No Show or Parade

Prayer isn’t for show. It isn’t something that openly parade in front of people. The first time I prayed for someone, I was cornered and asked to pray for a person’s healing. I didn’t really know what to say. So, I just said, God do something. Guess what, He did. I didn’t make a pretense of praying or shout or cry. I just spoke to God and ask Him to do something. He heard me, because He was listening to me. Prayer isn’t for everyone to hear. It is talking to God on a one to one basis. The first step is to believe that He is. You can’t reach God without faith. Hope is the start of your journey. It has to turn into faith to reach God. Once you believe, then you can receive from God. The other part of that scripture says, that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him. The reward is the answer to pray. It is as it says in the Lord’s prayer, that we are asking God to bring His will to this earth. God does the work and gives us the reward.  When we pray, we must forgive anyone their transgressions. Because unforgiveness will block any pray to God. This is the beginning of our prayer life. There is much more than that.

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Fervent Prayer

Everybody want to be effectual in their prayers. We all want our prayers to be answered. But there are requirements for our prayers to become effectual. So how do we become effectual? I have heard all kinds of prayer. Some were loud and boisterous. Some were quiet and low. But what I have found is that none of that is required. You don’t even have to say a word out loud to be heard by God. God is all-knowing. That means He knows everything that is said or done in advance. Not to chase a rabbit, but God will get us to pray so that He will perform a miracle in our life or someone else’s, then give us the reward for praying. God isn’t looking for you to put on a show. When you pray, it become personal and private. This is where you talk to God about a situation. He never made it complicated to talk to Him. It is man trying to control the situation that makes it complicated. Now, how do you know that God will hear you? One thing is the He doesn’t listen to anyone that isn’t one of His children. The only prayer that God will listen to from a non-believer is the prayer of salvation. So, you must be a believer for God to listen to your prayers. This is the starting point with any Christian. You must believe that He is and a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.

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The World

Is it time to sing a dirge? The world has changed. When man began with God, he had dominion over this earth. We could command the rain or a storm to stop. Things would grow at our command. Adam named all the animals, fish and birds. They would do what he said. Man would walk with God in the cool of the evening. Adam and Eve sinned against God and lost all rights and privileges to the earth. God casted them from the Garden of Eden. Man had to struggle for his existence. God said by the sweat of his brow shall he eat. Nothing grew except by man’s labor. But God didn’t give up on man. God offered a new covenant. Man accepted for a while but decided that the sewers were better. God kept coming back and trying to bring man back into the fold. There have been 5 covenants so far. The last one was the most important one yet. This is the covenant God made with the death and resurrection of Jesus. This was the fulfillment of the covenant with Abraham. And it is the last covenant that God is going to make with man. The bible always says that there is a point that God will walk away. We have to go a very long way to reach that point. But I’ll tell you a truth there is a point of no return and it is reachable. Is it time to sing a dirge yet?

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Making Mistakes

When I first started walking with God, I had no responsibility in the kingdom except for myself. It was relatively easy to live up to expectations. God loved me and was protecting me from harm. I learned what God wanted me to do in this life and developed my skills in the kingdom. I began to read the bible like I had never done before. I had a bible at home, one in my car and one on my desk at work. I read everywhere I went. I was catching up for lost time. My mind is quick and I learn fast. I don’t remember everything, but just about. I could quote scriptures at any given time. The word of God became part of my life. As I learned I became more confident in my abilities that God gave me. I wanted to do what God was showing me. But the one thing that I didn’t want to do was make serious mistakes that would harm people. God had to walk me through this mine field. You can’t accomplish anything unless you get out there and do something. Doing something is always a risky business. God said He would lead me in the paths of righteousness for His namesake. Not everybody is going to like what you do. Some will even get belligerent about it. God showed me to keep on walking no matter what. I have spoken to people about serious matters. Things that they needed to do in their lives. Very few times has it blown up in my face. But it has happened. I asked God to forgive me and correct the situation. And He has. To where I am not ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ and not afraid of sharing it. I have seen God do miracles in people’s lives. I have had people to return to me and say how much I help them through difficult times. God says learn of Me, for My yoke is easy and My burden is light. I don’t fear mistakes anymore. I have learned where to go for help in the time of need.

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Believability

It is having the ability to believe in someone or something. As I have been keeping track of current events, I have noticed a shift in attitudes toward people. There has been an attack on believability. People have been making a pretense of telling the truth. Then turning around and calling everyone a liar. One event comes to mind of Dan Rather and the CBS evening news. All you have to do is follow the presidential race and the media says Republicans bad and Democrats good. There is very little news coverage that is worth wasting my time listening to. But you have to remember that anyone isn’t all bad or all good. There is a happy medium in there, somewhere. I want to be an optimist about our future. But I can’t find anything that man is doing that is righteous. When Paul traveled the world teaching about Jesus, he always encountered people who agreed and disagreed. It seemed that the people that disagreed were more vocal than the others. That is why they stoned him, imprisoned him and chased him out of every major city. Because he really spoke the truth which most people don’t want to hear? It hasn’t changed much in 2000 years. Man is still the same. He would rather believe a lie than have to deal with the truth. Believing takes faith and hope. If those parts are not there, there isn’t much believing going on. It takes faith that what is being said is true and will help you. The hope is wanting to change and be different or better than before. God says that if you want a person to change, you have to tell him the truth. Because with the truth, God can deal with the person.

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Willingness

When I began to walk with the Lord. I didn’t know whether or not I could do what I saw and read. I would hear stories of Christians that had gone before me. They changed their world. Some loss their lives doing it. It always seemed so out of my reach to live the life God calls us to. I wanted to live that life but I didn’t know how I was going to do it. One day I was headed home. I was stopped by a train. There a lot of cars waiting for the train to pass. The Lord spoke to me and said, get out of your car and go and tell everyone that I love them. I broke down crying. I said I could not do it. The hand of God came off of me that fast. He would not speak to me. I cried all the way home. Finally after a while, God speak to me and said, I want you to be willing to follow me. I will do the rest. That was thirty five years ago. With a willing heart the whole world can be turned upside down. Be willing to follow God and your world will change.

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Principle of Diminishing Returns

It states that at some point in time, everything will produce less and less return for its value. It is a principle that applies to economics. Unfortunately, it also applies to people. The effort you put into another person will produce less and less return. Or as the saying goes, no bang for the buck. It is a cynical attitude applied to people. And I must say a very common one. Where people are only interested in people who can help them and not in helping people who need help. Giving is a fundamental aspect of human life. When you give without expecting a return, it satisfies a basic need in our soul. In the south, we call it hospitality. It is extended to every person no matter who they are. I will open doors or help someone in need, no matter what. It doesn’t take a great effort, but produces a great result. The principle works in reverse, with a little effort, it has ripple effect upon humanity. My efforts aren’t earth shattering, but produce a lasting effect. And that is what is about. You know people like that. They have a great testimony and people remember them. And with the remembrance, your efforts are multiplied. As the saying goes, do unto others as you would have them do to you.

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Dust to dust, Ashes to Ashes

Everybody knows that phrase. It is part of a burial rite prayer from the Anglican Book of Common Prayers written in 1559. The saying is biblically based upon what we are made of. God took the dust of the earth and water and made man. Several years ago, when terrorism was fresh in our memories, it was thought that a water supply system in Louisiana was poisoned. The government suspected terrorism. Systems were shut down one by one and were tested. They kept finding strychnine in the water. A lot of people didn’t know what to do. After cooler heads prevailed, they realized that every water system had strychnine in it. It turned out that it was a trace element in all water. So were every trace element. We have zinc, manganese, iron and every other element in us. Water is filtered through rocks to be purified. And we are made of the dust of the earth. It is the saline solution that flows through us. But keeping our bodies in that perfect balance is a job of a lifetime. Any one of those elements in concentration can kill us. We are wonderfully made. You see our bodies are made of the elements of this world. When we died, those elements return to the earth. But we as a spiritual person go on to the next world. Our bodies are mortal, but our spirits are immortal. Question, are you ready to go on into the next world? Have you prepared against that day? You see, once we died, it is all over except for the crying. The chance to change your life is only here on this earth. When we die then the judgement of God comes into play. So, my advice is to prepare now.

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But Not Yet

We all want to receive our reward for services rendered. You are expected to work and do the job placed before us. You want to do your best at whatever you do, so you can have a legacy. It is important for our self-esteem and the people around us to respect our efforts. But it doesn’t always go that way. Sometimes everything just goes sideways. And you feel like running away. I guess one of the toughest things I had ever done is to stand up and taking my share of the blame for a botched endeavor. I don’t like being blame for something I didn’t do. I want to lash out at people who, for a lack of a better term, throw you under the bus. I was at the grocery store and saw this older woman being an absolute pain to the cashier. I saw the cashier’s angry. But I also saw the pain in this woman’s heart. And how she found no relief anywhere. And I knew that my time and work on this earth wasn’t over. Although I want to go home to heaven and God, He said to me, but not yet. There is still too much work left to be done on this earth. Each of us has work to do on this earth. When it is time to leave, we will go home. So, I am caught between this world and the next. As Paul said, it is better for everyone else to stay here on earth. My reward is still there and waiting for me. It piles up in heaven, just waiting for me to get there. So, until that time, I will be working here, doing God’s work on earth. You see my time to go isn’t here yet.

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Our dreams of the future

Can the dreams of the past hold you back from the future? You see your future and wonder what will happen. Then you begin to build an idea of how it’s going to work. Hoping that you can indeed make your dreams come to past. You add bit by bit until it looks good and real to you. You make plans on how to accomplish your dreams. You work hard at it. And it works or it doesn’t. But it is never quite perfect. Part of your dreams work well and the other part you scrap. But why didn’t it work like you dreamed it? That is an easy question. And most people know the answer to it. It is where reality and dreams collide. Your need dreams to think of possibilities for life. I have seen more people stop about this far from their dreams because of this, that or the other. Nothing is perfect on this earth. But we can achieve many things if we persist in our dreams. God has endowed us with much power. We can use this power to achieve many things, good or bad. Hopefully, we will use our ability to produce good on this earth. No matter what we do in life, we are going to have to work for it. When God kicked Adam and Eve out of the Garden of Eden, He told Adam that he would eat by the sweat of his brow. He had to work for it. Solomon said that what man accomplishes by his own hand, it is a gift from God. Everything that we have or do for good on this earth, it has been given by God, including your dreams.

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