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Where Is Your Faith? Luke 8:22-25a

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It’s Seahawks football season again. Last year Buddy hid in the master bathtub because the neighborhood shoots off booms and bangs every time the Hawks score a touchdown. He also runs off when a family member claps their hands to cheer a good play.

Christians, including myself, are not immune to fear. As a result, we don’t always move forward in faith when we should. Yet, sometimes Jesus pushes us into fearful situations to increase our faith and trust in Him.

“Now on one of those days Jesus and HIs disciples got into a boat, and He said to them, ‘Let us go over to the other side of the lake.’ So they launched out.

But as they were sailing along He fell asleep; and a fierce gale of wind descended on the lake, and they began to be swamped and to be in danger.

They came to Jesus and woke Him up, saying, ‘Master, Master, we are perishing!’ And He got up and rebuked the wind and the surging waves, and they stopped, and it became calm.

And He said to them, ‘Where is your faith?'”–Luke 8:22-25a

Sometimes I get frustrated with my fellow Christians. Maybe that is wrong. But here is the reason: According to the US Government Census page, our USA population is slowly approaching 326 million people. 40% of the population claims to be born-again, or 130 million, 400 thousand people. I assume they are all old enough to make the claim. When I was discussing this with a friend recently, they claimed that only about 10% of the 40% is sincere. OK, so that’s 13 million and 40 thousand people.

For several years I’ve been listening to the Christian community claim that it’s all over for America. Really?

After receiving the power of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost, 12 apostles and five thousand new converts turned the known world upside down, starting a spiritual, and ultimately a cultural, revolution that has lasted for over 2 thousand years. So I ask my fellow 13 million plus fellow American believers: Where is your faith?

“And He (Jesus) could do no miracles there except that He laid his hands on a few sick people and healed them. And He wondered at their unbelief.”–Mark 6:5-6

Perhaps the problem in America with it’s increasingly debauched culture isn’t that God has given up on America, but that we have given up on praying to God for spiritual renewal. It’s really easy to get busy with family or recreation or business and not leave time to pray. Or exhaust ourselves with guilt and worry and anger and not have the energy to pray.

Or, simply, not ask God for spiritual renewal and hunger in America because of simple unbelief. Not asking because we don’t believe it’s possible. We’re looking at the waves surging around us of cultural rot and animosity toward Christianity and the Bible and tossing our hands up in the air in despair, instead of getting on our knees and praying.

As Dr. Charles Stanley says, “The battle is won on our knees.”

I’m not satisfied in watching souls die without the Lord and hope.

I’m going to start spending more time in prayer that God raise up godly evangelists, particularly among the new generation becoming adults. And for spiritual renewal in America. Please pray with me.

Until Jesus returns, we’re to be salt (a preservative) and light. We’re all here at this time for a reason. Have faith, my friends!

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Waiting: Psalm 27:13-14

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Buddy loves to herd me when he thinks I’m walking too slowly on our “walkies”. He’ll swing around behind me and begin bopping me in the back of my left leg with his nose, trying to get me to speed up. He’s impatient to move forward more quickly.

I’m the same way with God. I hate waiting, particularly a long time. I would like to move out of rain-soaked Seattle but events are just not coming together to make it happen, although I am eager to make a fresh start somewhere else where it’s not a major event when the sun comes out.

King David in Psalm 27 also voices his despair. He’s feeling depressed because he wants to be delivered from his enemies. He reminds himself that although the days seem dark, God will come through for him if he’s willing to wait and trust in God’s timing.

“I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; Be strong and let your heart take courage; Yes, wait for the Lord.”

David reminds himself to be patient, that God will eventually come through and bless him in this life. He strengthens himself emotionally by focusing on God’s faithfulness.

Sometimes we’re not supposed to wait, but pray and then step out in faith. At other times, it seems like our hopes keep being dashed and roadblocks tossed into our paths.

May you find your strength in the Lord’s promises in the Scriptures as you wait on Him.

Scripture verses are NASB

No Fear In The New Year: Psalm 121:7-8

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Buddy isn’t so thrilled about the New Year because it’s a war zone in our neighborhood. Fortunately, this year the neighbors celebrated for fewer hours, perhaps because it was so cold this winter or maybe they just ran short on funds after the multi-day fireworks extravaganza last Fourth of July. He spent most of the evening hiding deep in the closet under clothing or sandwiched amongst the stuffed toys stacked on my bed with just his face showing, just like ET.

Every New Year reminds me of how unknowable my future is. This year could bring great joy or great sorrow, a likely job lay-off or illness, a fabulous overseas European adventure or reduced circumstances. I don’t have the ability to predict the future, only to make my best guess.

However, whatever the year brings, I can rely on God’s promises in Scripture. One of my favorites, when facing the unknown, are these two verses from Psalm 121:7-8:

“The Lord will protect you from all evil; He will keep your soul. The Lord will guard your going out and your coming in From this time forth and forever.”–NASB

Whether I leave a job, my home, or the old year behind, I know that the Lord Jesus will be with me, guarding me and watching over me.

Whether I begin a new job, move to a new home, or enter a new year, I know that the Lord Jesus will be with me, guarding me and watching over me.

Whether I go or come, leave or stay, He will be with me.

As you wake to each new day or rest your head onto your pillow in the evening, if you are born-again and have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, remember that He will be with you.

Happy New Year from Dawn and Buddy.

PS. Due to inclement weather (high winds), this greeting was a bit delayed.

No Neutral Ground: Colossians 1:13-14

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Thanks for reading my blog. You could be doing other things with your time so I really appreciate it. I’m trying to post every Friday night but sometimes life interferes. (All Biblical quotes are from the NASB.)

Buddy wasn’t too cooperative tonight when I pulled out the camera phone but I finally managed to get a photo of him in a doorway. For some reason he’s scared of the phone even though it’s never harmed him.

Why was the doorway so important?

For some reason, people believe there is neutral territory in life. You don’t have to choose to believe in Jesus and follow Him but you don’t have to be a Satanist either: There’s a third neutral zone to dwell in.

But it’s not true.

As it is written, “There is none righteous, not even one; there is none who understands, there is none who seeks for God.”–Romans 3:10-11

Since the original couple told God to “Shove it!”, believing that they could figure out right and wrong for themselves, the Holy Spirit left the human race and we are all born without the Spirit of God. We are all born into Satan’s kingdom.

“…the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, Who is the image of God.”–2 Corinthians 4:4

Jesus is the one who reaches down to us and offers His hand of rescue. We can choose to grasp that hand offered by Jesus Christ, “Immanuel God With Us” (Matthew 1:23 NASB),…

“For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.”–Colossians 1:13-14

Yes, it seems unfair. No one gets any choices at their birth. No one asks to be born into the enemy’s kingdom.

Just as Buddy couldn’t remain in the doorway but had to choose to go through or back up, so we must choose to walk with Jesus through the doorway into His kingdom.

Because one day that door is going to close.

Which is why I am writing this blog. I love you and want you to walk over to His side. Is it all wine and roses? No. (Sometimes I feel like I’m all whine and no roses.) But it’s a decision I’ve never regretted.

And you won’t either.

 

Do Not Fear: Isaiah 41:10

Buddy is hiding in the bathtub because the neighborhood sounds like it’s under attack this Fourth of July. Some of the blasts have made me jump out of my chair. Buddy escaped our backyard and ran off Thursday night for the first time. I mobilized prayer support and a cousin I’d met this Winter reposted my Facebook notice that Buddy was missing to a neighborhood rescue site that I had never heard of before. Her skilled use of social media led us the following afternoon to the dog-loving couple who had found him in their backyard that night.

After an anxious night of nearly no sleep, I’m thankful Buddy was kept safe. It reminds me of Isaiah 41:10 (NASB version):

Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not look anxiously about you, for I am your God, I WILL strengthen you, I SURELY I WILL help you, SURELY I WILL uphold you with my righteous right hand.

If you are born-again, you can be assured that whatever situation you’re going through, God will help you through it. Sometimes Jesus delivers us, sometimes He strengthens us to get through it, and many times, He gives me an idea or wisdom on how to solve the dilemma. After twenty-six years of being a Christian, I’ve found He usually works through the natural world and processes.

But certainly HE DID keep Buddy safe when the SUV skidded to a stop to avoid hitting him Thursday night. I was too far away, walking down a nearby street, to get to that location before he’d run off someplace. To me, that was a miracle.

God bless you. This is my first post. I hope that I will be enable to encourage you to keep seeking the Lord and not lose heart. Life can be discouraging, I know.

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