My 2012 Commitment to the Father!

Last year for us, was a year of transition.  We discovered new things, got rid of some old things. Made some friends, lost some friends.

Had a close call fire on our block of the Bookstore, but then had a house fire a month later, losing almost everything.  Had water leaks at the old place, now have them at the new place.  Sort of a test of fire and water maybe?  In any case, the common thread that kept us together was our Father!

We have been behind on bills, almost had utilities shut off, but somehow, someway, God has provided us with finances AND infinite knowledge.

The bookstore was founded on Hebrews 11:1 “and faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen”  The Father has most definitely kept HIS hand on our lives, and our ministry.

We made changes last year on many levels, and God has given us different paths to go on that we thought we would never travel.

Besides dealing with financial battles, spiritual battles, I have been dealing with one of the mind, and my wife of the body.

Always turning a corner and something there to knock us on our butts.  But I need to constantly remind myself that the Father told us that we would NEVER be comfortable…..  But HE is faithful and just, and will not give us more than we can bear. The temptation to be complacent is there, but the strength to overcome prevails.  “ First Corinthians 10:13 in the NKJV reads, “No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.” This Scripture teaches us a powerful principle. If we belong to Him, God will not allow any difficulty to come into our lives that we are not capable of bearing.”

There are few in the fields harvesting the crops, and the Father has put alot on our plates…but the glory of it is, that through the mistakes that we’ve made.  The horrible fires, the loss, the gains, the ups and downs… spiritual and physical…God is STILL God, and He is assuring us that we will always be provided for…

The store has finally been anointed.  The negative pulls out of there.  The things that are of the Father now prevail once again in our lives…

This year………..  more God, less dormancy..   This year…… less talk, more action.  This year….. more love, less frustration with those that strive to bring us down.

This year, the Father comes before everything.  (Not that  He didn’t before, but our complacency and feet dragging on things that He gave us to do, got very much in the way of focusing on what HE required)

Our commitment, as well as every other Christian should be getting and staying ready for Christ Jesus to return for His bride…spotless, without blemish. Ephesians 5:27  To be excited about His coming, and not ashamed of what we are…

 

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Just wonder sometimes….

I know as Christians, we do what we can to help others, even go so far as to love the “unloveable”,  but is there a line to draw?

My wife and I truly love the Lord with all of our hearts, seek His guidance on everything, and are totally devoted to each other.  God has placed us in many situations where we give everything, all we have to the person or persons we are ministering too.  Not asking anything of the recipient of our love….  But recently, we have found on a couple of situations that the person receiving is now not talking to us, or even as one person put it, “hate” us!  We did what we could to help one friend.  Tried to mentor, give guidance, love, sacrifice…. We did all of this with no thought of reward, but to glorify God, and to bring this person to a personal level with Jesus Christ.   Today… it ended. A couple of words were said, a couple of actions were manifested, and he walked out with another person, one of his relatives who we were also trying to mentor and love.   I won’t go into any details on what happened, just to say that we opened our house, fed this person, loved on this person, provided stability.  Then the person in question turns around to challenge me as a role model, tells me I’m never happy, and attempts to strike me while I’m trying to make sense of what happened.

We risked our business by letting this person take care of their own problems, offered phone, food, etc. And now because we asked for respect for our business, the people in it, and our own convictions, that person is angry, told us that we were trying to run his life, and hates us.

Now what?  We dropped the relatives clothes off to them, they couldn’t even come out to get them, the friend sent out his children’s mother to get the things from the car.  Where did we go wrong?  How did we get to this place?  All the long talks with no regard to time, the prayer sessions, the driving around helping him find a job.  Again, doing this for nothing else but to do the things to help this person.  And now because of a few words, challenging this person to step up to be a parent, and step out of the situation that is bringing him down.

We love these two people with only the love that Christ can give, wanting nothing for ourselves, but the pain, and hurt, and confusion that is accompanying this whole ordeal leaves us in a place of question.  Do we continue to do things for others? Of course.   Do we open up our hearts once again? I think so….  But it makes us wonder after this, and another situation how much do we give of ourselves?  And do we do it at the risk of our own well being….  God only knows… and one day, Lord willing, we will know.

Sometimes when you’re not sure…..


This fire on January 25/26th hit very close to home. It was virtually a “where do we go from here” frame of mind. God used this awful circumstance to help change attitudes and minds and hearts in the way Darlene and I do things. As I watched the smoldering at first, then later on the following morning the licking flames threatening to engulf the entire block. We stood across the street, praying, holding hands and praising God in this “storm” We were at peace somehow. (some people call it shock)
God had a special lesson for us to learn through this…

1) TRUST HIM!


2) Seek His face ALWAYS!

Yesterday’s message on our reader board was “Before destruction the heart of man is haughty, and before honour is humility.” Proverbs 18:12. A message later on today I got via text was “The name of the LORD is a strong tower: the righteous runneth into it, and is safe.” Proverbs 18:10… hmmmm
Pretty much the context of that passage from verses 10 through 20 say that, (Paraphrase)”Don’t elevate your status because you CAN BE knocked down. If you do something because you think God wants you to do it, you are mistaken because you are not putting God in that equation.” and a bunch of other juicy tidbits. God is always trying to talk to us, but we are too busy to listen. Sometimes God uses these bad, awful things to bring you to a realization that you can not do it WITHOUT HIM! As we walked into the bookstore this morning after taking a nap, we looked around, nothing damaged, no super bad odor, and we sat down and wept. We remembered all the times when we didn’t have money to pay rent, utilities threatening to get shut off, water damage at the old store, eviction notices, and the list goes on. We are almost 2 years old, as we realized that the hand of God is on this place. For HIS Glory…

 

HUMBLE YOURSELF IN THE SIGHT OF THE LORD AND HE WILL LIFT YOU UP!!!

How’s your walk?

Life sometimes hits us head on and we don’t know if we’re coming or going, but God has already been there!  Why do we struggle with day to day things if we are living as Christians?  We are to be a light unto the world

For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord.

Ephesians 5:8-10

If we live daily, pleasing God, doing HIS work, as HE commands, we are walking in the “LIGHT”, and the world will know us by HIS light.  Are we just sitting around, staring at four walls, worrying about how we’re going to pay our bills, start the car, put food on the table?  Or we in our own selfish desires that we forget our brother or sister in Christ, or even our OWN families???

Jesus said, “Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?

Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?

Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?

And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin:

And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.

Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?” and then “Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? For your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.

But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.

(Read Matthew 6:19-35~because it is powerful words of Christ)

Christ delivered us from all of these things that burden us, worry us, CONDEMN US!  As Christians, we are to put on the “Whole Armor of God”, put on Christ, and live with joy in our hearts to the LORD!!

So THROW off that “old man”, put on the ‘NEW MAN’…..

Rebuke Satan in the name of JESUS and move on to greater things.

“I can do all things through Christ which strengthenth me”!!!

He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth. Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? …  Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 8:32-39

Are we putting on the “Whole Armor of God”?

We read in Ephesian 6:9-18:
And, ye masters, do the same things unto them, forbearing threatening:
knowing that your Master also is in heaven;
neither is there respect of persons with him.
Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.
Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to
stand against the wiles of the devil.
For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities,
against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able
to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth,
and having on the breastplate of righteousness;
And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;
Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit,
which is the word of God:
Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit,
and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;

 

Hebrews 11:1 "And faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen"