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Enjoy the messages of Pastor Peggy right here (below)

 

BAKE THAT CAKE

Dear God,

In our message today, in the outside world, in our internet Bethel, please grant that nothing I ever do or say will ever detract from the beauty of Christ working through me. Help me always in all ways to reflect Your glory. This I can only ever do with Your help. Thank You for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, In Jesus Loving Name I Pray, Amen

 

 

In everything we do, we come to that point where we have completed our efforts, and we have to let go and let God. Then we rest. The seventh day is our Sabbath. It is the day God goes to work and brings to completion all of our efforts.

 

 

The simple illustration I have always used is one of baking a cake. If you are going to bake a cake, you have to do your part in the process. That part is your six days of creative activity, where you put all the ingredients of the cake together. Then what do you do? You let go and let God; you let go and let the oven do its work. While you are resting from your effort, the oven, or God, if you will, will go to work and bring to completion your efforts.

 

 

 

When you have understanding faith, (and that means an awareness that God always completes God’s part, and that God is a God of good), then you know you cannot fail. This creative process works, each and every time. We do our part. We put the ingredients of the cake together and put it in the oven, and then we let go and let God.

 

 

 

Of course, what do we often do while that cake is in the oven? We open up the oven door and see how God is doing; we make sure the Divine activity IS really taking place. Then we close the door. We don’t have to do all that when we understand that we really are involved in a creative process with God.

 

 

 

I remember when I came into that awareness. Then the idea came that there really is a system by which I can live. I can really do something about this mess that I have called my life. I can change it. Before then, there was no real system. It was, “Maybe God will act on my behalf, and maybe God won’t.”

 

 

 

Understanding faith is faith based on knowing – knowing that the activity of God is always at work on our behalf. All we have to do is LET IT and to work with it. Do your part, and then – let go and let God. Very often the question arises, “How do I know I have done my part? How do I know there isn’t more for me to do?” When it keeps persisting, and you find that your continuing efforts are bringing more disharmony than harmony, then maybe it might be the time to let go and let God. Stop doing whatever it is you are doing, and let the Divine activity truly take over and bring to completion your efforts.

 

 

 

The words of Paul in his letter to the Philippians (chapter 1, verse 6): “I am sure He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” For us, the day of Jesus Christ can be right now. It is the day of completion. Jesus Christ has already come when you and I realize that God is with us NOW; that God is with us as the essence of our being, the fullness of being, the fullness of life, love, peace, wisdom, and any spiritual quality you can think of. When you have that realization, then for all practical purposes, Jesus Christ has come a second time into your present, daily life. Paul gives us that assurance.

 

 

 

You can count on God to do God’s part in this whole creative process. In the Old Testament, there are several wonderful stories that bear this out – the idea of letting go and letting God at the right time, doing your part and then letting go and letting God step into the picture, and as Paul said, bring to completion all of our efforts.

 

 

 

One of those stories is the story of the Red Sea. The story simply is that Moses led the children of Israel out of Egypt and got them right up to the edge of the Red Sea. This is your story and mine. The Red Sea, spiritually, represents the big obstacle that seems to loom up on our path of unfoldment. What are we going to do? Try to crash our way through it? Run away from it? What are we going to do? As Moses led these people right up to the Red Sea, these are the words he was instructed to speak to the people: “Fear not.” Why? Because the presence and the power and the activity of God was with them and is with you, in this situation.

 

 

 

Friends, if we didn’t have that realization that a God of good was with us all the way, then how could we possibly face these experiences of life?

 

 

 

Moses said, “Fear not. Stand firm and see the salvation of the Lord which God will work for you today.” He said the Lord will fight for you, and you have only to be still. In other words, where is it we find our solution? In the stillness. You don’t find the solution in continued struggle in the outer aspect. There are outer things for us to do. The six days of creative activity are ours to do, but then there is always the Sabbath day, the seventh day.

 

 

 

What did the people do? They became still, right in front of this big obstacle. Do you know what the very next line is in the scripture? As soon as the people became still, the Lord said “Go forward.” In other words, the water parted. In some way, that obstacle dissolved itself and the people were able to move through.

 

 

 

It is the same thing with you and me. Have you ever walked right up to a problem and then stopped, relaxed and became still, in prayer, and then walk right on through the challenge?

 

 

 

Why? Because the Spirit of the Lord has paved the way for you, making it straight, safe, smooth, successful, and helpful. So, the Red Sea story tells us that in the stillness, not struggling in the outer aspect, do our miracles take place.

 

 

 

How about the story of Elijah and the still, small voice? He found God, not in the earthquake, not in the wind, not in the fire, not in the outer distractions of the world, but in the still, small voice within himself. What an experience that was! When you read that account in the nineteenth chapter of First Kings, you will see it builds up to a climax of the still, small voice. You can just sense a time of quiet and peace, a time of stillness, that great peace of mind that we all aspire to. After that, what happens? The Lord tells Elijah to go to work, and gives him three things to do. That is the same way it is with you and me. These periods of coming apart in the quietness and stillness are simply times of preparation for outer activity in the world, for another six days of creative activity.

 

 

 

Then you come to the same point of letting go and letting God, enter the Sabbath rest, and be with the still, small voice within you. Sometimes, we get so caught up in all of this that we want to continue struggling and striving in the outer aspect to bring about our miracle.

 

 

 

Another great story in the scripture is the story of Jehoshaphat in Second Chronicles. He was the king of the southern kingdom of Judea. At one point, three invading armies came in to attack Judea. Jehoshaphat did not know what to do, so he went to a prophet. Do you know what the prophet told him? The prophet told him almost the same words you would have heard at the Red Sea with Moses. They begin with,“Fear not.” The prophet tells Jehoshaphat that “the battle is not yours, but God’s. You will not need to fight in this battle. Take your position. Stand still and see the victory of the Lord on your behalf.”

 

 

 

In other words, the prophet told Jehoshaphat, “Don’t do anything.”

 

 

“You mean, I’m not supposed to do anything?” How are most of us conditioned? “I’ve got to get out there and do something.” But he had done all he could, up to this point. And when the three invading armies came in, two of the armies mistook the third for Jehoshaphat and fought with them. Then those other two invading armies turned on each other and fought each other. Who was standing there not having to lift a finger throughout the whole experience? Jehoshaphat.

 

 

 

Friends, IF he would have entered into battle, he would have been fighting a battle that he had already won. Does that sound familiar? How often we keep struggling and striving when the battle has already been won? In God, there is no battle to be fought. If you need to think in terms of fighting a battle, know in God, the battle has already been won! This whole scenario we find involved in God with us, in the perfect spiritual pattern with us, is something that simply needs to be played out on earth. That is what you and I are attempting to do.

 

 

 

One more story comes out of the Old Testament that tells us about being still and experiencing salvation. It has to do with a king named Hezekiah. (In II Kings 18-20.) The Syrians had come down (a conquering nation) and had invaded the southern kingdom of Judea. They were surrounding Jerusalem, and the chief representative of the Assyrian King was outside the walls, threatening the people, and telling them, “Don’t listen to your King Hezekiah. Come out and surrender to us because you cannot resist the great King of Assyria.”

 

 

 

This is like what happens in us, in that city within us that we call peace of mind, when all the negative thoughts seem to be beseeching our peace of mind and quiet and shouting out at us, “Worry about this; worry about that.” Do you know what King Hezekiah does? He tells the people, “Do not answer him.” In other words, be quiet. Do you know what happens? The Assyrians withdraw. Something happens in the outer aspect.

 

 

 

Haven’t you noticed that when you let go and let God, something happens, and very often it is unexpected. It is always better than you expected. But something happens, and that which you fear, does NOT come about. What does come about is the perfect solution to your problem.

 

 

 

It is interesting, because many Biblical scholars think that at that time at the siege of Jerusalem by the King of Assyria, at about 700 B.C., that a certain psalm was written (Psalm 46). Psalm 46 begins by stating, “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” Do you know what verse 10 of Psalm 46 says? “Be still and know that I am God.” Do you see how that statement ties into what Hezekiah told the people in chapter 18 of II Kings when he said, “Do not answer him”? We can take a cue from that. “Be still and know that I am God.” When you have done your part, simply let go and let God.

 

 

 

At the beginning of this three part series, I began this talk by quoting Ecclesiastes in saying, “For everything is a season; there is a time for every matter under heaven.” I said there was a time to keep silent and a time to speak, but we can also reverse that: there is a time to speak and a time to keep silent. I think my time of speaking is over, and now it is time for me to keep silent. I have done my part; the cake is in the oven. Now, it is time to let go and let God.

 

 

May God give you His gifts of discernment so that the last three weeks of this series become strong in understanding and allow you to live your life in quiet and peaceful happiness, knowing the cake is in the oven and will be done to perfection; and also and most importantly may the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart during these last 3 weeks of this series be acceptable to You, Oh Lord, our God and our Savior.

 

 

God bless you!

 

 

Rest in the silence of prayer. . .

This we do in the name and through the power of the living, loving
presence of God through Jesus Christ. . . Amen.

THE SOUND OF SILENCE

.”Let me … Find refuge under the shelter of your wings.” Psalm 61:4

 

 

There is spiritual power in stillness and peace of mind, through which you can find, and then express, the joy of the Lord.

 

 

 

In the Old Testament book of Ecclesiastes, there is a familiar passage that begins with the words “For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven.” The writer goes on to enumerate a number of things saying that there is a time for this and a time for that. In verse seven of chapter 3, it says, “… a time to keep silence, and a time to speak.”

 

 

 

I guess this moment now – is my time to “speak”.

 

 

 

Whenever we are going to present something, it is always well if we have something to
relate. Sometimes, we cannot outdo silence. Very often in life we are so conditioned to keep the noise going. We get so outer-oriented and so busy that we forget to take time for quiet; take time apart, as Jesus did in His ministry. This is depicted in several places in the Gospel – where Jesus needs to draw away from the crowds, and take a time apart.

 

 

 

This is not a new idea, but are we really practicing it in our lives? In other words, maybe, sometimes, we are talking too much when we need to be silent, and just spiritually listen for the voice of God.

 

 

 

This reminds me of the story of the tourist who came to a country town.

 

 

 

That evening, he went down to the General Store and found a number of men who were gathered around, sitting there in silence. This particular gentleman happened to be a person who liked to talk a lot, so he kept trying to strike up a conversation. Nobody would reply. These good old boys were just sitting around the General Store in silence. Nobody said a word. Finally, the tourist said, “Well, really, is there a law against speaking in this town?”

 

 

 

One of the men spoke up and said, “No, there’s no law against speaking, but we sort of have a general understanding around here that unless one is sure he can improve upon the silence, he does not speak out.”

 

 

 

The idea of improving upon silence is important if we are considering we have something to say.  We must first become silent and let our mind become active.   And along that line of thinking…. Another story that tells us that if we do speak out, we had better know what we have to say and what we’re going to say, and that it is of importance at least to us and possibly, to other people.

 

 

 

There was a gentleman who was buying a horse. The seller of the horse told the man, “This was a very religious horse. There are a couple of key words this horse will tune in to. Any time you want the horse to stop, just say the word ‘Amen,’ because that’s what he stops on. Then, when you want the horse to go forward, say ‘Praise the Lord.’ You got it?”

 

 

 

The buyer said, “Yes, I understand that, and I’m willing to go with it.” So he bought the horse, remembering that it was a very religious horse.

 

 

 

One day, he took the horse out for a ride. While they were galloping along in this field, the horse began galloping a little too fast. The gentleman forgot the key word to stop the horse (which was ‘Amen’). He was hollering out just about every word you could imagine, but the horse just kept galloping. The gentleman looked up and noticed he was heading toward a steep cliff. The horse kept on going, and the gentleman began to panic. All of a sudden he remembered the key word that would stop the horse, and he cried out “Amen!” The horse stopped right on the edge of the cliff. The man looks down and sees the big drop, looks up to heaven and says, “Praise the Lord.”

 

 

 

This story keys into one thing, in particular. That is, if we have something to say, we hope it is the right thing to say, and that it will be helpful to ourselves and to other people.

 

 

 

The idea of silence is a very important idea because it brings with it peace of mind. And peace of mind is the one thing we all strive to achieve. Of all the blessings you will receive in prayer, there is one that stands out among all the others, and that is peace of mind. I don’t think we can accomplish very much in life without peace of mind.

 

 

 

We don’t have to look very far around the world to see that there are plenty of places in the world that are still in need of peace. But if we are going to have peace out there, we must first establish peace within ourselves.

 

 

 

One of the greatest ways to learn to establish peace within ourselves is to practice the silence, to give ourselves those opportunities to have times of real quiet, prayer, and meditation, and to be in the silence where there is just ourselves and God. These periods of silence will lead to a greater degree of peace of mind, without which nothing of lasting value has ever been accomplished.

 

 

 

The Bible brings this idea out in many different ways. One particular section in the Bible is full of a lot of racket and noise, and that is the book of Revelation. The sixth chapter (please read to get the full effect) in the book of Revelation is where the seven seals are broken and opened. When the first six seals are opened, there are all kinds of noises that take place; things that the writer describes as the upset of the universe that he says must happen before God will reveal God’s self to you, and wipe out all the evil, and establish the kingdom of God.

 

 

 

Remember, that does not literally have to happen. What can happen is that we can establish peace, right here and now, as we let God have God’s perfect way in and through us. There is always a hard way to learn spirituality and an easy way.

 

 

 

In the first four chapters, the four horsemen appear. Then, when the fifth is broken, you have a picture of the martyrs who are slain. They are under the altar crying out, “Oh, Lord, how long before you will avenge us.” It is a very different concept of God than we often have. It depicts a vengeful God who is going to carry out retribution upon his people. This is the JUST my, as the writer’s, point of view of this passage.

 

 

 

Then, when the sixth seal is broken, there are all kinds of cosmic disorders. There are earthquakes and upsets all over the place.

 

 

 

Finally, in the next chapter, there is a nice interlude, a time of quiet. Then, in chapter eight, the first verse, the seventh and final seal is broken.

 

 

 

Do you know what it says then? There is NO more noise and no more racket. It just says simply that there was silence in heaven for about half an hour. Can you feel that? Then the noise starts again, according to the writer.

 

 

 

What a relief that must have been. What a relief it is, also, in our lives when we can stop the racket and the noise of the world from intruding on our consciousness and peace of mind, TO KNOW that because God is with us, we always have a direct access to inner peace, that we can turn to God. We can take comfort in that silence of spiritual thought.

 

 

 

Probably one of the greatest stories is in the New Testament – the idea of the stilling of the storm. Jesus was out on the waters on the Sea of Galilee with His disciples, and a storm comes up. Jesus is asleep in the boat. A little lesson here is to remember that God never sleeps. We may sleep, but God, with us NOW, never sleeps. Anyway, the way it is shown in the scripture is that Jesus is asleep in the boat and the disciples wake Him. They ask Him something like, “Don’t you care about us?” All Jesus does is speak the word, “Peace, be still, peace, be still,” and the waters are calmed.

 

 

 

You and I have power to still the storms in our lives. How? By simply speaking the word of peace in prayer, we can take command of our consciousness, and of our lives. We are in charge of our world. We have this power through God.  All power is found in the silence. The Bible says that we have been given dominion. In that power, we find whatever it is we need to accomplish in life, and we find the power to do it.

 

 

 

It is really in the quiet that things are accomplished. We know there is great power in the silence and the peace of mind that it brings. It was the same idea the poets address, in that you, could hear the silence. The sound of the silence can be almost deafening. But what a beautiful sound it is, because you feel the spiritual power it also brings.

 

 

 

Think of Psalm 23 which says, “The Lord is my shepherd . . . He leads me besides still waters; he restores my soul.”

 

 

 

So, whatever it takes to enter into a moment of silence, let’s do that.

 

 

Let’s create a practice in the silence which provides certain steps to entering the time of silence which leads to that blessed peace of mind. This then becomes the foundation from which we can go forth and accomplish things in life.

 

 

 

Most of you here,reading this today, are probably working at a job in the world. That is wonderful. But there is a lot of worldly racket out there. Very often you come to church, to our Bethel, to services or prayer group to experience a time of quiet and hopefully, to gain some insight into practical, helpful daily living, and what everybody really wants – to still the racket of the world, once again. It always serves that purpose, and gives a peace beyond (human) understanding.

 

 

 

This practice in the silence is a little technique to help us become quiet and to attain that peace of mind, from which we can then go forth and really do wonderful things in life.

 

 

 

1) The first step is relaxation.

 

Take command of your mind and body; speak the words Jesus spoke to the storm, “Peace, be still.” It doesn’t take very long to find that your mind and body will respond to that, and there will be a sense of peace.

 

 

Once you have achieved that state of relaxation, then comes—

 

 

 

2) The concentration.

 

 

You begin to concentrate on a certain idea, a Divine idea. You don’t worry about something or stew about some problem you have, but maybe just concentrate on the words “solution” or “answer;” whatever it might be, without effort or strain. Concentrate on a particular idea. You will know what that idea is because it will be revealed to you, through you, at exactly the right moment and in the right way. After the concentration comes—

 

 

 

3) A time of meditation.

 

 

We just let the free flow of thought take place; we are one with the presence and power of God.

After meditation—

 

 

4) Realization.

 

 

The answer comes; an idea is born in our consciousness which is the solution we have been seeking.

 

 

I have found that sometimes the realization, or the answer, just doesn’t come right at that moment. It may be after I’ve left that time of silence and gone on about my life; but at the right time and in the right way, there is the answer. It comes exactly at the right time and in the right way.

 

 

 

The fifth step in this whole process of the practice in the silence—

 

 

5) Simply an act of gratitude or thanksgiving.

 

 

We give thanks to God for the process which we’ve just entered and participated in, and for the answer we know is forthcoming, (if it has not already come at the time of silence). Thanksgiving is not just a wonderful way to end any activity, but to begin the activity as well. So maybe before we begin the practice in the silence, we should begin with a note of thanksgiving, because you know, in God, the answer is already there. All we have to do is let it unfold in our lives at the right time and in the right way.

 

 

 

Sometimes, people get the idea that when we enter a time of quiet or stillness that it is a “cop-out” from the world; that we are trying to avoid responsibility.

 

 

 

We can become still and quiet BEFORE we do anything. The moment of stillness is not really idleness but a real period of intensified focused activity. There is always time in the creative process for you and me to become still, and that is the time when God takes over and brings an increase in our future efforts, in both Divine inspiration and strength.

 

 

 

The first chapter of Genesis is the creation story. Author Emmett Fox says that the six days of creation, before the Sabbath, are not the days that God works, spiritually, but are the days we work, when we put forth our effort and do our part. Then, we always come to the Sabbath, which is a time of rest for ourselves. It is the time when we have to let go and let God.  (an interesting hypothesis)

 

 

 

In everything we do, we come to that point where we have completed our efforts, and we have to let go and let God. Then we rest. The seventh day is our Sabbath. It is the day God goes to work and brings to completion all of our efforts.

 

 

 

Let’s focus on these steps and the glory of our Lord as He joins us in quiet meditation and brings His will and His love directly to us.
 

 

Words aren’t perfect but sentiment is good.

Prayer Connections

Philippians 4:6Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and petition with thanksgiving present your requests to God.

 

 

 

As you know, prayer is our focus in the Bethel and in our private lives. But is it enough? Let’s discuss this.

 

 

 

Romana Banuelos was just 16 years old, living in Mexico, when her husband left her with two little children. She was poverty stricken, so she and her two babies got on a bus and came to Los Angeles to work. The problem was they did not speak a word of English.    She had just seven dollars in her pocket. She went to a cab driver and gave him the name and address of a distant relative who lived in Los Angeles.
He delivered her at the house and charged her seven dollars. That was all of her money. She got a job washing dishes. Then she got a job making tacos from midnight to six in the morning. From this job she saved $500 to buy a taco machine. Today she manages the largest Mexican wholesale food business in the world. And she was hand-picked by a former President of the United States to be the 37th Treasurer of the United States. Romana said, “I achieved this because I believed. I believed. I prayed and I believed.”

 

 

 

Dr. Norman Vincent Peale told the story of a surgeon who talked about the most exciting surgery he ever performed. This surgery was performed on a little girl who only had a 10% chance of survival.

 

 

 

The surgeon said, “She was a tiny little thing under the sheet, ashen gray face, so frail, so weak and helpless. Just as the nurses were going to prepare her for anesthesia, she looked at me and said, ‘Every night before I go to sleep I pray. May I pray now?’ At that time I was having troubles of my own with my son and in my home, and I had become a very unhappy person. So I answered her, ‘Sure, honey, and pray for your doctor too.’ Then she prayed, ‘Jesus, tender Shepherd, hear me. Watch your little lamb tonight. Through the darkness be Thou near me, keep me safe ’til morning light. And Jesus, bless the doctor, because he’s got troubles, too.’

 

 

 

“It just broke me up. Embarrassed, I turned away from the others and pretended to wash up again so I could control myself and get rid of the tears. ‘Oh God,’ I prayed, ‘In my whole life if you ever use me to save a life, use me now to save this little girl!’   The surgery was a success! Her life was saved!”

 

 

 

But the surgeon later said, that he felt as if he had been the one operated on that morning! During that surgery, he felt a great power come through him – a Divine power like he had never felt before in his life. He said that many times in the past, during surgery, he would have a lot of nervous energy, but there was a great, calm that came over him that he had not felt before during this surgery. Then he said, “It was if something was guiding my hand. Through this calm, I was able to perform surgery with an intricate precision that I, of myself, could not do.” As he turned to God in prayer, the surgeon’s life improved too.

 

 

 

1 Peter 3:12For the eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous, and his ears are open to their prayers…

 

 

 

Dr. Alexia Carrel is a medical doctor who won a Nobel Prize. He wrote: “Prayer is the most powerful form of energy that one can generate. The influence of prayer on the human mind and body is as demonstrable as that of secreting glands. Its results can be measured in terms of increased buoyancy, greater intellectual vigor, moral stamina, and a deeper understanding of human relationships. Prayer is indispensable to the fullest development of personality. Only in prayer do we achieve that complete harmonious assembly of mind, body, and spirit which gives the frail human need its unshakable strength. When we pray we liken ourselves with the inexhaustible motive that spins the universe.”

 

 

 

You have heard about Michelangelo and his wondrous works of art. He created some of the most fantastic statues that have ever been made. But do you know that he only finished fourteen of them? He worked on 44 statues, but he only finished 14 of them.
If you were to go and look at some of his statues, it would take your breath away to see the beauty. But it would also take your breath away to see some of the unfinished work.
Out of a piece of marble you might see a hand, a wrist, some fingers, and part of a hand. On another you might see a knee, part of a leg, and part of a foot. Seeing these you might have the thought, “Of all the tragedies in life, the greatest one is for a person to live and not be fully developed; not be fully formed into what he/she could be.”
To only be a good hand is not enough. To only be a good leg is not enough. You have to be complete. Completeness cannot be found in just the human being alone but is found in your connection and oneness with God. So many times, you feel like you just cannot be complete because you just don’t feel centered in your thoughts, emotions, or spirit.

 

 

 

Yet, when we take the time to connect in prayer, we connect with our God-given possibilities. We then become whole. It is only through our connection with God that we are whole. When you take the time to connect with God, you take the time to connect with your best possibilities. You connect with all possibility. It comes through your mind, and with God, nothing is impossible to you.

 

 

 

You connect with God, your Creator, the life-energy behind a perfect hand, the life-energy behind a perfect leg. When you connect with God, you connect with strength that you didn’t think you had. You connect with God and all can be well again.

 

 

 

This is called “Into the Day”

 

I got up early one morning
And rushed right into the day;
I had so much to accomplish
I didn’t have time to pray.
Troubles just tumbled about me
And heavier came each task.
Why doesn’t God help me, I wondered,
God answered, “You didn’t ask.”
I tried to come into God’s presence,
I used all my keys at the lock.
God gently and lovingly chided,
“Why child, you didn’t knock.”
I wanted to see joy and beauty,
But the day toiled on gray and bleak,
I called on the Lord for the reason–
God said, “You didn’t seek.
I woke up early this morning
And paused before entering the day.
I had so much to accomplish
That I had to take time to pray.
(Author Unknown)

 

 

 

In your life, prayer is like opening a floodgate of God’s perfect good. Behind that floodgate is a force, well beyond your human power, of absolute good-even greater good than you can conceive of from your human mind. Prayer releases latent energies. It renews. It gives you vitality and power in the flesh.
When a man picked up his automobile at the dealership, they wanted him to test the engine. (The wanted to impress him with the power of the engine.) So they had him put the car in park and they said, “Now, rev up this engine to 5,000 rpm.”
The car is in park, and he revs the engine up. As the car shakes and quivers with suppressed energy, he thought, “This is like me, often all my potential is in park.” The moment the energy is released, the moment the car is put into drive, or the person is put into drive then there is tremendous forward movement.

 

 

 

Drive, in the human, is prayer – prayer in the Jesus Christ way, praying, believing without doubt and knowing that what you are praying for is one with you, and that you are going to receive.

 

 

 

The soul needs to be fed-not a food that you get at a restaurant, but soul feeding from God for your soul. You may be stuffed with food, but your soul is often starved. It might not have been fed for a long time. You may be soul starved, and you do not know why. There may be an uneasiness about your life.

 

 

 

When your soul is fed in prayer, there is an inward poise, peace, well-being, and dominion. To neglect this, causes you to stumble through life overburdened. In time, we become irritable, tired, and depleted.

 

 

 

Prayer releases old pressures. Stress builds silently, and then all of a sudden you are like a pressure keg, and you do not know why, but you feel like you’re going to explode. Nothing has happened in the present moment, but still you are so uneasy inside of yourself. You know you have to release this some way, somehow. Prayer releases these old energies, feelings, emotions, and the dormant things of spirit. It refreshes you with new life. It heals diseases, but that is an effect of those old pressures. Prayer is the ultimate healing power.

 

 

 

 

In order to have successful prayer, you have to have a rhythm, a regularity. If I were doing this whole lesson about air, and trying to tell you how good air is, and you were to take in just one breath, it would not do. VERY soon you would be depleted again. The thing that makes air successful is the regularity of breathing. And the thing that makes prayer successful is a regularity of going to God, a regular talking to God and a regular listening to God. You become continually refreshed.

 

 

 

Today get into the rhythm of the regularity of prayer, and bathe yourself in it mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. Then something happens-a quiet powerful change inside of you. New spiritual energy comes through you. You feel so good. You feel a transformation taking place.

 

 

 

Jesus said to pray continually. You might ask, “I could pray for a little while, but how am I going to pray, and pray, and pray?” How do you talk to your best friend for so long? Jesus said to make not your prayers a drab, boring statement of the same thing every time. Talk to God as your best friend. Every prayer should be a brand new experience. It should be new and thrilling-a dynamic new adventure of spiritual communication.

 

 

 

One woman who was a professional bowler said, “I go to God if I’m going bowling. I take God with me. God knows how to bowl better than I do.” A businessman gave this advice, “If you’re going to a business meeting, take your silent partner with you and you talk as you would to a fine acquaintance that has been with you every second of your life.

 

 

 

Talk to God, like your mother talked with you when you were sick as a child. Your mother stayed with you many nights when you were sick in bed. While you slept, mother stayed awake and looked over you. Talk to God as a father who has been with you every second, believed in you, and was there to teach you to play baseball and ride a bike. Be with God like that. Make it a voyage of spiritual discovery together where you are believing in a power that is greater than yourself.

 

 

 

 

The most powerful prayer that we can pray is united prayer. Almost always in the Bible when Jesus sent out disciples, he sent them out two-by-two, so that they would not forget, and continually remind themselves of their spiritual power. So, find a prayer partner to pray with. Jesus said in Matthew 18:20 “Where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I in the midst of them.”  I think that is a power of our prayer group on Thursday evenings.  We gather as a harmonious group, all with prayer and love in our hearts.

 

 

 

 

Ella Wheeler Wilcox wrote:
“We are lifters here. We are lifters for all of humankind. That is our mission. When we pray here, we pray for everyone, we pray with people who are not of our own faith. We pray on their behalf, and believe and listen.
You are a part of this ministry. You can be a Baptist, a Methodist, a Catholic, or whatever you are. You are a part of this ministry because we are all part of the ministry of God.

 

 

That’s the mission. We are accepting the mission of following Jesus Christ by upholding the very best about another person, believing that they can be healed, or they can have a second chance, or they can have God work in their lives.   We are not saying that we have the power. We are acknowledging that God has the power.

 

 

 

We need you to pray with us and to uphold the high watch for yourself and other people. It will be a continuous prayer with a rhythm that sweeps around this globe. A tremendous power will be generated. There will be extra-ordinary healings, and an uplifting and restoring of our souls.

 

 

 

We all recognize the advantage of prayer co-operation. It is much easier to hold ourselves in the true thinking when we are associated with those who think as we do. It was the work of Jesus to establish in our spiritual consciousness a spiritual center with which everyone might become associated mentally, regardless of geographical location. He said to His disciples, “I go to prepare a place for you . . . that where I am, there ye may be also.” That place is a state of spirituality right here in our midst, and we can at any time connect ourselves with it by centering our mind on Jesus and silently asking His help in our demonstrations. It is a prayer of one who is on the way seeking the guidance of The One who has passed over the same road, and who knows all the hard places and how to get through them.”

 

 

 

To find solace, comfort, love, understanding, peace and grace, we want The One who is above all and all, and such a One-we find in Jesus Christ. .Jesus Christ is the head of this ministry. I encourage you to be in prayer to and with Him at all times.

 

 

 

 

Let us pray:

Dear God, from this place, this body of believers turn to You, we are asking that a special spiritual awareness be given to each person praying. We ask that each person being prayed for will be blessed, that God’s healing light and love will radiate through all of us and all those with whom we pray, and throughout all Creation.
1 Thessalonians 4:2Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. 3. And pray for us too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ…..4. Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should.   In Jesus Christ’s name . . . Amen.

Blessed Nation

 

(I want to post this early so we can focus on the meaning of our Independence all week.)

 

 

 

 

 

Psalm 33:1-15. Please read this Psalm in its entirety………….. a portion follows: Let all the earth fear the Lord; let all the people of the world revere Him. For He spoke, and it came to be; He commanded, and it stood firm. The Lord foils the plans of the nations; He thwarts the purposes of the peoples. The the plans of the Lord stand firm forever, the purposes of His heart through all generations, Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord, the people He chose for His inheritance, From heaven the Lord looks down and sees all mankind; from His dwellng place He watches all who live on earth – He who forms the hearts of all, who considers everything they do.

 

 

 

 

This week we celebrated and continue to celebrate the independence of North America – the United States as well as Canada share a holiday this week. This message goes out to all. It will mention mostly the U.S. but with arms that encircle all of this northern hemisphere.

 

 

 

I think that most – if not all of us – would agree that our Nations have been blessed. We have been blessed materially, geographically, educationally, and technologically.

 

 

 

As we celebrate the birth our Nation all this week, focusing on July 4th, we need to be Thankful to the Lord and seek Him for His continual blessings in the future.

 

 

 

Each day, we are reminded again and again (as young men and women have died in service to our country), that our freedom comes with a high price. Men and women throughout the history of our Country have given their lives to make this country what it is – and we thank them for our Independence!

 

 

 

It was this way from the beginning – out of the 56 who signed the Declaration of Independence:

– 5 were captured and tortured by the British before they died.
– 12 had their homes ransacked and burned to the ground.
– 2 lost their sons in the war.
– 1 had two sons captured.
– 9 fought and died from wounds or the hardships of war.
– Carter Braxton of Virginia, a wealthy planter and trader, saw his ships swept from the seas by the British Navy. He sold his home to pay his debts and died in poverty.
– Thomas McKean was forced to move his family almost constantly because he was so hounded by the British. He served in Congress without pay and also died in poverty.
– Thomas Nelson’s home was seized by the British at the Battle of Yorktown and used as a command post. He urged Gen. George Washington to open fire on it. The home was destroyed and Nelson died bankrupt.

 

 

 

Scripture is not silent about Nations. We learn that God is greater than all Nations, that Nations come and go, that God uses Nations as part of His plans, and that people from all Nations will be part of His Kingdom.

 

 

 

Perhaps as we celebrated this Independence Day during the week and onward, we ought to consider that real dangers of our Blessings with God are not from external conflicts and challenges (like terrorism), but are internal ones.

 

 

God’s Word teaches us specifically what a Nation is to do in order to receive and continue in the Blessings of God.

 

 

 

Blessed is the Nation s “whose God is the Lord.” vs.12

 

 

– As we read this passage we see very clearly what it means to be a Nation whose God is the Lord:

 

 

Vs. 1-3; A People who acknowledge and Worship the Living the Lord.
– Vs. 4, 6; A people who seek to know and do what the Word of God calls them to do.
– Vs. 8; A People who FEAR the Lord and show Him reverence.
– Vs. 10-11; A People who seek the Lord’s plans, not their own.
– Vs. 13-15; A People who know that they are accountable to the Lord – He watches them and considers everything they do.

 

 

 

– To be a Nation whose God is the Lord, we must be People who reject all false gods in our country today:

 

– the god of material wealth.
– The god of worldly pleasure.
– The god of worldly approval.
– The god of physical appearance
– The god of power and influence.

 

 

Blessed is the Nation that seeks Righteousness, vs. 5

 

 

Prov. 14:34; “Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people.”
60:12; “The nations and kingdoms which will not serve the Lord will perish, they will be utterly ruined.”

 

 

 

Righteousness is about doing what is Right, not sinning – it is about serving the Lord. That is why we have to pray for our leaders that they will serve the Lord and do what is right; because it is God’s way and not just politically correct. It is about doing what is right within our country as well as our dealings around the world with other countries.
1) we are not Righteous by nature… we are sinners. 2) We do not become Righteous just by doing what is good. 3) We are made Righteous through Jesus Christ (2Cor. 5:21, “God made him – Jesus- who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the Righteousness of God.”

 

 

 

Blessed is the Nation that Trust in God. 33:21; “In Him our hearts rejoice, for we TRUST in His Holy Name.”

 

 

Psalm 20:6-7 “Some nations boast of armies and of weaponry, but our Boast is in the Lord our God. Those nations will collapse and perish; we will arise to stand firm and sure!”

 

 

 

What do we put our trust in as a Nation? Our Military? Our intelligence? Our technology? Our history? According to Scripture, Blessed is the Nation whose Trust is in the Lord. That Trust has to be more than a slogan on our currency. It has to be present dependence upon the Lord.

 

 

 

At the first Constitutional Convention, the delegates were frustrated due to the burdens of the hour. They were burdened and harassed by tremendous crisis. They were so fragmented that they were just about to throw out the whole concept of a constitution completely. Just then Benjamin Franklin rose to his feet and said:

 

 

“Gentlemen, if it is true that not one single petal from any flower falls to the ground without escaping God’s attention, will the distress of this nation go unheeded? Let us therefore determine to seek His face.” They promptly got down on their knees and when they arose from prayer, the slogan, e pluribus unum was born: One out of many!

 

 

We are called to Trust in the name of the Lord!

 

 

God has blessed us as a Country! We celebrate that fact every 4th of July as we have for over 225 years. But what about His Blessings for us as a country during this week and the years to come?  We need to focus every day and thank our Lord for His blessings daily in prayer.

 

 

The Lord not only gives us His Word to teach us about the Blessings of God for a Nation, but also provides us with a test:

 

 

– How are we as the United States of America (and Canada) doing at making God the Lord of our Nation?
– How are we doing at Seeking Righteousness?
– How are we in Trusting His Name, more than ourselves and military or our faulty government?

 

 

What can we, as His People, do for the Future Blessings of America and Canada?

 

1. We can live for Christ – be salt and light where we are.
2. We can pray: for our leaders, for revival.
3. We can depend on the Lord for our true source of Freedom, courage, and spiritual power.

 

 

 

President Trump quoted this week, “And, above all else, we know this: In America, we don’t worship government. We worship God.”

 

 

I pray each of you had a wonderful celebration as you honored our nation.  And  may our celebrating continue as we celebrate our freedom, our independence. And may we all make Jesus our Savior & Lord, may we seek Righteousness, and Trust in the Lord for our lives, families and our Country!

 

 

 

The FOURTH MAN

We are Called to Worship. (Based upon my notes from Pastor Nate Ruch’s sermon on Sunday June 25, 2017)

Scripture Text: Daniel Chapter 3

20 years after the Israelites were taken captive to Babylon, Daniel and his 3 friends, who were tested and tried in Chapter 2, were still thriving. They were high-ranking in the Babylonian court, they were loyal servants to a cruel, narcissistic king, obedient whenever it was possible for them; but they were still loyal to the living God. They had boundaries that could not be violated and loyalties which were non-negotiable. These men had now spent more time in captivity than they had spent before captivity. They did not have their daily devotional reading, a church family, a Spiritual Family Chat, or a Bible to keep them in line. They had the previous wise choices of their strong characters, and wisdom which had developed from the knowledge they had gained of God and His Kingdom, before being taken away from home and family.

And the King? Nebuchadnessar had been warned in a dream which Daniel had interpreted: You are the head of gold, the king of kings—but your kingdom shall be crushed and taken from you, just as the statue in his dream was crushed. His reactionary proclamation that “there is no god like the God of Daniel who is able to interpret my dream…”  Now we find him twenty years later, having forgotten about what happened to the statue in his dream, and having built a huge icon of himself to be worshipped! Instead of bowing his knee to the God of Daniel, he insisted that everyone’s knee should bow instead to him! Little did Nebuchadnezzar realize it, but he had been “set up” by God, used to show God’s superiority through His loyal worshippers.

The goal of such a call to worship was unity in the nation, establishment of loyalty. Such “statues” are still being built today, and the call to leadership is to worship them.

We are born with  a call to worship. There is a God-shaped cavity within each of us that can only be filled with God. When we unwisely choose to fill it with the worship of other gods, we violate our divine purpose.  Shadrach, Meshach and Abednigo were ordered to bow down and worship the statue of evil King Nebuchadnezzar; but they made the choice to refuse, knowing that it would likely cost them their lives. They did not know the end of the story, as we do.

A decision like this can not remain private and go unnoticed. It is seen and known by all! As there are haters and tattlers now who seek to betray and destroy the loyal followers of God, so there were in this day as well. The haters hated and the tattlers tattled, and the three men were condemned to die in the fiery furnace. Yet they remained firm in their choice.

What kind of faith is this?

  1. They had faith that had moved from “What if?” to “EVEN if!”. They declared that their God was able to deliver them—but even if He did not, they would not waver in their worship of only Him.

     “Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego replied, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you.  If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God whom we serve is able to save us. He will rescue us from your power, Your Majesty. But even if he doesn’t, we want to make it clear to you, Your Majesty, that we will never serve your gods or worship the gold statue you have set up.” (Daniel 3:16-18)

    They did not have commercial faith, which is based on rewards or outcome. They had true faith, based on the Personhood of God. He is Who He says He is, regardless of what the eyes could see.

  2. They had non-negotiable faith.  When the music was played (the powerful cue) they were determined not to bow, no matter how strong the pull. They would pass the test of the importance of their priorities. Their convictions were not based on comfort or convenience.
  3. They had a tested and tried faith. Faith that cannot be tested cannot be trusted.  They had developed this endurance and strength over a lifetime of wise choices of obedience. It did not just miraculously show up in the eleventh hour.

God’s Presence is with us in the Fire! Emmanuel means “God is with us”.  Whether we inevitably perish in the fire or are miraculously delivered as these men were, God is with us! In life or in death. The book of Job records Job saying, “Though He slay me, yet will I trust in Him.”

19 Nebuchadnezzar was so furious with Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego that his face became distorted with rage. He commanded that the furnace be heated seven times hotter than usual. 20 Then he ordered some of the strongest men of his army to bind Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego and throw them into the blazing furnace. 21 So they tied them up and threw them into the furnace, fully dressed in their pants, turbans, robes, and other garments. 22 And because the king, in his anger, had demanded such a hot fire in the furnace, the flames killed the soldiers as they threw the three men in. 23 So Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, securely tied, fell into the roaring flames.

24 But suddenly, Nebuchadnezzar jumped up in amazement and exclaimed to his advisers, “Didn’t we tie up three men and throw them into the furnace?”

“Yes, Your Majesty, we certainly did,” they replied.

25 “Look!” Nebuchadnezzar shouted. “I see four men, unbound, walking around in the fire unharmed! And the fourth looks like a god[g]!”

26 Then Nebuchadnezzar came as close as he could to the door of the flaming furnace and shouted: “Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, servants of the Most High God, come out! Come here!”

So Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego stepped out of the fire. 27 Then the high officers, officials, governors, and advisers crowded around them and saw that the fire had not touched them. Not a hair on their heads was singed, and their clothing was not scorched. They didn’t even smell of smoke!

28 Then Nebuchadnezzar said, “Praise to the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego! He sent his angel to rescue his servants who trusted in him. They defied the king’s command and were willing to die rather than serve or worship any god except their own God. (Daniel 3:19-28)

When we worship God BEFORE the test, He joins us IN the test. However, He is not the only one who sees us in the fire. Our enemies and those around us also see our faithful obedience and loyalty when we stand tall when everyone else bows down. Evil will be overcome by our testimony. TT

“Don’t be afraid of what you are about to suffer. The devil will throw some of you into prison to test you. You will suffer for ten days. But if you remain faithful even when facing death, I will give you the crown of life.” Rev 2:10

When the Lamb broke the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of all who had been martyred for the word of God and for being faithful in their testimony. (Rev. 6:9)

Then I saw thrones, and the people sitting on them had been given the authority to judge. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their testimony about Jesus and for proclaiming the word of God. They had not worshiped the beast or his statue, nor accepted his mark on their foreheads or their hands. They all came to life again, and they reigned with Christ for a thousand years. (Rev 20:4)

So, what are your “non-negotiables”?  How big or how hot a fire would it take before you would give in? Are you about the business of building up your strength and endurance NOW, before the hottest fires are upon you? Are you making wise choices about who and how you will worship? Are you following Your Father with loyalty and perseverance? NOW is the time to prepare for the coming trials and testings.  Daily set your focus on the FOURTH MAN IN THE FIRE! He will not let you down!

Let’s pray: Lord, so often we wonder about ourselves when we compare ourselves with Bible characters like Shadrach, Mesach and Abednigo…Would I stand the test? Would I persevere to the end, not knowing how the story would end, or would I cave in? I want to be one of those who will stand by You to the end, as You stood by me to the end. But I am so weak, so filled with fear, doubt and I lack courage. Your word does not ask me to live in the tomorrow, but in the today. TODAY I want to make choices that will temper my faith and endurance. TODAY I want to worship only my God! TODAY I want to stand true. Lord, without You I  can do nothing. But with Your Spirit living within me, anything is possible. Lord, please come and fill me anew and redirect my purposes along that path that You have marked out for me so that I will be found faithful and true, and my faith will be non-negotiable!

In Jesus name, Amen.

 

Get Yourself Closer to God

 

Jennifer Camp  (ibelieve.com)

You are the beloved. You are adored. You are worth fighting for.

Even if the opposite of this feels most real.

Even if you don’t know how to take the first step to believing this.

Even if you don’t know how to get close to God.

I want to share with you what practical things I do to fight for my own heart when God feels oh, so far away. It has been a season of hard things—and a season of blessing.

There is so much more to say. But for now, let’s start with a simple list.

Are you ready?

1. Get your eyes off of you.

When we are focused on our own self—our problems, our issues, our worries, our fears—we forget to look at God. This is super hard to do, right? Particularly when we feel overwhelmed. Stuck. Alone. But we need to do this.

We need to keep the eyes of our heart on God. His abundance. His presence. Right here. Right now. So, be bold—and, even if you don’t feel like it, praise Him for His goodness. Praise Him for His love. Name His attributes and look up verses that remind us of who He is. Speak them aloud. Write them down. Declare their truth over yourself.

Remember:

“He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.  I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with his pinions, and under his wings you will find refuge” (Psalm 91)

2. Confess to God your brokenness.

Screenshot 2015-11-04 17.47.46

Ask Him to show you how your heart is struggling. Be specific. Don’t hold back. Don’t worry about your words—how to communicate what your heart is saying.

 

“Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts, and see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!” (Psalm 139: 23-24).

Just say what is on your mind. Trust your heart. The Holy Spirit will guide you toward Him.

3. Make note of what He’s given you.

Ask God to show you how He has shown up for you in the past. Remind your own heart of His faithfulness, the gifts He has given you, the way He continues to press in. How has He healed you? How has He pursued you? How has He helped you? This is a prayer He loves to answer.

4. Listen to music that creates space in your heart for God.

When we are stuck—when our mind knows that God is close, but our heart struggles to believe it and move toward Him, it can help to listen to music that opens up our heart to Him. There are certain songs I turn to when I am lonely, when I am far away from my Father and I am desperate for Him to pull me close. They are songs that help my heart be receptive to the Holy Spirit. They usher Him in. They open up heart and mind and spirit to receive more of Him—more of all He has.

5. Change your posture.

Wake up. Get your body positioned to better receive the presence of the Holy Spirit. This might mean finding a place of quiet, of removing yourself from distractions. Do whatever it takes—physically—to help yourself be present to Him. Get on your knees. Or stand up. Lie down. Or raise your hands. Dance. Or run. Walk. Or be still. Concentrate your whole self on thinking about who He is, how He loves you, how He is with you, how He never leaves.

Screenshot 2016-03-10 20.43.286. Let your imagination run beautifully wild.

Picture yourself with Him—with Jesus, or with God, the Father. Invite in the Holy Spirit and give Him full access to your mind. Let Him open up your heart. Ask Him to show you a scene—just you and God or Jesus. Stay there. What does He look like? What is He doing? What are you doing? Where are you with Him? How do you feel? Stay there as long as you can. Stay. Let him show you what it is He sees when He looks at you. Let Him love you. Let Him come.

7. Do something different.

If you normally sit down and worship—stand up. If you normally stand, sit down, kneel, or lie down on the floor. Tell your mind to get out of your own way. Let your body respond to your heart. It is telling it what to do to wake yourself up to God’s presence. Trust it.

Screenshot 2017-06-22 09.49.078. Just do it—(do what you love).

This might mean finding beauty—immersing yourself in it. Or going on an adventure. Or resting and reading a book. You are created to experience God’s presence in a way that is unique to you. Invite in the Holy Spirit to steer you toward an activity that brings you joy—and, in that joy, helps you experience God’s presence. And then do it. Break the agreements you have made with the enemy about who you are, and who God is. Then you will hear Him and see Him and move with Him more easily.

9. Be a rebel.

Go against what your mind is telling you is true about yourself, and about God, and about the world that is actually false. Our Savior has risen up against the lies about ourselves and about the truth of who God—and who our Savior—is. He rises up again and again, just as the lies sneak in again and again. Jesus never forsakes us. He never leaves us. He knows our hearts and how we need Him. He knows the false messages of the enemy and entreats us to pray—activate the armor He has given us. We can’t be passive, sisters. We have what it takes to stand, to be bold, to send to the foot of the cross the lies that threaten to pull us under.

10. Accept healing.

This is big. This is the beginning of our life with Jesus—the laying down of our old life for His. This deep healing is difficult to do on our own. God welcomes us into community with Him—and into community with Saints—so that we can help each other toward healing.This pursuit of deep healing can mean counseling. It can mean sharing our stories and receiving healing prayer. It definitely means doing the hard (and usually painful but necessary and good) work of letting Jesus into the places where we have never let Him in before. We need to let Him transform our wounded, broken hearts and make them whole again.

Let’s fight for our own hearts now. He gives us the tools. He will guide us deeper into Him. We are not alone in this fight.

Father, let us step toward you now. Let us see You. Let us hear You. Remind us how we are Yours. Let us live this day believing You are right here.

Life is Perpetually Unfolding

 

The Spirit of God has made me, and the breath of the  Almighty gives me life.” Job 33:4

 

 

 

The seasons, as they come and go, speak to us of the mystery of transformation. As we move from winter to spring and now spring into summer, we see that life is perpetually unfolding.  In other parts of nature we see this transformation as well.  Our hummingbirds have returned and are enjoying our esperanzas and plumbagos, plus several other flowering plants, native to our area.

 

 

 

Think about the little frog and where it had its beginnings. It begins as a little egg. In the fullness of time, that little egg will burst forth and a tadpole will appear.

 

 

 

Have you ever gone to a pond and watched the little tadpoles. It was always such a mystery to me that after a while the tadpole that looked like a little fish would no longer be that. It would start to grow legs, and in the fullness of time it would walk on the land.

 

 

 

(Here we go again with my butterfly metaphor – hope you aren’t getting tired of it.)  The same mystery of transformation unfolds in the butterfly. A little butterfly begins as an egg. Then, out of the egg comes a little wiggly thing that is furry and has lots of legs – we call it a caterpillar. Then, when it feels an inner push, it will make a chrysalis around itself. Out of that chrysalis will emerge a winged creature of great beauty. I often use the butterfly as a metaphor when speaking of transformation and see each of us in a stage of this metamorphosis.

 

 

 

 

 

 

What about our transformation? We might call ourselves “just a human being.” Then the day comes when we see more of who we are. We say, “I’m not just a human being. I’m a child of God.” We begin to see the child of God seed unfolding. A spiritual transformation has begun.

 

 

 

Then the day comes when we think of ourselves as not a weak human but we think of ourselves as a child of God as Jesus said we were. I know, in my inner self, that the destiny of the little tadpole is to become a frog, and the destiny of the caterpillar is to become a butterfly. And our destiny is to become a child of God as a human being.

 

 

 

What do I mean by a child of God human being? I have but to look at the life of Jesus Christ to know at least a bit more about what this new creature in Christ looks like.

 

 

 

Jesus came to us to acknowledge, discover, experience and be the fullness of who He was and is. I think He must have, gone through all sorts of seasons of His life; times when He felt VERY human, times when He felt VERY Divine. Then he came to that place in His life where He was aware that He was a child of God, a God – FULLY incorporating the human and the Divine. Then he taught us that we should follow him and do the same.

 

 

 

Ephesians 3:16 , “I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources He will empower you with inner strength through His Spirit.”

 

 

 

 

Our hardest task will be to dissolve the critical, crippling, self negativity that is trapping us; where we thought we were only a weak human. We will need to do what seems impossible–to walk paradoxically in two worlds at once, inhabiting an earthly body with a new spiritual intent. What we on this planet now are about seems to be impossible because we ARE walking a paradox between two worlds–inhabiting an earthly body with spiritual intent.

 

 

 

 

1 John 4:4, “Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.”

 

 

 

 

As we walk through the seasons of our lives, we will come to powerful junctures that will call us to leave behind old ways of thinking, speaking, being, and living. For God draws us, woos us, pushes us, and pulls us forward. Now, more than ever, I think we are being pulled forward to the stage where we combine our human and Divine, and we honor both. We are both, somehow, at the same time.

 

 

 

 

This critical time may offer a baffling crisis of the spirit. It may be the time in our lives when things happen, and we don’t understand why. We may not understand why those pieces are configuring they way they are. We may have been doing everything we thought correctly, and then our world begins to crumble. We experience an illness, or someone we love goes away, or something else happens that is catatrophic to us.

 

 

 

 

It may very well be that a number of us are in a baffling crisis of the Spirit trying to understand. It is in these times that we oftentimes ask many questions. We ask: “Is this all there is to life? Isn’t there more? I want more, but I don’t know how to get it. I’m afraid to take the steps forward.” We ask the deep questions of God.

 

 

 

I think this process of going through the seasons of our lives occurs over and over again. It’s not that we have one baffling crisis of the spirit or that we have one time of major transformation. We have many. We go through that process again and again. So we may be at the point right now where we are beginning another cycle, and we’re baffled. We ask questions.

 

 

 

A book titled “When the Heart Waits” talks about a time when the author, Sue Monk Kidd, faced such a time in her life and some of the questions she asked. Maybe they are our questions also.

 

 

 

 

“Is it possible, I asked myself, that I am being summoned from some deep and holy place within? Am I being asked to enter a new passage in a spiritual life-the journey from false self to true self? Am I being asked to dismantle old masks and patterns and unfold a deeper, more authentic self–the one God created me to be? Am I being compelled to disturb my inner universe in quest of the undiscovered being who clamors from within?”

 

 

 

 

What are your questions? Think about your questions. Even if you may not be in a mighty crisis of spirit, you may still have questions about your life-what’s happening and where you’re going. We need to ask the questions. Even if the answers may not come instantly, it is the questioning that is important for spiritual growth.

 

 

 

 

We ask our questions and we search. We find that the bottom line will be that we must commit to becoming a new person.  Thomas Moore said, “That was the major commitment of humanity–to become a whole, new person.”

 

 

 

 

Do you know what happens when the caterpillar goes into the chrysalis and forms a cocoon around itself? When the caterpillar goes into the chrysalis it becomes, over time, a yellow-gold liquid. It becomes liquefied. It is not a caterpillar as it was in olden times, and it is not yet a butterfly. It is liquid. Out of that liquid there is a configuration of cells out of which eventually the new comes forth.

 

 

 

 

The caterpillar must have a time of waiting, a time of allowing that inner process to occur. When we are in a crisis of the spirit, and we are moving from one stage of evolution to another, one stage of growth and change to another, we must allow ourselves some waiting time. We can not push it; we must allow it to evolve in order for the fullness to emerge.

 

 

 

 

We, as humans, don’t like to wait. We want it to happen, and we want it to happen now or sooner. We don’t like to wait. We have a concept that waiting means we’re doing nothing. But this waiting I’m talking about is a deep introspection where we do our spiritual work through prayer and meditations, where we honor all the guidance from God that speak to us.

 

 

 

 

James 1:1-27 states this about the stages of spiritual transformation, “James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, To the twelve tribes in the Dispersion: Greetings. Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.

 

 

 

 

We may have all kinds of internal voices pulling us and shaking us up, and we may have a lot of external voices as well that want to dissuade us from moving into that which is our destiny.

 

 

 

 

Let’s remember it is our destiny to go beyond just being human. God has created us from the beginning of time to be a child of God human being. All the spiritual insights, and Jesus point to who and what we are becoming.

 

 

 

 

Our commitment is to become an entirely new person that is strong spiritually. Didn’t Paul say something about being a new creature in Christ? We’re going to be a new creature in Christ; a new, wondrous being. But we must allow time and let the waiting do its holy work. As we take our time inwardly in prayer, let us remember that. Sometimes it may take weeks or months to move through all the layers and come to the place of resolution. We will have conflict, stress, and pulling in many different directions, but the day will come when we will feel a peace in our new way of being. It will be all to the glory of God–to honor that Spirit that is us. 2 Corinthians 5:17, “Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.”

 

 

 

 

Henry David Thoreau had the luxury of choosing to live part of his life at Walden Pond. He talked about this time at Walden Pond. In February, 1857, he wrote: “You think I am impoverishing myself by withdrawing from men, but in my solitude I have woven for myself a silken web [or chrysalis]. A nymph-like shell, air long, bursts forth a more beautiful, perfect creature.” In our waiting we are creating a chrysalis and we will burst forth a new creature.

 

 

 

I would invite you to close your eyes at this point, and acknowledge with me (as I acknowledge within myself) that each of us is so much more than the eye sees or the mind declares. Let us acknowledge, for a moment, this wonderful body in which we live, move, and function in this world.

 

 

 

Let us acknowledge that we are one with God by nature. We have the seed of Spirit planted within us. Probably, for many of us, we have been loving, and acknowledging this Divine essence of our being–maybe for a long time. Maybe we have been struggling with the either/or of the human and the Divine.

 

 

 

 

Maybe today we are facing a baffling crisis of the Spirit. Maybe we consciously choose to have a baffling crisis of the Spirit so that we might hold the possibility – of something greater.

 

 

 

 

Even in the midst of any anxiety that this thought might bring up, let us hold the wonder, excitement, and joy of the new that is being birthed in us and through us. Our destiny is to become a child of God human being.

 

 

We know as we walk through the seasons of our lives that we do not walk alone. We have the promise of Jesus Christ that He will always walk with us, be our friend, companion, and Way – show-er. He has already gone this route. He already knows the ups and downs, twists and turns. We do not have to go it alone or figure it out totally by ourselves. He will whisper in the ear of our heart and make the road a bit less bumpy.

 

 

 

 

In the fullness of time we will stand in consciousness, in beingness, in expression, with Jesus.

 

 

Let us pray.

 

Thank You, God, for our holy destiny. May we have the courage, strength,
and conviction to become a totally new person. In the name and through the
living, loving presence of Jesus Christ we pray and believe…Amen.

 

 

May God bless you as you transform into a deep, loving child of God.