Sunday, August 1, 2010


The FREEDOM we celebrate on the fourth of July is and was made possible because of the death of many solidiers who willingly gave up their life so that we may live. As we read chapter four of Pursuing More of Jesus we receive the same object lesson. Last week we discussed John 12:12. "The next day the great crowd that had come for the Feast heard that Jesus was on His way to Jerusalem." A great crowd of holiday seekers were in the streets roaring with excitment like fanatical fans at a Raiders game. Contagious rejoicing resulted in spontaneous combustion! Halleluiah! The enemies of Jesus could not stop Him, control Him, or restrain His followers. The disciples of the Christ were standing among a throng of strangers that came to cast their vote for Jesus to rule the world! Following Him through the streets, being close to the One who would surely rule the World was exhilerating! In the midst of His hour of glory, the personal friends of Jesus must have been privately thinking of their great benefit as He is crowned King. He knew their hearts and hopes to win personal favor and gain with positions of proud authority and popularity. Jesus had already rebuked them for harboring selfish ambitions. He knew that His disciples just DID NOT GET what His coming suffering as the King of Israel would mean. Jesus chose to water the seed He had planted in their hearts:
"The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified." John 12:23 His followers were inwardly quaking with hopes for the One Who came to walk among them, in the powerful name of the Lord. "FINALLY" they must have been thinking! In their VISUAL midst was the Ruler of the World! (God knows most must see to believe) They were wild with enthusiasm because of the potential for their future as a citizen in His kingdom! Jesus knew the motive of each shouted praise and said with a thundering voice of authoritative truth: "I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But IF it dies, it produces many seeds." John 12:24. Was there a wide field of wheat within His view? Did He motion His hand across it to gather their attention? For this out-of-left-field lesson, did our Lord Jesus hold up a stalk of wheat and pluck one seed to emphasize---that unless this tiny seed was planted in soil, unless it dropped dead and was buried, would it crack open and grow to its full potential. Does His Word become fully alive in us when we read: "The man who loves his life will lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life." John 12:25. Do we pray "Lord take my life, help me die to myself that You may be fully glorifed." Is Jesus shown to others in our long life of suffering for His sake? Anne points out that it is impossible for us to crucify ourselves because crucifixion is the result of our decision to YIELD ourselves to Christ for His purposes. God allows pain and suffering on this earth and in the lives of His children. Our personal suffering is used to put to death our ideas of the abundant, spirit filled life of a Christian. In my life I can now look across the pages, the decades --- and genuinely praise God for all things! I was born unto unbelieving parents. At a young age I was molested, at 16 I endured the suffocating pain of silent shame as an unwed teen who was pregnant. All hope was swallowed when my daughter was secretly adopted away from me. I was dismissed from jobs, experienced an abduction and rape, I gave my only son to my ex-husband to provide for as I could not, I lived homeless and jobless in Texas, I suffered the humility and shame of bankruptcy, I endured an empty home alone at Christmas, I cared for my son after his fathers sudden death as he struggled with chemical addiction, and for 35 years as a divorced woman, because of my lasting commitment to Christ, the hope for marriage has been delayed. As Anne listed the nails that pinned her to the cross, hopefully each of us can look back and name the excruciating pain of our broken helplessness as we submitted to Jesus in those times we were forced to hang on to our faith. Jesus lifts our burdens as the Holy Spirit gives us peace that surpasses all human capacity to grasp WHY a believer can have peace and JOY in the midst of suffering. Anne teaches that the power in our lives that results in blessing is in direct proportion to our willingness to "hate our life" --- I remember thinking: "I would rather be dead than remain in an abusive marriage. I would rather be dead than carry on alone. I would rather be dead than live in this crazy world. I would rather be dead than suffer the consequence of my selfish sinful nature!" Do we take the challenge of Jesus seriously with HOPE for our promised future resurrection "If anyone would come after Me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me." Jesus surrendered to His Fathers plan, out of His willingness to suffer the cross, He was blessed by God with a position of power and everlasting authority! "Whoever serves Me must follow Me." John 12:26. Jesus knows us, He created us with a seed, a need to connect to the truth of WHY we are here and He encourages us in His living Word with the promised Holy Spirit Who helps us, Who enables us to know with blessed assurance that what Jesus says is truth! "Where I am, My servant also will be". John 12:26 So we are called to ask ourselves if there is anything more desirable than Jesus? The treasures of this world --- fame, fortune, honors, fitness, health, careers, vacations, promotions, positions, achievements. Are these things more desirable than eternity with Jesus Who said and delivered His promise in the indwelt Holy Spirit. "I will never leave you or forsake you." For now, we are FREE in the USA to worship Jesus Christ as Lord and to read our bibles. After a while, don't you tire of crime, commercials and the undesirable values on TV? If you WANT to HEAR the GOOD NEWS over and over, ORDER A BIBLE on DVD to watch on TV! Buy one for $19.95 and get one FREE to give away. Great quality, sound and a special tour of Jerusalem. ORDER or call 800-556-3388


  1. Be Joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with God's people who are in need. Practive hospitality. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice;
    mourn with those who mourn. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited." Romans 12: 9-16 America is not at war. The U.S. Military is at war. America is at the Park today celebrating their freedom. For a moment today, July 4th, be still and thank God for the courage He gave to an Army of men, to a Navy of waves, to an Air Force of patriots, to a Core of Marines---"For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. As by Him we cry, "ABBA, FATHER". The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are God's children." Romans 8:15


    An old gentle man was bent over with his head underneath the hood of his car. young man was pushing a cart full of goodies for a BBQ towards his new white Escalade. The Escalade was parked next to the older man's car. The younger man yelled "'You shouldn't even be allowed to drive a car at your age.' And with a wave of his hand, he got in his car and sped away to his July 4th party. I saw the older man pull out his handkerchief and mop his brow. His engine was smoking and it was a very hot day. I walked over and said 'Looks like you're having a problem.' He smiled sheepishly and quietly nodded his head. I looked under the hood and said I have a AAA card, let me arrange for some assistance. Just across the street was a gas station and I saw three attendants working on cars. Approaching one mechanic I pointed across the street to the car with the hood up and to the steam rising and asked if they could help. I offered to pay them if they could come check out what repairs might be needed.

    The old man had pushed the heavy car under the shade of a tree and appeared to be comforting his wife. When he saw us he quickly straightened up and thanked me for my help. As the mechanics diagnosed the problem (overheated engine) I shook the older man's hand and he noticed that I wore a Marine Corps ring and he commented saying "I was a Marine too and I served with the first Marine Division at Tarawa, Saipan, Iwo Jima and Guadalcanal ...As we talked we heard the car engine come on and saw the
    mechanics lower the hood. They came over to us as the old man reached for his wallet, but was stopped by me and I told him I had put it on my AAA card. He then handed me a card from his wallet. I thanked him and without looking stuck it in my pocket.. Hands shook all around and I said my goodbye's to his wife.

    I then followed the mechanics back to the staion. They had interrupted their own jobs to help the old man. I said I wanted to pay for the help, but they refused to charge me. One of them pulled out a card from his pocket looking exactly like the card the old man had given to me. Both of the men told me then, that they were Marine Corps Reserves too. I drove for about 2 blocks and pulled over to thank God for how He takes care of His children. I took the card out of my pocket and looked at it for a long,long time. The name of the older man was on the card in golden leaf and under his name- 'Congressional Medal of Honor Society.'

    I sat there motionless looking at the card and reading it over and over. Smiling with a few tears dripping, I marveled that on this day, four Marines had all come together, because one of us needed help. The man's humility moved me to tears.

    Remembering that a Medal of Honor meant that he took a bullet while keeping FREEDOM in America possible ..Thanks to those who served....& those who pray for them.

    Remember, Freedom isn't Free, thousands have paid the price so you can enjoy what you have today. "Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.