Monday, January 6, 2014

More from my Hubby

He's on a roll!!!  Great words!!

The Lukewarm Christian

I just looked at the title of this passage of Revelation and the heading in the NKJV read, “The Lukewarm Church.”  It hit me that it could also say, “The Lukewarm Christian.”  If we are the church and the Lord resides in us.  Then this passage is talking to the body of the church and the individual as the walking church.  The walking church that is supposed to be the light of the world.  A moving church is supposed to be the salt of the earth.  We are the seasoning in the food.  The oregano in the spaghetti or the nutmeg in the pumpkin pie.  Without seasonings in our food it would and does taste bland.  My gorgeous wife Camille has that gluten allergy going on in the body.  Camille’s meals and food choices are extremely limited.  I feel for her every day.  Why?  Because her foods are just down right bland.  That’s just a real bummer.  The Lord calls us to season the earth with his salt.  The world tastes better with Jesus salt brother.  


The Lukewarm Christian/Church in Laodicea were lacking in the sea salt category.  The alpha and omega, the beginning and the end is speaking his message to John.  John the revelator says God is the Amen, faithful, true witness and the creator of the universe. 


“I know your works.”  Let’s just pause here for a second.  The words, “I know your works”  Pause and think.  Do a SELAH thing and ponder.  What’s the first thing that comes to your mind when you hear those words?  For me it’s when my mom said, “Keith, I know what you are doing.  You better stop it or face the belt.”  John is telling the people (us) at Laodicea, “I know your works guys and they’re neither cold nor hot.  I wish you were one or the other, but you’re not.  I mean c’mon pick one or the other, but don’t be wishy washy.  Have a backbone and make a decision.  Don’t you just hate people who can’t make a decision?  Do you want McDonald’s or Subway?  Do you want a hot or cold latte?  Ummm….well, umm, maybe, umm, what do you think?  You are killing me smalls.  It’s a cup of java, pick one and let’s get out of here. 


We as Christians do this same thing.  We are neither hot nor cold.  All the way in and believing God’s promises and trusting him in everything.  Solomon says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not to your own understanding in all thy ways acknowledge me and I will direct your paths.” (Prov. 3:5,6)  That’s a good word mister wisest man in the world king.  Oh, and you kinda had boo ko bucks too.  (Squirrel moment- ?  So, you had like a couple thousand wives…did you know all their names by heart?)  Folks we need to jump into Jesus or get out of the way.  Take your towel and go back to the locker room and change your clothes.  Why?  Because you are putting on your swimming suit and walking around the pool.  You never get in all the way.  I know your works.  You sit down and dangle your feet into the pool.  Oh, once you got in the shallow end up to your waist.  Then you looked around and saw your friend’s expression and got back out.  You dried off and went to the snack bar for a smoothie.  God said that he will vomit you out of his mouth.  Lukewarm tastes gross and it makes God sick to his stomach and he up chucks.  God gets GERD when we are not fully committed to him and his word.  That’s a medical condition, gastric reflux disorder.  Basically, when you eat your food it goes down your throat.  As the food travels down it gets to a cross road where it is rejected and says….bye bye, not coming any further.


Remember this scripture, “Taste and see that I am good.”  David wrote that in Ps. 34:8, and how appropriate.  God is good even to the taste.  A taste that you don’t get sick of or have a stomach ache from.  You are filled to overflowing.  David also talked about how his cup overflows, and runs over the brim.  That’s our God church/Christian, a God of abundance and overflowing.  A God who loves the world  so much he gave up his only son for you and me. (John 3:16)


So, here’s the plane coming in for the final approach.  Do you want to be a Lukewarm Christian?  Simple question and answer.  It’s a yes or a no?  My prayer and God’s desire is that it’s a yes.  Here’s what I would advise you to do…JUMP INTO GOD with your whole self.  Jump from the high dive and hit water with the faith of Noah, Abraham, Jacob, and others.  Sink to the bottom and feel Jesus breathing fresh air in your lungs.  Jesus is your sustainer and you will never drown.  Peace be still in any storm that comes your way.  Peace that passes all understanding and the joy of the Lord forever. 


If the answer is no or, ummmmm…..well my prayer for you is to consider Jesus once more.  Take a double take and follow him.  It’s not too late.  God isn’t mad at you.  God is pursuing you like the state patrol with his sirens on in the Crown Vic. 


Dear God I don’t want to be that guy.  That lukewarm Christian who walks around the pool wondering what it would be like to jump in.  Thank you for giving me life as I am all in.  Who says that black people can’t swim?  I can’t. (no really I can)  You swim for me, praise God. (squirrel J)  In Jesus name Amen.

From My Hubby....

Here is a bit to chew on from Keith :0)

Who are you buying your Gold from?

This morning we all as a family were going to take our Tucker to Pullman, Washington to start college.  Something happened during the night.  I was exhausted, which I am finding ramps up my anxiety level.  When that happens I am weak and vulnerable to spiritual, emotional, physical and mental gaps.  I feel like everything is so hard to accomplish and I have very little, if any energy.  It’s just little spike of energy, then boom, like walking in quick sand.  I quite frankly don’t like that emotional state.  That’s not the normal for our (my) abundant life that Jesus said he has for his kids.  With that said, it does happen and by the grace of God and my proverbs 31 wife Camille.  It’s out in the open and not in the closet of life.  Camille, my helper, my best friend, my wonderful spouse who is so loving and kind has my back.  Camille has a way with words that are soothing and reassuring.  Think of it as a “word hug.”  Yep, I just made up a new word for the Webster’s scribes.  Camille’s words just wraps them around my heart, mind and soul.  I just feel better.  I just feel better.


Isn’t that what Jesus does for us.  He makes us “just feel better.”  He makes all things new.  He turns our sorrows into joy.  He trades beauty for the ashes in our day/life.  The mistakes, regrets, poor decisions that were dead.  In the Lord’s eyes, he exchanged for beauty.  That spirit of heaviness that makes it hard for you to move.  Jesus said, “Here is a garment, a piece of clothing from my heavenly closet.  I call it a garment of praise and worship.  That’s the clothing you wear when you get anxious or things seem just rough, ok?  I will let you have it forever.  How does that sound?  Good.  I just want you to feel better.” (Isa. 61:2-4) 


No, I haven’t forgot how I started this letter.  The trip to Pullman. Squirrel. J When the alarm went off at 6am, I got up and hit the snooze button.  You knew that was coming, because, “Hey” you do that all the time. J  Hopped back in bed and thought, “I am exhausted, my throat is sore, ears with some fluid and my sinuses are whacked.  I need rest for my body, mind and soul.” I leaned over and said to Camille, “Tuesday, can we go Tuesday to Pullman and not today?  I am exhausted.”  Camille responded, “Sure, no problem.  That’s big and thanks for listening to God.  It’s all good.”  See what I mean, she just makes me (everyone) feel better.  So when Tucker came into the room I said, “Tuesday.”  He said, “Okay.”  Thank you Lord for your grace and mercy. 


Now I am spending time with Jesus.  It’s intentional and I want to spend time with the one who gave his everything to me.  Paul says in Romans 12:1-2, “I beseech you brethren by the mercies of God that you present your bodies a living sacrifice.  Holy and acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.  Be not conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” Shouldn’t it be reasonable to spend time with Jesus?  Yes, it should so that’s what I am doing.  It’s been about 30 minutes and my whole attitude has done a 360.  Jesus just makes you feel better. 


At Simple Church last night Pastor Anne opened up Revelation 3:14-23 and taught us the bread of life.  How rich with gold nuggets to place in our pockets as we go through our daily walk.  This is what I’ll be chewing and digesting on for strength this morning.  Yummy, yummy for my tummy. (kjv modified version J)


I’m going to start in the middle of these verses, because that seems to be the hot spot right now.  John wrote the words of the Lord and he says, “So I advise you to buy gold from me – gold that has been purified by fire” (Revelation 3:18) 


Dear Lord this is my written prayer to you that you will reveal to me what you want me to see.  My eyes get clouded with the world’s cataract and I need your ointment for healing.  So I may see with perfect vision.  In Jesus name Amen.


Let’s break this passage down to see what the Lord has for me. (us)  The phrase I advise you stands out.  Why?  Well, John is saying to the church at Laodicea.  I am advising you.  This is heavenly advice, hear, and if I were you, I would take this free advice and do what God is saying.  Everyday people give us advice.  Everyday.  Some advice good and some bad.  The media gives us advice and that’s pretty much bad.  Sounds good, and tastes good, but it’s lukewarm.  In this day and age, we need solid advice that is true and not fake.  Advice that is geared, driven for the right motives.  So, if John is advising you and I that means there is a choice.  See, when someone advises you at the end of the conversation we have to choose.  We have to choose box A or B.  Sign on the X or leave the pen at the table and walk away.  Question?  What’s the choice in this advisory situation?  Gold, where are you going to buy your gold from?  Gold here represents several things in life for you and me.  For me I hear the Lord saying life.  The gold here is my life and who will I choose to buy my gold from.  Who will I pick to worship the rest of my life?  My life has value in God’s eyes and he sees me as precious gold.  The best precious metal in the world.  Hey, heaven’s streets are of pure gold.  If God is and does have gold in heaven, that must be pretty good, right?  You bet it’s awesome.  John, the writer says that the gold has been purified by fire.  This gold has been tested, validated for its authenticity and gets a Godly gold seal of approval.  Question?  Why did John say that the gold has been purified by fire?  I believe that because, remember we have a choice.  Any type of advisory situation there is a choice.  A contrast to the right hand, which would be the left hand.  What hand will you pick scenario.  I believe that traders in the rich trading, commerce of Laodicea. Some of Laodicea had honest businessmen and dishonest businessmen. Some shop owners who sold their goods deceived the customer and gave them counterfeits.  Falsified certificates of authenticity and passed them as originals.  John says, “I advise you buy God’s gold, and not fool’s gold.”  Question?  Who would the fool’s gold represent?  That would be the fool’s gold of the enemy, Satan.  The enemy comes to steal, kill and destroy.  But Jesus, but Jesus comes to bring life and abundant life. (John 10:10)  The devil tempted Jesus 3x’s with fool’s gold and empty promises.  Jesus came back with the word of God and body slammed the enemy.  When the enemy comes we need to body slam him with the word of God like Jesus did. 


In closing, here’s the question to ask ourselves.  Who are you buying your gold from?  Who are you going to sell your life to?  Your life is gold and has cash value.  How are you going to spend it?  You only have one chance.  You have heard both sides of the case.  You have been advised to buy gold from heaven’s storehouse or the world’s storehouse.  The world’s storehouse is a fraud.  It’s fake and the buyer is out to steal, kill and destroy your life.  Destroy your gold dreams and desires.  But Jesus, but Jesus gold is from his dad’s unlimited  heavenly treasure chest of gold.  It’s liquid gold that brings eternal life.  God’s love is pure and tried by the fire.  It’s the real deal.  The life pen is in your hand.  Where will you sign?  As John said, “I advise you to buy gold from me, gold that has been purified by fire.” 


X__________________________________                     X________________________


Heavenly Gold- (right hand)                                           Fool’s Gold- (left hand)


Thank you dear Lord for offering your gold.  I choose to buy from you.  I worship you and bow down before you in awe.  I love you with all my heart, mind, body, soul and strength.  In Jesus name.  Amen.