~reflections~musings~inspirations~insights~and life lessons learned by one who is
whole-heartedly, steadfastly, firmly in HIS grip~

Romans 1:6 "I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes..."

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

“My soul followeth hard after thee.”

Psalm 63:8(a)  KJV

It is the time of year when one tends to reflect upon the accomplishments and mistakes of the past year then set about making goals and resolutions to ensure the upcoming year is better than the one just experienced.  I am generally one of these people.  However, as 2010 slams to a close this year’s goal sheet remains a blank page of white paper… 

It could be filled with the yet attained goals from years past… lose weight, exercise more, eat healthier, etc.  But really, what would be the point?  Do these resolutions even deserve a place on a serious goal sheet if they have been there for years...  untouched, unresolved, unattained … gathering dust as if pushed to the back of some long forgotten shelf? 

I can barely get past the review of the last three months let alone the entire year! Each time I find solace for such a purpose I sit detached as if watching some horrible dream over and over again. Moments of disappointment, anger, shock, and sorrow replay in my mind’s eye like some relentless horror film.  I sit helpless and watch all over as my children’s personal lives fall apart before my very eyes. 

One daughter-in-law moves out because she just does not want to be married anymore then moves back in, only to give up on life and when that is not successful giving up on her marriage and family all together.  Leaving in her wake a destruction she cannot see nor cares to see because she is only looking to satisfy self. I see a Christian son holding on tight, working harder than any man I have ever seen to be and do what  is necessary to maintain and improve his marriage; praying till his knees were bruised and his hands rubbed raw, crying till all the tears finally dried up.  She walked away and he gave up on a marriage he thought would last a lifetime.

I see another daughter-in-law never quite grasping the meaning of unconditional love. .. as she drives the father of her child away with bullying tactics, condescending mannerisms, and insecurity. Using a newborn baby  to control a soldier fresh from war... never even pretending to seek the One True God.  I see a very young Christian son, slowly shut down as the war on the home-front is harder to face than the one taking place in the desert. .. finally giving up completely on love and marriage and striking out on his own.

I see my own mistakes as I react erratically as the drama slowly unfolds… praying, crying, counseling… then succumbing to the anger… TRAGIC… a worldly reaction and BAM… a lost witness.  Forgiveness from the Lord washes over me but the damage is done.  That sticks and stones thing is a myth, I tell you. Words hurt much deeper and longer than any bruise, scratch or broken bone… even more so when they shoot from your own mouth, slide past the tongue, and pierce the heart of someone whom you genuinely love.

In the face of such reality…and the uncertainty brought about by the two divorces our family will experience in the upcoming year many of the goals and resolutions that once occupied my ‘New Year’s List’ seem most frivolous and without merit.  Perhaps this year the list will contain merely three words:  


For truly, one cannot trust and obey unless they first seek HIS way.
Psalm 63:1-8 “O God, you are my God, earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you, my body longs for you, in a dry and weary land where there is no water.  I have seen you in the sanctuary and beheld your power and your glory. Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you. I will praise you as long as I live and in your name I will lift up my hands. My soul will be satisfied as with the richest of foods, with singing lips my mouth will praise you. On my bed I remember you; I think of you through the watches of the night. Because you are my help, I sing in the shadow of your wings. My soul clings to you; your right hand upholds me.” NIV

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Panderers of Prosperity

These last couple of weeks leading up to Christmas have been very busy in the Kyzer Compound and now that  Jake has arrived home it seems  time has accelerated.  The house is constantly full of friends and family. Did I mention it was hunting season?  There are always extra men and boys around during hunting season…  It takes almost all day just to keep the house picked up and the brood fed! 
 Like most, I either have the television or the radio going in the background when working around the house.  I like to watch our local Christian television station VTN.  I love the teachings of Beth Moore and Charles Stanley among others.  It is good solid teaching and I soak it up as I cook and clean… or play on Facebook. 
What I get tired of are these televangelists with their feel good, tickle the ear message of everything is ok and as long as you are a good person you will make it to heaven.  My lands… can you visualize them patting the backs of the mis-lead all the way to hell?! You know the ones I am talking about… those who shall remain nameless who have a camera instead of a congregation, a fan base instead of a following, a message of materialism instead of salvation for the starving soul!  Oh, oh… and what about those who tell the masses in television land to send in $20 and they will pray over a cloth (or some other object) and send it to you? They almost guarantee you…healing, money, jobs, security… all your troubles will disappear… just send them the money…  UGH!  It makes me just want to scream!!!

It is the preaching of prosperity that really gets my goat.  I mean seriously, where exactly in the Bible does it say that God will make you rich, give you a big house, and an expensive car?  Where does it say that if you pay your tithe faithfully or contribute a little more you can wear shoes and clothes that cost thousands of dollars?  It is upside down, wrong side out… devoid of truth… theology. The Bible warns us to beware of materialism... how then can these people in good conscious get up there and tell the world the opposite? 
Luke 16:13 “No servant can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.” ~NIV
Matthew 6:19-21 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.  But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.  For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” ~NIV
Hebrews 13:5 “Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, ‘Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.’”
Psalm 37:16 “Better the little that the righteous have than the wealth of many wicked:”  ~NIV
Read  Mark 10:17-27, 31 – the young rich man asks Jesus what he must do to inherit eternal life… when Jesus tells him to sell all he has and give to the poor and follow him the man was disappointed and went away.  He was unwilling to follow Jesus if it meant entering poverty…
Luke 12:15 “Then he [Jesus] said to them, ‘Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.” ~NIV 
 In other words, he who dies with the most toys…LOSES!

Christians hope in eternal security, and God would have us give up “carnal security” to get it.  The flesh wants the security of money.  It wants to be in control, to be the master, to be god. So we dream of and cling to money because we do not want to be totally dependent on God.   We get caught up in jobs… spending entirely too much time building a career to give our family a better life.  Which on the outside looks good… but is it really?  What if we spent as much time and effort to ensure our families salvation, their devotion to God… as we do in making sure they wear designer clothing and have the best and latest gadgets?
It is this hope in carnal security… the security of a good paycheck… the love of money … the master of things that make our lives convenient, good, easy… that these panderers of prosperity tap into.  My word… they have lost their grip on TRUTH!  They want us to think we can get rich by believing them all the while lining their own pockets with our money!  This is wrong on so many levels…

Paul tells the Thessalonians in
1Thess 2:4-5 “On the contrary, we speak as men approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel. We are not trying to please men but God, who tests our hearts. You know we never used flattery, nor did we put on a mask of greed – God is our witness.” ~NIV
2 Cor 2:17 “Unlike so many, we do not peddle the word of God for profit. On the contrary, in Christ we speak before God with sincerity, like men sent from God.”
1Tim 6:3-9 “If anyone teaches false doctrines and does not agree to the sound instruction of our Lord Jesus Christ and godly teaching, he is conceited and understands nothing.  He has an unhealthy interest in controversies and quarrels about words that result in envy, strife, malicious talk, evil suspicions and constant friction between men of corrupt mind, who have been robbed of the truth and who think that godliness is a means to financial gain. But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that.  People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil.  Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. “ ~NIV
The most misused scripture by prosperity preachers seems to be...
Psalm 37:5 “Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart." ~NIV  
This scripture tells us to delight ourselves in the Lord… meaning…put HIM first… love Him first… find our joy, our happiness, our success… in HIM… loving Him with our whole heart, soul, and mind… when we do this... our desires will NOT be to satisfy ourselves through money, possessions, careers, or comforts… our desires will be HIS desires!

So this CHRISTmas, I beg of you… do not fall for some over the top, too good to be true, tickle the ear message of prosperity and peace from some tv preacher whose only real interest in the gospel is to see how big of a mansion he can have here on earth.  Instead, search the scriptures, seek HIS face… give your life entirely to HIM and trust him with your whole heart (and your pocketbook)… and hang on to HIM for dear life… for eternal life!