Monday, November 22, 2010
Thursday, November 18, 2010
Sometimes when we are doing the will of the Father, we don't understand what it is he is trying to teach us. Sometimes it is a longer lesson than we had expected. Often he does not reveal his will till we feel like we cannot go on any longer and we become desperate for him to rescue us. The good thing is that he does rescue us. Just at the right time. We may not ever know why he tarries or sometimes we find out as time goes on and we say, "Aha, that is why he wanted me to go here and wait there or take this road to go all the way over here!" Many times it doesn't make sense until we see the whole picture. We must not get discouraged though when he will not let us see the whole picture. It usually means there is something amazing in store. A lesson that will take us to new heights in our faith. A lesson that will bring us even closer to his throne. Just TRUST and OBEY for there is no other way! When we do not have a clear direction we just have to keep doing what it is he told us to do at first until he gives us something else to do. He knows exactly how much we can handle and he has ordered our steps according to his purposes.
Friday, November 5, 2010
Romans 1:17 "It is through faith that a righteous person has life."
Key 1: We must have a thorough understanding of Submission and Authority.
He read the passage from Matthew 8:9-10 and spoke of some of the great heroes of faith from the OT. He was illustrating a point on being under the authority of God and I looked up and he had put on a Yamika. He was explaining that the Jews did this to show that they were under authority. I thought that was great! I have always wondered why they wore those things. I thought to myself, now as a New Covenant believer how do we show that we are under authority? By the fruit of the spirit. To know if someone is a true follower of the Most High you must examine their fruit. They will be a reflection of Christ and not of this world! In order to do this we must Submit to the leading of the Holy Spirit and die to our own selfish desires. The fruits of the spirit are: love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance. The works of the flesh are the following: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.
Key 2: We must Worship The Lord With Reverence
The word reverence means to bow down to his Lordship. Today's churches have become very casual. Not that being casual is necessarily bad, however, when we worship the Lord we should be putting all our heart into it, not worshiping halfheartedly with a donut in one hand and a cup of coffee in the other! Don't get me wrong, I love coffee and donuts but when we are focused on feeding our physical bodies it must be difficult to focus on praising God. In the Spirit! We must ask ourselves everyday, are we making Christ Lord of our lives, are we laying down our will for his will? Are we bowing before him in spirit and in truth to receive all that he has for us?
Key 3: Be convinced of Jesus' Ability and What you Believe.
Romans 4:20-22: 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. 22 This is why “it was credited to him as righteousness.”
In these scriptures we see that it is by faith we are healed and it is by faith that we are made righteous, not by rules and regulations. We must truly believe God has the power to make us a new creation in order to become what he created us to be.
Key 4- Press in Regardless of the Obstacles.
43 And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years, but no one could heal her. 44 She came up behind him and touched the edge of his cloak, and immediately her bleeding stopped.
45 “Who touched me?” Jesus asked.
This is one of my favorite passages from the gospels. This woman had to fight through the obstacle of a huge crowd, but she didn't care because her faith was so great that Jesus possessed God's power, that she knew all she had to do was touch him and she would be healed. How many of us possess that kind of faith today? All we have to do is believe that he can heal us and he will. No matter the obstacle or trial we are facing if we just put all of our Trust in the messiah we will be healed for the scriptures say: "By his stripes I am healed" That is not to say that he will always heal our physical ailments immediately. Sometimes our physical pains can humble us and make us stronger and build our endurance, which builds character, which builds hope, and hope never disappoints us.
2 Corinthians 4: 8-9; 16 8 We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; 9 persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. 16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.
I read this scripture the night before I heard this sermon and it gave me so much comfort. To think that we are in this body but for a moment compared to eternity and today's problems will be gone tomorrow. The Most High definitely renewed my spirit that day because the day before I was feeling low and really needing to be rescued. The above scriptures are so true to a person who is truly living the truth in every aspect of their lives. Just when we feel that we can not go on any longer the Lord rescues us and lifts us up so that we may forget what is behind and press on toward the goal to win the prize in which he calls us heavenward in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 3:14) We also know that the suffering we experience in this body is nothing compared to the glory we will share in heaven with the Lord. What an amazing thing to hope for and look forward to.
Key 5- Exhibit Boldness in The Midst of Unbelief and Mockery
Matthew 9:24-26 "Get out! he told them. "The girl isn't dead: she's only asleep." But the crowd laughed at him. After the crowd was put outside , however, Jesus went in and took the girl by the hand, and she stood up! The report of this miracle swept through the entire countryside.
This passage shows that Jesus was not looking for man's approval. When I read this passage I ask myself if I would have the courage that Christ had in this moment. If our faith is strong it should not matter what any man says, we should be bold for Christ at any given moment. If we truly believe then we will stand up for what is TRUTH!! Even if we are being mocked by man. In the end it will be GOD we are going to have to answer to NOT MAN!!
Key 6- Be persistent in Humility.
It takes humility to be a follower of Christ. Nobody will inherit the Kingdom of God with a prideful heart. A prideful heart goes before a great fall. Pride is something that blinds many from the Truth. If you are more concerned about being right all the time then you are probably not humble. Here is a good paraphrase of Mark 8:34 that I found "Then Jesus turned to the crowd that had been following Him and said, If you intend to go the same way I'm going (the way to the Father), you'll have let go of your own self-interests every day and submit your life completely to God. You'll have to take up your cross every day as well, so you can die to self - your flesh has to go. And you'll have to follow Me continually. I'll have to show you the way, you'll never find it on your own." The more we deny our own desires the more the Father will make his will known to us and the more faith we will have. It is hard to have faith when all that dominates your thoughts are things of this world. So let us humble/die to ourselves so that Yahweh may increase our faith!
Key 7- Confess and Act Upon Your Faith.
2 Corinthians 4:13 - And since we have the same spirit of faith, according to what is written, “I believed and therefore I spoke,” we also believe and therefore speak,
So..faith is spirit. We must once again die to ourselves to walk in the spirit and to have faith. The same spirit that was in Abraham which caused him to have great faith lives in us so we must not quench the spirit of Truth. If the faith is really living in us we will speak about it. What dominates our thoughts comes out in our conversations and our actions.
James 2:20-22: 20 But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead? 21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered Isaac his son on the altar? 22 Do you see that faith was working together with his works, and by works faith was made perfect?
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
We walked to our room and Jeff went to get french fries and chicken nuggets from McDonald's! Yumm!! So healthy! I decided to go for a swim in the tub and Jeff passed out. I think Jeff slept like a rock all night but I tossed and turned and thought about /prayed about where God was going to have us spend the winter. I was becoming restless. The next day we ate some breakfast at Korner Kitchen. Indiana must be one of the last states to make their restaurants non-smoking. I don't see how people smoke while eating, it makes me gag and I lose my appetite for a while. After pleasantly filling ourselves we went back to the room and I took a nap. When Jeff woke me up to pack my bag 20 minutes before check-out time I was in a pretty grumpy mood. We got packed up, checked in our key cards and walked outside and it was like the spirit of grumpidom hit me and I just wanted to throw my bag across Indiana! After I sulked for a little while we took off walking and got not even a mile before we needed to sit down and have a break. We were both very drained physically, emotionally, and spiritually. After sitting on the side of the road for just a a few minutes a couple pulled up to the stop sign and rolled down their window. The gentleman said something about hitch-hiking in the 70's and said he would bring us some sandwiches and asked us to just stay right where we were, and then they drove off. They came back 20 minutes later or so in a big red truck. I was thinking, "cool, they are going to give us a ride!" Instead the lady just got out and handed us a big plastic bag of food and said God Bless you", and they took off as quick as they came! Jeff hurriedly put on his pack and stormed off down the road while I took my time putting on my pack. As I was fastening my hip belt a police officer lady pulled over got out of her car and came up to me and asked what I was doing. I told her my husband and I were walking across the country. She asked why we would do something like that and I told her because God called us to. She asked to see my id and I yelled for Jeff to come back and right as he turned around another police officer pulled over to talk to him. The extremely rude lady officer told me someone had called in and said we looked homeless and had been looking around in people's houses. I said that was absurd because all we were doing is sitting on the side of the road. It was kinda chilly and so I naturally put my hands in my pocket. She harshly told me to take my hands out of my pockets because I was making her nervous. I thought, "that is dumb, you're the one with the gun!" I then tried to walk towards Jeff and the lady started yelling at me to stand right where she told me to. I told her I was going to get my id like she asked. She said, "No YOU WILL STAND RIGHT THERE!" I said, "why are you treating me like this I did not even do anything?" She said that we looked homeless and suspicious. I asked her when it became a crime to be homeless. I tried to walk away again because she was beginning to really aggravate me and she started yelling at me again. She said, "I commanded you to stand right where you are!" I asked her why she thought she had a right to command me to do anything, thinking God is the only one who can command me to do anything. I told her it was interesting how many lisence plates for the state of Indiana had "In God we Trust" on them but so far it seemed that most the people we have passed seem to be living in fear of strangers. She said, "this is a conservative state mam." I thought, "what does that have to do with anything?" Not even thinking I put my chilled hands back in my pockets. She got even more upset! I thought she was going to arrest me for wanting my hands to be warm!! I looked down at Jeff and the officer that was harassing him waved at the lady officer and then she got in her car and they both just drove off! So....we have now been persecuted twice on this trip, once by a man from a church and the second by the police. That should tell you something about this country!!
I don't even know what to say about those police officers. They were the most rude people I have ever met, and hope that God shows them the error they are living in. The officer that was verbally assaulting me asked why I was "down here" and my wife was "up there?" We were maybe 100 yrds apart and it was because we weren't in the best of moods and I started walking before she had her pack all the way on. But when the officer asked me that, I said, "well because we are bickering at one another and I started walking before she did." He asked, "what were you bickering about?" I polietly said, "well that is a personal matter between me and my wife, it doesn't concern you sir." Boy he got IRATE!! Told me to "TAKE A STEP BACK SIR!" Then gave me a speach about how he strongly suggested that I just tell him what we were fighting about because when an officer detains you it's in my best interest to blah, blah blah.... I asked him why he was being so rude and treating me like a criminal, and what this was all about? He told me that I needed to anwser his question regarding my wife. I took off my sunglasses and looked him right in the eye and, "I get it. I see what you are doing. You are the one with the gun and all the power here, and I guess my private marital conversations with my wife should be shared with you, a complete stranger. IF you must know, I have no idea what we are bickering about. We have been walking for 5 months and we are both very tired and cranky. If you go up there and ask my wife, she'll tell you the same thing." Boy he did not like that anwser!! Anyway, after being humiliated on the side of the road for 20 minutes or so, they both said something on their radios and got in their cars and left. I have to give God the glory for giving me the strength to endure that. My flesh wanted to just tear into that guy, but the Spirit urged me no remain calm. A warm night in jail was starting to sound like an AWESOME punishment for popping that guy in the jaw! OK that's just my flesh talking. I just wish we had it on video! I think the funniest part of the whole ordeal was when he asked me in amazment if this was the first time in 5 months of "walking by people's houses" that we had been questioned by the police. I said, "well no, we were stopped by one other cop back in Clarkstown, IN but he wanted to know if we needed anything, and to make sure we were alright, and he also offered us a ride!" I said, "I guess you guys have a different policy regarding traveling missionaries." Maybe that was pushing my luck, but it was true. GOD HELP THIS COUNTRY!!!
So after narrowly escaping a night in jail we had a lot to talk about while getting back on the road. Our heads were just spinning. We walked maybe another 5 miles and found a christian camp. We tried to talk to the people who owned it, and the groundskeeper, but no one answered the phones. So we just picked out a secluded pavilion and crashed for the night. The whole time I was just waiting for the cops to show up and haul us off for "trespassing." The encounter with the coppers really shook us up and we are still suffering the mental effects, but we are ready for what ever may come our way. We woke up from the camp early and made our way down the last 4.5 miles to Coydon where we are now. We ate some awesome Mexican food and walked over to the library to tell all of you about the COPS! Anyway, we love and miss all of you and hope and pray that you are all happy and healthy!!