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The Great Awakenings, revivals and growth of His Church through the eons has been when churches worshipped the Almighty God. When the word Awesome was reserved only for Him, we worshipped Who He IS, The Author and Finisher of our faith; The Alpha and Omega. 
When churches taught God’s Word and truths without adding to or taking away, His Church grew. When His Church teaches what Jesus said, and not fret over what He did not, His Church grows. Too many churches complicate the simple truth of His Word. Theological study is wonderful until we see it as how Biblically intellectual we are. 
Back to The Bible, back to His truths. No fanfare, entertainment value or performance needed. The Revivals all over the world today are happening where His gospel is delivered in Word and music. No distractions, No repetitive needed. After all, they can get that every day by turning on a TV, walking in a crowd, or using a computer. 

The world is hunget for Truth, His. Why are we distracting them? Why do we allow churches to become stumbling blocks?
We can not entertain them into His Truth. They have a hunger, let us not give them cake. We, nor the churches, are here to replace the work of The Holy Spirit. We are here to deliver His message. Simple Truth, His: Savior, Sanctifier, Healer and Coming King. 

What did Jesus say? Matthew 18:1-7 NASB

“1 At that time the disciples came to Jesus and said, “Who then is greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” 2 And He called a child to Himself and set him before them, 3 and said, “Truly I say to you, unless you are converted and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven. 4 Whoever then humbles himself as this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. 5 And whoever receives one such child in My name receives Me; 6 but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it would be better for him to have a heavy millstone hung around his neck, and to be drowned in the depth of the sea. 7 “Woe to the world because of its stumbling blocks! For it is inevitable that stumbling blocks come; but woe to that man through whom the stumbling block comes!”

As we come together each week to worship, let us come humbly, as a child, ready to listen and be taught by The Holy Spirit. Be still and know. ~ RBG

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Luke 10:25-37

One of the most well know parables is Jesus telling about the good Samaritan.  Many a sermon  has been preached on it and many a book written about the incident.  Thousands of years later what one man did for another is still remembered.  If someone acts likewise they are called, “Good Samaritan”.  Still, no one knows the good Samaritan’s name.  Jesus often left out what we as humans would consider a significant fact.  (One of my favorite “omissions” is the one where He knelt and wrote in the sand as they wanted to stone the woman.  Ever wonder what did He write?)

Jesus left out details so we would focus on the point of the parable.  We know what the man was (a Samaritan)  and what kind of man he was (compassionate, caring, sacrificial). This was what Jesus wanted us to focus on, not who he was (name).

Matthew 6: 1-4

1) “Beware of practicing your righteousness before men to be noticed by them; otherwise you have no reward with your Father who is in heaven.  2) So when you give to the poor, do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, so that they may be honored by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full. 3) But when you give to the poor, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4) so that your giving will be in secret; and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.”

Jesus knew the heart of man.  He knew how we can seek our own glory and reward.  Sadly, as  you look at social media, there are so many that have forgotten what He taught in this parable.  I wonder if no one knew what was done and by who, if it would be done.  I wonder if many would do what they do if it only brought glory to God.


Depression is a struggle that can be won. There were no antidepressants in Bible times. You need the Master Physician. 

Depression starts as a single thought. Nip that thought.

 Philippians 3:7

“Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.”      Yes, it can be that simple; God’s plan. 

My mind was altered by the stroke. With my stroke I went through so many changes in my mind. I had a double bleed stroke; Subarachnoid and Intracranial bleeding damaged my brain. Every where the blood flowed it killed cells. This caused:

*Misfiring between healthy cells and dead cells they’re meant to connect to, which causes seizures. 

*Depression came from pain and lack of sleep and the misfirings. That electrical current connects wrong. This is ‘mis-wiring’, if you will. 

*Misprocessing of data input from the mis-wiring. (Think illusions. Your mind is altered. )
My doctors wanted me on antidepressants. They started arguing their case in the hospital. “You’re going to be depressed, suicidal.” I told them I’d let God handle my mind. They all but rolled their eyes and bit their tongues. 

Well, it’s all true. I have experienced all of them, multiple times. But, I tell them no. I do take the seizure meds because the misfiring of current between dead brain and healthy brain is like lightening bolts in your head. My right side is constantly in a “Novocain” state, sometimes numb, sometimes tingling, cold ‘awaking’. Annoying but, I’m working on it daily, re-wiring still. They say you have all you’re going to achieve by six months. They don’t know my Physician. Sometimes He means for your healing to be a journey, sometimes He commands it instantly. 

Some days I lose but, those days are lessening. My mind and body are healing in His time, by His plan. So no anti-depressants for me. They depress or, I should say, suppress the mind. They’re mind altering. That’s God’s job. 

When you see physically disabled people, crippled, living lives of pain, who are at peace and happy, and glorify God, they’ve allowed Him to win the battle of the mind. It’s always the people who understand the battle in the mind that defeat satan through The Holy Spirit. 

Sin alters the mind. What you put in multiplies in your mind and takes over, including drugs and alcohol. Brain cells are the only cells that don’t reproduce. Allow God’s Word to multiply in your mind and your heart will change and hide The Word within. 

All of the mind’s problems started with Adam and Eve, they wanted all the knowledge. It has always been the battle between God and satan. God took them out of the garden, away from the tree of knowledge. Now we have access to about 10%. Mostly, we all use the same 8% (+/-) to function. Each of us varies on the other 2%(+/-). That’s why we need each other to be one body in Christ. 

In the Bible every demon that was cast out was from the mind. That’s satan’s favorite hunting ground and target. Again, it all started with Adam and Eve. That’s why God allows us about 10% usage. 
Fortunately, He allows us to acquire more when we damage some. I’m back to 10%. I’m different because some of it is different. Some came from same type of cells so I can walk and talk, and basically have a normal life. Some didn’t (still working on those). 

I could let all of these changes, uncertainties, depress me. Sometimes it’s a struggle. But, The Holy Spirit wasn’t damaged or depressed from my stroke. Only I can suppress Him. It’s a choice. 
The condition of the heart is fed by the mind. That’s why satan wants control of your mind. Trust your mind to God. Use The Holy Spirit left here for us. Feed your mind with scripture, which is God’s sword to slay satan and his lies. 

(Notes: first, my verbal/language area was damaged. Please forgive the grammar and diminished writing skills. Second, the seizure meds make me “long-winded”. Hopefully, I was able to communicate all my thoughts without rambling. Lastly, I always use lower case in the name satan because he IS one. It is not an error).


 
   As I looked at the “Good Friday” scripture and all The Lord went through, my mind was drawn to His words in Luke 22:42, “Father, if You are willing, remove this cup from Me; yet not My will, but Yours be done.” (NASB). As a human it was impossible, He wanted to be spared. But, as the Son of God it was possible.  He had to “drink the cup” to fulfill God’s plan, His will.  He had to go through every step, not skipping any, not taking an easier way.

How then should we expect an easier path if God intends us to go through a hard time?  So many times we just want it easier, smoother. But, that is not what Jesus finished His prayer with. It is okay for us to ask for “the cup” to be removed. But, less we lose the blessing of the plan, we should finish with,  “yet not my will, but Yours be done.”  How often do we miss the blessing by not willingly accepting His cup. 

Last June I wanted “the cup” removed instantly.   It was hard to ask for His will be done. My mind wasn’t working completely as it was.   But, I kept asking for His help. Often discouraged, and confused, with fears for what would happen next, I kept alert for the next “sip”.  One drop at a time. Patience alluded me at times. But, The Comforter was always there to help any momentary lapses. 

 In the past nine months, since my subarachnoid and intracranial bleeding stroke, I have gone through a myriad of contemplations.  I have short term memory loss so I take lots of notes. I have to reread what I’ve written in hopes of getting my thoughts on paper before I forget them again.  Our brains are so complex.

 God gave us 100% of a brain and allows most of us access to only 10%.  Can you image how mankind would wreck havoc if we could access all of our brain?  Super computers would not begin to describe them. It is no wonder God only allows us to access so little and that we come here as infants to ‘grow into’ the knowledge our brain can achieve.  

For me part of my brain died. I have been on a  rollercoaster ride of unbelievable magnitude as I learn to maneuver through and around my damaged brain.  I am brain damaged but, not brain dead.  The part that died cannot be made alive.   But, so much more is waiting to be used by His grace.  It reminds me of how I am to be dead to sin and not pick it up again. Grow and move on.  

There have been some hurdles that felt insurmountable as I learned to access other parts of my brain for speech, strength, swallowing… Everything. I am a miracle. Though part of my face feels numb and I’ve trained my throat to swallow without strangling; though my right side is weak and tingling and my head has hurt for 9 months, I am getting well. I function normally. I work full time. Each day I am better, stronger.  One sip at a time. The cup was not taken from me nor given all at once.  I have no doubt God could have made me whole instantly. He chose not to heal me instantly. My cup was full and I had to learn to sip it slowly. I have grown with each sip. 

Jesus took His cup.  As  Christians we will have cups if we are to become more like Him. Someday I may know how many cups I was spared, how many I refused, and the blessings I gained through the ones I accepted by His Grace. 
One sip at a time. One step at a time. Trust. Obey. 


There is no author noted for this analogy, but its truth is so profound that it needs to be shared.  I have written many blogs on trials, but you can never hear this truth too many times.

  
A young woman went to her grandmother and told her about her life and how things were so hard for her. She did not know how she was going to make it and wanted to give up. She was tired of fighting and struggling. It seemed as one problem was solved a new one arose.

Her grandmother took her to the kitchen. She filled three pots with water. In the first, she placed carrots, in the second she placed eggs and the last she placed ground coffee beans. She let them sit and boil without saying a word.

In about twenty minutes she turned off the burners. She fished the carrots out and placed them in a bowl. She pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl. Then she ladled the coffee out and placed it in a bowl. Turning to her granddaughter, she asked, “Tell me what do you see?”

“Carrots, eggs, and coffee,” she replied.

She brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots. She did and noted that they got soft.She then asked her to take an egg and break it.

After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard-boiled egg.

Finally, she asked her to sip the coffee. The granddaughter smiled, as she tasted its rich aroma. The granddaughter then asked. “What’s the point, grandmother?”

Her grandmother explained that each of these objects had faced the same adversity–boiling water–but each reacted differently.

The carrot went in strong, hard and unrelenting. However after being subjected to the boiling water, it softened and became weak. The egg had been fragile. Its thin outer shell had protected its liquid interior. But, after sitting through the boiling water, its inside became hardened.

The ground coffee beans were unique, however. After they were in the boiling water they had changed the water.

“Which are you?” she asked her granddaughter.

“When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a carrot, an egg, or a coffee bean?”

Think of this: Which am I?

Am I the carrot that seems strong, but with pain and adversity, do I wilt and become soft and lose my strength?

Am I the egg that starts with a malleable heart, but changes with the heat? Did I have a fluid spirit, but after a death, a breakup, a financial hardship or some other trial, have I become hardened and stiff?

Does my shell look the same, but on the inside am I bitter and tough with a stiff spirit and a hardened heart?

Or am I like the coffee bean? The bean actually changes the hot water, the very circumstance that brings the pain. When the water gets hot, it releases the fragrance and flavor. If you are like the bean, when things are at their worst, you get better and change the situation around you.

When the hours are the darkest and trials are their greatest do you elevate to another level?

~Author Unknown


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Have you ever had someone ask you to pray about something with which they are struggling? Or, maybe they are just always talking about the same problem in their life. It is like they never move on or learn. They are stuck; stuck in sin.

Maybe that someone is a kid. As a parent you try and teach kids to do the right thing. When they make a mistake you want them to learn from it and move on and not repeat it. If they come to tell you of a mistake hoping you will be so proud of their admitting it do you forgo the consequences? Wonder where they get such an idea? Have you ever approached God that way?

Mistakes happen. When we keep repeating them they are no longer mistakes. With few exceptions, our mistakes are sin. Sin has consequences. Without them you could sin every Saturday and repent every Sunday. I have known people like that; once is a mistake, twice a habit and then a lifestyle. They make a show every Sunday but, come Monday they’re back in the rut.

Consequences help us to remember we made a mistake. When we truly repent then we turn and return no more to the same place that causes us to repeat the mistakes. Forgiveness of sin upon true repentance is given by our Lord freely. However, that doesn’t guarantee erasing of consequences. God may erase them but, more than likely He will allow you to grow through them. Most of us return to our comfort zone of sin if we are not
reminded by consequences why we turned from them.

If The Lord shows us an area in our life we need to turn from and we repent, we can lean on His power to not return to that sin. If His grace erases consequences too, you are truces blessed. If not, accept what consequences there are and grow.


thPeace is sought everywhere.  No matter the continent or country, people are looking for peace.  Of course, there are those that destroy peace, but most want to find some sort of common ground and get along.  According to the Merriam Webster dictionary:

peace  noun \ˈpēs\ (1) a state in which there is no war or fighting  (2) an agreement to end a war (3) a period of time when there is no war or fighting
The Baker’s Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology  says:

The Meaning of Peace. In English, the word “peace” conjures up a passive picture, one showing an absence of civil disturbance or hostilities, or a personality free from internal and external strife.

Some want peace in their personal lives, between family members like siblings, etc.  Others want peace at their school, or job.  Maybe peace is needed in a church or neighborhood.  No matter what kind of peace, it all starts with you.

First, and most importantly, you must have the Prince of Peace in your life, or all your efforts will be futile.

Secondly, you have to daily seek peace.  Sometimes it may even be a moment by moment, standing on His promises to get you through the situation.

Finally, you need to understand there’s a reason we say “Peace like a River”.  Not a lake, or the ocean … a river. That thought struck me this past week.  I did a little research on what the Bible says.

Isaiah 66:12a NASB “For thus says the LORD, “Behold, I extend peace to her like a river, And the glory of the nations like an overflowing stream;”…

Isaiah 48:14 NASB “If only you had paid attention to My commandments! Then your well-being would have been like a river, And your righteousness like the waves of the sea.”

A lake is a body of water, mostly still.  The ocean goes in and out against the shore.  But, a river, a river takes a journey.  Life is a journey, peace is a journey.  Daily going forward, putting the day before behind you.  God always says it just right doesn’t He?

He will be with you on your journey, and His peace is there for you.  There are many verses in the Bible about peace.

John 14:1 NASB  “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me.

John 14:27  NASB  “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.”

THIS ONE SHOULD GET YOU UP SHOUTING PTL AND PTA: (That’s Southernese for “Praise the Lord” and “Pass the Ammunition”.  ‘Cause we know when you win one battle, another is just around the corner and you need to reload the ammunition.  But, we also know, HE HAS ALREADY WON THE WAR at Calvary!)

John 16:33 NASB  “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

John 20:19  NASB “On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the  doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!”

John 20:21 NASB “Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.”

John 20:26  NASB “A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!”

Philippians 4:7  NASB “And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Colossians 3:15  NASB “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.

May your life this year be peace like a river; a journey moving you forward.

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