Saturday, May 30, 2015

IF and SO -- Two GREAT, Two-Letter Words

IF my LORD GOD had not timed it JUST-so, SO that the stoplights would be green or red, SO that i would arrive at Palm and Dennery on a red light, SO that i can look around as i caught my breath (early Thursday morning, as i biked to work)... (Luke 1:37)

IF the alive-within SPIRIT had not caused my eyes to focus and alight on the sight of a crumpled piece of green, while at the same time causing all traffic to be properly stopped or turning away from my direction, SO that i can pick up the recognizable greenback in safety... (Romans 8:14)

THEN i wouldn't have felt that boost of JOY, which energized my body to tackle the rest of the uphill ride with hallelujah praises singing in my heart and bursting forth out of my lips. (Nehemiah 8:10)

JESUS my Beloved LORD knew my spirit wasn't light that morning, which caused my body to feel heavy as i pedaled up Palm -- lacking energy because i was lacking His JOY, which is my day-to-day source of strength in ALL things, in ALL circumstances. (Philippians 4:13)

SO my ever-compassionate LORD JESUS gave me a perk in the form of a one-dollar bill, which perked me up in my spirit, which sparked the waiting storehouse of JOY within, which infused the cells of my body with palpable, energetic happiness because of the IN-sight that GOD was speaking to me in my real-time circumstance. (Hebrews 13:8)

The LORD SPIRIT spoke into my heart -- "See, rln, how money has such power over people, even you? See how highly energized you got from just a mere dollar? Can you understand more clearly then, the literal "high" of someone whose god is money?" (Matthew 6:24)

"Yes, LORD." (Romans 10:10)

i also knew (that GOD knew that i knew that He knew! -- for He knows at ALL times, ALL the WHATevers within my heart and mind and body) that it was a "GOD-speak" event in the momentary circumstance. i knew without a shadow of doubt that it was a GOD-given gift of serendipity, a GOD-governed provision, a GOD-gladdened lesson. (Psalm 139)

What else was there for me to do, but to sing aloud thankful praises for my heavenly Father -- for His higher-than-the-heavens wisdom, His tenderhearted ways, His compassion-in-action LOVE...His ALL-mightiness in ALL things, in ALL circumstances, in ALL ways...always! (Philippians 4:4)

Thank You, my LORD GOD, for cleansing my heart more and more and more with your Light -- The TRUTH of The Word -- SO that i may see Your glorious holy beauty more and more and more with the eyes of my heart in these unexpectedly delightful moments that abound in Your creation! (Matthew 5:8)

Hallelu-JAH for the greatest "SO"! \o/ For GOD SO loved the world that He gave His one and only Son JESUS, that IF anyone trusts in Him -- he or she will not perish into eternal hell, but will have eternal Life! The SO has been demonstrated in HIStory -- the IF is your chosen story... (John 3:16-18)

Dear reader: may the SPIRIT of GOD blaze the TRUTH of the Good News into your heart, SO that you may choose for your self TOday to receive in all humility and genuine repentance, the utterly AMAZING GOD-given gift of GRACE -- your REDEMPTION through CHRIST JESUS -- SO that you may enJOY a GOD-governed life with GOD-gladdened days forEVERmore as your greatest SO in answer to your IF.

AMEN -- in the ALL-mighty Name of the LORD GOD JESUS CHRIST!

Monday, May 25, 2015

Personal PEACEmaking - Pastor Steve Boschen

"Bless this Home" is a much-desired longing in the hearts of everyone, as seen in the many artistic display of signs hung on doors and walls of many homes all over the world. But what does the word "BLESS" really mean? From a Google search, i got: "to confer or invoke divine favor upon; to express a wish or desire of happiness; to make happy; to make successful; to prosper in temporal concerns," etc.

But what does GOD say about being "GOD-blessed" -- as defined from the Sermon on the Mount? (Matthew 5-7)

And what does it mean to have a GOD-blessed home?

Pastor Steve Boschen (Ocean View Church) -- in his sermon-series "Bless this Home" -- focuses on The Beatitudes (Matthew 5:3-12) as the GOD-given way to have a blessed home. In The Beatitudes, the LORD JESUS Himself defines what is eternally "blessed."

Pastor Boschen: "We at Ocean View Church as the "Family Place" in the South Bay seek to be more than simply CHRISTian homes by name. We seek to be CHRIST-centered homes in practice... JESUS isn't just a part of our life, He IS our life! We are fully devoted, following and serving and knowing, and bringing glory to Him." (excerpts from Pastor Steve's Welcome)

At OVC, "our family is committed to being a CHRIST-centered home. We are committed to building a "culture of peace" that reflects GOD's peace and the power of the Gospel of CHRIST in our lives. JESUS isn't just a part of our lives -- He IS our life.

"We look to the Scriptures and the Holy SPIRIT for guidance on how we can respond to conflict in a way that will honor GOD, promote justice, reconcile relationships and preserve our witness for CHRIST. As GOD gives us His wisdom and grace, we are committed to actively teaching and encouraging one another to live out the principles of peacemaking and reconciliation." (excerpts from Bless this Home)

PERSONAL PEACEMAKING prayers of Ocean View Church

Be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as GOD through CHRIST has forgiven you.
 Whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of GOD.
JESUS: "Why worry about a speck in your friend’s eye when you have a log in your own? How can you think of saying to your friend, ‘Let me help you get rid of that speck in your eye,’ when you can’t see past the log in your own eye? Hypocrite! First get rid of the log in your own eye; then you will see well enough to deal with the speck in your friend’s eye."
Some people make cutting remarks, but the words of the wise bring healing. Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.  If another believer is overcome by some sin, you who are godly should gently and humbly help that person back onto the right path. And be careful not to fall into the same temptation yourself.
DAVID: "Let the godly strike me! It will be a kindness! If they correct me, it is soothing medicine. Don’t let me refuse it." If you reject discipline, you only harm yourself; but if you listen to correction, you grow in understanding.
Sensible people control their temper; they earn respect by overlooking wrongs. JESUS: “So if you are presenting a sacrifice at the altar in the Temple and you suddenly remember that someone has something against you, leave your sacrifice there at the altar. Go and be reconciled to that person. Then come and offer your sacrifice to GOD...If another believer sins against you, go privately and point out the offense. If the other person listens and confesses it, you have won that person back."
Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.
LOVE never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.
Pastor Boschen: "As we stand in the light of the cross, we realize that bitterness, unforgiveness and broken relationships are not pleasing to the LORD who has reconciled us to Himself through the sacrifice of His only Son." (John 13:34-35; Ephesians 4:29-32; Colossians 3:12-14)

The ultimate personal peacekeeping is making peace with GOD through putting our faith in CHRIST JESUS as LORD of our lives, so that we can also receive the peace of GOD that surpasses all human understanding. For GOD loved the world SO much that He gave His one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life. So if the Son sets you free, you are truly free. (John 3:16; 8:36 NLT)