On This Rock

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Originally posted on Cindi Gale:

A building needs to be strong enough to withstand all that comes against it. It needs a foundation that distributes and withstands the loads above ground: dead load; wind, live and seismic loads.  A building’s height above ground must be balanced by an adequate underground foundation. Each part of the building needs to be strong.

YOU need to be strong. Could it be that God has exposed you to challenging conditions to reinforce your foundation? In the blustery conditions of your life, are you deepening your purposefulness? Are you becoming more committed, determined, unwavering; more dependent on Him, more consistent—is your foundation being made secure?

excavator-digging[1] In the midst of suffering, do you exercise your free will to consistently please God? If you haven’t yet, you can start today. If you have been faithful, as Job was faithful to God in successive losses, God is no doubt at work converting your grit…

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Readers Without Borders

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It’s been a year since this little blog of mine obtained its .com domain name. In the internet world, that supposedly helped it gain a bit of exposure, at least more than it would have had with only a wordpress.com or blogspot.com address. Still, I never imagined the extent of your readership. In one year, you and your fellow readers have logged on from 93 nations on six continents. Check out my stats map below — you’re on there, in color!

We are a global bunch, a modern-day community. Because you are reading, I will keep writing, and we’ll see where this goes.

Happy 1-year anniversary to you, Readers Without Borders!


When Confounded Is Good

Sometimes our beliefs fail us. Sometimes that’s a good thing.

If we consider all our current views or theologies solid but God disagrees, it’s an improvement to be confounded. When our old patterns of thinking are disrupted, it’s an opportunity for God to show us his thoughts. While we’re grappling with uncertainty, our understanding can be corrected.

The Apostle Paul wrote: Romans 12: Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

When we become flustered by life; when we are confused, agitated, and wish we could feel solid again, let God be the one to solidify those rattled foundations. Rather than return to the old, allow his Holy Spirit and Word to instruct instead.

What if we still don’t get it? — We try but can’t land on solid understanding of God’s will and ways? God cares more that we want to please and obey him, than if we know how to do it. The wanting is of the will. If we don’t want him, what can he do? He won’t overcome our wills. As long as we are willing, he will add his power to accomplish what we can’t.

David’s selection by Samuel to become Israel’s first king over his more respected brothers, is a good example. God led Samuel to choose David because David’s will was with and not against God. All the essential extras that were required for David to take his seat on the throne would come over the years, as God taught him in the classroom of life. In time, David became the man for the throne.

So stay willing before God. Don’t fret about inadequacies and limitations. The want to is there — the rest will happen as we each work out our own salvations.

Paul also wrote in his letter to the Philippians 2: 12 Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, 13 for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.

Many of us are incredibly busy, and it seems difficult to “work at” God things also. But maybe it shouldn’t feel like work at all. Maybe it could be a relationship we value and prioritize, not because we have to, but because we want to.

I pray God becomes irresistible to each of us, so instead of work, it is a great joy to communicate with him about the big and small details of our daily lives.

Come Alive Dry Bones

Ezekiel 37 

The Valley of Dry Bones

37 The hand of the Lord was on me, and he brought me out by the Spirit of the Lord and set me in the middle of a valley; it was full of bones. He led me back and forth among them, and I saw a great many bones on the floor of the valley, bones that were very dry. He asked me, “Son of man, can these bones live?”

I said, “Sovereign Lord, you alone know.”

Then he said to me, “Prophesy to these bones and say to them, ‘Dry bones, hear the word of the Lord! This is what the Sovereign Lord says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life. I will attach tendons to you and make flesh come upon you and cover you with skin; I will put breath in you, and you will come to life. Then you will know that I am the Lord.’”

So I prophesied as I was commanded. And as I was prophesying, there was a noise, a rattling sound, and the bones came together, bone to bone. I looked, and tendons and flesh appeared on them and skin covered them, but there was no breath in them.

Then he said to me, “Prophesy to the breath; prophesy, son of man, and say to it, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Come, breath, from the four winds and breathe into these slain, that they may live.’” 10 So I prophesied as he commanded me, and breath entered them; they came to life and stood up on their feet—a vast army.

11 Then he said to me: “Son of man, these bones are the people of Israel. They say, ‘Our bones are dried up and our hope is gone; we are cut off.’ 12 Therefore prophesy and say to them: ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: My people, I am going to open your graves and bring you up from them; I will bring you back to the land of Israel. 13 Then you, my people, will know that I am the Lord, when I open your graves and bring you up from them. 14 I will put my Spirit in you and you will live, and I will settle you in your own land. Then you will know that I the Lord have spoken, and I have done it, declares the Lord.’”

“Come Alive (Dry Bones)” featuring Lauren Daigle 

written by Lauren Daigle and Michael Farren
recorded at the CentricWorship Retreat
BUY ON ITUNES: http://bit.ly/comealiveep

The Time For Power

There is a God-appointed time when a person is ready to reign in his life’s call, and God chooses to supply His power, leadership and support. At that time, old or new enemies part and even flee in fear.

Prior to the appointed time, David lacked the full authority, leadership, wisdom and skills to gain and maintain power. While evading Saul, he was developing all that. Once his abilities were adequate for the job, he was positioned by God to remove the remaining opposition. Finally, the fullness of David’s ability to reign had its appointed time. When it was the time for David to take the throne that Saul had occupied, God was with him to successfully manage the kingdom. He became King in place of Saul. He put his skills to use and God was with him. Nations that were accustomed to superior might became powerless to overthrow David.

What happened to the enemy kingdoms’ capacity to overpower David? What was with David that caused his enemies to scatter? What caused the collapse of previous strongholds?

It was the time for the manifestation of God’s prophecies and promises, the time that God supplied His power to the unfolding events on earth.

What can stand against a plan that God unfolds? What insufficiencies that resist correction in a person, for example, can continue in unrighteousness when caught up in the path of God’s power?

Nothing can stand in opposition to God. Like an avalanche, He pushes aside opposition, scattering the unrighteous and picking up those destined to cooperate with Him, even if they aren’t yet yielded to God. He transports them.

We try to move on God’s path to the best of our abilities, but we can do only so much. We are often too slow, or too delayed in development for the timing of His plan. Rather than miss out then, He scoops us up into something beyond us, something much more powerful than ourselves, and moves within us to the completion He’s after, while simultaneously moving our changing selves along His mission. Much like an aircraft could be built while it’s being transported via ship, so that when it lands across the ocean, its construction is completed at the moment it’s unloaded and ready for use.

Psalm 147:5 – Great is our Lord, and abundant in power; his understanding is beyond measure.

Why Try?

Someone I know has had an agonizing time trying to get a family member out of a foreign country. The specifics must be withheld, for good reason. Just know it has been a grueling, potentially life-and-death ordeal based on politics and power.

It’s a case of individuals imploring national government, the small guys rebuffed by powers that be, living conditions prime for contracting diseases, a divide of thousands of miles, travel restrictions, and complicated laws. Add to that finite personal resources of time and finances, and it’s been two long years of herculean efforts going nowhere.

Meanwhile, life must go on, including attending to other family and responsibilities, and when able, going to the same vocation-related meeting I do. Yesterday we were mid-discussion when someone rounded the basement stairway to join us. We looked up to see our friend had arrived.

But it was not just one person standing there …

The wonderful, impossible, beautiful, astonishing, too-good-to-be-true TRUTH of it sank in slowly …

The aforementioned family member caught up in international politics was there, too. At our meeting. They were together. A two-year nightmare was over.

Every second of that realization was unforgettable — they were settled into the empty space next to me long before I absorbed it all. They were living (and touchable!) proof that situations appearing hopeless can change for the good in an instant. And when they do, unspeakable joy is the result. That joy is contagious, too — I sure caught it. I can attest that it is a privilege to know enough of the struggle to appreciate the victory.

Their reunion represented all things right in a world too often wrong. They were examples of why we should all cling to hope, fight for justice and life, ask for help in the difficult battles, and never give up.

Dramatic turnarounds do happen. I witnessed one yesterday, and oh, was it good.

A Lot Can Happen

A lot can happen in 3 days, crown

Mark 10:27 – “Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God.”

If the miraculous ways and promises of God haven’t appeared in your life yet, it doesn’t mean they never will.

If in three days the son of man died a prolonged death on a cross; the world went dark in the middle of the day; he descended to hell and back; a stone was rolled to seal his grave and rolled back again to find it empty; angels appeared there to proclaim “Jesus is alive!”; and he was in fact alive on earth again, conversing with two followers as they walked together on the road to Emmaus …

Imagine what can happen for you in just three days.

It only takes a minute to meet someone who changes your life forever; to open an acceptance letter or a desperately-needed gift; to forgive your greatest debtor; to see what you couldn’t see before: to hear what you couldn’t hear before; to experience a miracle …

A lot can happen in an instant.

When Christ rose to new life, it was for you to also know his resurrection power. It was for you to unveil the things impossible without God but possible with him.

God’s promises may remain obscured in your life for now, but …

Remember what happened in just three days. 

Philippians 3: 10 I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11 and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead.

12 Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.13 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

15 All of us, then, who are mature should take such a view of things. And if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you. 16 Only let us live up to what we have already attained.

17 Join together in following my example, brothers and sisters, and just as you have us as a model, keep your eyes on those who live as we do. 18 For, as I have often told you before and now tell you again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. 19 Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is set on earthly things.20 But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21 who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.