Where Does My Help Come From?

 

"I lift my eyes unto the hills — where does my help come from?  My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of Heaven and earth.  He will not let your foot slip – He who watches over you will not slumber; indeed He who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.  The Lord watches over you — the Lord is your shade at your right hand; the sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night.  The Lord will keep you from all harm — He will watch over your life; the Lord will watch over you coming and going both now and forevermore."  Psalms 121

Hebrews 4:16 "Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need."

I was re-reading my notes, and found this "There will be times when we too face trials and our fervent prayers seem to go unanswered.  In such times, we must remember that Jesus was tested in the same way and that God will give us sufficient grace to undergo what He allows for our lives." 

Matthew 10:30 "And even the very hairs of you head are all numbered.  So don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows."

So be encouraged and know that even when it seems like you are all alone, that God is always with us.  He tells us in His word that He will never leave us nor forsake us.  When there are times you feel alone, talk to Him.  Sometimes I feel odd doing that, but then I go on the faith that has been built up in me through the many answered prayers and the many times that He has revealed Himself to me in so many ways, and I know that when I pray, He hears me. 

 

This song has encouraged me greatly tonight.  I hope it encourages and blesses you.  Love and blessings, Michele

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Better times are ahead

This picture has nothing to do with this post.  I just liked it.  I really wish the color would have come out better.  The water literally had more a greenish blue hue to it, and was extremely beautiful.

Matthew 6:27-34 "Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?   And why do you worry about clothes?  See how the lillies of the field grow.  They do not labor or spin.  Yet I tell you that not even Soloman in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.  If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will He not much more clothe you?  O you of little faith.  So do not worry saying, "What shall we eat?  or "What shall we drink? or "What shall we wear?  For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.  But seek first the Kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.  Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.  Each day has enough troubles of its own."

Is this not the best passage of scripture you have ever read?  I know there are lots of them, but the part that jumps out at me today is the first sentence and the last sentence.  Then in Phillipians 4:6 "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."

I'm a worrier.  I come from a long line of worriers.  I learned from the best.  :-)  I want to be delivered of worry this year once and for all.  For real.  I fret, I worry, and everything that goes along with it.  I hate that about myself.  I know it contributes to this illness.  One thing my mom told me recently that has helped is when something does happen that hurts me, angers me, frustrates me, etc., is to say inside "I don't care."  It's not that I don't care for real, but saying it helps me to not continue to worry on the issue. 

I also had expectations when I got married, and blending a family.  Blending a family is messy.  I mean, if you think about things you put into an actual real blender, and you hit the "ON" button — it gets messy in there.  I don't know of an easy way to blend a family.  I've heard of the term its like a crock pot.  It just takes time for everything to cook and meld together.  It also takes a lot of prayer.

I've also been dealing with a chronic illness, but finally got a diagnosis on Friday from my rheumatologist — he said that with 90% certainty that he believes that it is Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.  The reason he is not 100% sure is due to my response to prednisone.  So onward and forward to what is next.  So, reading these Words of God have given me comfort through this particular trial.  I don't know what is next, but I do know that God will never leave me nor forsake me.   

I'm learning a lot about myself through this process of blending a family and this illness, and things that need to be weeded out of my heart so that I can have more of Jesus and less of me.  John 3:30 says "He must become greater; I must become less."   This simply is not easy, and some times the pain in my heart is so great. 

I also love the entirety of Psalms 91 (hoping Holly you will read it), but the part that really resonates with me is verses 14 – 16 "Because he loves me," says the Lord, "I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.  He will call upon me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him.  With long life will I satisfy him and show him my salvation."  To me, that is comforting.

You know, reading the written Word of God brings so much strength to my body.  Just reading and writing this out today has helped me tremendously.  My comfort lies in Him, and in Him alone I trust.  Romans 8:28 "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purposes."  Rom 8:37 "No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us."  So good. 

Thank you Lord for your Son Jesus.  Thank you Lord for your grace.  Thank you Lord for your forgiveness of our sins.  Thank you Lord for salvation.   

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Perry Noble

A couple of years back I used to subscribe regularly to Perry Noble's blog — pastor of a church in Anderson, SC called NewSpring.  After a while of reading it, I had a check in my heart and decided to quit subscribing to his blog.  I wasn't sure what it was, and couldn't quite put my finger on it and looking back now I believe it was Lord.

I came across a forum on www.crosswalk.com about Perry Noble yesterday, and since I was home and not feeling well, I read it.  What I read, and found out further really disturbed me so I wanted to tell other believers out there just to be careful because there are lots of other good teachers out there. 

http://apprising.org/2009/12/08/perry-noble-says-youre-a-jackass/  here is a link to his video where he calls members of his congregations "jacka**'s" because they say that want to go deeper.  He goes on to say, "deep" "why don't we check your tithing record to see how deep you are."  What??  What about the single mom who is scraping by, and can't tithe all the time but gives as much as she can?  What about the unemployed family?  Or the homeless person?  Or are "those" people not welcome because they won't be able to fill the coffers so as to be considered deep.  Yah, that's someone I want my kid listening too.  Geez. 

Now, I wasn't nearly as disconcerted by that statement, as I was about his calling members of his congregation "jacka**" because these are people merely expressing an opinion.  I'm unsure as to why that was called for.  Or did he do it from the pulpit so that others would realize that they would not be allowed to speak up for fear of being bullied or ridiculed from the pulpit.  That is a great way to control your congregation – by fear and manipulation.  Hmmm.  Don't remember reading about that in the Word of God.  I could be wrong though, I mean, I don't know the entire Word by heart.  Maybe someone can enlighten me. 

This next video really bothered me also.  It's okay of what his opinion is about these things, but to publicly scold his congregation.  Again, another scare tactic to possibly keep his congregation in line, through fear and manipulation.  I personally get it, that a pastor has a life, wife, children that they can't have the time to spend with each member of the congregation – I really totally get that and am okay with that.  If my pastor said something like this from the pulpit, I would be a little disturbed personally and possibly offended.  It's one thing to be offended by the Word of God because Jesus said that offenses would come — because of HIS word.  Not the word of some pastor who is upset because someone wants to have dinner with him.  Come on.

 

And the final thing that I saw was his response to yet another critic.  Listen, we were warned that not all men would like or love us, and some would hate us.  I mean, the disciples were persecuted, some crucified, some beheaded, etc.  Good grief, he has some people persecuting him with words.  I know its easy for me to say because I'm not the one getting the criticisms thrown at me, but if it is a God thing it will grow, if not, it will be revealed.  Matt. 5:43-48 jumped off the page at me in response to the criticisms he is receiving and how he SHOULD respond. 

Responding with harsh words and joking of acting with violence are not ways to respond.  The "kill the snorer" video, bothered me — I realize again it was his attempt to joke, but it wasn't funny.  Asking God to kill this snorer.  Good grief and wow!  If he is like this from the pulpit, I'd hate to see what he's like behind closed doors, with his staff, or anyone who might disagree with him. 

 

 

 

 

In response to a critic named Dr. James Duncan at www.pajampages.com , Pastor Perry Noble's response to the harassment and stalking that this critic received from staff members of his church, here is his video response titled "Don't Fight the Bloggers".

 

In this video response from the pulpit to his church, his lead in to explain to his congregation as to why a staff members was fired due to harassment of Dr. Duncan (although not referred to by name), he begins with bragging about asking God for permission to throw over the table of a young woman at a local restaurant who dared to talk about entertainment in church within earshot of Noble.  Again, his atempt to joke by using violence, still not funny – not even if you smile while you're saying it.  Joking about violence against a woman and then smile about it — THAT'S not funny.  It gives the impression that violence is okay, which would explain why a staff member may have taken the route he did.  We may never know. 

These are the few things that I've found in just one day of searching, and the more I hear and read, the more disturbed I have become.  I personally have decided to not listen to him, read his blogs, or anything that comes from his church after reading (even things not from his critics). 

You can decide yourself, and you can disagree with me.  That is okay, and we can still be friends afterwards.  That's one thing I've realized is that just because you disagree, or argue about an issue doesn't mean you can't leave friends afterwards.  Anyways, I'd love to hear your thoughts on this topic.  Even another side if you've got it after doing your own research, and not just based upon "feelings."  These feelings are based upon what I believe is the Lord guiding me, and based upon Perry Noble's actions in the videos and his words.  

Now having said that, I'm sure his church does a lot of great things, and pastors aren't perfect, but they should not perpetuate violence of any kind, and I believe that Dr. Duncan, at the very least, should have gotten a public apology from Mr. Noble and even some monetary compensation for everything he went through.  He lost an adoption due to this staff members antics.  If you read about what happened to Dr. Duncan, you will be shocked. 

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Hypocrite

 

The definition of a hypocrite is:  "1 : a person who puts on a false appearance of virtue or religion; 2 : a person who acts in contradiction to his or her stated beliefs or feelings." 

I often feel as though I am a hypocrite at times.  Actually, I think we all have been, are, or will be at one point or another in our life, Christian or not.  That's human.  What I am realizing more and more is that Christian does not equal perfect.  A lot of people associate with Christians certain tendencies, and when a person who professes to be a Christian does something out of perfection automatically they are sometimes called a hypocrite.  I know, I used to call Christians (before becoming one) hypocrites.  I have even called myself one since becoming a Christian.   

However, since coming back to Christ in September 2004, I have realized that Jesus will forever be perfecting me until He comes again or I die.  In Romans 12:2 it says "Do not conform any longer to the pattern  of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.  Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is — His good, pleasing and perfect will." 

Often when I read in Galatians 5:22 about the fruits of the Spirit, which are:  love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, kindness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control, and then I read  the acts of the sinful nature in verses 19-21:  sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery, idolatry and witchcraft, hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy, drunkeness, orgies and the like — I realize that I still have a long ways to go.  The part of Gal 5:19-21 that puts a healthy fear in me, however, is the part that says "I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God."

You see, the thing is, we all sin, we all fall short of the glory of God – Christian or not.  The difference is that being a Christian I have a Savior — Who is Jesus Christ because I have done as Roman 10:9-10 says — and that is to confess with my mouth that Jesus is Lord and I believe that God raised Him from the dead, and if I do this, the Bible says that I will be saved.  Now that is good news to me!

Even better news is that once I became a Christian and found myself struggling with sin or sinning, I read in 1 John 1:8-10 that "If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.  If we confess our sins, He (Jesus Christ) is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.  If we claim we have not sinned, we make Him out to be a liar and His word has no place in our lives."  Now that is good news too!

It's funny how we often associate sin as being those things that are obvious — such as getting drunk or having sex outside of marriage, and so when we see another Christian doing this we point our finger at them as we gossip to our friend about it.  Hint here, gossip is a sin.  Oh, we may tell ourselves, we're confiding in another friend about the other friend so that we can "pray" for them, or "help" them.  We preface by saying "I don't mean to gossip, but …"   I like it how we justify it in our minds how gossip is okay, but that these other sins are not. 

And no, we should not purposefully go out and do something we know we should not do, I'm not saying that at all.  However, me personally, I struggle with envy at times.  I was envious today in fact.  I can have a moment of jealousy — I did today, but if you will notice, jealous and envy are both listed right along with those other sins we deem as worse than what we think we are doing. 

Good grief.  Here's the thing, before you go and call someone else a hypocrite, or call yourself one, just realize we all do things that we shouldn't do.  Just when the Lord points it out to you, stop doing it.  What I realized when I was doing Celebrate Recovery (which is not just for alcohol and drugs by the way) is that when the Lord pointed out something I was doing that was wrong, I would ask for His help, ask for forgiveness, and them almost immediately do it again.  BUT, what I found out though is that the times in between when I would sin and the next time would get farther and farther apart until it was almost non-existent because as soon as I would do it, I would repent and start over.  That's how good our God is!  That is grace, BUT that grace should not be abused because again it takes me back to the scripture that "those who partake in these things (the sinful things) will not share in the Kingdom of God."  This instills in me a healthy fear to do my absolute best each and every day.  Some days just are harder than others. 

I don't know if this is just for me, or for anyone else, but it has helped me to write it down and read it.  It's been rolling around in my mind for some time.  If you read it, thanks for listening to me ramble.  Happy New Year.

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