Monday, October 20, 2014

Trample Down Giants Part I

David did not sit around and talk about Goliath, a giant, or his problems like his brothers, and all the army of Israel and Saul. The whole army of Saul and Saul himself would not face Goliath. They were all afraid focusing on the giant. David was the sole person who believed his God was bigger than Goliath. David was a loner.

When Saul and all Israel heard these words of the Philistine, they were dismayed and greatly afraid. 1 Samuel 17:11

There is a time to “confess our faults” it says one to another and pray for one another that we may be healed, When I hear about what I’m not doing right all the time, I get focused on myself and then those giants they call out my name.

Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results. James 5:16

It’s hearing about the greater one is inside of us by the Holy Spirit. It’s getting the focus off of self (deny self and pick up our cross).

But you belong to God, my dear children. You have already won a victory over those people, because the Spirit who lives in you is greater than the spirit who lives in the world. 1 John 4:4

Paul talked about a sentence of death and I determined the same thing. I determined that my spouse had high blood pressure and cholesterol which he passed away in two months and I was next to go. I had high blood pressure and cholesterol too. My blood pressure was 155/ I can’t remember the other number but it probably was some medicine I was on that had an ill affect on me. There are some problems I can control and other problems I can't.

In fact, we expected to die. But as a result, we stopped relying on ourselves and learned to rely only on God, who raises the dead. 2 Cor. 1:9

Through God’s grace, I lost a lot of extra weight. We have this one body (or temple) on earth that God can use. No point in asking God “why” when we put a bunch of bad food in our body all day long. We pray over our food and eat our food in faith. There are some things I find very hard to eat “in faith.”

Some of us started the race well now we need “finishing grace.” It may be to eat better at our age, exercise, “do” certain things and most of all trust God.

Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:2

David had a “momentum” going, he killed a bear and a lion and to him Goliath was just like another animal.
Goliath felt insulted that they sent David (Am I a dog that you come to me with sticks?).

David said, “By my God I can run through a troop and leap over a wall.” Psalm 18:29, 2 Samuel 22:30
Paul, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philip 4:13
Jesus said, “With people this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” Matthew 19:26

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

God's Prosperity

I’ve heard some ministers call certain teachings a “false prosperity” message.  I believe it’s best to say that God is provisional.  I go into that more in a later blog.  I like to tell people on their birthday, “Live long and prosper.” That is because I heard this message that Spock on Star Trek when they were making the Vulcan sign, he used a sign very close to a Rabbi blessing since he is Jewish.

Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well. 3 John 1:2

The above verse seems to imply that as our soul is prospering then it filters down to our health and wealth.  Too many focus on things rather than prosperity being a result of worship.  That we are worshiping God with our giving.  Is Jesus worth my spare change or is God worth my whole life? 

A woman poured out the whole bottle of ointment  (a year’s wages) on Jesus feet.  A widow gave two mites which was all her living.   What we give represents our life work.  Jesus poured out his blood on the cross.

I had a dream about two years ago that an evil man was stabbing me with a sword and trying to steal money out of my right hand.  I knew that meant that I was going to lose my job and there was going to be an attack on my finances.  That I had to let go of the money (my job) I was holding on to it.

Many of God’s people have been under spiritual attack.  I heard a missionary talk about how they closed the church down for six months to focus on helping people in their country because the whole town was under attack – the whole town was under flood waters.  

I started meditating on the fact that the money was in my right hand and I started to think about God’s right hand. I remember singing a Psalm, You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand. Psalm 16:11

What is at God’s right hand?

You have given me your shield of victory. Your right hand supports me; your help has made me great.  Psalm 18:35

Your right hand, O LORD, is glorious in power. Your right hand, O LORD, smashes the enemy. Exodus 15:6

The strong right arm of the LORD is raised in triumph. The strong right arm of the LORD has done glorious things! Psalm 118:16

Jesus sat down at the right hand of God.

But when this priest had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, Hebrews 10:12
After the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, he was taken up into heaven and he sat at the right hand of God. Mark 16:19
Jesus has been made our wisdom….

God has united you with Christ Jesus. For our benefit God made him to be wisdom itself. Christ made us right with God; he made us pure and holy, and he freed us from sin. 1 Cor. 1:30

It says that if God gave his only son, how much more will he freely give us all things along with
Jesus!

He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all--how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? Romans 8:32

I was teasing my roommate how it would be neat if money grew on trees and how my children would tell when they were small, “Mom just write a check.“  Of course, we have to have money in our bank account.

When I get money I don’t eat the seed.  I plant the seed so I have a harvest in my spiritual bank account to make withdrawals.  It’s sort of like when I got married there were these love deposits my husband made into the love account as far as I began to trust him and count on him.   He built a history of love deposits in dating that carried over in marriage in the love bank.

When I get to heaven, I don’t want Jesus looking at me and say, “Hey Mary I’ve got all these blank checks up here with my name on it so why did you not cash them in?"

Whatever you ask in My name, that will I do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. "If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it.  John 14:13-14

I've been building up my heavenly bank account and I want to make withdrawals now.  The only difference is I want to see my money to believe it where we are to believe and we see it.

If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer."  Matthew 21:22   

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Ministry to God's Leftovers

I’ve had this “glamorous” calling to those people who feel they are outcasts of society.    It started as a street ministry when I was 17 years old from reading David Wilkerson’s “Cross and the Switchblade” and being involved with other people who did the same for several years, next it was teen prison ministries and lately it has been single, widow’s and homeless ministries.  I see it transitioning into nursing home ministries in the future.  I’m having my 18th single social coming up this weekend.

Therefore, my brothers and sisters, make every effort to confirm your calling and election. For if you do these things, you will never stumble, 2 Peter 1:10

I’ve had these jobs starting in my 20’s with lawyers for about three years, next with physicians for ten years and then educators for twenty years that have a high income and I was married to a professional civil engineer. 

What is strange though, is I’ve always had a leading that I was called to minister at church to lower level income people.   My former spouse felt the same way, he liked working with Boy Scouts and boys of single parent families.

We tend to abandon those we consider less successful or weak in life.   It can be those with mental, emotional or even physically handicapped.

It’s really opposite to what God wants.  God tells us rather than abandoning the weak, we are supposed to give special grace to our lesser body parts.

On the contrary, it is much truer that the members of the body which seem to be weaker are necessary; and those members of the body which we deem less honorable, on these we bestow more abundant honor, and our less presentable members become much more presentable, whereas our more presentable members have no need of it. But God has so composed the body, giving more abundant honor to that member which lacked, 1 Cor. 12:23

We hear about Jesus blessing and feeding the five thousand men which was probably about 20,000 with women and children through the disciples with the five loaves and two fish, but we don’t know what Jesus did with the leftovers.  One single woman has been using her garden to feed the homeless.

HAVING EYES, DO YOU NOT SEE? AND HAVING EARS, DO YOU NOT HEAR? And do you not remember, when I broke the five loaves for the five thousand, how many baskets full of broken pieces you picked up?" They said to Him, "Twelve." "When I broke the seven for the four thousand, how many large baskets full of broken pieces did you pick up?" And they said to Him, "Seven."… Mark 8:19

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Gaining Ground

Is life like a blow out football game? Or is it more like we are gaining ground through rushing the football, not a large passing game.

At times, I get very aggravated at life and it seems very slow at times. Then I look back and I remember where I came from. It's like Joyce Meyer said, "I'm not where I should be, but thank God I'm not where I came from."

I can remember at 16 years old I swore/cussed like some sailors. Not everything that comes out of my mouth is 100% positive, but I can remember the "f" word was continual out of my mouth. Another one was controlling my temper at times. It tells us that a person who does not control his temper is like a city without walls. The list goes on and on and just in dealing with grief the last seven years, I've made some strides although progress has been slow.

There is an example in the Bible of a Canaanite woman who her daughter was demon possessed. She had to by-pass the disciples to get to Jesus and even Jesus said it was not God's timing to help her because he was only called to the Jews.

The Canaanite woman was persistent in getting her child set free. It's very sad that the very gift of a child (blessed is the fruit of the womb) became a curse in her life. She was living with the devil . I've spoken to many people who have had sort of a "black sheep" in the family.

Sometimes what we love can become a curse in our lives (he that finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the Lord.) Sometimes a marriage or a loved one is like a curse. Because of her faith, she got her daughter well, even going outside of God's time table.

And a Canaanite woman from that region came out and began to cry out, saying, "Have mercy on me, Lord, Son of David; my daughter is cruelly demon-possessed."But He did not answer her a word. And His disciples came and implored Him, saying, "Send her away, because she keeps shouting at us." Matthew 15: 22-23

But she came and began to bow down before Him, saying, "Lord, help me!" And He answered and said, "It is not good to take the children's bread and throw it to the dogs." But she said, "Yes, Lord; but even the dogs feed on the crumbs which fall from their masters' table." Then Jesus said to her, "O woman, your faith is great; it shall be done for you as you wish." And her daughter was healed at once. 24-28

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

What is Our Calling?

Therefore, my brothers and sisters, make every effort to confirm your calling and election. For if you do these things, you will never stumble, 2 Peter 1:10


Recently, I was listening to a young Christian woman minister talk about living a purposeful life.  It was her testimony and to her the center of her purpose was ministering in prisons where she became a Christian, holding Bible studies and she wrote a book in prison.


I can somewhat relate to what she said since I was in full time street evangelistic ministry and traveling to different churches off and on for seven years, but that was/is not my “purpose” in life as a Christian to minister.

Ministering is more like a vocation and a job. I've had ministries change.  I always liked Kenneth Hagin, Sr. when he was alive, and he went from being an evangelist to a pastor and then he was also over a Bible college.  Lester Sumrall had various different ministries over his life too.

I was dong street evangelism full time, a radio ministry, singing in church, then as a lay person children's church, leading worship at a woman's Bible study, next teen prisons, recently single's, widows and homeless ministries.


I was knocked out of ministering full time due to the problems of being married to a minister who wanted a divorce.  Same thing happened to another friend of mine who met her spouse in a Bible college.  Some people can’t handle the pressure of full time ministry, and character flaws can definitely knock them out of ministry.  


I considered my full time ministry became supporting five children as a single parent, working and going to college to better myself. For my friend who went to Bible college, her ministry appears to be a large number of grandchildren.


What I believe our purpose is to fellowship with God and lead others back into relationship and fellowship with God.  Adam walked and talked with God.  Enoch walked with God and was not because God took him.


God is faithful, who has called you into fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. 1 Cor. 1:9

walking in close fellowship with God. Then one day he disappeared, because God took him. Genesis 5:24


I had this dream about my former spouse.  The first one I met my spouse for the very first time and I wanted to talked to him again, but I did not have his phone number.  I asked several people to see if anyone had his number, but no one did so I had to wait to Sunday to see him again.  The next one was my spouse was blowing me off for three days and did not talk to me.  I went to his office and I noticed his desk was moved and I had to search for him.  I talked to his friends about hanging out that night and my spouse seemed disinterested.  I remember how rejected I felt.  I had a third dream like this.


At first I thought it was the enemy, but then I realized the dreams were from God. The interpretation of the dream was that is how Jesus feels when we blow him off until Sunday and we don’t take the time to really “fellowship” with him.  I can fellowship with Jesus when I pray, get in the word, worship through a CD or go help a person in his name, but it’s a “daily” fellowship.


We don’t always talk and see our adult children and it seems the older they get it takes more of an effort to spend time with our children because of their busy life with their own spouse and kids. We can get so busy with "cares of this world" that we don't always spend much time with God. 

As an older Christian, it’s not good to take for granted the word and things of God.  The problem with the story Jesus gave of the elder brother in the Bible is he “slaved” for his father so he lost the joy of fellowship of living in the house with his father. 

Like the elder brother is that many people can break fellowship with God and then they lose the "richness" and "deepness" of the joy of their fellowship.  They are like a child that barely ever talks to their parent, or they are slaving for God out some sense of duty and obligation rather than a sense of joy.  The elder brother became a judgmental (Pharisee) Christian.

But he became angry and was not willing to go in; and his father came out and began pleading with him. "But he answered and said to his father, 'Look! For so many years I have been serving you and I have never neglected a command of yours; and yet you have never given me a young goat, so that I might celebrate with my friends; but when this son of yours came, who has devoured your wealth with prostitutes, you killed the fattened calf for him.'…Luke 15:28-30

It's very simple to restore fellowship as a Christian which is simply, "Lord if I have done anything to offend you or grieve the Holy Spirit forgive me and bring any darkness in my life to your light."
Pride is a bondage, we can't afford.

It says that "God resists the proud and gives grace to the humble." 1 Peter 5:5

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar and His word is not in us. 1 John 1-9-10


Tuesday, September 16, 2014

The Stones in David's Bag

I was listening to the former Rich Mullins sing this song how Jesus had no stones in his bag to throw at others. When it came to throwing stones, it seems the only stones Jesus threw were back at the Pharisees who were throwing their own stones.

David chose five smooth stones. His stones were for the evil giants. Those stones had been weathered over time to get off the raw edges. At times there are character flaws that need to be polished off of our life. Picking up five stones was rather prophetic in killing five other giants of Gath in David's life.(1 Samuel 21:18 -22) It's sort of neat to think of our self as as stone that God can use to throw at a giant (not at good people).

I was listening on the radio how pastors have been sued for giving bad advise. It's because some don't have a counseling degree. Most of the advise I've had was good from a pastor, but there have been times it was not good. Fortunately, when my husband and I went to our pastor for blended family advise, he told us with having only one child, he had no clue how to counsel us. He suggested we go to a professional Christian counseling so we did for one year.

Same thing happened to me when I was in an evangelistic ministry with my spouse in my 20's, I told several people I had no idea how to counsel anyone who is divorced since I was not divorced or who had the loss of a child or spouse to death, because I had not been through that battle. I could pray for them. Our advise is very limited. Some people can counsel out of their spirit, not out of the spirit of God. I don't personally like giving advise.

People come to me, including my daughters and roommate for advise on relationships, and I find it's hard to give good advise. Even though I was in a successful Christian marriage for 14 years, I don't see how I'm qualified to dish out advise. I would rather give a person a couple of "words of wisdom" or scriptures, but I'm not a licensed counselor.

My mother-in-law and mother were married over 50 years, but I found it difficult to go to them for advise, although at times I did. I found that they did not have many solutions to the problem and they were too "close" to the problem in that was her son and I was my mother's daughter. They at times side in with the party they favor.

I've gone to older widows for advise some of them moved on 11 years after the death of their spouse and some did not move on as far as get remarried, but most of the time I seek the word and the spirit of God for his advise through prayer on the people I date.

If we are busy fighting people in church, fighting our mates or fighting our families, that does not leave much energy to fight the world, the flesh and the devil. David found in even fighting Saul that he had to turn that over to God, because Saul was much like a fallen away believer, he could not take matters into his own hands.

For the whole Law is fulfilled in one word, in the statement, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself." But if you bite and devour one another, take care that you are not consumed by one another. Galatians 5:14-15

One of the "qualifications" of correcting a person is a spirit of humility and the character trait of an elder:

Dear brothers and sisters, if another believer is overcome by some sin, you who are godly should gently and humbly help that person back onto the right path. And be careful not to fall into the same temptation yourself. Galatians 6:1

make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose. Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. Philip 2:2-4

Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble. 1 Peter 3:8
Photo: The Stones In David's Bag

I was listening to the former Rich Mullins sing this song how Jesus had no stones in his bag to throw at others.  When it came to throwing stones, it seems the only stones Jesus threw were back at the Pharisees who were throwing their own stones. 

David chose five smooth stones.  His stones were for the evil giants.   Those stones had been weathered over time to get off the raw edges.  At times there are character flaws that need to be polished off of our life.   Picking up five stones was rather prophetic in killing five other giants of Gath in David's life.(1 Samuel 21:18 -22)  It's sort of neat to think of our self as as stone that God can use to throw at a giant (not at good people). 

I was listening on the radio how pastors have been sued for giving bad advise.  It's because some don't have a counseling degree.  Most of the advise I've had was good from a pastor, but there have been times it was not good.  Fortunately, when my husband and I went to our pastor for blended family advise, he told us with having only one child, he had no clue how to counsel us.  He suggested we go to a professional Christian counseling so we did for one year. 

Same thing happened to me when I was in an evangelistic ministry with my spouse in my 20's, I told several people I had no idea how to counsel anyone who is divorced since I was not divorced or who had the loss of a child or spouse to death, because I had not been through that battle. I could pray for them. Our advise is very limited.  Some people can counsel out of their spirit, not out of the spirit of God. I don't personally like giving advise.  

People come to me, including my daughters and roommate for advise on relationships, and I find it's hard to give good advise.  Even though I was in a successful Christian marriage for 14 years, I don't see how I'm qualified to dish out advise.  I would rather give a person a couple of "words of wisdom" or scriptures, but I'm not a licensed counselor.  

My mother-in-law and mother were married over 50 years, but I found it difficult to go to them for advise, although at times I did.  I  found that they did not have many solutions to the problem and they were too "close" to the problem in that was her son and I was my mother's daughter.  They at times side in with the party they favor. 

I've gone to older widows for advise some of them moved on 11 years after the death of their spouse and some did not move on as far as get remarried, but most of the time I seek the word and the spirit of God for his advise through prayer on the people I date. 

If we are busy fighting people in church, fighting our mates or fighting our families, that does not leave much energy to fight the world, the flesh and the devil.  David found in even fighting Saul that he had to turn that over to God, because Saul was much like a fallen away believer, he could not take matters into his own hands. 

For the whole Law is fulfilled in one word, in the statement, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself." But if you bite and devour one another, take care that you are not consumed by one another. Galatians 5:14-15

One of the "qualifications" of correcting a person is a spirit of humility and the character trait of an elder:

Dear brothers and sisters, if another believer is overcome by some sin, you who are godly should gently and humbly help that person back onto the right path. And be careful not to fall into the same temptation yourself.  Galatians 6:1 

make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose. Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. Philip 2:2-4

Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble. 1 Peter 3:8
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Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Is Church Like Dairy Queen (Grill and Chill?)

A minister was recently saying that for some people church is sort of like Dairy Queen. My dad used to take my brother and me every Sunday night to Dairy Queen in the convertible car. It was like a “cap” to the end of the week to give us that treat when we were small. I’m glad I was very thin back then and I could eat ice cream! It was neat in the summer going on rides in the convertible. I guess a minister is saying that church is sort of like a end cap.

I really enjoyed our “family” time. We also spent a lot of time sitting on our back porch together in the summer. My favorite sanctuary now is my back porch swing.

I was talking to someone recently and they told me when they go to church, they like to duck in and out because they are in customer service during the week so they are not interested in fellowship. It’s really the opposite for me. Even when I was married, I enjoyed the fellowship afterwards. The church my spouse and I attended they had coffee and we would stand around and get coffee and fellowship with other couples in the church right after the service It was a nice “catch up” with them. I really miss that fellowship with couples.

Some people have complained to me that they go to Life Groups, but can’t get people to socialize much outside of a small study. They said in other countries people are more “people friendly” but they think in our society we are too busy.

I look to partner at a church. I’ve done some homeless ministries lately, and I found a small church in the Fountain Square area that does homeless ministries and nursing home ministries where I can partner in evangelism. A few years back, I partnered with a single’s pastor to do worship for a single’s ministry and socials at my house. He put my phone number down as a contact person.

I think it was Smith Wigglesworth who said that many people feed their body three good meals a day and their spirit one cold snack on Sunday.

When I go to church at times I get milk, vegetables or meat spiritually. I get most of my steak dinners on TBN and Daystar television. If I go eat a steak dinner at Outback or Texas Roadhouse for $50 then it’s nothing for me to pay for a steak dinner at a restaurant. Should it be any different at church? I’m a partner in the gospel. I think the most my spouse and I ever spent was at Ruth Chris Steakhouse or Red Lobster for the whole family was $150 or $200 so I can write a check to church because the whole family got ministered there. If I go get my nails done it’s around $60 to do that.

It’s neat to support a person to go to Haiti and bring fresh water treatment and know we can partner with that person in our finances. I don’t always get to go, but we can be the one sending. Paul talked about “my God” will supply all your needs after they partnered with him in an offering.

But I have received everything in full and have an abundance; I am amply supplied, having received from Epaphroditus what you have sent, a fragrant aroma, an acceptable sacrifice, well-pleasing to God. And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus Philip. 4:18-19

There were many times my spouse and I did not eat out very much, did not take elaborate vacations, and I never got my nails done because we had six children at home we were feeding. A lot of it is setting priorities.

Where are our priorities at when it comes to what we do, and what we spend our money on. I know people who golf and it’s $50.00 at times in green fees. Another one is concerts, they are very expensive. Do we see God’s ministry as a priority? One of my big expenses is gas for boating so the last two years I’ve cut down on boating, but I’ve not cut down on my giving to church.

Anyway to me, church is more like home base, like my house was at times. At times my house was like a war zone in raising teenagers or having certain people live in my home.

It’s always nice to have a “home” base. It’s where we feel safe. When we play baseball, the object of the game is to get to home base. In some sports, it’s to get to our field goal.

It sort of reminds me of the first Star Wars where Princess Leia is trying to carry the plans of the Death Star back to her home planet of Alderaan, but it gets blown up. It’s so they can launch an attack on the ship. It’s like having a launching pad for X-wing fighters.

I was in this group called, “Christ is the Answer” when I was 19 years old, where we did street evangelism every day. I was on the v-squad they called it where we witnessed in front of and picketed pornography shops on Friday and Saturday night.

It was always nice to come home back to our base camp after a full day of street evangelism. I enjoyed being with 250 other evangelists. Most of them were evangelists, we had a few people who were more called to helps ministry in the kitchen or mechanics crew.

When we are married, it’s nice when we feel “safe” at our own home. We go to bed at night and feel safe in our husband’s arms. Home is a haven where a weary soldier can come back to and rest after a long day at the office or out in the battlefield. A weary soldier can’t wait to come home to the US from Iraq.

At times in the Civil War, people wanted to come back early before they were released, but they would be deserters. That is one thing nice about God’s army, is that we don’t shoot or Court Marshall others for desertion.

I left ministry for quite a few years – pulled out of the race because of a divorce. Sometimes I’ve pulled myself out purposely. I did not pull out this time after losing a spouse. At times, I’m back to those “first works” like it talks about in the book of Revelation.

Consider how far you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place. Revelation 2:5

Like the prodigal son, the Father is always looking and waiting for the wayward son to come home. With Peter, Jesus actually went looking for Peter and Jesus cooked his disciple’s breakfast. We are told if a brother bids us to go one mile, we are to go two miles for our brethren.

If a soldier demands that you carry his gear for a mile, carry it two miles. Matthew 5:41