Tuesday, March 30, 2010

"Heart Hangers" cont'd again...

Sunday afternoon, as I relaxed at home waiting for our evening home group from church to meet, I was watching David Jeremiah on Day Star television. He opened his message with this statement, “What you believe about Heaven will determine how you live today”. So, can I ask you a question? What do you believe about Heaven? Please understand the word ‘believe’ in that sentence. It doesn’t say “What do you know about Heaven?” To know is to have ‘head knowledge’ in the sense that we have the data regarding Heaven. To believe is ‘heart knowledge’ and our lives reflect this knowledge.

We act out what we believe, not what we know!

I love that David Jeremiah is teaching on this subject so intently. I honestly think if we believed half of what we know the Bible says about Heaven, our homes, churches, communities, work environments, etc. would all be different. Think about it!


Tuesday, March 23, 2010

"Heart Hangers" cont'd...

I hope some of the rest of you enjoyed the “Heart Hanger” from last week as much as some of the rest of us did. Just remember “Heart Hangers” come at different times for all of us. A “Heart Hanger” for me today may have been one of yours 5 years ago. His timing is always perfect for what we need.

All that said, let me introduce you to the other “Heart Hanger” I had that Sunday. It came from a young man in my home group study group that happened to be preaching our Sunday Evening service. Justin was preaching from John 8:24. The story of the women caught in adultery. He shared 8 points from that text that stood out to him concerning the forgiveness of Christ. I am allowing several of the others to marinate. But this one gave me room for pause…as the verse tells us the woman was caught in the actual act of adultery. Justin’s first point was: “Jesus’ forgiveness was not based on her innocence.” Wow! Do you see this? We don’t mind forgiving people when we believe they are innocent, or we think they didn’t really mean to, or they were a victim of circumstances. But this lady was committing adultery and she knew exactly what she was doing was wrong. Just like you and I have done some things in our lives along the way that we knew were wrong but did them anyway. Just pause a moment and think where you would be if mercy and grace in the form of forgiveness had not been extended to you.

So many times during the week in the counseling process I hear these words, “but I don’t deserve forgiveness for that.” It gives me great joy to say to them, “you’re right you don’t, none of us deserves forgiveness”. You see we live in a world where we watch too many episodes of Law and Order, or Perry Mason reruns, or L.A. Lawyers, or Forensic Files etc., etc., etc. My point is we like to base our forgiveness on the facts presented before us and we determine forgiveness based on innocence. If you are not innocent then you deserve what you get.

Jesus knew the truth about the woman. He knew before they ever told Him why the woman was standing before them. I love how He elicited mercy out of these guys with the following verse: “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.” Hmmmmm, didn’t that just drain the milk out of their bowl of cheerios! Aren’t we quick to want to condemn and slow to forgive others and ourselves. The next time you want to condemn someone ask yourself, “could you throw the first stone?”

All this to say, Jesus’ forgiveness toward you and me isn’t based on our innocence. It is based on His mercy and grace, His shed blood on the cross. Who are we to not humble ourselves and extend it to others and ourselves? He did. Are we greater than God?


Tuesday, March 16, 2010

"Heart Hangers"...

Hope each and every one of you had an awesome weekend in the Lord!!!

Sunday was a day of what I call “Heart Hangers” for me. These are moments when God, through His Spirit, drops something in my heart that I can’t get away from meditating on. It just kind of “hangs” there in the spirit. Then I really get it and Wow! “Heart Hangers”, when allowed to marinate, become truths of God's Word that the enemy cannot steal from us -- and they increase our faith walk! At least that has always been true in my life as a believer!

So, the first one came during Sunday School time. You may call them Life Classes, Bible Study hour, Small Groups, etc., anyway, Brother Larry was sharing 10 things Christians believe that aren’t scriptural. One of the ten was “Praise and Worship = music”

I like what the Holman Dictionary says about Worship:

“Worship is a human response to the perceived presence of the divine, a presence which transcends normal human activity and is holy. Thus, Jacob, fleeing away to Haran, perceived the presence of the Lord in a dream while sleeping at “a certain place,” and when he woke from his sleep, he said: Surely the Lord is in this place—and I did not know it! ... How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven Before the dream, the place had only been a stopping place reached by sunset

(Gen. 28:11), but when he awoke it had become a holy place. The holy presence of God had penetrated into ordinary (profane) space in a way which had aroused acute awareness on the part of a human being. The sacred (holy) and profane are united in an experience of worship. The consciousness of holy presence brings forth a response from those who perceived it. The response is worship and may take many forms. The response may be private and intensely personal, in the form of prayers, confessions, silence, and meditative experiences of various sorts.

I also, like a statement Holman’s Dictionary made about Praise:

Praise comes from a Latin word meaning “value” or “price.” Thus, to give praise to God is to proclaim (to speak out) His merit or worth.

I love that because I see that true praise is an action (proclamation) that results from true worship.

Psalm 9
I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart;
I will recount all of your wonderful deeds.
I will be glad and exult in you;
I will sing praise to your name, O Most High.

Psalm 43:4
Then I will go to the altar of God, to God my exceeding joy,
and I will praise you with the lyre, O God, my God.

Psalm 63
O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you;
my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.
So I have looked upon you in the sanctuary, beholding your power and glory.
Because your steadfast love is better than life, my lips will praise you.
So I will bless you as long as I live; in your name I will lift up my hands.

Now let me tell you that this first “Heart Hanger” is no longer hanging on my heart, but it has actually taken up residence there as I finish typing these words. Why?

I have spent much time looking into this matter since Sunday and could not possibly put all the insight God has given me through study into this blog today.

So what belief system ended up in my heart? Here it is - Worship takes many forms throughout scripture. Most of us already know this. But, true worship only takes place when the Holy penetrates the ordinary and we are left in Awe of Him.

A result of this is true praise. True praise comes in many forms such as singing, lifting of our hands, dance, shouts of joy, and yes even that sound of amen during the service is a proclamation that the Holy has penetrated the ordinary resulting in lips of praise!

May the Living God penetrate your hearts this day and the Holy and the ordinary be united in the experience of Worship! And may your Praise pour forth as a result.

“Worship and Praise” = John 4:24 (Look it up!)


P.S. Yes there is another “Heart Hanger” but it will have to wait till next week. It is still marinating. ;)

Tuesday, March 9, 2010


Ok, so this morning in my One Year Bible as I was reading the Psalm for today I really started looking at what David had to say in this Psalm. It is Psalm 51. Many of you are probably like me in that you have read it many times, heard messages on it and have taken great hope from David’s cry to the Father because we can so relate. So, when I got to the office, I started pouring over Charles Spurgeon's, "The Treasury of David" regarding this psalm. Wow! Some really powerful insight he has on this. But, before I could transfer any thoughts on this to you, I had clients and lunch and the day started slipping by. My last appointment was a home visit with a precious family. When I got back to the office, I went to unload the trash I had carried in from the house at lunch to put in our dumpster can. The business next door and I share the cost of the trash services.

Well, let me tell you what - somebody had taken our trash dumpster can! I went next door to the ladies and before I could say anything they said, “Someone has taken our trash can”. Ok, so I really just couldn’t even believe it. Please, it is a trash can. I know this doesn’t sound nice but I told the ladies I would like to knock a knot on somebody’s head. Well, while I was whining to Trash Services to get a new trash can, the Word that I had spent so much time on from the Psalm came to my mind, “mercy”. Hmmmmm I could not see why I really needed to have “mercy” on the trash can thief but I know the Holy Spirit brought that word right up in my spirit. So, honestly, for now, I’m going to let the intellectual part of my brain think truth and step out in an attitude of “mercy”. But, I suspect my emotions may take a day or so. Pray I don’t see that trash can in front of anyone’s house or business for at least 24 hours.


Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Gold! The best of the best in this World...

Well, I don’t know about you but I spent a lot of time watching the Olympics these past two weeks. I am absolutely in awe of how the athletes train and prepare themselves for the games. What discipline! I can remember some of those days ahhh about 30 years ago in my own life when playing sports.

Did you know that God has made it clear to us that there is something worth more than “Gold” that He would have us all take note of? Listen to these words from Proverbs 3:13-15……

Blessed Is the One Who Finds Wisdom
13 Blessed is the one who finds wisdom,
and the one who gets understanding,
14 for the gain from her is better than gain from silver
and her profit better than gold.
15 She is more precious than jewels, and nothing you desire can compare with her.

Preparation for the Olympians helped many of them reach their goal of “Gold”. I wonder how many of God’s children are determined to reach the highest level of preparation we can function at, as we enter the Heavenly Stadium. Please don’t misunderstand. We enter the gate through the acceptance of the completed work of Jesus Christ's death on the cross and His resurrection. But, the shape we are in as we enter has everything to do with how we have sought His Wisdom through His Word and the Holy Spirit as we run the race on this earth.

May we as your children Lord, discipline ourselves to find wisdom and get understanding from your Word and Holy Spirit as we put our feet on the floor each and everyday! And may we be prepared to enter the Heavenly Stadium carrying the banner of Christ! Amen!

Yesterday, I spend part of the day with a precious missionary friend. I am so reminded of the importance of the ministry of Pure Joy and the friendships it establishes between the women on the field and here at home!

Don’t forget to let me know if you would like for me to come speak to your ladies in your church. I am looking forward to speaking to several church groups in the next several months. Pray for me as God directs me in His Word for those that will be spoken over.

Remember Pure Joy in your prayers, giving and going as always! And I encourage you to pray over all things concerning giving and going whether it is with this ministry or another. “Let the peace of Christ rule in your life!”