Tuesday, October 30, 2012

When we have pain or lose someone

Philippians 3:7-4:1, New King James Version (NKJV) Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ. Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith; 10 that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, 11 if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead. 12 Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me.13 Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do,forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, 14 I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. 15 Therefore let us, as many as are mature, have this mind; and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal even this to you. 16 Nevertheless, to the degree that we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule,  let us be of the same mind. 17 Brethren, join in following my example, and note those who so walk, as you have us for a pattern. 18 For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ:19 whose end is destruction, whose god is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame—who set their mind on earthly things. 20 For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ,21 who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working by which He is able even to subdue all things to Himself.
Therefore, my beloved and longed-for brethren, my joy and crown, so stand fast in the Lord, beloved.

Psalm 119:165, (NKJV)

165 Great peace have those who love Your law, And nothing causes them to stumble.

Galatians 5:22, (NKJV)

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long suffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,

John 14:27, (NKJV)

27 Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

Psalm 4:3-8, (NKJV) (This is a good section to read when one who is His Child seeks His truth in His Word)

But know that the Lord has set apart for Himself him who is godly;
The Lord will hear when I call to Him.
Be angry, and do not sin.
Meditate within your heart on your bed, and be still. Selah
Offer the sacrifices of righteousness,
And put your trust in the Lord.
There are many who say,
“Who will show us any good?”
Lord, lift up the light of Your countenance upon us.
You have put gladness in my heart,
More than in the season that their grain and wine increased.
I will both lie down in peace, and sleep;
For You alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.

Numbers 6:22-26, (NKJV) (Though this is for the house of Israel I claim it when looking to be blessed of the Lord especially in trying times. The Lord loves to bless those who are His.) 

22 And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying: 23 “Speak to Aaron and his sons, saying, ‘This is the way you shall bless the children of Israel. Say to them:
24 “The Lord bless you and keep you;
25 The Lord make His face shine upon you,
And be gracious to you;
26 The Lord lift up His countenance upon you,
And give you peace.”’
My Comments: A few thoughts on when our loved one goes home to be with the Lord or we find life hard to bare. Remember He never said life would be easy and when we read Scripture we understand it will not be. His and those who are not His will have trials and tribulations and we are asked to carry our Cross so we can expect the trials and tribulations to be heavy ones at times yet He always promises to be with us and He will help us to come through them and we will be better for them. Even when we lose our loved ones He is there to bring us through. I have lost many in my life and had things (many would consider to be hardships or horrendous things) happen in my life yet in all of them none have hurt as much as the empty space of losing my husband.

Many of you have read some of the things I have gone through in my life. I have been raped, molested, lost all my Grandparents, Parents and even my Stepparents, and I have gone through the pain of losing two of my children and 4 miscarriages and the loss of my oldest Grandson. Yet though these things and others were painful I was with the grace of God able to work through the pain. I am working through this pain and finding the joy. Joy that my beloved is home with our Lord. Joy that he does not suffer anymore. Joy that one day I will see him and all my loved ones. Joy that some of our children will be in Heaven as well as some are saved through faith in Jesus and His Gospel. Joy that my David's life has touched many lives and has helped strengthen other believers walks and brought yet others to the Lord through his story of redemption. Yes, many joys yet for a time I could not understand why the emptiness was so strong at times.

I asked the Lord why and he impressed on me the answer. Each and every time when there was pain there was someone with me to give me focus. They were where I got my hugs and they were the warmth of comfort in the physical. This time there was no one here and though I knew I had my Lord to comfort me I missed the warmth a human body can give. Once I knew this I was able to right my thinking and not let the evil one continue to confuse me. Yes, I cry at times though I do not wallow in self pity. Yes the pain can be very strong and in those times I turn to my Abba who waits to give me the help I need sometimes in a song I hear, a bird playing in the sky, children laughing and His Word always and often in the unexpected.

One day I was on the couch and had given into crying and then turned my eyes heavenward and at once there was a knock on the door. It was a friend of mine come to have tea with me and visit. How kind of the Lord to send her here. She gives the best hugs in the world! And I know her hugs were from the Lord. What a wonderful God. He loves us so much and just waits for us to place ourselves before Him. Yes, I have watched my husband go to be with our Father in Heaven yet I have gained so much more. He inspired me with his love of God and others and his gentleness and humility. His gift was his quiet gentleness that led people to God and I am thankful for having had him in my life for 36 years.

Abba, thank You for being there for all of us and help us to turn to You at all times and to turn faster and faster each time we go through hard times and pain. Help us to know Your mercy and love are only a prayer away and to be patient if the answer we pray for is long in coming. Help us to know that if we do not get the answer we pray for that You love us so much You only give us the answers best for us and everyone at the time. Use our pain to grow us in ways we would never have imagined. May it be used for Your glory and honor.
Lord Jesus, thank You for Your example in Your life and especially in the desert for forty days when You were tempted by Satan.  Thank You for showing us that even when life is painful, people leave us, or hurt us as they did to You, that we can call on our Father in Heaven and we will be heard. Thank You for showing us how to persevere and find joy even in hard times. Help us to always keep our eyes on our Abba Father and not on our circumstances, the circumstances of other, on others or ourselves.
Holy Spirit, fill us with all the Father wants for us to learn, understand and give to the world in His name. Fill us with His knowledge, love and truth. Thank You for the strength and peace You fill us with in order that we may glorify the Father and point others to the Lord Jesus.
In Jesus name in union with the Holy spirit I pray. Amen


The Spirit gives the gifts, they are not of us.

The Spirit gives the gifts they, are not of us. 1Corinthians 12:3-11 (English Standard Version, ESV)

1 Corinthians 12:4-11
4 Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; 5 and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; 6 and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone. 7To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. 8 For to one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, 10 to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the ability to distinguish between spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. 11 All these are empowered by one and the same Spirit, who apportions to each one individually as he wills.  

My Comments: The Lord sent many gifts to the early church and He continues to do so, and always He sends them through His Spirit. The gifts are only gifts and they do not come by anything we ever did, are or will do. They are freely given and to be freely used for the good of the body. Nor are we ever to take credit for having them yet we are to give credit to our Heavenly Father. Some are given one gift and some more and even some do not know what their gift is yet what ever the gift (s) is (are) we always need to guard against our fleshly sin nature of pride.

Sometimes people treat the gifts of the Spirit as something they are causing to happen. If we look at the Bible and the greatest of the Prophets we never see them taking credit for anything they do. Elijah healed yet did not say, "It was me," and Jesus healed but always gave the glory to God the Father. Those who have the gift of prophecy were always careful to make sure it was of God and give Him the credit and never took credit for anything they said. The gift of tongues was never gibberish it was understood by those within hearing of the Apostles as they stood telling the Gospel in the languages of those who listened and thousands came to the Lord through the preaching of the Gospel in their own languages. Incidentally if we look throughout different people groups throughout the world and the ages we see those who speak in tongues that come out as gibberish we find pagan religions. God's people speak in the tongues of real people and they proclaim the Gospel of Jesus and tell of the things our Abba wants people to know. Be careful. It is a gift yet not anymore important than others nor does one have to speak in tongues to be one with Jesus. Many cults preach this and they lead many astray. We cannot force the Spirit to give us any gifts and when He does the gift is to be used for the glory of God not for our own glory.

Abba thank You for any gifts You allow us to have and help us to use them for Your glory and not for our own. Keep us from the pride and avarice that comes from having something someone else does not have. We are like children and often we act childish and this is not what you want us to behave like so Abba help us to be mature in the use of the gifts You entrust to us. Help us to help others especially those in the body with our gifts even if the gift we have is being able to run a meeting well, help others to understand the Gospel, or taking care of children in the nursery at church or teaching a Bible study. Whatever our gift give us wisdom and understanding, humility and truth as we use our gifts for Your glory and honor and praise. In Jesus name. Amen

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Abba hears our prayers

Abba hears our prayers, Psalms 4:1

Answer me when I call, O God of my righteousness! You have given me relief when I was in distress. Be gracious to me and hear my prayer! (Psalm 4:1)

Classic Commentary

This is another instance of David's common habit of pleading past mercies as a ground for present favor. Here he reviews his Ebenezers [his reminders of God's faithfulness] and takes comfort from them. It is not to be imagined that he who has helped us in six troubles will leave us in the seventh. God does nothing by halves, and he will never cease to help us until we cease to need. The manna shall fall every morning until we cross the Jordan.

David speaks first to God and then to men. Surely we should all speak the more boldly to men if we had more constant conversations with God. He who dares to face his Maker will not tremble before the sons of men.

"God of my righteousness," deserves notice, since it is not used in any other part of Scripture. It means, "You are the author, the witness, the maintainer, the judge, and the rewarder of my righteousness; to you I appeal from the false charges and harsh judgments of men." Herein is wisdom; let us imitate it and always take our case, not to the petty courts of human opinion, but into the superior court, the King's Bench of heaven.

(Adapted from Charles Spurgeon's The Treasury of David.)

A Thought to Keep

When you are surrounded by trouble, first look back to God's faithfulness in the past. Then, remember that He is your just judge and protector.
This was taken from an email to me from BibleStudyTools.com

My Comments: This passage is comforting to those of us who have accepted the Gospel of Jesus Christ as true and received the free gift He has given us through the Cross. His grace has saved us and we are reborn. My hope and prayers is all who follow this blog or hear about Jesus will accept this free gift of grace He our Lord God has obtained once and for all for everyone when He willingly went to the Cross and became sin for us.
It is free. There is nothing we can do to have this gift, just accept it and let Him take care of us. I have friends who are missionaries who are experiencing tribulations that are troubling their little ones and even their marriage. Satan roars like a lion around those who are God's adopted children and he likes to make life uncomfortable for us. My husband finished his life here and has passed on to glory yet I and our family must go on here witout him. Though I know the Lord will take care of me and my friends family as long as we remain true to Him who paid the price for us.
In the Bible there are many verses that speak to the power of God and His wanting to take care of His own. He is always there and He will always hear out prayers and when He takes care of the situation it will be the right time and to the best for everyone. We need to keep praying and listening to Him and be willing to trust Him and live out our faith.
I truly feel blessed to be used of our Lord Jesus Christ and have God as my Father who loves me so much and keeps me under His wing and in the palm of His hand. That is the only place I am safe. In Him and He in me. I praise Him for His gift of life and His helping me to grow as I live this life He has blessed me with.
Abba thank You for the lessons You have allowed me to learn and I pray You will give me discernment and guidance as I go through these lessons and growth. Help all who know You to live their lives to honor and glorify You in all they say, think and do. You are righteous and true and we pray You will hear our prayers and grant we will be given what we need to live our lives in praise of You. May our lessons of life help others and bring them in a right relationship with You. I praise You and glorify You most Holy God, In Jesus' precious name, Amen

Friday, October 26, 2012

Love and Respect

Hold fast.  Hebrews 10:23-25
Hebrews 10:23-25
"Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.

My Comments: Oh, how the verses of respect and love for our loved ones, resonates with me. In July (this was written in 2012 yet is true today as I look back on all the time we were married and learning from each other) the Lord impressed on me that the time was short for me to learn from my beloved the things he was given into my life to help me learn, and I was being slow to learn them.  I started to be more proactive at learning them.
I had already read the book, "Love and Logic" and knew what I needed as a wife, mother and women, to learn in regards to respect. You see women naturally love so they do not need to be told by God to Love. But we often feel we should have someone to respect before we respect. The Lord did not give us an option, He gave us a command. Women respect your husbands (Ephesians 5:33). I had to look at how I treated my husband. I loved him yet did not always show him respect (and s I look back I really had not respect for me in general). I gave respect dependent on how my husband or any man did things. Not what the Lord wanted of me.
After reading Love and Respect, I started watching my mouth. This being the part of me that I did not use to the glorify God when talking to me especially when I was upset with my love. I had plenty of chances to work on the organ the Lord wanted me to improve. As my hubby's illness progressed and he grew sicker the poisons in his body worked on his brain and caused many behaviors and words to come from him that were not the way he really was. They were to be used over the next few months to help me change my hurtful mouth to one with respect. I love how god works to improve us and how we treat others.
Loving him was never a problem for me, but respecting him or any man was because of things that had happened in my life caused by men. I had a problem with respecting any man even my calm easy going soft spoken husband. God used him and his illness to help me to grow and though I wish I had gotten it sooner I am thankful I finally got it and pray I never forget. I am not respecting because they "do" anything to earn it any more than I love all mankind because they "do" anything to deserve being loved my me or the Lord.
This has helped me when interacting with my sons and other men. Please God I will continue to not only love but to respect whoever the Lord puts into my life. Like love, respect is not a feeling it is a choice we make everyday. Like our heavenly Father, we love and like Him we show respect to others because they were created by Him. My lessons come over most of my life yet the ones that truly changed me were the ones I learned being married for 36 years and especially the last five years as my husband went through his time of failing health and pain.
Abba, thank You for Your grace and Your lessons that bring us closer to You. Help us to bring glory and honor to Your Holy Name. I praise You my Lord for giving me the man in my life who would help me to learn the lessons I needed to learn. I pray Abba any lessons that we need to learn You will guide us as we learn them. Father we have not always loved others as ourselves nor have we always shown the respect You would have us women to show to men. Help us to see eachother as You so we will learn to treat everyone in our lives as we would treat You. Let us not be found wanting and may we all finish the race well. In Jesus' precious name in union with the Holy Spirit. Amen

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

An update on how the Lord is working.

The second of this month my beloved husband went home to be with the Lord Jesus. One the eleventh his body, the temple that took such good care of him, was laid to rest and the family had a memorial celebration for family, friends and church family. It was a beautiful day and the Lord glorified my beloved by the many who came to let us know they cared so much for him and for us.

He was so sick for many years and for the last year it got very hard for him and we are thankful to God that He took him home so he no longer has pain though even in pain he never complained and he always gave glory and praise to our Abba. He loved the Lord so much and his final act was to have a memorial that gave others a chance to come to the Lord Jesus by accepting the Lords sacrifice on the Cross and believing in His resurrection. Our prayer now is that the seeds that were planted will grow and become the salvation for our family sorely needs. In this I would ask for your prayers for them as well, and if your family needs prayers feel free to drop me a comment and let me know their first name and I will be praying for them as well.

May our Lord Jesus bless you all and keep you in His loving care. May you know His peace and Joy even when things are not the way you think they should be. May you always praise and bring Abba glory for all things and know they are all for your growth and to bring you in a stronger walk with Him who loves you completely. Amen

Blessed Be the Lord

2 Chronicles 9:8
"Blessed be the LORD your God, who delighted in you, setting you on His throne to be king for the LORD your God! Because your God has loved Israel, to establish them forever, therefore He made you king over them, to do justice and righteousness."
King Solomon was one of the greatest kings of Israel. During his reign, Israel experienced a great time of peace and prosperity. In 2 Chronicles 2, we see that Solomon asked the Lord for wisdom to rule the people and in response to this request; God blessed him with riches and honor like no other before or after. After this, Solomon's wisdom was known throughout the world and rulers like the queen of Sheba, came to hear his words and see his wealth.
Much like Solomon, God has blessed each and every one of us with something. It may not be the great power and wealth that Solomon had, but everything we have can be used for Him. When we use our time, money or words to be a blessing, we are living out the Gospel and bringing glory to God. Today, look for opportunities to bless others. As you do this, others around you will take notice and like the queen of Sheba will proclaim, "Blessed be the Lord your God."
Life Lesson: God blesses us so we can be a blessing to others.
Dear Father,
Thank You for the blessings in my life. I praise You for giving me so much and I pray that You would help me to use it for You. Open my eyes today for opportunities to bless others and glorify Your name. Continue to use me to reach others with the Gospel. In Jesus' name, Amen.
Living to tell what He died to say,
Pastor David McGee
Cross the Bridge Ministries
My Comments: King Solomon had everything most people say they want and usually they say, "If I had everything I wanted I would be the best person ever." or something like it. Not true. Solomon though he had great wisdom and was blessed with power and wealth he left the God who gave it all to him and sinned against Him who blessed him so greatly.
I say this to caution us all to remember when we are blessed we must be a blessing to others and we must continue to walk in God's truth or we cannot be a true blessing no matter what we do. Solomon built the greatest home one can live in though he built the temple or house of the Lord smaller. Hmmm, something wrong with his thinking there. Everything we do should be to bring greater praise and glory to our creator our God not to ourselves. When we build earthly things without caring for the things of God more, then we are not bringing praise or glory to God. This separates us from God. Our walk should be about Him as this brings us into a stronger walk with our Father who brought us out of our sin and gave us life.
The Queen of Sheba proclaimed, "Blessed be the Lord your God." based on what she observed. People should observe God in our life not just for the times when things are going well. It is easy to show we are walking the road Jesus asked of us, when things are going well. Yet it is when they are pinching and there is pain, and we walk in God's strength and peace, now that is a greater tribute to the glory of God.
Our lives should always glorify God and bring others closer to God by how we live our lives and handle whatever happens in our lives. There is joy even in pain if we remember God has everything in His hands and He will take care of us. I always turn my eyes to my Abba when things get painful or joyful. As my Abba or Daddy it is His job to take care of me, and my part is to bring Him glory by my behavior. I have been adopted by the great I Am and He is my Abba. Since I carry His name I always am aware of how I bring glory to His Holy name.
Abba there is much in this world that vies for our attention. We are Yours Father and as Your children we need Your protection so we do not walk away from You. Keep us as the apple of Your eye and help us to do all for You. Keep our minds, heart, thoughts and actions always on You and to bring You glory and praise. Let us always remember when others tell us we are doing well that it is You in us and not our own strength.  You give us so much. Keep us thankful to you so we never loose sight of You in our lives.
All praise and glory is Yours, Oh Lord our God, we praise and glorify You for all You do for, in and through us. Keep us from all evil, keep our hearts from fainting when times come our way that try us, strengthen us with Your strength, May we want what You want and feel for others as You feel. In Jesus name we pray. Amen

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Do You Hear Him?

Do you hear when the Lord speaks?  Matthew 13:9
Matthew 13:9
"He who has ears to hear, let him hear!"
A parable is an earthly story with a heavenly meaning. Jesus would often teach a moral Truth by connecting natural things to make incredible spiritual points. Too often; however, the people did not want to hear the Truth He brought. Jesus was fond of saying, "He who has ears to hear, let him hear!" Obviously, God gave us ears for listening. Do we always? If we were honest with ourselves, we would have to say "no".
Here are some things overheard from people leaving countless churches across this land. "The teaching was on point today" or "I just wasn't feeling' it today." Why do we come to church? Is it to grade the teacher? Is it to evaluate the effectiveness of the teaching? No. We come to church to hear from God.
The Apostle John wrote that the same Holy Spirit that instructs the teacher also instructs the Christian. The Bible tells us that scripture is God-breathed, and it is a discerner of the heart's intentions which does not return void (doesn't fail) (1 Timothy 3:16-17; Hebrews 4:12; Isaiah 55:11). So, whose fault is it when we go to church, listen to a teaching from the Bible, and don't receive? Here's a hint: It's not the teacher, it's not the Bible and it's not God. That's right. It's our own fault. We don't hear because we don't like the challenge.
We should never walk away from a Bible teaching church (no matter who the teacher is) without realizing a change or recognizing a step we need to take. Make it your personal commitment to find the life-challenge, the life lesson within each teaching, and apply it to your life. Share it with a friend or a family member. Ask them to hold you accountable for making that change.
James 1:25 "But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does. NKJV
Life Lesson: We should do the Bible not just hear the Bible.
Dear Father,
Thank You for loving me. I know I am incapable of paying the debt for my sins. Thank You for providing Your Son, Jesus, to pay that debt. I am grateful that You delight in having a relationship with me. Lord, help me to apply Your Word in my daily life and live out a life of peace and faith. In Jesus' name, Amen.
My Comments: Today I heard two young ladies say things they thought would have made it easier for them to stay awake during the sermon which was not boring. Yet they felt the need to critique how it was presented. One thought there should have been more going on the screen behind the Pastor to keep attention from wandering. The other agreed with some of what was said, but not all. Without checking out the Bible to see if the Pastor was right or if she was wrong.
Often we thing we need to be entertained or have our ears tickled so what we hear is what we agreee with even if it doesn't agree with the Bible. Why? Sin nature is the answer. We are about ourselves. Sometimes in this new generation they are so used to playing quick changing games, having their needs taken care of immediately, people playing to their "self-esteem" or "whatever they believe to be true must be because they say it is." How sad that we are so self-serving. Yes, when we give into our sin nature we find we do not listen to the Words of the Lord or sermons given from the Word of the Lord but to the false wisdom of the world.
A few days ago my beloved husband went to be with the Lord he served faithfully. He passed on peacefully yet had suffered for a long long time. His one hope and prayer was for his/our family and people he knew and worked with, that they would come to know, love and serve the Lord God with all their hearts and souls. He also, prayed they would have knowledge and understanding of the Word of God. Many have come to me in the last few days since his passing on, and said how his walk helped them. He was a quiet and unassuming man who was larger than life to those who knew him and loved him. His ears were opened to the Word of God after he lived a life away from the God who loved him so much He died on the Cross and took his sin upon Him so he could live forever in the courts of heaven.
He who has ears to hear....
Abba Father may we all hear Your voice through Your Words and may we open our hearts so we will take unto us all You wish to reveal in Your Word to us. Thank you Abba for removing our sins as far as the East is from the West. We praise you and glorify you Daddy for all you have done and are doing for us. Open our ears to your truths and help us to know and understand Your Word. Amen

Living to tell what He died to say,
Pastor David McGee