Thursday, June 30, 2011

Regrets?

Today
is worth more than 10 yesterdays 
because 
Today
you have the opportunity
to do and be
all you missed out on yesterday!


Because of Him and Unto Him

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The Gravecloth Unbinders Profession

I'm sure you know the Scriptural accounting of Jesus raising His friend, Lazarus, from the grave after he had been dead 3 days.  I love reading this portion of Scripture in John, chapter eleven, as there is so much to be gleaned from it.

I believe one of the main job descriptions of the Body of Christ is mentioned in John's account of Lazarus being raised from the dead.  One that very few of us take seriously, but is so immensely important for Believers to be able to walk in the freedom that Jesus died to give us.
Now, when He had said these things, He cried with a loud voice, "Lazarus, come forth!"  And he who died came out bound hand and foot with graveclothes, and his face was wrapped with a cloth.  Jesus said to them, "Loose him, and let him go".  (John 11:43-44)
We are to be gravecloth unbinders.

After Jesus works a miracle by bringing Lazarus back from death, He turns to the Believers around Him and commands them to unbind Lazarus from his graveclothes.  At this point, Lazarus is alive again.  Alive, but not free, because he is still bound. Jesus did not do the unbinding of the one He loved. He gave that privilege to the Believers.  We are the ones that are to help unbind fellow Believers in Christ from the bandages in their lives.

A Christian you know desires to be free
Why are so many Christians struggling with addictions of all types?  Why are so many depressed?  Why are so many still living with one foot in God's Kingdom and one foot in the world?  Why, if Jesus came to give us abundant life, are so many in the Body of Christ so lifeless and joyless?  Why are so many locked in unforgiveness and bitteness?  Why, if Jesus set us free, are we still not free?  Because we are mummified - alive, but yet bound and preserved as if dead.  Jesus' miracle of salvation was wrought in our lives, but we, like Lazarus was, can still be bound.  

It is our responsibility to unbind each other from the things that still confine us to this world or to our past.  In my early years as a Believer, I had salvation, but I was still very bound from things in my BC years (Before Christ).  Through the compassion and faith of other Believers, I was healed of open wounds from traumatic childhood experiences and the deep scars that sexual abuse left on my soul. I was delivered from fear, anger, lying, self loathing, and unlove; freed from the ravages that pornography in my family caused upon my young life; delivered from the affects my father's role in Freemasonry had on my life.  Jesus did the healing and delivering, but through faithful Believers who understood the power that was theirs in reaching out to free me from my graveclothes.  The greatest parts of my personal testimony are the ones where the layers upon layers of gravecloths were unraveled from my soul.  I am who I am today, because of caring Christians that dared to believe I could be set free.

You can help them go from bound to free
I encourage you today, if you know a Believer who is still bound, start praying for them and then act, as The Lord so leads you.  If you are a Believer who is still bound from things in your past, start asking your Heavenly Father to have other Believers help you remove your graveclothes. Miracles will happen and you will be able to say, "I am free indeed!" (John 8:36)  Hallelujah!

Because of Him and Unto Him

Sunday, June 26, 2011

God's Customer Service

Do you have seasons in your life where all it seems you do is "fire-fight"?  I had a few weeks in a row like that - calling insurance companies about benefits not received; lawn-care workers who don't do a thorough job; trying to rearrange appointments, but you can't even get someone on the phone; etc., etc.  It can be stressful just because customer service isn't that anymore.  The attitude that "the customer is always right" is almost non-existent in America today.  So, last week, when I spilled about 6-8 ozs. of water all over my open Apple MacBook Pro laptop, all I could think of was the nightmare that was ahead of me. I was already wearied from all the "fire-fighting" I had been doing. And now I was listening to my faithful, year-old computer sizzle and crackle. I was sick to my stomach by the time I called Apple.

The computer I had before my Apple MacBook Pro was a Toshiba, which was a lemon from day one.  I was a frequent caller to India, which is where Toshiba's customer service is.  It was always a nightmare mainly because of the language barrier and the fact that there was no personal concern whatsoever.  So, at the thought of having to deal with Apple's customer service, I was geared up for the worst.

As soon as the cup of water slipped through my fingers, I asked Jesus for a miracle.  I knew I was in big trouble.  I made the dreaded phone call to Apple.  However, I must say, it was an extremely pleasant experience.  The USA, English-speaking employee was not only very empathetic with me, he was respectful and treated me with dignified concern, although he wasn't too sure my laptop could be saved.  He scheduled an appointment for me to take my computer into an Apple store on Friday.

"$755.00", the store employee quoted me.

"$755.00?!"

"$755.00"

It would cost $755.00 if Apple could fix it at all. They didn't even know if any of my information could be saved.  I was sick to my stomach again, knowing we didn't have that kind of money.  If the laptop could be repaired, I would have to tell them "no" anyway. The store was to call me after the technician looked at it to let me know if it was repairable and what the cost would be.  I left my MacBook Pro with Apple on Friday morning a week ago.   This past Wednesday the call came, but I couldn't believe what I was hearing.

"Your computer is ready to be picked up."

"What?!"

"Your computer is ready to be picked up."

"Oh, my gosh!"  I started to panic because now I would have to battle over the fact that they repaired it without speaking to me first to authorize it.

"It came to $755, but Apple is covering the cost for you."

"Excuse me...say that again, please."

"Apple is covering the cost of the repair - $755.00 - and it's like you have a brand new computer now."  Not only was all my precious stuff safe and sound, but the guts of my laptop are now brand new.  I was at a loss for words.  But, seconds later, gratitude erupted from deep within. First, I thanked Jesus because I got the miracle I had asked for, then I profusely thanked the Apple employee that called me.

In this day and age in America, where there is hardly a thing as good customer service anymore, Apple proved itself to be a stand up company - a company of integrity; a company that went above and beyond for the customer's sake; a company that employs caring, respectful people.  It turns out, Apple was the fire-fighter on my behalf this time, and it did my soul good!

And once again, Jesus came through bestowing upon me "above all I could think or ask" (Eph. 3:20). When I shared this story with a friend, he asked me (seriously) why did I waste my request on something like this; I should have asked for world peace.  Oh, if he only knew God the way I do! He is Supreme at His customer service and He is the Giver of the best gifts, aching to bestow them upon His children.

I expect miracles, so I asked.  He is faithful and true to His Word, so I received.  And I'm so very, very grateful.

Because of Him and Unto Him

Friday, June 10, 2011

Aiming High


My vocation 
is 
to make my life an act of worship.
                                                                ~ Ashley Judd




Because of Him and Unto Him


Tuesday, June 7, 2011

He Waits For Us

I've been taking daily communion for a week or so now to put my body and soul in remembrance of what Jesus did for me - that by His stripes I am healed.  In the last few years, I've been so self-absorbed by my personal family situation and my physical pain that I lost the degree of intimacy I had with Him. Oh, Jesus, forgive me!  

Yesterday morning while taking communion The Lord spoke deep in my heart these words:
I wait...I wait...I wait for you to come and sit in quietness of soul; I wait for you to wait on Me; I wait for you, Beloved, but you don't come...I wait...
I wept.  I'm sorry, Lord...I'm so sorry. I knew in my heart I had let Him down. And from the tone of His voice, I knew I had missed out greatly.  As hard as it was to hear those words, I was so very grateful for them.  Jesus cared enough to speak truth to me, He missed me enough to speak to me when I finally did get quiet, and He was patient enough to have waited for me.  Healing, of a different kind, took place.

I am blessed and I know that by His stripes I am physically healed as well!

Because of Him and Unto Him