Freedom from the Pit

23 03 2010

“I waited patiently and expectantly for the L-rd; and He inclined to me and heard my cry. He drew me up out of a horrible pit…and set my feet upon a rock.” –Psalm 40:1-2

“When the Bible speaks of “the pit,” I always think of the depths of depression. David spoke of feeling as though he were in a pit, calling out to the L-rd to rescue him and set his feet on solid ground.

Nobody wants to be in the pit of depression. Satan takes advantage of your situation by reminding you of painful memories.

When you are depressed, the devil’s goal is to make you miserable and hopeless you will never rise up and cause him any problems or to fulfill the call of G-d on your life.

So if you’re struggling in a pit that keeps you from being all G-d wants you to be, cry out to the L-rd and allow Him to draw you out of the pit and set you free. G-d has a great life planned for you, don’t let satan steal it through depression.” (Joyce Meyer, “Ending Your Day Right”)

Waiting patiently and expectantly sticks out when I read that scripture. “Patiently” reminds me that G-d and I don’t run on the same schedule. I get tired of situations far before it’s G-d’s timing to move me out. I think G-d gives us the waiting time so both of us can see how my patience and faith play out. Will I trust Him when I don’t see the movement? We need to see our reaction and we need to see our faith lacking because then we will learn to trust G-d’s timing and hand. “Expectantly” is vital because it reflects on our view of G-d. If we truly believe in G-d’s love and goodness, we will be expectant about His intervention and blessing. I start freaking out when I let myself forget who G-d is and what is track record is like. It’s so easy when you are not in a waiting time to tell others to wait patiently and trust, but the real testament is when you are in that season yourself—If you are struggling in the “just wait on G-d” phase, I’m right there with you. Some days, this is really tough and I just want to give up, but keep pressing on with me. We are all on this journey together. The L-rd will bring us through and it will be beautiful.

By faith and hope,

Mere

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Are You Lovable?

19 03 2010

“G-d shows and clearly proves His [own] love for us by the fact that while we were still sinners, Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One) died for us.” –Romans 5:8

“When you read the title on this page—Are You Lovable?—you may have immediately thought, “No, I’m not!” I would have probably responded the same way before I came to understand the true nature of G-d’s love and His reason for loving me.

How can G-d love you as imperfect as you are? He loves you because He wants to. It pleases Him. G-d loves you because that is in His nature. G-d is love (see 1 John 4:8). If He were otherwise, He wouldn’t be who He is.

G-d may not always love everything you do, but He does love you. His love is unconditional—it is based on Him, not you.” (Joyce Meyer, “Ending Your Day Right”)

G-d’s love is so individualized. I think that’s one of the things that amazes me the most about Him. It’s easy enough for us to say ‘Jesus loves you’ or ‘G-d loves all of us.’ Both of these statements are true, but they don’t connect the divine mystery of His intimate love for you personally. I saw a magnet that I kind of like even though its cheesy: “Sure, G-d loves you, but I’m His favorite.” I think somehow we are all G-d’s favorites—He can somehow have multiple favorites, but without making us feel like we are having to share Him or His affection. G-d is crazy about you. He sees you and His banner over you is love. He looks at you and sees the potential. He believes in the work that He is doing in you. He looks at you, even when you are failing, and He sees Christ’s covering over you. How awesome is that! Phil 2:12-13 encourages us to “work out your salvation with fear and trembling for it’s the L-rd that works in you, both to will and to do.” The important message to us is that the L-rd is going to do it. Not only does He have the will, He also is making the way. It’s not about what you can do; He loves you and He will bring it all into fruition. I think we can say all day long that G-d loves us, but the proof of our belief manifests in our actions. Are you living like you believe that the G-d of the universe is madly in love with you and is on your team? He wants to see you walking in your potential. He’s got big dreams for you. Get excited! This love truly should do what 1 John 4:18—“perfect love casts out fear…” He is for you. He loves you and the best part is that it has nothing to do with how you perform.

By faith and hope,
mere





Have an Attitude of Faith

17 03 2010

“Faith is the assurance…of the things [we] hope for, being the proof of things [we] do not see.”

-Hebrews 11:1

“Faith can be described in many ways, but a very simple way to look at faith—even to examine whether or not you are operating in it—is to say that “faith has an attitude.”

Hebrews 4 says that those who have believed G-d—those who have an attitude of faith—enter His rest and cease from the weariness and pain of human labors.

The attitude of faith does not worry, fret, or have anxiety concerning tomorrow, because faith understands that wherever it needs to go, even into the unknowns of the future, Jesus has already been there.

Remember, He is the Alpha and the Omega. Not only is He the Beginning and the End, He is everything in between. So have an attitude of faith as you pray today, placing your trust completely in the one who was, who is, and who is to come.” (Joyce Meyer, “Ending Your Day Right)

Would our faith really be faith if we were not required to have faith? This may seem obvious or like a tongue twister, but I think it’s a legitimate thought. Why are we surprised by circumstances that don’t make sense to us? Why are we whiny and upset when G-d gives us a scenario that requires us to actually have faith? When it comes down to it, I must confess that I’m a fair weather friend of G-d. In the good times, we are great, but when times get tough, I’m whining to Him. Praise the L-rd for His grace! I think I would have gotten tired of my whining if I was Him. I think we have a choice in this. Joyce brought up that there was an attitude of faith. We can’t always choose our circumstances, but we can make a choice to have the right attitude. This is really hard, but I feel a strange sense of joy because I’m in a time that is requiring a lot of faith because the reassurance is not there based upon circumstances or human logic. I think knowing that G-d has something good in mind after the challenges pass brings me the most reassurance. All I can say is what I’m trying to do—don’t try to figure out what the L-rd is doing; just get excited about what He is doing and keep your eyes open to the subtle changes He may be bringing. The L-rd is our defense and He is all the proof we truly need.

By faith and hope,

Mere





Don’t Fret–Rejoice!

13 03 2010

“Rejoice in the L-rd always…again I say, Rejoice!…Do not fret or have any anxiety about anything, but in…everything by prayer and petition,…with thanksgiving, continue to make your wants known to G-d.”

–Phil 4:4, 6

“Twice in this passage the apostle Paul tells us to rejoice. He urges us not to fret or have any anxiety about anything but to pray and give thanks to G-d in everything—not after everything is over.

If you wait until everything is perfect before rejoicing and giving thanks you won’t have much fun. Learning to enjoy life even in the midst of trying circumstances is one way to develop spiritual maturity.

Live in the fullness of the joy of the L-rd by finding something to be glad about besides your current circumstances. You must learn to derive your happiness and joy from the L-rd who lives inside you.

Decide you will not fret or have anxiety about anything but will give thanks and praise to G-d, rejoicing in Him always.”

(Joyce Meyer, “Ending Your Day Right”)

I think the biggest mistake we can make is to assume that just because we can’t see how G-d is working that nothing is happening. It’s so easy to fall into this and that is exactly what satan wants us to do. If he can make us feel stuck or ignored, we will spiral into fear, depression, and hopelessness. Every time you choose to believe the truth about G-d’s love and His activity, the lies and doubts as to G-d not coming through will seem more and more ridiculous. He cares about you. He’s in every detail of your life—He either causes it or allows it to happen. He cares for your good more than you do. In my experience, the best way to banish the lies and feelings of hopelessness is to be grateful in the small things…no matter how small the blessing may be, like the fact that you were able to have a Poptart for breakfast or the flowers in your yard were in bloom this morning or the dryer only ate one sock today…Start looking for the little things and the greater things will come in His time.

By faith and hope,

Mere





Rejoice in Today

13 03 2010

“This is the day which the L-rd hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.” –Psalm 118:24

“The L-rd once told me anxiety is caused by trying to mentally and emotionally get into things that are not here yet or that have already passed—mentally leaving today and getting into an area of the past or the future.

Since then I have been trying to learn to lighten up and enjoy life. I try to live life one day at a time and not worry about the past or the future. We need to be responsible, but we also need to relax and take things as they come without getting all nervous and upset.

Learn to enjoy the good life G-d provided for you. In spite of all the troubling things going on in the world, make this daily confession: “This is the day the L-rd has made, and I will rejoice and be glad in it.”

(Joyce Meyer, “Ending Your Day Right”)

It’s funny how living in the moment can be construed to be really awesome and really terrible. I don’t think we are meant to “live in the moment” as in living with no concept of consequence, but I think there is a reason that Jesus said each day has enough trouble of its own (Matt 6:34). I’m not sure if it’s this society or time period or maybe this is just inherently our world—but we are very much encouraged and expected to look towards the future all the time. If the L-rd gives you long term leading, awesome…but often times He directs day by day. Whenever I start worrying about the future, I waste a day of opportunity. How wonderful and less stressful our days would be if we lived with less planning and more dependence! Every ounce of our humanity will be resistant to this lifestyle, but I truly believe that is how our L-rd work—asking us to trust and be faithful in the everyday kind of drudgery. This can be really challenging, but all we can do is keep striving toward it. I think the first step is to surrender and ask for the L-rd to refocus your eyes so you can be led on His path everyday. Don’t check out, give up, or walk away—the L-rd will amaze you along the way.

By faith and hope,
Mere





Evolution–A Problem of Information Part II (Fossils+Entropy)

4 03 2010

The most glaring fault to evolution is that the historical record does not support it. Often, biology and pro-evolution books contain neat illustrations of a species gradually forming over millions of years, step-by-step. Modern paleontology does not record evidence of any such formation ever taking place. If the concepts of evolution were true, every species would arrive through a gradual progression of positive genetic changes. This means “for every known fossil species, many more must have existed to connect it to its ancestors and descendents” (Sarfati).

Paleontologists and evolutionists recognize a serious threat to their whole argument–-evolution predicts innumerable transitional forms, yet all they have are a handful of debatable ones. Columnist John Baumgardner reports that Stephen J. Gould, one of the most famous modern evolutionists, “termed [that] ‘the trade secret of paleontology’ is the fact that the transitional forms one would expect to find . . . were evolution true, are systematically absent.” The very nature of the evolutionary process would require billions of species that lead to billions of successful species and billions of unsuccessful dead ends. Even Darwin recognized threat to his theory, in The Origin of the Species, asking:

“Why is not every geological formation and every stratum full of such intermediate links? Geology assuredly does not reveal any such finely graduated organic chain; and this is the most obvious and serious objection which can be urged against my theory (227)”.

Fossil records show many of the same fully formed species, like the stegosaurus and pterodactyl, but do not consistently show the links leading up to them. Why are we finding the same fully formed species multiple times? Instead of searching for “the missing link”, the real search should be for the hundreds of millions of missing links.

These “missing links” are often supplemented in the scientific community with books that show huge intermediate-full fossil records. These books are misleading because they imply scientific discoveries in the fossil record that have never happened! Dr. Colin Patterson, senior paleontologist of the British Museum of Natural History and a renowned evolutionary textbook writer, admits:

“I fully agree with your comments about the lack of direct illustration of evolutionary transition in my book. If I knew of any, fossil or living, I would certainly have included them…. I will lay it on the line–-there is no such fossil for which one could make a watertight argument” (Sarfati).

These “scientists” rely and report on paleontology discoveries that have not occurred.

Evolution also breaks basic physical law. The Second Law of Thermodynamics, also known as the Law of Entropy, states that all systems will tend toward the most mathematically probable state, and eventually become totally random. There are three most obvious implications to this law; functioning, structured and information systems all tend to disorder.

DNA, an information system, also falls under this law; as we see in modern culture, genetic defects occur more and more frequently.  The law is seen in day-to-day life; cars and buildings need repair. Even the human body can’t escape this law. As a person gets older, bodily functions deteriorate until death. Then the body turns into dust. The fact is that nothing escapes The Second Law of Thermodynamics. Einstein called it “the premier law of all science” and Sir Arthur Eddington said it was “the supreme metaphysical law of the entire universe”. This law is clearly violated as evolution says that everything began as simple forms and gradually evolved into more complex ones. The theory of evolution breaks the very basic laws of physics that all science is based on.

The problem with the belief that evolution is “science” is that evolution is not supported by: physical laws, statistical data, genetic research or historical evidence. Evolution is not scientific because science is based on observation.’ That statement is completely disregarded by anyone who says evolution is ‘science’.

It is known in the scientific community that codes, such as DNA, could not have arisen by chance. Evolution requires the increase in volume and complexity of genetic coding to work. However, the basic evolutionary tenants of natural selection and mutation operate on the loss of volume and complexity of genetic information. Evolution is not supported historically by the fossil record, which is missing innumerable links. Those who believe in evolution have to discard fundamental laws of physics that form the foundation of our understanding of the universe.

-Luke





Start Where You Are

3 03 2010


Start Where You Are

“Do not say to your neighbor, Go, and come again; and tomorrow I will give it.” –Proverbs 3:28

“When G-d tells you to help someone, it’s easy to put it off. You intend to obey G-d; it is just that you are going to do it later—when you have more money, when you’re not so busy, when Christmas is over, when the kids are back in school, or when vacation is over.

There is no point in praying for G-d to give you money so you can be a blessing to others if you are not being a blessing with what you already have. Satan will try to tell you that you don’t have anything to give—but don’t believe him.

Even if it is only small amounts of money, a pack of gum, or a ballpoint pen, start using what you have. As you begin giving what you have, G-d will bring increase into your life and you will be able to give on an even larger scale.” –Joyce Meyer, “Ending Your Day Right”

I think our daily challenge is to be intentional and receptive. Does someone ever rise to your mind randomly? More and more, I believe that the Holy Spirit speaks to us in the slightest little inklings or notions. What would it hurt to shoot a text message to a person that came to your mind at random! You might discover that it’s a divine appointment. I’m praying for awareness all the time now. Random seems not to happen very much these days; G-d seems to have plans in everything. Praise the L-rd! If you start your day praying for opportunities to show G-d’s love to people throughout your day, you might regret some of the challenging people He brings for you to love on, but I still think you will be blessed greatly by opportunities. G-d made it very clear in Genesis that it was not good for man to be alone. We need each other. Your love, whether through a text message, a candy bar, a smile, or whatever else, might be the boost that reminds one of your brothers or sisters of the kindness of the L-rd and gives them the strength to carry on. I like the way that John Wesley puts it:

“Do all the good you can. By all the means you can. In all the ways you can. In all the places you can. At all the times you can. To all the people you can. As long as ever you can.”

One of the greatest commandments that the L-rd has given us is to love others. Just because you might not be able to do something that most people would consider big, don’t discredit the little things. I think the most loving things often come from the most humble circumstances and hearts. Let’s just try to live moment by moment. Don’t wait till you can get down the line in your job, or on mission in Uganda, or starting your own soup kitchen. Love others with all you have at the moment and let G-d be glorified through your smile or even just a stick of gum.

By faith and hope,

Mere