Apr 30, 2020

Here Comes The Son

Today there is a heaviness in the land.

Negativity is the new norm as day-by-day, hour-by-hour, minute-by-minute we rush to eat a diet of the latest update about a disease that is ravaging the land.

Twenty-four hours a day the media spews out the vomit we call “news” as our lungs breath in the toxicity until it causes us to faint or pass out.

Conspiracy theorists are having a field day as sides are chosen as to what is really going on as both sides point their fingers at the other side.

Like the smell of a skunk that has just sprayed we gasp for a breath of fresh air.

Clocks are only used to find your favorite show. Calendars show only days (instead of weeks or months) as this Groundhog Day endlessly repeats.

“I just don’t know what to do…” is the heart cry of many.

And yet, through the confusion the Word of God SHOUTS to His people through the prophet Isaiah chapter 60:

Arise, shine;
For your light has come!
And the glory of the Lord is risen upon you.

Why is He telling us to arise and shine?

For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth,
And deep darkness the people

That sounds like the time we are living in. some days it seems as though the whole earth is wrapped in darkness.

Yes, darkness; thick darkness, gross darkness…all the people of the earth are sunk in deep darkness. 

And you say; “Now I am even more despaired!”


BUT (say that again)

BUT the Lord will arise over you,
And His glory will be seen upon you.

In the middle of times that seem out of control the Lord SHOUTS:

Get out of bed, Wake up.
Put your face in the sunlight.
God’s bright glory has risen for you.

The LORD is exhorting Believers during this time of despair and uncertainty to be a light for Him. To be a reflection of His goodness, His glory to those who are trapped by the darkness.

In fact, He is telling us through the prophet Isaiah that when we arise and shine, people will come to listen to what we have to tell:

The Gentiles shall come to your light,
And kings to the brightness of your rising.

Even those relatives who seem far away will come to you:

Lift up your eyes all around, and see:
They all gather together, they come to you;
Your sons shall come from afar,
And your daughters shall be nursed at your side.

The result will be

Then you shall see and become radiant,
And your heart shall swell with joy;
Because the abundance of the sea shall be turned to you,
The wealth of the Gentiles shall come to you.

The multitude of camels shall cover your land,
The dromedaries of Midian and Ephah;
All those from Sheba shall come;

They shall bring gold and incense,
And they shall proclaim the praises of the Lord.
(v 4-6)

In other words, when we arise and shine, the darkness is dispelled.

WE are called to bring the light into this world out of control.

Some of you might be thinking, “Jesus is the Light of the world, not me!”

And I would say that you are correct. In John 9:5, Jesus refers to Himself as the Light of the world.

But in Matthew 5:14 and 16, Jesus also said,

You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden... In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” 

My friend, don’t wait for this to all blow over before you share what the LORD has done for you.

We are called to be ready to speak up and tell anyone who asks why we’re living the way we are…

to always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence (1 Peter 3:15)

So, wake up sleepy head! Arise! Shine! So that others will exclaim:

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

Apr 23, 2020

Drinking the Wrong Kind of Tea

I was on a twenty-one day fast and was (for most of it) consuming only water. At some point during the transition back to food, I started drinking watered-down vegetable juices.

And some green tea.

That is until I discovered that green tea doesn’t mean that it is caffeine-free as I had wrongly assumed it was.

I discovered this when, after drinking some green tea, I felt a slight caffeine rush in my system. I had been drinking the wrong tea and educated myself by more carefully reading the box that the tea came in before making myself a cup.

Today, many people are drinking the wrong kind of tea. They are consuming it as they watch TV or stare at the news feed on their smart phone.

Commercial after commercial uses the phrase; “So much uncertainty… So much uncertainty… So much uncertainty!”

As Christians this statement should cause us to stand up and shout; “Uncertainty? Certainly NOT!”

Our God is the God of CERTAINTY!! Hebrews 13:8 tells us:

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever!

And because of it we have so much certainty!

Lysa TerKeurst said it best:
“I do know that what makes faith fall apart isn’t doubt. It’s being too certain of the wrong things.”

We can be free from doubt or reservation; confident; sure. We can exclaim to EVERY situation: I am certain that the LORD will come through!

He tells us in the Bible that He will provide. For our part we are to seek His face and His Kingdom and His righteousness.

We don’t need to live in uncertainty when we have so much certainty from One who is and will always be faithful!

Another phrase that commercials use is the phrase; “Unprecedented…” referring to the times that we are in.

UNPRECEDENTED?? How can that be? Ecclesiastes 1:9 says

That which has been is what will be, that which is done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun.

The LORD preceded EVERYTHING! He created EVERYTHING! Nothing throws Him off. We may not have gone through it before but the LORD has seen it all.

Some of what has been troubling us is our plans are out of whack. Everything that we planned is up in the air and on hold.

We had been riding a healthy economy with employment at an all-time high. Everywhere you looked companies, stores, and restaurants had “help wanted” signs.

Real estate was a seller’s market and bids were raised way above the asking price in order to purchase a home.

We hadn’t seen the possibility of the whole system crashing. We had not listened to the wisdom in James 4:13-15

Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit”; whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away.  Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that.”

If you, too, have been drinking the wrong tea as you drink the media that exclaims that time are unprecedented and uncertain.

Or if you are struggling to find hope for tomorrow, I have some good news for you.

Every day you can awaken with the hope that as you turn to God each day, you will find His mercy fresh and new waiting for you. Great is His faithfulness; in that you can place your hope!

How much have you acknowledged Him so far this day? He’s not upset with you; He just wants to be with you and have you acknowledge that He is there.

Are you ready to start today over? Have you tried to change your life with no success? Are you tired of trying to do it your way?

Come to Jesus who will exchange your uncertainty for a certainty that cannot be shaken.

Call 1-888-NEED –HIM; someone is waiting to talk with you.

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

Apr 16, 2020

Because of the Resurrection we have...FREEDOM!!!

The Apostle Paul wrote in Romans 5:7-8:

“Now, most people would not be willing to die for an upright person, though someone might perhaps be willing to die for a person who is especially good.  But God showed His great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.”

The cross and the Resurrection are linked together. Without the Resurrection, the cross of Jesus is meaningless. Apart from the Resurrection, the cross is a tragedy and a defeat.

Many people risk their lives for others such as fire fighters, police, healthcare workers, caregivers, etc.

Many people have died or were killed so others could have freedom: Among them are soldiers and freedom fighters

But because of the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus, we have a different type of freedom

Because of the Resurrection we have...
·        Freedom from FEAR
·        Freedom from STRESS
·        Freedom from BONDAGE & ADDICTION
·        Freedom from DISCOURAGEMENT
·        Freedom from ACCUSATION
·        Freedom from SHAME & CONDEMNATION
·        Freedom from SIN & DEATH

And why is that? It is because Jesus lives! He didn’t just die; He was resurrected!

This is Ephesians 1:7-10 in the Message Version:
“Because of the sacrifice of the Messiah, his blood poured out on the altar of the Cross, we’re a free people—free of penalties and punishments chalked up by all our misdeeds. And not just barely free, either. Abundantly free! He thought of everything, provided for everything we could possibly need, letting us in on the plans he took such delight in making. He set it all out before us in Christ, a long-range plan in which everything would be brought together and summed up in him, everything in deepest heaven, everything on planet earth.

Today our world is filled with dangers of a virus out of our control. Many are experiencing fear and strife. You too may be experiencing fear and strife

BUT Because of the resurrection…We no longer need to fear death or disaster.

Just as Jesus triumphed, we, too, can triumph. We can be confident that death will have no sting in our lives. Confident that we too will be resurrected.

Opportunities for worry, stress, and fear may come your way…

But as a Believer in Jesus Christ; you don’t have to walk in them. You have FREEDOM!

The words of the Lord Jesus are more relevant than ever before. Once again, He comes to those who love Him and says, “Fear not.”

I pray that this thrilling knowledge will sink deep into your heart,

Because of the Resurrection we have...Freedom!!!

“Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.” (Galatians 5:1)

Apr 9, 2020

What Will You Choose To Do?

Three Crosses were on the hill where Jesus was crucified.

Three very different crosses were represented that day.

Oh, they looked the same, all of them caused death, but they were very different indeed. (see LUKE 23: 32-43)

“Then one of the criminals who were hanged blasphemed Him, saying, ‘If you are Christ, save Yourself and us.” (Luke 23:39)

On a cross; paying for his own sins. Ignorant of who is there beside him. He didn’t ask for answers; he blasphemed Jesus.

This man didn’t want God. He wanted to mock Him. He rejected Jesus.

God never wanted to send this thief on the cross to hell. He was sending himself to hell.

“But the other, answering, rebuked him, saying, Do you not even fear God, seeing you are under the same condemnation? And we indeed justly, for we receive the due reward of our deeds, but this Man has done nothing wrong. Then he said to Jesus, Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom.” (Luke 23:40)

He was on his own cross; still paying for his sins. He was hoping that Jesus might also remember him; or put in a good word for him.

He was, in a sense, trusting religion to save him.

This cross will never get you right with God. This thief is simply on the wrong cross; dying to pay for his own sins: “for we receive the due reward of our deeds” (Luke 23:41)

JESUS; doing what He was sent to do.

Now, you may ask like the soldiers (Luke 23:37) or the thief on the cross (Luke 23:39) “If He was the Christ, why didn’t He come down from the cross?”

But He couldn’t because there was no other way; except by staying on the cross; to pay the penalty for your sins and mine. His blood ALONE paid it all.

Luke 22:42 saying, Father, if You are willing, remove this cup from Me. Yet not My will, but Yours be done.

2 Corinthians 5:21 For He has made Him who knew no sin, to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

Jesus ALONE took our place and paid for our sins.

His cross ALONE made a way for us to be right with God.

On His cross ALONE is the way to eternal life. No one can add to what Jesus did to save us.

Our past, present, and future sins are all forgiven; Jesus paid the price for all.

We simply need to confess our sins and put our complete trust on what He did thru His death, burial, and resurrection. (1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.)

#1 Paying for your own sins as you reject Jesus’ sacrifice.
#2 Paying for your own sins hoping God remembers you.
#3 Dead to you; trusting in the cross of Jesus Christ

One chose to curse out to God that day.
One chose to call out to God that day.
One chose to give His life as a ransom for all.

SO WHICH CROSS ARE YOU ON? Have you honestly & objectively taken your life’s goals to the Lord and surrendered it all to His plans for your life?

Do your goals feed your ego more than they honor the Lord?

Are you willing to change your goals if the Lord tells you to?

“NO” to what I want; and YES to what God wants; and nothing else in between.

Matthew 16:24 Then Jesus said to His disciples, If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me.

Apr 2, 2020

Wonderful Whale Breach

This blog was written by Hanna Clark and used with her permission

This afternoon school let out early because it was a test day. Ben and I had an hour to ourselves before the kids got out. We walked around the base a bit and went to the top of the guest house to enjoy the view. 

We were chatting about our adjustment to life here - the hard things, the good things, the unexpected in each category. 

Ben spotted some movement in the water a mile or two from shore. He had just said, "Look, honey!" when an enormous humpback whale breached. It's hard to describe how cool it was to witness. 

The thing is, we were the only ones that saw it. Business around the base was humming along as usual, people walking around working, etc.  We were so lucky to be there in that precise moment and have our eyes on the ocean. 

It got me thinking. This beautiful, majestic, wild thing had just happened, but we were the only ones who saw it and enjoyed it immensely! 

The ocean is almost larger than we can imagine. How many times has nature displayed some hidden glory without any human witness? 

How many pods of porpoises, how many corals, how many spinner dolphins, how much wonder there is!

And yet almost always, God is the only audience. Nature sings to Him and for Him, and even though it is hidden, and could appear as a waste from our human perspective, God takes joy in every little miracle. 

Here's the thing. He sees all the hidden wonders. All the things that are not witnessed by others.

He sees you humming while you do the dishes. He sees you wiping the table. He sees you balancing your checkbook. He sees you adjusting your attitude when it's a real effort. He sees you making loving choices over and over, and repenting when you don't.

He hears you laughing at a book you're reading. He sees and hears and witnesses all these hidden things, and He values them. 

He values the work of parenting. He values the difficulty of cultural, social, and physical adjustments. He values perseverance. He delights in lives surrendered to Him, even in the secret places.

So, I was encouraged. The same God who let me share in His joy by watching that whale breach takes joy in all the funny, sweet, hard and wonderful things in me. 

There are many who live here for years, even a lifetime, and never see a whale breach. And I just know that moment was meant for us. 

Courage, friends! He sees you.