Eyes to See


Weekly encouraging messages from our Pastor Ray…..enjoy and be uplifted.

Eyes to See

Jesus gave us a command in Matt.28:19 to Go and make disciples. Most of us become a little concerned when we read this scripture because we think we’re not good enough to fulfill this role – and in extreme cases some begin to feel condemned. We think we need to become qualified teachers, preachers or Evangelists before we can share the word of God with others – not so.

Continue reading “Eyes to See”

WHAT I LEARNT FROM “BRITAIN’S GOT TALENT”.


WHAT I LEARNT FROM “BRITAIN’S GOT TALENT”.

HI EVERYONE

HAVE YOU EVER READ AN OLDER BIBLE AND COME ACROSS SOME STRANGE WORDS? LIKE VERILY OR THOU OR THEE.

THEY ALL SOUND SO OLD FASHIONED DON’T THEY?  SO RELIGIOUS.  WE JUST DON’T TALK THAT WAY ANYMORE

BUT YOU KNOW – THAT’S A SHAME. BECAUSE WHEN THOSE KINDS OF WORDS  ARE REPLACED BY MORE MODERN WORDS IN THE BIBLE THEY OFTEN LOSE THEIR ORIGINAL MEANING.

FOR EG JESUS OFTEN USED THE PHRASE TRULY TRULY. WE DON’T TALK LIKE THAT ANYMORE BUT WHAT IT MEANT WAS: “STOP WHAT YOU ARE DOING AND LISTEN CAREFULLY BECAUSE THIS IS EXTREMELY IMPORTANT – THIS IS AN ETERNAL TRUTH.”

ANOTHER WORD IS “BEHOLD”.  NOW THAT’S A WORD THAT  SHOULD BE REINTRODUCED BECAUSE ITS MEANING WILL TAKE YOUR BREATH AWAY – JUST LIKE THE JUDGES BREATHS WERE TAKEN AWAY ON BRITAIN’S GOT TALENT.

BUT I’M GETTING AHEAD OF MYSELF.

LET ME SAY A FEW THINGS ABOUT THIS WORD “BEHOLD”  LISTEN TO HOW THE APOSTLE JOHN USED IT IN 1 JN 3:1  “BEHOLD WHAT MANNER OF LOVE THE FATHER HAS BESTOWED ON US, THAT WE SHOULD BE CALLED CHILDREN OF GOD! (1JOHN 3:1 NKJV)” NOW THAT REALLY SOUNDS OLD FASHIONED. .

BUT AS I SAID MOST MODERN BIBLE TRANSLATIONS HAVE EITHER REMOVED “BEHOLD” COMPLETELY OR REPLACED IT WITH WORDS THAT OFTEN LEAVE US IN IGNORANCE AS TO WHAT THE ORIGINAL WRITER INTENDED. WHY DO THEY DO THAT? WELL BECAUSE THE GREEK WORD FOR “BEHOLD” IS A  DIFFICULT WORD TO TRANSLATE FROM THE GREEK TO ENGLISH BECAUSE IT CARRIES SUCH INTENSE FEELING AND EMOTION. IT CARRIES THE IDEA OF SHOCK, AMAZEMENT AND WONDER BUT THERE IS NO SINGLE ENGLISH WORD THAT FITS. THE BEST WE CAN DO IS SAY  WOW!1THE WORDBEHOLD IS THAT  AWE THAT CAUSES US TO STOP IN OUR TRACKS TO ADMIRE A BEAUTIFUL PAINTING, TO GAZE INTO THE STARRY HEAVENS  OR… WITNESS SOMETHING EXTRAORDINARY ON THE REALITY PROGRAMME “BRITAIN’S GOT TALENT”   

PERHAPS YOU SAW IT.  A LITTLE MIDDLE-AGED LADY MARCHED  ONTO THE STAGE AND INTRODUCED HERSELF AS SUSAN BOYLE. THE JUDGES TOOK ONE LOOK AT HER AND ROLLED THEIR EYES AT EACH OTHER AND MANY IN THE AUDIENCE SMIRKED, GIGGLED OR HELD THEIR HEADS IN EMBARRASSMENT. BUT WHEN SHE BURST INTO A STUNNING RENDITION OF THE FAMOUS “I DREAMED A DREAM” THE JUDGMENTAL LAUGHTER AND THE SCORN AND THE DOUBT DISSIPATED. THE JUDGES WERE ASTONISHED. THEIR FACES SAID IT ALL. THEY GASPED. THEY GAPED. THEY WERE MOMENTARILY LOST IN WONDER – THEN THEY BURST INTO APPLAUSE. AND THE AUDIENCE RESPONDED TO THE EXCELLENCE AND BEAUTY BY JUMPING TO THEIR FEET AND CHEERING.

WHEN JUDGE PIERS MORGEN WAS ABLE TO CATCH HIS BREATH HE SAID IT WAS “WITHOUT A DOUBT THE BIGGEST SURPRISE I HAVE HAD IN THREE YEARS OF THIS SHOW. THAT WAS STUNNING, AN INCREDIBLE PERFORMANCE. AMAZING. I’M REELING FROM SHOCK. I CAN’T BELIEVE IT!” EVEN SIMON COWELL CALLED THE PERFORMANCE “EXTRAORDINARY”.  AND FELLOW JUDGE AMANDA HOLDEN SAID “I AM SO THRILLED,”I GOT GOOSE PIMPLES!” 

ONE JOURALIST WROTE “SUSAN BOYLE LET ME FEEL, FOR THE DURATION OF ONE BLAZING SHOW-STOPPING BALLAD, THE MEANING OF HUMAN GRACE. SHE PIERCED MY DEFENCES. SHE REORDERED THE MEASURE OF BEAUTY. AND I HAD NO IDEA UNTIL TEARS SPRANG -HOW DESPERATELY I NEED THAT CORRECTIVE.”

THE WELL- KNOWN THEATRICAL PRODUCER CAMERON MACINTOSH,  SAID HE WAS  “GOB-SMACKED” BY THE PERFORMANCE,

DID YOU HEAR ALL THOSE WORDS?

GOB SMACKED. GOOSE BUMPS. AWE. THRILLING. BEAUTY. BREATHTAKING. INSPIRING..

WHEN I SAW THE REACTION OF THE JUDGES AND THE AUDIENCE I GOT A GLIMPSE OF WHAT “BEHOLD” MEANS. THROUGH THE GOOSE-BUMPS AND THE AWE AND THE TEARS AND THE BEAUTY THERE WAS A CONNECTION – A CONNECTION THAT REACHES RIGHT INTO THE HEART. SUCH HUMAN FEELINGS ARE GIFTS THAT GOD HAS GIVEN TO US, AND I BELIEVE WE CAN SEE THEM AS POINTERS TO THE REALITY OF WHO GOD REALLY IS AND WHO WE REALLY ARE BECAUSE OF WHAT GOD HAS DONE FOR US, WITH US, THROUGH US AND IN US. 

SO, WHEN YOU SEE THE WORD “BEHOLD” IN YOUR BIBLE DON’T JUST QUICKLY REACH FOR A MODERN TRANSLATION BUT SEE IT AS AN INVITATION TO STOP AND PONDER. AND WHEN YOU READ THOSE WORDS OF JOHN “BEHOLD WHAT MANNER OF LOVE THE FATHER HAS BESTOWED ON US, THAT WE SHOULD BE CALLED CHILDREN OF GOD!” YOU CAN NOW READ IT THIS WAY: “WILL YOU TAKE A LISTEN TO THIS, WILL YOU LOOK AT THIS; AT THIS AMAZING, STUNNING LOVE THAT GOD IS SHARING WITH US? THAT WE SHOULD BE CALLED THE CHILDREN OF GOD, AND THAT’S WHAT WE ARE. ‘CHILDREN OF GOD’ IS NOT JUST A HIGH-SOUNDING NAME THAT WE BEAR; IT IS A REALITY!IT IS A GIFT FROM GOD! CAN YOU BELIEVE THAT?  THAT’S BREATHTAKING!  BEHOLD THIS AWESOME LOVE OF GOD!”

WOW. UNTIL NEXT TIME THIS IS GG

Thank you GG for your wonderfully inspiring message.

 

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Mishaps


If I look at my life over many years I will recall that there have been many mishaps along the way.

What is a mishap? Webster’s defines it as an unfortunate accident, bad luck, misfortune. In other words, something that has taken place that was not expected, should not have happened. Something that could also have taken place through poor choice, carelessness. There are many ways in which we could see the meaning of the word, mishap.

Often mishaps can lead to disastrous effects which may even last a lifetime after the experience. Sometimes it could be a freak happenstance.

Mishap
Falling from chair accident, falling down stairs, slipping, stumbling falling man vector illustration

I can’t imagine that there is any one of us that hasn’t, at one time or another, experienced a mishap. Some poor souls go on, time after time suffering mishaps.

Many of these souls become angry and embittered at life, feeling that it has dealt them an unfair blow. A great number openly blame God for their misfortunes.

A mid eighteenth century New Thought author, James Allen said, “You are today where your thoughts have brought you and you will be tomorrow, where your thoughts take you.”

What James Allen was saying is that our lives are the direct result of how and what we think.

In two of the many scriptures relating to the issues of thoughts, Luke 9:7 and Matthew 15:19, Jesus alludes to the fact that thoughts result in emotions and actions. He reassures us that the only humans who are not affected by this are children.

On closer examination of the above, what we will find is that thoughts lead to actions, actions produce result and finally result produces consequence. Either consequence for our benefit or consequence for our obstruction.

The Bible is full of stories to support this fact and probably one of the most well known of all is that of David and Bathsheba.

David was the greatest and most loved King in the history of the Israelites. Loved, not only by his people, but more importantly, by his God. God said David was ‘A man after His own heart.’ He never spoke of any other person in this way. Yet, one night David gazed at a beautiful woman bathing on her rooftop and lusted after her.

David & Bathsheba
David was the king who united Israel and Judah. It was through his lineage that Jesus, the Messiah, would one day be born. As a boy, he was selected to be a musician for King Saul. He also killed the Philistine giant named Goliath. David became best friends with Saul’s son, Jonathan. Saul became very jealous of David and plotted to kill him. Jonathan helped him escape. David became King of Israel and made many mistakes. He was married when he saw Bathsheba. He fell in love with her. She was also married. David arranged for Uriah to be killed in battle. He then married Bathsheba. Their firstborn son died, but she later gave birth to Solomon. David had several children with troubled lives. His son, Ammon, raped David’s daughter Tamar. Absalom, David’s third son, resented David. He became king of Hebron. A battle took place between Hebron and Israel. Joab with David’s army killed Absalom. David’s life was filled with sin, heartache, grief, and forgiveness. David ruled from about 1005 to 965 B.C. and was thought to be the ideal king. He was the writer of Psalms.

His thoughts led to him committing adultery and ultimately murder. The consequences of his actions, brought on by thoughts was the death of two sons he deeply loved, unseated from his (physical) throne, and prohibited from building God’s temple. He died a man of great sorrow.

Let’s return to the issue of mishaps. How many of us are blinded to the fact that, what we term as ‘mishaps’ in our lives are in fact, like David, the results of thoughts that led us to do things, or make decisions that, in the end worked against us.

This article was prompted by my realization, a few days ago, that Jesus never faced any mishaps in His thirty-three year lifetime!

What picture emerges from the Gospels, concerning His life?

He was obedient to God and Man. Luke 2:52

He was a man driven by a purpose, from which he never deviated.

He spoke to people and they were healed, He spoke to the elements and the were stilled. He spoke to wine and it multiplied.

He never prayed to the Father asking for help, He simply spoke and it was done!

The issues He faced in His life were the results of His obedience to God

and not His own will. Nothing occurred in His life that could be vaguely

described as a mishap.

Considering these points, we could be forgiven for thinking that He achieved this by virtue of the fact that He was God in a human body. But many places in the Bible testify that he was human in every way, Hebrews 2:17 being only one of these. He was born of the seed of God via a surrogate mother. 

We could be forgiven for suggesting that He was surrounded by divine protection and so avoided all mishaps.

What the Bible tells us however, is that Jesus was a man of prayer, constantly in communion with The Father. He said that the Father and He were one. He gained Godly wisdom, enabling Him to always think like The Father thought and thus make decisions that would always protect Him from mishaps.

Finally, we could be forgiven for thinking that we could never be like Jesus or do the things He did. Again Jesus Himself tells us, “I tell you for certain that if you have faith in me, you will do the same things I am doing. You will do even greater things, now that I am going back to the Father.” John 14:12

Let’s say goodbye to mishaps and live for beneficial outcomes.

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Psalm 27 – A Devotional


Another wonderful encouraging devotional from GG and sent to us by Vivi.

DENZEL WASHINGTON ONCE SAID STAYING POSITIVE DOESN’T MEAN YOU HAVE TO BE HAPPY ALL OF THE TIME. IT MEANS THAT EVEN ON HARD DAYS YOU KNOW THAT THERE ARE BETTER ONES COMING.

I LOVE HIS CONFIDENCE! DON’T YOU? BUT HOW CAN WE BE CONFIDENT IN THESE DAYS OF UNCERTAINY, AND FEAR OF THE UNKNOWN. IT IS IN CHAOTIC TIMES LIKE THESE THAT IT IS VERY EASY TO FALL INTO THE DEPTHS OF DESPAIR AND HOPELESSNESS. WE NEED AN ANCHOR TO HOLD US FAST.

ONE WAY TO DO THIS IS TO LOOK TO THE GODLY MEN AND WOMEN OF THE BIBLE – BECAUSE THEY WERE HUMAN JUST LIKE US – BUT WE CAN LEARN SO MUCH FROM THEM. HOW DID THEY FACE THEIR HARD DAYS?

DAVID IS A PERFECT EXAMPLE. HE WENT THROUGH MANY HEARTBREAKING,  FRIGHTENING  AND LIFE-THREATENING TIMES.  WHEN HE WAS YOUNG HE WAS CHASED THROUGH THE DESERT BY JEALOUS KING SAUL WHO TRIED TO KILL HIM AND TOWARDS THE END OF DAVIDS LIFE  HIS VERY OWN SON TRIED TO DO THE SAME THING.

BUT YOU KNOW RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE OF HIS DIFFICULT TIMES HE WROTE MANY PSALMS. PS 27 IS AN EXCELLENT EXAMPLE OF THAT AND I WANT TO SHARE THIS WITH YOU BECAUSE THIS PSALM IS FOR YOU AND ME TODAY. I JUST WANT TO FOCUS ON ONE VERSE. 

BUT JUST TO GET THE CONTEXT….

27 THE LORD IS MY LIGHT AND MY SALVATION; (MEANS DELIVERANCE FROM SOMETHING THAT WOULD HARM ME – SIN, SICKNESS, DISEASE – COVERS EVERYTHING) GOD IS MY SALVATION.
WHOM SHALL I FEAR?
THE LORD IS THE [A]DEFENSE OF MY LIFE;
WHOM SHALL I DREAD?….
GOES ON AND SAYS MY HEART WILL NOT FEAR

IN THIS PSALM DAVID WASN’T TALKING ABOUT SLIGHT AFFLICTIONS. LISTEN TO THE INTESITY OF HIS WORDS V3 “EVEN THOUGH WAR ARISE AGAINST ME.  IN SPITE OF ALL THIS I AM CONFIDENT.

WHERE DID THIS CONFIDENCE, ASSURANCE COME FROM? HOW WAS HE ABLE TO SAY IN SPITE OF ALL HIS HARD TIMES, THE LORD IS MY, MY SALVATION, MY DEFENSE, MY LIGHT. HOW COULD HE BE SO CONFIDENT IN UNCERTAIN AND SCARY TIMES?

HE’S GOING TO ANSWER THAT SOON BUT HE CONTINUES…

10 [G]FOR MY FATHER AND MY MOTHER HAVE FORSAKEN ME,

THIS IS LIKE READING DAVIDS DIARY.  HE IS WRITING ABOUT HIS PRIVATE LIFE, HIS PERSONAL STRUGGLES. THIS WAS A TIME OF MENTAL DARKNESS.  A HOPELESS SITUATION. A TIME OF FEAR, CHAOS, DOUBT.  BUT AGAIN LISTEN TO HIS  CONFIDENCE.

BUT THE LORD WILL TAKE ME UP. THE LORD WILL CARE FOR ME. THE LORD WILL HOLD ME CLOSE.

HOW WAS HE ABLE TO BE SO CONFIDENT? HOW WAS HE ABLE TO GET TO THAT POINT IN LIFE? WHAT WAS THAT SOMETHING THAT STOPPED HIM FROM DESPAIRING AND GIVING UP? WHERE DID DAVD FIND HOPE, THE STRENGTH TO CARRY ON.

VERSE 13 IS THE KEY

13 [J]I WOULD HAVE DESPAIRED UNLESS I HAD BELIEVED THAT I WOULD SEE THE GOODNESS OF THE LORD IN THE LAND OF THE LIVING.

NO MATTER WHAT WAS HAPPENING AROUND HIM AND TO HIM HE DEEPLY  BELIEVED THAT SOMEHOW HE WOULD SEE THE GOODNESS OF GOD. AND HE SAYS HE WOULD SEE THE GOODNESS OF GOD IN THE LAND OF THE LIVING. NOT ONE DAY WHEN I GO TO HEAVEN BUT HERE NOW HERE WHERE I AM LIVING. I WILL SEE THE GOODNESS OF GOD WORKING OUT IN MY DAILY LIFE

HE KNEW THAT GOD IS GOOD. HE BELIEVED THAT. HE WAS ABSOLUTELY SURE THAT GOD WOULD SEE HIM THROUGH HIS TRIALS. 

SO HE IS SAYING; “UNLESS I HAD SEEN, UNLESS I HAD BELIEVED IN THE GOODNESS OF GOD IN MY LIFE, IN THIS CHAOTIC WORLD RIGHT NOW, I WOULD HAVE GIVEN UP.” YOU SEE ALL OF D SENSES TOLD HIM IT’S HOPELESS OUT THERE. I’M FINISHED. BUT INSTEAD HE CHOSE TO BELIEVE THAT HE WOULD SEE THE GOODNESS OF GOD.

THE GOODNESS OF GOD. IS GENTLENESS, KINDNESS – IT’S THE GENEROSITY OF GOD. IT  IS GODS LOVE IN ACTION. JC CAME TO REVEAL HIS GOODNESS.  IN THE BOOK OF ACTS WE ARE TOLD THAT JESUS WENT AROUND DOING GOOD. JC CALLED HIM SELF THE GOOD SHEPHERD AND A GOOD SHEPHERD PROTECTS PROVIDES FOR HIS SHEEP.

IN PS 23 (WHICH WAS ACTUALLY WRITTEN AROUND THE SAME TIME AS THIS PSALM) DAVID WROTE “SURELY GOODNESS AND MERCY WILL FOLLOW ME ALL THE DAYS OF MY LIFE.” DO YOU REALISE THAT YOU ARE THE FOCUS OF GODS GOODNESS? THE GOD WHO IS GOOD IS AT THIS VERY MOMENT PURSUING YOU TO DO YOU.GOOD AND WILL IN HIS OWN WAY AND IN HIS OWN TIME SHAPE THE CHAOS INTO SOMETHING GOOD.

SO, TURN YOUR ATTENTION FROM FEAR, ANXIETY AND UNCERTAINTY TO GOD WHO IS YOUR HOPE, YOUR STRENGTH,Y OUR LIFE.   ANCHOR YOURSELF IN THE GOD WHO IS SGOOD TOWARD YOU NOW.

UNTIL NEXT TIME, THIS IS GG

STAY SAFE, STAY SANE, STAY TRUE.

If you feel this article has value, please send this link to others, Writings are meant for people, not for dormant files in our computers and very often when we share them, it results in positive changes in the lives of individuals and communities.

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The New Covenant.


Another thought provoking and God-inspired article by Vivi.

 Why is it important to understand what the New Covenant means? – so that we can make a free-will, quality decision to enter into covenant with Jesus

God is a covenant-keeping God and it is good to understand exactly what His New Covenant means, because the New Covenant takes us – as someone jokingly put it: “out of the death column and into the birth column!”

We are all destined for the ‘death column’ – not only do we have physical, perishable bodies which don’t go on forever but the Bible tells us that the ‘wages of sin = death’ and if we continue to live a life of sin, we are all destined to die spiritually as well physically.

Sin separates us from God.  He warned Adam that if he disobeyed, he would die.  The devil has always tried to deceive us into believing that God’s word is not true!

God’s Word is true and as He loves us, His creation, so much He made the way for us to get back what we had lost.  He made the way by ‘becoming flesh’ i.e. He came to earth by being born as a human, although without a human father, (like Adam) but unlike Adam, He did not deserve death because He did not sin! 

He was the only human who had not sinned and therefore He did not have to pay ‘the wages of sin’ – He was the only human who did not have to die!  

Remember, God told Adam not to eat the fruit from the tree of the ‘knowledge of good and evil’ – God wanted us to live forever without ‘knowing’ (often means ‘experiencing’) or tasting evil.  Jesus, in His humanity was the only human who lived the way God intended us to live, without knowing evil. 

Jesus certainly came across evil, all through His earthly life.  He came against evil all the time.  Scripture tells us: ‘He came to destroy the works of the devil’.  He came up against sickness, disease, hunger and pain, fear and death and He destroyed them each time, bringing about healing instead of sickness and disease, provision instead of hunger and deliverance instead of pain and fear – life instead of death.

He was showing us all the time He walked on this earth that He had come to reveal God – the love and power of God was in everything He did and the wisdom of God was in everything He said!  Do you remember Jesus telling us that the thief comes ’to rob, kill and destroy’ – and He, Jesus comes ‘to give LIFE – and that more abundantly’.  Jesus was God in the form of a human so that He could shed His own blood to seal the New Covenant with us to give us what He had – eternal life!

The problem is most of us don’t even understand what a covenant is all about!  We are brought up in a ‘civilized’ culture that knows nothing of blood sacrifice and even our theologians don’t like to mention blood. 

However, God teaches us from His Word that ‘without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness for sin’.  Jesus chose to go through death as part of the covenant.  His words were:   This is my blood of the new covenant which is shed for many for the forgiveness of sins’.  Even in most of our churches, when we have communion, the word ‘covenant’ is left out and some churches don’t even have the blood – symbolically of course, Jesus had lifted the cup of wine, called the cup of redemption after the Passover meal and He said: ‘As oft as you drink it, do this in remembrance of Me’.

He broke down the barrier that separated us from Him, namely sin, by taking the punishment on Himself – and made it possible for us to be redeemed, i.e. delivered out of the bondage of sin.  Some people say He ‘paid’ for us, but that is not a good explanation because it implies that we are just ‘bought merchandise’!    The Lord made us much more precious than that!  He gave us the freedom to choose whether or not we wanted to be redeemed and He does not force anyone into His Kingdom.

If we choose to confess and repent of the sin which has separated us from Him, He forgives us and we become His children.  We can receive His love and we can love Him and receive our redemption and our freedom from the bondage of sin. 

We are no longer on a one-way road to death but can believe and KNOW that there is life after death.  Jesus said so!  He said:Whoever believes on me, though He dies, yet shall he live’.

When Jesus removed the barrier that separated us from God, He also made the way for us to live in harmony with each other.  Now we can really love God and each other.  We can follow His example of always talking to God before we make any decision – and then do it God’s way.   We can live with the right attitude, i.e. not even wanting to sin.   Jesus came to earth to make the way back to God because everyone had sinned and was destined for the death column!  Now we can get into covenant with Him and be born again!

Born of the spirit, so that when we die physically, we go right on living in the spirit – not separated from God, but we will find that we will be with Him!  His New Covenant was confirmed with His blood to forgive many – ALL those who enter into covenant with Him!  The way we get into covenant with Him, is to receive what He gives us and to give Him what is ours!  What an uneven swop!  But He loves us so much, He doesn’t mind – He designed it that way!

Jesus ratified the New Covenant with His blood which means He sealed it because he really meant it and will not break it.  We have an awesome Father God who revealed Himself to us in time and space in Jesus.  The ceremonial law was the parable, or picture He painted to show us how strongly He felt about sin.  Jesus told us that He did not come to change the law – but to fulfill it and He did.  He became the sacrifice to redeem us or get us back from the evil one who robs, kills, and destroys.

Let’s get into covenant with Jesus, our covenant-keeping God, who loved us so much He shed His own blood, so that we would be able to get into covenant with Him and live with Him forever!  Instead of being lost, lonely and afraid of the unknown, let’s climb onto His lap and ‘seek His face’ (like a child tugging at his father’s beard for His attention).

He waits for us to do that, He gently draws us by His Holy Spirit and when we understand what a covenant relationship is and respond, we give Him joy!  He said even the angels in heaven rejoice over one sinner who repents.  It’s awful to think of how He suffered, but it’s wonderful to know that He thinks we are worth it!

********************************************************************************************

The A’s, B’s, and C’s (below) of understanding the New Covenant are relatively easy, but we need to also understand the danger of the D’s.  The devil is the ‘father of lies’ and the ‘master of deception’ – lies are easier to detect than deception!

The devil can make bad things look good and inviting  – remember how he deceived Eve?  First he cast doubt on what God had actually said, then he told her that the fruit would make her like God!  The deception of darkness, drunkenness and divorce have trapped very many people…and as a result many lives have been broken.  Praise God that He is our Healer and nothing is too difficult for Him!

The A’s are:  If we call Him Adonai (Lord) we must give Him our All

The B’s are:  If we believe, it should be evident in our behavior

The C’s are:  To get into Covenant means commitment

All rights reserved©vivi 2020

If you feel this article has value, please send this link to others, Writings are meant for people, not for dormant files in our computers and very often when we share them, it results in positive changes in the lives of individuals and communities.

Please feel free to send in questions (see ‘Contact’) and comments (hit ‘Comments’

button).

 

 

 

 

How Wonderfully the Lord Provides!


 

Today we have another inspiring article by Vivi. She shares from her heart and love of  The Lord our God.

We read in God’s Word that He wants us to ‘give and it shall be given to you’ – but sometimes, very often, we are astounded by His provision!  It often comes through a different, unexpected source. 

A few years ago, we were visited by my husband’s grandson, Pauly, who lives in Australia.  He needed a vehicle while he was over here and instead of hiring one, my husband lent him his Opel Monza.

We were shocked to hear that Pauly was hijacked!  We were incredibly grateful that he was not hurt, but the Monza was gone!  However, not long after that Pauly’s older brother also left for Australia and gave us the car he had been driving, which was the blue Toyota Corolla we are still driving!

Continue reading “How Wonderfully the Lord Provides!”

The Miracles


A sponsored article by Vivi.

This miracle I’m going to tell you about, illustrated to me how amazingly God is outside time as we know it!  He was compassionate and merciful in revealing to my husband and I, we had a neighbor who needed prayer and care, which included being driven to do shopping, when he could no longer drive.

The neighbour attracted my attention by showing me what a healing God had done over sixty years ago!

Continue reading “The Miracles”

With God Nothing is Impossible


The Following article was submitted for publication by Vivi and is a timeous warning on the danger of alcohol abuse.

‘I’m not an alcoholic’! – many alcoholics claim. The good news is, even if you are, you can be cured.

Alcoholics have been heard to comfort one another with the fact that although they are alcoholics at least they do not have cancer.

Someone by the name of Don who died of cancer, had this read at his funeral:

Cancer is so limited – it cannot cripple love – it cannot shatter hope

it cannot corrode faith – it cannot eat away peace

it cannot destroy confidence – it cannot kill friendship

it cannot shut out memories – it cannot silence courage

it cannot invade the soul –

However, unless alcoholism is prevented through abstinence – it can cripple love, shatter hope, corrode faith, destroy healthy diet, drink away peace, cripple confidence, kill friendship, break up marriages, decimate families, kill the body and sometimes (in accidents caused by drunkenness) even kill other, innocent people!

If you had cancer, would you search for some help or treatment?  Perhaps even have an operation to remove it, in the hope that it will not grow again.  Why then, I wonder, do people with a drinking problem take so long to recognize the fact that they might be on the way to becoming an alcoholic and continue drinking when all they need do is get some help?  To abstain means that the alcoholism is arrested – even overcome and the Lord loves overcomers!!

After a few years of marriage, my husband realized that his drinking habit was spoiling our relationship and although he tried to come home after work without stopping for some drinks on the way home, he’d tell himself: ‘I’ll just have ONE beer’ but, after one, his resolve was broken down and he’d come home having had four or five!

I was attending weekly Al-Anon meetings at a local church-hall and after a few narrow escapes while driving, my husband agreed to come to the weekly AA meetings on the same evening.  The meetings were remarkably interesting and educational in that we both learned just how addictive and how poisonous alcohol/ethanol is!

He realized he was actually addicted to alcohol, that is, he accepted he was  an alcoholic and kept trying to shake off the addiction, which some of those attending the meetings had managed to do, though certainly not all of them!

When I say, ‘shake off the addiction’ and in the heading: ‘you can be cured’, I should make it clear that there is no cure, except for abstinence and the addiction is only successfully ‘shaken off’ when it is no longer being fed!  That is only possible it seems, with the help of God.

In AA’s “Twelve Steps” the word ‘God’ is mentioned four times, and ‘asked “Him” to remove our shortcomings’ in the seventh step.  However, now, in order to keep those of differing faiths accepting, they call the Lord a ‘higher power’. For me – He is the Highest Power!be7295ddfb9c2160832b9d09b4855ed8

After a few ‘slips’ my husband asked the men at our Bible study evening to pray for him, because he really wanted to be free of the addiction.  They got up, stood around him and prayed for him.

On only one occasion after that did he drink and the result was he fell down the stairs from the garage to the house!  When I arrived home he tearfully told me it was his fault, because he had had a drink!  But after that, he never looked back!  He had seen his folly, made up his mind, asked the Lord for the strength and received it.  He has not touched alcohol since then; nearly twenty years ago!  We are so grateful to God with whom nothing and no-one is impossible!  (However, He does not force them)!

So the answer to the question of how to deliver your loved one from the clutches of alcoholism is: you cannot, but the Lord can and will.  However, He waits for the person who is addicted to ask Him and commit themselves to His guidance!

When alcoholism/nicotine addiction/any drug addiction has been in our family we need to forewarn our children that they may be susceptible so that they are forearmed.  Although no-one knew anything about DNA when the scriptures were written onto scrolls, God did – and He warned us that the sins of the fathers would be visited on the children to the third and fourth generation.

It sounds like a gong of doom, but it is not a curse, it is a warning!  God inspired the prophets to warn us (because He loves us)!  So if your dad is a heavy smoker, or your granddad was a heavy drinker, not only should you be aware that these habits can become addictions, but also, be aware that the susceptibility can be passed on to the next vulnerable generation!Alcoholism

God does not blame the children or punish them for what their parents did, see Ezekiel Ch. 18, in particular, vs 20, we can inherit traits (strengths and weaknesses) and susceptibilities from our parents, grandparents and even great-grandparents, especially when the traits are on both sides of the family!

Although the advertising of cigarettes has been stopped in this country and a warning of the danger of lung cancer is now printed on the packets, there is no warning on bottles of alcohol, that alcoholism could be the result of consuming the contents!  It is socially acceptable to have a drink and good times are continually advertised on television, interrupting your entertainment and ‘brainwashing’ you to get started or to have another drink!

Scriptures that tell us to guide and teach our children: Deuteronomy Ch. 4 vs 9: ‘Make them known to your children and grandchildren’ (your seed and your seed’s seed).  We are encouraged to keep God’s commandments so that it may go well with us and with our children after us, so that we may ‘prolong our days/live long on the land which the Lord is giving us for all time’.

‘I will appoint you as a covenant to the people, as a light to the nations, to open blind eyes and free those that walk in darkness’.  If people cannot see that they are becoming addicted, they are blind to the disaster that could be lying ahead – and the Lord wants them to be free of that bondage – to whatever substance!

So the answer is to pray for those who suffer from alcoholism or other substance abuse and then encourage them to ask for help! They need to get to the point of acknowledging that they are addicted and the Lord will answer their prayer.

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God Helps Those Who Help Themselves


 

God helps 2

God Helps Those Who Help Themselves……….

How many times, were you told these words, when you were a young person growing up and discovering all the wonderful things in life?
Words from parents, family, friends, teachers, perhaps, some suggesting that these were the words of Jesus and at the very least – from the bible.
But, this of course, is not the case; the expression is simply a case of ancient Greek folklore and is not specifically stated in the scriptures

Continue reading “God Helps Those Who Help Themselves”

Being a container for the Lord….


I’ve heard the expression “desperate times call for desperate measures…” and can’t help but think sometimes my prayer life is something like that. We live in desperate times. Our country’s economy is currently very difficult and as a nation, we struggle with divisions along racial lines, not to mention our ownindividual situations of debt, personal relationships and work challenges.

Desperation - Homeless
Desperation – Homeless

Prayer, which is our communication with the Lord, is obviously influenced by these factors in our lives. One might argue that if we had no challenges in our lives, we probably wouldn’t communicate with God!

Recently, I had a conversation with someone at a fellowship gathering which went something like this:
I asked him how he was. He replied the he was very well.
I enquired after his wife and he told me she too, was very well.
An enquiry about their young son brought a similar answer.
I then asked him how Jesus was…..
There was a short silence and I could see he was a bit lost for an answer.

The thought then occurred to me, that if we are in constant communication with people, we generally know how they are and what they are currently feeling. Shouldn’t it be the same with the Lord? Shouldn’t we know what He is feeling at present ?

How are we currently communicating (praying) with the Lord? Are our prayers only born out of a place of desperation? – In other words, as our personal situations become more grave, our prayers become more intense. I don’t believe there’s anything wrong with these types of prayers, but there are additional ways of communicating with our Father.

Pray - Lord Teach Us
Pray – Lord Teach Us

“Oh Lord, teach us how to pray?”

Most of us are familiar with the scripture in
in Matthew. Jesus uses this example to teach us how to pray.
It is interesting to note the following:
Firstly…
“Our Father who art in Heaven….” – Exalting HIM
“Hallowed be thy name….” – Worshipping HIM
“Thy Kingdom come….” – Desiring HIS Will
Then….
“Give us this day OUR daily bread….”

It seems our needs (if translated as ‘daily bread’) are further down the list than the position of exalting, worshipping and desiring HIS Will. A point to ponder: When we measure this against how we pray – what do we find?

The King James Version of the Bible says “Now there was leaning on Jesus’ bosom one of his disciples, whom Jesus loved.” This portrays a picture of someone who is at total peace with the Lord. Not concerned about his needs or fretting in a given situation, but just resting his head on his Father’s heart – listening….

If we go to the Lord throughout the day and place our head upon His heart, we will find the same peace and joy as we listen out for what His heart is saying to us. Not always ‘bombarding’ Him with desperate requests, but listening for His will.

John on the breast of Jesus
John on the breast of Jesus

“Give us this day OUR daily bread”. If we ask the Lord, He will not only supply our daily need, but will give us ‘bread’ for those that we come into contact with on a daily basis. It may be a physical need, a prayer and words of encouragement or perhaps just being there for them.

Let’s desire to be a container for the Lord today. Let Him use us as a vessel to bless those around us. Before we leave home today, let’s ask Him for our daily bread – that which we can deliver to others on our Father’s behalf. What a privilege to be used by Him!

From: “time with the Master…”

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button).