Sunday, October 31, 2010

The Role Prosperity Plays in the Moral Decline of A Country

This is a re-post with a few added details. This post was written April 2009.
As I sit to write about the role prosperity plays in the moral decline of a county, I am very much aware of the fact that in this area I struggle. Not with morality per se but with apathy. I can be lulled to sleep by prosperity and in turn become complacent and indifferent to the social injustices taking place within our culture.
I don't think that I am the only one.
We are facing unprecedented change on the home front. Democracy is being threatened by immorality, prosperity, globalization and socialism. Policies are being changed daily to be more like the nations around us. We are seeing cultural Marxism in the form of political correctness. We are seeing the beginnings of socialism in the form of Healthcare Reform. We are looking more and more to Europe and a one worldcollective government to fight our financial battles. With the markets falling throughout the world we are seeing a push for a collective plan of action to stimulate the economy. We are hearing more talk of a one world currency. We are seeing the leaders of the nations want more of a universal collective government and Healthcare system.
What disturbs me most about all of this is that people don't seem to notice or care as long as our economy is on the rebound. We are daily watching the stock markets to determine if the policies being promoted are for our good or demise. We are looking at opinion polls and approval numbers most of which are directly affected by the market numbers. We are crossing our fingers and hoping for the best. The sad thing is that behind the curtain of prosperity a social war is waging! A war that threatens to devour the family and our religious freedoms.
I want to begin by looking at the LORD's command to the Israelites in Deuteronomy and then take some time looking at the reasons for this command.
"You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart with all your soul and with all your might. These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart.You shall teach them DILIGENTLY to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up. Then it shall come about when the LORD your God brings you into the land which He swore to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, to give you, great and splendid cities which you did not build, and houses full of all good things which you did not fill and hewn cisterns which you did not dig, vineyards and olive trees which you did not plant and you eat and are satisfied, then watch yourself, that you do not forget the LORD who brought you from the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. You shall fear ONLY the LORD your God; and you shall worship Him and swear by His name. You shall not follow other gods, any of the gods of the peoples who surround you, for the LORD your God is a jealous God. Deuteronomy 6: 5-7,10-13
God knows that with prosperity comes the temptation to forget the LORD and his commands. He also knows that we were created to worship and if we are not worshiping Him then we are worshiping a lie and a delusion. He knows that anything we worship other than Himself will eventually destroy us. We as a culture have fallen prey to the idol of prosperity. We have forgotten His commands and have turned aside His truths. We have traded the truth of God for a lie.
I know this is a daily battle for me. Looking to the pleasures of this world to keep me comfortable. I have become more focused on temporal things than eternal things. I have become busy with life and my agenda. I look to entertainment for escape and have developed an attitude of not wanting to be bothered.
I don't think that I am the only one. I think our country has developed this same mentality. Secure my finances so that I don't have to be bothered. Go fight the battle for me so that I can pursue my personal pleasures. The end justifies the means. If we ignore it maybe it will go away. What real difference can I make?
Let's go back to the times of the Judges. The Bible tells us that after the courageous generation came a generation that did not KNOW God nor the things He had done for Israel. So, it appears the Israelites did not heed the warning to teach their children TRUTH. It appears that once settled in the promise land, a land of prosperity the Israelites pursued a life of pleasure instead of a life of devotion to the God of their fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. In the end, God's chosen people, the people called by his name, followed after other gods and became like the nations around them.

Is America doing the same?
This very nation was founded by men who loved God with all of their heart, soul, and might. They founded this country and wrote our constitution from the perspective of a Biblical Worldveiw, one that said, the rights of man do not come from the State. Their rights come from their Creator (The Truth Project).
This country was founded on the truth of Isaiah 3:22, The Lord is our judge, lawgiver and king. This truth represents our 3 branches of government.(The Truth Project)
Since, the First Amendment Revisions of the 1960's, we have seen what our forefather's put in the constitution to protect our religious freedoms being reinterpreted to limit our freedoms. We see this most within the school system. Kids are growing up in the age of historical revisionism that takes God out of our heritage. Therefore, generations are growing up not knowing about God nor what he has done for this country.
We have looked to State to teach our children their history and their morality. We are now seeing the repercussions of the 1960's revisions; generations that have grown up with no moral foundation and an obstructive view of history. If, in fact, only a virtuous people can remain free how much longer can freedom last? If there is no absolute truth than what is virtue?
We are living in interesting times!
Remember the height from which you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place. Revelation 2:5

Friday, October 15, 2010

High Tide of Suffering

Watersound Beach Stamped-1
This is a re-post of an entry I wrote August 2009. This entry is dedicated to the families wading through the high waters of suffering through sickness, the loss of a child or the fear of the unknown . It is also dedicated to the families that are in the midst of suffering for the sake of Christ, giving up all they have to follow a limitless God who loves them and has set them apart for His purposes and glory.

"Behold, I will create new heavens and a new earth. The former things will not be remembered nor will they come to mind. Never again will there be in it an infant who lives but a few days, or an old man who does not live out his years; he who dies at a hundred will be thought a mere youth; he who fails to reach a hundred will be considered accused. Isaiah 65:17,20
The verse above tells us to look forward to eternal things. To hold fast to the promises of God when we see suffering this side of eternity. Can you image a life where mourning the loss of a love one doesn't threaten to pin you down to the floor of despair. A life where the former things will not be remembered nor will they come to mind. That is our future when we choose Christ and set our minds on eternal things. But before the curtain call, while we are on this side of the eternal stage, we are called to remember.
A Call to Remember was the purpose of this blog. A call to remember the Lord's deliverance. A call to look back and ponder the big questions of life. A call to not only remember our times of joy but also our times of sorrow. Why are we called to remember our times of sorrow? Because, God wants us to remember our intimate moments with Him. After all, our story is really His story. Our life is really about His grace and His power to deliver. He wants us to experience His power which is perfected in our weakness.
When we have waded through the high waters of sorrow we are called to remember the Lord's faithfulness and deliverance. We are called to know He not only parts the waters of sorrow but at times chooses to carry us through them. He picks us up and carries us to the other side so not even our feet get wet. He wades through the waters and tells us to rest a moment. And while He is carrying us through the high waters of suffering we are to remember the promise above and to trust in Him, who is the author of our moments. An eternal perspective in the midst of suffering. Remembering God, our mighty deliver, who can do more than we can ask or imagine. It is in our suffering, we find intimacy with God. We experience fellowship with Him we wouldn't have experienced had we not gone through the high waters. We can say with confidence, God, who is all powerful, loves me and cares about every need this side of eternity. Isaiah tells us that, "Even youths grow tired and weary and young men stumble and fall but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength." I trust in this promise. I trust, when I am weak I am strong for His power is made perfect in weakness. I'm glad that my Savior can identify with my weakness and sympathize with my heartache. After all, He came and dwelled among us. Paul tells us, "since we, the children of God, have flesh and blood, he too shared in our humanity so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death-that is the devil- and free us who all our lives were held in slavery by our fear of death. The scripture also tells us that He was tempted in every way and is able to sympathize with our weakness. We know that he suffered greatly for our benefit. All of this He came and endured to have a relationship with us. To be made a merciful and faithful high priest. Who can and does sympathize with our human weakness."
Lord, bring peace and comfort to those who are wading through the high waters. Reveal to them, this very moment, your love and power to deliver them through the high waters. Restore their strength. Sustain them with you mighty right hand. Reveal Yourself mighty to save and intimate in your love. Lord, part the waters and carry them through the strong currents. Calm the winds of fear and oppression. To you be the glory, forever and ever. We love you, Lord
Picture above taken by me at Watersound Beach, Florida

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Yeshua: Our Dwelling Place

Fall Photo Shoot Spinning-1
He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the LORD, "He is my refuge and my fortress my God, in whom I trust." - Psalm 91:1-2
To dwell: is to abide in, to find rest in, to depend upon. A dwelling is also a place. A place where we can find rest in a world that is not our own. It can be a place where we retreat to when weary or afraid. After all, we are strangers and aliens in a foreign land. Have you felt like one lately? That this world just isn't what it's supposed to be? If you have then this promise is for you. If you dwell in Him; you will find rest. He will be your refuge and your stronghold. He will be your strong tower and mighty deliver. To dwell in and on the promises of the One who is called "Faithful and True." He will restore your strength. He will equip you for your divine calling.
If you make the most high your dwelling-even the LORD, who is my refuge-no harm will befall you, no disaster will come near your tent. Psalm 91:9
To dwell in and on the promises of God. To abide in and trust in His truths. To find rest in a place that is our temporary dwelling. To rest in moments of chaos and confusion.
To trust is to know for certain that my Lord will not tarry forever but will come back and take me to the dwelling He has prepared for me. John 14:2,3. If He goes, He will come back to take me to this dwelling, where no harm will befall me nor will disaster come near my tent. Psalm 91:10. To trust: is to place all my hope on things not seen, living my life for the eternal instead of focusing on the temporal.
Jesus came the first time to dwell among us to reveal to us the Truth. The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. John:1:14. The same God that spoke creation into being limited Himself to a single cell in the womb of a woman. He came down from His heavenly throne to live in our world under the same limitations you and I live under. Therefore, we have a high priest who sympathizes with our weakness, for He who has been tempted in all things was without sin. Hebrews: 4:15. He suffered death, so that by the grace of God, He might taste death for everyone. For God Himself was the only one who could redeem us and He did so through His son, who was fully God and fully man.
Paul tells us in Hebrews, "that it was fitting that God, for whom and through whom everything exists, should make the Author of our salvation perfect through suffering. " Hebrews 2:9,11.
Fitting for God to make US perfect through HIS suffering. Our salvation through His suffering. Our salvation when we put our trust in His provision and sacrifice.
Lord, may I never take your suffering for granted. You died once and for all for the sins of all those who call on your name. Your name is a strong and mighty tower. Your name is a dwelling. Yeshua.
Yeshua is Hebrew for Jesus

Friday, October 1, 2010

Inner Stirrings

Post written in 2009

This post is dedicated to all that have lost their lives for the sake of Christ and all that are currently suffering around the world for His name sake. If you are currently suffering for Christ. I would love to hear from you and pray for you.

If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you don't belong to the world but I have chosen you out of the world that is why the world hates you. Jesus' words in John 15:18
The Greek word for hate in this verse is the word, miseo which means "to hate" by having unjustifiable or malicious feelings toward others, whether towards the innocent or by mutual animosity. His name is so powerful that even if we claim we don't believe in Him the very mention of His name has the power to convict people of their insignificance and their sin. Where does this hate come from? It is this very verse that solidifies the cosmic battle.
I want to share a story with you. Imagine a girl who walked in the ways of the world. A girl who wanted those in the world to love and accept her. This girl wanted the love of the world. Compromising personal morals to obtain significance. A girl who was hollow, empty and desolate. A girl who wanted to be loved by everyone but did not want the love of Jesus. A girl who would become angry when anyone questioned her personal belief.
This prodigal was me.
I vividly remember being so offended and angry at the name of the Jesus. It was at the height of my anger that I heard His still small voice.
"Elizabeth, Why are you so angry? What is it about my Name that causes this inward hostility?"
I'm so grateful that He initiated a relationship with me by pointing out the obvious and asking me this very important question. A question that opened my eyes to my anger and depravity. A question that led me to Him, the Name above all names. The One who has the power to save me from myself and turn me into the person I never dreamed I could become. He brought me out of my slavery to sin and made me free and alive in Him.
If you find yourself angry at the name of Jesus, I want to challenge you to ask yourself this question as well, Why am I so angry? Where does this hate come from? Why is it that at the name of other false gods there is no inner stirring or anger within me? If anything, within the genuine believer, there should be an outpouring of love toward those who don't believe. A compassion that propels us to reach out in love. For if we truly believe what the Bible tells us about heaven and hell out of our great compassion we should proclaim the good news of Salvation to those who are perishing. For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son that whomsoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life. John 3:16. This love should be manifested and lived out in the believer of Jesus. For His love abounds within us.Why do we see such a vicious attack against those who believe who are reaching out in love? Jesus tells us in John 16:2-3, the hour is coming for everyone who kills you to think that he is offering a service to God. These things they do because they have not known the Father or Me.
You see, His name is so powerful that even if we claim we don't believe in Him the very mention of His name has the power to convict people of their insignificance and their sin. His name is so powerful that it causes something within us to stir.
Here is the good news, no matter where you are today, Jesus loves you and wants a relationship with you. If you, like me, have walked in the ways of the world and have denied Him and his offer of salvation but still have breath in your lungs it is not too late to turn to Him and receive forgiveness and restoration. He desires for you to come to know Him. Our salvation requires nothing from us but submission to Him and accepting His sacrifice that is available to all who believe. His blood poured out to bring life to those who walk in darkness.. His name is so powerful that it causes something within us to stir.Yeshua

Picture above taken by me at the Colosseum in Rome, Italy.