Pastor Sharon Rose Buck White's Blog

#ILoveMyChurch

I Love My Church BoiseCentral holds a lot of memories for us all. Some great, some sentimental, some sad, and some humorous but we all have them. What we want to do over these last few months in our current location, as we prepare for our new location, is to remember all the wonderful things that have happened in our lives here at 12000 Fairview Ave. WE don’t want to forget what God has done in our lives but at the same time we don’t want to forget that we are still on a journey in which God is leading us to new ground, new territory, new miracles, and new life stories that we will be able to look back on 10, 20, 40 years from now with just as much fondness as we look now to the 10, 20 and 40 years previous.

So we want to have you post your pictures and your memories of the LIFE that has taken place here at Central Assembly over the last 40 years on Facebook, Instagram and twitter. We want you to let the world know that you love your church and we want you to share with them some of the significant moments in your own life that have been connected to this wonderful place we call church. We want you to let the world laugh, smile, and reminisce with you as you point them to the life that has been lived to the full with your family; your church family.

BUT when you do post your pictures, videos, thoughts and memories, we want you to make sure you tag us in those pictures and posts so that we will be sure to see them and it will allow us to share them with others as well. You can do this by posting directly to our page (search boisecentral) on facebook or just tagging tagging us in your photos and posts using “boisecentral” on your facebook page. You can also do so by using "@Boisecentral” on twitter and Instagram. We would also ask you to use the hash tag #ilovemychurch and #boisecentral when you are posting as this will give us another way of seeing your memories and allow us to share in them with you.

Each week we will have a theme that will be the focus of our posting. Whether that is “Weddings” or “Youth Ministry Mayhem” or Maranatha Memories what we want you to do is post your thoughts and pictures specific to that category. Each week we will put a new category forward. So each week we will have new material to remember, share, laugh, smile, and maybe even cry about a little bit, but each week it will be connected to the same general topic.

We love our church, and I know that you do to. We can’t wait to see your pictures and hear about your favorite memories. We hope that you will share and share often about the great things that God has done in your life at this location but we also encourage you to use these testimonies as fuel to stoke the fires of excitement and anticipation for the memories to come.

Feel free to share thoughts from previous weeks themes if you were unable to during the weeks they were scheduled. But Lets let our city know that we LOVE OUR CHURCH

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List of weekly themes / Memory Ideas

Feb 22 – Week 1

  •  First real memory (photos or thoughts)

Mar 1 – Week 2

  • Craziest / Funniest memory (photos or thoughts)

Mar 8 – Week 3

  • Youth Group / Camp Memory (photos or thoughts)

Mar 15 – Week 4

  • Children’s Ministry Memories (photos or thoughts)

Mar 22 – Week 5

  • Baby Dedication memories (photos or thoughts)

Mar 29 – Week 6

  • Weddings (photos or thoughts)

Apr 5 – Week 7

  • Power of God Memory (photos or thoughts)

Apr 12 – Week 8

  • Maranatha / school related Memory (photos or thoughts)

Apr 19 – Week 9

  • Favorite school/church production memory (photos or thoughts)

Apr 26 – Week 10

  • Funeral Memories (photos or thoughts)

May 3 – Week 11

  • Funniest Moments (photos or thoughts)

May 10 – Week 12

  • Your choice / Miscellaneous (photos or thoughts)

May 17 – Week 13

  • Love Center Memory (photos or thoughts)

May 24 – Week 14

  • Absolute favorite memory (photos or thoughts)

May 31 – Week 15

  • Favorite Memory from the 70’s and 80’s (photos or thoughts)

June 7 – Week 16

  • Favorite Memory from the 90”s and 00’s (photos or thoughts)

June 14 – Week 17

- Memories I’m looking forward to making at our New Campus. (Thoughts)

And There Was Light

And there was light

This Message is on the incredible power in God's word and when God spoke in the beginning Let there be light, way back then Jesus was the Light Of Our World. In Him is no darkness at all. His Presence lights up our lives and the challenge is to carry the Awesome light of His Presence into our dark world and turn the light on!

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THE DREAM MAKER!

I'm sure all of us have dreams that we would love to accomplish on our journey through life.  God knows right where we are  as we dream.  Sometimes it happens right away, and sometimes God says "Wait until later." We can count on Him guiding us every step of the way.  David's big dream was to build a beautiful sanctuary for His Father.  But God said, "I want you to build a house for you, and it will go on forever."  He went on to say that David's son would build a house for God.

I remember years ago, God spoke to my heart one day and told me that He wanted me to do a television show.  I just kept this in my heart but He opened the door to a secular radio station in Ontario, Oregon to do a five minute spot.

I remember I was on my way to visit my friend, Wanda Lehmkuhl, and the Lord dropped the name of the radio station that I had never heard of into my heart and very clearly spoke to me that "I was to share this with Wanda and He would do the rest."  He also at that time said "I want you to be on television one day.

I arrived at Wanda's house and  when she opened the door, I yelled, "Wanda, you won't believe what the Lord said to me on the way over here!"  Wanda said, "Sharon you won't believe what the Lord spoke to my heart to day!"

I said, "You go first!"  Wanda said, "The Lord put on my heart that He wants us to do a radio program on..and she named the radio station who's name I had never heard until that moment.  I nearly came unglued as I told her the Lord had told me the same thing!

We dropped in at the radio station that day, and the station manager was really interested in a five minute spot.  Someone had just quit and left that vacancy.  He had us make a demo tape, which we had no clue how to do.  But our two husbands, John and Alan had the technical knowhow to help us.  We took it back to the station and the station manager really liked it.  We called it "Share The Spirit" and for the next few years it played in Ontario and also on a radio station in Boise.

John had become acquainted with many many people in the area of sound and helping them with problems.  One of the people he met was Ron Stout, the manager of Channel 18 in Nampa.  He was there the day Ron's talk show host decided to call it quits.  Ron asked, "Do you know anybody"......and the rest is 8 years of history.

God is the author of our dreams and He will help them come to pass in His wonderful timing.  David's dream was so much bigger than anyone of us could imagine.  His family produced the line for the salvation of us all.  We are the recipients of the dream God had for all humanity.  That everyone of us would become part of His great family.  And He will pursue that dream until everyone He has dreamed of and pursued, and if they respond, is safely in the great family of God.

I shared my little story with you in this blog as a faithbuilder.  Just as God's dream to see John Slaughter as  part of His family, He has heaven's hosts working on all the loved ones we are praying for.  Hallelujah.  The Great Dream Maker will bring it to pass in the fullness of time for  His Glory!

WHERE THE BOYS ARE!

Just imagine David out in rich grassy fields watching over the family's sheep.  As he is watching over them one day, a bear suddenly rears it's ugly head, its jaws dripping with anticipation of a tasty little lamb. He didn't reckon on a shepherd who really cared about his flock and suddenly this bear was torn apart with the bare hands of the handsome young shepherd.  It must have been an incredible sight to see the fur flying as young David took care of that bear. The same thing happened to the hungry lion who had the audacity to try to get one of those delicious meals.  He ended up torn apart with David's bare hands just like the bear.

Meanwhile, Samuel is with David's parents and inquiring about his sons.  Here's an interesting side note.  David's grandmother's name was Rahab, who was a prostitute.  The first part of her name "Ra" is an Egyptian God.  Her name means several things including, "Broad" or "Spacious". She is the wife of Salomon, one of the two spies she sheltered when the walls of Jericho came down.  The walls were pushed down by the big warrior angels I described in my message this last Sunday.

She was the mother of Boaz, who married Ruth, whose son Obed had a son Jesse, whose son is David, who is in the line of Jesus.  I think this is so interesting to remember the story of how Rahab was told to put a red ribbon in the window of her house and invite all her relatives into her house.  They would all be saved when the Israelites came in to fight when the walls of Jericho were pushed down flat.  This is a beautiful foreshadowing of how Jesus is no respecter of persons, and would eventually come to save us all.

Poor Samuel came to the home of Jesse in fear for his life if Saul found out.  He asked to see   all the boys that Jesse had.  When he saw the first boy, Eliab and thought "Surely the Lords annointed is before me.  But God said to Samuel these wonderful words of encouragement to all of us, "Do not look at his appearance or his physical stature, because I have refused him.  For the Lord does not see as man sees;  for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart."

In the Message Bible it says, "Looks aren't everything.  Samuel went through all of Jesse's sons and bluntly said, "God hasn't chosen any of these boys!  Don't you have any more boys?  And Jesse said, "Yes, there's the runt, but he's out tending sheep."

To me it kind of sounds like Jesse had so many boys that he was worn out with keeping track of them and poor David ended up being ignored.  His dad probably didn't know about the bear and the lion that David killed protecting the sheep.  His brothers didn't even realize the kind of boy their runt of a brother was!  They probably laughed at him because he was a musician and didn't realize the strength he had developed out in the fields.

What a surprise to Samuel to see this youngster, the very picture of health, bright eyed and good looking.  God said to Samuel, "Up on your feet!  Annoint him!  He's the one!"

Samuel took his flask of oil and annointed David with all his brothers standing around watching.  The Spirit of God entered David like a rush of wind, God vitally empowering him  for the rest of his life.  The name "David" means "beloved."  David was beloved of God.  He  was described as a "man after God's own heart."  I believe it is because he sought after God.

Now the same thing can be true of us as we seek to honor God first and love Him with all our hearts.  I believe all of us can be people after God's own heart as we love Him and praise Him and put Him first in our lives.

God Is On The Job

This last Sunday Pastor Sharon shared with us an inspirational message looking at some of the messages that her father Pastor Roland Buck had shared concerning the angel visitations he received. God is on the job! He has not forgotten you. He still sees you right where you are and he has never lost track of you. God is on the Job! Please don't miss this amazing message.

God is On the Job

THE GOD FACTOR!

I don't know about you, but I can get going so fast doing stuff on my own "for God", I forget to remember it's about what He does, not what I try to do!  Please tell me I'm not the only one who does this! Well, it's the March 4th portion of our Bible reading, and Joshua, with God's help, is giving out the portions of land to the Israelites that God wants them to have.  How would you like it if God spoke to you and said, "You are growing old."  I know that I don't want to acknowledge that I'm getting a little older.  Please don't point it out to me.  I still feel the same inside as I did when I was 30.

The part I do love about what God said to Joshua, is that He didn't leave him out to dry in his "old age".  God told him, "There is still much land to be conquered!"  Of course Joshua realize this, and it was a huge amount of territory.  But I love what God told him.  Joshua 13:6 says, "I myself will drive these people out of the land ahead of the Israelites.  Be sure and give it as a special possession when you divide it!"

Wow!  Once again we are reminded in this 21st century, that our unchanging God will give us every bit of strength and power to do anything that He has asked us to do.   And if he sees that our strength is gone, the God factor will kick in and He will go ahead of us and drive out the opposition.

Does that encourage us as we embark on our continuing journey to bring in the lost and help the hurting and lonely and broken hearted in our community?  The powerful God factor is at work in our behalf, going ahead of us, clearing the way, 24 hours a day!

God had also promised land to Caleb, the other spy that with Joshua had encouraged the people to take the land 40 years before.   And they did not and all died in the desert except for Joshua and Caleb.

So now Caleb, holding onto the God Factor, drove out the three groups of Anakites, who were descendants of the fearsome giants, plus everyone else who stood in the way of him taking the land God had promised to him.

Just a minute ago in eternities' time clock, my dad had the privilege of being visited by angels.  There were 27 visits over a period of a year and a half.  The angels shared beautiful eternal truths straight from the heart of God.  Nothing that was not already in the Bible, but illumination of truths that that my father already new.  Truths that underlined the nature of God, and how much He loves people

The angels could only speak to people if God gave them permission, and one day the warring  angel, "Chrioni said that God had him permission to answer questions my dad might have.

One of the things he told me in answer to my question about their dealings with man is that they are to take care of wicked and ungodly people.  He said, "You can never comprehend the depth of God's love because it is too great!"  It is so amazing to see how people can curse and hate God an d turn their backs on Him, and yet God's arms keep reaching out because He loves them so much.  Maybe some of you are in the family of God because the hosts of heaven protected you until you could find Him?

Chrioni told my dad a couple of times he remembered helping lead the children of Israel out of Egypt.  He said "God gave us the right to punish the Egyptions and to use any of God's weapons. We threw lightning bolts at them!  We pulled the wheels off their carts." He said it was fixed in his mind because of the great deliverance of Israel when the sea was pushed back.

He told me of another interesting event when Israel was on a forced march.  Joshua 10:5-8.  A group of warring angels made huge iceballs and threw them down on the enemy forces.  Joshua 10:11  "The Lord cast down great stones from heaven...read it for yourself.

So this brings us again back to the 21st century.  We have the same God, with the same power, to help us take our territory for Christ! People, we are not alone!  We have the God factor with us as we journey to our "promised land"  taking as many as we can with us!  The hosts of heaven go before us and behind us clearing the path as we work for Him.

 

REFUGE!

I can remember as a child how protected I felt when my Dad was with me.  I knew nothing could touch me.  When my brother, Pastor Ted grew up and up and up..and became a big strong football player, once again I felt so protected when he was around. Now God tells Moses to establish three cities of refuge where someone can flee who committed unintentional homicide.  These cities were intertribal and any one from any tribe could flee to the city closest to him.

A beautiful truth concerning this was that a relative who was called a "Kinsman redeemer" He was the one who stood up for the family and could protect the family rights.  The glory of Israel was that it's Kinsman Redeemer was God Himself.

Now we have been chosen by God, and we have incredible protection through the blood of Jesus and all the power of heaven on our side as we walk our journey through life.  It also says in verse 2o"  "When you go out to battle against your enemies, and see horses and chariots and people more numerous than you, do not be afraid of them.  Do not let your heart faint, do not be afraid, and do not tremble or be terrified because the Lord your God is He who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies to save you!"

What an encouraging word straight from heaven!  It even talks about the fact that God will enlarge our territories.   We are learning in Heart to Heart Fresh Fire, how the Lord goes before us and removes the barriers in our path in order for us to accomplish what He has for us to do.

What a God we serve, and what protection we have as we walk through our lives serving him with all that is in us.  Thank you Father for your help in our time of need.  We have also been reminded in Fresh Fire, how the Holy Spirit monitors the whole earth 24 hours a day.  He even hears the thud of the small sparrow falling to the ground!  How much more does He watch over us as the third person of the trinity and sends divine help and protection to us before we can even call.

There is an incredible invisible realm with action taking place all the time on behalf of God's kids, but also those who are God's kids and just don't know it yet.  How many of you are Christians because God protected you until you finally found Him?  His grace and Mercy cannot even be believed it is great and overwhelming.  It even makes the angels wonder at the greatness of His love toward the people who haven't found Him yet.

Let's help more people find Him.  Blow the Trumpet!  We're off!

We can walk in victory!

 

 

WE GET TO HAVE DIVINE WISDOM!

I love the fact that in God's great plan, age doesn't matter at all!  Moses was just as successful  near the end of his life as he was at the beginning.  I'm sure that just like all the Israelites, his clothes and shoes didn't wear out.  And he didn't wear out either.  Because God had a job for him to accomplish! He's the same God today in the 21st century as he was in the centuries past.  He gives us what we need to carry out the task He has given each one of us.  I thank God for the strength He has given me so that I can write these blogs and communicate with all of you the precious truths that He makes real to my heart as I read His Word.

I love that He allows me to present His great eternal truths in our Bible study, "Fresh Fire" on Tuesday mornings, and Wednesday evenings.  I love that He drops unexpected extra nuggets in my heart for  each session.  Even  I don't know what to expect.  That's our Papa God.  His truths are so rich and alive!

I love in Numbers where it says that God asked Moses to write down the starting points of the Israelites journey to the Promised land.  There is a certain structural symmetry of the listing of these places and names in this chapter.  In essence, this list is a song of praise to God's faithfulness.  With every step and with every encampment, God led them triumphantly to the Promised land.

The wisdom God gave Moses in dealing with children of Gad and Reuben when they found a place on this side of Jordan for livestock, was divine.  Moses said,  "As long as you go and fight with everyone as they begin to fight for the land the Lord has already given them, it would be all right for you to stay and set up fortified towns and build places for the livestock."  When it was time to fight, they obeyed God and armed themselves for battle!  They said, "We will not return to our families, until the battle is won."  Wow!

This encounter with the children of Gad and Rueben, gave Moses a chance to once again remind them of the story of God's redemption of Israel and how He had been with them leading them this far.

After the first battle, they divided the plunder, but presented all the items of gold, about 420 pounds, as a reminder to the Lord that the people of Israel  belonged to Him!  That is over an 8 Million Dollar reminder to God!  In this day and age we are worth a billion universes to God, because of what it cost Him to redeem us.

If you feel like you are not worth very much, you have to change the way you feel about yourself.  You are so valuable and important to God, He can't do without you.  He loves you you so much, He can't take His eyes off you.  This February, and every day of the year, you are God's best valentine.

I hope this an encouragement to your heart!

Blessings!

 

 

 

 

 

THE TREASURE HUNT

As we walk through this life, we carry buried treasure within the earthen vessel formed out of the earth, and breathed on by God Himself.  We are living tabernacles carrying the Presence of God and the Holy of Holies where He dwells within our hearts since we have accepted Him into our hearts and lives. We walk around, not guided by a cloud during the day, and a pillar of fire by night, but by the presence of the Precious Holy Spirit, guiding our lives with his gentle suggestions to our receptive hearts.

Our reading today talks about the offerings from the tribes, and the commissioning of the Levites for service to the Lord in the tabernacle.  Since we are the tabernacles, God personally commissions us for His service.

As Moses would enter the tent of meeting to speak to the Lord, he heard the Voice speaking to him from between the two cherubim above the atonement cover on the ark of the covenant.

We can speak to the Lord any time any place and hear from Him in our hearts and spirits.  We don't have to wait for a specific time once a year to hear from our precious Father God. Isn't this a great and marvelous thing?

God told Moses to set up the lamps in the tabernacle in a certain way, and they were never to go out.  God has placed His light for us to shine out of our innermost being, to bring His light to a dark world until He comes.

In this day and age we are commissioned, and lit to be a living tabernacle full of the presence of God to shine forth in our dark world, drawing men and women to the Christ that lives within us.  Wow!  What a privilege.

We are God's modern Levites, to help in leading people to Christ.  We are like the firstborn and offered by Christ to our Father.  We remind the Father of how Christ became our substitute.  He died so we could have eternal life!  What a God!  What a Savior!

When God looks down from heaven at the ones who have become His living tabernacle, His heart is blessed as He sees all the treasures that lie within each of us.  He is satisfied as He sees all that treasure and soon and very soon, He is coming to the greatest treasure hunt of all time as He take us and His treasure from this earth to the place He has prepared for us before time began!

Halelujah!

Praise Him!

 

OVER HIS HEART!

This week's reading gets into the instructions for the furnishings in the tabernacle and also the High Priests garments. The first thing that struck me in our reading this week was the light for the tabernacle. The fuel for the lamps  was made of pure oil of pressed olives which burned with little smoke.  The purity of the oil is indicative of the standard  God demanded of all the sacrifices offered to Him.  The lamp was never to go out, but burn continually.

Now as we are His tabernacle, we need to keep our lights burning continually so that we can shine in the darkness of this world.  If ever the world needs our light to shine brightly, it's now!

The second thing that struck me and blessed me out of my socks was reading about the priestly garments.  A vest was made of fine linen with brilliant colors.  It's two main sections covered the chest and back, with seams at the shoulders, and a band at the waist.

The shoulders were emblazoned with beautiful memorial stones.  Two onyx stones were engraved with the names of the tribes of Israel, and were set in gold.  they symbolized the intercessory work of the priest.

He was to represent the people before the Lord.  The names of the tribes of Israel were literally written on his shoulders,so that the priest would bear their names before the Lord on his two shoulders as a memorial.

Four rows of precious and semiprecious stones were fastened to the breastplate.  These twelve stones bore the names of the twelve tribes of Israel.  This was another symbol of  the priests representation of the people before the Lord.

Over his heart was a touching phrase that reminded the priest of his solemn responsibility.  He represented the nation before the living God!

Let's bring it to the 21st century.  Today God says in Isaiah 49:16  "See,I have engraved you on the palms on my hands!"  Wow,  that's a lot more personal than a tribe being worn over a priest's heart.  Your name is on His hand.  Can it get more personal than that?

Once again, God let's us know how much He personally loves us.  How His heart is empty, until you're there.  I'm glad He pursues us relentlessly until we choose Him.

Thank you Father!

DON'T SLEEP WITH THE FROGS!

In our study for the 21st we continue to learn about the plagues God is bringing on the Egyptians because God kept making Pharaoh's heart hard so he would not let the people go to worship as the Lord had spoken by Moses to pharoah. Alan and I especially were interested in reading about the frogs.  Alan has always loved frogs, and he captured them when he was a child and tried to save them, much to his mother's dismay.  There was an odor!  People have given him all kinds of frogs during his life.  He drew a beautiful frog years ago. I wish I could show it here, it's so great.  But imagine sleeping with the frogs like the Egyptians had to do! Yuk!

The Lord hardened Pharaoh's heart and the hearts of his servants so that He could show these signs of His before the leaders and the people.  He wanted Moses and Aaron and the Israelites to be able to tell their children and grandchildren the mighty things that God did for them in leading them out of slavery to the promise land.

In my commentary it talked about the fact that God's judging Pharaoh does not mean He is unmerciful.  He could have destroyed Pharoah and his people in a moment, but over and over He gave warnings.  The exclusion of the land of Goshen where all the Jews lived was part of the great miracle.

To this day, we can choose to "Sleep with the Frogs", or we can heed the warnings that Father God gives to help us follow His direction for our lives.  Through the story of these terrible plagues, we can see the mercy of God woven through everyone.  Over and over He gave the Egyptians opportunity to "take shelter", get under the covering, get their children and their livestock to safety when the storms came.  And everyone who heeded the warning was saved.

I love the fact that when Pharaoh finally gave in and told Moses, "I have sinned, the Lord is righteous, and my people and I are wicked", a lot of damage had been done, but the Lord accepted  Moses's prayer for  Pharaoh's forgiveness.

That's just what He does for us.  In the midst of  the storms and wreckage of our lives, all we have to do is cry out to our merciful God, and He immediately hears our cry and runs toward us with all His marvelous love and grace.

I hope this is an encouragement to all of us to just call on our Papa God.  He will hear and answer.

There's still time to come and join us on Tuesday morning for "Fresh Fire From The Father's Heart!"

 

Paul on Defense

Daily Bible CoverAll of us in  Boise watch what's happening on the Blue Turf faithfully every game, win or lose.  Isn't that right?  All through Paul's writing, he compares the Christian walk to athlete running a race.  If there would have been football back then, we might have seen a whole new group of illustrations. This scripture reading puts Paul on defense of the tremendous work that he is doing for his Lord. But several years before this,  I can imagine a scene like this:  The door of a house in Jerusalem bursts open and Saul strides in without warning with fellow Jews who rampage through the house, pulling the children out of their hiding places and rounding up all those in the house who are the hated Christians.

He  goes to house after house terrorizing the people with his misguided zeal.  Saul is sure that he is doing the right thing in getting rid of as many Christians as possible.  He is zealous for his God.

On the way to Damascus the earth shakes and a light brighter then the sun blinds him and he is suddenly in darkness as a voice that vibrates to the core of his heart and soul speaks the words we all know, "Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?" And suddenly it all becomes clear as Christ directs him to the place of healing, and a whole new life stretches out in front of him.  He's a new man with a new name, directed by God with a new zeal.

Fast forward again to Paul's letter to the Corinthians where he goes on defense for his faith and his evangelism.  In the Nelson's study bible, Paul lists his defense.  "I speak as a "fool" verse 11:23, Why?  A close look reveals the reason behind Paul's words.

He opened his life and ministry for review.  He painted a stark contrast between his own ministry and that of his rivals.  These false teachers preached another "Jesus" and a "different gospel."  Unlike Paul, the imposters collected fees for their service and enjoyed a comfortable and easygoing life.

Paul, in contrast boasted of his weaknesses and suffering that showed the power of God in his life.  He was a Hebrew, a descendant of Abraham.  He was in prison over and over, five times received forty lashes minus one.  Beaten with rods, pelted with stones, shipwrecked, in dangers from bandits, fellow Jews, Gentiles, lived without sleep or food. He was cold and naked.  All for the love of the true Christ and getting the message out.

Paul made touchdown after touchdown as he ran his race to the finish.  God has given us the power to do the same.  I am so thankful to read these words of encouragement to go on in his power backed by all the defense of heaven.

 

RESURRECTION POWER! HE'S ALIVE!

Daily Bible CoverWe have all said "Goodbye," to loved ones and friends during our lifetime.  It's always a shock and as I read through the chapters for November 19, my heart was wrenched over and over.  Reading it this time had a special impact on me. I think possibly it's because this month is so full of memories of my grandpa and my father going to heaven on the same day.  We called the funeral service, "Coronation Day", as we had my grandfather, my mother's father in the morning.  And then that afternoon, we had my father's service.  The choir sang, "Jesus, The Resurrection".  My Uncle Walt said, "We haven't lost my brother, your pastor, husband and father, we know right where he is!"

The deciples didn't know where He was.  Mary should have had a clue when the angels  in white asked her, "Why are you crying!"  She answered, "They have taken my Lord away and I don't know where they put Him."

I remember in the months following my father's death when my heart had no peace.  Over and over in the middle of talking or playing or singing, my heart would start to pound and I flashed back to running into my dad's office and seeing him lying there like a fallen oak tree.  My heart would start beating hard and the horrible feeling of grief would literally block the light from my heart.  I lost my sparkle, my joy and my zest for living.  When this flashback would come out of the clear blue sky it would take my breath away.

I lost my joy and my song.  One night I went to a service with Terry Law who had been dear friend of Central Assembly and my father.  His group, "Living Sound" ministered here often when they were on tours in America.  In that service he shared that he felt God speak to his heart not to preach, but for us to fall on our knees and worship our great and wonderful God.  He said, "Just imagine that you are in the throne room and worshipping Him before His throne!"

I fell to my knees, and I cried and asked God, "Why is my father there with you and not here?"  I went home and the same thing happened again.  My heart pounding and the flashback again.  The next morning, before I could even call out to God for help, a warmth suddenly spread through my body from the top of my head to the soles of my feet.  I thought about the flashback that had held me in such bondage, and Jesus had taken the sting out of the memory.

I jumped out of bed and looked out the window and the birds were singing, the sky was so blue.  The burden of grief was gone.  I felt like I had been born again.  When I walked in the office everyone knew something had happened to me.  Ted was waiting for me with the phone in his hand.  It was Terry Law.  He said, "Sharon, I looked for you last night and you were gone, but the Lord gave me a message for you and He wouldn't let me leave until I gave it to you  He said to tell you, I have seen the grief that you have carried in your heart for your father, and I am going to fill that void with My presence!"

I yelled, "Terry, He already has."  I told him what had happened that morning.  I told him I was glad he hadn't found me the night before because I knew what happened to me was from God.  I experienced His resurrection power in my life as He took the sting out of the memories.

I thought how tenderly our precious Jesus just said "Mary" and she knew who He was.  And then he told her to go tell the deciples AND PETER THAT HE IS ALIVE!

Jesus in His tenderness and mercy took the sting out of the memory Peter had because he denied the Lord.  He took the sting out of the memories Paul had because of the way he persecuted the christians before he met Jesus on the road to Damascus.  He took the sting out of the memories that Mary Magdalene had of her life before Jesus delivered her.

When we meet Jesus, we are RESURRECTED TO NEW Life!  Our old sinful life is buried in the sea of HIS FORGETFULNESS NEVER TO BE REMEMBERED AGAIN.

His glorious, life-changing power exploded through eternity the day Jesus rose from the grave.  Two thousand years later it has not lost one atom of power.  Over and over again God unlooses that tremendous force to touch individuals and reverse the negative in their lives.

The power is there for you just for the asking.  It's there in your grief, your your joy; in any nervous, mental agony, and in your emotionally-drained state of mind.  God wants you to know He's waiting to liberate, restore, revitalize and redirect.  This power is at your fingertips.  It can be released in your life by simply expressing your need to Father God.

"The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointeed me to preach good news to the poor.  He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom to the captives and release the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion-to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.

I echo Pastor Ted's message.  Thank God for the cross because without the cross there would be no resurrection power.  Then He asks us to let every one else know that they can have it too!

HE'S ALIVE

WATCH OUT!

Daily Bible CoverI'm sure all of us can remember times when our parents warned us about different situations for our own good. I remember that many times when my father said no to something I wanted to do, or a place I wanted to go I was angry and argued with him. He never changed his mind. Of course he was right every time about not letting me go, or do, because I would find out that something happened, or the people I wanted to go with ended up being trouble. Then I would go to my Dad and have to apologize for how I responded, because "You were right, Daddy!"

As I matured, and thought back on those years of being told "No" I realized how much my father protected me and saved me so much possible hurt. I realized in my walk with the Lord through all these years, that the times I felt His "No" in different situations, How thankful that I responded to His voice.

I remember one of the most important "No's" of my life was when I was dating a young man in college, and he had asked me to marry him. I said "Yes" because he was a Christian, and very nice looking. I liked his family and there didn't seem to be any reason why I shouldn't marry him. But the night before my parents were supposed to pick me up from college, I was awake that entire night as the Lord spoke to my heart and said, "This young man is not the one I have for you to marry!"

I cried and argued with the Lord just like I used to argue with my Dad! I said, "Lord he's a Christian, there is no reason for me not to marry him. Plus, there aren't any boys in Boise for me. I continued to feel the pressure in my heart until finally I said, "Okay, Lord, I'll break it off tomorrow. The peace that overflowed my heart when I said yes to God was overwhelming.

I broke if off, and came home with my parents and a week later, my prince Alan came into my life. I found out later that the young man I didn't marry, got into drugs and alcohol and ended up in three disasterous marriages. Papa God knew what was best for me. In John 12:25,26, Jesus says,"Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant will also be. My father will honor the one who serves me."

In this week of scripture, the Lord encourages us in our walk as He answers his disciples' questions about the end of the age. He say's "Watch out for deceivers!" He tells us to be on guard, but to stand firm for righteousness. He says to us, "Stand up, and lift up your heads, because your redemption draweth nigh!"

I feel like the coming of the Lord is closer than it has ever been. Isn't this time to be alive exciting? God will give us all the power we need to live, and to tell others, who He is and how He can guide us and change our lives. His miraculous power is always available to us.

Last week, I shared with you about the lady who was all stooped over, and was healed by God's power. I forgot to tell you about the man who was there who was in the church for the second time in his life. He knew nothing about Jesus, but he told the pastor he was so glad he came and saw the healing power of God in action. He said, "May I have a Bible?" The pastor was so happy to give him a Bible. The man said, "I'll be back to hear more!"

People, God is on the job, we get to partner up with the Creator of the Universe. What a ride! Hallelujah! I hope that sharing the story of how God protected me at such an important crossroads in my life, helps and encourages you in your crossroads. He's watching out for us, while we are watching and waiting and standing and looking up!

DON'T TOUCH THOSE WEEDS! JesusI

Daily Bible CoverI'm hitting two stories with one stone today.  The first one is in Luke 13:10-17.  The story of Jesus healing the woman who had been crippled by a spirit and for 18 years and was bent over and could not straighten up. I love the fact that He called her forward where everyone could see her and put His hands on her and said "Woman, you are set free from your infirmity."  Immediately she straightened up and praised God!

The synagogue leaders were angry because Jesus healed her on the Sabbath.   I love how Jesus pointed out that basic compassion was shown to animals on the Sabbath, so how much more compassion should be shown to a suffering woman!

He called her daughter of Abraham. This description of the woman shows how special she was to God.  Jesus pointed out there was no better day on which to overcome Satan than on the Sabbath.

Reading this wonderful story of the compassion of Jesus toward this woman took me back several years to my first meeting during an outreach in Japan with Fran Edmonds and Pastor Helen.

Our first meeting was in a tiny little church in Japan with a small group of people in attendance.  I noticed a woman sitting in the first row all bent over.  She looked sad and weary as she tried to join in the worship.

As I spoke, all I could see was this woman and one man who listened to the message so intently.  After the service we opened a time for prayer.  We went first to the little bent over woman to pray for her.  She kept saying something as we prayed.  The interpreter who had never prayed for anyone said, "She keeps saying hot, hot!  All of a sudden this stooped over woman jumped up and threw her hands in the air and started running around laughing, and clapping with her hands in the air.

She finally told us through the interpreter that she had been bent over for 10 years.  She had come to the meeting worried about how she could take care of herself because she had no children to help her.  She kept saying "Free, free, free.  She helped fix the lunch, but she still kept moving her feet and laughing with joy as she served us.

The compassion and love Jesus has for all of us is without measure.  The same God who healed the woman in Luke, is the same God of compassion today.  Let your faith soar to the great Healer.  He can touch you even as you read these words because He loves you.

My second thought to share with you today is the parable of the weeds in Matthew13.  The farmer sowed good seed in his field.   While everyone was sleeping, the enemy came and sowed weeds in his field and went away.  The servants came to him and asked "Do you want us to pull up the weeds?"  He answered, "No, while you are pulling the weeds, you might pull up some good stuff.

Again, my mind flew back to when I had a choir of young people.  People were bringing friends to church, and because this was an outreach, my dad encouraged me to tell people all they had to do to be part of the choir was to smile and love Jesus.

There were some who came who had great smile, but didn't have a clue about who Jesus was.  My Dad said, "Let them all in.  If they don't love Jesus now, they will, or they won't be able to stand it and will leave of their own accord.  He said, "If you pull them out, we might lose the one's Jesus wants.

So kids, with long hair, some still on all kinds of drugs came in, but you guessed it!  It wasn't long until they found Jesus, and then they brought their friends, and they found Jesus and the multiplication began.

My greatest desire is to see all of us have multiplication in mind.  Bring on those weeds!  We'll love them into the Kingdom.  Let's deliberately look for those opportunities to "Bring them in, Bring them in, Bring them in from the fields of sin, Bring the broken ones to Jesus."

Let's Multiply.

Blessings.