Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Jeanne Robertson - Don't Ask; He'll Tell

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Do You See the Light?

And the angel of God, which went before the camp of Israel, removed and went behind them; and the pillar of the cloud went from before their face, and stood behind them: And it came between the camp of the Egyptians and the camp of Israel; and it was a cloud and darkness to them, but it gave light by night to these: so that the one came not near the other all the night. - Exodus 14:19-20

I know that the actual parting of the Red Sea is considered the "big miracle" in this passage of Scripture, but I'm sorry, I find these two verses just as amazing. . . maybe even more.  Okay, the cloud (which was God) moved from in front of the people of Israel to a place behind them.  I get that.  In doing so, God accomplished three things.  First off, He set Himself as a barrier between Israel and Egypt, meaning that the only way the Egyptians could get to Israel was by first going through God.  In other words, God literally had Israel's back. I love that! Secondly, He set Himself in a place to block Israel's view, so that the children would stop looking back at the approaching army and instead focus on the path ahead of them.  Thirdly, by taking up a position in the rear, God could keep the Israelites moving forward, much like a sheepdog herding sheep or me urging Tippy onward when we go on our many hikes.

That part I get, and I truly appreciate.  In fact, I could probably write several posts on that one verse alone (and I have, hehehe).  But today I want to focus on verse 20:  And it came between the camp of the Egyptians and the camp of Israel; and it was a cloud and darkness to them, but it gave light by night to these: so that the one came not near the other all the night.  How can one cloud provide both light and darkness?  How is it that the people of Israel (and keep in mind there were hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of them) could all see clearly like it was day while, at the same time, the Egyptians were stumbling along in the dead of night?  One single cloud.  Hmm.

I think the best explanation of this (if one can truly explain a miracle) can be found in the book of John.  And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not. . . That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. (John 1:5,9-10)

Darkness simply doesn't understand light, and the Egypt in this passage is certainly a picture of darkness (i.e. wickedness).  John makes it clear that the Light came to light every man; nevertheless, the world knew Him not.  They did not accept the Light.  They couldn't comprehend it, so rather than taking a leap of faith that Jesus was who He said He was, they accused Him of blasphemy and sentenced Him to death.  While Jesus' followers were walking in the Light, the rest of the world saw only darkness, just like the Egyptians.

What about you?  Are you walking plainly in the Light of day or stumbling about in darkness?  The Light is available to all who will trust in Him.  You don't have to remain in the dark.  Come on, let the Son shine in!

Monday, March 2, 2015

Things That Make You Go "Huh?"

While reading through the book of John, I noticed an underlying theme that has the tendency to give me a headache when I think about it too hard.  We know that Jesus is God and that the Father, Son and Holy Spirit exist as three in one.  That alone makes my head throb, but I've come to accept that it is what it is even though I don't understand it.  But what should I make of the following verses?

 I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me. - John 5:30

For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me. - John 6:38


Jesus answered them, and said, My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me. If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself. He that speaketh of himself seeketh his own glory: but he that seeketh his glory that sent him, the same is true, and no unrighteousness is in him. - John 7:16-18



Then said Jesus unto them, When ye have lifted up the Son of man, then shall ye know that I am he, and that I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things. - John 8:28



Jesus said unto them, If God were your Father, ye would love me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me. - John 8:42



I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work. - John 9:10

For the sake of time, I'll stop there, but there are many more examples like these.  Do you notice the trend?  In each of these passages, Jesus is making a clear distinction between His will and His Father's will.  But since Jesus is God (i.e. the Son is the Father), wouldn't their wills be one and the same?  Is it possible for Jesus to have a different will than God the Father?  Or is it possible Jesus was simply trying to explain a mind-numbing situation to mankind in terms that they would understand?  Since Jesus was in human form at this point in time, perhaps He was making sure that man understood that the fragility of His humanity had not changed His directive--to seek and save the lost.  I really don't have a clue.

I do know that God's Word is true and flawless.  I am not, by any means, trying to imply that these verses indicate an error or contradiction in Scripture.  I am merely trying to get a grasp on a concept that may be beyond human understanding.  If any of you have any thoughts on this topic, I'd love to hear them.  I'd hate to think I'm the only one who reads these verses and goes, "Huh?"

One thing these verses do make abundantly clear to me is the importance of following God's will.  If Jesus made a point of repeating His desire to do the Father's will, it is obvious that we should endeavor to do the same.  And in that, the Father will be pleased. . .and so will the Son.  Right?

Good grief!  Does anybody have any Tylenol?

Friday, February 27, 2015

No Longer a Slumdog by K.P. Yohannan

Those with no voice—the suffering children of Asia—tell their stories. And as you listen to them, you share their anguish and rejoice in their triumphs. The whole world seems to stop as you look on.

Hope is growing in the hearts of those who never knew such a thing existed. In this truly gripping narrative, K.P. Yohannan shares their stories—stories of lives transformed, of families learning to love, of entire communities flourishing with new life. Witness as this next great wave of transformation sweeps the nations.

A new day is dawning in some of the darkest corners of the world.

My Review:

Having never read any book like this before, I am unsure how to review it.  To say it was a good read would be misleading because the truth is that the stories contained within this tome are heart-wrenching.  I had no idea how many children in Asia alone are suffering from malnutrition and disease, nor did I realize the number of children that are sold into slavery or sex trafficking each and every day.  My mind reels and my heart breaks for these poor children who know so little about love, compassion and goodness.  They have no inkling what a life of ease looks like, and unfortunately, most of them will never find out.

I am glad to have read the book because now I know and understand the need around the world.  However, I caution you that this book will cause you to shed tears for the many little ones who are living a literal hell on earth.  That being said, I still urge you to take the time to read the stories of these little ones and the information about what we can do to help.

The only issue I had with the book was that I felt it gave the reader a rather deceptive view on prayer.  Over and over again, the author tells stories of individuals who prayed, only to have their prayer immediately answered in the affirmative.  Not once did he mention someone who prayed and did not receive the thing for which he had asked.  While I doubt the author intended to lead people astray concerning the concept of prayer, I feel it is necessary to point out that God does answer every prayer, but that does not mean that we will always get the thing for which we prayed.  Sometimes God's answer is "No."  And while we may not understand God's reason for not granting our requests, we must still trust that He is sovereign and He knows best.

This book is being distributed through Gospel for Asia and is intended to educate the rest of the world about the plight of millions of children in Asia.  Gospel for Asia provides food, medical treatment, education and spiritual training to select children in various parts of Asia, and their goal is to expand their outreach in order to help ease the suffering of more children.  This book, along with other materials, offers information on how we can take part in reaching out to these outcast children in the slums of Asia.  The first step is to become aware of what is taking place in the lives of many of these children, which is the main purpose of this book.

Again, I cannot tell you that it will be a pleasant read, but I assure you it will open your eyes to the needs of others.  

Giveaway:

Unlike other giveaways, this book is available to every one of my readers.  That's right.  Gospel of Asia is making this book available for free to each of you.  Simple follow the link below and fill out the information to have the free book sent to you in the mail.  There is no obligation to buy anything or to sign up for any program.  You don't even have to pay for shipping.  Here's the link:
http://www.gfa.org/book/?motiv=WB52-FGB9B&cm_mmc=FlyByBloggerNetwork-_-Blog-_-Post-_-B9

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Don't Just Stand There!

Oliver Cromwell was the Lord Protector of the Commonwealth of England, Scotland and Ireland in the seventeenth century.  During his time in office, Britain faced a shortage of currency.  In response to the crisis, Cromwell sent out representatives to comb the land in search of silver to use for currency.  One group was specifically instructed to search through the cathedrals in hopes that some treasure might be found within.  In the end, Cromwell was informed that the only silver that could be found was in the form of the silver statues of saints that stood in the dark corners of the cathedral.  Having no other option, Cromwell declared, "Well, then, we'll melt down the saints and put them in circulation."

Isn't that what the Lord wants of His saints?  He has no desire for us to lurk in the corners of cathedrals or church houses.  He wants us to be in circulation--reaching out to a lost and lonely world.  Out of the darkness and into the light.  In action.  Working His will in all things.

Let's face it, at the end of the day, it doesn't matter how polished and shiny a saint may be.  Sure, he may look nice and appear to be flawless, but he has no purpose.  If all he does is occupy the corners of God's house, what good is he?  Yet, too many saints are content to do just that.  They go to church on Sunday, sing the songs, smile the smiles, shake hands and listen to the sermon.  They walk the walk and talk the talk of a shining saint. . . on Sunday.  But then what happens the rest of the week?  Where's the activity?  Are they living out the sermon that was preached on Sunday, or had they forgotten it before even reaching the car?  Where is the shining saint when the car battery is dead or the boss needs someone to yell at?  Where is he when the neighborhood boy is about to end it all because no one has ever reached out to tell him that Jesus has the answers?

It's time for us to make our ways out of the corners and off the church pews.  Go to church, yes.  But take the message of Christ out into the world the rest of the time.  It's time for us to be melted down and put into circulation.  Time is running out, and there are so many souls who need Christ.  And we can't reach them if we're not willing to take a step in their direction.  Let's get moving!