THE LORD’S BASEBALL GAME

Freddy and the Lord stood by to observe a baseball game. The Lord’s team was playing Satan’s team.

The Lord’s team was at bat, the score was tied zero to zero, and it was the bottom of the 9th inning with two outs. They continued to watch as a batter stepped up to the plate named ‘Love.’

‘Love’ swung at the first pitch and hit a single, because ‘Love never fails.’

The next batter was named ‘Faith,’ who also got a single because Faith works
with Love.

The next batter up was named ‘Godly Wisdom.’ Satan wound up and threw
the first pitch.

Godly Wisdom looked it over and let it pass: Ball one. Three more pitches and Godly Wisdom walked because he never swings at what Satan throws.

The bases were now loaded. The Lord then turned to Freddy and told him He was now going to bring in His starplayer. Up to the plate stepped ‘Grace.’
Freddy said, ‘He sure doesn’t look like much!’

Satan’s whole team relaxed when they saw Grace.
Thinking he had won the game, Satan wound up and fired his first pitch.
To the shock of everyone, Grace hit the ball harder than anyone had ever seen!
But Satan was not worried; his center fielder let very few get by.

He went up for the ball, but it went right through his glove, hit him on the head and
sent him crashing on the ground; the roaring crowds went wild as the ball
continued over the fence . . . for a home run!

The Lord’s team won!

The Lord then asked Freddy if he knew why Love, Faith and Godly Wisdom
could get on base but couldn’t win the game. Freddy answered that
he didn’t know why.

The Lord explained, ‘If your love, faith and wisdom had won the game, you would think you had done it by yourself. Love, Faith and Wisdom will get you on base but only My Grace can get you Home!

want to go camping with God?

As I prepare physically to go camping with the guys tonight, I stop to ask the question: Do you think God ever goes camping?

Maybe you think this is an odd question. Since God owns everything on earth, and is everywhere all the time, then “camping” may not be an appropriate word to describe what God may or may not do….

So why do I bring up the topic? Psalm 15 asks:

1 Lord, who can live in your sacred tent?

The Scripture clearly states “tent” (in the translation shown).

With this is mind, it reminds me of camping. However, many translations use the word “sanctuary” which I believe may be more appropriate in context to describe a place where one can feel closer to God. Yet, I do feel much closer to nature and closer to God while camping, and experiencing His great creation.

But what is the answer to the question? Who can dwell with the Lord in His greatness? The Scripture continues with a second question, and the answer to both:

      Who can stay on your holy hill?

 2 Anyone who lives without blame
      and does what is right.
   He speaks the truth from his heart.
    3 He doesn’t tell lies about others.
   He doesn’t do wrong to his neighbors.
      He doesn’t say anything bad about them.
 4 He hates sinful people.
      He honors those who have respect for the Lord.
   He keeps his promises
      even when it hurts.  – Psalm 15:1-4

Now you have “the rest of the story.” I hope each of you enjoy the pleasure of camping in God’s wilderness as much as I do. I look forward to enjoying God’s creation tonight with the youth! And I expect to see and feel God with us; He’ll be camping with us tonight.

rescued?

Everybody seems to undergo stress in their life. For some, it’s a daily event. For others, it seems to come and go. The same seems true for “persecution.” For some, it’s constant; for others, it comes and goes. Why?

According to a  google search, “Persecution is the systematic mistreatment of an individual or group by another group. The most common forms are religious persecution….” Persecution involves the act of pursuing another “in a manner to injure, grieve, or afflict; to beset with cruelty or malignity; to harass; especially, to afflict, harass, punish, or put to death for adherence to a particular religious creed or mode of worship; To harass with importunity; to pursue with persistent solicitations; to annoy.”

All those who want to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted. – 2 Timothy 3:12

When I read this Scripture, initially I am upset, and depressed. Here we are, mere humans, trying to follow Christ, and God tells us we WILL be persecuted! Well that doesn’t sound fair? After all, we are the ones who are TRYING to live godly lives. Why should we be punished “harassed,” systematically mistreated, or “punished?”

Well, I believe the reason is to help strengthen our faith. For we know that we WILL overcome them. We have been persecuted in the past and have made it through. God reminds us through Timothy that we will endure:

What persecutions I endured! Yet the Lord rescued me from them all – 2 Timothy 3:11

What you may not have noticed in these passages is the order of the Scriptures. I have listed them purposely in reverse order. The correct order flows from the bottom Scripture to the top Scripture listed. Why did I do this?

Simply, I wanted to remind everyone that it is important not to remove Scripture from its context. Many times, especially this week, I was reminded by others about “Bible truths.” However, when I was told the “truth,” I was only told a misrepresentation about the truth.

For example, you may have heard the old adage “money is the root of all evil.” This is in FACT written word for word in the Bible, as is “There is no God.” HOWEVER…the first Scripture actually reads “THE LOVE OF MONEY is the root of all evil – 1 Timothy 6:10” and the second scripture actually reads “The fool says in his heart, ‘There is no God.’ – Psalm 14:1”

So when you are living your daily life and somebody attempts to harass or persecute you through the use of Biblical Scriptures, don’t fall for trickery and deception. When someone presents you with a supposed Bible “truth,” investigate it fully, pray about it, and allow God to rescue you from doubts and questions. He will strengthen you through the harassment if you allow Him to do so.


The Choices We Make

A blog by Kimberly Wolfe:

God is moving in our church. Last night’s youth service was filled with the Holy Spirit. Those who missed it, missed out on a very meaningful, heart-touching time with God; and I just wanted to share with you what the experience meant to me! Most of you know that last night wasn’t the first time God moved within the youth service; it was just the first time that I have been present when it happened. The only times I have felt The Holy Spirit in the past two plus years was when we went to “The Blaze” or to Pigeon Forge. In fact, several days ago, I was complaining to James that it seemed as though God was leaving me out, that I was being “left behind.” Every time I couldn’t be at church, (whatever the reason), would be the time James would come home and say, “You missed an awesome service! Everyone was talking about how The Spirit spoke to them tonight!” Those were bittersweet moments for me because I was happy for everyone else having that wonderful experience, but at the same time was jealous because they “got it” and I didn’t!
HOWEVER, no matter what my reason was for not going to church on those other nights, whether it was because Wesley was sick, because I wasn’t feeling well, or because I needed time alone at home to get something done – I WAS THE ONE WHO MADE THE CHOICE NOT TO GO TO CHURCH. God was NOT leaving me behind. I was leaving HIM.
My reasons for not attending on those nights were just excuses, some justifiable and others not so much. My point isn’t that we should never miss church NO MATTER WHAT, (although we should do our best to ALWAYS attend church.) My point is, DON’T BLAME GOD WHEN YOU ARE LEFT BEHIND! You see, I realized this morning that I was blaming God for “moving” and not allowing me to come along. I was envious of everyone who was “allowed” to go with Him. But this was Satan’s way of thinking – Satan was putting these thoughts into my head and telling me that God didn’t love me as much as he use to. Satan was using the time I missed church to his advantage. He knew I was tired and weak spiritually, hadn’t taken the time each day to re-fill my spiritual tank, and didn’t allow it to be filled at church because I didn’t go! Satan was watching me and waiting to strike just like a snake in the grass! He struck me. He bit. He made me fall.
But, by the Grace of God, I fell to my knees! See, Satan forgets that each time he knocks me down a little, I come back fighting hard! My heart, mind, spirit, and soul has and forever will belong to God. Satan may break my flesh at times, but God is always there to pick me up and heal me.
The Holy Spirit is moving people in our world today! God has never stopped using people to do His work. People have stopped ALLOWING God to use them!
We take God for granted! Even as Christians, maybe more so because we are Christians, we take God for granted. Just like we tend to take for granted our parents, grandparents, or siblings, we take for granted that no matter what we do, God will still love us. Yes, He will still love us, but the more sin we allow to separate us from God, the less He can BE WITH us and the less He can use us to help others. God and sin cannot co-exist within us. We chose one or the other every moment of every day. Every decision we make in our lives – yes, I emphasized EVERY – whether they are conscious or unconscious decisions, we chose God or we choose sin. There is no in between.
Did I choose sin just because I couldn’t go to church one night? Not deliberately; however, because I chose to “take a night off” and didn’t spend time with God during those times away from church, I opened up the opportunity for Satan to attack. Satan didn’t “make me do it.” I CHOSE not to go to church, not to spend time reading my bible, not to spend time in prayer, and to push God aside for the things I WANTED to do at that moment. I ALLOWED Satan in.
I’m writing this down for myself, just as much as I am for you all, as a reminder to make God Choices. This has been a learning experience for me and I hope if you are also having these feelings you have learned that God loves you – He didn’t leave you behind – He didn’t leave you out.
CHOOSE GOD! He’s waiting for you!

being “good” to get to Heaven

Many people claim they are going to Heaven because they have lived “good” lives. Others say they haven’t broken any moral or legal laws and that will get them to Heaven. However, the Bible tells us in Galatians that:

We know that a man is not justified by observing the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ. So we, too, have put our faith in Christ Jesus that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by observing the law, because by observing the law no one will be justified. – Galatians 2:16

Some people say they don’t read the Bible, because it’s too confusing or hard to read. Well, the verse above is very clear when it comes to being justified and being made right with God. Whether someone claims they are going to Heaven or not, the answer lies in Jesus Christ. If you know Jesus as your personal Savior, you get a ticket to enter Heaven. If you live a “good” life, but don’t have Jesus, sorry – you “Do Not Enter” Heaven.

Other people say that Christians are too “strict.” People say we have too many rules and laws that we abide by. However, that’s simply not true. We follow the 10 Commandments, and we have Jesus as our Savior. All other “rules” are simply guided by these simple principles. The first and foremost of these, as Jesus taught was to “Love the Lord your God” which helps to reinforce the fact that we must allow Jesus to take control of our lives in everything we do. When we do this, it simply helps us to want to follow His other teachings.


Victory!

The hidden secret that’s not so hidden:

But let me reveal to you a wonderful secret. We will not all die, but we will all be transformed! It will happen in a moment, in the blink of an eye, when the last trumpet is blown. For when the trumpet sounds, those who have died will be raised to live forever. And we who are living will also be transformed. For our dying bodies must be transformed into bodies that will never die; our mortal bodies must be transformed into immortal bodies.

Then, when our dying bodies have been transformed into bodies that will never die, this Scripture will be fulfilled:

“Death is swallowed up in victory.
O death, where is your victory?
O death, where is your sting?”

For sin is the sting that results in death, and the law gives sin its power. But thank God! He gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ.

1 Corinthians 51-57

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Why should we pray?

Jesus did and we should follow His example.
John 11:41-42 Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead was laid. And Jesus lifted up his eyes, and said, Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me.And I knew that thou hearest me always: but because of the people which stand by I said it, that they may believe that thou hast sent me.

To confess our sins.
Luke 11:4 And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us…

So we will be blessed.
Job 42:10 And the LORD turned the captivity of Job, when he prayed for his friends: also the LORD gave Job twice as much as he had before.
Matthew 7:7-12 Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asks receives; and he that seeks finds; and to him that knocks it shall be opened.

To praise God.
Matthew 6:9 Therefore pray like this: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.

To ask for help.
John 14:13-14 And whatsoever you shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.

There is power in prayer.
John 15:7 If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, you shall ask what you will, and it shall be done unto you.
Matthew 26:41 Watch and pray, that you enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.

Pray to please God.
Proverbs 15:8 The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the LORD: but the prayer of the upright is his delight.

Jesus told us to pray.
Luke 18:1 And he spoke a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint;


When?

When to pray…

Psalm 55:17
Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud: and [God] shall hear my voice.

Luke 6:12
And it came to pass in those days, that he [Jesus] went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God.

Luke 21:36
Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.

1 Thessalonians 5:17
Pray without ceasing.

Acts 6:4
But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word.

Romans 12:12
Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer;

Philippians 4:6
Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.


Who and What to pray for

Yesterday on the “National Day of Prayer,”  I blogged about How to Pray. Today, I’d like to cite Scripture showing Who and What to Pray for:

Who to Pray for:

  • Matthew 5:44
    But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;
  • Matthew 19:13
    Then were there brought unto him little children, that he should put his hands on them, and pray: and the disciples rebuked them.
  • Luke 6:28
    Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you.

What to Pray for:

  • 2 Samuel 24:17
    And David spake unto the LORD when he saw the angel that smote the people, and said, Lo, I have sinned, and I have done wickedly: but these sheep, what have they done? let thine hand, I pray thee, be against me, and against my father’s house.
  • 2 Chronicles 7:14
    If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.
  • Matthew 9:38
    Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest.
  • Matthew 26:41
    Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.
  • 2 Corinthians 13:7
    Now I pray to God that ye do no evil; not that we should appear approved, but that ye should do that which is honest, though we be as reprobates.
  • James 1:5-6
    If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.


How to Pray

On this National Day of Prayer, I thought it only appropriate to write on…

How to Pray
1 Kings 8:54 And it was so, that when Solomon had made an end of praying all this prayer and supplication unto the LORD, he arose from before the altar of the LORD, from kneeling on his knees with his hands spread up to heaven.
Daniel 9:3 And I set my face unto the Lord God, to seek by prayer and supplications, with fasting, and sackcloth, and ashes:
Matthew 6:7-13 And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. ‘This, then, is how you should pray:

            “Our Father who art in heaven,
            hallowed be thy name,
            Thy kingdom come,
            Thy will be done
            on earth as it is in heaven.
            Give us today our daily bread.
            Forgive us our debts,
            as we also have forgiven our debtors.
            And lead us not into temptation,
            but deliver us from the evil one.”

1 Timothy 2:8 I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting.
1 John 5:14-15 And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us:
And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.