No sun – only the Son

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I love to sleep.

I’m a night owl, as I’ve mentioned before….but I do love my sleep.

I’m not a morning person….I’m getting better, but I don’t wake up early as a rule, though I do LOVE early mornings.

So, where am I going with all this?  Well, I’ll tell you.

Dark….or rather the lack thereof.

So, wouldn’t that be DAY, Toni? Not necessarily.  Besides, I’m referring to the light of the Son, not the sun.

Ok, so maybe I’m a little weird, but I was thinking yesterday about the fact that in Heaven, there will be no night. (If I say anything theologically wrong, please, someone, correct me!)  And, I know that we will have no need of the sun for the Light of Christ will be more than sufficient.

So, I was wondering, why no night?

Well, for starters, the Light that emanates from Immanuel cannot be extinguished.  Therefore, no night.  Simple enough.  But, what about no night for sleeping?

I don’t know about you, but I sleep much better in the dark than in massive amounts of light.  So, I wondered why there would be none.

And then, a few things occurred to me:

1.  We will be in the Presence of the Lord God Almighty, Maker of Heaven and earth, Immanuel, Yeshua – who wants to sleep then??

2.  We will be so busy being about the business of our Lord and Savior, that we just won’t have time.

3.  And, what if the words from Isaiah 40:31 would apply in Heaven?  Yet those who wait upon the Lord will renew their strength;  They will mount up with wings as eagles, they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not faint.

Or maybe the sleep we need here on earth is a result of sin.  And once we’re in Heaven, there will be no more sin, and therefore no need of sleep.  Sin cannot hide in the Light.  And the Lord cannot abide with sin.

So, at this point, it’s still a question for me – what does no darkness in Heaven mean?  No sleep?  No need for sleep?  Is it an illustration of the lack of sin?  Or is it simply that being in the presence of the Creator of the universe will require our eternal undivided attention, thus removing the need for, or possibility of, time used for sleep?  Since Jesus is peace, and we go to Him to get rest, perhaps therein lies the answer.


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Facts don’t change…but the outcome can

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The facts are in. They cannot be disputed. They cannot be changed. Deal with it.

Obama is President.

It is not what we, as Bible-believing Christians, wanted, but it is a truth.

He is making unprecedented changes in record time – much to the disapproval of conservatives everywhere.

We knew it would happen. We knew he was going to go for the biggest change – and he promised the very changes he is making. And then some.

An assault has begun, nay, been stepped up, on the very fabric of American freedom and foundation.

Again, those who listened to his campaign rhetoric, knew what was coming.

Nope. We can’t change what happened. We warned everyone we could think of that an Obama presidency would mean disaster for families, conservative values, and sanctity of life preservation. But, when the votes were tallied, he won. And, since then, many of us have done nothing but complain.

Now, I am not in any way suggesting that we should stop fighting Obama – on the contrary, we should scrutinize his every move, and make a phone call if he does anything in the direction of a liberalistic ideal. We should fight for our every right as we still have them – and fight to get back any we lose along the way.

However, more even than fighting the President, we should take action where we live! How? Support organizations which uphold the values and principles we stand behind. Prayerfully and financially (along with volunteer efforts, etc.) support organizations such as the American Center for Law & Justice (ACLJ), Focus on the Family, etc., which fight for these things everyday – often with more pull than a single individual can muster.  Instead of arguing across the fence about our right to keep and bear arms, join the NRA!  When there is an opportunity to have your voice heard, don’t sit at home and say, “I just can’t believe what those {goofy} liberals are doing now!  When will it stop?”  Get up, get out, and get going!  Stand in front of an abortion clinic.  Talk to women who are considering one and offer CHRISTIAN advice.  Do something!

But there are more opportunities: volunteer at your local pregnancy help center to help prevent abortion in unwanted pregnancies, volunteer at local soup kitchens, encourage your church to have a more active and widespread outreach ministry, pray for our leader.

God never intended for Christians to be spectators – LIFE is not a spectator sport! Nor are we meant to be mere commentators! He never wanted us to sit around bickering and complaining about things we cannot change. He did mean for us to reach out to make a difference. He did mean for us to find ways to serve the downtrodden in society. After all, isn’t that where Jesus spent the majority of His own time?

So while we do need to stay abreast of what is happening here on our own soil, in the White House Oval Office, and abroad, we cannot let it dictate our mood or attitude any longer. If we do, our words will be ineffective because there will be no action to speak of.

I encourage everyone reading this to find at least one way each week you can make a difference: write to your senator/congressman/woman, etc., volunteer, support a worthy cause, etc. Do something to promote worthy “change” – not just moan about the bad.

Everything happens for a reason….but whose reason is it?

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I know someone who is very fond of saying, “Everything happens for a reason,” meaning that everything that happens is supposed  to happen.   It’s actually a fatalistic view of the world, of course – depending on who says it.

You see, when a Christian says, “Everything happens for a reason,” what he or she means is that the Lord can use anything for the good of His Kingdom.  However, the actual statement, is somewhat faulty.  Let’s examine.

God is in complete control – period.  However, BECAUSE He allows us free will, things happen everyday that are outside the will of God.  For instance:  adultery, murder, homosexuality, unwed mothers, theft, idolatry, gossip, etc., are ALL outside the will of God.   God CAN use those experiences for good, but that is because He can REDEEM a situation – NOT because He condones it.

The things that happened in my past – wait, let me rephrase – the things that I did in my past are there because I chose to do them – NOT because God wanted me to do them, or to have those experiences.  Quite the contrary – had I lived within His will for my whole life, I would have been spared much of the pain of the guilt of sin.  But, I chose my own way for a season.  Some would say, “Everything happens for a reason.”  But, whose reason is it?

The truth is, the things that happened in my past happened for my reasons.  They were what I wanted.  They were not what God had planned for my life.  He knew it would happen.  He allowed it to happen.  And in his infinite grace and wisdom, He chose to REDEEM my life IN SPITE OF WHAT I DID.

That’s the key – in spite of me.  God redeemed my life, saved my soul, and gave me hope not because of me, but in spite of me

God calls us to obedience, and through obedience, He can bless us.  But when we are disobedient, He sometimes allows us to feel the sting of the consequences of our actions so that we can learn a lesson for next time. 

Regardless, we serve a God who is in the Miracle Making Business.  In fact, He has a monopoly on the market.  So, when the world condemns a situation, God can redeem it for His purposes.  This is evidenced by Romans 8:28 which says, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose.”  In my KJV Bible, the word His is italicized.  Emphasized.  Special.  It is THE word to take note of in this verse – HIS purpose. 

So, yes, in a sense, I guess everything happens for a reason.  But, we need to be very careful in placing the blame of reason where it rightly belongs.  Did it happen because God supernaturally caused it to happen (and He can!)?  Or, did it happen because we were living outside the will of God and ignored His laws and precepts?

What It Takes to be No. 1

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Winning is not a sometime thing, it’s an all time thing. You don’t win once in a while; you don’t do things right once in a while; you do them right all the time. Winning is a habit. Unfortunately, so is losing. There is no room for second place. There is only one place in my game, and that’s first place. I have finished second place twice in my time at Green Bay, and I don’t ever want to finish second again. There is a second place bowl game, but it is a game for losers played by losers. It is and always has been an American zeal to be first in anything we do, and to win, and to win, and to win.Every time a football player goes to ply his trade he’s got to play from the ground up – from the soles of his feet right up to his head. Every inch of him has to play. Some guys play with their heads. That’s ok. You’ve got to be smart to be number one in any business. But more importantly, you’ve got to play with your heart, with every fiber of your body. If you’re lucky enough to find a guy with a lot of head and a lot of heart, he’s never going to come off the field second.

Running a football team is no different than running any other kind of organization – an army, a political party, or a business. The principles are the same. The object is to win – to beat the other guy. Maybe that sounds hard or cruel. I don’t think it is.

It is a reality of life that men are competitive and the most competitive games draw the most competitive men. That’s why they are there – to compete. To know the rules and objectives when they get in the game. The object is to win fairly, squarely, by the rules – but to win.

And in truth, I’ve never known a man worth his salt who in the long run, deep down in his heart, didn’t appreciate the grind, the discipline. There is something in good men that really yearns for discipline and the harsh reality of head to head combat.

I don’t say these things because I believe in the “brute” nature of man or that men must be brutalized to be combative. I believe in God, and I believe in human decency. But I firmly believe that any man’s finest hour – his greatest fulfillment to all he holds dear – is that moment when he has to work his heart out in a good cause and he’s exhausted on the field of battle – victorious.

 

 

– Vincent Lombardi

When was the last time you were “exhausted on the field of battle” in the name of Christ?  Victorious in winning souls and proclaiming His truths?  Do what it takes to be number 1 in the eyes of the Lord today – not the eyes of man.

When you say, “I’ll pray for you”

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Your cousin’s mother-in-law is going for surgery in a week.  Your cousin asks you to pray.  You say you will.

Your best friend says she is worried about her finances and asks you to pray for God to show her what to do.  You promise to pray daily until He answers her.

Your brother asks you to pray for his marriage.  You agree to pray daily, without fail, until his marriage is back on track and winning again.

But, life happens.  You pray, but the prayers are for things you need just to make it through the day.  You ask God to help you find your lost car keys, make it to the doctor’s office on time, and to make that last $50 stretch until payday.  You remember your promises to pray for your friends and family, so you say a rushed prayer while you drive to the grocery store.  You know you should do more, but the time just slips away.

Does this sound like you?  I’m not judging, because I have been there all too often, myself.  The question is, who are we short-changing when we fail to pray like we promised?

In my humble opinion, we are doing ourselves a disservice.  Don’t get me wrong, the person we are praying for definitely receives a benefit, too, but we miss even more.  We miss the opportunity to go before the God of the universe and plead for a fellow believer.  And sometimes, we have the opportunity to plead for the salvation of another human.  We get to wrestle with demons for that person’s eternal destiny!

But, all too often, we don’t.  We miss the boat.  We throw up a quick prayer and hope God counts it as a real one.  Yes, quick prayers are good sometimes – sometimes they are all we can manage in certain situations!  But, when there is something big – salvation, health, marriage, etc – at stake, we owe God and the recipient more than a few seconds.

I challenge you to spend a minimum of 3  minutes of prayer for EACH person or situation you have agreed to pray for – daily.  For 5 people, that only adds 15 minutes to your prayer time.  You can do it!  (You may need to get up an extra 15 minutes earlier, but, you can do it!)

Check out this Super Bundle!

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The Victorious Living Super Bundle is a fabulous package offered by Cindy Rushtonand gives insight and instruction on the spiritual battles we face in our lives.  Cindy is a fabulous mom, homeschool teacher, wife, and writer.  You will be encouraged and strengthened through her words.  Make sure to use the above link to place your order, today!

Why don’t you write more, Toni?

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I thought that some of you may be wondering why I don’t update my blog more often – at least daily, or every other day….so I thought I would explain, just in case you were interested.

You see, I love to write.  I could actually spend hours writing everyday and be perfectly happy.  However, I know that when I sit down at this computer, I need to plan to be here a while becauseI like to write.  So, although I intend to update this blog more frequently (my goal is daily), there is a distinct possibility that many of those will be scheduled posts. 

That said, there is one more reason I don’t post more often – and this one is the real doozie:  I’m waiting for God.  You see, God holds us all to extremely high standards, but when we start teaching, or leading, or giving advice based on Biblical principles, we BETTER be doing it right.  If we knowingly lead someone astray, we are in BIGtrouble.  And, I believe that if we lead someone astray simply because we have failed to do our own homework – aka, laziness – we are likewise in some serious hot water.  So, as you can see, this is a situation where I want to be sure I stay out of the hot water…..I’m hot-natured as it is….don’t need any help….LOL.

So, I wait for God to lay something on my heart strongly before I write it out for you to read.  In fact, right now, I have a post that I started at least 3 weeks ago, and haven’t finished because I don’t feel its what God wants me to write just yet.  Mind you, I believe someone should, but right now, He doesn’t intend for that to be me.  I’m sure sometimes I miss the boat – I’m sure there are times when the Lord wants to tell you something through me (and I say that in humility) that I just somehow miss (READ:  don’t listen) His voice telling me to write it. 

I do plan to update this (HIS) blog more frequently – and I hope that in the meantime you’ll stay on as a faithful reader.  I have some big goals for this site, and one of those is to have a book written by mid-year!  I’m going to need your help! 

Also, Cindy Rushtonannounced that she would be issuing a challenge sometime in the near future to her readers who are also writers:  the 30-Day Challenge to write an article for their blog everyday for 30 days.  This is something I also plan to accomplish – so, with God’s Grace, for at least one month my blog will be updated daily!  I’d like to ask for your prayers for this though, as I want to do this to please God, and write about the subject He chooses – not me.

So, I said all that to say, I’ve missed you guys!  (Wait, I am NOT a Yankee!  LOL – j/k to all from north of the Mason Dixon line….sort of…lol)  Let’s try that again – I missed y’all!  (Now that’s Texan!)  See you again soon!

And, um….where are all who took up the Bible Reading Challenge????  I know you’re out there……we can’t give up already!  Tomorrow is a great day to catch up!  Go to the last reading schedule post and leave a comment about this week’s readings…..we’re waiting to hear what you think!

His,

Toni

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