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.