Onward and Upward

Often I think of life as a simple “spiral.”
It circles, and as it turns, advances a little at the time.

Nothing is required for us to move in a downward spiral.
A natural downward spiral begins when we are born into this world. Our minds are set on things of this world, which draw us and drag us down. We are unable, of our own volition, to change our direction. Life never stays the same, and nature itself, by its gravity, keeps pulling us to its depths and the impending death that waits for us.

Those who are born into a culture that teaches Biblical principles may hear of God’s grace and His means of changing our direction, but we are at a loss to apply these principles in our own power.

The Bible teaches us that the direction of our lives change when we are reborn of the work of God’s Spirit in our heart and spirit (Ezekiel 36:26).   God gives us a new life through His Son, Jesus Christ, and by the power of His Spirit within us turns us, from the power of the downward spiral. By His kindness He brings us in repentance and faith to Himself (Acts 20:21; Romans 2:4). He continues through this life to bring us onward and upward, and to eternity with Him.

There is much more we could say in this short treatise about life here on earth, including sin and evil in this world, which is the reason for the downward spiral. The world has been in this downward deathly movement since the beginning of time, when our first parents turned from their Creator to make and take their own lives, and ours, in a different direction than His.

Are you aware of how you are turning, which way your life is going? Do you want to know this onward and upward movement in your life? Do you want to know the power of God’s Spirit working in you to bring you to Himself? No one can do an about-face, turning themselves. Many have tried, but to no avail. It requires the supernatural power of the Holy Spirit working through our spirit to give us a new heart and a new spirit (Ezekiel 36:26) This requires a new birth (John 3:3) which only He can give (John 1:12-13; 1 Peter 1:3). Regeneration, a new creation, and repentance is His spiritual work in us, and what a glorious experience to be turned and moving in the opposite direction from the world.

If you have yet to know this new life, I pray that you will reach for God’s Word, which He offers to you. Read the Holy Bible. If you have never read before, begin with the New Testament. Ask for His Holy Spirit (Luke 11:13); pray and pour out your heart to Him. He knows where you are and what you need. Read and pray until He, by His Spirit, turns you to repentance and faith as a new creature in Christ. He gave His life to deliver us from the present evil age (Galatians 1:3).

If you have never heard the good news of God’s changing our lives and our direction, and want to hear more I would be blessed to tell you more. You can email me at f.rogers@bellsouth.net. There is oh, so much more of this glorious upward spiral that is ours in Christ through whom we, as God’s children, live.

I will end this post by saying that your wedding day will not be the most wonderful day of your life. Neither will the birth of your children be the greatest experience you can know. There is nothing as wonderful as being born of the Spirit of God and living every day in Christ, in light of His promises and hope. It is the most uplifting experience of this life as He is preparing us for eternity with Him.

Gracious Father, how can we tell someone what it is like to know you and what life is like as your children? It is impossible to share the width, the depth and the height of your love. You must do the work in each of us. I pray that you would shine your light and the life of Christ through us, and by your Spirit, draw and birth others into your house and kingdom. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

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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A Crucial Seven Weeks

Seven weeks from today America will have a new president.  Those who voted for the winner will be happy. Those who voted for the loser will realize that their candidate was defeated, and their hope is gone.  Others have had no hope in either one.  These may remain confused and uncertain about the future of our country.

These seven weeks are crucial to the campaigns of the candidates. They are also crucial for us as God’s people. We, His children, who have an inheritance in His kingdom, have much at stake. We will never lose our legacy to that eternal kingdom, but we face the possibility of losing the freedom to continue to worship and express our faith here in this nation.

God, our Father can do all things without us, but He delights to include us in His campaign.

While the candidates and their supporters continue to rally, what should we do? We need to be aware of God’s will for each of us, not simply to say, “the will of the Lord be done.”

We Must Rally Around the Throne of Grace

“The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” James 5:16

It is by His grace that we are able to pray to our heavenly Father, as we seek His kingdom and His righteousness for this nation. We are called to pray in all circumstances, for His will and His glory. 

If you have not already planned or been led by your own pastor for a six-week prayer and fasting vigil, we encourage you to suggest it for your church. Don’t wait until after the election to pray. Don’t wish later that you had prayed. We’ll still need to pray, afterward, but we will know that we did all that our heavenly Father wanted us to do at this crucial time. After the election, we can rejoice and praise the Lord that His will is done, regardless of the outcome.  We can live in the hope and trust that He still rules and reigns over all; no matter who is president of this nation.

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Consider the Psalmist words, as we look to our only hope.

“Do not put your trust in princes,
Nor in a son of man, in whom there is no help.
His spirit departs, he returns to his earth;
In that very day his plans perish.

Happy is he who has the God of Jacob for his help, Whose hope is in the Lord his God,
Who made heaven and earth,
The sea, and all that is in them;
Who keeps truth forever,

Who executes justice for the oppressed,
Who gives food to the hungry.
The Lord gives freedom to the prisoners.
The Lord opens the eyes of the blind;
The Lord raises those who are bowed down;

The Lord watches over the strangers;
He relieves the fatherless and widow;
But the way of the wicked He turns upside down.
The Lord shall reign forever—
Your God, O Zion, to all generations.
Praise the Lord!”    Psalm 146:3-10

Dear Father, draw us to your throne of grace as you campaign for your kingdom’s rule in our hearts and lives.  Bring us to examine our faith and know that our hope is in you alone.  Let us praise you always, regardless of the circumstances of this life. In Jesus’ name I pray.  Amen.
For a guide to prayer for the next six weeks, please consider our last post ~ A World in Crisis.

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A World in Crisis

Was the whole world in crisis when God sent Jonah to Nineveh? It might have been, had God not saved that city.  In this year of 2016, all nations are experiencing some kind of crisis, but especially here in the USA.  At no other time in history have we seen such a lack of hope for a sensible government to rule this nation.  Where is our hope as we near the time of an election for a new president?635174824587222334sad-child-divorce
Are we to sit around and wring our hands? Are we to be concerned about the condition of our nation and the world? Certainly, we should be. But how are we to respond to the reality of the crisis and uncertainty that we now face?

It does not help to send emails about the character and the secrets of candidates that are running for office. This seems to stir up more anxiety and chaos.

What are we to do? Is there anything we can do?

As Jerry and I are watching the scenario from our little corner of the world we continue to pray.

We believe that there is hope, for with or without it, the whole world is affected.

Without hope, the chaos will continue and with continued crisis comes destruction.

When God sent Jonah to Nineveh, Jonah, at first, refused to go. Personally, it seems that a boat to Tarsus would be easier for me, than launching out into the deep to share this article. I am not a prophetess, nor is my intent to preach, but to share a simple message of wisdom and grace from our heavenly Father.

When Jesus’ disciples asked Him to teach them to pray, they had no idea that the prayer He gave them would fit every occasion, especially for times of crisis. I believe that God, our Father wants us to listen to Him and perhaps for the first time stop whatever we are doing and take a fresh look at our Lord’s Prayer.

Wherever you are, in the USA or another country, please put aside whatever seems important to you right now, and consider that God is listening and desiring us to come to Him at this time of crisis. In the days ahead please take time with your family and church to consider the importance of this prayer.

What does He want to hear?

“Our Father in heaven, hallowed be thy name.”

Take some time to meditate on this first petition. Is He your Father? Are you honoring your heavenly Father in your heart and life? Does your life witness to others that you are a child of God?  Would your character qualify you to govern others?  Do you desire His rule in your life and this world? Do you trust Him to rule over all things, according to His will? Are you encouraging others to trust Him instead of putting their trust in men and our circumstances?

“Thy kingdom come.”

Do you desire His kingdom ruling in every area of your life? Do you see Christ as King of kings, and Lord of lords in your own heart and over the whole world?

“Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”

If we see where Christ is ruling at the right hand of the Father, with all authority in heaven and earth, all creatures and angels are surrounding and worshiping Him.

Is Christ the center of your life? Does your world revolve around Him? Are you following Him daily, looking to Him for all of life; casting your crowns before Him to glorify Him for His grace and goodness in every area of your life? Are you grateful for Him and His sacrifice for you that you may have eternal life in Him? Do you seek His will in all that do?

“Give us today our daily bread.”

Many do not have daily bread, yet most of us have more than we need. Are you God’s means of answering the prayers of others who are in need by sharing the blessings that God has given you? Are you content with the simple things and letting Him be the fulfillment of your life?

“And forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors.”

Are you withholding forgiveness from anyone?
A nation’s crisis can be summed up in the total of our grievances and vengeance against each other. Resentment is ruled by the spirit of oppression and is our enemy’s greatest weapon. How can we not love and forgive, when our Father has forgiven us? Our nation and the world will remain in crisis without our love and care for our heavenly Father, our Lord Jesus Christ, and each other.

“And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.”

We start with ourselves, praying this personally and for our families, the church, and the world. We must each take an account as we consider how we live and lead wherever we are. As we look to Him for His continual leadership, we are the example of His goodness, and His power to keep us from temptation.

Can We Make a Difference?

We could concentrate on one petition each week during the next six weeks; asking the Holy Spirit to search our hearts to reveal His truth to us personally ~ then during the week of the election, praise Him for His kingdom, His power, and His glory.

Can this prayer make a difference in the middle of our crisis? Only as we come to our Father, in repentance, in faith, in love and obedience will we know how He will make the difference, first in our own lives; then, in His timing in this nation and the world.

Please join us here on this blog each week to pray together for God’s will in this next presidential election.
Let’s Pray Together For Our Nation  ~ Week 1
Praying Together For Our Nation  ~ Week 2
Praying For Our Nation ~ Week 3

Two months ago He led me to write a little book, First Things That Last Forever. It is the basis from which I write this article. The eBook is free. Please read it, and pass this article and the link to others. Our Father wants us to come to Him with genuine humility and love; with hope and anticipation of a merciful answer.butterfly-1140x460

Dear Father, hear our prayers; send your Holy Spirit; rend the heavens and come down as the melting fire burneth, and make your name known among the adversaries ~ beginning in our own hearts and lives.
FOR THINE IS THE KINGDOM, AND THE POWER, AND THE GLORY, FOREVER.
In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen
SEE FOLLOW-UP  ~  A CRUCIAL SEVEN WEEKS

Fran ~ 2016

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Have You Seen Jesus?

“He who has seen me has seen the Father.”
John 14:9

Why is it so important that we see Jesus as God? The Father has made it so. The Book of Hebrews, when studied in depth, opens our eyes to see Jesus as “the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature ~ the image of the invisible God, through whom the world was made ~ all things were created through him and for him.” (Hebrews 1:2-3; Colossians 1:15-16)

We are taught in the first chapter of Hebrews that “He upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high.” How do we see Him there?

“We have such a high priest, holy, innocent,
unstained, separated from sinners,
and exalted above the heavens,

one who is seated at the right hand
of the throne of the Majesty in heaven,
a minister in the holy places,
where Jesus has gone as a forerunner on our behalf,
Hebrews 7:26   8:1

He is there, having fulfilled all the law of righteousness on our behalf so that He can “save to the uttermost all who come to God through Him.”

“Where we who have fled for refuge
might have strong encouragement
to hold fast to the hope set before us.
We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul.
Hebrews 5:18-19; 6:20

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In this hope and assurance, we see Him as our life here and forever.

“And we all, with unveiled face,
beholding the glory of the Lord,
are being transformed into the same image
from one degree of glory to another.”
2 Corinthians 3:18

All this is from God, who through Christ
reconciled us to himself
and gave us the ministry of reconciliation.”
2 Corinthians 5:16-19

What should be our response?

Music:  Come Christians Join to Sing

Come, Christians, join to sing
Alleluia! Amen!
Loud praise to Christ our King;
Alleluia! Amen!
Let all, with heart and voice,
Before His throne rejoice;
Praise is His gracious choice.
Alleluia! Amen!

Come, lift your hearts on high,
Alleluia! Amen!
Let praises fill the sky;
Alleluia! Amen!
He is our Guide and Friend;
To us He’ll condescend;
His love shall never end.
Alleluia! Amen!

Praise yet our Christ again,
Alleluia! Amen!
Life shall not end the strain;
Alleluia! Amen!
On heaven’s blissful shore,
His goodness we’ll adore,
Singing forevermore,
“Alleluia! Amen!”
 Christian H. Bateman (1843)

What Do You Know of God?

This question is posed to anyone who is ready to give an answer. Many can speak of a salvation experience; or of a spiritual awakening. Others may answer with what they believe about God. These are not what I am looking for. Neither do I ask for quotes from the Bible except as they support the experience of your daily and constant relationship with God. (Please do not answer if you think God has failed to live up to your expectations.)

10334420_851203868227504_9052069652549057749_n You are invited to submit your answers so as to aid me in a project on which I am working. My own answer to this question is not as easy as I thought it would be.

By your own words how would you convince yourself that God is real? How has God who is Spirit and the Spirit of Christ made you to know Him? How has He revealed Himself to you through the everyday working of your life?   What is the witness of Him that He has given in your heart and your personal life?
Knowing that He works within the parameters of the physical be practical in your answer, specific and concise.  Take your time to think of your best answer; not your whole life story.  We will be blessed to hear from you.  (If you are not able to answer on this blog email at f.rogers@bellsouth.net)

Dear Father, there is more than we are able to comprehend, experience, or to witness of you.  Make us to know how we should speak of you and not of ourselves.  We praise you that for all of life through the good times and the bad you are present and real to us as your children.   In meekness and fear let us give an answer to others that glorifies you.  In Jesus’ name I pray.  Amen.

Related Article: Salvation, Past, Present and Future

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