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Greetings to all.  I am also sending out a things to ponder everyday by text message.  If you would like to receive this please text me your number at 719-221-6088.  Many blessings and thanks for walking with us in this time.

 

 

September 2013 Things to Ponder

Are we all called to be ministers?  I believe the answer is yes.  What tends to cause most of us some confusion on this subject is that we only see those people who are pastors or evangelists as ministers.  Jesus walked on this earth for 30 years before we think His ministry started.  I believe He was ministering everyday He spent on this earth.  In John we see Him quoted as saying I don't do anything except I see My Father doing it and I don't say anything except I hear My Father saying it.  I don't believe this started after He was baptised, in fact I believe in Luke, He told His mother and father "I must be about My Father's business."  So my point is He was ministering in His ordinary as a carpenter and a son. I believe "we will never see all as ministers until we see every occupation as a ministry."  We are called to be ambassadors of the Kingdom of Heaven.  This requires us to plant the culture of that Kingdom wherever we are at.  That includes our job or on the street.  We are the church everyday all day, so embrace the fact that God has made you a minister of reconciliation. II Cor5:20. It is not limited to a specific location but a specific person. You and every other believer.

October 2013 Things to Ponder

Several times and from several sources the word has come forth, " I am doing a new thing". I have written about this before. God's new thing does not fit in our old thing. We must have new wine skins for the new thing because the new thing will not fit within our old wine skins.  It says in I Cor. 2:9 that "eye has not seen, nor ear heard, neither has it entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him. God is looking for people who will step out beyond their comfort zone and "say not my will but yours be done".  I know this is hard and requires much spiritual warfare between our ears.  We are so comfortable where we are, but it is no longer where the cloud is.  What is God saying to you?  Drop all your knowledge and preconceived ideas.  He does not play by our rules, His rules yes but not ours.  We must not limit God in our lives by our limited thinking.  Scripture says we are not to forsake the gathering together of ourselves.  How we do this is part of what God is trying to change. 

Please understand that this is what I believe, and I emphasize what I believe God is saying.  I don't ask to you agree but to simply hear the truth I believe God is speaking right now and weigh it in your spirit. Having said this please prayerfully consider the following.

The focus of our lives should be our personal relationship with God. He is the bull's eye. If anything becomes the focus we are missing the mark.  There are things that are very important but they cannot become the main thing.  We have become so focused on studying the written word that we neglect the Living Word(Jesus).  It is easy to get so busy doing for God that we neglect our intimate time with God.  It's not about a building or a book, but about the intimate relationship with the Living God in all His attributes and personalities. In John 17:3 it says "this is eternal life, that you know the one true God and Jesus whom He has sent".  Think about this, the God of the universe wants and desires to have an intimate relationship with you.  Does this only happen in a special place or is it happening everyday in everyplace?  God has called us to be His ambassadors in this world, II Cor 5:20 and to do this we must be focused on Him and His Kingdom.  Ambassador is not a part time job but 24/7.  God is anxiously waiting for us to engage.  He doesn't fit in and around our lives but our lives fit in and around Him.  We must become what He has created us to be. We are His hands and feet on this earth. Wet must start with learning His character and trusting Him fully.  We can know about Him or we can know Him. If you want to know someone, you spend time with them.  We get to know God the same way.  If we are constantly hung up on all the things that would cause us to worry and take our time, we have become non-affective and don't understand His love for us and His desire to be intimately involved daily in our lives.

Let's focus on His love for us and the whole world.  He is longing to pour out His love through us, His ambassadors.  He is longing to love on everyone through deed not just words. How can you be His hands and feet today?  Is there someone hurting in front of you.  You have the answer, share!!!

 

November & December 2013 Things to Ponder

Stormy Places; A word of encouragement from Sally

Storms: Physical, mental, emotional, relational, financial and perhaps even the weather. Maybe the storm is in just one area or a combo, lasting for an unspecified duration of time with pounding intensity. Sound familiar in some place in your life?

I want to share with you the Word of the Lord to me yesterday as I have been in my second 6 week storm in the last 5 months and these came after the cancer battle. Incessant afflictions including insomnia attacks and then my Mom had a seizure and insomnia attack that was very serious this past week. We both have come through as of today. PTL for emergency prayer support and emergency rooms!

Yesterday I cried and cried out to the Lord for His Word and intervention. I received His Word. I believe these Scriptures could be for you so I was urged to write.

I came upon JOB 26:12b “…by His understanding He breaks up the storms.” Oh do we need this. So many times we can’t understand our own storms. BUT there is a God who understands our storms. We can yield and surrender to Him because HE understands. To me understanding contains compassion. There is a Scripture that says by HIS UNDERSTANDING He laid out the universe. WOW. That is the same loving Father who understands our storms.

Then He led me to these awesome verses in Isaiah 25: 4-5 “For You have been a strength to the poor and a strength to the needy in his distress, a refuge from the storm, a shade from the heat…FOR THE BLAST OF THE TERRIBLE ONES IS AS A STORM AGAINST A WALL. (Now here is a delivering promise) YOU WILL REDUCE THE NOISE OF ALIENS…THE SONG OF THE TERRIBLE ONES WILL BE DIMINISHED (HUMBLED). (See Isaiah 25) Terrible ones to me denote all types of enemies and that enemies sing…hm…

As for me especially the insomnia attack always comes when I am trying to strategically move forward on the Lord’s ministry assignment in my life. The pounding nearly got to me making me question if I am ever going to be able to do this. Perhaps this can relate to you too.

Here is the third Scripture the Lord gave me. God said to Jacob in Isaiah 41 that he was a WORM! How about that? A worm…well perhaps we really can relate. There is nothing like ongoing affliction to make one feel like a worm or even make us a worm.  I can acknowledge that. 6 weeks of insomnia and I am a worm. OH but that’s not the end of that Scripture. Then God says to the worm Jacob that He was going to make him into a new sharp threshing instrument with teeth. In our times that is one of those great huge harvest combines.  Worms to threshing instruments…incredible!

There are places in our lives that we could really loose it over our wormlike weakness or even someone else’s wormlike weakness. We so easily despise weakness. BUT GOD!

Let’s just agree with and submit our weakness to the Lord and declare that we worms are going forward as combines! May the Lord minister His Word to you in whatever way it would apply.

Serving the Lord with love, Sally

 

January 2014 Things to Ponder

 

When You said, “Seek My face,” My heart said to You, “Your face LORD, I will seek.” "The I will " is very important, it must be much more than a maybe if it's going to stand up in the circumstances around us.
 I am realizing why we are admonished so often to seek God. We live by every word of God that God is speaking continuously daily to us Math.4:4. We do not live off of the residue of yesterday. We are faced with  circumstances that brings us to the end of ourselves and we are not capable of handling them properly. Thus we must seek God daily to be replenished with conviction and the power of the Holy Spirit to live. Worship and praise helps in a big way in this need. Spiritual warfare seems to be designed to make us question " who we are, " "who God is," and "what God has said to us." I believe that most battles that we fight have been lost before we even fight them. A good example of this type of situation was David who lost the battle with his army because he had first lost the battle with his eyes.. The people of Ephraim were prepared with their weapons and everything ready to win battles but they ran when the battle was about to begin  because they had forgotten what God said to them, who God was and what their lives were all about Psalms78:9-11. What was it that they lacked? They lacked the awareness that God was with them. Our  awareness of God with us is what gives us strength and encouragement. Without that kind of conviction we will not be obedient when the circumstances contradicts what God has said to us. This week the circumstances around me have contradicted what God has said to me, and it is only as I am convinced inwardly that God is greater, that I can obey God. If we don't obey God, that disobedience brings all kinds of negatives, condemnation with guilt in our thinking and it's a spiraling  effect downward to what men can  do without God. And we don't  handle life very good that way. Daily we are faced with situations that contradict what God has said about who we are and what we can and must do if were going to obey God.
So I have to choose who I'm going to respond to, the circumstances or the word that is proceeding continuously out of the mouth of God Math 4:4. Think of this we have been called, we have been saved, we have been prepared, we have been empowered, we have been sent, with the greatest message in the world by the greatest Savior,Jesus Christ but we won't do it unless we are convinced that what we've heard is indeed from God and that He will enable us to be and to do all He has sent us to do. In other words I must have something greater in me then what is circling around me or I will be a victim instead of what God has positioned me to be and that is victorious. Remember, faith is surrendering to God, in other words as we bring our lives into submission to God even every thought, this will determine whether we have victories or defeats. The bottom-line is will I trust God to do what He says He will do in and through me. The big battlefield is in the mind, but man believes in his heart unto righteousness. God help us to get the truth in our heart, its reality, so the reality of God is greater than the reality that is around us.
 
By Allen Ehlers

 

February 2014 Thinks to Ponder

 

II Cor 5:13-21. For if we are beside ourselves, It is for God; or if we are of sound mind, it is for you. For the love of Christ compels us, because we judge thus; that if One died for all, then all died; and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again. Therefore, from now on, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet we know Him thus no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, that is that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation. Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ's behalf, be reconciled to God. Fore He mad Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

What I see in this is that we should be beside ourselves because we are dead.  Dead people are not concerned or preoccupied with themselves.  God is a spirit and we should be looking through the eyes of our spirit or beside ourselves.  It is all about the love of God shown to us through Christ.  He has called us to see people through this or to put it another way through His eyes. He had reconciled
the world to himself. What does it mean to reconcile?  Have you ever reconciled your checkbook? Simply put, it means to bring both statements (yours and the banks) into agreement.  So if we apply that to this statement it seems to me that each of us should bring both statements(ours and Gods) into agreement.  Since God is God if there are any discrepancies then we need to make a correction to our statements to bring them into agreement with His.  To apply this to the statements God makes in His Word quoted above, we should see no one according to the flesh but through the eyes of God who has already reconciled everyone to Himself, no longer holding their sins against them.  That means we can no longer see each other based on what we think or feel, but solely on how God see us. I encourage you if you have something against someone who has wronged you or for whatever reason, let it go to the cross.  God has! So if we are ambassadors it is our job to represent God in this and I encourage you it will be a blessing. If you come into agreement with God, then you are the righteousness of God.  We just need to act like it and the world will see the love of God coming through us to each other and to them, after all that is why we are here.  Now please don't take this as judgmental or condemning.  It or the word of God was never intended to be that way.  It is simply the grace and love of God giving information so we can make an informed decision(judgement). God has already judged or decided. See above, He has reconciled all of us to Him, we just need to come into agreement. I will leave you with this quote: "Unforgiveness is the poison you drink hoping it will kill someone else"  Let it go and live.

 

May 2014 Things to Ponder

 

We have been discussing with our friends Jo & Dwayne the verse Lk. 10:41-42.  It is when Jesus is talking with Martha concerning Mary's lack of help when trying to prepare to feed everyone.  This is a very apropos as we are all subject to many things that are jockeying for our time and attention.  We can come away with many different thoughts on this verse.  What is Jesus referring to when He says "only one thing is necessary"?  Could He be saying that you just need to pay attention to me and let everything else go? Is He saying that if you focus on me all the other things will be taken care of? I think both of those are true but He is not saying just look at me for the sake of looking at me.  If we take this verse in context of the whole of scripture, He would be saying watch and see what the Father is doing because that is what I will be doing Jn 5:19, or maybe seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all else will be added.  He could be saying don't worry about the do's and don'ts, because if you focus on what I am doing, what you are doing will not be important. After all it's what He did and is doing that will fulfill each of us.  It might be He is saying if you don't look at your tasks or anything else to tell you, you are OK but simply get to know me and then I can answer that question for you. He might simply be saying trust Me. I think if we look at this or any other scripture and have an expectation that the Holy Spirit will speak to us personally, it will happen. As we are all different and come from different experiences and knowledge, He will probably speak something different to all of us.  I encourage you to read this scripture and let me know what He is saying to you.  I would love to hear from you what He said.  You can email me at riccasto@olam1.org
To quote a friend of ours "everyone has some of Jesus that I need." Please share it, because if not we may never see what we need to see.

Ric

 

August 2016