Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Saviour and ... (chokingly) ... Lord

I love to watch historical dramas about kings and queens. I have learned about lordship through watching some of these movies. 
Queen Elizabeth of England
Growing up and living in a democracy, in a freedom-of-speech land, our society knows nothing of lords, princes, and kings. We know nothing about bowing before the will of another human being. But, those who live in countries with kings and queens do.

To this day in some countries, to disrespect or disobey a king, queen, or president will result in torture and death.

The respect and/or fear of reprisal if your will is not bowed before him or her in authority is non-existent in our society as a whole.  Children in this generation don't even respect their parents, elders, teachers, principles, or even police. There is no respect for the authority figures in their lives.

It has been my experience over this almost 30 years, that Christians for the most part acknowledge Jesus Christ as Saviour. Very few truly respect His Lordship.  Mainly because it is not taught about. 
Therefore, God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the Name which is above every name, that at the Name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in Heaven, and of those on Earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the Glory of God, The Father.  ~Phil. 2:9-11
Young Christians in our society do not know anything about the authority of a lord. 

Slaves did. Slaves do. Prostitutes who have pimps do. Children with abusive parents do. Forcefully, they are made to bow their wills.

So, bowing to the will of The LORD Jesus Christ - on our own - is not something that comes naturally to Americans. It must be taught in our churches. It must be part of the foundational truths we teach to young Believers. They must understand the concept of lordship.

I am blessed to say that Jesus Christ is my Saviour and Lord, and I'm in the prep stages of teaching a foundational course in our church.  May God grant me the ability to communicate this most important topic to His children.

The Lords and Servants of Downton Abbey
Does anyone watch Downton Abbey on Masterpiece Classics on PBS? Oh, I hope so! It is my favorite TV show.  You will see, in real life, how the lords and lordships work in England. The characters are the Lords of a VERY LARGE estate and their servants who see that Downton Abbey runs smoothly and that the lords are dressed, fed, and taken care of. 

May it teach us Americans how to bow our will to that of another in authority over us, namely The Lord Jesus Christ.

Any thoughts on this subject?

Because of Him and Unto Him,

Monday, February 25, 2013

From the Chairs By the Window

I moved some furniture around in my living room. I now have two chairs facing each other in front of a large, curtainless picture window completely separate from the rest of the furniture. 

At first Joe didn't like this new arrangement. He thought it was "odd". But, his first early morning sit - looking out over the horizon with coffee in hand as the morning sky brightened - made him a lover of the chairs by the window.

In the Health for Life program I run, in our first two weekly classes, about every 20-25 minutes or so I ask people to get up and change seats. The first time they do it, they just oblige.  But, the second and third times I tell them to change seats, they get annoyed because they are all settled in and comfy. I then tell them this program is all about change. They can have a "lightbulb" moment, but somehow it doesn't make it any less bothersome to them.

Isn't that how most of us are to any form of change in our lives? Resistant. We are such creatures of habit that the tiniest bit of change can throw us for a loop. Change is bothersome. 

In a blink of an eye, with the ring of the telephone, our whole world can change. And those changes can be heartbreaking or scary. But, thank God our stability need not change in the midst of circumstantial shifts.

For our stability should be our faith in The LORD, because He changes not.
For I Am The LORD; I do not change. ~Malachi 3:6
Wisdom and knowledge will be the stability of your times. ~Isaiah 33:6
And His Wisdom and knowledge (from His Word) will provide stability within our souls no matter how unstable our circumstances may be at the moment.

Change is inevitable. It comes to all of us. But, may we cling to God and His Wisdom to keep us stable, secure, and peaceful within.

Thank you for letting me share my chair-side muse with you this morning.

Because of Him and Unto Him,

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Faith As A Way of Life

Expect an encounter with God in your trials and as you encounter Him, surrender. ~ June Croon
Our God tells us that faith without works is dead (James 2:14). 

Dead. 

Inactive. 

Non-producing. 

Barren. 

Void. 

Useless.

Faith, without corresponding action (works) is dead.  So, we must put action to our faith in order to see results.  

Peter had faith, but it wasn't until he put action to his faith that he received a miracle.  And that corresponding action was miracle-producing. Peter was in the middle of a violent storm on the sea. This experienced fisherman was terrified. Now that is a trial!  And he was about to encounter Jesus in the midst of his ordeal.

Peter had to have expectation.  He had to have surrendered his will to the Will of Jesus, Who bid Peter to come to Him, otherwise he never would have left the security of the boat.  Even though the boat was violently tossed about like a toy in a bathtub, I'm sure he felt more secure than stepping out of the boat into the fiercely crashing waves.  Peter had faith with works!


His corresponding action was: 

He put his one leg over the side of the boat.

Then the other leg. 

He then had to let go of the sides of the boat.

And stand up. (Can you picture yourself doing that?)

He had to then move one foot in front of the other. 

Standing on water was one thing, but now to take steps?  In order to experience the historical miracle of walking on water in the midst of the ferocious storm, Peter had to expect an encounter with His Lord and Master.

And I can imagine that as he started to drown, Peter surrendered his will over to The Only One Who Could Save Him.

If we want to grow,

If we want to change,

If we want to receive miracles in our circumstances, 

If we want to encounter our God in the midst of our trials,

Then we, too, must EXPECT. Expecting is an action - a corresponding action - to belief.

And once we have encountered The Holy, Living God in our trials, surrender to Him - 

To His Will,

To His Truth,

To His Love, 

To His Power,

To His Word.

The word "surrender" is also a verb meaning to yield; to give up one's self into the power of another (which in this case is God Almighty).

There is no greater action we can take than to expect to encounter Jesus and then surrender ourselves to The All Encompassing, All For-our-good, Love of God.

He WILL cause all the trials He met us in to work together for our good. And on that we can place our expectancy!

I'd love to hear your thoughts on expecting and surrendering.  Please share with us!

Because of Him and Unto Him,


Tuesday, February 19, 2013

De liv ered!

I had the most incredible deliverance at church on Sunday.  May I share it with you?

I'm writing this to give our Wonderful Father glory for His Love is so grand! The tears I shed on Sunday were an expression of my ever-so-thankful heart because I truly had no words. And adequate words of gratitude still elude me. 

As you some of you know, about 27 years ago, my youngest son, Andrew, died. He was 17 months old and was walking through my dining room and keeled over on his back dead. He had not been sick nor was there any indication anything was wrong.  

The ambulance got lost and did not arrive in time to resuscitate Andrew. Long story short, it was at the command of "In the Name of Jesus Christ, be healed!" that Andrew came back to us.  

At three years of age Andrew began telling us of his life-after-death experience in Heaven. 

When the ambulance finally did arrive, Andrew was alive and well. But, by law they had to take him to the hospital. The doctors wanted to admit Andrew and start the battery of tests of him. Full of faith, I declared, "No, because if God raised him from the dead, then He healed whatever was wrong with him to cause him to die."  We left the hospital with our son to the shock of the doctors and nurses who demanded he stay.

Over the years, when I would tell this part of Andrew's story, the surprised looks on mother's faces seemed to say, "Are you nuts?" "What kind of mother are you that you didn't admit him?"

The disapproving looks, sometimes caused me to question whether I was a good mother by not allowing Andrew to stay and be tested. But, I never uttered a word of that to anyone. There would just be a twinge of "guilt", as I would share that part his story. But, nothing I ever gave any credence to. 

But, obviously, it was there. Deep in my soul.

Sunday at church, we had a guest, Guy Young. Guy came to our church for the sole purpose of sharing his testimony of his life-after-death experience with Jesus Christ at the gates of Heaven. Guy did not know God at the time of his horrifically painful death that resulted from drinking dirty water while he was alone hiking.

When he shared the part of his story about coming back into his body, this is when my deliverance came. 

Guy drove himself to the hospital. They, too, wanted to run a battery of tests on him. My delivering moment was when I heard him say, "I just walked out of the hospital because I knew I was healed." (And remember, Guy was an unbeliever at the time.)

As those words flowed from his lips, I felt - literally - a huge weight of condemnation lift off me. It shot straight up in the air off my head.  A dear friend sitting next to me said she felt something whoosh off me.

I am free!

Free from any condemnation the devil placed on me concerning leaving the hospital that life-altering day.

I bless and praise our God for His loving kindness...and His power to heal and deliver us...His graciousness to our souls...His desire to see us emotionally whole and walking in liberty...His desire for us to live in His Kingdom, as it is in Heaven...for His will to be fulfilled in our lives...His faithfulness to His Word...for His Truth and being ever faithful to His Character...for His unchangableness...for being our Wounded Healer.

Thank you for allowing me to share yet another testimony of God's healing power in my life. If this has touched you in any way, please just give Jesus Christ all the praise and glory. I can only "ditto" King David's praises found in Psalm 103:

Bless the Lord, O my soul;
And all that is within me, bless His holy name!
Bless the Lord, O my soul,
And forget not all His benefits:
Who forgives all your iniquities,
Who heals all your diseases,
Who redeems your life from destruction,
Who crowns you with loving-kindness and tender mercies,
Who satisfies your mouth with good things,
So that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
The Lord executes righteousness
And justice for all who are oppressed.
He made known His ways to Moses,
His acts to the children of Israel.
The Lord is merciful and gracious,
Slow to anger, and abounding in mercy.
He will not always strive with us,
Nor will He keep His anger forever.
10 He has not dealt with us according to our sins,
Nor punished us according to our iniquities.
11 For as the heavens are high above the earth,
So great is His mercy toward those who fear Him;
12 As far as the east is from the west,
So far has He removed our transgressions from us.
13 As a father pities his children,
So the Lord pities those who fear Him.
14 For He knows our frame;
He remembers that we are dust.
15 As for man, his days are like grass;
As a flower of the field, so he flourishes.
16 For the wind passes over it, and it is gone,
And its place remembers it no more.[a]
17 But the mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting
On those who fear Him,
And His righteousness to children’s children,
18 To such as keep His covenant,
And to those who remember His commandments to do them.
19 The Lord has established His throne in heaven,
And His kingdom rules over all.
20 Bless the Lord, you His angels,
Who excel in strength, who do His word,
Heeding the voice of His word.
21 Bless the Lord, all you His hosts,
You ministers of His, who do His pleasure.
22 Bless the Lord, all His works,
In all places of His dominion.
Bless the Lord, O my soul!
~~~~
Oh, and how I do!

Because of Him and Unto Him - Truly!

Original Shticks of me worshiping The Lord
created by Veronica Anderson.  Photo by: Vinoth Chandar

This story is shared over at: Tell Me A Story

Thursday, February 14, 2013

An Agape Vessel

The LORD has appeared of old to me, saying:
Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting LOVE;    
   Therefore, with LOVING-KINDNESS I have drawn you."
~ Jeremiah 31:3

An everlasting LOVE that will not fade or diminish; that is not based on performance or character; a LOVE that really has nothing to do with me.  

Our God is nothing but LOVE. He LOVES because that is Who He is. He doesn't choose to LOVE.  He IS LOVE.

And we are made in His image.  

We, too, are created with such a capacity for LOVE - true, Godly (agape) LOVE. The Holy Spirit Who resides within IS LOVE. Our heart's should be bursting with the LOVE characteristic of our God. We, too, shouldn't have to choose. It should flow naturally, as the tide kisses the shore.  

Are we drawing others with our LOVING-KINDNESS as God has drawn us?  

Loving-kindness means: Tender regard; mercy; favor. 

Phew, that's a tall order.  But, I am my Father's daughter. Am I not?  

Isn't loving-kindness what creates community? Reaching out to others with mercy, favor, and tender regard. Drawing them in to the Bosom of LOVE.
There is no pit so deep, that God's LOVE is not deeper still.  ~ Corrie ten Boom
How did Corrie learn that? By being thrown into a pit of human degradation, violence, and torture beyond human comprehension.  Coming out of her pit of hell, she allowed God's LOVE to flow through her.  Her message of LOVE is one that should never die because it is God's message of LOVE.

Thank you for allowing me to write out my thought process on this subject this morning. This is God speaking to my heart, as if He were saying:  


Diane, LOVE the unlovable.  Diane, LOVE those who have hurt and abused you.  Diane, LOVE - without judgement - those who are trapped in the ravages of sin. Diane, LOVE those who don't know LOVE. Diane, LOVE those who cannot LOVE you back. Empty your heart of all that blocks the flow of my LOVE. Allow Me to fill you with My agape LOVE to a hurt and dying world.


Extravagant LOVE.


Father, I bow before You.  Please show me the blockages in my heart to the ebbtide of your LOVE, that I may walk my talk, in Jesus' LOVING Name.


(Here is a blog post that can help me (or anyone) identify blockages):

http://www.crossoverchristianchurch.com/7-deadly-sins-or-7-holy-virtues/#comment-2294

Because of Him and Unto Him,

Sunday, February 10, 2013

It's A Red-letter Day!

As I sit in my living room, the sun is getting ready to rise over the horizon, which will soon illuminate the brilliant white of the blizzard-dropped snow over our block. We are snowed in. This is day two and still no plows. I don't even hear them off in the distance. The plows must all be converged on our highways getting ready for tomorrow morning's rush hour. I can't remember the last time the plows weren't up and down our hill quickly. Snowed in. I love it. 

So I'm snuggling into my chair and I'm going to share with you, my dear friends, a precious gift I received. 


My Bible is a "red-lettered" edition, which means that the Words of Jesus Christ are in red type. And of course, since Jesus' recorded Words are only found in the New Testament, the Old Testament is black lettered. 
Over the years I've wondered why all The Words of God - in the Old and the New - weren't printed in red. After all, Jesus IS God, right? The Father and Jesus are ONE. Are they not?  
"Hhmm", my heart would ponder...
Every now and again I would google, searching to see if there was a red-lettered Old and New Testament Bible.  Surely there must be! 
A couple of weeks ago I read something. Somewhere. And again it sparked my investigative search. Usually I would search through page one, and maybe two, of the Google listings, and that would be it. This time, I went further. 
And guess what I found?
A King James Version Modern Version with ALL the Words of God in red. Old Testament and New.  I was beside myself with glee.
Of course, I purchased it. 
As I carefully opened God's Holy Word, I ran my fingers over the untouched-by-man Word of God. I felt honored to now own such a Bible. I opened to Genesis.  As my eyes beheld, "Let there be light", I think my heart skipped a beat and I almost cried. 
Yes, ALL of God's Holy Words are in red!
I've read my Bible cover to cover only twice in my almost 30 years. Shame on me. But, now it is time to do it again. In my new Bible.
As I take in all my Heavenly Father's Words in red, I know I will glean Wisdom and Understanding from His Truths
Truths spoken, then recorded for me.
For me!  
My mind will be renewed and my heart transformed. 
Thank You, my Father for this precious, precious gift!  Word of God speak, for Your Servant shall hear.

It's perfectly still out, not a creature is stirring. No cars running, because they can't go anywhere. As the sky lightens, I behold God's beauty and sigh.

All is well...

Thanks for coming by to share in this with me this morning. May your Sunday - and the week to follow - be blessed by the black or red letters of God's Holy Word.

Because of Him and Unto Him,

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Oh, To Understand...

We do not write to in order to be understood; 
          we write in order to understand.                       
~ C.S. Lewis


Have you found this true in your own life?  

I have. I started journaling when I first accepted Jesus Christ as my Saviour and Lord almost 30 years ago. It's a legacy of my spiritual journey.

Oh, the things I discovered about myself!  

And the things I discovered about my Jesus, my Beloved Friend, The Holy Spirit, and my Father.  I soaked in His Word and was gaining understanding and revelation.

I would read some Scripture, and it would speak into my heart. So, I would write and write and write questions and/or my meditations on those Scriptures, and the understanding I was getting from that Word.  

 

Then, I would go back to my Bible and write a thank you to My Father for the insight or revelation from that word. Of course, I also put the date.  My Bible is marked from Genesis to Revelation.

As God's Word was transforming who I was as a human being, so did my writing. My journals became my love letters to my Father.  Most of the time, my handwriting turned to scribble, as I could not write fast enough. The hand couldn't keep up with the heart's accolades to my Father.

And then I would sit in silence waiting upon Him.

Sometimes I would have to wait a long time, other times His reply to my heart was immediate.

And so I would write those precious, life-affirming Words.  

For me, I agree with C.S.Lewis. That is how my journaling devotional blog came about. I wanted to share some Scripture prompts for others who journal. 

How about you? What has writing done for you?

Because of Him and Unto Him,