Friday, April 8, 2011

A Prayer for Guidance and Protection

"I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future."  (Jeremiah 29:11)

Father God, in His abundant mercy and love, desires the best for His children.  We are the ones who mess it up.  He has arranged a wonderful path for each of our lives; but, we oftentimes choose to veer off the path.  The results are the consequences of life...   Sometimes we come full-circle and recognize the fact that we are back at the same crossroads we saw years before...  Even so, God patiently guides us back to His path - the path that leads to abundant life.

1 Unto thee, O LORD, do I lift up my soul...  4 Show me thy ways, O LORD; teach me thy paths.  5 Lead me in thy truth, and teach me;  for thou art the God of my salvation;  on thee do I wait all the day. 6  Remember, O LORD, thy tender mercies and thy loving-kindnesses;  for they have been ever of old. 7  Remember not the sins of my youth, nor my transgressions;  according to thy mercy remember thou me
         for thy goodness' sake, O LORD.


10 All the paths of the LORD are mercy and truth;  unto such as keep his 
covenant and his testimonies. 11 For thy name's sake, O LORD,  pardon
mine iniquity; for it is great.

12 What man is he that fearest the LORD? 
 Him shall he teach in the way that he shall choose. 
13 His soul shall dwell at ease;  and his seed shall inherit the earth. 
 14 The secret of the LORD is with them that fear him;  and he will 
show them his covenant.

15 Mine eyes are ever toward the LORD;  for he shall pluck my feet out of the net. 
16 Turn thee unto me, and have mercy upon me;  for I am desolate and afflicted. 
17 The troubles of my heart are enlarged: 
20 O keep my soul, and deliver me:  let me not be ashamed; for I put my trust in thee
   (Psalm 25:1,4-7,10-17,20  King James Bible)

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Oh, Taste and See...

"Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good."  Psalm 34:8   NIV

God wants us to savor His presence.  When we read His word and meditate and pray and praise,  we are savoring our Savior... Drawing out every bit of flavor with each bite.  The more we savor the Word, the deeper the understanding of Him we will discover.  We can taste His love and His goodness;  we can taste the  unique flavor of God's holiness, sovereignty, and grace.
Do not rush through your Bible reading;  instead, savor each morsel and recognize it as the milk, meat, or manna that it truly is.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Psalm 80 - A Prayer for the Nation

1 Hear us, Shepherd of Israel,  you who lead Joseph like a flock. You who sit enthroned between the cherubim,  shine forth
  2 before Ephraim, Benjamin and Manasseh.  Awaken your might; come and save us.
3 Restore us, O God;   make your face shine on us,  that we may be saved.

 4 How long, LORD God Almighty,   will your anger smolder against the prayers of your people?
5 You have fed them with the bread of tears;  you have made them drink tears by the bowlful.
6 You have made us an object of derision to our neighbors,  and our enemies mock us.
 7 Restore us, God Almighty;  make your face shine on us, that we may be saved.

8 You transplanted a vine from Egypt;  you drove out the nations and planted it.
9 You cleared the ground for it,  and it took root and filled the land.
10 The mountains were covered with its shade,  the mighty cedars with its branches.
11 Its branches reached as far as the Sea,  its shoots as far as the River.
12 Why have you broken down its walls so that all who pass by pick its grapes?
13 Boars from the forest ravage it,  and insects from the fields feed on it. 

14 Return to us, God Almighty!   Look down from heaven and see!  Watch over this vine, 
 15 the root your right hand has planted,  the son you have raised up for yourself.
16 Your vine is cut down, it is burned with fire;  at your rebuke your people perish. 
17 Let your hand rest on the man at your right hand,  the son of man you have raised up for yourself. 
18 Then we will not turn away from you;   revive us, and we will call on your name.

19 Restore us, LORD God Almighty;  make your face shine on us,  that we may be saved.

Monday, April 4, 2011

The Glue of Creation

Okay, I had seen this before.  And maybe some of you have as well... But, if this is new to even one person it is worth taking the time to post it.  This is one of many scientific discoveries that prove how wonderful and thorough our Creator was and is!

FROM A DOCTOR :  A couple of days ago I was running  on my treadmill and watching a DVD sermon by Louie Giglio... And I was BLOWN AWAY!  I want to share what I learned.... He (Louie) was talking about how inconceivably BIG our God is... How He spoke the universe into being... How He breathes stars out of His mouth that are huge raging balls of fire.. . Then He went on to speak of how this star-breathing, universe creating God ALSO knitted our human bodies together with amazing detail and wonder. At this point I am LOVING it (fascinating from a medical standpoint, you know.) . And I was remembering how I was constantly amazed during medical school as I learned more and more about God's handiwork. I remember so many times thinking..'How can ANYONE deny that a Creator did did all of this???'

Louie went on to talk about how we can trust that the God Who created all this, also has the power to hold it all together when things seem to be falling our loving Creator is also our sustainer.  And then I lost my breath. And it wasn't because I was running my treadmill, either!!!

It was because he started talking about laminin.  I knew about laminin.  Here is how Wikipedia describes the
Laminins:   a family of proteins that are an integral part of the structural scaffolding of basement membranes in almost every animal tissue' 
You see.... Laminins are what hold us together.. LITERALLY. They are cell adhesion molecules. They are what holds one cell of our bodies to the next cell. Without them, we would literally fall apart. And I knew all this already. But what I didn't know is what they LOOKED LIKE..

 But now I do.  And I have thought about it a thousand times since.... Here is what the structure of laminin looks like... AND THIS IS NOT a 'Christian portrayal' of it.. If you look up laminin in any scientific/medical piece of literature, this is what you will see....
 Now tell me that our God is not the coolest!!!  Amazing.
The glue that holds us together... ALL of us.... Is in the shape of the cross.

 Immediately this scripture comes to mind:     
 'He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.  For by him all things were created; things in heaven and on earth, visible And invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; All things were created by him and for him.. He is before all things, and in Him All things HOLD TOGETHER.'                                         Colossians 1:15-17

Actual microscopic photo of laminin.

 Thousands of years before the world knew anything about laminin, Paul penned those words. And now we see that from a very LITERAL standpoint,  we are held together.. One cell to another.... By the cross.  You would never in a quadrillion years convince me that is anything other than the mark of a Creator who knew EXACTLY what laminin 'glue' would look like long before Adam breathed his first breath!!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Milk, Meat, Manna

12 In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! 13 Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. 14 But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.
 1 Therefore let us move beyond the elementary teachings about Christ and be taken forward to maturity, not laying again the foundation of repentance from acts that lead to death, and of faith in God, 2 instruction about cleansing rites, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment.
(Hebrews 5:12 - 6:2  New International Version)

This story was written by Julie Ackerman Link:

The eaglets were hungry, and Mom and Dad seemed to be ignoring them. The oldest of the three decided to solve his hunger problem by gnawing on a twig. Apparently it wasn’t too tasty, because he soon abandoned it.

What intrigued me about this little drama, which was being broadcast by webcam from Norfolk Botanical Garden, was that a big fish lay just behind the eaglets. But they had not yet learned to feed themselves. They still relied on their parents to tear their food in tiny pieces and feed it to them. Within a few weeks, however, the parents will teach the eaglets how to feed themselves—one of their first survival lessons. If the eaglets don’t learn this skill, they will never be able to survive on their own.

The author of Hebrews spoke of a similar problem in the spiritual realm. Certain people in the church were not growing in spiritual maturity. They had not learned to distinguish between good and bad (Heb. 5:14). Like the eaglet, they hadn’t learned the difference between a twig and a fish. They still needed to be fed by someone else when they should have been feeding not only themselves but others as well (v.12).

While receiving spiritual food from preachers and teachers is good, spiritual growth and survival also depend on knowing how to feed ourselves.

Spiritual  growth depends upon the solid food  God's Word.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

The Gold Medal

     This is a copy & paste of an email I received about a week ago.  It was written by Dave Branon, and is a true story.  I added some photos, but the writing credits all go to Mr. Branon.

At the 2009 Kansas high school state track championship, an unusual thing happened. The team that won the girls 3,200-meter relay was disqualified. But what happened next was even more unusual. The team that was awarded the state championship by default turned right around and gave their medals to the team that had been disqualified.

The first school, St. Mary’s Colgan, lost first place because judges ruled that a runner had stepped out of her lane as she handed off the baton. That meant the second team, Maranatha Academy, moved up to first. After receiving their medals, the girls from Maranatha saw the downtrodden looks on the faces of the St. Mary’s girls, so they gave them their individual medals.

Why did they do this? As Maranatha’s coach Bernie Zarda put it: “Our theme for the year was to run not for our glory, but for God’s glory.” As a result of the girls’ action, their story was told throughout Kansas, and God’s name was lifted up.

When we set aside our own interests and accomplishments to recognize that it’s better to care for the interests of others (Phil. 2:4), we see God’s name glorified. Acting with grace and kindness toward others is one of the best ways to point people to God.

4 not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.  5 In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:  6 Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;  7 rather, he made himself nothing  by taking the very nature of a servant,  being made in human likeness.  8 And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself  by becoming obedient to death—  even death on a cross!  9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name,  10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,   in heaven and on earth and under the earth,  11 and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord,   to the glory of God the Father.                 Philippians 2:4-11  (NIV)

Monday, March 21, 2011

Jesus - The Light of the World from Genesis to Revelation

I believe that every word of scripture is prophetic.  I know this sounds a bit outrageous at first glance, but, upon studying the Bible and looking into its many layers (many of which I am probably not yet aware), I have come to the conclusion that this is so. Five years ago I didn't understand the Hebrew language as well as I do today;  understanding Hebrew and ancient Jewish customs reveals some of the prophetic layers in the scriptures.  Fifteen years ago I did not know about the Bible codes - the Hebrew text of the Bible reveals mathematical designs and codes so complex that they couldn't possible be produced by a human.  These messages were not revealed until the advent of super-computers which could detect the intricate messages within the literal  message of the scripture.  ALL of this points to Messiah!

 The very beginning of Genesis says,  "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.  Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.  And God said, 'Let there be light', and there was light."  (Genesis 1:1-3)

So, God created the world through the Spoken Word.  John 1:1 - 5 says, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  He was with God in the beginning.  Through Him all things were made; without Him nothing was made that has been made.  In Him was life, and that life was the light of men.  The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it."  Thus, God existed, and with Him was the Messiah - Jesus - the Word - the Light of the World.  God spoke the Word and created everything that was created. And the Holy Spirit hovered over the surface of the deep throughout this creation.  And, what was the first thing created?  Light.

" When Jesus spake again to the people, he said, 'I am the light of the world.  Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.' "  (John 8:12)

And, finally,  "I did not see a temple in the city, because the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple.  The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp."  (Revelation 21:22,23)