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Saturday, December 3, 2016

THE PEACE CHILD



Deceit in one's innermost circle might be the highest level of betrayal one can ever experience.  When the closest person to you deceives you, the hurt you feel sits so deeply entrenched in your heart and you reel from its impact when discovered.  As difficult as it is to trust once again, God always finds a way to heal and speak to one's heart so we can find peace and comfort.

Consider the story of Don Richardson, an anthropologist/missionary who traveled from America in the hopes of bringing his Christian message to a nearly stone age tribe called the Sawi tribe in New Guinea.  Richardson's message to the tribe was absorbed in a very unusual way.  

Because the highest virtue of this tribe is deceit, Richardson's message of the values of love and forgiveness had no appeal to them.  The only story that they related to from the Bible told to them by Richardson was the story of Judas Iscariot, the story of betrayal.  To the Sawi, Judas was a true hero because he was able to penetrate the trusted inner circle of the disciples before turning against Jesus.

Despite Richardson's unsuccessful attempts to share the message of Jesus Christ, the bloody battle between the Sawi and the Haenam tribes continued right outside his home.  After the fourteenth battle, Richardson then decided to leave New Guinea despite the Sawi's pleas for him to stay.

In a sincere effort to convince Richardson to stay, both tribes staged an elaborate ceremony in front of his home.  It was their final effort to convince Richardson to stay.

In the deafening silence of the entire village watching, the Sawi chief's wife held her six-month old baby in her arms.  She screamed loudly when her husband, the Chief, seized the baby from her arms, held him high in the air and gave him to his enemies.  One member of the tribe explained that the Haenam tribe would rename the baby and raise him as one of its own.

Despite Richardson's distrust of the Sawi, believing that any action by them could be just a part of an elaborate deception, that very act of peace offering could be the exception.  In a flash of understanding, he realized that a Chief's giving of his own son to the enemy was a profound and painful act that would overcome all suspicion.  As mutually agreed between the tribes, as long as the peace child lived, there would be no more wars fought.

This sparked an analogy for Richardson, a parallel story, woven into the Sawi's culture that could impart a message of a forgiving God.  He gathered the tribe members around him and told them of God's peace child.  God sent His own son, Jesus Christ to live among His enemies to make peace with humankind.

"Now, most people would not be willing to die for an upright person, though someone might perhaps be willing to die for a person who is especially good.  But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners." Romans 5:7-8 NLT

So despite satan's attempts to steal, kill and destroy, God finds a way to make us whole again.  In His own way.

Until my next rant... LOVE ONE ANOTHER!


Sunday, November 27, 2016

JILTED


You know the feeling.  Most of us do.  But you weren't ready for it.  Suddenly, your life seem discombobulated.  What you used to know, what you were used to is no longer true.  You seek the reasons how it happened.  You blame yourself.  You blame him/her.  If only...

Easier said than done but do it anyway.  It is the only way to get out of the rut.  Visualize yourself coming out from under it.  You deserve better.  You deserve to be loved.  If the most powerful, most high, strongest person in your entire existence can love you, you deserve better than to be jilted by an erroneous and fallible human being.    You see, we are all imperfect beings.  We are also selfish, thinking only of our own happiness.  The farther you are from your relationship with God, the closer you are to heartbreak.  Don't worry about the past, the past has its own issues.  Having a close relationship with God is the first step to your healing.  It is the first step to turning away from sin.  If you continue to do something that fails, you have no one to blame but yourself.  Falling for the same failures and thinking this time it will be better is just a pipe dream.  Happiness is obtained through hard work.  Hard work means turning away from the pleasures of the flesh and turning towards spiritual growth.  Spiritual growth is given through the grace of God.  Without the grace of God, you are just going to wander through life finding no meaning, no matter which way you turn.  Pleasing other human beings will lead you to nothing but pain because human beings are imperfect, even though we seek perfection in a partner.  We ourselves cannot give perfection to another person either.  The only way a relationship can succeed is if God is in the midst. If God is shunned, the relationship fails.  

What does that entail, you ask?  Well, being obedient to God's laws and guidance is what it entails.  As long as we are capable of loving God, fearing God, obeying and trusting that God will work in our lives, nothing can fail.  Greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world.  Believing satan's lies leads to disaster.  Don't fall for it.  If you have a lover, a spouse, or a mate turn against you, rejoice and ask God to forgive your sins and lead your life.  Trusting in God to give you the right person who will treat you with respect, honesty and love is the better way to go.

Until my next rant... LOVE ONE ANOTHER!



Sunday, November 20, 2016

WHO ARE YOU?



It may come as no surprise to you that you know yourself better than anyone, right?  But like an onion has layers of skin, how deeply do you really know yourself?

Some of us are fixated on the physical representation so that others will accept us based on how we look.  Billions are spent on plastic surgery yearly because they put on permanent masks to maybe hide the person underneath.  Looking like someone who had plastic surgery does hide the years that they have lived but masking it to try to look youthful yet it fools no one and the attraction is not because they're actually beautiful but because they look pretty much synthetic.

To be able to dig deeper, why do people go through this type of masks?  What is it they're trying to hide?  Moreover, society starts to see this as normal and now everyone thinks that they have to go under the knife as well so they could be accepted to the group.

But what's wrong with aging gracefully?  There is a reason why our looks don't stay intact while the years pass.  It is so we can experience the height of life as a young person with looks that can attract others, body strength to be able to do for ourselves but all to prepare for the weakness and physical aging.  It teaches us that there is more to this world than ourselves and it prepares us for the eternal life that God has prepared for us which has nothing to do with the outward influence of this world.  This is a promise from God.  The promise that in eternity we will regain the youth we had and never change because our souls will live in perfection forever.

You see, no matter how much we tweak our physical looks in this life from whatever we are hiding behind, there is but one person who knows us inside and out, and yes you know it, God!  There is one person we can never hide from.

Until my next rant... LOVE one another!





Saturday, November 5, 2016

GOD'S BEAUTIFUL YOU



Did you know that Americans spend 426 billion dollars a year on beauty products?  As of late, even more for plastic surgery and reconstructive surgeries.  Do you ever stop and wonder what it is that compels someone to physically change themselves only to realize another thing needs to change and then another and then another?  Are they doing it to gain self-confidence?  To impress others, maybe a husband or maybe even to land a rich husband?  Is it because they feel the need to be competitive with others?  These types of insecurities are indications of discontent.  Most of the time our discontent stems from a deep search for God.  We are looking for something to fill the God-sized hole in our hearts that only God can fill.  

The reason why the hole exists is because we were born belonging to a God.  Although He has freely given us our own will, just like a homing pigeon, we will never be fulfilled unless we live in His grace.  The world is not our permanent home by any means, and our home is obtained after we leave this world.

But ya gotta think... why change the way we look when this is really not our forever home.  Why are we changing ourselves so others will accept us when we should impress only God?  Don't get me wrong, I am not against make-up, nice hair, and the like.  Of course we should look clean and neat.  It is our obligation to society.  However, if we do synthetic changes to ourselves to mask a deeper longing to fill that empty space in our hearts, wouldn't it just be easier to fill it with God so we could feel whole again?

This reminds me of a story in Genesis 29:31-35.  Taken a devotional  from The Women's NIV DEVOTIONAL BIBLE

This Time. . .

Leah

Rachel, her sister, had always had something she didn’t. Rachel had beauty, Leah didn’t. Rachel had Jacob’s heart, Leah didn’t. However, with the birth of her first child, she finally had something Rachel didn’t: a son.
“Surely my husband will love me now,” she recalled thinking after Reuben was born. What she desperately wanted would finally belong to her and her alone. She had bargaining power, and she planned to use it.
This is the way that Leah considered each of her children. They served as a strange sort of currency, each one “buying” her a certain level of emotional security and social standing. However, whatever dividends she gained depreciated all too quickly. She had to have another baby, and another, to keep her emotional security afloat.
Unsettled in her own skin for most of her life, Leah longed to feel comfortable around other women. She would never be the prettiest. Never the smartest. Not even the wealthiest. She knew that. But a baby gave women reason to envy. “The women will call me happy,” she recalled fantasizing at the time of yet another son’s birth. She thought every eye would be on her. The odds would finally be in her favor.
After five strapping sons and with one on the way, she imagined herself becoming a queen among her princes. As she contemplated the next birth, she thought that surely her husband would finally look at her with eyes of love. This time, her peers would approve of her. This time, she would earn everyone’s respect.
The last time hadn’t worked out like she’d hoped. And the time before that, well . . . the rewards had been short-lived at best. Every “last time” was, after all, last time. She needed something new in order to feel good about herself today. As she looked up and saw her husband coming in from the fields, she absently stroked her pregnant belly. This time. . .

One more thing that is for sure... God will not disappoint!  Until my next rant... LOVE ONE ANOTHER!

Sunday, October 30, 2016

LIVING IN THE REALM OF THE HOLY




What is a realm?  It is described as a dominion, a kingdom.  You are your own realm.  You have dominion over yourself.  God gave you the right to your own will.  Only God has dominion over all of us, but yet, He does not impose His Will on anyone's realm.  You alone are the author of your own earthly life.  Whatever you do in this life will dictate the judgment you receive at the end of it from God.

There is, however, another realm that exists within us.  It is the one that you gladly share with God when you become a righteous or God-obedient thinker.  It is the one where your will is in conjunction with God's Will. It is called the spiritual realm.  In this realm, you forget your worldly self.  It is where you have the complete protection of God's armor.  This is where you are able to distinguish in your heart's mind the difference between God's truth and satan's lies.

Let me give you an example.  In this realm, when you think of tithing, you don't try to scrutinize what happens to your 10% after you drop it into the collection box.  That money belongs to God.  Whatever human beings do with it is between them and God.  Your job is to be obedient to God's Word.  Another example is when you cast your one and only ballot.  Living in this spiritual realm you trust God that He is manifesting His plan for this world.  But in your spiritual realm, the act of casting that ballot is not self-serving, it represents your focus outside yourself and into the country as a whole.  You trust that your ballot will land into safe hands, one who will use it for the good of ALL people.  

Living in the spiritual realm means living for others, not for yourself.  Making your actions and your life in sync with God as His true servant whatever His assignment is for you.  Using your talents to further His kingdom.  God wants us to succeed.  God wants us to live with Him in this spiritual realm now, not as a practice stage but to transition into our heavenly self.  God invites us to live in our spiritual realm constantly and daily through compassion.  With true compassion for other human beings, we slowly become transported into the spiritual realm and live our life here on earth with God.  This becomes the beginning of a chain reaction when others witness such compassion and pays it forward, and on and on and on.

Until my next rant... LOVE ONE ANOTHER!



Friday, October 21, 2016

TRYING TO FIT GOD IN OUR BOX OF HUMAN EXPECTATION



Trying to fit God into our box of human expectations is in and of itself a danger to our existence.  What I mean by this is that our faith and trust in God diminishes when our brains and our hearts are disconnected in that we see God through our sinful and flawed human eyes.

We doubt it even when the Bible says that as long as we believe that we can move mountains when our will is in line with God’s Will.  With God, nothing is impossible.  We hear it over and over again.  We even repeat it to others when we want to help them feel better when a tragic event happens to them.  But the question is, do we believe it ourselves?  Do we actually believe that our words, through God’s intercession can actually move Mt. Shasta over 2 feet?  I believe so.

Gone are the days when I question God’s power and strength.  He is a very personal God to me.  I’m certain most people think how can God help each and every one of the millions of people who believe in Him.  He must be very busy.  Even the movie where God manifested Himself into a man heard several voices in his head from so many people praying.  Sure it is for comedic purposes but this is how most people understand it.  Because we are human.  We think like humans.  We don’t think like God.  No one can possibly think like God.  Instead we need to just understand that we will never ever comprehend how God works.  That is a mystery about Him we should just accept to be true.  

No matter how much we try to shove God into our tiny little box of expectations and understanding, we will never be able to fit Him in there.  God is too awesome, too powerful, too majestic, I can go on and on, but there can never be enough words to describe Him.

God is omnipotent, meaning He has unlimited power.  He is omnipresent which means that He can be in millions of places at one time, at any time, at any unlimited dimension.  That is His power, and then more, much much more.  More than our brains can conceive.  We shouldn’t even try lest our brains explode!  

Just think about this… If God was small enough to figure out, He wouldn’t be big enough to worship.  So quit trying to shove Him in your box of expectations.  Know that no matter how big we can perceive Him to be, He is limitless, ageless, powerful and HUGE!  Never forget that Jesus is God with skin on, and no matter how big and awesome He was, He still sacrificed His earthly life for all of us to benefit from.  

Until my next rant… LOVE ONE ANOTHER!

Saturday, October 15, 2016

THE CONFUSION OF THYSELF



Self-deception is a very dangerous and tricky thing.  A wise man once said, "When you stick your hand in a pot of honey, what do you get?"  This phrase resonated with me since.  Whenever I look at something and it smells like a rat, this phrase comes up in my head.  

When we denounce self-analysis according to what God teaches us, it becomes sort of like a drug.  We shrug and dismiss something small in the beginning, but then over time, it becomes a callous in our psyche.  The longer it is ignored, the worse it gets until one day, we find we have been desensitized.  What do I mean?

So pretend you love to sing but singing doesn't really love you.  Most of the time, people's sensitivity to the reaction of the people around them after they sang a song becomes telling on how they did.  If they are not met with enthusiastic and thunderous applause, it is an indication that you probably didn't do too well.   When people shut up about it to spare your feelings, you begin to think well maybe I wasn't that bad.  

You start to believe this and invest everything in you to become a famous singer, only to be told in your face at the American Idol audition that, hey you really should give up singing!  If you have an ounce of sensitivity in you, you will agree and give it up.  However, if you are in the state of "callousness" about yourself, you ignore them and get mad and storm out of the studio.

This is the same as sin.  If you commit a small sin,  and you consider it as such, overtime you will slowly lose that consciousness that sin is wronging God.  You become calloused and desensitized until you have become a full-blown denier of God.  All along the way, satan has coaxed you, telling you it's a small sin, it's not gonna matter.

On a larger scale, we have government politicians who have gotten away with so much that the level of desensitization have reached its fever pitch.  Meaning, they begin to craft their lies and deceit so well, with other little satans assisting them along the way.  They have become so numb to the results of their ways becoming demonic, inhuman and robotic.

We all have to keep our hearts, minds, and bodies focused on God's word.  His word will guide us through this world of evil and disgusting desensitized people.  Let's not be confused about the fact that God is out for our common good.  

Until my next rant... LOVE ONE ANOTHER!