Stirred not Shaken

July 25, 2009

Sin

Filed under: Uncategorized — Debs @ 6:31 pm

Sin.  I think sometimes we focus so much on redemption, we forget the reality of it.   Scripture teaches that sin within a Child of God is far from dormant, I don’t believe it is a redeemable thing, or something that can be reformed.  Sin has to be crucified and put to death by the power of Jesus Christ.   We live in our redemptive state forgetting the absolute horror of the fact that sin can take hold of us and manipulate us.  It convinces us that we are justified in what we are doing…and controls our actions.

Then the sin is exposed.  It is the whole purpose of the power of God’s Word, to penetrate and expose our sin.  We in ourselves can not be impartial judges of our own actions.  We can not be judges of ourselves.  We need the Word of God, and always be on the defensive.   We are so clever at explaining why we do what we do.   We persuade ourselves that everything is good, the other person after all is worse than I am.   Introduce pride.  The pride  that hides itself from the light of God’s Word.

People love to talk about God’s grace yet what is it really for?  I believe it for stripping away our excuses and exposing our sin.

What do you do when the sin of one you love and adore is exposed and raw?  How do you get past “numb”?

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July 24, 2009

His Ways…..

Filed under: Uncategorized — Debs @ 9:53 am

“God would not rub so hard if it were not to fetch out the dirt that is ingrained in our natures. God loves purity so well He had rather see a hole than a spot in His child’s garments.”  ~Gumall

He loves us that much…..


July 23, 2009

Father, Son, Holy Spirit

Filed under: Uncategorized — Debs @ 6:42 pm

I am writing this post because I feel it is necessary to always present both sides of a belief system for the purpose of making an informed decision when it comes to the word of God.  I am NOT writing this in an attempt to put anyone down….but the fact is I do not see “baptism in the name of Jesus only” exclusive in the Bible.  Since I am leaving Carol’s comment and link with her thoughts on this up on my blog, I am going to present the other side of the equation.

This is what I believe from my study of God’s Word…as always, open for discussion.  I am simply going to compare a couple of verses….the first is Acts 2:38 or any other verse really that says “in the name of Jesus Christ”.

38And Peter said to them, Repent and  be baptized every one of you  in the name of Jesus Christ  for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”

Now lets look at Matthew 28:18-20 “18And Jesus came and said to them,  “All authority  in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of  all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

So which is it?  First of all, baptism has nothing to do with salvation which has been covered pretty extensively in other posts, so I will simply give my thoughts on being “baptized in the name of…..”  The thing that stands out to me in Acts is there is never a “I baptize you in the name of…”  Every single time Acts mentions a baptism in Jesus’ name, the phrase characterizes the baptism, not that that is what the baptizer said.  It was only that the baptism was in Jesus’ name, under the authority that Jesus gave them.

Being baptized in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, means we are identifying with our Triune God.  We belong to Father, are saved by the Son, indwelt by the Holy Spirit.  Being baptized in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit is being baptized in identification with them and their power over and in our lives.  Jesus Himself specifically told us to, good enough for me.

The names in that we use when we baptize, are not as important as the recognition that baptism identifies us with the death, burial and resurrection of Christ.  We are buried with Him and risen to walk with Him in newness of life.  Again, this is not a salvation issue.

My kind of people….

Filed under: Uncategorized — Debs @ 11:56 am

When was the last time you were spontaneous, just quit worrying about the norm, being responsible, what other people thought, and just let your hair down.  I love spontaneity…I love that God has given us a whole world to be spontaneous in and just laugh, enjoy people, creation, and life  when we want to.  Do something others aren’t expecting, get out of the pomp and circumstance of it all, and this is the reaction most of the time.  Look at these people, their faces, and try to feel what’s happening in this room.   Then do something spontaneous, fun, and remember what it feels like to just let loose a little….I’m going to.  

July 22, 2009

Simple question….

Filed under: Uncategorized — Debs @ 4:02 pm

Do you believe the church is intended for the believer or non-believer…and why?  Think about it, it’s not as simple as you may think….   😉

July 21, 2009

Baptism….

Filed under: Uncategorized — Debs @ 8:44 pm

A friend inspired me recently to write on baptism.  There are always going to be people who come against what you believe and try to intimidate you.  Yet we always need to be prepared to stand….even if it is alone.  There are times when we experience something so terrible that it prevents us from speaking up, but I believe that it why there is a body.  I wanted to share my thoughts on baptism.

First of all, what is it?  Take the time to read 1 Peter 3:18-22 “18For Christ also  suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous,  that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit, 19in which  he went proclaimed  to the spirits in prison, 20 because they formerly did not obey, when God’s patience waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through water. 21Baptism, which corresponds to this,  now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, 22who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, with angels, authorities, and powers having been subjected to him.”

This scripture is so important in understanding what baptism is.  Baptism is a symbolic expression of the heart’s “appeal to God.”  It is a way of saying to God Himself with our whole body, “I trust You!  Take me to Christ and make Jesus the substitute for my sin.  Bring me through the waters of death into an everlasting life through the resurrection of Jesus.”

God  calls us to do this.  You can not do it yourself, but God saves you through His son, Jesus Christ.  Controversy over baptism is deadly because it feels at times threatening, so it tends to stir up a defensive and angry countenance.   It focuses on the reasons for truth, rather than the reality behind the truth.  I read recently about a Puritan named John Owen….he pastored 350 years ago.  He had some counsel over this that I thought I would share:

“When the heart is cast indeed into the mould of the doctrine that the mind embraceth – when the evidence and necessity of the truth abides in us – when not the sense of the words only is in our heads, but the sense of the thing abides in our hearts – when we have communion with God in the doctrine we contend for – then shall we be garrisoned by the grace of God against all the assaults of men.”   I love how they spoke then….   🙂

I think the key to Mr. Owen’s ministry, is that he didn’t just contend for doctrine, he loved and fellowshiped with the God behind it.  He spoke it boldly, that we can not let disputation replace exultation.  So here are the steps:

1.  We are alienated from God….   2:  Sin is what alienates us…  3.  God substituted his Son for us…  4.  The substitution was once for all…  5.  God was satisfied with Christ’s substitution…

Some may say, that verse 21 where it speaks of “baptism saving” means that immersing the body or sprinkling, whichever the case is, has a saving effect.  Yet Paul states in Romans 10:13 “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord-everyone who appeals to the Lord-will be saved.”  We need to understand that faith calls on God.  Baptism is the God-ordained, symbolic expression of that call to God.  An appeal in the form of repentance and commitment.  It is simply, as Paul states “an appeal (or pledge depending on your version) to God for a good conscience-through the resurrection of Jesus Christ.”

July 20, 2009

Look for what’s there….

Filed under: Uncategorized — Debs @ 9:20 pm

Recently I had the opportunity to take a couple of weeks and spend some time with some wonderful people in Pennsylvania.  There has been alot happen this last year, and it felt good to just let down and have some fun with a wonderful Christian family.  It’s taken me a little time to process, there was so much packed into the time there, every minute has a fun and good memory.

One thing I had forgotten since the last time I was in Texas was how huge the sky actually is.  It goes all the way to the ground!!!!  I am constantly surrounded by beautiful mountains and trees at home, but after a couple of days, I stopped expecting to see the mountains there, it wasn’t how God created that land, so I didn’t look for them.  Instead I soaked up what was there.  Vast fields that go on forever, amazing, intense thunder storms, fireflies….love those fireflies…and air so thick you can slice it.  The history was amazing, loved the buildings and the people….

I was sitting here thinking about everything we did, and wondered how I could have the same attitude towards people.  It really seems simple, at least it was back in Pennsylvania.  I wasn’t looking for what wasn’t there, instead I was focused and enjoying what was.  Colossians 1:16 ” For by Him were all things created, that are in Heaven, and that are in earth, all things were created by Him and for Him.”   All means all last time I checked…..

With some people, it is easy to see and appreciate who they were created to be.  With others, it can feel like a daunting and impossible task.  But then, God speaks and says to keep looking for something in this person, I’ve put them in your path for a reason….

Each person and place that God has created has a very unique topography.   I need to do better at looking at people, accepting them where they are, look for what is there, and hope that they will do the same for me.  Be a little quicker to say I’m sorry…be a little quicker to forgive and love.  I think about where I would be if He hadn’t, and it really becomes almost too much to bear.

Darla, Scott, Trina, Lace and Derek….you are so precious to me.  I love you…thank you.

July 18, 2009

From my boy…

Filed under: Uncategorized — Debs @ 6:36 pm

Had to pass it along, please pray for them……thanks!

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My Consuming Fire

Filed under: Uncategorized — Debs @ 9:24 am

Hebrews 12:28-29 “Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear.  For our God is a consuming fire.”

As a believer, God is ever preparing me for Himself.  By His shed blood and the work of the cross, He cleansed me from sin and frees me from it’s power.  His love is a flame as He leads toward the goal.  It brings judgment to those who are not in Him, yet in the believer it builds humility, faith and purity as we seek an ever-deeper relationship with Him.  He promises to bring the remnant “through the fire” and to “refine them as silver is refined.”  Zechariah 13:9-14:1 says, that when finished, He “will say, ‘This is My people; and each one will say, ‘The Lord is my God.”‘

God uses my problems, and failures along with the people in my life, as the fuel for this refining fire, yet His flames will never burn out of control.  He made me, He knows just the right intensity of heat required to cleanse and purify; so He carefully guards the temperature with His wisdom and love, as to not allow more than I can bear.  He watches me closely, seeing past the dross that is surfacing and finds delight in the pure gold that begins to shine through.  He is far from finished with me, yet seeing me in my finished state, He sees the radiance of the person He will make me.  He applies pressure and heat to this hard lump, which by the way often seems good enough to me, until I am melted and broken.

Eventually, my most hidden dross comes to the surface, and it is visible, reachable.  By now I am softened and surrendered, and completely yield to His fire, and then I give Him both the gold and impurity.  He gently separates the two, skims off the dross, and continues to mold the rest to His, not my, standard.

Recently having gone through this process, I have learned to welcome His training.  My desire is to be  sensitive to His will and obedient in my daily walk,  laying down my life for His sake.  Mostly because He has shown me what happens when He leaves me to myself.  I want His fire, I want the purity it produces.  When the heat becomes painful and intense, I think on His ultimate purpose, and His encouraging words through His disciple, Peter  

“In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ, whom having not seen you love.” 1 Peter 1:6-9

July 17, 2009

Have a great weekend!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Debs @ 6:45 am
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