Saturday, October 31, 2020

October 31

I’m sure you’ve heard the story about Jesus healing the blind man by using spit; it’s short but packed full of information. Here’s the scripture:

And they came to Bethsaida. And some people brought to him a blind man and begged him to touch him. And he took the blind man by the hand and led him out of the village, and when he had spit on his eyes and laid his hands on him, he asked him, “Do you see anything?” And he looked up and said, “I see people, but they look like trees, walking.” Then Jesus laid his hands on his eyes again; and he opened his eyes, his sight was restored, and he saw everything clearly. And he sent him to his home, saying, “Do not even enter the village.” Mark 8:22-26

The lesson to be learned from these scriptures can be summed up by the following observations.

1. The faithful prayer of friends can bring healing to the lost soul.

2. Jesus is the one who leads us away from the unbelievers; in this case, Bethsaida had rejected Jesus.

3. It’s a gradual process to have your eyes opened; you may not see clearly in the beginning. This man only saw trees.

4. When you realize that you do not see clearly, he will touch you again for clarification. Make sure you tell Jesus when you don’t understand his Word.

5. Once you’ve rejected Jesus, you may never see the good he had intended for you; again, look at Bethsaida.

I wrote the portion you just read yesterday without including a physical element. It’s mostly about scripture, and have found that people prefer a personal story, that’s why I didn’t publish it. 

Later in the day, I had a friend call me, who has been fighting cancer and is in stage 4 with very little hope for a cure. Hundreds of people have been praying for him. He has never given up hope. He began taking an experimental medication as a last-ditch effort to combat this horrible disease, and it’s working! His numbers went from nearly 400, which is no hope at all, down to almost 0, increasing his lifespan by nearly a decade. God has heard the prayers of his friends, and he is in the process of healing. The people that looked like trees are becoming clearer, and his life is being restored. When someone asks you to pray for them, don’t just say you will and walk away, pray for them. The LORD hears the prayers of the faithful, so pray earnestly.

Friday, October 30, 2020

October 30

There is darkness swirling around this time of year; I sometimes forget about it, like this year! My writing becomes labored, and frankly, kind of bad. The influence of evil forces, relishing the people who worship them, brings them out to clutter the airwaves, and jumble my perception. This year is probably worse than ever because of this election. If you’ve let your guard down, it’s time to armor up. One good thing is that it’s only a few days out of the year; after tomorrow, they will go back into hiding, only to come out when they sense you are about to sin or when evil people are dancing in the streets flaunting their disdain for Jesus. 

The reason I know this is true is that 30 years ago, I was preparing to give birth about this time. My life reads like a parable; probably yours too; I just happen to notice mine, that’s why I know this is true. After Halloween, the airwaves cleared, and on November 4th, I gave birth to a precious little boy who stole my heart. First, there is darkness, then a bright light that brings joy. The world we live in is dark, but Jesus came to give us hope for everlasting light and life. Don’t be discouraged; our time on this earth may be finite, but eternity and living in the light, is forever. Relish your time of living in the light of Jesus in the here and now and know that we are privileged and that there is more to come.

As a side note: Don’t become too overzealous and condemn people because of Halloween, but we as Christ-followers should not participate.

"Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”" John 8:12

Thursday, October 29, 2020

October 29

A few days ago, I decided to pour some bird feed into a plate and place it on my patio table. My dogs go crazy over the squirrels, so I thought it would be fun to attract them into my yard and give them a reason to bark. The fun thing is that the cardinals love to eat off the table too; I’ve seen a few enjoying the free buffet rather than the feeder. The problem is that it’s messy! I don’t mind the mess. I’ve also noticed that the squirrels have come to the table because they've opened the sunflower seeds, though I haven’t seen them eating. 

Ministry works this same way. Ministry can be messy, but if we don’t put the food out in different areas, it won’t be diverse enough to attract the masses. I just keep putting food on the table of social media, and in other areas of my life, like many of you do. I don’t always see the squirrels eating the food, but I know that they’ve been to the table when I notice their posts and their lives changing; I didn’t even know they were eating! 

Jesus did the miracle of feeding the thousands twice. One time was during Passover, and the next time was just an ordinary day. He gave them bread. He called himself the bread of life and told us his body was the bread and that we should eat from him. He put the food out for all of us; we need to eat it!

And they ate and were satisfied. And they took up the broken pieces left over, seven baskets full. Mark 8:8

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

October 28

Preparing to build new duplexes has been a grueling process. It has taken nearly two years just to get the paperwork right so we could break ground. We broke ground and are finally ready to call for the first inspection, only to find out that the permits have not been input into the computers as required. I prepared the notice of commencement just like they instructed, but they only picked up on one permit, and there are six. This pandemic has made communication nearly impossible, and just like any governmental organization, the left-hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing. The bureaucracy has made it almost impossible for an ordinary person to maneuver through, and it’s even more now that they are trying to go paperless. The main problem is they haven’t changed the rules to fit the new requirements. The new way should be easier and less subjective, but they are still trying to live by the old rules when the new should make it more straightforward and precise.

This process is similar to the Old Testament law with all the bureaucracy that added fence laws to “protect” the people when all it did was confuse them and make it impossible for them to be clean and free from sin. Then Jesus comes along, explaining what God meant by the law, wiping out all the garbage religion had added. Unfortunately, religion still adds junk that doesn’t belong by calling it a tradition. Just because it’s called tradition doesn’t mean it’s biblical. Assess the religious rules you are following and compare it to the New Testament to make sure you are following God’s Word, rather than denominational requirements.

“So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets. Matthew 7:12

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

October 27

One of the things I find most delightful in my walk with Jesus is hearing the voice of God. Though I’ve never heard it audibly, God has given me the ability to discern between his voice and my thoughts. He speaks to us all the time, though most people don’t realize it; as soon as your ears open, it registers that you’ve heard him all along.

Hearing his voice didn’t happen overnight; it took me doing a couple of Bible studies before it finally kicked in. The first one was Experiencing God by Henry Blackaby; it is an extensive study with a lot of homework, but it was well worth the work I put into it. The second is Discerning the Voice of God by Pricilla Shirer, it’s not as long, and it has accompanying audio teaching. I began journaling during these studies and finally got the courage to post some of what I was hearing. 

This morning, as I was reading and diligently combing through the scriptures in an orderly fashion, I came upon one of the miracles of Jesus. He had healed a deaf man who had a speech impediment; he first opened his ears so he could hear, then he loosed his tongue. Doesn’t that sound familiar? I genuinely believe this is what he does for us; once you begin hearing him, you have no trouble bringing the truth about Jesus to others. I’m not saying you have to do those two studies to hear him as I did, but it helped me seek him more diligently and has kept me in his Word more consistently. However, you need to know that the scriptures are his voice, and he will refer you back to them in every situation; so if you don’t become a habitual student of the scriptures, you may never hear his voice clearly. 

And looking up to heaven, he sighed and said to him, “Ephphatha,” that is, “Be opened.” And his ears were opened, his tongue was released, and he spoke plainly. Mark 7:34-35

Here’s a question for the thinkers; why did Jesus sigh?

Monday, October 26, 2020

October 26

We have all seen things happen that can only be attributed to God; miracles or revelations that made an impact on our lives. However, when it comes to believing, we sometimes falter when he tells us to have faith and trust him with our everyday lives. Why? Our hearts are hardened.

One time we were having the electric company help us make our home energy efficient, and because I’m at home most of the time and seldom exposed to others, I decided that my home was my ministry, and that anyone who entered would hear about Jesus. The man who came had left, and I had forgotten to tell him about Jesus, so I prayed. I heard a knock at the door and there he was, he had forgotten to do one thing. That was one prayer answered. When he went back to his truck I asked God to tell me something about him, and I heard God say that he had a sister who was sick. So, when he came back in, I asked him about his sister; he was floored that I knew she was sick, so I told him how I knew, and his faith in God was strengthened. Two prayers answered. Side note: if you ask God for opportunities to share a word about him, he will answer that prayer quickly. Most of the time we don’t ask because of fear.

When I read about the disciples and their lack of belief, I wonder why? It’s because we as humans easily forget the things God has done in our lives or the lives of others. Today, ask God to give you a tender heart, a heart that remembers all the things he has done; it will make it much easier to share him with others if you remember.

Jesus had just fed the 5,000 with the help of the disciples, and this happened next:

but when they saw him walking on the sea they thought it was a ghost, and cried out, for they all saw him and were terrified. But immediately he spoke to them and said, “Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid.” And he got into the boat with them, and the wind ceased. And they were utterly astounded, for they did not understand about the loaves, but their hearts were hardened. Mark 6:49-52

Sunday, October 25, 2020

October 25

Don’t you love to eat? Eating is probably my favorite thing to do. Every time there is a celebration, there is food, yummy, delectable morsels that satisfy our taste buds and give us life and strength. If you think about it, our lives revolve around food.

You must eat to keep up your strength. In Genesis, upon creating Adam and Eve, he gave them food to eat. In Mark, Jesus raised a little girl from the dead and told her parents to give her something to eat. When Jesus was raised from the dead, he made himself breakfast; he ate and fed his disciples. Eating proves an appetite and that there is life within you. 

When you accepted Jesus as your Savior and followed that by baptism, it was symbolic of being raised from the dead, and you were given a new life. Do you have a healthy appetite for God’s Word? You should be feasting on the scriptures to prove you are alive and to help you remain strong and spiritually healthy.

Taking her by the hand he said to her, “Talitha cumi,” which means, “Little girl, I say to you, arise.” And immediately the girl got up and began walking (for she was twelve years of age), and they were immediately overcome with amazement. And he strictly charged them that no one should know this, and told them to give her something to eat. Mark 5:41-43