Saturday, November 24, 2007

2 Corinthians 2 Today

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God Bless You Today, Lena B

2 Corinthians 2
1So I said to myself, "No, I won't do it. I won't make them unhappy with another painful visit." 2For if I cause you pain and make you sad, who is going to make me glad? 3That is why I wrote as I did in my last letter, so that when I do come, I will not be made sad by the very ones who ought to give me the greatest joy. Surely you know that my happiness depends on your happiness. 4How painful it was to write that letter! Heartbroken, I cried over it. I didn't want to hurt you, but I wanted you to know how very much I love you.
Forgiveness for the Sinner
5I am not overstating it when I say that the man who caused all the trouble hurt your entire church more than he hurt me. 6He was punished enough when most of you were united in your judgment against him. 7Now it is time to forgive him and comfort him. Otherwise he may become so discouraged that he won't be able to recover. 8Now show him that you still love him.
9I wrote to you as I did to find out how far you would go in obeying me. 10When you forgive this man, I forgive him, too. And when I forgive him (for whatever is to be forgiven), I do so with Christ's authority for your benefit, 11so that Satan will not outsmart us. For we are very familiar with his evil schemes.
Ministers of the New Covenant
12Well, when I came to the city of Troas to preach the Good News of Christ, the Lord gave me tremendous opportunities. 13But I couldn't rest because my dear brother Titus hadn't yet arrived with a report from you. So I said good-bye and went on to Macedonia to find him.
14But thanks be to God, who made us his captives and leads us along in Christ's triumphal procession. Now wherever we go he uses us to tell others about the Lord and to spread the Good News like a sweet perfume. 15Our lives are a fragrance presented by Christ to God. But this fragrance is perceived differently by those being saved and by those perishing. 16To those who are perishing we are a fearful smell of death and doom. But to those who are being saved we are a life-giving perfume. And who is adequate for such a task as this? 17You see, we are not like those hucksters—and there are many of them—who preach just to make money. We preach God's message with sincerity and with Christ's authority. And we know that the God who sent us is watching us.

Lena’s Journalin Today
What of our lives exudes the fragrance of Christ?
That we read His word, even daily?
That we recite scripture passages?
That we attend church and Bible Study services faithfully?
Is it any of these acts which could so easily become religious to us?
No, it is life formation, visible life formation, changes that others can see and eat of in our lives that exudes that heavenly fragrance of Christ on the earth.
All of the above noted religious activity is great inside of life formation.
If going to church faithfully leads us to the life formation, it is encouraged and necessary, but if it is there with no visible change, it smells really bad to God and to others.
One without the other is very wrong and leads to a trail of perverseness.
This church had the challenge of forgiveness, that would be their life formation.
I wonder what ours is today.
I wonder if we’ve been so religious in activity that we cannot even see it, or we’ve deceived ourselves to think we’re just fine as we are, and are finished being transformed? Ya know, “Been there done that, Got the T-Shirt?”
One of the greatest witnesses to both the Saved and the Unsaved is change, a life that changes, not just one time boom, change, but all the time change.
God Bless you this life transforming day.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Ephesians 5 Today

Scripture selections are taken from the Rock Church Daily Bread Reading schedule for each month. “Lena’s Journalin’” are Lena’s comments on the specific passages from her Daily Journal.

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Living in the Light
1Follow God's example in everything you do, because you are his dear children. 2Live a life filled with love for others, following the example of Christ, who loved you and gave himself as a sacrifice to take away your sins. And God was pleased, because that sacrifice was like sweet perfume to him.
3Let there be no sexual immorality, impurity, or greed among you. Such sins have no place among God's people. 4Obscene stories, foolish talk, and coarse jokes—these are not for you. Instead, let there be thankfulness to God. 5You can be sure that no immoral, impure, or greedy person will inherit the Kingdom of Christ and of God. For a greedy person is really an idolater who worships the things of this world. 6Don't be fooled by those who try to excuse these sins, for the terrible anger of God comes upon all those who disobey him. 7Don't participate in the things these people do. 8For though your hearts were once full of darkness, now you are full of light from the Lord, and your behavior should show it! 9For this light within you produces only what is good and right and true.
10Try to find out what is pleasing to the Lord. 11Take no part in the worthless deeds of evil and darkness; instead, rebuke and expose them. 12It is shameful even to talk about the things that ungodly people do in secret. 13But when the light shines on them, it becomes clear how evil these things are. 14And where your light shines, it will expose their evil deeds. This is why it is said,
"Awake, O sleeper,
rise up from the dead,
and Christ will give you light."
Living by the Spirit's Power
15So be careful how you live, not as fools but as those who are wise. 16Make the most of every opportunity for doing good in these evil days. 17Don't act thoughtlessly, but try to understand what the Lord wants you to do. 18Don't be drunk with wine, because that will ruin your life. Instead, let the Holy Spirit fill and control you. 19Then you will sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs among yourselves, making music to the Lord in your hearts. 20And you will always give thanks for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Spirit-Guided Relationships: Wives and Husbands
21And further, you will submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. 22You wives will submit to your husbands as you do to the Lord. 23For a husband is the head of his wife as Christ is the head of his body, the church; he gave his life to be her Savior. 24As the church submits to Christ, so you wives must submit to your husbands in everything.
25And you husbands must love your wives with the same love Christ showed the church. He gave up his life for her 26to make her holy and clean, washed by baptism and God's word. F10 27He did this to present her to himself as a glorious church without a spot or wrinkle or any other blemish. Instead, she will be holy and without fault. 28In the same way, husbands ought to love their wives as they love their own bodies. For a man is actually loving himself when he loves his wife. 29No one hates his own body but lovingly cares for it, just as Christ cares for his body, which is the church. 30And we are his body.
31As the Scriptures say, "A man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one." F11 32This is a great mystery, but it is an illustration of the way Christ and the church are one. 33So again I say, each man must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.
F10: Greek having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word.
F11: Gen 2:24.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Psalm 26

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God Bless You Today, Lena B

Psalm 26

A psalm of David.
1 Declare me innocent, O LORD, for I have acted with integrity; I have trusted in the LORD without wavering.
2 Put me on trial, LORD, and cross-examine me. Test my motives and affections.
3 For I am constantly aware of your unfailing love, and I have lived according to your truth.
4 I do not spend time with liars or go along with hypocrites.
5 I hate the gatherings of those who do evil, and I refuse to join in with the wicked.
6 I wash my hands to declare my innocence. I come to your altar, O LORD,
7 singing a song of thanksgiving and telling of all your miracles.
8 I love your sanctuary, LORD, the place where your glory shines.
9 Don't let me suffer the fate of sinners. Don't condemn me along with murderers.
10 Their hands are dirty with wicked schemes, and they constantly take bribes.
11 But I am not like that; I do what is right. So in your mercy, save me.
12 I have taken a stand, and I will publicly praise the LORD.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Matthew 15 Today

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God Bless You Today, Lena B

Matthew 15
Jesus Teaches about Inner Purity
1Some Pharisees and teachers of religious law now arrived from Jerusalem to interview Jesus. 2"Why do your disciples disobey our age-old traditions?" they demanded. "They ignore our tradition of ceremonial hand washing before they eat."
3Jesus replied, "And why do you, by your traditions, violate the direct commandments of God? 4For instance, God says, 'Honor your father and mother,' and 'Anyone who speaks evil of father or mother must be put to death.' F78 5But you say, 'You don't need to honor your parents by caring for their needs if you give the money to God instead.' 6And so, by your own tradition, you nullify the direct commandment of God. 7You hypocrites! Isaiah was prophesying about you when he said,
8 'These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far away.
9 Their worship is a farce, for they replace God's commands with their own man-made teachings.' F79 "
10Then Jesus called to the crowds and said, "Listen to what I say and try to understand. 11You are not defiled by what you eat; you are defiled by what you say and do. F80 "
12Then the disciples came to him and asked, "Do you realize you offended the Pharisees by what you just said?"
13Jesus replied, "Every plant not planted by my heavenly Father will be rooted up, 14so ignore them. They are blind guides leading the blind, and if one blind person guides another, they will both fall into a ditch."
15Then Peter asked Jesus, "Explain what you meant when you said people aren't defiled by what they eat."
16"Don't you understand?" Jesus asked him. 17"Anything you eat passes through the stomach and then goes out of the body. 18But evil words come from an evil heart and defile the person who says them. 19For from the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, all other sexual immorality, theft, lying, and slander. 20These are what defile you. Eating with unwashed hands could never defile you and make you unacceptable to God!"
The Faith of a Gentile Woman
21Jesus then left Galilee and went north to the region of Tyre and Sidon. 22A Gentile F81 woman who lived there came to him, pleading, "Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David! For my daughter has a demon in her, and it is severely tormenting her."
23But Jesus gave her no reply—not even a word. Then his disciples urged him to send her away. "Tell her to leave," they said. "She is bothering us with all her begging."
24Then he said to the woman, "I was sent only to help the people of Israel—God's lost sheep—not the Gentiles."
25But she came and worshiped him and pleaded again, "Lord, help me!"
26"It isn't right to take food from the children and throw it to the dogs," he said.
27"Yes, Lord," she replied, "but even dogs are permitted to eat crumbs that fall beneath their master's table."
28"Woman," Jesus said to her, "your faith is great. Your request is granted." And her daughter was instantly healed.
Jesus Heals Many People
29Jesus returned to the Sea of Galilee and climbed a hill and sat down. 30A vast crowd brought him the lame, blind, crippled, mute, and many others with physical difficulties, and they laid them before Jesus. And he healed them all. 31The crowd was amazed! Those who hadn't been able to speak were talking, the crippled were made well, the lame were walking around, and those who had been blind could see again! And they praised the God of Israel.
Jesus Feeds Four Thousand
32Then Jesus called his disciples to him and said, "I feel sorry for these people. They have been here with me for three days, and they have nothing left to eat. I don't want to send them away hungry, or they will faint along the road."
33The disciples replied, "And where would we get enough food out here in the wilderness for all of them to eat?"
34Jesus asked, "How many loaves of bread do you have?" They replied, "Seven, and a few small fish." 35So Jesus told all the people to sit down on the ground. 36Then he took the seven loaves and the fish, thanked God for them, broke them into pieces, and gave them to the disciples, who distributed the food to the crowd.
37They all ate until they were full, and when the scraps were picked up, there were seven large baskets of food left over! 38There were four thousand men who were fed that day, in addition to all the women and children. 39Then Jesus sent the people home, and he got into a boat and crossed over to the region of Magadan.
F78: Exod 20:12; 21:17; Lev 20:9; Deut 5:16.
F79: Isa 29:13.
F80: Or what comes out of the mouth defiles a person.
F81: Greek Canaanite.

Lena Journals Today
Religion is so perverted in nature.
It is man’s idea of how he can partially live out acceptably what God has said, it’s an attempt by man to be good, though not go all the way.
Love obeys God.
It does not make up its own set of rules to live by them in the name of God.
Remember how Jesus said, God is the only one who is good? Why’d He say that?
That is the only “goodness” to compare one’s self to.
If we don’t measure up to it yet, we can change and through faith’s intent desire be changed by the power of His Spirit’ power available to us. Or else we can also seek Him more towards that change till it happens.
Man’s own set of goodness rules are so stinky to God’s nose.
The Bible says it is like a dirty menstrual rag!
Religion is that putrid to God.
One practical example - speaking evil of our parents, while we smile, say amen, and care what how we are specifically eating and become picky about specifically what we eat. WOW!
In comparison to loving people being #1, who cares what we eat, and how it is washed? God made food to be eaten, and yes, washed before doing so, and mainly to be received and prayed over, and received with thanksgiving. His important order and design is for people to be loved and nurtured.
Ex # 2 - To give money to church (I’m speaking of offerings, and am not referring to the tithe, which is that which already belongs to God) and then to not care for our parents financially, is poo poo.
What are we Doing with God’s word?
Loving God by loving people?
Or hating people, being impatient w/ people, acting as if people get in our way, so we can do the work of God?
The religious, Israel, even the organized church of today, would not love in a godly manner, so He offered their promises, their blessing for living an obedient love filled life, to others!
I don’t know how far off from that we as individuals place ourselves?
Time to wake up!
How much faith do we have?
I mean, if Jesus spit in our faces and said get away from Me for I cannot stand how you misunderstand things and are acting religiously, what would we do, how would we feel, what would we believe?
The Gentile woman pressed in when he called her a dog!
We could say she was the church within the organized church.
We could say she was not religious, but relational.
After Jesus saw her faith he was moved with a bit of compassion, healing a multitude of diseased – Israelites.
I wonder why everyone was in such bad shape???
I wonder if these healed of the Lord were the same crowd who stayed to hear Him and that became hungry. I wonder if their families were the religious ones who would rather be seen giving at church than to feed or care for them.
I wonder if they were a part of church who felt unloved and uncared for by religious people?
Jesus told the disciples (also Israelites), (YOU) feed THEM!
We are now to Go and do likewise Today!

Friday, November 16, 2007

John 6 Today

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God Bless You Today, Lena B

John 6
Jesus Feeds Five Thousand
1After this, Jesus crossed over the Sea of Galilee, also known as the Sea of Tiberias. 2And a huge crowd kept following him wherever he went, because they saw his miracles as he healed the sick. 3Then Jesus went up into the hills and sat down with his disciples around him. 4(It was nearly time for the annual Passover celebration.) 5Jesus soon saw a great crowd of people climbing the hill, looking for him. Turning to Philip, he asked, "Philip, where can we buy bread to feed all these people?" 6He was testing Philip, for he already knew what he was going to do.
7Philip replied, "It would take a small fortune F26 to feed them!"
8Then Andrew, Simon Peter's brother, spoke up. 9"There's a young boy here with five barley loaves and two fish. But what good is that with this huge crowd?"
10"Tell everyone to sit down," Jesus ordered. So all of them—the men alone numbered five thousand—sat down on the grassy slopes. 11Then Jesus took the loaves, gave thanks to God, and passed them out to the people. Afterward he did the same with the fish. And they all ate until they were full. 12"Now gather the leftovers," Jesus told his disciples, "so that nothing is wasted." 13There were only five barley loaves to start with, but twelve baskets were filled with the pieces of bread the people did not eat!
14When the people saw this miraculous sign, they exclaimed, "Surely, he is the Prophet F27 we have been expecting!" 15Jesus saw that they were ready to take him by force and make him king, so he went higher into the hills alone.
Jesus Walks on Water
16That evening his disciples went down to the shore to wait for him. 17But as darkness fell and Jesus still hadn't come back, they got into the boat and headed out across the lake toward Capernaum. 18Soon a gale swept down upon them as they rowed, and the sea grew very rough. 19They were three or four miles F28 out when suddenly they saw Jesus walking on the water toward the boat. They were terrified, 20but he called out to them, "I am here! Don't be afraid." 21Then they were eager to let him in, and immediately the boat arrived at their destination!
Jesus, the Bread of Life
22The next morning, back across the lake, crowds began gathering on the shore, waiting to see Jesus. For they knew that he and his disciples had come over together and that the disciples had gone off in their boat, leaving him behind. 23Several boats from Tiberias landed near the place where the Lord had blessed the bread and the people had eaten. 24When the crowd saw that Jesus wasn't there, nor his disciples, they got into the boats and went across to Capernaum to look for him. 25When they arrived and found him, they asked, "Teacher, how did you get here?"
26Jesus replied, "The truth is, you want to be with me because I fed you, not because you saw the miraculous sign. 27But you shouldn't be so concerned about perishable things like food. Spend your energy seeking the eternal life that I, the Son of Man, can give you. For God the Father has sent me for that very purpose."
28They replied, "What does God want us to do?"
29Jesus told them, "This is what God wants you to do: Believe in the one he has sent."
30They replied, "You must show us a miraculous sign if you want us to believe in you. What will you do for us? 31After all, our ancestors ate manna while they journeyed through the wilderness! As the Scriptures say, 'Moses gave them bread from heaven to eat.' F29 "
32Jesus said, "I assure you, Moses didn't give them bread from heaven. My Father did. And now he offers you the true bread from heaven. 33The true bread of God is the one who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world."
34"Sir," they said, "give us that bread every day of our lives."
35Jesus replied, "I am the bread of life. No one who comes to me will ever be hungry again. Those who believe in me will never thirst. 36But you haven't believed in me even though you have seen me. 37However, those the Father has given me will come to me, and I will never reject them. 38For I have come down from heaven to do the will of God who sent me, not to do what I want. 39And this is the will of God, that I should not lose even one of all those he has given me, but that I should raise them to eternal life at the last day. 40For it is my Father's will that all who see his Son and believe in him should have eternal life—that I should raise them at the last day."
41Then the people F30 began to murmur in disagreement because he had said, "I am the bread from heaven." 42They said, "This is Jesus, the son of Joseph. We know his father and mother. How can he say, 'I came down from heaven'?"
43But Jesus replied, "Don't complain about what I said. 44For people can't come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them to me, and at the last day I will raise them from the dead. 45As it is written in the Scriptures, 'They will all be taught by God.' F31 Everyone who hears and learns from the Father comes to me. 46(Not that anyone has ever seen the Father; only I, who was sent from God, have seen him.)
47"I assure you, anyone who believes in me already has eternal life. 48Yes, I am the bread of life! 49Your ancestors ate manna in the wilderness, but they all died. 50However, the bread from heaven gives eternal life to everyone who eats it. 51I am the living bread that came down out of heaven. Anyone who eats this bread will live forever; this bread is my flesh, offered so the world may live."
52Then the people began arguing with each other about what he meant. "How can this man give us his flesh to eat?" they asked.
53So Jesus said again, "I assure you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you cannot have eternal life within you. 54But those who eat my flesh and drink my blood have eternal life, and I will raise them at the last day. 55For my flesh is the true food, and my blood is the true drink. 56All who eat my flesh and drink my blood remain in me, and I in them. 57I live by the power of the living Father who sent me; in the same way, those who partake of me will live because of me. 58I am the true bread from heaven. Anyone who eats this bread will live forever and not die as your ancestors did, even though they ate the manna."
59He said these things while he was teaching in the synagogue in Capernaum.
Many Disciples Desert Jesus
60Even his disciples said, "This is very hard to understand. How can anyone accept it?"
61Jesus knew within himself that his disciples were complaining, so he said to them, "Does this offend you? 62Then what will you think if you see me, the Son of Man, return to heaven again? 63It is the Spirit who gives eternal life. Human effort accomplishes nothing. And the very words I have spoken to you are spirit and life. 64But some of you don't believe me." (For Jesus knew from the beginning who didn't believe, and he knew who would betray him.) 65Then he said, "That is what I meant when I said that people can't come to me unless the Father brings them to me."
66At this point many of his disciples turned away and deserted him. 67Then Jesus turned to the Twelve and asked, "Are you going to leave, too?"
68Simon Peter replied, "Lord, to whom would we go? You alone have the words that give eternal life. 69We believe them, and we know you are the Holy One of God."
70Then Jesus said, "I chose the twelve of you, but one is a devil." 71He was speaking of Judas, son of Simon Iscariot, one of the Twelve, who would betray him.
F26: Greek 200 denarii. A denarius was the equivalent of a full day's wage.
F27: See Deut 18:15, 18.
F28: Greek 25 or 30 stadia [4.6 or 5.5 kilometers].
F29: Exod 16:4; Ps 78:24.
F30: Greek Jewish people; also in 6:52.
F31: Isa 54:13.

Lena Journals Today-
Does God ever ask you questions?
Why would He do that?
Believe me, it is not because He needs to know anything from us, as though we could know more than He does, right?
The reason is always for Him to get out of us what we are thinking, so we can hear where we are at in our faith walk.
Remember He asked Adam, “Where are you?” Why would He ask Adam that, for God knows everything, right? Right!
He wanted Adam to come out expose his self in sin so he could be forgiven and walk w/ God again, even though there was consequence, there’d be restoration in acknowledgement.
Phillip could acknowledge he was not al that full of faith where provisions are concerned, he was initially moved more by mathematical calculations than by seeing what he couldn’t see. Seeing himself as he was could help him also see a new way to pursue faith.
God can do in moments what fortunes can never do!
If a fortune fed this multitude then man would want to take the glory, just like if we work and earn and buy what we want would give us credit (glory).
But see, God wants the credits! Let’s increase our faith in the areas of provision and glorify God with our lives and needs.
Jesus is walking on water for us and with us in our boats and storms!
Is it our natural human needs for physical things that leads us, and keeps us flowing Christ?
Good question to ask of self, huh?
Does the bread He gives us lead us to give life to others?
Do we even eat Him as daily bread?
Do we appreciate His words enough to eat it daily?
How do we spend our energy?
This is so serious. So serious. I just don’t have words for how serious it is!
The disciples after hearing him tell them how to spend their energies, said- “What does God want us to do?”
Are we asking that, or letting God ask us questions instead?
No really, really. Oh man I cannot express how serious this is……
If we believe we act. If we do not believe we do not act.
If we’re not acting, then we’re not believing.
If that is hard to look at, we need to take a good hard look.
What is the kingdom of God for?
Is it just for us to die and be good with God?
What about living now, good with God for what we are Doing, or not Doing?
His body as bread is now offered to us that we may now live, eternally.
WHAT is the BREAD?
To DO the will of God, how God wants it done.
Our Doings cannot make the kingdom come or the will be done, but the doings in and through faith as one with Him now, can bring the will of the kingdom.
In other words, we cannot earn what has already been paid for, but we can respond and participate, because we believe it was done for us and with us in mind.
AND we SHOULD be responding to that, or else with no response there is NO living faith!
Faith numb, with no response is religious activity alone.
If we eat of Him we cannot remain as we are. There’s NO way. It’s impossible.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Psalm 92 Today

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God Bless You Today, Lena B

Psalm 92
A psalm to be sung on the LORD's Day. A song.
1 It is good to give thanks to the LORD, to sing praises to the Most High.
2 It is good to proclaim your unfailing love in the morning, your faithfulness in the evening,
3 accompanied by the harp and lute and the harmony of the lyre.
4 You thrill me, LORD, with all you have done for me! I sing for joy because of what you have done.
5 O LORD, what great miracles you do! And how deep are your thoughts.
6 Only an ignorant person would not know this! Only a fool would not understand it.
7 Although the wicked flourish like weeds, and evildoers blossom with success, there is only eternal destruction ahead of them.
8 But you are exalted in the heavens. You, O LORD, continue forever.
9 Your enemies, LORD, will surely perish; all evildoers will be scattered.
10 But you have made me as strong as a wild bull. How refreshed I am by your power!
11 With my own eyes I have seen the downfall of my enemies; with my own ears I have heard the defeat of my wicked opponents.
12 But the godly will flourish like palm trees and grow strong like the cedars of Lebanon.
13 For they are transplanted into the LORD's own house. They flourish in the courts of our God.
14 Even in old age they will still produce fruit; they will remain vital and green.
15 They will declare, "The LORD is just! He is my rock! There is nothing but goodness in him!"

Lena Journals
This is ALL about the temporary verses the eternal. The natural verses the supernatural. Seeing and living in the spirit, compared to seeing only and living now in the flesh.
Do you know, and have you ever considered that you are not a human who is, as a Christian might be, having some spiritual experiences?
You do know that to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord, right? That after death in the earth suit, our spirit man which was already alive while we lived on earth in our earth suit bodies, goes on to “be with the Lord”?
You’ve heard of people in near death experiences say, I saw my body lying there…., right?
Let me offer you this God breathed perspective. We ARE spirit beings, having a very short in terms of eternity, earth and human experience!
That spirit that leaves the body in physical death IS alive now, meaning eternal or spiritual now. It may be eternally dead to life with God outside of Christ’s Lordship, but it can become made alive eternally or spiritually by being found in the Lordship of Christ!
So, David writes….BUT no mater what seems to be happening here, in my humanness, You are still Lord, and if I acknowledge You as such, I can exalt You anyway, no matter what it appears like, because I see beyond the blink life I now live as a mortal with a human body!
The way I live now, effects my eternity then, and what I do now and who I trust, has everything to do with my eternal set up, other than that this earth life is far too short and way too fleeting. All of that is concerning the me.
Where leading others to eternal life is concerned, the days are WAYYYY too short to help others know all of this and live as though every moment counts here for there.
I know, that now seems hard, but the hardness will ultimately pass away as my physical body will also, when that time comes. My enemies, the ones who tried to take my faith, will vanish in their power against my faith.
They weren’t so much out for my body, but through my body and my perspective, they were definitely out for my spirit using the avenues of my soul.
If I can see all of that as temporarily happening for the taking and capturing of my soul and my faith, it really becomes mere hogwash to me.
Flourish like a palm tree? What about the reports that were just given to me, bad ones?
Who are you, I ask? And to whom do you belong?
What is your life here for?
In that you may succumb or overcome?
The choice to see spiritually is ours
To believe eternally is ours, to live as spirits that are alive, is ours.
Everyone needs purpose to live.
Purpose is:
To know Him and make Him known.
That’s about it.
That’s enough. More than enough to live breathe and overcome.

Monday, November 12, 2007

1 Timothy 4 Today

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God Bless You Today, Lena B

1 Tim 4
Warnings against False Teachers
1Now the Holy Spirit tells us clearly that in the last times some will turn away from what we believe; they will follow lying spirits and teachings that come from demons. 2These teachers are hypocrites and liars. They pretend to be religious, but their consciences are dead. F11
3They will say it is wrong to be married and wrong to eat certain foods. But God created those foods to be eaten with thanksgiving by people who know and believe the truth. 4Since everything God created is good, we should not reject any of it. We may receive it gladly, with thankful hearts. 5For we know it is made holy by the word of God and prayer.
A Good Servant of Christ Jesus
6If you explain this to the brothers and sisters, F12 you will be doing your duty as a worthy servant of Christ Jesus, one who is fed by the message of faith and the true teaching you have followed. 7Do not waste time arguing over godless ideas and old wives' tales. Spend your time and energy in training yourself for spiritual fitness. 8Physical exercise has some value, but spiritual exercise is much more important, for it promises a reward in both this life and the next. 9This is true, and everyone should accept it. 10We work hard and suffer much F13 in order that people will believe the truth, for our hope is in the living God, who is the Savior of all people, and particularly of those who believe.
11Teach these things and insist that everyone learn them. 12Don't let anyone think less of you because you are young. Be an example to all believers in what you teach, in the way you live, in your love, your faith, and your purity. 13Until I get there, focus on reading the Scriptures to the church, encouraging the believers, and teaching them.
14Do not neglect the spiritual gift you received through the prophecies spoken to you when the elders of the church laid their hands on you. 15Give your complete attention to these matters. Throw yourself into your tasks so that everyone will see your progress. 16Keep a close watch on yourself and on your teaching. Stay true to what is right, and God will save you and those who hear you.
F11: Greek are seared.
F12: Greek brothers.
F13: Some manuscripts read and strive.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Jonah 3 Today

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God Bless You Today, Lena B

Jonah 3Jonah Goes to Nineveh
1Then the LORD spoke to Jonah a second time: 2"Get up and go to the great city of Nineveh, and deliver the message of judgment I have given you."
3This time Jonah obeyed the LORD's command and went to Nineveh, a city so large that it took three days to see it all. 4On the day Jonah entered the city, he shouted to the crowds: "Forty days from now Nineveh will be destroyed!" 5The people of Nineveh believed God's message, and from the greatest to the least, they decided to go without food and wear sackcloth to show their sorrow.
6When the king of Nineveh heard what Jonah was saying, he stepped down from his throne and took off his royal robes. He dressed himself in sackcloth and sat on a heap of ashes. 7Then the king and his nobles sent this decree throughout the city: "No one, not even the animals, may eat or drink anything at all. 8Everyone is required to wear sackcloth and pray earnestly to God. Everyone must turn from their evil ways and stop all their violence. 9Who can tell? Perhaps even yet God will have pity on us and hold back his fierce anger from destroying us."
10When God saw that they had put a stop to their evil ways, he had mercy on them and didn't carry out the destruction he had threatened.

Lena Journals Today
…from yesterday’s exhortation….
Is the place we find ourselves allowed to be in, the place that by God’s great grace, is it leading us to repent, to head towards change, and to about face towards purpose and the active fulfillment of such?
If our recognition of being in the wrong place in life or of knowing we’re not where we should be, has not yet moved us, have we really truly repented?
Jonah was in a smelly whale’s belly, and was vomited up on the beach!
Did he go get back on a boat again and head in another direction?
What did he do?
What do we do?
Today, now, what will we do with what we hear right here or “know” right now?
Do we have to find it out by our own experiences or can we learn for a story given to us by our Father, such as the one of Jonah?
If any of us go to church, we’ve heard enough word, if we engage it, do it, and become it, we know enough to save a world!
Jonah went from that place of extreme grace, to save his appointed community.
What is your appointed community?
Do you know you do not need to go fast and pray to find out?
We are where we are because God set us up where we are.
Our families
Our jobs
Our churches
Our neighborhoods
Our cities, etc, all have lost people in them that need to see the living, obedient, love of God, working in and through us.
They need to watch people such as us go through growth processes and turn from sin ourselves, repent, obey, and willfully change!
Right here, right now, right where we are, today!
Do not look so far off, start right where you find you are.
You are called to “bloom where you are planted”.
Acts 17 expresses this boundary marking well
24 "He is the God who made the world and everything in it. Since he is Lord of heaven and earth, he doesn't live in man-made temples, 25 and human hands can't serve his needs – for he has no needs. He himself gives life and breath to everything, and he satisfies every need there is. 26 From one man he created all the nations throughout the whole earth. He decided beforehand which should rise and fall, and he determined their boundaries. 27 "His purpose in all of this was that the nations should seek after God and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him – though he is not far from any one of us.

Jonah means dove, a dove is a messenger, it also represents the in filling or anointing and empowerment of God’s spirit on human beings, it speaks of being set apart for a purpose, the root is wine of fruit of the vineyard. The product that comes of and from grapes grown and brought to full maturity.

This IS who we are
Not left to our own strength
But anointed
With the call and empowerment of the Most High God
Set apart for his purposes on earth
To save
In the process of being saved ourselves

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Jonah 2 Today

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God Bless You Today, Lena B

Jonah 2Jonah's Prayer
1Then Jonah prayed to the LORD his God from inside the fish. 2He said, "I cried out to the LORD in my great trouble, and he answered me. I called to you from the world of the dead, F1 and LORD, you heard me! 3You threw me into the ocean depths, and I sank down to the heart of the sea. I was buried beneath your wild and stormy waves. 4Then I said, 'O LORD, you have driven me from your presence. How will I ever again see your holy Temple?'
5"I sank beneath the waves, and death was very near. The waters closed in around me, and seaweed wrapped itself around my head. 6I sank down to the very roots of the mountains. I was locked out of life and imprisoned in the land of the dead. But you, O LORD my God, have snatched me from the yawning jaws of death!
7"When I had lost all hope, I turned my thoughts once more to the LORD. And my earnest prayer went out to you in your holy Temple. 8Those who worship false gods turn their backs on all God's mercies. 9But I will offer sacrifices to you with songs of praise, and I will fulfill all my vows. For my salvation comes from the LORD alone."
10Then the LORD ordered the fish to spit up Jonah on the beach, and it did.

Lena Journals ~
Does God ever throw us into the deep “ocean”?
Would He do that?
No, really, would He?
Thank about it.
Why does God allow anything specific to happen to or with us?
Why would He “do” that?
& Purpose
Are a few words that come to me.
How can that be?
Grace would be, I’m not dead yet and maybe what I’ve experienced will actually shake me up enough to turn me towards Him and save me and lead me towards my destined purpose, that I actually still have time to fulfill.
Just maybe. (the maybe depends upon me and what I decide)
That’s grace.
Love, is, when I go ahead and turn away from the very ways He’s allotted me to walk in, He does not actually forsake me forever. As long as I’m alive here still, in decision making capability, I can turn back towards His ways. I cry out in pain, self inflicted agony, inside of the consequences of my own decisive choices and He is faithful to answer. He’s been waiting to hear His name roll off of my tongue. He loves me, desires me, looks for me, to come home!
When I feel SO far from home, He is just one turn away.
He graciously shows me how far away I have been and He sweeps me off my feet anyway!
My guilt is gone in a 180 pivoting.
He restores my very soul.
He even orders circumstances to cough me up.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Jonah 1 Today

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God Bless You Today, Lena B

Jonah 1
Jonah Runs from the LORD
1The LORD gave this message to Jonah son of Amittai: 2"Get up and go to the great city of Nineveh! Announce my judgment against it because I have seen how wicked its people are."
3But Jonah got up and went in the opposite direction in order to get away from the LORD. He went down to the seacoast, to the port of Joppa, where he found a ship leaving for Tarshish. He bought a ticket and went on board, hoping that by going away to the west he could escape from the LORD.
4But as the ship was sailing along, suddenly the LORD flung a powerful wind over the sea, causing a violent storm that threatened to send them to the bottom. 5Fearing for their lives, the desperate sailors shouted to their gods for help and threw the cargo overboard to lighten the ship. And all this time Jonah was sound asleep down in the hold. 6So the captain went down after him. "How can you sleep at a time like this?" he shouted. "Get up and pray to your god! Maybe he will have mercy on us and spare our lives."
7Then the crew cast lots to see which of them had offended the gods and caused the terrible storm. When they did this, Jonah lost the toss. 8"What have you done to bring this awful storm down on us?" they demanded. "Who are you? What is your line of work? What country are you from? What is your nationality?"
9And Jonah answered, "I am a Hebrew, and I worship the LORD, the God of heaven, who made the sea and the land." 10Then he told them that he was running away from the LORD. The sailors were terrified when they heard this. "Oh, why did you do it?" they groaned. 11And since the storm was getting worse all the time, they asked him, "What should we do to you to stop this storm?"
12"Throw me into the sea," Jonah said, "and it will become calm again. For I know that this terrible storm is all my fault."
13Instead, the sailors tried even harder to row the boat ashore. But the stormy sea was too violent for them, and they couldn't make it. 14Then they cried out to the LORD, Jonah's God. "O LORD," they pleaded, "don't make us die for this man's sin. And don't hold us responsible for his death, because it isn't our fault. O LORD, you have sent this storm upon him for your own good reasons."
15Then the sailors picked Jonah up and threw him into the raging sea, and the storm stopped at once! 16The sailors were awestruck by the LORD's great power, and they offered him a sacrifice and vowed to serve him.
17Now the LORD had arranged for a great fish to swallow Jonah. And Jonah was inside the fish for three days and three nights.

Lena Journals -
I have personally heard simple words from the Lord, usually from the mouth of my pastors or spiritual leaders, maybe even form my husband or mom or, a friend, and turned away from the word I’d heard.
I did that by regarding the words as mere words of men, or regarding it as optional advise that I can take or leave.
Ya know God’s word is so that way? We can either take it or leave it. It is truly up to us.
What we do when we hear God’s word preached, taught, or explained to us is totally up to us.
God made us to have free wills, we can do what we want with what we hear.
A whole community or township may be awaiting our obedience, but we can make our own choices and do what we want, when we want it, the way we want to, and guess what? God usually lets us!
Now we may find our lives in a mess, a mess we’ll later on cry out to the very Lord we rejected the word of, and ask His help to be rescued, and He quite possibly will rescue us, because He is faithful.
His word says, I cried out to the Lord and He heard me and delivered me form all MY (self inflicted) troubles….
The earth is full of people who say they love God, and who are doing what Jonah did.
We should come to the place where we will not allow ourselves the liberties to read these Biblical stories as though we are not the very characters inside of the stories.
I mean I see I have walked in the very opposite direction from words of God. I want to try it my own way, until I get a bad experience that stops me and makes me reevaluate where I am at.
Just as every good parent feels, God does not want u to go from experience to rescue and experience to rescue again, in order to learn a few things from life. He gave us the experiences of others and wrote them in an amazing book for us to gain a heart of wisdom through our obedience and He gave us His grace to avoid the actual experiences.
This story also makes me think of how our personal choices, to avoid God, has an effect on the lives of others. Just as Jonah thought he was hiding and took a boat ride to rest, but caused others to risk their lives when they did not even ask to be a part of the deal, so it is with our families, churches and communities when we walk away from what God is saying to us (personally).
A great work always starts in a community with one obedient faithful person.
The community Jonah hid in said, don’t make us die for this man’s sin!
Wow, huh?
Do we really believe our own sins could affect people that way?
Then they said, we also don’t want to be made to be responsible for this man’s death (punishment).
Do we think others could be held responsible as we are, for our personal disobedience?
There is a scripture that says, you can be assured that your sins will find you out. It seems that finding out about sin is really grace to save us and our families, churches, and communities!
Wow, huh?
So the LORD arranged for a big fish to swallow Jonah…, that again is grace.
Have a grace-filled day!

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Psalm 50 Today

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God Bless You Today, Lena B

Psalm 50
A psalm of Asaph.
1 The mighty God, the LORD, has spoken; he has summoned all humanity from east to west!
2 From Mount Zion, the perfection of beauty, God shines in glorious radiance.
3 Our God approaches with the noise of thunder. Fire devours everything in his way, and a great storm rages around him.
4 Heaven and earth will be his witnesses as he judges his people:
5 "Bring my faithful people to me— those who made a covenant with me by giving sacrifices."
6 Then let the heavens proclaim his justice, for God himself will be the judge.
7 "O my people, listen as I speak. Here are my charges against you, O Israel: I am God, your God!
8 I have no complaint about your sacrifices or the burnt offerings you constantly bring to my altar.
9 But I want no more bulls from your barns; I want no more goats from your pens.
10 For all the animals of the forest are mine, and I own the cattle on a thousand hills.
11 Every bird of the mountains and all the animals of the field belong to me.
12 If I were hungry, I would not mention it to you, for all the world is mine and everything in it.
13 I don't need the bulls you sacrifice; I don't need the blood of goats.
14 What I want instead is your true thanks to God; I want you to fulfill your vows to the Most High.
15 Trust me in your times of trouble, and I will rescue you, and you will give me glory."
16 But God says to the wicked: "Recite my laws no longer, and don't pretend that you obey me.
17 For you refuse my discipline and treat my laws like trash.
18 When you see a thief, you help him, and you spend your time with adulterers.
19 Your mouths are filled with wickedness, and your tongues are full of lies.
20 You sit around and slander a brother— your own mother's son.
21 While you did all this, I remained silent, and you thought I didn't care. But now I will rebuke you, listing all my charges against you.
22 Repent, all of you who ignore me, or I will tear you apart, and no one will help you.
23 But giving thanks is a sacrifice that truly honors me. If you keep to my path, I will reveal to you the salvation of God."

Lena Journals Today
The summonsing of all humanity is that call with in us that we each hear form God’s spirit, to come to God as we are, and to stand before Him as He is, to face Him in all our mistakenness and be with Him in all of His gloriousness.
It is, to willingly see ourselves and compare ourselves to Him, knowing and realizing our great need to become as He is. Yes initially it is to see our lack without Him and to have a lifelong desire to live in His sight as He is.
If we’ve walked with Him at all, in any capacity, we know this is impossible without His help, without His power, yet possible to those who are willing to walk in His ways.
The obedience’s to His ways, the acknowledgment of our own ways and the repentance to make that about-face and turn towards His desired and pre planned will is what brings forth and releases the miraculous power of God within us to heal us. This is what will fill us and make us who we are designed to be in Him.
Willing obedience is the only way into His glory, both on earth and in heaven.
He says something here like: I love when you go to church and read your Bible and Pray, but I do not want you to do that because you have to, and if you find out, in willingly standing before me and presenting yourself in comparison to Me, if you find that, that is your reasoning, that you do honestly feel you have to, then cry out to Me to change your desire and by faith exercise godly discipline to change the will of your heart towards Me. I’d almost rather you don’t do the duties, if you have no plans to change your will to do them.
If you somehow were lied to and thought the duties are all you need, then I really want you to know that the duties are useless, they are not what I’m looking for. I’m looking for a heart that does what it does, because of its great love and utter appreciation of Me.
Yes, I’d love for you to regularly be in church services, regularly lifting your hands and voice in praise in the midst of a congregation that does the same. Yes, I’d love for you to make Bible Study with teachers of the Word a priority in life. I’d love for you to show Me, and live this out as a witness to your family, (especially your children) and then also the world, that My Stuff, the stuff I seem to you to require or desire, is the best stuff for you, the stuff you chose to do first and foremost.
I love it when you choose Me and time with Me and My body, the fellowship of My people, above the millions of other choices you have to make each day.
I love when you come to Me first for solutions to problems, and that you press in to My answers rather than just popping quick fixes for situations. I want you to trust Me, really wholeheartedly Trust Me, but know, that doing any of that without a want to, is sad for me, very sad.
Biggest barrier to the want to’s…….an unthankful heart.