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Counterfeit Comforts

Counterfeit Comforts


It's amazing the number of comforts available to us in the Western world. I did not know just how many until I lived overseas in third and fourth world countries that had little to no comforts due to their poverty. And yet. It was always amazing how a family that had nothing, lived in a shack made out of reclaimed wood, somehow would manage to have a TV and a satellite dish with free programming. To think that they had worked so hard to buy that equipment and yet still struggled to feed and clothe their children! Maybe it was more obvious, less hidden, in these places compared to the States. I know the same goes on here only it looks a little like this: you say you can't pay your rent but you won't fail to have money to buy your cigarettes. Some of our "comforts" that we say we cannot live without are just plain sinful addictions, strongholds that need to be broken! Some of our comforts aren't that bad--that is if you eat just one lol. But when we eat them in excess to fill an emotional hole in our life, or to try to heal a hurt in our soul, then these simple items seem to direct our whole life, to where we are eating when we're not even hungry! Sometimes its just the body wanting more control, and then the mind chirps in. One or the other is usually in control of our decision making when we come to Christ. One or the other is the one driving our comfort decisions. It is only through the help of the Holy Spirit that we can come to discover the REAL Comforter is Him! And the real comfort is coming to know Him and letting Him heal us from the inside out through prayer, worship and the Word, fellowship with other Christians, and accountability with our church leaders. If we want to see greater liberty in our personal walk, we need to quit accepting the counterfeits comforts, and pursue the Holy Spirit who can lead us into all Truth--the real truth of Jesus found in His Word! And praying in the Spirit is so important! How else can we let Him help us in an area we're struggling in? Romans 8:26-17 says, "Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God." God bless you! Have a great week in your walk with the Holy Spirit!Support the show
"Wax on, Wax off." Do you remember that statement? Well, its something I remember as a kid growing up with the TV and movies of the 1980s. That was a statement that Pat Morita's character Miyagi, a karate master, said to his unlikely karate pupil Daniel, played by Ralph Macchio in the 1984 production The Karate Kid. Daniel wanted to learn karate, and Miyagi taught him but started him out with waxing his classic car, a  1948 Ford Super De Luxe. In fact, Daniel was given a lot of household duties by Miyagi and grumbled through a lot of them. We can be a lot like Daniel sometimes. We want to hurry to be a superhero of faith, but we don't want the simple exercises or positions that God is giving us now, whereby the faith muscles are grown. Faith muscles are grown by day to day application of His Word in action. A choice to commit our trust fully to Him without question, like Joseph had to trust God when moving his family from Bethlehem to, of all places, Egypt. Maturity comes through a series of continuing levels of commitment to the Lord and to His Way. His Way of doing things, saying things, thinking things and service to His Body. Remember, Jesus said what He considers to be the most important thing we can focus on in Matthew 22: 34-40: "But when the Pharisees heard that He had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together. Then one of them, a lawyer, asked Him a question, testing Him, and saying,  “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?” Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’  On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.” What is it that everything, all the Law and what the Prophets said, what does it hang on? Loving the Lord in the Way He tells us is love--obedience to His commands, and loving our neighbor as ourself--which is a dying to self. This cannot be achieved overnight, just like Daniel wasn't a karate guy overnight. He had to submit to Miyagi and trust him, and do what he was told, and he got rewards for his obedience and trouble when he messed up. But the point is, plug yourself in somewhere in your church where you can start to learn the basics, not just a class to attend, but an area to serve in. Don't seek to lead in an area that you have no foundation in. Serve serve serve. 1 Peter 5 offers some additional reading on humbling ourselves. But remember, God does have a purpose and a plan for your life! And you may be in the middle of it right now! So embrace where you're at and do everything as unto the Lord, as He is our true Master and Commander and we answer to Him ultimately in ALL that we do and say. Let's embrace the character of the Lord Jesus today and allow Him to help us come into a greater level of Maturity IN Christ! God Bless!!Support the show
It's funny, I always refer to the Parable of the Sower as the Parable of the Soils lol (see Luke 8). I live in an area of the United States that is 98% farmland--loads of black dirt! I don't go out and farm any physical fields myself, but I am directly impacted by the activity of it around me. Right now it is May, and the farmers have been working the last several weeks on their fields, prepping them for their planting. They've turned over the hard soil after the winter thaw. They've also burnt off fields, getting the weeds off by setting them on fire. Recently, they've been running great sprayers to prep the fields with chemicals as a pre-planting action. And lately, I have seen  huge plastic crates full of seed or sacks of seed laid out on beds of trucks, parked alongside the fields.  The farmers roaming about in their great tractors hauling the planter apparatus behind them. It's amazing, they're already planting their corn and soybeans! There is so much activity everywhere! And just think about what is going on in the Spirit right now? You know, we are like that field and we have to take responsibility for it if we expect to bear a healthy crop. Over the years I have witnessed terrible fields of crops, not because of poor weather or an unhealthy lack of rain. No, poor because the one who managed the field did not tend to their crop. Mixture. Tares mixed in with the crop. Failure to prep the soil in the beginning, failure to purchase the healthy seeds, failure to manage their planting apparatus so the result is a mixed crop because of old seeds stuck in the machinery. Failure to manage the weeds or pests. Mismanagement. It all ends up with the ugliest final crop you have ever seen, if you could even call it a crop! I've seen more weeds than soybeans sometimes in a bean field!  And having seen these, I've always wondered how their end harvest looked in regards to profitability. Per my own investigation with some of my friends who are farmers, these mismanaged crop harvests would get rejected at the grain elevator when a farmer would try to turn them in for sale. Rejected by the elevator storage, lest they ruin the greater harvest. I have seen the inside of a grain elevator operations office. Before they'll ever take the seed into that greater elevator storage, they will sample it. They will send an arm down into the semi or wagon where the harvest has been placed, and draw out a sample. If its unsatisfactory, they will refuse it. If its so so, they will lower their buying price. Why do we think God is any less about His harvest? He wants us to bear fruit in keeping with His Ways. He has addressed in scripture how He feels about trees that don't bear fruit, both with Christ's cursing of the fig tree in Matthew 21, Luke 3 when a threat of taking an axe to a fruitless tree is given, Luke 6 when a tree laden with thorns or briars is rejecting the harvesters ability to gather its fruit, and Luke 13 when a landowner comes to inspect his vineyard and the tree that has failed to produce fruit. We must be tender toward the Lord. We must let Him prune us so that we can bear much fruit. He corrects those whom He calls His children, so if we want to walk with Him, we have to be open to His Word, and let it instruct us with the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Only then can we really experience a fruitfulness that will bless the Lord and allow Him to minister through us to help bring His healing to those hurting around us. God bless!!Support the show
Have you ever gone through a cleansing? I have had to take medicine in my time that has done a pretty good job of removing things from my system! I've even heard of people who have gone through detox sessions or have had to get special injections from doctors to get chemicals out of their system. Yikes! My personal thoughts regarding cleansing make me think about going through a fast. When you go through one, you begin to pull away from what you have made familiar to your taste buds through routine or comfort, and you take away everything but the basics, you know like you just drink water and eat fruits and veggies. The first couple of days are rather crazy. I've been flat out sick the first couple of days just getting sugar and junk out of my system. Now I kind of give myself a lead time with caffeine because that one on top of sugar, when you pull them both out of your system at But about three days later...and it always seems like it takes 3 days--funny, a resurrection analogy--you feel so good!! I always start to sleep better by day three. I need to do another one of those sessions again soon...but my point is, there is also something even bigger about a fast than just denying yourself food delights, its about drawing near to the Lord. When we do, we effectively are getting cleansed, did you know that? If you have trouble in ANY area, when you come close to the Lord, it gets exposed. Then we have a choice, do we repent and let Him burn it out of us, or do we retreat back into darkness further. I don't know about you, but I would rather go on to greater liberty in Christ Jesus, and confront the ugly, rather than cover it up and act like everything is okay. Jesus's motive is always to heal us and move us forward, not strip and beat us and shove us behind. He is always looking to restore and even resurrect that which you thought could never be. How wonderful He is to us!Let us ALL draw closer to Jesus every day with the help of our friend, the Holy Spirit, who helps to guide us into more of Him, Jesus our Way, our Truth and our Life. God Bless!Support the show (
Many times I think about the Old Testament when I meditate on the question of what ushers in the presence of God. I think of the worship that went on, the worshipers that went before the armies and how God's presence came in and took care of the enemy's armies before God's people even got to the battle! Worship itself is not what's incredible though, its not the powerhouse. And yet so much of worship music has become focused on the art of delivery and not on the Lord at all. I'm not against your smoke machines and laser lights in worship.  No, I'm just saying that its not worship that brings the greatest outpouring of the delivering power of God. It's repentance combined with worship. Just read some of the Psalms and you will see how much King David repented before he began to worship! You don't read about Job getting free from all of his struggles until he repents and acknowledges God's holiness and magnificence, and then he gets his breakthrough. We desire to experience God's power and deliverance in our situation in life, but yet we want it all without repentance. The Kingdom doesn't work that way. We have to be willing to let the Lord have His Way in us! Remember the prayer that Jesus directed us to pray in Matthew 6: 9-13, "‘Our Father, who is in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. (Worship) Your kingdom come.Your will be done, On earth as it is in heaven. (Submission to His Will!)Give us this day our daily bread (Daily reading the Bible/Jesus the Bread of Life).And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. (Repent & Forgive)And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil.'" (Deliverance comes when the prior is done!) You see Jesus is showing us His Way through this prayer! And His Way is the way of Life and He desires for all of us to experience His fullness in our walk with Him. God bless you !Support the show (
I'm sure you've caught at least one home renovation TV show in your lifetime...or maybe you're in the midst of one in your home right now! We all know that there are things to evaluate beforehand, plans to look at, budgets to weigh and so forth. We take so much into doing a home renovation and for what reason? At least what I have witnessed, the reason people do them is for a joyful outcome...people renovate their homes to have a place that feels less chaotic, more comforting and a place that accommodates their pursuits--family and hobbies and careers and passions.  So much of a home renovation is similar to the renovation desires of the Lord Jesus where our mind is concerned. His, though, is much more of an Extreme Makeover, something we couldn't even imagine how good it could be! We can all quote, "I have the mind of Christ," from Galatians 2:20 and make it our meditation and indeed, we can see ourselves come into a transformation over time with the help of the Holy Spirit. But there are sometimes things that just don't want to budge. Doors we keep locked and have confrontations with the Lord when He asks about that area of our mind or heart. Avoidance is something we can get into trouble with, just as much as you would if you were renovating your home and came across a busted sewer line under the floor. You can be embarrassed and quickly try to hide it, secretly patch it up your own way and then later on down the line, your home experiences a rupture of this terrible sewer line and suddenly that beautiful and abundant "new" area is now a stinky mess. This is unfortunately what happens to us when we fail to do what the Holy Spirit directed us to do early on--repent and deal with it and let Him tear it out. It's not too late if you're still willing to let Him put His hands into the renovation of your mind. He's got some wonderful plans for us--He's the great carpenter after all, right?Support the show (
Have you ever looked at that old couple who celebrate their 80th wedding anniversary and you marvel at their commitment, or you say, that's what I want to be some day! And yet, they had 80 years of being together.  And for all the sweet smiles, there were stormy days and sunny days, losses and gains, multiple deaths to their self will, deaths and sicknesses and financial collapses and children and all that comes with it! Let's see, that's 80 years, and 52 weeks a year is 4,160 weeks together. That's 29,200 days of commitment to one another. We don't know the ins and outs of it but they stayed together, right? Now most people see an old married couple and say ooh, aah, but go back to the way they are doing things right now in their own relationships and don't change anything they do daily to produce the long term outcome they want. That's the little foxes that spoil the vine, as the Bible says. Though this isn't a podcast on marriage counseling, this is a podcast on marriage counseling as we ARE married to the Lord Jesus when we ask Him to come into our hearts. If we expect to experience a long relationship with Him, a healthy and happy marriage full of the intimacy of knowing Him deeper as the years go by,  we have to be willing to let Him have His Way in us--aka, we lose OUR life to gain HIS life in us. That requires our submission to the Holy Spirit and His directives which initiate from our Father in Heaven. The Holy Spirit, our Guide into all Truth, can't guide us if we don't value His guidance to begin with; if we don't value the Word of God or submit ourselves to its direction and correction through the guidance of the Holy Spirit, then we come under fire from the world's system. John 15 details this with the directive from Jesus Christ, when He commanded us to "Abide" in Him, the "vine".  Those who didn't abide in Him dried up, and were plucked off the vine to be burned--yes burned. We cannot be transformed by the Lord, which means by definition: "given a completely different form or appearance" if we do not first abide in Jesus = The Word, and let the power of the Word Renew us or give us His NEW Life! Support the show (
In the book of the prophet Isaiah, chapter 40:3-8, we read: "The voice of one crying in the wilderness: “Prepare the way of the Lord; Make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley shall be exalted and every mountain and hill brought low; The crooked places shall be made straight and the rough places smooth; The glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together; For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.” Of course, if you heard it then, you might not know what Isaiah was talking about. Prophets often proclaim what God tells them and that generation may never see it come to pass in their lifetime. We, however, have the amazing capability to travel to the past and examine this word and see its fulfillment in Matthews account of John the Baptist. Matthew 3:1-3 we read: "Now in those days John the Baptist came, preaching in the wilderness of Judea, saying, “Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.” For this is the one referred to by Isaiah the prophet when he said, “The voice of one crying in the wilderness, ‘Make ready the way of the Lord, Make His paths straight!’” What was John's job to proclaim? Who was he announcing? Why the coming of the Messiah, the Savior of Israel, who had been prophesied of for generations! In verse 11 he says, “As for me, I baptize you with water for repentance, but He (Jesus) who is coming after me is mightier than I, and I am not fit to remove His sandals; He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.  His winnowing fork is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clear His threshing floor; and He will gather His wheat into the barn, but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.”And then John baptized Jesus, "After being baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending as a dove and lighting on Him, and behold, a voice out of the heavens said, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased.” And then yet another wilderness was entered into by Christ, one of testing in which satan would tempt him and Jesus would defeat him over and over again with the Word. There is the wilderness of testing that Jesus purposed to enter, fasted and walked through for 40 days. There is the wilderness that the Israelites passed through after separating from Egypts (the world's) system and learning to submit to God's ways--and those who disobeyed God and failed Him stayed walking around that desert for 40 years. Before we can go on to greater things in the Lord and more manifestations of His glory and power working through us, He's looking for our decision to submit to His leadership and to His Word and His Spirit. Apart from Jesus we can do nothing. But sometimes we forget that we need Him, that He's with us, and that He's victorious when faced with the wilderness tests. Don't give up! God has wonderful rewards for those who persevere and endure for the sake of Christ! Support the show (
Training in Righteousness

Training in Righteousness


More of Jesus, Less of me. That is my heart's cry. But walking it out can be altogether a different matter. It's just like anything we can determine to do in this life, its one thing to say we want to do it and another to complete it. That's sort of where paths split. Kind of like when we talked about Ruth and her sister-in-law Orpah when it came to the decision to follow their mother-in-law Naomi back to Bethlehem, Orpah probably said, "sure, I'd like to go." But Ruth went. And there was the parable of the 10 Virgins in Matthew 25...the five that didn't prepare beforehand for what they knew they should've by bringing extra oil for the night journey to the wedding feast...they probably said, "I'd like to go to the wedding feast" but only the five who were faithful and obedient made it inside the door. Today I ministered out of a letter that the Apostle Paul wrote to his disciple Timothy, training him up on what it takes to recognize error--identifying those who may show a form of godliness but deny the power thereof and other who may just outright challenge his faith walk through their corrupt choices, etc. But how using the Scripture as the basis for his learning and "instruction in righteousness" is the way that Paul considered the best advice to give Timothy. Let the Scripture "correct" you and learn that knowing it causes you to be "profitable for teaching" and "reproof," etc. Scripture or the Bible as we say is "God-Breathed" or inspired by God. When you try to live a life against the Way of Jesus Christ, the Word, the Scripture, you will never prosper. God doesn't want that for you. He wants you to prosper and be in health even as your soul prospers...but that only comes when we submit ourselves to Him. And through submission to His training in righteousness through the guidance of the Holy Spirit and the Word can we truly be able to STAY in the WAY of Jesus Christ and walk in the "paths of righteousness for His Name's Sake" (Psalm 23)!!Support the show (
Hebrews 11 is known for being a chapter which expounds on faith. But pulling out this particular verse might help you to see something about the Lord that maybe you didn't know...see verse 6 of chapter 11: "But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him." If we want to see fruit grow in our lives as believers, we have to first "come to Him." Coming to Jesus initially begins with our repentance of sins, but should continue with evidence of fruit growing--and that fruit is produced when we "abide in Him" like John 15 talks about. We cannot begin to operate successfully in the Gifts of the Spirit if we are not abiding in Jesus. We cannot abide in Jesus if we are choosing continually to live a lifestyle that rejects the Bible--or writing our own version of the bible to support our sin. God will never support that. John 15:2 says, "Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit." His desire is not only that we abide in Him, but that we grow, that we can come into the maturity by which He can entrust us with more kingdom responsibility. Everyone wants the benefits without the work. There is no entitlement thinking in God's thinking toward us, He expects us to diligently pursue Him. We are NOT pursuing salvation, hoping that through working we might be made acceptable to God. No, Christ Jesus made us acceptable through the sacrifice of Himself as the Lamb on the cross because our "righteousness" is as "filthy rags"; we are made righteous and acceptable before Father God through Christ alone (Isaiah 64:6, Romans 3:21-26; Galatians 2:20). But Jesus does expect us to come to Him and submit--so that He can reward us! Be encouraged! "...Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man The things which God has prepared for those who love Him" 1 Corinthians 2:9. So, stay in the Way, the Truth---stay in His Word and obedient to Jesus Christ--and you will have Life and Life more abundantly! (John 10:10). God Bless!! Support the show (
Dry Bones Live!

Dry Bones Live!


It has felt  for many--including myself-- like quite a walk through the wilderness with the way these last few years have played out in the earth. Indeed when my mom passed away last year in March, the process of walking through her passing and then now this year with my dad leaving for Heaven a few short weeks has indeed played heavy on my heart. I do not hide the real fact that sometimes there are moments in life that just plain stink. It was never God's will that my mom would die of cancer, or my dad would suffer from Parkinson's until he just wanted to go home to be with Jesus and my mom. God has not said that we would not walk through difficult seasons in this life. There were things my folks could've done to have healthier lives overall but that doesn't mean that these results would not have occurred. I don't know everything, but I do believe it wasn't God's will. His will we are to pray, per Jesus, that it be done on earth as it is in Heaven. And you and I know that sickness is not allowed in Heaven. Beyond this though, they are now together with their Savior. Jesus does promise that in this life, if we choose Him as our Savior, He is with us and will never leave us, even when life feels like a wilderness. But its our attitude in that season that's important. A wrong attitude can keep you going in circles in the desert forever. Or we can choose His life, and have it more abundantly, if we will only choose His Way and not our own. Dry bones only LIVE when God breaths on them. The Holy Spirit is that breath, God's Word is that breath. He sustains us and helps us to rise above things that the devil meant to take us down. In Christ we overcome as apart from Him we can do nothing as it says in John chapter 15. I am choosing that this year will end better than it began. And God is always faithful. God bless!Support the show (
I should've titled this, "Finding your Way through the Wild" because this world feels like a pretty wild jungle right now. But I use the title to mean a couple of things. One, it could be likened to the wilderness that the Israelites had to pass through after God delivered them from their slavery and bondage to Pharaoh and the Egyptians. And most all of that generation went through that wilderness to not even enter in to the "Promised Land" because of disobedience to God and a lack of faith in Him. But then there was another wilderness, which is closer to where we are today, where our Lord Jesus went after being baptized by John the Baptist in the river Jordan, the wilderness fast where Jesus was tempted for 40 days by satan. That wilderness Jesus endured only with the weapon of God's Word. Every time satan came at Jesus, Jesus resisted him with the Scripture. We know that the Word of God says, "resist the devil and he will flee," but the first part of that verse is often forgotten. Let's read it from the source, James 4:7, "Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you." You cannot resist satan if you are living a life of agreement with him, aka, living a life of sin and disagreement with or feigning ignorance to God's Word--which is not submission to God. We must KNOW the Word of God AND OBEY IT and have faith and patience to see it come to pass. But we must be walking in His Way if we ever expect to pass through this world's wilderness and go on to a greater level of relationship with Him, and a greater annointing to do His work! Continue with me on this walk as we learn about what comes next...the gifts of the Spirit!Support the show (
Onward to Redemption

Onward to Redemption


Reward doesn't come to those who do nothing and yet expect everything. (That's actually the definition of lunacy.) For example, you cannot attend an orientation for a university after your parents paid the price of your tuition, only to fail to attend class after class after class and somehow expect to be holding a certificate of graduation at the end. You can't show up at that graduation without a graduation gown and try to force your way to the platform because your name will not be among those called. There will be no diploma placed in your hand that day and most likely you'll be dragged by security out of the auditorium. What could be worse? There is a worse outcome for a certain wanna-be guest in the parable of the King's wedding feast that Jesus shares in Matthew chapter 22. In verse 14, Jesus summarizes the downfall of this guest when the humiliating moment comes and the guest gets pointed out by the King and thrown out. Read here starting in verse 11, “But when the King came in to see the guests, He saw a man there who did not have on a wedding garment. So He said to him, ‘Friend, how did you come in here without a wedding garment?’ And he was speechless. Then the King said to the servants, ‘Bind him hand and foot, take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ " And Jesus closes with this very important statement in verse 14, "For many are called, but few are chosen.” Salvation is orientation, not graduation. We must consider Christ Jesus our graduation. He is our goal, to know Him, to love Him, to obey Him. Read this powerful statement that the Apostle Paul made in a letter he wrote to the Philippian church, "Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus." Join us as we go Onward and Upward!Support the show (
To Be Chosen

To Be Chosen


Imagine Ruth, faithfully pursuing the things of God, giving up her life to serve Naomi and leaving her homeland to set aside what she was brought up to think, to embrace God and His way of doing things. She loses her husband, follows Naomi to a place she's never been and devotes herself to her care, daily gathering up the scraps of the harvest to keep food on the table. She probably also drew water from a nearby well and carried it home daily like so many Biblical women did in ancient Israel. She was faithful in the tough times. She was steady and true. She was honoring. She was truly a servant. And she was noticed for her character. God notices us when we devote ourselves to pleasing Him rather than looking to people to be accepted by them. In Matthew 22, Jesus shares a story about a King giving an invitation to a wedding feast. He sent His servants out to gather the "invited" guests to it. He has to send them out twice because invited basically snub the invitation. The final call, the King sends the servants to just get anyone they can to come. And yet, the King has a standard that he expects His servants to convey to those they bring in---the proper adornment. A man is found not wearing wedding clothes, and it thrown out to the "outer darkness" where there is "weeping" and "gnashing of teeth"; "For many are called [invited] but few are chosen." Let's be those that are chosen Let's be those that our King would call worthy. Luke 21, verse 36, Jesus warns us that we must, "Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things [end time tribulations] that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man.” Jesus is coming back for a triumphant church--one that is dressed and ready for Him!Support the show (
Funny, I just watched a movie about the Beatles last night and what the world would be like without them. I'm not sure I would've missed their music, but a friend of mine who grew up when they were big could sing all of the songs that came up on the TV lol. (I'm more that way with the Sound of Music).  And most rock bands, especially the big names, they get a lot of groupies. If you don't know what a groupie is, well, its the person who goes berserk whenever the band or big name arrives. They want to flock around that person, touch them, get a look from them, etc. Did you know that Jesus had groupies too? And the disciples were always trying to hold back the crowd trying to get at Him! Jesus gave his groupies some pretty cool benefits. He gave great outdoor speeches that when people came, they might get a free meal. He became a form of entertainment. They didn't know what they'd see Him do that day as every hour of every day He healed EVERYONE who were sick, He raised the dead, He restored the lame, cleansed the lepers and did things that his disciple John said, "...there are also many other things which Jesus did, which if they were written in detail, I suppose that even the world itself would not contain the books that would be written" (John 21:25). But a defining moment came in the ministry of Jesus when He challenged those groupies and even those who had gone further than a mere "fan" to call themselves a "disciple" of Jesus (John Chapter 6). There is a price to choose the life of a disciple of the Lord Jesus...but there are also great eternal rewards for doing so, the greatest of which is to know Him more!Support the show (
Adjusting to a new neighborhood after a move can be interesting, but add in the fact that you're a foreigner whose culture is antagonistic with your new neighbors and that you're broke and literally gathering the scraps of the harvest for your next meal. Yet, God has a plan. You may feel a bit like Ruth. You may feel like you don't belong where God has planted you. But be determined to stick with it. One thing I have always discovered, that when I choose to trust the Lord and put my hand to the plow for Him--or find a way to do something for Him, He never disappoints. Just like Psalm 23 says, "Surely goodness and mercy will follow me wherever I go." And when we choose to make the Lord our Shepherd, choosing His guidance over our own, then we can be assured that He has intentional blessings waiting for us on our path. Don't let this rough world discourage you! Stick with Jesus and draw closer to Him every day on your walk with Him. He will never leave you nor forget about you, so don't forget about Him! God Bless!Support the show (
Imagine going on a road trip without a car...maybe on a donkey or a camel or even on foot. Maybe the road isn't paved and it just a rocky mess. Maybe the water is hard to find and the sea you're walking by is literally dead, as in The Dead Sea. Imagine leaving a place where your husband died and your two sons--your only children and those tasked with caring for you in your old age--are now dead as well. Your only companion, one of your young daughter-in-laws who clung to you and gave you a dozen reasons to bring her along with you, you just gave in to. Then your other daughter-in-law took one look at the journey ahead and thought it was best to go back to her family instead. A journey for Naomi and Ruth from the land of Moab to Bethlehem was not a comfortable one with lots of convenient stores and rest stops along the way. It was a hot, dusty journey along a dry and rocky road. Probably one where they had limited funds and limited food as when they arrived in Bethlehem the first thing Ruth started looking for was gathering grain. What hotels were there that they could stop in? Who opened their home for them to stay the night or did they sleep on the side of the road? Were there robbers on the roadway? Two women traveling alone at night? Seemed a pretty daunting prospect, and they they traveled what looked to be greater than 100 miles through valleys and hills and rough terrain...Sometimes life's journey is not what we thought it would be. Maybe its been smooth sailing for you, or maybe you feel as broken as these two were...on their way to a life they couldn't define. Sometimes its a first journey with the Lord, sometimes its layers of journeys with Him. Wherever you're at with Him, just know He's with you and will help you carry on and will reward you for your diligence in pursuing Him...and He will pursue you as well! Our Redeemer truly lives!Support the show (
Expressing passion can be a good thing or it can also be bad. It's sort of like money, which is not the root of all evil--its the LOVE of money that is--so money is used good or bad based on the character in whose hands its managed. We have passions. Passion of our flesh equals a desire to express a strong feeling or emotion, express our opinion with great force, or see a need or injustice and are so moved we blindly go forward to do what we feel is the right thing to do. Orpah clearly had enough sense of duty to her mother-in-law to come along with Ruth when they helped pack up and leave Moab. But Naomi kept giving them the option to go back...the reason being was that to go on to Bethlehem Judah would be a true test of endurance with no obvious guarantees--and would require a much higher level of discipline to remain in the camp of the people of God. Orpah took the road back to her people, her gods, and to the place where she didn't have to live up to the standard of pursuit that would be required of Naomi. Ruth however chose to humble herself and pursue. Did she have weaknesses? I imagine such a person to passionately express her feelings to Naomi probably had passionately expressed her opinion before! But a definite change must have occurred in her own character at the death of her husband as much as it did for Naomi to lose both husband and sons. And now they leave all they know--Ruth moreso as it was her home country--to pursue redemption.We must daily pursue our Savior Jesus if we ever expect Him to become our Lord and Master. Sometimes it means we must, like Ruth, choose to depart from everything that has been like Moab in our life...or as Jesus said in Matthew 10:39, " Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it"Support the show (
The Return

The Return


Tis the season to return to Jesus! Christmas should never just be a season where we focus so much on the birth of Christ that we forget He is no longer a baby. It's easy to put baby Jesus in the manger and step back and go on with our holiday madness. Jesus wants us to draw near to Him--and He's quite capable of carrying our burdens if we're willing to hand them over. But it requires a return--we must come back to Him.  Naomi struggled through the loss of her husband and sons after their move to Moab. Now she's chosen to uproot again and return to Bethlehem to face family and friends with the news of her troubles, and try to scrape together some sort of life as a poor widow. And yet, she is not alone, as Ruth vows not to leave her! How comforting it is to have friends along on a rough journey! When we return to Jesus, to Him as our Bethlehem, our House of Bread, we are coming back to fellowship with His word and Holy Spirit and especially with His Body, our brothers and sisters in Christ. No matter where you're at or what you are walking through, you are not alone. We are all following Jesus together... "till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ." -Ephesians 4:13Support the show (
I open this episode with a few recorded interviews of friends who I randomly asked questions to test their knowledge on the book of Ruth. Their responses are definitely entertaining! In all, we are really on a journey here at Spirit Life Walk to not just learn about the characters and true stories from the Bible, but to learn about ourselves. To laugh together. To cry together. To grow in Christ together. The wonderful thing is that the Lord wants us to grow up into Him in the first place! He is so gracious and kind to want to include us in His plans. He wants us to learn more about Him so that we don't just offer an ignorant response to life's situations with a "I guess it was God's will". We need to know Him and do the things He says are His preferences. That requires following Him and clinging to Him like Ruth clung to Naomi and desired to go back to Bethlehem with her. Jesus is not a driver with a whip, forcing us into more labor for the Kingdom. He instead draws us to Him through His love and His mercy. If we cling to Him, what seems difficult, unending or plain impossible will always brighten up if we look to Jesus, our True Hope and source during times of endurance! God bless you!Support the show (
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