Tag: love

“We stumbled on in the darkness, over big stones and through large puddles, along the one road leading from the camp. The accompanying guards kept shouting at us and driving us with the butts of their rifles. Anyone with very sore feet supported himself on his neighbor’s arm. Hardly a word was spoken; the icy wind did not encourage talk. Hiding his mouth behind his upturned collar, the man marching next to me whispered suddenly: “If our wives could see us now! I do hope they are better off in their camps and don’t know what is happening to us.” “That brought thoughts of my own wife to mind. And as we stumbled on for miles, slipping on icy spots, supporting each other time and again, dragging one another up and onward, nothing was said, but we both knew: each of us was thinking of his wife. Occasionally I looked…

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      We must review what Job said toward the end of his quandary and inner alteration. In Job 42:5, “I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye sees thee.” Also in Job 42:6, “Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes.”  Job’s faculty for discerning God shifted from ear to eye. …but wait, this new “sharpening of insight,” caused Job to hate himself? Apparently the shift of insight made him see drastically clearer, awakening a new awe of God, but deepening shame-awareness? But, what new thing did Job see in God? To explain, here is a quote from our founder, Pastor Stevens; “God is ontological. Very simply, this means that God has always been everything He is and ever will be. Even before He created the angels and the human race, God was who He is now and who…

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  Martha received him into her house. Sister, Mary, sat at Jesus’ feet, and heard his word. Martha was dragged about with much serving. Martha said, “Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me.” Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art anxious and disturbed about many things (needy). But one thing  will supply the need: Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her. Luke 10:37-   Sisters fighting? No, pictured  are 2 kingdoms at war. A highly motivated agenda  vs. A highly relaxed “it is finished” positioning. Anxiety-fueled unsettledness  vs. rest-filled  right-mindedness. Disturbed resentment vs  prioritized excellence. slavish pose vs friendly exchange superficial honoring vs. heart honor  Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself,…

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     “But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.” James 1:4 I’ve noticed three different kinds of trials which could describe the work of perfecting Inconvenience: The broke down car-it eventually gets fixed. Disappointment: The car that just doesn’t repair — never  gets fixed. Disillusionment: the car accident that is from hell.-I never want to drive again. All trials challenge every ounce of faith. They destroy natural faith. “Let patience have her perfect work.” “Let your patience endure that you may be stable, mature, and complete when I speak to you, with no defects in your capacity to listen.”Dr. Carl  Stevens “Our patience, as it endures, will always bring forth a vision.” Stevens Isaiah 35:7 is an illustration of what God will do for us in the valley: “I will take the parched ground and make it a pool.”   Dr.Carl…

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“Amor fati” fellow fanatics, “amor fati!” translated “The love of fate.” “It is foolishness to oppose a tendency which is obviously a law of history and to take countermeasures against a trend which is a natural law.” Nietzsche.   Really? Does history itself have a personality, does it have a mind? Is that raucous tide able to bend or yield? Where goes it? What are its ends? Can we change history? The fatalists emphatically say “no.” Apparently “history,” the person, is not like the redeemed saints who realize God’s image. The will of the lover of fate is already determined and cannot change. Therefore worshipers at this altar cannot stop the inevitable. They just “go with the flow.”– Whether death or life. What the historo-gods rule, they carry out through forced will.   The Christian perspective is in diametric opposition to these ideas. We say indeed, history, (His story), will take a certain…

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“All emotions are, in essence, impulses to act, the instant plans for handling life…”– Daniel Goldman from his book, “Emotional intelligence” 1995. Daniel comes from a neural-scientific point of view; were talking about raw brain. “…the brain has two memory systems, one for ordinary facts and one for emotionally charged ones,” Goldman again. He quotes Joseph LeDoux from 1989-93. When alarmed, the amygdala (emotional brain center) sends an urgent message out. “It acts before there is full confirmation.” “It frantically commands that we react to the present, in ways that were imprinted long ago.” What? Yes, Goldman says “the message the amygdala sends is often ‘out of date.’” In a personal example of this, when I was a child I was placed on a horse with great fear of falling off. I feared horses for years after, and the very childhood fear, when triggered, panicked me again and anew. Problem;…

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“Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, we ought to obey God rather than men.” Act 5:29. What comprises the obedience of faith? How does it work? By the obedience of Christ shall many be made righteous, is Romans 5:19. “In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin thou hast had no pleasure. Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God.” Hebrews 10:6-7. Jesus was the obvious obedient one and by His willingness we are sanctified by the offering of His body, once and for all. But what of our obedience? A key may be in the Psalmists words “For thou desirest not sacrifice; else would I give it: thou delightest not in burnt offering. Instead, The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt…

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In the valley of dry bones, Ezekiel speaks; to the bones and to the wind. His speaking-truth-in-love results in ligaments, muscle, skin and breath. Yes, bone-connecting sinews regather the strewn appendages into a unified whole where muscle mass enables action; skin tightens up hanging pieces for smooth movement. Finally, the Breath of Lives resuscitates the life-force. A living being has returned to us. Paul told the Christians at Ephesus to, “speak the truth in love,” and “grow up into Him in all things, which is the head, even Christ,” In Ephesians 4. The whole body, organized compactly, is united by every joint’s contribution, energy from every part, then, in poetic sequence, grows architecturally. Love does this; it’s all done in love. Not mental futility, obscured thought processing, alienated from God through agnostic tendencies, callousness, apathy, and surrender to boundless excesses; we put these off and find renewal in the spirit…

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“And when this life is through; even then, your hand will lead me, your right hand will hold me.” “No more night, no more pain, no more tears, never crying again.” “Amazing grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me.” “Wonderful, merciful Savior; Precious Redeemer and Friend … you give the healing and grace, our hearts always hunger for. You rescue the souls of men.” We hunger for it. “Before the throne of God above, I have a strong and perfect plea, a great High Priest whose name is Love, who ever lives to plead for me. My name is graven on His hands, my name is written on His heart, I know that while in heaven He stands, no tongue can bid me thence depart.” “Mercy there was great and grace was free, pardon there was multiplied for me, there my burdened soul found liberty, at…

Read More Mercy There was Great, and Grace was Free

Confidence is a great thing. Don’t throw it away. Reliance, trust, belief in the powers of; these thoughts relate to confidence. “You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, ‘I lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.’” Eleanor Roosevelt. “When you have confidence, you can have a lot of fun. And when you have fun, you can do amazing things.” Joe Namath. “To have faith doesn’t mean you get any less frustrated when you don’t do your best, but you know that it is not life or death.” “Take what you are given, and when you continue to work hard, you will see results. That will give you the confidence you need to keep going.” Tom Lehman “The moment you doubt whether you can fly,…

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