What a strange lot we are! Enamored of the dazzling lights, the fickle applause of the public, the splash of success, we seldom trace the lines that led to that flimsy and fleeting pinnacle. Bitter hardship. Unfair and undeserved abuses. Loneliness and loss. Humiliating failures. Debilitating disappointments. Agony beyond comprehension suffered in the valley and crevices of the climb from bottom to top.
How shortsighted! Instead of accepting the fact that no one deserves the right to lead without first persevering through pain and heartache and failure, we resent those intruders. We treat them as enemies, not friends. We forget that the marks of greatness are not delivered in a paper sack by capricious gods. They are not hurriedly stuck onto skin like a tattoo.
No, those who are really worth following have paid their dues. They have come through the furnace melted, beaten, reshaped, and tempered. To use the words of the teacher from Tarsus, they bear in their bodies “the brand-marks of Jesus” (Galatians 6:17). Or, as one paraphrases it, they carry “the scars of the whippings and wounds” . . . which link them to all mankind.
Small wonder when such people move from time to eternity they “belong to the ages.”
Taken from Charles R. Swindoll, Growing Strong in the Seasons of Life (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Zondervan Publishing House, 1983) 100. Copyright © 1983 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
Expos'e From The Dark Side Part 2
There are some truths that are hard to swallow except through maturity and the Holy Spirit, except through taking a hard look at the life and ministry of Paul of Tarsus and Christianity through the eyes of Howard Thurman's book Jesus and the Disinherited. Then one would begin to see why Jesus of Nazareth would be born in poverty, raised in a ghetto called Nazareth at time when women had no rights and Israel would be under the control of Rome. When came into His earthly ministry and in His inaugural speech he began with these words, (Luke 4:18-19) The Spirit of the Lord has anointed to preach the "good news"to the poor.....chose 12 blue collar guys (disciples) and said( Mark 1:15)"The kingdom of God is at hand
In retrospect as a child I always wondered why I was dealt the cards that I was dealt ! Why didn't my life resemble what I saw on TV ? Why didn't I have a two parents family in the home , I knew something was wrong but not being able to put my finger on the problem. Being naiive I did not and was able to guard and protect myself from the forces that would destroy me. The overt force "the prince of the power of the air" secondly persons that James P. Carse refer to in his book "The Religious Case Against Belief". He talks about ignorance in a couple of ways one is ordinary ignorance all of us are ignorant in this way. Indeed, there is no end of the things that we do not and will not ever know in this respect ordinary ignorance is a trivial phenomenon. The second form of ignorance is a subtler and potentially far more dangerous it called willful ignorance. It is a paradoxical condition in which we are aware there is something we do not know,but choose not to know it. Brothers and Sisters there is an attack on the body of Christ , Jesus warns us in Matt 24 it talks about "wars and rumor, famines earthquakes and the love of many growing cold".In Romans 1 :18-31 it says,18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, 19 because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. 20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, 21 because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Professing to be wise, they became fools, 23 and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man—and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things.As I close for today I pray your strength in the Lord ! Would you pray for me as I writing this with tears in my eyes to my WIFE, spiritual sons and daughters,brothers ans sisters in the faith all over the world, broken but trusting GOD. I plead the BLOOD !~
24 Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, 25 who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.26 For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. 27 Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due.28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting; 29 being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, [fn3] wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they arewhisperers, 30 backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, 31 undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, [fn4] unmerciful; 32 who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them.