Thursday, November 25, 2010

Before and after extreme make-over

The reality programs about before and after extreme make-overs are popular television shows. It's amazing what television productions and a small army of professionals can do to revamp a house in such a short time compared to remodeling a house even a decade ago. Or how surgeons change the outer shape and appearance of a person with plastic surgery and liposuction. I was thinking these things are all well and nice, but they're merely superficial, temporary changes and modifications.  With time, the house will need repairs and will slowly change from a new house to an old, outdated house.  And with time, even the body altered by surgery to be shapely and knockout gorgeous, will one day begin to sag and get aged. These are only temporary external fixes or changes. They look good for a while, but with time they both will be confronted with the what happens to everything- it ages and starts to wither, fade, weaken, tarnish, shrink, deteriorate and become out of shape. The luster dims and age sets in.     
 Being a Christian, I've got something much better and permanent to look forward to.  I don't have to settle for temporary.  God's Word tells His children not to fear, He has triumphed.  Living on this earth is the worse it's ever gonna get for Christians. There's so much better to come. And just knowing that, makes it so much easier to cope and handle all the negative and bad going on around me.  I'm certainly looking forward to what's still to come- Now that will be the greatest extreme make-over from the life we know now to the life that's awaiting in heaven. I will not be in this aging body, but will have a glorified body. What a make-over that will be!  And I will have a mansion prepared by Jesus. Imagine, my own custom-made place just for me. All the man-made extreme make-overs combined will not ever be able to touch what the Lord can do. All things will be new, the old will be gone.  And in heaven nothing will ever fade or get old or fall apart.  That will be an extreme, heavenly, before and after!  More glorious beyond my wildest imagination!  If there are trees in heaven, I think I'd like a tree house mansion, or even a tee pee mansion to be my place.   No matter what it will be, I know I will absolutely fall down on my knees in humble thanks, because it will be so perfect in every way for me. Who knows, my tee pee might be made of fabric woven with strands of got.

  I've been holding onto a catalog from this company that makes tee pees for over 15 years. I get goosebumps thinking about living in a tee pee. Don't worry, your place in heaven will be just as wonderful. But first, are you assured you're heaven-bound so you can have your perfect mansion? God's Word says there's only one way to be assured, and that's in His Son, Jesus. Now the mansion may be figurative, but still Jesus said he was going to prepare a place for those who believe. And if he's preparing it, it's got to be better than anything I can imagine. I still get goosebumps thinking about what that's gonna be. Have you asked Jesus for your heart make-over? Read this about excuses and reasons for not getting saved. When he gives you an internal make-over, it's the best ever make-over.

Tee pees (tipi's)- fine, simple living I can appreciate
Photo credit: blondieb38 from

Scripture references- Acts 4: 12; 1 John 5:11; John 14:1-7; Matthew 6:19-34

My face feels warm and serene thinking of what the Lord has in store.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

The Cross- a done deal

Yesterday a good friend asked me a question about her salvation. She's saved, but someone had told her something which got her doubting her salvation.  I told her that she has to remember what Jesus said as he died on the cross. Jesus said, 'It is finished."  My answer also included that you can't add nor subtract from the finished work of the Cross. Jesus did all the work of paying for the sins of mankind. That's a difficult thing for many to believe, and many doubt, but it's true.  All any person has to do is believe. That's what my pastor told me. Just believe. Some people still have the notion or doctrine that Jesus didn't complete his work on the Cross and we still have to perform and be perfect human beings, but of course we can't and fail, which makes us doubt our salvation.

Find peace with God and redemption of sins at the Cross

Photo credit: mgeyer from

 I also gave my friend five examples of people in the Bible, who even with their faults and sins, still went to heaven. Moses killed a soldier and when he found that someone saw him do this, he fled from Egypt. Moses is in heaven. Of the two men crucified on either side of Jesus, one believed. Jesus told him that that day he would be with Him in paradise. Mary Magdalene, the prostitute, whom Jesus rescued from being stoned, she believed. Jesus told her to go, and sin no more. She's in heaven. King David, had the husband of Bathsheba killed to cover a sin, then with the husband dead, he took Bathsheba as his wife because he had gotten her pregnant. David's in heaven. And Saul had Christians murdered before he had his life changing experience with Jesus. He believed and got a new name, Paul. He's in heaven.

God looks at the spiritual condition of your heart

Photo credit: chamomile from

 God looks at the condition of the heart. There has to be a spiritual transformation in the heart- a welcoming of Jesus into your heart  is the only thing that can purify sin away. No one can save them self or anyone else. There's no humanly way anyone can do enough to gain God's approval, because you have to be perfect and without sin. It takes one that knows no sin to be an acceptable sacrifice and Jesus had and has the only seal of approval on that claim, so it's through Him that you can be saved and for your name to be written in the Lambs Book of Life to enter heaven. There is only one way- believe in Jesus.  First, admit you are a sinner in need of a savior. Believe Jesus is the Son of God. Believe Jesus died for your sins, and ask him into your heart and life by faith. Believe Jesus rose from the dead on the third day and is now seated at the right hand of God, our Heavenly Father interceding for his saints.  There. Done deal. If you meant that and believe that in your heart, you are now saved by the grace of God and your sins have now been forgiven, wiped away. You've by choice accepted God's one and only plan to be redeemed and saved from death to life. Praise the Lord!  You're still an imperfect human being. You're still gonna make lots of mistakes, and daily you're still in need of improvement and growth and maturity in being Christ-like-- that will be ongoing until you're called home. But one major difference in saved people compared to unsaved people is the condition of the heart. When you're saved, your heart is quickened to the things of God, the Holy Spirit is your counselor, the Bible is a living Word to you and God begins to open your eyes to His wisdom and mysteries contained in the Word, you're sins are forgiven and you're adopted into God's family instantly, with all rights and inheritances that belong to and are bestowed to sons and daughters of the Heavenly Father. Once you're adopted into his family, you can't be unsaved or kicked out of his family even if you make mistakes or sin. Sin doesn't have a hold on you like it used to.  You have a choice, and daily you should want to more and more refrain from things that are not of God. And adopted children have more legal rights than the blood children of a father.  By comparison, those people who chose not to accept Jesus and not to believe, can expect none of the above. Regretfully, they can't ever expect heaven to be their home. Sad, but that's God's plan for those whom don't have His Son.

God doesn't expect us to be perfect. He only expects us to trust and believe in the Son that He sent to and for us.  But if a person chooses not to believe, God spells out what that person can have to look forward to. The choice God leave up to each individual. Just remember He's made our part the easiest. Jesus showed us the ultimate act of love in paying the penalty for our sins on the Cross- it was his blood that was shed, his flesh and bones that were beaten, he that died. Because of Him, we sinners don't have to face any of that.  He deserves all the praise and honor for doing so.
Remember, this is the spiritual part of your being. God looks at the spiritual condition of your heart. With Jesus in your heart, the filth of sin is wiped clean. Without Jesus in your heart, heaven is off limits. You may be able to fake others, but you can't hide the spiritual condition of your heart from God.  Is the Cross a done deal in your heart?

Supporting scripture:
Luke 23: 32-43
Acts 9:1
1 Cor 15:9
Exodus 2:11-12
2 Samuel 11:1-6,14-27

Until next time, I'm keeping my face upward and toward the Son.

Read About Me at my health site

Monday, November 15, 2010

No more depression for me

Today is one of those days the negative thoughts are just a coming left and right. I'm human, I have feelings, I get tired, I feel like things aren't working out for me, I feel like people take advantage of my kindness and good heart. I feel under appreciated.  If I let myself, my brain can keep it coming and get in the 'poor pitiful me' frame of mind.  After a few minutes I catch myself and remember all the good and the blessing in my life.  This kind of day doesn't happen that often, but I am human with feelings and a heart.  I really don't like to feel so selfish and negative, but I reach my so called, 'limit' and I have to get on the phone and spill my guts usually to one of my friends, meaning they have  to exercise their patience and lend me their ear to hear me out and agree with me while I spill my beans.

 A number of years ago, I was diagnosed with clinical depression, and reluctantly ended up taking anti-depressants for a while. The drugs helped me stay on an even emotional keel, I couldn't really cry, nor could I get real happy. Strange, but it helped me stopped crying every day. But something amazing happened- I got healed! Yes, I really was healed of depression-no more drugs or counseling sessions and my healing had nothing to do with the medical profession. Let me tell you how I got healed.

One evening after work some friends invited me to go with them to a tent meeting being held by a traveling evangelist, named Reverend LeRoy Jenkins. I had never heard of him, but my friends wanted to go so, we ate at a restaurant first, then went to this tent meeting which was under a nice, huge tent and would be going on in the evenings for about a week,  I learned.  I had never been to a tent meeting, but I went along to watch and be a part of what happened with my friends. (one friend had health issues and wanted Rev. LeRoy Jenkins to touch her and be healed, so she sat on an isle seat the second row from the stage). There must have been were well over two hundred in attendance- it was a nice crowd and turned out to be a very interesting evening.

Under the tent
                                      Photo credit: bosela from

Let me sum it up. First, there was singing, then some preaching, then healing. LeRoy Jenkins sounds like Elvis when he's singing.  The entire experience was interesting- LeRoy Jenkins to my surprise came over the seats to me, he took my hand and lead me into the isle. Holding his hand felt so safe and secure. I remember thinking to myself, 'don't let go of my hand, his hands felt wonderful and I never wanted him to let go of my hands'. He told me the very phrase of words that when I hear them, I'm at ease.  He had no way of knowing that phrase of words was what I longed for someone to tell me.  And when he prayed for me, I literally felt the spirit of depression lift from my shoulders. I felt the heavy weight and claws unleash from my shoulders and leave me. I didn't know that's what was weighing and pressing down on me. But once that depression lifted, I realized that heavy weight upon my shoulders had been making me feel so tired every day and depressing me for years.  That very moment I knew I was healed of depression. The heaviness was gone and I felt light and free from head to toe.  I accepted my healing, and thanked God and Rev. Jenkins,  and I will not receive that spirit of depression back again. No way. Depression is awful. I've been there and I will not accept it back. Praise God for my healing that evening! There were others who received healing, too. that evening and I returned for the next few evenings and took other friends with me. I can tell you it was very real -  when I left that meeting I never needed to take another anti-depressant - I had been set free. And that's a wonderful feeling.

I'm free from depression. Some days I get overwhelmed and need to let my feelings out. So I'm grateful and thankful for my healing and for my friends and for God who sustains me and understands when I need to vent my feelings. It doesn't mean I'm getting depressed or losing it.  Sometimes, I wonder would I still be dealing with depression if it weren't for my friends inviting me to go to a tent meeting back in 1998 with them to hear LeRoy Jenkins with the gift of healing and knowledge.  I am forever grateful and that experience opened my eyes to that which we can't see with our eyes, the unseen spirits, still has an impact upon us.  That was an eye opening experience and lesson to me that if you're open to receive the blessings of God, you just might get your blessing. And that spirits can and affect us in body and mind. Not all conditions can be solved by doctors and drugs.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Where the winning really is

Last week an article in the newspaper caught my eye, "Opelika woman writes on faith, illness."
This woman, Lynn Fox Adams' ailment has no cure and somewhat rare even to her doctors, and has her pretty much just coping and medicated to survive day in and day out. She is diagnosed with dysautonomia.  What was amazing I thought is her faith. She say's her condition has no cure, but she says she's a winner. She may feel bad physically and emotionally, but spiritually she's winning the battle. Now that's what Christianity is all about. She's carrying her cross and her faith is the stronger for it. And other thing that really touched me about this woman with a condition affecting her autonomic nervous system, is her attitude. In the article her quote was, ''usually when people get sick the first thing they do is they turn to God and say help me. But what we need to do is say, 'God let me help you.' " Now that's profound in my opinion. She's not looking at what she can get or what she's lacking. She's looking at her relationship with God and what can she do for Him by giving of herself to help others build their faith and get through tough situations. Even though her life is consumed with medications, IV's, not feeling well and not being able to do the things she used to do, she's not being selfish or depressed or crying how miserable her life is.

Sometimes you have to give even with a bleeding heart
Photo credit: jdurham from

This type of faith is very strong. The type of faith I want to have. Reading of her faith has touched me.  I've been debating to share a video or not, because a part of me doesn't want to share it, but another part of me does to show by comparison what faith is and isn't.  I came across this video while I was searching for a good YouTube video on the subject of how to get saved. One video I noticed a young man-I initially thought he might be Jewish,  so I viewed it. To my surprise he talked about his conversion to Islam and how Allah has made his life go good. Since his conversion, he now has money, and everything is going his way, he's getting everything he asks of allah. To me this shows selfishness- he's excited for himself because he has more things and his life is going so well. That's not faith. I've decided to insert the video below so you can see the difference in this man compared to the faith Lynn Fox Adams' has in her God. To me it's not about how much you get, but how much you grow spiritually and then from that, how much you share what really matters with others, not how well your life is being blessed with things. What makes you a winner is how much you rely on God in spite of what's going on around you. Life's situations change, but God remains unchanged. Having a close relationship in God makes you a true winner.  It's praising the giver of all things, not being excited that you get the things. Things will all pass away, but love and relationships and how you give will last forever. That's what Jesus did. He is our example. He suffered profoundly for us and still his ministry is affecting the lives of many every day. Serving others- that's where the winning really is.

Give and you shall receive- Personally, God wants me to be his hands and heart and feet to be of service to my fellow man, and have faith in Him that he will keep his promises to me, and lean on Him while giving of my heart so to bring others to Him. To those people with an unquickened spirit, this makes no logical sense. You may be asking, How can you give in order to receive? How do you lay up treasure in heaven while on earth?  How does serving others make you a winner?  The answer is this in a nutshell- God's ways are far above the most advanced human logic-that's why it's called faith.

Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen- Hebrews 11:1

I also think of Mother Theresa, God rest her soul. She was someone who lived with little need for material things, but she made a powerful impact upon many lives, and still does. To me she was a person who cared so much about others and was content owning few things for herself. Here are some of her quotes. See if these quotes touch you and build your faith. But without any doubt, Mother Theresa was going by the example of Jesus in caring for others and had little need for things. There are other people who've lived with the gift of helping others and haven't been drawn under by the need for many material things. I believe it's because they'd come to realize the most important things in life aren't things, but in loving others, and when you love them you serve them. That's the Word all wrapped up, love others. And we have the example how to go about this in the life of Jesus. He has the most powerful impact upon lives still to this day.  I understand the following scripture a lot better today than I did years ago. This is powerful. Maybe some day someone will tell the man in the video below about it. You will lack nothing that really counts or is important- you're a winner when you put first things first- just follow the example of those who do these scriptures-

Matthew 6:19-21 Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. Then drop down a bit to verses 31-33 Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

Scripture references:
Lay your treasure up for heaven- Luke 12:15-34; entire Luke 12 chapter; 1Tim 6:17-19
Faith scriptures -2 Cor 5:7; Hebrews chapter 11
More blessed to give than receive- Act 20:35
Worship in spirit and truth- John 4:24
Differences- 1 Cor 11:19
False prophets- 2 Peter 2:1
Bear your cross- Luke 14:27
God can turn around any situation for the good- read about Joseph in Genesis chapters37-42

Here's that video below. When you view it you'll hear of this man telling how much he's received since turning to allah, how well he's doing, in other words- what he's gained. Nothing about how he's helping others and he says nothing about his sins being forgiven. There is only one that God has approved of for that and that's Jesus, not allah.  There's no other way to God but through Jesus. If that's overlooked, in the end, you are not a winner.

I say God's blessings are not always things, but rather that which will build character and will last forever. God can use you no matter what your situation or condition if you'll only be willing, just as Lynn Fox Adams.  I think that will make anyone a winner in God's eyes, and after all, that's what really counts.

I have one more comparison to show. The man in the video above has his mind and heart turned away and closed to the Truth. Compare him to this man who says he was the biggest Bible skeptic. (read his testimony here). The difference here is this man wanted to know the truth and researched to disprove the Bible. But after countless hours spent to disprove it, he found the Word of God to be true and discovered God's mercy and grace and got saved. So how does one man search and discover the Truth, and another man can't see it?

To sum it up, the real, lasting winning is through Jesus. 

Until next time, I'm keeping my face and my faith directed toward the author and finisher of my faith. And remember- with God nothing is impossible. He can turn around anything and make it work together for good- Romans 8:28  (be it health, finances, or whatever)

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