I wrote about Max and Beth to defend Christian Trump supporters

I am usually not a political person, but this election year I am. Why, because of the past 8 years I have begin to really fear for my grandchildren future in America. I feel my freedom to be and speak openly about my faith are being slowly taken away due to the leaders of our country. This post speaks better then I ever could about my take on what is happening in the Christian whelm today.

Mario Murillo Ministries

I wrote about Max and Beth to defend Christian Trump supporters

By Mario Murillo

As I write you, 50,000 people have read the blog that mentioned Max Lucado and Beth Moore. Today I want to clear the air about why that happened.

For me to mention the name of a fellow minister is like getting a root canal.  I only do it when all other remedies have been exhausted.  We are family.  We are all on the same team.  Christian unity is a witness to a dying world.

So then why did I put out the blog?  I did it to defend Christians who are going to vote for Trump.

Whether Max and Beth intended it or not, their remarks had the effect—I am being delicate and kind here—of questioning Christians who support Trump.

Max openly wondered how any Evangelical could follow Donald.

Beth did the same to Christian men…

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God Loves Seekers

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People aren’t argued into salvation, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be informed and educated. It also doesn’t mean you can’t have healthy , vibrant discussions or debates. Just keep in mind that (ultimately) it’s God’s sovereign power, truth, and love that changes a life. Above all, focus on being an expert in His truth and love. Allow God’s Holy Spirit to do the internal arguing and convincing for you. 

Bottom line: We depend on the supernatural work of God, not on our persuasive abilities. Bobby Conway


About three weeks ago I was on a plane heading to Illinois to be with my mother who was dying so my heart was heavy.   I did not pray, God give me a good seat mate, someone I can talk Jesus with for I was in no shape to really talk to anyone.  

Even before we took off the man sitting next to me started the usual conversation one has on a plane when forced to sit close to someone you don’t know.  Are you from California?  Why are you going to St. Louis?  Then, I ask the man, why are you going to St. Louis?  What he told me was so interesting I had to ask more questions and soon we begin to get past the first level of getting to know a perfect stranger.  I don’t even know when the conversation turned to spiritual things but it did turn.  His interest in science was impressive, especially  as he explained how scientist are  studying “life after death” , and they don’t have an answer yet.  But they are sure there is something out there.  The fact they are seeking impressed me, God loves seekers, the wise men were seekers, all who went to hear Jesus speak were seekers.   The man I sat next to was a seeker. 

I am several weeks away from that plane encounter and having time now to look into  some articles on why science is seeking life after death.  Today I ran across an article by John Lennox, an Oxford mathematician, a scientist, a Christian.    He was debating this topic:

                                             Can Faith and Science Coexist?  

“THE MATHEMATICAL INTELLIGIBILITY OF NATURE IS EVIDENCE FOR A RATIONAL SPIRIT BEHIND THE UNIVERSE.” JOHN LENNOX

First,  I was amazed that I could grasped some of what Lennox was saying in this debate, his vocabulary is enormous.  Second, I am thrilled to know there are Christians involved in the lives of other scientist.  

I probably will never see that gentleman I met  again, but our conversation sparked an interest to seek out information into what does scientist believe about God and the here after?   Here is the bottom line, I want to be able to discuss difference between beliefs and come away from it knowing I was able to honor God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit in my words.   I do not have to prove anything to anybody, I just have to give out truth in love, and leave the rest to God. Not one thing the man said made me doubt my faith in God or believing Jesus is the only way.   “There is something there” and  I know who it is, I know the one who created whats out there.  And in some ways it gave comfort in a time when my heart was heavy knowing I was facing seeing my mother leave this earth.  I stepped into her nursing home room ready to be there for her because God was there for me.  

In this debate John Lennox was defending his belief in God over  the deep issue of  suffering on this earth from a Christian perspective and I love his answer.

 Is there anywhere evidence of the existence of a God whom I can trust with this deep issue? Yes. At the heart of Christianity there is a cross. The central claim of Christianity is that Jesus Christ is God incarnate – which raises the question: what is God doing on a cross? At the very least that shows me that God has not remained distant from human suffering but has become part of it. Furthermore, Christ rose from the dead, which is a guarantee that there is to be a future judgement. This is a marvelous hope, because it means that our conscience is not an illusion, and those who terrorize, abuse, exploit, defame and cause their fellow humans untold suffering will not get away with it. Atheism has no such hope–for it ultimate justice is an illusion.

Wish he had been on that plane and part of the conversation I had.  But God took this heavy hearted simple women and gave her the privilege of talking Jesus with someone.  You know I am praying for this man…he said, I gave him some things to think about.  

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IT’S OVER

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                               It’s Over!

It’s over…all the boxes are unpacked, everything put in its place, pictures hung, former place clean, keys turned over to owner, scouted  the new neighbor for closest store, gas station, pizza hut and taco bell, (those last two are important).  Cooked my first meal in our new place.  If you are one who prayed for me during this move, thank you, thank you.  I think I have come a long way in adjusting to stateside living again, I mean I found the closest Taco Bell within one day?

 Last move it took me three or four months to realize God had given me several of my desires.  1. To live surrounded by  mountains.   2. To live close enough to at least one of my children and grand children.  And 3. a fireplace, got that.  Depression causes a blindness that keeps one from seeing how God is not only meeting our needs but giving us some of our desires.

Something has changed for it only took me a couple days before I realized God had answered all my prayers concerning this move.  1.  This place would be cheaper then the last, $55 dollars cheaper, praise Him.  Second for a place with a washer and dryer hookup…got that.  Third, the apartment would be downstairs, got that.  Forth,  it would have a fenced in patio for the grand children to play outside , got that too.

 Since my word for this year is, “perspective” God has been helping me see from a different place.  I love it that God gave me some of my hearts desires but what if He hadn’t.  What if…it had cost us more, what if there was no hook up and I had to go to a laundry mat to wash clothes.  What if…they only had upstairs available.   What if…there was no patio. 

 I love what Jim Elliot wrote in his diary, God I pray to you, light these idol sticks of my life, that I may burn for you. Consume my life God, for it is yours.” And then he said,  “I seek not a long life but a full life, like that of Jesus Christ.” His prayer was answered, his life was not long, he died taking the gospel to the Auka Indians.  His prayer was answered in that his life was full. 

That prayer of Elliot’s makes my prayers for my desires look so weak and well, selfish.  You see, they were all about me…what I wanted, not what my Lord wanted.   But as a blogging friend pointed out, God perspective was , “my child needs these things she prayed for.”   They will help me lead a more productive life for  Him.  Easy to compare and disvalue the answered prayer.   I have lived a long and full life already but I know there is more to learn about God’s perspective for the rest of my  life.   

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Perspective

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This past year I have felt my perspective slip often into the cynical cycle which made me see mud and not stars.  Or maybe it’s the other way around, I have viewed the mud of life and it made me cynical.  Either way my perspective from behind the prison bars of life has taken a hit and left me sometimes discouraged and depressed.  Our circumstance is not everything but our perspective on our circumstances is everything.   So I have been thinking of ways to change my view inside my life.

 Become more thankful…even when I don’t feel thankful…find something as simple such as breathing to be thankful for.  Mix mud with a few seeds,  some sunshine and flowers will grow.

 Become more others minded even when I don’t want to think about others, do something kind, on purpose for  someone else.    Help them build a mud pie.

 Add more laughter to my life, either at myself  or with others  but laugh more. 

Enjoy a mud fight and a dance in the rain with some friends.

Cry more…tears  not only refresh the eyes but wash the mud from my  soul  so I   can see more clearly which will change my  perspective.

 Have a treasure hunt in the mud instead of just  wallowing in it.  Image

 From my perspective this is the cutest picture.  But for some of you a cute dog picture would work better.  Remember I said I was looking for ways to change my perspective and since I love cats this picture works for me.  What works for you?

 

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Hope Street

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This post has been sitting on my back burner for a while boiling over every time I read something on hope.   Here goes……….

Returning back to the states after serving overseas carries its own stress. Where to live was one of the biggest and to rent or buy was another.     Right after moving into our rented condo I started walking in the neighbor and was delighted to find a street named, Hope St.   DSCN0281

My  thinking  in the beginning was:  I will use this time walking on Hope St. to place my hopes and dreams before the Lord and see what He will do.   Oh the visions that danced in my head as I passed each modest house on my walk.  To see a “for sale” sign would cause me to rush home and give my husband the number of the real estate company.   Every time they were way over what we could afford but that did not stop me from hoping and dreaming.  It wasn’t long before I put this thought  before the Lord…a three bedroom house would be perfect God, we could  house missionaries needing a place to stay when traveling through.  Oh yeah Lord, a small yard would be real nice for the grandchildren to play in. What wonderful way to give back what others have given us through the years.   I can envision it, Lord, CAN YOU?  And could you hurry up Lord while the market is down?  (some would call that manipulation. )

A visionary is described as one having unusual foresight and imagination or one having unrealistic dreams.  

As a visionary I have bounced between the two definitions a lot of my life.  In my mind I have not been able to see how hoping for our own home could be unrealistic…UNLESS GOD  had something better in store for me.  Today reading through my   lesson on contentment for this week, one statement brought a break through to my  heart.

Here is the whole paragraph in the book, Calm My Anxious Heart but Linda Dillow.   (When a woman looks for contentment in material possessions, the “thing” she wants pull her deeper and deeper into discontentment.   That for which she longs gradually becomes that to which she belongs. )   Each time I read this another layer of discontentment was revealed till I was deep in my heart where the  Holy Spirit was waiting for me to park a while.  I knew I was becoming discontented by how I was trying to make things happen in my own hope. 

Here is how my  discontentment rose to the surface when I tried to take matters into my own hands to obtain my dreams of a house and a few other things.   I bought a one dollar lottery ticket…I mean someone has to win, right? 

The visionary went to work thinking, if I won we could really have a reunion  when our daughter and family comes home from overseas. We could rent a  huge retreat house on the beach with mountains as the back drop, a bedroom for everyone, riding horses on the beach, extra money to do anything we wanted.      New clothes , ipads, new cars, toys galore for the grandchildren, eating  out every night, a house for everyone to go home to, Disneyland for a week and the list goes on and on.    

I was beginning to be owned by my hopes and dreams which started with a simple three bedroom house with a back yard.  Discontentment left to itself was taking me out to the sea of “Never Enough”.  In truth, I was beginning to be owned by my hope for material procession.  Trust me when I say, God has supplied all our needs, there is nothing I need at the moment so He has done His part over and above as always.  Looking at my needs will manifest a thankful heart whereas looking at what I hope for will usually  bring discontentment.  Hope deferred makes a heart sick.  Proverbs 13:12

A.W. Tozer says it best:  There is within the human heart a tough fibrous root of fallen life whose nature is to possess, always to possess. It covets “things” with a deep and fierce passion. The pronouns “my” and “mine” look innocent enough in print, but their constant and universal use is significant. They express the real nature of the old Adamic man better than a thousand volumes of theology could do. They are verbal symptoms of our deep disease. The roots of our hearts have grown down into things, and we dare not pull up one rootlet lest we die. Things have become necessary to us. . . God’s gifts now take the place of God.

So often we ask God to endorse our own dreams, hopes and passions.  Scripture has commanded us to deny ourselves, take up our crosses and follow Christ in dying to self.  We are to hope in:  His will…His word…His life…not our own.

 Self-indulgent “hope” is on “sifting sand” and really no hope at all.  C. S. Lewis

This much I know for sure.  If I had not repented from my self-indulgent hopes our time with our family would have been made miserable by my discontentment. 

 I still walk on “Hope Street” but I am more aware of the people who lives in the houses then the houses themselves now.   And today I met a lady watching her dog run around in her front yard.   Looking forward to talking to her again as I continue to walk on Hope Street.

Would love to hear your thoughts on “self-indulgent hope

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Safe Storms?

sea-storm[1]Floyd over at:  http://theregoi.com wrote a post on storms and in the middle of my reply I thought why not just post part of my comment.

I love storms.  In Papua New Guinea we lived on the ocean and could see the storms build and actually watch the wind first bend the coconut tress almost completely over. Next would come sheets of rain across the ocean turning it darker. Then it would finally hit our tin roof, louder then a room full of people.  Loved being safe on our porch as we watched  lightening light the sky, palm leaves blowing past us.

A storm is really not safe…have seen many of roofs ruined, trees blown down, people heads cracked open from a falling coconut.  A person would be a fool to try and outrun a storm or go play in the rain puddles as the lightening strikes all around them.  But we felt safe as long as we stayed under our tin roof far enough back on the porch and just waited till it passed.  The day after would be clean up …sometimes it would take several day.  Sometimes those days would be filled with sadness over a life lost during the storm.

None of us are safe from the storms of life. Matthew 5:45 says it rains on the righteous and the unrighteous. Sometimes you can see one coming and try to prepare for it but nothing stops it.  And at times it comes so quick there is no time to prepare, like a dreaded phone call, a health issue and losses that leave us filled with grief.  Either kind we must find a place to  be safe if we are to weather the storm.

God left the world unfinished for man to work his skill upon. He left the electricity still in the cloud, the oil still in the earth. How often we look upon God as our last and feeblest resource! We go to Him because we have nowhere else to go. And then we learn that the storms of life have driven us, not upon the rocks, but into the desired haven.

 George MacDonald quotes

Floyd’s post made me think of Job 26: 5-14,  Behold, these, (storms) these are the fringes of His ways.

God wants to give us wisdom in the storm.   Job 28:23-28 God understands its way. And He knows it’s place. For He looks to the ends of the earth. And He see everything under heaven. When He imparted weight to the wind. And meted out the waters by measure. When He set limits for the rain and a course for the thunderbolt.  Then He saw it and declared it.  He established it and also stretched it.  And to man, He said, behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom.  And to depart from evil is understanding.

I think that is why I like storms, it shout of God power and His wisdom that He wants to give us as we stand in awe of Him.  Who can start or stop a storm?  Can you, Can I?   And  only God can bring a rainbow out of a storm.

How are you doing in your storm?

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ImageIt’s always a mess if you live across the street from houses being built.  Dust all over everything, roads being blocked and tore up with the heavy equipment it takes to build.  Everyday you can watch a new row of houses built, walls going up to protect the houses, street lights, sod being laid.  Costly project especially out in California where we live.

I think about those who will move into the soon finished houses.  Each family bringing their choices of decorating, each family usually taking on more debt then they can afford.  Each family with it’s own story of how they got from where they were to that new home.  Each new home will house several souls who may not know the Lord.

Watching the building across from my friends house and then watching this link I am going to post is, well two different worlds.  People are watching a house going up in the jungle too, the  only heavy equipment is the helicopter swinging the lumber in, no roads.  To keep cost as low as possible, teams of people have come to help, paying their own way into this remote location.  The house going up across from my friends will probably sell for around seven hundred and fifty thousand dollars.  Cost of jungle house even using a helicopter  about 45 thousand. 

But that is not the biggest difference, the houses build across from my friend has a different motive then the one in the jungle.  After gospel is presented to the Hewen people and there are believers also a functioning church the missionaries will tear their houses down, give the lumber to the people to build say a medical clinic, their church or even add to their houses.  The people in the village who will hear the gospel soon are excited, helping the missionaries build their houses.  knowing something big is coming or why would these white folks work so hard to live here. 

 Back to the village in the jungles of Papua New Guinea.  If you have a few minutes watch how a house is built in the jungle,  see the inside, but most of all look at the face of the people in the film clip.  You will probably see some of them in heaven someday. 

If you ever get an urge to help build a house…try New Tribes Mission…connect with a missionary who needs a helping hand.  Ever want to build something that you can take to heaven with you…a saved soul housing the spirit of the living God is how.  Become part of their team by supporting a missionary.

                                                http://vimeo.com/70312202

                                        Thanks for taking the time to view the link. 

          

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