Jul 28, 2011

Facebook or Face-in-the-BOOK?

I had to check my Facebook account; had anyone sent or posted anything new? How many have confirmed me as a friend on Facebook since I last checked? So, several times throughout the day I opened up my account and found a flood of comments, photos, and ponderings from people I knew. All of the information that was shared was helpful for me to feel a part of friends and family. And yet for each instance that I checked my account, one hour later I realized just how much time I had spent.

What I described above was just the first 18 hours of my Facebook account; and that included some time to sleep. And today, my account was inaccessible; what would I do with the time?

Facebook has roughly 700 million users, 6 million from the USA alone. And, for many, it is a great way to social network. I love the idea of instant connection; this can be a great tool in our lives. In an instant, we can connect into the lives of people we wouldn’t normally call or write so frequently. Most of the real world is checking their Facebook accounts on their mobile phones, while I am still using the old fashioned phone connected to a base located in my house (since I left my last place of work and turned in my cell phone).

I don’t need Facebook; not really, and actually put off setting up an account for several years. I saw Facebook as one account that I probably didn’t need; much like my Linkedin account which I have yet to ever check even though people request me to join them as a business friend.

I already get a multitude of emails each day and spend way too much time just using that as a vehicle to communicate; to say nothing of my use of Sykpe. And, if that weren’t enough, I write a blog at least once a week and spend time updating my website. And all of my places of communications are linked together, so all sites must be tweaked on a very regular basis. If you snooze you lose; or something like that.

I realized that I had a potential problem on my hands; I, too, could fall into the trap of having one more thing rob my life of time. One more excuse why I hadn’t spent as much time in prayer or worship; time spent with God connecting intimately as I had wanted to do. Even as I sit and write this blog I realize that once again I have been preoccupied by this social media.

I’m not making a blanket statement that you need to not use it and I don’t want you feel the need to defend your use of your preferred social media outlet. There are many things that take us away for time with God. But, when was the last time we were as consumed with time with God with our FACE in His BOOK?

King David wrote in Psalm 27 verse 4; ONE THING I have desired of the LORD, That will I seek: That I may dwell in the house of the LORD All the days of my life, To behold the beauty of the LORD, And to inquire in His temple.”  Can we really say that and really mean it? Is that really the “ONE THING” that we desire?

He goes on to write in verse 8; “When You said, “Seek My face,”My heart said to You, “Your face, LORD, I will seek.” (Psalm 27:8)

Jesus summed up the whole law of God as to “Love the LORD your God with ALL of your heart, with ALL of your soul, with ALL of your mind, and with ALL of your strength…and your neighbor as yourself.” (paraphrased of Mark 12:29-31)

Can we really say that and really mean it; ALL of our heart, mind, soul, and strength?

Psalm 17:15 As for me, I will see Your face in righteousness; I shall be satisfied when I awake in Your likeness.

Let’s commit before God to give Him the best, the most of who we are. Allow the Holy Spirit to show us how things like this can rob our time with the only One who can bring us real life. And once again commit to spend time with our Face-in-the-BOOK and our face seeking His face. He, too, wants to confirm you as a friend in His “Facebook”, the Book of Life.

 Seek the LORD and His strength; Seek His face evermore!” (Psalm 105:4)

“So I came out to meet you, diligently to seek your face, and I have found you.” (Proverbs 7:15)

“if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” (2 Chronicles 7:14)

"Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved." 

Pleasing to you by Jared Anderson

Sanctify me
Clean out my closet
Take away anything
That is not pleasing to You

Purify me
Destroy all my anger
Wash away everything
That is not pleasing to You

I will be white as snow
I will be pure as gold
Jesus my heart must know
I'm pleasing to You

I give my life my all
Taking the cross I will follow
Jesus my heart must know
I'm pleasing to You

Sanctify me
You are the light to guide me
To the place where I am
Only pleasing to You

Oh come and Purify me Lord
I need your light inside me
So the darkness flees
And I can be pleasing to You

NOTE: For a Word Study on “The Book of Life” see Philippians 4:3, Revelation 3:5, Revelation 13:8, Revelation 17:8, Revelation 20:12, Revelation 20:15, Revelation 21:27, Revelation 22:19

Jul 21, 2011

Nameless People

If you’ve been reading blogs from Blogger for any length of time, you will know that each month, Blogspot.com comes up with its list of “Blogs of Note”. These are blogs that they happened to come across and found interesting for one reason or another. The reason need not be substantial. It could be that they liked a particular post. It could be the blog seems to have good writing, or good design, or original content or concept, or they just like the name.

And suddenly, the writers of the particular blog that is chosen are thrust into their extended “fifteen minutes of fame” on the World Wide Web.
Today, I want to name my own “Blog of Note”. It is written by a man named John Turner. Although John and I have exchanged comments and emails, we have never met or talked via the phone or Skype. Nevertheless, today I applaud what John is doing.

In his own “simple” way, John writes about his daily experiences and how he sees a connection into his relationship with God through Jesus Christ. John writes about God and the things that He can do in your life. By “simple”, I mean that you don’t need to get out a dictionary, expository, concordance, thesaurus, commentary, or interlinear Bible to understand the profound wisdom of a man who is simply walking with the Lord day by day. And he has been faithfully writing about those experiences since 2007.
The Bible is filled with stories of people who did (sometimes) seemingly simple tasks that made all of the difference in the economy of God. The Bible is filled from cover to cover with stories of people who simply did what they knew to do and God made sure that their story was written down; it was a big deal in the eyes of God. You will find in the Bible stories of people who did (seemingly) simple tasks such as raising a colt (Mark 11:1-3), or filling water pots (John 2), or pouring out very costly fragrant oil (Matthew 26:6-13).

The Bible says that “…we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” (Ephesians 2:10).

And John is faithfully doing that. He uses his experiences and how God made him to draw people into a deeper relationship with God through Jesus Christ; who is the True Faithful One.
Thanks John!

John’s Blog is called: “JOHN THREESIXTEEN” You can find it at: http://johnbturner.blogspot.com

Jul 14, 2011

What is growing in your Garden?

It’s summer and the seeds that we planted in the spring have given way to the plants that were hidden inside; plants that are now giving way to the fruit that they were destined to produce. Cold soil that was carefully prepared and tilled in the spring has given way to be the very place that gives birth to life itself.

Because we live on a corner and we have many who walk by to look at our gardens, we try to maintain our gardens in a way for others to look, linger, and enjoy.  Surrounding our house on all four sides we have flower plants and other greenery. Some of these plants are “annuals” and last only for one season and require new plants each spring. Some are “perennials” and are continuing or recurrent year after year and require tending and thinning each year. 

As I have grown older I have narrowed down what is growing in my gardens. I want only items that will produce real life. In my vegetable garden I have peppers of all variety and intensity of heat, a variety of tomatoes, peas, beans, squash, cucumbers, and herbs. And, my favorite; RED RASBERRIES; which I am able to collect and freeze enough over the next six weeks to eat for the next seven months.

Similarly, as I grow older in the Lord I have narrowed down what is growing in my ‘spiritual garden’. I am finding that I long to be a place where His life is seen in me. I long to create more room in my life for Him and Him alone. 

No, I don’t do it simply for others to look at and ponder; although that is a bi-product of a life in Christ. I long to prepare a place for His dwelling… I long to be a place where He dwells with me and walks with me much like God did when Adam was first created (see Genesis 3:8). 

So what is in your “spiritual” garden? What is growing in your life that comes back each year and requires maintenance? What needs to be planted over and over again as it seems to only last for a short season and then it is gone?

garden” by Misty Edwards

      I am a garden enclosed
      A locked garden
      A fountain sealed
      I am Your resting place
      I am Your resting place
      Here oh Lord have I prepared      
      A place for You to dwell
      Here in the reservoir of me
      That You would dwell in my heart
      That I would be in You
      & You would be in me
      That I could fellowship with God
      Here where it’s You and me alone
      The very Glory of God on the inside of me
      I want to fellowship with You
Here it's You and me alone God You and me alone
Here it's You and me alone God You and me alone

      I am Your resting place

      For You said that You would be in me
      That I would abide in the vine
      Christ in me the HOPE of my glory

You've hedged me in with skin all around me
I'm a garden enclosed a locked garden
Life takes place behind the face.

So come into Your garden
Come into Your garden.

Here O Lord! Have I prepared a place for You!

I'm no longer my own I'm Your garden

I don't want to wasted my time living on the outside
I'm going to live from the inside out
I don't want to waste my life living on the outside
I'm going to live from the inside out

Jul 7, 2011


Did you ever make a copy of something and notice that any flaws in the original were reproduced into the copy? Have you ever made a copy of a copy and noticed that the flaws become amplified and the copy is further away from the original?
Although I am not a fan of cloning (let’s stay out of God’s business); I did find humor in the 1996 comedy film called “Multiplicity”, starring Michael Keaton and Andie MacDowell.

The storyline goes something like this: Doug Kinney (played by Michael Keaton) is a very busy man who finds it impossible to juggle his daily schedule in the realms of business, his family, and his wife; until he meets a scientist who offers to clone him. In time, Doug realizes that he still is having trouble juggling his entire daily schedule so he decides to make another clone to help around the house (now there are three “Dougs”- all copies of a copy). Eventually, one of his clones realizes he too is way too busy and decides to clone himself; leading to a guest house full of clones - all played by Keaton and each with a different personality - while his wife Laura Kinney, (played by Andie MacDowell) is confused about Doug's different personalities.

What is the moral of the story? It never works to make a copy of a copy.

You may ask yourself the question; “If we are made in the image of God then why are we all so messed up?” First of all, the Bible tells us that He did make us in His image.
“Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” 27 So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. (Genesis 1:26-27 Emphasis by me).

Another passage in Genesis says; “This is the book of the genealogy of Adam. In the day that God created man, He made him in the likeness of God.” (Genesis 5:1) Emphasis by me)

The problem is that all mankind after that was no longer made in the image of God, but they were actually made in the image of man. What do I mean? When Adam, the first man, was created, he was made in God’s image. But, Adam sinned and everything changed. And Adam lived one hundred and thirty years, and begot a son in his own likeness, after his image, and named him Seth.” (Genesis 5:3)

In other words, like “Doug Kinney”, we have been “copied” from a “copy” and we have lost some of our original perfection, the flaws have become amplified, and the copy is further away from the original.

So how do we get back closer to what we are supposed to be; back to the image of God? We need to be re-born or “born again” after the “Second Adam” or the “Second Man”, not the first Adam.

The Apostle Paul wrote to the church in Corinth (Greece) “And so it is written, “The first man Adam became a living being.” The last Adam became a life-giving spirit. 46 However, the spiritual is not first, but the natural, and afterward the spiritual. 47 The first man was of the earth, made of dust; the second Man is the Lord from heaven. 48 As was the man of dust, so also are those who are made of dust; and as is the heavenly Man, so also are those who are heavenly. 49 And as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly Man.” (1 Corinthians 15:45-50)

What does the original look like? The Bible tells us that it is Jesus Christ: “He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.” (Colossians 2:15)

When asked ‘what does God look like’, Jesus replied; “Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; so how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? 10 Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? The words that I speak to you I do not speak on My own authority; but the Father who dwells in Me does the works.” (John 14:9-10)

Unsure what to do next? Call 1-888-NEED-Him; someone is waiting to talk with you

"Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved."