The Prayer of the Sojourning Christian.

I cried, but no one heard.
I was hurt, but no one helped.
I fought alone to no avail,
I waited, but no one came.

I saw, but couldn’t remember.
I heard, but couldn’t discern.
I held out my hand, but it came back empty.
My heart hurt, and no one comforted me.

How can I love when I receive none,
Where is the delight in life?
Is it in the mirror looking back at me
Or is it in the eyes of another?

Lord! Come closer, be near me
Because my fight is harder than ever.
You are my only Joy, my Salvation
From a life of tears and remorse.

I have lost so much and gained little.
This world has spewed me out
But it won’t let me go.
Let me go, world…I am not yours.

But I look up and see my Abundance
In a face I have not yet met.
His beauty is infinite, His love is unmatched.
Just a little while longer, He says, You are not done.

I hold my hands up to Him in Praise
and seek His warmth with sweet tears.
I am yours, I say, I am yours!
Touch me today, Lord…Touch me today!

I am a stranger, a sojourner in this world.
My woes are His, but the consequences are mine.
I look to Him, I Praise His name!
Until I cross that River, I will rest in Him!

©revkatherinemarple

“Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” [Matthew 11:28]

IMAG6368 - Copy.jpg

 

The Christian Sojourner

We, all Christians, are all sojourners here. This world is not our home; it is as temporary as our human flesh is. But we still have to live here and fellowship here until that time when we can finally go Home.

God made a way for the Christian Sojourner:

If one of your brethren becomes poor, and falls into poverty among you, then you shall help him, like a stranger or a sojourner, that he may live with you. Take no usury or interest from him; but fear your God, that your brother may live with you. You shall not lend him your money for usury, nor lend him your food at a profit. I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, to give you the land of Canaan and to be your God.” Leviticus 25:35-38

As a sojourner while still on this Earth, we seek the Father continually. We see Him through the eyes of a child, the infirm, the meek, the poor…and through a godly stranger. God is everywhere, He is in everything, even in the darkest of times:

Hear my prayer, O Lord,
And give ear to my cry;
Do not be silent at my tears;
For I am a stranger with You,
A sojourner, as all my fathers were.” Psalm 39:12

The Christian Sojourner sometimes is cast out from whom he trusted to fend for himself outside of the ‘city gate‘. For our Faith we are chastised and criticized and censured. The Christian Sojourner continues in the Faith, not luck! We are a wayfaring stranger, a rank stranger with chaotic worldly lusts all around. But we stand, we stand FAST, we stand in HIM, no matter the cost, and sometimes that cost is our own home, family and friends:

“If we had forgotten the name of our God,
Or stretched out our hands to a foreign god,
Would not God search this out?
For He knows the secrets of the heart.
Yet for Your sake we are killed all day long;
We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.” Psalm 44:20-22. 

Who will help the Sojourner? Even Job said, “But no sojourner had to lodge in the street, for I have opened my doors to the traveler.” Job’s door was open, are ours? Until it’s time to go over that River, we are wayfaring, sojourning….travelling through and hopefully the love of a neighbor will let us lay our head down for a little while. Jesus said: “Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.” Yes, even Jesus.

Sometimes the Christian Sojourner has to move on relying on the mercy and love of other Christians. But with every step the River gets closer and the blessings are sure – this journey is shorter than you think.

Mary Believed.

Unimaginable. To think that a young girl, barely marriageable, was chosen to be the vessel God would use for the birth our Savior, Jesus Christ. And even more unimaginable is her Faith in whom she heard this Good News!

Blessed is she who believed, for there will be a fulfillment of those things which were told her from the Lord.” Luke 1:45

The New Testament reflects what the Prophet Isaiah said regarding the birth of The Redeemer:

So all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet [Is 7:14], saying: “Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which is translated, “God with us.” Matthew 1:22-23

Why was Mary so special to God for Him to choose her? It has to be assumed that Mary’s heart to some degree, while yet a sinner by nature through the fall of Adam, had a level of receptive purity toward God. This would fulfill the sovereign Plan of God.

MYLIFEASACHRISTIAN

While Mary’s lineage went back to King David, the Bible doesn’t say who her parents were. However, the Scriptures do tell us her husband’s lineage [Luke 3:23, Matthew 1:16], both Mary and Joseph being descendants of David [Romans 1:3]. They seemed ‘common’, but they were chosen.

Though Mary was chosen by God, she still needed to answer the Call. Mary believed, through Faith alone, that her sacrifice would change the world.

Unimaginable…but Mary believed.

Authority & the Cult Christian

Do Christians believe in cults? Do they participate in cults? But do they believe they are involved in cults?

A cult isn’t always obvious…in fact, they are usually sneaky, which makes sense considering the source. ‘Strange Fire’ was addressed early in the Scriptures [Lev 10:1-3] to let the reader/believer know that bringing anything before the Lord that isn’t holy [false doctrine] will not be recognized by Him. The work of one’s hands is not of Faith, it is worthy of damnation.

The flesh is an ugly thing; God addressed this in Leviticus essentially saying that nothing unholy can be in His presence:

“Aaron therefore went to the altar and killed the calf of the sin offering, whichwas for himself. Then the sons of Aaron brought the blood to him. And he dipped his finger in the blood, put it on the horns of the altar, and poured the blood at the base of the altar. But the fat, the kidneys, and the fatty lobe from the liver of the sin offering he burned on the altar, as the Lord had commanded Moses. The flesh and the hide he burned with fire outside the camp.” [Lev 9:8-11]

The Prescribed Order of Victory, Christ’s finished Work, does NOT include or allow:

  • Perverting the Truth [2Pet 3:17-18, Acts 13:10]
  • Faith turned into law [Gal 1:6-7]
  • Arrogance, personal agenda, pride or self righteouness [1Tim 6:3-4, Neh 9:16]
  • Ignorance [2Tim 2:22-23]

Matthew 26:41 says, “Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Too many Christians are tempted to add to or subtract from Christ’s Finished Work. It is tempting to abuse our authority in Him to exalt ourselves, but we are called to ‘watch and pray’ rather than divide and conquer.

There are Christians that believe in the Prosperity ‘Gospel’, Calvinism, Mormonism, keeping the Sabbath, etc. But what they are really saying is that what Christ did at the Cross was NOT ENOUGH. They have to add to it to suit themselves, they bring outside authority to it rather than the Godly authority we have in HIM.

Why do Christians add to or take away from the Finished Work of Christ? Even Christians who sit under correct teaching sometimes stir in their own personal authority – or superiority – to what they are being taught, unbeknownst to the teacher/preacher who purports Truth. The teacher/preacher cannot control what the Christians thinks they hear from the pulpit.

Do we have authority or a false sense of authority regarding the word of God? Then, do we abuse the knowledge of the Finished work of Christ by adding our own salt? This why many Christians don’t have or walk in victory.

Christians have authority in the name of Jesus and believing in His Finished Work at the Cross. We do not have authority in changing His Word to suit our agenda. We cannot put our Faith in anything but the Finished Work of Christ or we add salt to an already Perfect Truth.

It is an abuse of power and authority that can make a cult out of truth! Adding your own salt is an improper authority called PRIDE & SELF RIGHTEOUSNESS. We humans are so imperfect that we continue to follow paths that Cain followed. Improper authority killed Abel, improper authority cast out and marked Cain [Gen 4:8-15].

“But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead?” [James 2:20]. AND works without Faith is empty and has no power, only a presumed authority that is not of God.

WE HAVE TO DIE TO SELF [Romans 6], ‘allowing’ Jesus to do what He was called to do by the Father, dying for a people who abhorred Him, spat on Him, abandoned Him. How can anyone add one extra grain of salt to that? How is that NOT enough?

IT IS FINISHED. Once and for all, forever and ever.

 

*EMPHASIS MINE.

The Christian Public Witness

My husband and I were having a conversation about being a public witness. What I mean by ‘public’ is sidewalk ministry at the abortion facility or street ministry at strip clubs, bars, for example. Public means what and where is legal. Public means public, anyone can be there…even the opposition. TRUSTJESUS

In public ministry people love to battle, to justify sin, to embed their superiority. But the truth is they know they’re living a lie out loud, they know way deep down that this lie they live is getting harder and harder to keep up with.

When I remember who I used to be before Christ, I had to keep my justifications in absolute order so that I wouldn’t seem WRONG or in error of a badly lived life…after all, who’s life is it anyway? I thought it was mine alone.

GETTING TO THE POINT: There was not one time that I was ever confronted with a public witness for Christ, not at the abortion facility where my mother forced me to go to OR at the local night life clubs/bars I used to frequent.

Do we know we are a sinner? Yes. Even if we have one shred of ‘morality’, we know that we are failing God and slowly losing our life to sin.

A public witness does what Christ told us to do, “Go into all the world and preach the Gospel to EVERY creature”. Being a public witness for Christ is not a comfortable thing to do, people don’t like being confronted with a jealous God.

“But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.” James 1:22-25, NKJV

Most people are caught up in a worldly web of deception, a web of discontent…a web they feel they cannot be free of. And like most people, I wanted someone to come along and save me from this horrible life…was I worth more than a glass of vodka and a pack of cigarettes? As I sat in that bar every day….I mean EVERY DAY….I wished for that great guy to come along and save me. And one day He did. But it wasn’t who I expected.

I didn’t believe in the supernatural, I saw only in disparity, what was around me. Never was I told I was better than the next cocktail, the next guy, the next party. I HATED to look at myself in the mirror, I HATED what I saw, I HATED ME. And the reason I hated me was because I allowed it.

Much like the woman at the well [John 4], I gave up. This life is what it is, I can’t change it, my family left me, my children left me, my dignity left me. All I had left to do was die.

But then Jesus came, He didn’t say I feel like going to Samaria or say maybe I’ll go through Samaria…Jesus said He NEEDED to go through Samaria. He met her where she was, at the well. This was her divine appointment with her Savior.

Street preachers and ministers meet people where they are to preach a loving Jesus who wants to save them from this existence of stacking sin in a neat pile. We are all the same, we need a Savior to be saved from this life….we have enough ‘friends’ to help us out with sin.

There is no judgement, just “Go and sin no more”. One day your accusers will go away, one at a time. And Jesus will be there for you. That’s the Jesus I know and that’s the Jesus we preach.

“When Jesus had raised Himself up and saw no one but the woman, He said to her, “Woman, where are those accusers of yours? Has no one condemned you?” She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said to her, Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.” John 8:10-11

Street preachers/ministers are Christian Public Witnesses, just like the Apostles. Christianity hasn’t changed – we’ve changed it. We keep putting Jesus in a nicely decorated box called the Church. Church was NEVER a building but a concept and a reality since the first century.

Churches are full of people and Pastors that are hearers only. The street affords nothing but the purity of the Word and the intent behind it because I did not get saved in a church, I was presented with the Gospel by a man who was led by God to tell me about Jesus. You see, He came to where I was – at work and hungover.

Thank  you God for bringing Him to me.

The Minimalist.

I have to admit, I love our minimalist life. I feel free of the world and it’s traps. I can’t stand the frivolity of the way some Christians live; we are at war with the devil himself and we clamor for more clutter.

My husband and I, through the leading of the Holy Spirit, have shorn down our life and lifestyle to accommodate our Christian walk. Now some would say that it’s a bit extreme, mostly because way too many Christians still want their one foot in the world. I mean, is it really necessary to have that $500 Coach purse? Did you have to get leather seats in the new car? Just how necessary is the mid-life-crisis Harley? How does anyone NEED a 3000 sqft home unless you’re a Duggar?

This world in which we live allows us – wants us – to go into a debt abyss to have things that others have…not just Christians, ESPECIALLY Christians. We are much more malleable to the government if we have a lot of debt. A lot of believers think that God will provide for their ‘stuff’ – and He will provide….to our NEEDS. We need food, we need clothing, we need shelter. We do not need ‘stuff’.

While having coffee with my husband, we discussed whether Christians should live a lavish lifestyle, whether in or out of debt. My first thought was if this lavishness glorifies God – I don’t think it can. We are to be a light to the world, not a lighting concept: “v14 You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. v15 Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. v16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven,” Matthew 5:14-16.

There is a great peace that comes with having less. We are unencumbered with ‘things’ that have no room in a Christian’s life. By choice we have one vehicle; by choice we do not have cable television. By choice we have a home that is reasonable rather than getting one big enough to store more stuff AND still rent a storage unit to store the rest of it. By choice we choose to have less so we can have more with Christ.

And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.” Matthew 8:18-20

Give much? While it is true that God does supply the needs of His people, this is a specific promise that those who are faithful and devoted in their giving to Christ will never suffer lack. God gives us a lot of latitude to do His Will as well as just enough to mess it up. We are OBLIGATED to be the good steward that God wants us to be. He can put money in your bucket OR put a hole in the bottom of it.

And to summarize, 2 Corinthians 9:8 says, “And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work…”

30 DAY PARENTING PRAYER CHALLENGE: Day 30

As I wrap up this 30 Days of Parenting Prayer, I am inundated with so many emotions…most of which I brought up during these 30 days. If there is one thing that I can’t say enough [well, maybe two] is that we are parents to our kids forever. They were our children since the beginning of time [Jeremiah 1:5] and will be even into Eternity. The second is that prayer should be the FIRST thing we do, not as a last ditch effort to save the day.

Being a parent is has been the one thing that people take for granted as if it’s a right rather than the privilege that it is. I am PRIVILEGED to be their mother, whether they give a darn or not. It is I that has to answer to God for being their mother, it is I that will ultimately bear the day when I have to answer to God for my parenting.

We take advantage of the system by allowing our own dreams supersede those of our kids; once we do that, we fail. When you hear “You’re pregnant!”, your private, comfortable life is over and a new life is about to embark. We are but vessels, not God.

Secular/worldly feminism has no room in motherhood, but a God-intended feminist does. It’s true: there is such a thing as a God-intended Feminist. She was profiled in the Bible, Proverbs 31. She wasn’t perfect, in fact Bathsheba FAILED…but she was used mightily by God and was blessed to be the intended mother to Solomon.

Bad women do not have to be bad mothers. In other words, I have failed, you have failed…but through the Grace of God we are given chance after chance after chance to do it right. God knows our kids depend on us so He is quite willing to help us to be better. And, IT IS NEVER TOO LATE TO BE A BETTER PARENT.

v17 “You therefore, beloved, since you know this beforehand, beware lest you also fall from your own steadfastness, being led away with the error of the wicked; v18 but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen.” 1Peter 3:17-18

Pray for BALANCE. It’s been a great 30 days of reflection but I certainly see how I can do better, even after all these years. God Bless you all.

30 DAY PARENTING PRAYER CHALLENGE: Day 28

Divorce is an awful thing. I can’t see how divorce really solves anything except put everyone involved into a tailspin. The events that come from divorce aren’t good, usually bad, and sometimes detrimental. A divorce can change the lives of our children forever. I am one such offender.

Children of divorce are more likely to get divorced themselves; it is one of those generational sins that get passed down to the next generation. And I believe that children of divorce lost respect and confidence in their parents which puts them in the firing line of divorce one day. We can’t be so selfish to believe divorce only affects the divorced.

Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord.” Ephesians 5:22

Divorce is creating a subculture of people, adult kids, that has no respect for anyone much less their parents or a spouse. They’ve been let down, their home divided and subdivided, and are placed with a parent that now has a myriad of brand new problems. They are now programmed to believe that relationships end rather than creating long lasting marriages and relationships with the children they will have one day.

Now to the married I command, yet not I but the Lord: A wife is not to depart from her husband.” 1Corinthians 7:10

Remember, I am one such offender. But you can heal from divorce. I am one such person who healed because I realized that because of sin I was doomed to fail without God….and I was without God. And one day a man who was chosen by God for me finally found ME.

Then, the answer is to wait for your God chosen mate rather than usurping God’s authority to be God. I cannot say that often enough or loud enough for our kids. Life is hard enough…but having your God chosen mate makes it so much better.

v4 Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled; but fornicators and adulterers God will judge. v5 Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” Hebrews 13:4-5

Pray that adult kids learn from our stupid mistakes rather than emulate them. Our mistakes creates their ‘out’ to sin.

 

30 DAY PARENTING PRAYER CHALLENGE: Day 27

Is life really that hard or are these adult kids just not getting their way? Has society really slipped so far that they are quite comfortable that everyone sees their pajamas at the mall? Do they hate society so much that they won’t [not can’t] shower and wash their hair once in a while? How has life and parents become so inconsequential until they need something from us? Isn’t it always everyone else’s fault?

It should be apparent that I’m picking on ALL adult kids, not just ours. When I was in secular work, I processed credit applications for vehicle loans. It is shocking how much bad credit these adult kids have, tens of thousands in arrears. Most of them do not pay their cellular phone bills much less other incurred debt. They looked at us in amazement that they could not be approved for a 30K automobile loan. To be fair, I do understand that life can happen and mess up a credit score, but that is not as likely as it should have been. Instead we have heard them say that since they were fired they didn’t have to pay the debt they owed.

We are in the land of ENTITLEMENT. And like it or not, a lot of it started in their own childhood, my kids included. Having never been entitled to anything as a kid or teenager, I thought I was doing a great thing by doing more for my kids. You see, my dad thought that if I wasn’t cleaning the house somewhere all the time that I was being lazy; ‘outside’ was a luxury. So, by doing more for my kids, I mean being a stay-at-home-mom, cleaned after them, cooked and baked all the time so that their time would be free to have friends and participate in sports or activities…all the the things I couldn’t do as a kid.

Balance. While I thought I was more balanced, I was really enabling them to have more free time to do bad things rather than being engaged with school and it’s activities to keep their free time not so free. I sure wish I knew where the ‘middle’ was then. I see now that not being a Christian when my kids were little set them up to be ‘free thinkers’ who depends on everyone else rather than themselves. The economy of God tells us so much, mostly from the book of Proverbs, of how to live, not be in debt, to be better wives/husbands, live within the community, to be a hard worker, and to love God.

“The proverbs of Solomon the son of David, king of Israel:

v2 To know wisdom and instruction,
To perceive the words of understanding,
v3 To receive the instruction of wisdom,
Justice, judgment, and equity;
v4 To give prudence to the simple,
To the young man knowledge and discretion—
v5 A wise man will hear and increase learning,
And a man of understanding will attain wise counsel,
v6 To understand a proverb and an enigma,
The words of the wise and their riddles.
v7 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge,
But fools despise wisdom and instruction.” Proverbs 1:1-7

Pray for this generation, all of these adult kids need our constant prayer and love. They need to learn how to be adults rather than grown up kids. I pray so much for them to come to Jesus…we are nothing without Him!

 

30 DAY PARENTING PRAYER CHALLENGE: Day 22

If you don’t know this about me, I also witness on the sidewalk of abortion facilities. Every day that place is open we see teenagers and young adults coming to abort their precious child. They usually don’t come alone; they are literally flanked with their own parents and sometimes grandparents to see that the child is aborted. As a parent, when I see parents giving their thumb’s up to kill their own grandchild, you really ‘get’ how these kids have gotten to where they are in life at such a young age.

Our adult kids and teenagers are children of this media age. They are coerced every day with constant media stimulation of one kind or another. Video games and online gaming has made real zombies of our kids. In the news recently, one dad smothered his infant son and another allowed his child to starve to death because of gaming. While these are extreme cases, they are just the tip of the iceberg. Our adult kids are still playing games and living in a fantasy world. My grandma always said television would ruin our eyes.

The basics of life are totally ignored. And we wonder why some of these kids can’t make it on their own and blame us for it? We teach them, they look at us like we’re some kind of monster. Because of this media age, they have all the answers, we’re idiots. We want to help them with a Godly hand, we’re told they hate God.

This is a sin problem; for them life is fantasy and selfish and never ending. A self professed ‘pastor’ said that his daughter can get an abortion because of free will. And that is true…but this ‘pastor’ and his daughter still have to answer to God for their flagrant use of His gift of free will. Again, this is a sin problem, not a chink in the armor.

 “I struck you with blight and mildew and hail in all the labors of your hands; yet you did not turn to Me,’ says the Lord.” Haggai 2:17

We will all eventually turn back to God. Being backslidden is a heavy bondage to carry.

Pray for the Damascus Road experience for these kids. Pray that the scales will fall from their eyes, “I was once blind but now I see”, [John 9:25].