Everyone always speaks of the great faith Abraham had to be willing to sacrifice Isaac on the alter of the Lord but could you imagine the greif he must have endured! The incredible pain that he had to overcome. The nagging questions like Loving God, one true father why would you ask me to sacrifice my Son, my promised son? Loving father why would you take that which you gave me that which is most precious and beautiful to me? Can you imagine the love of God Abraham must have had to cry out in the mist of such great agony yes my Lord let it be so! I can imagine Abraham screaming with tears ripping down his face, a huge knot in his throat and mucus flowing. IF THATS WHAT YOU DESIRE LORD THAN LET IT BE SO!!!!!!!! All the while praying silently Lord please not my boy, lord please not my boy! I can image the trip to the alter Abraham wondering how is God going to spare his son? Will he truely have me sacrifice him just to raise him again? Does God require this pain of me and why but all the less Lord I am yours and yours completely. It was a test to Abraham obedience not his faith! And though we all know how the story ends God stops him, still his greive must of touched Gods heart because God made it a point (less anyone be confused) to place in his law to never sacrifice your children unto God!
Deuteronomy 18:10-13 NIV
Let no one be found among you who sacrifices their son or daughter in the fire, who practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft,  or casts spells, or who is a medium or spiritist or who consults the dead.  Anyone who does these things is detestable to the Lord; because of these same detestable practices the Lord your God will drive out those nations before you.  You must be blameless before the Lord your God.
I just wish Jephthah knew the law then he would have known not to sacrifice his daughter for it would only anger God!
 And Jephthah made a vow to the Lord: “If you give the Ammonites into my hands,  whatever comes to meet me when I return in triumph from the Ammonites will be the Lord’s, and I will sacrifice it as a burnt offering. ”  Then Jephthah went over to fight the Ammonites, and the Lord gave them into his hands.  He devastated twenty towns from Aroer to the vicinity of Minnith, as far as Abel Keramim. Thus Israel subdued Ammon.  When Jephthah returned to his home in Mizpah, who should come out to meet him but his daughter, dancing to the sound of timbrels! She was an only child. Except for her he had neither son nor daughter.  When he saw her, he tore his clothes and cried, “Oh no, my daughter! You have brought me down and I am devastated. I have made a vow to the Lord that I cannot break. ”  “My father,” she replied, “you have given your word to the Lord. Do to me just as you promised, now that the Lord has avenged you of your enemies, the Ammonites.  “My father,” she replied, “you have given your word to the Lord. Do to me just as you promised, now that the Lord has avenged you of your enemies, the Ammonites.  But grant me this one request,” she said. “Give me two months to roam the hills and weep with my friends, because I will never marry.”  “You may go,” he said. And he let her go for two months. She and her friends went into the hills and wept because she would never marry.  After the two months, she returned to her father, and he did to her as he had vowed. And she was a virgin. From this comes the Israelite tradition  that each year the young women of Israel go out for four days to commemorate the daughter of Jephthah the Gileadite.
Life can gang up on us and build up against us from time to time. And its during these times when our faith is pressured and compacted to the point that we need release or stress will overtake us and we will pop. Its extreamly important that we realize that faith isn’t the absence of stress, dispair, or anguish. Even Jesus the most faithful and the most faithfilled suffered through and conquered stress!
Luke 22:41-46 NIV
He withdrew about a stone’s throw beyond them, knelt down and prayed,  “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.”  An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him.  And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.  When he rose from prayer and went back to the disciples, he found them asleep, exhausted from sorrow.  “Why are you sleeping?” he asked them. “Get up and pray so that you will not fall into temptation.”
An important thing to remember is you can not conquer that which you do not battle and what’s even better is if we remain in Christ we are promised the victory. We are not however promised victory without the battle but rather an Ally who has already overcome the battle. A trainer and a guide through to victory. Who knows the enemy and has his weakness all pegged. He knows the enemies moves before he throws them and will navigate us to victory which may include us taking some hits to get there.
Just remember if we are to be conquerors in Christ then there are battles we are called to fight.
Romans 8:37-39 NIV
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.  For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers,  neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
And when we slip up or fall down, when we lose our footing, that’s when our trainer, our heavenly coach will step in calm the ragging seas and fight on our behalve then pick us up and show us where we misstepped and why we fell. So we can aviod it in the coming battle.
Mark 4:35-41 NIV
That day when evening came, he said to his disciples, “Let us go over to the other side.”  Leaving the crowd behind, they took him along, just as he was, in the boat. There were also other boats with him.  A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped.  Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?”  He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm.  He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?”  They were terrified and asked each other, “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!”
And when we’ve fought as hard and as faithfully as we could. We trust him. . ., be still. . . and know He is God and He is good!!!!!!!!!
A different take on king of kings and Lord of Lords.
Thinking on this subject I completely recognize the obvious
#1 Jesus is in control no matter who rules in the world they still have to answer to God! &
#2 Jesus says his followers (the church) will rule city’s in his kingdom in the end. But there is a 3rd interpretation.
(And by the way it does not have to be one or the other it can be all 3)
#3 When we submit ourselves unto Christ not only does he give us the grace to overcome our limitations and sins but he gives us the power and authority to do so in essence making us Lords and Kings over Satan and sin in our lives!
In other words he authorizes us to use his power/rule over sin and demons (including satan) in our lives! And while we can not control all circumstances in our lives he has equipped us to chose how we react to and understand those circumstances. So by making us (his church) individual kings and Lords of our lives he is in the truest sense Lord of Lords and King of Kings. The Lords and Kings not only being earthly rulers but you and I his followers as well!
The Darkness engulfs me light is no where around. I yell and I scream but it seems I’m not to be found. Why can’t they hear me when my tears are streaming. Why can’t they see me when my heart’s still bleeding.
Even when my friends are around I’m all alone no matter what I do or say I’m still empty, I’m still Hollow! Am I the only one? Must this pain go on? even when I’m happy my joy seems to be gone. Like it’s somewhere off at sea while I’m here stuck on shore. Is life just pointless? What am I even here for?
I once thought like this both night and day it haunted me in every way. Darkness had its grip on me I believed it’s lie that there was no light for me to see! When all along there it was right in front of me. For all I had to do was allowed myself to believe and then allow myself to receive.
BUT HOW! how can it be this simple? How could this be true? After all you’ve done how could the light love you? The darkness made me ask as doubt began to creep in because of my past.
But then the light spoke up even louder! He told me of how He died and suffered and overcame. Of how he rose and of how in love he had purchase me. As He told me I felt His POWER! My world began to shake!
I heard the dings of my shackles as they fell from me and began to break! PAIN! REGRET! I’M FINALLY FREE! My soul cried out in pure Relief, for the first time ever I could truly see. The darkness standing there in front of me! Hatred pouring from his eyes as he stood there glaring without Disguise.
The darkness for so long I had thought was my friend. The darkness which for so long I had always said was the one thing I could truly understand. But now I had seen it for what it is and for how it hid in my life.
And when I had looked a second time at this Deceiver no longer in disguise, I noticed in his hands the sword of flame and on it was a death-list at the top was my name! And before I could react he took his mighty swing!
And then like a flood the light rushed in and rescue me with its Majestic glow. It consumed my life and I felt whole! no longer empty, no longer hollow, rather full of life, full of joy, of Hope for my tomorrow.
My joy no longer off at sea but swimming here inside of me, and though there are times my heart may bleed I’m never alone for He’s here with me.! To comfort , to heal, or just to be my savior has never forsaken me. He’s Jesus the Christ my guiding light, my way, my truth, my eternal right!!!
By: William Marchbanks
Hey guys I learned why Jesus refers to himself as the son of man and so I’m passing it on because it’s pretty cool. Before I explain you must realize that the jews never knew god as a three person entity. God was formless and one. With that in mind think about this, Daniel has a vision (in Daniel 7) this vision is God The Ancient Of Days and one like the son of man is brought before God and all nations, kings, and peoples worshiped him in front of the Ancient Of Days.
He was given by God glory and sovereign power and his kingdom would last forever. This disturbed and confused Daniel greatly because here was a man receiving worship in front of The Ancient Of Days and God was okay with it. Daniel did not understand. Daniel knew the law taught that God alone was to be worshiped and that God is a jealous God. So Daniel asked the angel to explain it to him.
Da 7:13 “In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence. Da 7:14 He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all peoples, nations and men of every language worshiped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed. Da 7:15 “I, Daniel, was troubled in spirit, and the visions that passed through my mind disturbed me. Da 7:16 I approached one of those standing there and asked him the true meaning of all this. “So he told me and gave me the interpretation of these things: Da 7:17 ‘The four great beasts are four kingdoms that will rise from the earth. Da 7:18 But the saints of the Most High will receive the kingdom and will possess it forever yes, for ever and ever
Also notice Daniel said one like the Son of man. In other words like a man but not quite a man. So in Mathew 16:13-20 when Jesus asked his disciples “Who do people say the Son of Man is?” he is referring to Daniel chapter 7.
Matthew 16:13-20 NIV
When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?”  They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”  “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?”  Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”  Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven.  And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.  I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”  Then he ordered his disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Messiah.
All the Jews from boyhood had learned about the son of man and pondered on it. It was a biblical mystery to them. Now here comes Jesus and he asks his disciples about this mystery “Who do people say the Son of Man is?” The disciples put forth all the current theories of their day John the Baptist, Elijah, Jeremiah, or one of the prophets.
Then Jesus asked two important questions revealing the answer to the mystery of the Son of man. He asked “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?” and that’s when it happened . . . the pieces of the ancient puzzle fell into place for none other than Peter. Peter realized that the son of man being worship in Daniel’s vision was God himself in flesh (the Son of god) and that’s why the son of man was given glory, worship, and sovereign power.
When Peter revealed this to them Jesus praised Peter and told him that this was not revealed to him by his own mental figuring but by the spirit of God and warned all the disciples to keep this revelation to themselves for the moment because it wasn’t yet time for it to be revealed to the word. Pretty cool huh?
If they could only see in my soul how different would things be? If they knew the scars personally? If they could by memory recall in a flash the pain of a 1000 regrets and broken relationships, of a 1000 hurts and a million tears.
I ask myself have they ever felt the despair of deaths touch, cold on the skin in the form of depression. In the form of a black hole swallowing the light, killing the light! Swallowing them up in complete blackness, up in total loneliness and utter despair. Have they ever known and if they had would they then care?
Why does life have to be this way! Even in light I’m surrounded by darkness, even in day the Sun flees from me not to be seen and nowhere to be found! Why can’t I lift above the fog that surrounds me?!
Oh that I might see the Sun again lord! Oh to know it’s comforts once more! Please sweet Lord bring to me the Sun again! Allow me the comfort of it’s warmth, the peace of its light that my mind may have a moments of rest.
Lord please look on your servant with favor again that I might rejoice in your presence! Cast from me this fog of darkness, this fog of war, of pain and despair!
Oh Lord let my mind know your rest once more that I may be with you and enjoy the gift that is you! Oh God! but regardless my Lord your servant will follow you wherever you lead, Weather it be to peace or if it be to war I, your servant will follow you Oh Lord! I am Forever yours
With gratitude and love.
My world is turning, my head is burning! My legs give out and my body finaly shuts down. Now here I am in total darkness not even sure what my own thought is!
So I take the pen of my soul, and the Tablet of my heart, and I begin to write, when The Holy Spirit speaks and stops me dead in my tracks. I listen to what he has to say until my own thoughts become whispers of the past, and then it hits me.
My tragedy is one of my own writing. So I take that pen and I give it to Him and He teaches me, His own words finally reaching me. And the darkness is still there surronding me, everywhere!
But it’s ok because the confussion is gone and I’m not lost or alone, I can finally see. This hurt, this darkness though it is bad and even terrible at times in the end all it is, is Just an unwilling tool! A tool God uses for my better though its intent was for my abuse! God used it for His use! So don’t be afraid of the dark when you carry the light within for no matter how it tries The darkness will never win, when you give Christ your internal Pen!!!!!
By: William Marchbanks
Without faith it is impossible to please God!
Hebrews 11:6 KJV
But without faith it is impossible to please him : for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
Are you walking in your faith and diligently seeing him? The funny thing about faith is it is tested and tried as a method of purification of your faith not your soul! Your soul is only purified through Christ wich we now have access to through grace! Funny thing is grace is only accessed through FAITH!
Romans 5:1-2 NIV
Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,  through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God.
So I’ll ask again are you walking in your faith! The best indicator that one is walking in faith is trails and tribulations wich our thrust upon us to both test and develop our faith!
1 Peter 1:3-7 NIV
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,  and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you,  who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.  In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials.  These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.
It is important to know that pain and suffering is a part of our calling in Christ. It is part of our growth and development but don’t let that be disheartening to you after all Jesus said
Matthew 11:28-30 NIV
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
John 14:15-19 NIV
“If you love me, keep my commands.  And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever—  the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.  I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.  Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live.
You see we do not struggle alone we have the Holy Spirit as our advocate to draw strength from! Not just comfort but strength and Faith! We do not suffer in vain! As my pastor says we can’t choose what we go through but we can choose how we go through it or how we respond to it! Make a choice to be men and women of faith!
Walk in that faith! Renew that faith! (As the Bible says . . . So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.) Allow God to develop your faith! Remain in his grace through faith! Trust and rely on God!
2 Corinthians 12:9-11 KJV
And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.  Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.  I am become a fool in glorying; ye have compelled me: for I ought to have been commended of you: for in nothing am I behind the very chiefest apostles, though I be nothing.
2 Corinthians 12:9-11 NIV
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. ” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.  That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.  I have made a fool of myself, but you drove me to it. I ought to have been commended by you, for I am not in the least inferior to the “super-apostles,” even though I am nothing.
I know I put it twice KJV & NIV anyways I thinks James says it best
James 1:2-5 NIV
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds,  because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.  Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.  If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.
And when you feel you can not go on any further remember these two truths
#1 God never gives more than you can handle (you’re never alone)
1 Corinthians 10:9-13 NIV
We should not test Christ, as some of them did—and were killed by snakes.  And do not grumble, as some of them did—and were killed by the destroying angel.  These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us, on whom the culmination of the ages has come.  So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall!  No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.
#2 Joy true joy is only found in the presence of the Lord!
(Get intimate with God. Invite his presence into your life! As my pastor said the prssence of God can do things that the knowledge of God can’t or rather there are some things that the presence of God can do that the knowledge of God can not!)
Acts 2:26-28 NIV
Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will rest in hope,  because you will not abandon me to the realm of the dead, you will not let your holy one see decay.  You have made known to me the paths of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence.’
Hebrews 11:1, 3 KJV
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.  Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.
Hope + Faith + grace = Rest and all 3 are found in the presence of the Lord All mighty!
Let me ask you the question that plagues evolution theorist. If in the beginning there was nothing and we all evolved from some single cell organisms where did it come from? And what ever answer you come up with the same question will aply to that, that is where did it come from?
Alternative universes is the newest theory to ATEMPT TO GET AROUND that question yet I ask, where did the alternative universe comcomee from and so on and so on? As you know basic science teaches you can’t get something from nothing therefore logic dictates that something has to have always existed and that, that something whatever it may be has to have existed / functioned outside the laws of physics!
No way around it! Something has to have always existed and whatever you believe that that something is in order to have always existed it must act outside of the laws of physics and not be bound by them! You can believe it was some MAGICAL single cell organism or gas, molecule, ect. I wil stick with the logicical conclusion and choose God!