Posted by: heisourstrongtower | August 5, 2016

Be a Real Christian

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Lately, I have found myself at odds with much of what Matt Walsh has been writing, but on this post…he knocked it out of the park!!!

I was a member of a church, not that long ago, whose Pastor began to follow Joel Osteen’s philosophy of Christianity. He was worshipping at Joel Osteen’s feet, not at the Lord’s. I am thankful that God opened my eyes and removed me from the prosperity teaching. I pray that this post will help remove the blinders from other people’s eyes and expose the truth of the great harm being done by those who are preaching the prosperity message.

Excerpt from this post by Matt Walsh…click on the link to read more.

“Nothing — no faith at all, even a passionate hostility to faith — is vastly preferable to a faith in a perverted Christianity. An atheist is easier to save than a heretic. Put another way, it’s better for someone to reject Christ than to make up their own version of Him. It’s better for someone to hate the true God than to construct a fake one out of pieces of the real one and fall in love with their creation. It is better for us to be one or the other — Christian or not — than to find some supposed middle ground in between. As the book of Revelation puts it: “I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth.

http://www.theblaze.com/contributions/joel-osteens-fake-heretical-christianity-isnt-any-better-than-atheism/

 

 

Posted by: heisourstrongtower | June 30, 2016

Sabbatical – Day 28 – You Make Me New

I wrote this 3 years ago on this day and shared it on my Facebook page. I love these memory reruns from Facebook!!!! They help me see my life over again, and help to remind of lessons from my past. Because sometimes you just need that reminder!

Here is a little rerun from my blogging past. I pray it blesses you this morning!

heisourstrongtower

“Good night, Patti. It’s time to close those eyes and sleep.”

“Mom, I need to say my prayer.”

“Okay, say your prayer.”

“Now I lay me down to sleep,
I pray the Lord my soul to keep.
If I should die before I wake,
I pray the Lord my soul to take. Amen”

I promise you that it was no easy task for me to fall asleep, after reciting that prayer each night.  I would lay there as a child and try to sleep, but my definition of death, at that time, lay there right next to me…wrestling with my mind and keeping me awake.

I met my “old self” the other night in my youngest grandson, as I put him to bed.  There is a song I sing when I put my grandchildren to sleep, and even though Joshua is my youngest grandson…he is also my first.  (My daughter…

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Posted by: heisourstrongtower | February 17, 2016

Lent-Day 7

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I shared with all of you yesterday how I was brought to my knees by a situation in my life, and how a devotion on prayer brought me my help.

Today I found this devotion from the NIV Women’s Devotional Bible and I heard God speaking to my heart through the words on the page. Change does not come through inactivity, change comes through action! Prayer is Love in action! There is no greater gift that you can give someone you love than covering them in prayer.

Won’t you join me? If we want to see change in this world we need to begin praying, with intention, over our little corner of it!!

A Pattern for Prayer

Nehemiah 1:1–11

In 1960s Southern California, the beaches were littered with hippies searching for the meaning of life through free love, psychedelic drugs and communal living. One day, a pastor’s wife went to the beach and was distressed to see the aimless kids and began to weep. Kay Smith determined to do something, so she gathered several of her friends and, as she puts it, “saturated the air with prayer.” She asked her husband, Pastor Chuck Smith, to open his church to this generation. Many people were shocked when the hippies showed up, barefoot and bedraggled, and sat on the floor rather than in the pews. But the Smiths embraced them. Their ministry was a vital part of the “Jesus Movement” that swept the country. It can be said that true revival begins with heartfelt tears but finds its voice in prayer.

Nehemiah, one of the most powerful Jews in Babylon, broke down in tears when he heard of Jerusalem’s miserable condition. He mourned for God’s holy city and scattered people. His compassion compelled him to pray and fast for them. His prayer reflected his heart’s passion and also offers a pattern for our prayers.

First, Nehemiah acknowledged who God is: “the great and awesome God.” When we focus on who God is, it helps to put our own problems into proper perspective.

Next Nehemiah acknowledged who he himself was: God’s servant. When we maintain an attitude of humility toward our heavenly Father, we are reminded of our dependence on God.

Then Nehemiah confessed his own sins and the sins of the Israelites. He didn’t gloss over the transgressions but stated them in honest repentance. Repentance freed him—and can free us—to make the next step in prayer.

Awed, humbled and forgiven—Nehemiah reminded God of his promises to his people. He recounted God’s promises to the children of Israel and interceded for his people, asking God to hear his prayer and favor him.

What situation has brought you to tears? If it is enough to touch your heart, it’s enough to bring you to your knees. Follow Nehemiah’s pattern: Acknowledge who God is and who you are, confess your sins and remind God of his promises. When you do these things, you can come to God knowing that “he hears the prayer of the righteous” (Proverbs 15:29).

Reflection

  1. When was the last time you wept in prayer for someone who needed God’s help?
  2. What word best describes Nehemiah’s heart? Ask God to give you a heart of compassion like Nehemiah’s.
  3. Follow Nehemiah’s pattern and pray for a person or situation causing you to grieve.

Nehemiah 1:4
When I heard these things, I sat down and wept. For some days I mourned and fasted and prayed before the God of heaven.

Related Readings

Psalm 89:5–8; Isaiah 25:1–9; Matthew 6:9–13

Posted by: heisourstrongtower | February 15, 2016

Lent-Day 6

I shared on the Many Strands facebook page devotions, written by others, for the 4th and 5th days of Lent. You can click on the link below to read them,

Now for my day 6 reflections…

Circumstances beyond my control brought me to my knees today. I had absolutely no say in what was going on and the only options open to me were to love and pray.

Thankfully, God brought this devotion into my quiet time and it helped me to ask Him for the very love I needed, while I prayed.

http://www.satisfactionthroughchrist.com/2016/02/praying-scriptures-heart-love.html

Click on the link above and read the devotion and then comeback here and read the rest of my post.

This was my prayer for today, after I read the prompts.

I pray that my family would be firmly established in Your love, and that You would help us to grasp the immensity of Your love for us.

 

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I ask that You would fill our hearts, minds and souls with a love for You which knows no bounds. Help us to be obedient to You and to Your word.

Lord, help me to love other believers in a manner that shows the world how much I believe in You.

Help me to love the people in my life that I find it most difficult to love. Soften my heart towards them. Help me to see them as You see them. Please, help me to also quickly forgive those people whom I believe have wronged me. Let me be an example of Your forgiveness in this world. I want to wear Your love like a piece of clothing for all to see.

Thank You for sending Your Son to earth to die in my place for my sins. I love you for saving a wretch like me.

Lord, You know my heart is already heavy with this knowledge; not all the people I love most on this earth are saved. The cry of my heart is, “Save them, Jesus, Save them! Open the eyes of their hearts, Lord, they need to know You, they need to see You, they need to feel You.” Lord, I pray that You would bring people into their lives to be a witness of Your love and faithfulness.

If their is anything inside of me that is hindering my loved ones ability to know You fully, I ask that you reveal it to me and heal me from the inside out. Work in my life and help me to totally be free from any unforgiveness or hatred that is in my heart towards other people.

Lord, I pray  1st Corinthians 13:4-7, help me to be patient and kind, help me with any jealousy You find in my heart. I don’t want to be boastful, prideful or rude to the people in my life, or that I might meet in the world around me. Help me not to seek for myself, but to place others above my own wants and desires. Give me Your Spirit of love for all people. Help me to rejoice in Your truths and to share Your truth in a loving manner. I do not want to love others with conditions or to use manipulation to get my way. I want my love to be like Yours. I want to bear all things, believe all things, hope all things and endure all things.

I do not want to be hypocritical, Lord. I want to love others with a pure heart and pure motives. Let my actions reflect the same love that comes out of my mouth, and may the words from my mouth be always uplifting and point others to You. Amen

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted by: heisourstrongtower | February 12, 2016

Lent-Day 3

Day 3 of Lent, read…

Matthew 26:10-13

10 Aware of this, Jesus said to them, “Why are you bothering this woman? She has done a beautiful thing to me. 11 The poor you will always have with you,[a] but you will not always have me. 12 When she poured this perfume on my body, she did it to prepare me for burial. 13 Truly I tell you, wherever this gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her.”

What a legacy Mary left for us to follow!

I am almost positive that the disciples were more concerned with how Mary’s actions reflected on them than with truly helping the poor. I believe they were playing the comparison game and they were coming up short, so they tried a diversionary tactic!

The one thing they forgot is that Jesus could see the temperature of their hearts and knew the true motivation behind their protests. He discredited their arguments and held Mary up as an example to follow.

I want to have a Mary heart! I want my motives to be pure! I want others to see Jesus light shining from me!

To hear someone say, “Patti really loves the Lord.”, would be music to my ears.

Healthy lifestyle note…I have a 4:30 appointment at Curves to get my exercise on!!! I am so excited to begin this journey!!!

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Posted by: heisourstrongtower | February 11, 2016

Lent-Day 2

Matthew 26:6-13 “Now when Jesus was in Bethany, at the home of Simon the leper, 7 a woman came to Him with an alabaster vial of very costly perfume, and she poured it upon His head as He reclined at the table. 8 But the disciples were indignant when they saw this, and said, “Why this waste? 9 “For this perfume might have been sold for a high price and the money given to the poor.””

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Here is how Mark and John described the scene of Jesus’s anointing.

Mark 14:3-9 “And while He was in Bethany at the home of Simon the leper, and reclining at the table, there came a woman with an alabaster vial of very costly perfume of pure nard; and she broke the vial and poured it over His head. 4 But some were indignantly remarking to one another, “Why has this perfume been wasted? 5 “For this perfume might have been sold for over three hundred denarii, and the money given to the poor.” And they were scolding her.”

John 12:2-9 “So they made Him a supper there, and Martha was serving; but Lazarus was one of those reclining at the table with Him. 3 Mary therefore took a pound of very costly perfume of pure nard, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped His feet with her hair; and the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume. 4 But Judas Iscariot, one of His disciples, who was intending to betray Him, said, 5 “Why was this perfume not sold for three hundred denarii, and given to poor people?”6 Now he said this, not because he was concerned about the poor, but because he was a thief, and as he had the money box, he used to pilfer what was put into it.”

One of the things that stood out to me in these verses is how indignant the disciples seemed to be over Mary pouring the perfume on the head of Jesus. Don’t get me wrong I don’t like wasting my expensive perfume either, but these were the Lord’s chosen 12. They knew who He was and understood that an anointing was used to honor someone. Why did Mary understand this better than them?

Something I learned today was that the perfume or “nard” was used in several ways, one was for use in burials and another was to honor a king. Mary was preparing Jesus for burial and she was honoring who He was, the King of kings!

Oh, that I may follow Mary’s example and not the example of the apostles. I pray that I will do all that I can to point others Jesus and that they are attracted by His fragrance through my words and actions and want to know Him better.

I wanted to add a side note to this post, just so you can see how much God wants to help us with our goals. I received a 30 day free membership to Curves in my mail today and I am so excited to begin using it. It had to be God, because I have not seen one of these offers, in my mail, for years. Thank you, Lord for the extra help and incentive! I am so grateful that you will make away and open doors to help me.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted by: heisourstrongtower | February 11, 2016

Lent-Day 1

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Lent – Day 1

Read Matthew 26:1-5
Today during the reading of today’s assignment, I was not able to write down a prayer to go along with the scripture. I was searching for insight from the blog who put the reading assignments together for Lent and found very little that I could use. I was struggling and feeling like a fish out of water.

I decided to write out the verses and then get ready for my day. I needed some groceries, healthy groceries. Part of the next 40 days is going to include a healthier lifestyle for me. I want to get to the point where I don’t have to write that sentence ever again! I know the only way that will work is if my heart and mind are focused on God.
I almost sabotaged myself in the first 15 minutes in the grocery store. I walked by the bakery and there on a display table were the most decadent chocolate brownies I had ever seen. I wanted them and I had convinced myself that I could buy them and eat them. No harm, no foul! Right?

 

Wrong!

God placed someone in my path to remind me of what He wants for my life. He reminded me of what this next 40 days is all about. As I was circling the brownie table looking for the perfect batch, I almost ran smack into another lady. This other lady had ashes on her forehead, imagine me mentally smacking my hand to my forehead.

Jesus told His disciples in our verses today that after the Passover the Son of Man was going to be handed over to be crucified. He knew He was going to die and He knew why! For your sins and mine! Jesus knew every sin you and I would commit and He still died for us. I think that I need to remember what He went through to give me eternal life and I know that there is no brownie worth His sacrifice.

Thank You Jesus for saving my life!

Posted by: heisourstrongtower | December 1, 2015

The Demon Seed – How Seed Faith Giving Works

Source: The Demon Seed – How Seed Faith Giving Works

Posted by: heisourstrongtower | April 27, 2015

Many Strands of One Accord 7-Day Challenge of Revelation 2 & 3

I want to let you know that this study was placed on my heart yesterday morning during the message from my Pastor. I was particularly struck by the correlation between his message, based on Revelation 2 & 3, and the picture and devotion that I shared before church yesterday.

Matthew 13_1-9

In case you missed the devotion…I will post it again here.

“Reaping What You Sow (Matthew 13:1–9)

In this haunting parable, Jesus depicts four different groups of people exposed to the Word of God. First come the insensitive. They hear the Word, but it does not speak to them interiorly. The unseen world does not exist for the thinking man. The tales of the Bible are nice for children but not for mature adults. Faith is an outdated conception for those behind the times, a relic of the Middle Ages. After all, you can’t pay the rent with religion . . .

Next, Jesus describes the superficial.

These are the open people—too much so. They are ready to receive everything, but nothing takes root. You meet them at every level of the church’s life, exponents of change for the sake of change. Ardent champions of renewal and reform with a lusty contempt for anything written before 1963. These are the butterfly types who sip on a thousand different blossom cups . . .

The third group are the defeated. They may have fought long and struggled honorably for their faith. They had principles they wanted to live by. A Christian ethic was presumed, a week without worship unthinkable. Their high ideals, however, ran into competition from “the real world.” Love of God got swallowed up in mundane concerns. The thorny preoccupations are many—career, romance, military induction, geographical displacement, progeny, security . . .

Finally, Jesus speaks of the victorious—the seeds that fell on rich soil. But even here Jesus distinguishes three levels of productivity for the kingdom, three different degrees of faith commitment among genuine hearers of the Word of God.

Taken from NIV Ragamuffin Bible

Our church is having a Revival beginning next Sunday and our pastor is preparing us for personal revival within each member of the congregation, as well as the church as a whole. I know that I personally need a revival within me and that I need to work on my relationship with God and others.

There are hindrances to personal revival and he named four…
1. Uncontrolled anger
2. Anxiousness
3. Unforgiveness
4. Tongue

I know that I am guilty of harboring each of these sins in my heart and that is unacceptable to God. God finds all sin an abomination!

I MUST repent…truly repent and turn from these sins!!!

You will find that the word “repent” is used many times in the messages to the 7 churches…well to at least 5 of those 7. So, if you have not read Revelation 2:1-7, do that now, and then look over the questions, below the scriptures, and answer them as you go along.

I am looking for personal revival, how about you?

Rev 2_1-7

Revelation 2:1-7

To the Church in Ephesus
2 “To the angel[a] of the church in Ephesus write:
These are the words of him who holds the seven stars in his right hand and walks among the seven golden lampstands. 2 I know your deeds, your hard work and your perseverance. I know that you cannot tolerate wicked people, that you have tested those who claim to be apostles but are not, and have found them false. 3 You have persevered and have endured hardships for my name, and have not grown weary.

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4 Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken the love you had at first. 5 Consider how far you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place.

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6 But you have this in your favor: You hate the practices of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate.
7 Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who is victorious, I will give the right to eat from the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.

Revelation 2.7
1. Each letter is addressed to “the angel…” (2:1a). Who is this? Why do you believe this to be true? Who is “the One who holds the seven stars in His right hand” and “walks among the seven golden lampstands?” What are the seven stars and seven golden lampstands (2:1b, see 1:20)?

2. What did the church in Ephesus have going for it (2:2-3)? What did Jesus have against them (2:4)? Summarize these strengths and weaknesses in your own words.

3. Why does Jesus use three similar words (“deeds,” “toil,” and “perseverance”) to describe the Ephesian church (2:2a)? What else does He say about this church (2:2b)? How does 2:3 relate back to 2:2?

4. What does it mean to abandon your “first love” (2:4)? Is it hard to keep your first love for God? What causes you to lose your first love? What was it like in the early days of your relationship with Christ? At what point in your life were you most excited about Christ? What were the specific outside influences that contributed to you living a life on fire for Christ? What decisions did you make that resulted in you feeling on fire for Christ?

5. How does the metaphor of a couple’s first love for one another relate to our first love for Christ? Why does the “first love” tend to grow cold? If we do the things we did in the early days or our courtship, will we come to feel as we initially felt? Do feelings follow behavior, or the other way around? If we did the things we did in the early days of our relationship with Christ, will we come to feel the way we felt at first? Again, do feelings follow actions or the other way around? Is this first-love issue primarily an issue of feelings or behavior? Is Jesus concerned with our behavior, or how we feel about Him?

6. Is living a life on fire for Christ largely within our control? Is being on fire for Christ something that God or someone else does to us? How do we stay on fire for Christ? How can we help each other stay on fire for Christ?

7. What did Jesus ask the Ephesians to do about this first love problem (2:5a)? What would happen if the Ephesian church didn’t follow Jesus’ counsel (2:5b)? Is this verse a threat to the doctrine of eternal security (“once saved, always saved”)? If not, what is this verse teaching? Does God punish Christians? Why or why not?

8. Who are the “Nicolaitians” (2:6)? What deeds did they commit that were worthy of hatred? What group or teaching could serve as a contemporary parallel?

9. Each of the seven letters closes in the same way: “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” What is being said here? Why is this so important as to bear repeating?

10. How will you ensure that you will be one who “overcomes” (2:7b; cf. 2:25-26a)?

11. If Jesus was writing to our church, what positive qualities might He commend us for? What do you think He might scold us for? On the whole, what kind of grade do you think our church would get? What is the most glaring need for improvement in our church? What can you do to be a part of the solution?

Posted by: heisourstrongtower | April 25, 2015

Living in the Truth

“6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me…” John 14:6

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I did not sit in front of my television last night and watch the full Bruce Jenner interview, but I have watched short videos of his interview with Diane Sawyer, and I am struck by these words, “I am living MY truth!”

Therein lies his problem!!!

AND it’s not just his problem, it’s my problem, it’s your problem…it’s the world’s problem!!!!!!

We allow the world to define how we should live our life. We become our God!

The “I am” statements that come out of our mouths are all about me, Me, ME!!!!! Jesus is no longer “I am” in our lives, when we allow ourselves to follow a “truth” that IS NOT biblically sound!!!

Bruce Jenner went on television last night and mocked God! God will not be mocked!

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Each of us has our own cross to bear, our own individual sins to overcome! Giving into those sinful desires is not brave, it is cowardly and it is no longer trusting in God’s strength to see us through.

We have to fight the battle, we have to persevere!!! We cannot give in to living in this world by our personal definition of truth.

Jesus is the only way! Jesus is the only truth! Jesus IS LIFE!

I will be praying for Bruce that he begins living his life in God’s truth and not his own.

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