Unforeseen Consequences of Obedience, Deuteronomy 34:10

Buddy is looking back at the flooding last Month at a nearby park in Scottsdale, Arizona. Normally, when it rains here, it pours and the parks quickly flood. As a result, often the parks are closed until the paths have cleared.

“Since that time no prophet has arisen in Israel like Moses, whom the Lord knew face to face.” Deuteronomy 34:10

After the death of Moses, Joshua took over the responsibility of leading the Jewish nation into the Promised Land. Moses could not have foreseen the future when he was a shepherd in the wilderness and led his flock near “Horeb, the mountain of God (Exodus 3:1)”. The day probably began just like any other day as he went about his daily duties instead of being idle. But the Angel of the Lord appeared to Him, commanding him to remove his sandals because he was standing on holy ground.

The Lord identified Himself as “I AM WHO I AM (Exodus 3:14)” and commanded Moses to go to Pharaoh, the leader of Egypt and the most powerful kingdom at that time (Amenhotep I, 1446 BC), to demand that the Jewish people be set free from their slavery. After God sent a series of 10 Plagues upon the Egyptians to judge their idolatry and allegiance to false gods (Exodus 11:12), Moses and his brother Aaron led the Jewish people into the wilderness to begin their trek toward the land that the Lord had promised to give to the descendants of Abraham (Exodus 17:8).

Because Moses became angry and disobeyed God in the sight of the people of Israel, God did not permit him to enter the Promised Land (Exodus 20:12) but did show him the land from a high vantage point, Mount Nebo, before he died (Deuteronomy 34:1-5).

The point is this after this brief summary of history: Moses could not have foreseen that he would become the most famous man in all of human history, (except perhaps the Jewish patriarch, Abraham), when he chose to obey God and traveled to Egypt with his brother Aaron after exile in the wilderness for forty years. If he’d said “No” to the Lord, his name would probably have been lost to history, except in someone’s Jewish ancestral tree. Nor could he have foreseen that, although assuming the responsibility of leading such a mighty army of people according to God’s will, that one spell of anger would cost him entrance into the Holy Land.

When we choose to obey or disobey God’s commands as listed in the Bible, or choose to ignore the promptings of the Holy Spirit within us (if you’re born again), we cannot ultimately foresee the consequences. One small act of obedience, or disobedience, may have a snowball effect that we cannot predict.

Because only God knows the future.

You might feel like today is just another day. You’ve been trying to do good, but the seeds you’re planting do not seem to be blossoming and bearing fruit. But don’t despair. Seeds take time to grow. You cannot foresee the snowballing consequences of that one act of kindness or obedience that you’ve sown today. That encouraging word to a frightened unbeliever during this time of crisis might lead them to start their journey toward God.

And you cannot know when God may call you to greater deeds in the midst of an ordinary activity.

“Sow your seed in the morning and do not be idle in the evening, for you do not know whether morning or evening sowing will succeed, or whether both of them alike will be good.” Ecclesiastes 11:6

God bless and take care.

***

Information regarding who the Pharaoh of the Exodus was researched on the website: CrossExamined.org

Handling Criticism: Who’s Holding Your Hand? Jude 1:24

Buddy Looking Upward From The Other Side

Buddy is looking through the screen door at my previous home, requesting entrance. As a dog, he isn’t wondering about what the future holds: He is focused on getting into his home from the outside.

As pop culture continues to encourage people to abandon God, Christians are increasingly subjected to open mockery and legal persecution. Recent information shows that 70% of children who are raised in the Church are abandoning Jesus when they get to college. Atheism, though illogical, continues to dominate so-called critical thinking.

Please remember: When someone mocks you for your Christian beliefs, to remember that your ultimate destination is Heaven, which is so wonderful that both the apostles Paul and John were incapable of fully describing Heaven when given a glimpse.

When you leave this current life you will “stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy.”–Jude 1:24

It’s not easy to always remember to keep your focus on a future blessing when you’re suffering now. It’s easy to allow your self-defense mechanisms kick into autopilot, becoming silent, angry or argumentative in response. But I challenge you to condsider this:

On Judgment Day, is that person or persons who is mistreating you going be holding your hand and defending you before the Lord?

Obviously not. They’re not going to give you a single thought because all they’re going to be focused on and worrying about is the great Lord on His mighty throne, surrounded by lightning bolts and a rainbow while they tremble in fear.

The only One Who will be holding your hand, even thinking about you at all, will be the Lord Jesus, Our Advocate before the Father’s throne. (1 John 2:1)

Instead, have mercy on the one who is condemning you, because they have no clue about the terror they are going to experience on Judgment Day when God separates the sheep from the goats and casts out those who reject Him.

As Apostle Paul stated to the Philippians that we are not to be “in no way alarmed by your opponents–which is a sign of destruction for them, but of salvation for you…” (Philippians 1:28)

I don’t claim to be perfect in this regard, but I’m trying with God’s help. I hope it helps you to maintain your joy as you walk through life.

Have a blessed evening.

Love from Dawn and Buddy

***

Jesus stated that the path to eternal punishment was broad (Matthew 7:13); it is the path most people will follow. But you don’t have to follow the culture. Join the true CounterCulture and yield your life to Jesus.

Because God is perfect and holy, He is a just God who punishes evil. However, because He loves us, He sent Jesus Christ to earth to be punished for our sins instead. All you have to do is confess that you are a sinner, deserving of judgment, and ask Jesus to enter your life and heart and be Your Lord. That means that you want to repent and start following God and His ways written down in the Bible instead of listening to what the culture says is right and wrong. Please confess and ask Him to be your Lord and God. And that you believe that Jesus was crucified to pay for your sins and was resurrected bodily to prove that He was God in the flesh, Immanuel (Matthew 1:23). If you did pray, please find a Bible-based church to learn about God and to fellowship with other believers, who can encourage you to stay the course on the “narrow path that leads to life” (Matthew 7:14).

And everlasting joy!

What Born Again Means? John 3:3

Buddy was an unexpectedly wonderful addition to my life. I had wanted to rescue a Silky terrier but hadn’t planned on doing so that particular weekend. After dropping off my family at a Seattle pier for a cruise, I returned home to check my email on my IPad when I accidentally hit the Silky Terrier Rescue bookmark and up popped a photo of Buddy, the first time I’d seen a dog from Washington State available for adoption in more than a year. A few days later Buddy became a part of my life.

Just as I’ve never regretted Buddy entering my life, neither have I regretted becoming born again March 7th, 31 years ago. I hadn’t planned on making a major life change that night when I flipped on the Billy Graham Crusade show on local TV. And being raised in a non-Christian religion, I knew nothing about Who the Holy Spirit truly was. Jesus had admonished Nicodemus, a Pharisee and “a ruler of the Jews” (John 3:1) that:

“Unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” (John 3:3)

I felt like something was missing in my life, within my spirit, so I called the number on the TV screen and spoke with one of the crusade’s counselors. I gave my life to the Lord Jesus. About an hour or so later, when reading the Bible and praying, something totally unanticipated and astonishing happened: a spirit swooshed into my body at about where my ribs meet my abdomen.

I was absolutely frightened because no Christian had ever told me what being born again meant: The Holy Spirit comes into your spirit and you become whole, fully human again. Fortunately the Lord revealed to me Who He was and then I felt totally consumed by a love that was beyond comprehension or human expression. (In a later blog I’ll reveal what He said that night.)

You see, we are meant to be triune brings like God: soul, body and Spirit. When Adam and Eve rebelled against God, they were rejecting the Holy Spirit’s guidance so the Holy Spirit left them. As a result, every one of their descendants–the human race–born into this world is incomplete: body and soul only.

When we accept the Lord as our Savior, we are repenting of living life our own way by our own rules and telling God that we want Him to rule our lives. We are inviting His Spirit back into our life, making us wholly human again, reversing the curse Adam placed on every person subsequently born after his rejection of God’s authority.

Everyone senses that they are incomplete but do not understand why, so they try to fill that emptiness with things that never satisfy: food, alcohol, sex, drugs, shopping for things, gambling, etc. It’s my opinion that most addictions occur because nothing but God can fill this emptiness, although a person keeps trying and trying.

Christians often preach half a gospel: to repent and accept Jesus as Savior. But we repent to become vessels fit to receive God’s Spirit–completeness–the Life of Christ. God offers you “abundant life” (John 10:10) through the Holy Spirit.

Why not ask Him to be your Lord now and become whole.

***

For some reason neither of my computers were functioning to permit me to post this blog. I’m on my cellphone so please excuse any typos.

PS. Not all Christians have a dramatic born again experience like I did. Many slowly come to an awareness of the Holy Spirit’s presence in their spirit. But the dramatic experience explains why some Christians are so excited when first converted, because it’s an amazing thing to know that God is real and not just a myth or fairy tale.

A Little Fun…

The lunar New Year started on the 25th. Completed this update a few days late due to lugging boxes out of storage wore me out each day.

Have a great year!

Love, Dawn and Buddy

PS. Have a Gouda year!

It’s Hard Not To Fret! Hebrews 1:11

Storage.Unit.2019.WP

I am progressively moving boxes out of my storage unit into my condo. I am not a strong person so I don’t want to transport and carry the boxes up the stairwell into my home in one day, so am doing it a few at a time till my intended move-out date.

Buddy insists on coming with me in the car and particularly enjoys visiting my storage unit. I have no idea why he enjoys it but he seems to like to observe what I am doing.

I don’t want Buddy to get knocked on the head, so I usually rope him to the adjacent unit, leaving my keys nearby for him to guard. This time, I also left my cellphone next to him. Usually I don’t bring my phone with me and but usually leave it in the car, but I thought, “What if I get locked in down there (my unit is in the basement) and need to call for help?” So I took it along.

After removing several boxes and setting them onto my cart, I locked the unit and then untied Buddy. I was preoccupied with Buddy and forgot my phone on the cement floor.

Later that night, I wanted to make a phone call and realized that I did not have my phone. I looked everywhere. By then it was dark and I had to use a flashlight to investigate the ground around my condo; I looked several times everywhere that I had walked Buddy with no luck. It was nowhere in my car nor my condo.

After searching for a few hours, I got confused and couldn’t recall where I’d last held or seen the phone. I kept praying and asking God about it.

This verse came to mind while praying: “Do not be anxious about anything,…”. Apostle Paul admonished the Philippians in his letter, verse 4:6, not to worry but to trust God.

I asked the Lord to give me a new idea of where to look as I’d run out of ideas and He knew where it was. The image of my cell phone on the floor by my storage unit came to mind. I’d thought I’d picked it up but as I’d said above, confusion had already set in, particularly as I was tired from being anxious.

I pictured Jesus in the boat, sleeping peacefully and trusting God even though the boat was being swamped with water because of an unusually severe storm on the lake. That is how I should have slept, nice and peaceful trusting that the situation was in God’s hands.

But I didn’t sleep peacefully, trusting in God.

You see, I was worrying about all the photos of my adorable Buddy on my phone that I had not yet downloaded and may never see again. And the cost of purchasing a new phone when I wanted to wait for Apple to upgrade their current phone to the G5 network.

I was worrying, even though I knew I shouldn’t.

Hebrews 11:1 defines what faith is:

“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.”

One of my favorite verses in Psalms is 57:2:

“I will cry to God Most High, to God Who accomplishes all things for me.”

As I was praying, God had already reassured me not to worry and had given me an image of where the phone was. But because I could NOT SEE the phone in my hot little hand, I lacked faith that all was well. Unlike Jesus, I fretted and didn’t sleep well. As a result, I woke up the next day exhausted and not able to accomplish the task I’d set myself for the day before attending an evening class.

Thank goodness that God is forgiving when we confess our sins (1 John 1:9). I confessed my lack of faith, knowing that Jesus had already taken the punishment for my sin on the cross. God was not going to punish me for my lack of faith.

I had punished myself by fretting.

And, yes, the next morning, after the storage unit had reopened for the day, I found my cell phone exactly where the Holy Spirit had already revealed it was to me during prayer. No one had picked it up and made off with it.

You can bet that I started downloading my Buddy photos that same night.

Please remember that God accomplishes all things for those who love Him. He loves His children and helps them in times of trouble. He never promised a problem free life but to assist us when trouble comes.

God bless you this year in 2020.

Love from Dawn and Buddy

***

God loves and helps His children. But the Apostle John makes it clear in the gospel of John, verses 1:12-13:

“But as many as received Him (Christ Jesus), to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, who were born…of God.”

Every human being is a creation of God, but not a child of God. Therefore, if you are not born again (John 3:1-3), ie. do not believe in Christ, you cannot claim God’s promises in the Bible. Because God is loving, He does a lot of good for people who do not know or love Him, but God’s revealed promises in the Bible cannot be claimed.

Why not start the New Year with a new 2020 vision of your future by praying the below prayer of faith:

Dear Father, I confess that I have sinned and fallen short of your righteous standards. I deserve Your judgment. But Jesus, God in the flesh, died on the Cross to take the punishment for my sin that I deserve. Please forgive my sin and make me a new creation in Christ by circumcising my heart by the Holy Spirit. I want to be born again.

If you are truly repentant, the Holy Spirit will abide in you and make you complete in Christ, connecting you to God. Please find a godly, Bible-based church to learn about, and grow, in Christ. I also recommend the radio and TV ministries of Charles Stanley (InTouch.org), Michael Youssef (LTW.org), and Basic Gospel (BasicGospel.net).

Have a great year as a new believer!

To Help Us Understand, 1 John 4:8-11

Buddy.Santa.coat.2019

It’s so cute when Buddy cocks his head at me, trying to understand what I am saying. Since it’s just the two of us living in my condo, he is my main companion. I realize that he doesn’t understand most of what I’m saying, but he does know that I’m at least paying him attention and communicating.

“…God is love. By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought to love one another.”–Apostle John, 1 John 4:9-11

God knew that human race wasn’t “getting it.” Out of love He sent the moral Law through Moses to lead and guide people, to protect them from evil and show them the proper way to live and get along with one another. He created the nation Israel to be a light to the world, to bless and prosper them so that the world would see that the nation that serves and loves God is blessed.

Yet this high and holy God was often rejected to pursue gods of wood and stone because people didn’t comprehend how much He loved them.

People still aren’t getting it.

At Christmas we celebrate the birth of Immanuel, God in human flesh (Matthew 1:23). God came down in human form so that we could understand Him and enter into fellowship with Him. Jesus healed people of physical, mental and spiritual diseases. He washed the dirty feet of His disciples. He spoke kindly to a Samaritan woman who was rejected, not only for her sex and race, but also because of her immoral behavior. He rebuked the political/religious leaders who were leading people astray, not for the purpose of destroying them but to get them to wise up. He refused to retaliate against the very men who beat, spit and crucified Him: He didn’t slander or evaporate them.

Jesus came down to speak personally to the human race so that we would understand that God loves us and is love.

To “speak our language”.

“For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. (John 3:17)” For “Greater love has no one that this, that one lay down his life for his friends. (John 15:13)”

As the angel announced to the shepherds guarding their flocks Christmas night:

“I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people; for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. (Luke 1:10-11)”

It is appropriate to celebrate at Christmastime. For it is joyful news that God visited humanity to dwell with us and demonstrate that He loves us. A mighty and innocent Savior who was crucified to take on the Father’s wrath for our sin so that we could be declared righteous in God’s sight without having to earn it, but merely by admitting we are sinners in need of a Savior and inviting Christ into our lives and hearts.

God wants us to get it: That the all powerful God loves us and made a way for imperfect people to be in fellowship with a pure and holy God.

To bring joy into our lives both here and for eternity.

Merry Christmas from Dawn and Buddy. May your holiday season be filled with love and joy.