How best to celebrate my 1,000th post then to focus on Jesus, family and friends.

I wrote my first blog in December of 2007, out of desperation for life and a love for my wife and son.  2 years later in December of 2009, I write my 1,000 blog post out of love for Christ and family.

A lot has changed in life, but one thing has stayed the same.  Jesus has been a constant.  No matter how encouraged or how discouraged I became, Jesus’ love was constant.  I have never loved Jesus or family as I love them today.

I want to take just a moment and say how faithful Jesus has been.  I am unaware of ever a time when Jesus wasn’t there when I called.  In my darkest moments, Jesus was there.  In my brightest God Spot, Jesus was there.  There has never been a finer friend then Jesus.  As my deceased dad would say, “Truly”.

I also want to say, “Thank you to Cora, my bride.”  She has been every bit as faithful and encouraging as Jesus.  She has believed in me when times were good and continued to believe in me when times were catastrophically bad.  She is truly my hero.  I love you, Cora.

To my son, he is a rock.  He is solid and faithful.  He has never said a bad word to me during times of struggle.  He has always given me the benefit of the doubt and accepted me for my passions even at his own expense.  He has given me a beautiful daughter-in-law and two precious grandchildren.  My life is completed in his family.

So in honor of Christ, my family and you (my wonderful blog friends), I crank up memories of life with Christ as a child.  Most of my favorite hymns from my childhood were songs about Jesus.  They included Jesus Loves Me, At the Cross and I’ve Found a Friend in Jesus to name a few.

Click on the link below and reminisce about the earliest days of your recollection of Jesus.
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I have found a friend in Jesus,
He’s everything to me,
He’s the fairest of ten thousand to my soul;
The Lily of the Valley, in him alone I see
All I need to cleanse and make me fully whole.

In sorrow he’s my comfort, in trouble he’s my stay,
He tells me every care on him to roll.
He’s the Lily of the Valley,
The bright and Morning Star,
He’s the fairest of ten thousand to my soul.

He all my grief has taken, and all my sorrows borne;
In temptation He’s my strong and mighty tower;
I have all for Him forsaken, and all my idols torn
From my heart and now He keeps me by His power.

Though all the world forsake me, and Satan tempt me sore,
Through Jesus I shall safely reach the goal.
The bright and Morning Star,
He’s the fairest of ten thousand to my soul.

He will never, never leave me, nor yet forsake me here,
While I live by faith and do His blessèd will;
A wall of fire about me, I’ve nothing now to fear,
From His manna He my hungry soul shall fill.

Then sweeping up to glory to see His blessèd face,
Where the rivers of delight shall ever roll.
The bright and Morning Star,
He’s the fairest of ten thousand to my soul.

Surf to: http://www.freshc.org for a Fresh Connection…

For more GodSpots – 37stories Enjoy!

How many times will you look into the eyes of a people with fear?

So there was this guy Simon who just happened along…

“As they led him off, they made Simon, a man from Cyrene who happened to be coming in from the countryside, carry the cross behind Jesus.”~Luke

I have wondered what was Simon thinking? He’s coming in from the country and finds himself carrying the cross of Jesus. The Word says, “they made him”. It would be human nature to want to avoid the murderous mob with expectation of not getting involved. Yet Simon not only fails to avoid the mob, but finds himself in the middle of it. Simon likely is thinking this is not going to be good. You have to imagine fear is playing a major part in his mind as he picks up the cross.

As my imaginations consider Simon being forced to pick up the cross, I consider the possibility. As he kneels down at the feet of Jesus he looks up into the master’s eyes and sees a deep loving compassion that few in the world has seen. His heart melts beneath the cross and shoulders the burden of a Christ he has just met. As Jesus is further abused on the walk to “The Skull”, Simon may have winced in pain with the sound of each lash on Jesus’ back.

Somewhere in the walk, Simon likely became a changed man. How could anyone carry the burden of a cross for Jesus and not be a changed man? Have you looked into the eyes of Jesus? Have you picked up His cross. Has your fear of the crowd become insignificant in comparison to the love of Christ?

Sadly, you may have picked up the cross of Jesus only to set it down when you looked into the eyes of the crowd. It’s not too late. Once again, pick up the cross of Jesus and look into His eyes. The love you find will cover all fears and you will shoulder His cross with honor amidst the pain.

“Beloved, don’t be astonished at the fiery trial which has come upon you, to test you, as though a strange thing happened to you. But because you are partakers of Christ’s sufferings, rejoice; that at the revelation of his glory you also may rejoice with exceeding joy. If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed; because the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you. On their part he is blasphemed, but on your part he is glorified.”~Peter

I love the thought of kneeling at the cross. Gazing up into the eyes of Jesus for the first time and seeing incredible love amidst the blood and gore. Picking up the cross and putting in on my shoulder as I cry out, “I’m not worthy! Father, forgive me. Holy is thy name! Sing praises to the King. Sing Hosanna. Sing!”

Surf to: http://www.freshc.org for a Fresh Connection…

Quality Carpenter Needed

carpenter

Guest post by: Marianne

Zechariah describes a prophetic vision of 4 horns and 4 carpenters. Each one would overcome the other in competition. Who is the last one we are waiting for, to complete the prophecy?

Zec 1:18 Then lifted I up mine eyes, and saw, and behold four horns.

Zec 1:19 And I said unto the angel that talked with me, What [be] these? And he answered me, These [are] the horns which have scattered Judah, Israel, and Jerusalem.

Zec 1:20 And the LORD showed me four carpenters.

Zec 1:21 Then said I, What come these to do? And he spoke, saying, These [are] the horns which have scattered Judah, so that no man did lift up his head: but these are come to fray them, to cast out the horns of the Gentiles, which lifted up [their] horn over the land of Judah to scatter it.

In this prophecy, the horns represented the powers that would scatter Judah and Israel, and the carpenters would represent the next empire that would come, and defeat that power.

Horns are powers that scatter and destroy.

Carpenters are builders.

So each power would begin as a horn, and then fall under the next power, or horn.

The incoming power would be the carpenter that would cast out the previous horn.

So each incoming horn acts as a carpenter, a builder.

Throughout history, scholars have watched this prophecy be fulfilled, with one successive event after another. The pattern looked like this until 313 CE:

4 carpenters   Darius- Medo-Persians Greece – Alexander the Great Rome ?
4 horns Babylon Babylon Darius- Medo-Persians Greece – Alexander the Great Rome

 

Then, it got a little crazy after that. Here is the whole history:

Foreign Empires that ruled in Israel  
     
587 BCE Babylonian B
     
538-333 BCE Persian P
     
333-63 BCE Greek ( Hellenistic) G
     
63 BCE-313 CE Roman R
     
313-636 Byzantine G
     
636-1099 Arab (Syrian) B/P
     
1099-1291 Crusaders R
     
1291-1516 Mamluk (Turk) B/P
     
1516-1918 Ottoman (Turk) B/P
     
1917-1948 British R

For the past 1000 years, there appears to be a competition between the Babylonian/ Persian horn and the Roman horn.

Was Zechariah wrong, or just incomplete? The answer is neither.

Apparently, he was generalizing about the 4 powers that would struggle over the land of Israel, until God stopped the conflicts with the last carpenter.

If one visits Jerusalem, one will see the Greek, Roman, and Persian/Babylonian (Islamic) all influence there.

But the clue is in verse 21, about the last carpenter:

…..but these are come to fray them, to cast out the horns of the Gentiles, which lifted up [their] horn over the land of Judah to scatter it.

Until there is a final casting out of all gentile horns who scatter Israel, the prophecy is not fulfilled yet.

Who would be the last carpenter to cast out all horns?

He cannot be a gentile. He must be Jewish.

It obviously cannot be one of the horns, because the last carpenter cannot be a destroyer, just a builder, and he would have re-gather Israel, not scatter it once again.

The empires mentioned above so far, are not qualified, since they have all scattered Israel.

So, Who is qualified to re-gather Israel into the land forever?

Who is qualified to conquer, cast out all scattering gentile horns, and then build something that will last forever?

Only the Lord God builds the ruined places:

Eze 36:36 Then the heathen that are left round about you shall know that I the LORD build the ruined [places, and] plant that that was desolate: I the LORD have spoken [it], and I will do [it].

Amo 9:11 In that day will I raise up the tabernacle of David that is fallen, and close up the breaches thereof; and I will raise up his ruins, and I will build it as in the days of old:

Amo 9:14 And I will bring again the captivity of my people of Israel, and they shall build the waste cities, and inhabit [them]; and they shall plant vineyards, and drink the wine thereof; they shall also make gardens, and eat the fruit of them.

Who will heaven use for this building and restoration?

Who is the Lord God’s carpenter that we are all familiar with?

Does it not tell us in scripture who will be this last builder?

Mark 6:3 Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary?

 

Only Jesus can fulfill the prophecy of Zechariah and Amos. Only Jesus will be able to remove all horns of human power, and destruction, and scattering.

Only Jesus can bring unity to a hurting land, and suffering world.

Jesus is the last carpenter.

jesus-carpenter

God has a way of speaking to us, if we only listen. I was driving home, and passed a small sign, posted to a tree. It said “Quality Carpenter Needed.” It immediately struck me, that there was only one carpenter I needed in my life.

This is where this post came from.

Listen, and he will speak to you.

Listen, and He will direct you.

Listen, and he will show you the way.

Trust him. He will remove the horns over your life, gather you back to Himself, and rebuild you.