…joy from our heart

4He hath made his wonderful works to be remembered: the LORD is gracious and full of compassion.

Psalm 111 (KJV)

If we are created by God, we are wonderful works. Not just we of one accord in Jesus, but all mankind. The prerogative of love should not just be a commandment, but a natural expression of our godly selves when we commit to Jesus. Can we try first to feel joy in our hearts because we are loved? Then we can emanate our joy through our actions . Our faith leads to our actions.

We thank the Lord for this. I try to remember my one purpose is my obedience. I try to remember discouragement is a tool of destruction from the enemy. I will encourage all I can for it fills me with joy to do God’s work.

Peace

Rick

The Red Sea Place

Have you come to the Red Sea place in your life,
Where, in spite of all you can do,
There is no way out, there is no way back, 
There is no other way but through?
Then wait on the Lord with a trust serene 
Till the night of your fear is gone;
He will send the wind, He will heap the floods, 
When He says to your soul, “Go on.”

And His hand will lead you through – clear through –
Ere the watery walls roll down,
No foe can reach you, no wave can touch, 
No mightiest sea can drown;
The tossing billows may rear their crests, 
Their foam at your feet may break, 
But over their bed you shall walk dry shod 
In the path that your Lord will make.

In the morning watch, ‘neath the lifted cloud,
You shall see but the Lord alone,
When He leads you on from the place of the sea 
To a land that you have not known;
And your fears shall pass as your foes have passed, 
You shall be no more afraid;
You shall sing His praise in a better place, 
A place that His hand has made.

Annie Johnson Flint

We have all been at this place. We wish not to go forward for fear of unknown. We cannot retreat because our past experience has been loathsome. Solutions evade our limited thinking, for there are obstacles planted in our minds, distractions in our thoughts.

We must seek God for help or bury our burden deep into the darker places of our hearts where they revisit us in the future.

We trust He will walk us through our troubles and we will fear no evil. We want an optimism that the new land ahead will be better than where we come from. We are at the precipice.

Life’s burden come at us on chariots – bearing down upon us. Hearts beating faster and air is growing thinner. Breathe.

So then what must we do at the precipice? No option for return and fear of the unknown ahead. God said:

“Blessed are all those who put their trust in Him.” Psalm 2:12

 Blessed are we who trust God. If we have faith in the unseen God, we then shall have trust in the very same. We are committed to the wisdom that Jesus walked this earth as God and Man. We believe and have enough conviction in this fact that as He laid His life down for us, we will lay ours down for Him.

God’s pleasure, the unbelieving world’s dilemma.

Trust is our vehicle to the unknown ahead. “We fear no evil” written in Psalm 23, and yes, we fear no evil. For our ‘fear’ is in our Lord. The difference is a fear of the unknown darkness and a fear that is reverence for the known God. We are freely offered grace and Light from this darkness. Step forward in trust.

We are at a Red Sea place often. It is life full of good and bad. There is no scale of severity that will test our trust. The are levels of consequence, but our trust is unwavering and level. Trust in the Lord is a steadfast trust. His love and mercy in return is also steadfast. So, at the precipice, forge onward. Ride the winds of trust in our Lord. He would never bring you to the precipice in the first place just to leave you at your own wit. He will remain with you: Always has, Is now, and always shall be. Trust Him for the sea will part and we shall walk on dry land.

Rick Stassi

rev1: 2/9/12

rev2: 1/6/13

we Christians, our passion

~ To burn with joy my soul was made.
To burn yet brighter still!
The all-consuming fire of God
Ignites this burning will.
A will to love, a will to seek
To glorify the King,
To find my whole and perfect joy
In Him through everything.

by Mary Decker

South Africa 2011

I am inspired and encouraged in the prose written here. The core of encouragement is to be part of something bigger and to share in a greater, united, passion. Our passion is in our love for Jesus Christ. In this passion is a thirst to become whole and complete in Him. We will and must wait for God to complete us. But I pray, as Mary says, that “the all-consuming fire of God Ignites…” in our hearts personally and corporately. For we are Christian and we have passion for Jesus. let us be of one accord and focus on God first. Peace and love to South Africa and the rest of you!

Rick

Love for All

And as I raise my eyes and look at the environment surrounding me, it therefore looks different. I live in a personal world, and God is dealing with me not for a few short years but forever. And I can make different value judgments as I look at the world because I understand that reality does not exist only between birth and death. A personal God is acting in a true history that goes on forever.” – Francis A Schaeffer

Therefore why do we worry and fret over things that absorb our lives and feelings everyday? I need to remember all is good in God’s love and through Jesus we are set apart in God’s love as heirs to all eternal. God’s grace is truly our blessing and I need to live in Him today and everyday.

As long as I live in a fallen world, I am subject to fallen people. Even Christians are subject to revisiting our fallen nature and we can hurt and be hurt. It is in this pain that we are being refined and in this refining process we have joy because God is working in our lives.

So I try to look at the world through the perspective of eternity and then I can love when my personal reasoning says not to. If I can see others through the eyes of eternity and the eyes of someone who is blessed to be in a refinement process by God Himself, then I can truly love as Jesus commanded. Today this is my prayer for me and all.

Rick

deeply rooted in Jesus

“Trials are the winds which root the tree of our faith”

Charles Spurgeon

That which causes us to blow to and fro makes us unstable.

To be stable we seek more secure footing.

Our footing is on the Bedrock, who is Jesus.

If we were trees, we survive the wind blowing with a good, strong root system.

We are rooted strong and deep in the Lord.

Both are pictures of striving for a deeper and more cohesive relationship with God through Jesus. When we grow near the Living Water as a tree near a stream, we are fed and our roots, as a tree, grow stronger.

 That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, 
   which yields its fruit in season 
and whose leaf does not wither— 
   whatever they do prospers. Psa 1:3

When we are fed, we yield fruit, or, the Spirit is apparent in us. The analogies are relevant to our Christian walk. Position your life near Him. Pursue His word. Pursue a deeper relationship. It is how we grow strong.

We will blow to and fro in the process but we will become stronger. That is hope and trust in God.

Rick

Here we are!

4That the LORD called Samuel: and he answered, Here am I.

5And he ran unto Eli, and said, Here am I; for thou calledst me. And he said, I called not; lie down again. And he went and lay down.

6And the LORD called yet again, Samuel. And Samuel arose and went to Eli, and said, Here am I; for thou didst call me. And he answered, I called not, my son; lie down again.

7Now Samuel did not yet know the LORD, neither was the word of the LORD yet revealed unto him.

8And the LORD called Samuel again the third time. And he arose and went to Eli, and said, Here am I; for thou didst call me. And Eli perceived that the LORD had called the child.

1 Samuel 3

These verses ring true and are relevant to us regarding our walk with God.

1) God calls us

2) He is persistent

3) His intent is great

4) We should listen and respond

We hear a call and we answer but our answer is most likely directed toward a worldly source. However, God will be persistent in calling us because He knows we are ever growing and slow in learning. Recall Jesus and His persistence in questioning Peter (John 21:15-17). When you hear a calling, heed it and look toward God first. He will call again to us who are slow to respond, because He is merciful.

In our relationship with God through Jesus we are listening and watching just as His keen eye in roving over His flock. Our eyes meet in a locked glance as we see Him and He sees us. We shall not know the time of day or place He will call. He will call. Let us heed His call for the reason is always great and God’s intent is meaningful and purposeful. The beauty of our personal relationship with Jesus, is that we can talk and listen to Him and know He hears us. Now will we respond?

Rick

a prayer because we are loved…


You open Your hand
And satisfy the desire of every living thing.
The LORD is righteous in all His ways,Gracious in all His works.The LORD is near to all who call upon Him,
To all who call upon Him in truth.
He will fulfill the desire of those who fear Him;He also will hear their cry and save them. The LORD preserves all who love Him,But all the wicked He will destroy.
My mouth shall speak the praise of the LORD, And all flesh shall bless His holy name Forever and ever.
Psalm 146:16-21

God Your fist opens as the right hand of righteousness and is also the open, beckoning hand of Your welcoming call. Help us to heed Your call.Your hand spreads far and wide. Your touch is gentle yet firm. We welcome Your offering and offer our self in response. For it is we who seek, and You who provide our protection from adversity.You are righteous in all of Your ways. If we can turn toward Your beckoning way, we may know that You impart Your righteousness to us each and every day. You are God and we are Your flock of whom can gather in Your hand under Your watch and feel safe. Lord help us to know that You permeate every corner of our life and are always there. It is us who wrestle with the reins and stubbornly try and lead. If Your hand will hold and guide all, where would we lead ourselves? What more can we do?

Help us to succumb and be disciples. Help us to nurture young believers and offer encouragement toward You. You will guide all Yourself, God. However, You entrust us, Your children, with a commission to tell others. We love You and we can show others our love for You and You will preserve us.All who turn away from You shall surely pass away and all who turn toward You shall surely be preserved.
We heed Your beckoning, we come to Your calling. We rest in Your hand that will hold all. It is beyond our reasoning yet we speak of You Lord – we speak with all of the love and praise of the saved and the preserved! For You are God and we are of Your flock. All flesh shall sing a new song of praise to You as we, ourselves, are renewed. We are a new creation in Jesus Christ and for that all is good. All is protected and all is safe. Your right hand unfurls to provide us a place of rest. If only other could see what we see. Shouldn’t that be the song of our existence?
You are so wonderful, God, and we need to praise You loudly and boldly so when we reach out our hand and we meet with the hand of a lost soul who wanders further into the darkness we are ready to emanate your work and Your Light
We hold tight this grasp and gently bring along a child lost, in despair, so sure that the reins wrestled from You God, are now secure and leading on a good path. How wrong they are and how wrong we were.