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Happiness is seeing the stars and knowing Who to thank. In the wee hours before dawn during the meteor shower of 9/18/01, the very magnitude of the heavens made me realize once again the very magnitude of our Creator! I am glad I knew Who to thank.
Like lovers apart looking at the same moon, the awesome realization that people all over were seeing the same stars in the same heavens mesmerized me.
The Scriptures tell us that the returning of the Lord will be seen by all peoples. The whole world will see Him at His coming. I was suddenly electrified with the realization that it would not be the way the world saw the imploding of a World Trade Center tower – through television; but that it would be the way I was watching the actual meteor shower with the rest of the world that morning.
I thrilled at the mind’s eye picture of the Lord standing with His feet on the horizon, in full color, His face appearing in the places where meteors travel, and His body filling the heavens!
Would we float up to Him on lofty rays of light radiating from His hands?
Are you watching for His return?
Ever notice when you smile at someone they inevitably smile back at you?
When was the last time you smiled at God?
When was the last time you remember us as a Nation smile at God?
Franklin Delano Roosevelt, in his first inaugural address, July 2, 1932 said,
“The only thing we have to fear is fear itself…We face arduous days that lie before us in the warm courage of national unity; with the clear consciousness of seeking old and precious moral values… In this dedication of a nation we humbly ask the blessing of God. May He protect each and every one of us! May He guide me in the days to come.” FDR
Now that we have the warm courage of National unity, have we yet ‘consciously sought old and precious moral values’ as F.D.R. and others state, or do we still consciously seek to erase them by calling them intolerant and unconstitutional? Many strive for a clear conscience; yet see where F.D.R. tells us one is to be found?
Historical papers (Proposed First Amendment from the Virginia Ratifying Convention June 27, 1788) actually openly acknowledge and state:
“That religion, or the duty which we owe to our Creator, and the manner of discharging it…”
Have we lost hold of the concept that we may actually have a duty to our Creator? …and a responsibility to discharge it in proper order?
Do you know for sure whether the Lord will be smiling back at you when He returns?
Are you smiling at Him?
This thanksgiving season, let us have a renewed idea of those things for which we owe Him thanksgiving; if our conscience whispers we may be just a little off track; let the survivors of the Attack on America remind us. They were suddenly thankful for their spouses, their children, their neighbors. They were reminded that relationships were suddenly more important than things.
“Heavenly Father, we thank you for showing us the value in each of our relationships, both old, present and yet to come. We ask you to fill voids where relationships may be missing; in ourselves and others fill them first with a fresh knowledge of Yourself through a personal relationship with You, then may you add the human element; so keeping all relationships in proper order. May we live by the Golden Rule treating others the way we wish to be treated ourselves. May we see our family and friends in a fresh and valued way and know Who to thank. Help us to learn from our mistakes and set our feet on straight paths. Thank you magnificent Father!”
“Thus saith the LORD, The heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool:”
“Nor by the earth; for it is his footstool: “
“Heaven is my throne, and earth is my footstool: “ KJV
Why did Jesus fold the linen burial cloth after His resurrection? I never noticed this…
The Bible takes an entire verse to tell us that the napkin was neatly folded, and was placed at the head of that stony coffin.
“Early Sunday morning, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and found that the stone had been rolled away from the entrance.
“She ran and found Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loves. She said, ‘they have taken the Lord’s body out of the tomb, and I don’t know where they have put him!’
“Peter and the other disciple ran to the tomb to see. The other disciple out ran Peter and got there first, He stopped and looked in and saw the linen cloth lying there, but he didn’t go in.
“Then Simon Peter arrived and went inside. He also noticed the linen wrappings lying there, while the cloth that had covered Jesus’ head was folded up and lying apart from the other wrappings.” John 20:1-7 NLT
Was that important?
In order to understand the significance of the folded napkin, you have to understand a little bit about Hebrew tradition of that day. The folded napkin had to do with the Master and the Servant, and every Jewish boy knew this tradition.
When the servant set the dinner table for the master, he made sure that it was exactly the way the master wanted it.
The table was furnished perfectly, and then the servant would wait, just out of sight, until the master had finished eating, and the servant would not dare touch that table, until the master was finished.
Now if the master were finished eating, he would rise from the table, wipe his fingers, his mouth, and clean his beard, and would wad up that napkin and toss it onto the table.
But if the master got up from the table, and folded his napkin, and laid it beside his plate, the servant would not dare touch the table,
The servant would then know to clear the table. For in those days, the wadded napkin meant, “I’m finished…”
HOPE OF HOPE – LOVE OF LOVE
Hope of Hope
Did not give up
Love of Love
On His way to Calvary
To save a sin sick humanity
In deepest thought, O Lord
I cannot perceive
The kind of anguish
This darkened world
Placed on Thee.
The path was ever so hard,
That way of Sorrow
Lamb of God, Messiah,
King of Kings
Your Life You gave
For life eternal to raise,
And Hope of Heaven to bring
---Truly not an easy thing
This post was originally written back in 2018 and shared by Mary A. LaClair. Mary has invited me to join, as an author, The Proverbs 1:20 Column. It seems a good time to once again share some of the thoughts written about the church and what God may be saying to the church today.
I attended an event this past Sunday. In my heart of hearts I really believed that there would be a move of God on that day. I reached out to churches and groups and church leaders and those with giftings and abilities to attend the event with me. I was hurt and bewildered why some with a calling on their life couldn’t see the potential in this opportunity to reach thousands of people and hundreds of children. Church leaders and evangelists and Prophets all told me this was for me. I didn’t understand at the time.
At the event there was a bear, a living breathing creation of God. The Game Commission had trapped it. This bear, when it was brought out of the trap had a problem. It had mange. Now mange is a little mite that gets on the bear and causes the bear some problems. For this bear the little mite had caused it to lose hair on the bear’s face and shoulder. It also caused the bear to be underweight for its age. Because of the mite the Game Commission would not let anyone touch the bear so that this mite would not spread to people.
As I look back on that day, I am reflecting on what I learned. I believe it was a day that the Holy Spirit would have something to say. Perhaps He did and I was there to get the message.
As I looked on the bear, God’s creation, it brought tears to my eyes. To look at one of the creatures the Lord put here on the earth. As I looked at the body of the bear, I could see its claws, I could see its shape, its fur, its eyes, since it was sedated I was unable to see its strength but I know a bear can be powerful. Yet I could see the effects of the mange, how one little thing could affect the whole bear and since the bears own body was fighting against the little mite, the appearance of the bear showed the battle.
As I think about the body of the bear I reflect on the body of Christ, the church. Are we as strong as we could be? Are we as full grown as we ought to be? Are we as powerful as we should be? What battles are we fighting? Are we fighting the things that are in us and on us that are preventing us from growing into the powerful body the Lord has called us to be?
Reflect on this a little and consider what the Lord might speak to you through this.
A PASTOR’S REPLY – name withheld
The truth will not set us free? It is the truth that we know, Jesus said the truth you know shall set you free. Until you know truth, that truth cannot set you free. Below are just three examples of that truth:
Regarding the bear, it is symbolic of the church. See the church has been shot with a dart from the devil, just like the tranquilizer. Why was the bear shot? Because he was sick.
THE CHURCH TODAY IS SICK. IT HAS LET, PERMITTED THE LIES, AND FALSE TEACHINGS TO CREEP IN AND GIVE GROUND TO THE ENEMY.
THE CHURCH ” SHOULD BE ” big like the bear, strong, bold, and beautiful……………………… now it has let a little leaven, leaven the whole lump………………..the leaven of the Pharisees has crept in, little by little lie after lie.
Why do people accept lies, strain at gnats, while swallowing camel loads of sin? That bear is symbolic of the state of the church today, it needs to be healed, arise in its strength, and prepare for what is about to happen. Why were there so few that supported the event? That is the issue with the church today. They just want to support themselves, I, me, and mine. ME my four and no more! They will say they want to support others, but all the while they just want to steal from other ministries…………….. or because of the fear of someone stealing theirs they do not support others. The church like the bear is sick right now and needs a great awakening.
Thanks for thinking of me, I hope this helps ……………. this is what came to me exactly as I read it from you !
Here is a Post Script that I wrote that seems appropriate shared with the original post.
This morning I had one of those “moments” to laugh at myself. I went outside to get the morning paper and saw a spider web on the side of my porch. I went inside and got the broom and swept away the spider web and while getting rid of that web, I saw another and another….. I laughed at myself, here I am getting rid of spider webs and hopefully the spiders and I look down the street and my neighbor has their front yard all decorated with large spider webs and big spiders! I thought to myself – I could give you some REAL spiders and webs! Made me think of the scripture from Isaiah 5:20 “Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!”
This morning so many thoughts are running through my mind. I have heard so many testimonies about what people were and what they did but my mind is drawn to the one who is greater, the one who forgives, the one who has carried me through so many storms and been there in both the good times and the hard ones.
I hear people tell about who they were and what they did but my mind runs to the thoughts of but what have you done lately? Where does the Lord get the glory for the change, the healing, the repentance, the hope, the future?
We live in a world where evil does exist and I could detail so much of it to you but what would that do or solve? We also live in a world where hope abounds, healing exists, plans are designed and futures are laid out. I know there is a mansion waiting for me!
I’m thankful for eyes to see and ears to hear. Especially thankful for those words I’ve heard and the direction I have been given, grateful for the hearing of soft whispers and knowledge that I am loved.
I’ve seen those that have been healed and I know of those who weren’t. I’ve seen struggles and seen things work out, things come together and things fall apart. I understand now why the scripture says that life is but a vapor because the years go by so quickly and I’ve seen those who didn’t get many years and others who seemed to get too many.
I’m thankful for wisdom, though I struggle to obtain it. I’m thankful for peace although it is not always part of the plan. I’m thankful for truth because I have met the truth and he lives in me. I’m thankful for today, not because I have a plan but because I know the one who does.
This all comes to me today as a challenge because I know the one who holds the future and yet so many have never had a relationship with the one who holds eternity in his hands.
It only brings to mind that forever is a long time for those who haven’t met the one who holds it.
Life isn’t easy and trials and hardships come along the way. So do blessings and hope and joy and peace. Eternity is forever and that is what I am planning on, spending eternity with the one who holds today in his hand.
A FOUNDATION ROCK OF THE CHURCH: IS IT PETER OR PAUL?
Why is Peter called the rock upon which the R.C. church is built?
2,175 words. + 250 of supporting Scriptures By – Mary A. LaClair
Peter denied Christ three times, after vowing he never would. He shifted like sand. You don’t build on sand; you build on bed-rock. It is, however the statement which Peter made, his God-given thoughts, it is the fact of those thoughts, to which Jesus referred when He said He will build His church. Notice this: He said that HE, Jesus, will build His church, not that Peter would build His church.
The word catholicwith lower case “c”: – (adverb) means:, universal, all encompassing: i.e. catholic tastes in music
Catholic with a capital “C”: – is commonly used as a proper noun for the Roman Catholic Church, or a member thereof
R.C. : – Roman Catholic
THIS: – the word ‘this’ is never used as a personal pronoun,. It is an adjective usually modifying a noun
YOU: – the word ‘you’ has no plural form in English. It is both singular and collective, as in members of a group. i.e. as carpenters you know how to use tools…. ‘You’ refers to the group and to each individual in the group
(humor): the word YOU has no plural – Except in the southernmost states of the US where they use the colloquialism of ‘ya’ll come’ meaning ‘you all come, everyone come, without limitation, to our BB-Q’ YOU is collective, meaning a group and everyone within that group
“Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, He was asking His disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” And they said, “Some say John the Baptist; and others, Elijah; but still others, Jeremiah, or one of the prophets.” He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” And Jesus said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Barjona, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. I also say to you that you are 1aPeter, and upon THIS (2)rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it. “I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven.” Then He warned the disciples that they should tell no one that He was the Christ.” NASU (bold underline mine for emphasis)
Here, the footnote 1a at Peter says that the Greek says Peter (Petros) means ‘stone’ small stone, a piece of rock. While footnote “2” says something different.
It was when Peter made the statement of “Thou Art The Christ” that Jesus said, “Flesh and blood did not reveal this to you but My Father who Is in heaven” “Upon this rock” ( foot-note 2 says the Greek word rock here is: foundation, bed-rock;) “I will build my church” Jesus did not say ‘upon you I will build my church’.
Notice also that He calls the church HIS church, not Peter’s church.
Peter was Simon but here Jesus changes his name to Peter. Petros:
Using the Greek-Hebrew Dictionary:
In tracing the meaning of the word Petros, used for Peter, the meaning is ‘A PIECE OF ROCK.”
In tracing the meaning of Cephas, (Kephas) it lists the surname of Peter and compares it to (Keph) a hollow rock and (to Kaphaph ) to curve.
Petros: a piece of a rock larger than a stumbling stone, as a name Petrus the apostle, and compares to NT reference where Jesus actually calls Peter a stumbling stone. This is Peter
In tracing the meaning of the word Petra, its meaning is A MASS OF ROCK,(LITERALLY OR FIGURATIVELY) This is Jesus.
If PETRA is a mass of rock; and if PETROS is a piece of rock; might one be able to say: Peter was/is “a chip off the old block” ?? (smile)
The further words of ‘hollow’ and ‘curved’ connected to keph or Cephas are thought provoking: Peter’s denial may be considered ‘hollow’. He threw a curve ball.
If built upon Peter, Peter denied Christ three times, after vowing he never would. He shifted like sand. His denial was hollow because he didn’t really mean what he said at the time.
Peter was weak – Jesus called him Satan, that is a weak foundation. Jesus knew all that ahead of time. You don’t build on sand, you build on bed-rock.
It is, however, the statement Peter made, his God-given thoughts: it is the fact of those thoughts to which Jesus referred which are the foundation upon which the church is built and is still being built.
He said to them, “But who do you say that I am? Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” And Jesus said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Barjona, because flesh and blood did not reveal thisto you, but My Father who is in heaven. I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon THIS (2) rock I will build My church; .. NASU (underline emphasis mine)
The word THIS is used to point to objects, used alone it is never a synonym for a person.
One is correct in knowing that the statement is the actual foundation, with Christ the Cornerstone, and that is true. Therefore, it may seem strange that Jesus commanded them to tell no one that He is the Christ. Why? Because personal revelation from the Father, like Peter had, is the foundation which God wants – a personal relationship with the Father and the Son.
If one still wishes to say that Jesus says Peter is the foundation for the Roman Catholic Church, then we owe it to ourselves to continue reading a few verses down where Jesus turns right around and then calls Peter Satan. Ouch ! Some foundation on which to build a church, huh?
“Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him, saying, “God forbid it, Lord! This shall never happen to You.” But He turned and said to Peter, “Get behind Me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to Me; for you are not setting your mind on God’s interests, but man’s.” NASU
Paul, because of his writing, not Peter, has done more to build a church founded on these statements and the Gospel than Peter had done. God’s Church is built upon the Gospel. Since Jesus had not yet died and paid the price for us Peter did not have the Gospel at that time, Without the Gospel, there is no church.
The keys are given to the church to which He referred, which He was establishing, which He is still building today. ‘You’, in this instance, refers back to a church made up of people, plural. In English, the word ‘you’ is both singular and collective, there is no plural. You and I are a part of that collective YOU to which Jesus refers. In this universal church, you and I are also keeper of those keys, if we are part of His church.
…I am going to give “YOU”, the collective body of the church which I am herewith establishing, keys to the kingdom. In other words, kingdom keys, to the collective body, the church, made up of the people who have received the personal revelation of God, like you have just received, Peter…
After the Resurrection, after the Gospel had been completed, Paul, to whom the Father also personally revealed Jesus as the Christ, wrote most of the New Testament. If a man, in conjunction with Jesus and Holy Spirit, were to start building the church on something, it stands to reason that that man would be Paul, not Peter.
The New Testament is also stone on the foundation, with Jesus Christ revealed in it as the Chief Cornerstone. This is the solid foundation upon which Paul, and we as his disciples, build. Peter IS a stone in the building of the universal Church, which is the body, with Christ as the Head. Peter was restored after his mistakes, as are we! Restoration is part of the church. Peter is not to be scorned: People received healing in Peter’s shadow. Acts 5:15
Peter might be a colorful rock in the building. He certainly was a colorful guyl!
And I pay Peter a compliment in this way!
Build on this? No.
Build on this? Yes.
“… in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling of God in the Spirit.” – NASU
We are stones and rocks to be put in the building on the Foundation. Maybe some of you are colorful too?
It is not ironic that as Peter wrote the book of 1st Peter, he used the word ‘stones’ to identify fellowfollowers. . . :
1 Peter 2:4-7 AS LIVING STONES
“And coming to Him as to a living stone which has been rejected by men, but is choice and precious in the sight of God, you also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. For this is contained in Scripture:
“Behold, I Lay In Zion A Choice Stone, A Precious Corner Stone, And He Who Believes In Him Will Not Be Disappointed.” (Is 28:16)
This precious value, then, is for you who believe; but for those who disbelieve, “The Stone Which The Builders Rejected,This Became The Very Corner Stone “ ,(Ps 118:22)
And, A Stone Of Stumbling And A Rock Of Offense”;(Is 8:14) for they stumble because they are disobedient to the word, and to this doom they were also appointed.” – NASU
“At the hands of the apostles many signs and wonders were taking place among the people; and they were all with one accord in Solomon’s portico. But none of the rest dared to associate with them; however, the people held them in high esteem. And all the more believers in the Lord, multitudes of men and women, were constantly added to their number, to such an extent that they even carried the sick out into the streets and laid them on cots and pallets, so that when Peter came by at least his shadow might fall on any one of them. Also the people from the cities in the vicinity of Jerusalem were coming together, bringing people who were sick or afflicted with unclean spirits, and they were all being healed”. NASU
This is a picture of what should be happening in the universal church today. And I believe we are in the advent of seeing it restored once again.
Is Peter the rock, or is Jesus the Rock? – Upon which is the universal church built?
Jesus tells us He Himself is the Rock. Many times throughout Scripture “rock” with the capital “R” signifies that Jesus Himself is the Rock upon which the universal church is built.
Concerning the Roman Catholic Church, who has claimed the word ‘catholic’ for themselves, placing Peter as the head of that church, let some things be re-considered:
The statement that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God companioned with the fact ‘that flesh and blood did not reveal THIS to you but My Father who is in heaven…’
…this is the THIS upon which His universal church is built. The word “THIS” is not a synonym for a man as He did not say ‘upon you’; He said ‘upon this’. Believe it or not, isn’t it true that the church (spiritual building) IS made up of the people (stones) to whom God has personally revealed Himself? How lucky and blessed we are! …And, we, ourselves, you and I, continue to build with that foundation ! Like Peter, as repentant sinners we are also stones put upon a Rock solid foundation; the Rock being Christ Jesus, the personal knowing of Christ Jesus making us a part of the building on that Rock. Praise the Lord !
If you don’t yet have that kind of personal relationship with Lord Jesus, you can. He is risen from the dead and He is alive and His Spirit is in the world today. Just start talking to Him. Better yet, ask Him into your heart. Say, “Lord Jesus, thank you for forgiving me, please reveal yourself to me and come into my heart I want to see things the way you see them, help me to be all that you want me to be. Bring the right people into my life who know you and who can help me to know you better. Thank you, Jesus. Amen.”
Had Christ intended to describe Peter, all He needed to say was: You are Peter and on you I will build My Church.
But He didn’t say that.
1 Cor 10:1-5
1 Cor 10:1-5
I want you to know, brethren, that our fathers were all under the cloud, and all passed through the sea, and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, and all ate the same supernatural food and all drank the same supernatural drink. For they drank from the supernatural Rock which followed them, and the Rock was Christ. Nevertheless with most of them God was not pleased; for they were overthrown in the wilderness. RSV
The Rock! His work is perfect For all His ways are just; A God of faithfulness and without injustice, Righteous and upright is He. NASU
“But Jeshurun grew fat and kicked —You are grown fat, thick, and sleek —Then he forsook God who made him, And scorned the Rock of his salvation. NASU
“You neglected the Rock who begot you, And forgot the God who gave you birth. NASU
“How could one chase a thousand, And two put ten thousand to flight, Unless their Rock had sold them, And the Lord had given them up? NASU
“Indeed their Rock is not like our Rock, Even our enemies themselves judge this. NASU
Further Scriptures on Jesus as the Rock:
Is. 44:8; 17:10; 30:29; 26:4; 46:4;
Hab 1:12; 2
1 Sam 23:28;
Deut 32:31; 32:30; 32:18;32:15; 32:4
Now, Who is the Rock
Is it Peter or
Is it Jesus !
On which rock, Rock, would YOU build ? On a fragment, or bed-rock?
Just have some little talks with Jesus, He’d love to hear from YOU !