Where is the Church Located

In light of what I have been reading about the destruction of “church Buildings” today’s lesson is brought to you from Psalms 11:1-7 “In the Lord I put my trust: how say you to my soul, Flee as a bird to your mountain? For,lo, the wicked bend their bow, they make read their arrow upon the string, that they may privily shoot at the upright in heart. If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do? The Lord is in his holy temple, the Lord’s throne is in heaven: his eyes behold, his eyelids try, the children of men. The Lord trieth the righteous: but the wicked and him that loveth violence his soul hateth. Upon the wicked he shall rain snare, fire and brimestone, and an horrible tempest: this shall be the portio of their cup. For the righteous Lord leth righteousness; his countenance doth behold the upright.”
Men today as in the past may come through and destroy buildings with the status of “church” attached to them. They may burn them down, tear them apart or whatever they feel is necessary to destory someone’s faith. However, a faithful person understands that God does not dwell in a building. He dwells in the hearts of the faithful. This is just another trick of the devil who is walking to and fro seeking those whom he may devour. He is seeking those he might claim as his own. He doesn’t go after those he already owns, he goes after those who are faithful to God. We as a nation are playing right into the hands of the Devil. We have abandoned our post as the faithful and the Devil has walked in – They can destroy every church building around, tear down every “religous” icon- but for those of us who are faithful, they can never tear down the in dwelling of God. Bottom line it matters not what “color” Christ was as a human. What matters is he was sent to earth, from his father to die for our sins. He paid the ultimate price for us. He did it willingly- when we as people understand that, the building, the icon and whatever else man has placed in place does not matter. A Building is not necessary in order to worship God. While having a building is nice for the fellowship and the coming together, it is not necessary. What is necessary is the indwelling of God, the coming together of each other whether it is in a home or a parking lot. God has a plan –

If You are Not Happy Where You Are, You will Never Be Happy Where You Go

 

 

 

 

During my travels on this earth, I have come across so many people who are not happy. They are not happy in their relationships, their solitude, their jobs, their faith, their whatever. No matter what happens in their lives, they are not happy. In fact, they are happiest when they are unhappy.

Being happy is not a state of mind, it is a state of being. It is an internal thing, it comes from the soul, the heart, and the mind. It is not something that can be purchased or given away. It is not something we can own or sell.

I have heard people say things like, “If I could just…” you fill in the blank, I could be happy. That is a lie. I have heard folks say, “If people would just do….” You fill in the blanks, I could be happy. That is also a lie.

No matter where you go, or what you do if you are not happy where you are, then you will never be happy where you go. The reason is simple, you have to carry yourself with you. You can never get away from the “you” that you are unhappy with. You cannot put the “you” in a closet somewhere when you move to a new place and expect to be happy. You have to make up your mind that no matter what life throws at you, no matter who disagrees with you and no matter your station in life, that you are happy. Paul stated that in all things he had learned to be content. In other words, he knew that he had baggage, her knew he would be beaten, jailed, shipwrecked, and left for dead. But he also knew it was up to him to be happy and contented. He knew that no one could make him happy and he knew that if he were not happy where he was – he would never be happy anywhere he went.

So, before someone decides that a change of scenery, a new place of worship, a new home, a new car, again fill in the blank, remember this, you carry you everywhere you go. If you are not happy where you are you will never be happy wherever you go.

Spiritual Starvation

As I sit in my house, in isolation due to something that I didn’t create didn’t make happen I wonder why there is a sadness. Yesterday, Sunday it hit me. I am not the only one who feels this. The reason for this sadness, the emptiness, the lacking is Spiritual Starvation. Which is worse than being physically starving.
When we physically are starving it takes roughly 30 days for the body to start shutting down, for the organs to refuse to work because they have no fuel. For most of us it has been a bit longer for the Spiritual starvation to begins it work of spiritual destruction. For me it has been seven weeks since we met as a body. Think about that seven weeks without the Spiritual uplifting, edification and love that we as a body require. Seven weeks since we all came together as family.
While some will say, “Well, there are online services, watch them.” I agree there are online services and I do watch them, but it is not the same thing. It is not being together. It is like having a broken limb, the rest of the body does not function properly. We are told to meet with each other for a reason. One of the reasons is that we are a body collectively. That body cannot function unless the body is together. Pretty soon, the different parts of the body will strike out on its own. We all know how well that works out. It doesn’t.
I am sad, that we as a Spiritual family have forgotten how important being with one another is. How much strength is gained by being in the presence of each other. I think about the disciples and how strong they were when Jesus was around. And when he left, there was a piece missing from the body.
Will we ever meet again as a body? Who knows? If we do what will we have lost never to be regained? How many will have fallen into the crevice of life never to return? How many will be unwilling to meet again? These are all valid questions in the environment we find ourselves. How many will continue to live in the fear of “the disease” because we have become conditioned to become an island? How many will become comfortable sitting at home and watching streaming sermons, because they still live in fear?
I cannot answer these questions. Each of you will have to search your hearts. Each of you will have to understand if you are spiritually starved for the company of each other for uplifting, edification and strength. I know what my answers are. And I know that I am very sad. I miss my spiritual family. I miss my sisters; I miss the love we show each other every time we meet. I miss the rest of my body.

Repairing the Leaks

As usual I find things that inspire me to write. I read something that really resonated with me. It was the story of a man who was hired to paint a boat. While painting the boat he found a small hole. Quietly he fixed the hole and went about his job of painting. He did not tell the customer he had repaired the hole; he just received the amount he was given for the paint job. The next day the customer came to the man with a bigger check. The man said that he did not ask for that much for painting the boat. However, the customer told him that his children had taken the boat out to fish while he was not at home. When he returned and saw the boat gone, he became worried because the children did not know the boat had a hole in it. When he saw the children returning to shore safely, he looked for the leak and found it had been repaired. The customer told the man that he did not have enough money to repay him for fixing the leak. He told the man that because he had fixed the leak his children were safe.
How many times do we quietly fix the leak in the boat of life of others? How many times are we willing to patch their hurts, their doubts, their flaws without payment?
When we fix others leaks, we receive blessings beyond measure, we may even save a life. Even when we are at our lowest, reach out and fix someone else’s leak, it will make you feel better and it might even save your life.

What will You do After?

As all of you know I go places that most people don’t. I told them at Bible Study when we were asked what was our purpose, that I was their conscience. There was an audible and collective gasp in the room and then total silence for about five seconds. Now those of you who have ever had to give a speech or have been interviewed know that second can and do seem like minutes. So with that being said, here goes today’s food for thought. America was built on Christian values. The very core of our existence is on Christian Values. Sure there have been many who have tried to squash those values because they either didn’t understand, didn’t want to understand or refused to understand there is a greater Creator. We were not just zapped into being. Madeline O’Hare comes to mind. For those of you too young to remember go look her up. There are others, but I will let that dog lie for the moment. On every side, Christians since the beginning of the Lord’s Church have been persecuted, maligned, put down and even at times killed. ( See the Middle East). And yet when tragedy strikes people come out in droves with their hidden faith. Take 9/11. Now, we are in yet another event. That being so different, that churches have chosen to not assembly (well with the exception of a few). in order to keep their faithful safe. I respect that, I understand it.But, I have an observation. It is this, throughout the Bible, God’s people have been tested. As they were tested their faith grew stronger, Remember the furnace of fire, the Lion’s Den just to name a few. We are now in that arena. We are being tested. It is so easy to say we have faith when the ship is sitting on a calm sea. It is to easy to say that we trust in our Creator when the sun is shinning and the sea is like glass. It is so easy to say we have faith when the Captain is steering the sea and not sleeping. However….. When there are storms and the ship is broken apart and we are set adrift each to his own devices, my question is this how much faith do we have? Do we really believe that our Captain will carry us to safety and if we do, once on that dry shore do we continue to have a strong faith or do we say, “Thanks” and move on in our life without putting our ship back together in order to go out and fish again. Attending worship is like that ship that is now broken apart. We no longer go to a place to worship, we watch it on live Facebook. How comfortable will we be when the doors are opened again? Will we make the effort to get dressed to get in our cars and make that drive to meet with those of like minds? Or will we say, I can watch it here, I will go next week. See where I am going with this. See how soon we forget that we have strength in numbers. That we need that physical closeness with each other in order to grow. I have thought about this often, thought about how much I miss gathering with like minds. How much I starve for that. I cannot wait to be with them. To sing with them, to read scripture with them to study with them. We are like sheep that have been scattered. Separately we are vulnerable to the wolves. I guess what I am asking is that each of you examine yourself and ask yourself, what will I do when the doors are once again opened. Yes, it is just a building, but it is a place where we come together in strength. #faith, #God,#prayer, #strengthinnumbers

There is a Time

1 There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens:
2 a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot,
3 a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build,
4 a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance,
5 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
6 a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away,
7 a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak,
8 a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace.
9 What do workers gain from their toil?
10 I have seen the burden God has laid on the human race.
11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.
12 I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live.
13 That each of them may eat and drink and find satisfaction in all their toil—this is the gift of God.
For those of you who do not know this is the third chapter of Ecclesiates 3:1-13
This chapter says it all – There is a time for everything a season for every activity under the heavens. That includes being born, dying, planting and uprooting. A time to kill, to heal to tear down and to build. A time to weep a time to laugh – to mourn and to dance, and the list goes on.
This chapter has so much meaning if one just stops and thinks about it.
With the toxic environment we are now living in, the chapter more than ever rings true. Fear will kill a person much quicker than any disease; it causes the blood pressure to rise, the heart to beat out of control, the lungs to run in overdrive and the mind to explode with “What if’s”.
We as humans are our own worst enemy. We panic when we listen to the Media and Politicians, because we believe that what they say is gospel, and yet we refuse to believe what we are told in the Bible. The only non-lying source around. We put our faith in the human condition instead of the Almighty God in heaven.
We foolishly believe that man is in control and we refuse to believe that God is all knowing. We rely on our own devices instead of putting our faith to work when we are tested. We are great at talking the talk and slack at walking the walk. We allow fear and the unknown to dictate our lives instead of our faith in God. We talk about God’s will and how he answers prayers, then turn around and panic when we are hit with trials from the Devil. We spout how great our faith is and then put it on a shelf when the Devil gives us more than we think we can handle.
At a time in life when we as God’s children should be banding together, praying, singing and standing strong, we are hiding behind the doors of our fear. Yes, God gave us common sense, but he also told us to have faith – even when it is tested. Job lost everything, but never once did he lose his faith. Ester was asked to Approach the King on behalf of her people, that meant death if he did not acknowledge her, never once did she lose her faith. Joseph was sold by his brothers, yet never once did he lose his faith. Abraham was told to sacrifice his son and when his sone asked where the sacrifice was, Abraham said God will provide. Never once did he lose his faith.
We are at a crossroad in our faith. Do we allow this panic to shake our faith, or do we stand strong and allow God to show his power? Do we believe the hype, or do we turn to the one who has all the answers?
I can only answer for myself; it is up to each of you to answer for yourself in your heart. Do you just talk the talk, or do you have the courage to walk the walk? I can only answer for myself; you have to answer for yourself.
I have the faith in God that he has the long-range plan, that he knows all and that nothing is going to happen or not happen that is not in that plan. That includes a time to be born, a time to die. I challenge each of you to examine your lives to think about these things and to ask yourself the hard questions. Is your faith something you put on like a coat on Sunday or is it something you wear every day? If the answer is a Sunday thing – you might want to re-evaluate your life.

The Butterfly Does Not Look Back

Today this came across my newsfeed, “The Butterfly does not look back at the caterpillar in shame, just as you should not back at your past in shame. Your past was part of your transformation.”
In our daily lives we find we spend way too much time revisiting the past. We feel we have to drag it around like a ball and chain and hold on to it like a bad participating trophy. We use it to beat ourselves up with when we fall on our faces. We make it define who we are instead of who we became and where we are going. Unlike the butterfly who once is released from the cocoon flies away and never looks back. It never thinks about who it was before it was transformed into a butterfly.
Nature gives us so many examples of how to let go of the past and to move on with what we have today. Nature never looks back; it just moves forward. It never thinks about what happened five minutes ago. It doesn’t dwell on those things which it cannot change. It is not defined by its past, even though it has defining moments. Without the transformation from caterpillar to butterfly there would be no future. It would still be just a caterpillar following the same path it started on. The beauty would be lost, the freedom to fly would not happen.
Dare to be a butterfly. Dare to step out and up. Dare to leave the past where it belongs. Dare to fly.