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Christine's Blog – February 2011 Archive (20)

Miracles … Only God.

Let’s be honest—there is a lot of confusion about miracles … we’ve heard

~about television preachers rigging their healing services with ‘plants’, about

~big-tent meetings where people are getting healed on a nightly basis, and of

~long-held sacred beliefs on the healing powers at Fatima, Portugal1,  and then

~some of our denominations do not believe in healing prayer for the miraculous..

~or they do, but don’t talk about it much—certainly don’t…

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Added by Christine on February 28, 2011 at 6:00am — No Comments

Some challenging thoughts.

‘Working on our next ‘miracles’ teaching, but in the mean time…

I should like to ask you to ponder a few things:

  What is the difference between answered prayer and miracles?  Is there a difference?

   In times of trial, when you are afraid, do you drop to your knees first?

   How much stock do you put in prayer? 

   Do you place more value on someone else’s prayers than your own?

I am reminded

-that Paul wrote,  ‘Pray without…

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Added by Christine on February 25, 2011 at 11:04am — No Comments

What to do with a Miracle. (Day Two)

Even though I was raised ‘in the church’, I had never before seen or experienced anything like what happened with my Danny, (now 10 years ago; if you haven’t already, please read “God is in the Miracle Business”).  But there are a few key things that must be noted: 

The doctors had been helpless in diagnosing Danny’s condition …      

   UNTIL God’s people started praying.

Danny was no closer to getting well, in fact, he was worse …

   UNTIL God’s people started…

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Added by Christine on February 24, 2011 at 6:00am — No Comments

God is in the Miracle Business . . .

I know because he healed my boy.

At least once a year, I have to tell this story because it reminds me afresh of God’s grace … poured out on me.  Also, so many folks ‘add in’ over the course of a year to the Morning Briefings distribution, that I want them to know of this miraculous occurrence in my life.  Because here’s the thing~  when you and I come face to face with God’s miraculous power, it changes everything—and I mean, everything.

It was the Fall of…

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Added by Christine on February 23, 2011 at 7:22am — 1 Comment

Lambs and a Shepherd.

Yesterday I sent a briefing called “Of Lambs and Knives” which was a lesson on how God-fearing people ‘paid’ for their sins before the birth and crucifixion of Jesus …  but since many were on holiday, I should like to first point you back to that briefing, because in seeking to understand God’s plan for humanity, it is good information.

 Before the cross, what had God-fearing people done about their sin?   

In the Old Testament, when a person sinned, he was required to take the…

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Added by Christine on February 22, 2011 at 5:03pm — No Comments

Of lambs and knives. Romans 6.6-11

We have noted that grace is free to us, but it cost Jesus so very much to bring us forgiveness.    Before the cross, what had God-fearing people done about their sin?   

Check it out:

In the Old Testament, when a person sinned, he was required to take the very best, blue-ribbon lamb he could find, one without any spots or blemishes, to the priest at the temple.  There, in front of the priest, the sinner would grasp the lamb with both hands and confess his sin.  His guilt was…

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Added by Christine on February 22, 2011 at 5:02pm — No Comments

Life is futile-------unless.....

We know life is futile. A man who considers that his life is of very wonderful importance is awfully close to a padded cell.  --  Clarence Darrow

The Law, grace, sin, justification, sanctification, baptism … why does it all matter?  All of these theological concepts of Paul’s letter to the Romans—do they really matter?  Should we even learn what these words mean?  I guess that depends.  Do you think that you are just a vapor—here today and gone tomorrow, with nothing of your…

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Added by Christine on February 18, 2011 at 6:31am — No Comments

A little more talk about baptism ... and more. Romans 6.3-4

So which is right—infant baptism or adult/believer baptism?  I wrote about my experience in “Baptized … have you been?”  Here’s another’s perspective that I thought might be a ‘counter’ to my experience:

“My own spiritual pilgrimage reflects a common pattern in the understanding of baptism.  I was baptized as an infant in the Lutheran church in which I was raised.  My later confirmation class presented the truth of the gospel clearly, but it did not really come home to me.  I was…

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Added by Christine on February 17, 2011 at 7:53am — No Comments

Baptized . . . have you been? Romans 6.1-5

A familiar number showed on the screen of my cellphone; I smiled a greeting and heard--‘Hey, we never had Brian baptized – is it too late?  Can you do it?’  And then, ‘And do we need to get some god parents for this?’ 

Funny thing is, Brian, the son – well, he’s 16 years old.  My friend was combining two different kinds of baptism in his question—infant baptism and adult baptism or ‘believer’ baptism.  Our passage today provides a great platform to discuss both.

Before, Paul…

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Added by Christine on February 16, 2011 at 7:40am — 1 Comment

Briefly …

The last couple weeks in Women of Passion, we have done some Bible page turning—sharing meaningful truths and promises from the heart of God.  I am prompted to send out a couple of those right now—not sure exactly for whom they are meant, but confident of that:

         Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous.  Do not be terrified;

         do not be discouraged,

         for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.  Joshua…

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Added by Christine on February 15, 2011 at 2:17pm — No Comments

You, the Law, and gRacE

Paul’s message has been quite clear:  you are set free from religious law; for it is through God’s grace that you are made right with him.

Now, before I proceed, I wonder how many of us are bound up by ‘the law’…  Oh I am not talking about 613 points of Jewish Law to which Paul was referring, but rather some other construct to which you subject yourself—perhaps unwittingly even. 

The other evening I was getting a pedicure, (not because I needed one, but because the heated…

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Added by Christine on February 14, 2011 at 6:00am — No Comments

Grace in the pigpen.

January was a good month.  I’ve been doing regular quiet times.  I’ve been meeting for breakfast with a good friend I trust.  I finished the first two versions of my next book.  I took my kids on dates and made more time for my wife.  I lost 10 pounds and have been eating healthier.

I was mentally reviewing that list in my head the other night walking out of the office when I bumped into a tragic lie I was unaware I still believed.

As I left work, I thought to myself, “God must…

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Added by Christine on February 11, 2011 at 6:00am — No Comments

Grace is Unbelievable, Really. Romans 5.19-21

Marvelous grace of our loving Lord,

    Grace that exceeds our sin and our guilt!

        Yonder on Calvary’s mount outpoured,

            There where the blood of the Lamb was spilt.1

Paul writes, ‘For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous.  The law was brought in so that the trespass might…

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Added by Christine on February 10, 2011 at 6:00am — 1 Comment

Don't blame God . . . blame Adam. Romans 5.12-18

How many times have I heard, ‘I believe in God, sure, but that is as far as I can take it; I just can’t really trust a God who allows such suffering in the world—especially for those who don’t deserve it, like innocent children.’ 

One certainly cannot deny the presence of suffering in the world; pick up any newspaper, visit the neonatal floor of the hospital, morph into the funeral of a young Marine, whose widow is weeping …

Here’s our problem—to whom do we credit the…

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Added by Christine on February 9, 2011 at 5:53am — 1 Comment

While you were still under the rocks, God … Romans 5.8-11

My mother was 45 years old when she had me, (yes, I was the caboose)!  To say I was born to ‘old school’ parents would be a major understatement … so, when at a young age I asked how I got here, my mom would say, ‘We found you under the rocks…’  Now that I think about it, that wasn’t the most auspicious of beginnings, was it??  ‘But I loved you the moment I saw you,’ she assured me.  As I grew older, I knew my mother loved and adored me from the moment she knew she was ‘expecting’.  (we…

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Added by Christine on February 8, 2011 at 7:45am — 2 Comments

Grace dances. Romans 5.6-8

I know nothing, except what everyone knows if there when Grace dances, I should dance.   W. H. Auden

You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

Aye, that is grace dancing.  God reaching down…

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Added by Christine on February 7, 2011 at 9:55am — 1 Comment

What’s in your hand(s)?

When you love someone, you want to serve him.  Because you and I say we love God, then our natural inclination should be a desire to serve him.  Interestingly enough, God has put tools in your hands and fashioned you to serve him in unique ways. 

         For we are God’s workmanship [his masterpiece!] created in Christ…

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Added by Christine on February 4, 2011 at 8:19am — No Comments

A little accounting business

Said my ‘good byes’ in Long Beach—tough, of course, but right.  By bro, Tex, put his arm around me, looked at me, and said, ‘Paaaster, don’t look back…’  Funny thing is, I did look back after I drove away from the Sanctuary—I looked back to when I had first been asked to lead a weekly prayer meeting for the homeless, and I remember thinking, ‘Well, Lord, I have the ability to do it, but God, really--me?  Long Beach is an hour away from my home!  I am already tapped out; my ministry plate is…

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Added by Christine on February 3, 2011 at 6:00am — No Comments

Wisdom – God backs up his word on that, too!

Before I get back to our text in Romans, I wish to continue one more day on how God directs his children when they are looking to him for his leading.  Since James tells us we can ask God for wisdom and he will give it to us … how do we receive it?  Well, first—what is wisdom, anyway?

Wisdom may be broken down into six areas:   understanding, discretion, prudence, discernment, knowledge, and action.    I believe it is critical to comprehend these, and to desire them…

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Added by Christine on February 2, 2011 at 6:00am — No Comments

God backs up his word (following God Does Not Mumble)

Truly, most of us desire to hear the voice of God.  If God really does still speak to his people, we want to make sure he speaks to us!  And we want to make sure we know it when he speaks.  So, how can we know that the thing we heard, and think is from God, is really from him? 

-It will be consistent with his Word

-Other believers will affirm it

-It will not be a mean, condemning voice, but a guiding one

-Does it express his mind, his character, or his…

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Added by Christine on February 1, 2011 at 7:33am — No Comments

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