Awakened to Hear

6 08 2014

Isaiah 50: 4 reads,

” The Lord GOD has given Me the tongue of disciples,

That I may know how to sustain the weary one with a word.

He awakens Me morning by morning, He awakens My ear to listen as a disciple.”

The prophet indicates the he is aroused each day to greet a voice.  The voice of God.  In this context he is hearing God speak of national concerns, the state of the nation.

America is in need of listening prophets who speak with authority and conviction.  We need prophets who have the backing of heaven in the demonstration of the power of His Spirit.  Our nation has fallen into a deep pit of unbelief and moral decay.   Our churches promote pulpiteers who have no backbone and buy into the lie that to rebuke is unkind.

Tell the truth prophet of God.  But before you speak, listen to the Father’s heart as a disciple.  Learn and then teach.





Missing the Day of Your Visitation

23 03 2013

Jesus_on_Donkey_PalmSundayCrowdWhat a difference 7 days will make!

The scene is joyous, sounds of a party, crowds chanting, people running, children jumping. The crowds gather to see a man riding on a donkey entering the city.  “Look it is Jesus of Nazareth, the miracle worker,” some cry!  Others run to retrieve palm branches to wave at the procession.  With shouts of praise the crowd chants words from the Psalms, ” Hosanna to the son of David; Blessed is He who comes in the Name of the Lord; Hosanna in the highest!”   They chant Hosanna, meaning, “Save now, we pray,” expressing the anticipation and hopes of the crowd.  Has this Jesus come to declare Himself King of the Jews and deliver us from Rome?  Throwing their garments in the road in respect for an honored guest they receive Him into the city, with shouts of, “Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David!”  A crowd was running before Him and running behind Him chanting, praising, and singing as His closet followers walked alongside wondering in amazement what does this all mean.  It was quite a day, and an exciting celebration.

The Gospels record the story in Matt 21, Mark 11, Luke 19, and John 12.  This is what Christians celebrate as Palm Sunday, the first day of Passion Week.   The name is derived from the palm branches that were waved at Jesus and laid in the road before Him as he entered Jerusalem, the City of David.  The colt or donkey that He was riding upon was lent to Him by a generous benefactor so He could fulfill the prophecy of the coming of a King to Jerusalem, Zechariah 9:9.

This day marks the beginning of the end of the earthly ministry of Jesus.  In just a few short days that same crowd would be chanting, “Crucify Him, crucify Him!” as well as “Give us Barabbas!”  They would exchange Jesus, the miracle worker, for Barabbas the common thief.

The crowd of that day, no different than crowds of today, entered into the frenzy of the majority.  While wildly chanting, praising, and running with the fellow next to them they were asking, “Who is this?” Matt 21:10.  “This is the prophet Jesus, from Nazareth in Galilee!” rings out as the answer and there is the problem.

Luke records in his Gospel a profound insight into the man Jesus who in the midst of accolades, praises, and cheering crowds of adoration is stuck with deep sorrow to the point of weeping for they had missed the time of their visitation.

When He approached Jerusalem, He saw the city and wept over it, saying, “If you had known in this day, even you, the things which make for peace! But now they have been hidden from your eyes.  “For the days will come upon you when your enemies will throw up a barricade against you, and surround you and hem you in on every side, and they will level you to the ground and your children within you, and they will not leave in you one stone upon another, because you did not recognize the time of your visitation.” Luke 19: 41- 44  NASB

The future destruction of Jerusalem foretold just a few decades away.  Here we get a glimpse into the heart of God who weeps deeply and grieves that the coming consequences need not be if only their eyes had opened.  The life and ministry of Jesus had afforded them a strategic season, τὸν καιρὸν, of visitation, inspection, and investigation.  They had the opportunity to see Jesus for who He was and accept his testimony concerning Himself.  Instead they either missed it all together, “Who is this?” or projected onto him their own analysis of who he was, “This is Jesus, the prophet!”

It is no different today.  Like many church going Christians of today the citizens of Jerusalem followed the crowd, sang the songs, declared Him King of Kings but missed the intention of His coming and the authority of His words.  Then there are others who look to the knowledgeable in the crowd and ask the question “Who is this?” Only to be misled by their uninformed answer!  Oh, and let us not forget the religiously arrogant who are simply jealous that the crowds are groping to know and follow Jesus rather than listening to them.

On Palm Sunday,  millions will flock to church in their Sunday best to sing, praise and hail the coming of the triumphant Jesus.  But my deep concern is that we all will miss the time of our visitation.   Will we see him for who He is?  Will we pause in the din of the crowd to ponder the consequences of missing the moment?

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.  John 14:6 NASB

 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies,
 and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die. Do you believe this?” John 11:25-26  NASB

Then Jesus again spoke to them, saying, “I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life.” John 8:12 NASB

 Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me will not hunger, and he who believes in Me will never thirst.  John 6:35 NASB

Perhaps you have heard the claims of Christ in your life.  Maybe even joined a crowd shouting Hosanna.  But the real questions is have you recognized your day of vitiation?  Have you heard the words of Jesus and believed them?  He is more than a prophet, more than a miracle worker, more than a great teacher.  Jesus of Nazareth of the Galilee, the man who would suffer upon a tree for you and me, He is God very God, maker of Heaven and earth!  He is the judge of the living and the dead.  He will come again to receive to Himself all who have put their hope and trust in Him.  If you believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead and confess with your mouth that He is Lord while turning from a life without God you will experience His salvation and Life.  Ask Him today to fill you with His Holy Spirit and —- Do not miss the Day of Your Visitation!





#INDIVISIBLE

4 07 2012

Okay, I will take the challenge.  Today Starbucks Chairmen, Howard Shultz, invites Americans for a cup of coffee and conversation.  The conversation is about the America that we envision, about coming together to solve our mutual problems, not waiting or looking to the politicians in Washington. First of all, I am going to take him up on the cup free coffee because I just like good coffee.  Secondly, I do enjoy meaningful conversation with others in a relaxed environment.  On a side note Starbucks would do well to return to its original store model and flee the retail merchandising model.  So I lend my voice to the conversation #INDIVISIBLE. The Pledge of Allegiance, gives me my first inspiration.

“I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all”

The founding fathers of the United States on this day, July 4th, 1776, signed their lives, fortunes and honor away in the Declaration of Independence.  The Independence was from a despotic government being lead by a political leader who had lost his way.   Prayer, fasting, and bended knee before Almighty God gave these men the humility they needed to forge through their differences and formulate “A more perfect Union.”

The God of the Bible was their inspiration.  The lessons taught in the Holy Scriptures gave them guidance as they formulated the principles upon which they built this nation.  These men were great men, deeply convicted to seek the welfare of the people of the United States.  We would do well to follow their lead.

Before engaging in national dialogue on our many problems let’s identify what does separate us.  At the very root of our current division of an INDIVISIBLE nation is that we have rejected that we are a nation “UNDER GOD.”

As a democratic republic we must elect leaders to represent us in Congress and the Presidency who will fashion our laws and help lead us.  We have a President who believes he is above the law and can decide NOT to enforce the will of the people simply because he disagrees with it.  We have many Representatives who have forgotten they are “Public SERVANTS,” many are in it for the prestige and power.  Our leaders mock those who bend their knee in prayer and fasting seeking a favor of the God of Abraham, Issac and Jacob as our founding fathers did!  How can these then lead us to be ONE NATION UNDER GOD?

So, let’s begin this dialogue with prayer.  Today, when I get my cup of coffee at Starbucks, I will bow my head publicly and pray out loud to God thanking Him for this wonderful nation called the United States of America.  I will ask Him to search my heart to see if there be any wicked way in me.  I will humbly acknowledge that insight and seek His face to empower me to overcome it.  Then and only then will I be equipped to engage in national conversation.

Let’s talk together as a nation as to how we can contribute to winning this election and ridding DC of politicians who wish to re-invent America in their own image, into a Socialist State that impinges on the freedom of the people.  LIBERTY AND JUSTICE require TRUTH.  TRUTH is morally absolute and not relative to situation.





Father’s Day

17 06 2012

Americans have a knack for turning celebrations into a marketing opportunity. We are not alone in this, others around the world even in different governmental structures do the same. If someone makes a buck from a celebration it does not diminish the importance of the thing we celebrate.

Today, is Father’s day in the USA. All over the nation folks will give their dads a token of affection and recognition. For some their will be the annual giving of the “goofy tie” or other gag gift. Others will prepare a hand-made “You’re the best dad in the whole world card” or celebrate dad with his favorite meal. Whatever is done for the most part there is a genuine attempt to express the value of Fatherhood.

Our culture is blurring the importance and significance of Fatherhood. It would be a joy and delight to say that every Father was honorable and faithful to his call, but sadly that is not always the case. There are absentee dads, abusive dads, abandoning dads, sure! But there are also adoring dads, faithful fathers, and loving leaders. I want to be one of the faithful.

Today, let’s honor Fatherhood for all it should be and has been in our lives. Let’s work to make Fatherhood the place of respect and honor that God intended it to be. Give honor where honor is due, forgive where it is required, love with a whole heart, trust God to be to you what man has failed to be.

As Fathers you are the most powerful force for good in the world. A child’s soul is a terrible thing to waste. You have been granted the most awesome of responsibilities. Make today special for those who love you by stepping up to Fatherhood!

Have a Happy Father’s Day, laugh a lot, cry a little, love fully–Bless you!





Estate planning and Parenting

12 04 2012

I am trying to do some estate planning.  That is preparation for passing on my assets after my death.  You know, wills, trusts, life insurance, medial directives and the like.  It takes time and wisdom to prepare a good plan. I am seeking professional advice.  Lots of care goes into doing that plan well.

As I am working on the details, I have an ah-ha moment!  Should there be any less care in preparing your must precious asset, your children?  A wise parent does not raise children by accident.  Invest the time to do it well!





Caution

4 04 2012

Do not throw caution to the wind!
Caution— is not fear!
Caution is wisdom to be circumspect. Consider the options and move forward with your eyes wide open.  Do not be reckless or you will be a wreck.  Boldness does not throw away wisdom or caution! Move forward fearlessly and be wise!





Teach us to number our days

29 02 2012

This week I will have officiated at 2 funerals. One was for a long life fully lived yet the final years were marked by illness. The other a tragic loss of a precious life snatched from the hands of death several years ago, cause of death yet unknown.  Each of these funerals had special lessons for me.

In my professional career I have attended and presided over many funerals.  Of all life events, funerals for me provide some of the richest insights into LIFE and living.  I know that sounds a bit strange. But consider this, in those brief moments family and friends spend together to reflect on the contributions and memories of a someone special to them you are granted an opportunity to see your own life in richest of ways.  If you have a listening ear your deepest soul will whisper to you of things that could change you forever for the better.

You may hear things concerning how you value your spouse, or your children.   Maybe that inner voice will ask you to evaluate your career.  Perhaps you will be told to finally get your Last Will and Testament done.  If you love your family,  you might be convicted to get that life insurance or long-term health care policy in place.    Maybe, you will decide to take that vacation you have always wanted or call your mom and dad.  Whatever you hear, listen well!  You may be changed forever for the better.

Moses said it this way,  – ‘So teach us to number our days, That we may present to You a heart of wisdom.” Psalm 90:12  and King David   – “LORD, make me to know my end And what is the extent of my days; Let me know how transient I am. Psalm 39:4.  By reflecting deeply on the passing of a life from this realm we can better live our own lives if we act on what we hear.  Life is but a vapor; live it well!








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