Father

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In my life I have held many positions with various titles. Some have been professional, some spiritual, and some just for fun. But of all the positions I have held, none compares with the title of Father. When you are young, you assume that one day you will become a father because most every man does. It’s the way of nature. And when you marry, you assume it is just around the corner because you are now in the relationship in which you can become fruitful and multiply as the Lord commanded in the Bible.

Yet you still haven’t a clue how your life will change, how you will change. For me, it was a long wait. Nineteen years we waited, then one day our prayers were answered and the miracle of life happened for us.

Seeing that beautiful precious face of our baby girl was as close to a divine experience as one could have on this earth. We fell totally and completely in love with this little stranger, whom we felt that we always knew. We held our dream in our hands for the first time.

Yes, we were crazy about our blessing and set about to do everything we dreamed of doing with a child. We bought her everything we dreamed of, we took her every place we dreamed of and took great care to plan her future. That was to be expected. But the love I felt for my child, was something I never expected. I had experienced nothing with which to compare.

I remember my Godly Grandmother, when she visited, upon seeing dozens of pictures of my baby daughter on the walls warned, “Now son, be careful not to worship that child, we are only supposed to worship the Lord.” I explained to her, “Grandmother, my love for her is so great, I can’t help it. God understands.”

I know she meant well, but as far as I was concerned, my love was God given and so I didn’t consider it worship, just the highest, most pure love one could have. That love has never wavered or waned. It continues to grow with time. It is unabashed. And as far as I am concerned, it is the closest a man can understand the love that God, our heavenly Father, has for us, His children.

The Bible says, “God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, prompting us to call out, “Abba, Father.” Galatians 4:6 NLT

Our Heavenly Father has a love for us, His children, that is unmatched. All the heavens and all of the earth were created with us in mind. He wanted a beautiful place for His family of mankind. He provides everything we need and much of what we want. He cares about every aspect of our lives; our health, our family, our life’s work, hobbies, dreams, and even our desires.

Father God not only loves us in church. He loves us wherever we are. He loves what we do and what we become. He watches over us while we sleep and wakes us up every morning to start a new day in His love!

He scrutinizes our every move, and every thought. The Bible says that we are so valuable to God, “even the hairs on our head are counted.” Luke 12:7 NLT

His love is so deep that we can never fully comprehend its depth. When our granddaddy Adam fell in the Garden of Eden, Father set about to place a plan in motion to win us back. It took a miracle. It took love. It took a Savior. Our Father’s love for us compelled Him to sacrifice His most precious possession.

“For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16 NLT

With our heavenly Father as our role model, we earthly fathers can glean inspiration from Him, even if our experience as sons was with a bad father or no father at all. Though we may fail in one area or another, the love of a good father never fails, as our heavenly Father helps us to share His love.

The title of Father comes to some men through biology, marriage, or adoption. The love of a Father solidifies and confirms the right to that title. It is the highest title a man may hold. It is a title most solemn, conferred and blessed of God. My child is and will always be my cherished blessing, and I will always be her Father.

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Embracing Resistance

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One afternoon while running an errand near the oceanfront in Virginia Beach, I decided to go an extra block and take a peek at the ocean. The air was cold, in the 40s, and cloudy, with a slight drizzle. It was a typical off-season day. The boardwalk was deserted/ So with my pick of the benches, I sat on a choice one, stretched out my legs, stuck my hands in my jacket pockets, and looked out over the water.

It was a little windy, as the rough waves crashed ashore making that unmistakable sound of the sea. Looking up at the seagulls flying, I noticed the drizzle had stopped. So I decided to enjoy the fresh sea air for a while, and maybe even get a little inspiration from the nature that God created.

Sitting there in the cold, my attention was drawn to a seagull flying above the boardwalk, about 10 feet in front and above me. Hovering perfectly still, his wings gave a slight flutter as he faced into the wind, which was blowing strongly. At first, I felt sorry for him as he was getting nowhere in this wind.

But by facing that wind, he was kept aloft by its force. For a few moments he opened his wings, without flapping them, and remained stationary, directly in front of me, suspended in mid-air.

As I observed this remarkable sight, the Lord spoke to my heart and said, “I’m not keeping you back, I’m keeping you up.”

Maybe like me, you can relate to that seagull. Have you ever felt stuck in you life? Seemingly held back and not going forward? The Lord let me know that He’s not holding us back; He’s holding us up.

As I pondered that thought and watched the seagull closely, I realized that if the seagull had flown away from the wind, he would have been blown down to earth. But by facing the resistance of the wind, with a slight flutter of his wings, he was lifted up. So when resistance comes against you, if you face it, put your nose into the wind and flap your wings. You’ll be lifted up and not cast down. Resistance will lift you higher!

“You make the clouds your chariot; you ride upon the wings of the wind.” (Psalms 104:3, NLT)

When you pursue your goals and dreams in life, at some point you will inevitably encounter resistance. Think of King David in the Bible. He was chosen to be King as a young man, but the current King Saul put unrelenting pressure on him by trying to destroy him. Through the years of persecution from King Saul, David honed his skill as a guerrilla fighter, a strong leader of men, and a man of character and honor. Resistance lifted him to become the King he had been chosen to be.

Think of the early church. Great persecution came against the early church. Many were martyred for refusing to deny Christ and many had to flee for their lives. But this unrelenting pressure of persecution caused the church to become firm in the faith and spread far and wide in order to survive. Resistance lifted the church throughout the known world in 300 years, becoming the official religion of the Roman Empire.

If you turn from resistance and run, it will smash you to the ground. You’ll be crushed and your flight, as well as your dreams, will be over. So instead of looking at the winds of resistance as something formidably holding you back, look on it as something that God is using to hold you up and make you strong. Embrace resistance, and it will raise you to the heights you dream of reaching!

“But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” (Isaiah 40:31, NLT)

Stop Praying or Else!

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Young Willie was a skinny 16-year-old boy who carried a big Bible. Willy, you see, had gotten saved in a revival service at his church, and received the baptism of the Holy Spirit. The year was 1929, and with the stock market crash in New York City, people were afraid for their future. The economic news was bad and men were being laid off their jobs. Money was becoming scarce and so was the faith of many people. They were losing faith in their God, their government, and in themselves.

But there was a light in the eyes of young Willy coming home late from the church revival on this Sunday night. There had been miracles and an outbreak of worship to God. This was unheard of, and unseen in this small town up until then.

It was said that Willy, who knew no music, actually sat on the piano bench during the altar service and played the most beautiful heavenly music the folks had ever heard. It had to be a true miracle of God and manifestation of the power of the Holy Spirit, for Willy, you see, did not know how to play the piano. He just sat down and played under the anointing of the Holy Spirit without even looking at the keys.

This small holiness church made a lasting impact on Willy’s life and he wanted nothing more than to see his father receive the Lord Jesus as his personal savior. He would spend countless time at the altar praying, “Lord, save my daddy!” Lord save my daddy was his prayer. But more than a prayer it was a dream and a wish that galvanized his thoughts. He did not want his father to die and go to a Devil’s hell. Willie had hope. The Bible teaches us,

“But if you remain in me and my words remain in you, you may ask for anything you want, and it will be granted!” (John 15:7 NLT)

So day after day Willie prayed for his father, who was known around town as a mean man. Some even called him a snake. When he walked down the street some people would point to him and say, “Stay clear of that man for he would just as soon shoot you as look at you.” Rumor has it that he did, in fact, shoot a man that he thought had stolen his horse. He was a laborer with a strong back, a strong right hook, and a quick temper.

One night, after Willy returned home after church, he was on his knees at his bedside praying loudly for his Daddy to be saved. “Oh God, save my daddy!” He prayed earnestly and very loudly.

The neighbors complained because he prayed with his bedroom window opened, disturbing them with the agony of his prayers. One night while in prayer, his Father burst into his room and told him to stop praying. Willie was stunned, but he kept on praying all the more. His father threatened him with that famous temper of his and said, “Stop praying or I’ll beat you!”

Willie paused … but with the thought of his daddy’s soul hanging in the balance, he prayed even harder. “Oh Lord, save my daddy!” Daddy slapped him across the head and told him to shut up. Willie refused and kept praying. Suddenly, his prayers turned into screams as Daddy beat him into silence.

Jesus teaches us, “If the world hates you, remember that it hated me first. The world would love you as one of its own if you belonged to it, but you are no longer part of the world. I chose you to come out of the world, so it hates you.” (John 15:7, John 15:18-19 NLT)

The next night after church the scene was repeated. Willie prayed for his Daddy once again. He intended to pray quietly but the more he prayed, the more the power of God came upon him. His prayers raised to a crescendo as Daddy burst into the room and shouted, “Stop praying or I’ll beat you!”

“No Daddy,” Willie said as he turned once again toward his bed to pray. Once again, Daddy beat him into silence. This went on for several more nights until Daddy gave up and let Willie be.

The revival was over, time passed, and Daddy reflected on the behavior of his good son Willie. Can a man’s hard heart ever be softened?

One Sunday morning, Daddy walked through the doors of the church and sat in the back. Eventually, he moved closer to the front upon every visit, until one glorious Sunday morning Daddy made it all the way down front to the altar, repented, and gave his stoney heart to the Lord. Willie thought that all the persecution and beatings were worth it when he saw the tears stream down his Daddy’s face as he asked Willie to forgive him. It was a beautiful miracle that day. A long-fought battle had come to an end and Daddy, my Great Grandfather Arrowood, became known as a sweet, gentle man who served the Lord for the rest of his days.

The Bible teaches us to “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.” (Acts 16:31 KJV) If it can happen for Willie, it can happen for you.

 

Just One More, Lord

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MONDAY, MAY 27, 2019
A Memorial Day Speical Post: Just One More Lord by guest blogger Richard Spangler.

This is honor all our military, for they all are Heroes.

Just One More, Lord!

I was watching the movie Hacksaw Ridge, about Desmond Doss a Seventh Day Adventist conscientious objector and Medic and Medal of Honor honoree during World War II.

During one of the worst battles of the war. The battle for Okinawa and the worst battle for the island, Hacksaw Ridge.

While the Japanese Army held the ridge, He rescued 75 wounded American Soldiers, lower them 350 ft. down the side of the escarpment to safety.  Japanese Soldiers reported having him in their gunsights, but their guns would jam when they tried to shoot him. During this time, he kept praying, “Lord, Just One More!”

That prayer stayed with me, “Lord Just One More!”  I asked the Lord, “Why is this is staying with me.”

Lord said, “I want my people to have that same cry in their hearts, “Lord Just One More.”

In 1 Corinthians 9:16-27, Paul has this attitude of the heart, doing and being whatever it takes for the Gospel.

Mark 16:15-18 (NKJV)  And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. 16 He who believes and is baptized will be saved, but he who does not believe will be condemned. 17 And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; 18 they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”

Then Jesus was beaten and crucified, He was doing it for all and One More!

We Must Cry Out from Our Hearts:

Lord, just one more pledge, here.

Lord, just one more deliverance.

Lord, just one more demon cast out.

Lord, just one more healing.

Lord, just one more miracle.

Lord, just one more Baptism of the Holy Spirit

Most importantly,

JUST ONE MORE SALVATION!!

Oh, don’t worry about the devil, God will cause his guns to jam like he did for Desmond Doss.
Posted by Lion’s Voice Ministries at 10:30 AM
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Labels: Christian, Christian prayer, Courage, evangelism, forgiveness, life, love, Memorial Day, Military, promises of God, Spiritual Warfare, Supernatural, Victory, Vision, warfare, will of God, witness

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Many people, even Christians, have a misconception about God the Father. They judge Him based on their earthly father. If they had a good father, then they look on their heavenly Father as good. If their earthly father was mean, cruel, or absent, then they might expect the same from their heavenly Father. What we all need to realize is that our heavenly Father is perfect in every way. He is the best Father.

He showed His goodness to the children of Israel as He brought them out of slavery and provided for them in the desert. His word says, “I will abundantly bless her provision. I will satisfy her poor with bread” (Psalms 132:15 KJV).

And when Father speaks to His children, He does it with loving kindness, not in harsh, aggravated tones. His loving kindness is unparallel and His grace and mercy knows no limits. He is not a King who sits on a throne and tosses out crumbs to His children as if they were beggars. No, He is our loving Heavenly Father who desires to help and bless us. He is love, and He’ll bless us even when we don’t ask.

I remember how my wife and I would go to Toys R Us and buy toys, dolls, and things for our daughter when she was growing up. We loved doing it so much that we rarely waited for her to ask us for something. We would buy the things we knew she would like and surprise her. This would always bring a happy smile to her face, and as her joy was our joy, happy smiles adorned our faces as well. Today, we have an attic full of smiles, found memories that remain even today.

Not long ago I was the recipient of a surprise gift from my heavenly Father. I was short an ingredient that I needed for a tank of cleaning product I was blending. I was making two tanks and needed one gallon of this ingredient per tank. I was short three-fourths of a gallon and it would be several days before my supply arrived. On the morning I was to make it, I awoke to the voice of the Lord speaking to me in the Spirit. He said, “Take the chemical you have and divide it equally into two buckets.”

As I shook my head while trying to wake up I said, “Lord, I don’t want to short change my product. I’ve never done that before.”

He said, “Take two buckets and divide the chemical equally. Make your two tanks, I’ll take care of it.”

I said, “OK Lord. I’ll do it.” What could I say? It was the Lord.

So I went in and carefully divided the ingredient equally into two buckets, poured one into the tank with my other ingredients, and set the other bucket aside. Two days later, I went back to make the second tank, and when I reached for the bucket that was set aside, I noticed something different about it. It had a full gallon!

Setting it on a table, I stood back and looked at it like it was a two-headed rabbit. My jaw dropped, as I stood there astounded. There was no doubt that God had increased that partial gallon to a full gallon. I was too careful when I divided it, and no one had access to it. It was a miracle!

I was assured that if He increased the second bucket then He increased the first one as well. I had not even asked for this. It was just for my convenience. He did it to bless me and see the smile on my face. I know it must have brought a smile to His face also. We rejoiced together.

It reminded me of the time He used the prophet Elijah to turn an empty barrel of meal and oil into a bottomless barrel for a widow and her son, until the drought was over (1 Kings 17:14). And let’s not forget Lord Jesus turning the water in pots into fine wine (John 2:7-10).

This same God blesses us every day in ways we don’t expect nor ask, just to see the smile on our face. And like a good Father, it puts a smile on His face also. I believe when Father goes through the memories in His mind, HE finds an attic full of smiles as well.

“Your Father knows exactly what you need even before you ask him!” (Matthew 6:8)

The Rollercoaster

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What great amusement park doesn’t have an exciting and intimidating Roller Coaster as its centerpiece of entertainment? I’ve ridden my share, although lately, I find myself sitting on a bench holding the bags as my wife and daughter explore the thrills of the ride.

I too enjoy the beginning of the ride, slowly and deliberately ascending the heights, only to find myself looking down from the top into the drop. Yes, the drop…a seemingly endless abyss that leaves my stomach in my throat, only to be relieved by a corkscrew turn or an upside-down flip. It just makes me so very happy when it’s over!

There are times in our lives that parallel the roller coaster. On the day that the first book I authored was released, I felt on top of the world. Friends were congratulating me and buying copies. I experienced satisfaction bordering on euphoria as the longtime-coming goal had been achieved. I was on top.

Then the phone rang. My daughter was calling to tell me that my wife had been the victim of an automobile accident. She was in the hospital emergency room with back and neck pain. Suddenly I was looking down at the drop, that abyss of uncertainty and fear. I plummeted downward as those same friends began to pray. All I could think about was Martha in a hospital four hours from home.

My world went out of focus as my fear came into focus! Immediately I knew that the Lord Jesus was with me as I began to plummet. Together we hit the bottom of the drop, went through the corkscrew and did the loop where my world was upside down. Though I had no control over the ride, Jesus held my hand tightly and rode it with me. And He did more than that. He answered the prayers of my friends and family as the Doctors attended her.

He touched my wife in that emergency room. Though she entered on a gurney completely strapped down and immobilized from head to toe, She walked out of the hospital the same day with only minor soreness and completely recovered.

God promises us in His Holy Word to be with us in the ups and downs of life. The Bible says,

“So be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid and do not panic before them. For the LORD your God will personally go ahead of you. He will neither fail you nor abandon you.” Deuteronomy 31:6 (NLT)

So we should not fear. We should offer thanks to the Lord our God who walks with us on the mountain and in the valley, in the darkness and in the light. Consider the words of the Apostle Paul,

“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.” Philippians 4:6 (NLT)

This season may be one where you are on a peaceful ascent on a bright sunny day, or you may be looking down at the drop. Wherever you are on life’s roller coaster, know that Jesus is in that seat beside you. You are not riding alone.