Saturday, August 8, 2020

Are we acting like "new creatures in Christ"?

Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God. (1Corinthians 5:17-20)

Yes, the world seems to be in disorder. Politics is a mess. Society is in disarray. Illness is rampant and seemingly out of control. Our school systems are being run by fear and intimidation. Even our families are in somewhat of a shambles with relationships faltering.  

But God is still in control! We who are being renewed every day are to be seeking to renew others in our speech, action and service. If we are new creatures in Christ, than we have a job to do. . . to be like Him in caring for others' souls! 

Let's not jump on every bandwagon we find. Let's observe before we speak or comment. As Christ forgave us and offered reconciliation and restoration, may we too seek that for others? Let's accept repentance and rebuild bridges that have been damaged. 

Let's give folks time to heal and even to hurt . . . but let's hurt with them and for them! Let's offer to others what Jesus offered to us . . . a chance to change!

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Storms and Faith

Jesus got into a boat. His disciples followed him. Suddenly a terrible storm came up on the lake. The waves crashed over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping.  The disciples went and woke him up. They said, “Lord! Save us! We’re going to drown!”He replied, “Your faith is so small! Why are you so afraid?” Then Jesus got up and ordered the winds and the waves to stop. It became completely calm. The disciples were amazed. They asked, “What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him!” (Matthew 8:23-27)

Ever wonder why things go so wrong even when you seem to be in God's will? We know and can expect consequences when we are in sin . . . . at least we better! But many times, as we mature in Christ, we should expect Satan to be at his best when we are walking with Jesus. 

Just as the disciples found themselves in a storm while Jesus was with them, we too can learn to expect the storm when all seems well within us. Whether it is a tropical storm as we just experienced or struggles of everyday life (family issues, finances, health, etc.), we can come to expect troubles just as the disciples experienced. After all, Jesus was right in the boat with them!

If we ever ask the question, "Why Lord?", all we have to do is remember Job. Maybe, just maybe, God knows He can trust us! 

Question is, do we trust God in the storm? God is seeking glory through the tests. Are we willing to trust Him enough for Him to get that glory, or will we try to get out of trouble on our own? Oh we of little faith!

Monday, August 3, 2020

Worn out....Tired.....Isaias.....Isaiah!

Even young people become worn out and get tired.  Even the best of them trip and fall. But those who trust in the Lord  will receive new strength. They will fly as high as eagles. They will run and not get tired.  They will walk and not grow weak.(Isaiah 40:30-31)

We live in a day when many are simply doing what they believe is right. Among the pandemic, we still have people deciding it is ok not to protect themselves. We have sports and athletes trying to return to normal with uncertainty and fears. We have politicians trying to play doctor and doctors playing politicians. School officials are being controlled by parents and politics, afraid of any decision with risks. Even within my own family . . . a CHRISTian family, we are experiencing doubt, fear, uneasiness, poor decision making, and from our older kids, just plain ole ignorance! 

And now a tropical storm . . . named Isaias!!!!! How cute! So let me consider Isaiah . . . Chapter 40, verses 30-31.

Yes I am worn out! Oh, I am TIRED! I need some spiritual strength for sure. I know only God can provide it because so many are so lost today. I need to stay focused upon 

So today, when many are focused on the storm Isaias, I choose to focus upon the words of God from the prophet Isaias (Isaiah). 

I choose then One Who calms the storm....not the storm!

Friday, July 31, 2020

Fathers and Sons....Are we ready MEN?

The commandments I give you today must be in your hearts. 
 Make sure your children learn them. Talk about them when you are at home. Talk about them when you walk along the road. Speak about them when you go to bed. And speak about them when you get up. Write them down and tie them on your hands as a reminder. Also tie them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses. Also write them on your gates.(Deuteronomy 6:6-9)

These verses are very familiar to most CHRISTian men, at least they should be!  It is still the father . . . .the husband who carries the spiritual responsibility to model and teach Godly principles. Yet when a home lacks a Godly father, or lacks a man in general, what are our children, boys especially, to do?

Fathers and sons are crucial to the family, the society, and the Church! God has placed responsibility on the men and for the most part, have abdicated! Even in homes where the man is present, many of us put God and family behind work and financial matters. 

In a day and age when the internet, the media, and rogue organizations are twisting our young (and not so young) people's minds, we men to take our rightful place as Godly leaders of the home, the workplace and society.......and our churches! 

It will take apologies in some cases. It will take repentance. It will take study. It will take wise counsel and some hard and challenging mentoring. 

Are we ready men? 

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Help me to listen to Your voice, and not the noise of the crowd!

 Jesus said, “My kingdom is not from this world. If it were, those who serve me would fight. They would try to keep the Jewish leaders from arresting me. My kingdom is from another place.” So you are a king, then!” said Pilate. Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. In fact, that’s the reason I was born. I was born and came into the world to be a witness to the truth. Everyone who is on the side of truth listens to me.” (Matthew 18:36-37)

I like the following comments:
Although Jesus was the promised Messiah, the one who could rightfully rule over Israel, He refused to become involved in any political issue of his day. We see this in a number of ways. Jesus refused to be made king; He told His disciples not to tell others that He was the Messiah and He also withdrew from confrontation with the religious rulers. In addition, He never incited the people against Rome. All of this was in contrast to false Messiahs. The reason He acted this way has to do with the nature of His kingdom - it was not of this world system(Don Stewart; Blue Letter Bible;
I must admit, I am challenged by the current condition of our society and how believers are/are not responding. If I say something, it might be perceived a certain way despite my heart. Yet if I remain quiet, it reflects another opinion. Well, I received some Good News from Scripture today .  . . in fact from Jesus' own words as He replied to Pontius Pilate while on trial. I will stick with that. 

I, as a CHRISTian, was born to be a witness to the Truth as well! LORD, help me to do just that! Help me to listen to Your voice, and not the noise of the crowd!

Monday, July 27, 2020

In Need of REST?

The apostles gathered around Jesus. They told him all they had done and taught.  But many people were coming and going. So they did not even have a chance to eat. Then Jesus said to his apostles, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place. You need to get some rest.” So they went away by themselves in a boat to a quiet place. (Matthew 6:30-32)
A time for rest. . . .not luxury . . . nothing really planned . . .just rest away from the stress, uncertainty, and day to day doldrums. I need a different environment. I bed to experience God in nature in a whole new way. I want to see Him as those of old did . . . in the simple things like a sunrise, the breeze, the stillness!

I need a real break from the monotony because it will be back to work from home with virtual school again this fall! I was so looking forward to seeing the kids again, interacting with them, and simply hearing their crazy sayings and simple reactions! I wanted to plan some real ministry outings as we plan to reach young hearts for missions and ministry.

Amazing what one misses . . . .praying His will come late August for school and ministry!

Friday, July 24, 2020

I can relate and I cannot be quiet!

Sometimes I think, “I won’t talk about his message anymore.
    I’ll never speak in his name again.”
But then your message burns in my heart.
    It’s like a fire deep inside my bones. I’m tired of holding it in.
    In fact, I can’t.(Jeremiah 20:9)
Jeremiah was tired of the ridicule, embarrassment, and shame. He was tired of hurting inside. He felt like giving up, as if he was never born!

I can relate!

There are times when I simply want to stay home, tucked away in my quiet space with people who really know me. Actually, Covid-19 has helped with that! I don't hear the whispers or see the scrunched up faces. I don't feel the backlash.....well maybe on Facebook!

Yet like Jeremiah, His Word burns inside of me! I was called and equipped to be an evangelist! I cannot keep it inside. With so much going on concerning the virus, politics, social injustice and all that those issues entail, God's Word has a definite response! However,people, even believing people, do not want to hear it.

So I guess I have to welcome the comments, accusations, and ridicule. It comes with the territory! To God be the glory . . . I cannot be quiet!

Thursday, July 23, 2020

Please keep supporting!

God supplies seed for the person who plants. He supplies bread for food. God will also supply and increase the amount of your seed. He will increase the results of your good works. You will be made rich in every way. Then you can always give freely. We will take your many gifts to the people who need them. And they will give thanks to God. Your gifts meet the needs of the Lord’s people. And that’s not all. Your gifts also cause many people to thank God.  You have shown yourselves to be worthy by what you have given. So other people will praise God because you obey him. That proves that you really believe the good news about Christ. They will also praise God because you share freely with them and with everyone else.  Their hearts will be filled with love for you when they pray for you. God has given you grace that is better than anything.  Let us give thanks to God for his gift. It is so great that no one can tell how wonderful it really is!  (2 Corinthians 9:10-15)
As our family transitions from business to personal mission life, we thank God for those who have been with us faithfully over the years, some for the entire twenty-two years!

Thanks to our Woodstream church family, our Pastor, Robert Wingfield, friends, coworkers, and mission partners in New Orleans, the Carolinas, St. Vincent, Puerto Rico, and local partners.

Your support shows others the faith we have in Christ and His Word. As we move to personal missions/ministry and pray for His will, please know the work continues! Please keep praying and supporting spiritually and financially!

You may contact/support us at.....
Woodstream Church
C/O Carroll Outreach Missions
14103 Pleasant View Drive
Howie, MD 20720

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Waiting, Praying, Planning

Waiting upon God can be a real challenge! God is so awesome and unlike people. He is faithful, so we can trust Him. However, because He is eternal, time has no control over God so we can become impatient with Him as we WAIT!
I will stand my watch And set myself on the rampart, And watch to see what He will say to me, And what I will answer when I am corrected.  Then the Lord answered me and said: "Write the vision And make it plain on tablets, That he may run who reads it.  For the vision is yet for an appointed time; But at the end it will speak, and it will not lie. Though it tarries, wait for it; Because it will surely come, It will not tarry. (Habakkuk 2:1-3)

We pray selfishly many times . . . for what we think we need. We begin to plan as if we will receive it . . .  after all, we prayed! Then, if God says "No" or "Wait a bit", we become angry, anxious, irritated, and try to obtain it on our own. When we get it, we wrongly believe that God did it! Then it backfires! Been there? I have!!!! 

What are we praying for today? What are you/we waiting upon God for today? Are we planning His will or our own? 

Let's wait upon God and be of good courage. Keep praying in His will.  Plan to accept what He says and does. I can't wait to share what He does!

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Do not lose heart . . .for God or for people!

Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal. (2 Corinthians 4:16-18)
Wow . . .just when we thought we were getting back to a little bit of normalcy, once again we are debating about masks, closings and of course continued social injustice and political unrest. Who knows what is best? How many more days and months of debates, arguments, and anger? When will TRUTH rule over facts?
Do not lose heart . . . for God or for people!

God knows everything that is going on today. He knows everyone with secret agendas and those who genuinely care. During these times of uncertainty and unrest, we who believe must believe that God has it all under control.  We have to seek Him over social media and political correctness. We must seek His Words over the spin of societal noise. As we seek Him, we begin to see the eternal in the present day. What we are troubled with today is nothing compared to eternal consequences and rewards. We need to walk by faith like never before . . .

This is no time to be silent nor is it a time to embarrass our Lord and Savior! We cannot lose heart for God or for people!

Monday, July 20, 2020

God is still present

Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?
 If anyone defiles the temple of God, God will destroy him. For the temple of God is holy, which temple you are.
 Let no one deceive himself. If anyone among you seems to be wise in this age, let him become a fool that he may become wise.
 For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God.(1 Corinthians 3:16-19)
We live in a time with much confusion, unrest, insecurities, deceit, fake news and doubts, we as believers MUST be assured that God is still present!  He is right in our midst. In fact, everything we do, everything we say, everything we tweet, post, sign up for, or events we attend we include God, because He lives inside every believer! We cannot forget that.

In a dangerous and unbelieving world, it is imperative that we who believe reflect God in our everyday actions . . . .not just on a SONday or in our prayer closet. In fact, let's come out of the closet like every other group!

Everything we do, every event we attend, every word we write, post, tweet or say reflects the God we serve. A dying world needs to see a genuine, caring, politically active, justice demanding, living out loud, liberty for all CHRISTian. This is no time for hiding in fear. HIS love casts out all fear! (1John 4:18)

Are we going to honor God or bring Him dishonor? Lord, give the discernment I need to honor You over man!

Are we acting like "new creatures in Christ"?

Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. And all things are o...