Age and what you see

What do you see my friends, what do you see?
What are you thinking . . . . When you’re looking at me?
A crabby old man, . . . . . . Not very wise,
Uncertain of habit .. . . . . .With faraway eyes?
Who dribbles his food . . … And makes no reply .
When you say in a loud voice ‘I do wish you’d try!’
Who seems not to notice . . . The things that you do .
And forever is losing . . . . . A sock or shoe?
Who, resisting or not . . . . .Lets you do as you will,
With bathing and feeding . . .The long day to fill?
Is that what you’re thinking?…Is that what you see?
Then open your eyes, my friends . .You’re not looking at me.
I’ll tell you who I am . . . . . As I sit here so still,
As I do at your bidding , . . . As I eat at your will.
I’m a small child of Ten . . . .With a father and mother,
Brothers and sisters . . . . .. . Who love one another
A young boy of Sixteen . . . . .With wings on his feet
Dreaming that soon now . . . . .A lover he’ll meet.
A groom soon at Twenty . . . . My heart gives a leap.
Remembering, the vows . . . . .That I promised to keep .
At Twenty-Five, now . . .. . . ..I have young of my own .
Who need me to guide . . . . . And a secure happy home .
A man of Thirty . . . . .. . . . My young now grown fast,
Bound to each other . . . . . .. With ties that should last .
At Forty, my young sons .. . . Have grown and are gone,
But my woman’s beside me . . .To see I don’t mourn .
At fifty, once more, . . . . . . Babies play ‘ round my knee,
Again, we know children . .. . . .My loved one and me .
Dark days are upon me . . . . . My wife is now dead .
I look at the future … . . . . . I shudder with dread .
For my young are all rearing . . .Young of their own .
And I think of the years . . .. . And the love that I’ve known .
I’m now an old man . . . . . . . .And nature is cruel .
Tis jest to make old age . . . . . Look like a fool .
The body, it crumbles . . . . … Grace and vigor, depart .
There is now a stone . . . . . . ..Where I once had a heart .
But inside this old carcass . . . . A young guy still dwells,
And now and again . . . .. .. . . My battered heart swells
I remember the joys . . . . . . .I remember the pain .
And I’m loving and living . . . . .Life over again .
I think of the years . . . . . .. .All too few Gone too fast .
And accept the stark fact . . . That nothing can last .
So open your eyes, people . . . Open and see…
Not a crabby old man . . . . . .Look closer see ME!!

Unknown

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Be Healed of your disease

Mark 5:34 And he said to her, “Daughter, *your faith has made you well; *go in peace, and be healed of your *disease.”

Matthew 9:35 And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people.

Matthew [10:1] And when he had called unto him his twelve disciples, he gave them power against unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease.

Webster says disease is a disordered or incorrectly functioning organ, part, structure, or system of the body resulting from the effect of genetic or developmental errors, infection, poisons, nutritional deficiency or imbalance, toxicity, or unfavorable environmental factors; illness; sickness; ailment.

The effects of disease on the life of an individual is devastating. The slow wilting away of life is a painful thing to watch. The loved ones pain only pales to the crippling fingers of disease on the individual experiencing the pain, weakness, numbing, confusion and anxiety of the body. When the body begins to be broken down by disease there is not only little one can do but little one knows to do.

Disease like sin has a path and that path is death. The wages of sin is death. Nothing can be done about the results of sin except die. Nothing can be done with disease except death.

But like sin, disease has been paid for by Christ. He has the power over sin, death and the grave! We have no power over sin to stop its results! But Christ has that power! When he walked on earth He healed all manner of disease. He later gave His disciples the power to heal all manner of disease! The power of the Healer is in the hands of the healed! We who have been reconciled are to reconcile others. We who have been set free from the bondage of sin have been commanded to set free the prisoner! We who were hungry are now sent out with food for the perishing! We who were naked and ashamed have now been commissioned to clothed and cover the shame. We have been given the authority to heal the sick and release people from their disease!

The weight of this responsibility is too heavy for us to carry. The world needs a Savior, a sacrifice and a sacrament. This responsibility is laid upon us but we are to lay our lives back on Christ to do His work! Try to solve the worlds problems and you will fail! Invest yourself in their disease and you will die of that disease. No, we cannot do the work of Christ in our power. We must work the works of God in the power of the Holy Spirit! We must become the working clothes of the Holy Spirit and He in us becomes the Hope of Glory! If you can do the work then you don’t need God. If you don’t need God then you are working on something that is too small and insignificant!

I have had disease and I know the powerlessness and helplessness it brings! I have seen disease take strength and vitality from me. I did not need sympathy or empathy I needed to be set free from the disease! I needed someone with the ability to allow God to work through them for the disease to surrender to! The world and love ones need you and I to let God use us to heal the sick. I am praying that God will anoint us to heal the sick and be able to say to them as He said to the daughter of Israel, “and he said to her, “Daughter, *your faith has made you well; *go in peace, and be healed of your *disease.”

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Drama Has No Destiny!

Drama has no Destiny!

I heard this quote recently that made me think about drama. “Too many driven by drama rather than destiny!” Samuel Rodriguez

Drama is like a rip current in the ocean. It will drag you away from the shores of your life and toward an ocean that has no borders. If you try to fight the drama it will sap your strength and eventually weaken you to your death. The only way to get away from a rip current is to swim parallel to the shore until you get free of it and then swim back to the shore. Rip currents are not wide just wild. If you keep your head and never lose sight of the shore you can eventually swim back to the shore. The same is true about drama. If you are not careful the drama will cause you to lose the focus of your destiny. All of a sudden you look up and realize you are fighting something that does not matter. Now you have no strength left to return to your destiny. Defeat and death then become your partners.

Drive has to have a destiny! Control the urge to fight and flitter away your future! To me a simple plan keeps me in focus to the things that need to be driving me.

Matthew 6:33 Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness….

What does the Kingdom and the King want out of me?

Where does the Kingdom and the King get the best benefit out of my life?

What is it that is keeping me from doing the right things for the Kingdom and the King?

I have found that in the process of living I can become so engrossed in the work of the Kingdom that I forget the King! Sometimes I have even found myself fighting for the Kingdom in ways that are not pleasing to the King. Righteousness must be practiced at all times for the Kingdom to be administrated as the King desires. We destroy the Kingdom when we become self-righteous and focus on the wrongs of others rather than the king.

The church or organizations we belong to is not the Kingdom. The leaders or the pastors of our churches are not the King. They are not the enemy either! The enemy is you! When you focus on anything other than the King and His Kingdom then you become an enemy. Be free to follow the King and determine to live in the Kingdom of Righteousness. The drama will go away and you will find the shores that bring peace.

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Ministry Promotions and Elections should be determined my The Lord and not our Politics.

Ministry Promotions and Elections should be determined my The Lord and not our Politics.

Psalm 75:1 We give thanks to you, O God;
we give thanks, for your name is *near.
We* recount your wondrous deeds.
[2] “At *the set time that I appoint
I will judge *with equity.
[3] When the earth *totters, and all its inhabitants,
it is I who keep steady its *pillars. Selah
[4] I say to the boastful, ‘Do not boast,’
and to the wicked, *‘Do not lift up your horn;
[5] do not lift up your horn on high,
or speak with haughty neck.’”
[6] For not from the east or from the west
and not from the wilderness comes *lifting up,
[7] but it is *God who executes judgment,
*putting down one and lifting up another.
[8] *For in the hand of the LORD there is *a cup
with foaming wine, *well mixed,
and he pours out from it,
and all the wicked of the earth
shall *drain it down to the dregs.
[9] But I will declare it forever;
I will sing praises to the God of Jacob.
[10] *All the horns of the wicked I will cut off,
*but the horns of the righteous shall be lifted up.

While serving in a District office position several years ago I was approached with a question that made me think. The question was this, “How would you feel if you were voted out of office?” To be honest it took be back that it was even a subject of concern. My response was not meant to be cavalier but serious. I responded, “No one can vote me out. The body would simply be voting someone else in office.” I was elected to serve a two year term and each term a vote was to be taken on the office I held not the man who held the office.

Maybe I am missing something but I think too many times elected people fail to realize the position always belongs to the organization and not any one individual or group. The body has the right and responsibility to elect whom they feel should serve the organization. It seems like some have mistakenly thought when elected, that they were given the position until they changed their mind and heart about holding it. When elected to serve the body we should serve with humility and grace. Never are we to hold an office but to let the office hold us. We should serve the body with our heart and hold the position with an open hand and not a clenched fist.

Will it sting if ever we are not returned to a post? Of course it will! The flesh will always reject a challenge. But after a few days we will get back on track. The call on our life is not to a place, position or power but to Christ. Our call is to yield to the leadership and Lordship of Christ. There is no difference in Christs eyes to the positions we hold. He is looking to see if we are holding Him or something else.

So when a body of believers vote on those to serve in various places we should cast a ballot for that person whom we feel God is directing us. We should never vote against anybody we should vote for somebody. The body is responsible to elect the best qualified individual to serve the organization. That qualification is made by the Holy Spirit with everything else being secondary. We should not be divisive in our elections but prayerful and sincere. We should never cast a ballot lightly for people’s family and future will be affected. We should never feel pressured by friendships, alliances or threats when we cast our ballots.

The question should be asked, “Whom is The Lord placing His hand on and the Holy Spirit directing for me to cast my vote?

Jeremiah 1:5 “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born *I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet *to the nations.”

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Judas Steers

Judas steer

Why’d they leave that one cow? Ain’t it good for meat? I asked my grandfather.

That there’s a Judas, a Judas steer, he answered.

He explained that a Judas steer (or just “Judas”) is a special member of a herd. The herd usually has one cow or steer that is “trained” or calm enough to lead the rest of the cows into the slaughterhouse without help of human “encouragement.” I can imagine that if I were a cow, I wouldn’t go readily into a building reeking of death. However, if I saw a trusted member of my herd going in first, I might be more easily persuaded. After all of the herd had been led into the slaughterhouse, they would extract the Judas steer and return it to the farm for future use. It is most obviously named after Judas Iscariot, the apostle of Jesus Christ that betrayed the “Son of God” with a simple kiss, revealing Jesus’ identity to the awaiting Roman guards who would arrest him and later crucify him. These cows could easily see the inside of a slaughterhouse up to a dozen times before being killed themselves, unaware which trip in which they would lead their fellow cows to their death would be its last.

The “Judas steer” was the one who helped the cowboys lead the other animals to their destruction in the stockyards. The terms dates from the 1800s cattle drives.

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I hate to say it because it is disparaging of people, but sometimes crowds are like cattle. They don’t like discomfort or something that causes them to be anxious. Cattle will normally resist the unfamiliar unless there is another cow that they trust leading the way. Cowboys driving a herd to the stockyards will always look for the Judas cow. The reason is that that one cow’s leadership is enough to get the cattle to follow.

The truth is as men of God we must not follow others to our destruction. We cannot afford to allow others to lead us into places we are uncomfortable. There are several Judas steers around us today. Most of them have no idea they are influencing others to make the wrong choices. They may be young and not realize they are being used by others. It can be people who have motives of moving up in life. That in itself is not an impure motive. We always have to put principals, truth and integrity above our desires.

It is hard to pull away from the pack. It is never pleasant to disagree and descent from leadership. Even good people become poor leaders. We can love people but loathe their leadership. No one because they are in leadership deserves blind loyalty. The responsibility of leaders is to give clear, concise and credible leadership. Never allow yourself to feel that you must follow them or their followers to be a Christian. If leaders make you feel that way then they are not godly leaders. You are not an enemy if you disagree and make new paths. But you will be destroyed if you follow the wrong people following the wrong leaders!

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Questions

Questions

If it is not missional and has no real mission then why? If it is scattered and without focus then why? If it has no clarity and clear instruction then why? If the people in charge are unkind, double-tongued and irresponsible then why? If where you are being led has no paths, no goals and no signage then why? Why would one trust in someone or some organization that all the variables and parts don’t add up?

What is it that you are following? What is it about the leadership that keeps you from asking the right questions? What is it that makes you think that doing the wrong thing will eventually become the right thing? What has to happen before you will be open with your concerns?

When will it be enough? When will you draw a line and determine that you will not cross it? When will you find your voice and articulate your thoughts? When did you lose your principals and courage? When will you return to you and what you believe in?

Who have you become in the process ? Who is it that you trusted and have a problem trusting today? Who have you moved away from that you thought had changed only to realize it was you that had changed not them? Who will you be when the end of your life has been reached? Who will care that you were here for the years you walked this earth?

Where will you be after these questions? Where will you find the truth? Where did you leave the path? Where would God take you if you were trusting Him? Where will you find the courage to answer the questions and turn around?

Where will we be if somewhere we don’t answer the why, what, when and who’s of our lives?

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