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Every experience in a Christian’s life, every event and circumstance, affects our spiritual life. There is no neutral, indifferent consequence. And the result depends entirely on our “Faith”. Every event will either draw us closer to God or cause us to drift away. Every event will make us more like Jesus or will make us more like the world we live in. Why is that true? Because God has a plan and purpose for our lives that does not depend on any events or circumstances. God can and will use good and bad situations to complete his work in our lives. So how do we avoid negative impacts and embrace positive ones. The answer is simple really - by strengthening our faith. And where does our faith come from? The apostle Paul says that faith comes from hearing the Word of God in the bible, as explained below. “But the righteousness that is by faith says:.... “The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart,” that is, the message concerning faith that we proclaim: If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved. As Scripture says, “Anyone who believes in him will never be put to shame.” For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile —the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!” (Romans 10:6-15) When we dabble in or ignore the Word of God we will have a weak faith, and our lives will be tossed to and fro like a rudderless ship in the sea. If we immerse ourselves in the Word of God our faith will be strong and powerful. Nothing will be able to stop us from fulfilling the will of God. Why is that true? For 2 reasons: 1) the bible tells us what God is like, it reveals his nature and character. The better we know God, the easier it is to trust him, 2) the bible tells us what God’s plan and purpose is for our lives. God tells us how he is working in our lives and what he is seeking to accomplish. He also shows us all the tools we will need to complete the works he has already prepared for us to do. As a result, nothing that happens in our lives should surprise us. We trust that God is sovereign and he knows what he is doing, so we can remain focused on the mission he has given us to complete. The apostle James gives us a good example of this rock solid faith: Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do.” (James 1:2-8)
The Covid shut down has increased my desire to study the Bible. We had to close down a charity and re-open in June. Since we are now practicing social distancing and due to some major reconfiguration of our shop, I have had more opportunity to listen to our guests and respond with praying for more people. We have had a fabulous response from the community to donate clothing and household items, which we give to those who are living in poverty. My burden to pray has been re-ignited.
Jack has another very timely question for this rubiconic time and I humbly submit for your consideration some not so quick thoughts on the matter. In The Republic, Socrates paints a portrait of people who have lived their whole lives chained to a blank wall. They see shadows and even give names to the shadows as those shadows are their only reality. He also talks about how rational people are like prisoners who deliberately break free from the cave and come to see REALITY instead of SHADOWS. Better: Our response to the corona pandemic has been severely impacted by Chinese control over the manufacturing of strategic pharmaceuticals and essential personal protective equipment masks, surgical gowns, gloves. We move to sever the American economy from dependence on Chinese suppliers and manufacturers. The foolishness of our past presidents has been exposed by the virus, and that is true even if the Chinese were found completely innocent of having unleashed this deadly disease. In fact, they are guilty of having multiplied the adverse effects of the disease. Which of itself, constitutes an act of war. The world panicked over a virus that causes mild colds in the vast majority of cases. Amid this created panic, China was profiting as it bought up stocks at bargain basement prices. The kabuki theatre PANDEMIC, was engineered to create PANDEMONIUM for profit? It's up to us that at least one land remains the shining city on a hill? So we’d better be ready for the things to come, now because it’s later than you think, and inside-the-box thinking won’t cut it in an outside-the-box future across the rubicon. Worse: A comfortably predictable future in America, even 12 years ago, suddenly has question marks all over it. (Jeremiah 6:14) Becoming so weak minded that the general polite society grows ever more to depend upon their new lab coated saviors with their heavy boot on neck THERAPEUTIC TOTALITARIANISM. Becoming a more tattle tale quasi STASI secret police nation that would make the East Germans and their collaborators seem cosmopolitan. The Democratic Party's emotionally theatrical obstructionism to win this ELECTION at all costs, threatens to inflict the Second Civil War upon the American people. A military conflict that will be so violently disruptive future historians could well mark it as the end of the Republic? Everything is in place for the dream proletarian revolution to be fully realized. One United States election stands between them and victory. And they don’t plan to lose this time, friend. (Galatians 4:16) "We do not love violence, but sometimes the real world compels us toward moral clarity." ~James Lewis "History is littered with wars which everybody knew would never happen." ~Enoch Powell In the Lord's freedom and clarity........warrior on
From a spiritual standpoint, and speaking from the perspective of the better, the following occur to me: -- providing a greater appreciation of the brevity and transitory nature of life, and of the necessity to "live in the moment" and make the most of each day, particularly with respect to the sharing of the gospel; -- increased consciousness and consideration pertaining to our interactions with others, and the effects of our actions and decisions on other people; -- taking greater responsibility for our own physical health, and for the life and body that God has entrusted to us; -- turning our attention to eternity and what our status will be after our earthly lives are over; -- reminding us that, despite the worst afflictions that this fallen world may contain, there is hope and victory in Christ, who fully identifies and sympathizes with our worries and concerns; and -- since, for every one of these potential positives, there is a corresponding negative that could drive us away from God, consciously choosing to reject those negative options, and maintaining our faith and hope in Christ under all circumstances.
There's the BAD NEWS, and then there's the GOOD NEWS. First, the bad. Physically, it can take its toll on us: Covid-19 can affect the frontal lobes, resulting in what is clinically known as dysexecutive syndrome. The majority of cases are mild, with symptoms lying along a spectrum. Most people, if they are affected by Covid-19 dysexecutive syndrome, experience mental lethargy (also known as mental fatigue), confusion (which may include mild amnesia), and headache. Also common are loss of or alteration in sense of smell (anosmia/dysnosmia) and sense of taste (ageusia/dysgeusia). A recent review (December 2021) of Covid-19 research found that, “Among nearly 38,000 patients hospitalized with COVID-19 in the United States and Europe, symptoms led doctors to suspect brain complications in about 11%.” COVID-19 can take a heavy toll on the body, but new research shows that patients are also 60% more likely to suffer lingering mental and emotional woes in the year following their infection. That's the bad news. But now THE GOOD NEWS: • “Nothing is permanent in this wicked world – not even our troubles.” • “Troubles are often the tools by which God fashions us for better things.” • “Worrying does not take away tomorrow’s troubles. It takes away today’s peace.” • “If you only pray when you’re in trouble, you’re in trouble.” 1. God is our refuge. Nahum 1:7: The LORD is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble; and he knoweth them that trust in him. Psalm 9:9-10: The LORD is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble. Those who know your name trust in you, for you, LORD, have never forsaken those who seek you. Psalm 62:8: Trust in him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge. 2. Pray, pray, pray. Psalm 50:15: and call on me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you will honor me. Psalm 34:17-18: The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles. The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. Psalm 145:18: The LORD is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth. 3. Joy in trials. It is not meaningless. Romans 5:3-5: And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us. Romans 12:12: Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. James 1:2-4: Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. For more, see, “25 Encouraging Bible Verses About Troubles In Life.”
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