WHAT IT’S LIKE TO HAVE CHRIST’S LIFE IN YOUR BLOOD

blood2

I popped the top and took a sip of an energy drink called Red Bull. I was thinking I could use some Holy Spirit Red Bull right about now too, to re-energize, inspire and take my faith higher. So what kind of Red Bull would it be? The miraculous and amazing personal super charge to you and me, of Christ’s Red Blood sacrifice on the cross is THE most powerful energizer! Check it out: Colossians 1:27 tells us that when a person gets born again, they have “the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you.” The spirit of Christ Jesus lives in our very souls and bodies now. 2 Corinthians 5:17 tells us: “If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” If we really believe what the Bible says about this, we can tap into a huge advantage in life, a power-punch of Spirit power we’ve received as a gift from God Almighty, the Creator of all things.

 

It’s the power punch that gives us new abilities and makes us different and better than the person we used to be. We have the power to be gentle and kind, to be stronger and healthier, to step out in love with confidence, to perceive what others don’t, to get personal answers from God daily to make brave and right decisions, to excel in life.

 

Take a short journey with me now through the seven bleedings of our Lord Jesus Christ and see what amazing things He’s given us through injecting His blood into our born again lives. The Bible says that the “life is in the blood.” So in each area of His bleeding we have new ability in that area.

 

The first bleeding for us was in the garden of Gethsemane when He prayed: “Nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done. And his sweat was as it were great drops of blood” (Luke 22:41). Jesus was willing to do God’s will rather than His own. One drop of this sweaty blood gives us the power we need to do God’s will rather than our own. We CAN do God’s will; We have the ability.”

 

Jesus next was “scourged” by the Roman soldiers. They thrashed Him 39 times with a whip made of several leather pieces, each loaded with jagged metal or bone pieces that tore and ripped open strips of flesh on His back. The physical tearing of the flesh from His body would also leave gashes and wounds susceptible to disease. Since His blood was perfect, He would have no lasting repercussions from any gashes, pain, or any other physical maladies. His blood covers all bodily things: sickness, weakness, disease, pain, broken, torn or missing parts. 1 Peter 2:24 reminds us that they could not contaminate Jesus’ blood in any way and it is, “by whose stripes ye were healed.” The Bible tells us we have access to total healing through the blood of Jesus.

 

This is supernatural stuff. The Bible calls it “born” again, when we accept Jesus as Lord and believe God raised Him from the dead. No pain, injury, mental disorder, malignant growth, weakness, disability or any bodily abnormality is attached to the new birth we get. None of that could attach itself to Jesus and when we got “born again,” the same capacity to thwart evil in body or soul is what we have. It’s “born” into us at that moment. The Spirit of God in us can miraculously, supernaturally change everything, if we only believe that what the Bible says is truly the Word and Will of the ONLY GOD.

 

Medicine, exercise, food and other things given by God in the first place, can help, but ultimately, it’s the LIFE of Christ Jesus, in Spirit energy, in your “born again body” that has a miraculous and wonderful effect on every particle and cell if we only believe what the Bible says. God keeps His Word.

 

The third place Jesus shed blood was from internal bruises. Isaiah 53:5 tells us: “He was bruised for our iniquities.” Jesus was mocked and beaten. There was distress and swelling caused by broken capillaries and dislodged blood beneath the surface of the skin. When we believe the significance of this kind of bleeding, it’s able to take away any humiliation and deep emotional bruises we’ve carried—the wounds that we don’t want anyone to see, even wounds we suspect, but maybe don’t even fully recognize ourselves, until they’ve been taken away.

 

The fourth bleeding was from the crown of thorns jammed into His skull. So much of what goes on in our lives is directly related to what happens in our brains. Jesus’ blood, applied to our brains and we can more easily think right thoughts, and make wise decisions like He always did.

 

Next they nailed Jesus’ hands and feet to the cross. The blood from his hands, spiritually into our hands, gives us unique power in our hands. Think about what we do with hands—we touch, write, make things, give things, stop things, clap, lift, and much more. Believing to let the blood from Jesus’ hands, by Spirit, pulse into our own, can change everything and everyone we touch.

 

Number six is the blood from Jesus’ feet. It changes the path we can walk on. Matthew 7:14 tells us “strait is the gate and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life.” Though narrow, it is the path of dominion like God says in Deuteronomy 11:24: “Every place whereon the soles of your feet shall tread shall be yours.” This will only be true when we walk in obedience to the ability the blood of Jesus has given us.

 

And lastly, number seven. When the soldier came to see if Jesus was dead he took his spear and pierced Him through the side—through His belly, His lungs and His heart—making sure His entire life force bled out. That bleeding gave us His entire life for eternity. The blood shed from His belly made available Holy Spirit to abide within our bellies, in our innermost self. As Jesus said, “He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.” That’s what happens when we walk by the Spirit, we flow as a living Spiritual river.

 

The blood shed from His lungs made available new life in every breath.

 

And the bleeding from His heart gave us the ability to Spiritually know His heart and be able to extend God’s heart to others. As Jesus said: “He that hath seen me hath seen the Father (John 14:9).” For many of us, that is our lifetime goal.

 

Love, Carolyn

 

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DANGEROUS ILLUSIONS

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There’s a casino here in Las Vegas we lovingly and cynically call the “sex hotel.” The young guys come in with hunger and expectation. I watched one guy in a restaurant start flirting with a waitress in a way that he fully expected her to take him in the back room for sex right there on the spot. It was kind of humorous, but sad too. The billboards advertise sex, so the guys come in expecting to get it, but it’s a phantom. They can look all around the main floor of the casino and restaurants and be sorely disappointed. They’re trapped by visions of their imaginations. Dangerous illusions end up in dangerous and destructive behaviors. Phantoms present themselves in all categories of life. I had my own phantom about a vacation.

 

My ideal vacation was a memory from my younger years—having a great time camping, fishing, and floating down the rapids on an air mattress. The image was pulling at me so much that I was getting really uptight, especially since everything I was planning, failed. What started as a simple desire, turned into lust and idolatry.

 

Lust, because I became obsessed with it; idolatry because I’d elevated the idea of a perfect vacation above almost everything else. When I realized this, I looked up the word idolatry and found that an idol is defined as a phantom. I told myself I had to let the phantom image go. Previous vacations with my family are great memories, but I couldn’t continue chasing ghosts.

 

Chasing phantoms doesn’t deliver the results we expect or want. The Bible calls it “vanity.” “Walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind” (Eph. 4:17). “Let him not trust in emptiness, deceiving himself; For emptiness will be his reward” (Job 15:31).

 

I was caught up in chasing the illusion—an emotional feeling I wanted from the perfect vacation. It was making me miserable and I didn’t want it to happen again. Being obsessed by this phantom made me act and feel like I was in a vise grip.

 

The dictionary defines a vise as “that which winds, consisting of two jaws opened and closed by a screw, to hold or squeeze with.” That’s exactly how I felt. The vacation mirage had me in its jaws and was squeezing. I felt pressurized and unsatisfied. The word “vise” can also be spelled “vice.”  I realized that a v-i-c-e (defined as a fault or harmful habit) works the same way as a v-i-s-e with people’s minds. The vice gets a grip on the mind and it won’t let go.

 

God tells us He wants us to be free. Paul tells the Galatians: “Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage” (Gal. 5:1). A yoke is like a vise grip that keeps us from the freedom that comes with Christ and walking by the Spirit. The yoke that binds us is often merely a false image we’ve somehow believed.

 

The world is full of phantoms, and we’ve been bombarded with them since we were young—things we were led to believe were okay for us to seek and seize. They were presented to us through all kinds of media including books, magazines, TV, the internet, religion, our parents, teachers, peers, our cultural and ethnic backgrounds, to name a few of the sources of these phantoms. We have even combined what these sources put out, and developed our own versions of certain ideas, or pictures of how we think we’d really like things to be.

 

My dream was of a specific vacation I was idolizing and obsessing over. Another example comes from when I was twenty-one. I had the idea of having twelve kids. I figured since I really liked teaching Sunday School classes with lots of kids, I would love having twelve of my own. But that was my imagined scenario, and I didn’t check it out with the Lord. I also dreamed of being married by the age of twenty-five and I felt devastated when that didn’t happen.

 

One of my friends used to envision herself having one perfect job—one that she would absolutely love, and she would do it all her life. Women and men fantasize about their idea of their perfect mate and possibly miss the best one—the one God sends. People get an idea of what they see as their perfect family setup, then end up as a single parent, step-mom or a step-dad, and feel that their dreams have been forever shattered, and they have a hard time coping with the reality of the new family they’ve been given.

 

I’m sure all of us have had dreams we thought were our own, but sometimes those visions of what we think we want, come not from God, but from the world, and if we continue to pursue those things, our actions can turn very un-Christ-like. Paul says: “I warn you beforehand, that those who do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God” (Gal. 5:21 AMP). Up until now, I never really understood that verse, but now I get it.

 

When we are chasing phantoms we can’t be at the same time enjoying the inheritance of God’s way. Paul doesn’t say if you get trapped by the world’s delusions you’re not going to heaven, you’re a horrible person and doomed forever. Yes, you are definitely doomed now, as long as you continue to seek the illusions, because those things put a yoke on you and they can be tremendously oppressive, and they will never really satisfy. But in contrast to seeking empty illusions, we have another choice.

 

We can choose the sure promises of God—promises that always deliver. When we have an image in our minds or hearts we can ask God for revelation about it: is it from God, or is it from another source? True visions come from God, not only from His written word, but they are also communicated to us through His Spirit which we have within us. As we endeavor to seek Him and His will for our lives in all our dreams, desires and hopes, He will not fail us.

 

By the way, that vacation I wanted—when I went to God and asked Him, He lined one up that was entirely different from what I’d imagined and it was the best vacation ever! And concerning the young guys who come to the sex hotel, I pray they wake up to God instead of some stranger.

 

Love, Carolyn

 

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ORDINATION PICTS. FROM 38 YEARS AGO

Was ordained on August 10 in 1979. It’s been 38 years, yikes! Still doing my best for the Lord. Check out my Facebook page: “Christian Writing A Journey in Faith” for the articles I put up on Wednesdays and Sundays.

Here’s a couple picts of that day. A big thanks to Kathy, who laid hands on me (I forget her last name, but not the prophecy. If anyone can let me know her last name, that would be great – thanks!), to Ralph Dubofsky who encouraged me to go for it, and to Dan Stockemer who gave me a word of wisdom on the day before the blessing of ordination took place.

AND TO EVERYONE OUT THERE WHO I’VE HAD THE PRIVILEGE TO HELP IN ANY WAY: GOD BLESS YOU. I LOVE YOU THE BEST I KNOW HOW WITH ALL MY HEART.

Love, Carolyn

OUR YOUTH IS RENEWED LIKE THE EAGLE’S

eagle

I’ve been very blessed with good health and a lot of my strength and youthfulness I attribute to quoting Psalm 103:5 every morning as I’m driving to work. It says, “He satisfies my mouth with good things so that my youth is renewed like the eagle’s.”

 

As the eagle goes through the different stages of its life, molting takes place and the new feathers are graciously provided. God created a way for this majestic bird to grow the necessary new beautiful feathers as it matures. We need the same thing, brand new feathers to keep us youthful and strong as we also mature.

 

This scripture is not only talking about God providing good physical food we can eat that can renew our youthfulness, but even more important is the bread of life God’s given us to eat—His living Word. As we take the truths of the Bible into us and as we speak them out of our mouth, we get new insight, answers that weren’t there before, fresh understanding and youthful excitement.

 

For me, with world struggles, church struggles, politics, work situations, stuff happening to my friends and my family, I feel a little faint-hearted, a little weary at times. But when I go to this section of scripture, I get renewed and strengthened in my mind:

 

Isaiah 40:29-32: “He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.”

 

I believe that taking delight in God’s Word, both the written Word and the awesomeness of the Lord’s presence in our everyday lives keeps us strong and our youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

 

Let’s take some time, even just 5 or 10 minutes, to read something from God’s Word and see what the Lord wants to tell us. I know it sounds so simple, but how often do we intend on doing something, but other things come up and we never get around to it? Like the Nike advertisement goes, JUST DO IT!

 

Love, Carolyn

 

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THE TEN COMMANDMENTS AND THE LOVE OF GOD

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I didn’t want to really hear it, but now I’ve seen that to serve God properly, I can’t avoid it. Paul says: “Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine” (2 Tim. 4:2). I ask myself, “Why couldn’t he have said: “Love, pastor, be nice, be gentle.” Those are good things, but here it says “reprove, rebuke and exhort.” Well, they have to be good things too. No one really likes reproof or rebuking, and exhortation to do better isn’t that popular either. But, admittedly, we all need it.

 

To “reprove” in this verse is translated from a Greek word meaning “to convict, to expose, to call to account, show one his fault” and “to demand an explanation.”  “Rebuke” is “to award, in the sense of merited penalty, to charge sharply, to restrain or forbid.” And to “exhort” is translated from the Greek word “parakaleo,” which means to call to the side, to console, to beseech, beg, entreat, to invoke, encourage, strengthen, instruct and teach.”

 

So what Paul is telling Timothy is that, as a leader, he needs to call people out on their sins, make them own up to them, and then beg them and encourage them to change, letting them know that he totally believes they CAN do it!

 

Paul was a great example of this and we see many examples in the epistles of him reproving, rebuking and correcting. And good parents are well practiced in this task, as well.

 

But as we get older, we not only get tired of correcting others and figure someone else will do it, but we also get lazy in our own lives and start letting things slip without correcting ourselves. We have to stop doing that.

 

Second Corinthians 5:20 says: “Now then we are ambassadors for Christ.” As representatives for Christ, we can’t afford to get lazy. We should be the examples of holiness, virtue, honesty, integrity, kindness and all the good things the Bible says about how we should and can be living.

 

John 8:44 tells us the devil is the father of lies, so he loves it when he can get Christians to compromise on truth, even in the smallest ways. He is quick to shell out excuses and justifications for doing things that are unholy.

 

I had a male friend, Jacob, who had the saddest, most honest-sounding story of his and his wife’s relationship. He bemoaned that she never wanted to have sex and only conceded because she wanted children. But after their three children, she was finished having any physical relationship with him. He said he still loved her, but he was a man with physical needs as well. He was very up front with his situation and I almost felt sorry for him. But when I heard that he used this same story with every single woman he met, I realized this was his “come hither” story—well rehearsed and it actually worked on at least two women that I knew of. Jacob had a convincingly compelling story, but his answer wasn’t God’s answer.

 

Every Christian can come up with a good story for committing what the Bible calls sin—stealing, little white lies, adultery, false accusations, murder, covetousness, you name it. But one excuse leads to another and it becomes like a leaky roof. If you don’t fix the small leak, the rain comes and all of a sudden that small leak isn’t small anymore and you have a big mess.

 

We need to fix the leaks.

 

In the USA, schools used to have a poster of the 10 Commandments on the wall. The kids knew what they were. They knew that it was good to obey your parents and bad to steal and they learned what it meant to covet. As I was thinking about this, I tried to write down what the Ten Commandments were. I only got 6 of them! I didn’t even know exactly where they were in the Old Testament and had to look it up. That’s not good.

 

They’re in Exodus 20:1-16 and Deuteronomy 5:7-21 if you want to look at them.

1.You shall have no other gods before Me.

2.You shall not make idols.

3.You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain.

4.Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.

5.Honor your father and your mother.

6.You shall not murder.

7.You shall not commit adultery.

8.You shall not steal.

9.You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.

10.You shall not covet.

 

People say that all the Old Testament law was fulfilled in Christ and that love is a greater law than what they had in the Old Testament times, and that’s true. They quote Galatians 5:14: “For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.” But if we don’t know what the old laws are, that love is supposed to be covering, then we really won’t know what that love includes. That’s why the New Testament apostles, prophets, teachers, etc. had to write things like, “lie not one to another,” etc., to remind us of the details God wants us to get right in showing His true meaning of love. It’s a sacrifice of self, yes. It’s admitting and owning up to our wrong actions and wrong thinking and disciplining ourselves to change.

 

But when are we most willing and even happy to do these things? We should be willing all the time, but . . .

 

It’s when we know we are loved unconditionally and uncondemned—when we really trust that reproof, rebuke and exhortation is coming from a heart of love. We’re much more willing to take reproof when we know that God’s love for us is unconditional all forgiving and He will never give up on us, but only see us as ever growing better and more precious and more pure.

 

Matthew 5:8 says: “Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.” A genuine metal is purified by fire and water. The fire burns away the impurities and the water washes away all that’s left. Let’s let the fire of God purify us and the water of the Word wash us clean.

 

We know that we aren’t going to get everything right, but we know that we can do better. If we ask, the Holy Spirit, Jesus and God Himself will rush to our help. We can expect it, lean into it and enjoy the result.

 

Love, Carolyn

 

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LIFE AND DEATH

life and death

I just found out a work associate I haven’t seen for a couple years, passed away last November. He had a toothache, took something for it and had a bad reaction, which caused a heart attack. He was only in his 40’s I think. I’ve had more than a few friends die unexpectedly and way too young. It always causes me to stop and reflect on important life things. God says he loves everyone, like it says in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” God knew every person who would ever be here on the earth and He loves every one of us. So it makes me sad when a person doesn’t get to live out their full years. How many great experiences did they miss out on? How much wisdom would they have shared later on in life if they had the chance?

 

Then of course I wonder if they ever accepted Jesus as Lord, even as a kid. And on the tail of that, I always ask myself, “Did I have an opportunity to share about the Lord Jesus Christ with them or did I blow it?” I don’t always get an answer to that, so I don’t mull it over very much and move on to prayer.

 

I ask the Lord to help me to see when a person wants to know about Him and to help me open my mouth to share the good news when someone wants to hear. After reading about Hell and watching a few videos on it, I sure don’t want anyone to not choose Heaven! Anyway, what’s so hard about accepting Jesus Christ as Lord? It’s not as if we do such a marvelous job without Him. And the Creator of Everything raising Jesus from death? Not really hard to believe either—and definitely worth the end result!

 

Every time someone I know dies, I think about how I need to be thankful for every day and remember to make it count the best I can. Life is so fragile.

 

The Bible tells us: “Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints” (Ps. 116:15). The word “precious” in this verse means “costly.” When God loses someone He’s placed on earth, it costs Him, especially if they are taken before their time.  The loss is expensive for God and for us humans who are still living as well. The Bible specifically says a person should be able to live until they are satisfied. Any death is a loss, but death before a person is ready to go, is especially hurtful to all who knew them and knew there should have been more time.

 

When we lose someone, whether they’ve been good to us or not, and whether or not we recognize it, we pay the price of losing that person’s ability to help us grow as a human being in some way or another. Death steals the lessons that person had to offer. How many times have we been so thankful that a mean person showed us how we DON’T want to be—that was a lesson they taught us better than anyone else could have.

 

All people on earth are important. And one day there will be no more death, no more loss. I hope I can help as many people as God gives me, to choose life after death—everlasting life with Him.

 

“And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.”

 

If you haven’t had a chance to watch the “I AM” video yet (last week Wednesday post), please do. I think you’ll like it.

 

Love, Carolyn

 

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