Thursday, January 31, 2019

White Birds On the Rocks By the Ocean

This is a short simple blogpost about what the Lord showed me as I worshiped today. I am blogging it because it's meant to be shared.

There is a bit of worship in the beginning of the video because after the busyness of the day I needed to get back to a place of focus on Jesus in an atmosphere of worship. Again, it's simple but there is a lot to it, especially to the expectant.  I pray it speaks to you and that if you are not expectant that you will be after reading/seeing this. If you are waiting expectantly, great! If you are unsure of what I am saying here, write a comment or read a few more of my posts. I hope I will be able to relay what the Lord showed and that we all have the right responses. 

But first, let the Word of God speak before I do. We need to get some Scripture in us:

I. SIGNS OF THE TIMES -  Matthew 24:3-14

The Signs of the Times and the End of the Age

Now as He sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?”

And Jesus answered and said to them: Take heed that no one deceives you. For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many. And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for [a]all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, [b]pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of sorrows.

“Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake. 10 And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another. 11 Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. 12 And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. 13 But he who endures to the end shall be saved. 14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.

II. WATCHING AND WAITING - Matthew 25:1-13

The Parable of the Wise and Foolish Virgins


25 “Then the kingdom of heaven shall be likened to ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Now five of them were wise, and five were foolish. Those who were foolish took their lamps and took no oil with them, but the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. But while the bridegroom was delayed, they all slumbered and slept.
“And at midnight a cry was heard: ‘Behold, the bridegroom [a]is coming; go out to meet him!’ Then all those virgins arose and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ But the wise answered, saying, ‘No, lest there should not be enough for us and you; but go rather to those who sell, and buy for yourselves.’ 10 And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding; and the door was shut.
11 “Afterward the other virgins came also, saying, ‘Lord, Lord, open to us!’ 12 But he answered and said, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, I do not know you.’
13 “Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour [b]in which the Son of Man is coming.

III. THE SEASON OF HIS RETURN - Mark 13:24-27

The Coming of the Son of Man

24 “But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; 25 the stars of heaven will fall, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken. 26 Then they will see the Son of Man coming in the clouds with great power and glory. 27 And then He will send His angels, and gather together His [h]elect from the four winds, from the farthest part of earth to the farthest part of heaven.

IV. NO ONE KNOWS THE EXACT TIME OF HIS RETURN - Mark 13:32-37

No One Knows the Day or Hour

32 “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. 33 Take heed, watch and pray; for you do not know when the time is. 34 It is like a man going to a far country, who left his house and gave authority to his servants, and to each his work, and commanded the doorkeeper to watch. 35 Watch therefore, for you do not know when the master of the house is coming—in the evening, at midnight, at the crowing of the rooster, or in the morning— 36 lest, coming suddenly, he find you sleeping. 37 And what I say to you, I say to all: Watch!”

V. THE VISION
As I was sitting at the keyboard in worship today, the Lord was ministering to me; as is usually His way, I saw a very simple vision:
The scene was a seashore but it was not a leisurely sandy white beach. The terrain was rocky and there were lots of white birds. The thing about these birds was they were looking up with an expectation as if waiting for someone. And the Lord made it clear to me that the birds represented the sanctified saints of God looking up awaiting His return. In this vision, the birds must have received their signal, seen their expected Master because they began to fly up as if being taken up. 
Simple, yet profound. I believe the Lord wants us to be readying ourselves for His return and I am not making a pre-, mid-, or post- tribulation statement or taking a position. I do have a position but that is not important here. What is important is that the Lord is telling us to be ready for His return. It will not be long. We need to be prayerfully watching, looking up because we know that our full redemption is drawing near. 
Folks, this means that some significant things are about to transpire on the world scene. Many know this because while He will come as a thief in the night to the unbeliever, the one who has rejected the Son of God, His children know the season of His return. He has laid it out for us in His Word. And so we are looking up in expectation that soon He will appear.

Are you ready?


Friday, January 18, 2019

Why its Great to be a Woman and Why we are Incomplete Without Men as Observed in John 20

Okay, ladies, if you know me, you know this is not a man-bashing blogpost  - nor is it about romance. What could this possibly about then. Well, stick around, keep reading and I'll explain  

There is a host of reasons why I believe its good to be of the "fairer" sex - has nothing to do with complexion. My reasons for ,the purposes of this post, come from John 20, and when you see it, you will think it's really cool, too.

Why Creation Needs Both Men AND Women

In this post-Crucifixion passage of Scripture, we see the disciples scurrying around most likely still scared from what they just witnessed a few days before. So let's get into this.

We're going to close attention to the following blocks of that chapter: VV. 1-18:


                                The Empty Tomb

20 Now the first day of the week Mary Magdalene went to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb. Then she ran and came to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple, whom Jesus loved, and said to them, “They have taken away the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid Him.”


Peter therefore went out, and the other disciple, and were going to the tomb. So they both ran together, and the other disciple outran Peter and came to the tomb first. And he, stooping down and looking in, saw the linen cloths lying there; yet he did not go in. Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb; and he saw the linen cloths lying there, and the [a]handkerchief that had been around His head, not lying with the linen cloths, but folded together in a place by itself. Then the other disciple, who came to the tomb first, went in also; and he saw and believed. For as yet they did not [b]know the Scripture, that He must rise again from the dead. 10 Then the disciples went away again to their own homes.

Observations:

The woman:(in pink highlight)

1. She got up early while it was still dark and went to the Jesus's tomb. Not knowing what she would find there but out of pure love.
2. She saw that the stone had been taking away from the tomb
3. She took off running to the disciple she saw as the leader, Simon Peter, and the other lead disciple, John, and reported what she had found.
4. She wanted an answer and she thought the men could provide it/fix the problem


The Men:(in blue highlight)

1. They were determined to get to the bottom of this mystery of the missing body of Christ so they RAN to the tomb at first
2. John outran Peter together and got to the tomb first but did not go in he first stooped down and looked in, observing what he could from the outside
3. Peter once he got there went right in. Trust Peter to just walk right in taking a very close look at what was there - cloths but no body that had been wrapped in it
4. John then came in and saw the same thing Peter did and - "believed." The Scripture tells us they did not yet know that He would rise again. Yet, John believed. Incredible. Love believes, hopes. But then, what did they do 
5. They went away TO THEIR OWN HOMES

Now why was it important to note that the men went to their own homes and not elsewhere to share the news with anyone? Were they dejected or not willing to share? I believe they realized they could not fix the problem and just went home. They did not have a meeting, at least we are not told that but we are specifically told the when to their respective homes.

Lets's continue on then ...

                       Mary Magdalene Sees the Risen Lord

11 But Mary stood outside by the tomb weeping, and as she wept she stooped down and looked into the tomb. 12 And she saw two angels in white sitting, one at the head and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain. 13 Then they said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?”
She said to them, “Because they have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid Him.”
14 Now when she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, and did not know that it was Jesus. 15 Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?”
She, supposing Him to be the gardener, said to Him, “Sir, if You have carried Him away, tell me where You have laid Him, and I will take Him away.”
16 Jesus said to her, “Mary!”
She turned and said to [c]Him, “Rabboni!” (which is to say, Teacher).
17 Jesus said to her, “Do not cling to Me, for I have not yet ascended to My Father; but go to My brethren and say to them, ‘I am ascending to My Father and your Father, and to My God and your God.’ ”
18 Mary Magdalene came and told the [d]disciples that she had seen the Lord, and that He had spoken these things to her.

The men were gone but Mary Magdalene lingered at the empty tomb. What did she expect to find their? Love lingers where there is no explanation until there is one. Remember, this was the same Mary Magdalene out of whom Jesus had cast 7 demons, who later anointed his feet with costly oil and wiped it with her hair, of whom Jesus had said the one who is forgiven much loves much and that her act of love would be memorialized for ever and spoken of. That Mary. 

The Woman - Mary Magdalene Waits and Encounters Angels and Jesus

1. Stood outside of the empty tomb - weeping
2. Stopped weeping, stooped down and looked into the tomb
3. SAW TWO ANGELS IN WHITE IN THE TOMB, one at the head and the other at the feet where Jesus body had lain. They asked her why she was crying
4. She told told them she came to see Jesus, her Lord, and his body was no longer there and she did not know where they had LAID HIM - still assuming Him to be dead
5. But the angels did not answer her, when she turned around it was the Lord Jesus Himself who answered her. How did He answer her? He called her by her name: "Mary!"
6. She then recognized the One she loved
7. Knowing that she would embrace Him, Jesus told her not to CLING to Him as He had not yet ascended to the Father and HER FATHER, HIS GOD AND HER GOD
8. Mary went back and told the disciples that she had seen Jesus and what He had said to her.

Amazing! A lot is going in this passage and I'd like to share my observations.

Here is why we need men AND women. We women are curious beings and so we often tend to be the first ones to spot a problem, such as the misplaced tombstone. For Mary, that was enough to alert her there was a problem. She did nothing else at that point but went to report it to the men. The men then ran to investigate. Isn't that what men do? They are going to get to the bottom of that problem and fix it! So one of the men outran the other, the one described as the "one whom Jesus loved" outran Peter. Love will cause a person to speedily come to lend a hand and love itself will give us turbo power to outrun another. 

When the men got there, they did what the woman did not, the one who got there first did not go in but stayed outside and observed. The one, brash Peter, went in and investigated the site and notice the body was missing, but the head cloth was neatly folded apart from the other cloths. And while John believed once he saw the empty tomb - that was it. Both of the men went to their own homes as mentioned above but bears repeating.

BUT MARY, she hung around. She was not satisfied with the results and continued to sit outside of the tomb ... WEEPING for the one she loved.

Now, it was when Mary stopped weeping that she looked into the tomb and SAW TWO ANGELS IN WHITE. They asked her when she was crying, she answered but they did not answer her. When she turned around, IT WAS JESUS SPEAKING TO HER asking her the same question. "Why are you weeping?" Then she answered and HE CALLED HER NAME  "MARY!" 

Once Mary heard her name spoken by the One she loved and Who loved her, she immediately recognized Him as her beloved TEACHER. 

I learnt a lot about love* in this chapter. To name a few, I have learnt that:

1.   Love asks questions
2.   Love insists on answers
3.   Love lingers
4.   Love will give you turbo power
5.   Love persists pasts impossibilities
6.   Love sees into another realm
7.   Love will bring you into divine encounters
8.   Love is not afraid of or to sacrifice
9.   Love is not too proud to ask for help 
10. Love recognizes its own
11. Love expresses itself in earnest and does not pretend all is fine when it isn't
12. God is love and He will give the answers
13. Only God can fix problems of love
14. Love always wins the day

* Love refers to God's kind of love in us and through us

These were my observations while reading this Scripture. I hope you enjoyed it and received from the Lord through something I've said. If you have, please do not hesitate to comment. Let me know you are out there. 

Until next time, keep reading, studying, praying, worshiping, and most importantly spending quality time with Him just lingering in His presence LISTENING to and ENJOYING Him.

His love to you and mine, too!

Friday, October 26, 2018

FREE DOWNLOAD TODAY - New Book Announcement - "Antidote to Suicide and Suicidal Thoughts"

A LITTLE ABOUT THIS NEW eBOOK AND OPPORTUNITY TO PRE-ORDER IT:





The eBook will automatically download this Thursday, November 1, 2018


Why I Wrote this Book

This all began when I was doing a devotional Bible reading that took me to 1 Peter 3. As I read it I came upon a verse and sensed the Holy Spirit was highlighting it to me and found myself thinking, "This is the antidote to suicide!" I continued to read and realized that the Lord was saying something profound to me. This began the journey to write a book around that very statement. Please note that the title does not say, THE antidote to suicide but rather simply, "Antidote to Suicide: What to do When All Hope Seems Lost." The reason is that this book is not the antidote to suicide but the Word of God along with a relationship with Him is the Antidote to suicidal thinking and any temptation to give up. 

1 Peter 3:18-20 tells us,

     "For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive by the Spirit..."


In this account, we discuss reasons why people think suicidal thoughts and even attempt to commit it while others actually succeed at it. This book is a journey through the despair that leads people to choose this route and the way out of the thought process that leads them there. 


What's the Antidote Described in the Book?

The crucial part of the book focusing on the antidote for suicide takes us to 1 Peter 1, where we see the epitome of hope, Jesus Christ, even though He suffered in this life, came through it gloriously and how we can, too. It beautifully and meticulously walks us through the plan of God for our redemption through Christ. He is our Model of victory over temporary suffering. This Scripture always encourages us to endure informing us of the rich rewards awaiting those who triumph in obedience to God. 

Personally, I have never had this struggle and prayerfully I never will and neither will anyone within my family, friends and reach of this or any other Christ-centered publication that leads to Him. However, chances are, as depression is on the rise, someone your or I know has struggled with it. This is a very real problem outside and increasingly so inside the Church of Jesus Christ. 

There is no sin in a genuine struggle, nor even shame, but we are not to allow either of those things to be our undoing. 



A Few Comments from Readers of the Manuscript:

"What a blessing your words will be too many in need of them. God bless you, my sister!"

"First, this is excellent! On a personal note, I found it so practical for not just suicide prevention, but for walking with the Lord in a much deeper way! And I especially love the parts that deal with time vs. eternity and the physical body vs. the spirit and soul. I will use your perspective in my Bible classes." 

"And I can't lie -- I love how you so skillfully dismantled the "best life now" doctrine."

"I do particularly like your writing style -- it is very upbeat and hopeful, just like you!"

"Your heart shines through your writing!!"





I pray you find your way to Hope and Peace in Christ as you read. And please, always ask the Holy Spirit or reveal Christ, the Reason for our hope and our Prince of peace, to you as you read. Finally, and most importantly, always read His Word, Who is the Author of your life. May He fill you up to overflowing with His joy and strengthen you for the days ahead. 


God bless you!




PLEASE NOTE: This is a biblical and not a psychological perspective. This is about prevention of certain thought patterns that lead to destructive behavior and not about dealing with the behaviors themselves. It is not a comprehensive treatise by any means. I am not a clinical psychologist, neither do I claim to be an expert in that area. I am a minister of the Gospel sharing the hope of Jesus Christ with anyone who would be so inclined to listen and receive from Him.