Change

I saw a post today that said “I wouldn’t change my kids for the world but I wish the world would change for them”.  Wow.  This was met with likes and amens but I doubt many considered the depth of this statement.  Our kids are the world.  Remember the song “We are the world, we are the children”.  I’m personally sick of so many changes in such a short time.  I know that things are always changing but it seems there is nothing that children can cling to that is constant.

Children need security and to know they are loved.  Those are things that must be constant, never changing.  A healthy home provides that so a child can thrive and grow into a responsible adult.  Sadly, we’ve experienced a breakdown in the home for several decades.  Now we have many adults who are still searching for those basic human needs.  People who should be the providers of security and love have not yet found it for themselves.

One reason a child needs security and love is that they are changing.  When a child learns to be generous it is because they were redirected when they were selfish and praised for generosity.  The same is true for all human behavior development.  We learn acceptable behaviors from being guided by loving parents or caregivers.  The environment needs to be stable while the child is developing.  

Thankfully there is still hope for learning at any age but it would sure be great if more children had loving homes that encourage positive change.

Acknowledge and Follow

This morning I read the first two chapters of Daniel.  King Nebuchadnezzar had been having a troubling dream and sent for his wise men to interrupt the dream. He put a new twist on the request that the wise men had never been asked to do from anyone.  Not only were they to interrupt the meaning of the dream they also had to tell the king what he had dreamed!  “What the king asks is too difficult.  No one can reveal it to the king except the gods, and they do not live among men.” (Daniel 2:11)

No one but the gods and they don’t live among men!  Thankfully there is a God, the one true God, who does choose to live among his people.  

Among the wise men of the king there was one named Daniel.  He was one from Judah who the Babylon king had brought into his kingdom after he conquered Judah.  Daniel was a servent of the true God and had remained true to God even when offered the luxuries of the world.  

Since the wise men failed to tell the king his dream, Nebuchadnezzar ordered that all the wise men be put to death.  When Daniel and his friends heard of this they prayed and pleaded for mercy that they may not be killed. God had mercy and showed Daniel the dream and the interpretation.  When Daniel went to the king and told him his dream Nebuchadnezzar fell on his face and said “surely your God is the God of gods and the Lord of kings and revealer of mysteries” (2:47)

So the king acknowledged the true God.  He even fell prostrate before Him but yet he lavished the rewards upon Daniel and did not surrender to the one true God.  He continued on with life as usual and in the very next chapter created an image of gold and ordered all to worship it.

The kingdoms of the world often seem to wield so much power over us yet we must always remember that we serve the true God.  God’s kingdom is in the hearts of His people.  The power can be revealed in us just like it was when Daniel pleaded for answers that rescued them from death.  

Lord unleash Your Power and reign in me. I want to acknowledge You and surrender to Your ways.  

Tongues

Today I was told that I have not received the gift of the Holy Spirit because it is only evident by speaking in tongues. I know the evidence of the Spirit in me and so I’ve done some research to have handy for when I am wrongly accused.
Mark 16:15-18

15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.
16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.

17 And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;

18 They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.

Jesus did not say all people would do all these things or how many times they would be repeated. Do you have to pick up snakes as evident or holy spirit. Missionaries have come upon deadly things and survived and it showed the natives that God was with them.

There was Purpose

Acts 2:4-6

4 And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
5 And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven.

6 Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language.

Purpose. It drew men to Christ
Acts 10:46-47

46 For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. Then answered Peter,

47 Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we?
Purpose: prove Gentiles can receive what they had. No difference

Acts 19:6

6 And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied.
I can only assume that same reason as acts 10

1 Corinthians

When the church in Corinth began they were baptized in the Holy Spirit but it appears that they did not grow in Christ only made new rules and confusion. Paul wrote to them about this in:

1 Corinthians 12:30

27 Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.

28 And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.

29 Are all apostles? are all prophets? are all teachers? are all workers of miracles?

30 Have all the gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret?

31 But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way.

Note:

Purpose first time was when message was spoken to all in their language. Later given to Gentiles and others who believed. Then they began distorting it and making it confusing. The purpose had changed from outreach to pride.

Paul says move on to more excellent way.

Allow God to use whatever gifts needed to convince the world but don’t suppose take charge of it or be dogmatic and confuse the world.
I don’t doubt that God takes over a persons emotions and even the tongue when they fully release to the Holy Spirit. I don’t see where it would be necessary to seek tongues rather seek love. I have lived my whole life in church for the most part. I have seen people pray through and the Holy Spirit fill the room where no one could deny the fullness of the spirit. There was no confusion. On the other hand when I’ve been in places where they believed the only true filling of the Holy Spirit had to result in tongues I found only confusion and nothing that would draw a lost and dying world to their Savior.

This summary and research is not to argue but only as defense and understanding when I am told that I have not been filled or received the Holy Ghost. I most definitely have and He comes and takes full control and renews me when I need Him the most. Purpose.

A New Thing

I was reading in my favorite chapter of Isaiah this morning. In chapter 43 we find hope that when we pass through troubles they will not last forever. When our children are far away they will return.

I find peace and rest in this chapter often. Holding tight to God’s words of encouragement.  My favorite verses are as follows:

Isaiah 43:18-19 (KJV)

18 Remember ye not the former things, neither consider the things of old.

19 Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert.

I don’t know how many times I have knelt at the feet of Jesus in surrender and been renewed by this assurance that as I put aside the worry over the past God will begin a new thing in my heart.

I’m looking forward to brighter days!

Like a Bride!

Uplifting scripture this morning. Although children are far off now, just as the children of Isreal wandered away from God (many times). 

In Isaiah 49:17-18, the Lord reassures me that the current situation is not final. 

17 “Your children hasten back,

    and those who laid you waste depart from you.

18 Lift up your eyes and look around;

    all your children gather and come to you.

As surely as I live,” declares the Lord,

    “you will wear them all as ornaments;

    you will put them on, like a bride.”
I remember the joy of being a bride. Bring on the joy!!!

Work to the Glory of God

I love what I do!  It’s a blessing to be able to love going to work.  Okay, some days I don’t actually go anywhere, but I’m working.  I’ve had many jobs in my lifetime; many of which I pretended to know what I was doing until I learned.  Work was something that was instilled in me from a very young age.  I often wonder how people survive if they aren’t able to work.

I recently picked up a little book from a used book store that’s about a minister and his wife accepting a position at a church that was on the brink of closing their doors.  Their first Sunday was very discouraging until they were invited to visit their neighbor who happened to be the caretaker of the church.  The man’s wife was dying of cancer and confined to her bed.  They were told that she had been praying for God to send someone who could spark a flame in the community and rebuild the church.  When they stepped into her room their hearts immediately broke for the frail woman who seemed to be barely holding onto life.  At least that’s how it appeared in the physical sense, but they soon became very aware that she was actually experiencing the fullness of life in Christ.  There was a glow surrounding this prayer warrior like they had never seen before.  She said that all her life she had felt that God had called her to prayer.  Life, however, prevented her from investing as much time to prayer as she felt was needed.  While her condition was painful and challenging, she said she was now experiencing the best work of her life.  Imagine the close relationship with your creator that would come from truly embracing God’s call on your life regardless of any hardships entailed.

Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not people” (Ephesians 6:7 NIV)

Feeling Comfortable

I started this day reading an article in Christianity Today titled Understanding the Transgender Phenomenon.   It was a very insightful article.  I’m not sure that I understood everything the writer said, but a large part of it is what I have wished I could have put into words many times.  My heart breaks for people who struggle with these feelings.  I have someone close to me who has recently begun a sex change and it has been difficult for me to know how to communicate that I love this person unconditionally.  I do have that kind of love but sharing in the process has been uncomfortable for me so I’m sure that comes across as unloving.

Read over that paragraph and you may be able to pick out something that is missing that might otherwise be included.  I find it difficult to say “communicate to him” that I love “him”.  The name change was not too hard to do.  If someone chooses to go by a different name, okay, I can adapt.  Learning to say “he” instead of “she” is a little more difficult.  Reading this article helps me see that although I have not spoken out against this decision my failure to use the desired pronoun may send an unloving message.  Lord, help me to show love and respect.

Okay, “to him” still doesn’t flow from my finger tips yet.

While I believe that we find our identity in Christ and only then will any of us truly feel congruent with who we were created to be, I also know that each person has their own struggles.  God does not discriminate against anyone and draws us with love.  We must keep love at the center of our relationships.