Hold Fast And Stay Strong

Hold fast to the truth, for we stand under the judgement of God’s Word. Do not compromise at all cost.

Hold Fast To Truth

What is truth? How important is truth? How do you define truth? Do you believe it is a problem in today’s society?

Dr. R Albert Jr, put it this way in His book, Dishonesty and Deception in Contemporary Life “I think it’s fair to say that honestly is on the ropes: Deception has become commonplace at all levels.”

We no longer tell lies. Instead we ‘Mis-Speak.“ We exaggerate. We exercise poor judgement. Mistakes were made, we say.

Welcome to the age of dishonesty

Fact: Truth is transcultural. If something it true, it has to be truth for all people, in all places, and at all times.

Truth is unchanged, even though our beliefs about change. Society used to believe the earth was flat. When it was discovered that the earth was round, the truth about the earth didn’t change, it was only our belief which changed.

Beliefs cannot change a fact, no matter how sincerely held. Someone can sincerely believe someone m but if his fact is not true he possess false, or a humble person to make the error he possess true.

All real truths are absolute. Suppose that I take a fall, and bang my head on the cement, calling for a helicopter ride to a big city hospital. Suppose someone should not believe it. Does that change the truth,

Truth is still truth. It is living in a much different world today called Post-modern. It’s description says, “ Truth does not exist objectively, it is a product of a person’s culture.

It’s easy to see some very strong problems occurring in our culture today. We also have more problem with intolerance, which does not accept tolerance and is being enforced with varies kinds of punishment.

I have only touched on a few effects which have occurring in our world since this “New Tolerance and its complications. But you can find plenty of them. Dr. D. James Kennedy verbalized the complications with his talk with this warning: Wake up America before it’s too late.

Something To Shout About

If someone asked you to describe forgiveness, how would you do it! Where would you begin? How long would it take?

Forgiveness is something to shout about.

The manufacturers of Tide laundry detergent once has a website for stain remover called “The Stain Detective.” Users could identify the type of stain they were trying to remove, submit a request for advice, and receive information regarding the best way to get the stain out of the fabric. Of course, most of the solutions involved the use of a Tide product.

In Psalm 32, David is our “spiritual detective “ as he counsels us how to remove the stain of sin in our lives. No matter what sin has marred your life. David directs us to the same solution, David directs us to the same solution. Forgiveness is found in God alone.

David is excited about forgiveness and wants everyone to shout about it!

Experiencing Forgiveness

Blessed is he whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord doesn’t count against him in whose spirit is de deceit.

Forgiveness is a state of being that is exciting. It feels good! Notice David writes Blessed is he and Blessed is the man. Look at the meaning of the words used to describe what God does when He forgiveness a person:

A. Forgiven- He lifts up the burden of guilt and carries it away.

B. Covered- He covers the sin from view.

C. Does Not Count Against – God chooses not to think of the forgiven as guilty anymore.

Needing Forgiveness

When I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. For day and night your hand was upon me; my strength was sapped as in the heat of summer.

Notice first what is not mentioned here. The actual sin is not identified. In this passage David fails to tell us what his sin was. He doesn’t even give us a hint. Why? Because what he did is not the issue. The focus is on God’s forgiveness. The seriousness of the sin doesn’t affect the capacity of God to forgive.

After he sinned, David says, I kept silent. That’s when his trouble began. We try to manage guilt. We try to cope with guilt. We try to rationalize guilt away. We try to blame someone else to minimize our guilt. Observe what happens

Physical Deterioration

He writes my bones wasted away. No one questions the delicate balance between mind and body anymore. Guilt ravages a person physically.

Mental Suffering

David describes a relentless anguish in his soul. It does not stop. He is groaning all day long.

Spiritual Separation

David feels distance between God and himself. It appeared that God was hostile towards him. Guilt warps our perception of who God is and His readiness to forgive us.

Ultimately all enjoyment of life is lost. Our strength and desire for life is transformed into a arid, dry landscape.

Receiving Forgiveness

Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord” and you forgave the guilt of my sin.

David describes how to thoroughly deal with guilt and obtain forgiveness from God.

Sin must be acknowledged. David writes I acknowledged my sin to you. He simply and clearly stated that what he did was a sin. This can be part challenging if we believe others are to blame.

Sin must be exposed. David adds that he didn’t cover up his sin. Literally he is saying, “I have made my sin naked and bare before You.” The word cover refers to the normal function of a garment in it’s natural sense. When we confess our sin, we strip away all the ridiculous attitude we use to “dress up” what we have done. This is an experience of shame. It doesn’t fee, good, but it will not last for long. Remember that whatever we expose and uncover through confession, God will soon cover and hide from view through His forgiveness.

Sin must be confessed. The word confess means to cast or throw something away. Confession is the act of fully casting away our sin, guilt and shame before God.

Do you see the entire pictures hat David has painted for us? We call what we did “sin” as God does. We take full responsibility for the sin. We make no attempt to “dress up” or hide our sin, rather we expose it before God. Then we take that sin and cast it away from us before God.

When we do that, we can confidently join in David’s joy when he writes that God forgave the guilt of my sin.

So, rejoice in the Lord and be glad, you righteous sing, all you who are upright in heart.

In the final verse of Psalm 32, David makes it clear that rejoicing is a non-optional activity for those who really know the forgiveness of God. They have something to shout about.

Psalm 32

Filled With The Holy Spirit

Do you ever feel empty? Maybe dry and parched as though you have nothing left to give? You may fill as though you can only afford to give someone a drink if you act have some water to give.

Being filled with the Holy Spirit can be powerful. Our perception of power is Ofern cultivated by the world before we ever walk in the freedom of Christ.

The world teaches us that our measure of power is heavily tried to the outcome. Martin Luther King championed civil rights, Gandhi helped to win India’s independence and Mohammed Ali was the best boxer of all time, but if you’re looking for the story about the guy who died trying to become the next great inventor, athlete or blogger, you’re not going to find it. Given how we’ve been so conditioned to perceive what’s powerful, it’s not hard to understand why we feel so powerless as Christians.

I’ve wrestled with nothing more in my walk with the Lord than a clear understanding of the power of the Holy Spirit. I spendthe first few years as a believer hearing about how more mature Christians had a supernatural encounter with the Holy Spirit, with a child-like wonder, I’ve decided that someday. I would reach that level of Christianity too.

Power from the Holy Spirit had become an elusive, mystical rite of passage that every “real” Christian was supposed to walk through someday.

Each passing year, I waited patiently (and impatiently ) for my holy “a-ha” moment. Fully convinced that someday I would start break out into prophetic utterances that would have the whole church in an uproar. I would be sitting on the edge of my seat every time a sermon about the Spirit was preached. Hopeful and anxious to respond that would be a warm rush of the spirit I heard so much about.

It’s only happened about 8 times since my pastor told us we can prophesy in the church. I usually hear from the Holy Spirit at home or while driving. Not often in a church environment.

It happens mostly a night or while I’m sleeping, I will sit straight up in bed and know I just heard from him.

I’ve struggled with a lack of luster won’t journey of faith. And I’m sure their are many more Christians that experience the same thing.

My big issue has always been “being still in the Lord.” When during the day, I’m go, go, go. It is not until nighttime that I am still.

Would if our belief that we aren’t filled with the Spirit is more of a result of a biblical misunderstanding? John 10:10 says, “The thief comes only to steal, kill and destroy; I have come that they may life, and have more abundantly.”

Believing that the power of the Holy Spirit is not available to all who He has called doesn’t only fall short of our promised abundant life is unbiblical

Let God fill us up and always be ready to hear from the Holy Spirit. Live in the fullness of the Holy Spirit.

Pity To Praise

When you meet some people, they can’t stop talking about how rough they’ve have it in life. I was once this way. It was live a bad country ballad that I sang over and over about “Somebody done me wrong.”

I can imagine how awful I was to be around, no wonder I didn’t have any friends.

Now when I encounter people who have this “woe is me” mentality, I tell them it’s all about the perspective they have on life. You see, we’ve all through some tough situations, And we still will go through some tough situations. That is the human race.

While we might envy others who seem to have an easier, carefree life than we do. Usually, that is just an illusion. No matter what side of town people grow up on, or how rich they may be, our Lord told us that storms come to everyone’s life from time to time. -Matthew 5:45-

Breaking Free

I could write a book about the horrible experiences I grew up with. My mother, my brothers losing their lives all through my lifetime, either by accident or beings murdered. The abuse I’ve survived.

Perhaps you can’t relate to these experiences, in fact, I hope you can’t. But it is suffice to say that growing up in a small rural isn’t all nice people and nice places.

The good news is that none of us is automatically stuck with the kind of situation we’ve inherited. It may be more difficult to break free if life has dealt you a difficult hand, yet there’s no pit so deep that God can’t get you out of.

What Pit Are You In?

Drug addictions, criminals, and homeless people certainly aren’t the only ones who can find themselves stuck. Sometimes even Godly people “Like King David” must cry out loud to God for deliverance.

I waited patiently for the Lord: And He inclined to me. And heard my cry. He also brought me out of a horrible pit. Out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock. And established my steps. He put a new song in my mouth-Praise to our God: Many will see it and fear, and trust in the Lord. -Psalm 40:1-3-

If you’re facing distressing circumstances in your life, whether it’s from your own foolish choices or situations beyond your control and you’ve found yourself in a horrible pit filled with miry cray.

If so you can be encouraged that God delivered David from the unpleasant pit stopped what his was experiencing. David gained stability and freedom. And instead of David from singing his dreary ballad. And gave him a new song.

By God’s grace and lots of hard work, I’m happy to report that I’ve broken free from the bondage that once threatened to become my destiny. I’m sure you can break free as well.

God also brought me up out of a horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my steps.

Sar Shalom

Shalom means Peace in Hebrew.

The tiles give to Messiah: “Sar Shalom.’ But more than that it means “Prince of Shalom,” Prince of fullness, wholeness, completion, perfection, well-being, and prosperity. “Sar” means master or ruler.

Messiah is the ruler of Shalom. Master of Shalom, “He rules and commands Shalom. If you belong to Him, you are called by His name, so live as a little version of Him, a little ruler of peace, a master of Shalom.

Become an authority on Shalom, one who dwells in it, understands it, uses it, applies it, an expert on Shalom. (peace) You are empowered to become a ruler of Shalom. Messiah ruled Shalom; He commanded it. He said, “Shalom I give to you.”

In the same way, you are to command peace; rule Shalom. No matter what the power of Messiah into it. Whatever you are going through, you have the power to command the Shalom of Messiah upon it. Take up your scepter, act with authority, His authority. You are called to be a ruler of peace, a master of Shalom.

Live in imitation of Messiah, and take authority over darkness, in the power of the Master of Shalom.

How To Show Up For Your Life

A while back I rolled my eyes at this thinking that statement doesn’t apply to me at all. Now I say this as a reminder about how I want to live my life.

About four years ago it hit me that I was living on autopilot.

I was complacent in my health, my relationships, my home, in everything. I was just letting life happen to me. Then I complained about how crappy it was.

Why was I stuck on autopilot?

I never opened my eyes to my responsibility to be the guide in my life. I just was going through the motions. Fixing breakfast, getting my husband and children out the door, cleaning up the house, running errands, grocery shopping and the like. The autopilot was easy because it was familiar, it was comfortable.

The cost of autopilot living

When we are on autopilot we are asleep to where we have control in our live. We go through the motions without really feeling anything. How can we use this control to build up our lives we want to live.

We live on default we spend our daily lives in a cycle of voiding pain and seeking pleasure. It’s the easiest way to get through the day.

We make decisions every day to stay comfortable, but in this comfort,we are not really pursuing the life we crave, the things that would make our life fruitful. We aren’t taking action that we feel deeply proud of. We are just getting through the day.

We aren’t doing much to feel deep satisfaction.

We aren’t feeling happy

Here is where we have let ourselves down, we think that it is normal to always be happy. We think something is wrong with us if we’re unhappy or those around us are unhappy.

When we feel unhappy about feeling unhappy we double down on unhappiness. At this point, most of us turn to little ways to make us feel better and avoid feeling that ick feeling. We turn to the nearest available indulgence, a easy hit. We turn to food, drink, social media, complaining, judging, and shopping.

I have to admit shopping is my pet peeve. If I’m feeling ick, I go clothes shopping and it makes me happy for a little while.

What do we turn to make us feel better and more comfortable? Is it serving us? Is it life giving or, ultimately making our lives harder?

We might be choosing ways of seeking comfort that are actually making us more uncomfortable in the long run. Habits, addictions, sneak eating in the pantry, pulling away from others. These things do not make our lives better, the usually make them harder.

Living a life that fulfills us feels authentic, and life giving is an uncomfortable thing to get. In my experience, it is uncomfortable to muster up bravery, to make hard decisions, to make a commitment rather that being in comfort and do the hard work rather than looking for the easy way out.

Avoiding discomfort keeps us stuck which can sometimes be more painful that experiencing the discomfort itself.

What happens when we keep avoiding the discomfort of showing up for our life?

We tend to tune out our emotional self and lose touch with how we are feeling and base our happiness on our children or people around us, if they are happy then we must be happy. But, then we wonder why others tune us out.

We can develop a low tolerance for we are really feeling, “I shouldn’t be unhappy every one around me is happy.” We tend to numb out our negative feelings which can cause bad habits we feel shame over.

We spend a lot of energy avoiding negative feelings and it burns us out which makes us feel crappier. This can go on for years until we just cannot take any more. We have stuffed those crappy feeling down inside of us, until we are so full of negativity sooner our later it has to come out.

We just kinda stop showing up for life because it isn’t happy and we are so bummed out that our life isn’t what we want it to be. we stop caring about ourselves, we feel as though it can’t go on.

Over the years, I’ve learned to practice being uncomfortable. I’ve taken positions that I’ve not felt sure about, I’ve started speaking in church, I’ve talked on radio stations about organizations I’m involved with. That I was to uncomfortable with before. I’ve put myself out there.

I wanted to live my life as it was, negative and uncomfortable feeling and all rather than living a comfortable life.

Pay attention to your life and how your feeling. Negative and positive. Step out of your comfort and head to the uncomfortable place. Live your life and feel your feelings as you were meant to.

Make a list of the things you tried to avoid or have avoided because they make you uncomfortable. Then when an opportunity comes jump on it.

Using Time For God More Wisely

It’s true we all have the same number of minutes in a day. The question is, how will we use them?

Most people today are either too busy or not busy enough. Either our schedules are so hectic we can’t get everything done, or else we are bored and restless, constantly looking for something to amuse us. We are the most frantic generation in history and also the most entertained. The Bible, however, tells us that both extremes are wrong.

We can’t always choose how to use our time, of course; sometimes our circumstances control us. Single mothers are struggling to survive every day. Disability, illness, unemployment or retirement may keep us from doing what we once did and make us feel useless and only killing time. But even if circumstances control our time, we can still control our attitude with Gods help. He can also help us gain more control over our time and begin to use it in new ways.

How can we use our time wisely?

Here are some steps that I’ve found helpful.

First, see each day as a gift from God.

Instead of seeing each day as a burden, see it instead as another opportunity God has given you to serve Him. Time isn’t inexhaustible, nor can we assume we’ll always have more; someday our time on earth will end. (David said in Psalm 31:15) The first thing we should do when we wake is thank God for the gift of another day.

Second, commit your time to God.

God gave it to you for a reason ; not to be wasted or mishandled, but to be used for His glory. We are accountable to Him for the way we use our time, and once more a minute passes, it can never be reclaimed. The Bible says, “Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” -Psalm 90:12-

How can we put this into action? It may mean asking God to help us schedule out time more wisely and effectively. It may mean rethinking how we spend our time, and then adjusting it to reflect God’s priorities. We may also need to examine why we’re so busy. (or so bored) Is what we’re doing really necessary, or are we simply trying to impress others? We can’t do everything, and we need to say “no,’ I’d some activity isn’t God’s will.

Third, set aside time for God and for others.

No follower of Jesus would say, “I’m too busy for God,’ but how often have you gone through a whole day without even thinking about Him let alone praying or read the Bible? How often have you ignored someone who needed your encouragement or help?

Why is this? One reason is because we regulate God to our spare time, but end up never having any spare time. In other words, we mentally list everything we have to do and put God at the bottom of the list. But the opposite should be the case. Jesus said, “Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness.” -Matthew 6:33-

Finally, take time for your own needs.

We all need rest and recreation; God made us this way. Some people feel guilty if they take a vacation or even a few hours off, but they shouldn’t. I have a friend who always says to me “I can sleep when I’m dead.” This isn’t the case at all, he never takes time for himself, even on the Sabbath. He’s always doing something for someone. Jesus told His disciples, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.” -Mark 6:31- If Jesus required times of rest, don’t we also! Someone who is chronically exhausted from lack of sleep or improper reaching is much more susceptible to Satan’s attacks.

Beauty in your life- change your thoughts for a positive outlook