Memories Of Who I Am

This week’s photo challenge from the Daily Post is the word OBJECT. 

I honestly feel a little strange about the object I chose but let me explain…

LillieThis is the grave of my great-great grandfather, the first Joseph Elon Lillie. He was born in 1847 in Erving MA. I have visited it from time to time throughout the course of my life; But I took this picture at a time when I felt I was losing touch with who I really was…why I mattered. Standing beside my namesake’s  grave and remembering the Christian heritage that made up the tapestry of my life drew me back to the reality that I  was made for a purpose.

Take a gander at the significant objects of the Daily Post’s other contributors here:

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2014/01/31/photo-challenge-object/

http://pixeliciousimagery.wordpress.com/2014/01/31/weekly-photo-challenge-object/

http://apetcher.wordpress.com/2014/02/01/weekly-photo-challenge-object/#respond

http://ceenphotography.com/2014/01/31/weekly-photo-challenge-object/

http://windagainstcurrent.com/2014/01/31/weekly-photo-challenge-object/

Facing Goliath (1 Samuel 17)

So who is your Goliath?

Growing Up, God, and Being Busy

The story of David and Goliath speaks volumes of bravery and faith. Young David was brave and faithful enough to face a giant and defeated him with just one little rock. Do you have a “Goliath” in your life? A problem that seems huge or a fear that you can’t overcome? This amazing story of valiant David can show us how to face our problems and defeat them.

David asked the men standing near him, “What will be done for the man who kills this Philistine and removes this disgrace from Israel? Who is this uncircumcised Philistine that he should defy the armies of the living God?” ~1 Sam. 17:26

When David saw Goliath, he didn’t see an unstoppable giant, he saw Goliath as God sees him: a mortal man who was coming against the Almighty God. David wasn’t scared because he knew God would not let the enemy win.

We often see our…

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Heaven Pt. 138: What’s Your Portion?

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Job 20:26-29

New King James Version (NKJV)

26 Total darkness is reserved for his treasures. An unfanned fire will consume him; It shall go ill with him who is left in his tent. 27 The heavens will reveal his iniquity, And the earth will rise up against him. 28 The increase of his house will depart, And his goods will flow away in the day of His wrath. 29 This is the portion from God for a wicked man, The heritage appointed to him by God.”

As I write this morning I am fully aware that these verses are from the teaching of Zophar the Naamathite, one of Job’s friends.  I realize that Zophar’s teaching as it concerned Job was totally off base and that Job was not going through his own personal Hell because of any sin he had done. I also concede that not all tribulation that comes into the lives of men comes because they have sinned. Trouble falls on every household because in this world trouble falls from the sky like rain. Yet while not every problem is created by sin, some is. Zophar may have been wrong where his teaching concerned Job but he was not entirely off his rocker. The Bible does teach in other places that sin brings trouble into our lives.

“But if you refuse to listen to the Lord your God and do not obey all the commands and decrees I am giving you today, all these curses will come and overwhelm you:

16 Your towns and your fields
    will be cursed.
17 Your fruit baskets and breadboards
    will be cursed.
18 Your children and your crops
    will be cursed.
The offspring of your herds and flocks
    will be cursed.
19 Wherever you go and whatever you do,
    you will be cursed. Deut. 28:15-19

Some of you are shaking you head and clucking your tongues saying, “Oh, poor legalistic Pastor J. He is stuck in the Old Testament!”

But the Old Testament and the New are unified in this…

Therefore, dear brothers and sisters, you have no obligation to do what your sinful nature urges you to do. 13 For if you live by its dictates, you will die. But if through the power of the Spirit you put to death the deeds of your sinful nature, you will live. 14 For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God. Romans 8:12-14

7 Don’t be misled—you cannot mock the justice of God. You will always harvest what you plant. 8 Those who live only to satisfy their own sinful nature will harvest decay and death from that sinful nature. But those who live to please the Spirit will harvest everlasting life from the Spirit. Gal. 6:7,8

Sin in our lives can and does cause problems. It is so easy to blame our difficulties on others. Our race has been doing that since Adam blamed Eve for his sin. The thing is that so often if our tribulations are caused by us they can never end until we admit our culpability in the mess that becomes our lives.

Is your portion from Heaven a little less than you desire?

Can I tell you God really wants to bless you.

Is there anything you are doing that could be standing in the way of that blessing?

If so what are you going to do about it?

Citizen Tom recently wrote some articles that closely relate to this topic. Let me encourage you to check them out:

http://citizentom.com/2014/01/28/why-cant-we-be-apathetic-about-sin-part-1/

http://citizentom.com/2014/01/30/why-cant-we-be-apathetic-about-sin-part-2/

You Called?

Deb is new to the blogosphere folks. Stop on by and read her thoughts!

DebBe Still and Listen

How do you think Samuel felt when God called him for the first time? Actually, it took Samuel a few times to realize just who was calling him. At first, he assumed it was Eli the priest who was calling out to him in the night. Samuel went running each time he heard the call to see what Eli wanted but Eli told Samuel, “I didn’t call you my son.”

1 Samuel 3:7-10 (NLT)

7 Samuel did not yet know the Lord because he had never had a message from the Lord before. 8 So the Lord called a third time, and once more Samuel got up and went to Eli. “Here I am. Did you call me?” Then Eli realized it was the Lord who was calling the boy. 9 So he said to Samuel, “Go and lie down again, and if someone calls again, say, ‘Speak, Lord your…

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No News Is Good News

Let me ask, how close do you think the Jesus-bus is to our bus stop?

artistdayapart

Did you ever notice how the older we get, the worse the news seems?  Whether it’s national or global (witness the 494.23 point this past Thursday/Friday  Dow Jones drop) or personal (realizing I put the wrong year on an art contest poster that already went out via email and internet), all kinds of things seem to be going wrong.

Dean Koontz’s character, Odd Thomas, said it better than I ever could, Usually I spare myself from the news, because if it’s not propaganda, then it’s one threat or another exaggerated to the point of absurdity, or it’s the tragedy of storm-quake-tsunami, of bigotry and oppression misnamed justice, of hatred passed off as righteousness and honor called dishonorable, all jammed in around advertisements in which a gecko sells insurance, a bear sells toilet tissue, a dog sells cars, a gorilla sells investment advisors, a tiger sells cereal, and an elephant sells a drug…

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Share Your World With Cee Cee: Am I an introvert?

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We have been given some fun questions regarding introversion this week. To find out how Cee’s other contributors responded go to

http://ceenphotography.com/2014/01/27/2079/

Here are my thoughts:

 

Do you recharge your energy by going out with friends for a good time or by spending with quiet time alone?

I spend a lot of time with groups of people. While I do have a few friends that I can gather with to recharge, many times when I am in a group I end up doing ministry work. I think this has more to do with who I am than with the demands of the people. That said I usually find it necessary to withdraw from society and to hide in order to recharge.

What is the most number of blankets you’ve ever had on your bed?

I think six.

You are invited to a party that will be attended by many fascinating people you never met. Would you attend this party if you were to go by yourself?

I would absolutely attend by myself.

Do you like talking to people on the phone? Or do you prefer voice mail or email?

I do prefer e-mail because it helps me to be more concise and thoughtful in my use of words. Many times though a face to face is the only way to go. You cannot communicate tone in an e-mail.

 

I think this pastor falls on the side of introversion. How about you?

Time to do some decorating.

These are some really great thoughts about how to praise God!

Another Red Letter Day

I ran into a wonderful concept this morning as I was doing some homework on our retreat. I came across this verse:

The LORD is my strength and my song,
and he has become my salvation;
this is my God, and I will praise him,
my father’s God, and I will exalt him. – Exodus 15:2 ESV

We were given a number of verse to read, and as I was looking at this one, I wondered about the root for the word ‘praise,’ as I know there are many Hebrew words translated as such.

I first noticed that the KJV translates it

The LORD is my strength and song,
and he is become my salvation:
he is my God, and I will prepare him an habitation;
my father’s God, and I will exalt him. – Exodus 15:2 KJV

It turns out this word ,transliterated ‘navah,’ is defined as follows:

I…

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Life’s Little Contradictions

This week’s challenge from the daily post is JUXTAPOSITION. 

Life is a constant tension don’t you think? Maybe it comes from the fall of man in the beginning; But maybe it is just the way God made things to work. Perhaps the constant pulling of opposites upon one another in the world is what creates balance.

Could it be that eternity pulls on time to create sabbath?

Maybe Man’s free will poses side by side with the sovereignty of God to manifest true consecration.

Perhaps the everyday pushes up against the outlandish to give us diversity.

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Maybe the serious connects to the silly to grant us the gift of laughter.

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And it just might be that rest and rush are often found side by side to remind us that life’s choices always lie before us. It is our duty to embrace and rule them rather than be ruled by them; So today take a moment to stop your running. Set aside the stress and just listen for a bit to life’s music!

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to see more juxtapositions go to

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2014/01/24/photo-challenge-juxtaposition/

Pastor Wrinkles: House On Fire Pt. 35

The Word of God is a bridge that connects Earth with Heaven and Heaven with Earth.- Joseph Elon Lillie

The Word of God is a bridge that connects Earth with Heaven and Heaven with Earth.- Joseph Elon Lillie

Today we continue our discussion through the Book of Acts. If you have missed any of our previous discussions they can be found at       http://wp.me/P39vIx-Gh

Here is today’s discussion topic:

Next Paul and Silas traveled through the area of Phrygia and Galatia, because the Holy Spirit had prevented them from preaching the word in the province of Asia at that time. 7 Then coming to the borders of Mysia, they headed north for the province of Bithynia, but again the Spirit of Jesus did not allow them to go there. 8 So instead, they went on through Mysia to the seaport of Troas.

9 That night Paul had a vision: A man from Macedonia in northern Greece was standing there, pleading with him, “Come over to Macedonia and help us!” 10 So we decided to leave for Macedonia at once, having concluded that God was calling us to preach the Good News there. Acts 16:6-10

Why do you think the Spirit of God resisted Paul when his intention was to preach the gospel?

Have you ever felt like God was resisting you? Describe that.

before we close I want to highlight two faithful students here at Lillie-Put. Robin and Debby have been commenting just about every class and so I want to give both of them a shout out and a hearty thank you. Do me a favor and pop on over to Robin’s blog and check it out. She can be found at

http://www.robsreallife.com/

Debby is just about to take the leap into devotional blogging. I will keep you updated!