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Monday, June 30, 2008

Faith - The Moving Cause

By Joey Bushnell

If men were duly to consider themselves, and turn their thought and reflections to the operations of their own minds, they would readily discover that it is faith, and faith only, which is the moving cause of all action in them; that without it both mind and body would be in a state of inactivity, and all their exertions would cease, both physical and mental.

Without faith there is nothing. There is nothing which you have ever done which was not preceded by faith, with which you believed you could do it. Even the small every day tasks. Walking, talking, or just stretching forth your hand to turn on a light switch. The only difference is we have done these things so many times we have become accustomed to them, and therefore the exertion of faith needed to produce the desired result is minimal. Strong faith is certainty. Weak faith is doubt.

So what about things which you want to accomplish which you are not yet certain of? One of my favourite definitions of faith is "Faith is not to have a perfect knowledge of things; therefore if ye have faith ye hope for things which are not seen, which are true" Alma 32:21

Faith is to know that all things are possible. To know that even though you haven't seen it yet or that you haven't done it yet, is not proof that it does not exist or that you cannot do it or that it couldn't happen. The fact you may not currently be in your ideal relationship, is not evidence that your ideal partner is not out there waiting for you to find them! Because you are not yet a millionaire, it does not mean that at some future date you could not be. Just because you are two stone over weight, it does not mean that you can't have a body you are proud of, just a positive mental attitude and physical exercise can get you the body of your dreams.

In reality the only limitations you have are those you impose upon yourself. Doubt, fear or worry will quickly kill off any chances you have of obtaining the things you desire. Faith and doubt cannot reside in the same mind at the same time. Period.

You must decide once and for all, that if you really want the things your heart desires, that the possibility of its acquisition is real and that you will follow it through in faith and hope until the end.

There are 3 key areas in which you must of necessity demonstrate your faith.

1. Your thoughts. Thoughts become things. Look upon the room in which are sitting. Every single thing you can see, was first conceived of in the mind of some human before it sprang into existence. From the floor to the ceiling and all things in between. Take a wooden chair for instance, it was first thought of in some persons mind. They then made plans for its production. Gathered the materials needed and then carved the wood into parts, then assembled and fastened the pieces together to end up with the wooden chair. If that person had not thought to build the chair it would not exist. And this is how all creation works. The pattern of creation is such that it is first conceived of and then plans made for its creation. There are no exceptions to the rule. On a larger scale all nature and humans had their origins in the mind of God. If you wish to create a life filled with the things you desire, you must have thoughts full of faith. Creation follows a strict set of rules, the first step of creation is thought. The only thoughts that will create any desirable result, are ones of faith.

2. Your words. When you speak of your aims and desires, speak with real conviction, as if its attainment had already taken place. Be bold, even at the risk of looking far fetched or ambitious. You do not have to apologise for your dreams. Once you have made your dream a reality, an excuse will no longer be needed anyway. Remember that we are continually experiencing the self fulfilling prophecy.

3. Your actions. If you really believe and have faith, your actions will reflect this. Rather than waiting around for something to happen, you will take the action required in order to bring your dreams into manifestation. Remember the wooden chair? After the initial thought, a great deal of action followed to complete the task. Take immediate action and have faith with every step you take.

The concept of faith is both logical and reasonable. It is evident in every area of life. Winners understand the principle of faith. I wish you the best of luck in applying this first and great principle into your life, if you can succeed in doing this I promise you there will be absolutely nothing you can't do.

Joey Bushnell - http://knowers-ark.com/faith.aspx

Friday, June 27, 2008

God Created Man in His Own Image - True Or False

By Pullikattil Simon

The Bible, (Genesis 1:27) says "So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them."

Many people say that we should believe the Bible and not question it . But. I would like to examine this subject with a scientific overtone. Bertrand Russell, the philosopher, said "What is wanted is not the will to believe but the desire to find out."I agree with him. Therefore, we have to find out the form of God and then see if man is His true image or else we have to find out the real self of man and check if the image is that of God.

There are various ways to do this. We can find both these aspects by searching for authority in the Bible or in other literature from the pronouncements of other seekers before us. We can examine the subject syllogistically (reasoning) or scientifically by applying axioms and reason.

Jesus said that God is spirit and those who worship Him, worship Him in spirit and truth.

The Hindu Vedas also describe God, the supreme being or Brahma, as spirit and spirit is a force.

When the Hindu philosophers were enquiring into the nature of the supreme being, they found that he was spirit and not matter. Why? Because all matter was created by God and God preexisted matter. Therefore, that which preexisted matter was spirit. Therefore, God must be spirit.

Through the ages, many wise men sought the real self of man. When they found out that the real self of man was not his body but Atman and Atman was none other than the universal being, Brahma they were exceedingly exultant but in their great joy did not bother to explain how they found out or why they believed so.

The answer is found in a story in the Upanishads (which was written about 800 B.C.) that Indra, one of the Vedic gods, and Virocana went to Prajapati, Lord of Creatures, to find out what was the real self of man. At the end of the 32 years of self-discipline Prajapati required of them, Prajapati told them that the real self of man was the image they see in a mirror or in a pool of water. Virocana was very happy with this news and went down into the demon world as well as into the human world and informed his followers that the body was the real self.

But Indra was not satisfied because he knew that the real self was above pain and death and that when the body died, the image was destroyed. Therefore, the body cannot be the real self. They went back again to Prajapati to find the true answer and he said that the real image was the dreaming self. When this was told to Indra, Indra countered saying that man suffers from pain during dream so that cannot be the real self. On further questioning, Prajapati said that the real self of man is what he is when he is in deep sleep, when he is unconscious and unaware of any existence. To this, Indra said, if the man in deep sleep is unaware of anything, he may just as well be dead. The real self is always aware. So deep sleep cannot be the real self.

By this time, Indra had done 101 years of self discipline and was ready for the final answer which was that though all these selves existed in man, the real self is one which transcends all these and the real self is quite conscious but there is no pain or pleasure. It is immutable, omnipotent, which is part of Brahmin.

We erroneously believe that the body is the real self. Yet when a man is dead, we say that which is in the coffin is the body of so and so. Therefore, the body of man is not the real self.

It is also written:

"Dust thou are to dust returnest was not spoken of the soul."

So the soul or spirit of man transcends the perishable body.

When Rembrandt's masterpieces were copied by VanMeegheren, a Dutch painter from Den Haag, during the 1950s, the real painting and the forgery could not be told apart. If someone said that one was not like the other because of the differences in the frame, we would say that that man is foolish. Yet we make the same mistake when we search for our real self. . Instead of identifying ourselves with God whose image we are as spiritual beings, we call ourselves different because of our frame and costume.

How do we explain this from a scientific viewpoint?

Till the latter part of the nineteenth century, two principles were fundamental in physics. They are

1. Conservation of matter

2. Conservation of energy

At that time, it was understood that matter and energy could not be transformed from one to the other. Energy was understood as light energy, heat energy, energy of water and electric energy.

Then Einstein proved E=mc2 or energy equals the square of the speed of light times the mass

This formula showed that matter and energy are interchangeable. These energies were transferable from one state to another and matter also could be transformed from one state to another. Therefore, mass is also energy.

There is another important information that we should grasp with reference to mass and energy.

Newton's law of gravity states that gravity is proportional to the mass and distance. The greater the mass, the greater the force of gravity.

When it comes to the energy of cohesion, i.e. nuclear energy and electromagnetic energy, the smaller the particle, the greater the force of cohesion. For example, I can break a sandstone with a small blow but if I want to break an atom of that sandstone, I have to exert a large force to pull the electrons from the nucleus and again if I have to pull the atoms apart, I have to overcome a lot of nuclear energy. The size of electrons surrounding a proton of an hydrogen atom is nearly 1/2000 of an atom.. Yet this electron has an energy equal to the proton.

Now the scientists have found that there are nearly 35 elementary particles in the atom which they thought was an indivisible unit. The smaller the particle, the greater the cohesive force. What we find here is that with decreasing mass there is an increasing cohesive force. It is therefore easy to imagine that we will reach a stage where there is no mass but only energy.

This is the energy of the Supreme Being.

This is like the water in the deep ocean where the water is calm. It is this water that supports the rest of the water on top of it to the surface where the waves, large and small as well as ripples form and disappear.

From this universal, ever present energy, we are ripples and waves of this energy. He has given us His own spirit and in addition He has given us individuality. So, when we die, our spirit joins the universal spirit as the river joins the ocean.

"Did God create man in his own image?" The answer is "Yes" for God's image is spirit and man has the same spirit which God has invested in man.

Dr. Simon is a retired research scientist, philanthropist and author of two books: The Missing Piece to Paradise and The Philosopher's Notebook. Visit his website at http://simonsecret.org

Why Did This Happen to Me?

By Walter Taylor

Why did this happen to me? You have heard this question asked before I'm sure. I know I have asked it myself. Why does it seem like I cannot get ahead? Why is all of this bad stuff happening to me? I am a magnet for bad luck. If it could happen, it will happen to me. I hear people make these kind of statements in public and it hurts when I make an attempt to help them with their words. In many cases, I may not know the person and it still hurts.

Our words go into the air where they live forever. Our words are like food for thought and when negative words get released into the atmosphere, they have a lasting effect just like faith-filled words. The bible reads that we should let every word that comes out of our mouth be edifying so that it ministers grace to the hearers. This means that you should be speaking words of encouragement and words of purpose at every opportunity you get.

The thing that may have happened to you happened. Get over it! There are many things that you can change and as much as you can you should do so. There are other things that you cannot change like people. You can pray for people. You can pray for situations and circumstances to get better, but you will never be able to change anyones' will.

You can control your mouth. You can control your responses. You can control your emotions. If there is an abundance of pain in your spirit, then it is up to you to make the necessary changes in your life to eject the pain and receive the love of God in your heart. If you have this attitude that bad things always happen to you, then you can make a decision to start saying that God loves me so much that He sent His own son to take punishment that I should have taken.

If the God of all creation loves you that much, then He has a good plan for your life. I invite you to give God a chance in your life. I invite you to invite Jesus Christ into your heart as savior. There is nothing that you can do after you leave your earth suit. Your eternity depends on what you do in this life now. You may not have a billion dollars. You may not have all the time you want. You may not have the best relationships. You do have a choice where you spend eternity. You have a choice what comes out of your mouth. You have a choice where you spend your money. You have a choice what you focus on.

I invite you to take a seven day challenge. Challenge yourself to speak positive faith-filled words over the next seven days. If you happen to speak a negative word, then cancel it out by speaking 3 positive words. It is so easy being negative. It almost comes naturally in the minds of many people. Remember, you are the gate to anything living in your life. Just because something happens does not mean it has to stay in your life. Practice speaking the love of God. Practice speaking the peace of God. Practice speaking the plan of God.

Start out the day by saying, this is the day that the Lord has made and I choose to rejoice and be glad in it. The more you say this the more you will see your joy level increase. God bless you and please accept my invitation to receive Jesus Christ right now as your personal savior.

Walter Taylor speaks with passion and encourages others to be the change they are seeking. Walter has written several books to include Touchdown Love, Home Run and most recently "The 8 Gates". You can visit Walter at his website: http://www.touchdownlove.com

Amazing Grace

How to Do Miracles

By Bruce R. King

There is a story in the Christian bible (Matthew 21:19) that tells of Jesus making a fig tree wither rapidly. When the disciples ask Jesus how he did this he replied, "I assure you, if you have faith and don't doubt, you can do things like this and much more. You can even say to this mountain, 'May God lift you up and throw you into the sea,' and it will happen."

So, even Christianity supports that anyone can do miracles. However, how many people, Christians or otherwise, do you know that can do miracles? None I would suspect. Oh, sure, we have all seen the televangelist cure some psychosomatic illness in some poor dupe, but how many people do you know of that can walk through a wall or truly levitate? I know someone that has done this and more. His name is Eric Pepin. I also know that he has taught some of his students to do some amazing things too. How do I know this? Well, I have witnessed first hand some interesting things from Eric and his students that would add a lot of validity to their claims. Also, I have been taught by Eric and his coaches to do some pretty interesting things.

Have I walked on water yet? No. But I will someday. What have I witnessed and done that is so amazing? Well, I have learned to rapidly dissolve large clouds, manifest small items rapidly, bend conversations, predict people's future, know things about people, etc. These may seem small in comparison to levitation or walking through walls, but hey, I couldn't do any of these things two years ago when I started studying with Eric and his coaches.

Now, I will tell you, the objective of my study with Eric Pepin and his coaches is not simply to learn to do miracles for the sake of power. No, the main objective is enlightenment and to serve God/Force/Universe (G/F/U). This may not be your objective going in, but once you learn the secrets of how to do miracles, you can't help but become more enlightened and willing to serve G/F/U with all your heart.

Why the desire to serve G/F/U? Because as you learn to do miracles you realize that the source and grace to have this ability is all from G/F/U. And, that your ultimate fulfillment is not in having more stuff or more pleasure it is in serving G/F/U. There is nothing wrong with money or fulfilling your needs, but once you learn how to do miracles you develop such a deep trust of G/F/U and knowledge of a greater purpose that material gain or power seems silly.

If you want to learn how to do miracles click on the link that says HowToBendReality.com and follow the path down the rabbit hole.

To learn more about how to do miracles go to http://www.HowToBendReality.com and click on the links. Bruce King writes on metaphysical topics and teaches a workshop on how to bend reality.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

The Love of God Shed Abroad in Our Hearts

By Brenda Craig and Ruth McCormick

The Love Of God

Such hope never disappoints or deludes or shames us, for God's love has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit Who has been given to us. (Romans 5:5 Amplified)

Love; the Love of God has been shed abroad...poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit and by Christ Jesus...this love is the Hope of Glory...He is the Hope of Glory!

This Love Christ Jesus has placed in our hearts is His deliverance...it is our hope...our assurance...our grace...our mercy...it simply is all we need for this love is He, Christ Jesus, our Lord.

The Potter And Pearls Of Great Price

I have been seeing more and more how His love and our Kingdom advancement are intertwined all the while experiencing the great Power of His Love. His breaks you...He makes you feel like putty in His hands...and like clay in the Potter's Hands He molds and shapes vessels of honor out of each of us...making us into a dispensers of His glory. His Spirit come and speaks to us...comes and moistens our hearts with love, mercy and grace. And when His loving hands are applied He caresses, smoothes, and rubs out the afflictions of life that make us abrasive.

We are formed like a pearl that is fashioned by the tests of time as it endures the grit...the tiny grain of sand held within its soft heart. What could be seen as an alien intruder becomes the very thing with the power to produce a priceless treasure. What the enemy meant for evil is undone and becomes the very tool used by the Father and causes all things to work together for good...causes us to grow until we completely reflect His image...His glory.

And when the time comes to look at the harvest...to partake of the pearl's beauty and not the abrasiveness of the environment in which it was formed, it takes the Hands of one who knows how to cultivate the pearl to bring forth its splendor. It takes nail scarred hands...hands that know how to serve up broken bread and poured out wine through the offering of His life.

Like a child born causes the pain and suffering of the birth to disappear, the emergence of the pearl from its cradle of formation causes the irritation, the abrasiveness of the sand to fade away in the light of His glory and grace...to display a pearl of great price...to display us...yes, you and I...the body of Christ.

We, the body of Christ are like priceless pearls in the belly of a hard shelled world formed in the sands of adversity...formed in the waves of destruction which have crashed all around us.

Regardless of how it looks or what we may think or feel, the Master Craftsman is cultivating us...shaping us. He is cultivating His pearls making us to display His splendor and Beauty!!! Therefore; have hope. All is well in Him.

Promises Of Deliverance

God's Word says in Psalms 91, "Just because you love Me, I will deliver you, satisfy you with long life and show you my Salvation"

Beloved, what a promise this is. The only condition to His deliverance...to His healing, salvation, redemption, and provision...to all that we need or could ever hope for is wrapped in a package called Love...wrapped the package...the Person...Jesus Christ.

God is a God of reciprocation. As we love Him, He loves the Hell right out of us. In His embrace, we are washed clean and He removes all the grief and brings relief. In His embrace we see the light of His Glory and Grace. In this place of encountering Him He is one we come to know as true Love...and through this true love we come to know redemption and healing from our past. All things are made new in Christ.

Dance Of The Bridegroom

Beloved, now is the time to come to Him and know Him as friend and lover for it is His utmost desire. However, to just simply know Him is not enough. We must go to a new place...we must climb even higher...sing stronger...shout louder and dance with completely uninhibited before Him.

Yes, there is a Dance of the Groom that will remove all dread and gloom from our lives. There is an attire, and a mantle of Holy Fire...a cleansing, purifying fire...an all consuming fire of passionate love which propels us into destiny and purpose...something worth dancing for...someone worth dancing with.

Yes, as we make Him our heart's desire we must dance, dance and dance some more until we are consumed with the romance of a lifetime...a romance with Him. Are you willing to take a chance?

I understand that for the ones who have been wounded and abused it is hard to trust...hard to let go and fall into the hand of the unseen. But as you do, the enemy will not find you for you will be hid under His wing (Psalms 91).

Strongholds over families will come toppling down to no longer be found when the Breaker in you comes forth and takes the ground. Love is the key! Love embraced brings Victory! For it is love that sent our Savior to the tree, and it is for Love's sake that you bend your knee.

As we bend the knee, we will become broken and enter into a place of true repentance and humility. And in this place of humility...in this intimate place we never been before, God's latter rain will begin to pour. Why...because His love will be released...the taunts and restrictions of Baal will cease. We will no longer sacrifice ourselves to the idols of indifference and pain. We will be totally His...totally consumed by His love.

In the midst of it all a cloud will form in the sky holding more than the promise of precipitation. Love will pour like a sweet spring rain all over us. Listen and listen carefully. Listen for the Spirit's heart cry. Can you hear it? I can. Listen!!!


To My Loved And Cherished Ones

"Beloved the eyes of My deliverance hold the power of My great love for you. My rain of deliverance is flowing like tears from My heart in gentle spring like showers on thirsty ground. My rain will baptize you, mantle you, and rest upon you as a gentle dove. The saturation of My prescience poured out is the force which heals, delivers and compels the multitudes to Me. And I use what you might consider a broken life...a foolish thing to accomplish My plans and purposes. I use you.

As you experience My love it will transform you and you will then be the source of another's breakthrough time and time again...one by one I will bring them to you and you will be to them as I am to you. Yes Beloved, the desire to do so for others is in your heart and this is where the journey does start.

Let My love have a perfect work in you, and then, freedom for others you will be able to pursue. For the power of my Love and intimacy has set you free. In submitting to My perfect work you will in turn be a key. You will help others experience and find this Liberty as you help them unlock the doors of freedom!

The power My Love works within...works from the inside you...from the inside out, and it breaks away the darkness and the issues that prevent My DNA...My Determined Nature for your life. What is My DNA for your life? It is to have a love flowing out of you as rivers of living water. For it is love and only love that will change your heart-only love releases true destiny.

Know this; I love you with an everlasting love. I loved you before you ever were and I can never love you more than I already do. I loved you then...I love you now and always will. I am good and I am love. I am here to open the eyes of your heart with a revelation...with understanding in order to receive and be transformed. You are My pearl of great price...the one I gave My life for. My rain is falling and your deliverance is at hand."

With all My love

Jesus


Conclusion

Beloved, take some time and look at your life. What has His great love done to and for you...for me? Has it changed you and turned you upside down...turned you inside out? If so, it is His love trying to work its way out. Rest assured, it will soon shine in all its radiance like the noonday sun as your life totally becomes His to have and to hold...to own.

In the revelation of His love you receive the power and the ability to recognize your rights and privileges...to know yourself as one sent by the throne...to know yourself as his king and priest...walking out his image of power and grace in and on the earth.

The beauty of who He is...the beauty of His great love demonstrated itself that even when we were yet in sin, God manifested His love for us. He sent His only begotten Son to die for us, so that whoever believeth in Him shall have life-life more abundant

Abundant life; what is it? It is living in the Power of His Love! Be encouraged...be free...be loved...be love, for His love is shed abroad in your heart.

Ruth McCormick & Brenda Craig © 2008 All Rights Reserved

Journals of the Heart is designed to provide prophetic insight and encourage others to develop a two-way relationship with the Lord. Come and take a look at Brenda's new book, Carvings In His Palm, What God Thinks When He Whispers Your name.

Be sure and click on her book graphic when you visit Journals of the Heart to find out more about her amazing prophetic journal which tenderly expresses the God's heart of love for everyone who reads it. Many have said it is destined to become a classic right along with Come Away My Beloved and God Calling. Don't miss out and order at her special internet price.

You can read more of Brenda's inspirational works on line at http://www.journalsoftheheart.com and at http://www.soakingwithapurpose.com

Ruth is a health care professional, a wife and a mother who has a heart given completely to the Lord and a burning desire to share the thoughts and intents of His heart. She is a writer, teacher and a mighty prayer warrior in the Kingdom of God.

HOW TO PRAY: Forgiveness Is Your Path To Miracles

by Stephanie Bell

I'm a big fan and student of A Course in Miracles, but at first the text and Lessons seem quite difficult to comprehend because the Course is written in iambic pentameter! Through this series of articles, it is my intention to share in a simple, easy-to-understand way, some of the words, prayers and lessons that have inspired me within the Course.

For those totally unfamiliar with A Course in Miracles it is a self-study spiritual thought system with a central theme that teaches the best way to achieve peace in our hearts and in the world, is by forgiving ourselves and others. It teaches us to look at everything through the eyes of God, including ourselves and recognize that all relationships are holy - most especially our relationship with ourselves.

This article is about Lesson 78 which touched me because it deals with how we keep our miracles away from ourselves by holding grievances against someone else. This Lesson also speaks about forgiveness, which is a consistent theme throughout the Course.

The quote that particularly touched me in this Lesson is: "Let me behold my savior in this one You have appointed as the one for me to ask to lead me to the holy light in which he stands, that I may join with him."

A bit of a mouthful eh? Don't stop reading yet! Let's break it down into sections and make it a little easier to understand.

So the first section -- "Let me behold my savior in this one" - yes, THAT one - the one that might have just sprang to your mind. It may be "the one" that usually springs to your mind because you've never quite reconciled "that" situation, or comment, or experience. Or perhaps it is something that someone just said to you that you didn't like, or that driver that cut you off on the freeway. The situation or circumstance doesn't matter - what does matter is that you have been giving him/her your power and your energy by holding on to your thoughts about the situation. And in that holding on - with two clenched fists - you can't reach your hands out to receive your miracles can you?

Hmmmmm . . . new idea? Did you perhaps just let out a big sigh that you didn't know you were holding?

Continuing with the next section: "you have appointed as the one for me to ask." I really like this because it allows us to view the situation from a completely different point of view . . . that God, in His Infinite Wisdom, and the Divine in each of us in our Infinite Wisdom, has created this person, this situation, as an opportunity to reclaim our divinity, which we have obviously temporarily forgotten.

This one, this person, this situation, this circumstance offers "to lead me to the Holy Light in which he stands" . . . because of course, in Truth, that person is a Child of God JUST LIKE ME AND YOU. Your Divine Self knows that and issues you an engraved invitation "that I may join with him."

There you go - a bridge to the miracle in one holy instant! By viewing this situation through the eyes of the Divine, then you get to make a choice to have your very own miracle! Which in and of itself is a miracle wouldn't you say? By choosing to see the Good, the God, the Divine, the Holiness in that person's heart, or situation, YOU get the GRAND PRIZE! The Gift!! The Miracle! You get to reclaim your divinity AND join with another in theirs! Does it really get any better than that?

In summary we have broken down this quote: "Let me behold my savior in this one You have appointed as the one for me to ask to lead me to the holy light in which he stands, that I may join with him" and now understand what a true gift it offers. Instead of seeing a conflict with another person, I can choose to see that I have an opportunity to see the Go[o]d in this person, which allows me to join with him and realize that we really are at one with each other because of the Go[o]d within each of us. And suddenly, I am no longer separated from my good, and neither is he. A win-win if ever there is one!

At the end of the day, the best way to bring the good into your life, is to unclench your fists, change your mind and allow your heart to open. All we have to do is recognize that every experience is an opportunity for our greater good, as long as we make the choice to see it that way.

May you always let miracles replace your grievances.

Stephanie Bell is an Author, Speaker and Coach. She has studied A Course In Miracles and other metaphysical teachings for over 25 years and assists spiritual seekers feel more peace and joy by creating a personal relationship with a God of their own understanding. Receive your free Special Report, GOD, SUPERMAN & JIMINY CRICKET and other helpful tools at http://www.worldprayerproject.com

Theology of Adoration

by Matthew Freeman

I want to discuss what I believe to the most important and freeing concept for Christians to understand. I call it the Theology of Adoration. It is a theology rooted in too many Scriptures to point to just one--meaning once you understand it, Scripture will bear it out over and over again--but it can be summed up most simply in this way:

Soren Kierkegaard wrote, “Purity of heart is to will one thing”.

If we are only allowed one expression of our lives, it must be the adoration of God. To see God in His fullest glory would leave us in paralyzed awe! We would helpless to do anything else. The truth of this statement is so eternal that Jesus said, (paraphrasing) “If they don’t praise me, the force of the necessary response to such glory as mine would cause rocks to realign their atoms to cry out praises, just to fill the void of praise!”

There it is. That is purity. That is singularity of heart and intent. Any other focus of our lives or anything else added to that is idolatry. Now, here is the scary ramification of that statement: any form of work or obedience is included in that grouping of idolatry, right along side of the idolatries of sin and disinterest in God.

Uh oh! You can’t mean that!!!

I absolutely do! However, in NO way do I advocate sinning. I know at this point it would be possible to do “bowling theology” and twist what I said thus far into tossing two gutter balls:

Left Gutter: We can just do whatever we like and Jesus will get us to heaven no matter what. So let’s go par-tuh-hay! That is a gutter ball that this Theology of Adoration won’t accept.

Right Gutter: We can’t sin freely and get in to heaven, so therefore this theology is bogus. We show God our love for Him through obedience.

Both gutter balls are understandable to throw at this point. But instead, let’s continue...

In Genesis chapter 1 we have a picture of how God takes a life that has spun out of control and is surrounded by darkness and transforms it into a creation that is exploding with life, surrounded by light everywhere. How does He do it? Two ways. First, He speaks His will into our lives. So we must be listening for His voice! But second, it says He reaches down and forms it Himself. Note that: creation is unable to form itself, even as it listens for the voice of God.

There is a statement that I believe calms and humbles the idol of the boldness of wanting to be obedient as a sign of our love for God and our ability to prove our worth and our sonship before Him. It is simply, “The will is free, but not able.”

Yes, we want to be good and obey God. Any child wants to show his or her love to their parents in that way. But it is not possible for fallen creatures to be obedient in a way that is acceptable before God. Allow me to explain:

In the beginning, God gave Adam and Eve two commands, 1) Don’t eat the forbidden fruit, 2) have children.

After Eve broke the first command, she wanted to demonstrate her obedience to God. So in Genesis 4:1 she obeys the second command and has a child. In fact, not only is she obedient, but she also gives the glory to God--she gives Him His due.

This seems like true and right obedience. However, this fruit of obedience (Cain) murdered his own brother and his descendants so corrupted the earth that God had to wipe out creation and start over! The poet and hymn writer Isaac Watts said it best:

The best obedience of my hands dares not appear before thy throne.

No expression of our lives and no effort on our parts can ever produce goodness. How can a poisonous plant produce edible fruit? It can’t.

The only thing worse than trying to invest immense time and effort into being obedient by our own will would be to actually succeed in that endeavor! That is a trap that will darken our eyes to such a degree, we may never be able to see Jesus.

Consider the Pharisees of Jesus’ day. They were not bad people. They were the conservative church-goers of their day who desired to obey the voice of God! They had such a desire to be obedient to the living God that they didn’t even play the tip-toe games we play with sin. They didn’t see how close they could get to the line of right and wrong. Instead, they even created a fence around the law, to ensure they wouldn’t toy with sin! And it worked!

They broke none of the laws of God. Think about that. They were perfect in obedience! However, even in their perfect obedience, they couldn’t see God when He was standing right in front of them! In fact, they were part of the force that killed God!

The best obedience of our hands...

To whatever degree we focus our efforts on being obedient, we take that focus off of adoration for the Lord and in doing so we lose the purity of heart and the “first and only” becomes asking God to share His throne with our works.

But wait a minute, didn’t Paul say that we can’t just go on sinning? Absolutely, and I totally agree with Paul! I am not advocating sin. I am advocating the Theology of Adoration, which first deconstructs the idol of self-obedience, before it can reconstruct a healthy theology and lifestyle for the Christian, free of idolatry.

If perfect obedience (like the Pharisees practiced) misses the mark, then what is the answer? Jesus is asked this exact question in Matthew 22:36-40:

“Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?”

37 And He said to him, “‘YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND.’
38 “This is the great and foremost commandment.
39 “The second is like it, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.’
40 “On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.”

In essence, if you want to obey God, stop trying parse do’s and don’ts. Just carve out sacred time and sacred space to come before Him in adoration and listen for His voice. Let go of the burden of trying to be or do something that is impossible for you to do.

In large part Christians don’t worship a Triune God. They worship a Quadrune God of Father, Son, Holy Spirit and Works/Obedience. We even read this God into Scripture. For instance, in John 14:15 Jesus says:

“If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.”

Watch carefully what we do with that statement. We tell ourselves, “OK, I’m going to keep a commandment of God to prove to Him that I love Him!” But that is NOT what Jesus is saying. He is saying:

If you love me, if your focus is on loving me, you will keep my commandments, the outpouring of that love for me will so transform you that you won’t have to try to do something as unnatural as obedience, it will simply begin to flow from you, without you even noticing it.

Note the word ‘begin’ in that statement. When God was working to transform creation, He never expected creation to have it all together on day one. God simply worked in one area at a time, leaving the other parts messy.

The idol of obedience tells us that we must have our entire lives together all at once, right at the beginning. That idol is what causes people to put on the “church mask” and hide our sin from each other, when what we need to do is have everyone be so open about our sins that those who wish to judge are so overwhelmed with sins to judge they have a nervous breakdown, trying to do God’s work for Him!

So, to summarize: The Theology of Adoration is to stop worrying about your obedience and put that focus and energy back where it belongs: on cultivating a love for the voice of God. From that, you will be fully acceptable in the eyes of God and as a secondary effect of that focus you will begin to be more obedient, without thinking about it. Imagine that. David sinned, but God saw him as one who was after God’s own heart, and thus he was acceptable to God. Abraham had faith (not works) and through that he was also acceptable before God. The pharisees had perfect obedience and never found God.

Matthew Freeman is an author of Biblical Studies and is a Christian Speaker. He is involved in various ministries and holds degrees in Biblical Studies and Theology. In addition, he also helps spread the word about a James Bible Studies and Nashville Gift Baskets.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

The Power of Prayer

By Joey Bushnell

Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For everyone that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. Matthew 7:7-8 & 3 Nephi 14:7-8

What do I pray for?

ANYTHING!

So long as it is good, You can pray for anything! The well being of your friends and family, to find a job, to pass exams, for health, wealth, safety, comfort, inspiration, direction, to find a partner, more intelligence, more love, to receive answers to questions you are unsure of.

The list really is endless. Prayer is also the perfect opportunity to express gratitude!
You can gain anything you need from prayer, and the best thing is its free and lines are open 24/7.

How do I pray?

If you have never prayed before, don't worry, today is a good day to start. Whether you believe in God or not, you can still pray. All world religions teach some form of prayer. I know many people who do not believe in God but sometimes when they have no where else to turn they resort to prayer. Prayer is available to everyone and is effective always.

1. Step one is to ADDRESS who are praying to. A Christian may say Dear god. A Muslim call upon Allah. It's different for different people. For me, I have always used "Dear Heavenly Father". It is down to you though, whatever feels comfortable.

Before posting a letter, you would need to write a name and address first, otherwise the chances of your communication being received by that who you intended it for, would be very slim. The same principle applies for prayer.

2. Step two is to THANK. Be grateful, list and thank for all the things which you have received already. If you do not feel you have anything, start off small. Look around you, your bed is a comfortable place to sleep, do you take that for granted? Not everyone has a warm bed to sleep in at night Your mobile phone perhaps? Pretty handy, you can stay in touch with people who may be miles away. A book you have been reading, a friend who gave you good advice, a stranger who smiled, again the list is endless. What will happen is your eyes will suddenly be open to how much you do already have!

If someone had supplied you with many gifts, surely you would say thanks, before you asked for more? Of course you would, with this done and an attitude of gratitude in your heart you are ready to ask for more.

3. Step three is to ASK. Don't be shy! Ask for what you need. The universe is made of abundance. There is enough for everyone. What ever it is you desire, its out there already, waiting for you to make your claim. If it's answers you need, there is some one who knows and is ready to supply the answer. If its an opportunity, one will open up.

Pray on behalf of others and all the things they stand in need of too.

4. End the prayer. Some say amen. For me, I say " In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen"
but again, I am not here to preach, its your choice, just make sure you end the prayer in faith and a spirit of expectancy.

TIPS TO REMEMBER

Believe! Believe that your prayer is being heard and will be answered.

Pray every day! Morning and night. Pray as and when new situations arise.

Keep a prayer in your heart consistently.

If you get the urge, Do It and Do It Now! Trust your instincts, if you feel something prompting you to pray, just go with it, even you don't understand why at the time.

If you feel a resistance to pray, fight it! Do it anyway, you will feel glad you did.

As well as your prayers, practice autosuggestion. Autosuggestion is a form of informal prayer.

Meditate. Especially when its answers you seek. Listen out for the answers. They will come, I assure you. Ponder the meaning of your answers.

Pray out loud

Pray in private. Let your inner most thoughts and feelings be known. Sometimes a solitary,quiet place outside or just your bedroom is fine.

If you are feeling skeptical, just try it what do you have to lose? I am confident, that you will discover that it works.

I know praying works. I have had it work many, many times, too often to number.

Good luck, Joey Bushnell

Joey Bushnell - http://knowers-ark.com/prayer.aspx

The Greatest Single Bible Prophecy

Author: William Nugent

The best evidence for the divine inspiration of the Bible are the many hundreds of predictive prophecies contained in its pages. It is important to go beyond this general statement and focus in on the very best of the best of the Bible's predictive prophecies in order to understand this supernatural proof in a clear way.

In this article we will take a look at the CROWN JEWEL of Bible prophecy. I have often mentioned that the Bible is unique among sacred writings in that it contains this immense multitude of accurate predictive prophecies.

No other holy book of any other faith contains anything approaching the Bible's record of prophecy and fulfillment. For instance, the Koran contains only about two dozen verses that could be purported to be predictive and these are very uncertain regarding fulfillment.

There is the Muslim belief in the future coming of a messianic figure called the Mahdi ['Mahdi' is from an Arabic word meaning the "guided one."] This prophecy is not rooted in any Koranic verse but derives from early Islamic folklore.

Some Christians who study Bible prophecies pertaining to the antichrist believe that many Muslims will be fooled into accepting the antichrist as being the Mahdi.

If someone approaches you on the street and asks you for the single best evidence for the Christian faith I would recommend that you point him to the predictive prophecy contained in the Bible in Isaiah chapter 53. This prophecy, written approximately 700 years before the birth of Christ, not only gives a description of some details about the life of Christ but repeatedly, in several ways, describes the fact that Jesus was coming to die for our sins.

It is highly significant from a theological perspective that this prophecy so clearly predicts the heart of the Gospel message. (The passage actually begins in Isaiah 52:13-15 and continues through all 12 verses of Isaiah 53.)

In reading the prophecy which consists of just fifteen verses, I have found no less than twelve direct or inferred references to Jesus suffering for our sins or taking our griefs upon Himself. This matter of repetition is of great theological significance.

In the Hebrew language the importance of things is indicated by repetition. For example, In Genesis 14:10 the treacherous tar pits are referred to in the original as "pit pits." Instead of saying they are "bad pits" they are "pit pits."

We see repitition all through the Hebrew scriptures most notably in Isaiah 6:3 which says "Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts." This is called by theologians the "thrice hagion" and the triple use of the word "holy" is meant to intensively emphasize that God is holy.

The Isaiah 53 twelve-fold repeat of the central mission of Jesus to die for our sins has no comparison in all of scripture. Even the New Testament itself which describes the substitutionary atonement in many passages has no single passage that compares with this twelve-fold repetition contained in Isaiah chapters 52-53!

It can be said that the Old Testament, in this predictive prophecy, has a more clear description of the central truth of the Gospel than any comparable passage of the New Testament. This also confirms that the crucifixion of Christ is the central event of all history and that Jesus is indeed the promised Messiah of Israel.

Just one verse of Isaiah 53, verse 5, contains a fourfold repetition of Jesus' atoning sacrifice. The verse reads "But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, And by His scourging we are healed." [NASB]

Animals were sacrificed in the Jewish temple at Jerusalem. Jesus fulfilled the prophetic significance of the Jewish sacrificial system when He offered Himself as "an offering for sin" (Isa. 53:10).

When Jesus became the ultimate sacrifice there was no more need for sacrifice of animals. The sacrifice of animals under Judaism ended,

Isaiah 52-53 also contains other predictive elements of interest. Isaiah 53:9 reads "His grave was assigned to be with wicked men, Yet with a rich man in His death." [NASB] This is a clear prediction of Jesus being buried in the tomb of Joseph of Arimathea, a wealthy man (Matthew 27:57-60).

Isaiah 53:10 contains a prediction of the resurrection of Christ. Isaiah 53:10 contains the phrase "He will prolong His days." [NASB] The resurrection of Christ certainly has resulted in the prolonging of His days.

He was raised from the dead and ascended into heaven and will return to rule and reign on this earth from the throne of David in Jerusalem (Luke 1:32).

As Peter, the apostle, admonished us "be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you."

There are many predictive prophecies that foretold the coming of Christ and gave details such as His virgin birth (Isaiah 7:14), The fact that He would suffer death by crucifixion (Psalm 22:1-16), and there's even a prophecy that foretold the time of His coming (Daniel 9:24-26) but the clearest of all is that incomparable, inescapable Isaiah 53!

Bill Nugent has written many articles on Christianity, philosophy and science. He has also written books that give Bible based teaching on sanctification and that caution against the error of legalism. His books are available at his website www.gracelawandsonship.com.

Forgiveness

Author: Andy Smith

One of the most debated subjects around the world is forgiveness. Somebody does something wrong, either against an individual, or against the society. To forgive means to pardon the accused with no resentment left. If forgiveness is complete, the act of offense is totally forgotten, as if it never took place.

To talk about forgiveness is easy, and to forgive is difficult. Many a times it becomes impossible for some of us. For example if I am a mother. A criminal kidnaps my child and then slowly kills my child in my presence to derive sadistic pleasure, how will I feel? What about the cries of pain of my dying child? Will my mind forget them? What of the helplessness that I felt? What about the expectation with which my child looked at me and felt sure that mother would do something to save him/her? What of the helplessness I felt? What about the memories of bringing up my child? What about the dreams that I had? What about the pain and torture my child underwent while dying?

My nightmares will haunt me forever. Anything that belonged to my child will bring the memories of death back like a wave. My sadness will overwhelm me forever and my silent fury against my own weakness will kill me. Can I ever forgive that man? Can I ever forget that act after pardoning him? Will you?

This is the most difficult part of forgiveness. It becomes impossible to forgive. The scars go so deep that even after the man is sentenced for the crime, the mother will never feel complete. No amount of punishment given to that man will ever bring the child back. No clock will ever turn back. The pain that the child underwent cannot be taken away at all.

I am doomed to live in misery forever unless I forgive. But I cannot forgive. I know that many people will come and ask me to forgive. What if they underwent something similar? Will they forgive?

The author writes text messages and advises and consults for social networking content for myspace comments, myspace graphics and evaluates creative ideas for myspace quizzes.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Love and Compassion

By Jeffrey Langlois

It seems to me that it is a great deficiency of our language that the same word is used to describe the way we feel about our spouse, our children, our siblings, our dog, chocolate ice-cream, and the reason why we give to charity. One word, love, is commonly used in all of the above instances. I love my friends. I love my dogs. I love God. I love great music. What a versatile word it is!

One meaning of the word love is to have compassion for someone, to care about their feelings and well-being. That is, in my opinion, the highest form of meaning that the word love can take.

The Saints and mystics of the world spoke of a universal love. A love that is synonymous with compassion. St Paul, in his letter to Corinthians (1st Corinthians-13) speaks of such love. The Greek word agape in Paul's letter, is translated as love in most English versions of the bible. Agape carries different connotations than the Greek word Phileo, which can be used to describe the love between a man and a woman. Agape connotes a tender affection and compassion.

Without getting into a discussion of the meanings of the various archaic words and phrases found in the King James version, Paul, in 1st Corinthians, chapter 13, is making the point that no matter what great talents and abilities we have, without love (compassion) our talents are worthless.

The Buddha spoke of a universal compassion. In all forms of Buddhism that I have ever studied, compassion for all sentient beings is of major importance. I believe that one of the most important hallmarks of a truly spiritually evolved person is that they feel the type universal compassion that is spoken of in Buddhism.

Compassion cannot be learned from books or taught by a guru. It cannot be forced. It comes naturally from within. It is born of empathy.

Most people develop a higher degree of compassion as they get older. Many people develop the quality of compassion only after reflecting on their own suffering. For someone who has realized the unity of all consciousness, the quality of compassion comes as a corollary to such an insight.

If upon seeing any sentient being suffer, be it a child, elderly person, or an injured dog, you feel sorrow and pain because of their suffering, then you have the quality of compassion. True compassion is selfless.

It is not enough to feel compassion for immediate family and your favorite pet. If you do not feel compassion every time you are aware of suffering, no matter who suffers, or why they suffer, then you do not have true compassion in your heart.

If a person has the gift of some sort of psychic power or has the knowledge of great esoteric learning, does that mean they are a deeply spiritual person? I would say not. Those are nice attributes to have, but in and of themselves, they do no make a person spiritual. Without having universal love and compassion in one's heart, a person is lacking in true spirituality, no matter what talents they possess and no matter what great depth of knowledge they have.

Jeffrey Benjamin Langlois
Please visit my website at the following link.
http://www.musicanthology.org

Do You Ever Feel Like God Doesn't Care

By Linda Dipman

The newly finished roof, leaks, the dog is sick, and I have a chronic back pain that makes it hard toju sit in one place for very long. My business is completely dead and the bills are mounting on a pile on top of my desk. In total distress I turn on the television in hopes of getting my mind off all my problems, at least for a little while. Turning the station, I am drawn to a program where a couple is buying a vacation home. They're bored with their ocean front home in Florida! So, they're looking for a home between $600,000 to $900,000 in Nevada where they can gamble and go to the extravagant shows on the Las Vegas strip.

I was totally captivated wondering st how fantastic it would be just to have the ability to own a home priced at their vacation house sum. Amazed at their extravagant lifestyle I questioned God as to why they are allowed to have such riches when I can't even afford health care. God don't you care about me? I don't understand why some people can have everything they want and the rest of us struggle day to day!

Psalm 49: 16-20, "Don't be upset when a man becomes rich, when his wealth grows even greater; he cannot take it with him when he dies; his wealth will not go with him to the grave. Even if a man is satisfied with this life and is praised because he is successful, he will join all his ancestors in death, where the darkness lasts forever. A man's greatness cannot keep him from death; he will still die like the animals."

As I continued to watch the television program, the couple chose a brand new $700,000 vacation home over looking a golf course with a beautiful mountain view in the back ground. The wife complained that they were also over looking some new construction. The realtor quickly explained that it would all be completed in a few short months. The rich woman nodded in reply, but you could tell that she wasn't happy about the amount of time. My mind was astonished at her complaint all the time thinking how excellent it would be if I was in a nice new clean development with perfect landscaping, beautiful brick pavement, and nice new roads.

Psalm 49: 10-12, "Anyone can see that even wise men die, as well as foolish and stupid men. They all leave their riches to their descendants. Their graves are their homes forever; there they stay for all time, though they once had lands of their own. A man's greatness cannot keep him from death; he will still die like the animals."

I live in a sixty year old house on a street where people aren't interested in having nice yards. It would be awesome if they just hauled away their junk and occasionally mowed their yards. Every window in my house has a view that overlooks run down homes, old cars and crumbling roads and sidewalks. Just thinking about my location made me even more upset over this couples ability to live such an extravagant lifestyle. If God loves all people the same, then why are they so rich, while most people are so poor?

Psalm 49: 13-15, "See what happens to those who trust in themselves, the fate of those who are satisfied with their wealth-they are doomed to die like sheep, and Death will be their shepherd. The righteous will triumph over them, as their bodies quickly decay in the world of the dead far from their homes. But God will rescue me; he will save me from the power of death."

I turned the television station in disgust and the Evening News was showing pictures of a devastating flood. Thousands of families were displaced from their homes. They were pleading with the authorities to let them just go back to their homes long enough to get the few personal possessions that escaped damage from the flood. The faces and stories told by the people quickly snapped me out of my mood of utter contempt for the rich couple and their newly acquired vacation home. My mind now was focused on their pain wondering what I could do to help them.

Psalm 49: 5-9, "I am not afraid in times of danger when I am surrounded by enemies, by evil men who trust in their riches. And boast of their great wealth. A person can never redeem himself; he cannot pay God the price for his life, because the payment for a human life is too great. What he could pay would never be enough to keep him from the grave, to let him live forever."

My feelings over my lack of things got the best of me when I indulged myself in television programs containing the lives of the rich. Seeing the anguish of people in pain after the devastation of a flood made me focus on what was really important in life. Suddenly a steady stream of revelations once again made me focus on the purpose of our world in the first place. We are not here to live a perfect life with beautiful extravagant mansions. We are not here to indulge in excessive riches and what they can buy.

1 Peter 1: 3-5, "Let us give thanks to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! Because of his great mercy he gave us new life by raising Jesus Christ from death. This fills us with a living hope, and so we look forward to possessing the rich blessings that God keeps for his people. He keeps them for you in heaven, where they cannot decay or spoil or fade away. They are for you, who through faith are kept safe by God's power for the salvation which is ready to be revealed at the end of time."

My heart goes out to all the flood victims. Most of all my love and compassion for those who have lost everything reveals the change that has happened in my own life as I strive to imitate Christ. I don't care about the riches of this world for I am building a mansion in the perfection of heaven.

1 Peter 1: 6& 7, "Be glad about this, even though it may now be necessary for you to be sad for a while because of the many kinds of trials you suffer. Their purpose is to prove that your faith is genuine. Even gold, which can be destroyed, is tested by fire; and so your faith, which is much more precious than gold, must also be tested, so that it may endure. Then you will receive praise and glory and honor on the Day when Jesus Christ is revealed."

The victims of the flood are blessed because their faith in God is being tested by the refining fire of the flood. Questions like these become answered: "If I lost everything would I still trust Jesus? Yes! If I had to start all over again would I be a story to others about what I have overcome?" A shout out loud, "Yes! Most of all would I praise God in the assembly of people, even when it seemed that He had abandoned me in the flood?" A resounding, "Yes, Yes!"

This world is more than what it seems. It is not about personal wealth or if you are famous. It is about growing, learning and most of all achieving the greatest goal of them all, 'Your Life Purpose!' Many people are so changed by what they suffer that they completely change their lives. They become fireman, policeman, medical personnel, social workers, and missionaries, whose main goal in life is to help those who are in need. They volunteer in hospitals, rest homes, and school systems where children need a role model in their lives. They are people who show the world that every bad thing that happens in their lives, just makes them stronger.

1 Peter 1: 8&9, " You love him, although you have not seen him, and you believe in him, although you do not now see him. So you rejoice with a great and glorious joy which words cannot express, because you are receiving the salvation of your souls, which is the purpose of your faith in him."

The News, told many stories of people who were thankful because God had saved their family from the flood. Stories of victory among the chaos. Stories of strength as many declared that they would rebuild again. Stories of people who didn't become victims of the flood, but examples to the world of what you can overcome when God is the center of your life.

The tests I have endured during my life have changed me. Making me care about people and not about the riches of this world that will soon pass away. Believing in God and trusting Him with my problems, fixed my leaky roof, took care of my dog and miraculously healed my back.

Linda C Dipman author of THE GAME OF LIFE IT'S ALMOST OVER http://outskirtspress.com/gameoflife presents AND HIS LOVE SHONE DOWN my true life story! It describes all the persecutions I endured. It will put you on the edge of your seat as you read each vivid detail. You will feel terror and experience love like nothing you have ever read before. http://lovinghandsministry.com

Relevance, Clarity, Truth, Wisdom - Psalm 51

By Steve Wickham

You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it...

The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit;
a broken and contrite heart,
O God, you will not despise.

The magic yet straight forward reality of truth. God has designed creation for meaning, for truth and meaning are aligned. God and all creation can see through the false, and all require the truth. Truth and wisdom are synonymous.

One can picture David plucking away at his harp, lamenting in sopping tears, his sin. In his lowest ebb and darkest moment, the shrill of stark truth is revealed in God's gleaming light. The revelation comes at the very moment of David's true step of penitence. Light returns to his heart, amid the moment of sorrow. God's gift of grace.

Create in me a pure heart, O God,
and renew a steadfast spirit within me.

David can see clearly. He genuinely wants what only God can give him. In his dis-ease he can feel what is missing, and he is in death, spiritual morosity. A pure heart is sought. It's the only solution. David is single-minded now.

Do not cast me from your presence
or take your Holy Spirit from me.

Restore to me the joy of your salvation
and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.

We feel like we've lost the presence of God in our deepest mire. We feel, see, and 'know' he is absent. Yet the restoring of the joy of his salvation is cataclysmic to the dark sources of death. We know it not until we genuinely feel, see, and 'know' it -- ah, "He's returned," is the cry of our situationally fledgling heart. Like a sort of reverse Pygmalion effect, we're instantly back in the classroom, left feeling fearful like a child.

Against you, you only, have I sinned
and done what is evil in your sight,
so that you are proved right when you speak
and justified when you judge.

The vital truth is sin is a direct blow to God. Sure, we hurt others, but we offend God most and fundamentally. His wisdom dictates that we do the wrong thing and the wrong thing is done to us... until we turn back, returning to him the penitence deserved him. We forgive others, we forgive ourselves.

How could anyone not see God in that? Yet these same hearts rage against the LORD for their own folly of ignorance and arrogance (Proverbs 19:3).

Copyright © 2008, Steven John Wickham. All Rights Reserved Worldwide.

Steve Wickham is a safety and health professional (BSc) and a qualified lay Christian minister (GradDipDiv).

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Steve_Wickham

Jesus' Invitation


By Dorothy K Daigle

In Matthew we read that Jesus told us in the end times two will be working alongside each other, and one will be taken and one left. Christians call this the rapture. Jesus shared so many things with us because he wanted us to be aware of what his invitation would be based on. He wants us to be ready to partake of the wonderful promises of Creator.

As I was reading the seven steps of walking the Red Road, I realized that the spiritual walk is based on things internal. Years ago when I was asking Creator what my son would be doing as a mission, kind of joking like, the answer I got back was, "It is to be, not to do." I understand now that when we learn to be, then the doing will follow. It is the way of the universe. It is logical. Loving actions come out of a loving heart.

Once when I was talking with Cherokee elder John Red Hat, I said that we needed to surrender to Creator so we could do His work. After about the third time I said this to him, he told me that the spirits responded with, "Surrender IS the work!" Now I understand that more also. When we walk the spiritual path of the Red Road, it is a spiritual growing process. When we remember that Creator is unconditional love, then we realize that when we surrender to Creator, we surrender to unconditional love. So the surrender is the work! Surrender to Creator is to grow spiritually. The loving actions that we will be judged on at the end will follow as the natural order of things.

Jesus' invitation will consist of, "Those who have invited unconditional love to reside in their hearts, are now invited into my Father's Kingdom. There are rooms prepared for you in His heavenly mansion."

Dorothy was taught by Cherokee elder and wisdom keeper, John Red Hat Duke, for over ten years in Keetoowah Cherokee spiritual ways, in Eastern philosophy, and in Judaism. She was raised Christian so she has a good working knowledge of Christianity. She became disillusioned with Christianity so she now follows no religion, but strives to walk the Red Road spiritual path according to Jesus' teachings.

She received her call from Creator in the fall of '92, and was then taught by the great prophet Elijah for four years. She was given four assurances by Creator when He called her. She was told that she was anointed by the Holy One of Israel, that she would be protected until this work was done, that Creator would go before her whenever He sent her somewhere, and that she did not have to prove herself to anyone. She is one of Creator's two witnesses of the biblical book of Revelation.

Red Road spiritual teachings of Jesus, Moses, and Elijah, along with the teachings of Cherokee elder John Red Hat are taught in the book Red Hat Speaks by Dorothy K. Daigle. Red Hat Speaks can be ordered from any bookstore for $10.95. Let's prepare to receive Jesus' invitation to dwell with him.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Dorothy_K_Daigle

Tithing - Fact Or Fiction?

By Kathleen Gage

If you subscribe to virtually any religious or spiritual belief you've likely heard about tithing. Whether or not you are actually tithing is another thing.

Tithing can be a very emotionally charged activity. It has been said that what you put out your receive back tenfold. Is this true or is it simply a way for a church or spiritual group to strong arm followers to give up their money? Some people believe wholeheartedly in the spiritual practice of tithing while others view it as manipulation. What do I believe? Read on to find out.

Views on tithing

There are many different views of what tithing is and is not. Some believe true tithing only happens when you give to a church or somewhere you are spiritually fed. Others feel that any act of freely giving money to a person or institution is a form of tithing.

Regardless of what one's belief about where the money goes, the energy in which the money is given impacts the gift and the giver.

Gratitude or Resentment

As a child, I can still remember as if it was yesterday, the brass plates passed from row to row to gather money by church ushers. Even at a young age I could see and feel there were some people who willingly gave and did so with gratitude and others who resistantly gave up their hard earned money.

Since that time, I have witnessed this same thing in various churches and other gatherings I have attended where a bowl, plate or basket is passed around for money. There are those who willingly give and those who have extreme difficulty parting with their money.

I must admit, I have been both resistant and willing. Both carry an emotional charge. When I was in resistance the emotional charge was that of fear, lack and there just wasn't enough to go around.
It was only when I got to a place of trusting that that which I gave would bless another and somehow, someway come back to me multiplied that the feeling went from one of fear to one of gratitude.

No expectations

An essential element of tithing is to hold no expectation on the money when it leaves our possession. Further, to have no expectation of us benefiting in any way other than through the blessing of blessing others.

It is when there is no expectations placed on tithing that the greatest blessings come. How do I know this to be true? From my own experience and the experience of others who willingly tithe.
Years ago, I was experiencing very lean times. It was a real struggle to pay the bills let alone give any of my money away. A friend invited me to her nondenominational church. It was actually classified more as a spiritual center than a traditional church.

On that day I was obviously open to receiving a message about the blessings of tithing. The minister spoke of money as energy and how charged that energy is for many people. She also said that if we trusted that God (Higher Power, Universe, All that Is) is our source, we would not fear letting go of the money.
She also pointed out that once we release the money, we need to totally release it. What this means is, don't even think about what else you could have done with the money. Let it go. Get into a feeling of gratitude for having the ability to bless another.

When I heard her say this, something connected for me. Trust. Trust. Trust.

Increase your giving

At that time giving a dollar was a big deal to me. On that particular occasion I decided to trust what she was saying. I gave $20 and did my best to let it go.

The most amazing thing happened. Within a few short days I was experiencing more abundance than I had in quite some time. Blessings were coming from a variety of places; places that I never would have thought I would receive them from.

Since that time, I have been keenly aware of the power of tithing. However, there were several occasions I would forget the $20 experience. Whenever I did, I seemed to be moving in a place of fear with thoughts of lack.

History repeats itself

In the early days of my business I again found myself in a place of struggle and fear. Again, I attended a service where the minister talked about the gift of tithing.
At that time I had $40 in my checking account and money was very tight. After hearing Reverend Christopher preach about tithing, I again chose to move in a space of trust. I took $20 of the $40 dollars and tithed.

The most amazing thing happened. The very next day I received a letter in the mail. When I opened it a $10 bill literally floated out of the envelope. The day after that I received a check from a utility company for an overpayment I had made on a utility service nearly a year before. Within days, my account went from $40 to over $500.

Does tithing work to bring blessings? I believe it does. I also believe to my very core that how and why we tithe is important to recognize. Do we do it because we feel moved to do it or because we think it is expected of us?

What are your beliefs and experiences with tithing? Do you feel joy when you tithe or do you have feelings of lack and fear surface?

It is in the level of trust we have the blessings are created and we are in more of a position to recognize those blessings.

Be blessed.

To receive a daily dose of thoughts from author, Kathleen Gage visit http://www.dailyawareness.com

Why Gold and Jewels?

By Dona Hatherley

In the outpourings of the Holy Spirit we have noted many miracles, signs and wonders.

Some healings and miracles we understand as they were terribly needed or death was imminent.But the gold fillings and the gold teeth and the gold dust on people and their clothing has been a questioned item.

Also there have been jewels and precious stones appear in folks hands and laps and on floors. What can all this mean? I have accepted it as a sovereign act of God lavishing love on His children until I read about the original temple that King Solomon built . In 2 Chronicles chapters 3 and 4 the description of what was added to the structure in the form of decorating at a cost of over 600 million (600,000,000) dollars is staggering. Everything was covered in the purest gold with precious stones on the walls too. Carvings on walls and doors and elaborate wreathing of gold and silver.

All of that has changed hands as the temple was destroyed. The later rebuilding of temples for the Lord God Almighty were not as wonderful and costly. As I pondered about the reasoning for our modern day happenings in God's people both Jew and Gentile, it came to me that we are the temple of the Holy Spirit and we can expect that He will do things to build us up in body , soul, and spirit. As a gift giver He will lavish on His temples whatever He pleases. The more we spend time in His presence, the more we can expect.

Soaking in His presence for hours at a time is becoming more natural to the church that follows Jesus closely. In soaking in the Glory of the Lord wonderful healings and freedom from addictions come. So it seems that the Lord is comfortable with gold as He paves His streets with it and at times covers us with it as well (gold dust that is). The precious stones are in His walls in the New Jerusalem of Heaven and Jesus has always shared with His own. Expecting signs and wonders because we belong to Him is becoming our way.

Because He possesses what is His and will decorate and care for anyone that truly wants to be so loved and accepted in the beloved, we will keep on spending time with Him. I have a son that has to have infusions periodically. He has to stay still for a few hours to receive the drugs that he needs to help alleviate some symptoms of anklosing spondilitis. As we stay in the presence of our Lord we will experience infusions of His Spirit too. Check your mouth from time to time to see fillings turn to gold or new fillings and gold teeth. I did and I was both pleased and satisfied.

As to the carvings I wonder if the tattoos are part of that as lots of Christians are getting art in the skin using their bodies like a canvas to express their beliefs. One such man is Todd Bentley whose team is heading up the Florida outpouring with the theme 'come and get some'. He sometimes wears a t-shirt that says Jesus loves me and my tattoos.

I hope this answers your questioning heart about gold, jewels and carvings etc. in the believers in Christ Jesus. I felt that some could be missing out on the unusual as they have their Christian beliefs in a box and uncertainty prevents them from indulging in the soaking places around the world. I urge you to try putting on some Christian music and lay comfortably before the Lord and say to Him 'Come Holy Spirit, and pour into me and decorate your temple however You please.' Stay a while and then a while longer in worship and praise and adoration. He will come and love on you His way.

Dona Hatherley creates roads to wellness in all areas of life by pointing out ways and means as well as the expectations you can have from God's viewpoint. http://newfreshcreatedjustforyou.blogspot.com/

The Affection of Afflictions

By Bethany Chastain

For many years, I have faced the same affliction, an affliction that I have prayed long and hard for God to remove. And while I have prayed and cried, the problem remains. For years I have told God repeatedly that He should change things, make them better, make ME better. Yet, time and again I failed to be freed of my affliction. This failure tugged at my very soul, causing me to believe that God did not care for me at all.

It was with this mindset and a heavy heart that I began reading my Bible once again, trying desperately to find some reason why God was afflicting me with this hardship. However, what I found was not what I expected.

The Apostle Paul was a mighty man of God with a prosperous ministry. He was one of the early heads of the church, a man to be respected and listened to. But his life wasn't easy. He was shipwrecked, adrift at sea, beaten with rods, lashed five times to within an inch of his life, imprisoned, almost killed by riots, bitten by a poisonous snake, stoned until believed dead, and eventually killed. He also had an affliction that he called his "thorn in the flesh," which would not go away no matter how many times he prayed (2 Corinthians 12:7-8). Yet he continued forward, knowing that the reward at the end was worth the hardship.

The Apostle John was a very blessed man and was probably the closest disciple and friend that Jesus had. He witnessed all miracles and mysteries, did not deny Christ at any time, remained faithful while other were faithless, was present for Jesus' hearings, was given charge of Jesus' mother, witnessed Jesus' death AND resurrection, was given a place of leadership in the church, witnessed all that was spoken of in the book of Revelation, and died of natural causes. Yet he was also persecuted by the Jews, was kept in hiding as an apostle, was boiled alive in oil, and then was banished onto an island to die. His was not an easy life either.

Daniel was a man that God elevated to a high position. He was a man who loved God and worshiped only Him. He was placed under a steward who allowed him to be a vegetarian, was promoted for his faithfulness and his dream interpretations, was given a place above all of the King's magicians, was kept alive in the lion's den, was allowed to hear about the future from the mouth of Gabriel himself, and died an old man. However, he also was taken from his home, watching many of his people die. His best friends were thrown into a furnace, and he himself was thrown into a lion's den for even praying to God. He lived his entire life as a slave, cast aside by each new ruler until a time when he could prove himself again. And he eventually died as a slave in a foreign land.

There are many more examples in Scripture of men and women who loved the Lord and remained faithful to Him, yet were afflicted in ways that are difficult to even imagine. I can think of Job, Ruth, David, Lazarus, Moses, Peter, all of the prophets, and many more men and women "of whom the world was not worthy" (Hebrews 11:38). And God used them all for His glory, showing us that, while life is difficult and the world will not be kind, He will hold us until the very end.

What I found the most interesting is that God never once stopped caring for these men and women, never once abandoned them, and yet never once did God promise that life would be easy for them either. In fact, John 16:33 makes that perfectly clear when it says, "In the world you will have trouble. But take heart; I have overcome the world."

So why do I complain about one affliction? The Bible is full of stories where men and women experience troubles and afflictions. Yet God remains faithful. He does not promise life will be easy or that all of our troubles will be taken away like magic, but He does promise to be with us no matter what happens. And judging from what afflictions others have faced, mine does not seem so large.

So, perhaps I can use my affliction for the glory of God just as Paul did. Perhaps knowing that I'm not perfect will show others that God can work with their weaknesses as well. After all, God did say, "My power is made perfect in weakness" (2 Corinthians 12:9). So I will bare my weakness the best I can, knowing that God has a plan. And I will lean on the words that God gave to the Apostle Paul: "My grace is sufficient for you." Perhaps then others can see me how God sees me: a woman with an affliction that can still be mightily used by Him.

Bethany Chastain understands that people aren't always kind, especially to others who are different or disabled. Hence she has unshakable faith in God, wearing Christian t-shirts and necklaces, youth group tee shirts, and other Jesus apparel, all in an attempt to share her faith despite her infirmities. She knows it's what people know of God that counts.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Experience God!

By Dorothy K Daigle

An exceptional activity we can choose to participate in is to experience God! What a wonderful opportunity! And it is so simple.

Have you ever experienced God? I believe many of us have, but may not have recognized when the event occurred, but when we do, it is fantastic!

This morning as I sat next to a city park waiting for the library to open, I noticed that someone had broken a beer bottle on the sidewalk between where I had my truck parked and the beautiful, lush, green grass of the park. The unsightly trash gave me a slightly negative feeling which did not make me feel good. Then I thought, I'm just sitting here waiting so why don't I do something constructive and pick up all the mess. So I did.

It made me feel good. An hour later as I observed the area I had cleaned up, I got a good feeling. I realized that when we leave trash lying around for others to observe, we lower the consciousness of the world. We add to the dark, negative energy that is overwhelming our world today.

Then I knew how easy it is to experience God. Just do something good, something positive. When we experience the good feeling, we actually experience God!

Just think of the tremendously good feeling we get when we do something significant to help someone in extreme need. This is a wonderful experience. And as we continually think to help others, we soon find our attitude changing into one of loving-kindness. This is the secret of life. It brings us abundant joy and happiness. We soon experience God within!

Dorothy was taught by Cherokee elder and wisdom keeper, John Red Hat Duke, for over ten years in Keetoowah Cherokee spiritual ways, in Eastern philosophy, and in Judaism. She was raised Christian so she has a good working knowledge of Christianity. She became disillusioned with Christianity so she now follows no religion, but strives to walk the Red Road spiritual path according to Jesus' teachings.

She received her call from Creator in the fall of '92, and was then taught by the great prophet Elijah for four years. She was given four assurances by Creator when He called her. She was told that she was anointed by the Holy One of Israel, that she would be protected until this work was done, that Creator would go before her whenever He sent her somewhere, and that she did not have to prove herself to anyone. She is one of Creator's two witnesses He promised to send.

Spiritual teachings of Jesus, Moses, and Elijah are taught in the book Red Hat Speaks by Dorothy K. Daigle. Red Hat Speaks can be ordered from any bookstore for $10.95. These End Times may be extremely difficult to endure. Let's experience God now before our time is cut short!

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Dorothy_K_Daigle

Lord's Supper Communion Means We're One, Right?

By Steve Singleton

All of us share
In First Corinthians chapter 10, verses 16 and 17, the Apostle Paul asks, "Is not the cup of thanksgiving for which we give thanks a participation in the blood of Christ? And is not the bread that we break a participation in the body of Christ? Because there is one loaf, we, who are many, are one body, for we all partake of the one loaf. Look at the word "participation" that comes up twice in this short passage. The Greek word that the NIV translates as "participation" is the word koinonia, which means sharing, fellowship, participation, communion.

The description of the Lord's Supper as "communion" comes from this passage. To call the Lord's Supper "communion" is to indicate a oneness. It signifies oneness with the Lord, certainly. But it also denotes oneness with each other. "We who are many," Paul says, "are one body, for we all partake of the one loaf."

Unity at the Last Supper
This theme of unity or oneness is central to the Lord's Supper. That is quite clear when you look at the passages in the Gospels that report to us the dinner conversation around the table on the night it was instituted. The big theme of the evening was unity: developing a servant's heart willing to wash feet; not lording it over your brothers and sisters, but finding ways to help and encourage them; learning what it takes to become one, united in love, one to such an extent that we even share in the oneness the Son has with the Father; and then coming to witness the awesome effect this oneness has on a world that is divided, splintered, fragmented, even schizophrenic.

Disunity in Corinth
When Paul spoke to the Corinthians about the Lord's Supper (1 Corinthians 11:17-34), his central focus was unity. Some were going ahead and eating before the others arrived, so that when they finally did arrive, they had to go hungry. Others were actually so self-indulgent that they were using the wine to get drunk. Paul rebukes them, urging them to "discern the Body" which again and again in First Corinthians refers to the Christians themselves. In vv. 27-30, he warns that if they don't discern the Body, in other words, if they ignore or work against their oneness, they are eating and drinking themselves into damnation.

Is unity a problem for us?
So if unity was such an issue among the original apostles, and if it was a central concern with the Corinthian church, what about us? Is unity a problem for us? Is it?

Look around your church assembly. Is there someone you don't know? Is there someone you avoid? Someone you look down on or hold a grudge against? We all know that's not how it's supposed to be, but is that how it is? Is it?

We who are many, are one body, for we all share, participate in, have fellowship with, enjoy communion with the one loaf. We who are many, are one body, for we all participate in, share, have communion with the one cup. That's what the Lord has in mind, but is that how it really is? Is it?

Covenant for oneness
Whether it is or not is up to each of us. By eating this bread and drinking this grape juice you are making a covenant that you want this oneness--oneness with the Lord and with each another. It is also a pledge: that you will do what it takes to make this oneness happen. If you don't agree, don't eat. If that is not your pledge, don't drink.

Look around you once more. These are people you have fellowship with. They are your brothers and sisters, your family. Each of us that is tied to the Lord is also tied in unity to one another. That's the way it ought to be, but is it? Is it?

Want to go deeper?

Rather than unity on the night of the Last Supper, the disciples had a spirit of rivalry. Take a look at Luke 22:24-30, where Jesus has to tell them, "Stop acting like pagan rulers." Even Peter was not exempt from this attitude, for he said, "Even if everyone else denies you, I won't" (Matthew 26:33). That statement creates a rhetorical separation between him and the others. Of course, Judas Iscariot was acting independently and counter to what the rest intended (see John 13:21-30).

In the face of all of this jockeying for position and individualistic words and deeds, Jesus' words and deeds were designed to draw them together again. Study the significance of washing their feet (John 13:1-17), giving them an unforgettable common experience. It was doubly humbling in that they had to receive this service from their Master and they had avoided doing it themselves. In the "Farewell Discourse" (John 14 - 16), Jesus outlined their common mission, resources, and destiny. He concludes with his "High Priestly Prayer" (John 17), with unity as its central theme.

Copyright ©2008 Steve Singleton

Steve Singleton has written and edited several books and numerous articles. He has been an editor, reporter, and public relations consultant. He has taught college-level Greek, Bible, and religious studies courses and has taught seminars in 11 states and the Caribbean.

Go to his DeeperStudy.com for Bible study resources, no matter what your level of expertise. Explore "The Shallows," plumb "The Depths," or use the well-organized "Study Links" for original sources in English translation. Check out the DeeperStudy Bookstore for great e-books, free books, and great discounts.

Letting God Have Control

By Alyice Edrich

Last year, about this time, something Cecil Murphy said hit home. He said, "I stopped looking for work and started letting God find me work." I'm paraphrasing big time, but the jest of his talk was that when he let go and let God, everything just fell into place. When he stopped worrying about where that next paying job was going to come from, when he stopped worrying about finding new clients, it was then that he was able to hear God's voice and his writing career changed forever.

At the time, I was extremely burnt out and writing just wasn't fun anymore. Heck, even reading written words had become drudgery. I was seriously trying to figure out how to walk away from the success I had built and what I could do with the rest of my life, career wise.

As I began to concentrate on his words, it became clear that I had been focusing on the wrong things-the end result, the income. So I took his advice and gave it up to God. A few weeks later a great thing happened, I received not one, but three blogging gigs: a 6 month contract, a 3 month contract, and a 1 month contract.

Those blogging gigs renewed my thirst for writing and since I no longer had to hunt down paying assignments or clients, I was free to concentrate on the beauty of writing. I was having fun again.

Then something happened that once again caused me to worry about my income, and that was the loss of my husband's job. It takes the two of us to make ends meet and without his income, I had to pick up the slack. Once again, I went into full drive only to get burnt out rather quickly.

When I stopped to think about why I got burnt out so fast I realized that I was taking any writing assignment that came my way instead of choosing assignments that made writing a pleasure. I wrote for the money, not the art and definitely not to change lives. And in between all that writing, I was busy marketing my e-books-a huge source of my income.

Finally the stress became too much and no sooner did my husband find a stable, good paying job did I get hit with Bell's Palsy. Talk about a wake up call.

I discovered that:

1. If you aren't writing, it may have nothing to do with time. It may have everything to do with the topic or niche you've chosen to write in. What's your passion? What excites you? Try writing about those things for awhile and see if you can't "find" time to write.

2. If writing has become a chore, it may have more to do with what writing has come to mean to you versus what writing once meant to you. If you've gotten into the habit of seeing writing as a means to an end-financial stability-you're bound to lose all excitement in the craft.

3. If you put too much value on how others perceive you, through your writing or your business, you can lose sight of yourself and the whole reason you started writing in the first place. I had worked so hard, for so many years, to get to a certain point in my career that the very idea of backing off made me feel like a failure. And I didn't want to feel like, let alone look like, a failure in the eyes of those that have grown to respect me in this industry.

So once again, I find myself at a crossroads with my writing and have come to realize that it's actually a good thing! Growing means change and change must happen in order to keep moving forward.

So I say, "Here's to change!"

May we all grow so much this coming year that change is inevitable and that in changing we find that writing path that makes writing worth far more than the income it provides.

Alyice Edrich is a work-at-home mom with an award winning online magazine. Visit her website, http://thedabblingmum.com/ebookstore to learn how you can earn a living working from home, too. Or stop by her personal website, http://alyiceedrich.net to purchase one of her hand painted, repurposed jars.