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A RUSH TO RE-FUEL?

Published September 2, 2017 by birdieklh
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image provided by Mark Lugo, San Antonio

In San Antonio we rely upon gasoline resources coming up from the Huston area, however with Houston being underwater from Hurricane Harvey there is a bit of a panic among most residents here. I’m telling you, I personally have not seen such a rush on gas stations since the 1970’s!  As I was out and about in the last few days I was in shock at the cars practically on top of one another, some coming in at all types of strange angles vying to get to the pumps before another person. Really? There is NOT a shortage, just a delay. What are people thinking?!

There are literally fights breaking out, from what I’ve heard, it is a total mess. Stores are still wiped out of regular supplies, which is not necessary whatsoever . . . in other areas, perhaps, but not ours.

What DOES break my heart, however, as I observe all of this ‘rushing to / panicking after’ fuel is this:

(and here begins the waterworks of my own soul, my eyes are filling once more as they have since the first observance of this phenomenon)

THIS FUEL IS SO QUICKLY USED UP!

IT DOES NOT LAST!!!   IT IS ONLY TEMPORARY!!!

We, as believers in Jesus Christ have an everlasting fuel . . . an Oil in our lamps that never burns up or vaporizes away into oblivion . . . we have Water from the Well that NEVER runs dry . . .  we soak up, we breath in, we read, we meditate upon, we

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Photo provided from Jay MacFarland, San Antonio

bask in, we ‘refuel’ (if you will) all the time . . . we invite others. They TOO can partake for themselves.  Seems as though they are not interested . . . but here they are today . . . FLOCKING and FIGHTING over a seemingly (concocted / stretched / imagined) shortage or crisis of possibly running low on fuel for their vehicles which will only get them going for another few days or perhaps a week . . . I am simply heartbroken.

What about the very thing that will help get them through their WHOLE lives?! Why don’t they care about that?!

Gruenthal-Church-parking-lot-6

Courtesy of Mennonite Historical Churches

Meanwhile, our church parking lots often (even on days when services are being held) look like this . . . What am I missing here? Can someone enlighten me?

 

 

 

 

 

© klh 4-Given Ministries

 

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Acting Contrary To Circumstances

Published August 3, 2017 by birdieklh

contraryactions It’s not easy, by any means, but it IS what God asks of us . . . Jesus lead us by example, and Paul shared with us in his letter to the Corinthian Church. Let’s take a closer look at 1 Corinthians 4

When people acted hateful towards Jesus, think about it, did Jesus lash out back at them? No, of course not!

How many times people also acted spitefully against Paul as well, and yet he, too, did not respond in kind. No, he responded as he in the same way as Christ. As he was taught by the leading of Holy Spirit, through The the example of the life of Christ.

Was Paul perfect? Of course not!!! Only Christ is perfect! He is God! We cannot put one another up on a pedestal, but we can admire the example that their life of faith and trust  brought us. Remember his comment, also to the Corinthians, “Be imitators of me, just as I am of Christ.” Paul ALWAYS pointed to Christ as his example. He remembered where he came from, his zeal, his wrong zeal, and how Christ took that passion, changed his name from Saul to Paul (actually from great to small, but used him mightily) and placed him on the path He had chosen for him! HALLELUJAH!

So . . . Let’s ask ourselves the hard questions and take an HONEST REFLECTION of inside of our hearts . . . are you ready? I suggest you take a note book and write out the questions and then your responses – honestly, from your heart – we will discuss them more afterwards.

  1. When someone says something about me behind my back and I find out about it . . . the next time I see that person, how do I act towards that person?
  2. If I have been falsely accused by someone, at work  or school (or anywhere, for that matter), what is my normal reaction?
  3. If I have spoken too quickly, judging a person without the facts and have found out I was wrong, what do I do?
  4. If someone has wronged me and asks for forgiveness – do I demand restitution, seek revenge, or have compassion and forgive?
  5. Have I ever tried to place myself in the other person’s shoes to see the woundedness that they have walked in, to feel the pain that they have suffered through, tried to understand why they are acting and reacting to things they way they are? . . . or is it ALWAYS about ME???

Once you have your answers, I suggest that we take some time and lay our answers out before the Lord. Ask Him to reveal the meaning of them . . . open up the eyes of our understanding . . . reveal our hearts to ourselves . . . where do we REALLY stand with Him? Do we truly represent Him to the world? Are we REALLY imitators of Him to this world as Paul suggests we be?

You know, as I was reading, specifically verses 12 and 13 in 1 Corinthians 4, I started to look up some of the Greek words used in the original text for further clarification. I wanted to understand what the Lord was speaking into my heart here through Paul. WOW, did I get a revelation! Here are two examples:

The word reviled (in verse 12) refers to something that others do to us . . . that word in the Greek is # 3058 in the Strong’s Concordance meaning to revile, reproach, mock, dishonor, to make a spectacle of, to ridicule, etc. …. I can honestly say this has happened to me on a more than a few occasions!

Paul’s response to those actions? Did you notice what he said? Look at it . . . “we bless” . . . that’s right . . . he said, “WE BLESS” . . . is that your reaction, is it mine?

The second word I looked up was conciliate (in verse 13) which refers to something that we do towards others when they have slandered us. This is # 3870 in the Strong’s Concordance which means (oh my goodness, are you ready for this?) to call near, to entreat, to comfort, to pray for, exhort, encourage, etc.   . . . whoa! is that your reaction, is it mine?

I don’t know about you, dear ones, but for me, I realize that being Christ-minded, Christ-like . . . well . . . I have a lot more growing to do than I thought!

Abba Father, I am truly humbled by that which You have revealed to me this day and I lay myself upon Your altar asking You to burn away even more of that which is not of You within this darkened soul of mine. I desire to be more like You yet find that I have so far to go . . . continue to reveal more of the areas that I need to change and walk contrary to the circumstances that life throws my way in Jesus Name, amen.

Let’s Make This Interactive!

Published December 30, 2016 by birdieklh

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My hearts desire as this year comes to a close is that all of us take some time to reflect upon what God has done for us this year. Then, I would love it if each of us would comment on at LEAST one to share with one another.

All of us have faced difficulties along the way – it is a part of life in this fallen world we live in. But, as believers in Jesus Christ; as His precious children; we have had provision and protection over us that as we reflect we can find  our hearts encouraged. And, as we take the time to share our journey, it helps to strengthen not only our own faith walk, but theirs as well!

Remember these very important scriptures:

The Psalms of Ascents – examples of how the Israelite’s encouraged themselves – reminded themselves every year of ALL that the Lord had brought them through!

Revelation 12:11 – this is how we overcome!

1 Thessalonians 5:18 – we are admonished to encourage one another

 

Dear ones, let us share our faith – let us share our reflections of what the Lord has done in our lives this year, 2016. Then let us in the next little while do the same with our hopes, dreams and prayers for 2017. let us build one another up in the most holy faith!


I will start –

The year 2016 began for us with believing God for a new vehicle. We started thanking God for His faithfulness towards us every single day in our morning prayer/study/devotional time. We KNEW He had promised to meet all our needs, we KNEW He had never let us down, and we KNEW that we were being faithful in that which He had called us to do . . . but as the months went on, quite honestly, we did have our moments of “when, Lord? We are trusting You, but . . . ”

Then, at the end of September when we were completely without a vehicle, His provision came. It was above and beyond ANYTHING we could have ever imagined for us! His faithfulness, once again, was proven in our lives. His love is unspeakable – unfathomable – overwhelming and incomprehensible! (for the complete story, read it on our website)


Your turn . . . PLEASE hit the comment button and post one (or more) of your own. Let us have this interactive time of reflection go viral!

Blessings upon you!

©klh 4-Given Ministries

CAUTION: The Current IS Dangerous!

Published May 25, 2016 by birdieklh

Okay, most of us who have heard the term (especially this year) “TURN AROUND – DON’T DROWN!”

emerged in flood waters

image from offgridweb.com

Due to the flash flood waters and how they may look docile enough . . .

“It’s just a little bit of water on the road, no problem, I can get across to where I need to go.” But then . . . all of a sudden out of seemingly nowhere comes this rapid rush – a grand deluge of water and before you know what hits you, you are immersed in water so deep there appears no way out! Now what?

Well, by God’s grace, someone may come in with helicopter and ropes, or a boat, or some other means and rescue you . . . or . . . you die.

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For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse,” Romans 1:20 (NKJV)

Let us apply this lesson of the flood waters to our lives in a spiritual way . . . This is a PERFECT example of Romans 1:20 because we “see”, we “hear” (and, some have even experienced) what devastating results can happen to a person, a pet, a vehicle, bridges washed out, even houses swept away . . . so let us be without excuse and open up our spirit eyes to see what God is saying to us.

When it comes to choices we make in our daily lives, have we heard any of the following statements? Have we acted upon any of these statements?

  • That’s not too bad
  • I guess it wouldn’t hurt to try it this one time
  • No one will know
  • It’s not like I’m committing murder or something

If you / we make choices based upon these statements, trying to reason away the temptations that come our way . . . we need to reflect upon this TRUTH:

CAUTION: The Current IS Dangerous!

We are to “Try all things, and keep that which is good. Abstain from all appearance of evil. Now the very God of peace sanctify you throughout: and I pray God that your whole spirit and soul and body, may be kept blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.”  1 Thessalonians 5:21-23 (GNV) – Note: even the “appearance of”!

So – how do we do that? 

“But as for you, O man of God, flee from these things; aim at and pursue righteousness [true goodness, moral conformity to the character of God], godliness [the fear of God], faith, love, steadfastness, and gentleness.” 1 Timothy 6:11 (AMP)

In other words . . .  “TURN AROUND – DON’T DROWN!”

The temptations of this life are all around us – they don’t look like they would hurt us (too much) – but the swift current, the deluge of the sin (the flood waters, if you will) can overtake us before we know what hits us . . . we will need to be rescued, or we die!

Also, we are commissioned to be that lifeline to others as well . . . “But you, beloved, remember the words which were spoken before by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ: how they told you that there would be mockers in the last time who would walk according to their own ungodly lusts. These are sensual persons, who cause divisions, not having the Spirit. But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. And on some have compassion, making a distinction; but others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire, hating even the garment defiled by the flesh.” Jude 17-23  (NKJV) (emphasis, mine)

Abba Father, help us to see, know and understand the dangerous currents within the temptations that come our way. Help us to stand FIRM, to FLEE and to help rescue others we see that have entered into the current . . . only by Your Holy Spirit can we do this . . . learning Your Word . . . applying it to the everyday choices in our lives. Through You, we can do all things! We KNOW we can trust you . . . Amen . . . we love you!

©klh 4-Given Ministries

Becoming Intolerant of Tolerance!

Published March 27, 2015 by birdieklh
from libertarianalliance.wordpress.com

from libertarianalliance.wordpress.com

Every day – everywhere – we hear the about being tolerant with those who are ‘different’ than us. Okay . . . I agree . . . to a point.

Here are some TRUTHS:

  • Humans are all the same – we have are a spirit, have a soul and live in a fleshly body.
  • Our bodies are not all identical – male, female, black, brown, red, white, mixed, short, tall, fat, skinny, etc.
  • We all have cells, organs, blood, bones, skin – we bleed when we are cut; we cry when we are wounded; we laugh when we are tickled, etc.
  • We all have been given (by God) ‘free will’; able to make choices, decisions as to how we will live our lives – living for God or living against God

Here are some facts:

  • Depending upon where we live, we may or may not have freedom to speak our faith
  • Depending upon what ‘religion’ we belong to, we may or may not have a voice at all
  • Depending upon our station in life, we may or may not be listened to as what we say may or may not be comprehended as ‘important/non-important”
  • Depending upon whether or not we are of a certain sex (male/female) our jobs may pay more than others, regardless of our education, training and/or skill level
  • What we choose to do (or not to do) with our free time should be regulated (laws put in place, forcing others to ‘accept’) so that all will be more equal

All of these ‘facts’ . . . what do you think:

  • freedom of speech?
    • Yes, but only if you don’t step on any toes . . . watch out . . . persecution, ridicule, even death may occur.
  • freedom of religion?
    • Yes, only if it doesn’t  step on any toes . . . watch out . . . persecution, ridicule, even death may occur.
  • everyone has a say in our ‘democratic’ society?
    • well, only if you have a huge pocket book to contribute to the ‘powers that be’ at the time and agree with their agenda!
  • education is the great equalizer?
    • unfortunately if you are woman, you still do not get paid the same . . . and, sometimes if you are NOT a minority (black or hispanic or bilingual) you will not even be considered for a position regardless if you are the most qualified!
  • laws created for ‘equalization’ and ‘tolerance’ make things  in society better?
    • this one is VERY hard . . . as a Christian, I CHOOSE to love everyone . . . regardless of how they choose to live their lives – but that does not mean that I wish to subject myself, my children, grandchildren, anyone (everyone) to have to openly view their choices.
      • I do not wish to be forced to be exposed to sex trade activities
      • I do not wish to be forced to share a bathroom with someone who has believed the lie that they are other than that which God created them to be
      • I do not wish to be forced to be on the road with people who feel they must be high on drugs and/or alcohol in order to cope with life – putting my life at risk
      • I do not wish to be forced to be quiet about my faith because it may or may not agree with someone elses. (As Christians, we can ‘choose’ to lay our denominational differences aside and worship our Lord together in the unity His Love brings.)

Dear ones . . . God IS Love (1 John 4:8) . . . we are created in His likeness (Genesis 1:27) and asked to become ‘imitators of Christ’ (1 Thessalonians  2:14) . . . so yes, I believe in being tolerant of others because we are all in different levels of our faith journey through this life, but NO, I believe we need to stand firm upon Biblical principles and present these truths to others IN LOVE . . . then cover them in prayer not judgmental/critical/hateful towards them . . . we must realize that it is God, through His Holy Spirit that does the inside work. Our job is to love them and share the Gospel with them – lovingly speaking Truth into their lives.

It is a fine line, and it is not an easy choice to make sometimes . . . but, as we become more ‘tolerant’ of things, the worse things become in our lives, our land, our world! Perfect example of this is found in Judges, chapter 1. The more the people of God decided to be ‘tolerant’ and ‘accepting’ of the things (people) that went completely against God’s Word, the worse their lives and their nations became. That is something that is so very clear, and we can see it ourselves . . . growing up we actually PRAYED in school, over the intercom, right along with our “God Bless America” song and the “pledge of allegiance” . . . that was taken out and things started to go down hill.

Every time we compromise, every time we give the enemy a foot in the door, or allow something else to be taken away from us, the worse our nation and our lives has become. Another example . . . spanking your child . . . MIND YOU  I’M NOT TALKING ABOUT BEATING HERE, but a spanking on the padded buttocks of a child that has misbehaved – not in anger, but in a pre-planned punishment for behavior . . . that taken away, made into something abusive has lead to children not only being disrespectful of parents but of all authority in society! We need only listen to the news reports to see this is true.

Here is an interesting article . . . “Land of Intolerance?” (actually, through the picture above is how I discovered it)

So, what is the solution? Only God! We need to pray like never before. We need to love like never before. We need to speak like never before. We need to be in The Word like never before, allowing it to penetrate and permeate through us in ever single aspect of our lives, whether or not it is ‘politically correct’!

©klh 4Given Ministries

The “Christmas” Word . . .

Published December 22, 2014 by birdieklh

Oh, Lord, forgive us!!!

We are a fallen nation –

We have forgotten our place as ‘one nation under God’ – being an example of YOU to the world!

This is what we have fallen to . . . punishing those who would mention Your Name during this season where we are to put aside conflicts and celebrate You and Your great love for mankind . . .

Oh, Lord, forgive us!!!

This is not a ‘cute’ little comic . . . this, sadly, represents the reality of life in the world right now . . .

 

I am sitting here in tears over this photo, realizing that it is all too true in our schools, in our offices, in our workplaces . . . and, all I can cry out is:

Oh, Lord, forgive us!!!

Will YOU stand with me and continue to speak of Christ in Christmas?!?

(c) klh 4Given Ministries

‘Tis The Season?

Published December 19, 2014 by birdieklh
from creativeidea.tk

from creativeidea.tk

Nativity scenes come in all shapes and sizes. I remember as a child, growing up in California, each year we would take a drive to a place my parents called “Christmas Card Lane”. Of course, that wasn’t the name of the street – in fact – they were whole neighborhoods.

There were lights. There were huge Christmas cards lit up on the front lawns full of messages of the Hope that was brought to earth at the birth of baby Jesus – many (if not most) had a nativity scene. It was an event that we all looked so forward to seeing.

Nowadays, when one drives around neighborhoods full of lights and such, you will find Santa, Reindeer, Elves, Cartoon Characters, Snowmen, Stockings, Toys, Bright Blinking Lights, even music  . . . and . . .  once in a while . . . a very rare nativity will show itself.

How very sad that we, a Nation that developed by people who desired to put God first above all else, have let the Christ Child slowly disappear from CHRISTmas!!! He IS the focus . . . we are celebrating HIS birth (although most of us realize that this wasn’t the actual date of His birth, it is the one chosen to celebrate it).

How can we have allowed this to happen?!!?

Shame on us!

I’m sitting here at my keyboard listening to Barlow Girl singing “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel” and I am almost in tears as I recall these CHRIST-centered Christmas songs being sung by children and teachers alike in the schools. I remember when the school Christmas Programs WOULD include the reading and acting out Luke 2 – with shepherds, angels, kings, Mary, Joseph and baby Jesus. The audience would stand and join in singing “Joy to the World, The Lord has Come!” and “Oh Little Town of Bethlehem.” Now, if there even is a program at this time of year it is things like “Jingle Bells” or “Rudolph” or “Frosty the Snowman” – not that these songs aren’t fun, but they are NOT the focus of the season!

Oh, I’m not against sharing the spirit of giving – the story of St. Nicholas and/or Kris Kringle with their loving hearts towards bringing happiness to children – but with the truth of them being a ‘nice tradition’ to pass along while completely emphasizing the TRUE meaning of Christmas!

The Evergreen – Christmas Tree – representing everlasting life. The star atop / or the angel – both announcing the birth of The One Who brings us everlasting life.

How my heart breaks over NOT hearing CHRIST-centered Christmas songs playing in the stores and/or restaurants we visit! I don’t want to hear about Grandma being run over by a reindeer . . .  I want to hear “Hark The Herald Angels Sing” or “Oh Holy Night”!!! This is what my heart longs for – my deepest longing is for others to experience not only the Christ-child we celebrate being born, but to KNOW Him as He IS . . . our Lord, our Savior; Lover of our soul!  Again, all I can say is:

How can we have allowed this to happen?!!?

Shame on us!

Here is my “Christmas Card” to my neighborhood . . .

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I want all to know that I have not forgotten . . . and I am proud to share Jesus with everyone . . . He IS the reason for the season!

 

(c) klh 4Given Ministries

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