04/14/17

Only Through The Cross: A Completed Work

Read Matthew 27: 1-66

 

We are observing Easter of 2017.  What does Easter mean to us this year, or any year?

 

 

Is Easter now a not so major holiday? Are we focusing on the true meaning of Easter?  Mostly I see people hurrying around filling Easter baskets and creating Easter displays. Each year it seems as if the merchant’s displays are being put up earlier and earlier.  Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we would think to start studying the import of Christ’s sacrifice at this time?

 

 

I remember as a child participating in Easter egg hunts and looking forward to the Easter basket filled with chocolate bunnies and yellow chicks–not to mention jellybeans. I still love chocolate and jellybeans–but they take a certain back seat to the true meaning behind Easter and The Cross of Christ.

 

Our Savior sacrificed his entire being for us on Calvary’s cross. There has never been or ever will be another sacrifice to match it.  That is because as Jesus said, “It is finished”.

 

He performed a completed work so that you and I could be alive this day to live in Him and to partake in Communion with Him. He performed a completed work so that we could have a right to reign with Him for eternity and the glorious indwelling of The Holy Spirit to guide us in this life. He performed a completed work so that the entire world could be ministered to and the Great Commission performed in His Name.

 

 

As it states in Matthew 27: 35-37 NKJV : “Then they crucified Him, and divided His garments, casting lots, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet:

‘They divided my garments among them, And for my clothing they cast lots.”

 

 

‘Sitting down, they kept watch over Him there. And they put up over His head the accusation written against Him:  THIS IS JESUS THE KING OF THE JEWS.

 

 

They did this to make fun of our Savior, but they inadvertently furthered the plans of the Kingdom of GOD.  It is because of Jesus’ sacrifice that we can stand firm and declare that the Kingdom of  GOD is here. It is our duty and our desire to see those who need the King of Kings gather at the Easter Banquet table.  

 

Charlene

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12/8/16

Christmas

A  Retro Look At Christmas for 2016

    Christmas is a wonderful, spirit-filled Holiday. When I was a child the anticipation of not so much presents, but oranges, apples, tangerines, candy, fruitcake, and nuts was one of the best joys of the season. These we received at church and at home. My Dad and older siblings always decorated the tree on Christmas Eve–so we children literally experienced Clement C. Moore’s  “Twas The Night Before Christmas”.  No, we did not hear hooves on our roof, nor Santa’s jolly  “Ho, Ho, Ho”–but the Christmas story was read to us each year before bed. We did not all participate in the tree going up, but we always took it down as a family on New Years Day–without fail.

     I can remember listening to Santa Claus’ journey (to get to our town) on the radio in our living room.  I truly believed that he was working hard to reach us until my older sister told me that Santa wasn’t real. I was three years old and totally devastated. Christmas never felt the same again until I realized that the Spirit of Christmas was the true giver. Christmas became even more wonderful, but I also grasped that my parents did a lot of hard work. It wasn’t until years later that I discovered that the manufacturers also did a large portion of the hard work.

     I believe that my mother associated Christmas with hard times. She grew up without her father–who died when she was very young.  This is an opportunity to thank her for putting forth so much effort to make our Christmas season memorable when I know that her own Christmas memories may have been much sparser.

     My Dad loved the very essence and spark of Christmas. He was a Baptist Pastor who would take us to church on Christmas Eve to hear, see, and feel the Nativity Scene; then return home to play with his children. It was his job to help set up the tree, and put the bicycles and other mechanical gifts together. Long after we (four girls and two boys) had cleaned our rooms and closed our excited eyes, Dad, along with my Mama, would take the time to ensure that all was ready for us on Christmas morning. It would not be until I was 16 years old that I would actively participate in this Christmas Eve ritual.

     Mama loved to cook. Christmas gave her a golden opportunity to do what she did best.  Her fruitcakes were legendary. I can remember helping her in the kitchen with the ulterior motive of tasting the batter and snitching the tiny bits of fruit and nuts. Delicious gingerbread smells and hot sweet rolls were what greeted us at the breakfast table on Christmas morning. I have always associated my Christmas breakfast with that of the girls of Louisa May Alcott’s  “Little Women” except that I actually got to eat my breakfast.

     After breakfast it was time to open presents. First came the fruit and nuts.  I still eat an orange with candy inside it every Christmas. The juice runs down my chin. I love it! Then came gifts varying from dolls to books; from skates to bikes.  I always received art supplies as I was the artistic child. I also received a nightgown, slippers,  and books every Christmas. The books were definitely my favorites. They were “Trixie Belden”, “Little Women”, “Rose In Bloom”, “Bobbsey Twins”, “What A jolly Street” and more. I spent the most wonderful moments of my childhood with my best friends–my books.

     Cleanup came next, and as the boys, including Dad, and the two youngest girls  played with their toys–we older girls helped Mama to finish preparing the mid-day Christmas meal. I say this with no regrets. It was wonderful to be in the warm, fragrant kitchen with Mama and my oldest sister. The kitchen was always the warmest room in the house at Christmas in temperature and temperament. I can still smell the roasting turkey and candied yams that made my mouth water.

     We always ate in our dining room, which had a cozy fireplace with a mantel above it. This is where my parents hung the mistletoe. They always embarrassed us. All of us would exclaim, “Yuck!”. My Grandmother and my Aunt would also join us at the Christmas meal. Dad would say the Christmas Blessing and we could eat. It was hard waiting for the adults to serve us all. I always got a drumstick–still my favorite piece, and stuffing so rich with flavor that I could have skipped the turkey altogether. There was homemade rolls; cranberry sauce; candied yams; collard greens, and a large slice of fruitcake for desert. So many leftovers. Storing them was another job to do while dishes were being washed, dried, and put away. We never ate an evening meal–we were too stuffed. Evening was a time to enjoy our gifts and each other. We would sing ‘O Holy Night’ with harmonies, and ‘The Little Drummer Boy’ while we tapped out the drumbeats.

     Finally, heads nodding, we would climb the stairs and store our treasures in our bedrooms. Christmas Day was drawing to an end, and what a wonderful day it had been. What I did not have the wisdom to know at my young age was that Christmas is every day. The gift of the Savior of Mankind is something to ponder and treasure all year long.

     Was your Christmas like mine? Possibly not. I believe that everyone has a unique experience because we all perceive differently. We grow up in different types of homes without the same family traditions. What is important is the knowledge of the Christ-child’s sacrifice for us, and remembering that we are Blessed with gifts each day, such as family– not just at Christmas.

     Does my immediate family celebrate Christmas the same as I did as a girl? There are many similarities, but there are also new traditions that marriage has brought to me and my family. Now, instead of reading ‘The Night Before Christmas”, we read Luke Chapter 2–the story of Christ’s birth. We are all adults here now, and this Christmas is to be treasured.  Next Christmas may be different, but I can always treasure the memories of watching my children’s faces at Christmastime, and my own delight in reading them Clement C. Moore’s  “The Night Before Christmas” when they were very young.

     Have a Wonderful Holiday Season–  Charlene

 

picture credit: hubpages.com

Narrative credit: charlene @charlene’s attic

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06/3/15

Community and Fellowship

I was thinking about the term fellowship. It’s purest reference is to men gathered together to pursue similar goals. In today’s climate fellowship has no specific gender reference. It is a group of individuals gathered together to pursue similar goals.

 However, if you truly wanted a term to describe a group of women in Godly relationship with one another,  possessing  common goals and aspirations in Christ,  I believe the purest representative term would be community. In community there is support and caring. There is awareness of each others needs and wants and a desire to meet those needs through Christ Jesus. Encouragement and a sense of humor is needed to keep everyone buoyant and feeling alive.

Here are some scriptures to encourage your heart today and forever:

“Only the Lord Jesus can give them this hunger for spiritual things and more of Him.”  Matthew 5:6 

“And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear” Isaiah 65:24

“Nothing is impossible with GOD”  Luke 18:27

“Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, and he shall sustain thee: He shall never suffer the righteous to be moved”  Psalm 55:22

“He staggered not at the promise of GOD through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to GOD; And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able to perform” Romans 4:20-21

                           Peace passing all understanding, for He cares for you

                                                                                             Charlene

 

King James Version  Public Domain

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01/16/13

Words Of Life Mind Renovation

Mind Renovation by Christa Black

 

 

You are a house.

 

 

You live in this house; you move in this house; you exist in this house.

 

 

The foundation of your house is your belief system, and the bricks laid are thoughts that you allow inside your head.

 

 

Some houses are strong and large. Some are beautiful and always expanding. But others are unstable and crumbling or small and falling apart. Some have pristine yards, but others look like they might be in the jungle.

 

 

The entire structure of your life is built upon what you believe, so everything that’s happened to you has helped lay a foundation that determines the structure of your whole life. Bricks that are damaged, crumbling, or out of place compromise the entire house, just as my first memory [of abuse] compromised my entire belief system. The lie that I was unworthy, unlovable, tarnished, and dirty crippled me for years, even though it wasn’t remotely true. The structure of my house suffered the consequences until the lies were removed.

 

 

A lot of you have beautiful houses on the outside. This is normal in our appearance-obsessed culture. You work overtime to make sure the hedges are trimmed, the shutters are painted, and onlookers admire your immaculate appearance. You might even have a living room for entertaining or a deck for parties, where people can see just enough of the inside to think that everything is spotless, happy, and perfect. But heaven forbid your guests look in the basement. There are locks on secret vaults and forgotten dungeons inside your heart. You believe if you can keep up the perception of perfection, no one will see the shameful disasters inside.

 

You think that if the exterior of the house is shiny and new, constantly upgraded and improved, maybe the neighbors won’t notice the stench coming from the trash piling up inside. Maybe people walking by won’t be able to see the disaster zone that you’d rather not face and clean up. If you can just cover it up, why put in the sweat and tears to remove the junk?

 

 

I knew all about this way of living. It was the way I coped with pain for the majority of my life. If I could make my exterior as perfect as possible and win awards for how powerful and successful my house was, I hoped no one would ever have to see the filthy interior, with its shameful rooms, black holes, and secretive garbage. In fact, keeping myself preoccupied with the appearance of my house was an attempt to try to make up for all the problems inside. I prayed that if I just kept applying a new coat of paint, no one would find out that the plumbing was shot and that termites were eating me alive.

 

 

The problem with this approach to life is that the house of your heart can never be a home. If you have rooms inside your heart that you are ashamed of or embarrassed by or that you simply want to avoid, then you will never fully be at rest within yourself and the home of your soul. You’ll never know the peace of true contentment – the deep sighs that release life.

 

 

One of the most important things I’ve ever done, and that you could ever do, is to begin to replace the lies, represented by the faulty bricks, one by one, with the real truth. You might have to face ugly monsters that you’ve fought to ignore. You might have to clean out dirty black rooms that you’ve been petrified to remember, but your house will never be free and whole until you do.

 

 

It’s time to barge into every corridor in the house of your heart and find out if what you’re allowing to live under your roof deserves to live there. You’re the only landlord you’re ever going to have. You’re the only one who can kick out unwanted squatters. You’re the only one who can give the green light to repaint, remodel, and restore. And your heart is the only home you’re ever going to have any real control over.

 

 

Taking on the project of heart renovation isn’t an easy task. In fact, it takes a lot of hard work. But I promise, being at peace and at rest inside your heart is worth the work. It changes everything about everything.

 

And it starts in the place you know all too well. Your head.

 

This is an excerpt from GOD LOVES UGLY: & love makes beautiful by Christa Black. Copyright @2012 by Christa Black. Reprinted by permission of FaithWords/Hachette Book Group. All rights reserved.

 

11/12/12

November 11th, 2012 In Honor of Veterans Day

In Honor of  Veterans Day

 

It is so easy to overlook and forget yet another government holiday. If you are not a veteran, Veterans Day may come and go with the only reminder being no mail delivery. Veterans are a special people, and there are many activities to honor their sacrifice at home and abroad.  Cemeteries and memorials abound with the remains of those who have ensured your and my way of life for many centuries. Not only do veterans deserve our thanks and respect–they also deserve more recognition from us. Some are still actively engaging in warfare all over the world on repeated tours of duty.

 

 

I cannot imagine how it must feel to have hopes and dreams with no guarantees of ever achieving them.Those who are Blessed to return to home and family must treasure this miraculous gift.  For those who have no home or family to embrace–our special prayers go out to them today.

 

 

A sincere Thank You to all of our Veterans everywhere. May you stay safe under the shadow of His wings.

 

 

Picture credits:  roysrantswordpress.com

Charlene

 

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09/11/12

Haggai 2 The Future of The Temple

 

Haggai 2 Expounded

 

There are seasons in which the work we are called to do for Christ is prolific and productive–then we walk into a quieter season where what we have accomplished in the past seems to be just  there, in the past. If we can keep the perspective that The Heavenly Father has more work to be accomplished, and a different productive season for us in which those things that we have learned from the past can enhance the work of the future–then we can relax in His love and proceed to the next challenge.

 

Why do I say challenge?

 

          The work of the Kingdom; “The Great Commission”  is a challenge to listen well, hear clearly, and walk uprightly before a righteous Savior who is not only willing to equip us for the challenges ahead of us, but through His Holy Spirit seeks to inspire us to trust Him for guidance and direction. It is the measure of our ability to discern and perceive the direction in which Christ is leading us that produces either a perfect work or a work that lacks some of the spiritual and corporeal elements needed to produce good fruit mete for the Harvest.

 

          ‘Jesus drew near and said to them, “I have been given all authority in Heaven and Earth. Go, then, to all peoples everywhere and make them my disciples; baptize them in the Name of  the Father, The Son, and The Holy Spirit, and teach them to obey everything I have commanded you. And I will be with you always, to the end of the age.”  Matthew 28: 18-20

 

          The call to the Great Commission, through the unction of the Holy Spirit, is a task not to be taken lightly and for which we must be prepared. Just as the world prepares us for higher education and personal achievement–The Holy Spirit prepares us through the Scriptural Word,  teaching, preaching, and the example of those saints equipped to instruct and lead us to seek first The Kingdom of GOD, and then to place all other things in their proper perspective.

 

         As saints living as imperfect people in an imperfect world, we struggle to rise above the tide; to stand out in a crowd as those who truly care about our brothers and sisters; fellow travelers on this road of Life. What does standing out involve?  It is a heartswork conducted and led by The Holy Spirit that uses all that we have learned to instruct and help others not as advanced as ourselves in their spiritual walk in Christ. This is not a matter of pride or superiority–it is a recognition of those who have worked hard and have paid their dues through pain and even bloodshed for the Cause of Christ. After all, Jesus paid our price on the Cross. How can we do less?

 

          The Temple represents not only our physical bodies, but the entire body of believers. The walls of the church are spiritual walls independent of hewn rock, pillars, and pews. These walls are held upright through the intercessory prayers and petitions of those who approach GOD’s throne daily, building up a foundation of faith and perseverence, and of allegiance to the Fruit of the Spirit as found in Galations 5: 22-26.

 

So, how does GODly application yield Good Fruit? What is the Future of The Temple?

 

           That depends upon you and me. Do we “study to show ourselves approved”, or do we study to simply announce our worth to other’s? The zeal to take The Word to the entire earth is our inner being responding to the desires of GOD’s Holy Spirit. Following His lead brings peace and inner healing to all who would receive Him. The commissioned work is already proclaimed, the victory is already sure, and the war’s results are already ordained. As soldiers in GOD’s army we must grab hold of the promises of GOD as weaponry, and trust to His Mercy and Grace to see us through the battle for hearts and spirits. Jesus’ grace and mercy abound in limitless measure. We simply need to approach the Temple where provision is laid out for us and walk in the door. Jesus awaits us there. We are then in His Holy Temple and the peace of His perfect Will.

 

GOD Bless You, Charlene

 

 

Haggai 2

 

The New Temple’s Diminished Splendor

 

2 Then on October 17 of that same year,[a] the Lord sent another message through the prophet Haggai. 2 “Say this to Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and to Jeshua[b] son of Jehozadak, the high priest, and to the remnant of God’s people there in the land: 3 ‘Does anyone remember this house—this Temple—in its former splendor? How, in comparison, does it look to you now? It must seem like nothing at all! 4 But now the Lord says: Be strong, Zerubbabel. Be strong, Jeshua son of Jehozadak, the high priest. Be strong, all you people still left in the land. And now get to work, for I am with you, says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. 5 My Spirit remains among you, just as I promised when you came out of Egypt. So do not be afraid.’

 

6 “For this is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies says: In just a little while I will again shake the heavens and the earth, the oceans and the dry land. 7 I will shake all the nations, and the treasures of all the nations will be brought to this Temple. I will fill this place with glory, says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. 8 The silver is mine, and the gold is mine, says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. 9 The future glory of this Temple will be greater than its past glory, says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. And in this place I will bring peace. I, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, have spoken!”

 

Blessings Promised for Obedience
10 On December 18[c] of the second year of King Darius’s reign, the Lord sent this message to the prophet Haggai: 11 “This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies says. Ask the priests this question about the law: 12 ‘If one of you is carrying some meat from a holy sacrifice in his robes and his robe happens to brush against some bread or stew, wine or olive oil, or any other kind of food, will it also become holy?’”

 

The priests replied, “No.”

 

13 Then Haggai asked, “If someone becomes ceremonially unclean by touching a dead person and then touches any of these foods, will the food be defiled?”

 

And the priests answered, “Yes.”

 

14 Then Haggai responded, “That is how it is with this people and this nation, says the Lord. Everything they do and everything they offer is defiled by their sin. 15 Look at what was happening to you before you began to lay the foundation of the Lord’s Temple. 16 When you hoped for a twenty-bushel crop, you harvested only ten. When you expected to draw fifty gallons from the winepress, you found only twenty. 17 I sent blight and mildew and hail to destroy everything you worked so hard to produce. Even so, you refused to return to me, says the Lord.

 

18 “Think about this eighteenth day of December, the day[d] when the foundation of the Lord’s Temple was laid. Think carefully. 19 I am giving you a promise now while the seed is still in the barn.[e] You have not yet harvested your grain, and your grapevines, fig trees, pomegranates, and olive trees have not yet produced their crops. But from this day onward I will bless you.”

 

Promises for Zerubbabel

20 On that same day, December 18,[f] the Lord sent this second message to Haggai: 21 “Tell Zerubbabel, the governor of Judah, that I am about to shake the heavens and the earth. 22 I will overthrow royal thrones and destroy the power of foreign kingdoms. I will overturn their chariots and riders. The horses will fall, and their riders will kill each other.

 

23 “But when this happens, says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, I will honor you, Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, my servant. I will make you like a signet ring on my finger, says the Lord, for I have chosen you. I, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, have spoken!”

 

Footnotes:

a.Haggai 2:1 Hebrew on the twenty-first day of the seventh month, of the ancient Hebrew lunar calendar. This event (in the second year of Darius’s reign) occurred on October 17, 520 b.c.; also see note on 1:1a.
b.Haggai 2:2 Hebrew Joshua, a variant spelling of Jeshua; also in 2:4.
c.Haggai 2:10 Hebrew On the twenty-fourth day of the ninth month, of the ancient Hebrew lunar calendar (similarly in 2:18). This event occurred on December 18, 520 b.c.; also see note on 1:1a.
d.Haggai 2:18 Or On this eighteenth day of December, think about the day.
e.Haggai 2:19 Hebrew Is the seed yet in the barn?
f.Haggai 2:20 Hebrew On the twenty-fourth day of the [ninth] month; see note on 2:10.

New Living Translation (NLT)
Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright© 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

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09/4/12

Quote from Perry Stone’s “How to Interpret Dreams & Visions”

 

 “Once when I was ministering, a man cynical of spiritual manifestations said, “So what is the difference between a psychic telling someone correct information about himself and some preacher telling someone GOD”s future plans?’

 

I replied, “The difference is that an alleged psychic will tell you what’s on your [italics mine] mind, but a man [or woman] of GOD will tell you what is on GOD’s mind!”

 

Charlene’s Source: How To Intepret Dreams and Visions: Understanding GOD’s Warnings & Guidance pages 84 & 85.  Perry Stone 2011, Charisma House, Publishers.

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02/28/12

120228 There Is Abundance In Store For Us All–A Vision From The LORD

 As I sit here at my computer, I am racing to get a vision down in writing that The LORD gave to me early this morning.

As I was lying in bed this morning talking to GOD to start my day, I suddenly saw a vision of several keyboards lined up on a vast wall. I was seeing them as if I were hovering in the air above them. They ranged starting from the left as a miniature model with few keys and no special accessories to a giant model that was the fanciest keyboard of them all. It had all the stops and whistles,and was without a doubt the fanciest, most capable keyboard that could be bought.

I have to ask myself, “Why is GOD showing me this vision at this point in my life”? I am watching newer, younger musicians come over the horizon, and I am questioning my own music strengths. It does no harm to examine your abilities in Christ–sometimes they need a poke or a prod to step up to the plate.

As I am growing older I am becoming aware of limitations placed upon my ability to minister. To say that these limitations are more in the physical than the spriritual is a given. I am sure that there are others who face this same crisis, and the zeal is even stronger in the Spirit to perform the work. I can think of many ways to try to slow the aging process: lose weight–that’s a good one, watch my diet; and get more stretches and exercises in than I presently do. The benefit would be to prolong my days, if GOD sees fit, in an effort to make any difference great or small in the work of the Kingdom. The Body does have parts, and I would truly enjoy fufilling what I consider to be my “reasonable service”.

As I sit and pray on the vision of the keyboards, I am led to remember instructions that GOD gave me many years ago to write songs and to play instruments. I have always loved music, and my first instrument was a piano. As a child in school I was introduced to a wind flute that looked like a fat cigar. It was called a Tonette, and I graduated from that to an autoharp, and then to an organ. I come from the Bible Belt and the piano and organ were the most prevalent of instruments played in church. Today, keyboards, electronic adaptations of the basic piano and organ predominate. The instruments may change but the methods remain the same.

Over the years, my abilities on the piano and keyboards have waxed and waned simply due to having two pianists in my household. There has been no pressure to play. Christina and Elizabeth both play well, and their understanding of music is a reflection of my own investment into them as children. Time is going to change their proximity to me, however, and it is crucial for me to reinvest in my own musical abilities. GOD is my judge, and I rely on Him to guide me and strengthen my hands to the task.

The LORD gave my family two scriptures recently–Deuteronomy 30:19 and Jeremiah 29:11. The former scripture expresses choice between cursing and blessing in order to live abundant life; the latter literally states, “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD– Plans to prosper you and not to harm, plans to give you hope and a future”.

I am to direct and retrain my paths toward music ministry and teaching ministry. Music is the language of GOD, and The Word is also the language of GOD. The spoken word exhorts upon the strength of GOD’s music.

Is music simply notes? Can music be words or expressions? I believe that it can be, so this is what I believe GOD is speaking to me in this vision: “Train your eyes, ears, tongue, larnyx, heart, and spirit to seek the ways of the LORD”. Whether physical music or spiritual music–it is all applicable to the Kingdom of Heaven.  I am to minister in word and music. Where to minister is GOD’s choice. I am simply to follow His leading.

 

Psalm 114

New International Version (NIV)

Psalm 114

 1 When Israel came out of Egypt,
   Jacob from a people of foreign tongue,
2 Judah became God’s sanctuary,
   Israel his dominion. 3 The sea looked and fled,
   the Jordan turned back;
4 the mountains leaped like rams,
   the hills like lambs.

 5 Why was it, sea, that you fled?
   Why, Jordan, did you turn back?
6 Why, mountains, did you leap like rams,
   you hills, like lambs?

 7 Tremble, earth, at the presence of the Lord,
   at the presence of the God of Jacob,
8 who turned the rock into a pool,
   the hard rock into springs of water.

Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica

01/3/12

Rev. Charlene on New Years Resolutions + Let All Past Troubles Be Forgot

credit: gisociety

Charlene’s Source: youtube

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Years ago I would diligently make a list of New Year’s resolutions that I would sincerely intend to keep. They weren’t anything unobtainable–in fact they were quite simple pursuits such as ‘lose 50 pounds’ or ‘write a bestseller’–you know what I mean  ^_^ 

I found out over time that even with the best of intentions these resolutions would pass or fail depending upon factors other than my own sheer will. Life has a way of altering your plans, however sincerely constructed, and it is nothing unusual to be facing yet another year with unfulfilled resolutions. Approaching 2012 with goals not finished in 2011 seems normal.

I have found out over time that the things that do get done are the normal everyday-living things that never go on a resolution list. You cannot avoid going to the grocery store, or shopping for the family at Wal-Mart. Job obligations certainly do get addressed because money as a reward tends to keep us sharp to task. Taking the kids to the dentist gets accomplished; as does helping with homework. Most certainly working on keeping the home, family and (in my case) church duties implemented become high on the priority list. I think that the deterent to keeping our resolutions list may be in the way that we allow the world to penetrate our fortresses and keep us distracted from accomplishing the really important, life-changing things–such as losing those 50 pounds.

So am I saying that New Year’s resolutions should be banned as passe’? Am I implying that making a list and “checking it twice ‘ should only pertain to Santa? No, because there may be some people out there who determinedly press on until every last resolution is nailed to the board. If you are one of those, I am happy for you. Make your resolutions and then prove to those of us sadly lacking in fortitude that resolutions were made to be accomplished.

I’ve discovered that I will sometimes fulfill a resolution just by accident. In the course of living life some resolutions just find their way to the accomplished pile. You come across an old list and say, “My Goodness, I honestly got that one and that one done”!!  That is when the value of making the list appears–when you can smile and say you did it despite yourself.  :)

Commitments, as opposed to resolutions, may stand the test of time, especially if those commitments are a covenant between you and GOD.  So, I guess if I can make a list of commitments instead of resolutions I may see them fufilled by the end of the year. 

 A Blessed New YearTo You, Rev. Charlene

11/22/11

Thanksgiving Message 2011

I’ve been hearing a lot about the prophecies of 2012. Many voices are speaking, and you cannot listen to them all. I try to stay focused on the Word of GOD which does not give us a specific date, time, or year but tells us that we will not know the specified time. Throughout this life we can either run and live in fear–or we can embrace the reality of  God’s Holy Spirit living in us to comfort, guide and do effective work through us.

This Thanksgiving is special as is every Thanksgiving. The most quiet family holiday each year, Thanksgiving still remains a time to gather our loved ones around us and Thank GOD for the harvest. For some the harvest is vegetables–for others the harvest is souls. I Pray for a Blessed Thanksgiving for us all and that provision would be our Father’s desire for us.  Charlene

Psalm 146

 1 Praise the LORD.[a]

   Praise the LORD, my soul.

 2 I will praise the LORD all my life;
   I will sing praise to my God as long as I live.
3 Do not put your trust in princes,
   in human beings, who cannot save.
4 When their spirit departs, they return to the ground;
   on that very day their plans come to nothing.
5 Blessed are those whose help is the God of Jacob,
   whose hope is in the LORD their God.

 6 He is the Maker of heaven and earth,
   the sea, and everything in them—
   he remains faithful forever.
7 He upholds the cause of the oppressed
   and gives food to the hungry.
The LORD sets prisoners free,
 8 the LORD gives sight to the blind,
the LORD lifts up those who are bowed down,
   the LORD loves the righteous.
9 The LORD watches over the foreigner
   and sustains the fatherless and the widow,
   but he frustrates the ways of the wicked.

 10 The LORD reigns forever,
   your God, O Zion, for all generations.

   Praise the LORD.

Footnotes:
  1. Psalm 146:1 Hebrew Hallelu Yah; also in verse 10
New International Version (NIV)Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica

10/23/11

How To Walk Into Your Shoe of Destiny

How to Walk Into Your Shoe of Destiny

 (A Lesson in Refusing to “Hide” Your Gifts and Allowing the “Body” of Christ to Bring Support  and Healing to Your Life)

 Matthew 3: 11&12

 11 “I baptize you with water for repentance. But after me comes one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.

 12 His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor, gathering his wheat into the barn and burning up the chaff with unquenchable fire.”

What do physical shoes do for you? They provide protection from sharp or blunt objects, support your arches, help you to walk powerfully, and make a fashion statement. This is in the natural.

 Let’s talk about Holy, spiritual shoes.

What do spiritual “shoes” do for you? They provide protection from sharp or blunt mouths, minds, and attitudes, support you in Christ, and make a Godly statement. The important thing to know is what statement are you making? What type of shoe best represents your walk in Christ Jesus? How do you reflect Christ in your worship, service, and relationships?

Flats

Are you a Flat in your Christian Walk?

Flat means Blah!  Nothing there-nix-no excitement. Just standing there letting every load weigh you down, breaking down your supports, never attempting to lift the load by reaching beyond yourself to embrace Christ and others. Over time Flats lose their motivation and can no longer support themselves or others. Flats need encouragement from the Body to get pumped up and moving.

Are you a Flat?  “Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit.” Psalm 51:12

Loafers

Loafers just gather pennies. They aren’t motivated to do much else.

Loafers sit there and watch everyone else work, gaining benefit from everyone else’s walk, but don’t judge them. Loafers may be burned out from prior commitments to the work or over-commitments to the work, not lazy. If so, loafers should try to do something small, but effective, to help the body to function. Loafers need understanding from the Body so that they have time to heal.

Are you a Loafer?  “But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only…”  James 1:22

 Tennis Shoes

Tennis shoes were made for running, jumping, and walking long distances. Tennis shoes are fancy-smancy–sporting symbols and logos of the world’s heroes. They tend to walk in their own strength, not leaning and depending on Christ to see them through trials and share in their triumphs.  Therefore, tennis shoes have potential for extreme burn-out, and the rubber, or padding, which is God’s presence in their lives tends to wear thin. They are so busy moving that they cannot hear God’s voice. The Body should strive to help the tennis shoes to lay down some tasks and burdens.

Are you a Tennis Shoe?  “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart, and lean not on your own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct your paths.” Proverbs 3: 5&6

Boots

At first glance, you could imagine that boots are strength. They have thick linings and strong leather bindings—but boots can fall into the area of bullying which is weakness. By sheer force of will Boots order others to step their way—in their timing. They fail to see the small indicators that point to other’s frustration or exhaustion. Boots, whether they walk heavy or light, can still strip others of their dignity. This results in body members stumbling in their steps. Boots need the honesty of the Body to let them know when they tread on other’s toes.

Are you a Boot?  “And be ye kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.”  Ephesians 4: 32

 Sandals

Sandals bring thoughts of the seashore—of waves rolling onto the sand, bringing treasures, but also debris. Sandals tend to be exposed, rubbed raw by life; their foundation eroded by the waters. Yet there is hope for Sandals. He who walked on the water is there to shore up their foundation and He provides Living Water. Jesus can shield the sandals from the sprays of life. He can soothe the sting of the salt of this earth with the salt that does not lose its savor. The Body can help by pouring the Balm of Gilead on the Sandal’s wounds.

Are you a Sandal?  “Wherefore seeing we are also compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses—let us lay aside every weight, and the sin that so easily besets us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us; Looking unto Jesus the author and Finisher of our Faith…” Hebrews 12: 1& 2a

Slippers

Slippers are those who pay no attention to how they live in Christ from day to day. Their actions tend to pull others away from Christ or at least cause them to stumble in their Christian walk. Slippers need to realize that the responsibility and accountability that exists in the Kingdom of GOD is for everyone to embrace. There is no room for false doctrine or backsliding behavior. The Body of Christ has a responsibility to the Slipper. It is the Body’s job to recognize, confront, and offer teaching and support to the Slipper.

Are you a Slipper?  “Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather; that no man (or woman) put a stumbling block or an occasion to fall in his brothers (or sisters) way.”  Romans 14: 13

Pumps

With gas prices skyrocketing out of control—our minds are constantly on the pumps. Pumps are the dancers of the Body of Christ. They are the height attainers—the ones who stretch and reach for the prize. Pumps help to build up the Body of Christ. They provide the spiritual Oomph that fuels the Holy Spirit’s fire in His church. Pumps lift others up to where they are—releasing energy to bring others into God’s throne room. Every Body needs pumps. Not only are they tall and beautiful—they are willing to help you grow too. Pumps are encouragers.

Are you a Pump? “Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do.”  1 Thess. 5: 11

Work Shoes

Last, but certainly not least are the Work Shoes. Work Shoes are always needed in the Kingdom of God. As the Bride of Christ, the church needs to work toward the “Great Commission”. Work Shoes are like worker bees in the hive. They fulfill their destiny in Christ within the Body without thought of glory or seeking acclaim. They recognize their job as those who provide for the basic needs of the Body whether it be teaching, preaching, prayer and exhortation, worshipping, cleaning, mending, or a combination of all of these acts of service. Looking to Jesus as the Head of the Church—they walk in His presence guided by God’s Living Spirit who motivates them to be servant leaders and servant followers. They do their work decently and in order, listening to the mind of Christ and His Word as their guide.

Are you a Work Shoe? Then count yourself among the Blessed, as are all of the shoes in the Body. God is not a respecter of persons—He simply encourages you to respect one another and to pull your own weight in providing for His Church. He loves you all as examples of the shoes we have spoken of,  and He grants mercy to each of us as we work out our salvation.

“Then said Jesus unto his disciples, “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.” Matthew 16: 24

Let us Pray…

Father, help me to be the kind of Christian you designed me to be. Let me always grant mercy and grace, as You do, to my sisters and brothers in the Body. Each of us make up the whole—and as we wear the shoes of the preparation of the Gospel of Peace, we ask that you would shore us up and help us to strive for Your kingdom that has no End. AMEN

All Scripture quotes taken from the Authorized King James Version

Charlene W. Kirst

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2012 Charlene Kirst
09/20/11

Psalm 88 A Cry of Affliction

 

 

All of us suffer through moments of despair and indecision when it seems as if everything familiar has been taken away. If we do not listen well to heed the call of GOD’s Holy Spirit on our comings and goings then GOD will move us. There is so much work still to be done in the Name of Jesus Christ. Do not kick against the pricks but move steadily forward in Him.  Charlene

 

Psalm 88

New International Version (NIV)

Psalm 88[a]

    A song. A psalm of the Sons of Korah. For the director of music. According to mahalath leannoth.[b] A maskil[c] of Heman the Ezrahite.

 1 LORD, you are the God who saves me;
   day and night I cry out to you.
2 May my prayer come before you;
   turn your ear to my cry.

 3 I am overwhelmed with troubles
   and my life draws near to death.
4 I am counted among those who go down to the pit;
   I am like one without strength.
5 I am set apart with the dead,
   like the slain who lie in the grave,
whom you remember no more,
   who are cut off from your care.

 6 You have put me in the lowest pit,
   in the darkest depths.
7 Your wrath lies heavily on me;
   you have overwhelmed me with all your waves.[d]
8 You have taken from me my closest friends
   and have made me repulsive to them.
I am confined and cannot escape;
 9my eyes are dim with grief.

   I call to you, LORD, every day;
   I spread out my hands to you.
10 Do you show your wonders to the dead?
   Do their spirits rise up and praise you?
11 Is your love declared in the grave,
   your faithfulness in Destruction[e]?
12 Are your wonders known in the place of darkness,
   or your righteous deeds in the land of oblivion?

 13 But I cry to you for help, LORD;
   in the morning my prayer comes before you.
14 Why, LORD, do you reject me
   and hide your face from me?

 15 From my youth I have suffered and been close to death;
   I have borne your terrors and am in despair.
16 Your wrath has swept over me;
   your terrors have destroyed me.
17 All day long they surround me like a flood;
   they have completely engulfed me.
18 You have taken from me friend and neighbor—
   darkness is my closest friend.

Footnotes:

  1. Psalm 88:1 In Hebrew texts 88:1-18 is numbered 88:2-19.
  2. Psalm 88:1 Title: Possibly a tune, “The Suffering of Affliction”
  3. Psalm 88:1 Title: Probably a literary or musical term
  4. Psalm 88:7 The Hebrew has Selah (a word of uncertain meaning) here and at the end of verse 10.
  5. Psalm 88:11 Hebrew Abaddon
09/5/11

Some Wisdom from Tommy Tenney's "Finding Favor with The King".

 

Book of Esther

I listened to a sermon on CGNKorea (Christian Global Network) based upon the book “Finding Favor With The King’ by Tommy Tenney. This book, which is written about Queen Esther, reveals ways in which we can approach the King and rest in the surety that we are leaving the battle in the King’s (Jesus’)hands. Tommy Tenney was preaching from his own book and there were many profound things said that I want to share with you. I hope for a strong degree of accuracy in the paraphrasing. No copyright infringement is intended.

“Once you become a believer, it does not mean that you discontinue to practice what made you become a believer”(what brought you to your knees) (insert mine).

“To ask the right question at the wrong time does no good”.

“Learn to worship with the enemy at your table”.

“Worship the King while obstacles are in your way” You cannot overindulge the King in Worship”.

‘I will not allow my enemy to dictate my destiny”.

“The presence of the enemy does not mean that God is not there”.

“Refuse to let the pressure of problems cause separation from GOD”.

Depression and other problems–“I’m going to take you to worship with me”  (and there you shall be defeated) (insert mine)

“Satan will try to defeat you by making you fight the right battle on the wrong battlefield”. (A lesson in futility).

“If your enemy becomes the King’s enemy, the battle then becomes the LORD’s”.

“Cleanse your heart; cleanse your life”. (Prepare your life as a banquet table for Christ).Your worship is an incredible feast for GOD.

“I love you, Jesus” is a banquet table”.

“My worship controls my destiny”.

I pray that what I have shared here has helped you. I believe that Evangelist Tenney would hope for the same.   Rev. Charlene