Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Yes, and I ask you loyal yokefellow, help these women who have contended at my side in the cause of the gospel, along with Clement and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the book of life. Philippians 4:3 NIV

Paul is honoring women for their work and dedication to the gospel. We don't hear much about women in the Bible but I believe those who followed Jesus honored and respected women just as Jesus did.

Our society doesn't respect women, as we are bombarded with t.v. commericals that exploit girls. Perfumes, clothing, make-up all have to be just right in order to be excepted and valued. None of these things add value to a person, or endure for very long.

The new abortion bill in N.Y. devalues life but also women. No longer is murdering a unborn child through abuse of the mother a crime. If the child dies through abuse, no criminal charges will be brought against the abuser. Before this bill it was considered murder.

How could this be good for women, but yet this is what the opposition proposes. People who never thought about abortion before are appauled by the audacity of the N.Y. Senate for allowing a child to be killed upto the day of birth! 

Changing a law doesn't make right what has always been wrong. The consequences of destroying life is not something any of these lawmakers could fathom. Evil, demonic actions don't evaporate into the air. We are praying for those who stand behind this bill, and we earnestly want them to be saved from hell.

 Paul reminds these dear people of what's valuable. Their names are written in the Lamb's book of life. Their hope goes beyond this menial existence, to a far greater reality. Winston Churchill is quoted as saying,"If you think you are walking through hell, keep going!" Words well said.

Would you pray for me and my group as we go to Albany this weekend?  We will be mourning the death of so many that have been lost or will be because of this new abortion legislation. It is an outdoor rally, so please pray for warmth, would you? Thanks, I will let you know what happens. 

The important part of this verse is how Paul reminds these dear people of what's valuable. Their names are written in the Lamb's book of life. Their hope goes beyond this menial existence, to a far greater reality.

Friday, February 15, 2019

I plead with Euodia and I plead with Syntyche to agree with each other in the Lord. Philippians 4:2 NIV

Have you ever been told by a church leader to get along with your arch nemasis? There are women that just seem to rub us the wrong way. They're too quiet or too loud, or bossy or whatever we may find annoying.

Maybe a comment here or there about your child? Women can get really protective if their child is percieved to be under attack, especially new Moms. Our sensitivities can be on high alert since we have never raised a child before, and everyone seems to have an opinion about how to do it. A comment or a dig can seem harmless to us, but wound someone else.

These two women sat under Paul's ministry so they aren't just anyone. It had to be a pretty serious rift if Paul has to address it in his letter. It doesn't matter what it was about. Our enemy knows how to divide and conquer. He doesn't have any new tricks, just the same ones he's always used.

Unity is particularily important for these two since they are witnesses to the Gospel. Our church has been praying for unity along with repentance and revival. These three seem to go hand in hand. How can we have one without the other? This is a work in progress as we pray for our Island and tri-state region.

What about our dear women in Philippi? I am quite sure after Paul's adminition there was reconcilitation. Who can argue with Paul or with the idea of laying down differences for the sake of the Lord and His message? Most certainly I would have been quite upset to have this mentioned in a letter to my church!

I would rather be beat up than to suffer such embarassment. I'm  sensitive about being wrong, or publically renounced. Who wouldn't be? Sometimes our words can sting someone, and we never meant it, but it becomes a big problem.  It snowballs into hurt feelings, feeling betrayed, or other things.

Lysa Terkeurst in her book titled "Uninvited" wanted to get a message to women. She felt women needed to know that each one of us go through times of feeling abandoned, rejected or alone. If you are in ministry this happens all too often.

Working with others in ministry can be confusing. We may have certain expectations of how others should talk, believe and worship, among other things. Can we love them anyway? Can we pray for them if need be? I know we can. Blessing and love to you for a great weekend!

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Therefore, my brothers and sisters, you who I love and long for, my joy and crown,{ the Amplified Bible says wreath of victory here} stand firm in the Lord in this way, dear friends! Philippians 4:1 NIV

Long Island escaped the snow yesterday! We had a few inches but I wouldn't call it snow. The trees are clear and the streets. I love when the snow covers everything so it looks as if it is new.

The great Apostle Paul probably never had to deal with snow. I imagine most of where he went was warm, but I wouldn't put it past him. He was intense about salvation and reaching as many people as possible. In this verse, we read Paul reminding his friends to stand firm, unwavering in their pursuit of Christ.

Paul tells them how to stand firm in the chapter we just finished, chapter 3. Verse one of chapter three he reminds his friends it is needful that he repeat himself about how to stand, because there are others trying to tear down their faith and foundation. There were some like Paul before his conversion who would kill Christians for their faith.

He calls them dogs. This is an insult because dogs were not regarded as good for anything since they were not domesticated. Paul writes about being reminded. I am glad for reminders all the time, as I seem to need them more often.

 We can learn something new even from scripture we memorize.
The Holy Spirit illuminates certain things we have never noticed. Have you ever read a verse a hundred times but failed to see a key component? It happens, I presume because we need to see it in a different light at the time it is shown to us. 

Maybe you need to see God's love like you never have before,  and so a verse like, 1John 1:5 can come alive! "This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all." What if you never realized  the "at all" part, and all of a sudden you see it! There is nothing dark,bad, evil or wrong in God. It could change your whole understanding of who He is to you.

God is always on our side because He is a good, good, Father.

One of the reasons I came to Jesus was because of my need for stability. I didn't know anyone who had it, but I wanted it badly. Standing firm is a way to become immovable, unchangeable, and centered on Christ. Believe God, know His promises are true. Read the Bible, and worship.

 I love how Paul lavishes his love for his church as if he or she were family. These people probably were the only" family" to him since he had turned to Christ. We don't know, but here is a man who is not afraid to express his emotions! Thank God for it!

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform your lowly body so that they will be like his glorious body. Philippians 3:21 NIV

This is Rudy and I at Christmas. We are getting on in years, I'm told, but I don't believe it. The rest of the world may think people over 50 are over the hill. We say the best is yet to come!

We are living in a day when anything can happen, and I mean this in a good way. We have been praying for revival for years now and God can burst on the scene by His Spirit at any time. He is doing just that in places all over the world, so why not here?

Praying for God to move over a particular region can take  a hundred years, or not, depending on what is in God's plan. I read this morning about a church who decided to take their church to Planned Parenthood. Every week the worship team, the altar workers, and the Pastor show up and have church.

This might sound unorthodox, but we live in different times, so if this works, Thank God for it. As Paul states in this verse, everything is under God's control, however he will not overstep our free will. If we choose to go another way, he will not hold us back.

Who wants to do their own thing, when God is the only one to give eternal life, with a completely restored body! We won't be limited by time and space, so jumping, running, swimming are no problem.We will dance and sing and not get tired! We won't be sick or hindered by the limitations of these earthly bodies.

 This revelation encourages hope inside! If you read the end of the book, it says we win. It can be easy to forget. We battle against spiritual wickedness, but the battle has been fought and Jesus has overcome for us all. 

Fear of getting older vanishes, because God is still the same. He still lives within me, and guides me. With Him by our side we can endure whatever comes our way, one day at a time!

Monday, February 11, 2019

But we are citizens of the state {commonwealth, homeland} which is in heaven, and from it also we earnestly and patiently await {the coming of} the Lord Jesus Christ, the Messiah,{as} Savior, Philippians 3:20 AMP

This is a picture of Kara, a young lady in Bible school at Word of Life in upstate New York. Last summer she did a missions trip to Guatemala, and here is one of the children she met. Kara grew up on Long Island, so being in Guatemala is a drastic change for her.

She isn't moved by the poverty around her, because she can get these little ones to smile and play. I'm sure it seemed unusual at the same time. I love this verse today because it reminds me of where I am from.

My citizenship is not just of the USA, but greater than this. My name is written in the Lamb's book of Life and so I belong to Heaven. Many things are changing around us all the time, but taking hold of verses like these ground us. We need to remember we are not of this world's systems.

Lying, cheating, stealing ,undermining someone else, these are not God's ways but we see this all around. These are not attributes of Christians, and these things should shock us. Not to mention sexual sins, that some don't ever consider what God says about it.

We live in a sexualized society, but we don't have to be led by it. We need to pray for God to send a mighy move of His Spirit to cause the lost to be aware of their need. The truths from the Spirit of God have been glossed over as another idea comes into vogue.

This world says do whatever you want, you can be a Christian and still do yoga.  Yoga was designed to worship foreign gods.You can smoke marijuana, and have another beer while you're at it. God wants a people who worship and rely on Him. I'm not saying it wrong to have alochol once in a while,but once in a while can lead to every day pretty easily. My son Matthew found this out the hard way.

Are you expecting God to show up? Do you know it is on His mind? The Bible is filled with references of Jesus' second coming, and we are living in the days when this can happen. 

We are told, " But concerning that day and hour {of Jesus' return} no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only." Matthew 24:36  We can see the signs of the times the Bible says, and the increase of violence is one of them.

Paul, our dear friend from the first century, was awaiting the day of Christ's coming, patiently and earnestly. How much more should we be seeking God with pure hearts for His return. Pray for those who don't know Him as Savior and Lord. 

Friday, February 8, 2019

Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Philippians 3:19 NIV

Although we have had a mild winter so far we still can't go to the beach and sit for a while. In less, of course you are somewhere tropical right now, to which I have to say, God bless you. Send some warmth up north please.

Our verse today is really an extention of yesterday's verse. Paul lements in verse 18 about many being enemies of Christ. We see the same pattern in America today. Little or no regard for life. Thousands of children from Central America being smuggled into our nation illilegally for sex trafficking.

We prayed in our prayer meeting this week that these people who traffick children would be exposed and this injustice come to a grinding holt! The demand is so great the traffickers can't keep up with it. This is where prayer for our men becomes important.

Nobody starts with a child. It usually starts with pornography. Did you know that Starbucks has free wi-fi and it allows pornagraphic material to be available to anyone? The National Center on Sexual Exploitation is holding Starbucks accountable. Let's pray this business would stop allowing porn in their cafes.

Inappropriate material on the internet has huge repruccusions.  When I was young it came in magazine form, but children are the most vulnerable with internet access almost everywhere. What is the answer to these gigantic problems?

It always comes down to one name: Jesus. Pray for a mighty earth shaking revival to move across America so the lost will come to Christ, and these horrible addictions would stop. It takes the power of God to change people's hearts. My Dad used to say,"You can't legislate morality" and I didn't understand what he was saying.

Just recently I was thinking about this, and I realized he was right. People need a change of heart, a change in focus to see beyond themselves. Please pray for the lost to have a revelation of their need for a Savior.

I am thankful for you, my readers, and I hope you enjoy
reading these blogs as much as I do writing them. Have a blessed weekend!

Thursday, February 7, 2019

For as I have often told you before and now say again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. Philippians 3:18 NIV

Paul is just like us. He is an emotional, dedicated, on fire follower of Jesus, and his heart breaks for the things God's heart breaks over. Some of you know about the recent abortion bill in New York that allows a child to be aborted up to their due date. I don't know, but isn't that called murder?

This breaks God's heart. He is the giver of life, and doesn't allow us to treat any life with disrespect. It boggles my mind to think others actually were celebrating this "Victory"? What were they thinking?

They weren't thinking the way a Christian thinks. Their eyes are blinded by the enemy to do his bidding. Selfishness seems to be rampant and sometimes abortion can be a selfish thing. I saw an excerpt recently from a magazine about doing good deeds so you will feel good. Good, do helpful things, but do it with a heart of praise to the one who made you. Real, lasting joy comes from doing these things in Jesus' name. 

The self oriented person will leave a good deed and say to themselves," I can pat myself on the back because I helped someone. The God oriented person will say,"Glory to God, I  did what Jesus would do! I please my Father in heaven."

 One is sowing to self which profits nothing in the kingdom of God, and the other is storing riches in heaven. Jesus said, " When you give to the needy, don't let your right hand know what your left hand is doing." Matthew 6:3 NIV.  What Jesus said means: When you give, {and I think giving aid to someone fits here} don't hold on to the thought of what good you have done. It can play on in your mind and you will think better of yourself than others.

Sorry for getting off track. The godly are pursuing a different goal than those who aren't looking to God. This is why Paul cries, and our world today is worse. Paul was surrounded by people who were idol worshipers. Today our idols can be money, power, accumulating things, or even food. God deserves to be first in our hearts.

There is no one like our God; no one could ever come close. As we walk this life on earth let us be aware of how much the enemy wants to trip us. Don't give in to selfish thoughts; live to build the Kingdom of God by doing what He says. I'm praying for you, and please pray for me.