Friday, August 28, 2015

All That Glisters Is Not Gold

All That Glisters Is Not Gold                                      08-28-15

Proverbs 16:9 (ESV) 9  The heart of man plans his way, but the LORD establishes his steps.

Whew!! Man O man!! Last night at work was a night from hades. I was about five hours late in completing my route and did not get into bed until 10:00 this A.M. I had no idea what I would write about and went to bed not having a clue. When I woke up about an hour ago, I was still clueless and had decided to wait until tomorrow to publish this week's blog. 

However, when I checked my phone for messages this afternoon, I had a curious text from my boss who also happens to be the big boss in this district. It read,"Call me when you can, I have a proposition." Well, I had a couple cups of coffee, read the daily Internet News psychobabble and gave my boss a call. Well, what he had to say stunned me somewhat and I pondered on it after we had hung up.

He came right out and made me a formal offer of a job, paying about triple what I make now. Not only that, the job would place me within 30 minutes of where my son and my granddaughters(one of whom I have never seen in person) are.I told him that although  I appreciated the consideration, I didn't see how I could do it. My life and home are here, in good ol' Knoxville, Tn.

Not five minutes after I hung up the phone, the voices started. "Wait a minute, Ronnie. Think about it. You could take this job, see Adrian and family, come home every weekend or every other weekend....... "  Now to that add this.

Not 48 hours ago, I was talking to the Lord about direction and whatnot. I remember my mother, Memaw, the last couple years of her life, lamenting the fact of how middling her life was. On countless occasions she would ask me why God was keeping her around, because she had no purpose or reason to be here. Of course, I had no answer except to say that God would take her when He was ready. And so He did. Anyway, I was feeling kind of "middling" (word of day lol) lately and brought it before the Lord. 

He quickened the above verse in my heart this week when I read it and spoke this to my spirit. "Set a course." That being said, you can imagine my surprise at the text and phone call today. But, as I was musing over the various options available for making this job become a reality, the quote above came to mind. "All that glisters is not gold."

Sometimes we will pray seeking God's will and blessing for our lives and maybe the enemy hears us? All of a sudden some opportunity will pop up and it looks and even seems right; or at least a possibility. But, and here is my point, you,me, we have to hold that opportunity or "door" up to the light of what God's Word says.

I remember from long ago a book, "Fifteen Steps Out," that gave some instruction on discerning God's Will for your life. Basically, if I remember correctly, our decisions had to line up in three areas: God's Word, The witness of the Spirit, and our own circumstances. If any, or all of these were out of line with the choice before us, then to go forward could be dangerous. The Bible is chock full of advice concerning decisions we face in this life.

James 3:17 (ESV) 17  But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere.

If we will line up our choices with this verse, we will be far,far ahead of the game.If what you are about to embark upon agrees with this verse, then you can be confident that God has no problem with it. Are there any hidden agendas in your choice? Do you feel "right" about it? Is it easy to accept within you? Will it stand up to the scrutiny and light of others? Is it easy to talk over? You getting my drift here?

Sometimes the enemy will attempt to take advantage of our vulnerability and offer a half truth on our plate, trying to get us to do something that isn't God's plan for our lives. Believe me, I know this to be true from personal experience. Walk softly and prudently. Line up your wants and desires with what God has to say and you will avoid many a pitfall. Amen?

Psalm 27:11 (ESV) 11  Teach me your way, O LORD, and lead me on a level path because of my enemies.

God Bless



Friday, August 21, 2015

Bold Declarations                                                        08-21-15

1 Corinthians 4:19 (ESV) 19  But I will come to you soon, if the Lord wills, and I will find out not the talk of these arrogant people but their power.

The Lord put this verse in my heart today, spoken to ME, for MY instruction. That being said, let me see if I can make any sense to you today. Have you ever experienced a soberness in your spirit? Not fear, not even apprehension or uneasiness. I guess reality check is the best way I can describe it. Well, that is the way I have been feeling lately. Bear with me.

I read an article on Facebook this A.M. and it rang true in my gut.I am cautious in the extreme these days when reading about prophetic visions and revelations that God has given to people. Even though I might discuss them at the water cooler, inside in my heart, I generally don't afford them too much space in my spirit. I especially turn a deaf ear when a price tag is affixed to aforesaid vision(s). Yes, I have a primitive understanding of the economics of ministry; but, if God has chosen you to be His prophetic loudspeaker to the people, why do you have to charge the people to hear what God is saying? Freely you have received, freely give. Amen? Forgive my rant.

As I studied this week, I read about Peter's restoration in the last chapter of John. 

John 21:15 (ESV) 15  When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Feed my lambs.”

Jesus asked Peter three separate times about his love for the Lord. What stands out is the word "love." The word Jesus used describes this kind of love, "the deep sacrificing love that has it's source in God." However, Peter's use of the word love is something much different.  It is the Greek word phileo. It means to be "fond of." Much like a friendship. Three times Peter uses this word. Peter knew who Jesus was, but he was well aware of the condition of his heart. Gone was the boldness and brashness that had moved him to declare that he would give his life for the Messiah. It had melted under the heat of opposition on the night the Lord was crucified.

Peter, it seems had a reality check. He had come up short at "money time," and was now painfully aware of the frailty of his flesh.He was under such a harsh indictment of himself, that he had decided to forsake his call and commission from the Lord Jesus. He was returning to his old profession...he was going fishing. And it is at this point in time that Jesus appears on the shore to encourage and restore the fallen apostle.

O.K. let's fast forward a couple thousand years and here is my thought today. I believe there is a valid warning for this nation and it's people, being declared
 today. God, in my uneducated opinion has chosen some folks to warn us as individuals and as a nation to prepare for a shaking. How, when, and where? don't ask me, that's up to God Almighty. But, the question posed to my spirit this week past was this, " Ronnie,are you ready?" Again.


Many times we become much like Peter don't we? We make bold declarations in the agreeable surroundings of the sanctuary; or in the tranquility of the living room. But, as God put that verse in my heart today, I was and still am compelled to check MY condition.Those declarations I have so boldly pronounced, may well be put to the test outside the walls of my comfort zone, soon and VERY SOON. Look at that verse again, I am going to expand a little bit.

1 Corinthians 4:18-20 (ESV) 18  Some are arrogant, as though I were not coming to you.
19  But I will come to you soon, if the Lord wills, and I will find out not the talk of these arrogant people but their power.
20  For the kingdom of God does not consist in talk but in power.

Paul was coming to conduct a reality check on certain folk in Corinth. I wonder if God is not readying to do the same here in the good ol' U.S. of A.

Brothers and sisters, our(yours and mine) course is clear don't you think? How so Ronnie? Well, look at what Peter and the rest of them did for our example. 

  Acts 1:14 (ESV) 14  All these with one accord were devoting themselves to prayer, together with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and his brothers.

They got in the same mind, got alone with God, and DEVOTED themselves to prayer. And THAT, dear brothers and sisters is the point of everything that I have said here today. If I believe(as our brother Peter)  for one second that "I got this," I am in for some rough sailing. He's calling us near.Times may well be approaching which will conduct a reality check on the power that backs up our talk. We should heed that call and snuggle up close don't you think?

 Psalm 123:1 (ESV) 1
 To you I lift up my eyes, O you who are enthroned in the heavens!

God Bless





Friday, August 14, 2015

Late Bloomers                                                                  08-14-15

1 Corinthians 1:26-29 (ESV) 26  For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth.
27  But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong;
28  God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are,
29  so that no human being might boast in the presence of God.

I received an encouraging text this week and God used it, along with my tomato plant, to provide me an object lesson about His Sovereignty. Huh??  O.K. I have a few tomato plants on my deck and one happens to be a cherry tomato plant. You know them by "tommie toes." Well, this plant has produced some good little tomatoes. However, I noticed that this week past, toward the end of the growing season, this last harvest is different. These small tomatoes are perfect. They are large(for tommie toes), they are fat, and they have the deepest, richest color of red. Much deeper and richer than the last batch. I don't want to pick them, I just want to admire them. Put them on display if you will. 

After receiving the text earlier this week and while admiring the quality of the tommie toes, God spoke to my heart. He reminded me that these tommie toes were "late bloomers." For some reason it had taken these tomatoes more time to bloom on the vine and also to produce fruit.But, now that they had begun to produce, the fruit was of a much higher quality. I had to agree, heck I didn't want to eat them, I just wanted to look at them! lol.

God works that way doesn't He? Look at that verse again. "Foolish to shame the wise," "weak to shame the strong," and my favorite"what is low and despised in the world..........." 

Listen ,brothers and sisters, maybe you are looking around at family, loved ones, maybe you are looking at YOURSELF and are discouraged and beaten because you don't see any blooming or fruit in the lives of your loved ones or yourself. The enemy is telling you God doesn't care. He's telling you that they ,or worse ,YOU aren't the real deal. But, God isn't on our time frame is He? HE IS SOVEREIGN.HE WILL ACCOMPLISH HIS PURPOSE; IN YOUR LIFE..IN YOUR LOVED ONE'S LIFE, IN HIS TIME!!

Look at this.  

2 Corinthians 2:14 (ESV) 14  But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession, and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of him everywhere. 

A more descriptive translation is the Holman Christian Standard. It speaks of God putting us "on display" even to he point of "flaunting." My point is this. If you are a Christian, God is going to ALWAYS lead you in triumphal procession. He is going to put you on display. He is going to flaunt you. ALWAYS, EVERY TIME, WITHOUT EXCEPTION. That is what the word "always" means.The same goes for that husband, wife, child, in law or outlaw. Amen? AMEN??

Folks, let me tell you something. We and when I say we, I mean ME, get on our high horse and pronounce judgment on people because WE don't "see" any fruit in their lives. We worry and aggrieve ourselves about those around us who don't seem to be "doing it God's way."Worse, we disregard what God says about US and we believe the devil's lie when he accuses us of not being the genuine article. 

But, we are just like those tommie toes. Some bloom quickly and produce fruit immediately. Some, like a fine wine,spend a little more time in the vine. They take a little more time to mature and ripen. But, mature and ripen they will; and when they do ,God is going to show them off. As the Apostle Paul said, stay the course. It may seem that loved one is going to flounder and squander all that God has for them. It may look to you that YOU are swimming against the tide and going nowhere. But, not to God. His purposes for this world will not be thwarted; neither will His purposes for you and yours.  Amen? AMEN!! 

Psalm 143:11 (ESV) 11  For your name’s sake, O LORD, preserve my life! In your righteousness bring my soul out of trouble!

God Bless


Friday, August 7, 2015

Revolutionary.....?                                              08-07-15

John 5:19 (ESV) 19  So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of his own accord, but only what he sees the Father doing. For whatever the Father does, that the Son does likewise.

Revolutionary......just that word, if you are an American, evokes deep seated feelings of loyalty, patriotism and individualism. We even celebrate our birthing every July 4th, our Independence Day. That revolutionary spirit founded a land based on equality for almost all people and freedom from tyranny and imperialism. The greatest country on the face of the earth. Sadly, it seems that somewhere along the path, we lost our way; and now, some 240 years and counting, we now face most, if not all, of the same tyrannies that opposed our forefathers. It also seems to me that we as a people are looking to the same solutions taken by our ancestors. The haves and the have nots, redistribution of wealth, rules for radicals, too much government,you getting my drift? Even the Lord Jesus Christ has been portrayed as a radical and a revolutionary.

But, Jesus was not a political animal was He? The only time He was ever offered the Kingdom, He rejected the revolutionary movement for an earthly kingdom out of hand. (see John 6) His only purpose was to glorify the Father and accomplish the work given Him. He was neither revolutionary nor radical. But, He produced some revolutionary and radical results didn't He? And herein lies my point.

John 15:4-5 (ESV) 4  Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me.
5  I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.

Abide- "to stay in a place or relation"

Jesus abided with the Father. He lived with Him. He stayed in the same place with God. He did NOTHING outside of what He saw the Father doing. There wasn't a speck of revolt or independence in Him.

As I listened to the debate last night I was immediately confronted with one glaring reality. We live in a world of deception and manipulation. Fairness and objectivity have been thrown out the door. If you are not a media darling you can expect unfair and biased treatment from the establishment. There is nothing "fair and balanced" about it. Do we want radical results in our lives? Fruits that are truly life changing?
As they say up here in the hills, you ain't gonna find it in the Republican Party, the Democratic Party or any other party.

I heard this story about a world renowned gardener this week. He was on some show and was being questioned about all sorts of maladies that were affecting the questioner's gardens. Expecting some long drawn out technical answer to their problems, the audience was somewhat taken aback at the expert's simplistic answers. Answers like "move the plant more into the sun or move it more into the shade. You are watering it too much or you are watering it too little. Too much or too little fertilizer..." on and on. Stuff anyone knows.

 God's a little like that isn't He?

 "Ronnie, all I want you to do is read your Bible and pray. You do that Ronnie and I'll take care of all the rest." "But God, you don't understand I have to.............."

"Ronnie read your Bible and pray. Abide in Me."

Want love, joy, peace, patience........? Abide in ME.

Want provision, protection,......?Abide in ME.

Folks, no power on earth can change you. No politician, newscaster, health guru , not even you yourself have the answers for the problems of our souls. God alone is the true Answer Man. 

As we enter this political season, we will be well served to keep the politicos at arm's length. They will say anything to get your vote. This nation is so starved for righteous leadership, it will believe anything coming from a voice of perceived authority. Let us pray that we are not misled by strong personalities who could care less about America or Americans. Remember Jesus' own words.

John 14:10 (ESV) 10  Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own authority, but the Father who dwells in me does his works. 

That would be a good starting point for judging what is said on the political trail.

Psalm 125:1 (ESV) 1
 Those who trust in the LORD are like Mount Zion, which cannot be moved, but abides forever.

God Bless