!  All our estrangement - all our fights, all our disagreements, all her reluctance to have a relationship with me - caused by this difference.  I believed in God and heaven - took it all very seriously - and she resented that I constantly pushed it on my family everytime I saw them!  And now - SHE WAS ASKING!
 
This time, she accepted Christ as her Savior and it was REAL!   Over these previous 2 years, we'd gotten to actually know each other!  We laughed and cried together, and in 2 years I felt like God had made up for the previous 30+ that we'd lost.  But 2 years was NOT enough time!  Was she really going Home, now???  I prayed, and that still small voice was clear.  "Her Homecoming is not yet.  There's healing to be done in the rest of your family."  Really??? I'd been praying for them, everyone of them for YEARS and I have to tell the truth, I'd given up on anything ever changing.  Then it did change.  Not only the brother who was "obligated" to call me, since he was there with Mom, began to open up, but then ANOTHER brother called me - WITH TEARS - and invited us to come visit him and renew relationship!  That might not seem like a big deal to some people, but for me??? THESE WERE ANSWERS TO PRAYERS I'D BEEN PRAYING FOR OVER 30 YEARS!
 
There's a LOT more to this story - and one day, I WILL sit down and write out all the details so my God, my Father in Heaven, my Savior Jesus will be glorified at the testimony of JOY He has given to me, just a little bitty cog in His great big world.  But this little piece, I just had to share right now.  Maybe it will inspire someone else to open their heart to God.
 
Mom?  SHE WILL BE GOING HOME FROM REHAB VERY SOON - TO HER HOUSE THAT GOD GAVE HER, WHERE SHE WILL LIVE IN HIS GRACE AND MERCY UNTIL HE CALLS HER HOME TO HEAVEN, which, yes Mom, IS REAL!!
 
 
Answers to prayers?  You decide.  I say, LIVE DELIBERATELY & INSPIRE OTHERS!
May the Lord Himself speak into YOUR heart and show you His Truth, in Jesus name!
thanks for sharing my short story with others, even if you choose NOT to believe it!
 



Wednesday, September 5, 2012

PARTY!? Pity, pity, pity!


I was heading for one of my favorite spots in the woods the other day, determined to have my very own pity party.  My heart was hurting and I wanted to whine and cry and fully expected God to feel sorry for me and comfort me and pat me on the back with a well deserved “there there my child, it’s ok.  I’ll be blessing you and handling your sorrowful situation just the way you’d like to see it handled.”

HUH!  Yeah, right!

That isn’t how God works!  Now that scurvy dog satan, that’s how he works!  Gets us to feel sorry for ourselves and pity ourselves and think of nothing else except ourselves and deceives us into thinking we have every right to feel slighted and be just a little bit selfish and after all, if WE don’t concern ourselves with ourselves who WILL think about us, anyway?!?
So my faithful dog Jack and I sit on an inviting stump under a tree and start pouring out to God why we need some attention - and IMMEDIATELY our loving God speaks! 
"You have more than enough grace, look at that man over there, he has nothing!" 
I look up, and sure enough, there's a homeless fellow sitting across the way,
dozing against another tree stump. 
"Go, feed him my Words of Life and offer him food," I heard God say.

So I got my sorry little fanny up, wiped the tears from my eyes, and began walking that way.  The man heard, or saw me, and I could tell from his body language, he expected to be told to "MOVE ON!"

"Have you eaten today?" I asked him, while keeping Jack close. His head was hanging down low, and he shook it slowly.
"No ma'am," he answered. "I sure haven't."
"Will you wait here, and I'll bring you back food?"
"Yes! Thank you, that would be very appreciated!" He sat back down, looking much more comfortable, and Jack and I scurried up the hill and back to the house, where I quickly put together several sandwiches, some that would keep
awhile without refrigeration, some water and ginger ale, along with some breakfast bars and crackers I had, bagged it all and hustled back to the woods, uncertain if he would have indeed, waited. Sometimes, the homeless figure you're going to call the police, and they leave, even with an offer of food.

He was there, and came walking out from the tree's to meet me. I had one of our "Why is is so Complicated?"  salvation tracts I'd written a few years ago, along with a Gospel of John.   I gave him the bag of food, and with thanks,
he said "This will make a difference."
"No," I told him. "I can't really make a difference in your life, but Jesus Christ can. May I pray with you?"
He agreed, we prayed while he tried to hide his tears. He looked at the Gospel and tract and thanked me. I knew it was time to go, so with a few last words of Jesus' love for him, I walked away.

I don't know what God will do, but I know He will do something - He always does! We "do the insignificant" and God turns it all to His SIGNIFICANT GLORY!
Luke 6:38 (KJV)
Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

We share for your encouragement!


Good morning and God's grace to each,

Thank you all for continuing to hold my Mom before Gods throne of grace in prayer. This email is to bring everyone up to date and guide our continued prayers. Again, I cannot thank you all enough for your prayers - PRAYER IS POWERFUL AND WILL MAKE ALL THE DIFFERENCE IN THIS SITUATION!

Due to complications from the emergency surgery to repair Moms perforated colon, combined with the forced inactivity of lying still in a hospital bed, fluid has gathered around the lungs and the abdomen, making breathing difficult. As Mom struggled to breathe it caused distress throughout her body. This is not conducive to healing, so the decision was made to put a breathing tube in. Mom is not unable to breathe on her own - she only requires assistance to breathe sufficiently at this time. The fluid is being drained (this very moment as I write this! They've sent me out and are doing the procedure) and Mom is mildly sedated for the time being.

By alleviating the stress of trying to breathe properly, it allows Moms body to concentrate on healing the more needful issues from the surgery, so this is not a setback, but a helpful procedure to assist her on the road to recovery. Yesterday, at her alert and awake period, Mom and I had a frank discussion, and she expressed her great desire to FIGHT to heal and return to an active life! Yea, Mom!! She has not given up and neither should we! Her days are numbered by her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and she believes her "homecoming" is NOT YET. I agree with her, and will continue to "fight" by her side through my prayers.

She is in a great deal of pain and that is extremely difficult to watch, however, we have been forewarned the healing process and rehab WILL take 2-4 months. Progress, any progress, is STILL progress. She is moving forward, not backward. Should that change, my brothers, sisters and I are in agreement about how that will be handled according to Moms wishes.

Thursday evening, I will be flying back to Colorado, as there is nothing more productive I can accomplish here in Florida at this time. (and I miss my husband!) When she is released from the hospital, it will be to a Rehab Center, which my brother and I are going to look at several and choose one this afternoon. Please pray Gods guidance in our decision there! When Mom is ready to return to her home, we'll look at where things are and what her needs are and make decisions further at that time.

I would request your prayers in several areas:

FIRST of course, Moms peace in Christ, and His healing hand working in her favor throughout the process - even to miraculous instantaneous healing - He is a healer, and could certainly decide a miracle in this situation!

SECOND the decisions we make as a family to be guided by the Holy Spirit. In this prayer, we need also prayer for peace between the family members - not all are believers, and we need to be sensitive to ALL her children/grandchildren- giving precedence to our Soon Coming King Jesus our Lord!

THIRD healing, restoration and SALVATION in this family! Deliverance from generational curses and negative influences! Unity in Christ to occur!

Father, I ask You in Jesus Name to make Yourself KNOWN to my brothers and sisters, nieces and nephews! I ask You to do a mighty work of deliverance, healing and restoration TO YOUR GLORY in each and every member of my family without exception! I thank You for it and RECEIVE IT in Jesus Powerful and Mighty Name! AMEN!!

Thank you and LOVE IN CHRIST to each and every one of you,
Turn the Tide Ministries

LIVE DELIBERATELY & INSPIRE OTHERS!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Rise up and WALK!

The word of God has a way of speaking, what It chooses, when It chooses, for It is living, and powerful and filled with the LIFE God gave It when He allowed mortal man to put pen to paper, or whatever writing instruments were in use at the time He first inspired Holy men of God to speak as He gave them utterance, to make the words of His heart, the words of His mind available for man to read, consider and even at times to understand. 

At this moment, I ask you to consider the historical record found in the book of Acts, Chapter 3 and verses 1 - 6

Verse 1:  Now Peter and John went up together to the temple at the hour of prayer, the ninth hour. (NKJV)
                    ; where two or more are gathered in the name of Jesus, He, Jesus will be there with them, this is a promise we also find in the Bible.  We have two, gathered in His name, and recognizing His presence and therefore aware of His power available to them as well, they are prepared to serve His purpose as and when He directs!  As you go about your daily life, are you prepared and willing to serve Him at a moments notice?  Or are you so focused on your plans you have no ear or heart for His?

Verse 2:  And a certain man lame from his mothers womb was carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful, to ask alms of those who entered the temple.
                      ; how many people go daily and regularly to the places where they think they will get help and assistance only to find themselves ignored, pushed aside and left in the sorry state they began in until they have simply accepted the sorry state as their lot in life?  We assume "they" who laid him daily at the temple gate were family members, though it may have been anyone, willing to do no more for this man than put him in a position to beg for his sustenance from strangers.

Verse 3, 4, 5:  who seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple asked for alms.  And fixing his eyes on him with John Peter said "Look at us".  So he gave them his attention expecting to receive something from them.
                        ; I gather from the wording here that his seeing of John and Peter was no more than a cursory glance, a second they were in his sight as he surveyed the people coming and going, focusing on no one but himself, so hardened by time and habit that he no longer saw individuals and certainly had stopped seeking real opportunity years before, accepting his position as a lowly beggar with no further protest or even a  show of attempt to do anything for himself or to change his circumstance.

It appears he had so accepted his own place as worthless, others individuality was as invisible to him as he believed himself to be virtually invisible to others.The command to "Look at us" brought clarity and attention to not just Peter and John in his sight, but forced him to "see" himself as well!  By calling for focus, Peter was stripping away the invisibility and with it, the thoughts and feelings of worthlessness, forcing him to acknowledge and engage and be involved with not only those he had addressed, but involved with himself; what he was doing and why he was doing it! 

Peter called him to attention!  Hey!!  Don't blindly continue on as before!  Look and really SEE - engage with, pay attention to who and what and why and where!  Wake up from this stupefying slumber of routine and dull acceptance of what has been and LOOK at the possibilities around you! Wake up from blind acceptance of what has always been, from the senses dulled by same old same old and open your eyes and your heart to what could be, what might be,  what is right in front of you if you would just step out from fear and receive it! 

Look past the low expectations of others and see what is being offered if you'll only move out of the shadows of "living everyday life" into the LIGHT of LIFE!  Peter was filled with the Holy Ghost, he had "Christ in him, the hope of glory!" (Colossians 1:27) and Peter knew and understood that he, Peter was the LIGHT and the SALT of the world as an Ambassador for Jesus Christ. 

Peter knew he had the power of real life available and he refused to allow the ways of the world to dictate his behavior.  He knew this man wanted nothing but a few coins and move on so I can get to the next few coins and so EXIST until my feeble and broken and damaged body finally gives out and I can quietly die as if I never lived at all, and Peter REJECTED that stance and insisted this individual "look at us!"  Peter chose not to just give a few coins and assuage his own conscience but instead to boldly insist on a full reckoning "LOOK AT US!" 

WHAT WILL OTHERS SEE IF THEY REALLY AND TRULY LOOK AT US, LOOK AT OUR LIVES?  Will they see Christ?  Will they see the love and mercy and grace of God being lived out in our words and actions?  I know in my life, TOO OFTEN in the past anyone would have been hard pressed to see true evidence of my being light and salt to anyone in any situation!  They'd have expected the few coins and nothing more.  As a Christian, we have so much more to offer - if and as we allow the Holy Spirit to work through us.  While it is true that we ourselves have no more than the worldly things to offer, getting out of our own way and yielding to God, surrendering to Him, He then offers all His good gifts to others through us!

Verse 6:  Peter said "Silver and Gold I do not have but what I have I give you; in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk!"
It is not recorded that they preached the Gospel to him, invited him to church, took him to Bible Study.  They didn't hand him a tract, sing him a hymn or lecture him about his sin and the error of his ways.  Freely they had received the glorious gift of abundant life that Jesus gave, and freely they offered it to one in need.  No strings, no conditions, no condemnation, no judgements and no criticism.  They didn't insist he change his life, stop begging or anything else.  They gave what had been given them.  Hope through Jesus  the Savior.
Silver and gold are things which have only a temporary effect on our lives.  Good for purchasing things like food and houses and clothes.  But they have no lasting, eternal value whatsoever.  It isn't that they are bad or evil - they aren't.  Money is the system by which we function in life.  The point is not to let the "system" become your God!
We are to WALK – by faith and NOT by sight.  Our spiritual journey is a WALK - continual action moving forward!  As silver and gold, we are to be purified in the fire of God so we are of value in this world, but we are to understand the value goes BEYOND this world, that we are to lay up treasures in Heaven and NOT on this earth!  Jesus is our DAILY BREAD, our NEED – not the things of this world which are passing away!!
We seem "hell bent" on emulating and imitating the things of this world, rather than giving the world a reason to imitate us who claim Christ as our Savior!  We are called by God to be "peculiar people", and yet we insist on "conforming" to what the world finds acceptable, we have allowed the desire to "fit in" to overcome our hearts.  We have not obeyed the objective to "be NOT conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind." (Romans 12:2)  We haven't renewed our minds to the word of God, that it may transform us into His ways but instead have tried to contort the word of God to fit into the mold and image of the worldly ways.  The message of Christ hasn't changed.  Cultures have changed, people's hearts have changed, but even as Paul the Apostle entreated so many many years ago, so I now entreat you:
"Behold NOW is the accepted time, BEHOLD now is the day of salvation." (II Corinthians 6:2b)
In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, I urge you to rise up and walk!

Friday, August 3, 2012

bawlk - bawlk - bawlk!

A man, an individual citizen of the United States of America speaks his mind, which is his RIGHT in the USA unless they've changed yet ANOTHER law without us ordinary citizens being aware - and suddenly, it's CONTROVERSY with a capital "C - h-i-c-k-f-i-l-A".

If you don't like chicken, fine, don't eat at Chick-fil-A.  If you don't like the owners politics, fine, don't eat there and don't agree with him.

BUT...

If you are going to deny a person's right to freedom of speech without crucifixion, then don't you DARE use that very freedom yourself to do it!  That is hypocrisy at it's WORSE!

That is the rottenest of rotten double standard and most INTOLERABLE action imaginable!

You want "tolerance"?  BE TOLERANT!!  You want freedom of speech?  ALLOW OTHERS TO SPEAK FREELY!

This isn't about "gay rights" or homosexuality, or moral right or wrong - THIS IS ABOUT APPLYING TO YOURSELF THE SAME STANDARD OF MEASURE YOU APPLY TO OTHERS! 

I've never eaten at Chick-fil-A.  I like their billboards and their advertising.  Very clever.  I don't plan to make any major changes in my life because of this FAKE controversy.  And it is fake.  No one "boycotted" President Barack Obama for saying EXACTLY this same thing.  And no one should pay attention to or boycott Chick - fil - A, either.

Say what you will - that's the BEAUTY of the FIRST AMENDMENT!
and I'm so glad I have the right to say so!