“Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts. But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a few cents.
Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on.” Mark 12:41-44
I was widowed in early 2006. Some months had passed and circumstances had gone from bad to worse in the business and financial area of my life. The business that I had started with my late husband had all but dried up… the money that I was earning from another job had also disappeared when that job ended. I was a thousand miles from any family, alone and down to the last of my dollars.
It was Sunday morning while I was driving to Church that I felt such a burden on my heart because I was not able to give anything in the Church offering that morning. My checkbook had just $12.83 remaining after paying my other bills that month. Yet my car insurance bill had showed up in the mail and they wanted somewhere around $30.00. I had no idea where that money was going to come from. Things didn’t look good. I was without resources, business prospects or family to rely on… I was sad, alone and desperate. Continue reading
“So Elijah went from there and found Elisha son of Shaphat. He was plowing with twelve yoke of oxen, and he himself was driving the twelfth pair. Elijah went up to him and threw his cloak around him. Elisha then left his oxen and ran after Elijah. “Let me kiss my father and mother goodbye,” he said, “and then I will come with you.” “Go back,” Elijah replied. “What have I done to you?” So Elisha left him and went back. He took his yoke of oxen and slaughtered them. He burned the plowing equipment to cook the meat and gave it to the people, and they ate. Then he set out to follow Elijah and became his servant.” 1 Kings 19:19-21 NIV
Elijah, a Prophet, was commanded by God to anoint several Kings as well as anoint Elisha as his protégé and successor. Until that time, Elisha was a farmer plowing his family fields, driving a team of oxen behind the plow. Just living his life.
In an instant his life is transformed when Elijah went up to him and threw his cloak around him. At that time a man’s cloak was a prized possession. It served as his protection from the weather and any other dozen uses. But in this instance the cloak denoted the office of Prophet. The act of Elijah covering Elisha with his cloak was to show that he would be come Elijah’s successor. Elisha dropped what he was doing and ran after Elijah. But he stopped him and asked to be allowed to go back and say goodbye to his parents, to which Elijah agreed.
“As we are approaching the end of this age, we will come to see that those things which are to be shaken shall be removed and only those things which are not to be shaken shall remain. May we therefore seek for things unshakable which come through the spirit of wisdom and revelation.”[i]
Recently we began an all Church Bible Study called Experience Life by Pete Briscoe. In the week two study, we are challenged to develop and deepen our relationship with Jesus by committing ourselves to spending time with Him, becoming more the person He desires us to be. “Discipleship requires Discipline” “We have a new life in Christ – a relationship with our living Lord!” Just as when we meet a new friend, we want to get to know them better, we do this by spending time with them – talking, learning about them, their past, their likes, their dislikes, etc. “For the Christian, isn’t that what spiritual growth really is – getting to know Jesus better, communicating with Him, learning what He likes and doesn’t like, and adapting our lives to His?” Continue reading
“And God spoke these words, “I am the LORD your God who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. You shall have NO other God before me.” Exodus 20:1-3
The first of the Ten Commandments, along with the next three, tells of our duty to God. While the remaining 6, speak to our relationship with our neighbor. It is correct that this commandment be first as we had a Maker to love, before we had a neighbor to love.
He is Jehovah God. He is the singular object of our worship. The worship of any other god animate or inanimate is forbidden.
“Then the Lord said to Moses, “Tell the Israelites this: ‘You have seen for yourselves that I have spoken to you from heaven: Do not make any gods to be alongside Me; do not make for yourselves gods of silver or gods of gold.” Exodus 20:22-23 Continue reading
Who am I? What is my true identity? This world sees me as a woman, wife, daughter, sister, aunt, niece, cousin, friend, helper, widow, worker, speaker, author, neighbor, the list goes on. And while all of those are in fact true, I am so much more. You see, my Savior says that…
I am forgiven.
I am redeemed.
I am accepted.
I am blameless.
I am blessed.
I am adopted as God’s child.
I am marked as belonging to God by the Holy Spirit…
and so much more.
“Even after Jesus had done all these miraculous signs in their presence, they still would not believe in Him” John 12:27
During His three-year ministry on this earth, Jesus had performed so many miracles, signs and wonders as witnessed sometimes by a few and other times thousands, yet the people wouldn’t, or couldn’t, believe in Him as the Messiah – the Son of God.
In the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John there are over 30 miracles documented. Yet, despite the eye-witness evidence of the lame raised up able to walk, the eyes of the blind opened to see, the lepers healed, the 5000 fed from 5 loaves and 2 fish, the dead raised to life, demons cast out at the mere sight of Him, enabling the mute to speak, turning water into wine, healing at the simple touch of His robe, life-long paralytics restored to complete health, house servants healed by only the words of His mouth, raging storms on the sea clamed by His command, and walking on water just to name a few, and let’s not forget His resurrection from the dead as witnessed by hundreds. Yet, despite all of the evidence, so many people in Jesus’ time would not believe either during His earthly ministry or after His resurrection.
Perhaps some had only heard about the miracles and did not witness them personally. With a skeptical mind, they could not, or would not, believe in what they didn’t see first hand. Perhaps they thought someone was exaggerating the event. Continue reading
God Hates Me! Okay maybe He doesn’t hate me, but at the very least He is mad at me! He’s just waiting to get a hold of me and punish me. I have sinned so much, there is no way that He could ever forgive me. If I can’t forgive myself, why would He forgive me.
Sadly, that is the prevailing opinion of many Americans today. God is unrelenting. He is vengeful and angry. How could He ever forgive me for what I’ve done?
Gods promise in Isaiah 54: 9-10 gives us the hope and assurance we so need.
9 “In the time of Noah I promised
never again to flood the earth.
Now I promise not to be angry with you again;
I will not reprimand or punish you.
10 The mountains and hills may crumble,
but my love for you will never end;
I will keep forever my promise of peace.”
90 Minutes in Heaven by Don Piper
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
“Pastor Don Piper died January 18, 1989 when a semi-tractor truck crushed his car. Declared dead by the first rescue workers to arrive on the scene, Don’s body lay under a tarp for the next 90 minutes. Don’s soul, meanwhile, was experiencing love, joy, and life like he’d never known before. Don was in Heaven.
When another pastor’s prayers helped bring Don back to life, he became a living miracle! Yet this is one miracle Don wished never happened. Heaven’s bliss was replaced by excruciating pain and emotional turmoil. With the support and prayers of his beloved Eva, their three kids, and friends near and far, Don clings to his faith in God and fights to regain a semblance of his previous life. The Piper family’s incredible true story of perseverance and overcoming the challenges of life – and death – will bring hope and encouragement to all who see it.”
Kingdom Authority by Kynan Bridges
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
“Kingdom Authority provides deep biblical insight into the authority that you possess as a child of God. You will discover how to invoke God’s Word and the name of Jesus to gain victory over the enemy and take dominion over the powers of darkness and their torments, finding freedom from fear, depression, lust, sickness, poverty, and bondage of all types.”
Do Not Miss This Book. This is a must read for all Christians! While it is only 200 pages, it is packed full with Godly Wisdom and Truth. Buy this book for your friends and family.
AHA: The God Moment That Changes Everything by Kyle Idleman
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
“We’ve all had “aha!” moments in our lives, times when a sudden revelation surprises us with insight. According to pastor and bestselling author Kyle Idleman, we can experience this same kind of “aha!” in our spiritual lives. With everyday examples and trademark testimonies, Idleman draws on Scripture to reveal how three key elements can draw us closer to God and change our lives for good.
Awakening to the reality of our true spiritual condition, we see ourselves and our need for a Savior with renewed honesty. This realization leads to action, obeying God’s commands and following the example set by Christ. As we see in the transformation of the prodigal son, the result is a life-changing, destiny-altering collision—an AHA moment that leads us home to our loving Father.”