By Kenneth Jackson

By Kenneth Jackson

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

"The Mountain Won't Move!!"

Have you ever hit a "bump in the road" that ended up being more like a mountain?  These "mountains" can be anything from a relationship problem with a person, trials, difficult situations---it can be anything that we would really not like to deal with.  It is just human nature to want smooth sailing in our lives.  When we come to these hard times, many times our first thoughts are "Oh, God, why me?"  What did I ever do to deserve this?  If you will just get me out of this, I promise I will do this and that!!"  Haven't we all bargained with the Father at times?  Then we begin to pray and ask Him to remove the mountain or change it.  Oftentimes this is a person that we are asking God to change or to remove from our lives.  We look at scripture and see where it says if we have faith as the grain of a mustard seed, we can say to the mountain to be removed and cast into the sea and it shall be done--so we begin to say to the moutain to be removed---but sometimes, it will not budge!!  Then we begin to think that surely this cannot be from the Lord---it has to be an attack of the enemy (the old devil!!) so we then begin to rebuke and command him to leave---yet sometimes, the mountain is still there!!  We do everything humanly possible to get the mountain gone---but it will not move!! Sometimes, we become consumed by this moutain--it is all we think about--how we can be rid of it, go around it, be ejected out of the situation, get away from the person or problem!!  FINALLY, when we get to the end of "self" and all our human efforts have failed to change or move the mountain, THEN we look up--up to the Creator of the universe--the Holy One of Israel--our very present help in time of trouble--the great "I AM"--our constant companion--our covenant partner--and call out from our innermost being--"Lord, help me!!  Father God, how are "we" going to get over this mountain to the other side?  I have found that every time I pray and ask the Lord to change a person or remove them, that it never happens---but rather I have found that it is the attitude of my heart towards this person that the Lord is after---it is my heart that needs changing.  I have found out that over and over when I pray and ask Him what are "we" going to do about a certain mountain looming in front of me, that I hear the still, small voice of His Spirit speaking to my heart over and over--"We" are going to trust in the Lord with all our heart---"we" are going to cross over the mountain--no matter how arduous a journey it is---He is going to see me through--every dark valley---over every hard mountain--through every difficult situation--whether it is a person or not.  My journey will not look anything like your journey---it is an individual, one on one, personal relationship with the Father---we cannot compare our path with anyone else's.  He leads and guides us individually.  Beloved, are you facing a "mountain" in your life today?  Have you tried everything to get the mountain to go away and yet it will not budge!!  Could it be there for a purpose?  Is there something in us that needs changing?  How do we get over the mountain?  I think the song "Amazing Grace" says it all---"Through many dangers, toils and snares, I have already come.  It is GRACE that brought me safe thus far, and GRACE will lead me home."  The prayer of my heart for you and me today is that we will all hear what the Apostle Paul heard from above--whispered to our hearts and reminding us over and over--"My grace IS sufficient."  Hallelujah!!!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

"The River of Life"

Isn't the beautiful painting for the blog amazing!!! Kenneth,the artist I told you about in my first post, painted this for me.  Over the phone, I described to Kenneth what I was wanting and he did the rest!!!  I will try to explain to you how I envision the river of life.  I believe that God's grace and life are like a river that flows from His throne into us.  This river of life flowing into us brings many blessings--- His love, grace, mercy, peace and forgiveness.  It is like a river on earth that flows, and everywhere the river flows and touches, the river brings life--to plants, trees, flowers and it also sustains life--life springs forth where the land is dry, barren and parched. Also, a river can be so powerful that it is a source for producing power-- electricity. So it is with God's river of life that flows into our hearts bringing life and sustaining life in us---His life. Sometimes, we are dry, barren and parched and in need of His life and light.  Also, we need our "power source", the Holy Spirit--His presence in us, to be able to do what He wants us to do and say what He wants us to say.  This amazing river of life that flows into us is meant to then flow out of us to others who are in need of the same love, grace, mercy and life from the Lord.  If nothing flows out of us, then we will be like the Dead Sea---everything flowing in, but nothing flowing out--or we will just sit and soak up all He gives and become "satisfied sponges." I believe all we have received from the Lord is to flow out of our innermost being to others.   One thing is for sure, none of us can make this happen or cause His life to flow out of us---He does it.  It is all by His GRACE--God doing for us what we cannot do for ourselves.  He also does it His way and in His time---ususally when we least expect it and in ways we never thought He would--always reminding us that He is in control--not us!!  As I told Kenneth about the river of life, I then asked him to paint what he saw.  All I can say is "wow!!."  I believe this picture shows the glory around the throne and is just amazing.  Thank you Kenneth for blessing all of us by letting the gifts, that the Lord has given you, flow out to us.  As soon as Kenneth and I can get together, he has graciously allowed me to tell you his story.  He finished his time in prison in January, after being incarcerated for twenty years--half of his life.  You will be blessed by hearing his story.
Today, I believe that somehow, someway--probably when you least expect it-- you will experience His Grace Flowing out of you--- bringing His life and His light to those around you in desperate need of His touch.
Revelation 22:1--Next the angel showed me a pure river of water of life, sparkling like crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb.       

Monday, August 1, 2011

"No Fishing Allowed"

Since today is the very first day of a new month----a new beginning--- I am reminded of something years ago that someone told me about the past.  I think all of us at times look back in our past and wish we had not done something or not said something.  I believe we all say-- "If I had only done this or said this, or IF only I had not done this or not said that", or we say--"If we had it to do over again, we would do it differently."  A very wise person told me something about the past.  She said to put up a "No Fishing" sign--- don't go fishing up past adversity, past failures, past heartaches and past blunders.  Don't go there--NO fishing allowed!!!  We cannot go back and change what is already history--it is impossible.  We can learn from our past, but then we need to move on--to PRESS ON!!  Absolutely nothing in the past has the power to hold us back unless we allow it to.  I have heard that "sorrow looks back, worry looks around, but faith looks up."  As humans and being slow learners, sometimes we look everywhere--back and around-- first before we look up.  I don't know if you need reminding today about letting go of the past, but I do!!  I seem to keep "fishing up" the past and rehearsing it over and over in my mind----which does no good at all!!!  Life has NO rewind button--we cannot go back and have "do overs" with anything in our past.  As I thought about this, the scripture from Philippians 3:13&14 came to mind---"...but this one thing I do, FORGETTING those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I PRESS FORWARD toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus." 
I pray His Holy Spirit will remind you and me--- when we begin to get out our fishing poles and start fishing up things in our past----that we will hear His Spirit say loud and clear---"NO Fishing Allowed!!!"
Our God is a redeeming, restoring God--He can redeem all that is in our past.  PRESS ON!!--the best is yet to come!!!