Friday, 5 June 2020

Déjà Vu

Proverbs 31:8 Speak up for those who have no voice, for the justice of all who are dispossessed.

      I have been here before. When I was a kid, in the late 1960's I spent my summers with relatives in Niagara Falls, New York. I got to witness some of the events that were unfolding in July of 1967. The race riots as they were known, were bringing changes to a society that held their breath as Detroit was on fire, (or as Gordon Lightfoot put it "Motor city burning,") plus, there were other cities that were being damaged and looted across the US as we have seen recently. I was fourteen years old, so my impressions were based on what I was told by the adults in my life and the controlling media stations at the time. But nonetheless, I have seen this played out before and it feels like déjà vu.
      Are we here again because we did not speak up for those who have no voice? Prov. 31:8 Speak up for those who have no voice, for the justice of all who are dispossessed. The call for equality has been going on from the beginning of time. The human struggle has never stopped and never will until we come into unity with God who created all of us to be fulfilled in Him and then with each other. The desire of God's heart is to have all nations, races, and colour come and worship Him in one accord. Rev.15:4 Lord, who will not fear and glorify your name? For you alone are holy. All the nations will come and worship before you because your righteous acts have been revealed.
      Regardless of who you voted for, we need to pray for our country Canada, the United States, plus the leaders of our nations. There is a civil war going on right now and the first casualty of war is always the truth. We have no choice but to bring our prayers for these deep and complicated grievances being expressed to God because we can easily pray with a personal bias that is slanted rather than pray the will of God. God wants all nations to be part of the kingdom of God and wants us who are in Christ to be the hand extended toward all nations. Psalm 86:9 You created each nation, and they will all bow down to worship and honor you.
      We have to realize that the enemy of our soul is the one who has come to rob, kill, and destroy anything that will express the love of God toward each other. Rodney King asked, "Can't we just all get along?" My observation of this question is, "Only if we want to." Again, déjà vu, as we have been here before. Relationship and giving honour to my neighbour is a choice of the heart and will. Holiness and righteousness cannot be legislated by law or decree. It is a choice of the soul after Christ has given us life through His blood. Yes, using our human decency can do a lot to extend grace to anyone we meet. However, it will take the love of God within our soul to truly mean it over the long term.
      The call upon all of us who know the Lord is to pray that God's will be done and that we all have the grace to submit to God's plan for all nations to come to God the Father. We are either part of God's solution or we are the problem that continues to bring hostility within the world. The word says that one of the six things the Lord hates is the act of causing division. Prov. 6:16 These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him. 19 A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren. We have been called to be ministers of peace and with God's help, we will do it.
      The similarities of the end of the 1960s and today are uncanny. There was a flu pandemic in 1968 and 1969 called the H3N2 strain of the Hong Kong flu that killed about four million people worldwide. Also, in 1969, the Apollo 11 spaceflight and the first man to walk on the moon were seen from our living rooms around the world. Again, I was in Niagara Falls, New York that July. At this time we happen to be going through a worldwide pandemic and the recent talk about returning to the moon is the goal of space agencies around the world. Déjà vu all over again.
      I'm not sure if history repeats itself, but what I do know is that God is in control. We have to walk by faith within the Lord's covenant He has given us so that we can be at peace and walk humbly with our God during these times of chaotic global change. Micah 6:8 He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God. Focus on the solution who is Jesus, our Lord. Amen! 

Friday, 29 May 2020

A Voice of Reason

Proverbs 8:1 Does not wisdom cry? and understanding put forth her voice?

      Nelson Mandela said, "Fools multiply when wise men are silent."
      Are you tired of Government doublespeak? Are you fed up with endless conspiracy theories? Have you become drowsy from hearing the repetitive pandemic buzz words? Are you exhausted from the absurdism caused by so many different voices? Then turn your God-given brain back on and allow the peace of God to rule your heart and mind. Who is in charge of your mind, the thinker, or the thought? 2 Tim. 1:7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
      What a voice of reason the Lord is to those who have accepted Him as Lord and are following His instructions. No Orwellian doublespeak comes out of God's mouth. The Lord says it, and it is so. Num. 23:19 God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good? God's voice of reason is so full of life and assurance, why would we go anywhere else for life's answers and wisdom? Isa. 1:18a  Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD.
     When reading Psalm seventy-three, we can discern that King David is going through a terrible time and was wrestling with his thoughts and emotions. He was looking around at all the circumstances of life and it was bringing him down into despair. To David, the world seems upsidedown. Then he makes a statement that can only happen after being in the presence of God's voice. Suddenly, the word of God's reasoning breaks through his fear-filled thoughts. Psalm 73:18 Until I entered God’s sanctuary. Then I understood their destiny. David's understanding only came after being with the Lord.
     As King David experienced back then, many people today will have to make the choice to listen to what God is saying and turn the surrounding voices off. If you want to hear God's voice of reason than hang around people who have a strong relationship with God. Stay aligned with people who are voicing God's wisdom and understanding. Prov. 8:1  Does not wisdom cry? and understanding put forth her voice? Stop connecting to those who insist on living their lives full of fear because it is the trending spirit of the day. This world psyche is deficient and is not the spirit God gave his sons and daughters. We are to use our voice of reason to eradicate the ever-present fears that haunt this lost society.
      I've had some funny conversations with some of my former bible college students that I've taught over the years. The students who have read my devotional book series have often remarked, "I can't get your voice out of my head when I am reading your books. It's like I'm back in class!." I often reply, "Ha, I got you! I'm like a sliver. Hard get rid of." Prov. 8:4 To you, O people, I call out; I raise my voice to all mankind. It pleases me that I have been a voice of reason and had a lasting impact on some of God's people who are still walking and reasoning their way through these hard times. We need to keep surrounding ourselves with men and women of faith who will instill Godly life principles within us rather than worldly bromides of nothingness.
      God's voice is what the world needs right now to get through these hardships that have come upon many souls. It is so hard to find that healing voice among the leaders of the world. In some cases, these leaders believe in nothing and therefore, fall for anything that looks like a life jacket. The blind leading the blind. God says that we know our saviour's voice and we follow Him. Christ's voice is the only one that matters right now, so listen to it. John 10:27 My sheep hear my voice, I know them, and they follow me. 28 I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one will snatch them out of my hand.

Friday, 22 May 2020

Time For The Red Pill

Proverbs 26:6 Trusting a fool to convey a message is like cutting off one’s feet or drinking poison!

      Morpheus explains to Neo what the Matrix is. He then offers Neo the chance to wake up so to speak. Neo is offered a choice between the red pill and the blue pill. The red pill will reveal an uncomfortable truth, but life will be real. Taking the blue pill, on the other hand, will give Neo the chance to remain in blissful ignorance.
      All dramas aside saints, it is time to take the red pill. There is going to be a lot of uncomfortable and unpleasant truths revealed as to how we were drawn into complete capitulation under government oversight during the pandemic. Where I live, there was very little pushback when the church doors were closed. To me, trusting in a secular world system for spiritual direction was foolish. Prov. 26:6 Trusting a fool to convey a message is like cutting off one’s feet or drinking poison! Yes, we are to pray for our elected officials so that we can live in peace as promised in 1 Timothy 2:2. However, we are compelled to first give to God what is God's then give to Ceaser what is Ceaser's. We are to give God first place in our hearts and lives.
      Every law enforcement agency on earth was licking their chops as they took notes as to how easy it was to shut everything down by pumping out fear twenty-four-seven. In no way, shape or form, am I denying the danger and reality of the virus travelling the world, destroying lives. Being a person who follows the word of God, I definitely agree with Ecclesiastes 3:5 that says, "There is a time to refrain from embracing." During a pandemic, this is beyond sage advice. This is crucial advice. 
      What I am more concerned about is our reliance upon the government to make choices for the people who in a lot of cases have been treated like idiot children. The abuse of authority is too great a temptation to overcome when superficial politicians forget they were elected to serve and not become dictatorial autocrats. Again, this is why God asks us to pray for our leaders so that He can direct their hearts. God did not say to pray for them if you voted for them, God said to pray for whoever is in power.
      It is time to take the red pill and wake up from expecting government handouts to solve a universal dilemma. Accepting help to get a bit of traction because of the huge disruption our lives have taken is fine, but getting lulled into continual reliance upon government support may cause many to lose their ability to resurrect their creative genius. Work was ordained before the fall of man and it is our God-given right to work and be creative. Gen. 2:15 The LORD God took the man and placed him in the garden of Eden to work it and watch over it. 
      We cannot keep focusing on what cannot be done, but rather, start thinking and working toward what can be done even if it is a small step before the rude awakening when all the stipends stop flowing. The cost of paying it all back will be overwhelming, and if a lot of the people's creativity went toward gaming the system, well, if you take the shekel you may have to take the shackle of how you will live, breathe, and exist. Prov. 23:1 When you sit down to dine with a ruler, consider carefully what is before you, 2 and put a knife to your throat if you have a big appetite. If you become too reliant on government stimulus you will eventually have to take their humanistic regulations.
      I'm so grateful to God that I was considered essential during this time and had no choice but to take the red pill. With eyes wide open I could see that I was blessed to be able to go to work even though there were many hardships in getting the work done. Yes, I got to go to work rather than had to go to work. Perspective is everything right now. The freedoms and rights that we enjoy today were fought for throughout history and could easily be eroded if we who are in Christ do not intercede for this world. God loves the world and wants freedom within it so that people are able to choose God's way of salvation. John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
      I do not know where this is all going to end, but I do know that there are going to be a whole lot of shoulda, woulda, couldas being interjected by experts who after the fact will have all the answers. There will be a ton of criticism to go around and it will not matter what had been done. Whoever said yea and whoever said nay will be equally badmouthed. What we have to do is keep our face toward the Lord and keep praying. As we walk in the real unpleasantness of this world that is so fractured, we can fully put our trust in our Lord and Saviour. Psalm 40:4 Blessed is that man who makes the LORD his trust, and does not respect the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies. We can handle the truth when we know what it is.

Friday, 15 May 2020

Buried Garbage

Proverbs 1:32 For the apostasy of the inexperienced will kill them, and the complacency of fools will destroy them.

      Winston Churchill said, "Never let a good crisis go to waste."
      A good thing that has come out of this pandemic is the way it has revealed the incredible generosity and courage of some people and this is to be commended. On the other hand, it has shown the shallowness of character within a lot of souls and the fear that is hidden in so many individuals. It has also revealed a lot of the corruption that our infrastructure runs on and has been built upon. This buried garbage has made its way to the surface in all of the different segments and departments of life. Luke 8:17  For nothing is concealed that won’t be revealed, and nothing hidden that won’t be made known and brought to light. 
      This time of testing has been aggressively burning the dross and the old garbage that has been well lodged in our souls for a long time. We are either dealing with what God is showing us, or we are burying it deeper. The problem with burying the rubbish deeper is that the fear of facing the truth of who we really are within our deepest parts will only allow the personal lies and deceptions to continue. Prov. 1:32 For the apostasy of the inexperienced will kill them, and the complacency of fools will destroy them.
      My backyard reveals interesting things when digging to plant a new fruit tree, grapevine, or garden bed. I have found old rusty nuts and bolts, big pieces of corroded chain, basic farm tools, and oxidized steel paraphernalia from times past. Before the development of this area, it was an old farming community, so who knows what debris is buried. The surface of the surrounding neighbourhood has a lot of cultured shrubs, ornamental trees and manicured lawns arranged by landscape companies. However, because I have one of the oldest lots in the area and have been here for a long time, I know what is underneath all of the pretentious appearances the neighbourhood is trying to project.
      In a similar way, we think we can bury or hide the hurts and angry inner arguments from our workmates, friends, and loved ones. Eventually, the garbage starts to work its way to the surface and no amounts of false smiles, disingenuous laughter, or loud bravado can stop the old rusty nail from poking through causing a noticeable infection of the heart. You cannot serve the Lord and your hurt at the same time. You will have to give one of them up!
      King David had buried the sin of murder and adultery and it took a visit from Nathan the prophet to dig it out. In God's eyes, the sin was always in plain sight but to David, he thought it was hidden. 2 Sam 12:7a Nathan replied to David, “You are the man! 9 Why then have you despised the LORD’s command by doing what I consider evil? You struck down Uriah the Hethite with the sword and took his wife as your own wife — you murdered him with the Ammonite’s sword." During this time of isolation, God is giving us many ways to repent and be set free.
      We are in an amazing time of history. We are in a position to be able to get rid of a lot of stuff that has accumulated over the years that has no value to man or the kingdom of God. The trials and testing of our faith are in full swing right now and we can either come forth as mature Christians or remain babies needing milk. By faith, we have a chance to put a lot of bible scripture into real and practical use - like counting our tests as joy because we know we are growing in Christ. James 1:2 My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; 3 Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. 
      What these trials and tests are revealing to a lot of people, is that they do not know what is written in their bible or understand their covenantal righteousness with their heavenly Father. Repeating pithy, cutesy, and clever sayings that have been heard from some sloganeers standing in a pulpit is not giving them the fortitude they need to step up and shout a declaration of faith. The word of God has to been burned into their soul so they can live. Many have not taken personal ownership of God's living word and lived within the power of it. Matt.15;8 This people honors Me with the lips, but their heart is kept far away from Me.
      This time in history is unprecedented in that we are in a unique position to be matured by the Holy Spirit because our feelings are raw and some of our empty values are being exposed as useless. We have an opportunity to allow God to do some digging within our souls and unearth some real treasure, but He will have to remove the garbage so that His treasure within us can take center stage. Rev. 1:3 I counsel you to buy from me gold refined by fire, so that you may be rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself and the shame of your nakedness may not be seen, and salve to anoint your eyes, so that you may see.
      Don't say, "I can't wait for things to get back to normal." Normal in a lot of Christian circles is starting to show itself as pretty bad, and a lot of buried garbage is showing up. I for one do not want to return to so-called normal. I want to make the body of Christ relevant during my time left on earth. I don't want the church family to return and simply rejoin their old club membership. I want the church family to be authentic. I want the body of Christ to be the pearl of great price and treasure God says it is, and I want to be one of the jewels that makes it so. Yes. Lord, let it be so!

Friday, 8 May 2020

Too Many Experts

Proverbs 9:10 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.

      And all the king's horses and all the king's men, could not put the world back together again. 
      They could not give one ounce or real peace or an authentic solution to a worldwide population craving inner assurance during a pandemic. What an absolute display of human inability our world leaders have demonstrated trying to work out a plan of deliverance for a fear-filled world. Our leader's best proclamations have only instilled more fear and caused shouts of, "The sky is falling, the sky is falling." 
      The real help will not come from the human gene pool. This is not a criticism of leaders, but only an observation that they cannot do what God can do for humanity. Authentic help will come from the Lord and those who love Him. As long as people put their trust in the human arm per se, their curse will remain. Jer. 17:5 This is what the LORD says: Cursed is the person who trusts in mankind. He makes human flesh his strength, and his heart turns from the LORD. 
      I am not an expert, and that might be a good thing since there are thousands per minute being introduced by the fear-mongering media channels. Obsequious interviews of one so-called expert after another who supposedly knows all that is knowable about a disease that no one accurately knows about. Most of these media made experts simply have an extensive vocabulary to explain a particular segment of medicine that they work in. That does not make them experts. It makes them a person who is skilled at their jobs, but not someone who has all the answers to unanswerable rumours and unknowns. Rom. 1:22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools.
      I find it incredible that the world population is looking for deliverance from a medical industry that causes more iatrogenic deaths per year in North American than the total deaths of the virus so far. Physician heal thy self! Fix your own broken medical system, and if you accomplish that, you might become an expert. So-called experts on both sides of every argument and theory are only creating confusion and anxiety on a worldwide level. Turn off the news for one week, and seventy-five percent of your problems will disappear.
      I am not questioning the hearts, sincerity, and dedication of the medical front-line workers who are giving their all and deserve our respect for healing the sick the best way they can. It is the one-world, fear-promoting agendas of government, media, and big pharma with their programmed experts that I'm taking time to question the context of their groupthink. Matt. 7:16a So then, you will recognize them by their fruit. Why are we looking for living answers among those who have dead hearts?    
      As believers in Christ, we cannot let this world event define who we are. God is the one who defines who we are through His grace. Our mandate in the Lord is to go into the world and minister the gospel of salvation, healing, and peace, and not the broadcasting of sickness and disease. The word of God tells us not to forsake the gathering of the saints so that we can encourage each other. Heb 10: 24 And let us watch out for one another to provoke love and good works, 25 not neglecting to gather together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging each other, and all the more as you see the day approaching. God's word does not say to hide in isolation from the world until they figure out how to heal their mess. 
      We already know that man cannot save himself. Why then would we wait for the world to figure things out when we have the Lord of lords and the King of kings in our hearts. God has already asked us to pray, that God's healing word for a lost and sick world would manifest. Only Christ can handle a world problem and only those in relationship with Him can effectively minister through Godly understanding what is truly needed. Prov. 9:10 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.
      No saints, I am not an expert. I am a blood-washed son of the living God. I believe what God says we can do, and who we are in Christ. I will not be defined by a disease that is trending throughout the world. I will not become an agent of fear or bad news since I have been given the good news of Jesus Christ. My heart will stay steadfast in the Lord and I will focus on all that He says I am, and who I can be. There is only one true expert at this time that I can trust because through Him, I can do the hard things with His strength. Phil. 4:13 I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me. Take your eyes off of the self-publicized experts and turn your eyes upon Jesus. 

Friday, 1 May 2020

Groupthink

Proverbs 21:1 The king’s heart is in the hand of the LORD, Like the rivers of water; He turns it wherever He wishes.
      
      Groupthink; according to the UK dictionary - is the practice of thinking or making decisions as a group in a way that discourages creativity or individual responsibility.
      We are seeing this level of groupthink on a world-wide scale right now. I call it, thinking without real thoughts, thus causing smart people to act dumb. We need to stop looking for answers among the global leaders who are lost for answers and are repeating what other leaders are repeating. Within the world's groupthink cycle, there is no room to think God's way. Most world leaders react impulsively to a crisis coming their way rather than take a sound preventative action. Truly the blind leading the blind.
      There will be no Deus Ex Machina coming from the groupthink crowd. The Godly deliverance will come from the outliers in our society that have not fallen into chronic empathy fatigue. God's grace within us, gives us the strength to keep moving forward because we can call on God's reserves to empower us through the Holy Spirit. Groupthink becomes exhausting and does not have that extra power for souls to get stronger, because their limited reserves are running dry. Their strength is of human origin and not able to feed the spirit.
      Right now, our prayers for our leaders should be that God's creative genius and wisdom would come upon them and help them see the truth of the matter. Also, that they would see their own need for God's help to deliver the nations through this valley of the shadow of death. We want God to move our leader's hearts to bring about a successful resolution. Prov. 21:1 The king’s heart is in the hand of the LORD, Like the rivers of water; He turns it wherever He wishes.
      Our prayers for our first responders, medical personnel, and blue-collar workforce are that they would be covered by God's healing grace and that these dedicated and faithful people would realize and know that they have been chosen for such a time as this. Pray that they would sense God guiding them because it is the Lord who put their caring nature in them. 1 Pet. 2:9a But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession.
      Groupthink discourages creativity or individual responsibility, and will eventually leave people helplessly licking their wounds. Pope Francis said, "Licking your wounds could case a place where you end up staying because it becomes bittersweet and you never leave that place." We need to pray that God's wisdom would fill the hearts of all the frontline people who are seeing real answers for overcoming but are hitting the walls of leadership fear. Let the outlier's voices reach those who can declare the positive actions needed to proceed.
      We who are in Christ, need to stop worrying about our worries and stressing about our stresses. By casting our cares on the Lord, He will take the weight of the cares for us. 1 Pet. 5:7 Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you. As individuals, we are to be responsible for our loved ones and our neighbours in taking precautions to stay healed, safe, and aware of each other's needs. Remaining kind and generous during any upheaval will help us get through it. This is a season of change within the worldwide system, but not necessarily a change in what God says to do in life. If there is a change in our faith, then let it be a change for a stronger relationship with our Lord, because God has not changed. Mal. 3:6 For I the LORD do not change; therefore you, O children of Jacob, are not consumed.
      We do not have to fear losing control of our life, because God will restore what we have lost. We have a great promise from our God. Everything of importance that was taken from us by this sickness that is of the enemy, will be restored. Whether it is our freedom, work, income, friends, or family there will be restoration by our God. Joel 2:25a And I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten. The restoration may take different shapes and timelines but it will happen.
      Prov. 21:30 There is no wisdom nor understanding nor counsel against the LORD. Since the best wisdom comes from God, let us lay aside the impulse to groupthink. We can use our God-given minds that we have to bring our society back from the edge of the worldly abyss. We have the Spirit of God in our hearts and we have the power to change the outcome of daily events. Keep making your requests known to God and He will deliver you!

Friday, 24 April 2020

A Butt-Kickin' Reboot

Proverbs 3:5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart; and lean not unto your own understanding.

      Hebrews 12:6 Because the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and he chastens everyone he accepts as his son.
      I would like to thank my friend Jami Rogers for the title of this blog. She came up with the statement when we were talking about the need for a lot of us Christians to be taken out to the spiritual wood-shed so to speak, for some gentle persuasion by God. We agreed that a butt-kickin' reboot was needed to change the way many of us have been talking through this pandemic. Death, defeat, and loss are statements coming out of the saints as if they have no say in what is happening.
      A lot of what has been and still is being posted on the different media platforms is misdiagnosed rubbish, misinformation, and hearsay. In the future, there will be a clear record of what everyone's faith was during the outbreak. The question will be, were the posts and statements of faith or fear? We have to reboot our faith to be in line with what God says about who we are in Christ, and the heavenly authority we have during difficult times. Luke 10:19 Look, I have given you the authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and over all the power of the enemy; nothing at all will harm you.
      I, for one, had to repent. I found myself in need of a butt-kickin' reboot. I realized I had been trusting in the church organization rather than Christ Himself for direction through this pandemic. As many of the church organizations acquiesced into passive submission to the quarantine regulations, I became disheartened with our expression of faith. The Lord had to remind me where to put my trust and faith. Psalm 20:7 Some trust in chariots, and some in horses: but we will remember the name of the LORD our God.
     I am not judging any of the church leaders for the difficult choices they had to make. This is my own opinion and observation only. There are going to be a whole lot of shoulda, woulda, and couldas later on when we look back at our behaviour within our faith. There were many ways to legally come together in our buildings of worship, but our focus seemed to be on what we could not do rather than what was possible and legal to do during the lockdown. Yes, it would have taken a lot of extra effort to keep the facilities regulated, disinfected, and clean. But, who of us would not have made that extra effort to make sure that our support system remained vibrant?
      Faith, foolishness, and presumption are in full flight right now, plus all the conspiracy theories flooding our media platforms. We absolutely need to trust that the Lord will guide us through this world event. Through prayer and with the discernment of the Holy Spirit, we can listen to what God is saying, and look for His answers like we have never done before. We need a reboot of our understanding of being under God's reign. Prov. 3:5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart; and lean not unto your own understanding.
     We have the authority to call upon our loving God for help during this fight and declare His word over this fear-filled earth. How are we going to do this if the body of Christ is fearful? Perhaps a word from the Apostle Paul could encourage us all. Rom. 1:16a For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes. Faith overcomes fear, and we need to use our faith in Christ right now.
      Father, in Jesus name, give us all a reboot and the courage of faith to take back what the enemy has stolen from us through this real and hurtful pandemic. You, Lord, are our healer and saviour. We put our trust in you and not the arm of man. Father, we do pray for our leaders that they would humble themselves and call on your name for help. Jer. 33:3 Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known. Amen! 

Friday, 17 April 2020

Stronger Than Yesterday

Proverbs 14:26 In the fear of the LORD there is strong confidence, and His children will have a place of refuge.

      Caleb said in Joshua 14:11 I am still as strong today as I was in the day that Moses sent me; my strength now is as my strength was then, for war and for going and coming.
      Sometimes I am asked why I am so stubborn about my strict health routines, even throughout this pandemic. My answer is simple and straightforward. "God gave me a second chance for living after the stroke. By faith, I have recovered well to this point. Why then, would I spit in God's face and become the slob I used to be, and go back to those old bad habits? Why would I position myself for more sickness? How would  that honour the Lord's faithfulness towards me?" This is why I push toward a full healthy life.
      There is nothing really fanatical about what I am saying. I'm simply trying to be stronger than yesterday, within my body, mind, and faith. It does not matter what the world circumstances are. Col. 3:23 Whatever you do, do it from the heart, as something done for the Lord and not for people. When we are strong in faith we have unshakable confidence in our God. When we are strong in our body and mind toward God, we have the confidence of Caleb, which helps us say, "We can do this hard thing we are going through."  
      Growing in the righteousness of the Lord will help us have the strength for the day that we are in, and help us become valiant in our acts of faith. 1 Chron. 11:22 Benaiah son of Jehoiada was the son of a brave man from Kabzeel, a man of many exploits. Benaiah killed two sons of Ariel of Moab, and he went down into a pit on a snowy day and killed a lion. We may not have many lions to kill in order to survive these days, but we do have an enemy of our soul who goes around like a lion trying to destroy us. We have no choice but to become stronger than yesterday because the days we are in are evil and malicious.
      As parents, we want our children to grow up and be Godly, kind, and forthright citizens in this earth so that the goodness of God is seen and desired. When our children see that we are reaching faithfully toward God for our daily strength, they will take note. They may not voice it in the moment, but deep down, they will know that we are strong in the Lord. Prov.14:26 In the fear of the LORD there is strong confidence, and His children will have a place of refuge.
      Now please note, that the love of God is never in question toward every human being on earth. Regardless of our physical, mental, and life condition, we are emphatically and wholly loved. What I am postulating is that, if we are in a position to be positively stronger than yesterday, then do it. We are the stewards of the life that God gave us. True enough, we can waste that life on the many vices available twenty-four-seven. However, being a blessing in life has much more going for it, and we will have to make an account of the life we lived. Eccl. 12:14 For God will bring every act to judgment, including every hidden thing, whether good or evil.
      So, as I prepare real food, and figure out my exercise routines for the coming days during this time of physical distancing, I plan by faith to become stronger than yesterday. As I walk and commune with my Lord and ask for the strength needed in my soul to overcome during this time of precarious living, I will remember to give God all the glory when we come through victoriously. 
      I will thank Him for the blessings of a full life that I am living in right now. Like many of you, I'm believing for better things. May God's face shine on us all. May He give us the desires of our hearts, to help us become stronger than yesterday. Amen!

Friday, 10 April 2020

No Atheists In Foxholes

Proverbs 10:8 The wise of heart will receive commandments, but a babbling fool will come to ruin.

      Psalm 14:1a The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. 
      Have you noticed in times of great upheaval and national terror or disaster, that all the God-haters seem to disappear? Their voices become muted and they quietly go away. These fools who use up media space and parliamentary time to advocate the removal of the word 'God' from our national anthem and anything else that reminds them of true righteousness become the background noise of no importance. Their very presence and all of their other anti-Christ rhetoric seem to disappear. 
      These blustering populists claim to be representing the national interest of the people. However, when there is a national disaster these same so-called caring individuals all crawl away into the shadows not to be heard of during the hard times. They become very quiet while world leaders and stressed-out frontline workers are asking everyone to pray. There truly are no atheists in foxholes.
     In 1 Kings chapter thirteen, there is a story of a man of God who spoke against the altar that was being misused by king Jeroboam. The altar was split apart as a sign from God. The king, in his arrogance, stretches his hand toward the man of God, and paralysis took over his arm. 1 Kings 13:4b Lay hold on him. And his hand, which he put forth against him, dried up, so that he could not pull it in again to him. Not until terrible things happen to a person do they stop and rethink their philosophies.
      When there is no hope in the middle of a crisis, there tends to be a reevaluation of all the nonsense that a person has been spewing over time. When death, sickness, and great loss are personal and there is no hope, God becomes more than an option, He becomes real. 1 Kings 13:6 The king cried out to the man of God, “Please ask the LORD your God to restore my hand again!” So the man of God prayed to the LORD, and the king’s hand was restored and he could move it again. There truly are no atheists in foxholes.
       We are going through a time of great change in our country, and for this reason, God's name is being called upon. This is good for us to see and hear. There are great testimonies of God coming through for people who simply ask for His help. Matt. 7:7 Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. Ordinary people asking God for help and getting an extraordinary blessing that is reaching deep within people's hearts. It is the goodness of God that changes a person's heart. Rom. 2:4b God is kind because he is trying to lead you to repent.
      The arrogant have taken some time off from their mendacious agendas. History shows us that they will be back when times are safe, and complacency has set in again. Hopefully, this will be a long time from now. Their babbling will pick up steam until the next crises when they will slither away again. That is their character. Prov. 10:8 The wise of heart will receive commandments, but a babbling fool will come to ruin.   
      What we can do in the meantime is be the hand extended that reaches out and blesses our family, friends, and neighbours. This is a time of great need and we have the mandate from God to intercede for all people. We have been chosen for this time. Therefore, let us do what God has put in our hearts to do in His name. Est. 4:14b Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this? Amen!

Friday, 3 April 2020

Our Season

Proverbs 25:4 Take away the dross from silver, and it will go to the silversmith for jewelry.

      One of my pastors was sharing some observations he had during the outbreak of the recent pandemic. He said, "The people I expected to rise to the forefront and lead the church through this mess have turned out to be fearful, uncertain, and blowhard talkers. At the same time, the ones who did rise to the challenges of these hard times were the ones I considered lame and not really committed Christians. I am disappointed and blessed at the same time." 
      Wow, what camp do you find yourself in? In the Gospel of Matthew 21:28-31 There is the parable of two sons responding to their father's requests. One son was asked to go and work in the vineyard and he said, "I will not," but afterward, he repented and went to work. The other son said, "I will go," but did not obey. Our obeisance in the seasons we go through will either sharpen our resolve to walk closer with the Lord or will dull our taste-buds to even want to be walking the walk God has asked of us. John 6:67 So Jesus said to the twelve, “Do you want to go away as well?”
      Someone said, " Diamonds are formed under extreme pressure and knives are sharpened through friction." Saints, some of us are going to be a sharp sparkling people after this hard season has burned the dross out of our character. Eccl. 3:1 To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven. If we respond by faith and obedience to our heavenly Father, then the habitual complacency, fearfulness, and noncommittal attitudes toward God's calling in our lives will be burned out of us and we will become a refined product for the Master's use. Prov. 25:4 Take away the dross from silver, and it will go to the silversmith for jewelry.
      What an opportunity these strange worldwide events have given us to create some spiritual backbone. When counselling, I have often used one of my Normism, " You only feel and know you are really alive when you are in the middle of great adversity." 
      This is so true. We don't notice things when everything is smooth and moving along without any challenges. But, the moment there are inconveniences, tests, and great obstacles we start screaming because of the discomfort we are actually feeling. All our senses are turned on and tuned into very noticeable feelings in the forefront of our thoughts. Gen. 4:13 And Cain said unto the LORD, My punishment is greater than I can bear. Cain could now physically feel the pain in his emotions, feelings, and his understanding of life. Cain could feel each thought that he would need to go forward. 
      What are you feeling right now? God has not given us a spirit of fear. The Lord has not asked us to lay down our armour and offer full capitulation to these uncertain world events. Our Heavenly Father has not stopped running and ruling this universe. This is our season to exercise faith, strength, and experience victory because we are the blood-washed saints of the Lord. 
      We have been given authority to proclaim the blessings and the Word of God in this earth. Matt 28:18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey all that I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
      This is our season to grow, express gratitude, and live for something worthwhile, rather than just exist within the conveniences of modern life. Jesus is Lord. This truth has not changed. We may be living in a time that is changing, but our God is steadfast and dependable. Let us walk the talk, and be in Christ so that when our Lord returns, He will find us faithful. Amen!