As Christians under the New Covenant, we also have an anointing: But you have an anointing from the Holy One (1Jo. 2:20). In the New Testament sense, anointing has the idea of being filled with, and blessed by, the Holy Spirit. This is something that is the common property of all Christians, but something we can and should become more submitted and responsive to.

The Messiah announces that He is here to heal the damage that sin brings. Sin has done great damage, so there needs to be a great work of redemption. Because sin impoverishes, He will preach good tidings to the poor. Because sin breaks hearts, He will heal the brokenhearted. Because sin makes captives, He will proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound. Because sin oppresses, He will proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord. Because sin is a crime that must be avenged, He will proclaim . . . the day of vengeance of our God. Significantly, Jesus stopped reading before this sentence. He stopped in the middle of the prophecy, because to proclaim . . . the day of vengeance of our God is relevant to His Second Coming, not to His first coming. The comma in year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance has stood for almost 2,000 years. This shows us something of the nature of Biblical prophecy: it may “shift gears” and time frames quickly, and without warning. We can compare a whole year of grace to a single day of vengeance.

Because sin brings grief, He will comfort all who mourn. The extent of the comfort and restoration is beautifully described. Instead of the ashes of mourning, He gives His people beauty. Instead of the mourning itself, He gives His people the oil of joy. Instead of the spirit of heaviness, He gives His people the garment of praise. Why do we sit in the ashes, why do we mourn, why do we indulge the spirit of heaviness when Jesus gave us something so much better? The word beauty has in mind a beautiful crown or head ornament. It is translated exquisite hats in Exo. 39:28 and headdresses in Isa. 3:20. In mourning, ashes would be cast upon the head (2Sa. 13:19). Here, the ashes are replaced with a beautiful crown. That they may be called trees of righteousness: The restored place of God’s people is glorious. The are as strong, beautiful, and useful as trees – and trees of righteousness at that. Most wonderfully, when people look at the trees, they see they are the planting of the Lord. D. Guzik

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Why do you hate gays?

Please, read the entire article. It is such a blessing, I hope for everyone.

askthe"Bigot"

In this current political climate, gay marriage supporters and Christians often find themselves on opposite sides of the issue. In Facebook discussions or on comment threads especially where you don’t know those with whom you are disagreeing, it can get ugly and personal. I know that in discussions I’ve had, it sometimes feel like we are enemies.  Some of the one-sentence, against gay-marriage Facebook forwards can truly push gay people further from the reality of Jesus’ heart of love.  Whether or not this is truly the case, many gay people feel like we hate them.  This is bad.  Very, very bad.

If you are serious about being biblical, this is my challenge for you, Christian reader. When you find yourself in a heated situation, please treat the gays in your life as enemies. (No, you didn’t read that wrong.) As believers, there are commands about how to interact with our…

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Don’t Leave It On the Desk!

This was sent to me in an email. Perhaps, you too received it. It was inspiring and so true. We share our faith by example and our living more than we do by our talking. I pray also that our words that we share on blog will be that part of our living that shows the true Word in a right manner.

 

There was a certain professor named Dr. Christianson, a studious man who taught at a small college in the western United States and who was a Christian.Dr. Christianson taught the required survey course in Christianity at this particular institution. Every student was required to take this course their freshman year, regardless of his or her major. Although Dr. Christianson tried hard to communicate the essence of the gospel in his class, he found that most of his students looked upon the course as nothing but required drudgery. Despite his best efforts, most students refused to take Christianity seriously.

This year, Dr. Christianson had a special student named Steve. Steve was only a freshman, but was studying with the intent of going onto seminary for the ministry. Steve was popular, he was well liked, and he was an imposing physical specimen. He was now the starting center on the school football team, and was the best student in the professor’s class.

One day, Dr. Christianson asked Steve to stay after class so he could talk with him.

“How many push-ups can you do?”

Steve said, “I do about 200 every night..”

“200? That’s pretty good, Steve,” Dr. Christianson said. “Do you think you could do 300?”

Steve replied, “I don’t know .. I’ve never done 300 at a time.”

“Do you think you could?” again asked Dr. Christianson.

“Well, I can try,” said Steve..

“Can you do 300 in sets of 10? I have a class project in mind, and I need you to do about 300 push-ups in sets of ten for this to work. Can you do it? I need you to tell me you can do it,” said the professor.

Steve said, “Well … I think I can … yeah, I can do it.”

Dr. Christianson said, “Good! I need you to do this on Friday. Let me explain what I have in mind.”

Friday came and Steve got to class early and sat in the front of the room. When class started, the professor pulled out a big box of donuts.

No, these weren’t the normal kinds of donuts, they were the extra fancy BIG kind, with cream centers and frosting swirls.

Everyone was pretty excited: it was Friday, the last class of the day, and they were going to get an early start on the weekend with a party in Dr. Christianson’s class.

Dr. Christianson went to the first girl in the first row and asked, “Cynthia, do you want to have one of these donuts?”

Cynthia said, “Yes.”

Dr. Christianson then turned to Steve and asked, “Steve, would you do ten push-ups so that Cynthia can have a donut?”

Nederlands: opdrukoefening (push up)

“Sure!” Steve jumped down from his desk to do a quick ten. Then Steve again sat in his desk. Dr. Christianson put a donut on Cynthia’s desk.
Dr.. Christianson then went to Joe, the next person, and asked, “Joe, do you want a donut?”
Joe said, “Yes.”

Dr. Christianson asked, “Steve would you do ten push-ups so Joe can have a donut?”

Steve did ten push-ups, Joe got a donut. And so it went, down the first aisle; Steve did ten push-ups for every person before he/she got his/her donut.

Walking down the second aisle, Dr. Christianson came to Scott. Scott was on the basketball team, and in as good condition as Steve. He was very popular and never lacking for female companionship..

When the professor asked, “Scott do you want a donut?”

Scott’s reply was, “Well, can I do my own push-ups?”

Dr. Christianson said, “No, Steve has to do them.”

Then Scott said, “Well, I don’t want one then.”

Dr… Christianson shrugged and then turned to Steve and asked, “Steve, would you do ten push-ups so Scott can have a donut he doesn’t want?”

With perfect obedience, Steve started to do ten push-ups.

Scott said, “HEY! I said I didn’t want one!”

Dr. Christianson said, “Look! This is my classroom, my class, my desks, and these are my donuts. Just leave it on the desk if you don’t want it.” And he put a donut on Scott’s desk.
Now by this time, Steve had begun to slow down a little. He just stayed on the floor between sets because it took too much effort to be getting up and down. You could start to see a little perspiration coming out around his brow.

Dr. Christianson started down the third row. Now the students were beginning to get a little angry.

Dr. Christianson asked Jenny, “Jenny, do you want a donut?”

Sternly, Jenny said, “No.”

Then Dr. Christianson asked Steve, “Steve, would you do ten more push-ups so Jenny can have a donut that she doesn’t want?”
Steve did ten … Jenny got a donut.

By now, a growing sense of uneasiness filled the room. The students were beginning to say, “No!” and there were all these uneaten donuts on the desks..

Steve also had to really put forth a lot of extra effort to get these push-ups done for each donut… There began to be a small pool of sweat on the floor beneath his face, his arms and brow were beginning to get red because of the physical effort involved.

Dr. Christianson asked Robert, who was the most vocal unbelievers in the class, to watch Steve do each push up to make sure he did the full ten push-ups in a set because he couldn’t bear to watch all of Steve’s work for all of those uneaten donuts. He sent Robert over to where Steve was so Robert count the set and watch Steve closely.

Dr. Christianson started down the fourth row.. During his class, however, some students from other classes had wandered in and sat down on the steps along the radiators that ran down the sides of the room. When the professor realized this, he did a quick count and saw that now there were 34 students in the room. He started to worry if Steve would be able to make it.

Dr. Christianson went on to the next person and the next and the next.

Near the end of that row, Steve was really having a rough time. He was taking a lot more time to complete each set.

Steve asked Dr. Christianson, “Do I have to make my nose touch on each one?”

Dr. Christianson thought for a moment, “Well, they’re your push-ups. You are in charge now. You can do them any way that you want.” And Dr. Christianson went on.

A few moments later, Jason, a recent transfer student, came to the room and was about to come in when all the students yelled in one voice, “NO! Don’t come in! Stay out!”

Jason didn’t know what was going on. Steve picked up his head and said, “No, let him come.”

Professor Christianson said, “You realize that if Jason comes in, you will have to do ten push-ups for him?”

Steve said, “Yes, let him come in. Give him a donut.”

Dr. Christianson said, “Okay, Steve, I’ll let you get Jason’s out of the way right now … Jason, do you want a donut?”

Jason, new to the room, hardly knew what was going on. “Yes,” he said, “give me a donut.”

“Steve, will you do ten push-ups so that Jason can have a donut?”

Steve did ten push-ups very slowly and with great effort. Jason, bewildered, was handed a donut and sat down.

Dr Christianson finished the fourth row, and then started on those visitors seated by the heaters. Steve’s arms were now shaking with each push-up in a struggle to lift himself against the force of gravity. By this time, sweat was profusely dropping off of his face, there was no sound except his heavy breathing; there was not a dry eye in the room.

The very last two students in the room were two young women, both cheerleaders and very popular. Dr. Christianson went to Linda, the second to last, and asked, “Linda, do you want a doughnut?”

Linda said, very sadly, “No, thank you.”

Professor Christianson quietly asked, “Steve, would you do ten push-ups so that Linda can have a donut she doesn’t want?”

Grunting from the effort, Steve did ten very slow push-ups for Linda.

Then Dr. Christianson turned to the last girl, Susan. “Susan, do you want a donut?”

Susan, with tears flowing down her face, began to cry. “Dr. Christianson, why can’t I help him?”

Dr Christianson, with tears of his own, said, “No, Steve has to do it alone; I have given him this task, and he is in charge of seeing that everyone has an opportunity for a donut whether they want it or not … when I decided to have a party this last day of class, I looked at my grade book. Steve here is the only student with a perfect grade. Everyone else has failed a test, skipped class, or offered me inferior work. Steve told me that in football practice, when a player messes up, he must do push-ups. I told Steve that none of you could come to my party unless he paid the price by doing your push-ups. He and I made a deal … for your sakes.”

“Steve, would you do ten push-ups so Susan can have a donut?”

As Steve very slowly finished his last push-up, with the understanding that he had accomplished all that was required of him, having done 350 push-ups, his arms buckled beneath him, and he fell to the floor.

Dr. Christianson turned to the room and said, “And so it was, that our Savior, Jesus Christ, on the cross, pled to the Father, ‘Into Thy hands I commend my spirit.’ With the understanding that He had done everything that was required of Him, He yielded up His life. And like some of those in this room, many of us leave the gift on the desk, uneaten. “

Two students helped Steve up off the floor and to a seat, physically exhausted, but wearing a thin smile.

“Well done, good and faithful servant,” said the professor, adding, “Not all sermons are preached in words.”

Turning to his class, the professor said, “My wish is that you might understand and fully comprehend all the riches of grace and mercy that have been given to you through the sacrifice of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. God spared not His Only Begotten Son, but gave Him up for us all, for the whole world, now and forever, even for those who refuse His gift of salvation and everlasting life. Whether or not we choose to accept His gift to us and belive that He is our one and only Savior, the price has been paid. Wouldn’t you be foolish and ungrateful to leave it lying on the desk?”

Blessings, Marsha

 

Called to this ministry.

I’m so grateful to Christ Jesus for making me adequate to do this work. He went out on a limb, you know, in trusting me with this ministry. The only credentials I brought to it were invective and witch hunts and arrogance. But I was treated mercifully because I didn’t know what I was doing—didn’t know Who I was doing it against! Grace mixed with faith and love poured over me and into me. And all because of Jesus. (1 Timothy 1:12-14 MSG)

I too can say along with Paul (Saul) that in my unbelief I didn’t know, yet I was 13 when I met Jesus at the altar, one night at camp service. Since then, even though I was quote, unquote a Christian, saved and baptized I was still finding myself in sinful arenas and wondering how I got there. I did know but didn’t apply it. I can honestly say, as I exit the 50’s there is much ado in my life on the topic, ‘What have I done in my life to benefit and glorify God?’

Having just had an idol revealed to me by the Holy Spirit, I am again contemplating how to remove it and keep it gone! When I sing the song line that says, nothing I desire compares to you, Lord, I am not so sure anymore.

I knew I was going to be a mother, I just knew as well as all the other little girls that grow up in America and believe that way. God had other plans, as well as that some of my choices influenced that aspect of my life of that I am sure. I was angry at God for years! Then I realized that wasn’t going to work because He can out wait me and my anger. I didn’t want to die in anger and futility.

Unknowingly, I set myself up as a second class citizen because I couldn’t have children and live my dream. Therefore, I was not “whatever I thought in my subconscious” worthy. I refused the scripture that says I am whole and worthy by grace thru Jesus and the blood he shed! My desire was set upon a pedestal and ruled my life!

Oh, the shame and the regret! I was humbled to say the least. For days I cried, sometimes out loud sometimes in my very soul. My lamentations to God were dreadful as I mourned for what had never been and shall never be. I lamented all the years wasted worshipping that which I could not have. I may as well have remained angry at God, and may have been and convinced self I wasn’t. Oh, for the love of Jesus and his grace, mercy, forgiveness, and all those other attributes that bring us to Him. Without them I would be so dead. Dead in sorrow, pity, anger, bitterness, living in defiance of the first commandment- thou shalt have no other gods before me. Exodus 20:3.

Just as Paul did a complete turn about (in 3 days, because God made him blind. What else is there to look at in the darkness but God) I am working along with the Holy Spirit within and Jesus beside me to make a complete turnabout.

Thus, no longer lamenting what I have not done for God and the ministry, and the loss of my forever dream, I am looking at what is in store for me in the ministry. Who are the women I shall have the privilege of sharing with in the ministry I am called to for the kingdom?

Hooray, for the love of God, and the shed blood of his only beloved son. If he can give up his only begotten surely I can give up my not begotten.

Free at last, free at last. May it be ever so true. Selah.

Blessings, Marsha

TAKE A PRAISE BREAK

TAKE A PRAISE BREAK.

Why should I take a praise break?

Because praise is a powerful weapon of war against the enemy.
Because praise gets God’s attention
Because when we praise God, it is an act of obedience and a demonstration of our love for God
Because God inhabits the praises of His people.
Because once we begin to praise God, it magnifies God in our minds and in our spirits and our focus shifts from our circumstances to God; to who He is, what He has done, and what He can do, and this builds our faith.
Because praise lifts our eyes from the battle to the Victor and this gives us the assurance that no matter what, the victory is ours.
Because praise creates joy which gives us the strength, hope and power we need to endure any circumstance until the manifestation of our victorious end.

Proverbs Wisdom

Proverbs 18:1 Whoever isolates himself seeks his own desire; he breaks out against all sound judgment.(ESV)

HE who willfully separates and estranges himself [from God and man] seeks his own desire and pretext to break out against all wise and sound judgment. (AMP)

    Isolating removes us from the circle of support we have built. It is interesting about our support systems, there is a perceived support and an actual support. The perceived support is consistently linked to a better mental health where the received support and social integration is not. Invisible support is best.  Social support desired by provider has to match support given. This is called the matching hypothesis.

    Therefore, when I perceived that I had no support in friends, some family members, and church that I was desperately searching for and needing, I sought a counselor and immediately felt that someone would listen and care. During our sessions I discovered that I do have a good support system and always have had one, I just didn’t see it. I just knew no one was there for me and it definitely hurt my mental and physical health. My mental health is so very tied to my physical. Is your’s also? My mind can get so stressed, filled, convoluted and distorted that it makes me physically incapable of remaining healthy. I think part of this is relative to Lupus in remission, (thank you, Jesus), and undue stress strikes my body.

    When I searched online for support systems I found this information and decided that God must say something about it also. And this is when I found Proverbs 18:1. (when writing in diary of support systems I didn’t not list the online support link) That information was a real “Wow” for me, because I am very good at isolating and/or hibernating. Thinking I am doing myself and others a good service. After all, who wants to be around a grumpy, grumbling, pity party, bear of a person. Not to mention that I don’t speak nice, look nice or care! When I do isolate, I can look at self and realize that I am depressed about something or I am not listening to God.  He tells me things I don’t want to hear and when I ignore him it is harmful to myself. Will I ever realize that before hibernating or isolating? I hope so.

    I listed 2 columns; TODAY and FUTURE, I listed each of the people below into these categories;

Family members I am close to– My husband, Mom, Nicol, our renter missionary. We have a small family numerically.

Friends and/or acquaintances– Here I listed people I communicate well with and do not feel intimidated by in any way. I saw that most of them (8) were friends that I have had for 20 or more years. Do you ever feel like a shorter version of self? Like I am only 3 feet tall when I stand next to you and I feel like I am 10 maybe 15. I do feel this sometimes and it isn’t because they are 6 feet tall.

Professionals– Counselor, Medical doctor of 30 years, Pastor, supervisors in my volunteer jobs.

Others– I don’t know who these are. It is blank for now. Who would you place in others?

   In both columns the category people were similar except where I added a few that I would like to pursue because they have marked my life in a positive way. I found this exercise helpful because it enlarged my perception of my support system and I am sure it may not be complete. I at least know that one exists and feel better able to cope better mentally.

    Knowing that God doesn’t like isolation I am making efforts to remain social and open to share, versus Undercover Ostrich Attitude. I prefer to gain sound wisdom from my peers and professionals, than to hibernate.    

meerkat ostrich

Meerkat likes above ground HAPPY Ostrich!

http://bit.ly/16WhRNL    I like this idea.

office hibernating

office hibernating

Rejoice in the Lord, always and again, I say, REJOICE!!

    Romans 5:1-7 Rejoice, because of trials, they help us develop endurance, Endurance develops strength of character, character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. Hope will not lead to disappointment. 

Blessings, Marsha

Trees of the Field…

Some of this is my attempt at poetry on a subject well known and some of it is a song we sing. I hope you enjoy the combination.

And The Trees of the Field Shall… 

The voice and the breath of God moves thru the Trees of the Field. They grow upright into His peace, His place. Their branches and leaves remain open, praising, upward and holy so that He may be able to flow in them, thru them, and infiltrate them. His presence completely surrounds them!

Their growth is high, as leaves and fruit are high above the ground, above the filth and dust where the evil one lives.  That which is not good falls off, and returns to the ground, their dead fruit is given to the dark.  Their dead branches turn down to look at the dust because they are too dark and heavy with death to reach up and seek God. 

The Trees of the Fields shame is looking down, their praise is looking up. Their roots grow deep and firm in Him that they may be established and stand, not letting weeds, rot and every heavy evil weigh them down to destroy them. 

They remain high and lifted up to God. They love their creator and show it in their beauty. They raise their branches toward heaven. 

I look up and raise my hands to the heavens. I clap my hands in praise and joy! I know God surrounds me and infiltrates me and I know I bend in the wind. Sometimes, I do look down and find evil weighing me down! I look up and see Jesus at the right hand of Gods’ throne, sitting there interceding for me. I love my creator and pray that I shall be like the trees of the field and grow beside the still water and be strong.

Isa 55:12 For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap [their] hands.

AMEN,

Marsha