He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. - Colossians 1:15-16

Thursday, March 05, 2015

Do I?

Do I love and accept a friend absolutely as they are, wounded and broken?

Do I help them carry their burdens?  Or do I place more burdens on them to bear?

Do I judge them when what God is calling me to do is love them?

Do I blame them for being sick (physically, mentally, emotionally or spiritually) rather than pray for the Lord to heal them and walk with them through their trials? 

Do I stand there with a pointed finger or come before my heavenly Father with prayerful hands and heart?

Do my words cut and leave wounds which will be remembered for a lifetime?  Or do I speak words of encouragement, love, truth and healing which will bring comfort when recalled?

Do I reject the hurting one for whom Christ died, when the Shepherd stands with open arms ready to embrace and forgive them?

Am I an obstacle for those who need to turn to Christ or do I point the way?

Am I more concerned about what someone’s life reflects about me?  Or do I genuinely care and desire to love them?

We all can remember those words which wounded us and those words that showed love and support.  Those words that brought healing and life at just the right time.

Which words will I choose to speak today?

Will I raise my arms to push away or embrace, love and comfort?

Wednesday, March 04, 2015

The Holy Land Key – by Ray Bentley with Genevieve Gillespie – Can’t Recommend This One

I was very excited to read Pastor Ray Bentley’s new book The Holy Land Key, written with Genevieve Gillespie.  I love Ray's tender heart for the Lord, fellow believers and the lost.  I share his love for the Jewish people and have a keen interest in Biblical prophecy. 

My excitement came to a halt when I started reading The Holy Land Key.  Overall I found the book hard to read because it was very disjointed.  It didn’t flow and the material was not clearly presented.  There were a number of times in the middle of a chapter I had to look at the title to remind myself what the book was supposed to be about. 

In the introduction, Ray stated, “It is important to read prophecy carefully, to handle its interpretation with great care, and to anchor all our conclusions in God’s Word”.  So far so good, if that aim was achieved.  Where this book was out in left field is in the rest of that statement, “but we also want to explore some new territories in Scripture that have prophetic significance.”  Some of those “new territories” weren’t exactly grounded in Scripture. 

The new territories were where The Holy Land Key got off track.  The most egregious example is “what God has written in the heavens and what the Bible says about these heavenly revelations.”  The three chapters devoted to the signs in the heavens smacked of new age astrology with Bible verses tacked on.  Other things I took issue with:  1) A principal of Biblical interpretation from 1 Corinthians 15:46, “However the spiritual is not first, but the natural, and afterward the spiritual.”  This scripture was taken out of context and specifically addresses resurrection.  2) In speaking about Jews, Christians, Israeli Arabs and Palestinians, Ray stated, “These descendants of Jesus…”  To be more specific some of the people may be descendants of Abraham, but not Jesus.  3) A number of his sources of interpretation include non-Biblical sources and languages.  4) A quote from a former PLO member Tass Saada who is now a Christian, “He is the God of Abraham, Isaac, Ishmael, and Jacob!”  While Ishmael is a physical descendant of Abraham, he was not the child of promise, Isaac was.  But praise God that through Abraham, all nations will be blessed.  Not only are Jews His chosen people, but so are those who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ. 

I’m in agreement with Ray on many things including the fact that Israel and the Jews were and remain God’s chosen people.  What God has promised, He will fulfill.  I do believe that the Jews returning to the land is a fulfillment of Scripture taking place before our eyes.

But in good conscience I can’t recommend The Holy Land Key.  I don’t think it was clear, well-written, or backed up with the infallible Word of God.  I’m most concerned about the left turn into “astrology” and the non-Biblical sources used to document his interpretations.    

I would like to thank Blogging for Books for the opportunity to read The Holy Land Key in exchange for an honest review.  I was under no obligation to give a favorable review. 

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Winter in Roanoke

Pray Instead of Complain

When tempted to complain about a person or situation wouldn’t it be better if I chose to pray instead of complain?

Perhaps I should examine my heart to see what my complaining spirit reveals about me.


Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Moving Forward While Looking Back

It’s hard to move forward when I’m clinging to the past.  It’s hard to look the future with hope when I’m focused on what’s behind me.  It’s hard to be present, in the present, and respond rightly when I’m still wrestling with demons I refuse to let go of.  It’s hard to trust God when all I’m thinking about is what went wrong, what was lost or what’s missing.

Surely, I wouldn’t try to drive my car forward while I was focused on what was behind me.  Why would I try to live my life like that?

May I lay it all down at the foot of the cross.  May the Jesus Christ show me how to forgive and be free. 

So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.  – John 8:36 NASB

Thursday, February 19, 2015

God's Love

Your lovingkindness, O Lord, extends to the heavens,
Your faithfulness reaches to the skies.
Psalm 36:5 NASB

Monday, February 16, 2015

Downton Abbey…What’s up?

One of my guilty pleasures is watching Downton Abbey.  Last night I was having trouble staying focused because of some glaring changes I noticed in series 5, episode 7.

So what’s up? 

Well...it sure seems like they were not filming that episode at Highclere Castle.  My guess it was filmed on a set, not on site.  The rooms were much smaller and not as grand. 

Also…did anyone else notice a difference in the quality of the sound and picture.  It seems like they went from film to video.

From the beginning Downton Abbey has been grand and beautiful.  Last night…I found the changes, whatever they are, very distracting.  Things weren’t looking so grand.  What makes it more distracting is the change was in the middle of series 5, not at the beginning of the season.

I’ve done a Google search, but not seen anything mentioned about changes.  If you have any insights…please let me know.