“God, I’m So Lonely, I Think I’m Going To Die!”

Ever notice how you can be in a crowd of people but still feel lonely?lonely

America is a land of lonely people.  Statistics say that over half of all Americans are lonely, (AJC.com).

According to Lost Connections, (pg. 75), lonely people are also anxious, have low self-esteem, are pessimistic, and are afraid other people will dislike them.

Loneliness leads to depression.

But wait a minute!  Why are we so lonely when we live in a land with many other people?  Most of us have family, friends, neighbors.  So why?

Let’s define loneliness – again according to Lost Connections, (pg. 83) – Loneliness isn’t the physical absence of other people, but the sense that you’re not sharing anything that matters with anyone else.

God created us for community.  When God created Adam before He created Eve, He stated, “It’s not good for man to be alone”, (Genesis 2:18).

We were created to be creatures of joy but joy only comes from healthy community.  One of the elements of sustained joy in our lives is to have a multi-generational community, filled with the weak along with the strong – this is the description of a healthy community.

The key to overcoming our loneliness is connection – to God and people.  Because we have broken away from God, our families are also broken, thereby breaking the ability for our children to have deep, healthy relationships.

Our path away from loneliness begins with God – to make our relationship right with Him again and seek His healing touch on those areas of our emotions that hinder our relationships with Him then others.

Our lives were meant to be VERTICAL and HORIZONTAL.  We are meant to have healthy relationships with our creator God and others around us – deep meaningful relationships with those in our lives.  But for most of us, we really are not very good at having those deep meaningful relationships with others (horizontal) until we fix our relationship with God (vertical).  Our horizontal relationships are superficial at best.  We keep people at at handdistance and build a wall to keep them out.

But it’s time we stop drowning our loneliness in a bottle, or losing our self in drugs, or the internet – that’s a big one.  I was just reading about how people have become so addicted to the internet because of it’s false promise of connection with people.  FACEBOOK???  That’s about the most unface – book there is.  No real connection there.  The internet promises to fill the empty heart but it has proven to be an empty promise!

God promises in Joshua 1:8 –

Be strong and courageous!  Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.

God also says in Acts 2:42 –

And they were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of break and to prayer. 

It’s time we get connected – in a healthy way.    With God first and then with others who are healthy for our emotional and spiritual well-being.

Father, I am so thankful You have invited me to fellowship with You through the blood of Jesus.  I accept Your invitation.  Teach me how to have a relationship with Someone I can’t see.  Now, lead me to a group of people I can have deep meaningful relationships with.  Give me courage to open my heart to others.  Help me to escape from my special form of avoidance (the bottle, drugs, TV, internet).  Bring a deep joy to my life that my soul so desperately needs.  Amen.

#lonelypeople  #verticalandhorizontal  #americansarelonely

References

Hari, Johann.  Lost Connections

Retrieved from:  https://www.ajc.com/news/health-med-fit-science/why-are-americans-lonely-massive-study-finds-nearly-half-feels-alone-young-adults-most-all/bbIKsU2Rr3qZI8WlukHfpK/

The Living Dead!

When we think about the “living dead” we think of zombies.  So many movies, shows that have been made about zombiesthese creepy persons.  I don’t like or as a rule watch zombie movies but there are 2 of them I have run across that I like – “World War Z” and “Warm Bodies”.  I like them because there is redemption for those poor zombies!

Anyhow……..the interesting thing is Jesus is calling us to not be zombies but be as the “living dead”.

Whaaaaaat!  Come again!

In ancient days, religion was EVERYTHING!  No one was an atheist.

Everyone also knew that religion was bloody and messy.  Why?  Because every religion called for and required animal sacrifices.  Ick!  Messy!

It’s honestly hard for me to imagine, but….that’s the way it was!

Today, Jesus still is calling for a sacrifice.  And it’s still bloody and messy.

In the past, sacrifices required an animal to die.  Yet Jesus through Paul in Romans 12:1 is telling us something a LITTLE bit different – a LIVING sacrifice.

Therefore, I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.

Notice the last phrase – “which is your spiritual service of worship”.  The people in the Bible days saw animal sacrifices all the time.  The KNEW what it meant when Paul was talking about being a sacrifice.  But a LIVING sacrifice?  I’m sure they were scratching their heads a little.

We often think worship is –

  • going to church
  • singing songs of worship
  • performing a ministry

Ok I’m done for the week!

Yes that IS worship – AND so much more.

True worship is living our whole life knowing we were dead because of our sins and HE brought us back to life.  Yet He is wanting us to die (sacrifice ourselves) everyday to what we want.  Be a living sacrifice!  This is our worship!

Everything we do is to be worship –

  • our job
  • who and how we talk to and relate to people
  • how we drive
  • do our taxes
  • raise our children
  • love our spouse
  • care for our bodies (this temple of the Holy Spirit)
  • care for the home God has given to us

I could go on.  Everything we do and say is worship.  Live as if you are a living sacrifice – because you are!  This is true worship.  praying 2

The Path of Life!

“Mommy, I don’t WANT to!”

“Well, then you will have to suffer the consequences.”arguing

“I don’t want that either!”

“You can choose to waste your day today if you want but the consequences of your choice are NOT up to you.”   

Ever had a conversation like that with your child?  Or maybe you remember HAVING that conversation with your parent?

Have you ever looked at our culture and thought, “Man are we ever messed up!”  Drugs are rampant, homelessness, porn, divorce, adultery.  Not to mention depression, suicide, and a variety of emotional issues.  We have become a big FAT MESS as a nation which is made up of individuals. who UNFORTUNATELY are equally messed up.

Americans are like spoiled children.  We think we can do whatever we want.  And we really can.  However, we can’t choose the consequences of our actions.  Those consequences are chosen for us.

How do we get out of this mess as individuals and as a nation?  

EASY – sort-of!

Now it shall be, if you diligently obey the Lord your God being careful to do all HIs commands which I command you today, the Lord you God will set you high above the nations of the earth.  All these blessings will come upon you and overtake you if you obey the Lord your God; Blessed shall you be in the city, and blessed you shall be in the country…..(Deuteronomy 28:1-3a)

Think of all the PROBLEMS we have as individuals and as a nation.  Think of all the money that is poured into fixing these problems.  Why?  All because we have walked away from God.

Obedience to God is the answer.

It’s an easy answer but then again…not!

Yet, all we have to do is come back to Him.  He will have compassion on us, clean us up, and heal our land.

All these blessings will com upon you and overtake you if you obey the Lord your God. (Deuteronomy 28:2)

Getting the Upper Hand!

Ever play a game of any kind?  What is the intent?  TO WIN – of course! game

How do you win?  By seeking to get the upper hand against your opponents – somehow.  To turn the game towards YOUR advantage and away from you fellow gamers.

Life is a game.  Unbeknownst to most of us – it is a game of life or death.

However, this game is waged in the spiritual realm and is played out in the physical world.

Our opponent?  The Devil himself!

Our problem is most of us are unaware of this life and death game we play.  AND just how good our opponent is!

Our opponent has been playing for generations and winning more than losing.

You see – he is a schemer.  What exactly is a schemer?

A schemer is someone who carries out clever, secret plans, often to deceive another person, (Cambridge English Dictionary).

II Corinthians 2:10b-11 – I did it for your sakes in the presence of Christ, so that no advantage would be taken of us by Satan, for we are not ignorant of his schemes.

Paul was challenging people to forgive so that Satan would not take advantage of the people.

Satan is constantly seeking to take advantage of us in ANY way he can.

The people at Corinth were not ignorant of his schemes, but I do believe we are in many ways today.

Satan seeks to gain an upper hand within our hearts in so many ways.  And when he gains an upper hand – he WINS.

And that’s his intent – to win.

But winning for the Devil means DEATH to us!

We desperately need to be in God’s Word, close to His Spirit, to be aware of the schemes of the Devil – so  that WE WIN – in the name of Jesus!

The Sight of God!

We are a people that need an anchor.  If we don’t have an anchor – we DRIFT!

We also need a MORAL anchor.  Without knowing right from wrong, we DRIFT!

driftingDo you know what it’s like to drift out on the ocean?  It can be fun and relaxing – if you are not lost.  My daughter and I like to kayak out into the “Sound” at Stellacom and – you got it – DRIFT!   And talk – just listen to the waters and the quiet.

But what if you are lost?  Drifting…Drifting – to nowhere!  Then life is scary.

I believe our country is a-drift, lost!

A nation is simply made up of individuals.  If a nation is a-drift, this also means that individuals are drifting as well.

We are not the first people or nation that have been lost.  In Paul’s day, he spoke to the Romans who were also lost.

They were lost – because they lost sight of God.  They didn’t know who He was.

So what do people do when they lose sight of their Maker?  Much like a child who has lost their parent(s)!  They seek another replacement.

Romans 10:3 – For not knowing about God’s righteousness and seeking to establish their own, they did not subject themselves to the righteousness of God.

The Romans were lost because they lost sight of God and HIS righteousness.  AND then decided to create a righteousness of their OWN, thereby rejecting the righteousness of God.

God’s righteousness is so much higher and better than ours.

No nation will last too long after rejecting God’s way of life.  We desperately need to come back to Him before it is too late.

Find God’s way.  His pattern for life is always the best and most fulfilling!

Reasoning With God…or Without God?

Seeking to know truth is intrinsic in all of us.

However, there is ONE danger in wanting to know truth.  The danger lies in seeking truth – WITHOUT GOD!

Proverbs 1:7 says –
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom and knowledge.
We live in the generation of “information”.  We can KNOW everything at the tip of our fingers. searching
What state is the Grand Canyon in?
            Ahh…Siri, help me out here? – “Arizona”, says Siri.
butter chickenHow do you make “Butter Chicken”?  Siri?  Look it up!
We can have the answers to EVERYTHING in seconds!!!!!!!!!!
Or can we?
It’s dangerous to THINK we can know EVERYTHING so easily.
It’s one thing to want to know how to drive to the Grand Canyon or how to make Butter Chicken, but what about things that are eternal?
Or even things that sound interesting, or current events that seem harmless?  It’s tough to know how to divide that line between knowledge that is harmless and what really is harmful.
After all, what’s going on currently, politics, the medical field – what does that have to do with the Bible and God?  Well, I actually think a LOT.
Satan will get in, in anyway he can.  Especially the most seemingly harmless ways.
The FEAR OF THE LORD is the beginning of wisdom and knowledge.  
We need the Lord to help us find His truth in ALL things.  Siri is ok for Butter Chicken and directions to the nearestcrying out to God Starbucks.  But the truth of all of life?  We need to be crying out to the Lord and Him alone.  He is the ONE we need to call out for.
Lord?  Who do I vote for?
Lord?  What is Your will regarding abortion?
Lord?  What about homosexuality?  Transgender?
Lord?  What’s going on with this pandemic?
Lord?  To vaccine or not to vaccine?
Lord?  What about vaccine passports?  Where is that taking us?
The fear of the Lord is the BEGINNING of wisdom and knowledge.

A Mindless Lemming or The Narrow Gate?

lemmingsEver heard of a lemming?  They are these little rodent-like creatures who unquestionably follow their leader – even to death.

Rumor has it, they will follow their leader off a cliff – if that is where the leader is going.  They have no self-aware mindssaluting hitler of their own to “think” for themselves.  Of course!  They’re animals.

Sometimes humans can be compared to lemmings.  Whatever the leader says – DO IT!

Jesus said it differently.  He said to –

Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it.  For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it, (Matthew 7:13-14, NASB).

Jesus is actually telling us to – seek after, chase after, find the NARROW gate.

What is the narrow gate?

Walls and gates meant so much more to the writers and readers of the day than it does to us in this day.

Yet, we can imagine what it would be like to go through a NARROW gate.  One would have to conform ourselves to be able to FIT through an opening that is smaller than us.  small gate

The narrow gate for us means we go the hard route.  NOT the common way.  We go the opposite of what everyone else is doing, where they are going, and what everyone is thinking.

The narrow gate vs. the broad gate can be compared to the idea of INCLUSIVITY that is being thrown around today.

Individual Christians and the church is in danger of becoming so inclusive in our beliefs and ideas that we can no longer be called the church of Jesus Christ.

Don’t get me wrong, Jesus called us to be INCLUSIVE to all sinners such as ourselves.  The church is called to be a hospital for the SPIRITUALLY sick- with ONE purpose in mind.  That we might all be healed through the process of transformation.

Be not conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind…, (Romans 12:2)

We are called to NOT be like the world in our ways, our beliefs, our thinking.

However, are we so inclusive that the Gospel has become watered down to the point that it is no longer the Gospel?

The Gospel has ONE purpose – So that Christ’s Spirit might be formed in us (Galatians 4:19).

In order for this to happen, we must go through the narrow gate.

We must allow the Holy Spirit to conform us to Him – not Him to us!

I have never ceased to be amazed at how Jesus dealt with people.  He loved unconditionally, healed all who sought Him, offered forgiveness to all who were caught in sin…BUT

He also said some very hard things.   Stated many almost IMPOSSIBLE expectations.  Like….

If anyone wishes to come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me, (Luke 9:23)…AND…

If anyone comes to Me, and does not hate his own father and mother …he cannot be My disciple, (Luke 14:26)…AND…

narrow gateSo then, none of you can be My disciple who does not give up all his own possessions, Luke 14:33).

We are called to seek the NARROW gate – not the broad gate – where every one else is going and what everyone else is thinking.

Fewer travel the narrow gate.

Is the road you are on, a very busy road or is it a road with less travelers?

If it’s a busy road, you might want to check the gate!

The WORD of God!

Ever hear of this saying from the 1970s?  –

When E.F. Hutton speaks, people listen!  money

I believe he represented a brokerage firm who supposedly had the good word on investments.  Since all wanted to become rich, they would listen to his advice and you are sure to plump up your bank account.

What about God’s Words?

In the beginning was the Word… 

What’s so big about God’s Words?

…and the Word was with God…

How can a Word be with God?

…and the Word was God, (John 1:1)

Oh….wow!  The Word is God?

The Word became flesh and dwelt among us, (John 1:14)

So the Word IS God and then the Word put on skin and came to live with us.  His name is Jesus.

When the Word speaks – we need to listen.  John 8:32 says –

If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine.

The Greek word for continue is “meno” which means “to remain, be held by, to live in”.

According to this verse, we are not His disciples until we live in the Word of God.  bible

To people of the day, E.F. Hutton’s words were essential to our bank account.  But to all of us who profess to follow Jesus –

  1. How important is God’s Word to you?
  2. How much time do you spend in God’s Word?
  3. How hungry are your for His Word?
  4. How eager are you to spend time at the feet of Jesus eager for His next Words to you?

We are ONLY His disciples when we live in and are HELD by His Word, (John 8:32).  His Words are LIFE, to the spirit, soul, and body – to all men and women.

Jesus spoke.  We MUST listen!

  

THEN…men began to call upon the NAME of the Lord!

This is the time of Adam and Eve…….

They had made ONE wrong choice…ONE choice of human reason…ONE act of disobedience…

Resulting in all of humanities downfall…all of humanity doomed…to spiritual imprisonment.

Within one generation their hearts had been severed at the loss of both their sons – one through murder and the other a victim.  One who’s face they would never hold again and the other who’s face is marked.

In Genesis 4:25 the Bible says, Adam and Eve had another son to replace Abel – and named him Seth.  Who had a son named Enosh.  When Enosh was born –

Then men began to call upon the name of the Lord – Genesis 4:26b.

When we’ve lost something – it is when men begin to call upon the Lord.

hornI thought it interesting that men are not calling upon the LORD.  They are calling upon the NAME of the Lord.  The Hebrew for call is “gara” which means to – “call out, proclaim, summon, read aloud”.

I sense a passionate need in this call.  It’s NOT the – “Hey, you wanna go to lunch today?”

It’s more like – “God help us…or we’re going to die!”

“God, this is who You are.  You didn’t make us to destroy us!”

“God we need You!”

“God we long for You.  Life is not worth living without You!”

“God when are You going to be who YOU are and save us?”

These kinds of calls are DESPERATE, filled with expectation!  LONGING!  Need!

Calling upon the NAME of the Lord is different.  horn

In Biblical times, a person’s name was connected to WHO He IS!  So we need to be asking, “Who is God?”

God is a God of love, filled with grace and mercy, forgiving, creator of good in bad.

The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in lovingkindness.  He will not always strive with us, nor will He keep His anger forever…for as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is His lovingkindness towards those who fear Him – Psalms 103:8,9,11

When people call upon the Name of the Lord, they are looking to God to…BE WHO HE IS…and save us, help us.

We are living in an unprecedented time in our country.  It is a time when we are desperate for the Name of the Lord to come.

We need to cry out for the Name of the Lord – Lord Jesus come.

Save us from ourselves.

Raise up Your church to be the church – Your Holy Bride.

Open men’s hearts to seek You, to seek life in YOU, to hunger for You.

Lord we cry out for Your name, because this is WHO You are.

I will wait on Your name, for it is good, in the presence of Your godly ones – Psalms 52:9b.

It’s Still Snowing Outside!

I wanted to share my book that is published through Kindle – praying God bless you as you read it.

After Adam and Eve were kicked out of the most beautiful garden in the world – the Garden of Eden, they went out into the world to try to survive. (Yes, I DO believe the Bible to be a book of HISTORY – not some book of myths, nice and sometimes not-so-nice stories!)

adam & eveAdam and Eve lost their relationship with God through their one act of disobedience. We don’t really know if they pursued God to get back some semblance of the relationship they HAD. I would like to think – to believe- knowing the character of God that He still pursued them and they responded.

However, as the story goes, Cain and Abel came along. And well…..we all know what happened there. They did have a knowledge of God and brought sacrifices to Him – both these men brought the produce of their hands. Yet, Abel’s sacrifice was accepted and Cain’s was not. Cain got jealous and KILLED his own brother.

Grievous! As far as we know, this was the very first – and unfortunately, not the last murder on planet Earth. It started humanity down a violent path. A path bent on acquiring what we want, even at the point of violence if we don’t get it. Violence – then begets – more VIOLENCE…and so on…and so on….More and MORE violence.

The violence still goes on today. It seems never ending and increasingly grievous.

I heard a sermon from a Catholic priest that was filled with passion about a specific element of our violent culture of today – abortion. I’m not Catholic but protestant but if only all pastors today would be filled with half the passion and courage to speak God’s truth, despite the potential consequences, – the church today would be on FIRE!. The kind of fire that cleanses us from Heaven by the blood of Jesus AND gets us off our butts and out there to STOP the sin. Or the very least – trying to do so.

He compared what is going on today with Auschwitz – how we criticized the people who lived in Germany and even those next door to this horrible concentration camp. We asked THEM – “Why didn’t you do something to stop it?”snowing Especially when they saw snow falling – not realizing it is the ash from the ovens used to incinerate human lives.

This priest – with tears, stated – “It’s still snowing today”.

I think Adam and Eve so long ago, faced similar horribleness – and a violent culture that had arisen from their sinful choice.

We are no different today. Except today we are being threatened to be silent….all the while… IT’S STILL SNOWING.

We must not be silent any more. No matter the consequences.

There are some things we can do –

  1. We should never put politicians in office who promote death.
  2. Call your senators and congressional representatives
  3. Support the organizations that seek to help young mothers
  4. Teach abstinence to the young people. Expect it and talk to your pastor about teaching it from the pulpit and the youth leaders (sex only INSIDE marriage is not an old antiquated idea. It’s God’s idea and it is the only thing that works.)
  5. Get involved with discipleship in your high schools or wherever you can be involved to make a difference
  6. Picket the abortion clinics
  7. Tell the truth about the harmful effects of abortions

Pray and ask the Lord what He wants you to do. Pray for our leaders. For God’s conviction on them.  We can’t be silent any more.  We are losing our freedoms to speak out.  It’s still snowing!

Which Law Bosses You Around?

If you were born in or have visited another country, you are very aware of the differences between your country and the other country.

Differences in dress, expectations, language, nuances, etc.  These differences come from a “law” of expectation.  This “law” can be something written or something spoken.  This “law” mandates behavior.

For example –

  1. If I was in a country that was ruled by the Islamic religion, I as a woman would be REQUIRED to wear a hijab – a headdress – whether or not I am Islamic – out of “respect” for the religion and expectations put on women. hijab
  2. Also, the term “bloody” to the English is considered a derogatory word.  If I visit England, I probably would refrain from “bloody” usage.
  3. If you go to almost any Asian country, you will do a lot ‘bowing” as a show of respect.
  4. And, in Europe, particularly Germany and Russia are known for their love of vodka consumption.  Did you know that Russia’s leading cause of death is due to alcohol?

These examples simply help us understand how a spoken or written “law” can dominate our lives.

However, there is one “law” that rules us all, that we fail to recognize.  ALL of us – in every country and every walk of life, are born into a “Law of sin“.

Romans 3:9 tells us – …For we have already charged that both Jews and Greeks are all under sin.

The word “under” in Greek terminology is “hypo” which is a preposition.  You may remember from your English lessons – yeah – a long time ago, that a preposition is descriptive of PLACEMENT.

The term “under sin” means that sin has us “under”.  Meaning – being put down, underfoot, degraded, repressed, hidden, and dominated by.

Today, everyone who is and has breathed is born into the “Law of sin” and it (meaning – sin) dominates our thoughts, our ideas, our dress, our words, and our lives in every way.

But there is GOOD NEWS!  Colossians 1:13 –

For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, and the forgiveness of sin.

Jesus paid the price with His life- that we might be freed from this “Law of sin” and obtained a new citizenship – in the Kingdom of His Son – Jesus Christ!

So what does this mean to us?  How are we supposed to act, think, talk, dress, and live?  We should act different!  We NOW belong to a different kingdom (country).

Colossians 1:10 – So that you will walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God.

Which “Law” are you living under – the “Law of sin” or the “Law of the kingdom of God”?  You can tell by the “fruits” in your lives – how you walk, talk, think, dress, and act.  Those things tell which kingdom dominates your life.

I challenge you to – Seek Him with all you have.

#kindgomofdarkness  #dominate  #holiness  #lawofsin