Sunday, March 30, 2014

DOUBTING GOD

Do you ever doubt God?  His interest in you personally?  His very existence?  Do you ever wonder if the bible really IS a book, written by people specifically inspired by an unseen being known as GOD?

One more question.  Would it shock you to know that I sometimes question all of this too?

Faith is a very interesting state of being.  If it were easy, it would never to be need be exercised.  If it were never exercised it, like actual human muscles, would lose strength!  So I am pleased and happy to have my faith tested, exercised and strengthened on a regular basis.

I worry a bit about those who are afraid of faith being tested.  I am concerned over those who are afraid of God being questioned.  

As if Gods feelings will be hurt and He’ll just curl up and cry because someone is uncertain of His powerful presence.  I decided a long time ago that a God who would tell Moses to tell Pharoah, at that time the most powerful human in all the world, that His Name is simply and straightforwardly ‘I AM’ probably doesn’t have any ego problem I need to compensate for.

I am far less interested in writing a set of rah – rah go GOD blogs, and far more interested in getting people to think, question and come to strong, firm conclusions others cannot easily talk them out of.

I trust God that much.  I trust that anyone who genuinely pursues knowledge of the Almighty will be confronted by it.  I trust that anyone seeking wisdom with a humble heart will discover wisdom that causes their heart to soar beyond any boundary they’ve ever considered existed.

I trust Him to keep His word.

Deuteronomy 4:29 But from there you will seek the Lord your God, and you will find Him if you seek Him with all your heart and with all your soul.

Jeremiah 29:13 And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.

Matthew 7:8  For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.

Hebrews 11:6  But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.

Diligence is more than a quick glance or one fast perusal.  Diligently seek Him honestly with your heart and soul and He promises you will find Him and receive reward as a result.  
His promise.  I trust Him to keep it.

I understand that the argument is that anyone can say that about any religion.  But only the One True God will keep a Word that has been written down, can’t be changed, and the reward is BOTH now and later.  Not just later, maybe, sometime in the future.  And not just some otherworldly reward.  REWARD NOW.  Tangible.  Obvious.  

He is a very individual God, so the reward may be one thing for one person and something else for someone else.  But it will be evident.  Evidenced in changed hearts, changed lives and in many other ways unlimited by human ability to conceive or explain them.

It is my strong and ever strengthening faith in God as Creator, Master, Savior, Deliverer and all that 'I AM' encompasses that keeps me preaching His truth and sharing His message of Salvation through Christ in spite of running across a few apparent evidences to the contrary.  

I don’t take them as isolated incidences and build unbelief based on them.  I don’t offer “explanations” for them.  I don’t pretend to know or understand everything in this vast universe.

Neither have I taken a few evidences of His existence and built belief based on those.  I have weighed the evidence of all I have been exposed to.  His Word, what I’ve experienced personally, what I have witnessed firsthand in the lives of other people and all the evidences presented. 


There are a few things on the “negative” side.  There are a great many things on the positive side.  That tipped the scales for me.  
Go ahead.  LOOK for evidence of the Almighty God, weigh that evidence for yourself.  I trust Him that you are in for a pleasant, Holy Spirit surprise.  I trust Him, because I’ve seen what He can and will do for those who seek Him.

I have come to know that I can trust Him.  Not that I will never have a difficult time in life.  Not that there will never be consequence because of my own bad choices.  Not that I will selfishly get everything I ever demand of Him.  

Trust happens when you KNOW someone.  Seek.  You may be surprised by what you find.

Need help getting started?  Turn the Tide Ministries is available to help you!  Fill out the prayer request at the top left, and tell us you would like the free study guide to SEEKING GOD.  We will email you the Study Guide and add you to our prayer list.
 

Sunday, March 23, 2014

PRAYER CHANGES EVERYTHING-MOSTLY US!

JUDE 1:20 But you beloved, building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit....

There is much that the Bible has to say about prayer - communication with the Almighty Who Created us.  One quick look will reveal many things you may not have thought about recently, and there is far too much to try to do each scripture justice in this limited space.

To me, the most powerful reason to pray on a regular consistent basis remains this simple truth:

If Jesus, the Son of God Who is perfect and sinless felt the need to pray and communicate with His Father on such a consistent basis, as indicated by scripture:

MARK 1:35  And rising very early in the morning while it was still dark, He departed and went out to a desolate place, and there He prayed.

LUKE 5:16  But He would withdraw to desolate places and pray.

...how much MORE do I, an imperfect sinner, need to pray?  A lot more than I do, I am sure!

Recent "worldly" studies have revealed many powerful reasons to pray.


  • People undergoing surgeries who pray heal faster and more completely with far less complications than those who don't
  • People who indicated they pray on a fairly regular basis reported being "happier" overall in their lives than those who do not pray at all
  • People who pray have a more optimistic view than those who don't
When you combine prayer with a belief system and pray specifically to the Lord, the effects are even more dramatic.  Miracles happen when we go in simple faith before the Lord and make our requests known to Him.  Our hearts begin to believe and so we begin to see how the Hand of God truly works in our lives.  We may even begin to see that God isn't only about BIG MIRACLES taking place.  

When we develop in ourselves a consistent regular relationship with the Creator of all things, we begin to see that He is indeed involved in the every day occurrences of our lives.  We see how the 'ordinary' things of daily living work together to bring about extraordinary circumstances. 

One of the greatest differences prayer makes is in our own hearts.  Praying changes US, more than anything else.  Take my life as an example.  Being high energy, I have also always been a very impatient person.  Waiting in lines can be as difficult for me as climbing Mount Everest would be for others.  
When I finally became impatient enough with my own impatience, as it interfered with my ability to witness the love of Christ many times, I began to pray in earnest for intervention from the Lord.  At first, I noticed that I NOTICED my own impatience in greater detail, from how it made me feel, to how it effected others around me.  Being more aware of how I was negatively impacting other people made me more desirous of changing this aspect of my personality.  It didn't happen overnight, much as I would have liked a quick resolve to my impatience problem!

Instead, the Lord walked me through the process so I gained wisdom and understanding.  My first prayers were all about ME.  My focus was on me, how I felt, what I wanted.  I wanted to be more patient so I would look good to others!  I was more concerned with ME than with anyone else!

As I continued to pray about this specific issue, my eyes began to open more and more, about how this trait impacted others.  And as I saw, my heart changed.  Soon, I wanted to be patient, not to make me look good, but because I genuinely did not want to hurt others.

Prayer changed my heart.  My changed heart brought change to my behavior. WHY?  Because out of the HEART come the issues of life! Selfishness does not show the love of Christ.  Love is NOT selfish! Compassion and care for others shows the love of Christ.  My reason for wanting change had to change first in order to truly honor God.  

Prayer is a powerful tool (I often call it the most powerful tool) in the arsenal of a believer.  Desire to obey God leads us to pray in ways that lead us to that very obedience.  Prayer changes our hearts, and our changed hearts causes us to see situations and people differently.  Then we behave differently - and that changes the situations!

There are times when God changes circumstances miraculously as well.  I've seen that awesome result of prayer occur too.

How we pray - kneeling, standing, lieing down or sitting; out loud or silently; head bowed; eyes open or closed; hands clasped or by our sides or lifted in the air - is not as important as THAT we pray!  Whatever posture you feel most comfortable in, whatever posture puts your heart in the right place for prayer is the posture you should assume.  What is truly important is that you do pray!

Prayer takes many forms as well.  You may be asking for something.  You may be giving thanks for things.  You may simply by worshiping, praising and adoring the Creator of all things.  You may even be SILENT, listening intently for the still small voice of God to lead, guide and direct you in a situation.  

You may cry, you may shout, you may whisper, you may laugh, you may jump with joy and adulation.

JUST PRAY.  Pray and watch as the Lord hears and responds to His beloved children communicating with Him.

We believe in the power of prayer.  Fill out the prayer request form and Turn the Tide Ministries absolutely WILL pray for you!  

We've watched God turn the tide in many lives, starting with our own!  We know He will turn the tide of circumstance in yours as well, when you lift your voice and ask.

PRAYER CHANGES THINGS. 



Sunday, March 16, 2014

WAITING

Waiting is a tough thing to do.  I know I find it exceedingly difficult to  wait.  The way our current systems are set up we are encouraged to expect everything NOW! 

High speed internet = everything at our fingertips.  Instant messaging, texting, email all fast efficient communication methods, though they do lack some of the finer points of communication.  Fast food, and even that wasn’t quick enough so first they gave us the microwave and then they gave us the drive thru. (or maybe it was the other way around?)  Drive thru banking, pharmacies and even liquor stores in some areas of this country!

Is it any wonder we have such a hard time waiting on God?   Our desire for speedy results results in terrible decisions, which we then bemoan to the Lord and wonder why our lives aren’t the way we would like them to be?  Where is the peace? The Joy?  The time for quiet reflection and growth and planning?  In business and in our personal lives the push is on for now, now, NOW!

Our religious activities have taken on the same mentality.  Radio, television and the internet means we can “reach” millions of people all at once and evangelize the world NOW.  No time for discipleship, here’s a personal bible study online and good luck to you.

This just isn’t the way of the Lord.  Abrams friend took time to visit with him, eat with him and talk with him.  Moses’ Lord took 40 years to prepare him for ministry, was patient for 40 more years while disciplining and preparing the people.  David was anointed King and God worked with him for many, many years before he actually took the throne.  Saul spent about 17 years being prepared before he was released into his ministry as Paul the Apostle.  Jesus developed His disciples at close range 24/7 for 3 years – and there is no better teacher!

We don’t grow in the Spirit by consuming Bible classes and programs and ministry activity.

Not the growth God desires for us anyway.  We might get big and fat in head knowledge (puffed up the Bible calls it) but heart growth takes place at a God pace.  

Drop by drop, precept upon precept, word upon word, God opens wisdom and understanding in our hearts.  Daily.  We don’t run to church, get a “good word!” and BAM! We grow that week and don’t need to think about it again for awhile.

We get a step, a bit, a deepening grasp and growing wisdom jot by jot as the Lord directs our steps and leads us.  It isn’t in our great rushing movements we gain spiritual understanding.

"Be Still and know that I am the Lord."  Why must we be still?

It is when we are STILL and listening that the whispers of the Rock of Ages instills Eternal secrets in our souls.

Silently
Taking
In
LifeGiving
Love

WAIT upon the Lord, for His plans for you are designed by Him to last your whole lifetime through.  There is no hurry.  There is only eternity with our Creator, who holds all time in His Hands. 

Join in the Daily Bible Reading with Turn the Tide Ministry.  

Print out the schedules provided under the Daily Reading tab, enjoy growing in spiritual wisdom and understanding daily, consuming the words of LIFE that will transform your life.  

Then SHARE with us what God is doing in your lives, so we can all encourage one another as ONE BODY IN CHRIST.  

Those who have been sharing – THANK YOU!  Your words and stories encourage us GREATLY and we pray for you!

We welcome the Church in Kenya, affiliating with us for Gods Glory!  We will meet face to face - either here or in Eternity!


God bless your journey.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

One God and Father of us all.....

The world keeps getting smaller.  it started out small.  it grew a bit.  and then we found a way to make it small once more.



Through radio and television and then the internet, reaching out to the masses of people hurting and deeply in need of and desirous of Gods words of truth and wisdom, like this ministry blog, is no more difficult than my typing out these words, then pressing one button and VOILA' - out over the internet for anyone and everyone to read and comment on.  

Or if I were to put it on video, which is also quite easily done with minimal expense involved, be seen by everyone and anyone who cares to stop by and watch and listen.

It struck me this week as I ministered to people and dealt with many thoughts and feelings and read Gods word and prayed.  Prayed for those in need, prayed for those I was ministering to and prayed for MYSELF - prayed for my thoughts and feelings and confusions and desires and belief and faith - prayed to God for wisdom and understanding - it struck me how our perspective of any thing causes us to believe certain things and we never really know if they are TRUE or not.  We just go along living our lives as if what we think and believe is indeed the truth.

For instance, we think our "world" is split into many different parts.  Europe, Asia, the America's.  Broken down further into separate countries.  

It occurred to me that God doesn't see it that way at all.

We are one world.  One people, created by Him for His purpose.  He has one hope for us.  That we will return to Him the love He has firstly bestowed upon us.  That in that loving exchange, we will understand that there is ONE GOD.  That one God, Who is Spirit, thinks of each and every one of us as His beloved created child.  His desire is that we will fellowship with Him, accept His sovereignty over us, walk in obedience so we receive His blessing, and acknowledge Him by offering Him our Worship and Adoration.

He does not make distinctions according to our country of birth  He does not make religious distinctions of denomination or personally held doctrinal beliefs.  He does not make distinctions based on the color of our skin or language of communication we use.  These of no more consequence to his heart than the color of our eyes or color of our hair or shape of our nose.

He loves us.
He created us to pour His love out into our hearts.
He sacrificed everything He is to pay the debt to FREE us from enslaving SIN.
He allows us freedom of will, to choose Him or not to choose Him.
He LOVES us without conditions put on that love.

There IS ...  one body(His) and one Spirit (Him, What He is), just as we are called (by Him) in one Hope of our calling (that we will put our trust in Him).  There is ONE Lord (Master), ONE faith(the measure of which He gives to all of us), ONE baptism (that of joining by choice to His Body - without regard to the methodology employed in symbolizing that heart condition);

THERE  IS  ONE  GOD  AND  FATHER  OF  ALL,  WHO  IS  ABOVE  ALL  AND  THROUGH  ALL  AND  IN  US  ALL.

The unbeliever who rejects the very idea of God and never once raises his voice in worship or thanks - he surely misses out on the blessings of walking with the Creator, he surely misses out on the JOY of salvation and the POWER of the Holy Spirit, and he misses out on ETERNAL LIFE through Christ Jesus - BUT GOD  LOVES  HIM or HER regardless of whether they ever acknowledge Him or not!  

Think about this.  Believer or unbeliever.  Think about this.  Think about how this truth, His truth, the only TRUTH we cannot claim, for it existed before we ever did and will continue forever when we are gone; think about how the TRUTH  OF  LOVE  effects every life of every person ever born or who ever will be born.   We can argue about many things, but we cannot argue that LOVE exists and is more powerful than we.

GOD  IS  LOVE.  

Thursday, March 6, 2014

It is really just paper, after all, holding no actual
value in and of itself.  It is what it represents
that represents the problem to our hearts.
I’ve heard it, you've heard it.  Money is the root of all evil.  Just a small twist, a tiny four letter word left out and once more, the scurvy enemy satan is able to convince through deceit and lies that “sin ain’t so bad.”  The problem is MONEY, not you.  Not your lust for it, it’s your NEED for it, and what choice do you have?  There’s bills to pay and food to buy, and money is a necessity to live in this world.

True or false?  Sounds like the answer is easy, but it isn't! 

Luke 16:14  Now the Pharisees, who were lovers of money, also heard all these things, and they derided Him.

2 Timothy 3:2  For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,

1 Timothy 6:10  For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.

It is the LOVE of money from which springs all kinds of evil.

The distinction is important.

When you love something, you will do anything to protect it; even unreasonable, unholy acts.  Things you never thought yourself capable of doing, you could suddenly find yourself doing. 

When you love something you value it above all other things. Things like integrity, respect and even the lives of other people.

When you love something, you give it a place of honor in your heart. 
Whatever it demands of you, you willingly give.  You don’t count the cost, you don’t consider the consequences.  Because you honor it, it controls you; your thoughts, your feelings and your behaviors.

When you love something you give it power over you.  To acquire it, to keep it you will do anything, say anything, be whatever it needs you to be in order to appease it.

When you love MONEY, there can be no appeasing, no pleasing, no honoring, no protecting with integrity.  Because money is simply an inanimate object.  The only value it holds is the value men place on it.  The value placed on money actually represents a spiritual state of being.  That state of being is almost always in direct opposition to the will of God.

Jesus rightly declared “You cannot serve God and mammon” (money).  

Matthew 6:24  “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.

Luke 16:11  Therefore if you have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches?

Luke 16:13  “No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.”

Love of money will demand you bow and worship the systems of the world – in direct opposition to Gods command to bow and worship only before Him.

Love of money will demand you put the pursuit of it first without regard for others property, rights or lives.  God demands you Love Him with ALL your heart, mind and strength and love your neighbor as yourself.  

Love of money does not allow this kind of selflessness.  

Love of money does not allow peace, or prosperity or generous kindness.  It demands greed, and avarice and a violent diligence in guarding the keeping of it.

Love of money is deceitful in every way.  It demands you sacrifice for the acquisition of it and the protection of it; it does not sacrifice for you. 

Love of money keeps you in a constant state of FEAR.  Fear you will lose it, fear you will not have enough of it, fear that others will cheat you out of it.

Love of money ROBS YOU.  It ROBS you of the peace of God; ROBS you of the joy of your salvation; ROBS you of the pleasant company of friends, ROBS you of a sound mind, ROBS you of the love of other people.

MONEY  STEALS   FROM  YOU  EVEN  WHILE  TEMPTING  AND  INSPIRING  YOU  TO  STEAL  IT.

Money steals your heart and soul and mind and NEVER  GIVES  BACK  ONE  THING  OF  TRUE  VALUE.

Sure, it is the currency of the world, necessary to pay the bills and buy food.  Beyond that, it has NO  VALUE.  It will try to tell you different, but it will be lying.  It offers no value in the Kingdom of the Living God because there is no need in Gods Kingdom that isn’t met by God, generously, according to His will and His RICHES  IN  GLORY.

Ultimately, it is about priority.  Who/What will sit on the throne of your heart?  That is the real question that must be answered by each person.  Will we pursue the righteousness of God or the useless money the world has put a false value to?  Consider and choose this day who/what you will serve.  For you cannot have two masters.

As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. 

I sincerely hope you will choose the same and together, we will honor the Lord with all our substance,(Proverbs 3:9) by reaching out to those in need and giving, generously, according to the measure God has given us.  When you see a fellow human being in need, don't say "be filled and be warm."  Give them something to fill their stomachs, give them a way to be warm through shelter or clothing.  These are the pursuits that please God.  Fancy buildings, rich trappings of glitter and glitz; they bring no joy to the heart of the Father.

Truly did Job utter these words of wisdom: Job 1:21  And he said: “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, And naked shall I return there. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; Blessed be the name of the Lord.”


We come with nothing.  We go with nothing.  The pursuit of “something” is an empty pursuit ending in futility and misery.  The pursuit of the righteousness of God ends in ETERNAL LIFE THROUGH CHRIST.