What Is This

Christmas of 2015, I was recuperating from by-pass surgery. I looked at the long line of staples used to close up the wound on my chest. Not where I wanted to be. I so prayed that healing would come from God supernaturally and that I would not need doctors to repair my arteries. But I reflected on my blessings and the family I have that was and is there for me. There are still things that cause health problems due to this atherosclerosis that affects the vessels in my body, but I press on and fight. I fight by means of the grace that He gives me. And I ask for liberal portions of it daily coupled with mercy and revelation. So I spent much of that Christmas in reflective prayer and sitting before him listening.

I spend this Christmas season in contemplating all that has transpired over the last year and that which I see as problematic, as so many seem to have lost sight of who it is we serve. This gift the Father had prepared for us since the foundation of the world is so easily missed in its magnitude. We celebrate the birth of His Son without fully realizing that His death was already set. He came to die for us that we, through Him, might have life eternally. Christ was not of this world, yet gave up His place in the Trinity because of His deep and abiding love for us and because there was no other way for us to be saved. The word became flesh for us.

We see it prophesied in Isaiah 7:14 and 9:6 that the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son and shall call His name Immanuel (God with us) and unto us this Child shall be born and His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father and Prince of Peace. But later in chapter 53, Isaiah tells us this Child will bear our griefs and carry our sorrows. He will be stricken and afflicted, wounded for our transgressions and bruised for our iniquities. The chastisement that brought us peace was upon Him and by His stripes we are healed. He was born into this world KNOWING what would be the price He must pay for us. Christmas is not just about the birth. What are we missing?

Wise men from Persia followed a star to worship before the messiah. They were astrologers. Today they might be rejected by a close minded church. A man named Simeon waited his whole life knowing he’d not see death before he would see and prophesy over the Child, as did Anna, a prophetess who served God faithfully, and saw her reward. Yet with all this knowledge available, and the whole world testifying of His glory, we seem to be inundated with discordant notes. What is this? Too many in the church follow after that which offers promises, but is not the promise. That which offers the way, but is not the light. Paul warned us in Colossians 2:8 “to beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ.” Yet so many still follow things that entice their soulish realm. You try to decide which sins are acceptable and which leader has sins that are the least problematic for you. I do not recognize this God being put forth as my Redeemer. I do not follow a God that limps! Yet too many will take on a limp and no longer even recognize it as a major spiritual handicap.

We must embrace the One that is the light and provides a path for us to walk in. Can you truly be that lowly stable that Christ can take up residence in? We are called to be His temple. What is this that you see this Christmas season? It is only Him. We celebrate Him giving us His only son. He asks that you not only receive Him but so embrace Him that you give up the right to yourself. There is no other way to be His habitation. Seek Him while He may be found. Call upon Him while He is near.

This has been a trying year and it does not appear that it will abate. I pray that the God of love and peace be with you and guide you in all that you do. I pray His thoughts be what floods your mind. I pray everything that is contrary to His will for your life is taken captive to the obedience of Jesus. May the peace of God rule in your heart in all circumstances. He who has called you is faithful. I pray the Lord bless you and keep you; The Lord make His face shine upon you, And be gracious to you; The Lord lift up His countenance upon you, And give you peace. Walk in His blessings. Merry Christmas.

Part Two: Shaken Sheep

In my last posting, I spoke of three separate videos of sheep in life threatening situations and quoted from the Passion Translation of John 21 where Jesus tells Peter to take care of His sheep. In Matthew 13 of the Passion Translation, Jesus answers the disciples’ question as to why He speaks in parables. He tells them they have been given insight into the hidden truths and mysteries of heaven’s kingdom, but others have not. He says that all who listen with an open heart will receive more revelation. But those who don’t listen with an open and teachable heart, even the understanding they have will be taken from them. Tough word, but if one looks to how many are following wrong paths and teachings today, it seems obvious that their hearing and understanding has become compromised.

I spoke of one lamb stuck in a crack in the earth. That crack represented words and messages spoken by many religious leaders which have become intertwined with messages of the world and are then forced into the body, leaving destruction similar to that caused by fracking. I wrote of this in my posting of Nov 15, 2016 titled “Forecast.” This mixture of the wisdom of the world intermingled with what that of the Kingdom brings forth is a pollution that causes one to get spiritually sick. Resulting seismic and spiritual fractures can cause one to lose their way and result in great harm.

The adult sheep that fell into a hole was in so deep only his back feet were visible. It was drawn in by a lie that was so insidious that without intervention, the sheep would have died. That hole was the remnant of basic tenets of our faith that have become eroded by half- truths and enticements offering a better and easier way to receiving abundant life. Those tenets were like giant redwoods, majestic in their beauty and truth, cut down to make way for a new gospel which counteracts that which we read in Proverbs 4 that tells us to avoid a wrong path and not walk in a way that is contrary to His way. But that the path of the just is like a shining sun as opposed to a path of darkness that will cause us to stumble. The resulting hole left by the removal of a righteous truth left a whispering spirit that beckons to those who have become jaded by false teaching and they fall in. Only His grace and mercy will rescue them.

The adult sheep that was stuck in the mud pit was difficult to extricate. The more it struggled the deeper it went down into the mud. This mud represents all the anger, wrath, malice, hatred, distrust of anyone you consider different, racism, sexism and believing that if no one takes you to task for treating others badly, that you’ll be fine. You will not. The unrighteous ways of man may seem right to some, but their end is destruction. All these vile traits just create a hole filled with toxic mud. Until you’re in it, you are totally unprepared for how deep it is and how it will pull you down. We have seen over a year of this, and it continues still.  I am amazed that people I know to be Christians have been taken in by these lies and do their part in adding to what is written and spoken that brings harm to the Kingdom. Do you realize that this only adds to the already existing contention and division?

God has called us to walk in truth even when it may cause us to take flak for standing in righteousness. God did not call us to follow anyone that speaks that which is contrary to His teachings. Sheep truly need to be shaken. They are walking toward a fracture in the earth, a hole left because righteous truth was removed, and a pit full of mud filled with that which is anathema to the teachings of Christ. It’s time for sheep to receive a reviving slap like Cher gave to Nicholas Cage in “Moonstruck” and hear the phrase “Snap Out Of It” so loud that they just might come to their senses! Proverbs 12:1 so perfectly states “Whoever loves instruction loves knowledge, But he who hates instruction is stupid.”

I pray all sheep know and hear His voice and the voice of another they will not follow. Blessings.

Shaken Sheep Syndrome

I happened to watch three similar videos on Facebook recently about sheep. In each video the sheep have fallen into a hole, a crack in the earth, or in a mud pit. Without being rescued, each would have probably died.

In the Passion Translation of John 21, Jesus is speaking with His disciple, Peter. He asks Peter if he “burns with love for Him?” When Peter answers, Jesus then tells him to take care of My lambs. Jesus again asks Peter “do you burn with love for me?” Peter answers as he did the first time and says “Yes, Lord, I have great affection for you.” Jesus then tells him to take care of His sheep. Finally Jesus asks Peter if he has great affection for Him. Peter finally answers, “Lord, You know everything. You know that I burn with love for You!” Jesus finally says, “Then feed My lambs.” In the Aramaic, it says Jesus is referring to the male, female and the young sheep. This command that Jesus gave Peter is also given to all who are in a position of shepherd, be it apostle, prophet, evangelist, pastor or teacher. No matter what your position may be, the responsibility is the same.

Sheep can be quite stupid, as evidenced by the one sheep in a hole so deep only its back feet were visible. It was forcibly pulled out. The baby lamb was gently taken out and the sheep stuck in the mud pit took great effort to extricate. To me, this appeared analogous to what I STILL see with what Christians are speaking and writing, especially on social media, and they have run full steam into a pit of confusion and anger. It is unrelenting. And many Christian leaders are right there with them. Stuck in a pit of anger, being stirred up by a political and religious spirit. The blind leading the blind and both fall into the ditch. Are you aware of the spirit connected to all of this? Hate is hate. And what it breeds only brings destruction. This has been going on for over a year and it is not abating but is getting stronger.

You don’t shake a baby. That is shaken child syndrome. But those mature enough to know what the Word says need to be. Shaken sheep syndrome. And that includes many religious leaders. Who are you following? What kingdom are you building? Do you truly Burn with Love for the Lord? Do you know the awesome responsibility of caring for His sheep? If yes, then where are these words of continued division coming from? It says in Hebrews 12 that there will be a removal of things that can be shaken but that we have a Kingdom that cannot be shaken. Better for you to shake those things that have no business around you then be holding onto them when things are shaken by Him. Even Paul said in 1 Corinthians 4:21, “should I come to you with a rod, or in love and a spirit of gentleness?” Sheep are being led to places where many can fall in a pit. We need to test ourselves to see if we are walking as He directs us.

Pursue peace. Walk in holiness the best that you can. Stay on the right path regardless of the  path the world chooses. Or even if Christians follow that worldly path.  Ask Him, for He will give you understanding in all things. There is anger everywhere. We need to walk away from it as it will only pull us into a dangerous place. Blessings.