God’s Son Had A Brief Sojourn On Earth

The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy; I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. John 10:10

For more than ten years, I was a sojourner in the army of God as a volunteer missionary with an international orphan organization that specialized in transforming volunerable children’s lives, building strong families and enriching the lies of senior adults based on incorporating the tenent principles associated with Christ-centered values.

In last week’s blog on this site, I mentioned that people often asked me how I could remember so much background information about lineages and genealogies in the Bible. Others also wanted to know my secret for ascertaining the direction a particular character in the Bible would pursue. Well, because of those statements, this week I received several requests for specific examples. I found two perfect New Testament parables in Luke to enlighten you guys from chapters 18 and 19, concerning the blind beggar and the story of Zacchaeus in the tree.

Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me! Lord, I want to see,”
It was great sitting in the branches and looking down on everyone. Then the most amazing thing happened. Jesus stopped and looked up at Zacchaeus. ‘Zacchaeus,’ He said, ‘I want to come to your house for a meal!’ Zacchaeus jumped down at once and quickly showed Jesus the way to his house. Some of the people were very angry. Why was Jesus being kind to Zacchaeus? Didn’t He know how horrible he was? – Slide 3

“Zacchaeus, come down from that tree. I want to go home with you”, Jesus said.

(Using a descriptive Legend Expressed by Jews in Jesus’ Day):

City of Jericho - A town occupied by citizens of mixed identity.
A Beggar          - An Israelite belief that God would never allow his children to beg 
                                 for bread.
The Beggar      - He Recognized Jesus as being a Son (descendant) of King David.
The Beggar      - Although despised by some, Jesus said he had more faith than others.
Blind Person    - An informative (defect/illness) that plagues sinners.
Tax Collector   - An occupation imposed by Rome and despised by Jews.
Tax Collector   - Although ostracized by some, identified by Jesus as a son of Abraham.
The crowd       - Disrespected Jesus.  Identified Jesus as being from Nazareth, a city
                                where nothing good could come out of.
The crowd       - Disrespected the blind man.  Told him to shut up.
The crowd       - Disapproved of Jesus going to dine at the home of a tax collector.

Following is a brief summation of both parables:

It is recorded in scripture that Jesus passed through the ancient city of Jericho on at least two occasions. Large crowds followed Him. Jesus never failed to take time to heal people that the crowds considered to be an outcast in their communities. In both stories, the two men involved with our Lord had isolated themselves from the crowd and they both had a need. The blind beggar who sat along the road side needed his sight to be restored (Luke 18:35-43). Zacchaeus, a chief tax collector, short in stature and who had climbed a tree to see Jesus, he needed to be converted from his wicked ways. (Luke 19:1-10)

The crowds who followed Jesus had shown indignation towards these two men and expressed their distain and were non obliging towards Jesus’ reception of them. The crowd wanted and expected Jesus to only associate with their kind, and not to have anything to do with those who were considered to be an outcast.

Jesus turned the tables on the crowd by proclaiming that the blind man was deserving to receive his sight based on his level of faith he had demonstrated in Jesus. And on behalf of Zacchaeus, Jesus said to the crowd that in spite of this man’s occupation, he never the less still was a child of Abraham and that the Son of Man (Jesus) came to seek and to save what was lost.

My prayer for you…

Heavenly Father, I truly want to proclaim Your message and live in such a way that people will be able to see from my actions that I am serious about my faith. And I also pray for everyone who comes to this blog post and desires to follow in Your footsteps after reading conversational stories as to how You structured Your life’s journey while a sojourner on earth. How Your heart’s desire was to aide and abet Your fellowman. Please, Lord Jesus, help us all to get this attribute right. Amen.

Scripture Lesson: “You became imitators of us and of the Lord. The Lord’s message rang out from you not only in Macedonia and Achaia–your faith in God has become known everywhere. Therefore we do not need to say anything about it. (1 Thessalonians 1:6, 8)

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God Carried Me On Eagle’s Wings

People Sharing Memories

It’s good to reminisce sometimes…don’t you think? You know, just to kick back and allow your mind to wander and to recall an assortment of events that have taken place in an earlier time in your past life. And, yes, your mind will conjure up some good times and some bad times and some regrettable times. Well, I found myself doing just that as I settled down to write this week’s blog. And of course, the Holy Spirit wasted no time in connecting me with the Second Person of the Trinity. Jesus Christ.

My first thoughts were of my (deceased) paternal grandmother. I remembered (when I was a youngster) how she loved for me to comb and scratch her hair in the afternoons as she sat in her wooden porch swing and hummed her favorite hymns. I loved that assignment because I dreamed of becoming a hairdresser when I grew up. Next, a scary and frightful thought crossed my mind as I remembered riding in the back seat of a car being driven by a neighbor and his wife. We were driving pretty fast on the express way when all of a sudden, the front hood of the car came unlatched and flew back onto our windshield and momentarily blinded the driver. We all started screaming. Somehow, the driver was able to safely steer the car over to the far right lane and onto the grass. I saw several cars veering around our car in an attempt to avoid a collision. Miraculously, no one was hurt.

My next thoughts were mostly about my later years when I became more active in my church. People would ask me how I remembered so much background about lineages and genealogies in the Bible or be able to ascertain the direction a particular character in the Bible would pursue. I remember telling that person that I always studied the Bible with a pencil and paper near by and I would jot down thoughts that would enter my mind concerning the chapters I read. To this day, I still study like that.

And that habit is what steered me to write about eagles in today’s blog.

Bible Verses About Eagles

As I began to catalogue the ‘eagle’ scriptures, I began to realize that God had been carrying me on eagle’s wings all my life. God had been my protector from all hurt, harm and danger. I also realized that though I may exalt myself like an eagle, there is no cleft in a rock where I can hide from Him.

Some Little Known Facts About The Eagle's Nest
                         By S. L. Fowler

Most birds build only one nest per year
Which cradles their eggs to be hatched
But some birds build two or three new homes in a season
Because they are more industrious than the rest.

The Bald Eagle uses the same nest year after year
And is known to be a monogamous creature
This bird of prey possesses keenness of vision
Which helps her to spot her prey and make wise decisions.

America's national symbolic bird builds her nest
High in the cleft of mountaintops or in a very tall and sturdy tree
And each year the eagle keeps the nest in repair
By applying more and more materials to the existing aerie.

You can imagine that in just a few short years
After continuously adding new branches and mud
The eagle's nest would be so massive and heavy
Many scientists believe it could possibly weigh a ton.

As I studied the Holy Bible, I became mesmerized with God’s word and just how much he had to say about birds and especially eagles. And once when I was a member of a writer’s group, I wrote the above short poem about the eagle. The bible’s depiction of eagles is voluminous: they are creatures of strength; having broad wings of protection; keen eye sight for searching; the capability to soar to great heights; wreak havoc with his mighty claws; and remain for a life-time with one mate and one nest. But what is most amazing about the eagle is that it can hide from predators by flying directly into the blinding glare of sun rays.

My prayer for you…

Dear Heavenly Father, how wonderful it is that You speak to us personally through Your Word, during our life time. And that we can respond to You metaphorically through the Word. It is our desire that You teach us to spend more time with You in this way and to hear Your voice speaking to us personally each and every day of our lives. Amen.

Scripture Lesson: “The terror you inspire and the pride of your heart have deceived you, you who live in the clefts of the rocks. Though you build your nest as high as the eagle’s, from there I will bring you down,” declares the Lord. Jeremiah 49:16

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God Speaks…But Do People Listen?

When EF Hutton talks, people listen – ‘Classroom’ commercial

https://www.youtube.com › click and watch this 30 second commercial NOW! After viewing, click the “BACK” button at the upper left hand corner of your screen to return to this blog.

Originally aired in 1986, this EF Hutton commercial takes place in an elementary school classroom featuring a girl reciting the alphabet.

****************************************************************************

Most of us remember EF Hutton as a thriving commercial banking stock broker company that was the darling of Wall Street, back in the day. It went ‘belly up’, and since has reorganized, liquidated a majority of its assets, and rebranded themselves under a new name with new leadership. Evidently, not enough people listened, and EF Hutton bit the dust!

God speaks…But do people listen?

In the beginning, God made arrangements for his Son, Jesus Christ, to speak for him. Though Jesus physically walked on this earth approximately 32 years He is made alive by the Spirit and thus capable to speak to those persons who lived in the past, who lives in the present, and who will live in the future but are yet unborn. I am describing a miracle-working MAN Who is God-centered and spiritually blessed to speak not only to human beings, but is also empowered to speak to inanimate objects and they listen and obey, too. Who wouldn’t adhere to someone with so much power and authority. Yes, when Jesus Christ speaks, people listen. (So, eat your heart out, EF Hutton!!!)

Numerous circumstances abound in the Scriptures concerning our Lord’s oratorical engagements. In many of those incidents you find the persons querying Jesus while on their knees. The Syro-Phoenician woman of Mark 7:26 was in that posture when she approached Jesus. In spite of His disciples, she asked Him for a word that would cleanse her daughter’s body of the horrific demons that possessed her. In that same chapter, Jairus, a ruler of the synagogue, another one who came on bended knee, begged Jesus to come to his home and speak a word over his daughter who lay at the point of death. Scripture also tells us that Jesus spoke to fig trees, raging storms, tidal waves, fish in the sea, issues of blood, mountains and lunch boxes!

It has been said that once you learn the lesson of EF Hutton, you will never have any trouble figuring out who the real Leader is…

I had my own experience once while on an international mission trip to an orphan home in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, as I stood inside a classroom awaiting my students to teach a bible story to them. To my surprise, there were no student desks in the room, just stacked chairs. No black boards, no chalk, no writing paper for the students to take notes. I mused as to how to proceed. Then I asked the Lord. Immediately, my attention was directed to a lone chair in a corner with a large box on it. I went over to the chair to inquire of its contents. What I saw inside puzzled me. The box was full of small brown paper sandwich bags. What was I to do with these bags, I thought.

Strong and Durable 12 lb Kraft Paper Grocery / Lunch Bag Keeps Food Fresh by MT Products (50 Pieces)

As the children marched into the room, each one grabbed a chair and immediately sat down on it and stared at me. I gave them a warm greeting and introduced myself and instructed them to come and take a bag out of the box and return to their seats. In my own supplies, I had brought several boxes of crayons and allowed each student to choose a color prior to returning to their seat. I surveyed the class and still realized that we had no desk to write on. My EF Hutton (..the Holy Spirit…), spoke to me and said to tell the students to get out of their chairs and kneel down in front of them and use the chair seat area to serve as their desks. WALLAH!! EUREKA!!…problem solved!

God was not through with me, yet!

While the students were on their knees, I opened our time together in prayer. Next, I informed the class that I was going to tell them a story about Joseph and Mary and their trip to Bethlehem where Baby Jesus would be born in a stable because there was no more hotel rooms for His parents. As I relayed the significant parts of the story, the students began to draw their own concept of images on all four sides of their lunch bag. When I completed the story, I repeated the memory verse and the students wrote it in Spanish on the bottom of the bag. I instructed the children to make a fist and to place the opened bag over their fist and use their bag like a puppet and retell the story when they go back to their villages and share the Baby Jesus story. The children were ecstatic to visualize the recognition they would have when they returned home. I, personally, was humbled and blessed to realize just how much the Lord took an interest in my problem and came to my rescue. My ‘take-away’ is…when God speaks…I listen!!

What about You?…

Perhaps your prayer should be something like this: Dear All-knowing and All-caring Heavenly Father, I beseech you to make me whole heartedly prepared not only to ask of You things that I need, but also to have the right motives in my heart for doing so. For only in this manner will those sincere prayers be answered by You. I thank you once again for being my Help Mate during those ten years of my tour as an international missionary in Your service. May You and You alone be my strength and my redeemer. Amen.

Scripture Lesson: “What good is it, my brothers (and sisters), if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him? As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead. (James 2:14, 26)

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God Desired to Converse With Me Concerning Salt

Where Does the Phrase “Salt of the Earth” Come From?

“You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot” (Matthew 5:13).

THE PROLOGUE…

I heard an imaginary knock at my front door. I sat up in bed and leaned my body towards the direction I thought I heard the sound. “Tap, tap, tap”, I heard it again. What is going on, I quizzically mumbled. It’s 1:00 a.m. in the morning? Immediately, I scooted out of bed and tip-toed toward my front door. “Who is it?” I quietly asked. No answer. I repeated the question. “Who is it?” Still no answer. Then, suddenly, without provocation, and in my minds eye, I saw a picture of my license plate on the back of my car. It reads: “MY JAH”. So instantly, because there was no answer at the door, but only in my heart, I made an assumption that MY Lord (My Jah) wanted to speak to me through the Holy Spirit.

True, I had fallen asleep while reading my Bible, but I was not in a quandary when that happened. Neither was I perplexed nor uncertain about anything (I thought). Nevertheless, I left the area of the front door and went straight into my office and sat down in front of my computer. I offered up a quick prayer and then said, “Speak Lord, thy servant is listening”. I was lead to brows through my file cabinet where I found an article on “Household Uses of Salt”. I was surprised to learn that all of the uses for salt in the article had to do with household cleaning and for medicinal purposes…and nothing about foods.

Then it hit me. The Holy Spirit spoke and whispered, My child, you are the salt of the earth. Do you know what that means?

I quickly grabbed my Bible and searched the scriptures for references to salt. The following facts below are what I learned that increased my understanding and worthiness in the Kingdom of God.

Three Scripture Examples:
Matthew 5:13            
Jesus is speaking to His disciples and uses a metaphor to describe them as salt. In                                       ancient times salt was a valuable commodity and in some regions it was worth more               
then its weight in gold.  The expression "He's not worth his salt", was originated by the 
Greeks during their slave trading sales.  The Romans used salt to pay wages to their 
soldiers.  And from salt we get the Latin word salarium, which when translated into 
English becomes "salary".

Job 6:6                        
It also is very important to remember that during Jesus' times, there was no refrigeration, 
and salt was used to preserve and to flavor food, especially fish.

Ezekiel 16:4                
Here we learn that salt was used to wash newborn babies and disinfect open wombs.  
Jesus was actually describing in these scripture the preserving qualities of a true disciple.   

Something else I saw in the “Sermon on the Mount” scriptures in Matthew 5 was the identity of the classes of people God would especially be talking about. For example, it is written that ‘Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth’. (Matthew 5:5) The actual meaning comes from what this verse is not saying. You will recall that one of the reasons why most of the ancient peoples did not receive Jesus was because He preached ‘meek and mild’ sermons, and ‘turn the other cheek’ reprimands. And the people wanted a Messiah that would demonstrate attributes of a soldier and go to war against Rome and bring freedom from oppression to the Jews and their converts. Not so according to Jesus. It would take a meek leader to do that.

The Epilogue…

So, in my conversation with God through the Holy Spirit, I believe I was awaken from my sleep to be reminded that I am (as well as all of God’s people), are the salt of the earth. We have been assigned by God to act like salt and be preservers of the land and extend our disinfectant qualities to the wounds of those inhabitants in our sphere of influence. But if God’s people looses their good spiritual salt qualities and become like rock salt that lies along the Dead Sea and is often impure and harsh, they become good for nothing. In fact, in ancient times, rock salt was used only to spread on the temple courtyards in wet weather to make them less slippery.

I smiled as I came to a close of writing this blog. I whimsically said to the Holy Spirit, now in addition to improving my sticky iron by sprinkling salt on a piece of waxed paper and running the hot iron over it a few times to clean it up, I can sprinkle a pinch of salt over my shoulder and implore the Holy Spirit to improve my approach to my fellowman and pray for strength to be more of a godly salt-servant in the household of our Lord and Savior. Amen!

Good Night!

Minister Michael Mahendere – Salt of the Earth (Lyric Video)

https://www.youtube.com › watch

Scripture Lesson: “For God speaks again and again, in dreams, in visions of the night when deep sleep falls on men as they lie on their beds. He opens their ears in times like that, and gives them wisdom and instruction, causing them to change their minds, and keeping them from pride, and warning them of the penalties of sin, and keeping them from falling into some trap.” Job 33:14-18

Click http://www.tgifmasterminds.com every Friday for a new post from The Master’s servant manager…Me!