Thursday, June 09, 2005

The Importance of Joy

In The New Testament 'joy' is mentioned in a repetitious manner. The letter to the Philippian church has the line: "Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again rejoice." (Phil 4:4 NIV) - The book of Thessalonians 5:16 says, "Be joyful always." Jesus had sent out 72 disciples (Luke ch 10) to announce the "Kingdom of God is near." and they came back with joy and said, "Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name." Jesus' replied, " not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven."

Why the instruction to rejoice? Digging into the Philippian and Thessalonian text a bit further each gives similar answers.
(Phil 4:4-7) - Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
(1 Thes 5:16-24) - Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.

Do not put out the Spirit's fire; do not treat prophecies with contempt. Test everything. Hold on to the good. Avoid every kind of evil.

May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful and he will do it.

The reason God commands us to be joyful is that it brings peace into our hearts. A friend once told me that he thought that men everywhere desire peace in their hearts and minds more than anything else. Not the kind of peace that is an absence of war but the kind of peace that is the presence of tranquility. By cultivating a spirit of joy in the inner man it will radiate into other areas of our lives. Indeed, it will radiate into the lives of those around us. Serenity, enjoyment, delight, happiness will increase in this world if we, as individuals seek to follow this directive of God's word.

Sounds Pollyanna-ish but it does work. In case you missed it the 'how to' is given in these scriptures. Pray without ceasing and giving thanks for God's blessings. How much will that cost?

Just your entire life.

It is worth it though...

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

There is a God!

We now have proof that there is a God and He does concern himself with the affairs of men. We need look no further than the Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean. Just think. He might have been elected president. But for the Grace of God!

The chairman is supposed to bring to the party donations, good PR and votes. Donations are down. Good PR? It is questionable at best. Votes? Even his supporters are thinking twice about what they have done in setting him up for the position he holds... It seems that when Dean is speaking the good things (there are some but they get buried in the rhetoric) about the Democratic party are not uplifted and placed in the headlines. Dean is.

Dean said in San Francisco this week that Republicans "all behave the same, and they all look the same. ... It's pretty much a white Christian party."
Wade Randlett, a key party fund-raiser in Silicon Valley said, "For small donors, hearing 'George Bush is bad' is enough,'' Randlett said. "What I'm hearing very clearly from big donors is: Tell me how we'll win.
"We need a Democratic National Committee that is convincing white Republican Christians that they should be voting for us -- not vilifying them,'' said Randlett, who supported Dean for the chairmanship. "He's got himself in trouble with social commentary -- and that's not what the DNC chair does.''

From we find this tidbit. -
Sen. Joseph Biden (D-NOW) used his appearance on ABC's lightly-watched This Week program to test market a modified limited disavowal, telling Clinton-stooge-turned-"journalist" George Stephanopoulos, "He doesn't speak for me with that kind of rhetoric and I don't think he speaks for the majority of democrats. I wish that rhetoric would change."
Prying1 sez:

Normally you get what you pay for. But with Dean I think the Dems will be paying more than they thought and more than he is worth. - So it goes...

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Zimbabwe Troubles Need Prayer!

While all eyes are on the Michael Jackson trial a few are looking at troubles in Africa. The Art of the Blog has a story, comment and link to Samizdata on what the so called 'leader', Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe, is up to and asks where is the outrage? More concern is shown for a few specks of urine on a book in Cuba than for lives being ruined. C'mon folks from both sides. Lets focus on real problems. Pray for these people in Africa that the Living God will intervene to set them free from real tyranny.

Monday, June 06, 2005

The Battle Still Rages

The demon floated high above the earth. Except for an occasional prayer that would shoot through his body he had no problems. He worried little about those little darts. He healed quickly. His territory encompassed a huge area. His wings cast a shadow over several countries and he was secure that the minions he had in control beneath him were battle hardened warriors and would keep the area under his control.

Suddenly the air and darkness about him seemed to shift. From behind and to his left a battle host of the Lord appeared with blazing swords and cut a swathe through the back edge of his left wing. He immediately pulled his sword, an evil curved blade of a dull finish and a razors edge. He swung it towards the attackers. They simply split into two groups as the blade whistled past them. His bellow called up some of the fiends from below that left their diabolical activities and immediately flew up to join in the battle. Most of the iniquitous imps below cowered as they stared skyward at the bright flashing light swinging past their lord.

Little had he realized that the Lord had directed people to pray from other corners of the earth. The prayers had gone to fill the golden bowls in God's throne room and when these bowls overflowed all heaven broke loose. The angels attacking him had surprised him with their ferocity and cunning. They again joined forces as soon as the metal passed them, swung down and took a cut through his right wing.

For countless generations this demon had cultivated his area to worship him instead of the Living God. His spawn had increased over time until the face of the land beneath him was covered with his imps. Each one had it's purpose. They continually harassed the minds of men, causing them to have their God given consciences seared to the point where evil was considered good and good evil. There were a few holdouts among the weak creatures of mankind, hence the occasional prayer that would rip through his body or wing. These were scattered and ineffectual. Most good untainted men were in hiding for fear their lives would be forfeit. When they did gather only a handful would dare join the meetings and the fear in their hearts kept their faith from being any sort of dynamic force that would endanger his hold on the land.

But this attack was different from anything he had experienced in generations. He had gotten lax in his training of his forces. The angelic host divided into 3 groups. One meeting the devilish defenders coming up from below. Another again ripping through his left wing and the third swinging towards his head. The companies of angels were small. They would soon be contained and destroyed. As he thought this he swung his sword toward the company flying towards his head. This time he changed the direction of his swing and the blade cut through some of the angels removing wings and arms as they tried to avoid the sudden move.

As he turned to see the damage he had wrought a sudden ripping at his belly filled him with pain. Another squad of angels had come at him from below and to his right. God's forces were not fighting fair. The protectors from below were being routed and did nothing to protect his soft underside. Pouring forth from his wound were hundreds of thousands, a giant multitude of demonic spirits that he had been feeding on through the centuries. Spirits that had been feeding on the souls of men and in turn became his food. The true Circle of Life. Now they had been set free.

That was his only consolation as his body dissolved into odiferous smoke. The stinking brood that was released at once dropped to the earth to find more souls to consume. They were hungry. A few were caught by the band of angels that had dispatched the attack from below but most made it to the ground where they quickly found men whose bodies and minds they would invade. These unfortunate men would instantly become willing host to innumerable spirits that would drive them to unspeakable acts. These would work the seven deadly sins towards undoing the damage done by the prayers of God's people. They only needed time. The prayer warriors would soon tire, relax, and cease their pitiful whining. Traitors in the midst of their churches would ridicule their petitions or better yet prattle polarizing appeals to God and cause them to loose faith in prayer's efficacy

Once again the Chief Dragon would send a new battlechief to control the principality and beyond. These newly released goons of Satan would harry the enemy till their forces tired and ceased their skirmishes against them. Once again the rulers of the darkness of this world would control vast areas. This was merely a setback that would soon come under the control of spiritual wickedness in high places. Despotism would soon reign again. Spread by the host of hell, death and destruction, darkness and fear would rule and those in the adjoining areas would see their hopes for freedom and peace dashed. All they needed was time. The church would soon fall back asleep.

Or would they???