Friday, March 27, 2009

Forever Free

"... ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God ..."

I never understood that phrase from 1 Corinthians 6:20 until my Mom talked to me a few days in a row about it. I was complaining (almost crying) about how awful our country is getting to be - how we are becoming worse than communist countries who bar their citizens in with walls like a prison. I won't name all the evil, disgusting things that are being done these days... there are too many! Anyway it took about 2 or 3 days for me to cool down and finally listen and thankfully grasp what my Mama was trying to tell me. I realized that I have been so fed up, so hatefully angry and so set on rebelling against the injustices and wrongs that are being done to true Americans (patriots, freedom-seekers, etc.) that I have even began rebelling against God. I have asked forgiveness from Him and He forgave me, just like He promises to always do in His word, if a heart is truly contrite. Let me share with you what I learned.

If I am bought with a price - bought with the blood of Jesus - then I am Jesus'. I don't mind
not being my own. I have eternal life! And if I am Jesus', I have everything I need - 'cause He's all I need! But there is something I couldn't seem to filter through my thick skull - if I am Christ's, and I am bought with a price, and He has promised to take care of me, why is He letting me live in this day and age when the most triumphant country in all of history loses its blessed freedom? Well, "you are bought with a price!" That's why!!! That wasn't a good enough answer for me. I kept on getting bitter, and then one day I found a couple verses.

"And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." John 8:32

Yes! A little relief flooded over me. I am Christ's, and I don't have to obey anybody on this earth but Him. If they take away the freedom I have, it's not really taken away, because God opens doors no one can shut, and He shuts doors that no one can open. If he takes something away from me, no one else but he will be able to restore it unto me. He gave me a gift that no one can take away - salvation - freedom from sin and laws that are sinful - in fact, freedom from all the laws, because now I have the power over sin. He is my King, and I ought to obey Him rather than any man. The freedom that we have in Christ Jesus is true FREEDOM!!! I will never be in bondage, because if I am, God allowed me to be put there, not some person I don't even know. No one but God controls what happens to me. Ü There's more, though...

"If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed." John 8:36

That goes along with what I was saying... when I excepted Jesus into my heart, I was freed from all sin, from all guilt. I should just repeat what I said in the paragraph above (maybe in a different sense?). If I am free from all sin, I am free from all sinful reign. I follow, obey, serve and honour no man - only God. I am not of this world. My kingdom is not earthly - it is eternal. Immortal. I'm just a pilgrim passin' through. And even though we of America are no longer free-free-free, I find comfort in knowing that God allowed that. I am his and he can do what he wants with me, for I am bought with a price. My freedom and my rights are still the same in Christ Jesus! I may die defending those rights, but what would you expect if a spirited, free person from a foreign land (me) lived in a familiar, though rather hostile and tyrannical country (the world) and still declared my birth-right freedom? Uh, wouldn't go so well with the authorities. So I am commanded to obey the laws of the land - except if they are contrary to God's Word. That is a dellllliciously victorious feeling!!!!! A wonderful freedom! I can actually rebel against the laws that confront God's laws (in the understanding that it is to be done respectfully)! The best part is, if you're a sinner saved by the grace of Jesus and his blood, you're forever free! Not just temporarily, or only free if you're good. Those things never saved your soul... only Jesus - the King of Kings! And it is still his power and grace that enables us Christians to remain free. Free from the law and free from sin! But better yet - under his rule and no man's!!!!

Monday, March 23, 2009

I Will Wait

Golly, where have I been!? Oh, here and there... everywhere..... living a regular busy life with chores, piano, riding, and such...

But I've been thinking about this one thing alot lately. This one thing seems like I might not live to see it happen, but then again, I hope with an everlasting hope. This one thing is - my Prince. My Prince of Peace. My Jesus. Someday, when God my Father commands Jesus to come and rescue His children from this world, the Heavens will open, the trumpet will sound, Jesus will come in a cloud with great power and dignity around Him, and I will ascend up to Him. I can't WAIT!!!!!! I'm soooooooooooo excited! It's a hope that's turned louder and louder as the days go by, and it's turned into a song in my soul. I'm like a princess waiting, what seems forever, for her knight in shining armour.

But He is coming soon! He said so!

All my life I have dreamed of what kind of man I wanted to marry. All my life, it's always been an adventurous, daring, spirited guy. But as I got older, I was more specific - more particular - til I was saying "someone perfect"! Shame, shame on me..... no one is perfect. I then realized..... I'm asking for Jesus. Sometimes I'll be laying in bed at night or sitting on my roof watching the sunrise, and I think "Come get me!!!" I've never seen His face or heard His voice, but I know Him and I know He's the knight in shining armour I've always dreamed of. I'll probably get married someday to a wonderful, adventurous guy that's always been my ideal. But waiting for him will never surpass the longing I feel for Jesus. I want Him to come back today and take me home!!!! But even if He doesn't, I'll be waiting til I die, because when I die, I'll see Him them!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

When I am Down...

Is there a certain Bible passage y'all go to when you're down, or a person who just automatically lifts your spirits? Maybe a picture drawn by your kid or a song that gives you hope? My two greatest spirit-boosters is God's Word and my Mom. I'm so much like my Mom in some ways, yet so different from her in others. Nevertheless, she always seems to have an answer for everything... and when she doesn't have a direct answer to every problem, she still has a very helpful answer - "Pray." I go to God's Word when I feel most alone. Going back and reading how He pulled Israel through - out of their trials - out of the wilderness.... and reading of how Jesus calmed the raging, deadly seas and caused peace to take hold immediately.... it's as if I can almost hear Him whisper "Peace, be still" within me. Some of the Psalms have helped me, too. There are 150 psalms, and many different ones comfort and strengthen different people. When things like tragedy or doubt come into your life, believe me, I KNOW it's easy to become bitter and say "God, I didn't ask you for this! How could you let this happen to me?" or "The one thing I never wanted, Lord, you've allowed to happen in my life!" It's understandably easy to become bitter when tragedy or even small trials get in the way of life's path. But God is not cruel. No matter what the circumstance, this will be proven to us if we trust in God and wait patiently.....

"But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him." 1 Corinthians 2:9
Sometimes, God sees down the path that is before us and knows that, no matter what, His will must stand. God sees things so differently than we do. Going before us - looking into our future - He may see that trial or tragedy will bring good to us, whether we realize it or not. We'll know someday - in Heaven. So, be strong and brave.
"The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way.Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the LORD upholdeth him with his hand." Psalm 37:23-24

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Full of Heart, Full of Spirit

This is about the book of Job. My Dad's devotions to us kids are about Job at the moment, and we're finding some pretty interesting stuff. I wish I could type the whole book out, but that would be extremely strenuous.... though I hardly trust anyone to just go and read the whole book on their own (42 chapters!). Nevertheless, I do encourage it! The book of Job will change your life (as any other book of the Bible will, if you let it). So I'm gonna challenge you (whoever you are) to go and study and read the book of Job. I'll only give you the first few verses from chapter one, and maybe some bits 'n pieces throughout.

"There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was perfect and upright, and one that feared God, and eschewed evil.
And there were born unto him seven sons and three daughters.
His substance also was seven thousand sheep, and three thousand camels, and five hundred yoke of oxen, and five hundred she asses, and a very great household; so this man was the greatest of all the men of the east.
And his sons went and feasted in their houses, every one his day; and sent and called for their three sisters to eat and to drink with them.
And it was so, when the days of their feasting were gone about, that Job sent and sanctified them, and rose up early in the morning, and offered burnt offerings according to the number of them all: for Job said, It may be that my sons have sinned, and cursed God in their hearts. Thus did Job continually."

OK, so here we have Job - a righteous and wealthy man (if you had animals in abundance back then, you were loaded) who had many children that he dearly loved. He took care of not only their physical well beings, but also their spiritual well beings. Just in case one of his sons or daughters sinned against God, whether it was secret or not, Job went and sacrificed a burnt offering for each one at the appointed time, to make sure God's face was not turned against any of his children. The Bible says he feared (reverenced) God and eschewed (loathed, cursed, etc.) evil.

So while Job was living a blessed and full life, Satan came to 'visit' God one day. Satan challenged the Almighty to see if Job would curse God when He allowed Satan to afflict Job. God allowed it on one condition - Satan could not kill Job. Enter Tragedy. One day, in only a matter of hours, Job lost everything. His oxen and asses were attacked and killed by the Sabeans (eastern tribe), his sheep were burned up by the fire of God from heaven, the Chaldeans (another tribe) stole all his camels, plus all the servants (except three) were killed in all this. But the worst was not over then. A fourth surviving servant came and told Job that all his children (and more servants) had been killed. A great wind from the wilderness had shaken the four corners of the house and the house fell upon his children while they were eating and drinking together. Job mourned all he had lost, but never cursed God once. Instead he said "...the Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord."

Later, Satan curses Job with painful boils from his head to his toe, and he had to scrape them off with a potsherd. Satan did his very best to try and get Job to curse God, but Job would not be taken in this consuming torment. Even Job's wife eventually turned against him. She tells him to just "curse God and die!" I think we know who's side she was for (whether she knew it or not). No one - not even Job - knew that Satan had challenged God. This whole story will just seem to some people like a very sad story. But it was more than a sad story. Even more than tragic! It was more than one man could handle alone! (You'll understand perfectly the awful seriousness of this true story if you READ it! anyway...) God never promised us He wouldn't give us more than we can handle. He DID promise, though, that no matter what comes into our lives, He will never leave us, nor forsake us. Job believed that. He faced it with our dear Father God by his side. Still, his sufferings increased. To top things off, he had three great friends that stayed with him and "encouraged" him through this hard times (yes, I am being sarcastic). They totally destroyed every glint of hope he might have had! They accused him of sin and blamed him for all his misfortunes! They began to get brutal and throw out, what seemed to have been, anything to get Job to break. Anything. Towards the end, it sounds as if they may have even been a bit jealous of Job's fortune at the beginning, and are now pleased with his sufferings! (like those people who are your friends when you have a nice, shiny, red convertible you take them in rides for, and when it's crashed, they snub you...) Those are how I'd describe Job's friends. Only, they were worse. They made sure the bitterness of loss really got rubbed in. Job got discouraged. He even wanted to die! But he NEVER cursed God. Job never dishonored Him or gave up on His righteousness and just judgement. Full of Heart, full of spirit, he persevered til the end, and was blessed with twice as much as he started with, plus his health was renewed. If God takes something good away, He will restore it, or will give you something better to take it's place. I fervently believe that. Job's relationship with God became strengthened to the extreme (I would expect!). He got twice as much cattle and camels as he began with, his daughters were the fairest in all the land, and he even got to give a little righteous payback to his "friends". God chastised the three friends (Zophar, Eliphaz and Bildad) and had Job go and sacrifice for them, so they would be forgiven. How shameful for God to have a friend ask forgiveness for you, because your jealousy against him had turned so cruel. How embarrassing! I declare - no matter what trials would come into my life, I'd rather be a Job than any of them! To be in favor with God even though not in man's. And to be as righteous as Job. I KNOW Jesus Christ's righteousness would make his look like a fool's, but it's hard enough to try to imagine living as righteously as Job did! I won't exalt him though. God put that spirited, strong heart in him. It was a heart that could face any storm, any raging madness that swept across it's world. He even wished to die, but he did not curse God or forsake God's name. He trusted in his Redeemer. He held fast to that which is Good and Strong all-together. And he won the battle.

Monday, March 9, 2009


Slow Dance
Have you ever watched kids
On a merry-go-round?
Or listened to the rain
Slapping on the ground?
Ever followed a butterfly's erratic flight?
Or gazed at the sun into the fading night?

You better slow down.
Don't dance so fast.
Time is short.
The music won't last.

Do you run each day on the fly?
When you ask "How are you?"
Do you hear the reply?
When the day is done
Do you lie in your bed
With the next hundred chores
Running through your head?

You'd better slow down.
Don't dance so fast.
Time is short.
The music won't last.

Ever told your child
We'll do it tomorrow?
And in your haste
Not see his sorrow?
Ever lost touch,
Let a good friendship die
Because you never had time
To call and say "Hi"?

You'd better slow down.
Don't dance so fast.
Time is short.
The music won't last.

When you run so fast to get somewhere
You miss half the fun of getting there.
When you worry and hurry through your day
It's like an unopened gift, thrown away.

Life is not a race.
Do take it slower.
Hear the music before the song is over.
That's a poem written by a young girl before she died of cancer a few years ago. A friend sent the poem to me through e-mail and there's such a wonderful message in it! Cherish each day you have, they are special gifts from God and we shouldn't fool around with them.