An Ear To Heaven

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“He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.” Rev 2:17

There are many voices speaking in the world these days. Some cry peace and safety. Others cry murder and mayhem. The truth is both voices are probably half right. This world has always, since, the fall been a mixture of peace and murder…safety and mayhem. Even the Tribulation will have a mixture of the two things albeit increasingly heavy on the murder and mayhem side.

I know many brothers and sisters in the faith who are glued to the world news sources hoping to figure out what is coming when. I can’t say I blame them. I do a fair amount of world news watching and comparative Scripture study to find the prophetic match-ups myself. I think there is a certain amount of wisdom in keeping one ear to the ground, so to speak. However, if one ear is to the ground the other needs to be kept keenly tuned to the sound of Heaven. You see an ear to the ground can only tell us how things are.  In the days ahead we won’t need to listen very hard to figure out how things are. What we will need to listen for is how God wants us to be in the midst of how things are and what God wants to do in the midst of how things are. You see our role as the people of God is to hear the voice of God, the commands of God and to come into agreement with them. Sometimes that will require us to sacrifice. Sometimes agreement will call us to take up our authority. And always it will cause us to hope.

Distraction Overload

We must come into agreement with what God says and shut out the other voices!

DebBe Still and Listen

Distraction Overload

Are you being distracted?

Are you frustrated?

Do you even know you are being distracted?

 These days the enemy likes nothing better than to get your mind off of Christ. And I have to say he is doing a pretty good job of it, well at least in my life he is.

If we let him the enemy will fill every available moment with little tasks which in turn begin to morph into larger ones resulting in a snowball effect of distractions. For me, it results in a multitude of frustration ending with a wasted day. But wait, it doesn’t end there because that’s when I start to ponder over how my time got wasted on the little tasks which turned into all day affairs and even now as I sit and type my “todo list” is calling me.

Oh, Lord, help me to stay focused on…

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Pastor Wrinkles: Unintended Consequences Pt. 6

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Today we shall finish up our discussion regarding the fall of mankind into sin. We have spent the last posts talking about some of the things we lost in the fall. If you would like to chime in on any or all of those discussions they can be found,

HERE

HERE

HERE

HERE

AND HERE

The fall was truly devastating for our race but there is a solution…

It is true, we lost so much in the fall and most days we don’t even stop to realize that it didn’t have to be this way. Friend:

If you have ever felt like you have no purpose in living and life is just an empty shell not worth living.” It’s because you have lost your sense of significance in the fall;

If you are ever afraid that you won’t be able to provide for yourself or your family. That is because you have lost your sufficiency in the fall;

If you ever feel like your life doesn’t matter and the world would be better off without you. It’s because you lost your security your sense of belonging in the fall;

If you feel like you are less than enough and disappointed in how you have turned out. It is because you have lost your assurance in the fall;

If you feel powerless and like the world is about to swallow you whole it’s because you have lost your authority in the fall;

If you feel like you are on a hamster wheel and all your work is nothing more than trying to knock down a mountain with a toothpick, it is because you lost your rest in the fall;

And if you feel like your world is a war zone it is because you are under the influence of the fall!

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Our race gained nothing good by eating of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. In fact, whatever knowledge or ability we gained in those moments has done nothing  but destroy us. I am glad that the bible does not end with the book of Genesis. The Fall of Man, the eating of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil is not the end of the Bible. It is the beginning. While our story starts in darkness the rest of the Bible is about God working in our history to fix the mess that Adam and Eve made and bringing us back into the light.

You may be reading today feeling insignificant, insufficient, insecure, not sure of anything, ashamed, guilty, feeling weak and hopeless, tired, weary and at war with the world. All  of that is perfectly natural. Life has become all of those things for all of us. It is the human condition; BUT GOD has provided an answer. He made Adam, and Adam failed in the Garden, but God has solved the problem of the Fall. The Bible tells us that God clothed himself in flesh and became a man named Jesus and the Bible tells us that Jesus is a second Adam.

  When Adam sinned, sin entered the world. Adam’s sin brought death, so death spread to everyone, for everyone sinned. 13 Yes, people sinned even before the law was given. But it was not counted as sin because there was not yet any law to break. 14 Still, everyone died—from the time of Adam to the time of Moses—even those who did not disobey an explicit commandment of God, as Adam did. Now Adam is a symbol, a representation of Christ, who was yet to come. 15 But there is a great difference between Adam’s sin and God’s gracious gift. For the sin of this one man, Adam, brought death to many. But even greater is God’s wonderful grace and his gift of forgiveness to many through this other man, Jesus Christ. 16 And the result of God’s gracious gift is very different from the result of that one man’s sin. For Adam’s sin led to condemnation, but God’s free gift leads to our being made right with God, even though we are guilty of many sins. 17 For the sin of this one man, Adam, caused death to rule over many. But even greater is God’s wonderful grace and his gift of righteousness, for all who receive it will live in triumph over sin and death through this one man, Jesus Christ.

18 Yes, Adam’s one sin brings condemnation for everyone, but Christ’s one act of righteousness brings a right relationship with God and new life for everyone. 19 Because one person disobeyed God, many became sinners. But because one other person obeyed God, many will be made righteous. Ro. 5:13-18 NLT

The Devil may have gotten Adam to destroy the world but,

The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work 1 John 3:8

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You may be here today feeling like your life has no purpose. Jesus can give that to you.

You may be here today and your life is falling apart and you can’t fix it. Jesus can provide what you need to get back on track.

You may be here today feeling alone and unwanted. Jesus can put you in a forever family.

You may be here today feeling ashamed because of the life you have lived. Jesus can forgive you and clean your conscience.

You may be here today feeling powerless to do anything about your circumstances. Jesus can give you back your authority to live the life He always intended.

You may be here today tired and weary from life’s hardships. Jesus can refresh you with His presence.

You may be here today feeling like you are at war with yourself and the world. Jesus can give you peace.

Jesus came to destroy the devil’s work. Jesus came to restore what the fall of man took away.

But if that is so you might ask why doesn’t everyone experience this restoration. Because it is based on each person’s faith in the son of God which leads people to give their lives to Jesus Christ and to declare Him Lord. Paul the Apostle said it this way,

“The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart,”d that is, the message concerning faith that we proclaim: 9If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.

So if you need any of the things listed above pray with me now and let Jesus do the work that needs to be done.

Sunset Prayer

Pray: Jesus, I know God sent you to Earth to deal with the consequences of the fall. I admit I have allowed sin to affect my life and now I am broken by this evil power. Please forgive me for letting sin into my life and please forgive me for sinning. Jesus come and set me free from the power of the fall and fix my life. You are my Lord. You alone are my God from this point forward and I believe God has raised you from the dead and because of that you have the power to hear this prayer and help me. Thank you Lord for doing that and saving me from myself and sin. Amen.

Pastor Wrinkles: Unintended Consequences Pt. 5

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We have been having a discussion about all the things mankind lost in the fall from grace. If you would like to catch up on the previous parts of the discussion you can find them

HERE

HERE

HERE

AND HERE

Today’s discussion is about PEACE.

We have learned in parts one through four that because of Adam’s sin we lost our Assurance our Authority Our rest BUT Finally we lost our Peace.

Then he said to the woman, “I will sharpen the pain of your pregnancy, and in pain you will give birth. And you will desire to control your husband, but he will rule over you.” Ge. 3:

 

God’s plan was peace in the home, Peace In the family, Peace in our communities and peace in our world. But when man ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil judgment entered into his soul and suddenly peace in the home was challenged. Peace in the family was challenged. Peace in our communities was challenged and peace in our world was challenged.

Some people think that God randomly assigned the curses to Adam and Eve but I believe that God wasn’t assigning curses so much as explaining consequences.

If I may ad lib a little, I think God was saying, “The fruit changed you Eve and now you will feel pain as a result. The fruit changed you and now, wife, you will judge everything your husband does and if you think its stupid you’re going to try to control it. Oh, and by the way your going to think everything he does is stupid because the tree makes you judgmental.

Going a little further I think God was saying, “Also to you men, you are going to become forceful because you are going to think ‘my wife is just crazy and picky about everything’. Oh and it’s not just going to work that way in the home it’s going to be that way with your boss at work and with your thoughts about the President or King or Prime Minister. Should you ever get into a place of leadership it’s going to be that way when you try to work with other agencies or companies or countries. Judgment is going to steal your peace.”

Have you found that a spirit of judgment in yourself or in others has stolen some of your peace? Tell me about that.

Share Your World 2015 Week #32

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It has been four days since my last blog. FOUR!!! I keep trying to get back to wordpress but just reading has been a stretch. Tonight I know I have a sermon series I need to complete but in the interest of time I am opting to break back in by answering Cee’s questions from her Share Your World Blog. You can find the blog

HERE

and here is what we are trying to accomplish in Cee’s own words.

I sincerely hope you enjoy my questions for this week and find the questions interesting enough to play along.   If you ever want me to ask anything specific, please feel free to contact me.  You don’t think a lot about these questions, unless of course it is FUN for you.  Simply dream and just let loose, or you let your alter ego answer if you want.   Have a fabulous week everyone!!

Even though I oftentimes will add photos to my answers, it is not a requirement to participate in Share your World.

See poll results to the right. I am making a slight change to Share Your World from your responses.  Here is the basic change to the standard format.  Since most votes were leave it the same I am going to continue with at least three random questions each week, special fourth questions and the standard Bonus Questions.

Here is the basic format.  I will ask you:

  • To answer three random questions each week.
  • Respond to a fourth item (I will randomly chose from this list)
    • Making a List out of a topic
    • Completing the sentence I start
    • Answering a Would you Rather question
  • Bonus Question is always the same  “What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?”  Because we all need to be reminded that there are many things in our lives to be grateful about.  

Now onto the questions for the week!

Are you a collector of anything? 

I am a collector of Bibles. I know that must seem apropos ( the name’s Pastor J after all what else would I collect…right?) Truthfully while I do have a few very old Bibles most of the Bibles in my collection are left behind at church. They sit on a shelf outside the sanctuary waiting to be retrieved and if they stay on the shelf too long they eventually make there way to my office which has become “the land of misfit Bibles”. I feel kind of bad for these little books because I know their owners are not really missing them which truth be told is even sadder for the people who left them behind. They don’t know what they are missing!

Really folks a Bible is a terrible thing to waste!

What is your biggest fear or phobia? (no photos please)

I have a really serious issue with being late. I am trying to relax a little bit about it but I was always taught “Early is on time. On time is late and late is unacceptable.”

Do you prefer reading coffee table books (picture), biographies, fiction, non-fiction, educational?

I of course love the Bible. I own at least 60 copies (land of misfit Bibles remember?) But I also love reading fiction. It relaxes me. That said I am currently reading “The Community of the Future” an old study by the Drucker Institute and I just finished Primary Purpose a study on the focus of the church. So little to no relaxing reading going on in my house right now.

Complete this sentence:  If I Must Be Reincarnated, In the Next Life I Want to Be…

OK obviously as a Christian Pastor I do not believe in reincarnation but I will play along. I want to be a Christian Pastor who writes and sings for a living. By the time I’m done this life I figure I will have it pretty well figured out how to do it right.

Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

I am grateful I got to go to Walden Pond with my son Joe after picking up his VISA. He leaves this Sunday for his new job posting in South Korea. I am not sure if I am looking forward to that exactly but I am pretty proud of him!
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