Sometimes we need to take it to a higher level to get anywhere. This is much like what students are now doing all over the world. A group of invested businessmen are sponsoring the effort that hauls the ping pong balls collected from various students up in weather balloons to outer space. In this manner, students are able to experiment in space, in much the same way that they plant experimental gardens on school grounds now to learn about Science.
| |A PongSat is an experiment that fits inside of a cut-in-half, then-taped- together table tennis ball. These ping pong ball “satellites” are flown to the edge of space by balloon, recovered and returned to the student, along with video, data, pictures and a certificate stating they have flown. Source | |
Where is it you would go if the sky were the limit? It really is you know?! Sometimes you just have to try new heights to see what will happen. Let go and let God!
Luke 16:16 The law and the prophets were until John: since that time the kingdom of God is preached, and every man presseth into it.
2 Corinthians 4:18 While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.
1 Thessalonians 2:12 That ye would walk worthy of God, who hath called you unto his kingdom and glory.
2 Thessalonians 2:14 Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.
1 Peter 5:10 But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.
Ephesians 1:18 The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,
Are you caught between a rock and a hard place like David fleeing from an angry king? Have you been seemingly cast, like Daniel, into a den of lions, or into a fiery furnace like the three Hebrew captives? Have you been falsely accused like Joseph and thrown into prison? And, don’t forget that he was sold into slavery to start with through no fault of his own. These men all suffered through no fault of their own. They were persecuted for their faith in God, all as a result of jealousy, I might add. Someone was jealous of each one of them.
But, maybe you don’t feel completely innocent in the situation you’ve found yourself this time. Perhaps instead, it’s the belly of the whale that swallowed you whole that has entrapped you. Remember Jonah? His situation was entirely different from the 6 men mentioned above. He got swallowed up in a desire for revenge, on a national scale. His situation was unique on so many levels. Unlike David, Daniel, Joseph, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, Jonah was guilty of some fault. In contrast to the early prophets; Jonah came in a time after the glory days of Israel, while Elijah, Elisha, Nathan and Samuel were a part of Israel’s majesty. Unlike the later prophets, like Isaiah, Jeremiah, Hosea, Joel, Amos, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, and Zephaniah; Jonah did not have a compassionate heart towards his mission field. He didn’t want to see them spared from the judgment he knew was coming. He knew God was angry and he wanted to see God’s judgment.
You see, Jonah came along at a time when Israel had been pretty much doing as they pleased, just like the unbelieving countries around them. Only Obadiah had begun the litany of doom predictions to Israel, and that had been twenty years before Jonah. Jonah knew that the non-believing Ninevites had a history of killing prophets sent to them. The country was a dangerous mission field with a record for brutality towards the people of Israel. So, Jonah was called by God to carry God’s message of warning to a non-believing nation of brutal terrorists, while no one else in his generation was speaking up. Picture that! Politically, everyone was turning an eye to the bad neighbors, in an effort to be politically correct and “tolerant” of cultural differences. Meanwhile, folks at home were beginning to act like the neighbors. This would be much like becoming a missionary to Muslim terrorist cells today. It is illegal to try to convert Muslims, to begin with. And, no one doubts the danger of trying to convince the radical terrorist cells of anything! But, call him God did.
The problem with the call was that Jonah knew the need, but refused to care. He knew they needed God, but didn’t care that they have God. He saw they were going to burn in judgment, and approved wholeheartedly. So, he ran from the call. He boarded a ship headed in the opposite direction. He felt so secure in his decision that he took a nap below deck. This decision to run from God was the reason he found himself in the middle of a storm. Waking up and seeing the destruction that was about to happen to all on board the ship, he told them they could just throw him overboard to save themselves from God’s wrath. He was certain that God had decided to destroy him for his disobedience. And, the sailors believed him. They tossed him overboard, and he began to sink. Things seemed to go down from there. He not only went down into the sea, but he was swallowed by a great whale and went down into his stomach. After three days in the belly of the whale, Jonah realized he had a problem.
Jonah began to pray from inside the whale. He could have prayed on board the ship, but he didn’t. But, now he saw that he needed a deliverance that could come only from God. So, he prayed for deliverance. And, God answered. God delivered him from the whale, he was spit up onto the seashore, and God gave him a call to Nineveh again. This time Jonah answered the call. All of Nineveh was saved at his preaching. But, the striking thing about this situation is not that Jonah was delivered from the whale, but that he was delivered from the sea. The whale was not the problem. The whale was the solution. The Bible clearly shows that the whale was God’s deliverance for Jonah. God prepared a fish that would swallow Jonah without digesting him, so that Jonah would not drown in the sea. Notice that God was not the one who had Jonah thrown into the sea. God was rocking his boat trying to get his attention. Instead of opening his ears and listening to God, or calling out to God for an answer, Jonah gave God the cold shoulder. He became practically suicidal. He ASKED to be thrown overboard in the middle of a tempest. He wanted to die because he knew he had displeased God and God was not happy. He knew God wanted more from him than he was prepared to give.
So, God sent the whale to solve all Jonah’s problems. Jonah was not happy with this method of salvation, but he hadn’t asked for help before now. God only took him out of harm’s way. So, Jonah began to pray. Luckily, there's nothing WRONG with praying in the belly of the whale. Jonah 2:1 It is always better to pray the storm away. It is best to be “prayed-up” and in the middle of God’s will before the storm. But, if you have waited this long, it’s better late than never. Don’t be bashful, just go ahead and cry out to Jesus. God listens to all our prayers. I remember hearing well-meaning Christians say that God does not hear the prayer of sinners, with the exception of repentance/salvation prayers. I don’t believe that. I believe God hears all our prayers. People have the remarkable ability to be in so many different relationships with God. Even individual people can be at different places in their walk with God on any given day or year. God tarries with us all. You may be further along in your walk with God, or you may be totally standing at ground zero. Yes, I meant that expression that way.
Regardless of where you are with God, it is never too late or too early to pray for help, until you are dead. Jonah was a backslider. Ruth was a heathen Moabitish woman in the Old Testament. God attended to the needs of both. He helped backslidden Jonah when he sent the whale, BEFORE he prayed. He saved him from suicide. So, don’t worry about who you are. Just ask yourself this, “Who is God?” Then pray where you are now. God will turn your storm inside out. He will deliver you from this situation. Don’t live in the belly of the whale. Look to God for escape. He didn’t bring you this far just to leave you.
Interview with Robert Caldwell, a local Children’s Pastor and young minister who visited an orphanage in Haiti this month. Robert talks about the journey that is salvation, taking responsibility for the fatherless next door, and around the world, and leading those who don't know their Heavenly Father to a relationship with Jesus. And, he shares some more tangible ways in which we can "visit" the fatherless. Tonight's Podcast is available on the Podcast page at http://reason2believehim.libsyn.com/ or on the player below. Also, I have compiled a video of Robert's mission photos.
"I Choose to Praise You"
Used by permission from Mark Snyder
Written by Mark Snyder of Tree Hill Collective
Vocals by Helene Immel
Tree Hill Collective’s music may be purchased at:
"Faithful" by Calvary Chapel Saving Grace
Public Domain music
The modern worship songs are copyrighted by the artist but can be freely shared. The Hymn files are all placed in the public domain.
If you are awake enough for a quiz, I have a question for you. Look over my notes from reading today, and tell me who's the teacher. My notes are just phrases that stuck out to me in the reading. Don't scroll down below the picture until you think you have the answer.
It struck me in the reading that the three chapters are laid out very differently, and that so many of our common sayings in Christianity come from that 3rd chapter of the tiny epistle. Have a look at it. It takes about 10 & 1/2 minutes to read the whole book. The first two chapters are contrasting the Saved & the Lost. The third chapter outlines our promises. Yes, this is all from the book of 2nd Peter. I will leave you with a good example from the first column. The Homeless Ministry of Randy Dueck is an example of the work of a believer who has been an "Eyewitness of Majesty." Visit his website at Supernatural Life Transition Ranch for the Homeless in Red Bluff, and see what he is doing about the homeless sleeping under the Antelope Bridge. Perhaps YOU can lend a hand for some lost and wandering souls in the state of California, even if you don't live there yourself, just by clicking on the Walmart wishlist link.
In the way that one stumbles upon a hidden creek in the woods, by stepping out of the overgrowth, I came across the work of the Scripture to Music Collective. Having feasted in the past on the work of Michael Card, more specifically the album, "The Word," I knew what it was like to hear music that didn't just refer to the Bible account, but brought it to life. (Yes, she said "album" because she is from a different generation.) So, it was like a welcome surprise to find this effort to transmit the entire Bible story in song. I like it, simply put. It is a worthy goal.
LYRICS: Had a dream I was alone
A vast expanse of complete unknown
Sea of glass so clear it shown,
Then a voice like thunder clapped,
As a dead man I collapsed
I am the first, I am the last,
Now rise my son
Then behold ten thousand kings,
And every creature worshiping
Every eye was on one thing,
He’s like a lion like a lamb,
As though slain he holds the plan
To make war and peace with man,
And reign on earth
Holy, Holy, is the One,
Who was and is, and is to come
In a robe as red as blood,
He comes forth
Ride like lightning in the sky,
Upon the war horse he draws nigh,
The same one we crucified,
Will come again
No matter what generation you are from, you can appreciate the sound of Josh Garrels. He has a voice like no other I have heard. It has the ability to highlight the Spiritual element of the experience of the Revelator, and draws us into the realm of fantasy and reality that combine in a vision. Such a welcome transport, such a rapturous escape from Earth, and the chains of Patmos, to find yourself floating suspended between the ethereal and the corporeal, as the beloved Apostle John finds himself transported to the sea of glass. And, there we are with John, thanks to this delightful song. Josh's song is part of the Scripture to Music Collective. As a matter of fact, he has about five songs within the collective. The Collective is building a database of songs that transmits God’s Story as it’s laid out in Scripture. many of the songs are told from the first person perspective of individual Bible characters, like John above, or Cain, or Abraham. Others are almost word-for-word from a Scripture passage. The aim of the project is to emphasize Scripture, not rewrite it; to engage believers in the Biblical narrative, and to encourage Christians everywhere in God's Word. They hope to build a complete database of songs from every book of the Bible so that the entire Gospel could potentially be transmitted in song. An amazing goal, that is. Be sure to check out the work of the Scripture to Music Collective online. Also, if you are not familiar with Michael Card, I will leave you a taste of his best in a six minute sampler below. No wonder I have so many reasons to believe the Bible, growing up with faith inspiring music like this on the radio.Transmitting Faith in Grace- yesterday and today. Nothing has changed. Faith lives.
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Sampler Medley of Michael Card's Best: 6 min.
The Word CD-
The Valley of Dry Bones
Songs From the Book CD-
God's ways are not our ways. His ways are much higher than ours. Isaiah 55:8-9 I've had a rough week physically, and yet, I have enjoyed the comfort of a husband who is the companion I always dreamed of having. Thursday evening, we wanted some home made cookies, but the guys don't know how to make them. So, Larry and I made them together. He brought me the needed ingredients and utensils and, from my recliner, I mixed the dough. He baked them and we all had cookies and milk. It all worked out, with the two of us together. The togetherness was very comforting in the midst of my physical discomfort, not to mention the cookies :) Yesterday, he and Travis went to the pet shop in Rome to pick up my fish order for me. And, today, Larry cooked sloppy joes, corn on the cob, and home-cooked fried potatoes, while I listened to an Audible book and dozed. So, in the middle of agonizing pain, that is much worse than usual, here I have companionship and togetherness that would make the worst pain bearable.
Sometimes, I feel like I am shooting darts in the dark. I am never sure who is listening, or where, as I just see the numbers, usually. Occasional contact from comments, emails, Twitter, or Facebook gives me a chance to reach out and touch someone in a more personal way. But even in the silent anonymity of the every day, it is wonderful to know you are here and listening, wherever you come from, whatever your relationship with the Creator of the Universe. My hope is that something here meets your needs. You are my companions in my discomfort, and I am comforted.
Having published my app in the Android Marketplace this month, I am able to both provide a cohesive place for my readers to access my content all in one place, and to gather a little more information about the location and usage statistics of my readers. Today, I was thrilled to learn I had a new download in the Ivory Coast of Africa, a place I knew little about. I can only try to imagine in my mind who is listening there and what they are looking for. I can pray that God blesses what ever the work is that they are doing and that they find what they are seeking. I am working diligently at getting my app rebuilds in the other marketplaces. But, I am pleased and excited about the 75 downloads from this first month. (The shades of green on the map above shows the location of my downloads.) And, it seems to have increased the daily reader stats on my website, so much so that I am getting some spam from search engines. I changed the comment settings to manually approve comments before posting in the future, which is only to screen out spam. Believe me, I still want your comments. And, keep in mind, private comments in emails are never shared on my blog, unless you specifically authorize me to share.
And, this brings me to my point, in a round about way :) You are, after all, in the same place I am. You meet with struggles that slow you down, and you wonder at the reasons for the impediments that get in your way, (like my increased pain and decreased output this week.) You ask God if you are doing the right thing, and if so, why the obstacles that prevent you. But, open your eyes, and look around you. Aren't you cared for? Aren't you, after all, in the hands of a loving God? If He is punching your time card, what does it matter how He uses your time?
Jesus gave us the Great Commission before He ascended into the clouds. Our goal today is to carry out that commission. The internet provides many useful tools that can make us more effective as fishers of men. Jesus has instructed us to be as wise as serpents, and as harmless as doves in Matthew 10:16. Jesus also said in Matthew 28:18-20 that all power is given to us in heaven and in earth. “Go you therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.”
Tonight, I would like to share with you a new website I have built. The site is titled...
"Your ministry is the way you love people." Rich Mullins
The purpose of this new website is to provide Ministry tools for teachers, ministers, evangelists, laypeople, music ministry, and internet ministry, so that the internet can be used for fulfilling the Great Commission, to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I have included on it the first in a set of Technology videos on How to use online resources to mix Music and sound files in a way that does not require expensive recording equipment. The site also contains free Devotional Wallpapers, and online access to my collected Morning & Evening Scripture Devotional Tweets, and a page of Jesus-Speak Quotes. I am sharing the video below as well, though it is easiest viewed full-screen at the YouTube link. My prayer is that you find something useful. Please leave me comments or send confidential feedback via the form on the website with suggestions. God bless you!
This website has been published in part since I started work on it in late January. I just got it ready for launch today, though I've noticed it picked up quite a bit of traffic (uncharacteristically) some how. I later included a link to it in my Reason2BelieveHim App as well. So, if you've seen it in part, it is now ready to view in working mode :)
As we follow God, for He has called (Matthew 4:19,) we face resistance from various places. Someone may not be comfortable with your new found faith. A boss may take issue with your beliefs. Or, a family member may not be happy with your choice of religion. Jeremiah, a prophet in the Old Testament encountered much resistance. He was often inspired with signs and visions, much like object lessons, if you will. Some of the signs mentioned are the sign of the Almond Rod and Seething Pot (Chapter 1), the Linen Girdle (13), the Unmarried Prophet (16), the Potter's House (18), the Wine Cup of Fury (25), the Yoke (27), and the Field of Hananeel (32).
But, it didn't matter how good his preaching was, some people still did not like his sermons. :) It is noteworthy that he spent most of the war in prison, and then in a pit in the prison yard. He was seen as a rebel and guilty of treason for speaking against his country. Then, after his country had lost the war, just as he had prophesied, he was taken in captivity with the rest of his countrymen, (but treated well until his death as the enemy thought he was on their side too.) Jeremiah had a lot to say about how to deal with "looks" people give you, and the words, since they came directly from God, are good advice for every Christian in any situation.
Jeremiah 1:8 Be not afraid of their faces: for I am with you to deliver you, says the LORD.
Jeremiah 1:17 You therefore prepare yourself, and arise, and speak unto them all that I command you: be not dismayed at their faces, lest I confound you before them.
Jeremiah 1:19 And they shall fight against you; but they shall not prevail against you; for I am with you, says the LORD, to deliver you.
I will add one more from another prophet, Ezekiel, which was similar.
Ezekiel 2:6 And you, son of man, be not afraid of them, neither be afraid of their words, though briers and thorns are with you, and you do dwell among scorpions: be not afraid of their words, nor be dismayed at their looks, though they be a rebellious house.
It's great if everyone loves your faith, and all your acquaintances are overjoyed, but even if they are not, we know whose face really matters. People are human, and are prone to changing their minds like the trees change their leaves. But God never changes. Malachi 3:6 Keep your eyes on Him.
I have reasons to believe in Jesus. Can someone else build your faith? Where does faith meet reason? How do you meet the Spiritual needs of Christians? As a Christian blogger, podcaster, & writer overcoming a physical disability, I have found myself trying to answer these questions on a daily basis, one or more at a time. But, I have a concrete faith in God & His Word. Therefore, I continue to share my faith through my experiences as a teacher, wife, mother, & child of God, as well as my experience of over 30 years in various ministries, with you day by day. Using videos, poetry, Spiritual fiction, and creation essays I try to build faith in God; your faith and mine. This faith-based devotional content that you see is created as a force-field in effect, a Spiritual shield of faith which you and I can come inside and grow, even while we are facing the attack of the enemy. Ephesians 6:16
No, I don't have all the answers to the above questions. But, Jesus does. It is advantageous to me and you that we endeavor to keep the faith, even when we are unsure of ourselves. After all, our salvation is not dependent on us, but on the cross-work of Jesus at Calvary. So, I talk about Jesus while I'm shaking in my boots. I fight my own battles with fear, by speaking truth from God's Word. I do deal with questions about much of what I write on a near daily basis. There is always a needling fear of inadequacy or concern that you, the reader, might find my gift "scoff-able." And, my skills are poorly developed. I have so many irons in the fire that some projects I have planned get shoved to the back for awhile. Fortunately, the only thing I am not lacking in is ideas. Ability is in short supply. Also, my physical condition fluctuates. I have good days and bad days. So, I ask that you forgive my shortcomings as I introduce a new feature to my online efforts, the mobile app.
Reason 2 Believe Him App
Android Market Download page
Price: Free Desktop, Laptop Browser App Download:It should work on IE, FireFox, Chrome, & Apple Safari
on your computer as well.
The App provides mobile access to content on my websites, including Reason2BelieveHim, Sunrise Scriptures, Animated Faith Zone for Kids, ¿dónde está Dios?, and a sneak peek at my newest unpublished site still under construction, Go-Minister, which will include free wallpaper and ministry resources.
Screen Shots for the App:
I have been working on the app for a number of months, sporadically, and it is a first for me, so I think it is reasonable to say that you can expect a few errors to be found. Be nice and point them out for me as soon as you spot them. Just make sure to include what type of device you are viewing the app from, as well as any problems you experience, so I can iron them out quickly. What are friends for, if not to help you improve? The app is now available in the Droid App Store under the name "Reason 2 Believe Him" with spaces. It contains immediate access to the Reason2BelieveHim blog and the podcast, as well as my Scripture Tweets, Animated & Feature YouTube videos, Cross Walker content, my Sound Cloud Greek/English Bible readings, and all my content on the web. It includes hotlinks to all five websites and contact information, and it will include personalized extras as available for app owners.
I noticed that the podcast files aren't playing directly from the app, without clicking the link. I will update that tomorrow so it is smoother. One of my linked websites, Go-Minister.com, has been recently created and is still under construction. That site will feature ministry resources, tutorial videos, free wallpaper, and Devotional Scripture widgets when completed. So, expect empty boxes on some pages. :)
To all of my usual readers, I love you all for coming back day after day, and I would love to hear from you. If nothing else, write a review in the app store. I will get it uploaded into the IPhone, IPad, Windows Phone, Blackberry, and Bada app stores tomorrow hopefully. I have no training or experience, so I'm slow. You can go ahead and access it on your browser in the meantime. If you navigate to my website home page on your browser, I installed code that detects when you access it on a mobile device, and notifies you how to download the app independent of the app store.
It is my hope that this will provide some cohesion to all of my "content" so that you can easily access everything in one place. However you access this website, I pray that you find the answers to your questions somewhere in God's Word.
We are made for beauty, and must look into our reflection in God's Word to truly know ourselves and mankind. Thoughts on how the Bible contains the heart of God and mankind in it. Tonight's podcast is available on the player below, or at my podcast page at:
http://reason2believehim.libsyn.com/ The Roosevelt Cabin mentioned in the podcast is viewable at:
"I Choose to Praise You"
Written by Mark Snyder of Tree Hill Collective
Vocals by Helene Immel