Truthoughts

Introspection and Beyond

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Posts Tagged ‘prayer’

Building a Relationship with Christ

Posted by truthoughts on May 26, 2010

The following is part of a message that I sent a friend of mine in regards to how our earthly relationships represent our relationship with Christ and how the enemy attempts to attack those relationships. This effected my friend so much that I wanted to share it with you here too. Please keep in mind while reading that it was written in response to a question and therefore worded to them specifically. In general, it fits for all.

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A Relationship with Christ

It helps to have a reference point. Whoever you have experienced the most love with… whether it was from a parent, grandparent, friend, romantic, a pet, etc. Use that as a reference point to begin at.

All of our relationships are to be an example of how we are to see God and how God sees us. Just as we grow and mature in this life, so do our relationships.

For example… We begin with our parents and grandparents. When we are infants, we rely solely upon them for everything. We cannot survive without their protection and provision. We also should see an unconditional love, at least in the beginning. I know that because this life is not perfect, not all parents are the way they should be and it causes us to have a distorted view of our first interactions. This is one of Satan’s weapons against us right from birth. If he can distort this relationship, then it will be even harder for us to relate to God as our Father, Provider, Protector, etc.

Our first step is to recognize Him, God as our creator. With this, brings a reverent respect and holy fear.

Secondly, just as in this life would be the parental perspective as stated above.

Thirdly, would be our relationship with our peers / friends. In this we learn to relate to God as our friend… our best friend. He is the one who never leaves us… is always there to hear everything about each detail of our lives. He is the one who has our back when times are rough. He is the one we can always count on. He is the one who makes us laugh and whom we learn to be a loyal friend to and take up for when others try to attack Him. When we in this life find backstabbing friends and unloyal friends, this is another of Satan’s tools against us to distort another aspect of our relationship with God. If Satan can pervert this, it then becomes even harder for us to relate to God because our trust has been taken from us.

Fourthly, would be as an authority figure. We learn from an early age that there are authority figures in our lives that we must obey and respect. This comes in different forms such as teachers, elders in general as well as police, etc. As you can tell, many in this life have corrupted their authority and so as with every other area of relationships… Satan uses this one to cause us to distrust, disrespect and rebel against all authority. If we do this, it becomes very hard to become humble toward God and be obedient to Him with an understanding that He has our best interest in mind with every step.

Fifth would be romantic relationships. This aspect is a vital one because we are the Bride of Christ and everything is summed up in this relationship. Satan has been so successful in disrupting this beautiful example. Satan began with breaking up homes with divorce through unfaithfulness and abuse so that no one has a good example growing up to attain to. Right off the bat, many have become broken in this area because if the romantic relationship is unhopeful and full of pain… what is there? Everything becomes unstable. Once this happens, Satan has then used perversions in order to encourage people to think that the only way to find happiness is to please themselves in whatever ways possible. The problem is that in always trying to please yourself, you find… just as a drug, nothing really ever works. You may have pleasure for a moment but in the next moment… not so much. This is when Satan has brought in homosexuality which leads to pedophilia and then finally to bestiality. Once this happens, there is nothing left but pure violence. This is Satan’s greatest tool because once he has gotten us to be our own gods (this happens when our concern is to please ourselves and be obedient to ourselves, etc.) then there is no more room for the one true God. This is when God turns us over to our own reprobate minds (desires) and we die in those. This is why it is said that the wages of sin is death.

Finally, when we have children. In this relationship, we are shown our relationship with God through God’s eyes. We become the protector, the provider, the everything to another. With this, we come full circle and can then see God in His entirety as a whole being. Just as we are because we are created in His image. Our entire lives are for the purpose of getting to know Him in a way that no other creation can because we experience Him through those around us and through ourselves when the cycle is complete.

Then, once we are in heaven with Him… we will be able to relate to Him in a way far deeper then we ever could here because we will then see Him just as He is from the inner depths to the outer surface. It is a dimension un-attainable to us in this realm.

So, as you can see… above is the plan God has for us getting to know Him in every aspect as well as Satan’s plans for destroying this along the way.

What you need to do is to start at the beginning. Look at what you know, what you have experienced. See how God intended for you to see Him. Recognize how Satan has twisted everything to tear you away from God. Then pray that God will wipe away everything that is a hinder and for Him to allow you to recapture the time that was stolen from you by Satan and to turn your heart to Him (God) and help you to gain an understanding and grow in love toward Him.

You just need to start at the beginning. Get the right perspective. Learn what is the wrong perspective and be willing to let go of it or it will weigh on you like an anvil and drown you in the lake of fire. Reading the Bible is to get to know God in His own Words. It is to help you know how to be pleasing to Him from the love you will have for Him once you let Him in. All pride, all resentment, all hatred, all vengeance, all unforgiveness must be let go of in order to let Him in and then He will change you… You cannot change your own heart, He must do it. You must chase after Him with whatever you do have and plead with Him to change your heart toward Himself.

*** In the end, we must read the Word of God to get to know who He is. The previous is to help us open ourselves to Him and it provides a starting point for communication and perception. ***

Posted in christian life | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

The Holy Spirit in the Christian Life

Posted by truthoughts on January 20, 2009

The following, is a short study on the Spirit of God (Holy Spirit) and how we as Christians are to walk accordingly. I have kept it very simple and I pray that you will have your hearts opened to understand.

The Armor of God
Ephesians 6:10-19

Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high [places]. Wherefore take unto you the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;

And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;

Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.

And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:

Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel,…

What to do
Ephesians 4:25-32

Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbor: for we are members one of another. Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: Neither give place to the devil. Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labor, working with [his] hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth. Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamor, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.

Ephesians 5:1-7

Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet smelling savor.

Fruit of the Spirit
Ephesians 5:9-11

(For the fruit of the Spirit [is] in all goodness and righteousness and truth;) Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord. And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove [them].

What not to do
Ephesians 5:3-7

But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints; Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks. For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience. Be not ye therefore partakers with them.

What to expect
Ephesians 6:8

Knowing that whatsoever good thing any man doeth, the same shall he receive of the Lord, whether [he be] bond or free.

Posted in Bible Studies | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

Once Saved, Always Saved?

Posted by truthoughts on January 10, 2009

I received a comment, Don’s Comment, that inspired me to write this article. In his comment, he brought up the questions of “Once Saved, Always Saved”, which is a debate that has circled the Church many times over. I am sure that you can find a plentiful range of answers on this topic depending upon whom you ask.

Don made some very good points in his comment for being once saved, always saved and I encourage you to read the short comment.

Lets begin with the scripture that he gave…

Romans 10:9-10

That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

This is a great scripture to begin with. This is the sole foundation of salvation, however, there are many other verses to consider in this topic and that is what we will discuss in this article.

First, lets notice that the verse given above states that we must confess with our mouth the Lord Jesus… also, with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. Well, what happens if you first confess and then later deny? This is the situation that Peter found himself in.

In four places, Jesus told Peter that Peter would deny Him three times before the cock crowed that next morning (Matthew 26:34, Mark 14:30, Luke 22:34, John 13:38). Then it shows Peter’s reactions when it happened in three places (Matthew 26:75, Mark 14:72, Luke 22:61).

Now, if we combine the following verse with the scripture in Romans 10, we begin to get a more balanced view of obtaining salvation.

Matthew 10:33

But whosoever shall deny Me before men, him will I also deny before My Father which is in heaven.

So, this verse being the case… how did Peter get around this for his salvation? We can find that out in these next verses. Pay close attention to whom it is directing the message to… Jesus is speaking to Simon, son of Jonas, which is also Peter.

John 21:15-17

So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, [son] of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs. He saith to him again the second time, Simon, [son] of Jonas, lovest thou me? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my sheep. He saith unto him the third time, Simon, [son] of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep.

Now, notice that Peter had to restate his love for Jesus three times, which was in direct opposition to his three denials and as I stated before… did you notice that Jesus referred to Peter as Simon? Lets remember back when Jesus renamed Simon to Peter:

Matthew 16:15-19

He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona [son of Jonas]: for flesh and blood hath not revealed [it] unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

Notice what gave Peter his name. It was the fact that he confessed with his mouth unto salvation and therefore became a new creation in Christ. Why did Jesus then revert back to calling Peter, Simon in the book of John? It was because he denied Jesus unto perdition.

We could stop there, but lets keep going.

Hebrews 10:39

But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul.

What was that??? “Draw back unto perdition”!!! Oh my, what would make him say that? Lets see a parable that Jesus shared:

Matthew 13:3-8 And he spake many things unto them in parables, saying, Behold, a sower went forth to sow; And when he sowed, some [seeds] fell by the way side, and the fowls came and devoured them up: Some fell upon stony places, where they had not much earth: and forthwith they sprung up, because they had no deepness of earth: And when the sun was up, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away. And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprung up, and choked them: But other fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit, some an hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold.

Matthew 13:18-23 Hear ye therefore the parable of the sower. When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth [it] not, then cometh the wicked [one], and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side. But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it; Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended. He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful. But he that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth [it]; which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.

Mark 4:3-8 Hearken; Behold, there went out a sower to sow: And it came to pass, as he sowed, some fell by the way side, and the fowls of the air came and devoured it up. And some fell on stony ground, where it had not much earth; and immediately it sprang up, because it had no depth of earth: But when the sun was up, it was scorched; and because it had no root, it withered away. And some fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up, and choked it, and it yielded no fruit. And other fell on good ground, and did yield fruit that sprang up and increased; and brought forth, some thirty, and some sixty, and some an hundred.

Mark 4:14-22 The sower soweth the word. And these are they by the way side, where the word is sown; but when they have heard, Satan cometh immediately, and taketh away the word that was sown in their hearts. And these are they likewise which are sown on stony ground; who, when they have heard the word, immediately receive it with gladness; And have no root in themselves, and so endure but for a time: afterward, when affliction or persecution ariseth for the word’s sake, immediately they are offended. And these are they which are sown among thorns; such as hear the word, And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful. And these are they which are sown on good ground; such as hear the word, and receive [it], and bring forth fruit, some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some an hundred. And he said unto them, Is a candle brought to be put under a bushel, or under a bed? and not to be set on a candlestick? For there is nothing hid, which shall not be manifested; neither was any thing kept secret, but that it should come abroad.

Luke 8:5-18 A sower went out to sow his seed: and as he sowed, some fell by the way side; and it was trodden down, and the fowls of the air devoured it. And some fell upon a rock; and as soon as it was sprung up, it withered away, because it lacked moisture. And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprang up with it, and choked it. And other fell on good ground, and sprang up, and bare fruit an hundredfold. And when he had said these things, he cried, He that hath ears to hear, let him hear. And his disciples asked him, saying, What might this parable be? And he said, Unto you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God: but to others in parables; that seeing they might not see, and hearing they might not understand. Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God. Those by the way side are they that hear; then cometh the devil, and taketh away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved. They on the rock [are they], which, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away. And that which fell among thorns are they, which, when they have heard, go forth, and are choked with cares and riches and pleasures of [this] life, and bring no fruit to perfection. But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep [it], and bring forth fruit with patience. No man, when he hath lighted a candle, covereth it with a vessel, or putteth [it] under a bed; but setteth [it] on a candlestick, that they which enter in may see the light. For nothing is secret, that shall not be made manifest; neither [any thing] hid, that shall not be known and come abroad. Take heed therefore how ye hear: for whosoever hath, to him shall be given; and whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken even that which he seemeth to have.

Within this “Once Saved, Always Saved” debate, there is the question of, if some confess to being Christians, but end up going to hell… were they ever really saved? Well, scripture implies that can be the case. Lets take a look at the topic of vessels. The Bible speaks of having vessels of honor and vessels of dishonor. Now, you may be wondering how I can imply that some in the “Church” would be considered vessels of dishonor… Well, lets look at that, shall we?

2 Peter 2:1-3 But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.

2 Peter 2:12-22 But these, as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed, speak evil of the things that they understand not; and shall utterly perish in their own corruption; And shall receive the reward of unrighteousness, [as] they that count it pleasure to riot in the day time. Spots [they are] and blemishes, sporting themselves with their own deceivings while they feast with you; Having eyes full of adultery, and that cannot cease from sin; beguiling unstable souls: an heart they have exercised with covetous practices; cursed children: Which have forsaken the right way, and are gone astray, following the way of Balaam [the son] of Bosor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness; But was rebuked for his iniquity: the dumb ass speaking with man’s voice forbad the madness of the prophet. These are wells without water, clouds that are carried with a tempest; to whom the mist of darkness is reserved for ever. For when they speak great swelling [words] of vanity, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, [through much] wantonness, those that were clean escaped from them who live in error. While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage. For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning. For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known [it], to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them. But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog [is] turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire.

Matthew 13:25-30 But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way. But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also. So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? from whence then hath it tares? He said unto them, An enemy hath done this. The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up? But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn.

2 Timothy 2:19-21 Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity. But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honour, and some to dishonour. If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use, [and] prepared unto every good work.

Lets take a look at another example of enemies within the Church:

2 Timothy 4:3-4 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away [their] ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.

I will end on the following verses:

2 Peter 2:20-22 For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning. For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known [it], to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them. But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog [is] turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire.

In Revelation 3:1-6 you can see Jesus’ letter to the Church of Sardis. Notice how He tells them that their works are dead and not perfect. Notice also how He references in verse 5 that IF they overcome, He will NOT blot out their names in the book of life. This means that if they do NOT overcome and continue in their ways, He WILL blot out their names in the book of life.

Lets also take a close look at Revelation 3:14-22 where Jesus is speaking to the “Church” of the Laodiceans. Jesus gets so upset with this Church’s lukewarmness, that He says if they do not change He will spew them out of His mouth.

Honestly, there are so many scriptures to share on this topic… however, room does not permit for me to dictate the Bible in its entirety to you. I highly encourage you to search out the scriptures for yourself and pray that the Lord will open your eyes to His Word and the understanding of His Word (Proverbs 4:7).

The following video is very convicting, please watch it.

Posted in thoughts | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

There Is Hope For Myanmar Cyclone Disaster Victims

Posted by truthoughts on May 19, 2008

There is hope for Myanmar cyclone nagris disaster victims… We have received an update from Roger Oakland with Understand The Times, International Ministry. Please read the following message:

Myanmar Missions Update
From Understand The Times

As the world now knows, the destruction that hit Yangon and surrounding area two weeks ago may go down in history as one of the most severe catastrophes of all time. While the loss of life is indescribable, there is much more to this story. Not only is Myanmar one of the poorest places in the world, the people of the country may be the most oppressed in the world. 

UTT has been working with Christians in the country of Myanmar for the last three years. We have over 60 underprivileged children that are being cared for in four different homes (Bryce Lodges 1,2,3 and 4). We have also helped to establish Yangon Grace Bible Fellowship that has planted an additional five churches in two years. Before the storm hit we were in the process of establishing a Bible School and 25 Bible School students to share the gospel of Jesus Christ throughout the country.

Four days passed following the storm before we received word from our people (who mostly live in Yangon) that all had survived the disaster. By surviving, we mean that all are alive. The conditions they now face are very difficult.

Understand The Times has established a Myanmar Relief Fund to assist the survivors. We have been overwhelmed by the generosity of the people who have already contributed. We have prayed and come up with what we believe is the proper way to distribute one hundred percent of the funds we receive to those who are in need.

Our strategy is to move financial resources into the country by several different means, and get these funds to the local Christians that Understand The Times has been working with over the last 3 years. Through their network of house churches and Bible School students we will identify needs and means of securing food, clothing and supplies for shelter and daily living and then provide for as many needs as possible along with proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ.

This is a report from one of our leaders from May 13: 

“We went to the most destroyed places this morning but returned from half way because the military (army) do not like us to go. They check every truck to see whether the people bring rice, cooking oils, etc. The morality has been the issue.” “It looks like I will have to borrow the money and buy chain saws and help the Buddhist outreach area. Their house was completely destroyed. I will send the picture. Today, we gave them some money to buy rice. It is very humbling to see where they sleep and eat.”

And from another leader in Yangon:

“Nowadays, our main work is to go around and help the needy people in the way we could. Many of them are still in government school because of having no place to stay. According to the situation of Outskirt people (Buddhist slums), if you can come and supply the needs of rice, material needs for houses like bamboo roof cover like a roof grass- thatch tents, mosquito nets, cooking oil, salt, water for use so that no loss motion comes and solves the problems which they can not solve by their own, I believe it will be helpful and useful for reaching out the gospel to the people. The above things are getting higher day by day. Some are rising twice to sixth than the normal price. We brought even water very costly.”

We must exercise caution since foreign activity is suspect there and if we are too visible we can bring much trouble upon the local Christians. We must be very discreet and proceed with much caution and we must protect names and faces. We are presently in the process of sending someone over to Yangon to provide assistance and to help organize and oversee the dispersal of assistance through Understand the Times in the surrounding area. Others will follow as they are able to secure visas. Please pray for favor that we may receive the necessary visas and be able to go. 

All funds taken will be documented and accounted for and records will be kept showing who received the support and how it was spent. Our benevolent efforts will be in the name of Jesus and the gospel will be presented along with the physical assistance. A fund for supporting the victims of the Myanmar disaster has been established at  www.understandthetimes.org. Checks can be sent to our two offices in Canada and USA. Again, one hundred percent of all donations to the Myanmar Relief Fund go to help the people of Myanmar.

Sincerely In Christ,
Roger Oakland

As you can see, so much is going on in Yangon Myanmar and the surrounding areas. It reminds me of the verses: 

 

Amos 5:19 “As if a man did flee from a lion, and a bear met him; or went into the house, and leaned his hand on the wall, and a serpent bit him.”

 

These poor people are going from a horrific event then having to suffering from the elements, food starvation, water dehydration and if that wasn’t enough, their own government is out to get them… or at least let them suffer and die. So, please, if you can do nothing else… pray for them and for those who are trying to help them. Let Understand The Times know you are keeping them in your prayers, encourage them in their difficult tasks ahead. You can visit their website at:  Understand The Times.

Be sure to subscribe to my feed for updates as they happen and please remember that your prayers and support are greatly appreciated. Also, if you have any questions or comments you would like passed along, please feel free to leave them in the comments section of this post. Thank you, God bless.

 

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Jonah and Job – The Trials Of Life

Posted by truthoughts on May 8, 2008

Jonah and Job

Have you ever felt like giving up? Have you ever felt like God just wasn’t listening to you or feeling your pain?

I know someone who just went through a Jonah experience. He was on the wrong path, not doing what he was suppose to do… so God put him in the belly of a whale, figuratively speaking. During the first 3 days he was still closed off to what God was showing him… but after that, things opened up. It seems that sometimes, God has to back us into forced solitude to get our attention and sometimes he has to take everything away from us like he did with Job to get our attention (though Job didn’t do anything wrong to cause his situation).

I know someone else who is going through a Job experience and it seems to have no end. The friend who has gone through the Jonah experience is well and good now; he came through the pit hole all in one piece. On the other hand, the Job friend is not currently doing so great. Of course, when someone goes through the fire, a natural question to ask is ‘Why’ and ‘When will it be over’… Naturally, we do not always receive the answers until it is done, and sometimes, not even then.

Someone I once knew said that they believed that God allowed trials of our faith to always go beyond what the last trial pushed us to so that we would continually be strengthened in our faith and patience. I have also heard many times that God will not allow more than we can bare, however, I have never found scripture to back this statement up. I have seen it say that He will allow a way out of temptation, but not a trial. They are two separate things. It is assumed the He would not allow us to go through more than we could bare, or rather, He would give us what we need to get through those things – always learning to rely solely on Him and not ourselves. We of course were never promised a life of happiness and harmony, not in this life anyway…

A Life of Trials and Persecution

The choice to become a Christian should not be made based on comforts and promises of prosperity. Nowhere in the Word of God does it promise these things for those who choose to follow the Lord Jesus. Rather, it promises trials and persecution John 15:19 If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. John 17:14 I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. The word of God requires a sacrifice of self in the sense that we are not to take part in the sins of the flesh but rather Romans 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. Just as it says 1 Peter 1:6-11 Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory: Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls. Of which salvation the prophets have enquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you: Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow.

God has chosen the foolishness of the world to confound the wise and He sent His Son, Jesus who stated Matthew 9:13for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.

We rest in the assurance that 1 Corinthians 1:25 Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men. 1 Corinthians 2:14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. 1 Corinthians 1:21 For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe. 1 Corinthians 1:22 For the Jews seek after a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom: 1 Corinthians 1:23 But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumbling block, and unto the Greeks foolishness;.

So, where do we go from here? We could pray, this is always a good idea. Comforting words are great, but once you have said whatever you can think of to say… then what? 1 Corinthians 15:30 And why stand we in jeopardy every hour?. The Bible says that Ephesians 6:13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Also, 1 Thessalonians 3:8 For now we live, if ye stand fast in the Lord.

I always told my friends when they were going through rough trials, that they should stand firm in their trust in the Lord Jesus… He will come through for His name’s sake. Even when Israel was rebellious toward God, He kept His promises to them ‘for His name’s sake’. How much more for us who put our trust, hope and faith in the name, which is above all names, Jesus? His glory depends upon His faithfulness. Satan waits at the door to find any fault with God’s dominion reign so that he can try to say he is better than Him. We know that this will never be allowed to happen. So, stand firm I say in the truth you know in Christ and He is obligated by His own Words Psalm 34:17 The righteous cry, and the Lord heareth, and delivereth them out of all their troubles and Psalm 34:19 Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the Lord delivereth him out of them all.

A Comforting Conclusion

Our comfort rests not in the things of this world or those who seem to control it, our hope lies solely in our Lord and Saviour, Jesus, the Christ, the Messiah, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. 1 Peter 1:3-5 Blessed be the God and father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. 1 Peter 1:12 Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into. Jeremiah 17:7 Blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord, and whose hope the Lord is. Titus 2:13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and Saviour Jesus Christ; 1 Peter 1:25 But the word of the Lord endureth forever. And this is the word, which by the gospel is preached unto you.

So, I will end on this note (as previously stated): Ephesians 6:13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

 

 

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Word Arrives From Myanmar After Cyclone

Posted by truthoughts on May 7, 2008

Communication is slowly emerging from Myanmar after Cyclone Nagris slams Yangon…

We have spoken with Roger Oakland of Understand The Times regarding Bryce Lodge, which is only 30 miles north of the Delta region of Yangon. For those who are not aware, the Delta region took a direct hit causing a 4 meter upswell (12 feet of water wall) of the shallow waters just off the coast. Now fears are being raised that there are 200,000 or more dead/missing or will die without proper humanitarian supplies.

Roger said that he received an email from Bryce Lodge which stated that everyone at Bryce Lodge is safe. Several of the windows of the concrete building were blown out but those can be replaced. The main thing is that those who were sheltered in the building during the storm were safe. Many of the orphans housed at The 4 Bryce Lodges come from families whose huts were completely destroyed by the Cyclone.

In the email, they said that the biggest threat now is that rice has gone from $11 a bag to $100 a bag. Roger also stated that even though they are only 30 miles from Yangon, they had no idea of the utter devastation caused by flooding and high winds. The Junta government is not telling them anything. They are finding out that the destruction was much more intense than they first thought.

The biggest necessity, beyond prayer, at this point is going to be financial aid. Roger is setting up a fund and a link to donate will be availible on his website shortly. Please continue to pray for the people of Myanmar and if possible help the relief efforts by donating here.

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And The Winds Lifted Up…

Posted by truthoughts on May 7, 2008

Bradley and I were sitting on the couch, when all of a sudden BAM!!!…

Hail starts pinging our windows and bouncing off of the yard. So, I grabbed the remote and turned on the news just in time to hear that we needed to take cover immediately because there was a tornado headed right for us.

Down went the remote and the computer for a race to round up the cats. As we hustled the cats into their taxis, the hail got larger and louder. We ended up with golfball sized hail. I thought it was going to break the windows. We put the cats into the bathroom and waited as the sirens howled overhead. I think that the horrifying sounds made the cats submit to our wishes of huddleing them together like furry sardines.

Once it was all over, I think that they were very greatful to have had their small surroundings to make them feel safe. Then, when it was safely past… out came the neighborhood to see the effects and socialize through their common ordeal, forgetting that in times past – tornadoes can form on the back end when you think all is well and good. Nothing happened however. You can bet that I was praying through the entire situation. Though this wasn’t a cyclone in Myanmar… it was scary none the less, God spared us… again.

A couple of years back there was another scary ordeal that hit the town on one side of us, lifted up over us, then came back down on the town just to the other side. My family thinks that we are crazy to live where we live, not realizing that they get worse weather than we do. So, all in all… it has been an eventful day as I suspect that many more will be in these last days.

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Myanmar Cyclone Devastation Abounds

Posted by truthoughts on May 4, 2008

Prayer Urgently Needed – Missionaries in danger and unable to communicate with the outside due to a catastrophic event that exceeds the devistation of Katrina in comparison.

Over 350 dead as cyclone pounds Myanmar

YANGON (Reuters) – A cyclone killed more than 350 people in military-ruled Myanmar, ripping through Yangon and the Irrawaddy delta where it flattened at least two towns, officials and state media said on Sunday.

The death toll is likely to climb as the authorities manage to contact outlying islands and villages that felt the full force of Cyclone Nagris, a Category 3 storm packing winds of 120 miles per hour when it hit early on Saturday. Full Story…

You can view a video regarding the devistation HERE.

Understand The Times Ministry with Roger Oakland provides missionary work in Myanmar through an organization he has created set up to help children, called, Bryce Lodge. You can find out more about these efforts HERE.

Roger has sent out a message requesting prayer for those in Myanmar:

We have a critical situation in Yangon. A cyclone has devastated Yangon and communications have been cut off. I have not been able to make contact with our people. All we can do at this point is to pray.                              

 

Bryce Lodge 1 (picture above)                               Bryce Lodge 2 – Michael Miller’s House (picture above)

The local news media in Myanmar is comparing this devastation to the Katrina impact in the USA. In a location where poverty abounds and governmental problems seem insurmountable, this destructive impact can cause far more damage to this country than Katrina ever hoped to here in the US.

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