When you’re a hammer, everything looks like a nail…

Still true.

Esther's Petition

hammeringnailThe first time I heard God speak to me, I was 6 years old. I was sitting in my first grade class, admiring the teacher. I thought she was really pretty, really smart, and I liked her a lot. Suddenly that voice said to me, One day you will be a teacher.

I didn’t know that other people didn’t hear God speak to them like that, I didn’t think it was unusual or strange at all. It wasn’t a common occurrence for me, though. Just that one statement was all he said for a long, long time.

As the years went by God occasionally said other things to me, like Don’t go there, or You should read this. Stuff like that. Just once in a while, nothing spectacular, no big deal. But I tried to pay attention, because I figured God knew what was going on a lot better than…

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Faith is also a grace

Thoughts about grace…

God’s essence and character are love.

Love is expressed to the object of love.

Grace (gift, favor) is an expression of God’s love.

You can’t truly separate out just one aspect of God’s character from all the others.

Consider a red delicious apple – color, shape, aroma, texture, juiciness, flavor, peeling, seeds. It takes all those to make that particular type of apple.

When God extends his word, which contains his creative life, to me – an act of his grace – all his character is wrapped up in that word. (Does he believe his own word? Does he have faith in his own word?)

God’s own faith comes too.

Ephesians 2:8-9, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith — and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God — not by works, so that no one can boast.” (NIV)

 

The Ruby Tuesday’s Wedding

Precious.

After Thoughts

I’ve married a bunch of couples in my day. No offense to any of them, but last week was the best wedding I’ve ever performed.

Some background. One of our families have been missionaries in a closed country for years. (I’ll leave out their names and the country they’ve been serving in….if you recognize them from the picture that will be enough) Just recently, they and all the believers who were working in their area were forced to leave that country and never return. It has been a hard time of grieving for them but they are now coming to terms with what the Lord has allowed and what He’s doing next. He has opened up a new door of ministry for them overseas and they have set out to fulfill that calling.

Here’s the catch: they were married years ago in the country they have been serving in. That…

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The only right thing to do is pray.

Amen.

Mario Murillo Ministries

He yelled “all Jews must die” as he slaughtered them.  I wanted to scream.  I wanted to write a blistering attack on evil.  I wanted to verbally eviscerate the media and politicians for equating this nameless, heinous act with other crimes that don’t come close. This was a special evil that should have stopped the nation.

Instead God helped me to avoid the trap myself.  The trap that would politicize this horror.   Instead, I heard the voice of God say, “the only right thing to do is to pray.”

We can’t touch this evil for political gain without practicing evil ourselves.

So, I want talk to you about praying—praying so that we drive violence and evil back from our nation.   Pray for terrified families who lost priceless loved ones.  Pray that we will become so sick of violence and hate that we collapse before the mighty God.

But more than…

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Rebellion has consequences

Also unintended consequences; collateral damage. So very true, and sad.

Esther's Petition

DisastersWhy can’t I share something really uplifting, encouraging, hilarious, sweet, pleasant, funny, not more-bad-stuff-on-the-way gloominess? I asked the Lord the other night.

Of course, I thought in the back of my mind, I don’t HAVE to post what he tells me, I don’t have to share it with anybody. And, some of what he says is uplifting. Sometimes.

There are many times when I’d just rather keep these things to myself, because after all, few people are paying attention, that’s obvious. Just read the newspapers, listen to the TV nightly news, surf the web.

Then Jeremiah 20:9 will pop into my mind: “But if I say, ‘I will not mention his word or speak anymore in his name,’ his word is in my heart like a fire, a fire shut up in my bones. I am weary of holding it in; indeed, I cannot.”

Here’s what the Lord showed me…

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Enough.

Esther's Petition

yokeChristians know that the shed blood of Jesus is enough for our salvation; you can’t add to it by good works or some other sacrifice. That is 100% true.

But the Apostle Paul said, “Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.” (Phil. 2:12 KJV)

Paul also said, “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. ” (II Cor. 5:17) Why then did he give us things to do, not do, things to put off or put on?

Because Jesus had said, “It is enough for the disciple that he be as his master, and the servant as his lord.” (Matt. 10:25) Being born again instantly made us new creations, but it did…

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Grace = gift; free of charge.

Still true. So very, wonderfully true.

Esther's Petition

Do you need help?

Hebrews 4:16 tells us, “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.”

That last phrase can be translated “… and find a free gift to help in time of need.”

Grace here is the Greek word “charis.” It’s the same root word as in “charisma,” translated gifts, such as gifts of the Holy Spirit in I Corinthians. It means God’s favor, his gift to us, free of charge in Christ.

It’s not some spooky, super-spiritual state of being satisfied with sickness, disease, calamity or chaos. It’s practical help, whenever help is needed.

When Hurricane Hugo hit Florence in 1989, Tim was in McLeod Hospital being treated for an infection in his hand. He had been transferred from Roper Hospital in Charleston which was in the direct path of the storm.

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