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Saturday, October 8, 2016

Darkness and Ditches

The woods were ominous and the path was barely visible before sunrise. 

Thinking to myself,  "I will just stay in the middle of the cart path."

However, when you are in complete darkness, you cannot account for the drift of the roadway.

Darkness surrounding me, deviation from the plan and path was imperceptible until I rolled my ankle and landed in the ditch.

"Mother-shut-yer-mouth!" My favorite non-curse word curse word issued out of my mouth.

Befuddled as to how my plan had failed and belly crawling out of the ditch through God-knows-what kind of leaves, briers, and slimy things, I made it back to the path.

Talking to myself, "Robin, you dummy. Amateur mistake number one. You came out here without a head lamp. Of course you fell into the ditch, you didn't have a light."

This is the story of my life. A journey from darkness and ditches to Sonrise and surety.

Points to Ponder:

Where are you in your life journey right now?  
Did you bring a light or are you walking around in darkness?

Verses to Ponder:
There are two states: Choosing to walk  in darkness  and choosing to walk in the light.

So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts.  Ephesians 4:17 - 18 NIV 

When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” John 8:12 NIV

Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.  Psalm 119:105 NIV

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Freedom from Fear

Hate is not the opposite of Love. Fear is.

What keeps us from loving? Is it really hate?
I contend that it is not hate. I contend that fear is what restrains our ability to love big and wild. 

1 John 4:18 There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.
When my daughters were small, they loved  the beach. Ashley was overwhelmed by the sound of the ocean. She would turn away from the sight and sound of the waves. It created a fear in her that couldn't be reasoned with, so she would stay on the beach no matter how hot it got. 

Casey on the other hand had zero fear. She would charge out into the surging surf and venture way, way, way out. She would go so far, that I would have to have the lifeguards call her back in. Several times, she almost got caught in some undertows.  I became a one woman quick reaction team.  She was afraid of being called back to the shore.  She also was afraid of getting pulled under or the water being over her head. 

In both cases, my daughters let fear interrupt their love of the beach. Both of them paralyzed. One was afraid to venture into the water for refreshment. The other afraid of coming to shore for rest, but at the same time afraid to stay in the deep water.

Fear kept one in the hot desert. Fear kept one in a constant state of anxiety.

Fear is enslaving. Love is freeing.

Let's use the ocean as a picture of God's love.

Are you parched? Dying for some refreshment?

Ashley was afraid to go into or look at the Ocean. It was overwhelming to her senses and kept her stranded on the beach away from the refreshing, exhilarating water.

If we are afraid of going close God, we cannot truly experience or know His refreshing, unfathomable Love.

Perhaps the opposite is also true.

Are you paralyzed? Can't move forward; can't go back?

Casey would fearlessly plunge into the Ocean without regard for its depth, power and might. It got her into some seriously sticky situations and at times made her pretty angry and paralyzed with fear.

If we are fearless  instead of awestruck by the Lord, we become anxious or angry when He does not behave as we would like. At times we even blame God for our precarious, defeated situations.  We shake our fist and tell Him we can't love Him for letting us get into this big mess. The punishment we face from those bad decisions was never His doing; it was ours.  After all isn't it true that He so that we should not perish (i.e.,be lost, destroyed through violence, suffer destruction or ruin)?

God's love is so immense for us. He draws us with lovingkindness.  He desires for us to live in the tension of his tenacious love for us.  We are to be people of deep love for him and faith in him. We can neither settle for the shore, nor fear the depth of the ocean.

We do not have to be slaves to fear.  

Perhaps these song lyrics say it better.

"No Longer Slaves"
Johnathan and Melissa Helser 

You unravel me with a melody. You surround me with a song of deliverance from my enemies until all my fears are gone.
I am no longer a slave to fear. I am a child of God.
I am no longer a slave to fear. I am a child of God.
From my mother's womb, you have chosen me. Lord you have called my name. I have been born again into a family. Your blood flows through my veins.
I am no longer a slave to fear. I am a child of God.  I am no longer a slave to fear. I am a child of God.
I am surrounded by the arms of the Father. I am surrounded by songs of deliverance. We have been liberated from our bondage. We are the sons and the daughters. Let us sing our freedom.
You split the sea so I could walk right through it. My fears are drowned in perfect love. You rescued me, and I will stand and sing...
I am child of God.

Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken. Psalm 55: 22

Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. 1 Peter 5:7

This says the Lord, your redeemed, the holy one of Israel; 'I am the Lord your God, who teaches you to profit, who leads you by the way you should go."  Isaiah 48:17  

Sunday, April 10, 2016

The Time is Now! God is Stirring!

The first Messianic Prophecy we will look at is that Messiah will enter Jerusalem on  a donkey.

We find this prophecy in the Old Testament in Zechariah 9:9

The Coming of Zion’s King

Rejoice greatly, Daughter Zion!(A)
    Shout,(B) Daughter Jerusalem!
See, your king comes to you,(C)
    righteous and victorious,(D)
lowly and riding on a donkey,(E)
    on a colt, the foal of a donkey.(F

Zechariah 9:9 NIV
*Click on parenthetical notes to see cross references from the Word.

This prophecy is answered in Matthew 21:1-10

Jesus Comes to Jerusalem as King(A)(B)

21 As they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethphage on the Mount of Olives,(C) Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, “Go to the village ahead of you, and at once you will find a donkey tied there, with her colt by her. Untie them and bring them to me. If anyone says anything to you, say that the Lord needs them, and he will send them right away.”
This took place to fulfill(D) what was spoken through the prophet:
“Say to Daughter Zion,

    ‘See, your king comes to you,
gentle and riding on a donkey,
    and on a colt, the foal of a donkey.’”[a](E)
The disciples went and did as Jesus had instructed them. They brought the donkey and the colt and placed their cloaks on them for Jesus to sit on. A very large crowd spread their cloaks(F) on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road.The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted,
“Hosanna[b] to the Son of David!”(G)
“Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”[c](H)
“Hosanna[d] in the highest heaven!”(I)
10 When Jesus entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred and asked, “Who is this?”

Matthew 21:1-10 NIV

*Click on parenthetical notes to see cross references from the Word.

 Jesus said in Luke 10:23-24

... “Blessed are the eyes that see what you see.  For I tell you that many prophets and kings wanted to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it.”

Jesus' disciples desired to see and hear the Messiah and so they did. There were a great many at that time and before, that missed it. There are a great many now who want to see and hear it, but miss it.

Are you missing it?

Look on it and you will be saved.

 So Moses made a bronze snake(A) and put it up on a pole. Then when anyone was bitten by a snake and looked at the bronze snake, they lived.(B)

Numbers 21:9New International Version (NIV)

 Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness,(A) so the Son of Man must be lifted up,[a](B) 15 that everyone who believes(C) may have eternal life in him.”[b](D)

John 3:14-15New International Version (NIV)

Prayer for today: 


Holy, holy are  you, Lord God Almighty! Worthy are you! Every nation will bow and confess your Name.

I give you thanks today. You are all knowing, all seeing, and all powerful. Your thoughts are higher than ours. I thank you for that for we are limited in what we know, how far we can see, and in our strength.  We rely on you and praise your Holy Name!

Lord, I desire to be like Anna. I desire to commit myself to praying for your return. I desire to commit myself to praying for the redemption of Jerusalem.  We cry out to you in this hour! May ALL turn to you and be saved.

In Jesus Name, Amen!