Saturday, November 29, 2008

Here is a quote that I completely agree with! I had no idea till today that Mr. Austin-Sparks wrote this in his book, Union with Christ. The Lord has shown me that Christ is the center of all; He supersedes and excels beyond all. He is the first and the last, the beginning and the end and everything in between. He is all. He confirmed it to me today by having me find that He also revealed it to Mr. Austin-Sparks as well.

Union With Christ
T. Austin-Sparks

Union with Christ is the heart or centre of all that has been revealed of God's thought concerning man and of mans' relationship to God. Union with Christ is like the hub of a mighty wheel. There are many spokes to that wheel ¬ election, creation, redemption, salvation, sanctification, glorification; and then, like a series of subsidiary spokes ¬ repentance, faith, justification, conversion, regeneration, and so on. These are the spokes of the wheel, but they all centre in Christ and radiate from Christ and reach the rim, which is God. They unite us in Christ with God.

To give all this its true and full value, it is necessary to contemplate or have revealed to us the meaning of Christ, to see what an immense thing has taken place by the Son of God becoming the Son of man, by God becoming incarnate. It is a question of our being taken, not into Godhead or Deity, but into God's Son incarnate.

Now, the first preachers of the Christ evangel preached Christ. They did not, in the first place, preach salvation or sanctification or forgiveness, or judgment or heaven. That does not mean that they did not preach those things: they did; but not in the first place. They preached Christ, and all those things were included in the preaching of Christ; Christ as inclusive of all and as transcending all; for, after all, such things as salvation and sanctification, forgiveness, justification, are subsidiaries, they come afterward. Christ was before them all and Christ will be after them all. They are inside of Christ, but He vastly outstrips them all.

From: Union with Christ.

Mr. Austin-Sparks writes it more eloquently than I can, but we are in complete agreement. Without union there can be no salvation or justification or sanctification. All these lose their perspective and become nonsense without union with Christ. Without Christ there cannot be salvation or justification or sanctification or eternal life. It is our spiritual joining with Christ that makes all this possible. If a bride is not married to her husband she will not be able to share his name or possessions. She is a stranger, even a foreigner to him. If she becomes married to him, then what he has, she has, who he is she can share that as well. Our spouse has authority over all creation and we will judge angels. Now this is making more sense to me, hopefully to you as well.

And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. –Matthew 28:18

Christ is first and foremost, and the fruit of our union with Him is salvation, eternal life, justification, sanctification, peace, joy, etc. The fruit of the union is very plentiful indeed!

What this means for the believer is that we have all these gifts (fruits) now, presently, we do not need to seek them, or ask for them or try to earn them. They are ours now for our taking.

Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me. –John 15:4

Union is necessary for there to be fruit. There cannot be fruit without union. All of us who are born again have this union now. We do not need to seek the union, if Jesus Christ is your Lord and Savior and you have submitted your life to Him, then you are enjoying the union now. There is nothing left for you to do, He did it and now are job is to only become more aware of who we are in this wonderful, marvelous, unbelievable blessing of union!

We are the vessels and He is the Treasure contained within.

But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, so that the surpassing greatness of the power will be of God and not from ourselves.. -2 Corinthians 4:7

All this imagery is interwoven. The Lord is infinite in His wisdom. This brings us to reflect upon the Marriage Feast spoken of in Revelations. Marriage, union, fruit, the Creator and the created joined spiritually for all eternity. Humankind returned to the state it enjoyed in the Garden. What a loaded statement was that when Christ said, “It is finished.” The immenseness of this concept is far greater than probably any of us mere mortals will be able to comprehend on earth. It will take an infinite mind to show us all that this means…

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Jesus is More than a friend

Jesus is MORE Than Just a Friend

If I hear one more contemporary Christian song saying how much a friend Jesus is, I am going to scream and pull out my hair! Christians who consider their Lord and Savior as only just a friend or pal have no real concept of Salvation! If I offend anyone, please excuse me. I am serious and I will not take it back. He is not just another Homey that you chat with on Sundays or when times are tough, He is our Redeemer, Our Lord, The Lamb of God who came to take away the sins of the world.
The price He paid for our salvation was steep. We owe him more than friendly allegiance; we who claim to be saved owe Him everything, nothing short of our undying love and devotion. Bible reading and prayer should never be thought of as obligatory or duty, but as intimate moments with our deepest lover. What did Jesus say was the fulfillment of the law?
Was it not, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul and all your mind. Love your neighbor as yourself.”- Matt 22:36-38.
To a Christian who truly understands salvation and the price our Father paid for our Salvation, would not be so cavalier about treating Jesus just as a causal friend that you tell all your dreams and troubles to. He is much, much more than that. We should never forget that we are not our own that we were bought for with a price. – 1Corinthians 6:20.
What is said about the Church, are we not the bride of Christ? And we the members of the Church, the Bride, we are also individually spiritually joined with Christ. - Romans 7:4. Christ is our spiritual spouse, who only talks or interacts with a spouse or boy/girl friend occasionally? He is our life, He is our righteousness, He is our everything, how can anyone treat Him so casually? He is either the Lord of everything in our lives or the Lord of nothing, there is no middle ground! If a person receives a love letter is it not opened and read and reread immediately? The bible is sixtysix love letters, we should be reading them over and over. What is the point of a Wedding feast in Heaven if this is going to be some loveless marriage?
No wonder the church acts as if it is asleep, it is. Christ’s bride is doing the equivalent of laying at home watching television and eating bonbons! The moon in the night time sky has been a classic symbol of the church. It shines in the dark, but only reflects the light of the Sun, it has no light of its own. That is us. We are supposed to be reflecting the light of the “Son” but we are too busy treating Him as if he is a casual pal that we occasionally chat with.
How are we to complete the Great Commission when the Person whom we are to be proclaiming is nothing but a casual friend? It will ring hollow to say that Jesus is coming soon, we cannot wait to hang out with Him! He is such a cool friend…

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. -John 3:16

We return that love by calling Him just a friend, no wonder the Spirit grieves! We should all be ashamed of ourselves…..

more than a friend - Vineyard Music

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Josh Hamilton Story - Miracles Do Happen

Josh Hamilton: The Baseball Star's Rise to Recovery
By Will Dawson
The 700 Club – [UPDATE: Last night, Texas Rangers’ outfielder Josh Hamilton hit a whopping 28 home runs in the first round of Major League Baseball’s Home Run Derby, setting a new single round record and giving thanks to God following his amazing performance. Though he lost in the final round, his performance was one of the greatest in MLB history. In 2007, The 700 Club interviewed the baseball star, and he told his story of how God saved him from addiction and showed him the deeper meaning to life.]

The date is June 2, 1999. Eighteen-year-old Josh Hamilton is drafted number one overall by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. Like all draft picks Josh went to the minors to develop.

"I was by myself for the first time ever. So I just started hanging out in the wrong places and surrounding myself with the type of people I wouldn’t normally surround myself with," Josh tells The 700 Club.

When his first season in the minors was filled with injuries, he had more time to spend with his new friends.

"I had my first drink of alcohol and did my first line of cocaine in the same night. I can’t say why I did it other than just curious about both of them."

His curiosity led to addiction. Over the next three years, Josh checked in and out of rehab eight times. Because of baseball’s drug testing policy his career was also in jeopardy. Then, Josh fell in love with Katie, and they married. He cleaned his act up for a while…

"He told me he had just gotten out of rehab, and he was drug-free. He was at that point, and I just figured he’s out of rehab -- he’s saying he’s drug-free. He’s gonna stay that way," says Katie.

"I was clean five months when we got married. We got married in November," says Josh. "She got pregnant in December, and I went back out and started using in January ... leaving her to fend for herself basically."

"I was just floored! I just could net even believe it. Our marriage was so completely broken that you couldn’t even see a way to try and fix it, to try and start putting it back together because there was just not a marriage left," remembers Katie.

Josh quit taking drug tests and was suspended from baseball. He and Katie separated. His body was taking a beating from the drugs, and he lost 50 pounds. One night he showed up on his grandmother’s doorstep and asked if she would take him in. She hardly recognized her grandson.

"She knows that I was using and saying to me that she knew what I was doing. She just started crying and said she couldn’t take it anymore -- seeing me like that."

Katie constantly worried about Josh.

"I don’t even know how he was surviving. He was a skeleton. He didn’t even look like the same person. Just mentally, I felt like he didn’t have any grasp on reality," says Katie.

Josh had given his life to Jesus at age 18, but after he was drafted, baseball became his focus. His grandmother challenged him to surrender to God. Josh began reading the Bible, but his addiction gnawed at him.

"I would be in the word and praying and all of the sudden one day, I would go three or four days without doing it ... and then I’d be back using. So it’s like I knew what would keep me from doing it, but I was setting myself up to do it anyway," says Josh.

Times were tough for Katie.

"I was completely desperate for God. For the first time in my life, I was just desperate for Him. I needed Him. I needed every bit of Him I could get. There was nothing in me that could get me through that time. I would be in my car praying for him, and it was just like I could feel God right there with me just bringing me so much peace and joy in the midst of a complete disaster."

Katie called Josh and told him she believed she’d heard a message from God.

She said, “Josh, I’ve been praying about it, and God’s going to let you back into baseball.”

Josh would say, "Yeah, whatever."

She said, “No, it’s true! I’ve been praying about it, and He laid it on my heart that you were going back to baseball. But it won’t be about baseball. It’s going to be about what He’s brought you from and what He’s brought you through."

Even though Josh laughed at the idea, it encouraged him to continue reading his Bible. Katie continued looking to God.

"God just kept saying, Just wait, just wait, just trust me, and you know when you’re going through turmoil, ‘Wait’ is not really the answer you want to hear, but He just gave me the strength to continue to wait on Him," says Josh.

Katie’s prayers were being answered.

"I was watching Katie and her relationship with God strengthen so much -- her leaning on Him and depending on Him when I was doing that to her," he says. "That started sinking in a month or two after I started getting back together and going back to church again."

Josh and Katie reconciled, and with God’s help gave up drugs and alcohol. Then, Josh was baptized.

"Just watching the transformation that God has made in Josh’s life .. I mean it’s just been so awesome and such a gift from the Lord to see what He’s done in him," says Katie.

After three years away from baseball, the league reinstated Josh Hamilton. In spring training 2007--a shock to the baseball world, the Cincinnati Reds added Josh to their roster, and today he’s one of the leading vote-getters for National League Rookie of the Year.

"I mean I was out of baseball a year-and-a-half ago. I didn’t have my family back, my wife was going to leave me, and I was doing drug. People think there are coincidences in life. There are no coincidences when God’s got a plan. It’s nothing I did except try to make the right choices and let God take over from there. There’s one solid and permanent way out of it, and that’s finding the Lord Jesus Christ and accepting Him."

Taken from The 700 CLUB by Will Dawson

My Comments:
How can anyone say God does not exist? Josh in his own words tell us that it was the Lord and the Lord only that got him clean and sober. His athletic abilities were still top notch when he was reinstated back into baseball, his marriage was reconciled, he got his family back, is God great or what? God moves in wondrous ways, His ways are not our ways and His thoughts are not our thoughts. Praise God and God alone!

My wife found out about this story at the all star break, she is a huge baseball fan, she could not tell me the story with a dry eye. I just watched a program about him and I was moved to tears. The best part about his story is that he is not ashamed to give the Lord all the credit! I can see that the Lord can use Josh to show that even today miracles can and do happen!

Friday, September 26, 2008

What is the Gospel

What is the Gospel? The Gospel is good news, God's plan of salvation for His Lost and sinful creatures. The thing about good news is that it is information about what someone else has done and not what I must do. If it were information about what I must do then it would be nothing but good advice!

The Gospel then is all about what has been done for me and for you, for all of us. It is the free gift of God, for whosoever shall come and believe. I am going to include a quote that I believe succinctly and directly explains the Gospel much better than I ever could.

The Gospel

The Gospel is the call to rest, to receive the free, undeserved gift that God has given us in Christ. There is nothing man can do to earn salvation from his past, or his present acceptance and walk with God. It is, from beginning to end, the grace of God, which can only be received by faith.

The body of truth that proclaims the revelation of God is called the Good News. News, by definition, is the announcement of something that has happened, not a list of things that must be done! All that must be done for a man to live in perfect union with God has been accomplished by Jesus in His death and resurrection.

The heart of the Christian life is to stand in wonder before His love and say, ''Thank You!''

The Gospel is not a call to do something, but the announcement that all is done in the One Who stood for all. (emphasis mine)

The Christian life is not living in our own strength and resources, but from the infinite Christ Who lives within those who believe. All human strength will come to an end sooner or later, leaving each of us with charred, burned out life. But His strength knows no end!

We have one function in life: to be the manifestors of His life to the world. Only when we are living His life are we truly living our own! This is the reason for our creation. (emphasis mine)

We realize that He is not only the past tense Savior from sin, but also the One Who now lives within us in the present tense, our life and breath. Christianity is not a formula, but the Person of Jesus Himself.

Never think that Christianity is a matter of adjusting behavior, but rather, of letting Christ live through us in His strength and power.

-Malcolm Smith

As I said, in my opinion that quote sums it up for me. “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me." - Galatians 2:20.

It all comes down to this, we believers do not have to work or strive to become Christians, all we have to do is rest. "Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS. “-Matthew 11:28-29. Everything for our salvation has been done for us already, we cannot add or subtract from it. That is why our Lord was able to say “It is finished” from the cross, it was!

The only task ahead for a Christian then is to renew our minds by reading and meditating on Scripture. Here is where the Christian can really strengthen his or her knowledge and understanding of the Lord and our relationship to the Lord. Allowing His knowledge and wisdom to come in and enrich our lives, not trying to better ourselves that is the Lord's job and His alone. He will change us from the inside; the changes may come quietly and as gently as the melting snow. The changes will come, never as fast as we might like, but rest assured they come. As we mature in the Lord we will learn more how to operate as His lamps, shining His light to the world.

I hope Christians never forget that their bodies are temples and that the Lord indwells us. He is there, so is the Holy Spirit and where our Lord is, there the father is also, so the entire Trinity indwells us. Because the Trinity lives inside us, there is also a little slice of Heaven within us. Each of us is carrying around our own little slice of Heaven within us, is that fantastic or what?

Here is love, vast as the ocean -

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

how can atheists say God does not exist?

From Cocaine to Christ

Tuesday 23rd December 2003

Two Christian rock musicians, Joseph Rojas from SEVENTH DAY SLUMBER and Vince Lichlyter from JONAH 33, spoke to Mike Rimmer about how God delivered them from cocaine addiction.

Seventh Day Slumber
Seventh Day Slumber

Sometimes America's annual Gospel Music Week can feel more like a glitzy showbiz quagmire than a gathering of Christian musicians and industry people. And sometimes as an interviewer it is possible to get weirded out by the number of church pastors' kids who go straight from high school to fronting bands without ever seeming to experience anything. Sometimes I want to meet a band who have a testimony because they have been through a test. During an intense week of interviews, I met two frontmen for American rock bands whose experience of a God of supernatural deliverance has inspired them to reach out to others.

Seventh Day Slumber's debut album 'Picking Up The Pieces' is vibrant hooky, guitar-driven rock. Walking into their room, you know this is a rock band you don't want to argue with, after all any band with a huge drummer called Rhino has to be.ahem.respected! Thankfully they prove friendly and frontman Joseph Rojas is a passionate advocate for the band's music and ministry.

Joseph is very honest about his own past and it's not pretty. "I used to be a drug addict," he says, with unflinching bluntness. "I'll be real honest with you. I had a $400 a day cocaine addiction. I remember being 13 years old and thinking about taking a gun and putting it to my head and pulling the trigger. My father left me at the age of three. My only memories of my father were him beating my mother bloody. I'd never learned how to throw a football, I was the fat kid growing up, I didn't have any fishing trip stories with my dad because I didn't have a dad. I wanted to get picked. I was the guy who was passed up for every team at school. I was never picked. I'd go home and I'd cry my eyes out and I just wanted to end my life."

He continues, "I got involved with drugs and cocaine helped me to escape reality. I would do cocaine about once a month, then once a week, then it turned into once a day and before I knew it, I had a $400 a day cocaine addiction. I've been to jail over 20 times, I was looking at 10 years in prison and finally at the age of 20, I just decided that it was time for me to 'check-out'. I didn't want to live anymore."

Joseph's life changed the day he decided to kill himself. He decided to overdose on cocaine when he knew his family would not be around. He remembers, "My mother walked in unexpectedly and my chest began to hurt. I dropped to my knees and I was overdosing in front of her. She was crying out to Jesus, I didn't even believe in God but my mother was praying for me. The ambulance came and they picked me up. I was coming in and out of consciousness and I don't know how to explain it but everything inside me told me Jesus was real."

At that moment Joseph knew enough to cry out to Jesus for help. He explains, "I said, 'Would you save me?!' For the first time in my life, I felt like I got picked and it was amazing! I felt like I was a part of something and I belonged somewhere. My void was filled and life was different. In a split second, my whole life changed."

Having encountered God in the ambulance, Joseph began the process of living out his faith and allowing God to break his addiction. He shares honestly, "A lot of people like to have the story where it just ended but for me, I had to learn to look to Christ every single day or I wouldn't make it. God saved my life but I'd be lying if I said that I didn't have cravings. It would get to me at two o'clock in the morning. I'd wake up in the morning going, 'Man, I gotta get some cocaine!' and I'd struggle and struggle and I'd just cry out to God and he would quench that. The need I had for cocaine, he would quench it with his love. And it's true, it would just go away after I would pray. In Alcoholics Anonymous, they tell you to call the sponsor. That's always good to call a friend and I had some friends to call, but really I would call on Jesus and I would just say, 'I can't get through this, I need help.' He would always be there and I would get through it. I allowed God to work freely in my life and after three months, it was gone! I've been clean now almost eight years."

Jonah 33
Jonah 33

Joseph knows that a lot of his old friends are either dead or in jail. It's a sobering observation that it could easily have been him. "We've got a song called 'My Struggle' and it says, 'There must be some mistake, cause I'm not worth the price you paid.' And yet Joseph has begun to understand something of God's purpose as he tries to rescue others who struggle like he did. His experiences act as a springboard for ministry. He laughs, "I'm crazy enough to believe that I can change the world and I don't care if anyone else wants to help me or join in. I believe that with God I can change the world for Christ. As a band we decided let's go take this world over for Jesus and lead some kids to Christ and give them hope! And not do it in a preachy way but do it in a way where they can understand us and where we're on their level and we give them the message on their level."

He continues, "I see so many hurting people out there and I believe I've got a chance and I believe the reason God gave me this opportunity isn't just to go and have fun and to rock out. It's to go and help these others who have no hope in life. And that's what I do, that's what our band does. Wherever we can, wherever someone will listen, we will play and we will minister. I believe God gave us an opportunity and I'm not going to blow it."

Someone else determined not to blow it these days is Vince Lichlyter from the band Jonah 33. Like Seventh Day Slumber, this rock team have a hot, gutsy rock album 'Jonah 33' currently getting US airplay. And like Joseph Rojas, Vince Lichlyter is a young man who in his early years made bad, bad decisions. By the time he was 13 years old Vince had left his family and begun to live on the streets of Seattle. He sums up the experience saying, "I started using drugs and getting into that whole lifestyle and pretty much trashed my life."

It wasn't until the age of 19 that he moved from Seattle to Arkansas to escape. "I'd just had too much," Vince explains. "I was in the middle of a really bad drug deal and a lot of violence was surrounding me. So I called my dad up and told him that I needed to come home. My dad bought me a ticket, it was a roundtrip ticket but when I came to Arkansas I met a youth pastor. He just took me to lunch one day and he told me about Jesus the whole way there and the whole way back. I went over to his house a couple of days later and we talked some more from six o'clock in the evening until three o'clock in the morning. I ended up giving up! I had nothing left. I just knelt down and gave my life to Christ."

He is candid in describing the change in his life. "My life just really fell together after I got saved; before it was just a shambled mess. I'd done pretty much everything short of shooting up. I never really messed with needles much but anything else you can probably think of.I was just like a vacuum man, I inhaled it all!"

When it came to coming off drugs, Vince had a different experience to Joseph Rojas. He explains, "When I came home I spent the first two or three days in bed just sleeping. After I became a Christian, the Lord took the urge to do drugs right out of me. I didn't have any deep desires or anything. I struggled with it but it was more of a mental thing. God totally delivered me with his grace and it was just really awesome. I feel blessed because I've heard a lot of stories where guys and girls come off of it and really have a tough time."

Like Joseph, it's Vince's experiences of God that fire his ministry. He recalls one drug experience, "It's probably a little too graphic to get into in this interview but I had an experience that really just opened my eyes. There's a thing where some people believe that God can reach you and kind of smack you around a little bit through the Holy Spirit before you're saved. I think for me that was my moment, God just really shook me and opened my eyes. Even in the midst of being high I realised where I was. I remember that night like it was yesterday. I think the Lord just burned that on my soul because that drives me to be as outspoken and as bold as I possibly can. I definitely know that God brought me through that and allowed me to go through that for the call that he's placed on me today. I want to preach the Gospel at all costs and to not compromise at all. From what I hear it's a tough road but I think I'm completely ready to embrace it."

Vince has very radical thoughts about how he and his band Jonah 33 can do that. He laughs, "I don't mind being a trend-setter as long as God ordains it. I mean I'm not in it for the show at all but can you imagine if you went to a rock show in a wheelchair and one of the guys just felt led to pray for you and you ended up getting out of that wheelchair? That's the lasting impression that Jesus would have on that town when that band left, not really anything about the band but just Jesus himself. I think God's into showing off if it would draw people to him. So I just want to be used by him."

-Published in the CR Mag 78 Tuesday 23rd December 2003

My Comments:
I have gone to different myspace pages and looked at atheists' blogs and comments. They claim God does not exist and that Christians are all delusional. I was in a very similar place as this man, Joseph Rojas, was just a few years ago. I was not into drugs, but everything else was pretty much the same. God came into each of our lives and each of us have been changed from who we were. Can millions of people be mass delusional and have similar stories? Look down through the ages over the last two thousand years, what about all the true Christians that were truly saved?
I will grant that evil deeds were done in the name of Christianity, but those were evil men doing evil in the name of God, not true born again Christians. You can tell a tree by its fruit.... A true born again Christian, in my opinion, one that has truly been "touched" by God, no longer lives for himself, but lives for Him! We can see this in this interview with Joseph Rojas. If anyone wants to know how it is people become born again Christians, what you just read is how it's done! Broken lives are fixed, broken hearts mended, broken spirits are renewed and restored to their original state of union with God. They are joined with their Creator, the great Physician, the Healer of our Souls. God is into the fixing broken lives business and busines is good! Praise be to God and God alone!

For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. -
1Corinthians 1:18

Sunday, July 27, 2008

I am the good shepherd, and I know My own and My own know Me, even as the Father knows Me and I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep. I have other sheep, which are not of this fold; I must bring them also, and they will hear My voice; and they will become one flock with one shepherd.

- John 10:14-16

Father, hear the prayer we offer:
Nor for ease that prayer shall be,
But for strength, that we may ever
Live our lives courageously.

Not forever in green pastures
Do we ask our way to be,
But the steep and rugged pathway
May we tread rejoicingly.

Not forever by still waters
Would we idly rest and stay;
But would smite the living fountains
From the rocks along our way.

Be our strength in hours of weakness,
In our wanderings be our Guide;
Through endeavor, failure, danger,
Father, be Thou at our side.

Let our path be bright or dreary,
Storm or sunshine be our share;
May our souls in hope unweary
Make Thy work our ceaseless prayer.

-taken from a poem by Mrs Love Maria Willis (1824-1908)

Jesus said: I will be with you always, even until the end of the age - Matthew 28:20

I seem to be all over the place on this posting. I have a couple of different ideas rolling around in my little pea sized brain. I just was not sure which way this post should go, I think I will put forward an overview on this posting and go into detail on subsequent posts.

Jesus referring to Himself as the Good Shepherd my favorite way He describes Himself. We are all sheep, wandering to and fro, clueless when the wolves are about or where or when dangers lurk. He is always diligent, missing nothing and always protecting us. When a sheep goes astray, the Shepherd goes and finds the sheep, carrying it on His shoulders back to the flock. I cannot write this with a dry eye. As I said earlier, the Good Shepherd analogy is my favorite.

Like a shepherd He will tend His flock, In His arm He will gather the lambs And carry them in His bosom; He will gently lead the nursing ewes.
-Isaiah 40:11

For thus says the Lord GOD, "Behold, I Myself will search for My sheep and seek them out. As a shepherd cares for his herd in the day when he is among his scattered sheep, so I will care for My sheep and will deliver them from all the places to which they were scattered on a cloudy and gloomy day.

I will bring them out from the peoples and gather them from the countries and bring them to their own land; and I will feed them on the mountains of Israel, by the streams, and in all the inhabited places of the land. I will feed them in a good pasture, and their grazing ground will be on the mountain heights of Israel There they will lie down on good grazing ground and feed in rich pasture on the mountains of Israel. I will feed My flock and I will lead them to rest declares the Lord GOD. I will seek the lost, bring back the scattered, bind up the broken and strengthen the sick; but the fat and the strong I will destroy I will feed them with judgment.

-Ezekiel 34:11-16

One of my favorite Good Shepherd verses:

Psalm 23

The LORD, the Psalmist's Shepherd.
A Psalm of David.
The LORD is my shepherd,
I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside quiet waters.

Over and over the Good Shepherd stresses how He will care for us, provide for us and protect us. He that is in us is greater than he that is in the world, for He has overcome the world. If God is for us, who can stand against us?

I posted this for myself as much as for anyone. Sometimes I lose sight that all is right in the world, "Be still and know, that I am God" -Psalm 46:10 NIV Today I justed needed a little encouragement. As I write this post, my Savior inside reminds me that it is still our Father's world, He alone controls what happens. There are no coincidences, no mere happenings and certainly no luck. What happens is controlled by the One sitting on the throne in Heaven.

Perhaps I am starting to see with that "single eye" our Lord spoke about......