Mornin’ Juice (worn out pews)

This morning (July 8, 2018) I had a chance to worship with some friends of ours. It is a smaller setting, one that if you have ever been in and out of worship barns (churches) is one you are familiar with. As you enter the main door you are greeted with two side doors that when opened you see the platform in the front rising a foot or two above the floor, adorned with the pulpit, and to the side crammed into a corner is a place for the keys, drums and guitars to lead the faithful into a place of animated glory! The smells remind me of days of vacation bible school and the visual of the choir loft that housed 20 cherubs was just enough for this day.  The pews were positioned like the seats in a 747 with a center aisle and seats to the left and right.

People filling in with the greetings, hugs, hellos and occasional “who are these people” looks coming at me and my bride, and then to see those same individuals greet us with a huge smile, hug or handshake. We got settled and followed the thumping of the drums, the rhythmic guitar to the voice of the young lady leading the songs that had the cadence and rhythm of ol’ spirituals. One of the choruses rang out with the words

I don’t know what you come here to do

but I’ve come to clap

I don’t know what you come here to do

but I’ve come to raise my hands

I don’t know what you come here to do

but I’ve come to dance

each repeated back to each other over and over and over and then with a momentary lowering of the music to hear the pastor “what have you come here to do?” a spirited, sweat slinging encouragement for more to join. The joyful noise had to be spilling out into the streets!

As we were standing, swaying, clapping, dancing, I couldn’t help but notice the pews. In particular the top rail of each pew,. Pews over the years that have held many hands.

 

  • hands on the end of an arm that has just stretched it around his bride to nestle her in.
  • the same hand that would come to rest after thumping a youngin’ on the noggin to pay attention.
  • Hands from mama’s and grand mama’s slappin the back of the pew with joy as they belt out the latest hymn of the day
  • hands of an elderly man reaching out in front of him to pull himself up, steady himself only to raise those hands from the pew in adoration of God for giving him another birthday.  we joined together and celebrated his 74th birthday
  • hands from a young single mama handing a dollar bill to each of her children to drop in the benevolent bucket. The same bucket she was able to draw from a few months earlier.
  • hands clutching the pew when one on bended knee praying for who only knows except the one on the floor and the ONE who is listening.

Man if the pews could talk, and maybe they were. It appeared to me, the closer to the front of the room the pew rails were a bit more weathered, a tad bit more seasoned, worn from the constant grip. I don’t know for sure but could it be that the years the folks started to beLIeVE what the folks on the platform were saying and singing. That when life grips us, we are never out of HIS grip. Regardless of circumstance our identity is set in who Christ is and has done. That today I will no longer live as a victim, but beLIeVE in Victory, yes i’m sure that would have people slappin the pew for joy, reaching for it to stand up and praise!

So what about the back of the room?  Maybe the reason the pews in the back are little less “weathered” is because they, like me years ago, just stepped into the water and the only time to reach for the pew was to steady myself from the effects of the night before being filled with spirits not THE Spirit! Maybe some slip in and slip out before they allow themselves to actually reach for the pew to pull themselves up to stand and place their hand in the hand of a man up front telling me I’m not a product of my flaws and failures.

do you beLIeVE?

for me today yes! what about you? If you are unsure we would love to help walk you to a place where the back of the pew is a wonderful place to grab.

Today it was like holding the hand of God! (thanks Pastor Gresham as Providence Missionary Baptist Church)

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Mornin’ Juice (throw off)

A few weeks ago we had a blast gathering with folks in our home and their families. We ate, laughed, swam, listened to the rolling thunder get closer and closer, ate some more, especially the banana pudding YUMMY! It was a joy to see and hear folks take a breath from laugh join with others that are like hearted and nourish one another. We took the time to huddle everyone under the carport to place an exclamation point on the nourishment.

We set the scene by reminding folks that at some point when the letters in the bible were written that there were not mass copies handed out to everyone in attendance, therefore the desire to listen, retain then share was the way the encouragement in the letters was distributed to others in the area. Man to have been on the scene to see the raised eyebrows of those hearing for the first time how Christ came to fulfill, to set free, that the Old is gone and the new has come through Christ. To hear the kiddos ask their mama’s and daddy’s “what’s the big deal?” “why are ya’ll so enamored with this reading”?

Since we have screens and books to refer, we read the following

Heb 12:1 NIV 1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us,

notice that in almost all translations the hinderance, the encumbrance is along with or joined with sin, giving us the reader a since that we have two things going on here

  1. everything that hinders AND
  2. the sin that so easily entangles

…yes sometimes the hinderance such as the ”biggies” result in the sin that tangles us up in our daily lives. but what about comparison?…could that be a hinderance…could that be that “something” or “someone” that we need to throw off? Don’t we first have to find out why we even put it on?

in my life the answer is a resounding YES….think of the ways we compare, which is to note the similarity or dissimilarity between someone or something

..what is our motive when we do so?

to make ourselves feel better at the expense of the other? doesn’t that then become the hindrance, the pressure, the stress that we create to be like someone else or wish they were more like us?

our DNA is like no other..Go back for just a moment and read the list of folks referred to in chapter 11…what did they have in common, what was their similarity?

their faith!

yet through their DNA they by faith they beLIeVED. Through some of the craziest circumstances they stood firm in their faith and the world took notice!

Man to be free from feeling less than, inadequate, or even the spirit of superiority that may surface when the hinderance of comparison sneaks in.

we sat and listened to person after person describe areas of their lives where comparison had crept in, the voices of 5 to 14 years old along with 54 to 74 and all ages in between shared. Then as we started to close and ignite our week, we asked “what is the word you would want Jesus to speak over you today?” OH MY GOSH this was powerful, too many to list….what is your word?

What if Together in our homes, at work and in our community we beLIeVED? What if like the great cloud of witnesses before us, we moved toward the positive words jesus continues to speak through us. That we would beLIeVE we have the divinity of God through the Holy Spirit roaring through us? having trouble believing?

then join me in throwing off EVERYTHING that hinders from this love? and when you do so, see where and who God takes you to show a world who HE is in your life.

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Mornin’ Juice (Dan the Man)

There is this verse in Proverbs that talks about raising your children in the way they should go. Words from Solomon, who asked for wisdom and now thousands of years later we get the chance to drink the same words and heed the very wisdom he asked for. I don’t know if anyone else is like me when growing up, words that came from your parents, were not these nuggets of wisdom. They seemed restrictive, too disciplined, confining when the “advice” given was not lining up with how our young minds and wills were “seeing” a different way we should go. That would hold true for some of the wisdom imparted to me by my daddy, Dan Henry Bivins Jr.

The gold ring, is the ring my bride placed on my hand on our wedding day. It was the same ring my mama placed on my daddy’s hand when they married. In 1989 in Humboldt TN me and my daddy are waiting for our que to come out and stand in front of the friends, and family that filled Central Avenue Christian church. IN my/our nervousness, we are recalling moments in our lives that would bring laughter to help calm and slow down the beads of sweat on our brows. The que came and as I reached for the door to exit, I heard “son I love you”…it would be the first time I recall my daddy saying those words out loud. My knees were already buckling and now the wave of love my daddy poured over me still hold their place in my heart. Now gang, there was never a doubt the love Dan Bivins had and has for his family. I’m not sure why at times these words were difficult for him to say, however there has never been any question in seeing and experiencing his love.

I’ve read somewhere that cards bought and sent for Mother’s Day far exceeds those bought and sent for Father’s Day. The reasons are various, and this is not the place to wonder or try to determine why. A couple weeks ago I sent a tribute out to my mama, (https://therefugemboro.com/2018/05/23/mornin-juice-mamas-hand/) today is my tribute to my daddy.

daddy or as sometimes referred to as Pap…
thanks for teaching me how to tie a line on a hook and not going crazy bonkers when a i stuck a hook in danny’s noggin
thanks for working hard and showing a world what it looks like to start out pushing a broom and one day becoming general manager.
thanks for listening to the grand ol’ opry on wsm 650
thanks for the many trips to Atlanta to watch our Braves, especially the July 4 game in 1985 when we sat through many rain delays only to drive back after the marathon game.
thanks for showing me what it looks like to negotiate as we purchased my first car, the vintage 1964 pontiac lemans with spoke hubcaps (note hubcaps, not rims haha)
thanks for showing me how to keep a car clean
thanks for standing with me in the crazy accidents in the Toyota celica, then helping me find the RBM (rubber band machine)
thanks for taking a loan out to pay for first year of junior college baseball, thankful that second year garnered a scholarship
thanks for trying to get me back in church in my college years
thanks for speaking words of your wisdom even when i didn’t want to listen
thanks for those same words becoming truth later in my life as children and now grandchildren enter my life.
thanks for allowing me to be a man alongside with you in our differences

Pap I could keep on but I will close with this one.

My biggest thanks is you showing me how to love your bride, my mama across the finish line. Seeing you each day go and be with mama, to help quiet her tears when the disease of Parkinson’s is ravaging her mind. Thanks for being her advocate with the nursing staff to make sure her fingers aren’t stretched, to make sure she is placed down for a nap at 2:00 pm, then back up to enjoy her dinner at 5:30. Thanks for knowing how much lantus to give when her blood sugar levels are whacky. thanks for showing up each day and beLIeVING out “I love you” with your “pooky”.

thanks for showing me the way to go

you’re a warrior!

thanks daddy, i love you too!

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Mornin Juice (mama’s hand)

Say hello to Joann Bivins, my mama for almost 54 years. She first became a mama when my brother Danny was born Oct 15, 1958. Then a mama to me on June 8, 1964. I have waited on purpose before sharing this in order to let the moment i felt on mother’s day completely soak in.

On Mother’s Day we paid a visit to my mama in her new dwelling place, Life Care Center. Sitting beside her, she will at times think she is placing something in your hands. As she did her hand landed in mine. I took this moment to gently rub the underside of my mama’s right hand. The fingers curled from years of diabetes and Parkinson’s still had strength, yet I couldn’t remember the last time I held my mama’s hand. And gang, the more I rubbed, the more I fought back tears, as memories came crashing into my being, memories I haven’t thought of in years. I’ll share a few.

This hand, these hands, once washed and clothed my body, combed my hair. Yes, hands that licked fingers to give spit face baths. These hands that held vocabulary words on maple hill street as I laid in the floor learning from rote how to spell. Hands that cut whole chicken, dipped em in buttermilk, rolled em in flour and then placed in an oily skillet. Hands that served that meal before she ever thought about sitting down. Hands that kept dishes full of m&m’s around the house.

These hands now are curled and yellowed dingy nails, yet they once cupped around her mouth to yell to the top of her lungs GO MICHAEL GO as the baseball that just left the bat from my swing was hurled into sky and over the fence. Those hands would drive me and others to celebrate the victory or console the loss. Hands that just sat and watched as a rugged attempt of a pine box car finished last in the cub scout races. Hands that placed her hand on top of mine while learning to drive stick shift corolla only to see us pop the clutch out to fast and crash the car door on the side of the garage door. It was the hand that calmed her man, my daddy down in the commotion. Hands that washed, folded, placed countless number of clothes in drawers and in baskets and yes one year by the door when this 20 yr old stayed out a bit too late, only to have those same hands set out food for her hungover son.

Mama’s hands were open and wrappin’ around any and every one that her brown eyes locked on to! Hands that would purchase some of largest, bodacious, delicate, intricate, Christmas ornaments. Oh hands that would continually buy all sorts for goodies at the Cracker Barrel store for the 5 grandchildren that called her nanny or nanny b. Hands that would wave in fever pitch as you pulled from their home, hearing her scream BYYYYYYEEEEEEE, walking around to other side still waving and still shouting BYYYYYYYEEEEEEEE……ah those hands

In this state of Parkinson’s, one ever wonders when she is coherent. We didn’t have to wonder long when her great grandchild made her first visit. As I placed Everleigh on her lap, arms and hands did what they knew to do and that is to reach out and hug this child. It was a light in her eyes that lit when as she said Oh Michael she is beautiful!

How, one may wonder? What keeps that engine of hers firing even in this stage of life she is in? LOVE

The driving force of the hands is love gang!

They are hands I forgot that I trust and trusted until I started rubbing hers. I think we forget that we too were infants who needed that caring touch of mama’s and yes daddy’s to love us through life. That today we still need that loving hand. As we become parents we are continually learning to live through the various stages of life where our own kids may forget. Today I remember. I pray you will also.

Thank you mama for loving me like Christ!

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Mornin’ Juice (map)

Can anyone relate? Early in my “walk”, my learning how to navigate the bible, when the preacher man would bark out the place, the book, the letter we would be reading on this particular morning, i would hesitate a bit to see where others were heading in their book. I knew the biggies Genesis (front of the book), Psalms and Proverbs in the middle, then the gospels on the right-hand side of the book. Its when those crazy one’s like Habazabaraakuk would pop up, that i finally swallowed pride and went to this day one of my favorite places in the bible, table of contents! Yeppers, can find em’ alphabetical, Old Testament or New Testament. Then one day the ol boy got a good one on me. We were going to be looking at some of the travels of Jesus, the miles, the going to and from he and the boys took during the 3 years and he referred us to the book of maps…..

uhhhhh…..head down, book of maps?…..table of contents even let me down…nothing….reading plans, concordances, alphabetical or by order, nothing, (this is embarrassing, face probably starting to turn red) where is this book of Maps, is it an acronym?…heck with this I’m looking….ah crapadapa  …. you slippery little rascal, in the very back of the book, is where you will find those colorful topography style maps that display the various stops and timeline of Jesus and in some bibles the journeys of Paul.

I have several men that I get the chance to hang out with during the week, on this particular week, Michael Jordan who leads a wonderful time each Friday morning called Koinonia was prepping for Galatians. His prep time included piecing the place and times throughout the letters where Paul’s journey was taking him, and the timeline associated with his travels. Interesting and empowering conversation as we flipped pages, scrolled through screens to get a visual of his map.  We continue to be awestruck at his faith, his ability to persevere as those around him would try to add “something” to Jesus and his ability to encourage em’ back to the truth of Jesus and Jesus alone is our source of eternity and daily empowerment. As we started to pray it hit us,

We have a map?

Yea, no different than Jesus, Paul, Luke, Matthew, and all of the writers included in the book, we have a map. A map filled with adventure, heart ache, joy, excitement, excruciating pain, sadness, elation, pleasure, periods of life that we would just soon forget, and those we never grow weary of telling. Our map, our journey has purpose and meaning.  As walking temples (1 Corinthians 6:19) our journey is holy! It’s as significant as Paul’s, do you beLIeVE? Our lives able to do more than Christ (John 14:12) do we beLIeVE?

Today’s technology has us dropping pins on a particular point to share our location, we want people to know where we are. We share photos and events on Instagram, tweeter, facebook to ask a world to notice me, it’s part of your map. If you find yourself in a time that seems no one knows your location, no one is responding with thumbs up or like’s, we would love to help. Let us know and maybe we can share maps.

love em’ up!

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Mornin’ Juice (rooftops)

There is a song that is a favorite for many maybe even including you! Rooftops by Jesus Culture, is one that will get you up outta your seat, raising hands and desiring

…shout out Your name
That I am yours, I am yours
All that I am
I place into your loving hands
And I am yours, I am yours.

When my bride, debby, was preparing for a worship night we most recently had on Good Friday, this song was on the list, almost immediately the thought of the boys who carried their friend, their companion, their comrade who was paralyzed to see Jesus. You will see the scene in Mark chapter 2. Jesus has just returned to Capernaum and is hanging out where does the most, a home. The teaching and healing that Jesus is flowing is drawing large numbers of people, word of the one who is the Word is flying through the neighborhoods.

We aren’t privy to the conversation beforehand, but ponder for a moment. You are hanging out doin’ whatever it is you do on a given day, sure you may have heard of this guy, Jesus before, but maybe you haven’t given it much thought or maybe you were one, that has heard and told yourself and others, “if that dude ever comes to town, I’m chasing him down, I want to hear and see this man”. That day comes and you and 3 of your buddies bring your paralyzed friend to the one. The ONE ou have hope, this Jesus, the son of God who can and will heal. yet upon arrival at the scene the crowds are massive.

Mar 2:3-4 NLT 3 four men arrived carrying a paralyzed man on a mat. 4 They couldn’t bring him to Jesus because of the crowd, so they dug a hole through the roof above his head. Then they lowered the man on his mat, right down in front of Jesus.

Good grief i love this scene. They see the crowd, the men don’t respond i do when i hear the wait at one of my favorite restaurants is 40 minutes and bolt outta there. No these guys get their buddy on the roof, that in of itself would be a site, (wonder if others helped?). They make it to the roof and then claw their way through the roof. Look gang, the noise of hacking, punching, scraping at the roof would have been a disruption, wouldn’t it. Would our response be “what the hell?!?! and who is up here causin’ all of this”….”HEY WHAT ARE YA’LL doin?” I mean we honk at folks who hesitate a millisecond at greenlights. But not Jesus, maybe some in the room would have and were distracted, but look at the response of Jesus.

Mar 2:5 NLT 5 Seeing their faith, Jesus said to the paralyzed man, “My child, your sins are forgiven.”

Are you kidding me? Jesus sees their faith. Sees their faith!

Wow to have been in the room to look up at the faces of the ones who lowered their buddy down into the room, to see these huge smiles on their faces, their hearts pounding with excitement and then they hear “My child your sins are forgiven” Uh Lord, teacher, rabbi, uh son of God, our buddy is laying on a mat paralyzed…uh that’s kinda well uh why were risked it all to be here…Jesus knows this doesn’t he? Of course, yet Jesus does what Jesus does, and he always addresses the heart first. Jesus was making sure that everyone, including the religious leaders of the day knew that he was after healing hearts first and foremost, he was on the scene to set captives free and did he ever. You have to go read this interaction between them….(Mark 2:1-12)

Life at times paralyzes us doesn’t it? Unexpected death of loved ones. Marriages falling apart. Relationships with people within your inner circle that have gone sour. What is yours? What is that something or someone that for the moment has you doubting, has you temporarily on the bench wondering what your next steps are. The illustration of the 4 buddies just hits home in how we are to live life in community and when life has knocked us on the mat, and we just might be living in a place of unbelief, we need trusted friends who will lower us into the room with Jesus and hear Jesus empower/remind through the Holy Spirit within us to RISE UP from your unbelief and beLIeVE…

over 40 days this year we chatted about fasting from unbelief https://therefugemboro.com/2018/02/18/morning-juice-lent/. It’s a fast i will continue, one that will take buddies to remind, to carry, to rise up with. a journey that is open, transparent, vulnerable for us to readily admit when life is grand and when life has us momentarily paralyzed. one that will keep us shouting from the rooftops

all that i am i am yours!

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Mornin’ Juice what a week!

The past few weeks we have been rolling through Hebrews, the timing was not scheduled to be this way, yet this week Hebrews 10 is on deck and ready to be read. Today, Palm Sunday, a day when Jesus and the gang strolled into the city (Matthew 21) as scripture would fulfill the words God spoke through Zechariah.

Zec 9:9 NLT 9 Rejoice, O people of Zion! Shout in triumph, O people of Jerusalem! Look, your king is coming to you. He is righteous and victorious, yet he is humble, riding on a donkey–riding on a donkey’s colt.

The prince of Peace coming into a throng of folks who were celebrating his arrival, triumphant, full of hope at least on this day! Jesus, the perfect lamb of God, coming to fulfill what the old system of yearly, monthly, weekly, daily sacrifices could not do. They could not satisfy. Jesus will complete and provide perfect cleansing.

Heb 10:7-10 NLT 7 Then I said, ‘Look, I have come to do your will, O God–as is written about me in the Scriptures.'” 8 First, Christ said, “You did not want animal sacrifices or sin offerings or burnt offerings or other offerings for sin, nor were you pleased with them” (though they are required by the law of Moses). 9 Then he said, “Look, I have come to do your will.” He (Jesus) cancels the first covenant in order to put the second into effect. 10 For God’s will was for us to be made holy by the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ, once for all time.

Once for ALL time! Has the sacrifice of Christ, the resurrection of Christ satisfied your law? HE is enough gang when we beLIeVE…open up that heart and DRINK in….oh oh oh wait

Heb 10:17 NLT 17 Then he says, “I will never again remember their sins and lawless deeds.”

Yes incredibly difficult to release and let go of shame and guilt that go along with some of the ‘whatever’s in life that we are regretful, yet Jesus says, i left it in the tomb for ya, you now have:

Heb 10:20 NLT 20 By his death, Jesus opened a new and life-giving way through the curtain into the Most Holy Place.

IT IS FINISHED!

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Mornin’ Juice (FDIC)

We like guarantees, don’t we? Take a gander at the advertisements on the various screens you may peer into each day. In essence we are desiring for someone to take away the risk, to eliminate the potential of something going haywire with the product or service we are purchasing. And if it were to go bad, then all we have to do is call, or send it in and boom a brand new one is at your doorstep. We want to be sure that we can enjoy without the fear of someone not meeting our expectations.

Federal Deposit Insurance Company or FDIC, is an example of someone carrying the risk of a bank losing your cash. Yep it provides a sense of safety or being sure that your money up to $250,000 per depositor is safe even if, the bank that your great great great grand pappy started from his folgers can one day belly ups and loses it all. Your cash is guaranteed.

Christ is our guarantee. Over the past few weeks we have been traveling through Hebrews verse by verse we continue to see how the writers of the letter to a people who were learning a new way from the law to Jesus. We are seeing how Christ is our high priest who well take a look…

Heb 7:20-22 NLT 20 This new system was established with a solemn oath. Aaron’s descendants became priests without such an oath, 21 but there was an oath regarding Jesus. For God said to him, “The LORD has taken an oath and will not break his vow: ‘You are a priest forever.'” 22 Because of this oath, Jesus is the one who guarantees this better covenant with God.

Which “system” brings you the feeling of being safe? The system being referred to that Christ replaced was the law. Jesus even stated

Mat 5:17 NLT 17 “Don’t misunderstand why I have come. I did not come to abolish the law of Moses or the writings of the prophets. No, I came to accomplish their purpose.

What was the purpose? For Christ the purpose was and is to erase any doubt that we are ever not in state of acceptance to God through our beLIeVING in HIM…or to use an ol church term..”get right with God” the only way to get right is to believe

Look who the guarantor is?

look back Hebrews v22 ….Jesus is the one who guarantees….yet when Deb and I sit with folks who have been in and out of worship barns all of their life, there is for most, a sense of not being sure, not being “right” with God based on their self-made law?

why? well they fall back on their doing vs beLIeVING the guarantor. Why do we believe or trust that if the banks collapsed, that your cash would still be available? Yes you have faith, trust in the system of the FDIC….Did you know that part of the definition for guarantee in v22 is surety? Whats that bivo?

A person who takes the responsibility for another’s performance of an undertaking, for example their appearing in court or the payment of a debt. a state of being sure!

Heb 7:25 NLT 25 Therefore he (Jesus) is able, once and forever, to save those who come to God through him. He lives forever to intercede with God on their behalf.

Forever Deposited In Christ….now that’s a system you can trust. If you are reading this and have doubts, we would love to help encourage you in knowing the guarantor of our faith, Jesus. Send us a direct message or email to set up a time to insure your eternal deposit through Jesus.

Wednesday we will travel through Hebrews 8 start time 6:30 pm at 1723 Claire ct, Murfreesboro, TN

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Morning juice (Lent)

The flowers have been given, cards purchased, envelopes sealed and then ripped open. Incredibly cools words spoken and hopefully received from the one speaking the words, therefore nourishing the heart. For some the panic of calling that florist hearing yourself “it doesn’t matter that the only thing you have left is a bloomin’ cactus, put a freakin’ bow on it and send it…oh oh oh…write on the card thinkin of you always”…

hahaha….All the while on the day the world recognizes as Valentines Day, a day to remember love, a day to show love, was also the start of lent. Depending on how you were raised in the faith lent could have several meanings (good or bad). This discussion is not meant to persuade or dissuade anyone. The purpose of this discussion is to help us understand motive of the why.

For most who have said yes to Jesus and beLIeVE the words of Christ on the cross IT IS FINISHED, the motive for the 40 days (lent) prior to tomb blasting is to help remove a particular something in their life that is not desirable, it has been determined for this season that giving this particular “thing” up that their lives would be better. For most it ranges from some type of food, maybe an activity, or could be a drink and then after the 40 days most will pick up the aforementioned and life picks back up. Yes for the limited times I went into a fast the perceived “thing” was eventually picked back up. I’m finding my focus on the ‘thing’ to fast from was a bit off.

Could it be that we are refraining from the incorrect piece? What if we fasted from unbelief? Go with me for just a moment. If we have stated that giving up something will make our lives closer, richer, better with God then why do we pick that certain back up? What is that certain something feeding that we don’t beLIeVE God will and can feed? Ever thought about how Jesus during his 40 days in the desert allowed God to feed him? What was Jesus “giving” up? or was he? Why did Jesus continually not only say no to the enemy in the desert and eventually whip his ass and hand us all victory over death. Why did he constantly go against the tradition, the rules, of the day when approached by the boys in the long robes (teacher of the law, Pharisees, Sadducees etc) Could it be that he was modeling how to beLIeVE the words from our/his father? He knew that the washings of the day, the ceremony, the ritual, the sacrifices, the rote of the doing was not bringing people closer to God but the doing was building up egos, status and hierarchy. (Hebrews 10:8-10; Matthew 20:25-28; Mark 10:42-45 Luke 22:25-27 and 1 Peter 5:1-3)

Jesus didn’t believe the system gang. HE fulfilled it! He fasted from unbelief in the desert, he was relentless in attaching to unbelief when verbally assaulted from all walks of life (forgive them father for they know not what they are doing). He refused to not trust that his/our father has us in the clutch of his plan. He had ruthless trust and a willingness to follow even in moments of asking “is there any other way” with blood dripping down his nose. yet to hear himself say to abba “not my will but yours”

“He said He can move mountains. He can move my mountain. He can move your mountain too. I have to beLIeVE”. (Rita Springer)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKK130u2uGA

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Mornin’ Juice (trust and obey)

Trust and obey
for there’s no other way
to be happy in Jesus
but to trust and obey…

Trust and obey…

Words that most of you reading will be familiar with and more than likely have sang a trillion times. The words have stood the test of time has they were penned in 1887 by fella named John H. Sammis. Takes me back to a time riding in the front seat of a Pontiac chieftain listening to my daddy and his daddy (B) belt out the words of the famous hymn.

The two (trust and obey) really do go hand in hand, don’t they? Think about this for a moment. When we trust the source of the message being delivered to us, then we have this tendency to walk forward in belief. Or we can trust the source of the message, but the message God is delivering just may be too big for the god (notice little g) that we have constructed. Therefore, creating unbelief of God, the one who knows the plans laid out for us…plans to prosper…

There is a word in the Greek that is tied to disobedience. Now class, the obedience doesn’t disqualify who we are in HIM when we said to Jesus. We are secure because of who HE is not what we do or don’t do…the purpose of this discussion is to help us realize moments when the spirit of God is wooing us within to take certain steps in our lives. Steps that we either will trust and obey (follow) or we will:

The Greek word is apeítheia

At first glance what does that word remind you of?

Looks like apathy, doesn’t it? …. check out the definition…. unbelief, a stubborn willingness against the divine will of God

The will of God resides in each of us through the holy spirit…. would you take 3 minutes before reading any further and repeat this over to yourself. Go ahead set a timer, repeat to yourself.

The will of God resides in me
The will of God resides in me
The will of God resides in me

Ok you’re back…do you trust?

You see we have these moments throughout our day in our homes, at work, in our schools, and in our universities to agree and trust which means to be certain, to believe in the directions God desires for us to move. Yet our trust can waiver when the message, the steps God is desiring to take are out of how we “think” life should roll. So, in those moments we can choose whether or not to be certain that in doing so we are following through with the divine will of God within us which is to trust, or will we choose to live in a stubborn unwillingness against the divine will of God (apeítheia).

Good gracious does that not take on bit more depth. Flipa dippa gang. Is this saying what I think we are saying? When we choose to not follow to not trust God in that particular moment are we choosing to be our own god? Are we agreeing with the spirit of me vs the God of the ONE within? I mean really, am I that stubborn…unwilling really…. don’t we typically say our yes is on the table…didn’t we say we trust God with our lives, but not this moment. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE don’t let me the only one who wrestles and is wrestling with this.

Aren’t his purposes for his creation (us) trustworthy? Sure, I can say yes in a room full of other bible carrying folks on a Sunday or whatever your day of worship is, but what about when I’m face to face with the “situation” …the person…the obstacle…maybe it’s something that felt as ridiculous as marching around a wall 7 times and watching it come down (Joshua 6).

Just wonder what was going on with John Sammis on the day in 1887 when the words trust and obey for there’s no other way. What was his “wall…?”

What is ours?…what is yours? What is that “situation” in your life today where you can drop the stubborn unwillingness in following the divine will and begin to believe, to be sure of his divine will and trust?

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