Timely reminder… 

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““I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.””‭‭John‬ ‭16:33‬ ‭

 

He will take all that is wrong and make it right.   His strength is found at the end of our rope. He hears our cries and His love will lift us. In His time not mine He will make right those things causing challenges. The key is standing your ground and clinging to Him and those who love you.

img_6417.pngIn this matter and my own life challenges I am speechless but I couldn’t keep quiet after countinual displays of God’s love for me through those surrounding me! Every person in your life is a gift from God.  If you can see them the way He does. My words are puny in the face of His greatness and others sacrifice but I couldn’t keep silent.

This world can feel lonely but if we take a moment realize we are actually only as alone as we choose to be… I struggle remembering when I am in need to first bring my heart to the Father but He wants to know my needs and supply them in His PERFECT timing. When I don’t have pressing pain-filled trials and needs it’s not as hard to remember and be intentional in bringing my heart to Him and seek Him above all things.  This is just my own personal experience.

Jesus pleads our cause, and wants to see all our chains broken. He did after all give His life so we might have freedom and a multitude of other things like atonement and healing/wholeness. We fail and fall down but He is ever willing to make us new just as his mercies are new every morning.  Sometimes I think we blame God for our own personal feelings of guilt as if He hasn’t fully forgiven us.

“If you look for truth, you may find comfort in the end. If you look for comfort, you will not get either comfort or truth…” C.S. Lewis

I just want to add one more thing….one more thought…. Once we commit and belong to Him, despite our commitment He the Creator of all -is Commander over the storm, but remember we again are His… even the thunder and the wind obey Him. Why would He not have our best interest at heart and protect us knowing what we truly need. Sometimes we may get angry because what WE believe is best for us is not what the Great I Am, Creator of our very bodies, KNOWS is best for us. This calls to the forefront the dread p word patience and also all of our trust.  All I know is in a time like now…I set my feet upon His mighty name and trust in Him to do whats best for me.  So let the rain fall, He knows. lauren-daigle-lyrics.jpg

 

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Two words… 

We often think of the “three” most important words we can hear from someone… I love you!  We sometimes hear those words and they seem empty. I have to wonder in those times what does love mean to you, what does love mean to me?

When I think about love I think immediately of hope! Then again hope comes to my mind at the slightest provocation these days. For those of you walking my journey with me understand… and for those of you who are clueless it’s easiest enough to understand we all have an adventure called life and it’s better with community.


I have come to believe hope changes everything from our inner being to our outer-most viewable behavior. Something I have observed in our search for hope when we need it most… Many struggle, are at war within, of how to meet our needs without presenting ourselves as weak!
Heaven forbid we are viewed as weak and in need. Which brings me to the two most challenging words for many individuals to speak out loud… Help me. Whether that’s with a ? Or a ! Or in a quiet whisper of desperation these words are often choked down and never verbalized.  What is the road block?  I am asking myself this here as well… What is the hold up or the catch in our throats actually made of… Pride? Fear? Feelings of worthlessness?  The potential to hear silence as a returned answer?  How scary that feeling certainly is! We need helping hands, cheerleaders, shoulders to hoist us up, bent knees, hand holding, and shouts for victory with hand painted banners to wave!  We al deserve this but fail to see it and sometimes we fail to see or believe we deserve it because it’s literaly not there or available. For some of you out there you have asked for helped, grasped in the darkness for aid and found nothing but more darkness. This deters from future reaching. Let us agree that that is not okay!  Someone has to stand up and say no more!  Do I want to be that someone… no I don’t but there are a lot of those moment in life.

357278203d7bfcc8c4cfd54b99eb95f4.jpgHere is a thought I could be off base with but its worth pitching it… What if some people mistakenly conclude that cultivating compassion is all about the benefit of others, whereas the first benefit is to self. Compassion brings us peace of mind. It attracts friends, potential loved ones. Friendship is based on trust and trust develops and deepens when we show concern for others thus creating beautiful intimacy you can find through no other avenue in life outside of another person. 

It would mean a lot if below you would leave us feedback on how you give to others and what helps you! Maybe if we share somewhere, we can help spread it everywhere!

I am kayak…

Hear me roar…  When you’re single and alone you either give up or choose to be independent. When you are in a relationship the two of you are paddling a canoe. Working together but if one person drops the oar the other is left to paddle the two of you by his or her self… and the result is a lot of circling.

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     When you are independently rowing a kayak… Well everything is compact and working together. The paddles are attached or you have one long paddle.  Both methods are effective in many areas but not across the board effectiveness in all scenarios, so all rowers are needed to maintain the system of journeying.

To travel hopefully is a better thing than to arrive, and the true success is to labor.

– Robert Louis Stevenson

If you will go with me on this tiny adventure I would like to introduce you to a simple stream of thought… Marriage is a beautiful thing and it is a state I strive for however I have recently come to the belief despite one side of your bed being cold at night and only making enough coffee in the morning for one the life of an unmarried person does not have to be considered the life of one journeying alone. I have always had the desire to share my story with someone, share memories with that special person and journey on life adventure trails with a partner and that has not changed but I cannot wait to begin the journey once that person has appeared or I will miss out on many many special moments with the community all around me.

We have stories to tell, stories that provide wisdom about the journey of life. What more have we to give one another than our ‘truth’ about our human adventure as honestly and as openly as we know how?      – Rabbi Saul Rubin

If you would like to invest in missionaries and their families… But especially the families on my upcoming trip to England and Scotland, you can give here!!! You will be given a receipt for tax purposes if that’s a need for you. When you invest in others there is no greater return than knowing you have become part of another story!

Race Wars and other tensions… 

More than anything I would like to see shared ideas and inspired change… 

The way Heaven sees you is different than the way others see you.  Agree with Heaven!  I am reminded of a monumental scene in Remember the Titans is Coach Boone leading the young men to Gettysburg.

Trinity church youth have even made it part of their message to their peers and anyone partaking in their art in multiple human videos.  I hope to find their latest piece soon and will share it with you. It brings undeniable truth to the need for racial reconciliation to our communities.

Jesus wants to activate His church so He can kick the devil’s agenda in this generation.            Pastor Jim Hennesy

Our mandate and a portion of our prime directive is to legislate peace, but peace does not equal passivity.  “Therefore I, the prisoner of the Lord, implore you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love, being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all.”-Eph. 4:1-6 What do we first see here? I believe it is to stand united.

Get your past out of your present. It’s never too late to be who God imagined you to be. –Pastor Jim Hennesy  [Trinity Church Cedar Hill, TX]

This challenge would present itself to us in such a way that its only an American challenge. As if only Americans have tension and strife between races and people different, seeing others, people, in terms of “us” and “them”. The ‘Us” versus the “you”. How can we become ONE as the body of Christ with this site of mind??? I am often given opportunity to travel to other countries and work with varying cultures. All of this is made possible by others who believe in the vision of care strategy! Helping others in the greatest way without hurting them. Sometimes our help may received with joy and gratitude but this is where we are forced to assess whether what we are doing is helpful or hurtful in the grander scheme. The story comes to mind most of us are familiar with…cliche’… give a man a fish he will eat for a day, teach a man to fish he will feed himself his entire life. I venture to add that he will feed his family and possibly pass this trait on to further feed his village.  The fear and unease that can arise in mistrust and suspicion is not easily overcome by just closing your eyes or saying a prayer.  Its real concern for others that breeds trust and leads to friendship and a sense of security.  Inner peace found through Holy Spirit and intimacy with The Father; a practical source of peace and confidence creates a deepening of warm-heartedness and a concern for others’ well being.

boy-909552_960_720.jpgWe live in a first world country where, for the most part, this is not our challenge. So practically how does this apply? Very good question. I am still working through that question myself.  Can we agree, in our American culture, that the “teaching him to fish” analogy would most likely play out by our helping others deal spiritually and emotionally with life’s problems? Do we even want to bring that up since there is not a great deal of loving and helping “thy neighbor”? If we do this, then we have the relational equity to bring the gospel into their lives as well as build deep and meaningful community relations. Are we caught up in too much of self to accomplish this? I believe we certainly are; without Christ2FA4D76300000578-0-image-a-93_1451352988934.jpg but are we too self centered and far removed from Christ-Centered. Instead of teaching, discipling, and loving on our brothers and Sisters in Christ,  our willingness to jump in the water with them is not to help them fish and care for their family but to beat them down and drown them?  Harsh, yes… but is it true?  Others lives do not come to us packaged neatly with a pretty red bow but more often a messy mess of humanity that if we are honest with ourselves resembles our own at some point in time even in part NOW!  It’s hard to face our own humanity, reflections don’t lie despite our protests to seeing the truth. But our reflection should not be of ourself, it should be of the Father; without race, creed, color, or family of origin, but the Creator of all beings Father of us all.  How do we relate to others who are not like us?  I would venture to say begin to relate to them as Our Father would.

I believe racial reconciliation only possible through the Holy Spirit. His baptism of love changes our heart which changes how we love. Hate is not longer possible. Prejudices are no longer able to stay. God gives us a new heart which see people through love.     -Becky Hennesy

To have an idea what genuine human compassion is like, look at children. Naturally open and honest, they don’t care about other children’s background, what their religion or their nationalities are, so long as they smile and play together. It’s as we grow older that the trouble begins—we only smile to get what we want. But when we see other human beings as being like us and show concern – that’s genuine compassion. – Dalai Lama

Position Paper. AG USA (Part 1)

Here is a link to begin with to educate yourself on what we are actually discussing… It may not be updated with the final changes from the last few days but it’s basically intact.
It’s sad we must have a position paper on anything, but society pushes all limits and challenges all things; this bringing about position papers on common daily activities or practices. Recently, the Assemblies of God USA posted their new revision to the position paper concerning the consumption of alcohol. I’m sure this blog post comes somewhere amid a line of hundreds of other postings.

M8jbGMany people, according to the massive number of posts on social media of late, are up in arms on both sides of this issue. I personally see the rants for and against the consumption of alcohol. The thing I think that is being lost is the position paper, to my knowledge, does not even state the BIBLE says drinking alcohol is a sin. I believe it brings the issue to a standard of living required of the ministers signing a card with the Assemblies of God USA. I have seen arguments of culture, relational connectivity, and even ignorant disputes of it not being scriptural.  The thing it all comes down to is there are millions of churches out there and the fellowship of the Assemblies of God USA has always stood by the POSITION on this subject as a STANDARD of living not adding it to the Big Ten as if it were the 11th commandment. The position papers we have are based on scripture; but there is not a scripture that strictly says do not consume an ounce of alcohol at any time as a believer. That said… I believe the following is stated in scripture and I know you, as my readers, will let me know if I have misquoted or missed something.

Screen-Shot-2014-07-22-at-8.13.24-PMI believe the description is, the AG USA has a stance of abstinence as the WISE course for Christians. I have heard shouts of legalism and backwoods teaching, as well as sinner, or hand over your papers as a joke. To me, none of that is funny and I find it filled with disrespect and cynicism rather than humor. I am credentialed with the AG USA and I travel the world and meet other AG nationals who are perfectly fine with drinking; do I condemn them and hold them to the standard of the USA AG…no. I love them where they are and pray for them, I love them regardless of their life decisions… if they choose to drink, it’s a choice an individual makes. However, I have signed my card and am held to another standard requiring integrity out of me.

I don’t believe preaching or teaching against something is of any value unless we preach and LIVE the Word. This position paper is not a doctrine… we are not a denomination and many can call it splitting hairs but I believe this is where they become ignorant. We set standards because people innately push their boundaries and limits so we must place a standard SOMEWHERE and who’s to say where but a panel made of varying thoughts.  I realize there is a depth of eisegesis versus exegesis in this position paper but it is not unfounded.

Enrichment Magazine (RIP) once had an article stating, in so many words, that we as ministers would have less stress in the ministry if we would just stop expecting our congregation to act like mature believers. This is an intriguing thought? Where does that leave us? Maybe at… hmm…..stop demanding they act mature and start helping (disciple) them to actually be mature? Or… Is this too much work? Yes there’s the four letter word!!!
I may sound a little conflicting in the following line of thinking, but I would love some of your insight back with more than your opinion of course… Alcohol.jpgbecause we all have feelings and opinions but it doesn’t make us RIGHT or CORRECT.

I can preach the wisdom in abstinence, because there is a LOT of wisdom in it, and I can also preach against the sin of drunkenness. But I am not sure I can say that choosing to not abstain from all alcohol is itself a sin.

I do not believe alcohol has any place in the life of a minister of the Gospel. I am very glad to hear that our leaders believe the same. There are plenty of independent groups that would like to have your dues if you want to carry a bible in one hand and a drink in the other.

To bring a little thought provocation to the subject I would like to present a quote from Jason Stidham, a moderator of Conservatively Speaking…in the Assemblies of God,    “That clarity has been brought here repeatedly. HOW, they substance-shutter393507676-measure-progressarrive at abstinence has always been the issue. For example, this particular paper made inference that Jesus created fermented alcoholic beverage. Such is unacceptable.  It was this kind of liberal ‘scholarship’ which was debated and amended.  Some believer in the fellowship have said things such as I am still sickened and in utter amazement that this topic is even up for debate in the first place!! And then, it just infuriates me!! We are STILL the church of the living God! We are STILL called to be Holy! As others have commented that …What other distinctive are we willing to sell out to the intellectuals of the religious world? By the way, these are the same intellectuals who think we are demon possessed or mentally deranged because we speak in tongues…. I should say there are even some extremist that are on record stating…The single people could use this rationale. …we can have sex just not enough that pregnancy occurs. …nuts”

All this to say this is not a topic that is sneaking by us.  Here are more quotes from ministers in the AG and some adherents…

This opinion is not scriptural. It is religious and adds to the Word. It is the simple Gospel and the power of the Holy Spirit that changes the life of the believer, not man-made rules. What we have created is a group of people who are following rules and do not know Jesus.” `Bridget  ‘a Milleniel’ 

As believers we must draw a line on the use of alcohol. If we draw the line at the point of moderation, our ministers will soon find it necessary to exhort congregations to forsake drunkenness. If we draw the line at total abstinence, we will save a multitude of young and old from the sin of alcoholism.” ~David Messener  ‘Gen X’

~Andrew John, ‘a Gen-Xer’ states, in response to David Messenger:
” The Sin is Drunkenness, not Alcoholism.   Alcoholism is something that may or may not happen to anyone who drinks. For those who drink in excess it is a likely occurrence, a price paid for indulging in sin.   “Drawing the line is an interesting concept.” However, it is not Biblical. At this point the “Abstinence” position if mandatory for Pastors or Membership, and not just a recommendation, adding a policy or making it to be “doctrine” amounts to: Adding To Scripture and that is a big problem. When a “Cooperative Fellowship” or Denomination make a policy rule or take a doctrinal stance that strays from the Word of God, well intended or not, it is wrong.”

If a church, denomination, organization, etc makes the decision to make no alcohol consumption as part of their membership they have that right!!! If they want to point out all the problems associated with alcohol!! Their right. If they want to stress limits and moderation… as we should be doing with food, etc… they should. THAT is Biblical!  However, when they start to put labels of sin attached to someone who drinks alcohol then they are adding to the Bible and that IS sin! A CLEARLY stated sin!!! I have no problem with making the points about the dangers of the potential spiral effect into sin when many people indulge in alcohol! But if God does not outright call it sin than neither can we!”
~Debbie Kitelinger  ‘adherent and Gen-X’ 

These are just a few thoughts on the subject for PART 1 of this lively topic. Stay Tuned more to come…

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