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Ok folks, I love you all. A BIG, BIG thank you to everyone who has been reading this blog, but I am overwhelmed with simply too darn much to do. I don’t have time to breathe much less keep up with this blog and I am severely neglecting my passion of novel writing. So…I am taking a break from it. How long? Don’t know. Till I have more time in my life? Hopefully just a few months while I adjust to the workload of college, perhaps.

Again, love you guys!

 

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There is a seed of greatness within each of us. There are gifts that are waiting to be unwrapped; blessings that have yet to unfold. Amazing as it is to think about, we are God’s gift to each other. We are placed in the lives of certain people just so we can be a blessing to them.

Interdependence basically means to be unable to exist or survive without each other. Do you know that the entire universe is built on this principle? Take away air and nobody breathes. Take away trees and we can’t produce air. Take away water and there are no trees. Basic biology. Well, humans are the same way. Take away farmers and who has time to learn medicine? Take away doctors and who stays healthy long enough to build homes? If nobody builds homes, we are exposed to the elements, fall sick, but have no doctors to heal us and no farmers from which to buy food…we get the point.

The church is also built on this principle. If all are pew-warmers, who will teach? If all are teachers, who will usher? If all are ushers, who will pastor? Who will prophesy? Who will heal? We are interdependent upon each other. So if we are called to sing, but we sit and watch, who will lead worship? If we are called to dance, but we don’t, who will minister through dance? If we are given the gift of healing, but we don’t cultivate it, how can we be mad when nobody is being healed?

This is my point. When God blesses us with a gift, we are crippling the church when we choose not to grow that gift and use it in ministry. And when we cripple the church, we are only crippling ourselves. If we want to be blessed, we have to bless others. If we don’t want to minister to or bless others, who are we to be ministered to? We are taking and taking, but never giving. And then we wonder why our pastors are exhausted. Our first ladies are cranky. Our deacons have no patience. And our ushers are trying to do a dozen jobs at once. Why? Because they have to fill positions that others are called to fill but are not. And the pew-warmers are wondering why their Sunday morning show isn’t all that impressive anymore.

If you want to receive, you have to give. If you are not giving, don’t be surprised when you don’t receive.

Thus says the Lord,

“Take heart, little children, for I have overcome the world. I know of your suffering and your pain. I hear the voice of your prayers. Take heart, little children, for I have overcome the world.

“Many think that I am cold-hearted in my dealings with man, that I turn my face from their gravest of needs. But it is not so. I am compassionate and caring. I hold my people in the palm of my hand.

“Think you that I would forsake the very ones for whom I died? For whom I bore the lashes, the thorns, the nails? For whom I was raised and crucified?

“Yes, I see the suffering and the agony. I see the violence and the pain. I know of the hunger and sickness, disease and disaster. I know of these things. They are forever before my eyes. And my heart breaks with your suffering, with your pain. I have not turned blind eye. I see and I love. I weep as my children cry.

“Know you not that my love is greater than yours? So if you, loving within the limitations that you do love, know how to have compassion upon the needs of this world, don’t you think that I know even more? Don’t you think that I help even more? Don’t you think that I intercede even more?

“Tell me, imperfect ones, why do you judge perfection? For do I know best? Or do you?

“Therefore trust me, my children, and know that I do care. I do have a plan. I do see your troubles. And I have not forsaken you.”

Dear Abba,

I love you so much, my Lord. I need you so much. What is my world without you, oh my God? It is bleak, empty, undesirable. I am addicted to your presence. I am dependent on your love. I am enraptured by your beauty. Oh God, I am caught in a web of utter devotion. I couldn’t break free if I wanted to. To walk away from you would be to walk from life – I would die. Blessed savior, if I was to lose all things, but keep you? Oh God, I would still have everything.

Abba, draw me closer to you. I am dependent, but not dependent enough. I am devoted, but not devoted enough. I am desperate for your presence, but not desperate enough. I crave you, God. I need you like I need air to breath. But still I do not crave you enough. Still, I do not want you enough. I desire more, oh blessed savior. I need more of you. Decrease me, that you have room to enlarge within my life, within my soul. Increase my capacity for you. Spread and stretch out within my life, Abba, so that when people look at me, they only see you.

I love you. Oh God, I love you so much.

In Jesus name I pray,

Amen.

Matthew 26:36-46 “…Are you still sleeping and resting? Behold, the hour is at hand, and the son of Man is being betrayed into the hands of sinners. Rise, let us be going. See, My betrayer is at hand.”

Before Christ was betrayed by Judas, He was abandoned by sleeping disciples.

Thus says the Lord;

“Woe unto the sleepers of the nations. The time of rest and exceeding sleep is past. Behold, I am coming very, very soon. My hand is outstretched to the door. Who will heed My warning? Who will be caught sleeping?

“There is a watch of the Lord rising among the nations, cities, and communities – My people whom I have called to keep watch with Me in the days ahead. I am sounding a trumpet for My people, My children, to awaken the spiritual sleepers before the day of My return. Who will answer the call? And who will be caught sleeping?

“Awaken. Awaken! Arise, oh children of God. The time is short; the woes are coming. Do not be caught unprepared. Do not be caught sleeping. Here is My warning, My children. When the children of God sleep during their watch, the enemy will come in like a flood, like a roaring lion bent on destruction. Be warned. Be awakened. Do not be caught off guard.”

When worship feels tense,
And the Spirit so distant…
When the world is tilting,
And my heart is breaking…
When doubts interfere,
And worries assail me…

I will nevertheless declare,
That my God is worthy…

Of all glory!

Matthew 27:74-75

Thus says the Lord,

“My people have denied me. They look at my servant, Peter, and cry foul sayings against him. But I say to them, he repented but what have you done? Hypocrite. Have I not said to examine yourself before you cast stones of condemnation at another? Yes, he denied me but so have many of you without repentance. Every time your will leads you into sin, you deny me.

“Thus is the way of the Church today! Deny the Son of man! Sins are not trifle to be taken lightly. There are reasons that my commands are commands. There are reasons that I have said what I have said. But yet you shake your fist toward heaven and dare proclaim you know better than I?

“Impertinent child! Where were you when I made the heavens and the earth and declared it good? Where were you when I set the grass, and formed the light, and created living creatures? Was it your wisdom that set the sun in the sky? Answer me even this, was it your back that was lashed for the iniquities of man? Was it your hands that took the nail for healing of all nations? Let me go deeper, if you can still walk with me. Was it your breath that set life in motion, and your love that gave it lasting joy?

“No. You had no part in these things. Yet you dare to know better than I.

“Let me say even this. My people are tired of my rebukes. God’s wrath is never-ending, they say. Where is his grace, they say. God will understand, they say! I say that I see and I am not pleased. That is what I say. Tell me again, what is it that you say? Ah yes. Thus do all, then so should I. I can repent later. God will not see. It is a small mistake. Is it not just a little mistake? Is it not just a small lie? A little deception? A single night? Hah! Says I!

“You know what you do but you do not understand the far-reaching consequences of it. I understand. I see. I know. I can see the bigger picture whereas you are limited by your own perception. But you are the one who knows better than I?

“Come, little children. This is not the way that it should be. Please, child. I plead with you. I grow weary of the foolishness of man. Repent while it is still the time of repentance. Draw near unto me and I will restore you to your former glory. I will bring the land into peace and healing. I will rebuke the curses of many generations. I will end the wars and the hunger. I will send rain to lands that have known only famine. I will do these things if my people will only repent.

“But if you continue to come into my house – a house glorified by my name – and say that God’s grace covers all my sins; that I need just repent and I will be free to return to my vomit. If that is the way my Church insists it will go, then so be it. I will not strive with man much longer. I will not plead with man forever. The final days are coming. Let man choose where he will stand.”

Failure discourages us when nothing else has. It can cause us to re-think our dreams, re-process our interests. It can place a callous on a heart that’s been carefree since the mother’s womb. Failure is a worldwide experience that no man is ever spared. We all must face it, we all must endure it, but are we motivated enough to overcome it? Is there any beauty in failure? Yes, there is.

There are valuable lessons to be learned in botched experiences. Failure often comes as a heavy blow to a cherished dream. Or it can come as an unexpected result to poorly thought out actions. However it comes, there is always something we can take out of our experiences. We discover these lessons by asking ourselves these three questions:

How can I do better next time?

Where did the situation go wrong?

Is this experience a result of stepping out of God’s plan?

Out of the third question comes our second point of beauty; failure gifts us with the opportunity to re-focus on God. More often than I want to admit, my failures are birthed from me trying to wiggle out of the shelter of my heavenly Father’s will. When I do so, and open myself to painful failings, I am provided the opportunity to set my eyes back on God and re-evaluate where He is in my life.

And finally, the breaking down of our flesh that comes with failure is often a pre-requisite to breakthrough in our lives. Say what? The pain of failure often brings us to a low and wounded state of mind. But this is also a state in which our flesh is sizzling like a roasted marshmallow. God uses failure to kill the flesh! Crucifying the flesh always comes before a time of great breakthrough and blessing in our lives. God does this so that when the season of deliverance and abundance comes, we are able to receive it in the right spirit and use it for the right purposes.

So does failure mean pain and disappointment? Yes. Can we avoid much off it by following God’s will? Yes. But put into proper perspective, failure doesn’t have to be a thing of humiliation and hurt. It can be an experience of beauty.

“Young man, young man, your arm’s too short to box with God.”
James Johnson

I love you, Jesus! And even though the 25th isn’t your literal birthday, I still say;

HAPPY BIRTHDAY ANYWAY!