As our days are …..so is our strenght

Its a cold pain,a chill you feel right in your bones -limbiley-

There is nothing more imaginable like the pain of loss,we have all lost things before but I doubt many appreciate the pain of loosing something that is connected to you.Your fresh and blood.That which is a part of you or at least could have been.

This weekend was beautiful,in the middle England on a cold Saturday morning a man treks through the cold weather with a bag on his shoulder,he has been away and she doesn’t expect him to return home just yet.He has managed to catch the 5:11 transport out just to be with her,if only for that weekend,upon arrival he then rings her and says “look out your window” and a joy spurns in his heart as he sees her red painted fingernails draw the curtains.Much of their day is spent in the shops and they get to meet family and friends,its a productive day.Later these two lovers in essence prepare for a Sunday service,as he irons her grey shirt he is greatful and thankful to heaven for not only the iron but for giving him someone to iron for,in matching suits they step out.All is well and it is good,its obvious the Love and peace is flourishing.

Fast forward a few hours later he must leave her again Because circumstance demands it,Now this is where it gets complicated.You see now on the transport back he gets a txt from a friend,this guy has a wife at home and she is expecting a child,and his txt is thus “i am at the hospital with the mrs” eagerly he answers back congratulating them,cos in essence the water broke and we should be welcoming a new life into the world.

He boast to his other half that he left behind and they jokingly but seriously wonder and consider when this will be them,celebrating and welcoming a new life of their own.

It is not until later that the friend messages back with the words “sorry mate,we lost him my son is gone” they suffered a miscarriage,at 8+ months.

At this point I know that there was a life kicking and very much alive but its gone now,my hopes are dashed and I end arguing with the very person who I was planning to share that experience with,she is my sarah,my other half,my promise,my meet from God, but still I am afraid, coz you see now am afraid of how its going to be should the very thing that happened to my friend happens to us.

He calls me later 0800 hours he seems okay and I admire his braveness,but deep down I know he is hurting,such pain cuts deep and its a chill that sets in the bones.

I could only comfort him as best I know how,with the word of the Lord.

I then remember something else,as our days are so is our strength,so I was praying the wrong prayer,the evil worrysome day is upon us,how do we get through it?

as our days are ………..so is our strength.

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you can’t handle the truth……….its double jeopardy

Love the sinner hate the sin -Christians-

Yes Sin,oh the struggles with sin and sinfulness,sin conciousness,the conviction and condemnation.Often I have heard it from veteran Christians,  it was clear to me that their understanding was quite flawed in their interpretation.Not so much to the statement but what followed after.

This left me with more guilt and condemnation,the last thing I wanted to do was pray.Curious because those that preached this to me seemed to suffer from the very same syndrome.OH this sin thing has kept Christians in bondage for ages.

My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.-Hosea 4 v 6

Not only will your ignorance cause you harm ,you face the danger of rejecting the true message (by your lack of knowledge) and in your misunderstanding you will also discourage and deceive others.My my my if only Jesus saw you now in the flesh “Christians” How long would he suffer ye?

 

The bible being the mind of God in print,I consulted it.But furthermore I prayed for grace,wisdom and revelation, that in my getting such wisdom I also get understanding.

In my getting,in his sovereignty he brought me to a court room,at first I was confused.Then I recalled a movie I saw once. A few good men, quickly I recalled the  double jeopardy rule (no connection yet).These were to tie in beautifully for me later on in the day.

Stay with me now….For I cant truly do this piece justice until we address the core and that’s sin.

 

Sin

For the interest of space and time look it up if you don’t know what it is.

Effects of sin

-Loss of (but not limited to): (i) Relationships (ii)loss of fellowship with God (iii)ministry/titles/position (iv)loss of rewards etc.

-Sin is harmful to others

But above all else Sin dishonours God.

Perhaps this the most important of all. The person  I honour the most on earth is my Dad,this stops me from doing certain things because I know some of my decisions, my faults and failings will be a reflection of my father and of how he raised me.The man I have become is a reflection of the man who he was in my life when I was growing up.

The notion of honour is widely understood throughout different cultures too.Take the American Marine Corps their motto is semper fi ( Fidelis) latin for “always faithful/always loyal”.Ancient Japanese warriors the samurai would commit seppuku a ritual suicide (sticking a sword through the belly) which would satisfy their bushido (a code of honour) rather than face punishment, humiliation and defeat would rather die.In star trek there is an alien warrior race called the klingons and these are vicious battle minded race  who consider dying in battle an honour and an old  aged klingon is at times flowed upon.”perhaps today is a good day to die” wolf. Okay okay too much. But you get the idea how far honour is important.And you as a Christian should rather die than sin but thank God for Jesus we don’t have to die. 

 

The fact is:

You will sin oh yes no matter who you are saved or not you will sin.

It is purely because of  your sinful nature from birth,what matters is what you do from that state of sin that matters.You are in fact in a court room guilty of sin.Lets see how this plays out.

The judge:

God

God is the Judge. (S)He is just and cool. Yes God is cool,  he is therefore then  Justice because  he is Just and cool  as ice = Just+ice = Justice …….anybody?no?……..okay, tough audience whew!

The prosecutor:

Satan 

“And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night”. –Rev 12 v 10

Now this one is relentless,your adversary,the accuser of the brethren you will not bring him down on your own.His track record speaks for itself he brought down Eve with deception in the garden,King David fell victim to lust from bethsheba that caused him to murder an innocent man,oh king Solomon the wisest of them all fell and started worshipping idols and in recent times look at Judas after he finished with him through greed this time,the man hanged himself next through guilt and condemnation . Indeed when he strokes you he is about to strike you.

So be sober minded vigilant you don’t compare.

The defence attorney:

Jesus Christ the advocate

The son of man the captain of my salvation the kinsman redeemer, my lord, my saviour, oh I could go on all day, the scroll opener,the son of righteousness.

It is undisputed Jesus died on the cross for us,for our sins and he rose up from hell conquering death:

Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. Rom 8 v 34-

Who better to defend you than he who paid for the very crime that you are being charged with?He has done the time for you already the punishment paid in full,why are you even in court?Formalities the law has to be followed, God is just and respects principles you will have due process but still the process must ran.

This is why you need you some Jesus.

  

 

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In the movie  a few good men Tom cruise went hard on Jack Nicholson’s character just like the enemy will accuse Christians,(and sometimes misinformed Christians towards eachother and unbelievers/backsliders) you need to be bold in you answer and tell him ” you can’t handle the truth!!” earlier on in the movie he told Tom cruise’s character how he was so bad,dangerous and unafraid of him. He said:

“I eat breakfast 300 yards from 4000 Cubans, who are trained to kill me, so don’t think for one second that you can come down here, flash your badge and make me nervous.”

You should tell the devil:

“I make my coffee every morning,eat cereals and porridge oats with my cup of tea along side Jesus in my kitchen.The shower I am in is guarded by angels so don’t think you can come in here with your demons and make me nervous” 

But you need you some Jesus,that alone without Jesus wont be enough,they can’t convict you or condemn you with something that Jesus already paid for. That’s double jeopardy.

God is just he wont allow that.To those that struggle with sin conciousness the very plague even in the church, no, the very plague especially in the church ,do me a favour confess, repent and get on with your life walking with God.Guilt and condemnation are not from God.

Confession (n) is to simply agree with,to admit,to acknowledge,be of the same mindset,

For continued fellowship (walking intimately with God by active faith) sin is to be removed by God through confession. Then you are forgiven.

Note however this is not a license to sin 

So shall we then continue to sin ?

“What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase?By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?” -Rom 6 v 1-2- 

The point of repentance is that you highlight  the wrong doing in an effort not to continue doing it and this is why this is important:

Dangers of continued sinning ; (i) treats sins lightly and ignores its evil destructive potential and consequences both on God’s glory and our fellow man (ii) ignores God’s primary plan for us to transform us into Christ like image (iii)It ignores and forgets God’s discipline (iv) misses the whole point of confession which is confess to identify and stop the sin.

 

And if anyone or anything including yourself tells you otherwise here is the answer you should have…

you can’t handle the truth……………….its double jeopardy.

What do you do when God says marry a prostitute

Reading the Old Testament can be heavy reading though illuminating and none is more so than the book of Hosea in which Hosea’s marriage is used as a symbolic synonymous thing to the situation with Israel at the time around 772 BC.

 

Hosea was a Prophet who among other things was directed to marry a, lets just say. not a very faithful woman.He subsequently divorces her for infidelity and goes about his business preaching and prophesying.Having been separated from her husband she has got herself into more mess somewhere doing what she does best.And one day Hosea is just minding his own as one does he hears from the lord again;”Hey hosey,you know that ex wife of yours? the one that was always running around on you? yeah her,well look here go get  her back and not only that you got to pay top dollar for her as well“. whooo!!! whoah!!! I mean back up a little bit here,today thats the equivalent of buying your no good ex from her pimp and on top of that we learn Hosea took the decision not to be intimate with her(there is a point to why I mention this).

 

what do you do when God says marry a prostitute,really, let that sink in for minute,…………..no longer than that,I said a minute let that sink in and settle for a little bit.

 

The scripture says: 

The Lord said to me, “Go, show your love to your wife again, though she is loved by another man and is an adulteress. Love her as the Lord loves the Israelites, though they turn to other gods and love the sacred raisin cakes.”So I bought her for fifteen shekels of silver and about a homer and a lethek of barley, Then I told her, “You are to live with me many days; you must not be a prostitute or be intimate with any man, and I will behave the same way toward you.” Hosea 3v1-3 

I know that most of this has to do with Israel and what was going on at the time  and that Hosea’s marriage was symbolic to what was going on at the time. God was using each stage to show how Israel had been unfaithful and how he would eventually restore them,however I wonder what Hosea must have been going through at this point.The people talking behind his back and all that stuff I mean the situation must have been hell for him, well,I am sure you can imagine.

 

It wasn’t until I notice something that amazed me.You and Me. We,us are infact the prostitute. Being bought back.Ah yes, that changes things a little bit doesn’t it?For the longest time we have  been Redeemed by God and Restored so many times,from situations in our lives that in each time we ended up by fault of our own,whether by bad decisions,chose to let bad people into our lives and at times fallen victim to evil people that turned our lives upside down.

In the midst of hurt and pain he still comforts us,nursing us back to health slowly but surely,replacing the stuff we lost along the way as we go,promising us hope and a good future if only as the prostitute we return back to him,this is a choice we are given,she could have stayed but she chose not to,she was wise enough to return to one who even if she done him wrong so many times,he was still willing to spend coin and crop to get her back home.

That is God for you,will you not turn and return to him?even in our unfaithfulness he remains faithful.

 

Redemption:  

The process of the verb below ;

Redeem (i) to save someone from sin, error, or evil. (ii)gain or regain possession of something in exchange for payment.

Restoration:

The act of returning something to a former owner, place, condition or state.

Often in the bible this meant not just bringing it back to the original but better,if you stole something you had to pay back more in value that was the process of restoration and  the principle remains the same.

 

Worth noting that when (Gomer ) Hosea’s wife was bought back she was told that the very thing she thought would be used to pay back her husband with(the primary thing at least) he was not interested in.I am sure with her character and mindset the only curreny she had to bargain with was her feminine charm, or so she thought.But she was shown otherwise, (won’t God change your life?)  who does that remind you of??   wanting to earn God’s goodness,news flash you ain’t got it and even if you did,he don’t want it.

 

I am hoping by now the answer is obvious but still I ask

What do you do when God says marry a prostitute?

 

 

God ain’t your grand daddy

Grand Pa the kind loving figure,who always has a gift for you,cuddles you,tells you these amazing stories whilst sitting on his lap.Smells a bit funny but always feels safe in his arms.I remember my Grand dad,always felt protected around him he could even defend me against my parents and they listened it was great.A certain familiarity,able to shape him and perhaps manipulate him a bit with a smile.

Recently a post caught my eye in passing and I was engaged .Now this was a writer who wears their heart on their sleeve,more like myself probably why I was attracted to their content in the first place.The more I read the more I related to them,what was interesting though was how they had managed to twist the image of God to fit around a fix for the troubles they faced.It was apparent they wanted to have things their way and when that didn’t go the way they thought  excuses were made for God as to why he didn’t meet their expectations , Scriptures were quoted out of context to fit the results hoped for.

I mean this thing read like a blueprint for God to follow in fixing  the challenges of their life.

Then I had a  Luke 15v20 And when he came to himself…… I had a moment of truth

Beating the Pharisees at their own righteousness game:  Matt 5 v 20 For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.

I was ashamed of myself at how judgemental I was and how self righteous I had been.My perfect self, roaming around passing judgement on others,how dare I?Then I read some of my own writing and oh boy that did it.It was time to confess. I was being hypocritical.

Later on I started to think, I mean really think, on how I react to my own trials,it was a time to have a sit down with my black handsome self and have a little chat.

In my trials I went from being SELF RIGHTEOUS which then gave me a sense of SELF ENTITLEMENT which only served  to get me into the WILDERNESS and the length of time in this dry place promoted my PRIDE and in the end after not getting my way and what I wanted, I was just angry,angry,angry  ANGER. 

In Steps my:

SELF RIGHTEOUSNESS:My judgement of others led me to believe that I was somehow better than others.After all I never put God in a box,I am strong,a lesser man would have blown his brains up,look at this fella crying here if he only knew what I am up under in here,I am still worshipping in the midst of my trial really Limbiley? I mean really?

SELF ENTITLEMENT:My established notion of being “better” made me special right off,so I am owed   something,meaning I could pick and choose the blessings I want after all I am better and owed something,a reward is due to me for being good, mmmhhhh!!!! But God don’t owe you nothing( excuse the lingo).

THE WILDERNESS: Imagine my surprise when ended up in here,oh the dryness,the heat,the vultures picking at my beat up flesh,thorns on my sides,oh ya all don’t know what am talking about.This was the bareness of trying to do things my way and the symbol of the desert like condition of my soul.A complete reflection and oh did it mirror my state of affairs.
 

IN A PROUD STATE:

my refusal to be apologetic

my refusal to be humble

my refusal to be ashamed of my failed self efforts

my refusal to take responsibility of such failed efforts (it wasn’t me)

my refusal to see what I was doing wrong.

 

THEN THE ANGER: The result of the proud person in me not getting the thing they wanted,not getting my way.I must have thought I was Sinatra.Now I am just mad and bitter.

I believe most of us go through these stages in our lives,when we think God ought come and pull us out,and why has he allowed this to happen?oh Bless me Lord!!fix my husband Jesus,I put this boss of mine in your hands heavenly father,God!!!!I bless my enemies!!! really saints? I mean really?Foaming at the mouth and throwing fits,all up in tears all emotional,hear my cry oh Jehovah!!!!

The trouble with us believers is believing that OUR TROUBLES OBLIGATE GOD when they in fact  do not.

That’s right YOUR TROUBLE DOES NOT OBLIGATE GOD.Now he will get you out but you got  to recognize its all because of JESUS and God’s GRACE (john 1v15-17) .Its through God’s GRACE that anything good happens to us.We live in an evil world full of evil things and evil situations inhabited by people that do evil.Evil is all around us. Eph 5v15-16 Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil.

By GRACE you were saved through faith,not by your works,undeserved & unmerited, not your doing Eph 2v8.

By GRACE you are able to cry to God and make your petitions known through prayer.

By GRACE you are able to do great signs and wonders like Stephen in Acts  6v8.    

By GRACE you are strengthened in your weakness.It is when his power is made perfect in weakness 2 cor 2v8-9.    

 

 

I could go on.This is the right dose of  reality and truth needed for our approach to God for a fruitful 2014.Just what the Doctor ordered.Get what you really need and not what you want.Get wisdom and in your getting get understanding.Live stress free and content and have confidence in approaching God the right way.Most of all have the proper attitude and reverence.  

 Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. Heb 4v16 

Just Remember GOD AIN’T YOUR GRAND DADDY.

The “real” Christmas Day the 26th

Now that that’s over with;
The fake people, fake affections, polite conversations, it all starts to creep back up and real life begins to return but it really won’t hit till early January.

A fellow blogger pointed out something about Xmas that reflected my feelings completely,how she put it again? oh yeah “cruella deville all year long and want to smile at Xmas”. All this stuff  about its a special time of year that we show our loved ones that we truly care and appreciate them makes me sick.Question comes to mind then that isn’t this something we should be doing all year round anyway?

I mean I don’t need a special day to prove to my loved ones that I care about them and fellas if you are using this day to show how much you care for your ladies/family then something is wrong there as it is equally for the ladies who put a spread and look after everyone for this day alone then after the presents and dinner is done its back to you now who,to the family members that will go back to ignoring each other all year round till yeah ……..you guessed it,next Xmas.

Now I do believe periods like this and birthdays, anniversaries should not go unmarked and uncelebrated,it just has to be for the right reasons.We live in a society today where everyone is looking for an excuse to either party or celebrate something to justify spending money.

We have an office party,hair,nails,dress,new tux,refit the kitchen.

My cat made a friend gonna throw a do invite the neighbourhood.You get the idea ridiculous stuff.

Clearly Christmas has lost its true meaning a long time ago,I mean its all about people rushing in bad moods in shopping, family members getting  together exchanging presents,eating,drinking and that’s it really. I do  however take advantage of today,its a day for me that sales are on and I see it as my real Christmas day,and it has a been a tradition of mine to go out spending and get whatever I want as long as I can get a good deal then why not?

Its a relief,you should be able to just get out there at  any time of the year and get what you want if you can afford it of course,same goes for showing love for one another,why wait for a “special day” these are things that should be done everyday,anyway.

Makes me loathe Christmas day  for what society  has made it  become and what it represents,the way it changes people really evil on the days before (especially in rushed last minutes shopping cause you just cant turn up without a present now can you?) and extremely pleasant on the day then,well back again yo yoing around,I can’t stand that and people like that.

Where are all the real people gone to these days?

So today I go forth and keep the tradition going to get something ridiculously priced just coz I can,no excuses,no pressure as today is my “real Christmas day the 26th”

Suppose I am alone in this.I wonder what other’s do today besides fight and be depressed ,or return the kid(s).It can be a sad time of year.

The Last Samurai

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I was only a long train journey today and found myself just staring out the window.For some reason this movie came into my head,strange cause this first in 04 when it came out and the DVD is somewhere in storage.I am an extremely visual and auditory person and this has been rather problematic for those close to me for when I see a movie once or twice I will be reciting most of it,and that can be quite annoying or so I have been told.I don’t mean to do it but it just happens sometimes.

If you missed the movie somehow the plot is basically an American Captain who is haunted by what he has done on the battlefield and as a result he has a drinking problem,a functioning alcoholic of sorts.He is hired to train the Emperor’s soldiers in Japan as they are to fight against the Samurai.He then gets captured by the Samurai and brought back to their village and it is then that his journey starts.

Anyway,going through the movie in my head one scene among many others came to my mind was when Algren (Tom cruise’s character) was in talking to Katsumoto,the head of the samurai clan that had captured him.It went something like this:

Algren: [shouts] What do you want from me?
Katsumoto: What do you want for yourself?

This questions I have asked at times in my life frustrated with not getting any answers,thinking that God is holding me captive somewhere without me knowing what the purpose is.The more I saw the response the more light bulb went in my head.

Later on in the story Algren goes through a detox and was screaming for Sake (a Japanese alcoholic drink) and having nightmares,this was clearly a guy with demons,lets face it we all have a few of those.We see a little later slowly getting to peace with himself spiritually and mentally,he kept a diary, so a fellow blogger he was.He had this to say in it:
” This marks the longest I’ve stayed in one place since I left the farm at 17. There is so much here I will never understand. I’ve never been a church going man, and what I’ve seen on the field of battle has led me to question God’s purpose. But there is indeed something spiritual in this place. And though it may forever be obscure to me, I cannot but be aware of its power. I do know that it is here that I’ve known my first untroubled sleep in many years.”

Later on he writes:
“What does it mean to be Samurai? To devote yourself utterly to a set of moral principles. To seek a stillness of your mind. And to master the way of the sword.”

With each moment I was replacing what he was saying I instead asked “what does it mean to be a Christian?To devote yourself to a set of just morals and values.To renew your mind.And to master the Word of God.”
At this point he is suffering nightmares no more,the addiction is gone,he has finally found a measure of peace.

There are many great scenes and conversations between the two many characters,both learn from each other as evident in another conversation;
Katsumoto: You believe a man can change his destiny?
Algren: I think a man does what he can, until his destiny is revealed.

At this point I am relating more and more that before I was merely doing what I could waiting on the Lord to reveal my destiny and my purpose to me,only I didn’t know it at the time.

The ending sees Algren meeting the Emperor who at this time has a change of heart and he knew Katsumoto who at this point has been killed in battle and I find this exchange interesting:
Emperor: Tell me how he died.
Algren: I will tell you how he lived.

Like most of us the Emperor was interested in the end,but it would seem to me that Algren had opened his eyes so to speak,renewed his mind and saw that its not the end (result) that matters more but the journey.

In our walk through life we have questions,we may be broken,in pain,lonely,lost,angry,confused,bitter,broke,in addiction(and I believe addiction is not the problem in itself there is always an underlying issue,look at the relapse rates trying to cure the addiction and not dealing with what’s causing it but that’s a post in itself in the future) whatever it is,the good news is that like you too can have an ending like Algren,though it maybe a bit hard to find a Samurai clan that will help deal with your issues.You could follow my example and try God,Free of charge and 24/7 365 support,and only one prayer away through Jesus.

Right before the end credits a narration
“As for the American Captain, no one knows what became of him. Some say that he died of his wounds. Others, that he returned to his own country. But I like to think he may have at last found some small measure of peace, that we all seek, and few of us ever find.”

Wow peace we seek but only a few us find.You too can be The Last Samurai.

What do you do when God says no?

In my carnal quest to seek understanding and balance my earthly efforts and that which is given to me supernaturally,I find myself yet again struggling with accepting what looks like is obvious (mind you it just appears obvious) and that which I want/desire to come to pass.
The situiation is such that if this is meant to be the way its meant to be then it shouldn’t be this hard or at least it shouldn’t work against me the way it is.

I find I am comparing myself to one apostole who wanted a thorn removed from his side.I have on several occasions questioned why this thorn is present and what purporse it serves except to annoy and frustrate.I am not asking for diamonds nor am I asking for supernatural powers,I only seek respite so that I can walk,talk,breathe, speak and think like a regular Joe.It would then stand to reason that it is his will that I be at peace or at least I experience a measure of it,and it has to be his will because he knows the plans he has for me for a future and hope,for who among you would when his son asks for a peice of bread you would give him a stone? and if he is for us then who can be against us? …..this all attests to me that my best interests are at his heart.

So then what do you do when it all points to the fact that God is saying no?

I know deep in my heart I should just let God be God,but that does very little to ease and bring understanding to my confused soul,for this circumstance is bringing me turmoil.

So my question remains;

What do you do when God says no?

What do you do as you wait?

What do I do while I wait?

I will sing and praise,I will worship and I will get into the word and I will fellowship.I saw this today “faith makes things possible not easy” Yes.. Yes. We got Salvation through Faith and it was given to us by his Grace Eph 2 v 8.

Grace being a gift is given, and it is that same Grace that should see me through; for his grace is sufficient and his power is made perfect in weakness,it then stands to reason that when I am weak I am strong.But my destination is not the problem for I know where I am going and I can foresee my promise coming to fruition because Jesus said it is finished.It is not so much my unbelief or that I am allowing my circumstance to dictate my feelings and thoughts or that my faith is shaken,it is more that this is what I am in right now as I wait:

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What do you do when you are in this as you wait?

My concern is what condition am I going to be in when I arrive at my destination of promise.

What bruises and scars will remain from the journey?

What  were the lessons learned along the way and what will stick?

Lord I know You and I know your Word But what do I do?I am armed with all this knowledge about this situation,But yet here I am again.I trust in you,I believe and yet I feel the way I am feeling now.

So what do I do as I wait?……………