Thursday, September 22, 2016

The Valley of Baca... The Valley of Weeping





The Valley of Baca … 

The Valley of WEEPING

Psalm 84


The Valley of Weeping is a Special Place for the Followers of JESUS. It is a place of sweet Companionship with the Savior+ of our souls.  It is a valley where we walk, one at a time, with our hand in His+ Hand… His+ Nail-pierced Hand.

 

HE+ knows the Way through that valley because, you see, HE+ walked it before we did.  HE+ suffered rejection and loss of family, for even some of His+ half-brothers did not believe HE+ was the Messiah. 


HE+ walked it through slights and taunts and rudeness as the learn-ed ones who knew The Word did not know HIM+, the Living Word+.

 

HE+ walked through that dark Valley when HE+ shared Isaiah 61 with the people HE+ grew up with … who turned on HIM+ in wrath and thrust HIM+ to the edge of the cliff to throw HIM+ head-long down the ravine.

 

The Valley of Weeping was where HE+ laid His+ head.  It was where HE+ opened the eyes of the blind and then rescued him from the Temple Pharisees.  


It was where HE+ healed the diseases and yes, where HE+ raised Lazarus with deep groans in the SPIRIT, heard by The FATHER.

 

 

What happens to our tears, as we walk through the Valley of Baca, with JESUS ?  Listen to the literal Hebrew:


Blessed is the man whose strength

is in THEE+;

in whose heart are the highways,

who passing through the Valley of Baca

make it a fountain;

even with blessings

the early rain covers it.



Our tears draw us to JESUS HIMSELF+.  They water the garden of our heart, right in the midst of the Valley of Baca. In our heart, you see, is the Highway to GOD and at times that Highway takes us through that Valley of Weeping.

 

But as we Weep With JESUS,  a phenomenal thing occurs.  Our tears become a REFRESHING fountain  for  others who must walk through the Valley, sooner or later.  Indeed, out of our belly flow RIVERS of LIVING WATERS !  John 7:38.


The Fountain of our Tears, joined to JESUS, becomes blessings for the strengthening of others,  just like the life-giving early rains for the production of food for mankind. Indeed, it will POUR forth from the Fountain of our Soul, rooted in JESUS.

 

The WORLD cannot give its followers this, in the midst of their sorrows.

 

Our LORD and SAVIOR+ JESUS CHRIST can SANCTIFY our trials and sorrow of heart … and MOST ASSUREDLY does … if we walk Hand in Hand with our LORD.  HE+ wastes nothing that touches our lives. It all is for OUR GOOD … and for others.

Our Companionship with HIM+ grows deeper than a lack of sorrow could ever bring. HE+ brings us to maturity in CHRIST, a maturity that is not possible to achieve without sorrow and grief and hurt.

 

No matter WHAT variety of  sorrow  we face, we have the promise that our SORROW will not last forever… but our joy in JESUS will ! 

+  +  +



Therefore, O LORD,

we praise you even now in the midst of our sorrow,

our hurt, and our weakness. 

 

Yes, we would like this sorrow to lift, 

but we know that YOU+, O LORD ,

have no shadow of turning in THEE+. 

YOU+ are always constant, the same. 

 

So, help us to stay constant in CHRIST. 

Through good times, through sorrow, 

let Your+ Light so shine in us before men,

that they may see our good works

and GLORIFY  YOU,

O Holy FATHER.

+  +  +

Monday, September 19, 2016

JESUS WEPT...





JESUS Wept… 

is written such

when sorrow much at Death prevails,

holding all in gloom-filled tomb;

no end in sight for Sorrow’s Might

when Death destroys a loved one. 

 

 

JESUS Wept… 

Scriptures said, 

when  tears o’r-flowed from family. 

Neighbors came a-weeping,

as Death untamed

laid its Claim for keeping.    

 

Yes, JESUS Wept…

Seeing Death affect the Living,


curse in sway sweeps life away,


destroying all it touches .

 

JESUS Wept… 

but swept aside His+ Veil of Flesh

and earthly fears with groans,

unheard His+ moans

by fleshly, human ears.    

 

Then JESUS  Lifted

… not the stone…

but the Tone

of Command.



There HE+ met the curse head-first: 

    

LAZARUS ! Here ! Outside !

HE+ cried.

This time… with no tears! 

 

 


Sunday, September 11, 2016

A Tribute to UNCLE KARL, a CHRISTIAN MAN






This is the recent funeral tribute for a Christian man  who died suddenly of a massive heart attack. 
+ + +

In the Name of The FATHER, 
And of The SON+, 
and of The HOLY SPIRIT.
Amen. 
+  +  +

Greetings of love to each of you in the Life-giving Name of Our LORD JESUS CHRIST... the same yesterday, today, and forever... Who+ ever  liveth to make intercession for us.  

My relationship with Uncle Karl goes back about 69 years. He was staying with my family before I was born. Thus, our hearts were knit together for the rest of our lives. 


During his youth, Uncle Karl would share things with me and I , with him.  I would always give him bites of my popsicles... until my good aunts would chase him away!


He would call me to help him ... yes, to help him skin  all those rabbits he was so fond of shooting. "Here, hold these legs... now hold them TIGHT! " he would insist.  I would , but OH, how they stunk ! 

Through his young adult years, Uncle Karl had many hard knocks.  He had some harsh experiences that left him broken-hearted and hurt.  

Now Uncle Karl was a hard-worker all of his life.  He lived with my family while he worked in our town on the railroad, away from his family.  Uncle Karl did not have a lazy bone in his body.

Uncle Karl possessed another character trait.  
That was HONESTY. 
He was not a cheat. 
And, he did not lie.
  
 Uncle Karl carried his responsibility and commitments.  He took care of what was entrusted to him from his own labors.  But  still,  the hard knocks came. 

One day, through his middle years, he looked into the mirror... the MIRROR of GOD'S Word.  It stopped him cold.  Because of his deep inner honesty, he saw himself as he REALLY was. 

He saw that his own CHOICES produced the hard knocks.  He could not blame GOD for them. 

He said, 
" I,  I am wrong. 
LORD JESUS, 
YOU+ are right." 

Uncle Karl said, 
" I  am the sinner.  
YOU+, LORD, have not mistreated me, 
but I have 
mistreated YOU+ . " 


And he bent the knees of his heart and heartily repented... ashamed of choosing sin... and very hurt at himself; Uncle Karl repented. 

He pledged allegiance to JESUS CHRIST from that moment on. NOT to a LIST of Laws, but to The LORD JESUS CHRIST went his allegiance.

He yielded the CONTROL of his life unto the Savior+  of his soul. 

Uncle Karl rose up from his knees and entered the cleansing waters of baptism.  He was immersed and his soul was cleansed of sin. 

And when he emerged from that sanctified water, The LORD did something to him: HE+ made Uncle Karl into A New Creature in CHRIST!

MARVELOUS!  MARVELOUS GIFT! 

Now, how do we KNOW Uncle Karl became that New Creature in CHRIST? 

Well, that was easy:  we ALL KNEW that JESUS changed him ! 

First, he put away the booze bottles.  He would not have that devil water in his house.   He hated even the smell of it... because it had helped to ruin his life.  

It is hard to ask the LORD'S blessing before you drink your beer, isn't it ? 

Then, he stopped gambling and throwing his money away on fine race horses. He stopped going to the race track.  

JESUS said, 
" I+ don't go there; 
don't you go there, 
either. " 


THAT is what a New Creature in CHRIST does. 


Uncle Karl kept a clean heart and a clean house.  He cleaned up his language... and kept it clean.  He had no filthy magazines under his  bed. 

He forgave those who hurt him or ignored him or turned a cold shoulder to him.  And he kept on forgiving unto his dying day. 

Uncle Karl kept a reading rack in his bathroom.  It had a Bible in it.  A daily reading Bible, with portions for each day for a year.  He read through it several times.  

That is what a New Creature in CHRIST does ! 

He set his priority to keep his commitment to The LORD JESUS with at least as much diligence as he gave to his worldly jobs... and THAT was quite a lot. 

Uncle Karl asked the LORD'S blessing over his food  at  home, and in public restaurants.  He would NOT DENY CHRIST before men.  

Uncle Karl developed a deep companionship with JESUS by doing these things. 

As a result of his companionship with CHRIST JESUS, Uncle Karl grew tender-hearted toward those in need.  He opened up his heart... and his pocketbook followed... to the hurting and hungry and handicapped.  

He didn't blow a trumpet before him, so we are just finding out now some of the things he did.  

We discovered that he found a way to help the American Indians, a down-trodden people, the under-dogs...   because he had been an under-dog for so many years himself and he never forgot the pain of it. 

He said, 
" This is what GOD 
wants me to do. "


A Companionship with CHRIST is what he prayed for his family and friends and acquaintances he met in passing. 

I hate to say good-bye to such a man as this: an elder in CHRIST, an excellent example. 

So now, we have this confidence: because Uncle Karl was a New Creature in CHRIST, the LORD received him into His+ Heaven. 


Yes, Uncle Karl IS absent now from the body, but he is present NOW with The LORD. But, Uncle Karl will not ALWAYS be absent from the body.  He is not in these ashes. He is alive in soul and spirit... the Uncle Karl we know ... and in Heaven. 

These ashes sitting here in this urn are going to be changed !  Uncle Karl will be restored --- complete, whole, healthy, and happy --- in his body, AT THE LAST TRUMPET! 

In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, 
at the last trump:  
for the trumpet shall sound, 
and the dead shall be raised... 
the DEAD shall 
be RAISED 
incorruptible  !  

And those who follow JESUS in a  daily,  honest,  and responsible  companionship shall be raised from their graves too... with bodies glorified like unto our LORD'S glorified body, according to the working whereby, CHRIST JESUS is able to subdue all things unto HIMSELF+. 

So... we say good-bye ... just temporarily ... to this dear man, as his spirit and soul enters into that Continuing City, whose Builder and Maker is GOD.  

Uncle Karl cannot come to us ... but we can go to him. 

I KNOW he wants to see you there, too. 

In the Name of GOD the FATHER, 
WHO created us --- 
and unto Whom we must give an account; 

And in the Name of His Beloved SON+, JESUS CHRIST,  Who+ knows every little thing about us 
... and still loves us.... enough to save us;

And in the Name of that Blessed HOLY SPIRIT Who+ sanctifies us by the BLOOD of JESUS CHRIST. 
AMEN. 
 + + +



Saturday, September 3, 2016

LUSTING AFTER FLESH? Pluck out the EYE !





If YOU...
 are caught up in personal sins ... the lust of the eye, the lust of the flesh, and the pride of life ... you LOVE DARKNESS. 

 If you hunger after what the EYE sees, pluck it out and turn to 
CHRIST JESUS 
for the True Vision of Life in HIM+. 

It is far better to lose an EYE than to be cast into HELL... where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth, torments and flame, and of course, DARKNESS. 

Afraid of the DARK ? 
You WILL be ! 

Just as soon as you close your EYES in death, you will SEE DARKNESS for all Eternity. 

If you hunger after the lusts of the flesh and REFUSE TO TURN AWAY from them, you have CHOSEN YOUR OWN CONDEMNATION... darkness for all Eternity... from which there is NO ESCAPE.


 You will forever be aware of your foolish and sin-filled CHOICES you have made to put yourself under this condemnation. 

 Remember: if you commit IMMORALITY IN YOUR HEART,  it is LAID TO YOUR ACCOUNT. 

If you lust after the flesh through pictures and photos, you are walking in SERIOUS DARKNESS.  THIS IS DANGEROUS. 

REPENT before it is too late...
and the DARKNESS
CHOOSES YOU ! 

Men  banished into darkness died, in prison camps.  But there is a darkness greater than physical darkness. 

JESUS said: 

And this is the condemnation, 
that LIGHT+ is come into the world

and men LOVED DARKNESS 
rather than LIGHT+ 

BECAUSE

their deeds were EVIL.

For, 
everyone that does evil
hates the LIGHT+

neither does he come
to The LIGHT+
lest his deeds 
should be reproved.

Who can save us from DARKNESS ?

For GOD sent not HIS SON+
into the world
to condemn the world, 

but that the world, 
through HIM+, 
might be saved !   

For GOD SO LOVED
the world, that HE GAVE

HIS only-begotten SON+
JESUS CHRIST, 
that whomever believes into HIM+, 

should not destroy himself, 

but have ever-lasting life.
John 3:16, literal Greek.

May The LORD hear your cry in the darkness. May your heart turn to HIM+ Who+ is the TRUE LIGHT+ available for every man in this world. 

HE+ has the POWER to chase that darkness away ... if you do not love evil. 

COME TO JESUS. 

COME NOW. 

HE+ will deliver you from the death-grip of pornography if you ask HIM+. 

Leave that pornography behind in the ash heap.  Sooner ... rather than later.