Archive for November, 2009

I was encouraged when I read these words from a good friend and mentor of mine, who allowed me to share them with you.  He’s a humble man, which is why he didn’t want me to mention his name.  I pray it blesses your spirit as well…

 

“We see those in political positions that have been elected to represent us ignoring the wisdom of those they have been elected to serve.  And in this process, they seek not to serve us but for us to serve them.  Through so called medical reform, they seek to control our lives from cradle to grave.  The usurpation of strength and power from those that are to be served has been a gradual process until now.  And we can be assured that what is before us is only a shadow of what they would bring over us.  Our hope will never come from those in political power.  Let there be no mistake – Our help comes from the Lord! 

 

Father,

You have sent us forth as sheep in the midst of wolves.  We ask Your guidance in exercising the wisdom You have given us.  Grant that we would act in purity, being peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits while being unwavering without hypocrisy.  Our help comes from You, Who made heaven and earth.  Thank You that You will not let our foot to slip and You will keep us without slumbering. 

We cry out to You for help for the godly man ceases to be while the faithful disappear from among us.  The ones that should work for our good speak falsehood to one another and their hearts are full of deceit.  We would ask You, Lord, to cut off those flattering lips that speak of “great things” when with their rhetoric they determine to prevail over us with their lips being their own and with no one but themselves being their lord.  Thankfully, we do have a righteous Lord that sees everything under the heavens.  You see the devastation and the affliction and in our need we ask You to hear our groaning and set us in safety, deliver us from the snare of those that would trap us and from their deadly pestilence.  Cover us with Your pinions and provide us with refuge under Your wings for Your faithfulness is a shield and bulwark.  Father, we ask for safety for those far beyond us.  We ask for safety for the unborn that need us to stand for their defense and those that selflessly work to ensure our safety and freedom. 

Thank You for the reiteration that Your words are pure words as silver tried in a furnace on the earth seven times and that You will keep Your word and we gratefully accept Your promise that You will preserve us from this generation forever.  

We are grateful for the assurances that all who do evil will be cut off.  Within that, by the grace and mercy You have given us, we ask that they might be cut off from their evil not for destruction but for righteousness so that they might serve You and know You in Your purity.

This is asked in the name of Jesus.”

 

(Mat 10:16)  Behold, I send You forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.

(Jas 3:17)  But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy.

(Psa 121:2)  My help comes from the LORD, Who made heaven and earth.

(Psa 121:3)  He will not allow Your foot to slip; He who keeps You will not slumber.

(Psa 12:1)  Help, LORD, for the godly man ceases to be, For the faithful disappear from among the sons of men.

(Psa 12:2)  They speak falsehood to one another; With flattering lips and with a double heart they speak.

(Psa 12:3)  May the LORD cut off all flattering lips, The tongue that speaks great things;

(Psa 12:4)  Who have said, “With our tongue we will prevail; Our lips are our own; who is lord over us?”

(Job 28:24)  “For He looks to the ends of the earth And sees everything under the heavens.

(Psa 12:5)  “Because of the devastation of the afflicted, because of the groaning of the needy, Now I will arise,” says the LORD; “I will set him in the safety for which he longs.”

(Psa 91:3)  For it is He who delivers You from the snare of the trapper And from the deadly pestilence.

Psa 91:4)  He will cover You with His pinions, And under His wings You may seek refuge; His faithfulness is a shield and bulwark.

(Psa 12:6)  The words of the LORD are pure words; As silver tried in a furnace on the earth, refined seven times.

(Psa 12:7)  You, O LORD, will keep them; You will preserve him from this generation forever.

(Isa 29:20)  For the ruthless will come to an end and the scorner will be finished, Indeed all who are intent on doing evil will be cut off;

(Mat 5:44)  “But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,

(Mat 5:45)  so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.

 

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 Twentieth in the series Get close to God

 

“We are a fragrance of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing.  To one we are the smell of death; to the other an aroma of life.”  II Corinthians 2:14

 

Our sense of smell is very powerful.  It can lead us to food, let us know when something’s burning, and what (or who!) to stay away from.  It can also trigger memories, both good and bad.  Cologne or perfume can remind us of those we know, or knew.  Almost everything we encounter has a particular odor attached to it, from a rose to a rainstorm.

When we allow the Lord to scrub our lives clean of all our sins and garbage, people can’t help but pick up the refreshing scent of love, grace and peace that spontaneously exudes from us.  At least they should, if we take the next step.  Did you notice there are two bars of soap in the picture above?  If not, take a look at this picture of the same bar from another angle.

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The little bar was almost used up when I grabbed a new one, but instead of throwing it away I left it in the tray with the new one.  The two stuck together and after a few showers, the small bar conformed to the curved shape of the new one, even though it was flat at first.

 “We, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into His likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.”  II Corinthians 3:18

The more I devote myself to God, the more I will be like him.  As the small soap bar gave in to the mold of the larger one, I have to let go of my own ways and submit my life into the hands of the Potter to shape me into his image. 

Different people affect us in different ways, altering our moods and even our behavior.   Let me ask you: What do people notice and feel when they are with you?  What persona or aura do you give off?  Are they refreshed and encouraged by your presence or are you a drain and a downer to be around?  Do they hear hope and cheer or complaining and sarcasm?  Who does most of the talking, the listening?

I can hear some of you saying,  “That’s just the way I am.  I’m not outgoing or friendly.  I’m basically shy and keep to myself.”  Well, so am I, but we need to change.  I don’t think the Lord wants us to stay in our comfort zones.  It’s a stretch for me, but I want to be more inviting and approachable, even to strangers.  I challenge you to smile at everyone you pass tomorrow and see how many people return your smile.  That’s more fun than looking past them, as if they don’t exist.

I haven’t met many men that I can say remind me of Christ, but Phil was one of them.  He was an elder of a church we went to years ago.  Whenever he saw me he would light up and seemed genuinely glad to be with me.  He treated everyone like they mattered to him, that they were special.  He was a big man and had strong convictions, but came across in a humble way.  He was a living example of how to do 1 Corinthians 16:13-14:

“Be on the alert, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong.  Let all that you do be done in love.”

I had a dream recently where I was with my dad.  I felt his warmth and acceptance and humor as strong and real as I remember it from years ago.  I enjoyed hanging out with him for awhile, even if it was only in a dream.  Just thinking about certain people can bring me to tears or make me smile.

What a wonderful day that would be, if, when people cross my path, they would see Jesus more than they see me.  This goes beyond asking “What would Jesus do?”  It’s being in Jesus and him in me, so others see the real thing.  Am I there yet?  Nope.  It’s going to take a lot more showers from the living water to conform me.  But one day we will all be like him:

“For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform the body of our humble state into conformity with the body of His glory, by the exertion of the power that He has even to subject all things to Himself.”  Philippians 3:20-21

Do you smell like Christ?

 

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Considering the Years

Posted: November 14, 2009 in Candle Lights

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     We should not long for yesterday (Ecclesiastes 7:10 & Isaiah 43:18&19) for as children of the Living God, the best is yet to come (I Corinthians 2:9).  But to remember and to long for are two different things.  It is good to remember the “old paths” (Jeremiah 6:16), the “marvelous works” of the Lord (I Chronicles 16:12), and the “years of many generations” (Deuteronomy 32:7).

      There are many lessons that we can learn from the past.  Deuteronomy 32:7 tells us to reflect and to ask our fathers and elders about the past for they will tell us.  We cannot go and ask for so many have gone Home, but it occurred to me that we can look at the old landmarks (Proverbs 23:10).

     As we look at the old landmarks, we can see the faithfulness of God, the love of God, the patience of the Lord, the mercy of the Lord.  We see God’s providence, and sovereignty.  Looking at the old landmarks, we see that He truly is our provider, our shield, our strength, and our comforter.

     When I “consider” the landmarks, I not only learn more about the Lord, but I learn more about living the Christian life.  One of my uncles showed me that taking care of the physical needs of a loved one should not override just loving them.  My grandma taught me that a little talk with Jesus could make the hurtful and stressful things of life seem better.  An aunt made me see the beautiful birds when my dreams evaporated.  My daddy gave me an example of committed love.  So many markers left by lives that were not perfect, but lives that served a perfect Savior.

Thank You, Lord, for a family who has walked and is walking in the good way.

Diane Padgett 8/29/2009

 

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Update on the file recovery nightmare

Well, after ten days of blood, sweat, and tears (or at least the mental and emotional equivalent of those) spent on trying to resurrect the digital archiving system that died on me, I am happy, no, wait a minute, that’s an understatement; I am ecstatic to proclaim that all is well! 

I lost track of how many hours I spent trying one thing after another, talking to everyone I could find to help me, only to be told that my prospects looked bleak.  Even if I could retrieve the thousands of medical records that were in jeopardy, no one was sure how to import them back in properly because of the complicated indexing structure that would be lost when reloading the operating system.

Every time I tried something new, I prayed that would fix it, and my frustration was building with each failed attempt.  What made it worse was that for legal reasons I had to be shadowed by one of their IT people the whole time I was there.  So there we were, the two of us in this locked small server closet, waiting and waiting on the system to reboot and load files over and over again.

The only thing that enabled me to keep my sanity through this whole ordeal was the prayers going out for me from my family, relatives, and friends, for which I can’t thank them enough!  I didn’t see how I could fail with all that support and it gave me a second wind for the struggle.  So, why did my Lord tarry ten days to rescue me?  Here is what I think he was teaching me: 

 

No matter how bad something gets, as I go through it I need to trust him for the final outcome,
no matter what it may turn out to be. 

 

Instead of putting all my hopes and prayers into each attempt, and getting more exasperated with every setback, I should let the chips fall where they may, and learn to be at peace with saying as Job said:

Let come on me what may… yet I will trust in Him.

 

I know this is easier said than done, but I believe this approach is better than desperately crying out to God for every little crisis, pleading and begging for him to do something, and do it NOW!  Yes, we should bring our problems to the feet of Jesus, but we should also leave them there, chill out, and wait on his timing for deliverance.  Jesus said to quit rambling on and on, that our Father knows what we need, before we ask him.  (Matthew 6:8)  What kind of witness do we have if we freak out with everything that goes wrong?  I don’t think anything happens to us by chance, anyway.  God brings things my way or allows things into my life to accomplish his purposes, which are far more important than anything I can dream up.  I need to go with the flow instead of trying to paddle upstream.  When are we going to realize that stuff happens and quit saying “woe is me!” as if God is asleep or doesn’t know what he’s doing? 

Oswald Chambers wrote, “When I stop telling God what I want, He can catch me up for what He wants without let or hindrance.  He can crumple me up or exalt me, He can do anything He chooses.  He simply asks me to have implicit faith in Himself and in His goodness.  Self-pity is of the devil, if I go off on that line I cannot be used by God for His purposes in the world.”

Some people would argue that God had nothing to do with my problem getting solved, that we just finally tried something  that worked.  All I know is that once I was lost, but now I am found; was blind but now I see.  Sometimes the Lord uses natural means to rescue us and sometimes he uses the supernatural.  I don’t care how he does it; I’ve just seen him come through for me way too many times to be mere coincidence.  The only thing I can say is

 

 to God be the glory, great things he has done!

 

 

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