Thursday, July 26, 2018

Is it sooner than we think?

By Dale Shumaker

As a child I grew up in a Pentecostal church.
I heard this over and over again... He is coming
soon. When we hear something over and over
again we tend to be less sensitive to it and
relaxed about it.

We don't know when our life ends. I
realized this when I had a near-death
experience. I know life can end
suddenly. Quickly, unexpected. A
sense of urgency has been with
me ever since.
"When people are saying,
"Everything is peaceful and secure,"
then disaster will fall on them as suddenly
as a pregnant woman's labor pains begin.
And there will be no escape.
1 Thess. 5:3

This week the suddenly of the end was
on my mind.Things can change quickly.
God lets things happen in a blink of
the eye speed.

I tend to be a weather watcher. I have
told people another vocation I might
have chosen is being a meteorologist.
I find the weather intriguing, and hard
to predict. You must monitor it constantly
to see the trend it is taking.

Thursday was one of those unusual days.
In the beginning of the day, it was to
be a normal hot summer day. Then in the
middle of the afternoon I saw a severe
thunderstorm watch was issued for my
area. In a few hours this big blob of a
storm showed up on the radar heading
directly toward me. It looked intense.
But by the time it
get to north Springfield it began
breaking up. It started suddenly, then
ended suddenly.

Then I saw another line in western Missouri
forming and seeming to intensify as it
got closer. It again split as it got to
me and the worst went west of me.
Those there had many trees uprooted and
damage to personal property. It was
a powerful storm, moving quickly with
gusts of winds hitting 80 mph some
places.

The most tragic part it headed south
to over Table Rock Lake. A Ride the
Ducks boat got surprised by it
when crossing the lake. It was reported
17 people perished as the boat
sank from the high wind and high
waves, over 5 feet they said. The boat was
not designed for such a fierce storm.
They had near hurricane strength winds.
The storm came up suddenly
and unexpectedly. Those in the area said
it was the worst they had ever seen there.

It caused me to reflect on what the
Spirit was saying to me all week. Be ready,
He will come suddenly. It seems peaceful
and safe but then destruction will come.

I know tornadoes come up
suddenly. You must be ready and prepared
because when they come up they come
up quickly and a person must act quickly.
It's too late to prepare then, you must be
prepared before.

Remember the Parable of the Ten Virgins:
4 The wise ones, however, took oil in jars along
with their lamps. 5 The bridegroom was a long time
in coming, and they all became drowsy and fell asleep.
6 “At midnight the cry rang out:
‘Here’s the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!’
7 “Then all the virgins woke up and trimmed their lamps.
8 The foolish ones said to the wise,
‘Give us some of your oil; our lamps are going out.’
13 “Therefore keep watch,
because you do not know the day or the hour.
Matthew 25

It seems the world is moving toward
safety, peace, prosperity. What this will do is
cause us to fall into a mental, spiritual lull.
We will think all is fine and lose sight
of this is when Jesus will come,
and it will be quickly.

"Behold, I come quickly. My reward is with me, 
to repay to each man according to his work.
Rev. 22:12
Be ready, stay at work.
Keep your lamps full of His oil.

In prayer, we get discernment for all
things. As we grow in prayer, our
sense of what's just ahead sharpens, it
gets even more keen. We can sense it
and identify it.

is it prepares us to be ready continually,
and stay at work on the Mission He has
given us. Stay in the Word, stay in Prayer,
and stay at the work He has for you.


…..

Friday, June 29, 2018

So What's the Problem Here?

By Dale Shumaker

I am a problem/solution, situation/strategy kind
of guy.

In most everything, I tend to look at what is the
problem here, and then what can we do to
fix it. Or what is the situation here, and what
strategy would work best for resolving,
overcoming it.

In my life I have been intrigued by the
Navy Seals, high performance athletes,
and how they function. They all are
constantly evaluating, re-evaluating
themselves. Find what is the problem here,
or what strategy will overcome this
situation. Most people who live to do
well in what they do think like this.
For me, I enjoy working with problems,
situations and coming up with better
solutions, unique strategies. Some see value
in this, some don't...  the life get-by-ers don't
see value in this, they live a mindset of
just enough to make the grade, get the
job, pass the test... and I say... why not live
to be the best at what you do and live
for, constantly work at being better than
you were yesterday, and advance your
skills for tomorrow.

Now to the church, Christians, and those
who say they believe in Jesus as their Lord
and Savor. Some live just to get in the gate,
but fewer take the narrow way... to live for
the big rewards in Heaven our Lord promises.

Take church for example. Some go there just
to get by. Others want more and get involved
in an informal study/prayer group, still others
instead of organizations and groups, find two
or three people they go to for their
Scripture studies, and prayer.

A problem.
Few are living to the level that should
be the norm as Believers in Christ.
(See Acts 9... Peter heals a paralyzed man
who walks instantly, and Tabitha who comes
back to life instantly.)

Since I am a problem/solution type guy,
I set out to find a solution for this.
There's a problem here. There's a lack
of initiative for many to live the best they
can be in their walk and calling in the
Lord. Do we take on the desire to live
for the Lord and be as one of His Navy
Seals, Olympic champions in the Spirit?

It seems fewer are growing to greater
heights Spiritually,
and there is little real growth of
Dedicated, Totally-committed
Christianity in lives and in their groups.
Church attenders don't grow much
beyond their Sunday experience, informal
groups stay narrow in their growth in
the Lord, and the 2's or 3's lack a platform
to grow as God would want them.

Studies seem to indicate about 20% attend
formal church gatherings weekly, but they show only
6 or 7% of these are really committed to
what they do.

This is a little scary. Our Spirit-committed
believers are a very small number. The others
looking for growth in Spirit, and Power in
the Spirit may seek out informal or not
identifiable Spiritual relationships with others.

Now  I realize there is a lot of conjecture here.
Although, in my Spirit I feel in America there
is a less than a majority who really believe in
Christ and live with their whole hearts for
Him. They want the prize but lack the personal
discipline to win the prize as Paul says.

"Do you not know that in a race all the
runners run, but only one gets the prize?
Run in such a way as to get the prize.
Everyone who competes in the games
goes into strict training. They do it to
get a crown that will not last, but we do it
to get a crown that will last forever.

Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly..."
(1 Corinthians 9:24-26, NIV)

So, putting all this together. I want to help the
church-going, informal groups, and others
into wanting to grow in Spirit. I came up
with a solution, a  strategy that will work
for all three.
It is in

All three groups can benefit from it.
And live in the super, dynamic, most magnificent
life in Spirit they can live.

Beyond that, since I am getting older, I
wanted to make this my contribution
to mankind before going home with
the Lord. It's online, free. Plus if you
are really committed, I will help you.
I will be your personal assistant in going
through this, and partner with you to
make sure it happens.

(In my life I got high marks for being
a pretty good tutor, teaching, facilitator
and showing others how to make things
work in their life.)

One thing in my spirit has always been...
if I am going to do it, do it well and with
all my might. The "just-get-by-people"
don't get into the "do it the best you can
and be the best you can" way of thinking.
But those who get into this
want to give their life as a  super-whirl for the Lord,

Of all we can excel at, why not excel at
living in the Spirit as the Lord made us for.
It's very exciting, creating a rush through us,
a surge of His Spirit palpitating through our
souls, as we live this way.

......