Monthly Archives: October 2015

THE GRAY MASS: Years ago I read a book in which they gave an example of a “religious” woman who showed up to church services every week like a gray mass HUDDLED IN THE CORNER IN A BACK PEW. She was reverent and appeared to be constantly in prayer. … But no one knew her. She seemed oblivious to her surroundings. She was certainly shutting out the world. … Then, near the front row, was someone dressed in a bright red dress, with shoes to match, singing her heart out in worship, dancing in front of her pew (they didn’t mention running the aisles in this book). She, too, had a connection to God, however, she was participating with others and sharing the Gospel with others outside of the church services. She seemed so much happier than the “gray mass”. I wonder what would have happened had the two met and shared their love of God. I have spent most of my life in mainline Christian churches where I participated in the service music, and, in one church, taking my turn as platform assistant. Although I was expected, by some, to stay in the margins, as a pew-warmer, where the hesitant ones were not confronted with dealing directly with a blind person, I chose full participation in our services. I often felt like we were involved in rituals and that God was up there somewhere and, regarded, as the song put it, “from a distance.” I had no idea what I was missing. I thought everything was okay between God and me. Although I believed, on some remote level, the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus, I mostly thought of Him as a distant teacher. I wonder how many people reading this blog have felt that same way. Now that I am in an apostolic church setting, things are quite different. Jesus is real to me; He is present within and around me; He will never leave me and I will not leave Him; He guides me in my everyday life; when I am praying, it is to Someone right here, not to someone way off beyond the clouds. I used to sing the old hymns, often in harmony, and I certainly enjoyed that. However, now we “make a joyful noise,” and experience the nearness of the Holy Ghost. We want revival! We want to tell everyone about Jesus! I still tend to shy away from doing this outside of church, but our participation in our services encourage it. So, as I would want to put it “there’s more than one way to …” connect with God. One way is not necessarily better than another, however, I am glad I am where I am now. I wish the same for you. If your church services, (if you even attend) are boring, come and join us! Jesus is in our midst! … In Jesus’ name.

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WHO AM I? (copy this link and paste it into your browser to hear a beautiful answer to this question provided by Casting Crowns) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mBcqria2wmg John 17:21 that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. … May they all be one, as You, Father, are in Me and I am in You. … When we accept Jesus, we become part of Him and He is part of us. There is no separation. We are never alone. He will never leave us. I, who suffer from sepearation anxiety, could not live alone without my cats. Even though they probably could or would not do much to help me if I were in danger from an intruder, yet I feel less alone with them here. Now that I am received by Jesus, I am not alone even if the cats were not here. Everywhere I go, no cats, no other humans, yet I am no longer alone. I can talk to Him. I can sing to Him. I can do things I was afraid to do by myself because I’m no longer by myself. This is quite curative for someone who has spent most of her life suffering greatly from separation anxiety. I wanted to stay in a dormitory setting all my life. I wanted to live in a cat sanctuary. I knew that either of these settings would be comforting to me. However, I did not understand how Jesus could be an even greater solution to my situation. I am not able to permanently live in a dorm-type setting. I have not been able to have a cat sanctuary. But I *do* have Jesus! The same can be for you, too. Ask Him to come to help you to never be alone again. Ask Him to help you to know that you belong to Him and with Him. Ask in Jesus’ name

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ICE CREAM When I was in Sunday School as a second-grader, I really worried my teacher. I asked questions, whose answers I am still unsure of. One time she was saying that Jesus “holds us in the palm of His hand.” I asked how big was His hand? She said “big enough to hold us.” I asked “Is His hand bigger than this room?” She said she thought so. … On another occasion, she said “You are His hands and feet, and His mouth. Be careful what you say and what you do.” And, you guessed it. I asked:”If Jesus wants ice cream, does He have us eat it for Him?” I do not remember my teacher answering that one. I think she just sat there. I think I missed an interesting facial expression on her part. She did contact my Mom about such questions. All I can say now is that if your kids ask rather off-the-wall questions, let them. Try to see if there is something in the Bible that would answer them. I’m still looking … in Jesus’ name

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PERSECUTED/REJOICE Huh? Matthew 24:9 “Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and … “Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. … When we say yes to Jesus, our way may not be all rainbows and butterflies. Shortly after Jesus’ own baptism, performed by John the baptist, Jesus went into the wilderness and was tempted by Satan for 40 days and 40 nights. Yikes! We may be put in the position of examining our motives, ideas and behaviors not only by other humans but by Jesus, Himself. If some certain sect of humans in this world have their way, more and more Christians will be persecuted and even beheaded for aligning with Jesus. I know you don’t want to hear that one any more than the other place some humans go to after death that isn’t Heaven. But we need to give some thought to the downside of pledging our allegiance to Jesus and not breaking our vows to Him. Philippians 4:4 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. … Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice! … No matter what! We will have some difficulties, and perhaps not as dire as mentioned above; however, it is said that we grow stronger living through difficulties. There are wonderful times too, getting to know Jesus; some of which human words are inadequate to express. We have His love! And we love Him! Rejoicing in this love and for all He is to us and has done for us, are worth more than any pitfalls along the way. I think I am repeating myself again; however, again, this is important to Him, and for us. Rejoice! Give Him praise no matter what. Am I asking you to do something I cannot do? Possibly. I’m working on it, though. Aren’t many of us? In Jesus’ name!

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GIVE JESUS A CHANCE You’ve heard of that song “give peace a chance …” I suggest we give Jesus a chance. I have talked to people through the years about Jesus, even during some of my own doubtful times. And in many cases, some people would not really give Jesus a chance to come into their lives. They would say He was just a man from a long time ago; a good teacher but not divine. They would say He didn’t know or care about their thoughts or feelings. Besides, they were just too busy for Him. I remember one college student (back when I was one, too) who said “I’m not going to even talk about Jesus. I’d lose my friends.” That was years ago and some people are still saying similar things to negate a relationship with Jesus. They chock Him off before even trying to get closer to Him. I know. Been there; done that. I am unable to sit here and say to anyone “well, I’ve always had a great relationship with Jesus. If I can do it, you can, too.” I do not even have the background to say that to someone. But I can say that I do understand, to some extent, where they are coming from because I’ve been a questioner and doubter, too. In fact, I am still a questioner. I hope I always will be and I hope you will be, too. Even if you have not done so up until now, I ask you to please give Jesus another chance. You might be very pleasantly surprised–and you might not even lose your friends– and you will gain one–the most important one! In Jesus’ name

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FILTERS John 14:6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” … “I was lookin’ for love in all the wrong places. Lookin’ for love in too many faces. Searchin’ their eyes, lookin’ for traces. Of what I’m dreamin’ of.”–Johnny Lee song lyrics Yikes! I used an older version of Internet Explorer for my last couple posts and all that appeared was my title line. I came back to Mozilla Firefox, pasted the very same info into my post, and all of it appeared. Evidently Internet Explorer filtered out all that I posted except my title in all caps. This evening when I tried to post using Internet Explorer, there was a message stating that I was using an outdated browser and this might affect my post. It sure did! Are we using an outdated or misdirected thinking system when we think about Jesus? Are we thinking about Him as we did when we were kids? Did we leave Him as a baby in the manger, stuck there? Or did we leave Him at “Jesus loves me this I know …?” … Are we thinking about Him like we did last night? “He doesn’t speak to me in words.” … Have we let Him grow up with us? Have we acknowledged His teachings, crucifixion and resurrection? Do we really know much about Jesus through our own flawed filters or are we consciously making the effort to get to really know Him, without all the filters? Back in high school we had a city-wide essay contest entitled “how to achieve world peace.” I was one of the winners. Way back then I advocated educating people all over the world; this would bring about world peace. I did not understand that I was expecting the whole world to think about peace as I did, a girl living in the United States. I did not take other peoples’ world views, traditions and lifestyles into consideration. It was a global “my way” and evidently the judges of the contest agreed. How scary! I was already being indoctrinated into the “new world order” way of thinking. In college I was exposed to anthropology, psychology, sociology, philosophy, and, you guessed it, no Bible. I did take a course in what they called Biology Three, in which we were presented with papers on current perspectives on various issues from abortion to euthanasia from various perspectives. Our assignments were to come up with as many varying opinions on a given subject as we could. This entailed research. This was, to me, one of the best courses I took, however, now I am thinking about how the Bible was absent, even in our perspective research. Later in life, I was fascinated by “comparative religions.” Although I was most familiar with mainline Christianity, I read about Roman Catholicism, Mormonism, Baha’i, Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, nondenominational Christianity, Quakers, Amish, Mennonites, and whoever else I am leaving out. I studied them from what was written in various books, but not all that much from the Bible. Then I spent years in a New Age church where the Bible was considered a good story and good reading to learn from. Jesus was a great teacher. I let myself use that filter until Jesus rescued me, leading me to my current apostolic church. He had allowed me to know of varying perspectives from the filters of many views which deemphasized Him or showed Him in a limited light. No wonder I felt distant from Him for years–almost lost. I am now reading and hearing about the “new world order” and “global governance” familiar to me from waaaaaaaay back. I had no idea until recently what the Bible had to say about this. You might want to read the book of Daniel and the last book of the Bible, Revelation. (and maybe some others). I was shocked to realize that the one behind global governance is none other than, that one I don’t even want to name. Certainly not Jesus. When I consider how close I came to rallying around that perspective and how I might have even accepted the mark of the beast unawares, it gives me the creeps. It does so not just for me personally, but if I could be so uninformed and fooled for so long, think of how many other supposedly intelligent people could be barking up the wrong tree, due to their world view filters. I am sometimes horrified now, on one hand, and so gratefully relieved, on the other, that I could have missed the boat and drowned in wrong perspective. If it had been up to me, I would have been on the other sside of the fence today, if not for Jesus coming for me. I am not the most obedient person there is and even when He tried to lead me out of the morass, I could have resisted. I was so taken by His concern for me that I followed, unquestioningly. This is part of the miracle of my becoming Born Again. I am the least likely of my family members for this to happen to, and I could have been the most resistant. It is like He shut me up long enough to get me out of there. I was pretty floored to end up in my current church. Like, huh? What is this all about? Me here??? Why did you send me here? I understood right away–Jesus! and the Bible! Getting the Holy Ghost! Baptism in Jesus’ name! Salvation! All of those other filters had kept me from the most important experiences of all. I had understood that Jesus led me to the cure from intestinal blockages and how lifesaving that was, but He did even so much more for me! I have probably not been grateful enough! Joyful enough! totally indebted to Him enough! His love! patience with me as I continue to ask a CATzillion questions. I am amazed by Him! How He would take a perspective junkie like me and bring me back to let Him out of the manger and be my Savior! I love my beloved Jesus! I am still messing up and will continue to do so, I am sure. If I waited until I was perfect before I would allow Him to lead me back to Him, well, it would never have happened. I am not saying that all of my study was a waste of time; however, I hope that if your perspective is out of whack like mine, that you will allow Jesus into your heart, mind, body and soul, so that you will not miss out on the most important perspective of all–that of Jesus! My cats, of course, have PURRspective, they remind me. Maryah is my Holy Ghost cat. I was holding her, as she purred, when I received Him and sang in tongues. Lately, in my worship, I perceive much light. Sometimes it is blinding, pun intended. It can’t be physical light since I have artificial eyes. So it has to be the light of the Holy Ghost. Evidently I am “seeing” spiritual Light–the light of Jesus! Wow! I’ve felt His Presence for some time, but the Light is relatively new for me. There were probably reasons for me to have all of those other filters during my lifetime, but the Presence, Light and Love of Jesus is real! He is alive in and around me–a doubter and one so busy learning this and that belief system. I am so blessed! You can be, too! Believe me, I am not anyone all that special and I was not even trying to be closer to Him, but He valued me anyway and is still working on bringing me around. … In Jesus’ name!

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I LIED In a previous post I stated that Jesus doesn’t communicate with me in words. What I really meant was that I do not hear a human male voice speaking to me. If I did, it would probably frighten me. However, certainly He does communicate with me in words–His Word in the Bible, words of others who are instructing me, and words that He gives me in my mind. He is one of ideas and thoughts and “the still small voice” which certainly does communicate with me. I mention this because He communicates with us in infinite ways, far more than I know, but in a variety of ways that we can receive from Him. I was instructed by Him to write this blog for people who are lost. Sometimes I get confused and lost even now. So I apologize for any time when I may have not been clear enough in what I was really trying to say. Indeed Jesus does communicate in words–even with me. I know He speaks to many people in a human, male voice. He communicates with us in whatever way He can and get through to us. So what works for me is different from what works for someone else. Jesus does not expect us to be carbon copies/cookie cutter people, so His means of communicating with us can be as similar or as different one from another. Each cat I have known has had his/her own special meow. I have always known them apart. The three I have now have individual voices and manners of “speaking.” I often communicate with each one differently. Jesus knows our individual “voice” and manner of communication and He can adjust His communication to best optimize that communication. Although He is “no respecter of persons” He does not treat us as identical but equal. Now I need to find Bible verses to help me explain this better. There is much variety in the Bible. Hopefully one result of this is that whereas some verses may not speak to us as directly, some other verses do. Even at different times of our lives, different verses can jump out at us with new meaning. So I did not actually lie in my earlier post, because I did not say it deliberately, knowing better. I misinterpreted the idea I was trying to present. Jesus corrected me, for which I am grateful. Whew! I overcomplicated that one. Thank You, Jesus!

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