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Be Mindful of the Light

The late John Kennedy made the statement in the 60’s “There is a light at the end of the tunnel” during the war of Vietnam. The statement has a metaphoric meaning for hope dating back to 1879 or 1880’s and is referring to long periods of adversity is coming to an end as indicated by signs (Wordorigins.org).

Jesus is coming, the day of the Lord will come, and Christians must be mindful of  what the holy prophets’ have predicted and the commandments of our Lord and savior through the apostles have said (2 Peter 3:1-18) for there are many who do not believe this is so. Therefore they go about their sinful ways scoffing at and chanting “Where is the promise of his coming?” They are deliberately overlooking the fact, that the heavens existed long ago, and the earth was formed out of water and through water by the word of God, and that by means of these the world that then existed was deluged with water and perished. But by the same word the heavens and earth that now exist are stored up for fire, being kept until the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly.

As I reflect back in my journal on August 8, 2002, a time I spent with God, I wrote “Oh my precious loving Father, I adore you. I praise your holy name. I your humble servant love you and desire your presence.” Then, I read Joel chapter 2: 28-32, “The day of the Lord.” And I said to the Father, I will give warnings of that day in the sky and on the earth, there will be bloodshed fire, and clouds of smoke. The sun will be darkened, and the moon will turn red as blood before the great and terrible day of the Lord comes.

However, our Father is patient and desiring that no one should perish but that all should reach repentance (2 Peter 3:9). There is a light at the end of the tunnel that light is Jesus. Jesus said “I am the light of the world. Anyone who follows me will never walk in the darkness but will have the light of life (John 8:12). The light that Jesus gives is eternal (John 10:10).  Light is symbolizing blessings and life (Genesis 1:4; Psalm 4:6-7;56:13;Isaiah 9:2; John 1:4-5, ESV). Christians have the light of Jesus and will not have to walk through a tunnel of darkness (evil) or hopelessness searching for the light at the end of the tunnel. Jesus is our hope and unfailing love (Psalm33:20-22), He is alive, He is the light that shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it (John 1:4-5). May we be mindful of the Light.

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The Word on Judges 21:25

In those days there was no king (leader). Everyone did what was right in their own eyes.

One of the lessons given in Judges was that when following one’s own belief regarding what is wrong or right or following the surrounding culture’s belief will always lead to societal or personal corruption and decay when those beliefs do not align with God’s Words” (Judges 21:25, ESV). In reflecting upon this lesson my thought was that following Jesus would align a believer with God’s words because Jesus is the Word (John 1:1-5; 9, 12-13, 16-18).

It is written that in the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. All things were created through him, and apart from him not one thing was created that has been created.  In Him was life, and that life was the light of men. That light shines in the darkness, and yet the darkness did not overcome it. Jesus is the true light. Your Word is a Lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path (Psalm 119:105).

 Jesus gave to all who did receive him, who believed in his name,  the right to become children of God,  children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God. Indeed, we have all received grace upon grace from His fullness, for the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.  No one has ever seen God. The one and only Son, who is himself God and is at the Father’s side He has revealed Him.

As Jesus said in John17:3-5 “This is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and the one you have sent Jesus Christ. I have glorified you on the earth by completing the work you gave me to do.  Now, Father, glorify me in your presence with that glory I had with you before the world existed.” My thought, follow Jesus He is the Living Word that aligns with God.

A Comforting Thought

In Ecclesiastes 4:1, King Solomon said he saw all the oppression that was taking place under the sun: He saw the tears of the oppressed and that they had no comforter. He said power was on the side of their oppressors and that the oppressed had no comforter. Oppression remains whether it be from those who rule over people, anxiety, fear, broken hearts or people feel their lives are meaningless.

    Jesus told His disciples that they were not to rule (lord) over people like those in high positions (Matthew 20:25). Jesus said “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light, and He cares for you (Matthew 11:28-30; 1 Peter 5:7). Moreover, Apostle Paul further encourages believers not to be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present one’s requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard their hearts and their minds in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:6-7). And God says “do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand” (Isaiah 41:10).

What an assurance and comfort in knowing that Jesus cares for us and had the Father send us the Comforter (John 14:26).  Our Father will forever be our Sustainer and Comforter, this is a comforting thought.

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I Am Aware

I am aware that Your Spirit dwells in me, whether I am asleep or awake.  

I am aware you gave me eyes to see and ears to hear.

I am aware You gave me a heart of love and faithfulness.

I am aware that my steps are ordained by You.

I am aware of Your divine love for me and Your people.

I am aware that there are many who are in dire need of Jesus’ redeeming love.

I am aware that the harvest is great, and more workers are needed.

I am aware I am to bear my brother and sister’s burdens.

I am aware You are calling and gathering Your faithful people, Your servants.

I am aware wherever I am, You my Triune God is with me.

I am aware that one day Jesus will return, and the New Kingdom will come.

I am aware that Yours is the kingdom, the power, and the glory forever.

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My Thoughts, The LORD Says

After reading the introduction to Amos and Spurgeon’s thoughts on Amos, my thoughts were that in the Old Testament it was the LORD says, in the New Testament it is Jesus said. God instructed his people to listen to His Son (Mark 9:7). Like Father like Son as the saying goes. Jesus said, “The Son can do nothing by Himself he can do only what he sees the Father doing.  And He speaks the things that the Father has taught Him. As sons and daughters we are to do what Jesus did through the power of the Holy Spirit for the Father instructed His people to listen, and to follow Jesus, in doing what is pleasing to Him. Jesus as God’s Son is faithful over God’s house and His people is His house (Hebrews 3:6).

However, like expressed in Amos some of the Lord’s people have gotten out of the way of fellowship and communion with the Father. He wanted the people to come nearer to Him. The people of God are to walk in communion with Him recognizing that they are a diverse group of people (Spurgeon, CSB). A group of people walking together in a union of concern, enjoyment, and love for each other. One might imply that this generation of people have gone astray from their pure and sincere devotion to Christ, as it is written in Revelation 2:4 some have forsaken the love they had. This ought not to be now for Christ is living in His believers. Therefore, they as the people of God can remain hopeful and confident to the end by the revealing of their faith as real, that keeps them from being blown away (going astray) by the winds of persecution, temptation, or false teaching. The teachings of Jesus and His example of leadership is what we are to follow as explained in the first paragraph. God is saying listen to my Son, He does what I taught Him, and what He has seen me do.

The book of Amos is telling God’s people to be prepared to meet your God, and repent be reconciled (5:14-15), it was the final call to repentance where the people were to seek good and not evil so that they may live and hate evil and love good, putting justice firmly in place in the gate… The commentary in my kindle NIV Bible explains verse 15 as not just being an encouragement to be good, but it is a command for reforming the legal and social system in getting rid of corruption, false accusations, and bribery. My thought is how can this reform happen? The LORD says, by listening to my Son, He does what I taught Him, and what He has seen Me do.

The Light is Sweet

                                                       

                                                 Lift your eyes to the hills.

                                 The Lord Is my light and salvation, whom shall, I fear. 

                          Walk in the liGht and have fellowship with God.

                Fear God and keep His commandments.

 The Lord will be your everlasTing light.

Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness but have the light of life” (John 8:12, NIV).   Ecclesiastes 11:7 tells us that the light is sweet, and it is pleasant for the eyes to behold the sunHow pleasant it is to behold the Son.  He is the light that shines upon the hills. Have you felt the warmth of His sweetness?

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The Empty Tomb and The Risen Son

 Early on the first day of the week while it was still dark Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the entrance. So she came running to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one Jesus loved, and said “they have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we don’t know where they have put him.” If I could go back in time, I would express to Mary that the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead now dwells in His believers and because of His Spirit, His followers have life, can walk in the Fathers statutes, have unconditional love, and serve God and others without self-interest.

 I would tell Mary knowing Jesus is an experience of the fullness of joy and oneness, for He prayed for His disciples that all that the Father has given Him be protected by the power of His name so that they may be one as He and the Father are one. Jesus asked the Father to protect them from the evil one and sanctify them by the truth of His word. Jesus also prayed to the Father for all believers that they would unite as one just as He and the Father are one. Jesus said He has given His believers the glory that the Father has given Him, declaring “I in them and you and me so that they may be brought to complete unity then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.” I would tell Mary Jesus has made himself known in order that the love God has for Him is in His believers and He is in them. He also said that the Spirit of truth will guide them into all truth, not speaking on His own but speaking what He hears, and He will tell them what is yet to come.

 I would tell Mary that Jesus’ gospel message and the kingdom’s imminent coming is being proclaimed all over the world, many are being saved and transformed by the power of the Holy Spirit. And visual technology is how the gospel message along with knowledge that is increasing is being communicated. Reflecting back in scripture God told Daniel that knowledge would increase in Daniel 12:4, which it is also through visual and virtual technology which would amaze her.

Finally, I would tell Mary His followers worship and celebrate Jesus’ crucifixion, burial, and resurrection every year and her finding His empty tomb. In addition, His followers continually thank Him for His saving grace and redeeming love; rejoicing, thanking God in all circumstances, and praying constantly, for it is God’s will for us in Christ Jesus. And the name of Jesus is exalted as He sits at the right hand of the Father and reigns in His kingdom. His followers are waiting patiently for His return. There would be plenty more I could tell Mary or even give her a Bible, for I would not be able to write everything in this short story and some things are better left alone, she would not be able to anything about them only God can and those He has called and equipped to fulfill His purpose. End of story giving God all the glory and the risen Son, Jesus Christ our Savior. Love from the Father.

Keep it Real

Keep it real pastor, real as the life of Jesus.

His death and resurrection.

Keep it real pastor, the red blood of the lamb.

Keep it real pastor, my sin revealed.

Keep it real pastor, persecute me.

Keep it real pastor, hit the nails in the right spots.

Keep it real pastor, allow me to sweat and bleed.

Keep it real pastor, so I can suffer.

Keep it real pastor, so I too share the heartache and pain.

Keep it real pastor, for the truth will prevail.

Keep it real pastor sure it will hurt me.

Keep it real pastor so I can endure.

Keep it real pastor until I persevere.

Keep it real pastor soon my joy and peace will come.

Keep it real pastor until Jesus and I am one.

Reading: 1 Peter 4:1-3

Therefore since Christ suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same mind for he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, that he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh for the lust of men but for the will of God. For we have spent enough of our past lifetime in doing the will of the Gentiles when we walked in lewdness lust drunkenness revelries drinking parties and abdominal idolatries.

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A Walk in the Garden

As a teenager (now 71) this was one of my favorite songs. I remembered it on the first or second day of our tour in Israel as I walked through a garden.

I Come To The Garden Alone

 I Come To The Garden Alone

While The Dew Is Still On The Roses,

And The Voice I Hear Falling On My Ear

The Son Of God Discloses.

And He Walks With Me, And He Talks With Me,

And He Tells Me I Am His Own;

And The Joy We Share As We Tarry There,

None Other Has Ever Known.

He Speaks, And The Sound Of His Voice

Is So Sweet The Birds Hush Their Singing,

And The Melody That He Gave To Me

Within My Heart Is Ringing

The song was written by C. Austin Miles (1868-1946) a Pennsylvanian who was an educated pharmacist turned gospel song publisher and writer who one morning reflected on Christ’s resurrection after reading John 20:1-18. Mr. Miles had a vision on March of 1912, he said he drew his Bible towards him and it opened to his favorite chapter of John 20:1-18,  he goes on to say that the meeting of Jesus and Mary Magdalene had lost none of its power to charm as he read it that day, he seemed to be part of the scene and became a silent witness to that dramatic moment in Mary’s life when she knelt before her Lord and cried, Rabboni!

The article explains that Mr. Miles goes on to say that his hands were resting in the Bible while he stared at his light blue wall. And as the light faded, he seemed to be standing at the entrance of a garden looking down a gently winding path shaded by olive branches. Mr. Miles the author of the song, describes the arrival of Mary, Peter, and John as they gathered at the tomb followed by the appearance of Jesus. This article written about Mr. Miles goes on to say that he awakened in full light gripping the Bible with tense muscles and nerves vibrating under the inspiration of the vision where he began to write quickly the words which formed into a poem.

According to this article Mr. Miles wrote his narrative after reading John 20:1-18, the article explained that he seemed to be a part of the scene. And that he felt he was walking with the risen Christ in the garden. when I sing this song I also feel as I am walking with Jesus.

For further reading you can find this article by the title ‘ History of Hymns: I Come to the Garden Alone’-Discipleship

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His Voice

I listen to hear His voice.

To make the right choice.

He keeps me on a straight and narrow path.

When He speaks and says don’t do it.

I have brought you through it.

 I am His daughter and I belong to no other.

He gave me spiritual eyes to see.

And ears to hear as He leads me.

There are some who attempt to sway me.

But I listen to hear His voice.

So that I will make the right choice.

He keeps me on a straight and narrow path.

As He brings me to His Holy mountain.

Reading:

Psalms 43:3-4

Send me your light and your faithful care, let them lead me; let them bring me to your holy mountain, to the place where you dwell. Then I will go to the altar of God, to God, my joy and my delight.