God's Word

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Alive in The Dead of Winter “I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live . . . “ —John 11:25

Mid-January is perhaps the coldest time of the year. Short days of light, long nights of darkness that in some areas of the world seem to never end, bone-biting cold, sniffles, shivers, lonely, windy — all chilling factors of the dead of winter. Economically, socially, and even religiously it seems like our world is in “the dead of winter.” This three-in-one winter is not just restricted to one area of the world like northern and southern hemisphere, but world-wide.

Be encouraged! There is LIFE beneath it all. The guarantee of resurrection and a new season is under it all. This dandelion shows that even in the midst of it all, one can still be alive in the dead of winter. Year after year since the beginning of time spring has sprung to show us all that Life can never die. Life’s name is the Lord Jesus. He’s there beneath all the wintry conditions of our world. All we have to do is call on Him. Call on Him and He’ll be there, because He is alive in the dead of our winter.

Say “Yay” to
The Great Creator!
The Great I AM!
Yes, “Yay” to
The Resurrection and
The Life.
Yes, say “Yay God!” (with a capital G).

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The word enthusiasm comes from the prefix, “en” meaning “in” and the Greek root, “theos” meaning “God.” In other words, enthusiasm of the highest and the most lasting value is that which has its roots en-theos, that is, ‘in God.’ It has been said that love makes the world go round, but it really is love with enthusiasm that does this — and love with enthusiasm achieves the noblest things in life for the benefit of mankind.

Webster’s defines enthusiasm as 1. (orig.) supernatural inspiration or possession; inspired prophetic or poetic ecstasy. 2. intense or eager interest; zeal; fervor. 3. something arousing such interest or zeal. 4. [Archaic] religious fanaticism. Syn. see PASSION.

熱狂(ねっきょう)

means dirt, clay. Gen. 2:7 says, “God formed man of the dust of the ground.”

means the lower half of one’s body, or legs.

mentioned a second time indicating that the man is standing on the ground.

shows a bending man standing up from a lying down position.

”” is a cursive or running style of writing the character 火— fire. Adam was clothed with the “glory, fire, light” of God when he stood up after having the breath of God (in-spir-a-tion) breathed into his nostrils. When Adam sinned, this fire, light, glory disappeared from him. Cf. Romans 3:23, “”For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” 

The meaning of what looks like a curved F in the second half of the character is an animal, described in the Japanese dictionary as either a dog, or some other like-looking animal. Could this have been a lamb or sheep?

王 

The original way of writing this character for “king” was a straight line above and below the character for “big, large” — . It was expressive of a man standing on the ground with his hands spread out wide. It was a picture of a great man (king) standing between heaven and earth.

In my opinion, in combining all these defined radicals, the meaning of the Chinese character for ‘enthusiasm,’ or ‘nekkyou’ would mean a “man who is created out of dirt (by God) standing up from a laying down position, being clothed with the presence of God and having dominion over all that the Almighty created.” Adam was “in God” (en-theos), but when he sinned God “drove out the man” from His presence in the Garden of Eden. BUT, when we look down the road that led to the death, burial, resurrection and manifestation of Jesus Christ, we see something awesome that happened:

“Therefore if any man be in Christ (en-theos), he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things become new.” 2 Corinthians 5:17

“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.” Colossians 3:16

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13

“ . . . for the joy of the LORD is your strength.” Nehemiah 8:10

“This I say then, Walk in the Spirit (en-theos), and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. If we live in the Spirit (en-theos), let us also walk in the Spirit.” Galatians 5:16, 25

Jesus speaking to his disciples the night before the cross said, “Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but you see me: because I live, you shall live also. At that day you shall know that I am in the Father (en-theos), and you in me (en-theos), and I in you.” John 14:19-20

The expression ‘little while’ was indicative of the next day when Jesus would die. The world lost sight of Jesus, but the disciples saw Him in His resurrected body. Jesus then goes on to tell them that He was in His Father (en-theos), the disciples are in Him (en-theos), and that He is in us! This is expressive of the intimacy God desires with us in the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. When one is filled to overflowing with the Holy Ghost, the “en-thu-si-asm,” the “in-God” fervor, zeal, intense interest, eagerness, ecstasy and passion begins happening. It’s only the beginning! It is just like the little old English sister Nancy Baldwin used to say when I first got saved, “Brother, it gets better farther on.”

enthuse2Are you enthused yet? Man, what do you think He would have in store for us if we just stopped right now and shouted at the top of our lungs, “Hallelujah, Jesus!”? I imagine it would be like a kind of rush from somewhere deep within. Our heart would leap up into our throats, our faces would get all red, our breathing would become ecstatic. We’d probably calm down only to say, “Whew . . . that was fun!”

Nobody can be too enthusiastic!

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I was driving to the next island north of us one day on my way to do a wedding. It’s a perfect time to pray, or in another words “to have a chat with God.” The most exciting thing is when we stop and listen, He shares His heart. You know, praying should never be just one-sided, but so many times that’s the way we do it. Let me share an experience to suggest trying something different.

I remember one day several years ago I climbed Munakata’s Mt. Jou (see above photo of 城山) to pray. In my prayers I looked toward the Shinto shrine that has culturally dominated this city for centuries with the worship of nature’s rocks, trees, seas, and even mountains. I knew the names of the evil spirits that are devoutly worshipped there by the people. I directed my commands to the demons swirling around in the air above me and told them to take this message to the three evil spirits that are worshipped in the shrine . . .  “Let the people go . . . so that they might rightfully worship their Creator, the LORD God.” I yelled at them, commanded them and let ’em know to tell those three evil spirits where to go, and that this land is God Almighty’s, not theirs . . . and that He was the One who had called us to this city to establish Munakata’s Bethel Christian Center.

Afterward, I turned toward the Lord and said, “Okay, God. I’m done. Now I’m going to close my mouth and listen to whatever YOU want to say.” I shut my mouth and listened. What a surprise to almost immediately hear His answer in my thoughts: “They (the demons swirling above) have taken your message.” That was all He said, but it set me to doing a jig and dancing a patch all over the top of that mountain. Yes, those three evil spirits know we are here in the city!

Anyway, while I was driving to the next island that day praying on my way to do the wedding, the Holy Spirit spoke to me some pretty wonderful thoughts. Those thoughts are the crux of this little article.

— Jesus was tempted in every way we are. There is not one temptation, hurt, abuse, sin, or experience of the sin nature of man that He has not already experienced.

— He knows your heart . . .

— He knows the deepest part of you . . .

— He knows everything . . .

— He understands and wants to heal, restore, rebuild, and re-establish YOU!

“For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” 2 Corinthians 5:21

Let’s put it another way.

Almighty God,                                                                                                                                                       the One who created you in your mother’s womb,                                                                                               the One who created heaven and earth and all that is in them (the fish, birds, insects, animals, plants, rocks, electricity, the whole gamut)                                                                                                                               made His Son, Jesus (whose birth we celebrate at Christmas),                                                                       who knew no temptation, hurt, abuse, sin, or experience of the sin nature of man                                             to take our place on the cross, die, and descend into the realm of darkness (hell as it were)                               so that because of Jesus death, burial and resurrection our relationship with God might re-established. 

Man, why not think deeply about that . . . and, if you haven’t made a decision to REALLY become friends with God, talk to Him about it. By all means when you’re done talking, close your mouth and LISTEN. He just might surprise you real good!

 

 

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orthodox WEDDING2Like a King and like a Queen — Bride Melonie Cross and her Groom Steven Kashevarof were married in a beautiful ceremony on September 13, 2015, at the Nativity of Theotokos Orthodox Church in Chenega Bay, Alaska. Congregants sang “Clothed in Majesty” and Fr. Jonah Andrews offered up prayers of blessing for the bride and groom.

“And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.” Genesis 1:26-28

“I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels.” Isaiah 61:10

“And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars.” Revelation 12:1

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Inspiration comes to us in many ways — poetry, music, writing, scenery, pictures, movies, food and people. Yes, people can inspire us.

Believe it, or not, your first inspiration came to you from Almighty God. Looking at the history of mankind as recorded in the Word of God, we see that the three persons of the Godhead (God the Father, God the Word and God the Holy Spirit) said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.” Genesis 1:26. They then “formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became of living soul.” Genesis 2:7.

The English etymology of the word “inspiration” is fascinating and goes right along with the history of mankind recorded in the Book of Genesis.

inspiration (n.)  c.1300, “immediate influence of God,” especially that under which the holy books were written, from Old French inspiracion “inhaling, breathing in; inspiration,” from Late Latin inspirationem (nominative inspiratio), noun of action from past participle stem of Latin inspirare “inspire, inflame, blow into,” from in- “in” (see in- (2)) + spirare “to breathe” (see spirit). Literal sense “act of inhaling” attested in English from 1560s. Meaning “one who inspires others” is attested by 1867.

God inspired you and me by “blowing into” us His very own breath, His very own heart the moment we came out of our mother’s womb. From the day each of us was born we have carried thoughts of eternity with us, to remind us from where that first breath came. In that first breath God also planted within us a purpose for the life we now live. Yes, there IS a purpose for your life!

The Amplified Bible words it this way — “He has made everything beautiful in its time. He also has planted eternity in men’s hearts and minds [a divinely implanted sense of a purpose working through the ages which nothing under the sun but God alone can satisfy], yet so that men cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end.” Ecclesiastes 3:11.

Be inspired today! The very breath you breathe today is from God, Creator of the heaven and the earth, Creator of your very being inside your mother’s womb. Yes, God inspired you because He has a purpose and plan for you.

“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you. And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:11-13.