JUST ANOTHER EVENTFUL WEEK!

26 06 2017

 

God’s love takes broken things and makes them beautiful. As I write these words, Ellie Holcomb is about thirty feet away singing them at The Lighthouse Church. I have come to understand that all the king’s horses and all the king’s men could not put me back together again. Only the amazing grace of my Lord and Savior Jesus has salvaged me from the wreckage! I surely would have been leveled and left for dead if it hadn’t been for the reality of faith pumping lasting truth into my weary soul and battered heart. I think my best quality is that God has so much room to shine through me because there are many holes in my being. I may be a cracked pot, but God has never abandoned this jar and because of that, there is quite a display of glorious light to be seen.

 Nothing has ever been easy for me. I am not a fortunate son by any means. My relationship with God is not just a casual compartment of my life. His love for me is everything I am and all I hope to be. I have lost loved ones. I have buried my own children. I have every reason to be forever paralyzed with enough issues to fill a medical journal but God has been my ever present help and sincere strength in the midst of my struggle with anxiety, worry, physical issues and OCD tendencies. If you are wondering what keeps me going when nothing goes the way I had hoped, it is the reality of our Lord who keeps the very words that he himself claims to be.

 This past week my daughter Leah was taken to the Hospital for an emergency C-Section. She was eight months pregnant when all of a sudden, her blood pressure began to spike and it became too dangerous for this child to stay inside of her Mama. Needless to say, I became very proactive in my prayers, begging God to spare our family from yet another tragedy. I got out my “fighting words,” as Ellie Holcomb sings. As a matter of fact, she was just singing it as I penned this last sentence. “Fighting words” are when you combat the lies of Hell with the truth of Heaven. We are not alone nor will we have to go through anything without the most righteous chaperone that ever lived. Jesus brought us all the most precious of gifts in that little Lucia Ann Savage, my newest granddaughter. She was born four pounds and ten ounces and is doing remarkably well. A blood clot was discovered in my Leah and now the Doctors have the insight to monitor this so that she may be spared of what could have been a disaster if everything had gone full term. We never know what is really going on from our seats of limited vision! Yet God sees it all and works even when we detest what is up on the screen. Thank you Lord for being God in spite of what we do or think!

 Ellie Holcomb’s new album is called Red Sea Road. She is singing that one now as I finish up my thoughts for this week. Nobody in their right mind would plan a journey that would force human beings to walk through a large body of water. Especially when they are being chased by an army that both outnumbered them and was looking to slaughter them all. Even the Israelites cried out to God, “Why in the world would you take us out of Egypt just to drown us in the desert?” But God had a plan to make his power undeniably known to his people so that they would know that they could trust him no matter where, no matter what and no matter when! We never walk alone on a Red Sea Road! Thank you Jesus for once again being our reason to sing praise because even in our dark, you show up with the light! And no batteries are necessary!

When my Baby Leah had her baby Lucia this week, I could not contain the love flowing out of this Papa’s soul. I would do anything I could to fight for her and my new granddaughter’s life. When I walked into the nursery and viewed this tiny little display of God’s creation, I once again was reminded that when it all comes down, only love and life remain. How blessed we are and how foolish we are to be so ignorant of what God has been faithful to make known to us. I want to walk in the light as the Lord is in the light and let it all fall where it may! Scriptures tell us that he has allowed our hearts to fall in pleasant places. Any place that Jesus may be present is exactly where we want to be.

 Thank You Lord for the gift of yet another amazing week in this thing called life that you have ordained for me to live. Thank you that I have laughed and cried. I have prayed and vented. I have been up and down and all around emotionally. But when it all comes down, if there is anything good that happens in life, it’s from Jesus! And for that I am grateful. Trust the Lord Family. He is the ultimate hope and resting place.   





TWENTY YEARS AT THE LIGHTHOUSE CHURCH!

20 06 2017

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It will officially be twenty years this weekend. Twenty years ago this June 25th in 1997, I officially accepted the call from God and the invitation from his people to come and become the Senior Pastor of the Lighthouse Church. I had been an Associate Pastor since 1982, working with Teens, College and Career and Singles up until my coming back home to the State in which I was born and raised in, good old New Jersey. While I started my full time ministry working under Ron Hutchcraft in Youth For Christ up in my stomping grounds of Northern Jersey, I also served Churches in Dayton and Stow, Ohio and Omaha, Nebraska. It was from Nebraska that I came back to accept the position with the Lighthouse and become inundated with the new and wonderful challenge of living and serving God in South Jersey.

 It is hard to believe that all this time has passed. I do remember walking on the Boardwalk in Wildwood praying and seeking the Lord’s direction. I guess that is not the quietest place to try to hear from Heaven. Earth gets pretty loud there with everybody hawking their goods and trying to distract you from holding on to any clear thought, never mind attempting to make a life changing one.  But I can confidently give testimony that God made it quite apparent through his word that if I trusted him enough to take on this assignment, I would clearly see and experience the glory of God. The Lord was going to create some “Holy Wood” in Wildwood and all of Cape May County.

 The very next day I preached about the need to break camp and advance and never stay satisfied to try to live the Christian faith while stuck in neutral. After we were done, at a Sunday Picnic held at the Seashore Campgrounds, Gerald Stout, Paul Brant, Jim Carpinelli and Art Hall cornered me and invited me to the dream of a lifetime. I remember taking the job without even knowing if they were going to pay me, never mind what they were going to pay me! I also recall saying to them to please hold off making any announcement until I told my wife and family that we were moving. They hadn’t seen what I saw. As a matter of fact, I’m not sure anyone did because it wasn’t actually visible to the natural eye yet. But I knew what God was going to do by faith. I had a complete confidence that the best was yet to come.

 No, it didn’t happen overnight! It was quite funny to hear believers in the area tell me right to my face, “You won’t last here. Cape May County will eat you up and spit you out. Outsiders think they know it all but they never stay.” One of my favorite passages in the New Testament is where it literally tells us that the crowds were trying to discourage Jesus from moving forward in miraculous power and the Lord just “ignored what they said.” In the original Greek text, it gives us the insight that these words didn’t even penetrate the ear drums of our Savior. I knew early that I wasn’t going to get my props horizontally, but knew they would eventually come mostly vertically! And just like he said he would, Jesus has done infinitely beyond what I might have even hoped to imagine. This is my home. This is my life. This is where I sense that I will graduate to Glory from. And none of it would have ever happened without simple trust and obedience in a God who is the ultimate promise maker and keeper.

 The other night, my son Joel graduated 8th Grade from Dennis Township. Joel has only lived in one house and gone to one school system his entire life. I shared with him that this was not the case for me. My Parents didn’t take into account how the many moves they made did affect my psyche. I went to Kindergarten, changed schools for 1st thru 4th Grades, went to a new 5th Grade School, a new 6th Grade School, two different 7th Grades, and two different High Schools. I had no sense of stability when it came to developing lasting and deep relationships. My older Children Rudy, Leah and Abbie had to experience quite a few moves also until we came to Cape May County twenty years ago. Rudy was in 5th Grade, Leah in 4th and Abbie in 1st when we arrived. Since then, this has been home base. I am grateful for the consistency and longevity the Lord has allowed me here. I am grateful!

 Many thought and were misinformed when they assumed that my greatest work here would be constructing an actual building for the Lighthouse Church to call their home. I am so thrilled with what I affectionately refer to as “The Holy Recreation Center.” But it is just the instrument that God uses to see the real ministry take place and that is the transformation of lives! The addicted are set free, the lonely are given community, the lost are found, the believers are equipped and all the applause goes to Calvary. I once prayed years ago that the Lord would make it hard to go to Hell from Cape May County. I sought that the Lord would be so real that even the hardest heart couldn’t ignore God’s presence and the difference he makes. I am in no way shape or form ready to retire or worse yet kick it into any maintenance mode. I believe the best is still yet to come!

 Dear Lord, continue to ignite the light into our daily lives. May the other Churches who seek to serve you be encouraged and strengthened for the battle. May the Christians excel at loving God and others as the Holy Spirit fills us to spill us! Thank you for the last twenty amazing years, but fire me up for what is just around the corner. I love being part of this Family, this Community and this County. Allow me to continue to offer good news to as many as possible and effectively as possible until you finally invite me to my next move and then, “I’m Going to Heaven!”           





RUDE AWAKENINGS AND REAL ASSIGNMENTS!

12 06 2017

 

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I am not sure what comes to your mind when I say “Rude Awakenings?” Thanks to “YouTube,” you can now experience a whole internet channel dedicated just to them! They include things like molasses and pillow feathers, hot sauce on the lips while sound asleep, air horns and silly string, being saran wrapped to your bed at midnight and hot wax on a hairy shirtless man while sleeping on his belly!

 When I was going to Philadelphia College of Bible, I used to share an apartment with five other guys. We all had a roommate named George who we terrorized only because his biggest crime was being such a heavy sleeper. After he shared his, “Good Night,” his faithful friends would spring into action. George was treated to rude awakenings in places like the Student Center, a nearby Pathmark Super Market, the local Penndel Train Station and the middle of the Campus Parking Lot!

Because he couldn’t stay awake, he never knew what would be happening to him in the wee small hours of the morning!

 Some of us today are going to wake up in places that we don’t want to be only because we have become apathetic and comatose to all that matters most! We have allowed the culture to lull us to sleep, and while we snooze, we lose the choice to take some matters into control. This is why the Bible shouts to us in verses like Revelation 3:2 “Wake up! Strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have found your deeds unfinished in the sight of my God.” Jesus rose from the dead and not just so we could sleep in and throw the covers over our heads! Jesus rose from the dead to show us what we would miss if we aren’t aware and alert and right behind him as he leads the way!  

 When Mary and the Apostles got the rude awakening that Jesus didn’t stay dead and that there had been a resurrection just like the Lord promised there would be, they weren’t just given a progress report. They received purpose and fresh new marching orders. We have been given the same assignment. Believers, this is no time to be napping! This is the time to be noting that if we ever had hoped to practice following the Lord as our rightful leader, the moment is now!  

Eternal life is not about a quantity amount- counting the sum of your days! It’s a quality of life that happens inside of us, because the minute we enter into an eternal relationship with Jesus, the one who is the Way, the Truth and Life will be just that inside of us. Wherever you may be no matter whatever you may see. Wake up Christian and stop hitting the snooze button! Do you know who wants to lead you around today? Do you know who is willing to show you the wonder you would miss if you stayed determined to wander around on your own?

 I want to talk today to everybody who needs hope.  Your past doesn’t have to define your present and steal your tomorrow! Jesus wants to be your tour guide. And what better to understand the reasons why you were created than to be able to hang out with the Lord who created it all!

 There is a wonderful scene in the movie “Saving Mr. Banks.” It is the story of Pamela Travers and the great Walt Disney and the perseverance and patience that it took to get Mrs. Travers, a cantankerous woman who is very sad because of a stormy past, to surrender the rights of her beloved creation Mary Poppins so Disney could make a movie about her! Things are not going well because Mrs. Travers refuses to let go and surrender- and even smile! She is definitely punishing herself! She has allowed her guilt as a little girl of not being able to rescue her father, the real Mr. Banks, to literally suck the joy out of every day!

 Walt Disney is beside himself because he doesn’t know what else to do to get through to her, so he does something incredible. He invites P.L. Travers to spend the day at Disney Land with Walt Disney himself! Can you imagine being able to spend a day at Disney Land with Walt Disney himself? Can you imagine sleeping in on a day where you got that kind of invitation? Can you imagine the magic of that day because you would learn and see things that you would never know if the Master, Creator and Designer were not there to point it all out to you? Jesus is giving us the same invitation today! Wake up and walk this wonderland called Earth with Him!

 We were made to live for so much more and with Jesus inside us and beside us, there is a whole new world to see! As the song in Disney’s Aladdin sings, “A whole new world, don’t you dare close your eyes!” You have a longing to be loved, to be known fully and completely, and to utterly and perfectly be loved in a way nobody on this earth can offer. You have a longing for healing to be set right that no therapist in this world can give you. You have a hunger for meaning that no mere achievement on this earth can bestow. God has placed eternity in the human heart. We know better.

You don’t have to believe in the Bible to see this. Look at the pyramids.  Visit a nursing home.

The Bible says the reason God has placed eternity in the human heart is that we were made for an eternal existence with him. That’s not just about its duration or its length, but it’s also about its quality. Eternal life is life with God every moment, and the most important thing we’re doing in this life is to prepare for that life that is going to come.

 Maybe you really need hope. Like a bigger, deeper hope. Not something glib and superficial. You need to tell him. Maybe you’ve never really resolved the issue of where you’re putting your ultimate hope, and maybe this is your day to say, “Jesus, I want that to be you. I want to make that commitment to have you be my forgiver and my friend and my leader.” Maybe you have some questions, some things you don’t understand, and you just need to make the decision and say, “I’m going to get really serious about searching and exploring. I’ll make that commitment to stop closing my eyes to the God who is standing right in front of me.”

 My room-mate, George, couldn’t stay awake and he never knew where was going to wake up one day. Don’t make that mistake especially when you can be safe and secure in Jesus today! Rude awakenings lead to real assignments that would be missed if we continue to snore when we were created to soar! Wake Up!!!!





Tree Treasure

5 06 2017

 

 

 

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Real treasure is always found when you look in the right place.  It’s funny that while we think the secret to striking it rich is by seizing matters into our own hands, maybe the genuine fortune is found when we are willing to entrust our future into hands that are just a bit bigger than the ones that we received at birth.  Did you ever think, even in your wildest dreams- that you could actually experience firsthand the most perfect ending to your life story if you would just dare to look up and trust the one who made you in the first place?  Do you understand that you hitting the proverbial jackpot and soaring to even greater heights than you could ever possibly imagine might be connected more upon your humble dependence rather than brash independence?

 There is an old story I would like to share with you today about three trees.  These three little trees stood and dreamed of what they wanted to become when they grew up.  The first little tree looked up at the stars and said, “I want to hold treasure.  I want to be covered with gold and filled with precious stones.  I’ll be the most beautiful treasure chest in the world!”  The second little tree looked out at the small stream trickling by on its way to the ocean.  She proclaimed, “I want to be traveling mighty waters and carrying powerful kings.  I’ll be the strongest ship in the world!”  The third little tree looked down into the valley below where busy men and women worked in a bustling town.  She shared, “I don’t want to leave the mountain top at all.  I want to grow so tall that when people stop to look at me, they’ll raise their eyes to the heavens and think of God.  I will be the tallest tree in the world!”

 Years passed by and the rains came and the sun shone and the little trees grew up tall.  One day, three woodcutters climbed the mountain.  The first woodcutter looked at the first tree and said, “This tree is beautiful.  It is perfect for me.”  With a swoop of his axe, the first tree fell.  The tree cried out loud, “Now, I shall be made into a beautiful chest and I shall hold wonderful treasure!”

 The second woodcutter looked at the second tree and said, “This tree is strong.  It is perfect for me.”  With a swoop of the axe, the second tree fell.  The tree cried, “Now I shall sail mighty waters!  I shall be a strong ship for powerful kings!”  The third tree felt her heart sink when the last woodcutter looked her way.  She stood straight and tall and pointed bravely to the heavens but the woodcutter never even looked up.  “Any kind of tree will do for me,” muttered the third woodcutter as he swung his axe and leveled the third tree to the ground.

 The first tree rejoiced when the woodcutter brought her into the carpenter’s shop.  But the carpenter fashioned the tree into a feed box for animals.  The once beautiful tree was not covered with gold or jewels of any kind.  She was coated with saw dust and filled with hay for hungry and lowly barn animals.

 The second tree smiled when the woodcutter took her into a shipyard, but no awesome sailing ship was made that day.  Instead the once strong tree was hammered and sawed into a simple fishing boat.  She was too small and too weak for the open waters of the ocean.  Instead, she was taken to reside in a little lake. 

The third tree was confused when the woodcutter cut her into strong beams and left her to lie in the lumberyard.  “What happened?”  The once tall tree wondered.  “All I ever wanted was to stay on the mountain top and point to God…”

 As time went by and days became months, the three trees nearly forgot their dreams.  Then one night, golden starlight poured over the first tree as a young woman placed her newborn baby into the feeding trough.  “I wish I could make a real cradle for him,” the tree heard the husband whisper.  The mother just squeezed his hand as majesty seemed to embrace the smooth and sturdy wood.  “This manger is beautiful,” she said and suddenly the first tree realized that she was holding the greatest treasure that this world would ever know.

 Years later, on what seemed to be a normal evening, a tired traveler and his friends crowded into the tiny fishing boat.  The traveler fell asleep as the second tree quietly sailed out into the middle of the lake.  Soon a thundering and thrashing storm arose out of nowhere.  The little tree shuddered.  She knew she did not have the strength to carry so many passengers safely through this battering wind and rain.  The tired man awakened and stood up in the boat, stretched out his hand and authoritatively proclaimed, “Peace!”  At once, the wind and the waves died down as quickly as it began.  And suddenly, the second tree knew that she was carrying the most powerful king this world would ever know.

 One Friday morning, the third tree was startled when her beam was yanked from the forgotten woodpile.  She flinched as she was carried through an angry, jeering mob.  She shuddered when soldiers nailed a man’s hands and feet to her.  She felt ugly and harsh and cruel.  But on Sunday morning, when the sun rose and the earth trembled with joy beneath her, the third tree learned first hand that God’s love had changed everything.  It had made the third tree strong.  And every time people see the third tree to this day, they think of God and that was better and made this cross the tallest tree in the world.

 The next time you panic because you think that you might be missing out on fame and fortune, sit tight and keep your heart in God’s hands and trust that his care is taking you someplace worth going because it is turning you into someone worth being!  And a good name is far greater than any riches and being used to bring honor and glory to the living God is the greatest privilege that any one of can ever experience!  So today, offer your life as a living investment into God’s hands and then fasten your seat-belt and enjoy the journey and reap treasure that time cannot erase and no amount of earthly rust can spoil!

 





BLAMING OR WORSHIP?

30 05 2017

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I read the Book of Job this week. Maybe it just seemed appropriate. Did you know chronologically, it is the oldest of the recorded Scriptures in the Bible? Job walked with the Lord before there was such a thing as the Hebrew People and prior to having a recorded written sacred Law which was given to Moses on Mount Sinai. In many ways, Job was a Priest for his family, recognizing and representing God before his wife and his sons and daughters. What we do know is that God thought pretty highly of his servant. So much so that when the enemy threatened Job’s reputation, the Lord allowed Satan to mess with his possessions and his people. The only ground rules from above was that the devil could not take Job’s life.

If you know the story, Job suffered injustice at the hand of the darkness. Job lost his property and all his family within hours of each other. When that didn’t seem to shake Job’s faith, Lucifer went at Job’s health and physical body. It got so bad that there were huge sores on Job’s body and he sat in an ash pit using broken pottery to scrape his withered skin. The best counsel Job could receive from his wife was to “Curse God and die!” This Job did not do. Proclaiming that Jehovah was the One who gives and takes away- he praised him in the pit with a ringing endorsement of, “Blessed Be The Name of the Lord.”

 Something jumped out at me this week that may have gone unnoticed before. In Job Chapter 1 and Verse 22, we read, “In all this, Job did not sin by charging God with wrongdoing.” I was surely convicted by that nugget of truth. Maybe this is where my own sin takes root because I do blame the Lord when circumstances go don’t well. I am more of a complainer than a worshipper when I find myself in situations where I can’t make any heads or tails out them. I look up and wonder, “Why God?” Why does my life always seem to be hard? Why must it always be that things don’t go the way I would like them to?” I even get to the point where I question whether He even loves me at all. I know life isn’t fair but sometimes things almost seem comically and cosmically stacked against me.

 Job’s Buddies would be quick to tell me what they told him. It must be because of unconfessed sin stacked up in my life. My bad fortune can be blamed on selfish decisions and unholy secrets. But like Job I know this is not the cause of the case. I have understood in the big picture that bad things happen to all of us, whether godly or pagan. But I know that I haven’t always been cooperative when I don’t like the daily agenda. I shout up to Heaven because I don’t want to be hemmed in or held back. I want to be free to live, to move and go where I know I would serve the Lord. But not my will but His be done and for reasons, I don’t understand- like Job defiantly cried out, “Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him.”

 Confession is good for the soul. How many of us are egotistical and some days live like God is supposed to revolve around us rather than to seek Him first beyond anything and everything else, including our own well-being. The Lord owes me nothing and yet gives me everything. My inability only highlights His accessibility and keeps me running into the arms of my Heavenly Daddy when the undertow of earth would long to drown me in its despair. Job knew he wasn’t going to find the solution to his struggle in any horizontal direction. He was going to need to get vertical if there was to be any victory.

God met Job in the middle of his perplexing ordeal. He is willing to do the same for me and you. But rather than pile up my own defense and try to argue my way into good times again, I need to humble myself and hide behind the power of my Lord. I can’t wait for all to be right with my world before I attempt to fly again. That day might not ever come in my own timetable. But if Jesus is willing to be my rock below me and the force before me, I can follow His light as He leads me into a path that will eventually bring me into the wide open spaces of praise.

 So I won’t curse God and die; but I will celebrate His presence and live no matter what! Like Job, I know that our Redeemer lives and it won’t be long before all the aches and pains of this old world will be a distant memory. So as Job 23:10 says, “But He knows the way I take and when He has tested me, I shall come forth as gold.” God’s gold can not be appraised by worldly standards but it can be recognized by anybody. Don’t allow the darkness to destroy the shine. When life shoots you down, raise your praise and trust His cover!             





That’s Enough!

23 05 2017

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If you were to hang out with me and really get to know me, chances are very good you wouldn’t like what you see. Just this statement alone lifts God’s love and grace for us to a whole new level. Like it or not, we are all performers and we do our best to control the elements so that the script sheds a positive light upon our life’s work. But sooner or later we discover that this task in the long run is both impossible and a huge waste of our precious time. Dust happens on the lens and dirt stains the bright white outfits that we picked out so carefully to impress our audience. If we don’t look up to where our salvation truly arrives from, we will be stomped to death in the stampede of the failure we can’t avoid.

 Life this side of heaven might promise us an alluring paradise but there is no delivery service that can produce what we are diligently looking for. Escape is no real alternative as it only masks the inability to solve the problem on our own. Since we were young, everyone has been asking, ‘What will you do?” Today I have the guts to reply, “Who cares what I do if it only prohibits me from being authentic and coming clean?” I have experienced quite shockingly that God is not my ticket to ride; He is my only avenue of ever working it out. And yet even with my life totally surrendered to Him, I am not exempt from the drama and pain that come with breathing the air this earth has to offer. You can’t have it all if you won’t admit the good, bad and ugly that comes with it.

 I believe that Christianity has suffered from those who have exerted way too much energy in homogenizing it rather than preaching the heart and soul of it. The ‘Good News” of Jesus has nothing to do with promises of a better existence here. It doesn’t even guarantee easier times and never fail days! Followers of Jesus have physical deficiencies, emotional hang-ups, anxiety issues and terrible days that turn into adventurous seasons where God is not the way out but the only way in to making sense out of the misery and mining the golden nuggets from the cavernous caves we can’t avoid no matter how hard we may try. Faith must be willing to get its work clothes on. If there will be fruit growing in our garden, then there will be both the expectation of weeds and the understanding that the sin isn’t that they are there, but the ignorance of covering them without pulling them up.

 Believers shouldn’t be asking, “What am I doing wrong?” when nothing seems to be right. We should be looking for the Lord in all the right places! Healing is not just making blind eyes to see and lame legs to walk. Healing is also making blind eyes, in spite of the continuous and aggravating blindness, being able to blaze miraculous trails into the great unknown. It is living with the weakness and watching God still using you in remarkable fashion. No, it isn’t the way any of us would draw it up, but it still is divine intervention. If I wait until all is as it should be to write my psalm of worship, it might sit unfinished and unheard. So I sing with my blood boiling and I raise my hands in defiant revolution that this world can do me in. What profits a man if he gains the whole world but lose his own soul?

 It’s all about soul. It has very little to do with happiness. Jesus didn’t have a home to call his own and he was battered and beaten up by those who shared history with him. I don’t think the Lord would call his time with us a vacation, a trip, a holiday to the beach. I think he did what he had to do so that there would be endless hope in the cup we were given with predetermined holes. Faith believes what God says even when it is contradicted by what we see! When nothing can change my world, the Holy Spirit still redeems me! Even when we are not privileged to all that the Lord is doing behind the scenes, we are not abandoned in ignorance. He who began this good work will bring it to completion in his own way and time! I want to but must not put the book away. It’s too early to run and it’s too late to start all over again. Give us this day our daily bread and let us hold on to the promise that “Thine is the Kingdom, the Power and the Glory.” If it doesn’t belong to the Creator then the created go the route of anarchy and nobody wins.

 So on this quiet day where I can’t hear the music, I trust the songs of angels accompany me. I will join the choir again but not today and even if nobody around me understands, the God above surely does. And that’s enough. It must be. Let it be!





GO LOW TO FLY HIGH!

15 05 2017

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I wonder if there is anybody reading my Article today who has had to battle internal issues for a long period time. Maybe life feels like you are blatantly bleeding the best of your minutes away. You have made the appointments. You have spent the money. You have taken the medication. You have exhausted your human resources. And you believe your conclusion might be that there really is no human answer to your problem. All the Professionals, all of the Religious Counselors, all of the Experts, all of the Contacts and all of the Neighbors might agree with your diagnosis: You are stuck in the midst of an unfixable spot.

Is there an area of your life hemorrhaging today? Is there an unresolved issue that has been infected by the world? You’re aching, hurting, discouraged and depressed. You’ve spent tons of money and tried every remedy and you are still in need of a rescue because nothing on earth has helped! Nobody helps you because they can’t help you and when they have tried and you have allowed it; you’re still worse off and not an iota better at all!

 What good is going to the Doctor if you keep getting sicker? What good is going to Church, if God seems further away than ever? Maybe you are attempting to fix horizontally that which can only be cured vertically. Maybe your answer isn’t an outside in solution but an inside out conversion. Maybe the One you seek to lead you to the land of the living is already in your corner. Could it be that Jesus is right smack in the midst of what you are going through?

 Desperate times don’t really follow protocol. When you are struggling at the end of a rope, you aren’t worried about the color of the twine. We only major on the minors when the stakes are low. But when it comes to matters of life and death, we rarely are willing to play dice with diamonds. If we are down to a matter of minutes, why are we wasting precious time? If we want to be lifted up, we might just have to begin by going low. Comfort and ease are not what we need to please the surging hunger in our souls. If salvation is a possibility, then why would we not do whatever it would take to secure our rescue?

 When God’s will is ready to be done, earthly time is no longer an issue! A physical healing is not enough to regenerate a spiritually suffering soul. If we want to be truly free, we need to make sure that we are subjecting our wills to a source that has the ability to deliver what we yearn for. Holding on to God isn’t just about begging him to provide all the items on your shopping list. It is about surrendering what you think is best to the Lord who only does what he does with complete perfection.

In the Bible, Matthew tells us the story about a very troubled woman. She had heard about Jesus and with just about every ounce of hope she could muster, she risked whatever ounce of dignity she had left to go low so she might be lifted high. Matthew 9:20-22 reads, “Just then a woman who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years came up behind him and touched the edge of his cloak. 21 She said to herself, ‘If I only touch his cloak, I will be healed.’ 22 Jesus turned and saw her. ‘Take heart, daughter,’ he said, ‘your faith has healed you.’ And the woman was healed at that moment.” Matthew fills us in that this woman was so lonely and outcast that she took to talking to herself. The King James Bible translates her conversation like this: “If only I may touch the hem of His garment, I shall be made whole…”

Remember Matthew was writing primarily to the Jews. The Hebrews knew something about the hem of his garment. She didn’t say if I just touch him or get close to Him or accidentally bump into him I will get better. She said if I will touch the hem of His garment, I will be OK. On the four corners of a Jewish Robe, there should be four tassels. At the four hems of the garment there would be a tassel of blue like graduates wear. They were to remind the people of God’s word, God’s commands, God’s rule and God’s ways. Our woman was specific in saying, “If I can just grab one of the tassels of the Teacher, I can be healed!” The tassel would be hanging at the bottom of the outfit. The tassel would not be on the shoulder of God but at His feet! In order for her to grab a tassel, she had to get on her hands and knees to reach the tassel of truth. You have to humble yourself to have any chance of grasping God’s word!

 If you are still proud and refuse to get on your knees, you will probably die on your feet because of your selfishness. If you will go low, you are ready to aim high! If you will shut your mouth and receive God’s word then there is always hope! Jewish Men wore the tassels so they wouldn’t be tempted to trust and lean to their own understanding. If you long to walk in God’s way with his word as a light to your path and a lamp to your feet, you must evaluate all of your circumstances through the grid of God’s truth!

 If you have some issues going on and it’s been going on for far too long, have you grabbed for the written word from the living word? Or are you setting your reputation on the clamoring chaos from the crushing crowd? The crowd pressed in to try to squash Jesus.

The Woman went low to worship Him in the midst of the clatter and clutter. If you have the written word with no Jesus, you have truth but no life. You have information without inspiration. If you have Jesus but have not hunkered down in His word, you have life with no truth. But with the Word of God combined with the Word from God, you have everything you could possibly need and more. This woman who had no way, grabbed the Truth and experienced Life! Your freedom today depends upon your dependence tomorrow totally upon what Jesus says. Go low and secure your place upon Heaven’s heights. It’s your move!