The Man Who Won’t Go Away

20-years-ago-we-had-johnny-cash-bob-hope-and-8651167

Jesus is on my mind today. He is the man who won’t go away. I’ve just started reading the book by John Ortberg, Who Is This Man (Published 2012) and I haven’t even got past the first page when the reality of life and death and the impact our lives make on the individuals whom we influence, and the legacy we leave for generations to come. Are they temporal or are they eternal?

Ortberg writes:

“Normally when someone dies, their impact on the world immediately begins to recede. As I write this our world marks the passing of digital innovator Steve jobs. Someone wrote that ten years ago our world had Bob Hope, Johnny Cash, and Steve Jobs; now we have no Jobs, no Cash and no Hope. But Jesus inverted this normal human trajectory, as he did so many others. Jesus’ impact was greter a hundred years after his death than during his life; it was greater still after five hundred years; after a thousand years his legacy laid the foundation for much of Europe; after two thousand years he has more followers in more places than ever.”

Thus, the title of Ortberg’s book, Who Is This Man. I’ve also been reading and studying some ancient writings and text where Jesus not only came to bring salvation, redemption and healing to mankind, but to destroy the works of his enemies.

mt. hermon & tower of babel

Jesus was transfiggured on Mt. Herman, then stood at the foot of the “rock” and highest mountain in Israel; Mt. Hermon, also named after the home of the god known as Baal-Hermon, Much natural and spiritual wickedness was practiced there. Read More

Jesus death and resurrection took authority over this high place and we read about this below.

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Mission Drift

Guard the deposit

The Apostle Paul writes to Timothy from a Roman prison and encourages him to;

1) Hold on to sound teaching.
2) Guard the good deposit that is in us.

The Roman Empire was changing rapidly and Nero, was the presiding Emperor. After the death of his uncle Claudius in 54 A.D. Nero was nominated, helped by his mother Agrippina the Younger.  Historic authors write about Nero’s mother, Agrippina the Younger, and how it was likely she was implicated in Claudius’ death and Nero’s nomination as emperor. She dominated Nero’s early life and decisions until he cast her off. Five years into his reign, he had her murdered.

Paul could understand how easy it would be to succomb to the Roman rule and the threats against the Christian believers. We subtly face many of the same threats today. It can be very easy to drift away from God’s Mission.

Mission drift occurs when an organization passively changes course. It not only happens to businesses, it can also happen to people. This sermon explains how we can fulfill God’s mission for our lives and keep from drifting off course. I recently heard a message about the importance of staying on our mission.

This message was given on July 15, 2018, by Pastor Andrew Wild. (Click here to listen.) Andrew is a pastor at Riveroaks Community Church in Winston Salem, North Carolina.

Pastor Andrew began his sermon by citing that the Emperor Nero, had his own mother murdered.  Nero’s mission was to be in complete control of the Roman Empire.

More about Emperor Nero

Nero was intentional, bold and unashamed of his determination to satisfy his own mission. Although his reign was short (13 years), he terrorized Christians, blamed them for setting fire to Rome, had his mother and wife killed. Finally when the fear of being overtaken by other rulers he took took his own life. He is quoted as saying, “What an artist dies in me!.”

During his reign he was instrumental in killing Christians for sport and thus Paul’s advice to Timothy was to stick to sound doctrine, guarding our hearts because of the truth that Christ lives in us.  In spite of the difficulties and persecution, Timothy was able to teach and preach this message to others. I think this is good advice for all believers in the day and age we are living.

Keys to avoiding Mission Drift ~ Andrew Wild

  • Be Intentional – You have been entrusted with a message of “the good news of salvation.”
  • Be Bold – Don’t be ashamed to share the gospel.
  • Be Willing To Suffer – Count the costs of being a disciple knowing the truth will always set you free but sometimes will cause you hardships.
  • Be Faithful – There is an eternal reward of hearing, “Well done, Good and Faithful Servant.”

If you want to avoid Mission Drift, hold on to the truths revealed in God’s Word. ~Andrew Wild

What a great challenge and word! We need to stay steady on the course with God as our Captain!

A really awesome book to read is Mission Drift.

Mission Drift

Staying on course isn’t easy and it will cost you something. If it doesn’t then I would wonder if I was already adrift. I know the Lord’s prayer for each one of us is for us to finish our course well. Another word from Paul,

“Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it? For if you lay the foundation and are not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule you, saying, ‘This person began to build and wasn’t able to finish.’
Luke 14: 28 -30 NIV

Even though the enemy and our own flesh is constantly trying to steer us off the course, we can rest assured, God will help keep us righted if we are willing to take a lesson from His word to;

  • Hold on to sound doctrine.
  • Guard the Good Deposit that is within us!
  • RememberYOU ARE ONE OF GOD’s TREASURES!

shipwrecks

Searching for God’s Treasures,

Marlene

Marlene has been called to go and serve others
wherever God calls her.

She combines teaching, prayer, worship with the prophetic, words of knowledge and wisdom to bring salvation, deliverance & healing to those who are lost, hurting helping each other prepare for ruling and reigning with the MOST HIGH GOD!

acceleration me
from ashes to beauty…
Cinderella Released

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Fathers, We Need You! You are Soul Care Providers

I was sitting in a coffee shop thinking about Father’s Day and asking God what He wanted me to share.  There have been many influential fathers in my lives. Pictured above and below are just a few of some of the ones I know personally.

While I was writing I was privy to a conversation of a young man talking about the soon coming birth of his son. He described it, like being in the midst of a hurricane that is soon approaching.”

He went on to basically describe, “His newfound fatherhood is like a flurry of preparing for an uncontrollable event that he knew would radically change his life forever.”

He added, “My baby boy is running around inside my wife’s belly kicking and screaming. He is coming… and he will be here soon!” 

Then a few weeks ago this man’s unborn son went from kicking and lots of active movement in his mother’s womb to no activity and no respiratory score. Thankfully, after testing and waiting, they found out the baby is fine. I know this must have been especially scary, since this couple has been married for over 14 years and this is their first pregnancy.

He was talking with a couple about helping build non-profit sustainability programs  in Alaska. From their conversation I believe he will make a great dad and provider.

I love how the Lord will seat people right next to you who have the same heart and passion for souls and discipleship. I believe this confirms what God is calling us as believers to do in this hour.  I call these individuals Soul Care Providers.

Fatherhood

I’ve known many mothers and fathers who have gone through trials and tribulations regarding their children. Whatever the storm, God has it under control.

“Jesus is walking through the storm to get to your boat.” Cynthia Pettis

In 1993 I went to work for a young man and his wife who had waited over a decade for their first son. It was such a blessing when this little boy was born! This family now has three grown children and they have been such a model for other parents as well as an example of the Father’s love for His children.

This picture on the left is of Johnny Blue Craig Sr. and his son Johnny Blue Jr. This picture was  created for a prepaid phone card and a promotional ad for a Fatherhood Campaign. There is only a short window of time we have as parents and especially fathers to influence the next generation. The picture on the right is Johnny Blue, April and their three grown children.

We need fathers to come to the revelation that you become a father when life is conceived and you are a “father and soul care provider” even before your baby arrives.

Baggs produce

My father, and  my four sons; Colt, Chris, Maverick & Gary Jr.

Soul Care Providers ~ Fathers we need you desperately…

So, it is in the case of
hurricanes, tsunamis,
crisis, trauma and lost souls.

Storms of life come suddenly and how can we prepare
and provide soul care without the fathers who love the Father of all Fathers?

Fathers, Soul Care Providers, We Need You!

Onward Christian Soldiers
Onward Christian soldiers
Marching as to war
With the cross of Jesus
Going on before
Onward then, ye people
Join our happy throng
Blend with ours your voices
In our triumph song
Christ the royal master
Leads against the foe
Forward into battle
See His banners go
Crowns and Thrones may perish
Kingdoms rise and wane
But the cross of Jesus
Constant will remain

Songwriters: Arthur L. Sullivan / Sabine Baring Gould

Searching for God’s Treasures,


Marlene

Marlene has been called to go and serve others
wherever God calls her.

She combines teaching, prayer, worship
with the prophetic, words of knowledge and
wisdom to bring salvation, deliverance &
healing to those who are lost, hurting & sick.

acceleration me
from ashes to beauty…
Cinderella Released
To Read More About This Ministry

 

Emergency Text Alert!

Suddenly Emergency Text Alert!!

As I’m literally writing this blog, I get a text on my phone, “Did you say you are flying to Florida in two days? Have you seen the weather channel?  Will Tropical Storm Alberto affect your travel?  So I did what most of us do, I googled the weather channel and pulled up the map below then thought, “Ok Lord, I know that I’m going where you have led me. But, into a hurricane, now?”

Subtropical Storm Alberto

God really has a sense of humor. I’m flying into Pensacola, Florida this very same Tuesday morning scheduled to arrive at 8:30 a.m. from Alaska. My path is headed directly into the path of now subtropical storm Alberto at the exact time the storm is predicted to hit the Pensacola area.

I have a peace about flying in and know that my steps are ordered of God. Sometimes we don’t know why…we have to walk through certain circumstances or head directly into a storm center. We aren’t sure what the outcome will be.

This reminded me of a conversation I had years ago with one of my Sunday School teachers and fellow brothers in the Lord who was walking through some serious health issues. I shared with him what the Lord had shown me. I told him I see a “light coming at the end of a tunnel”.

 His reply, “I hope it’s not the headlight of a freight train!” 

William and his wife Sheila are always full of humor, even in the midst of crisis, trauma and transition. Whenever we are in seasons of our lives where the circumstances look like calamity is on the horizon, remember what the Lord says about calamity.

They confronted me in the day of my calamity, But the LORD was my stay.
Psalm 18:18

Searching for God’s Treasures,


Marlene

Marlene has been called to go and serve others
wherever God calls her.

She combines teaching, prayer, worship
with the prophetic, words of knowledge and
wisdom to bring salvation, deliverance &
healing to those who are lost, hurting & sick.

acceleration me
from ashes to beauty…
Cinderella Released
To Read More About This Ministry

 

 

What is that to you? Follow Me

Imagine yourself to be the Apostle Peter. You have cried, prayed, fasted, fished, all night, and caught nothing. And then suddenly a voice cries out from the shore and tells you to cast your net again, just one more time. The fish come from nowhere and are practically jumping into the net.  You look back to the man who called out from the shore and realize it is Jesus!  You realize it is going to take some time to haul in this catch and you just can’t wait. So you put on your robe and jump out of the boat to get to shore to embrace Him. In the midst of the excitement, you forget your sorrow and that denied Him ~ three times.

Because…. just a few short days ago, you were in the upper room with everyone and like the rest, swore your allegience to always follow this man you believed to be the Son of God. Then just when you thought you would never do what you did…

 

So when he had washed their feet, and taken his garments, and [e]sat down again, he said unto them, Know ye what I have done to you? Ye call me, Teacher, and, Lord: and ye say well; for so I am. If I then, the Lord and the Teacher, have washed your feet, ye also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that ye also should do as I have done to you. Verily, verily, I say unto you, A [f]servant is not greater than his lord; neither [g]one that is sent greater than he that sent him.

If ye know these things, blessed are ye if ye do them.
John 13:12-17

Jesus washed each of the disciple’s feet individually. He then said to them, “do this to one another.”  I believe he was saying, “Don’t compare yourself to one another, but serve one another as I have served you.” Peter, John and the other disciples lived, loved and worked with Jesus, yet each one had their individual assignments in the Kingdom of God.

Continue reading →

Do I have a Pharisee’s Heart? A Word about Yom Kippur

heart stone

Do I have a Pharisee’s Heart?

“Yes, sometimes!”

You may never have heard of Horace Pitkin. He was a missionary to China in the early 1900’s. He wrote to his freinds and basically said, “It definately won’t be long until we (he and his family) find out whether we can serve Him better above or here.” Shortly after the gates of his compound were stormed and he defended two women and was beheaded. His head was offered at a shrine to foreign Gods and his body was thrown into a pit with nine other Christian believers. His wife and baby returned home and his death won many souls to Christ in China.  9/28 Day by Day by Billy Graham

Hopefully, most of us in America will never face this type of persecution, but it doesn’t mean we shouldn’t live for Christ with this kind of fervor. Are we ready to give an account for who and what we believe; ready and whole heartedly willing to stand up (and even die) for our faith in Jesus?  With factions increasing around us, it isn’t hard to see wickedness increasing.

Matthew 24:12 says it best,

“Because lawlessness is increased, most people’s love will grow cold.

How can I keep from growing cold and having an unrepentant heart?

We can’t do this on our own without the help of God. I’ve found the best way to cleanse my soul is to study scripture, pray and then be quiet and listen. This morning I felt the Lord directing me to the story about Jesus’ mother and brothers coming to disrupt his meeting.

 In Matthew 12:47-48, we read:
Someone told Him, “Look, Your mother and brothers are standing outside, wanting to speak to You.” But Jesus replied, “Who is My mother, and who are My brothers?”  Pointing to His disciples, He said, “Here are My mother and My brothers.…

who are my brother

Jesus’ mother and brothers were obviously there to do an intervention on Jesus and perhaps “get him out of there.” I have to laugh because after having four sons, I’ve seen myself in this situation many times. Mary probably thought, “He needs my help!”

Any time we think we know better than God we put ourselves where many of the Pharisees in Jesus’ time were. We should only be doing and saying, “What the Father tells us to do and say. This takes building a listening ear and obedient heart. Repentance is about knowing the truth about ourselves, and the truth about who God is. It is understanding our identity in Jesus, but moreso about our relationship with Jesus.

True repentance is a heart issue. This is what makes true disciples.

2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slow concerning his promise, as some regard slowness, but is being patient toward you, because he does not wish for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.

Matthew 12 is all about Yom Kippur and the importance of true repentance. Check out the subheadings in this passage of scripture. They are:

  1. Jesus is LORD of the Sabbath, (Don’t deny our Creator and His Commandments)
  2. Jesus healed on the Sabbath, (Don’t deny helping others who are lost & sick)
  3. A disciple is God’s Chosen Servant, (Don’t deny God’s Lordship)
  4. Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit (Don’t deny the Holy Spirit is God)
  5. A Tree is Known by It’s Fruit (Don’t deny the Word of God – Remember what Adam and Eve did?)
  6. The Sign of Jonah (Don’t deny Jesus’ resurrection)
  7. Return of the Unclean Spirit (Don’t Deny to repent totally)
  8. Jesus’ Mother and Brothers (Don’t deny the covenant & familial relationship with Jesus)

Yom Kippur – Begins Evening of September 29th and Ends Evening of September 30th

The Talmud (Yoma 73b) lists the five obligatory “afflictions” (i.e. forbidden pleasures) of Yom Kippur:

  1. Eating and drinking
  2. Bathing
  3. Anointing
  4. Wearing shoes- Read Full Article
  5. Marital relations

Listed above are some of the practices Jews abstain from on Yom Kippur in order to memoralize this time of repentance.

Below are some of the thoughts I had regarding these practices from a heart perspective:

  1. Eating and drinking – Jesus was led into the wilderness for 40 days where He fasted. I believe He did this to set an example for discipleship.  He was tested by the enemy and knows we too will be tested. In Matthew 4:1-11 Jesus spoke to Satan, “Man shall not live by bread alone.” Keeping God as Lord of the Sabbath. Verse 10: Then Jesus said to him, Away with you, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve. Jesus is reminding us, you will perish if you don’t eat or drink but you will also starve to death without the bread of life.
  2. Bathing – As sinful man we can not cleanse ourselves. Job asked this question, ‘Can mankind be just before God? Can a man be pure before his Maker? Job 4:17 ESV Jesus through the cross made a way for us to have hope that our impure hearts may be clean. “And everyone who has this hope fixed on Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.” I John 3:3 ESVThe like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ: I Peter 3:21 KJV

    Whited-Sepulchre-750x300

  3. Annointing – Abstaining from annointing reminds us that we can’t annoint ourselves.  Jesus ascended to the Father after His resurrection and then they sent the Holy Spirit to anoint and teach us.“If you love me, you will keep my commandments. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper,[a] to be with you forever, 17 even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be[b] in you. John 14:15-17 ESV
    waiting on holy spirit
  4. Wearing Shoes – There are many examples of the importance of shoes and the covenant and respect it holds Biblically.Holiness:Put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground.” (Exodus 3:5)
    Promise: And his name shall be called in Israel, The house of him that hath his shoe loosed” (Deuteronomy 25:9–10) and
    Marriage Covenant: “Now this was the manner in former time in Israel concerning redeeming and concerning changing, for to confirm all things; a man plucked off his shoe, and gave it to his neighbour: and this was a testimony in Israel. Therefore the kinsman said unto Boaz, Buy it for thee. So he drew off his shoe” (Ruth 4:7–8).

    In the following two examples we see where bare feet are present and a sign of true repentance, humility and relationship:

    1) His disciples in John 13, He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, do you wash my feet?” Jesus answered him, “What I am doing you do not understand now, but afterward you will understand.” Peter said to him, “You shall never wash my feet.” Jesus answered him, “If I do not wash you, you have no share with me.” Simon Peter said to him, “Lord, not my feet only but also my hands and my head!” 10 Jesus said to him, “The one who has bathed does not need to wash, except for his feet,[a] but is completely clean. And you[b] are clean, but not every one of you.” 11 For he knew who was to betray him; that was why he said, “Not all of you are clean.), and

    2) Luke 7: 36-50, A woman in that town who lived a sinful life learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee’s house, so she came there with an alabaster jar of perfume. As she stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them.

    I see this woman performing an act of repenting, annointing, bathing and fasting before Jesus, while He has formed a covenant with her by removing His shoes. How humbling this is and what a great woman of faith! How she kept His commandments!

washing jesus feet

5. Marital Relations – This was a difficult one for me at first because I’m not married. But after prayer, this is what I felt the Holy Spirit saying to me. Go back to the beginning and look at scripture.

All of the five conditions for Yom Kippur deal with the heart, humility and true repentance and relationship.

Genesis 1:27-28

 So God created man in his own image,
  in the image of God he created him;
  male and female he created them.

 

And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”

be fruitful

In the beginning God created everything including man and woman. In verse 28 God blessed Adam and Eve with the ability to create life and have dominion over every living thing.  God also gave Adam and Eve freewill of when to have marital relations. As an act of worship and denying the flesh, abstaining from intimate marital relationships on Yom Kippur is an act of worship to God.

“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices–mint, dill and cumin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law–justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former. Matthew 23:23 NIV

“Brothers, do not grow weary in doing good” (2 Thessalonians 3:13).

But in your hearts set Christ apart [as holy—acknowledging Him, giving Him first place in your lives] as Lord. Always be ready to give a [logical] defense to anyone who asks you to account for the hope and confident assurance [elicited by faith] that is within you, yet [do it] with gentleness and respect. I Peter 3:15 AMP

 Jesus was posing this question to everyone in the room that day and to each one of us today; “Who is my brother, (sister) and mother (father)?

Searching for God’s Treasures,

Marlene
from ashes to beauty…
Cinderella Released for such a time as this!

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An Update from Sarah Deeds and A Father’s Heart for Africa!

 

  • Sarah Deeds

    I dont have much time and cant get any pics to you yet but here is a quick email. Hi Everyone!!!! Wow God has been working on my heart so much and healing a lot of things that I use to believe about myself and you would be so proud God told me to sing and help lead worship yesterday and if we were interested to talk to a person.

    I said, “God if this is you I will run into her before worship well you know how God is I did and I got up there and sang my heart out for Jesus!!”

    Brett and I were on the same prison ministry and 50 people came to the Lord last week when he shared his testimony and I shared yesterday about how much God loves them and it was amazing!

    Next week is when I go out in the bush and sleep in a tent with others for 2 nights away from everyting and everyone. Brett’s was 2 weeks ago and at his they led 200 people to the Lord and saw blind eyes open! I cant wait to allow God to move and heal and change people! We finally got water after almost 2 weeks of not having it, thank you Jesus.

    We lose power every other night right around dinner so I have been cooking with a big head light on my head rather comical. I am in a group called glow worms and we go out every other day in the village and pray for hours for stangers. We have seen many healings.

    Image

    On Sunday I got to go to the village and a different church and I preached! It was amazing all these people came up for prayer and then we walked or hours in the beaming hot sun and went from hut to hut praying for people. This one family we met the mother said her husband has been in the hospital for 3 months and is dying. We gathered around her he had a infection in his body where he was bleeding internally. We prayed for the family and started to leave. 2 mintues later her son was running to us screaming something in their language we had someone interpert what he was they just received a phone call from her husband from the hospital and said that he was well and was coing home that day! What a miracle! We started rejoicing and thanking Jesus!!

    Thank you for the prayers. Please pray for next week as I will be in the Bush and also Brett is sick so please be praying for him.  

    God is showing me that when you say yes to Him and give him everything you love and desire He has such a beautiful journey and plan! I will be back Im hoping December 23’rd. Love and miss you all! Thank you everyone for the prayers!