Friday, June 19, 2009


Rell and I are in the North West visiting our daughter and her family. Someone sent me this in an email. It was very thought provoking and I've decided to share it here.

A number of years ago, I had the privilege of teaching at a school of ministry. My students were hungry for God, and I was constantly searching for ways to challenge them to fall more in love with Jesus and to become voices for revival in the Church.

I came across a quote attributed most often to Rev. Sam Pascoe. It is a short version of the history of Christianity, and it goes like this: Christianity started in Palestine as a fellowship; it moved to Greece and became a philosophy; it moved to Italy and became an institution; it moved to Europe and became a culture; it came to America and became an enterprise. Some of the students were only 18 or 19 years old--barely out of diapers--and I wanted them to understand and appreciate the import of the last line, so I clarified it by adding, "An enterprise. That's a business."

After a few moments Martha, the youngest student in the class, raised her hand. I could not imagine what her question might be. I thought the little vignette was self-explanatory, and that I had performed it brilliantly. Nevertheless, I acknowledged Martha's raised hand, "Yes, Martha." She asked such a simple question, "A business? But isn't it supposed to be a body?" I could not envision where this line of questioning was going, and the only response I could think of was, "Yes." She continued, "But when a body becomes a business, isn't that a prostitute?"The room went dead silent. For several seconds no one moved or spoke. We were stunned, afraid to make a sound because the presence of God had flooded into the room, and we knew we were on holy ground. All I could think in those sacred moments was, "Wow, I wish I'd thought of that." I didn't dare express that thought aloud. God had taken over the class.Martha's question changed my life. For six months, I thought about her question at least once every day.

"When a body becomes a business, isn't that a prostitute?" There is only one answer to her question. The answer is "Yes." The American Church, tragically, is heavily populated by people who do not love God. How can we love Him? We don't even know Him; and I mean really know Him.... I stand by my statement that most American Christians do not know God--much less love Him.

The root of this condition originates in how we came to God. Most of us came to Him because of what we were told He would do for us. We were promised that He would bless us in life and take us to heaven after death. We married Him for His money, and we don't care if He lives or dies as long as we can get His stuff. We have made the Kingdom of God into a business, merchandising His anointing. This should not be.

We are commanded to love God, and are called to be the Bride of Christ--that's pretty intimate stuff. We are supposed to be His lovers. How can we love someone we don't even know? And even if we do know someone, is that a guarantee that we truly love them? Are we lovers or prostitutes?

I was pondering Martha's question again one day, and considered the question, "What's the difference between a lover and a prostitute?" I realized that both do many of the same things, but a lover does what she does because she loves. A prostitute pretends to love, but only as long as you pay. Then I asked the question, "What would happen if God stopped paying me?"For the next several months, I allowed God to search me to uncover my motives for loving and serving Him. Was I really a true lover of God? What would happen if He stopped blessing me? What if He never did another thing for me? Would I still love Him? Please understand, I believe in the promises and blessings of God. The issue here is not whether God blesses His children; the issue is the condition of my heart. Why do I serve Him? Are His blessings in my life the gifts of a loving Father, or are they a wage that I have earned or a bribe/payment to love Him? Do I love God without any conditions?
It took several months to work through these questions. Even now I wonder if my desire to love God is always matched by my attitude and behavior. I still catch myself being disappointed with God and angry that He has not met some perceived need in my life. I suspect this is something which is never fully resolved, but I want more than anything else to be a true lover of God.So what is it going to be? Which are we, lover or prostitute? There are no prostitutes in heaven, or in the Kingdom of God for that matter, but there are plenty of former prostitutes in both places. Take it from a recovering prostitute when I say there is no substitute or unconditional, intimate relationship with God. And I mean there is no palatable substitute available to us (take another look at Matthew 7:21-23 sometime). We must choose.-Dr. David Ryser.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Revival: Robin Mark

Lyrics to Revival by Robin Mark

My husband and I were working in the yard today and he played the CD this song comes from Revival in Belfast. As I listened to the words my spirit soared. I love the words and the message of this song and I believe I will live to see it happen. Even so come quickly Lord. We desperately need you.
I hear the voice of one calling, prepare ye the way of the Lord.
And make His paths straight in the wilderness
And let your light shine in the darkness
And let your rain fall in the desert.
As sure as gold is precious and the honey sweet,
So you love this city and you love these streets.Every child out playing by their own front door
Every baby laying on the bedroom floor.
Every dreamer dreaming in her dead-end job
Every driver driving through the rush hour mob
I feel it in my spirit, feel it in my bones
You're going to send revival, bring them all back home
I can hear that thunder in the distance
Like a train on the edge of town
I can feel the brooding of Your Spirit
"Lay your burdens down, Lay your burdens down".
From the Preacher preaching when the well is dry
To the lost soul reaching for a higher high
From the young man working through his hopes and fears
To the widow walking through the veil of tears
Every man and woman, every old and young
Every fathers daughter, every mothers son.
I feel it in my spirit, feel it in my bones
You're going to send revival, bring them all back home
I can hear that thunder in the distance
Like a train on the edge of town
I can feel the brooding of Your Spirit
"Lay your burdens down, Lay your burdens down".
Revive us, Revive us,
Revive us with your fire!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Gary V - Lead Me Lord (BEST!!)

Be Aware

The old prophet answered, "I too am a prophet, as you are. And an angel said to me by the word of the LORD: 'Bring him back with you to your house so that he may eat bread and drink water.'" (But he was lying to him.) 1 Kings 13:18

But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned! As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let him be eternally condemned! Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ. Galatians 1:8-10

I am in 1 Kings in my Bible reading. I would really encourage you to read chapter 13. It is an amazing account of a nameless prophet of God who was sent to rebuke and prophesy to an apostate king. Since the prophecy that he delivers will not come to pass for over 300 years the Lord gives an amazing sign to confirm that it will come to pass. Not only had God given him a message for the king but explicit instructions for the prophet not to drink or eat anything there (Bethel) and to return straight home by a different route.

After such a great victory, he is deceived into disobedience by an old prophet who lives in Bethel. He lies to him by announcing that an angel had revealed “new” instructions. The old prophet wanted to spend some time with him. He pulls the God and angel card to get what he wants. No wonder God didn’t use him even though he lived right there. He was almost as apostate as the king. It is appalling to think someone would use God to accomplish their own agendas, but it happens. I really wonder if this incident was in Paul’s mind when hundreds of years later he gave the above warning to the Galatians.

· Don’t accept anyone preaching something contrary to God’s word
· Don’t accept it even if the person has impressed you in the past if they are presently contradicting God’s clear instructions.
· Don’t even accept it from an angel from heaven.
· Check whose approval you are seeking.

Is there a life lesson in this for us? There most assuredly is. Three years ago I was emerging from a trying season in my life. During my quiet times of reading and prayer a clear and settled sense of what God wanted to do in my life at this season began to form. A couple of weeks later I received a phone call from a woman that I had recently met. She told me that she had been praying for me and thinking about me and believed she had a word from the Lord for me. I listened, thanked her, and told her I would pray about what she had said. I did pray about it and ultimately rejected the word. It was completely contrary to the direction I truly believe the Lord was leading me. God is not the author of confusion. I didn’t want to be detoured by this well meaning, but misguided counsel.

People won’t necessarily come with a word from the Lord to bring you on board with their agenda, but they may come with guilt or a sense that you will no longer have their favor if you refuse. I have seen many people “guilt ridden” or to gain approval, doing things God never called them to do. You can’t necessarily know another person’s motives, but we can check what is motivating us. The Lord wants us to bear much fruit for His glory. Are we concerned about God’s leading or people’s approval? We can check any counsel we receive against the truth and principles of God’s word. We can humbly take any request made of us to God in prayer. Even if it comes from a spiritual leader you should take the time to inquire of the Lord if this is your time and assignment. Don’t allow anyone to force you into a snap decision.

Don’t think I’ve always done this right. I haven’t, but hopefully I’ve learned and grown and have some insights to share. Be blessed today dear one.

MY PRAYER: Lord, we don’t want to be people pleasers. Help us to grow in love and discernment. Help us refuse anything that is contrary to your glorious gospel. Show us the path of good works that you have marked out for us. In Jesus’ wonderful name, amen.

MY CONFESSION: Lord, you said that your sheep listen to your voice; you know us and we will follow you. We stand on your word! John 10:27

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Sara Groves - Painting Pictures Of Egypt

Wherever You Go

"And behold, I am with you, and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land; for I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you." Genesis 28:15 NASB

God spoke to Jacob in a dream after he was forced to leave home because he had cheated his brother, Esau, out of the blessing (his inheritance as the firstborn). God promises to be with him, guard him, and bring him back. If you know anything about Jacob he is described as “a peaceful man, living in tents, while Esau is described as a skilled hunter, a man of the field.” Now the tent dweller is sleeping outside, all alone, and fleeing for his life. If he was ever in need of assurance, this would be it. Then Jacob awoke from his sleep and said, "Surely the LORD is in this place, and I did not know it." And he was afraid and said, "How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven." So Jacob rose early in the morning, and took the stone that he had put under his head and set it up as a pillar, and poured oil on its top. And he called the name of that place Bethel; Genesis 28:16-19a NASB

I have taken two Bible studies where we were encouraged to pinpoint spiritual markers in our walk with the Lord. We were to list times, places, or events where something significant or pivotal happened in our walk with God. It is a good and healthy thing to do. It is striking that Jacob seems to focus more on the place of the encounter than the incredible promises of God given in the encounter. However, after setting up a memorial marker he moves on. After all God has promised Jacob that he will be with him wherever he goes.

When we have a strong encounter with the Lord there is a danger of putting too much emphasis on the place. I have heard it from Christians over and over, “I really grew at that church, under that pastor, when I was in that small group, Bible study, town, college, time period, revival, etc.” We should be grateful for them all, but we need to live and grow in today. We need to move on.

I experienced something very disconcerting a couple of summers ago. I was in a large beautiful church on a mission project. A woman, who worked at the church, was showing me around their building with her grandchildren in tow. We were in the balcony looking down into the empty but impressive sanctuary. The grandmother announced in solemn tones to the children, “This is where God lives.” From Genesis to Revelation we are being led to the glorious truth that, “Christ may dwell in our hearts through faith.” Ephesians 3:19 “He remains not as a guest precariously detained, but as a Master resident in His proper home.”(Moule) Jesus promises us, just as Jacob was promised, that He will never leave us. He, or our own bad choices, may take us through some dry, barren, or even scary places, but He is Emmanuel, the With of God. and if we will work with Him we will grow no matter what, no matter when, and no matter where. Don’t keep looking back to some place you perceive God was…..He is with you wherever you go. Go forward.

MY PRAYER: Lord, help me not to look back to what I perceive as better times and places. I have your promises and your presence. What more do I need to go forward and to bear fruit for your glory?

MY CONFESSION: You are with me and you will keep me wherever I go. You will do what you have promised. I stand on your word!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

There is a fountain

Two Cleansings

Jesus said to him, "He who has bathed needs only to wash his feet, but is completely clean; and you are clean, but not all of you."For He knew the one who was betraying Him; for this reason He said, "Not all of you are clean." John 13:10 -11 NASB

And from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler over the kings of the earth. To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood. Revelation 1:5 NKJV

The story of Jesus washing the disciple’s feet is such a compelling and beautiful story. My heart literally rejoiced today when I read that Jesus said they were clean. (The exception being Judas) If the truth be known I let out a “WOO HOO!” My husband and I fondly refer to it as a “hallelujah breakdown.” It made me glad to my core. What could be better than to know that you are standing clean before your God?

Jesus is talking about two cleansings. One takes place at salvation by receiving what Christ did for us when He washed us from our sin in His own blood. “We embrace complete absolution from sin as a guilty state, and entire deliverance from it as a polluted life.” JFB Commentary This happens once and needs never to be repeated. In the great church hymn It Is Well With My Soul the writer says, “My sin, oh the bliss of this glorious thought, my sin not in part but the whole, is nailed to the cross and I bear it no more, praise the Lord, praise the Lord, oh my soul!” I think he had a hallelujah breakdown too.

The second cleansing is that of the feet. Picture yourself just freshly bathed and dressed in clean clothes. You are ready to go about your day and before you even get out of the yard you step in a mud puddle. You are clean but your feet have had contact with earth and have been affected. In the same way, once we are saved we are clean and we need only to have our feet washed from the defilement of living in a fallen world, in jars of clay (2 Cor.4:7) and its effect on us. This is our sanctification process described in Ephesians 5:26-27 “that He (Jesus) might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she should be holy and blameless.” Even as Jesus girded himself and washed his disciple’s feet, the Word that became flesh, washes ours from the defilement of the day. No condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. The bliss (supreme happiness; utter joy) of this glorious thought indeed!

How can we give you thanks, that are sufficient, for the things that you have done for us? Thank you for cleansing us from our sin by your precious blood. Thank you for continuing to wash our feet through the water of your word. In Jesus’ precious name, amen.

MY CONFESSION: Jesus, you are the One who has washed and is washing me so that I may be holy and blameless. I will cooperate with your Holy Spirit. I stand on your Word!

Honeytree Pioneer

I love this song. This morning I felt really impressed that someone may need the encouragement this brings. Press on, dear one, following in your Savior's footsteps.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Word Of God Speak - MercyMe

Forgetful Hearer or Effectual Doer?

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 NASB

I absolutely love the Word of God. I was reading this morning in Proverbs and in chapter one I read something that is timeless as truth always is. The book of Proverbs was, at the latest, written in 700BC. My son, if sinners entice you, do not give in to them. If they say, "Come along with us; let's lie in wait for someone's blood, let's waylay some harmless soul; let's swallow them alive, like the grave, and whole, like those who go down to the pit; we will get all sorts of valuable things and fill our houses with plunder; throw in your lot with us, and we will share a common purse"-- my son, do not go along with them, do not set foot on their paths for their feet rush into sin, they are swift to shed blood. How useless to spread a net in full view of all the birds! These men lie in wait for their own blood; they waylay only themselves! Such is the end of all who go after ill-gotten gain; it takes away the lives of those who get it. Proverbs 1:10-19 If a concerned Christian mother spoke these words to children she was trying to raise in a drug and gang infested neighborhood in 2009 it would ring just as true and applicable. It is good advice in any country, culture, and any time in history.

God’s word instructs
God’s word convicts
God’s word straightens out what is crooked
God’s word tutors and nurtures us

Jesus told us in a parable in Matthew of a wise and foolish builder. Jesus warns us that the foundations of our lives will be shaken at some time or another. The house that survived the inevitable storms of life was the one that not only heard the word, but applied the word. The Lord gave me a vivid example this past week. Recently I talked to someone who was reading a Christian book and laid it aside for our conversation. She talked about the quality time she has had to spend with the Lord. Then she proceeded to tell me how she has handled several recent tough situations and she didn’t handle them well. She lost her temper and harsh words ensued. She realized her actions weren’t right, but justified herself, and placed the blame on others. God doesn't cleanse us from excuses, He cleanses us from sin. On the other hand, the day before I spent time with another woman who has suffered a lot at the hand of those who should have protected her. She had been in God’s word and she was convicted and enlightened. She realized how she had internalized and dealt with her problems wasn't healthy or right. She was being cleansed and corrected. The strength and the peace in her were evident. In James 1:25 we read that the “one who looks intently at the perfect law, the law of liberty, and abides by it, not having become a forgetful hearer but an effectual doer, this man shall be blessed in what he does.” It wasn’t hard to see which one had allowed the Word to do His work.

I know that my observations may seem hard, but we have to ask ourselves are we truly honoring His word. Sitting alone in my house listening to music, reading His word, or good Christian literature isn’t evidence of my spiritual depth. Standing in a long line at Wal-Mart with a patient attitude and a smile on my face may be more of a true test. Are we allowing His word to change us and guide our responses in the rough and tumble of everyday living in a fallen world? Are we hearers or doers? One places our feet solidly on a Rock and the other on shifting sand. Applying His word in the daily nitty-gritty’s drives the stake down so deep that whatever comes we will stand. Knowing the word is not the same as living it.

MY PRAYER: The Word became flesh and dwelt among us. Now Lord you tell us that we are the light of the world. We are letters known and read by all men. May your word become manifest in our lives so that light may shine on the path of those that walk in darkness. 2 Corinthians 3:2

MY CONFESSION: I will not become a forgetful hearer but an effectual doer of Your word. I will be blessed in what I do. James 1:25