A Childlike Faith

A child-like faith is what God calls us to. He said it, we do it. He commands, we obey. Trusting in the Lord is active. If  I trust in Him, I pray, I act, I serve, I love. If I trust in Him, I do all those things and more. So much more.

What God has called us to do, God enables us to do. What God desires us to do, we can do. Through Him.

It might be hard, perhaps it is overwhelming, no doubt there will be obstacles but faith persists. Trust does. Belief acts. Time and time again, belief has acted.

Trust in the Lord has climbed mountains.

Faith in God has moved mountains.

Belief in the Lord has caused mountains to disappear.

I want mountains to disappear.

There is so much work to be done. So many people who need to hear the precious name of Jesus. So many churches that need the whole Gospel, churches that have been limping along on a partial gospel for far too long. So many widows, orphans, hurting, scared, broken people needing Christ, needing His saving power, needing His love. So many families to strengthen. So many prayers to be prayed. So many dying every single day without Christ. So many people that I love are so lost. So many, so very lost.

There’s so much repenting to do.

Me. I need to repent. I haven’t trusted, believed, obeyed or acted enough. I haven’t had faith enough. I haven’t trusted in the Lord to move enough mountains.

Have you?

Lord, help us.

Christ, Who Is Our Life

We’re moving in less than a month because of husband’s job change. So many things have gone wrong, so many needs and money is so short. How am I supposed to find a house, fix the van or pay for a move with no money? I read once that when we reach the end of ourselves and there is no one to turn to, no one to help, that that is the most blessed place of all. We are there now. If God doesn’t act, it won’t be done. If God doesn’t provide for our needs, we won’t be able to do anything for ourselves. For so long life has been caving in upon itself. We’re left in a dark place, alone, tired and broke. Are we broken into misery and distrust? Or, are we being broken into beautiful? Oh, Lord, provide–not just for our financial needs but for our soul-deep needs. Make us beautiful in Your time. ~ Journal entry

Christ, who is our life, …. Colossians 3: 4

I have three young children. A Mom of nine, I’ve watched six grow to adulthood or nearly so. The younger ones have lived their lives in the fires of poverty. Something happened, nearly a decade ago, that sent us down a slippery slope from which we’ve not recovered. I want to fix it but there are things that are out of my hands. There are things others must do. Things I cannot do. Even when I try, and I have so many times, it seems as if my efforts are blocked. I feel helpless. I just want to take care of my family, feed them, clothe them. And now there’s this move that must be paid for. How, Lord? I am afraid that I sometimes doubt the Lord. I want to trust Him fully.

If we love our Savior, we will embrace whatever it takes to make us more like Him. Even ask for it. Maybe my prayers for purification led us to this place. Maybe it is something else. I want to embrace the trials that form His image in me. I pray to do that. God has a reason for letting us endure. But I am so worn out. I am tired of seeing my children do without. I am weary of battling on alone. And I am so tired of facing mountains with no earthly way to climb them.

I know that God is good. Even though I cannot see a way out, He remains good. I do not mean to doubt Him. I know that if He desires for us to find a way out or through, He will provide the way. But, though I believe that, our problems, our need, is still very real. I still must find a way to pay for that which I can see no way to afford. I still have children to take care of. I still….

Is that not doubt? God, forgive me.

Job 1: 20-21, Then Job arose, and rent his mantle, and shaved his head, and fell down upon the ground, and worshipped, And said, Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return thither: the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.

I want that kind of faith. I need that kind of faith. Our family has lost so much these last many years. Sometimes it feels as if I cannot bear to lose anything, or anyone, more. What does that say of me? The Lord giveth, the Lord taketh away…. If He desires to take away everything but Himself, should I not be content?

If all turn away from me shouldn’t God be enough?

If I feel as if I cannot endure, won’t God be my strength?

If God does not provide for us, shall I not praise Him?

If nothing improves, if all goes wrong, if tomorrow is the same as today, the same as thousands of days before, what have I to fear?

Christ, who is our life,… Colossians 3: 4

Christ.

He alone is everything.

He alone is enough.

He alone is my reason for getting up, for trusting, for trying again.

He is yours too. And if He is not, He ought to be. For He is enough.

He is our life.

Christ alone.

Christ, who is our life,….Colossians 3: 4          

 

The Grace of God Sustains

I want to quit. I want to give up. I’m tired, really, really, tired of things. Things that don’t change. Things that go on forever. Things that never get started. But the grace of God sustains me.

Journal Entry

 

Sometimes life is overwhelming. It is for me and I know it is for many whom I know and love. It’s hard. We live in a fallen world, a world that loves self and glory far more than it loves Christ. We’re surrounded by people who claim to love the Lord but who serve selfish purposes, whose words and deeds do not match their public proclamation of faith. We’re faced with our own faithlessness, both to people and to the Lord. Getting up in the morning often feels hopeless, like we’re slogging through thigh-deep mud trying to trek a thousand miles and making inches of progress. Or like we’re endlessly digging and refilling, digging and refilling, the same hole, all while wondering why the hole won’t stay dug. It just seems hopeless.

I know all about how to set goals, make plans and get things done. But being a planner or a doer doesn’t cut it when things happen that are out of your control, things that just keep on keeping you from making the progress you long to make.

Soul-deep longings left unfulfilled can make you sick of heart. Scripture teaches us that: Proverbs 13: 12, Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life. But there is hope….

Everybody hits bottom sometimes. Sometimes it can take years, even a decade or two, to pull oneself out of such a pit. That’s especially true if you cannot control certain of your circumstances. When outcomes are left in the hands of unfaithful or untrustworthy people, digging out can take even longer. Much, much longer.

And you know, folks don’t understand that. They look at you and all they see is where you are, they don’t see the battle you are fighting. They don’t see your efforts or how they are so often crushed by others with less than stellar purposes. They don’t see, they don’t understand, but that doesn’t keep them from passing judgement on you or heaping more pain, more accusations, more trouble on your already overwhelmed being.

What do we do in such times? When life fails. When others bring trouble and woe. When you cannot, no matter how hard you try, make it right. When some fail to see how hard you are trying and blame you for trouble you didn’t cause.  When we fail. And fail. What can we do? Where can we run? To whom can we turn?

When travail comes, and if it hasn’t already, it will, run to the Lord. Repent of your double-mindedness, of your sinful desires and trust in Him. Lean on the One Who will never fail. Make Him your All-in-All, your Everything. You can’t use Him but if you serve Him, if you love Him, He will always be there for you. James 4: 8a, Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. He will always care. He always sees truth. He knows your efforts. He will never, ever, ever, let you down. The Lord will never leave you nor forsake you (Hebrews 13: 5).

Things might not get better but you will have the Lord on your side and He will see you through. If He is your all-in-all, no matter what you are facing, He will be enough for you. He will sustain you, just as He sustains me.

As for me, life is and has been, continuously overwhelming for far longer than I would have hoped. There are troubles brought on by others that I just can’t ever seem to solve. There are those who just seem to come around simply to add to the pain, those who simply don’t, can’t, won’t, understand. And sometimes I fail. Far too often, I fail.

But God….

God.

The Lord.

He is GOOD.

His mercy endures forever.

And His grace will sustain me.

And it will sustain you.

No matter what.

 

Shell Middens: Archaeological sites that point to a global flood by Ron Harnage

Originally posted on Diary of a Cracked Disciple:

Shell middens have been a long time object of archaeological interest. They are found all over the world,from Canada to Australia and all in between. In North America, the Whaleback shell middens of Maine are among the largest and have been of interest to scholars since the earliest colonial settlers in the 1600’s.

It was mined in the 1800’s for use as chicken feed, but it was painstakingly excavated by an archaeologist from the Peabody Museum who oversaw the removal of the shells.

Pictured here is an average sized shell midden in South Carolina. Even the smaller ones such as these seem to be impossibly huge for man made deposits from stone age cultures.

Pictured here is an average sized shell midden in South Carolina. Even the smaller ones such as these seem to be impossibly huge for man made deposits from stone age cultures.

The midden originally was thirty feet high and had three main layers of shells. In the bottom two layers, individual shells were generally 12–20 inches (30–50 cm) long. That’s one foot to almost two feet long, compare…

View original 1,300 more words

O Weeping Christian

O weeping Christian, if you are surrounded by the noise of the battle, if you heart has broken so much it cannot break anymore, if solid rock has given way to quick sand, look unto the Lord. He is your Hiding Place. He will see you through.

If the noise of the battle roars and deafens, if the enemy’s arrows fly furiously, do not fear. You are here by God’s bidding. You are His ambassador. If He is sending you to a place you wish to run from, run towards it instead. God has you here so that you might learn something, or that you may prepare for future service or that you might serve Him in a particular way at this very time. Perhaps all three. You are here for His glory and He will be with you. That is all that matters.

God’s people have a long history of living in the broken places. They have known false imprisonment, lies and betrayal. Those dearest to their hearts have turned against them. They’ve done without food, shelter and clothing. They’ve stood alone even to the point of death. All for the glory of God. God is with you just as He was with them.

When others wonder at your circumstances, when they accuse or turn away, God will run in. He knows the truth of your situation. He is the only One Whose opinion matters. You may hurt but don’t give up. God understands. He is more than able to be your peace, your comfort, your shield no matter how long the battle or how fierce the fire.

Trust Him. Run to Him. He will take you up.

Until Jesus Comes

Repent. Pray. Read your Bible. Pray. Believe it.  Pray. Be changed by it. Pray. Live it. Pray. Continue to repent, read, grow and live out God’s truth. Pray. 

Wait a minute.

Wait just a minute. Those things are yesteryear’s way. Our way today is so much more stupid enlightened. We don’t need all those old-fashioned ways.

Do we?

The church will never change the culture until the truth of God’s Word changes us. Churches all across America (and, indeed, the world) have bowed to shiny idols and sacrificed to Satan. We’ve said we believed Scripture but we’ve lived as if we don’t. We’ve rejected the clear teaching of Scripture in so many areas. Holiness? Godliness? Obedience? Ugh, all so very old-fashioned. We’ve embraced do-gooding as a substitute for growing in the fruits of the Spirit because it makes us feel as if we’re doing something. We’ve stained Truth with a more gentle man-centered approach, an approach we’re sure that Jesus Himself would have taken if He’d had the privilege of living in our modern, more compassionate, society. We’ve gotten all hyped up on a hefty dose of self-esteem and thought if we could just teach that, it had the potential to change things like nothing else ever could. We’ve put away the teaching of the Narrow Way and deemed those who believe that God’s Word is inspired, inerrant and infallible as harsh, judgemental and out of touch with the path of the modern church. But that’s alright, that’s okay. Because doing all of this has gotten us where we are today.

Just where we want to be.

Where is it we are going now?

The result of our wandering from truth is that we find ourself lost in a morass of Christ-less churches and moral decay.

We can’t achieve godliness without knowing God. We can’t know God without reading His Word and spending much time in prayer. We can’t follow Him and be His hands and His feet to this generation without repentance. We’ve made excuses for ourselves long enough; worse, we’ve made excuses for God. “God didn’t really mean….”, “The Bible says that but what it really means is….”.

Either we are for Christ or we are against Him, there’s no other option. We can’t say we are for Him and live for ourselves, ignore His Word or twist it to our satisfaction.

If we are for Christ then we have to believe what the Bible says about Him and about us: He’s the only Savior and we’re great sinners in need of Him. What His Word says is true.

Always.

As important as many issues in the church and in our country are, we can’t save anyone by focusing first and foremost on our government, marriage, family, children, abortion, modesty, poverty or any other area we’ve poured our lives and dollars into. I’m not saying those issues aren’t important, indeed their importance cannot be overstated. But to try to remedy what has gone wrong in any of these areas without beginning at the Cross is to make a bigger mess of things than has already been made. Those are the “hows” of being Jesus’ hands and feet. The why is the same thing it has always been: the Cross of Christ.

If we get the message of the Cross right, if we believe it, act on it and obey it then, suddenly, everything else falls into place.

But how can we do that? It seems too simple. And too hard.

How? By realizing we’ve been wrong. By throwing out all of our man-centered teaching. By destroying our programs, our manuals and all of our Christ-less books and falling on our faces in repentance.

By continuing on with our repenting, reading, praying, obeying.

By keeping on repenting, reading, obeying, praying.

Then more praying, reading, believing, obeying….

And keeping on and on and on with it…and only it…until Jesus comes.