Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed.

Romans 4:18-21   Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him, “So shall your offspring be.” 19 Without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead—since he was about a hundred years old—and that Sarah’s womb was also dead. 20 Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, 21 being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised.

 

looking at

Which eyes controls your thoughts?

We all have at least three sets of eyes.  Of course our physical eyes which we observe the world.  We have the eyes of our understanding.  You might call it comprehension when you understand a problem or a concept you say “Oh I see”.  It is enlightenment that solves a problem.  There is another eye that remains in each of us.  It is your spiritual eye.  The Bible talks about opening the eyes of the spiritually blind to understand spiritual truths.  Ephesians 1:18 “I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people,”

Some people believe their mother has a fourth pair of eyes on the back of her head to see what their children are doing.  

What we focus our eyes on determines our path in life.

During the day what are you focusing on?  Which eyes did you see through and what did you focus on this week? DO you find yourself fearful, depressed, happy, thankful?  All these feels are the result of what was focused on through which eyes.

Abraham did not see the physical obvious, he was an old man and his wife was beyond child bearing years.  Rather Abraham focused on the promise God specificlly gave to him concerning a son which the nation of Israel would come. Abraham did not rely on his physical eyes or the eyes of reason and understanding.  He focused on the eyes of His heart in believing the promise of God.

2 Corinthians 4:18  So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

Hebrews 12:1-2 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverancethe race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.  

Are you facing a battle?  Are you fearful?  Are you afraid of death? Are you depressed? Notice what you are watching.  Are you constantly on facebook comparing yourself to others?  Are you opening your eyes to God’s word daily?

What you see determins your path in life.  Start today controling what you see.  Read and pray some each day to strenthen your spiritual eyes and limit the eyes of TV and social media.  You will be amazed how different the world will look and how blessed your life will become.

looking-up

2 Corinthian 4:18 “So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”

Matthew 6:22-23   “The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy, your whole body will be full of light.  But if your eyes are unhealthy, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!” 

Psalms 119:105 “Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.”

Walk each day looking through the eyes of your heart and your  will have a LigntNside.

The Mystery and the Masterpiece – review

Provocative and compelling, I could not put the manuscript down.  – Ron L. Deal (Marriage and Family author, speaker, and therapist.)

Mystery and the masterpiece

In today’s world the concept of sex is no longer considered sacred only in marriage.  However, sexual desire  is one of the strongest passions we carry around.  This book revels the two basic desires we feel daily. They are  are hunger and  sexual attraction. God put this desire in us to make  our marriage commitment firm and lifelong.  The  sexual desire and rewards are so strong that they overcome our  shortcomings as husband and wife.

Are these words too strong?  Then you better not read the book because (cough, cough) it is really raw about marriage and the powerful bond of the sexual experience.  However, is not the bible also full of raw descriptions of national rebellion toward God described as prostitution and lust for others?

 

Unafraid to tackle intimate, nitty-gritty themes, Randy skillfully and tenderly presents astonishingly fresh insights into the marriage covenant and it’s ‘bigger picture’ connection with authentic worship of God. – Dave Williams (Mount Hope Church Network; Author of The Art of Pacesetting Leadership)

 

As I read the book I began to think about the powerful intimacy Christ desires with His people.  You will be challenged and encouraged.  Not many books have tackled the element of sex in our world and connected it a healthy and unhealthy relationship with Christ.

The Mystery and the Masterpiece may also be a book to correct the view of sex for those who were raised without regard to it’s impact when used in rebellion or it’s blessing when used as God designed.  My hope is as men or women read this book the power of the Holy Spirit will stir their hearts to seek intimacy with God and begin to respect the sexual desires are only for a lifetime commitment in marriage.

As you read this book may God bless you in your understanding of His passion for you as you understand the passions God created in you.  Allow God to place His LigntNside.

Link for book purchase.

http://ambassador-international.com/books/the-mystery-and-the-masterpiece/

also available as kindle in Amazon

 

 

 

 

A cry to die, A cry to live

cry-out-1

Today in America we read about death of teens by overdose, violence, or suicide.  There is a cry to troubled souls to die.  To end all the pain and sadness.  This voice speaks of a high that will erase the darkness of life but hides the truth of this path which leads to addiction and overdose.

A voice cries out no hope.

The voice speaks of the comfort of ending the pain.  How many of our students and your young friends at school have heard the call to end life.  It screams in a false love and false compassion to find  peaceful sleep but in reality there is nothing peaceful about suicide for the one in the act or the remaining family.  But the cry goes out still today.  “hear me and find peace, release and relief.  Do you know someone who listened to that call?  Most people do.  It is a painful reminder of wolves seeking sheep to be drawn away and consumed.  John 10:10 speaks of the owner of the voice to die.  It is Satan and he is called a thief.  One that takes hope and life.  “The thief comes to steal, kill and destroy”.

christ-cried-out

But there is also another voice.

The voice of life.  The voice of protections and healing.  It is the voice of all creation.  The one who says “Lazarus, come forth” and out of death and bondage comes life and hope.  John 10:10 continues with the words “BUT I have come to give you LIFE and that life abundantly”.

So how can we protect our minds and hearts from the voice of death and destruction?  We must do what the Israelites did when the death angel came to Egypt in Exodus 11:4-7 ‘So Moses said, “This is what the Lord says: ‘About midnight I will go throughout Egypt. Every firstborn son in Egypt will die, from the firstborn son of Pharaoh, who sits on the throne, to the firstborn son of the female slave, who is at her hand mill, and all the firstborn of the cattle as well. There will be loud wailing throughout Egypt—worse than there has ever been or ever will be again. But among the Israelites not a dog will bark at any person or animal.’ Then you will know that the Lord makes a distinction between Egypt and Israel.

 

Exodus 11:7 is a  strange verse stating  in the mist of death and misery there could be a peacefulness so calm  that not even a dog would bark at a person or animal.  Now that is peaceful.  Dog’s bark at the very least of disturbances.  What did the Israelites do to find this peace?  The answer is found in the next chapter.  Exodus 12:1-7 instructs them to sacrifice a young lamb and take some of the blood and place it on the sides and mantel of their entrance doors” God said in Exodus 12:12-13 “when I see the blood I will pass over you”.  The blood became protection from the death angel.

Today we can be protected from the cry to death by calling out to Christ to become a Christian.  By applying His blood to the doors of our heart through faith and following Christ we are protected from the cries to die.  With the blood of Christ on your heart you can have such a peaceful rest at night as a dog who does not bark.

There are two cries in our world.  Come and die and come and live.  One causes destruction and pain and the other brings peace and life.  Many people have overcome the cry to death by the blood of Christ and a life of following him.

Whose cry do you hear?  Hear Christ say “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28.  Listen to the call of Christ and from your heart call back to Him and you will find peace, comfort and a lightnside.

Newyear’s resolutions vs Life in the spirit

How is your New Year’s resolutions?

Psychology Today says about 49% of people plan a new years resolutions and of those about 8% have success.  Good intentions from our own strengths is not enough to overcome the areas of our life that needs help.  I believe we are trying to tap into the wrong source for strength and guidance.

Something new was happening when Jesus began to come on the scene.  John said someone was coming that would have a source of power to baptize our good intentions and resolutions.

A power source outside our own efforts and intentions. Nichodemous heard this truth and secretly went to Jesus to discuss this.  Jesus said ” There is a new life you must be born into (John 3:1-5).”

Born again

Newborn babies are totally dependent to help outside themselves for food, comfort, protection and training. We must not only begin to believe of Christ but must also be fed, comforted, loved and grow in knowledge and relationship with Christ.

Then Jesus said the new life is a power like the wind.  We all know this power.  We use it everyday in our world. Jesus said “The power of the spirit is like when the WIND BLOWS … and those in the spirit use this power. (John 3:8)”

wind-power

 

Power of the Spirit Life

Resolutions are of our own strength and good intentions.  Life led by Christ’s Spirit is from a powerful source outside your own efforts.  (John 3:6-16) Raise the sail of your belief and let the power of the Holy Spirit support, guide, comfort, train you in 2017.  Life in the Spirit brings real Ligntnside.

Loyalty to Christ’s blood

Believing in Christ’s blood brings God’s passion on you.

sorge-power-of-the-blood

When you demonstrate your loyalty to the  blood by believing in the cross of Christ and invoking the blood of Jesus over your life, the Father takes the full measure of His loyalty to His Son and sets that same love on you.

The Father loves you with the same infinite passions with which He loves His dearly beloved Son.  

John 17:23 NIV
I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.

 

Take time now to pray to Christ. If you don’t know Him ask Him to save your life.

Start 2017 as a free person. Believe Christ died and bled for you. Get into a church that preaches repentance and truth. Believe in Christ’s blood and God will transform your life, family and future.

 

Draw near to God by Christ’s blood

 

armour-of-god

If you’re in a swirl of spiritual warfare

The material below are from Bob Sorge’s book “Power of the Blood” sorge-power-of-the-blood

If you’re in a swirl of spiritual warfare right now, and not quite sure how to take on your enemy or how to move forward, let me tell you what to do. Get sprinkled with Christ’s blood, come into the throne room, and stay there. The most militant thing you can do is draw near to God.

 

The book of Esther contains the story of two queens who broke the law.

While both Vashti and Esther broke the law of Persia, the way they did it made all the difference in their respective destinies. Vashti broke the law by spurning the king’s summons when he had requested her presence (Esther 1:12); Esther broke the law by drawing near to the king at a time when her presence was unsolicited (Esther 4:11; 5:1-2).   Vashti broke the law by staying away; Esther broke the law by drawing near.

 Esther broke the law by drawing near.  The king heard her request with mercy.

Get sprinkled with Christ’s blood, come into the throne room near God.

AMAZING GOD by John Utley

amazinggod  johnutley.com

John’s book Amazing God is an encouragement to the lonely, fearful and those who hears the voice of insecurity every day.

I wrestle with these voices but this book shares another voice.  The voice of an Amazing God who not only wants to reveal Himself to the world but wants to reveal Himself to me. He wants me to be an instrument of His power and strength to leave the Egypt bondages of our life. To walk through the desert to the victory of the cross in our daily communion with God.

Amazing God reveals Himself to me and empowers me to rise up.

As I read Amazing God an image has developed in my mind.  In this world we are attacked by dark waves of fear and doubt. The Amazing God reveals Himself to me and empowers me to rise up and plow through these waves of fear as I leave a streaming  wake of an Amazing God for those near me to see and feel.

Amazing God is a book for all to read and embrace.

 

Dave Rose  CEO

Indiana Teen Challenge

Spooking Bible events and comments

spooky-halloween-church

It’s Halloween

Many will dress up as monsters, aliens, or politicians to scare or be scared.

The Bible has many passages of strange and scary happenings.

So today I will list a few  scriptures to contemplate on Halloween.

 Braaahaaaahaaahaaa.

 

Job 41  two creatures   –  Real or Symbolic – (I think real but extinct.  Before Noah and the flood)  Conclusion from creation.com 

Daniel 5   What happened.   What about the king sounds funny (6).  What did the words mean. Does God still give us clear messages?  How?

Mark 6:45-51  –  What is the scene?  Can the disciples situation be compared to us? How? What about Jesus in verse 48 “would have passed them by”?   Disciples reaction 49, how can verse 50 be a calming verse to us?

Acts 12:1-2, 20-24  Who was Herod?  Was he against God?  Describe verses 21,22,23.  What can we learn?

2 Kings 13:20-21  Elisha was a great prophet.  What happened?  Describe what you imagine happened?

Acts 5:1-11  What is the story?  What is the lesson?  What is the truth we can learn?

1 Thessalonians 4:16-17   For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever.

Are you ready for this day?  It will be a day like no other.

Prepare your heart to be take up to God at the trumpet sound.  It will be a real and continuous nightmare for those left behind.  Build your relationship with Christ to look forward to His coming and His Spirit will guide and cleanse your heart and mind to keep His Lightnside.

 

How Solomon managed debates

debate

We are in the season of political debates.

Both candidates are speaking to us about their plans and promises for a brighter promise.  Both candidates try to convince to us how competent they are and how lacking the opponent is to lead the country.  As you watch tv the political ads are streaming not so much about their plans but to smear the opponents. Comedians, Saturday Night Live opening skit and many other tv, radio, social media outlets are pouring out their own content to try and convince us they are the best choice to lead this nation. Will Rogers says “The best thing about this group of candidates is that only one of them can win.”  Clarence Darrow says “When I was a boy I was told that anybody could become President; I’m beginning to believe it.”

I began to think about the situation King Solomon faced when he became king of Israel.

solomon

1 Kings 3:16-28 records a situation between two mothers.  Both women just gave birth to a child.  One night one of the mothers had accidentally turned over onto her child and killed him.  When she discovered this she secretly switched her dead child for the living child while the other woman was sleeping.  Verse 18 states they were alone in the house.  No one could have witnessed the swap.  In the morning when the ladies begin to nurse the innocent mother discovered the child she had was dead, but upon closer inspection she noticed it was not her child.  So they came to Solomon to debate their case.

Solomon had to decide which woman was telling the truth and which woman would be the loving mother of the living child.  The debate began as both women told their story of what happened. I can imagine all who had heard these debates as they were told to lower judges there seemed to be no way to decide so the case went all the way up to the highest court.  It would be decided here. An impossible case with no obvious evidence to convince truthBoth ladies claimed truth and both ladies accused each other.

Solomon’s preparation

004-solomon-wisdom300x225

Before we discuss Solomon’s decision, let’s discuss an earlier decision of Solomon recorded earlier in the same chapter (1 Kings 3).  Solomon had just become king after his father King David had died.  The nation of Israel was large and the position of king overwhelmed Solomon.  During a time of worship God spoke to Solomon and offered to give him any wish he desired. Solomon’s answer is recorded in verses 7-9.  “Now, Lord my God, you have made your servant king in place of my father David. But I am only a little child and do not know how to carry out my duties.  Your servant is here among the people you have chosen, a great people, too numerous to count or number.  So give your servant a discerning heart to govern your people and to distinguish between right and wrong. For who is able to govern this great people of yours?” God was pleased at this request and gave Solomon great wisdom along with other blessings.

Because of Solomon’s wisdom he was able to find a way to determine who the real mother was. Solomon asked for a sword to divide the living son and give half to each woman. Of course the real mother spoke up and said let the child live and give the boy to the other mother.  Solomon said this mother’s compassion for the child has revealed she is the true mother and gave her the boy.  The people were amazed at this wisdom.  But the wisdom was not from Solomon’s learning but rather from God’s blessing.

What Christians need at a time like today is wisdom from God to see through the debates and commercials at which candidate has our nation’s best interest at heart.  Both candidates have deep flaws.  I did not mention the two mothers in the bible were prostitutes living in a brothel. They certainly had bad decisions in their lives.  I believe we are standing at one of the most important decisions in American history.  We need wisdom from God to vote.  It starts by acknowledging our lack of wisdom and ask God for help.  James 1:5 “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.”

wisdom

Remember the decision of Solomon was based on who would speak up to save the child.  The one who had the boy’s life and future in mind even at someone else’s care was the real mother.

As Christians we should vote for the one whom we believe will give hope to our families, religious freedom, national security and a desire for our nation’s future.

Our nation that was built under God’s foundation of truth.  During the debates and all the way to casting your vote, ask God for a discerning heart and to distinguish between right and wrong (1 Kings 3:9).  Seeking God’s guidance in this troubled world will bless you and will place His  Light-N-Side.

Be- Attitudes – Poor in Spirit

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 

poor-in-spirit

This is the first truth Jesus spoke to the crowd of people seeking hope.  Christ’s words seem confusing and conflicting in today’s world. Blessed are the poor?? Does that sound right?  Let us look at the definitions of the words used then we will put them together to understand the truth Jesus shared.

Blessed is another word for “happiness”or “fortunate”.

We see someone who seems to be above all the pressures of life and is at peace we would say that person is “blessed”. Arn’t we all looking to be that person in this life.  To find the answer to worry, fear and insecurity?  To be blessed is seemingly a quality of existence and outlook on life that finds joy and satisfaction in any situation.

Poor – the Greek word  ptōchos (po-huas) – beggary, asking of alms, palper, poor.

 The image is of a beggar who has nothing and his only means of survival is at the mercy of others. Image these two words together in one sentence. Talk about an oxymoron!  It belongs with other combinations like  “jumbo shrimp”, “good grief”, or “the silence was deafening”. These two words do not seem to make since on the surface but there is a truth involved here that is profound and a sign of God at work.

Since Adam’s sin darkness has ruled the hearts of men. It has ruled the spirit of a man.  the spirit part of you is the reasoning, thinking, and feeling part of you.  It is the part that justifies your actions and determines your self worth.  Sin always builds it’s self up.  We become self righteous and proud of our achievements and abilities. However in this pool of self righteousness sin sets up addictions, anger, jealousy and other dark thoughts and emotions which lead to sinful actions.

When Jesus spoke – His Spirit (the Holy Spirit) spread through that whole crowd and the hearts of men were awakened.

 

A sudden awareness of the presence of Holiness laid bare the lack of holiness in man’s heart.  Just like in Luke 5:1-10 Jesus spoke to a crowd using Simon’s boat.  After the message Jesus asked him to go back out into the lake and fish.  Simon said “we have fished all night and caught nothing” (which is an illustration of an empty life without Christ), “but at your command we will go”. They went out and suddenly an abundance of fish were caught. Notice the effect this realization of Holiness had on Simon in Luke 5:8 “When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at Jesus’ knees and said, “Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!”  Jesus said your life is about to change course for the better.

When Jesus began to speak the very first sign of awakening to the new life in Christ is an awareness of our own need.

poor-in-spirit

An awareness of our own emptiness of righteous.  It is that poor in spirit that brings us to the cross in need of Christ’s forgiveness and cleansing.

It is good to be poor spirit.  It is blessed to be poor in spirit.  It is wonderful to know Christ is a river of Holiness that will poor into our empty hearts the life and light of God and truth. Come to a place in His presence where you say “I am a sinful man and do not desire your mercy” and watch Christ reach out to you and put His light-n-side.