Friday, May 10, 2013
Saturday, December 15, 2012
I love this story in scripture. An angel of the LORD speaks to Philip. And from what I understand from scripture, angels are pretty amazing. They are God's servants who carry out some of God's plans on earth; bring God's messages to people, carry out some of His judgments; battle demonic forces; protect God's people; and generally patrol the earth (Luke 1:11-19; Acts 12:23; Daniel 10:13; Psalm 91:11-12; Zech. 1:10-11). But it is to be Philip, not the angel who was to go to the Ethiopian in a "desert place" and tell him about Jesus!!! Acts 8:35 "...Philip opened his mouth and beginning with this Scripture (scripture the eunuch was reading,Isaiah 53:7,8) and told him the good news about Jesus."
Philip proclaiming the Gospel in Samaria after Stephen's stoning which scattered many believers from Jerusalem, and there was much persecution...and an angel of the LORD interrupts Philip telling him to travel south, to a desolate place. Philip obeys, and once there he sees the Ethiopian eunuch. The Spirit of God then says "Go over and join the chariot." And catch this, Philip RAN!! He runs to him and overheard him reading Isaiah the prophet, and asked, "Do you understand what you are reading?"
"And he said, 'How can I, unless someone guides me?' And he invited Philip to come up and sit with him. Now the passage of the Scripture that he was reading was this:
'Like a sheep he was led to the slaughter
and like a lamb before its shearer is silent,
so he opens not his mouth.
In his humiliation justice was denied him.
Who can describe his generation?
For his life is taken away from the earth.'
And the eunuch said to Philip, 'About whom, I ask you, does the prophet say this, about himself or about someone else?' Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning with this Scripture, he told him the good news about Jesus."
Could not the angel have told the Ethiopian about Jesus? The Spirit of God gave that charge to Philip.
There are people much like the Ethiopian who don't understand the Scripture, and they don't know Jesus - "And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be save." (Acts 4:12)." And there is no one else, not the angels, who have been given that charge....that commission, that command to proclaim the good news about Him, other than His people - Christ followers.
Some say a "godly life" should serve as a witness...but "Without words, what can our actions point to but ourselves? A godly life cannot communicate the incarnation, Jesus' substitution for sinners, or the hope of redemption by grace alone through faith alone. We can't be good news, but we can herald it, sing it, speak it, and preach it to all who listen. In fact, verbal communication of the gospel is the only means by which people are brought into a right relationship with God." (Ed Stetzer Preach the Gospel, and Since it's necessary, Use Words)
The Apostle Paul in Romans said: "For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, 'How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!'" Romans 10:13-15
Tuesday, March 20, 2012
“I will take heed to my ways.”
Fellow-pilgrim, say not in your heart, “I will go hither and thither, and I shall not sin;” for you are never so out of danger of sinning as to boast of security. The road is very miry, it will be hard to pick your path so as not to soil your garments. This is a world of pitch; you will need to watch often, if in handling it you are to keep your hands clean. There is a robber at every turn of the road to rob you of your jewels; there is a temptation in every mercy; there is a snare in every joy; and if you ever reach heaven, it will be a miracle of divine grace to be ascribed entirely to your Father’s power. Be on your guard. When a man carries a bomb-shell in his hand, he should mind that he does not go near a candle; and you too must take care that you enter not into temptation. Even your common actions are edged tools; you must mind how you handle them. There is nothing in this world to foster a Christian’s piety, but everything to destroy it. How anxious should you be to look up to God, that he may keep you! Your prayer should be, “Hold thou me up, and I shall be safe.” Having prayed, you must also watch; guarding every thought, word, and action, with holy jealousy. Do not expose yourselves unnecessarily; but if called to exposure, if you are bidden to go where the darts are flying, never venture forth without your shield; for if once the devil finds you without your buckler, he will rejoice that his hour of triumph is come, and will soon make you fall down wounded by his arrows. Though slain you cannot be; wounded you may be. “Be sober; be vigilant, danger may be in an hour when all seemeth securest to thee.” Therefore, take heed to thy ways, and watch unto prayer. No man ever fell into error through being too watchful. May the Holy Spirit guide us in all our ways; so shall they always please the Lord. -- Charles Spurgeon Morning & Evening devotional for daily encouragement
Saturday, March 17, 2012
Often I feel God deals with me like a jackhammer, but it is not He who is loud or irritating -- but me. As He demolishes the strongholds in my life, sinful cemented habits, wrong thinking, pettiness, evil thoughts, pride, stubbornness, selfishness, defensiveness, unbelief, things hidden within that I don't want others to know about, and those things I am not even aware of - irritating sounds erupt - FROM ME. The LORD Jesus though continues His sanctifying work by His grace.
He wills to - for He is holy and His will is for His child, to be holy.
John 17:17 "Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth."
Painfully thankful for His way: the Holy Spirit, the Word. Thankful for those who faithfully preach the Word which jackhammers my wicked heart. I must obey...but I struggle. Wretched/stubborn sinner that I am, but praising God for He has set me free and has given me life and power through His Spirit who dwells in me.
Psalm 12:6 "The words of the Lord are pure words, like silver refined in a furnace on the ground purified seven times."
Grateful to the LORD for the gift of repentance. God says I can "with confidence draw near" Him and will receive mercy and find grace when I do. Grateful to the LORD for those in the church who love this old jackhammer even when she is at her most irritating.
Thursday, December 15, 2011
Reckless Abandon 2012
LifeBridge Church’s Mission Trip to Ethiopia
In February, I am going on a mission trip to Ethiopia with a group of people from my church LifeBridge as well as two terrific gal pals from up north.
1 Peter 4:10 "As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace."
We will get to serve at an orphanage [or as one of the gal pals wonderfully expressed, “There will be lots of cuddling and playtime!”]. We will also be conducting a vacation Bible school, ministering in a leper colony and training pastors in the area.
John 12:26 "Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me."
Each person on the team has been working hard to raise his or her support. To help raise further funds, T-shirts and sweatshirts are being offered for sale designed by one of the team members Erica and daughter, Nichol. The sale begins today, and they are really nice running true to size AND they look and feel GREAT!
Men/Women T-shirts – Gray/Navy -- $25.
Men/Women Sweatshirts – Gray/Navy -- $40.
Money raised will be to help the team with expenses like airfare, but also with needs for the people we serve in Ethiopia like clothing, school supplies, health and medical supplies, toys.
FRONT READS: RECKLESS ABANDON
BACK READS: "...in the same way, faith by itself that does nothing is dead." James 2:17
If you would like to support us in this way, visit:
LifeBridge Church and click on “give” which will take you to paypal. Make a note that it is for Reckless Abandon 2012 and message me here on FB as to size and color.
Grateful to the LORD! To Him be the Glory!
Ephesians 2: 10 "For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them."
Wednesday, November 2, 2011
Heartbroken and close to tears…until I heard one teen, Jessica say: "I love talking and learning about different religions" to which I smiled and responded, “I love talking and learning about Jesus.” Didn’t give the gospel, but a seed.
Please pray for the harvest at Largo HS. Please pray for me as His ambassador.
Thursday, July 14, 2011
God's own are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God has prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them [Ephesians 2:10]. That verse in Ephesians is crazy!! The CREATOR of the universe, the Alpha and the Omega, the KING of Kings has works -- good works -- for me and others of His own to do. How crazy is that?!! It boggles the mind. Some years ago, I read a quote -- "Watch to see where God is working and join Him in His work." Crazy!!
Joining GOD? That is like a 4 year old joining Da Vinci as he painted the Mona Lisa, or a construction worker assisting Dr. DeBakey [the great father of modern cardiovascular surgery] while performing heart surgery. Crazy that God calls us to join Him in kingdom work, and yet He does.
Ten years ago, the King brought a young Pastor and his wife [Joe & Rachel Walser] to my then church in New Jersey. From the very first moment to use an old idiom, I knew "I was to hitch my horse to that wagon." God was working in and through them to advance His kingdom, and I wanted to join in. God, by His own plan, had it in mind that a then middle aged couple would co-labor with Joe & Rachel. Crazy!! And now as a senior couple, we got to join in planting a church with them here in Florida. Larry and I get to serve in so many ways here ALONG WITH alot of peculiar people (See 1 Peter 2:9) who we are crazy for, and it is CRAZY, absolutely crazy. I like to say, we get to do what angels long to do.
"All our days pass away under your wrath; we finish our years with a moan. The length of our days is seventy years, or eighty, if we have the strength yet their span is but trouble and sorrow for they quickly pass, and we fly away." Psalm 90:9-10
I just turned 60, and God has prepared another work for me in which to join Him [I know, crazy!] - I get to go to Rwanda
It takes my breath away. While writing this, I was reminded of a story... posted here which describes, I think, God's plan for His own.
A Bike Ride with God - Author Unknown
At first I saw God as my observer, my judge, keeping track of the things I did wrong, so as to know whether I merited heaven or hell when I die. He was out there, sort of like the president. I recognized His picture when I saw it, but I really didn't know him. But later on when I met Christ, it seemed as though life were rather like a bike ride, but it was a tandem bike, and I noticed that Christ was in the back helping me pedal.
I don't know just when it was that He suggested that we change places, but life has not been the same since. When I had control, I knew the way. It was rather boring but predictable ... It was the shortest distance between two points. But when He took the lead, He knew delightful long cuts, up mountains, and through rocky places at breakneck speeds, and it was all I could do to hang on! Even though it looked like madness, He said, "Pedal." I worried and was anxious and asked, "Where are You taking me?" He laughed and didn't answer, and I started to learn to trust. I forgot my boring life and entered into the adventure. And when I say, "I'm scared," He'd lean back and touch my hand. He took me to people with gifts that I needed, gifts of healing, acceptance, and joy. They gave me gifts to take on my journey, my Lord's and mine. And we're off again. He said, "Give the gifts away, they're extra baggage, too much weight." So I did, to the people we met, and I found that in giving I received, and still our burden was light.
I did not trust Him at first, to be in control of my life, I thought He would wreck it; But He knows bike secrets, knows how to make it bend to take sharp corners, knows how to jump to clear high rocks, knows how to fly to shorten scary passages. I'm learning to shut up and pedal in the strangest places, and I'm beginning to enjoy the view and the cool breeze on my face with my delightful constant companion, Jesus Christ. And when I'm sure I just can't do anymore, He smiles and says ... "Pedal."
I love that story.... I love Jesus! So grateful that He does crazy things!
This Saturday, July 16th (returning August 2nd), I travel to Africa. I covet your prayers as I serve there. Of late, my mind has been on the times of Noah, before the flood when people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage until Noah entered the ark, and the people were unaware until the flood came and swept them all away, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. People busy with life, not expecting that Jesus could come back at any time. (Matthew 24:36ff). Please pray that I take every opportunity to witness. That God open for me a door(s) while traveling for the word, "to declare the mystery of Christ,...that I may make it clear which is how I ought to speak. That I walk in wisdom ..making the best use of the time. Pray that my speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that I may know how I ought to answer each person."
I believe it is God's plan for me to serve, here in Florida with LifeBridge Church and to go and serve in Rwanda at this time with the Rafiki Foundation, and in every place to take every opportunity to witness [Colossians 4:2-6]
To God be the Glory!