The Rockets Red Glare

This one is for my "3rd sister" Amber.

In case you don't know this about me, I've been on a journey pressing in to understand what healing means for today. I read the Bible and hear what God does throughout the OT and NT in regards to miracles and I hear Jesus say "if you ask anything in my name it will be done" & "greater things than this shall you do in my name." I personally am unsatisfied with the level of "miraculous healing" in our time. Don't get me wrong, I see the hand of God move often and in situations but I never ever want to settle for second best. I want to see the dead raised, cancer healed & the lame walk ~ which brings me to my post today.

My "sister" Amber has had a hard year. Her 2 year old nephew died from complications to a disease he had. Her sister just miscarried at 15 weeks along. Throughout this year she has pressed on, fully giving God glory and trusting in His sovereignty. I admire her and all of her courage.

I am not an expert in the least but here are the thoughts that I am leaning on in this stage in my spiritual journey. We are in a battle and sometimes we lose. Unfortunately, the church seems to be losing more than winning and this losing truly effects the lives of real people in real ways. I thank the Lord that He is our Comforter and He will sustain us. To me, however, these are battles that we have lost but for those of us left fighting may these losses push us on to keep fighting and begin winning.

I was at a basketball game the other night and I was singing along with the "Star Spangled Banner" and was caught up in the words "and the rockets red glare, the bombs bursting in air gave proof to the night that our flag was still there." We sing this song all the time to remind us of the cost of our freedom. Real people died on that night, and in all the battles fought for our freedom. And now I am sitting comfortably with my two kids watching a basketball game without a care in the world. The cost of other people's lives and belief in the dream and fight purchased our freedom for us.

It is my sincere pray that the "ones we have lost" are not lost in vain rather that those of us left fighting will keep fighting for freedom. In addition I pray, that my children's generation will receive the benefits of us fighting for the reality of God's miraculous freedom in America. That they can know healing as commonplace instead of the "far between" that it is today.

So even in this battle may we remember: "As the rockets red glare, the bombs bursting in air gave proof to the night that the cross was still there."

Put your clothes on!

Okay, I've decided to share with you my greatest secret to success in my Christian walk.

About 4 years ago I started struggling with anger or lets just say it was fully exposed and it wasn't going away without God doing His complete work in me. Maybe someday I will share with you my full story in that regards (Uprooting a Besetting Sin). However, the biggest key to my success in this area and in my day to day Christian walk is putting on my armor.

Ephesians 6 says "Our battle is not against flesh and blood but against the principalities and powers of this dark world." I take this verse to heart and is probably one of the banners over my life. I think one of the main reasons Christians get so land blasted all the time is they are not aware of the battle we are in on a daily basis. The awesome thing, however, is that God provided us clothes to wear in this battle.

So, as I've named this particular blog I think it is essential to "put your clothes on everyday." Really think about it, how many of you would go for a walk outside without your clothes on? However, so many Christians walk around daily, weekly and yearly without ever putting their clothes on.

So for the last 1 1/2 years, I have made it a point to intentionally put my spiritual clothes on everyday. And let me tell you, I definitely can tell the difference between when I did and when I didn't take the time to get dressed.

I find it easiest to start at the top of my head and work down (which is not the order it is in the Bible ~ but I think that is okay). God has given me revelation around the different pieces and I like to think about them as I do it. My favorite place to do it is when I am laying in bed thinking about getting out to start the day. So here is how I put my clothes on:

The helmet of salvation: We are saved by grace and this is a gift from God lest any man should boast. This reminds me that my Christian walk is based upon who God is, not who I am.

The Breastplate of righteousness: God sees me through the cross as the redeemed. I also ask it to guard my heart because my heart is the wellspring of life.

The Shield of Faith: That it would put out the fiery darts of the enemy. In the Lord's prayer Jesus also asked us to pray daily to be delivered from the evil one. So we can be spared from many of the attacks of the enemy just by simply asking!

The sword of the Spirit which is the word of God: The word of God is living and active sharper than any double edged sword. This is the only weapon in our armor so it is important to use it. So whatever you are struggling with make sure you find Scripture with the truth to help you battle it.

The belt of truth: Everything I am saying and praying is based upon who God is and his truth. I will not be shaken by trusting in it.

Feet fitted with the readiness of the gospel of peace: This took me awhile to figure out what exactly this meant but here are the thoughts I have. One is that Joshua talks about taking every place you put your feet. The Bible also talks about trampling the enemy. So my outlook is that in the process of my daily walk I can trample on the enemy and replace what he has done with PEACE. I like bringing peace into my home.

So there it is. It sounds so easy and actually it is but the difference it makes is incredible! So I encourage you if you don't put your clothes on everyday to try it! You will be pleasantly surprised how much better life is being dressed.

Must read book

I know it's only January but I do have a must read book of the year already! It is called "Same Kind of Different as Me" told by the actual people Ron Hall & Denver Moore to Lynn Vincent.

I call this story a "God story." It is a story that only God can put together and at least for me opened my eyes to see how God is continually weaving our lives together on a daily basis. In other words, all those little decisions we make each day are really creating a beautiful story, so make good decisions. It also reaffirmed that inside every human being are buried treasures, and if we would only open our eyes and take the time God will use us to bring those treasures to light.

I won't be able to do justice to the story through a synopsis, but suffice it to say it is incredible and will rock the way you view God and others in a beautiful way. And don't forget the kleenex.

The God/Math Connection

The other day I was reading a book about homeschooling. It started connecting each subject to God, i.e. how is God in Math, Science, English etc… At first, I was like “really ~ do we have to connect God to each subject?” But then I let down my guard and thought about it. If God is the Creator of everything His fingerprint will be in everything so we should be able to look at a subject like Math and see God in it.

When I sat back and thought about it I did see a significant connection between God and Math. The verse “God is the same yesterday, today and forever” jumped to the forefront of my mind. Now I’ve always known this verse and I have liked it but honestly I have always viewed it in a simplistic manner. God is always going to love me. He was good since the beginning, is good now and will always be good. It was for me a safe, simplistic way to view God. Viewing this verse though through the eyes of “Math” blew the lid off this verse for me and off of who God is too! Math is the same, yesterday, today and forver. 2+2=4 will always be the same. Math in its simplicity can be understood by even the smallest child (counting 1,2,3…), however, even the smartest mathmeticians do not have a grasp on mathmatics and all its complexity. The same is true with God. Like Math He is the same, yesterday, today and forver. The youngest child can understand the basics of who He is: always loving and kind but to the greatest theologians who grasp much yet there is still great mystery that goes beyond their own understanding.

The other wondes to me with the God/math connection was the idea of combinations. That the same numbers mixed together in different combinations results in different answers. Math is also universal, cross-cultural and generational. So it is with God. His principles and truths surpass time, ethnicity and culture. That is why the truths of the Bible can and do still apply today. Yet like mathematical combinations it can be used and applied in many different ways. Hebrews says “The word of God is living and active sharper than any double-edged sword.” God’s word/truth is still alive and because of the complexity and simplicity of it all it can still be applied to our lives today.

I have been part of a debate on tradition versus the changes we see in Christianity today. Some Christians are threatened by the “new ideas” or “new themes” that get emphasized in today’s Christianity because it didn’t come out of tradition. However, my question back is “Do we really want to serve a God who was all figured out 2000 years ago and now doesn’t change?” Or do we want to serve a God who is like mathematics ~ there are eternal truths but by combining them together we see a new picture but nothing has changed because that possibility was always there it just wasn’t being viewed that way.

My favorite author is John Eldredge. He receives a hard time from some Christian circles because his teaching is a “new concept.” His “new concepts” however aren’t new but are an application of God’s eternal principles in a modern society. His latest book is called “Walking with God.” In this book he discusses that God does want to talk to us on a daily basis and how to do it. Is this really new? Read the first eleven chapters of Genesis and you will see this is not new: God walked with Adam and Eve in the Garden, Enoch was taken from earth because he walked with God, Noah was chosen to build the ark because he walked with God. These are not new principles but rather an application of God’s eternal principles in today’s society. Just like in math you can get the same answer through different methods: 2+2=4, 1+3=4 and 1+1+1+1=4. The answer is walking with God, but how you do it and what it looks like might change over time. To me this is the beauty and the awe of who God is. There is still more to discover about God but this newness really isn’t “new” because it has always been there we just haven’t always seen it.

Isaiah 45:3 says “I will give you the treasures of darkness, riches stored in secret places, so that you may know that I am the LORD, the God of Israel, who summons you by name.” Our God is a great mystery to us. My challenge to you and myself is to continue to search every day to discover this God who is the same, yesterday, today and forever.

Daily Prayer

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