Monthly Archives: January 2016

“Ye Brood of Vipers”

 

Have any of you who are following this Blog ever encounter something like the following?

You are simply reading the Bible and suddenly something happens in your understanding. It’s like an explosion of insight into what you may have read many times before, but suddenly you are given a burst of understanding that changes a perspective you may have held for years.

These sudden bursts from seemingly out of nowhere are from the spirit of God. It is a glimpse of a communication from the Father through His Son Jesus Christ via the gift of Holy Spirit sent to enlighten you.

So you are blessed and want to share this insight with others and when you do some people receive it as a blessing, while others do not.

At times the ones who do not receive what you have to share respond with an attitude of disbelief, Many times they challenge what you are sharing as not scriptural because they deem it unworthy because you said the Lord revealed this to you.

I see this occurring many times in the life of Jesus of Nazareth when He challenged the religious leaders of the time with what He claimed came from the Father.

Time after time the religious ones would rebuke Him or say He was of the devil or some other false accusations.

Jesus called these types of people “Ye brood of vipers!”

Well amazingly the other day I experienced another one of these “Aha Moments” when the Lord revealed to me why He called these naysayers a brood of vipers.

Have you ever encountered a real viper while hiking or camping out in some remote area? If you did encounter one of these deadly snakes it is startling!

The moment you enter into their territory they immediately begin to protect themselves and usually do so with a swift strike or two to ward off any enemies.

When you think about it, this is exactly what Jesus was referring to when He called these religious people a brood of vipers.

These were people who immediately attacked Jesus even though they saw Christ healing, and casting out devils right before their very eyes.

Why did they do this? Possibly because they were protecting their self interests, or because what Christ was doing and saying was hitting a nerve deep within them. . .so they struck at him like a brood of vipers.

So then what is the learning here? When you share those beautiful insights the Lord is revealing to you about His word, do not let those vipers discourage you in doing so.

We must always keep in mind that the True God and His Son Jesus Christ are greater than the scriptures, and by these very scriptures may reveal insights to you individually that can change your life for the better.

Do not allow the vipers to use their religious traditions or their limited understanding of the Word of God as a club against you.

CS Lewis Bible leads to Christ

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January 28, 2016 · 7:44 pm

Out of the Mouth of Babes and Suckling Thou Hast Perfected Praise

Click on the following link to see video:

https://www.facebook.com/farfromoriginal/videos/10207924079718163/

This post reminds me of when Jesus of Nazareth entered into Jerusalem riding a donkey and all the people were shouting Hosanna including the babes and suckling.

The Religious Leaders of His time never recognized the babes and suckling shouting Hosanna as a miracle prophesied in Psalm 8:2

Matthew 21:15-17(KJV)
15 And when the chief priests and scribes saw the wonderful things that he did, and the children crying in the temple, and saying, Hosanna to the son of David; they were sore displeased,

16 And said unto him, Hearest thou what these say? And Jesus saith unto them, Yea; have ye never read, Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings thou hast perfected praise?

17 And he left them, and went out of the city into Bethany; and he lodged there.

Truly Out of the mouth of babes thou hast perfected praise. So today we as tender children cry “Abba Father.”

 

https://www.facebook.com/farfromoriginal/videos/10207924079718163/

 

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Living in the Kingdom of God calls for a Heart of True Compassion

 

The following is a touching true story from a book entitled, “Assumptions that Affect our Lives: How Worldviews Determine Values that Influence Behavior and Shape Culture” by Christian Overman:

Oliver deVinck was born in 1947. He was one of those people who would not have met Peter Singer’s minimum standards of moral significance. His brother, Christopher, an English teacher, wrote about him in an article which appeared in The Wall Street Journal, April 10, 1985.

This is his story: I grew up in the house where my brother was on his back in his bed for thirty-two years, in the same corner of his room, under the same window, beside the same yellow walls. He was blind, mute. His legs were twisted. He didn’t have the strength to lift his head nor the intelligence to learn anything. Oliver was born with severe brain damage which left him and his body in a permanent state of helplessness.

Today I am an English teacher, and each time I introduce my class to the play about Helen Keller, The Miracle Worker, I tell my students the story about Oliver. One day, during my first year of teaching, I was trying to describe Oliver’s lack of response, how he had been spoon-fed every morsel he ever ate, how he never spoke. A boy in the last row raised his hand and said, “Oh, Mr. deVinck. You mean he was a vegetable.” I stammered for a few seconds.

My family and I fed Oliver. We changed his diapers, hung his clothes and bed linen on the basement line in the winter, and spread them out white and clean on the lawn in the summer. I always liked to watch the grasshoppers jump on the pillowcases. We bathed Oliver. We tickled his chest to make him laugh. Sometimes we left the radio on in his room. We pulled the shade down over his bed in the morning to keep the sun from burning his tender skin. We listened to him laugh as we watched television downstairs. We listened to him rock his arms up and down to make the bed squeak. We listened to him cough in the middle of the night. “Well, I guess you could call him a vegetable. I called him Oliver, my brother. You would have loved him.”

One afternoon, a few months after he was born, my mother brought Oliver to a window. She held him there in the sun, the bright good sun, and there Oliver looked and looked directly into the sunlight, which was the first moment my mother realized that Oliver was blind. My parents, the true heroes of this story, learned, with the passing of months, that Oliver could not hold up his head, could not crawl, walk, sing; he could not hold anything in his hand; he could not speak. So they brought Oliver to Mt. Sinai Hospital in New York City for tests to determine the extent of his condition. Dr. DeLang said that he wanted to make it very clear to both my mother and father that there was absolutely nothing that could be done for Oliver. He didn’t want my parents to grasp at false hope. “You could place him in an institution,” he said. “But,” my parents replied, “he is our son. We will take Oliver home, of course.” The good doctor said, “Then take him home and love him.”

Oliver grew to the size of a ten-year-old. He had a big chest, a large head. His hands and feet were those of a five year old, small and soft. We’d wrap a box of baby cereal for him at Christmas and place it under the tree, pat his head with a damp cloth in the middle of a July heat wave. His baptismal certificate hung on the wall above his head. A bishop came to the house and confirmed him. Oliver still remains the most hopeless human being I ever met, the weakest human being I ever met, and yet he was one of the most powerful human beings I ever met.

Oliver could do absolutely nothing except breathe, sleep, eat, and yet he was responsible for action, love, courage, insight. I remember my mother saying when I was small, “Isn’t it wonderful that you can see?” And once she said, “When you go to heaven, Oliver will run to you, embrace you, and the first thing he will say is ‘Thank you.’”

I remember, too, my mother explaining to me that we were blessed with Oliver in ways that were not clear to her at first. So often parents are faced with a child who is severely retarded but who is also hyperactive, demanding, or wild, who needs constant care. So many people have little choice but to place their child in an institution. Each circumstance is different. No one can judge.

When I was in my early twenties I met a girl and fell in
love. After a few months I brought her home to meet my family. After the introductions, the small talk, my mother went to the kitchen to check the meal, and I asked the girl, “Would you like to see Oliver?” for I had, of course, told her about my brother. “No,” she answered.

Soon after, I met Roe, a lovely girl. She asked me the names of my brothers and sisters. She loved children. I thought she was wonderful. I brought her home after a few months to meet my family. Then it was time for me to feed Oliver. I remember sheepishly asking Roe if she’d like to see him. “Sure,” she said, and up the stairs we went. I sat at Oliver’s bedside as Roe watched over my shoulder. I gave him his first spoonful, his second. “Can I do that?” Roe asked with ease, with freedom, with compassion, so I gave her the bowl, and she fed Oliver one spoonful at a time. The power of the powerless. Which girl would you marry? Today Roe and I have three children. [Excerpt from The Power of the Powerless, by Christopher deVinck. Copyright 1988 by Christopher deVinck. Reprinted by permission of Christopher deVinck.]

Overman, Christian (2012-06-01). Assumptions That Affect Our Lives: How Worldviews Determine Values that Influence Behavior and Shape Culture (Kindle Locations 1214-1223). Ablaze Publishing. Kindle Edition.

Frank Manasseri's photo.

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When Jesus of Nazareth Performed Miracles

When Jesus performed Miracles did He use a well worn religious ritual?

Did He make long prayers?

Or did He speak simple everyday words that eventually became the scripture we read today?

To the man with a withered hand He said, “Stretch forth thine hand!”

To the man who was lowered through the roof on his bed He said, “Take up thy bed and walk!”

To a man born blind He said, “Go! Wash in the pool of Siloam!”

To the Roman Centurion who said to Jesus, “Just say the word and my servant will be healed.”

Jesus said, “She is healed!”

When Jesus did those miracles He did not impose a ritual or religious system upon those that asked for His help?.

Did He wear special garments to perform some ceremonial exercise?

No! He did none of these!

He simply accommodated the people. He did whatever they asked of Him.

The woman who had an issue of blood simply thought within herself, “If I can just touch the hem of His garment I will be healed.” And she was healed without even uttering a word.

In reality Jesus allowed these people to set their own level of faith.

At the grave of Lazarus He said, “Lazarus come forth!”

What is the lesson here?

All things are possible with God when we speak the powerful words of life from our heart where Christ dwells within and do not doubt in His ability to bring it to pass.

Our precious Lord fed the five thousand from a few loaves and fishes because He saw a void that needed to be filled.

Our heavenly Father can take those simple faith words that we speak and turn them into miracles.

Do not doubt just trust!

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Where are those Miracles?

Someone asked why do we not see miracles today like those we read about in the book of Acts?

Speaking only for myself, I have found that I had somehow over the years unconsciously developed a sort of “spiritual inferiority complex.” This stemmed from a subtle religious attitude I picked up of comparing myself with others and falling short of those who did many wonderful works in the book of Acts.

I believe that I developed this complex when I was trapped in the prison of “Biblical Research” where I systematically mined the scriptures as I was taught with a scientific precision and mathematical accuracy in order to gain knowledge and information that would cause me to grow spiritually. But sadly this was not the case as the result of this “working the Word” was only to reap the cold factual results that were intellectually stimulating, but somehow never was able to touch the heart.

Years passed until through a determined pursuit I put myself in a position to develop an intimate personal relationship with my Lord Jesus. It was then my old ways were systematically torn up from the foundations and I became free to approach the Bible as a young child in order to receive the simple and pure words of my heavenly Father. What freedom hit my heart when I finally realized that we as His children were called to simply plant and we water and then it is God that causes the increase in all things that pertain to this life.

I discovered the simplicity of tending God’s garden is as much a part of doing the will of God than all the miracles we read about in the Bible. Miracles are God’s business, but planting and watering is ours.

Now that I have been freed to humbly approach the scriptures as a wide eyed child desiring to be nurtured by words of the heavenly Father, I have been able to live my life in the simplicity that the Father desires of me.

Living God’s will in our lives is enjoying what He created for us by doing what we decide to do each day, and going where we desire to go with Christ living in our hearts.

When a father and mother love their family and provide a safe, loving, and fun, environment for their children they are doing the work of God in their own home.

It is man-made religion that sets the bar of faith too high for people to achieve what man-made religions have set.

Living for God is simply living our lives with our whole spirit, soul and body. Which in and by itself is a great miracle.

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Building a Heart Bridge

Did you ever think that perhaps our heavenly Father would like us to become bridge builders?

Bridge Builders you may ask?

Wouldn’t this would require me to become and architect or an engineer.

Yes this may be the case if the bridges God desires we build were made of steel and mortar. However the bridges that our Father would like us to construct are perhaps invisible bridges that span the distance from our heart to another heart.

At a point in my life when I spent many hours alone in the woods each day getting quiet and listening for my inner voice, the thought occurred to me to begin to learn how to build bridges to the hearts of others in my sphere of life.

What did this mean? How do I build an invisible bridge from one heart to another?

The answer came as I began to listen to what others had to say and I discovered that people have a lot to say about their favorite subject. . themselves.

I learned that in order to construct a “Heart Bridge” I had to become genuinely interested in what others had to say about themselves instead of pushing my agenda onto them.

After awhile I began to notice more and more people that I listened to eventually became interested in me and what I had to tell them about me.

Slowly but surely these invisible bridges began to materialize into conversations of the heart between me and another person.

One of those individuals was a young woman from India who was in my English Composition class at the local Community College I was attending.
She came up to me one day and said that she would like to become my friend. With this she began telling about herself and where she was from and that she was a Hindu.

Then she asked if i was a Christian? I responded by telling her that I was a follower of Jesus Christ. She immediately looked me in the eye and sternly said, “Do not try to talk me out of my God like many missionaries in India have tried to do!”

I said, “Salli I would never do that! In fact I am happy for you that you have a God.”

Over the next year the bridge to her heart was built and I was able to learn so many things about her and her religion and culture. She also learned about how I was not a religious or denominational Christian, but simply a follower of Jesus Christ of Nazareth.

Other friendships that resulted in “Heart Bridges” being built were with students and teachers who are Jews, Muslims and avowed atheists. All of these became friends where we shared with one another what we believed and why.

Building a “Heart Bridge” may take some time and effort but it is time and effort well invested.

When we become “Heart Bridge” builders we are making it available for that other person to be linked to our heart and perhaps maybe someday they will cross over the bridge and find something they never expected to discover.

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I’am Seeing Life a Little Differently Lately

Lately I have been seeing life a bit differently than I ever had before. Especially so about the people of this world.

What I mean is this. Instead of classifying them in categories of believer or unbeliever, or Christians or Jews, or Muslim’s or Atheists, I have been seeing them as either the promoters of the culture of hate and death, or the culture of love and life!

When you boil it down you will find that Christians, Jews, Muslim’s, Atheists or whatever are either for or against one of these cultures.This is what separates people. Not Race, or Sex, or Religion for all people will fall into one of these two categories of either hate or love. And for sure there may be some undecided boucning back and forth between the love and the hate.

Looking at this world from my newly found perspective and taking in and considering what is going on around the globe today , I have begun to come to see more clearly in the Gospels where Jesus of Nazareth talked about the separating of the sheep and the goats.

Matthew 25:31-46

Thinking about this I realized He was not going to one day separate the goats and the sheep by their religious affiliations, but by what6 classification they lived life. Whether they lived life promoting a culture of  hate and death or a culture of love and life.

He will separate them by whether they were selfish and unwilling to give a drink of water to a thirsty soul, or whether they were willing to feed even the least of His disciples.

Deuteronomy 30:19

I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live:

I think all people will ultimately put themselves in either one or the other of these categories. Love and Life or Hate and Death.

Perhaps we should ask ourselves the question of whether  we are promoters of Hate and Death, or promoters of Love and Life?

Mother Teresa said, when she saw the poor she saw Christ when He said “I thirst.”

https://youtu.be/MYGiDWS9DUc

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