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Archive for the ‘Love of God’ Category

Yesterday I found myself humming a tune.  As I realized what it was, I began to sing, “God likes people…”, softly at first.  However, by the third time I sang the chorus I was singing rather loudly.   

“God likes people, any shape, any color, any size.
You don’t have to be an angel to be really special in His eyes.
He said it in John 3:16 and He proved it on Calvary, too.
God likes people, ordinary people, people like me and you”.

This is a little song the childrens choir use to sing many years ago, but somehow it made its way back into my conciousness yesterday.  God likes people!  It doesn’t matter your color, your status in life, your shape, skinny or otherwise, where you live or anything else.  If you are a human being God thinks you are pretty special.  “God likes people, ordinary people,  people like me and you”! 

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We live in such a crazy and sin sick world.  The news is depressing.  You, like me have probably turned it all off for a few days at a time.  We just can’t stand to hear anything else BAD.  What I am about to write may seem to simplistic, however it is true.  If we focus on things that are lovely, of good report, etc.  our minds won’t be so stressed by the things of this world.  Give it a try and see how much better you feel.

Page after page can be written about a person’s life.  We call this a biographical view of an individual.  However, sometimes a biography can be summed up in just a few words.  These expressions refer to the character and/or impact someone had on the lives of those they lived around.  Last year, in our ladies ministries of the UPCI we focused on “Leaving a LEGACY”.  Usually when you mention someone’s name who has gone on to their reward you don’t go into a great dissertation.  You simply say things like, “He was a GOOD man”.  “What a man of WISDOM”.  “She was such a LADY”.  “She was a QUEEN”,  etc. and we all know what you are talking about.  That one word pretty much sums it up, how a person lived their life.

When Peter was sharing the Gospel with Cornelius and his household, before pointing to the Crucified Christ and the forgiveness of sins that can be received in His Name…He summed up the life of Christ like this:

Acts 10:38 How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.

GOOD is what we can expect associated with God.

GOODNESS is what marked the essence of Jesus being here on earth.  He was GOOD to others.  It wasn’t because they deserved it but because it was needed and would ultimately bring glory to God. 

When Jesus was to come on the world scene it was announced by angels with GOODNESS….Luke says it like this, “Fear Not, for behold I bring you GOOD NEWS of a great joy that will be for all the people.  For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.”

Jesus came to earth during a time when there was definitely a need for some GOODNESS.  We live in such a time right now, today!  Among all the bad news there is need for GOOD NEWS and maintaining our focus on Jesus!  If we seriously focus on the GOODNESS of Jesus and portray that in our lives, then we will have opportunity to share the GOOD NEWS with people in this trying time.  Folks will want to know why you can be so happy and peaceful in this time of insecurity.  Keep your focus on JESUS! 

Turn your eyes upon Jesus.  Look full in His wonderful face.  And the things of this world will grow strangely dim, in the light of His glory and grace.

Have a GOOD Day for GOODNESS sake. 

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“Lord, You are so amazing.  …And I cannot imagine what my life would be without you”.   

Those are a few of the words to one of my favorite songs.  I cannot sing that and not be touched and my hands drawn up in worship.  I somehow cannot get over God’s amazing love for me.   How can someone love so unconditionally?  The song goes on to say, “I know I would be hopeless.  I’m a wretch undone without you.  That’s why I can’t be without you.  I won’t last without you.  I Need You.  I’m so lost without you.  I know that I would fail alone.  I need You.”  Do you ever stop and think, what would I be without Him?  Where would I be without Him?  I cannot imagine what my life would be without the Lord.  I don’t even want to know.  “Lord, I’m amazed by you!  Lord, I’m amazed by You, how You love me!”   “Amazing Grace, How sweet the sound…”  What a mighty, great and loving God we serve.  His ways are far above ours.  I just wanted to pause today and say once again, Thank You Lord,  for how amazing You are. 

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Tonight at Bible Study, my father-in-law (B.J. Hurst) sang the special.  My mother-in-law (Dorothy Hurst) played the keyboard.  I followed along on the organ. 🙂  Dad sang, “No One Cared For Me Like Jesus”.  I just have to say, I hope I can sing and hold my notes like he did tonight when I am 76 years old.  He did an incredible job.  However, that is not what I really want to point out about his singing.  When he finished singing,  there was such an awesome spirit of God that once again came into our service.  I often tell our chorale that we must have the anointing that breaks the yoke.  And, we also have to live a life that backs up what we are singing about if we want God to move when we sing.  I saw it and felt in action tonight.  I don’t know about you, but as for me, there is just something about a saint of God that has lived their life for Christ that is so special.  When they sing, it touches me deeply.  I know some people may think, “well, you were just giving an old man something to do so he would feel good”.  Well…not so.  You see, I know the life that my in-laws have lived.  Dad is a good man.  He has given his life to the work of God and has been ever so faithful.  He is one of the most giving individuals I know.  I just think that when the Lord heard B.J. Hurst singing tonight he was impressed. 🙂  No, not by the good voice but by the faithfulness of one of His servants.  Hence,  the Spirit that came to visit us tonight.  The Lord moved in the miraculous with healings and many, many other blessings.  My! My! My!  I thank God for “old” saints of the cross.  When they sing, teach, preach or testify, I sit up and take notice and I believe that the Lord does too.  He did tonight.  🙂

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Sunday was my first Sunday back to church since surgery and I was not disappointed. Of course I’m never disappointed when I go to church but there are some services that are just over the top and this was one of those. I find it hard to write about how powerful God can be sometimes. It is just not explainable. I will tell you though, that the POWER of the Holy Ghost so overwhelmed us that it was incredible. Everyone in the house was moved in some way or other. There was healing, deliverance, cleansing, blessings (bountiful), and the list goes on. I had rejoiced in this service all day Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. Then last night going into the prayer room before service, I automatically was carried into His presence once again. The service again was kissed with God’s sweet presence as the congregation began to sing praises to our God. A young man, Kyle was leading the worship service and for his last song of the evening he asked everyone to get their songbooks out and turn to the song, The Old Rugged Cross. He said, “I know it may be old young people but I want you to pay close attention to the words. They are powerful.” As he began to lead the song, he wept. There was such a precious remembrance of what Christ has done for us at Calvary as we sang that “old song”.

My husband has been in a series of Bible Study about “The Rhythm of Life”. So far we have covered, Work and Rest. Last Night was his first study on Worship and all throughout the lesson you could just feel the Lord’s presence. At the closing of the lesson as we began to worship, God’s presence once again touched us is such a special way.  It is just one of those times when we are walking in the Spirit.

There are many times when we must walk by faith and we are not feeling God so much. We feel like Job when he said, “Oh that I knew where I might find him! that I might come even to his seat!” (Job 23) So allow me to encourage you in the Lord. He does know the way you take. He will come through for YOU. Don’t give up. Keep worshiping Him! A breakthrough is coming your way. If He will do it in Hollister, He will do it wherever you are! YES HE WILL!

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There is a little girl, Madeleine in our church. easter-2007-013-large-web-view.jpg She is six years old. Her dad, Rodney and mom, Mindy and little brother, Joshua also attend our church. One day Rodney came down stairs and Madeleine was playing and she said, “Dad, are we going to church?” and he said, “Well, of course we are going to church Madeleine.” To which she responded, “Oh good. God is my Life”. Rodney being taken back a little asked, “Madeleine, what did you just say”? and she repeated it, “God is my life, Dad”. As Rodney relayed this to the adult bible class I was deeply touched. I pray that Madeleine keeps that focus as she grows and matures. And then I wondered…how many people really live their life that way. Is God really our life? How much of our life CENTERS around HIM. Paul wrote about this centered life focus in his letter to the church at Colossae.

Colossians 3: 2-4

2 Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.

3 For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.

4 When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.

Our life is to revolve around Him and His will. If that is not the case, then all we are set to experience is the devastation of eternal loss. However, if we maintain a life centered around God then we have the hope of appearing with Him in glory! I hope that “God is my life!” truly is our motto. There is no better life!

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$100.00 If I offered you a crisp one hundred dollar bill would you take it? Now if I took that same $100.00 and crinkled it in my hand and then offered it to you, would you still take it? What if I took the crinkled money and put it in my garden and got it all dirty? How about then?

I believe you would still take the money because you would recognize that no matter if it’s crisp and new or crinkled and dirty the value is still the same. It will still spend at the store. I believe that’s the way with a soul. It matters not to God where that soul has been or how broken and dirty it is, they are still of great value to God and should be to us.

I am reminded of the old poem, “The Touch of The Master’s Hand” that my Dad used so many times when preaching about and to the lost. I want to see every soul through the eyes of compassion. Let’s value every one we meet and those who enter our church doors. No matter how ragged, soiled or broken, just one touch of His hand can make them a New Creature.

Violin

It was battered and scarred,
And the auctioneer thought it
Hardly worth his while
To waste his time on the old violin,
But he held it up with a smile.
“What am I bid, good people”, he cried,
“Who starts the bidding for me?”
“One dollar, one dollar, Do I hear two?”
“Two dollars, who makes it three?”
“Three dollars once, three dollars twice, going for three”,

But, No,
From the room far back a gray haired man
Came forward and picked up the bow,
Then wiping the dust from the old violin
And tightening up the strings,
He played a melody, pure and sweet,
As sweet as the angel sings.

The music ceased and the auctioneer
With a voice that was quiet and low,
Said “What now am I bid for this old violin?”
As he held it aloft with its’ bow.
“One thousand, one thousand, Do I hear two?”
“Two thousand, Who makes it three?”
“Three thousand once, three thousand twice,
Going and gone”, said he.

The audience cheered,
But some of them cried,
“We just don’t understand.”
“What changed its’ worth?”
Swift came the reply.
“The Touch of the Masters Hand.”

And many a man with life out of tune,
All battered and scarred by sin,
Is auctioned cheap to a thoughtless crowd
Much like that old violin.
A mess of pottage, a glass of wine,
A game and he travels on.
He is going once, he is going twice,
He is going and almost gone.
But the Master comes,
And the foolish crowd never can quite understand,
The worth of a soul and the change that is wrought
By the Touch of the Master’s Hand.

written by: Mary B. Welch

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