Thursday, December 29, 2011

Barriers, Stumbling Blocks or Open Gates?

I've got a bit of a heavy heart this morning.  I was reading several posts on a FB page of an atheist.  He has a huge following.  It wasn't the mocking of Christians by the atheists that got me, it was the vitriol of the supposed Christians towards atheists and other non-believers.

I truly feel like weeping.

My Jesus is so kind and full of compassion and mercy.  He literally wept over Jerusalem because they would not receive him.  He longs to gather us as a mother hen gathers her chicks under her wings.  But so often, even we, who are his, refuse.

The only places I see Jesus getting angry at people is with the religious people, the money changers, and his disciples.

In Matthew 23:13, Jesus excoriates the religious ones, the scribes and the Pharisees,

Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!  For you shut up the kingdom of heaven against men; for you neither go in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in.
If we do not live and act as Jesus in this earth, we do not walk in the kingdom of heaven. Not only that, but we create barriers keeping those who are seeking for truth, who do not yet know how desperately they need him, from seeing him,and entering into the glory of God.

Woe is a huge word! It expresses deep grief and distress.  Jesus felt their stubborn hypocrisy deeply. He totally understood the results of their actions: lost sheep.

When Jesus burned with anger in the Temple, he over-turned the money changers' tables and drove them out of the Temple with a whip.  Once again, it was those who made it hard for others to enter into his Temple, into his Glory, to come and to receive prayer, healing and relationship with God, that stirred him.
(Matthew 21:12-13)

James and John were two of Jesus' devoted followers.  When Jesus sent them ahead of him to a Samaritan village to prepare for his coming, they  villagers would not receive them. James and John wanted to call down fire to consume them, as Elijah the prophet had done.  Jesus sternly rebuked them!
You do not know what manner of spirit you are of. For the Son of Man did not come to destroy men's lives but to save them. Luke 9:55-56
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, let us examine our hearts and our motives daily.  Let us walk as Jesus walked, preaching the Good News, healing the sick, casting out demons, raising the dead.  Let us plant seeds of kindness and goodness and mercy and hope and faith and Love.

I pray not one of us be a stumbling block to anyone.  Let our eyes be filled the Light of Christ. Let us burn with passion for those God loves.  He is still longing for those who are far off.  Let us be an open gate for them to walk, though into Your Kingdom.

Father, forgive me of ever causing one of your precious ones to stumble.  I love you, Lord!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Wisdom for Healing

The light of the eyes rejoices the heart, and a good report makes the bones healthy.                ~ Proverbs 15:18 (NKJV)
The book of Proverbs is full of practical wisdom for healing.  Modern medicine continues to confirm the truths that are written inside.
Sometimes when I read Proverbs, the Lord illuminates the spiritual truth; other times he reveals the physical reality.

Jesus is the Light of the world.  When we fix our eyes on him, he fills our hearts with joy.  I honestly cannot think of a single instance, when I finally changed my focus from my problem, my sorrow, my anger or pain to look at Jesus-to look into his Word, that I was not transformed into joy-filled believer in God!

In the same way, God created us to live in the light.  We need sunshine!  We need beauty!  When we spend time outdoors soaking up sunshine, making vitamin D, depression leaves.  Vitamin D deficiency is epidemic.  Sunscreen inhibits the body's ability to make this vital element. Our skin needs to absorb the suns rays! And our eyes need to be exposed to the natural light. UV protection sunglasses, worn all the time, reduce the amount of light we take in through our eyes. When the full spectrum of light hits our eyes, the optic nerve is stimulated, and has a positive effect on our endocrine system.  (Do some research on this. It's fascinating!) Sunlight makes us happy!

Healthy bones, spiritually speaking, are needed for our walk with the Lord.  Without a strong framework, the deep inner Truth, our journey in the Spirit is handicapped.  As members of the body of Christ,  every bone and joint must supply for the organism to move and grow.  We get strong spiritual bones by believing a good report:  The Good News of Jesus Christ!  Every word that is written in the Bible can bring strength to our inner man.

In the natural, our bones are critical for our immune system to work.  The awesome news here is that when you believe a good report it literally strengthens the marrow of your bones, bringing health to your entire body!  Laughter and joy create the environment for healing.

I remember a time when my husband was feeling really sick, like he was coming down with the flu. We had a date with friends to go see a play called Nunsense. (I highly recommend it!) Jack practically had to drag himself into the theater. While we were waiting for the show to begin, he kept saying that he thought he better go lay down in the car.  He was just getting ready to leave when the show started.

This production was hilarious from the get go!  In about ten minutes, Jack was laughing so hard he was crying. He looked at me and said, "I don't feel sick any more!" His fever was gone and all the nausea had disappeared! 

When you need healing, just remember this wonderful proverb.  Apply it like the medicine it is, and watch God work!


Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Anna Marie Discovers Hidden Art: Cave Art

Anna Marie Discovers Hidden Art: Cave Art: Queen's Watchdog formation in Longhorn Cavern Underground hidden art. Proverbs 4:23: In my paraphrase, Set a watch over your hear...

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Noah's Ark, It is Still Afloat!

I was reading one of my favorite, new blogs this morning.  These words arrested my heart!
"Noah, our eldest, asked a few months ago, “Would you have still wanted me had you known I’d get cancer?”  That’s an astonishing question to cross a nine-year old’s lips.  Obviously the weight of the disease and the stress of the treatments prompted him to take a look at life from a much more adult perspective.  And of course we responded, “Absolutely, we would have still wanted you.”" ~ Bryan, read his blog:
As I read this profound question from this man's young son, my eyes filled to overflowing with tears.  Even now, I am still having trouble seeing my keyboard.  My husband and I are praying for this young man's complete recovery. I hope many will join us.  Jesus never refused to heal someone who came to Him, so we can pray believing the same for this young man.  

His question gave me a new understanding of Father God's heart towards us.  I have asked Him, essentially, the same question before, but could never feel his heart until now. Until Noah.

"God if You knew we were going to choose sin and death over this life You planned for us, why would You still have wanted us?" 

Our sin, our evil, our brokenness is our cancer.  I feel His heart so strong for me and you.  His answer is in the Love.  Even knowing the horrible sacrifice He would suffer for us, His answer is an unequivocal, resounding,"Yes!"  He cannot imagine this Life without us!  So, He willingly paid the price, suffered the horrendous beating, the agonizing death on the cross, overcame the relentless grave so we could be healed spirit, soul and body; never to be separated from Him again!

Lord, thank You for Noah.  Thank You for using him in my life, today, for letting him be the vessel to open my heart to receive Your breathtaking Love!  Pour back into him 1,000-fold return, for what he has given me this day.

Thank you, Noah! You provided me an ark today!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Anoint the Technology?

Make your ear attentive to wisdom, Incline your heart to understanding. Proverbs 2:2
The rain is misting, and as I am sitting, propped up in bed thinking about the Lord and His words, there is a steady dripping sound as the water hits our metal roof. It is a soothing sound to me. After months of drought, I could sit here and listen to it for hours.

The Lord revealed a truth to me in this, however.  Sometimes, even small pleasures can be a distraction from my purpose: to spend time listening to my Jesus. (This is not to say small pleasures cannot be gifts from's in the discerning, does it add to your moment, or steal something away?)  As one who is ADD, I am very easily distracted.  But we don't have to have a label on us, to fall into the same trap of being distracted, when it comes to spending time with the Lord, meditating on His Word, and praying. 

We live in a time of awesome technology and opportunity. So many activities present themselves to us, every moment of every day. Without determined intentionality to focus on the Lord and His thoughts toward us, we can be distracted beyond belief! (This is a double entendre.) Distraction is an intentional attempt to divert someone's attention from what they are doing.The enemy of our souls has so many tools to entice us, tools that humans have invented.

As one who loves all the new toys, I have decided to try something.  I have never given my usage of the computer, phone apps, video games, etc. much thought before.  I have simply tried to apply discipline...sometimes failing miserably. Today, however, as I read Proverbs 2:2, I got the brilliant idea of consecrating all my "stuff" to the Lord.  What does that look like?

I am actually going to get my anointing oil, and anoint everything I use: TV,  DVD players, phone, computers, etc., and ask the Lord to bless them to His service, and for His glory; that He would direct my time as it applies to these things.  I will let you know how it goes. I am actually getting excited to go do it!

I want to be purposeful in obtaining wisdom from God.  This was my "download" from Him today.  I am making my ear to pay attention to wisdom today, and reaching out my inner being to the Lord, for His understanding, as I go about my day.

Blessings, Anna Marie
Make your ear attentive to wisdom, Incline your heart to understanding. Proverbs 2:2