Friday, June 26, 2009

Going Along For The Ride

One cool winter night, she packed up her dreams and headed out of the door, anticipating the adventures awaiting her in her freedom.

For many hours she wandered, unsure exactly which direction to take to reach the place she wanted to be. She felt like she had spent her life on the outside looking in at a world that she longed to be part of. Her parents had cushioned her in a protective barrier against things that she could not see the harm in, and that she longed to know.

And in a time of desperation, when she felt like she would surely be better off with her own version of freedom, she set out, determined to find it.

But, after wandering the dark streets for many lonely hours that freedom seemed even further out of reach. Yet, she would not turn back. She yearned to taste of the forbidden fruit of freedom so long denied to her. She pressed on, past her misgivings and fears, continuing further and further away from home.

It was during the darkest part of the night she saw it, the sleek lines of the car, the light of the street lamps gleaming in the chrome, and as it passed her it slowed to a stop, and the window came down.

She backtracked her steps to the voice beckoning her from the open window, "Hey, you. Where are you headed?"

And, after a brief exchange, she climbed in.

The inside of the car was every bit as flashy as the outside, and she couldn't help but rub her hands on the leather of the seats and breathe deep of the new car smell.

Not to mention the driver was as perfect as the car, and before long they were speeding along.

Mile after mile passed without notice. Hour after hour flashed away, still they rode. She was captured by the words he wove around her, amazed at the way he knew her every dream.

On and on they went, further and further away they traveled. This was what she had longed for, what she had dreamed of for so long. He promised her freedom, and indeed, she felt free. He took her places she had never been, showed her things she had never seen. He told her he loved her, and promised her if she would just stay with him he would take her places she could never have imagined. He would take her further than she ever thought she would go.

And it was magical, until summer came. She had not been prepared for the seasons to change. She had not really imagined she would be gone this long. She had only come prepared for the winter, and now the heat was unbearable.

Suddenly it occurred to her how far they had traveled. There was no way to return home. She had no means to get there. How unprepared she had been. Now, here she was, hundreds of miles from home, with a companion whose kindness had seemed to evaporate in the heat.

By chance, she was alone when she turned a corner in a truck stop and saw the pay phone. She quickly dialed the number to her home. As soon as she heard her father's familiar voice the tears came.

"Daddy, please come get me."

I was thinking today about the phrase "Sin will take you farther than you ever wanted to go."

And, I began to think about how wonderful sin can seem, how appealing. I began to think of people I have known over the years that have gotten in the car, so to speak, with sin, thinking they were going for a quick joy ride, only to find themselves miles away from home before they even knew what happened.

As I was thinking about it, a picture came into my mind. When we think of the devil we often think of a little red creature with horns and a pitchfork. But, I am here today to tell you, sin is desirable. It comes to you in a nice package designed to lure you in. It appears wrapped in promises and draped in dreams.

Sin will not pick you up in an old clunker that barely runs, sin will pull up in the car of your fantasies. It will be attractive and desirable. And, at first, it will be wonderful to you. The Bible says there is pleasure in sin....for a season....

But, season's change, and time passes, and when the new wears off of that shiny vehicle of your sin you are left stranded in the middle of nowhere with a broke down old clunker.

Although it is better not to succumb to sin at all, we do have a Father who cares, who watches for us, longs for us to return home, waits for that opportunity to celebrate our return.

Sin will take you farther than you ever wanted to go, and it doesn't care if you never make it back, doesn't care if you can handle the heat, doesn't care if you get burned.

It may seem like the ride of your life, but if you go along for the ride sin longs to take you on, you will never return the same way you came.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

This Is That

Last night I was, once again, witness to a miracle.

Last night I saw someone I love filled with the Holy Ghost!

I wept at the pouring out of His Spirit, thinking again of those feet that had been placed on the faith before me. I was reminded of my own experience 20 years ago, and my own unsureness as I stood in the back of the church, trying not to show how badly I wanted the Holy Ghost and longing someone would come to me and tell me what to do.

I was standing right there last night as that same experience that filled the Upper Room over 2000 years ago was manifested before my eyes and I thought, as I have so many other times, how could anyone be satisfied with less that ALL He has for them?

This is the same thing that was spoken of by Joel...In these last days, He is pouring out His Spirit on all flesh. But, will all flesh accept?

Thank You, my precious, precious Saviour! Once again You have exceeded my every prayer. I am awed by what You have done, by the things You have revealed are yet to come. You are my everything, my all in all. Pour over me! I am ready for whatever You have for me!!

Monday, June 15, 2009

He Called My Name

I was studying this morning in the book of Matthew after listening to an awesome and inspiring sermon last night at church.

The verse that called me back was Matthew 24:24 For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.

I pondered this verse again and again.

"if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect."

If It Were Possible...

I don't know why that just caught me. I had not been able to let it go since I read it last night.

IF it were possible...

Jesus is speaking in this verse, and the verses proceeding and following this particular one about the Tribulation. In verse 22 of that same chapter, He declares, "And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elects sake those days shall be shortened."

And I thought as I read these words again and again how much power is in that little word...


John 10:27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.

How will the elect not be deceived?

They know His voice. His Word IS His voice. It is alive and vibrant and speaks to us clearly, IF we choose to listen.

There are so many today that distort the Word of God, changing it to support growth or whatever excuse they decide to use. Pastors that see the way of truth but, knowing it is not the popular way, they conform and in the end promote themselves above the Gospel.

John 10:11-14 I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep. But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep. The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep. I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.

It is not possible to be deceived if you know his voice.

Which brought me this morning to the story of Mary Magdalene at the tomb.

Before the sun had even risen, Mary was there. When she reached the sepulchre the stone was rolled away. She ran back to tell the disciples what she had seen.

Peter and John ran back to the sepulchre, Peter entering first, followed by John. They saw the linen clothes and the napkin used during the burial of Jesus and they left.

Not Mary.

Mary was grieved.

She stood outside the sepulchre weeping. She finally convinced herself to peer inside. But, this time there were not only burial clothes-there were also 2 angels-one sitting at the head and one sitting at the feet where Jesus had lain.

In John 20:13 they said to her, "Woman, why weepest thou?"

And I compared Mary's reaction to this experience to what my own would have probably been. Here she is, in the graveyard, at the first light of day, looking inside an open tomb, and there are two angels. They apparently speak to her at one time.

Mary's reply was probably much different than my own would have been. She answered, matter-of-factly "Because they have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid him."

And with that she dismissed the angels, intent on finding the body of her Lord.

As she turns, Jesus is there, although she thinks he is a gardener. He also asks her why she is crying adding "whom seekest thou?"

Mary implores Him to tell her where He is laid so that SHE can take Him away.

At that moment Jesus says, "Mary" (vs.16) and she knows exactly who He is. No doubt in her mind.

In that one word was the answer to every question she had. All He had to do was call her name.


She was not deceived, she knew the voice of her Master, her Rabboni.

Something broke in me this morning as I read that account I have read so many times before. I don't know if it was just her devotion, the fact that she had gone to the graveyard before daylight to tend to her Master, or the fact that when Peter and John saw He was truly gone they turned around and went home.

Not Mary. She stayed, she wept.

Even the sight of two angels did not deter her from her need to find Him. I could feel her desperation, sense the depth of her need to find Him, and I wept because I have felt that need too.

At an altar, years ago, I looked for Him. I had been searching everywhere I knew to look, trying to find my way to Him.

And, when my own desperation reached its height, He was there, calling my name.

I am not content to listen to the voices of this world that say they come in His name, but they do not.

I am not satisfied with churches that say "He is here, come and see!" Yet, He is not there, His Word is not there, His voice is not heard.

But, there is a way clearly defined in the Word of God.

And one day, maybe sooner than I think, He will call again. I am listening for His voice, waiting for Him to call my name, as He calls me home.

I want to be ready. How about you?

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Spring Cleaning

Ok, so I know we are teetering on the edge of summer, but that doesn't matter. What does matter is that I have some major junk I need to get rid of.

I have always been a pack rat, of sorts. When I was little I kept things that no one else would probably keep, things that meant something to me, for whatever reason. But, as I have gotten older I have found a distinct need to de-clutter my life.

And I know where it comes from. BUSY...

It seems my life is a never ending round of circumstances that keep in forever twirling on the edge of the abyss of insanity...

Well, maybe not insanity in the traditional form...not hearing any voices in my head or seeing spiders or dogs, as it may be, coming out of my walls, but more the kind where I sometimes feel on the brink of twirling myself into nothingness.

So I dream of a week where I have nothing better to do but clean out the things in this house that have accumulated over the last 10 years, things that are of no use to me anymore, that are only taking up space that could be better used for another purpose.

In doing that, I need to sit down and evaluate. What is important to me now? What do I still need and what can I do without?

And I then imagine what I could do with all the space I will create.....aaahhhhh, how nice it will be.

What about the junk? A yard sale!!! There are so many things we need for the church here in Douglas. A new keyboard so I can have one to practice on here at home...a platform...a van...
*if I have enough junk to buy a van, though, that would be truly sad*

I can take this stuff that is doing nothing and turn it into something useful. What a concept!!

I also find that I need to do this with my spiritual life. Stuff has gotten in my way, stuff that is not really productive, and it is keeping me from reaching my potential.

I need to spring clean the closet of my heart, empty out that space that I need to be fully focused on the true task at hand...serving Him, reaching the lost, making a difference for the Kingdom of God.

In this whirly twirly life that I lead there has to be a place of balance, a place that give me strength and helps me to stay focused. Maybe I can transform some of my new house space into my space of refuge, a special meeting place for me and my Dearest Friend that is void of all the clutter that life brings....

This is a thought!!

Oh, well...I have postponed enough. I'm off to clean, yippee!! But first, I have Someone to visit, Someone I have not spent nearly enough time with lately....yet He is there, waiting on me, loving me in spite of myself.

Hello, my Dear, Sweet Friend, my Lord, my Love, my God. Do You have time for a nice visit today??