Saturday, December 31, 2016

Broken . . .Crushed . . .Qualified?


Broken..Crushed…and now we are Qualified?
Has the world fallen down around you? 
Is the pressure of the world becoming too much to bear? 
Does every move that make forward seem to be canceled out by adversity and obstacles?
Have you come to the place of brokenness?
“The breaking of the outward man is the basic experience of all those who serve God. This must be accomplished before He can use us in an effectual way” (Watchman Nee).
The painful and hard moments that push us past our limits are not destroying us. If we choose to look upon these experience through a different perspective we may see that the tool of trouble is not destroying us but shaping us. Each moment of adversity that we overcome builds a new found strength. Each trial that we overcome develops our character. Each experience equips us with a resource of wisdom earned through tribulation.
Only then after suffering great loss does one have the heart to come along side another who suffers the same. Only one who has been through pain will be welcomed into the painful moments of another’s crisis. Only after experiencing all of these things can we truly see our need for God as our true source of strength and hope.
We, the broken, stand firm upon a foundation that is unshakable and unbreakable because it is not made by human hands. We the sinners, can reach out to others not because we are worthy but because we have been forgiven. 
We the scarred post traumatic souls can share our burdens with others thereby lifting their spirits. We, who were once lost, can help seek out our brothers and sisters in solitude and truly identify with their hearts.
We, through pain and brokenness, have become qualified in such a way that no one else with degrees or certifications can compare. For we can learn more from those who have faced calamity, suffered great loss, battled addictions, and dealt with difficulties than pious who have never walked a mile in our shoes.
We can truly “not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:6-7)
For we have been there, in brokenness, but we reside there no longer and we are equipped to journey into another’s pain without being destroyed by it. We have the peace of God that passes all understanding. So when others don’t understand your pain, seek out those have been there and who have the peace that passes all understanding.
We have a comforter like no other, for God has brought us through our trials with His comfort, and providing those who comforted us during our pain. Now our trial, our pain, and our difficulty have made us qualified to help others in a way that no one else can. For when we look in their eyes and say “I know how you feel”; you can honestly say that you do…
God bless the broken heart spirits who take the time to lift up others who are going through the same struggle. 
Andy Starnes 

Monday, December 26, 2016

The Nearer They Draw to Destruction, The More They are Overgrown with Blindness



This is from The John Trapp Blog:

"The words of Jeremiah the son of Hilkiah, of the priests that were in Anathoth in the land of Benjamin." (Jeremiah 1:1)

Long time he had laboured among this perverse people, but to very small purpose, as himself complaineth, {1} after Isaiah, {2} whom he succeeded in his office as a prophet, some scores of years between, but with little good success.
For as in a dying man his eyes wax dim, and all his senses decay, till at length they are utterly lost, so fareth it with commonwealths, quando suis fatis urgentur, when once they are ripe for ruin; the nearer they draw to destruction, the more they are overgrown with blindness, madness, security, obstinace, such as despiseth all remedies, and leaveth no place at all for wholesome advice and admonition.
Lo, this was the case of those improbi et reprobi -“reprobate silver shall men call them” {3} -with whom our prophet had to do.
Moses had not more to do with the Israelites in the wilderness than Jeremiah had with these “stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears,” {4} as good at “resisting the Holy Ghost” as ever their fathers were.
The times were not unlike those described by Tacitus, concerning which Casaubon saith, Quibus nulla unquam aut virtutum steriliora, aut virtutibus inimiciora, that no times were ever more barren of virtues, or greater enemies to virtues.
And to say sooth, how could they be much better, when the book of the law was wanting for over sixty years, and the whole land overspread with the deeds of darkness?
Quoted Bible verses:
  1. "Why will ye die, thou and thy people, by the sword, by the famine, and by the pestilence, as the Lord hath spoken against the nation that will not serve the king of Babylon?   Therefore hearken not unto the words of the prophets that speak unto you, saying, Ye shall not serve the king of Babylon: for they prophesy a lie unto you." (Jer 27:13,14)
  2. "Then I said, I have laboured in vain,
    I have spent my strength for nought, and in vain:
    yet surely my judgment is with the Lord,
    and my work with my God." (Isa 49:4)
  3. "Reprobate silver shall men call them, because the Lord hath rejected them." (Jer 6:30)
  4. "Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye." (Ac 7:51)

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Islamic Attacks


This is from the blog Red Sky in the Morning:
How many terror attacks are caused by Moslems?  Just wondering after the latest attack in Berlin, where a truck was driven into a crowd at a Berlin Christmas market.  The same tactic was used this year in Nice when a truck was deliberately driven into crowds celebrating Bastille Day.  By an Asylum Seeker.
Why do they do it?  After Europe has taken them in as refugees?  It beggars belief.

Slaying the infidel

Is it because they are commanded to slay the infidel by their prophet?  For instance, here’s a passage from the Quran; “Fight and slay the pagans [Christians] wherever ye find them and seize them, confine them, and lie in wait for them in every place of ambush” (Surah 9:5).
And that’s just one of the problem passages. Source: http://www.bible.ca/islam/islam-kills-not-peaceful.htm
Another thing that beggars belief after reading what their book says, is how this Arab belief system can be called “a religion of peace?”  Seriously.  Belief affects the way people think, which affects the way people act.  Otherwise why do we hear them proclaim how great their god is when they bellow “Allahu akbar” before they attack?
If you want a map of their activities, here’s a helpful site, CrimeNet by Go-Alert.  It’s a service dedicated to gathering information about crimes.   Go-Alert is an attempt to mitigate the issues of mainstream media censorship.  You can filter the map by nationality and religion.
How to combat Islamic attacks?  Here’s what a US general did a hundred years ago.
black-jack-pershing
I can’t prove the story about General Pershing – but here’s one of his quotes, “A competent leader can get efficient service from poor troops, while on the contrary an incapable leader can demoralize the best of troops.”
Are the leaders of the Western nations competent?  Here’s Trump talking about the incident.  Would it work today?

Saturday, December 17, 2016

The Consecrated Life


This is from the blog A Word in Season:
“For he whom God hath sent
speaketh the words of God”
John 3:34
The things which are true in Jesus are to become true in us. Jesus being the LIFE of the New Testament has come to live in us. His Words are to become ours via the rule and reign of His Spirit within our hearts. The power and the authority that resides in Him are to be ours, in a corresponding measure, to the degree of our submission unto Him. The verity of our submission is revealed in the words we speak.
Many years ago the Lord showed me that words are mere containers; the real value of a word is not in itself but in the power contained in the Word. The religious world is filled with many words that carry within them agendas, purposes, and voices to woo and call people to one thing or another. Those who hear words only and do not “feel” the weight, the power and the voice within the word will always be perplexed and mislead. Two individuals may share the same scripture; yet one is empty and void of life or power while the other is pulsating with the Life and Call of Jesus. Without a sanctified ear one will not know the difference. There is an inability to distinguish between that which is Holy and that which is lifeless and dead.
“For the ear trieth words,
as the mouth tasteth meat”
Job 34:3
The sanctified ear hears and discerns the voice of God in the words which men speak. It is attuned to the Voice of the Almighty. This is a day of great confusion within the religious world as many voices are calling out to His people. While these voices may speak great things, they seek the heart, the affection and the very souls of men to join their cause or organization and to come under the “covering” of some apostle. We must seek Him and prove His voice within our hearts. It is a day to taste and see that the Lord is good whereby we can know whether something spoken is of Him or the voice of another.
Jesus said “…the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life” (John 6:63) It is to this end we must develop within our own hearts a deep and experiential knowing of His Spirit and the character and manner of His Life. In so doing we are exercised in the ability of discerning Him in all things. It is to those who have been so exercised that God opens the “strong meat” of His Word.
“But strong meat belongeth to them
that are of full age,
even those who by reason of use
have their senses exercised
to discern both good and evil”
Hebrews 5:14
God will not entrust His word to those who use it casually. He will not open understanding to one who will use the precious things of God for their own purposes. Many may quote and teach things that other people have seen and heard but the actual power and authority will be lacking. The words may have the form of something right but they are the empty, plagiarized words of others. Real truth must proceed from those who have first seen and heard within their own lives. These are truths begotten in God by relationship; personal relationship with the author Himself. The sanctified ear hears the voice of Him who is the sanctifier. It cannot waste time in the meaningless debates of the religious world, the speculations of the learned and the surmising of those who would rather know a thing intellectually than Him who is the Truth.
“Blessed is the man that heareth me”
Proverbs 8:34

Friday, December 16, 2016

Personality


This is from the blog Macy Halford:
This is my inaugural blog post for An Utmost a Day, and oh, boy, are we beginning with a bang.
When I was working on my book about Utmost, December 12th was one of the entries that gave me the most food for thought (read: trouble). When Oswald Chambers uses the word “personality,” he’s not just talking about a person’s unique character (i.e. he’s not using it the way we might today). He’s joining one of the fiercest philosophical and cultural debates of the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries.
Consider this quote by the Scottish Evangelical P. T. Forsyth, one of Oswald’s favorite thinkers:
Christ is certainly no less concerned than Nietzsche that the personality should receive the fullest development of which it is capable, and be more and more of a power. The difference between them lies in the moral method by which the personality is put into possession of itself and its resources--in the one case by asserting itself, in the other by losing it.
What’s Nietzsche doing here? The German philosopher surfaces in Oswald’s sermons, too, a testament to his far-reaching influence in the era (it’s actually difficult to overstate Nietzsche’s importance in Western Europe in the years leading up to the First World War).
The strand of his thinking that Oswald and Forsyth—along with numerous other Christian thinkers in this era—addressed most often did indeed have to do with “person”-ality: that is, with what a person was and with how a person could, and should, go about the task of living.
Nietzsche put forth the idea of the √úbermensch—we call it the Superman. The Superman was an ideal: a fully independent individual, a self-actualizing “will-power,” who created his own values, rather than deriving them from a system, a religion, or history. This notion—particularly the power it promised—was extremely appealing to citizens of the late nineteenth century, who were grappling with the massive changes brought on by modernity. Many felt hemmed in on all sides—by the industrial forces that had ripped them from their ancestral homes, sending them en masse into cities and factories; by the oddly distant political system that had replaced the old one, breaking the ancient bonds of kin and clan; by the economic system, capitalism, which seemed to make money the entire measure of the man. People—and particularly men—began to describe themselves as “cogs in a machine.” Talk of a “crisis of masculinity” was rampant.
It might seem odd today, but there was actually a good deal of kinship between Nietzsche’s way of thinking and that of Evangelicals like Oswald and Forsyth. The idea of breaking through false systems—governmental, religious, or economic—to set the individual free was key to both. And both latched on to the same idea—”personality”—to make the point. A human “person” was not a cog in a machine or a passive subject; he was not merely a member of a crowd; he did not exist in the mass. He was a unique entity, the basic building block of society, and all of creation existed within him. He was sacrosanct.
Of course, Christian Evangelicals diverged from Nietzsche on crucial points: Nietzsche hated Christianity, calling it a religion for weaklings. Oswald worked hard to overturn this myth. He frequently made the point that both Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit were “personalities,” full of power and agency, and unable to be contained or controlled by systems, namely theological ones. In fact, his entire definition of Christianity could be summed up as: two personalities in personal, unmediated, relationship to one another, i.e. Christ with the Christian. Both he and Forsyth argued that, since Christ is the only true power, only Christians in relationship with Christ could be truly powerful.
There is much more to say on this subject (I didn’t even mention the main point of the December 12th reading, which is distinguishing between individuality and personality), but as it will come up again in Utmost, I’ll end today’s post by addressing Oswald’s statement that a person can only fully possess his own personality by “merging” with another’s. It’s similar to what Forsyth says above—that a person has to “lose” his personality in order to gain it. Both are responses to what was (and is) a common criticism of Evangelicalism: that in reducing Christianity to a personal relationship with Christ it encouraged isolation, broke communities, and allowed questionable theologies to flourish.
For Oswald and Forsyth, the personal relationship with Christ was all about others. It was all about acquiring Christ’s personality, which was humble, oriented toward serving others, and moved, as and when God commanded, between moments of private devotion and public activity.
—Macy

Friday, December 9, 2016

Algona, Iowa



Mark 6: 1-6:  "And he went out from thence, and came into his own country; and his disciples follow him.   And when the sabbath day was come, he began to teach in the synagogue: and many hearing him were astonished, saying, From whence hath this man these things? and what wisdom is this which is given unto him, that even such mighty works are wrought by his hands?   Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, the brother of James, and Joses, and of Juda, and Simon? and are not his sisters here with us? And they were offended at him.   But Jesus said unto them, A prophet is not without honour, but in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house.   And he could there do no mighty work, save that he laid his hands upon a few sick folk, and healed them  And he marvelled because of their unbelief. And he went round about the villages, teaching."

Dreams from the LORD
7 April 2012
Last night I had a dream where I was riding in this car in Iowa. My friend was driving. We drove on this gravel road and stopped where this lane led to the Jerry Shey farm. I got out of the car and there was Jerry Shey. He walked up to me; he was very angry and annoyed about something.

He said, “Mrs. Herman Kahn told me that I should tell you that I am sorry for what I did to you.”

I walked up to him and he started to back pedal to the mailbox. I answered very forcefully, “Just imagine that I was you! And I put my son in mental hospitals, had him pay the bills and then tell him that I paid for those bills!”

He got really bent out of shape and stood there totally shocked.

I walked back to the car, got in and my friend drove off.

Dreams from the LORD
8 September 2014
Last night I had a dream where I was staying at a homeless shelter in Algona, Iowa.  I talked with some homeless guys for awhile and then I walked to this grocery store.  At the grocery store, I was walking down this aisle when I saw a relative of mine walking towards me—she was walking with a cane.  I walked by her and did not say hello.
I then walked towards this fast-food restaurant and there was General George S. Patton outside the restaurant; he was sitting down talking to several people  I listened to General Patton talk for awhile; some of the people were asking him a lot of questions.
It was a long dream; I don’t remember all of the details.  I have had three other dreams about General Patton, so I believe this dream has something to do with spiritual warfare:  exposing the devil and defeating the devil in Algona, Iowa (I was born and raised in Algona).

Dreams from the LORD
25 January 2015
Last night I had a dream where I was reading a paperback book.  The book had a lot of prophetic messages in it; the important prophetic messages were in blue print.  I then copied some of these prophetic words down on some paper.
The next scene:  I was at this high school in Iowa—it was the same high school that I went to when I was a teenager.  I met a girl and a boy who attended that high school.  I gave them a copy of the prophetic messages and told them to make photocopies.  They were very happy to receive these prophetic words. 

Dreams from the LORD 
7 December 2016
Last night I had a dream where I had hitchhiked to Algona, Iowa.  I walked inside this building and sat down at this table.  There were many people gathered there:  some were sitting at tables and some were standing and talking with one another.  It looked like a funeral dinner.
I noticed a couple of people.  One guy I went to high school with and one guy I worked with on the farm.  Then I saw a few members of the Jerry Shey family.  None of these people walked over to my table to talk with me.  There was someone else sitting at my table, but we didn't talk to each other.  I then got up and walked outside.

Obedience:  The Bondage Breaker
The Jerry Shey Family
A Conversation with a Vietnam Veteran
Walkin' Joe and the Midnight Marauders
Algona Upper Des Moines Newspaper

Thursday, December 8, 2016

A Holy Man in an Unholy World


"The greatest miracle that God can do today is to take an unholy man out of an unholy world and make him holy, then put him back into that unholy world and keep him holy in it."
--Leonard Ravenhill

Leonard Ravenhill Quotes

Monday, December 5, 2016

The Blood Sanctifies Our Walk


This is from the blog A Word in Season:
“…and Moses took of the blood of it,
and put it upon …
the great toe of his right foot”
Leviticus 8:23
Election, Godliness and Being Chosen by God

DISCIPLESHIP

“But know that the Lord hath set apart
him that is godly for himself:
the Lord will hear when I call unto him”
Psalm 4:3
It is the godly whom the Lord sets apart for Himself. It is the godly in character and heart whom God hears. It is in this context that men and women must consider God’s grace. God’s election by Grace must be coupled with man’s response. “Many are called, but few are chosen”. Teachings, miraculous deliverances, movings of His Spirit in signs and wonders and even His own goodness are no insurance of entering the Kingdom of God. Israel saw His manifest power as He laid Egypt waste and yet they failed in the wilderness and perished without entering into God’s purpose. It is essential for us to see and grasp the truth of God, His ways and His Holiness.
“Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; And did all eat the same spiritual meat; And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ. But with many of them God was not well pleased: for they were overthrown in the wilderness”
1 Corinthians 10:1-5
Paul goes on to say that these things were written for our learning and admonition. These were people who grieved God. Despite all the miraculous signs and provisions of God, this generation fell short of God’s desire for them. They did not consider Him in their walk. They lacked the desire to please and bless Him by how they conducted themselves in their daily affairs of life. They went through life choosing the things that would please themselves rather than God. They saw His acts without ever discovering His ways.
“He made known his ways unto Moses,
his acts unto the children of Israel”
Psalm 103:7
We see this same truth in the New Covenant.
“But without a parable spake he not unto them:
and when they were alone,
he expounded all things to his disciples”
Mark 4:34
It is the disciples whom Jesus pulls aside to expound on the hidden truths of the parables. Disciples are those who follow Jesus. They live to learn of Him and because of this “…the Lord sets apart him that is godly for Himself…” They are sanctified by God for His purposes and it is these ones He consecrates (chooses and sets as living stones in the breastplate of His Holiness). These works of God are for those who choose Him, who desire to follow Him, discovering His ways and the wonder of His heart. Discipleship is the path into His Love. The verity of all true disciples will be revealed by the signature of in His Love in them.
“By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples,
if ye have love one to another”
John 13:35
God’s love is the defining feature of His true disciples. Many who are religious will (as the Pharisees) love their own little circle; the stamp of a true disciple is one who loves God’s people with the same Love that beats within the heart of our Heavenly Father. This Love is characterized by a passion and concern for the spiritual condition of His people. Denominational ties are irrelevant as they only see One church, One Flock and One Body. It is a Love that seeks out God’s sheep and God’s approval and cares little about the approval of man. True disciples do not seek positions or prominence; they seek to function within the confines of His calling upon their lives. The mark of God in the life of a true disciple is one of serving God not men. This Love “seeks not its own things…”
“Love has patience, is kind; love is not envious; love is not vain, is not puffed up; does not behave indecently, does not pursue its own things, is not easily provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices in the truth. Love quietly covers all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.  Love never fails”
1 Corinthians 13:4-8 LITV
Those who seek the pre-eminence in the midst of God’s people are not His disciples nor are they His true sheep. Those who encourage the affection of God’s people toward themselves, rather than ministering that His people fall in love with Jesus, have not seen God’s heart. The desire of the true ministers of God is not to draw men to their church, fellowship or their person; it is to Glorify God in all things. The cry of a true disciple is:
“He must increase, but I must decrease”
John 3:30