En Gedi: Finding rest in the wilderness!

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Archive for August, 2009

Book Review: “Jesus Calling” by Sarah Young

Posted by Scott on August 31, 2009

    This is a great little devotional book for every day of the year.  The devotional is written by long time missionary, Sarah Young and published by long time publishers, Thomas Nelson Publishing.   Jesus Calling is geared for both men and women with quick and short paragraphs that would be most desirable for someone on the run that needs to take five minutes to stop and reflect on God and reflect on Him speaking to them in that very moment.

Each daily devotional is done from the point of view that God is talking to them that very moment.  The fact is, He is talking to each of us Believers all the time if we would stop and listen.  This little devotional book brings that out in a unique way.  At the bottom of each page are great verses of Scripture to deepen the experience of that days devotional. 

Each days writings are from Sarah’s personal encounter with Jesus day by day as she recorded in her prayer journals.  Sarah would write down what she sensed the Lord telling her in her prayer time daily.  I believe Sarah does a fantastic job helping the reader to understand that Jesus is ever present with us and we can enjoy His peace on a daily basis.  This is not a deep book understandably at first glance, but it helps to get each of our minds and hearts turned back towards Him each day and learn to listen for His voice out of the hundreds of voices yelling around us taking us into a deeper walk with Christ.  Jesus does speak to us today through His Scripture and through daily time listening to Him.  This book is a great way to get back to or continue on in each Believer’s personal quiet time.  Our spiritual health depends on it.

Scott Bailey (c) 2009

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Pictures from my ministry to trip to Memphis, TN Summer 2009

Posted by Scott on August 29, 2009

5694_1063490759835_1602965156_164212_4519695_n

hammer_cross_modifiedtrevino1bMsHarrisme_Trevino_MsHarris016051Cross1_Tim_3_135694_1063490639832_1602965156_164209_4074091_n The wonderful crew I worked with in Memphis, TN.  The guy on the roof, Chris, was from the SOS Ministry staff.

MsHarris_group

Cross_Elvis_Wall25694_1063492599881_1602965156_164258_8122617_n The entire Stonebriar Community Church crew in front of Elvis Presley’s gate in Memphis, TN 2009

5694_1063491479853_1602965156_164230_6930547_n It was over 100 degrees on this roof everyday…we worked from 9:30 am until about 4 pm each day Mon, Tues & Thurs and half day on Wed.

Elvis_Place My daughter Morgan and me in front of Elvis Presley’s place in Memphis, TN 2009 on our half day off from working on houses.

All of these picture were taken in Memphis, TN.  The last cross pic was taken from a drawing on the wall of Elvis Presley’s home. 

I went with the Jr High students of Stonebriar Community Church in Frisco, Texas.  We had a great trip and enjoyed every minute of it.  Lots of time to spend ministrying to the family, in devotion, and witnessing to a homeless gentleman from Memphis.  Great time of ministry.  We joined in with a ministry called S.O.S. Ministry in Memphis, TN. “Serice Over Self”.  A great ministry.

My daughter, Morgan, went on this trip as well.  She had a tremendous week that she will never forget, nor will I.  I cannot wait to go back next year if they will have me.

 

Scott Bailey 2009

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Train up a child to:

Posted by Scott on August 29, 2009

 
What is it we as parents are suppose to train up our children to do, be, want, or come back to? Have you as a parent ever wondered that? I know I have numerous times.

The entire verse goes like this:

“Train up a child in the way they should go and when they are old they will come back to it” -Proverbs 22:6

I have seen the numerous wayward children just like everyone else has that so far has never come back to anything their parents taught them or have they gone the exact direction their parents taught them? Interesting subject I know. I have started exploring exactly what it is we are to teach our children growing up that when they are “seasoned” rather than just old they can come back to it and it be of some profit to them.

Proverbs 22 builds around this verse 6 it seems. It tells us some of what we are to teach our children as they are growing up. Each stage of their life we can teach them more and more, going deeper and deeper into each subject. I want to warn you that very little has to do with what job they will have, what college they will attend to what degree they should get. God has placed within each child a “bent” that they are moving towards regardless of what us parents really think or desire for them. It is our job as parents, in tune with our heavenly Father, in the power that He entrust to us, to learn over time what our children’s personality traits are, what kind of character God is moving them to be, and build that training around this.

One example I will share:

Train up the child to: (Proverbs 22:3 “A prudent man sees danger and takes refuge, but the simple keep going and suffer for it.”)
-exercise sound, good judgement and to use their God given common sense on a daily basis.
-be careful about their conduct around other people
1. be cautious in their decisions on what they are doing from what they eat, to what they are wearing, to what they say, to how they act, to the people they hang out with, to how they spend their money and time and so on.
2. look for the danger signs, the warning signs around them of doom that might be coming if the continue in a direction they are going. Teach them to seek out shelter and refuge in the Lord if they can see those danger signs.
-provide carefully for the future
1. not be frivolous with their time, financial spending and actions
2. learn to save not only spend
3. budget their time, resources, and money at all times
4. be looking ahead as best they can to be sure they are not caught off guard
5. be a person worthy to be trusted by others and accountable

This is one example of our parental training. This example of course can go as deep as anyone would want to take it of course. Most of us parents can teach this from past experiences, from what our parents taught us, and most importantly from what the Word of God instructs us in these areas of life.

In the Proverb to train our children, this comes as no easy task, but it is commanded to us by our heavenly Father as instructed to us in His Word. So, if we only teach our children worldly things without any of the important points here, we are setting our children on the path of doom to never to stay on the path of godliness or to return to it if they get off track.

-Scott Bailey (c) 2009

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PART TWO…Living in continual sin is not a characteristic of a true Believer!

Posted by Scott on August 1, 2009

This is the second part of this article. The first article can be a jolt to us to make us setup and say “What?” The main point of the first article is we need to take sin very serious…God does. If we find ourselves living in it we need to be extremely concerned, because God hates sin.

Sin has different effects and outcomes depending on whether we are a Believer or not a Believer:

For the Believer in sin:

-God’s wisdom will not come
-His favor will be lifted from your life
-You are spitting on the cross of Christ
-It is Disobedience to God’s call for us to be holy
-Hurts your testimony that God has given
-Severs your relationship with God
-Creates uneasiness in your prayer life
-Creates a stinch from us to the nostriles of a holy God

For the Non-Believer:

-Loves sin much of the time
-Condemns a non-Believer to death
-Puts the non-Believer’s life in peril
-Will be judged based on his or her sin to finality
-Cannot stop sinning…it is a non-Believer’s nature to sin
-Creates hurt in your life and those around you
-Creates confusion in life
-Leads to final destruction
-Cannot recognize sin at times
-Ends up in hell forever, separated from God in turmoil forever

Now, that I have provided such encouraging words (just kidding-I know these are hard words), let me tell there is still hope for both sides of this issue of sin.

For true Believers, we can repent, ask God to forgive us of our sinfulness and to restore to us the joy of our salvation. We can get on our knees in real brokenness before God confessing our sin(s) to Him. God will examine our heart, clean it out, fill it back up with His wonderful hope, joy, and peace. God can take our past sin and use it for His greater glory. We can be forgiven for our sins, but God does not necessarily allow us to forget them (He can take away the hurt and pain of that sin though)…having that memory helps us to not go down that road again, helps us to mentor someone else not to go down the road we have alaready been on, and more. God can and will provide relief from the guilt of that confessed sin. So, for the Believer our lives are not a total loss, but it is certainly stressful times and a life lived in constant sin is not a characteristic a Believer wants to be known for…if that is possible.

For the Non-Believer, if you feel a weightiness pulling your heart that is heavy, if you have a compulsion towards loving Jesus Christ, but your sin is pulling you apart inside, all the sudden your sinfulness has caused you to feel ashamed to the point you want to hide your face, because all of the sudden you realize there is a God and He hates sin and your sin is keeping you separated from Him yet you are torn as to what to do about it, I have a some good news…Jesus Christ wants you to put your complete trust in Him. Today, if what i have described or a variation of it is going on in your life, then God is coming after you…He is drawing you to Himself. You can fight for a while, but eventually God’s will is going to overcome your resistance. Get on your knees in total repentance of the sin filled life no matter how minor or bad it has been, ask Him to forgive you, tell Him you are ashamed, remorseful and cannot stand that you have sinned before Him. Tell Jesus that today, you are putting your complete trust in Him for salvation and eternal life. Ask Jesus to save you today. I believe that if you do this with all sincerity under conditions similiar to this, you will from this day forward be changed as a new Believer in Christ Jesus. Will this new life be easy…No! Will you ever sin again…Yes! Does God still forgive us when we ask for it…Yes! God’s love is still more powerful than our sin and He desires that none of His people end up in eternal punishment in hell, so He is patient with us and comes after us and will overcome us in order to save us. Nothing greater than when the Light comes on and you realize the mighty grace and infinite mercy of our awesome God.

Conclusion, sin is an abomination before our holy God. He hates sin to the core and does NOT overlook our sin…a holy God cannot overlook our unholiness, our disobedience to His calling for Believer’s to be holy…yet Jesus is there to make our case before God that we are one of His once we have come to Him in total repentance, when we have murdered that sin in our life and are looking for a clean start again…God will graciously give us that clean fresh start for His mercies are fresh and new each morning. For those not in the Believer catagory, sin continues to lead you to the pits of hell and unless a mighty work of God happens in your life, eternity is very bleak for you…your sins are your ultimate dstruction. However, for the non-Believer that today discovered that sin is not good, you cannot stand to live that way any longer, you have realized you have a true need to be saved, because sin has made you guilty before God, and you want desparately to fix that situation, but just do not know how…Jesus will save you! Begin calling out to Him for salvation. Trust that He is the Savior, the Messiah. Believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, that He did rise from the grave 3 days after His horrible death on the cross, and that He is at the right hand of God the Father. Believing is a life changing moment that is eternal…whosoever will come, Believe, Trust in Jesus Christ to save you and He will.

Scott Bailey (c) 2009

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Living in continual sin is not a characteristic of a true Believer!

Posted by Scott on August 1, 2009

Romans 8:5-8

“Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace; the sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God. You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ.”

Might I say that we live in a world that sometimes puts Sodom & Gomorah to shame. The constant justification of sin over and over. It is utterly unsettling at times.

For the Believer, sin should upset us to the point of tears and a broken heart while putting us on our knees asking God for forgiveness. I must ask, “Where is the brokenness over sin these days?” When David was confronted with his sexual sin which led to murder he was broken immediately. His sin tore into his heart like a 90 lb sword thrust through the cartiledge of his chest bones. He did not blame his sin on anyone else, nor did he state the sin was just against someone else either…David admitted that his sin was against God and God alone.

Today, we find many in the churches excusing homosexuality away. Trying to rewrite the Bible or reinterpret the Bible to fit their own agenda. Also, many guys and gals are basically “shacking up” (living together) yet to justify their life they call it marriage by “common law”. The justification goes on and on, but it boils down to this…it is sin!

I want to use an old analogy about a pig. You can take the pig out of the barnyard and dress it up. You can feed it different food. You can call it something else like a dog or cat or even a pet anything but a pig. You can possibly even train the pig to do tricks just like a dog. However, underneath the clothing, the new life style, the new name, and all the tricks…it is still a pig. When you let that pig out of the house and that pig finds mud or dirt, that pig will go straight for it and roll in it with everything it has. Sin is the same way. You can call it whatever you want, you can feed it something new, you can dress it up so the world cannot recognize that it is sin, but to the One who sees all things and knows all things it is still a muddy, smelly, selfish, ruthless sin and God hates sin!

It states it clearly in the first verse above from Romans that a life lived in the sinful nature have their minds set on its own desires rather than the nature of God. This is a pattern to be watched. I would dare say that someone living constantly in sin is defying God’s law and is not acting in character with Scripture by sinning. In my opinion, most caught in this situation and openly defy what is right, openly speak of their sin, openly live happily in their sin, consistantly justifying their sin (dressing the sin up to be something it is not)…are not true Believers in Jesus Christ!

In Romans 8:8 Paul tells us how this effects our relationship with Christ if living an openly sinful life. “Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God.” Living in unrepentant sin will not please God. Do not ask God for His wisdom, because it will not come. God will not listen to anyone living in their sin willfully. Sin separates us from God either permently as an enemy of His or relationally as a wayward son or daughter…either way our sin grieves the holy living God.

Think again next time we try to justify any sin that is present in our life. If we have no remorse, or do not feel compelled to ask for forgiveness for any particular sin, then one should ask “am I really a Christian”. Ask God to examine our hearts daily to make sure we are found in true faith in Him.

Scott Bailey (c) 2009

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