One glimpse… is all it takes

Even in such a fast paced world, real beauty can cause us to stop in our tracks and admire. We see the most beautiful man or woman and wonder how can anyone be even better looking than this, then before you know it a new best looking person arrives. We see a sun set, the aurora lights, the stars at night, a great mountain with a great view, valleys and waterfalls and much more. Yet no matter how much we see it, there is always someting that amazes us, something new on the horizon. The sun set is always the same principle, it always sets yet always paints a different picture, the same with the sun rise. All these things are just a small glimpse compared to what God has in store.
One day God will wrap up the universe like a scroll and make a better one. Gods invitation through Christ invites us to be a part of it now and see it in its fullness in the future. We have only ever seen the stars in the distance, either in the night sky standing still or shooting accross the skyline. Imagine being next to the one who created them and seeing them shoot from his hands, now that is something that seems hard to imagine, yet for those who believe in a creator this is the real deal. We have only seen glimpses in this world of the real beauty of Gods creation, the best is yet to come! Stories of those who have been to heaven and come back always say things like, ‘I heard things I’ve never heard before’ or ‘I saw things I never saw before’. It is always hard to explain it, yet this is only the creation part, what about a glimpse of the creator himself?

Whenever anyone in the bible had an encounter with God in his glory they always describe the unimaginable. Moses had such glory after his encounter that his face was glowing, Paul was blinded until someone restored his sight, John was seeing such marvellous things that he fell to the ground multiple times. Yet while Jesus was in human form it wasnt his appearance that was the beauty, it was his character. Here is an important lesson, God works from the inside out. The more we become like Christ on the inside the more beautiful we will appear regardless of how we look on the outside. Eventually the beauty thats created in us will also become manifested in our new eternal bodies, but for now God displays his beauty and glory in us. The world will one day see the glory of Christ in all its fullness along with the body of Christ, that is, his people. Every sickness healed and every tear wiped away. Sometimes on our darkest day, all we need is one glimpse into the future that awaits, because sometimes when the going gets tough and we feel like giving up, one glimpse is all it takes.

Cover image: Google images (company of burning hearts – Heaven)

God bless DMZ

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Words can cut deep

Why say those words? You know how much it hurts. ‘I don’t care about you no more, I dont love you no more”

Words can cut deep

How do we respond? Do we cause more lain by the words we speak? ‘Don’t speak to me like that, you’re just as bad aren’t you?’

Words can cut deep

When does it stop? Should we stay silent if someone shouts? Or can we change the whole atmosphere just by adjusting the tone of our voice? We have a choice

Words can cut deep

In the end loving actions win, love crushes sin, but in the heat of the moment, where to begin? ‘I forgive you and love you no matter what you say, you don’t mean those words do you? It’s just been a bad day. If this still fails we can always pray.

So if people say the wrong things lets not hold a grudge. Lets not condemn them asif we are the judge. Forgive them, love them, even if theu dont love you back. At least you have done your part do who can argue with that? 

Words can cut deep, so let’s say our words with love, so we can slowly change the world around us like Heaven above.
DMZ

Wait for it…

Patience! Where are you in this madness?
I’ve been waiting so long for you but you just don’t show up quick enough.
Oh yeah, that’s the whole point of patience, to keep waiting for you while the worlds speeding up.
I take time to eat, brush my teeth and sleep. Yet when it comes to waiting for you, it’s like having itchy feet.
‘I need to do this, I need to be there, go go go!
Then you come along and say, ‘slow slow slow!’
Wo… slow? Are you not seeing the state of this world?
Things need to change quick, I watch the news and it makes me feel sick.
There’s children starving in the world and theres me with a cupboard full of food.
So I’m sorry patience, forgive me for being so rude, but this world needs help, and it needs it soon.

Are you a hero? Doesn’t the sun shine for a while before a monsoon?
Does a crop grow overnight? Doesn’t the ground need both rain and sun light?
Mother nature has not changed its speed, there is enough in this world for everyones need.
It is the ‘I want it now’ syndrome that has created this greed, and your complaining about how many mouths to feed.
Slow down and you will find restoration for your soul,
Slow down and you will see the glory of the Lord.
Did you see the sunrise this morning? Did you hear the birds singing?
These are the moments that keep the world spinning.
The worlds happy to just keep on sinning, there seems to always be time for that.
Have a little patience and you will gain your soul back.
I am always ready for anyone willing to wait,
but if you don’t want to see the world the way I do, then carry on and let the tide sweep you away.

Patience.. it is worth waiting for. It doesn’t make sense while this character trait is being developed in us. It takes time and it can be painful. Yet if we want a clear perspective in this world and to hear Gods voice, then sometimes we need to be still, wait and listen. Once we have heard clearly, we can act clearly. This is how we help change the world for better.

DMZ

Hidden pain #lifepoem.1

To the outside world my appearence is normal. Nothing different it seems, drawn together like a pair of curtains but they don’t realize I’m hurting. 

Wounds lay deep beneath the surface, if you want to find my pain then you need to start searching.

I have become an expert at wearing a mask, I sit before God and as the psalmist said, search me I ask. 

I’m afraid that if I express whats laid deep people would think I’m a freak, so I keep it quietly wrapped up like a parcel, but sometimes what’s locked up releases its arsenal. 

Then suddenly I’m considered the villian, just because the pain in me started spilling. I’m not committing murder but Im still killing, not physically but relational, causing divisions but I don’t hate you! 

Please understand that it’s not me speaking but my pain, I don’t want to hurt you and I’m not insane! I have lost loved ones, lived in darkness and failed in areas of life. I have hurt those close to me, sometimes I create an atmosphere that can be cut with a knife. 

So intense, when I act like this its a cry for help, don’t push me out, maybe you would act the same if you felt what I felt. 

I trust in God but that doesn’t mean I don’t feel, I live by faith but I’m still a human being and I still feel. 

My faith doesn’t prevent pain, it helps me through it. When I’m tempted with evil its the voice of faith that says don’t do it. 

So this is my expression of pains lesson, dont lock it up! This will only create aggression! Release it in a way that is none destructive, then maybe pain can be used to catapult us to be productive.

DMZ

Male and female – He created them. (You are not an accident made out of matter – but you are important and you do matter!)

 A proposed law in claifornia and other proposes by individuals in Canada and the UK and other places seem to be stuck in a severe identity Crisis, stating that there should be no male or female identity. I don’t know how this affects you but it makes me angry. It makes me angry because if this becomes a law, children will be born and raised with confusion of who they are and this will be considered the norm! No longer being able to refer to the opposite sex as the opposite sex can only bring destruction for humanity. Is this too harsh to say? No! Consider the affects of this move if it reaches a global scale, God forbid it does! The next generation will be stuck in a whirpool of sexual confusion, they will be indecisive and not understand how to identify who they are, they wil be psychologically confused wondering why they are different to others if they are all considered the same… and on and on this could go. Just because the minority agree with this does not mean that it is right. Do we call a cat a dog? Do we now consider trees to be blades of grass? Do cows bark now and dogs moo? No, why? Because that’s not how they were created to be.

Don’t get me wrong, humans are made with a far higher responsibility and value than animals and nature, nevertheless, we still know deep down who and what we are. How much comprimise will it take before we realize that denying our God given sex is pretty much denying our existence as a created human being. If this is too harsh then stop reading this post. I don’t want to be a la-de-da christian swaying with the winds of change and accepting every change that could contribute to the destruction of humanity. This is not what we are called for and the time is now to speak. This is not to judge and condemn those who are implementing these changes, Gods grace is for them too. However, maybe if those implementing these changes took a step back and observed the dangers of these changes they would see the consequences. You wouldn’t cross a road without looking ahead so why make such big changes without weighing the risks. People pleasing is exhausting because it is impossible to do. If those in charge aim to please everyone then it will cause nothing but divisions and confusion.

What about you christians? Don’t you aim to implement changes with what you believe? Good question. The church(christians) are called to be light and salt on the earth Matthew 5:13-16. Light exposes darkness and salt is used as preservation and to bring out flavor. Jesus gave us a command which all the law hangs on, this is.. love the Lord your God with all your heart, and love your neighbor as yourself Luke 10:27. If we loved as Jesus did then the changes would always be for the better. Sadly we the church have not been the best representative of our God, for that we are sorry. Yet how can we keep quiet when there is so much injustice and disregard for the value of life. You are important, does the curriculum teach you that? No you are taught you are here by accident and that life is just an accident. Then people destroy each other and we wonder why? If we do not see ourselves as valuable and life as precious then we will always make decisions based on selfish desires, and the foundation of society will always crumble away. That’s why abortion is accepted, that’s why we get married and divorced, thats why we say things like ‘theres no gender’, ‘live how you want’, ‘theres no God’. If love is not the foundation of a society the society will eventually begin to crumble away. We are the ones left then to pick up the pieces and rebuild it. 

What can we do to change this? If you are a parent, teach your children they are loved and valuable. If you are a teacher, teach your students they are loved and valuable. If you are a human being, know that you are loved and valuable! You are not a cosmic mistake that just exists by chance. You are a purposely made human being. Do you know why many people destroy each other? Its because they don’t know this. This understanding is a solid foundation laid by God himself. The world is trying to remove the God of Christianity but don’t realize that doing that they are removing the foundation. A lot of good principles came through christianity, the bad history is because of miss-understandings, this is another post all together. 

If we saw each other in the light of Christ we would acknowledge our uniqueness and love and respect each other. Male and female, God created them. Gen 5:2 and do you know something else, he also blessed them. If we remove our identity as male and female, we also remove the blessing that God intended for us.

You are important!

Peace and grace 

DMZ

Me…am I proud? Seriously? (The difference between pride and being proud)

How can we recognise pride? Well, what’s the middle letter of the word? How much I is there in what you do? ‘I did this, I did that…I want this, I want that..’ wanting things and talking about things we have accomplished is not wrong, it is when we allow these wants and the things we have done to become the centre of all that we are. When we try to make the world revolve around ourself we become miserable and tired. Why? Because the world was never designed to revolve around ourself, and we weren’t made for that either.
Pride has a language all by itself, it loves to show how great it is and march the streets with banners saying ‘I am…’ Yet this is a dangerous universal language that has caused the downfall of many. The ‘I am’ which causes self exaltation above others is where the danger lies. Not in the ‘I just passed my exams or, I just got promoted or, I had a great time!’ These are good moments to be proud, like when a parent is proud of there children. The pride we are talking about here is when we become consumed with self. When we love our self more than others and God, when we love our position of authority more than the people under our authority, when we think so highly of our self that we put others down. This is the destructive pride, the pride that God opposes. This is why it is so hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of Heaven, he is blinded by his proud position. It has nothing to do with God wanting them there because God desires all to be saved. The rich man (or woman) cannot see a need for God because they place security in the money and posessions they have. When a rich person is stripped of all they have, they should thank God for removing the plank from their eye so that they may say their need for him.

Pride is the biggest obstacle in regards to being saved through Christ. This is why the gospel flourishes in poor places, they can see their need for a saviour. If you are surrounded by the security of posessions then coming to know God seems an unesscassary pursuit. Humility is a gateway to the kingdom of Heaven. Humility is not thinking less of yourself, its thinking of yourself less. Quote – Rick Warren. Once we gain a proper perspective on the danger of pride and the language it speaks, we will be equipped to deal with it and overcome this seemingly giant warrior. Pride is only as big as we magnify it, thats why it’s best to deal with it from the start. If we are all honest, we would admit that we all have pride at times. We all want recognition for our good works, we all desire some kind of position that makes us more powerful, likeable or accepted. There is pride in each of us if we examine ourself to the core.

So how do we deal with it? Gain a right perspective. See pride for what it really is, ask God for help to deal with it, which by the way takes humility, and cut it out of your life. Focus more on God, others and then self. Joy means: Jesus, Others, Yourself. This is how pride is weakened and defeated. This is how you walk in victory all your days. Speaking as someone who has struggled with depression, I had a revelation in regards to it. The more a depressed person is focused on the depression or the reason for it, the stronger the hold depression has. An antidote for depression for a christian is worship and praise. Read the Psalms, surely David struggled with depression, yet he always praised God anyway. Its hard not to focus on the feelings of depression when they are so strong and in those times worship may feel more like an act than an offering of praise, yet that changes as the Holy Spirit enables us to worship in truth and in Spirit.

What does that have to do with the language of pride? It takes humility to still worship and thank God despite feelings, pride would be a barrier for this. The only way that barrier is broken is by choosing to worship anyway. For example, pride would say somethings like, ‘I don’t feel like worshipping God, how can I worship him after the way I have been treated, who is God that he wants me to worship him after all I have been through?’ These things that are said are based upon our emotions and can create a stronghold for worshipping God. On the other hand humility would say some things like, ‘I may feel down and horrible, but Im still gona worship God, I may not understand my circumstamces but I will still worship the Lord, I may have had a hard life but I have an eternity of joy to look forward too!’ This is how to change the perspective, this is how we defeat pride!

Complain and remain, praise and be raised. Joyce Meyer.

James 4:6 God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.

God bless

DMZ

Take a breath

The picture above is near my home in Portugal – The city of Barreiro 

Stop rushing round just for a moment, shhh, be still and listen. You have been holding your breath going round frantically, missing out when there’s so much to see. Allow the radiance of the sun to invite you into its presence, feel the earths essence and breath it in. Isn’t this the taste of freedom? All of our senses tickled at the same time; the fresh air on our skin from the breeze, the smell of summer with the scent of flowers, the sound of the singing birds and the flow of nearby streams, the beauty that beckons as the sun sets at night, the stars that glisten with the moon so bright. This is life, a gift from our creators hands, from the deep blue see to the masses of lands. Enjoy this gift, don’t let business rob you of this. So stop for a moment, take a breath on this beautiful day, because when we stop for just one moment, life becomes precious with every breath that we take.

God bless

Dmz

The Lord will provide

Your on the way to the cash point; you have your money on your mind, bills set aside and know that you have some spare for other things. You get to the cash point, check your balance and…oh no, there’s nothing there! You had everything planned of how to spend the money just to discover there is none to spend. You anticipated a certain amount and now you feel let down. What about my bills? What about bobs birthday present? What? Why? When? And so on…

Money is important but money is not God. When you think about food, what comes to your mind when you think of where it came from? The shop right? I would have thought that. Lets take this to the next level, the manufacturer right? Getting warmer. Oh, the farm where the food grows? Or the tree right? So close! Lets go even further than this. When we trace all food (exluding things that were once living for now) we see that it all started with a seed, a tiny seed that grew into something that could fill our stomaches! Where did the seed come from? I think the account of creation in Genesis gives us some idea, yes, it came from God! Then we have the cows and pigs, chickens and so on, these were once something so small that grew up to be food.

In the begginning God provided and he still provides today. We forget this because Gods provison is masked by self-sufficiency and co dependancy rather than God dependency. It’s good to be independent and take serious our God given responsibilities, it’s also good being co-dependent and working as a team. Yet somewhere along the line we have cast God aside and trusted more in the work of our hands than our creator. When we here bible verses saying the Lord will provide we tend to think only of the miracles of Gods provision, like the manna from Heaven in exodus 16, or the flour mentioned in the story of Elijah and the Widow at Zarephat in 1 kings 17.

Yet who says the verse ‘the Lord will provide’ only means food? When we think of provision, money or food are usually our first thoughts. Yet consider the other provisions of God; the air we breathe, eye sight, family and friends, talents, words and much more. These provisions are freely given. Without these provisions in the first place we wouldn’t be able to obtain what is necessary for our lives. Without the provision of the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross we could not obtain eternal life.

Sometimes I have wondered about the starving people in the world and where Gods provision is for them. That’s why what is about to be said is so important to our faith in Christ, because without this understanding the goodness of God will always be doubted. One other essential part of Gods provision is each other. Adam was created from the dust of the ground, God saw that it was not good for man to be alone so he created Eve. Eve was made out of Adams rib (his side) why not make her from the ground? Because God was teaching us from the beginning we were created to be together not independent. God didn’t create her from the head or the foot as an indication of our co-dependency as well as the uniqueness of Eve. You see, she still had her independence as a unique created being, but she also knew that her purpose would not be fulfilled without this living together in untiy.

The Lord has given us so much, from beautiful views of his creation, our families and even himself. It is not just about food, Jesus is our spiritual bread providing far more nutrition than the sunday roast dinner ever could. We may not have been born into the best families and think what God has provided us with is not his best; we may not have had enough money to feed ourselves sometimes and wonder where Gods provision was. Have you asked him? And if like me you were not born into the greatest family and have had your doubts about Gods goodness and provision, then there is one more thing that is important to know. God has provided us with a will, the ability to choose and the freedom to ask. You can choose to let your past and experiences define who you are, or you can let God define you. ‘The Lord will provide’, this is not just a nice sounding motto, this is biblical based life changing truth. Sometimes, however, God will require a step of faith before providing. Like when Abraham took a leap of faith to sacrifice his son Isaac. Abraham knew in his heart the Lord would provide the lamb for the sacrifice.
So, have you asked God to meet all your needs in Christ? Are you trusting him to provide. There is no limits to Gods provision, the only limit is how much we believe in it.

Genesis 22:14 So Abraham called that place The LORD Will Provide. And to this day it is said, “On the mountain of the LORD it will be provided.”

Image – google clip art

Peace and God bless.

DMZ

The depths of grace

If you have been rescued from the muddy mire of your sins, then the grace of God takes on new heights and depths. We may say thanks when God forgives us for stealing a pen from work or telling a small white lie. But when God forgives us for something far more extreme like sexual sin or violence, then grace takes on a whole new meaning, it makes less sense the more serious the sin. Would God really forgive a murderer? Would God really forgive the pimp or the prostitute? Would God really forgive the pedophile? That last one is especially very difficult to grasp! Yet here is the crazy undeniable truth about grace, when someone turns to Christ with sincere repentance then yes they can be forgiven. This doesn’t seem fair right? One sin can keep a person from heaven no matter how small. ‘I’m a good person’, you may say, ‘I have helped the poor and brought medicine to the sick, I haven’t broke the law of the land and have done the best I can’. Yes the world is full of good decent people despite the amount of bad news, the good people far out number the bad. Here is the sad truth, and we need to really grasp this in order to understand the depths of grace.

The world is full of good people but not a single person is perfect. It takes a perfect record to enter Heaven, yet not one of these good people is good enough to enter Heaven! We may have kept the law of the land (and this is a great thing to do) but we have failed to keep the law of Heaven. When you thought about revenge but never took it, you broke the law of Heaven. When you talked bad about so and so but didn’t say it to their face, you broke the law of Heaven. When you saw someone in need and could help but didn’t, you broke the law of Heaven. When you looked at that person with lustful eyes but didn’t act on it, you broke the law of Heaven.
Now that puts a lot of good people outside of Heaven because one broken Heavenly law keeps a person bound to hell. This is not fair right? How is it possible to get into Heaven then? ‘I am doomed, I am far worse than most people! especially in my thought life, so how can I get to Heaven?!’ And why should I be good if at the end of this life I am bound to hell?! Before we get to the remedy of our predicament, it’s important to note that as someone speaking from a christian perspective we seem to shy away from speaking about hell. Some have fallen to the false teaching of universalism and believe that one day all will be saved. Some believe in purgery, that is the belief that people will go to a hell for a time to pay for their sins and then be released, others believe God is too loving and kind to allow a place called hell for people to end up in. I am sorry to be the one to tell you, hell is real, and it is a terrible place to end up in! If universalism is true then Jesus sacrificed his life on the cross for nothing, if purgery is true then Christ can’t have paid for our sins on the cross and if there is no hell then what did Jesus die for?! Broad is the way to hell, do you know what this means? It means that there are many ways to get there and many people freely choose it. Narrow is the way to heaven, this means that there is only one entry point. Its like a motorway compared to a one way country lane. I think you get the drift right?

So where do we stand as a human race before a holy God who can only take a perfect record for Heaven?
If my record was not swapped for Jesus perfect record the day I believed in Jesus, then I dread to think how long my list of sins would have been. It would be like that filing cabinet from the film Bruce Almighty, it would seem like a small list at first, but when compared to the holiness of a perfect God the list is far bigger than I anticipated. The good news is that Heaven too is real and is far greater than our finite minds can imagine. Take the greatest place on earth along with the greatest feeling and mulitpy it many times over, now we are getting close to what Heaven is really like. Yes, be excited! All the hardship of earth, all the unfair treatments, all the losses and all the pain you have ever been through will be washed away through the blood of Jesus when you stand in heaven. How did you get there? Through Gods grace and your faith. Did you tick all the boxes and do everything right? No, but Jesus ticked every box nessecary for entering Heaven, these ticked boxes are also on your record the day you believe in him. 

To understand the depth of grace, we had to understand more of what Jesus has truly saved us from. If we do not realize the horrors of hell and the consequences of our sins, then we would not fully grasp the grace of God. Do not be afraid, only believe! Grace leads us home, God wants none to perish but for all to come to the knowledge of him. Sadly many choose the broad way, I hope that you who read this post up to this point may make a decision to believe in Jesus. Follow the link below after the prayer for what next in your walk of faith.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, I come before you now knowing that i am a sinner in need of your saving grace. I sincerely ask you for forgiveness for all the wrongs I have ever done. Please write my name in the book of life and give me your perfect record. Thank you for the cross and your sacrifice for me. I ask this in jesus name, amen.

You may not feel any difference after that prayer, but if you meant it you can trust that you are going to heaven. It is the begginning of a journey. Below in the link are steps for new christians. Please see it as it explains far more for you.

http://www1.cbn.com/teachingsheets/steps-for-new-believers-in-jesus-christ

Image – google clip art

Welcome! God bless you and much love from…

DMZ