Where the Rubber Meets the Road

“Where the rubber meets the road” was an expression used by a famous tire company in the 1970s. Its purpose was to advertise the endurance and safety of their tires. While tested in the factory, they promised that the true test came when supporting a car and its occupants on the open road.rubber

The analogy of such testing can be applied to the Christian faith. Our faith is tested wherever we are, but the true test comes when are out in the open, living and sharing our faith with others.

As long as Jerry and I lived secluded and sheltered in our little inlet (cul-de-sac) we did not have a lot of contact with the world; just family, church, and shopping local stores.

Now that we are publishing our books, the work by which we are proclaiming the legacy of God’s kingdom, we are on the open road ~ open to encounters that we never expected.

Our faith is being tested to a degree that will show the strength and endurance of what God is doing, or to produce a “blow out.”

In all this, it is His Word and His Spirit that are being tested, proving that the work is His and not ours.

The tires that support and carry the car that each of us drive have within them a tube filled with air. A “blow out” occurs if the tube is punctured.
When we get behind the wheel, we trust that the tires will in their revolutions carry us where we need to go.  We trust God’s Word and the power of His Holy Spirit to carry us through this hard road of life.  He will not fail in His promises and presence with us to bring us to Himself.

Do we drive on tires that we have made? Can we live on a faith that we have produced? The tires of our faith are created for each of us; given with new hearts filled with the power of His Holy Spirit; tested in the factory of the life of Christ. They will be tested to the greatest degree, according to His own Word of truth in each of His children.

We may be slowed a bit, made to rest a while to spend time with Him, for examining, or nurturing of our faith. Then, He sends us on the road again to witness of His grace, with more assurance and endurance. In the times of greater testing our faith is growing, becoming stronger, bringing Him the glory, and us the joy.

Let us encourage and pray for each other as God’s children to know His presence and power as we live openly proclaiming Christ as life and light in the darkness of this world.1-peter-1-6-7

Dear Father, you have blessed each of us with a new heart and a new spirit, a new life supported by the faith you produce in us. Strengthen us and enable us to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. Let us in the open road of this life continue our pilgrimage with assurance that you will, in and through us, meet every condition. Prove your presence; glorify yourself and grow us in the process. We praise you for the testing. Enable us to praise you during the testing. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

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Agile to Fragile

imagesChildren skip into youth ~

 

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Youth leap
into adulthood  ~

 

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Adults run headlong into old age.

 

Some come to a screeching halt when the body is unable to keep up the normal pace.

Others gradually slow down as life becomes more difficult.

The younger generation catches up and overtakes us. We become inundated with a youth culture that is hard to understand and to which we can relate.

The ophthalmologist who examined Mother’s eyes twelve years ago, observed, “She is fragile, isn’t she.”
She was born the fifth daughter of twelve children. Before any brothers were born, her father took her hunting and taught her everything he would have taught a son. She started her first full time job and married at the age of fifteen. She was a small woman, but agile, strong, and faithful. There was nothing she could not do that she wanted to do or needed to do. She lived to the age of 92, after taking care of my dad, and enduring six years of dementia. And during those years she was fragile.

Now, I know the feeling of this fragility. Though I am in my second childhood, and loving it ~ loving what the Lord is doing in my life ~ there is a sense of losing strength and agility that I once had. Children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren have their own lives, and don’t seem to need us anymore..
This does not mean that we are discontent, or disheartened. More so, we are more content than ever, encouraged even in these difficult times, and more tenderhearted toward others. We are able to see the needs of others, and to pray for them.
Our greatest desire is that we have something lasting and eternal to share with the younger generation, believing that this is God’s plan for His people.unknown

Dear Father, thank you for the seasons of this life, for the agility we need as children, and for the fragility of the senior years. I praise you, that for the things we lost or left behind, you have replaced with your presence and power, the joy that is ours in Christ, our Lord, and the increase of faith and hope for the eternal life that you now share with us. Thank you for the strength and grace that we need for each day. I pray that you bring generations closer in faith and understanding of the true meaning of life and enable us to see the need for each other. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

“So we do not lose heart. Though our outer nature is wasting away, our inner nature is being renewed day by day.  For this slight momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison.”
2 Corinthians 4:16-17

Music: My Grace is Sufficient
2 Corinthians 12:9-10

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Going Up To Jerusalem

imageGoing Up To Jerusalem is related to our last post, Going Up To The Feast. The last Feast that Jesus and His disciples attended in Jerusalem was an example set for us as His disciples who follow Him now.

We, too, are being led by the Spirit of Christ, continually “going up to Jerusalem” — the new Jerusalem.

Each day we have the mind of Christ, learning to set aside our own desires, to follow Him sacrificially; in every circumstance remembering our goal, why we are here and where we are going.

Each Lord’s Day is a practice session and preparation for the wedding feast and the eternal glory to which Christ is leading us.

Dear God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, thank you for our calling to follow in obedience of faith, that we may always be “going up” and anticipating our destination. Let us praise you and rejoice always in you for such a great salvation and calling in Christ. Let us always be able to answer any who ask us the reason for our hope. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

Going Up To The Feast

(Our daughter and her family will be coming for our Thanksgiving meal today, so there is not much time for writing, but I wanted to share these thoughts.)

When we think of our family feasts, are they just traditional ~ spending time with our family, eating and drinking to satisfy our human desires ~ or do we gather for a purpose beyond the physical?  Do we, as God’s people, understand the meaning of thanksgiving and feasting from a spiritual and eternal viewpoint?

During Jesus’ time, one of the feasts of the Jewish people was set for families to celebrate Passover in Jerusalem. They gathered as God’s people to remember the end of their bondage in Egypt. The Passover lamb was sacrificed and offered as atonement for their sins. Even as a lamb’s blood was slain in Egypt and painted on the doorpost of the houses of those who belonged to Him, the same sacrifice was being performed in Jerusalem year after year.

Going Up To Jerusalem

As Jesus spent three years with His disciples, He continually spoke of their “going up to Jerusalem.” He also said on different occasions that His “hour had not yet come.”

The last Passover celebration for Jesus, when His hour had come, He went up to Jerusalem. He instructed His disciples to prepare the evening meal, and then during their meal together He established the Lord’s Supper, a meal that would be for us a means to celebrate with Him as our once, and for all time atonement and the end of our bondage to sin.

From this dinner, He went to the Garden of Gethsemane where He prepared Himself to become the sacrificial Lamb. While the world was sleeping He was basting in prayer and tears. Then in the secret chambers of the enemy, He met “the power of darkness” and willingly submitted to be offered up as our sacrifice.

Jesus was crucified, and on the post of the cross the Father saw the blood of the Lamb. We look, in faith, to the blood of the Lamb of God, sacrificed for our sins, high and lifted up. We look to Him, partake of His sacrifice, and live, free from the power of the enemy and sin, now and for eternity.

42df8f2cf4c69a547c8b0b47f2a896caIs there anything for which we should be thankful, anything that would supersede our feasting on the Lamb that was offered for us.

Dear Father, such gratitude is beyond our offering, for such a sacrifice that is beyond our understanding. Work in the hearts of your people that we may taste, see, and experience the life of freedom and joy that is ours in Christ, your Son. Work your Spirit in our spirits to set forth praise and thanksgiving to you, to our Lord Jesus Christ and to your Holy Spirit for the work of our salvation. Keep us always rejoicing in you, with a daily celebration of praise and living to your glory. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

Related Article:  The Feast

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Where Do We Go From Here?

(We are closing our website, Father and Family Books, and concentrating all our efforts here and on Facebook, as we continue to proclaim the legacy of God’s kingdom. Our first ministry of writing (second to caring for Jerry) will still be through the publishing of our books, but we will maintain this blog as a means of sharing what our heavenly Father gives for the edifying of His people. And so, we will seek the blessing from Him as we post in the future.)

As we wrote in an earlier post A World in Crisis (before the election) we now see the scenes of this reality unfolding in our country. Even as God’s people, we wonder where He is and what He is doing.

In the next few posts, I want to document for our legacy as God’s children things that we need to remember so that we see God’s work unfolding in the middle of the chaos of this world. How can we maintain our faith, hope and joy in such times as these?  We are challenged not only to endure; not only to strive, and to survive, but to thrive through all things, in the power, the love, the wisdom and grace of our God and our Lord Jesus Christ.images

Growing up I was often reminded that when we see the devil’s work, we can be assured that God is doing something greater. We are distracted by the physical elements of the world and how Satan works in and through men. God, our heavenly Father teaches us to look beyond what we can see with the physical eye, to catch a glimpse of His greatness and glory. In this we can see the working of His grace and goodness. The Renaissance and the Protestant Reformation happened at the same time. There were two kingdoms operating from two perspectives, which is the history of this world, since the antithesis began in the Garden with our first parents.

Let us, as God’s children, be about the Father’s business in the only kingdom that will survive all generations, until in the fullness of time, all things are united in Christ, “things in heaven and things on earth.” Ephesians 1:10

Dear Father in heaven, we need you, by the power of your Holy Spirit, to reveal your presence and power to us as your children, as we live in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation.  Give us your love, joy, and peace; shine your light through us to draw others to Christ.  Make us an open door to your kingdom.  In Jesus’ name we pray.  Amen.

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The CONCLUSION

screen-shot-2016-11-08-at-11-20-09-amToday we come to the conclusion of six weeks of prayer for our nation, and the conclusion of an election for a new President of these United States of America.

More importantly we come to the conclusion of the whole matter of all prayer for all things.

We have used the context of the prayer which our Lord Jesus Christ gave us, recorded for all generations and all times in Matthew 6:9-13.

In the Lord’s Prayer, we used the preface and the petitions, and now we come to the conclusion.

Petitions are sandwiched between the preface and the conclusion. Jesus meant for us to see that all is from God, the Father; through Him, and for Him.

All things, all conditions, and all conclusions rest in His hands and His plans.

He is the conclusion of all things, before the beginning and to the end.

The preface is to address the one to whom we pray ~ “Our Father in heaven.”

The conclusion is to establish our purpose for prayer to our Father in heaven ~

“For Thine is the kingdom

“The Lord has established his throne in the heavens, and his kingdom rules over all.”
Psalm 103:19

and the power

“Once God has spoken; twice have I heard this: that power belongs to God,
Psalm 62:11

and the glory,
forever.”
“For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.”
Romans 11:36

Dear heavenly Father, we have these last six weeks poured out our hearts to you, seeking you, your kingdom, and your will as it concerns us as your children, the nation and the world in which we live.  We have no other means of wisdom, and authority.  You are our Father, the kingdom and power over all things.  You have promised your presence among us at all times, even when we can’t discern your leading and authority.  Make us to know your sovereign rule during times of uncertainty. When men and women are seeking their own glory, draw us to you to know your strength, your kingdom, your power and your glory over all.  By your Holy Spirit bring your truths to our minds and hearts.  Draw us closer to you and each other in prayer as we continue to seek your kingdom in our hearts and lives.  Make us strong in your word and in faith for what you have planned in the days and years ahead.  Let us always be ready to serve you and others in the name of Jesus our Lord ~ in whose name we pray.  Amen.
Music: Jude 24-25

Countdown For America ~ Week 6

l-497887Instead of normal writing time this morning, I spent time in the quietness of the Father’s presence, just to hear His voice; to worship Him, and to know His heart and mind in what to write in this post. As we have gone through the petitions of the Lord’s Prayer to pray for our nation, we have been learning how we as God’s people relate to the world in which we live. We are aliens and pilgrims here, journeying through a wilderness on our way home.

Men tell us that we must vote for a candidate of our choice to rule this nation, though there does not seem to be a clear choice for us as God’s people.

“In the sixth petition we pray that God would either keep us from being tempted to sin, or support and deliver us when we are tempted.” Shorter Catechism

What does the sixth petition have to do with a Presidential election?

There is no clear answer to this question.

The petition is a plea for our heavenly Father to keep us from sinning against Him.

Every petition of the Lord’s Prayer indicates a need for us. The first three express our need for the Father’s name, His kingdom, and His will to rule in our lives. These are the first needs in every Christian life. These are our focus, our heart’s desire, our determined reason for living. When these three are our main concern, we are promised that the last three are taken care of.

Such is our thought for this sixth petition.

The heavenly Father’s name, His kingdom, and His will rule over all our physical needs. Our temptations are under His reign and control, just as we are under His care for all things.

Our Example

Jesus fought His temptations with the two-edged sword, the Word of God; by the power of the Holy Spirit and prayer. Our heavenly Father does His work in and through us. We work out our own salvation with fear and trembling using the weapons He has given us. (Philippians 2:12-15)

Do we fear that we might give in to temptation? This is a good fear. It keeps us close to Him, in His Word and in prayer. Jesus told some that thought they believed in Him, “If you continue in my word, you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”   We are free to trust, worship and serve Him ~ fulfilling the purpose for our creation and redemption.

“Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.  Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world.” 1 Peter 5:8-9

Simon Peter in his first letter encouraged his readers to be aware of the enemy, the evil one. We are tempted when we mix and conform to the culture of the world, unaware of the enemy’s stronghold and power. The original translation for the sixth petition was “deliver us from the evil one.”

The main temptation of our day is the same as presented to our first parents: to forget God’s sovereign rule and our entire dependence on Him and His Word, and to place our trust in men and our own choices.

Dear heavenly Father,
You have placed a great need upon your people in this nation today. We are caught up in the struggle of man’s rule of your universe. We have mistakenly placed our trust in the government that man has planned. We are tempted to forget your omnipotence, your omniscience, and your omnipresence. We need you to reveal the power of your name, your kingdom, and your will in our hearts and lives.
Please pour out your Spirit upon us, drawing us to your Holy Word and Christ, your Son.
Bring us, as your people, to prayer and fasting this week, seeking your Word, to know and accept your holy will for us as your people and this nation. Let us not be tempted to go beyond the counsel of your word for the choices you want us to make, choices that you will use for your working ~ for your glory and our good.  In the middle of uncertainty, let us be content in your power, your promises and your presence with us. In Jesus’ name we pray.  Amen

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