Today is Labor Day, September 4th. Summer heat still clings to the days, but fall's cooling promise is growing. While our days are still over 90 degrees here in South Carolina, the nights are cooling off, falling into the low 70s and high 60s.
It has been a tough summer. Ferocious wildfires have ravaged Canada, Hawaii, and California; smaller, less publicized fires have hit other states. Floods have devastated several states. Excessive heat has caused deaths in the South and West. And, even as summer is ending, a hurricane has devastated "the Bend" in Florida.
This summer has also been challenging for me personally. Several friends are dealing with life-threatening illnesses. One of these friends is now celebrating her homecoming in heaven. My own battle for good health seems to be at a stalemate.
Through it all, a sense of God's peace has prevailed. The struggle has been challenging. However, three revelations have made this journey easier.
The need strikes me for balance in the structure and operation of the Ekklesia of God. God’s Ekklesia is Christ's universal, eternal body, which has had and will have many parts [with different functions] throughout the ages.
Every local body [the local church] is a unique part of that body. Each body must have its own unique vision—or it is an aberration, having no eternal impact. A church without a vision is, essentially, purposeless.
However, each local body is similar to other local bodies in one way: Individuals in these local bodies need to learn to love unselfishly and develop the discipline to become true disciples of Jesus. This is done through a person's fellowshipping within that local body, hearing the Word of God expounded, and volunteering [or ministering] in that local body.
However, if the pastoral team only looks for new sheep and fails to feed the older sheep or help sheep develop their own gifts and ministries [in or out of the...
Although my writing and recording “to-do list” is piling up, I have been engaging in that well-known “spring cleaning” activity. I hadn’t planned on this, but when a friend down-sized her home, I purchased two of her bookcases to replace my cobbled-together, rickety cases in my study. However, once we began to move things around, we discovered dust bunnies and collywobbles in all sorts of spaces. The cleaning began!
Why am I sharing this now? While cleaning, I found this prayer which I wrote several years ago. It reminded me that while house cleaning is good, taking time to present our hearts before the Lord is better. That prayer says in part:
Dear Lord. It’s May! I am sitting in one of my favorite restaurants having lunch alone, except I know You are here. I have no Bible or phone [The phone is back home uploading pictures to the internet]. Although the power was out at church today, the pastor preached on the “anointing.
[I apologize for letting so much time go by before I finished writing about how this is a "crush time" for many Christians. Since I last wrote, we have had several unexpected events; some involved joyful reunions; others involved saying goodbye to loved ones or helping friends through difficult transitions.]
It’s Crunch Time—Part 2
If first, you don’t succeed, do not give up! My original blog entry for “It’s Crunch Time—Part 2” [as I wrote before] was somehow deleted. I have rewritten the blog, as I promised, concerning a Biblical response to conflict resolution.
While believers are grafted into the Body of Christ, they can still disagree with each other and with nonbelievers. Some of the Scriptures dealing with conflict resolution are so well-known that they are now part of everyday speech. “An eye for an eye,” “judge not, lest ye be judged,” and “turn the other cheek” are all well-known phrases.
Unfortunately, these Scriptures are sometimes taken out of context. The idea that the “perfect Christian” is supposed to be a quiet, mousy doormat that acquiesces to indignities and evil doings has developed from a misunderstanding and misapplications of the Scriptures.
It is true...
I had my follow-up to "Crush Time" written [I wrote part 2 first]. However, my finger slipped, and it was gone.
I will be rewriting Crush Time 2, but I am taking time to dig a little deeper. Meantime, I hope you are digging a little deeper also, letting God work in you, transforming you into His image. Sometimes the process hurts; sometimes, you will not know whether to laugh or cry. The tests come either way. Some are big; others are small.
The Lord reminded me of that yesterday. A marketer called and made a big fuss over my first book, declaring it was an undiscovered jewel and that she wanted to present it at an international book fair and aggressively market it. I was, of course, flattered.
However, two things she said caught my attention. One was that she knew nothing about the book itself. She was going on the recommendation of Christian International [I have my license through Christian International; they are my spiritual covering]. So after talking to the marketer, I...
Have you suddenly had the ground pulled out from under you? Has a loved one hurt you deeply? Have close friends suddenly turned their backs on you or accused you of wretched motives over a simple misunderstanding? Do you feel like you are being crushed under heavy weights?
As Christians, we are called to walk in peace, but life is sometimes full of turmoil.
When this happens, I ask myself: Have I sinned? Is this a Satanic attack? Is God testing me?
Now, I accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior when I was 18 [approximately 1000 years ago, according to some people]. I still remember feeling so light as if a heavy weight was off my shoulders, refreshed, and joyful.
My new life was free, paid for by Jesus with His blood. Yet I soon learned that Jesus "never promised me a rose garden." As I began to read the Scriptures, I discovered the Scriptures spoke of trials and a need for me to respond to the Lord in ways that I did not fully comprehend.
The first Bible book I read after...
I write this on Good Friday. . .
So much has gone on during the last three weeks. Tornadoes and other extreme weather, terror attacks in Israel, a former president under indictment, and children and their teachers murdered. Spring flowers have blossomed in South Carolina, but they bring little comfort.
A few people have wondered why I have not commented on the recent Nashville events or the public responses to those events. One reason was that I mourned; another was that I didn’t know what to say. I did not wish to write out of my feelings; I wanted to hear the Lord's words.
Yesterday morning, during a quiet time, the Lord began to speak softly to my spirit. It was not a big, solemn moment of His glory manifesting; it was more like a friend quietly pointing out the obvious. During this time, God did not comment directly on what was happening in the political realm or about the tragedy in Nashville. He did not even speak of His own sacrifice. Instead, the Lord gently but firmly...
Have you ever wondered what it would have been like to be on the Mountain of Transfiguration with Jesus when Moses and Elijah suddenly appeared?
2 After six days, Jesus took with him Peter, James, and John, and brought them up onto a high mountain privately by themselves, and he was changed into another form in front of them. 3 His clothing became glistening, exceedingly white, like snow, such as no launderer on earth can whiten them. 4 Elijah and Moses appeared to them, and they were talking with Jesus.
5 Peter answered Jesus, "Rabbi, it is good for us to be here. Let's make three tents: one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah." 6 For he didn't know what to say, for they were very afraid.
7 A cloud came, overshadowing them, and a voice came out of the cloud, "This is my beloved Son. Listen to him."
8 Suddenly looking around, they saw no one with them any more, except Jesus only [Mark 9: 2-8, WEB].
Imagine what it was like. Jesus...
I have recently released a couple of videos concerning revival and awakening. [You can check these out on my YouTube channel,
So, what do we "need" to receive these things?
First, we must recognize our need to be refreshed in the Lord. Oh, we may not have stumbled into some great, massive act of sin. We may not be
BUT--What is the status of our hearts? What is the primary focus of our attention? Have we become complacent in our faith? Psalm 139 say
Search me, God, and know my heart.
Try me, and know my thoughts.
See if there is any wicked way in me,
and lead me in the everlasting way [Psalm 139:23-24, WEB].
We can only pray that prayer in Psalm 139 with...