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Is This of God?

I left Sunday School newly encouraged to test the elements around me and my own contribution to worship, praise and learning. I John 4:1-6 had impacted me thru the words and demonstration of the teacher and the class discussion.

As I entered the sanctuary I confronted some disturbing thoughts.

Why am I here.?

I believe the church is a group of believers bound together by love to encourage one another and to share the gospel with those God brings within the doors of the church and to enrich the lives of those who attend.

Does this mean?

1.The purpose of my continued presence here is long term inner transformation into the image of Christ so that I become a living demonstration for the world?

2.The church is to be a place where my eyes are opened and I am helped to listen?

3.I am to be a contributor to the Light in the darkness and that when darkness comes thru the doors the Light is strong enough to overcome the darkness.

4.The reality of Hebrew 13:7 “Remember those who led you, who spoke the work of God to you and considering the result of their conduct, imitate their faith?

What is the reality here?

Am I occupied with things that benefit others and myself? Or not?

Am I respectful of God first, pastor next and other people in my manner and demeanor?

Am I ready to listen; cell phone packed away and off, mind focused on what God has for me?

Am I teaching others by my example and, especially the children, to respect God’s house and His people?

Is my dress modest and appropriate or am I showing more than is respectable or am I showing more than other people want to or should see? Does my dress set a good example for the young people?

Is the sacrifice of praise and worship I bring pleasing to the Father?

Is what I do in His house and out in the world a demonstration of the Lordship of Jesus in my life?

Am I showing proper respect for God or others?

What am I encouraging?

In other words, am I reflecting long term inner transformation into the image of Christ so that I can be a living demonstration to a lost and dying world. Is all that I do and say, everything I am and everything I am not, of God and His plan for my life?Am I a blessing or a hindrance to what God wants to do in His house today?

As a fellow believer at the church, wherever God puts me, my prayer is-Hebrews 13:18 “Pray for us, for we are sure that we have a good conscience, desiring to conduct ourselves honorably in all things.”

Today

Today I learned two (2) things’
1. That I can’t take my money or possessions with me to heaven but I can take my children.
2. Teaching is not handing out a prepared content, making sure they learn and sending them students on their way. Teaching is guiding them to the pathway of learning, providing support when needed and expecting students/learners to be able to continue on their way with the confidence that you, the teacher, are always there to support when needed but also to share in the experience and learning.

Thank you Father God

Please share what you are learning.

Redefining Marriage Affects Society

God defined marriage at creation. God has made no announcement that He is redefining marriage for the good of His creation. God saw man’s need for a helpmate. The animals God had Adam to name each had a mate-male and female-He created them. Male and female they were loaded onto the ark when God punished the world for its sin and flooded the earth. Noah loaded and cared for pairs that were to bring forth more of their kind in the post flood world. Male and female they begin to repopulate the earth and soon fell into the same old rut. God often became frustrated with His children, they couldn’t follow His ways so He sent His Son to take care of His children’s sin problem.

The solution is right before us but we still often choose the road to hell.

God defined marriage. Accept anything outside of the boundaries of God’s preordained definition for marriage and you set the stage to live with that which is not the best for mankind and therefore for society as a whole. Scripture tells us to honor marriage (Hebrews 13:4 see Greek-marriage mean the joining of a man and a woman).

When marriage is redefined according to man’s self serving mission,-a union of getting ones own needs met-the marriage union loses the potential joy and fulfillment that God planned. God intended the marriage partners to fulfill man and woman’s need for relational thrill, intimacy and purity. Marriage at its very best is God’s union ordained in the scriptures, the Holy Bible.

When society accepts man’s redefining of marriage society looses the stable environment for raising children and setting values according to God’s plan. Prayer is the most powerful element in any society, but prayer partners must come together in Jesus name and agreement to accept the will of God. This is lost in a union that is not God ordained.

We leave you with the same sentiments and truth that Paul shared with the Collosians in chapter 2 verses 1-15.

Joel and Brenda Blakely are teachers and authors of Surprise In the Suitcase, a look at marriage the blessings and challenges.

The End

Brenda K. Blakely and Joel F. Blakely

Co Authors and teachers of Surprise In the Suitca

The Call to Pray

Jude 20-22 “But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit 21keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.

22         And on some have compassion, making a distinction. 23 but others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire, hating even the garment defiled by the flesh.”

We are truly blessed to be a part of a Sunday School Class where the Biblical mandate to “encourage one another to love and good deeds (Hebrews 10:24-25)” is the norm and “iron sharpens iron (Proverbs 27:17)” comes to life. Our teacher encourages vibrant open discussion. The environment is one where a person feels safe to express their thoughts and questions, which sometimes may not be exactly what the stereotype “Christian” would think or ask. This type environment gives us the opportunity to be real and authentic humans and is very much appreciated. It allows us to work through the tough issues of life without threat and with the support of peers.

A few Sundays back I shared my concern that some people may be praying but that God wasn’t hearing their prayers. And for me, who absolutely depend upon my prayer life and relationship to God my Father, Jesus my older brother and the Holy Spirit guide for my inner man; I mourned for those whose prayers might not be heard. I mourn for those who will go before the judgment seat, turn to the high priest, our advocate before the Father, and be told “I never knew you (Matthew 7:21-23).” I have been there and there are times when I feel my prayers don’t even go above the ceiling.

I was so glad that several class members jumped in to assure me that my concerns were valid according to all that they knew and they shared appropriate scripture. The awful condition bothered me so much that I had to carry it further.

To pray and not be heard has to be a frightful condition. To know that “fire insurance” prayers may be no assurance or insurance at all and may mean that those we care for and our brothers and sisters of the world may go to hell at the end of their earthly lives, is absolutely heart breaking. For I believe that hell is real.

We must do as we are called and “humble ourselves (2 Chronicles 7:14)” in prayer and supplication to God to “heal our land.” We each are standing in the need of prayer. I believe we have been issued a call to pray in the Holy Spirit, by our heavenly Father; to prepare to be ready to pray and not panic as the world collapses around us

Below I share the scriptures that I found in hopes that those who read this will decide for themselves and act accordingly. I also hope that they will feel free to share their thoughts on the subject. If it is true that the prayers of some do not go above the ceiling, and I personally believe that it is, then we must be about sharing the Truth with those, who might be in this condition.

I believe the power of prayer to our heavenly Father is a vital part of the life of a Christian.

Explore the Word

Read I Peter 3:10 and see if you agree that,

His, the Father’s, ears are open only to their (the righteous) prayers.

For an answer explore the warnings in I Thessalonians 4 before reading verse 16-22

Read Isaiah 1:15 and you might look at the rest of the chapter to see how God felt about the activities and lives of His chosen people. Has God changed His mind since we are under the New Covenant? Do we have to be under the covering of the New Covenant to please God so that He will hear our prayers and how do we get under the New Covenant?

A word regarding the hindered prayers of those of us who are married is found in I Peter 3:7.

This is another to decide for your self Proverbs 15:8.

Jesus has a lot to say about prayer and our manner of praying in Matthew 6:5-14, with a special note to hypocrites.

Does Jesus, who sits at the right hand of the Father interceding for us (Matthew 26:64, Acts 1:9, Romans 8:4, Colossians 3:1), say that He only prays for those who are His and not the world in John 17:9. My picture here is if Jesus doesn’t pass on our prayers by praying Himself, then does the Father hear them?

How important your prayers? Read Revelations 5:8.

I pray that your will has joined with the will of the Father and that you live in the eternal security of His hand. I pray that we will be willing to “speak the truth in love” and “snatch them from the fire.”

Brenda Klutz Blakely asks God to help her to be available to pray and to answer His call and to encourage others.

Frying Pan Prayers

After sending Sharon to the kitchen for a frying pan, Joe instructed Joel to walk and he followed Joel across the room. Laughter covered the room as Joe wielded the frying pan in a mock beating as the prophet’s voice announced the proceeding in tongues.

I shrank back not knowing what to expect.

Then Sharon interpreted “You have been beating this man with prayer for years. God has heard and He will answer.”

We all stood there speechless as I turned red as a beet and began the process of accepting the Word from God. Joel and the audience just stared. The truth sinking in and becoming a reality took time.

Over and over again those words rang in my ears. Life changing events do not announce themselves beforehand so you are not always prepared. Elijah House Basic I and II classes in Chelsea, Alabama had exceeded the expectations. God shaped and molded us thru the teaching but being broken had to come first. God had His ways. The joy and pain of this event were indelibly impressed on our minds.

I don’t know that I prayed in the right way but they were abundant. This man, I had married, missed so much of life; the one I believe God had intended, because of His anger and bitter roots. Our family needed help and I concluded that God was the only one that could do it, so I shot up prayers, day and night.

God has truly answered those prayers. We are not the same people after His intervention into our lives. He was even able to tune us together enough for each of us to earn a Master’s degree in Education together and to write a book as co authors. For those who know our history and have lived it with us, this is nothing short of a great BIG miracle.

It all started with me trusting God. I trusted no one, not even myself and my husband had not proven himself to be trustable. God showed me that I could trust and obey and He would do the rest. It became very clear that even if I could not trust my husband at that time, I could trust God and I lived in that truth for a long time.

Joel and I celebrated our 52nd anniversary this month. When this event happened we had been married thirty-six (36) years. These days Joel and I lean on God first and then put our foot forth and trust Him to guide us. I still pray for Joel but now we pray for each other and pray a lot together as we read and study God’s Word. We seek how we will answer the Call.

Bio

Joel F. and Brenda Klutz Blakely are currently preparing a manuscript for Surprise In the Suitcase. This non fiction book shares Truth from the Word of God to help those who are already married and those who are preparing for marriage to allow God to renew their minds and set their heart upon Him, so that their lives in a married state will reflect the potential of God’s intentions. Joel and Brenda share stories (such as Frying Pan Prayers) from the road they have traveled.  Since receiving their degrees and healing they have served as teachers, house parents, Elijah House facilitators, ministry leaders and Natural Products developers. Their five children, inlaws, grands and great grand help them move around as God calls them. As one grand said, “MoMo and Gram B move a lot.” Joel and Brenda know without a doubt as they go forth, they can trust in God. God has a plan and He when they walk the walk and talk the talk He provides.

Responding to the world today.

Everywhere I turn collapse seems imminent. I believe there are forces that are determinedly bound to destroy all we hold dear. But I believe even more that God has a plan. That if we turn from our wicked ways and seek Him, He will heal our land. I believe in hope, the hope that rest in our almighty God, creator of the universe.

Hold fast to that which is good. Do not turn to the right or to the left but look straight up.

Remember God has a standard,

God has a plan,

God has provided all that we need.

God is a God of hope.

Blessings, Brenda

Parents, Your Child Will Grown Up

Parents, Your Child Will Grown Up.

Faith Fully Dressed is Prepared for Works

Faith Fully Dressed is Prepared for Works.

Faith Fully Dressed is Prepared for Works

An Excerpt from James Sets the Plumb Line

Chapter 20

Faith and Works

James 2:14-20

What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, ‘Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,’ but you do not give the things which are need of the body, what does it profit? 17 Thus also faith by itself, if does not have works, is dead.” 18But someone wills say ‘You have faith, and I have works.’ Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. 19 You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe—and tremble! 20 But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead?”

 

Faith

This is speaking of faith that is head knowledge alone. This is speaking of faith that is not growing into a demonstration; that has not taken hold in the heart and has not become the motivating force that governs life and brings us into obedience to God’s will and way. It is brain power without willpower or the power of the Holy Spirit working in a life.

 

Faith that saves is a demonstration of the living Spirit living, empowering and growing in a person and is profitable and becomes the belief system which governs the life of each individual.

 

Galatians 5:5-6 “For we through the Spirit eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness by faith. 6 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but faith working through love.”

 

Romans 1:17 “For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, ‘The just shall live by faith.’”

 

Works

The “works of God (John 6:29, Ephesians 2:8-9, 2 Timothy 1:9, Titus 3:5)” produces works-acts of obedience in which one proves the genuineness of the works of God and His faithfulness for our benefit. Works of faith build the foundation of faith that will not collapse when the “troubles” of life and the times of testing come.

 

Hebrews 11:31-32 “By faith the harlot Rahab did not perish with those who did not believe, when she had received the spies with peace. 32And what more shall I say? For the time would fail me to tell of Gideon and Barak and Samson and Jephthah, also of David and Samuel and the prophets:”

 

Acts 7:55, 60 “But he, being full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God,… 60Then he knelt down and cried out with a loud voice, “Lord, do not charge them with this sin.” And when he had said this, he fell asleep.”

 

1 Peter 2:12 “having your conduct honorable among the Gentiles, that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may, by your good works which they observe, glorify God in the day of visitation.”

 

Titus 3:1-7, 14 “Remind them to be subject to rulers and authorities, to obey, to be ready for every good work, 2to speak evil of no one, to be peaceable, gentle, showing all humility to all men. 3For we ourselves were also once foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving various lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful and hating one another. 4But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, 5not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, 6whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7that having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life…14And let our people also learn to maintain good works, to meet urgent needs, that they may not be unfruitful.”

 

James is telling us about our vertical (and upright relationship to God) faith-faith that does not produce works is dead and gives no testimony and bears no fruit from the work of God in a person’s life.

 

Faith guides our actions. If you have faith you must act like it to keep that faith alive.

 

Faith is measured in “feet”-as in the movement of YOURS!

 

Faith-an right relationship with God-will yield a right relationship with our fellow man.

 

Dead

Something dead is totally useless-words without actions. This speaks of a lifeless corpse from whence the spirit has departed. James is saying when your faith is not demonstrated in works-acts of obedience-you are as lifeless a dead body where the spirit/soul is gone, held captive and/or fallen asleep. This condition-being dead-renders a person unable and incapable of doing the works that God has prepared for them.

 

Faith (expanded)

Your faith must be an active demonstration of obedience/acts that tell others your faith is real. These acts/works build a foundation of faith that will not fail during troubling times. Works of faith are your testimony to God impacting your life-renewing your mind and transforming your life. Faith prepares you to live in the fullness of all God intended as He chose to give you life and makes you able to complete the works that God preplanned, prepared and equipped you to do.

 

1 Timothy 1:5 “Now the purpose of the commandment is love from a pure heart, from a good conscience, and from sincere faith,”

 

Matthew 17:20 “So Jesus said to them, ‘Because of your unbelief; for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you.’” 

 

Luke 17:6 “So the Lord said, ‘If you have faith as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be pulled up by the roots and be planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you.’”

 

Faith is a gift of the Holy Spirit to those who believe in Jesus.

 

1 Corinthians 12:9 “to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by £the same Spirit,”

 

Show me

Show me who and what you are. You are to become a demonstration of the “good works” of the faith that is given to you by the work of the Holy Spirit. You are to bring forth “good works”-the fruit of righteousness and living a life that shows what God has done in your life. When we bring our dark side into the Light, God’s work is revealed. Show me-become a demonstration project-your faith with “good works”; the ones that God prepared beforehand and provides the strength for you to accomplish. 

 

Habakkuk’s faith is alive, actively producing good works.

 

Habakkuk 3:16-19 “   When I heard, my body trembled;    My lips quivered at the voice;    Rottenness entered my bones;    And I trembled in myself,    That I might rest in the day of trouble.    When he comes up to the people,    He will invade them with his troops. 17    Though the fig tree may not blossom,    Nor fruit be on the vines;    Though the labor of the olive may fail,    And the fields yield no food;    Though the flock may be cut off from the fold,    And there be no herd in the stalls—18    Yet I will rejoice in the Lord,    I will joy in the God of my salvation.19    The Lord God is my strength;    He will make my feet like deer’s feet,    And He will make me walk on my high hills.

 

Luke gives us the story-a show me demonstration-of a work of faith,

 

Luke 5:17-20 “Now it happened on a certain day, as He was teaching, that there were Pharisees and teachers of the law sitting by, who had come out of every town of Galilee, Judea, and Jerusalem. And the power of the Lord was present to heal them. 18Then behold, men brought on a bed a man who was paralyzed, whom they sought to bring in and lay before Him. 19And when they could not find how they might bring him in, because of the crowd, they went up on the housetop and let him down with his bed through the tiling into the midst before Jesus. 20When He saw their faith, He said to him, ‘Man, your sins are forgiven you.’”

 

Faith with works is truly living; living to the fullest in the abundant life that God has prepared and equipped the believer to live.

 

Dead (expanded)

Dead without life, not bearing fruit-nothing coming forth-no response (see above and for extra study look at Jude 12,

Matthew 7:19, 12:33-37 and Luke 6:43-49).

 

Set the Plumb Line

The church has debated the supposed conflict of Paul-justified by faith– and James-justified by works-for centuries. Their debate proves, there is no conflict.

 

Paul tells us our walk with the Lord begins in being given the gift by the Holy Spirit so that we may believe and accept the gift of salvation. Jesus Christ fulfilled the law and gave us the right to accept His work.

 

      The faith Paul speaks of here is a horizontal faith-faith that saves and does not require us to accomplish works, we just have to accept. This is about what has already been done by Jesus on our behalf.

 

Ephesians 2:8-10 “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9not of works, lest anyone should boast. 10For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.”

 

Galatians 3:23-26 “But before faith came, we were kept under guard by the law, kept for the faith which would afterward be revealed. 24Therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith. 25But after faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor. 26For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.”

 

Hebrews 12:2 “Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. “

 

      James says that once salvation is activated more will come. The Holy Spirit will give you a larger faith so that you might produce works-yield fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-25, 1 Corinthians 12)-of testimony and demonstration of what God has done and is able to do through those who have committed and are submitted to Him and His service.

Works are a natural product of living within the blessings and magnitude of what has been done, for you.

Paul wrote to the Romans of the work justification by faith-“it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes

(Romans 1:16-17).” Paul told the Romans that the work had been DONE by Jesus and accepted by the people of the church at Rome brought salvation to them.

Paul wrote to them “your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world. (Romans 1:8). He was encouraging them in the work they were able to DO in demonstrating their faith, so that evidence of God’s work was known through out the world.

We should live as Paul and be able to proclaim just as Paul did that because of what the Lord has DONE (Acts 9:1-22. 2

Timothy 4:17-18) Paul was able to DO the works of faith and proclaim near the end of his life, “I have fought…I have finished…I have kept the faith (2 Timothy 4:6-8)”.

2 Timothy 4:6-7 “For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure is at hand. 7I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.”

      Paul’s ability to be alive in Christ Jesus, produce good works and “keep the faith” brought the comfort of Paul as an obedient servant, even as he came to the end of his life here on earth. Yes, Paul was imprisoned and faced challenges. Paul lived in the power and strength of God working in and through him.                

1 Thessalonians 3:5-8 “For this reason, when I could no longer endure it, I sent to know your faith, lest by some means the tempter had tempted you, and our labor might be in vain. 6But now that Timothy has come to us from you, and brought us good news of your faith and love, and that you always have good remembrance of us, greatly desiring to see us, as we also to see you—7therefore, brethren, in all our affliction and distress we were comforted concerning you by your faith. 8For now we live, if you stand fast in the Lord.”

Habakkuk 2:4 “Behold the proud, his soul is not upright in him; but the just shall live by his faith.”

The teachings of Paul and James as regards “faith, works and state of being” are reconciled in Jude 3, as Jude encourages his readers to “contend earnestly”, and Jesus speaks in Matthew 7:18-20 (see also Jude 12).

Jude 3 “Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was on for all delivered to the saints.”

Matthew 7:18-20 “A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. 19Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.”

True faith comes fully dressed (Ephesians 5:10-20) ready for works. Also see Luke 24:29.

Ponder Points

  • What does your faith profit?
  • What kind of believer have you proved to be?
  • What fruit has come forth from your life because of your faith?
  • What does this prove?
  • What is the “foolish man” this scripture speaks about?
  • Do you see that there is no contradiction between Paul and James?
  • What helps you to understand this and how would you paint the picture so that others could understand?
  • Has your faith prepared you for works?
  • Are your feet showing the measure of your faith?
  • How do these verses compare with Jude 12?
  • How does this relate to John 6:66-68?

 

Frying Pan Prayers

After sending Sharon to the kitchen for a frying pan, Joe instructed Joel to walk and he followed Joel across the room. Laughter covered the room as Joe wielded the frying pan in a mock beating as the prophet’s voice announced the proceeding in tongues.

I shrank back not knowing what to expect.

Then Sharon interpreted “You have been beating this man with prayer for years. God has heard and He will answer.”

We all stood there speechless as I turned red as a beet and began the process of accepting the Word from God. Joel and the audience just stared. The truth sinking in and becoming a reality took time.

Over and over again those words rang in my ears. Life changing events do not announce themselves beforehand so you are not always prepared. Elijah House Basic I and II classes in Chelsea, Alabama had exceeded the expectations. God shaped and molded us thru the teaching but being broken had to come first. God had His ways. The joy and pain of this event were indelibly impressed on our minds.

I don’t know that I prayed in the right way but they were abundant. This man, I had married, missed so much of life; the one I believe God had intended, because of His anger and bitter roots. Our family needed help and I concluded that God was the only one that could do it, so I shot up prayers, day and night.

God has truly answered those prayers. We are not the same people after His intervention into our lives. He was even able to tune us together enough for each of us to earn a Master’s degree in Education together and to write a book as co authors. For those who know our history and have lived it with us, this is nothing short of a great BIG miracle.

It all started with me trusting God. I trusted no one, not even myself and my husband had not proven himself to be trustable. God showed me that I could trust and obey and He would do the rest. It became very clear that even if I could not trust my husband at that time, I could trust God and I lived in that truth for a long time.

Joel and I celebrated our 51st anniversary last year. When this event happened we had been married thirty-six (36) years. These days Joel and I lean on God first and then put our foot forth and trust Him to guide us. I still pray for Joel but now we pray for each other and pray a lot together as we read and study God’s Word. We seek how we will answer the Call.

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