Headwinds

He causes His wind to blow.

Psalm 147:18

In 1942, a group of volunteers from the Army Air Corps signed onto a dangerous secret mission to conduct bombing raids under the command of Lieutenant Colonel James Doolittle.

One of the men, Sergeant Joe Manske, was a mechanic and gunner on the fifth B-25 to take off from the USS Hornet. The men completed their mission and were making their way to a landing strip in China when they were confronted by tremendous headwinds that slowed their progress and depleted their fuel. Manske knew there was only one hope. In the back of the Mitchell B-25 bomber, he got down on his knees and earnestly prayed. And as he prayed, the winds began to shift direction, and what had been a headwind slowly turned into a tailwind of about 25 miles per hour and began pushing the plane toward their landing site. According to Navy meteorologists, that kind of wind never occurred in that region. The crew made it to China where all five crewmembers bailed out and were rescued.

When we pray, God gradually transforms headwinds into tailwinds. He turns curses into blessings.

From Turning Point with David Jeremiah

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Tomorrow, I turn 72! I know, I know, I can’t believe it either! This is the age when I can truthfully say, “When I was your age….” No, I did not walk 6 miles to school, uphill, in a blinding snow storm, no shoes, etc. but I HAVE seen some tremendous changes in my life time:

  1. Rotary phones to cell phones
  2. Black & white TV (no remote) to color 82″ screen that you can record  using your smart phone.
  3. I learned to drive a car with standard transmission, no A/C, no radio. Now cars can tell you where to go (GPS), drive themselves, and a host of features too long to mention here.

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But the greatest change I have noticed is level of anger in our society. I know that anger has been around since the beginning of time but people no longer care to even control there anger. In the past, people may have been angry but they controlled it; they did not express it. If you did not like someone; you at least treated them civilly and with respect.  People are not embarrassed by their anger but rather it seen a a badge of courage! 

  • People interrupted the Supreme Court confirmation hearing  just because the nominee did not share the same political view.   
  • North Korea and China hates America. 
  • Democrats hate Republicans and President Trump.
  • Citizens did  not hate Trump until he became President. 
  • White Supremacists hate people of color or their nationality. 
  • McDonald worker  puts cleaner in policeman’s food.
  • Democrats vow to fight Brett Kavanaugh even after his appointment.

Anger is an emotion that is common to man. Anger is not bad by itself. Anger becomes wrong when we allow it to control us. 

If you become angry, do not let your anger lead you into sin, and do not stay angry all day.” Ephesians 4:26 

Venting your anger does not help the situation. “Human anger doesn’t produce the holy life God wants.” James 1:20  

Never be bitter, angry, or mad. Never shout angrily or say things to hurt others. Never do anything evil. Ephesians 4:31

Allow me to leave you with this advise; “My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry,” James 1:9

Getting Used to the Dark

DarknessLight is a wonderful thing. It allows us to walk through a dark room without stumbling over that footstool. When we retire for the night, we turn off the light and instantly the room becomes dark. So we pause for a few seconds (or minutes) until our eyes become accustomed to the dark.

In Scripture, light is often a symbol. 1st John 1:5. In the Bible, light is seen as good and darkness is seen as evil. For the Christ-follower we live in a world controlled by the Prince of Darkness (Satan) 2 Cor 4:4 and he is a master deceiver. Before Christ’s 2nd return, Satan is going to deceive a multitude of people into believing their relationship with Christ is genuine. Mt. 7:22-23

He does this through the slow process of getting used to the dark; accepting things that we once knew were wrong. Television and movies have had a tremendous negative impact on the church. We read books that we now find “acceptable.” We spend our hard earned money to watch movies that glorify sex, violence, and filthy language. The movie “Fifty Shades of Grey” (I did not see it!!) was a blockbuster success. It was promoted as a “erotic” romance. It celebrated the immorality of our culture. I was appaled by the number of women in our churches that could hardly wait for it to open in our theaters. 

If adultery, premartial sex, lying, profanity, are sinful (and they are) should a Christ-follower watch those things as entertainment? Years ago, the question was asked this way; “Could you invite Christ to watch this movie with you?” “ Would you be embarrassed  for Jesus to read your last book? Research shows us there is very little difference between non-believers and Christ-followers. We attend the s andame movies, read the same books wear the same style clothes.I am not advocating a legalistic life style but rather a life of obedience and one that honors Christ. 

So be careful how you live. Don’t live like fools, but like those who are wise. Ephesians 5:15

Forgive

The story is told of a man that had been feeling very sick. He finally went to the doctor to find out what was wrong with him. The doctor put him through a lot of tests and found the source of his illness. The doctor said, “I am afraid I have bad news for you. You have rabies. It is in the advanced stage and you do not have long to live.”

The man bowed his head and asked for a pen and paper. The doctor asked if he was writing out his last will and testament. The man replied, “No. I am making a list of people I want to bite before I die.” 

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One of the major themes of the Bible is forgiveness; whether God forgives us or we forgive others. We are living in an age where it seems that everyone is overly sensitive and feel they have been wronged, offended, or cheated. As a result, they internalize the pain and refuse to forgive that person. 

Since God commands us to forgive, we must make a conscious choice to obey God and forgive. The offender may not desire forgiveness and may not ever change, but that doesn’t negate God’s desire that we possess a forgiving spirit (Matthew 5:44).  If you do not forgive others, God cannot forgive you! Matthew 6:14-15

Someone once said that refusing to someone is like you drinking poison and hoping the other person dies. 

Prayer Is Surrender

Now, this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.” (1 John 5:14)

Nothing lies outside the reach of prayer except that which lies outside of the will of God. God will only answer the request He inspires. You see, prayer is surrender—surrender to the will of God. It’s cooperation with His will.

Without Holiness


The Bible teaches us that without sanctification, or holiness, no one will see the Lord. “Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness, no one will see the Lord.” What does this mean for us?
Does it mean, “I don’t drink, I don’t smoke, I don’t cuss, I don’t chew, and I don’t associate with those who do”? This is spoken tongue-in-cheek, of course, but in reality, in many circles, one can pass for being a Christian, or at least a very devout person, simply by the absence of obvious vices or faults. Is that what holiness is all about?
It is true that our path to holiness starts by ridding ourselves of evil deeds and influences, but that is just a start. From an eternal perspective, the reason we flee immorality and the deeds of the flesh is those things keep us from pursuing God. In the end, holiness is more about who we pursue than what we leave behind.

Don’t Just Listen

I think we all have, from time to time, left a worship a service where a sermon was preached and said something along the line, “I did not get anything from that message.” That got me to thinking, why didn’t we? I am sure there are many reasons but allow me to share just two.

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1. I once heard a preacher say he believed that God has something for everyone attending that service. That”something” may be different for each person. It may be just one verse that was read. It could be just one sentence or word that was spoken. If we believe God is Sovereign, and He is, everything is under His control including what transpires in that service. The Lord directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives.” Ps 37:23 NLV 

2. I think that we are so preoccupied with other things that when we come to church we have little [if any] expectations that God will speak to us. Matthew 11:15 says, “Let anyone who has ears listen” It is like when we are having a serious “talk” with your son and you can tell he is hearing the words but he isn’t really listening and you say, “Do you understand what I am saying? The goal of the “talk” isn’t just hearing words spoken but the goal is a change in behavior.

So, the next time you come to church, come with the expectation that God has something to communicate with you personally. Don’t just listen; hear!