These major Christian churches say same-sex ‘marriage’ agenda stops at their front doors

Won’t allow ceremonies in their facilities

Oct 26, 2019

(Pixabay)

Many Christian denominations officially celebrate same-sex marriage, even though marriage is defined in the Bible as the union of a man and a woman.

They include the Friends General Conference, Metropolitan Community Church, National Association of Congregational Christian Churches, United Methodist Church, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and the Episcopal church.

In the United Kingdom, the Church of England, the Church in Wales, the Scottish Episcopal Church and others have adopted it.

But in Northern Ireland, all of the major churches have stated their opposition, the Belfast Telegraph reported

“The Church of Ireland, Methodist Church of Ireland and Presbyterian Church in Ireland all stated that they will only celebrate marriages between a man and a woman,” the report said. “The Catholic Church expressed its concerns at the ‘redefinition’ of marriage, but did not comment directly on whether it would hold same-sex wedding ceremonies on its properties.”

The report explained marriages between same-sex couples are no longer illegal in Northern Ireland after legislation passed by Westminster came into effect at midnight on Monday.

However, a spokesman for the Church of Ireland stated that weddings taking place in one of its churches or conducted by one of its ministers will only celebrate unions between men and women.

The church official said: “The Church of Ireland affirms, according to our Lord’s teaching, that marriage is in its purpose a union permanent and lifelong, for better or worse, till death do them part, of one man with one woman, to the exclusion of all others on either side.”

The report explained Rev. Jim Stothers, the deputy clerk of the Presbyterian Church’s General Assembly, said his denomination will continue to “hold the scriptural basis of marriage.”

He said the church includes in every marriage ceremony the statement: “Since the beginning of creation God, in His gracious purpose, provided marriage as the accepted way in which a man and a woman may come together as husband and wife.”

Stothers said the secular imposition of same-sex marriage “does not change that.”

The Christian Institute in the U.K. noted it previously has warned that “no consideration” has been given to those who respectfully disagree with same-sex marriage in Northern Ireland.

“Free speech protections that have been won over many years must be put in place in Northern Ireland,” warned Institute Director Colin Hart.

 

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More Precious Than Gold

The fear of the Lord is pure, enduring forever. The decrees of the Lord are firm, and all of them are righteous. They are more precious than gold, than much pure gold.” Psalms 19:9-10

My wife and I recently were able to take our first cruise. It was a blessing and allowed us to have the first extended time away together in over a decade. We were able to relax, recharge, and eat WAY too much! I was thinking about gluttony during the cruise and perused for a minute if I should to write about that. It was a good lesson in self-control that’s for sure and my stomach hated me when I did not engage in said self-control.

We also learned more about jewelry than we ever wanted to know. It seems that jewelry buying is a big attraction on cruise ships due to it being tax and duty free on the open water. They bribed us to take these informational sessions by giving us a charm bracelet and then a charm with each subsequent meeting. There were a total of 8 meetings and we only made it to half. Initially I was interested in bringing my daughter home a fully charmed out bracelet but we decided to buy the charms later for her due to not wanting to most of our time during the cruise jewelry shopping vs. relaxing.

I will admit that learning details about the 4 C’s of diamonds (clarify, cut, color, carat) and the history of Tanzanite was interesting at first. I also wished that I had 10K to spend on jewelry once I saw the prices and how much they hype the sales and products. Terms like “once in a lifetime”, “limited time only”, and “it will never be this cheap again” were frequently shouted. Once the glitz and glimmer faded though, my wife and I were left with a feeling of sadness over the amount of value they place on jewelry. Granted I know that the promoters running the meetings were being paid to make buying jewelry seem like the most important thing in the moment, but overall it was a very worldly focused experience.

It was comments like “live life with no regrets” and “my collection of jewels is second to none” that really started to leave us with a bad aftertaste at how superfluous everything seemed. They asked what was the “most important thing in your life?” my wife and I yelled “Jesus” but the answer they were looking for was family, ok that’s a close second… more specifically illustrating how you should pass on a legacy of fine jewelry down to your family (eye roll).

To be clear, I don’t believe there’s anything wrong with buying jewelry, even expensive ones. I’m sure many of the people on the cruise were in a position to easily spend thousands of dollars on jewelry that would be similar in scale to me spending $100 on a necklace for my wife.

As far as a legacy goes, I don’t want to pass on jewelry to my children, at least not in the context of legacy. An inheritance is fine and well, but a legacy I want to leave them is a lifetime of faithfulness. I want them to have a knowledge of Jesus that never leaves them. I want them to see me honor God in all my actions, love my wife as Christ loved the church, and be compassionate to those around me by giving generously of my time and money. I want them to know their father loves them no matter what; I want them to know I am proud of them and that I encouraged them to fight for what was right, to be steadfast in their walk with the Lord, and pursue the God-given dreams that they have been inspired to dream. That is the legacy I want to be known for!

I did find tanzanite interesting, learning that it was recently discovered in the 1960’s in Tanzania, it is actually a variety of the mineral zoisite which is a common mineral but because it is under the mountains of Mt. Kilimanjaro, it is infused with other elements they don’t even know of to give it the blue and purple color. It made me think of what else has not been discovered yet?! It also made me think of the marvelous wonders we will see in heaven with jewels that have never been seen before on earth.

Revelation gives us a peek:

The wall was made of jasper, and the city of pure gold, as pure as glass. The foundations of the city walls were decorated with every kind of precious stone. The first foundation was jasper, the second sapphire, the third agate, the fourth emerald, the fifth onyx, the sixth ruby, the seventh chrysolite, the eight beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth turquoise, the eleventh jacinth, and the twelfth amethyst. Revelation 21:18-20

What an amazing picture of heaven that cannot be compared with anything here on earth. Even the crowns we receive will be cast at Jesus’ feet (Revelation 4:10), and any streets or houses of gold will pale in comparison to spending eternity with Jesus.

Our true treasure is in heaven. Jesus talked about this in Matthew 6:19, “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven… For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” Our goal on earth should be to be good stewards of what we have (regardless if that is a lot or very little), be generous and show love to those around us, and never forget where our true treasure is. Don’t seek the gold, seek the One who created the gold!

Discerning Reflection: How motivated am I by earthly riches vs. eternal rewards? Am I a good steward of what God has given me? Do I covet what I cannot have and allow it to consume my thoughts or am I thankful for my blessings?

Prayer: Lord, help me be thankful for all the blessings you have given me. Please help me not look at what this world says is a treasure we should pursue, but help me grow in my relationship with you daily as I await your return.

Tim Ferrara
Discerning Dad

More Precious than Gold

How Should A King Be?

 

October 29, 2019 hepsibahgarden

And Samuel said, When thou wast little in thine own sight, wast thou not made the head of the tribes of Israel, and the Lord anointed thee king over Israel? 1 Samuel‬ ‭15:17‬ ‭

This was the beginning of King Saul, the first king of Israel. He began his life well; the aspect of humility being clearly seen in him. Even though God chose and anointed him king over Israel, yet king Saul was unable to maintain this character throughout his reign. He was on the throne for 38 long years but actually reigned for only 2 years.

LESSONS LEARNT FROM ISRAEL’S FIRST KING:

1. His implicit obedience – Saul is seen implicitly obeying his dad, Kish, to hunt for the donkeys that his dad had lost. 1 Samuel 9:3. Without questioning his father, like an obedient child Saul went in search of those lost donkeys. God desires this obedience in us as well because it was found in Jesus. Philippians 2:8. We have been called to become like Jesus.

2. His humility – Saul did not consider himself as a VIP even after becoming a king. Look at what he says, Am not I a Benjamite, of the smallest of the tribes of Israel? and my family the least of all the families of the tribe of Benjamin? wherefore then speakest thou so to me? 1 Samuel‬ ‭9:21‬. But the sad part was King Saul could not preserve himself in this character in the latter part of his reign. He became proud and disobedient.

3. His hidden life – When prophet Samuel came in search of Saul to anoint him as king over Israel, Saul was nowhere to be seen. Why? Because he had hidden himself behind the supplies. 1 Samuel 10:22. He was unwilling to reveal himself before others. Jesus also lived a hidden life while He was on earth. As believers, we need to live a life hidden in Christ, that is, dead to sin, world and lust.

4. He held his peace – In the beginning of Saul’s life, when people despised and made fun of him, he simply held his peace. Similarly, we must also hold onto our peace when we are mocked and revoked by others. 1 Samuel 10:27.

5. Did not take revenge against others – This was in the beginning of his career as a king. 1 Samuel 11:12,13Gradually, when he disobeyed God and doing his own will, King Saul was always after David; seeking revenge to kill him. As believers, our revenge should be against sin and all disobedience.

6. He had the nature of waiting – Saul was once a very patient man but lost this nature eventually because of his own foolishness. Before making him a king, Saul had to wait for 10 days till Prophet Samuel have the next command; which he did. But later on he lost his patient nature and his hasty decision of performing the priest’s job, cost him the kingdom.

7. He was made king in Gilgal. Gilgal was the place where the reproach of Israel rolled away. It is a place of healing, where we first meet Jesus. It was also in this place that Saul was anointed to be the king. 1 Samuel 11:14. But towards the later part of King Saul’s life, he lost his kingdom and the crown due to disobedience.

Therefore what does God desire in our lives? God desires us … to fear the Lord thy God, to walk in all his ways, and to love him, and to serve the Lord thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul, Deuteronomy‬ ‭10:12‬

Be blessed 💕

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VIDEO Israel, Joshua 6, Jericho

 

Beginning with “Israel – 1 – A Pagan Breeds A Nation,” through “19 Israel – Honoring The Seventh Day – Keeping The Law – A Discussion,” we have studied the nation of Israel, going back to the time of God’s covenant promise with Abraham. We have discussed such times of God’s covenant people, as their four hundred thirty years’ stay in Egypt (Exodus 12:40-41), and their departure from Egypt. We have studied such gifts of God to Israel, as the Sabbath and the Law. We have seen God’s presence in the Tent of Meeting (the tent of Moses, Ex 33:7-23), where He would speak with Moses, where Joshua was also present. We saw God’s command to Moses to build a Tabernacle in the desert (Ex 25:8), in which His presence was so strong that the following experience was realized at its completion: “34 Then the cloud covered the tent of meeting, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle. 35 And Moses was not able to enter the tent of meeting because the cloud had settled on it, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle” (Ex 40:34-35. NASB 77. Note that the Tabernacle in the desert was also called the tent of meeting). In this timeline of Israel’s travels, we will see God’s covenant people leaving the Sinai desert, crossing the Jordan River, and entering into the Land of Canaan (Joshua 1:2; 3:17). We will see that Canaan was God’s gift to the Israelites, and was a land gift for Israel to conquer and possess (Josh 1:3), although it was not the fulfillment of the Abrahamic Covenant. Canaan will also be an inheritance for the Jews during the Kingdom Age of the millennium (2 Samuel 7:8).

III. KEY CONCEPT OF JOSHUA (See Conclusion, Ephesians 2:1-10).

The key concept of the book of Joshua is possession through conflict by the power of Yahweh, the Captain of the Lord’s host. In this regard, the Book of Joshua is also like Ephesians, for though we are blessed with every spiritual blessing in Christ, we must realistically face the fact of our enemies (Eph. 6:12) and strengthen ourselves by putting on the full armor of God (Eph. 6:10-11, 13-18). It is important to realize that Israel’s ownership of the land was unconditional under the Abrahamic covenant, but possession of the land was conditional upon faith and obedience. And so today, conflict and conquest by faith go with laying hold of that which we have positionally in Christ; the experience of our blessings in Christ comes through faith in the midst of conflict. (J. Hampton Keathley III, Deceased, Th.M., 1966 graduate of Dallas Theological Seminary https://bible.org/seriespage/introduction-and-background).

IV. In this article we continue our prophetic journey of Israel, as opposed to a verse-by-verse scripture discussion. We have had a brief look at Joshua in Israel 20 and 21 (I will no longer number Israel posts). In future articles, we will discuss how the Israelites in the Book of Joshua relate to the nation of Israel in the times of the millennium (Kingdom Age), and the eternal state.

V. The following data (A-D) was gathered from the commentary of Joshua by Dr. David M. Howard, Jr., Ph.D.

A. Joshua’s name means, “Yahweh saves,” or “Yahweh delivers.” His name is the same form as Jesus’s name in the New Testament (Iēsoûs, ee-ay-sooce’; of Hebrew origin (H3091)). Joshua was present with Moses at the Tent Of Meeting (tent of Moses) in the wilderness, when God was Present (Ex 33:11). When Moses was about to die, Joshua went with him to the Tent of Meeting (Tabernacle in the desert) to meet God (Deu 31:14). “Israel served the LORD all of the days of Joshua,” which speaks well of his leadership (Joshua 24:31).

B. Joshua’s original name was “Hoshea,” which means “salvation,” or “deliverance,” (Num 13:8, Dt 32:44). Numbers 13-16 explains that Moses gave Hoshea the new name “Joshua.” He accompanied Moses up to Mount Sinai (Ex 24:31). He was one of the 12 spies that went into the land of Canaan, and he and Caleb were the only ones who brought back a positive report (Num 13-14).

C. Joshua was designated as the successor to Moses by the Lord, and Moses took him before the Lord to commission him (Num 27:15-23). During the ceremony, Moses passed his authority to Joshua through the laying on of his hands. Along with Eleazar the priest, Joshua was to distribute the lands to the tribes (Num 32:28; 34:17), a role they carried out when they reached the land (Josh 14:1; 19:51).

D. God used Joshua to save His people by conquering Canaan and apportioning it to Israel as their promised land. The purpose of the Book of Joshua is to give an official account of the historical fulfillment of God’s promise to give Israel the land of Canaan. Specifically, the conquest of Canaan under Joshua’s leadership was based on the Abrahamic Covenant.

E. It is important to understand that the people of Canaan were cousins of the Israelites (very sinful cousins, which we will discuss), whom also descended from the Ark to repopulate the earth (Gen 9:2,18).

VI. In Leviticus 18, God states His laws on moral relations. In that chapter, the many sins of Canaan are exposed by God to Moses. The Israelites were bound by the Law. Lev 18 verses 4-24 state the moral condition of the Canaanites (cousins of the Israelites).

A. Leviticus 18:1-3 (NASB) 1 Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 2 “Speak to the sons of Israel and say to them, ‘I am the Lord your God. 3 You shall not do what is done in the land of Egypt where you lived, nor are you to do what is done in the land of “Canaan” where I am bringing you; you shall not walk in their statutes.

B. Leviticus 18:4-24, God listed the sins that the people of Canaan were committing: seeing the nakedness of family members, presumably for sexual relations; fornication; adultery; child sacrifice; homosexuality; and bestiality. (https://hermeneutics.stackexchange.com/questions/40868/what-sin-did-the-residents-of-jericho-commit)

VII. The following verse shows the severity of the instructions that God gave to Joshua and the Israelites concerning their attack on Jericho:

Joshua 6:17 (NKJV) “Now the city shall be doomed by the Lord to destruction, it and all who are in it. Only Rahab the harlot shall live, she and all who are with her in the house, because she hid the messengers that we sent.”

VIII. Consider the comment that comes from The Moody Bible Commentary on the Canaanites.

The city was to be destroyed and burned. All of the people and livestock were to be killed. The destruction had been ordered by God (Dt 7:2, 20:16-18) because He wanted these people eradicated: indigenous pagan survivors would bring compromise and syncretism to Israel. These people were unredeemable, exterminated for their wickedness. God had told Abraham 430 years earlier that “the sin of the Amorite was not yet complete” (Gen 15:16). Now it was. ….. They (Israelites) were to kill or drive the Canaanites into exile (Dt 20:16-18)….. Amidst the chaos of the battle, God’s grace came to one believer and her family. Rahab was spared, along with anyone wise enough to separate from their countrymen and join with Israel.

IX. Was Joshua’s conquest justified? Yes it was! Consider the following article from NAMB Blog:

Joshua’s Conquest: Was It Justified?

X. In this article we will look into the details of the triumph of Joshua and the Israelites in the promised land of Canaan, in the conquest of Jericho. In following articles, we will discuss other Israelite triumphs. As we continue forward in our study of God’s plan for His chosen people, Israel (Deu 14:2), consider Joshua’s excellence, integrity, and godly character.

XI. Joshua 6 The Conquest of Jericho (click onto link to see verses)
https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Joshua+6&version=NKJV

XII. Consider the following video on the battle of Jericho.

The Walls of Jericho – Joshua 6 | Sunday School Lesson and Bible Teaching Story for Kids |HD| –
Sharefaith Kids – Published on Aug 26, 2016
Sunday School lessons for Kids! Try 4 FREE Lessons: http://sharefaithkids.com
Download the full Sunday School Lesson: http://www.sharefaith.com/set/joshua-…

XIII. God had a strange plan for the battle of Jericho. He told Joshua to have the armed men march around the city once each day, for six days. The priests were to carry the ark, blowing trumpets, but the soldiers were to keep silent. On the seventh day, the assembly marched around the walls of Jericho seven times. (https://www.learnreligions.com/battle-of-jericho-700195)

XIV. The following information (A through D) comes from the works of Pastor David Guzik, Calvary Chapel of Santa Barbara, Enduring Word Bible Commentary, Blue Letter Bible.
(https://enduringword.com/bible-commentary/joshua-6/)

A. Jericho was securely shut up because of the children of Israel (Joshua 6:1): Jericho itself was on full alert; from a human perspective, this would be a hard, if not impossible, battle. From God’s perspective, the battle was already over, because He can say to Joshua, “I have (in the past tense) given Jericho into your hand,” (Joshua 6:2).

1. Up to this point everything had been more or less preliminary and preparatory. Now, the real task before them must be faced and tackled. The Canaanites must be dispossessed if Israel is to occupy that which God has promised them.

2. Jericho was not an exceptionally large city; but it was an important, formidable fortress city. If Israel could defeat Jericho, they could defeat anything else that would face them in Canaan. Again, we see the wisdom of God as opposed to human wisdom, in that Israel faces their most difficult opponent first.

B. You shall march around the city (Joshua 6:3): The method of warfare was one that made absolutely no sense according to military intelligence. It required total dependence on God. It required great faith from Joshua because he had to explain and lead the nation in this plan. It required great faith from the elders and the nation, because they had to follow Joshua in this plan (Joshua 6:4).

C. The wall of the city will fall down flat. And the people shall go up every man straight before him (Joshua 6:5): It was a plan for victory whereby it would clearly be the work of the LORD. Yet God gave them something to do, so that Israel could work in partnership with God.

D. Obviously, it was something that God could have done without Israel’s help at all, but He wanted them to be a part of His work – as He wants us to be a part of His work today.

E. The Moody Bible Commentary. “It likely indicates that the walls fell “outward” and down the slope.” (My note. Consider the walls falling “outward!”)

XV. Video Of Archaelogical Study Of Walls Of Jericho.

Walls of Jericho – Whispering Past – Published on Aug 8, 2017 – The evidence for the ancient city of Jericho and it’s walls falling is there for the pondering!

XVI. Considering the sin of Jericho, Sodom, and Gomorrah (we must consider all three cities).

A. Did God make a mistake? After God ordered the destruction of Jericho, did He say,”Oops!” Has God changed His mind on the sin of Sodom and Gomorrah? Consider that it was sin that caused Adam and Eve to be kicked out of the Garden of Eden, and that it was sin that put Christ on the Cross. Sin is “serious stuff.” Let’s consider the sin that caused the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah.

B. There are many that hold to the view that the sin of Sodom and Gomorrah was a lack of hospitality. e.g., “Sodom’s sins are blasphemy, plundering, and persecuting the poor, not homosexual behavior.” https://affirmation.org/sodom-and-gomorrah-arrogant-overfed-and-unconcerned/

C. Let’s take a look at the facts of the sin of Sodom and Gomorrah.

1. Genesis 18:20 (NASB) “And the Lord said, “The outcry of Sodom and Gomorrah is indeed great, and their sin is exceedingly grave.”

2. God Questions. https://www.gotquestions.org/Sodom-and-Gomorrah.html (see excerpts below from article.) Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding towns gave themselves up to sexual immorality and perversion.” …..while homosexuality was not the only sin in which the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah indulged, it does appear to be the primary reason for the destruction of the cities…Those who attempt to explain away the biblical condemnations of homosexuality claim that the sin of Sodom and Gomorrah was inhospitality…Sodom and Gomorrah serve as a powerful example of how God feels about sin in general, and homosexuality specifically.

3. Ryrie Study Bible. Genesis 19:5. “that we may have relations with them, i.e., have sex with them. God’s attitude toward the sin of homosexuality is seen in the destruction of Sodom and in Lev 18:22,29; 20:13; Rom 1:26; 1 Tim 1:10.

4. Consider the sin of Gen 18:20 in the world in which we live today, “their sin is exceedingly great.”

(a) Recently, as I was watching the various news reports of Hurricane Dorian, I heard a reporter say, “the storm has a mind of its own.” Really? That is like saying that “Mother Nature” is directing the things that are happening in our world. First of all, let me say that, “there is no Mother Nature!” However, there definitely is, “Father God,” with the following verse of scripture that describes His sovereignty:

(b) Psalm 103:19 (NKJV) “The Lord has established His throne in heaven, And His kingdom rules over all.”

(c) After 911, “god,” little “g,” was welcomed into our nation’s “churches,” little “c.” However, Christ, our Lord and Savior, has been denied His proper place of honor and deity ever since that day, to include “so-called religious places” and places of influence, such as “news, government, media, employment, academia, entertainment, new world order, et el.”

XVII. Conclusion. God’s Love.

There are many people that can not understand how “a loving God,” can destroy complete cities of people, such as Jericho and Sodom and Gomorrah, as well as other cities, to include the destruction that will come during the “yet future” tribulation. Such people cite the unfairness of God, as it relates to those whom may be “the innocents” of His judgments. Psalm 103:19, and other similar scriptures tell of God’s sovereignty over His creation, also His love and mercy over “all.” Consider the nature of God in the following verses:

A. 1 John 4:8 (NKJV) “He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.”

B. Psalm 136:1 (NKJV) “Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever.”

C. We are told in scripture that, “we must be born again.” We are also told that God causes the New Birth to take place.

1. John 3:3 (NKJV) “Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

2. John 3:8 (NKJV) “The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.”

3. Ezekiel 36:26 (NKJV) “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you;”

4. Ephesians 2:1-10 shows a result of the new birth.

D. Whether the situation of God’s judgment falls on such circumstances as “Jericho and Sodom and Gomorrah,” or where small children are taught by their parents to hate God’s chosen people, Israel (Deu 14:2),” remember the truth of Psalm 136:1. There has never been an instance of Christ expressing anything that is less than love for children (Matthew 19:14). God is ready, willing, and able to cause anybody’s spirit to be born again which, upon death, causes such a person to be in the immediate Presence of God. Consider the account of a beggar, whose name was Lazarus.

1. Context: Luke 16:19-23 https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=luke+16%3A19-23&version=NKJV

2. Specific verse. Luke 16:22 “So it was that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels to Abraham’s bosom.”

 Opening video.

The Martins – Joshua Fit the Battle of Jericho [Live]
Gaither Music TV – Published on Aug 9, 2012 – The Martins – Official Video for “Joshua Fit the Battle of Jericho (Live)”, available now!
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7 Blessings In Having God’s Presence With Us

September 6, 2019 hepsibahgarden

The angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them.

O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him. Psalms‬ ‭34:7-8‬

God led the Israelites throughout their wilderness journey as a Pillar of Cloud by day and a Pillar of Fire by night. (Note: These people once had to endure the hard bondage of slavery in Egypt, under the cruel regime of Pharoah, for 400 years); However their desperate cry for help was not in vain. God heard them and sent His man Moses — thus began the great journey of deliverance of the Israelites to the Promised Land of Canaan.

By His mighty and ever out-stretched Arms, performing mighty wonders and miracles before Pharaoh and his kingdom, God wonderfully brought His people out. As they entered the wilderness, the Pillar of Cloud always hovered above them. They halted when the cloud halted and kept moving when the cloud moved. In short, when God is with His people, the journey is never difficult.

For Christian Life to be a happy and joyous onward journey, we need to have God’s presence with us without fail, every day. This was King David’s confession of enjoying His Presence around him wherever he went. He kept winning and won great victories. The Lord leads us by sending the Angel of His Presence till we reach our destination.

THERE ARE 7 BLESSINGS OF HAVING GOD’S PRESENCE WITH US:

1. Problems that are like mountains melt away like wax when His Presence is with us. Psalms 97:5. A stony heart ceases to remain as it is where God is present. When the sinner woman in the city got to know that Jesus was in a house nearby, she ran to him and began wiping his feet with her hair. She shed tears and anointed His feet. She was delivered of her sinful life.

2. We receive God’s counsel for our daily life when His Presence is with us. Moses got the 10 commandments in the presence of the Lord. In the New Testament those 10 were made into 2 (laws of love). God’s laws and counsels are of love and not grievous.

3. We receive daily bread from God’s Presence. In the Tabernacle, every Sabbath the priests had to layout 12 shewbread on the Table. These bread refers to the apostolic truths and doctrines (strong meat) which we need to eat and abide by. The weak cannot have strong meat nor can they survive on milk alone.

4. We get life and are revived by having God’s Presence with us. Numbers 17:1-8. Aaron’s rod budded and flowered and brought forth almonds, when it was kept in the Presence of God. It was a normal rod before, but staying in His Presence brought the difference.

5. In His Presence there is fullness of joy. Psalms 16:11. There is life and peace as well.

6. His Presence preserves us. Psalms 31:20. Those having a life of prayer and praising are upheld in His Presence and are saved from the schemes of the enemy.

7. His Presence makes us ready to get to the Most Holy Place. This place is The Holiest of holies in the Tabernacle, and God’s dwelling place inEternity. David says he pants for presenting himself before God like the deer pants for the water brooks. Psalms 42:1.

May the Lord help us to desire His Presence in our lives always and enjoy these blessings being there.

Be blessed 💕

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Let History Guide Us on Veterans Day

 

by ROBERT WILKIE

The Ripon Forum  Volume 53, No. 5   Veterans Day 2019

 

 

President Lincoln captured the essence of Veterans Day decades before America invented it.

During the Civil War, in summertime, Lincoln lived in a small cottage a few miles north of the White House. From there, he commuted back and forth to his strenuous job of trying to keep the nation from splintering in two.

That commute put him in daily contact with Union soldiers who were being taken to hospitals in the north of the city. A report from those days saw Lincoln riding alongside the wounded “for a considerable distance, conversing freely with the men.”

Lincoln knew as well as anyone who ever lived that those who wear the uniform are among the most important ways we have of protecting and defending those sacred ideas written into our founding documents. In 1864, he made that clear in a speech to the 189th New York Volunteers, in which he thanked them for supporting his government:

“To you who render the hardest work in its support should be given the greatest credit.”

More than 150 years later, we continue to celebrate those who love the country so much they would risk all to defend it. Many of our families tell the story of service to this great country.

My great-grandfather left a small-town law practice to join the Army in World War I, while my wife’s grandfather found himself marching up the Champs-Elysees in Paris into the Meuse-Argonne offensive at the age of 18.

My military record is modest compared to my ancestors. But it was my father’s two combat tours in Vietnam that left the indelible mark on my career. In 1969, he left us in full health, 6 feet 2 inches tall and 240 pounds, and already a veteran of fourteen months of ground combat. On February 1, 1970, he was gravely wounded in the invasion of Cambodia, and after a year of recuperating away from home, he returned to us at 120 pounds.

It was my father’s two combat tours in Vietnam that left the indelible mark on my career.

That experience is why I was so honored to be asked to lead the Department of Veterans Affairs, to follow in the traditions of Lincoln and ensuring that America takes care of the men and women who carry our liberty on their shoulders. There is much we can do, and much we are doing.

We successfully implemented the MISSION Act, which gives Veterans permanent health care choices outside VA. But we’ve worked hard to improve VA, too.

We’re seeing more patients than ever before, and VA care now compares favorably to the private sector on both wait times and quality of care, and in many cases is superior.

Veterans have noticed. In a recent Veterans of Foreign Wars survey, almost three quarters of respondents reported improvements at their local VA, and more than 90 percent said they would recommend VA to others. Trust in VA has jumped to 87.7 percent, and we’re pushing to do even better.

We’re also working diligently within the Trump administration and with partners around the nation to prevent Veteran suicide. This is my top clinical priority, because every Veteran should have a chance to survive and thrive as civilians in the country they fought to defend.

We will get there not just through the efforts of VA, but with the help of families and friends and communities across this country.

The price of freedom is never free. That is the lesson today’s Veterans continue to teach us.

On November 11, when I speak at Arlington National Cemetery, I’ll be thinking about the Veterans we serve today, and how they so nobly served us. They are part of the legacy of the 41 million Americans who have worn our military uniforms to keep us safe and free.

In addition to Lincoln, I’ll be thinking of two other great men from history. One is President Eisenhower, who was embarrassed to have inherited a yacht when he assumed the Oval Office. He wanted to scrap it until his wife, Mamie, said he should keep it and only invite soldiers on board.

When he went down to the Washington Navy Yard pier to see a group of Veterans who were assembled on its deck, many of them were missing limbs or had been terribly disfigured in Korea. He gave them one final order. Eisenhower told them never to put their uniforms away, and that they would always be on duty, and that they live to show their fellow citizens that the price of freedom is never free.

That is the lesson today’s Veterans continue to teach us.

And in return, we will recall a second great figure from history, Gen. Matthew Ridgway, who on the night before the liberation of Europe during World War II couldn’t sleep, and instead listened for the promise that God made to Joshua:

“I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.”

On Veterans Day, we recognize those men and women whom we cannot fail nor forsake.

Robert L. Wilkie (@SecWilkie) is Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs and a Colonel in the United States Air Force Reserve.  He previously served as Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel Readiness.

Original here


God Help I Need Direction

 

by Pastor Ray Patrick

Yesterday I had a serious call from a dear friend of mine who was very anxious about the future, not sure what to do and not clear what God is saying. Do you need direction in your life? The first question we need to ask ourselves is, “am I acknowledging God in all my ways and in all areas of my life?” In other words, is He first place in your life?

When you are driving on the roads and motorway say, “Father, thank You for keeping me safe.” When on the job say, “Lord, help me to be focused and productive.” At home, “Father, bless my children.” Before you go to bed, “Lord, thank You for a good night’s rest.”

Today, if you want to know God and His direction for your life, seek Him first. Throughout the day acknowledge Him, ask for His help and wisdom, follow His Word and commands, and thank Him for His goodness. Each morning, wake up and say, “Father, thank You for another beautiful day. I commit this day, my plans and my future into Your hands.” When you start the day like this, you are acknowledging God. He promises to crown your day with success. The bible says, when you acknowledge Him in every way, He promises to direct your paths and He will lead and guide you every step of the way into everlasting life!

“In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.”

(Proverbs 3:6, NKJV)

Pray With Me
Yahweh, I acknowledge You in everything I do. Father, I invite You to direct my steps and search my heart. I surrender every area of my life to You. Keep me close to You always, in Jesus’ Name! Amen.

https://godinterest.com/2019/10/26/god-help-i-need-direction/