So…Are You Married? Really?

What unmake’s/invalidates a marriage? What is marriage? What is it that defines it in such a way that it does not matter what or where you come from, makes it still true? If the nation in which you live in, God forbid, was declared a non-state by those who claim the rights and ability to do so; if the policy context under which you married was drastically changed; if the religious institution which declared you married was in some way nullified or if it no longer held true for you; if the symbols of the legality of your union according to the culture by which you live were lost or destroyed in some way; if the authorities and witnesses – all of them – that authenticated your marriage were declared of unsound mind or lost their lives or were no longer relevant to you- or changed their minds/testimony about the validity of your union; what if one or both of you felt they made a mistake and no longer believed and lived in the honor of that union? Would you still be married? Is it possible for one to be married legally in one context and yet be illegal in another? What if you do not have any of the above in the first place? What/Who makes or unmakes a marriage?

BACK TO THE FIRST MARRIAGE RECORDED IN THE BIBLE – BACK TO EDEN: “Now the Lord God said, It is not good (sufficient, satisfactory) that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper (suitable, adapted, complementary) for him. And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam; and while he slept, He took one of his ribs or a part of his side and closed up the [place with] flesh. And the rib or part of his side which the Lord God had taken from the man He built up and made into a woman, and He brought her to the man.

Then Adam said, This [creature] is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of a man. Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and shall become united and cleave to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. And the man and his wife were both naked and were not embarrassed or ashamed in each other’s presence.” Genesis 2

My Crush on Andrew

Andrew, he makes me smile! I think I have a crush on him…no…I KNOW I love him! Totally so. I hope that when I get to heaven, after Jesus Christ, he would be one of the first I see.

Andrew, the Apostle, often goes unnoticed, and yet he did profound things. He was a God-chaser and a room maker. He first followed John the Baptizer, and when John the Way maker and room maker pointed out The Messiah to him, he believed John. His faith followed action – he honored his former mentor by stepping into The Way he was shown. And no…he was not going to leave his brother behind. He went home and told him that he had seen the Messiah and urged him to come step in His Footsteps. His brother, Simon Peter, was the one to whom Christ handed the Church. A ‘little’ act of networking by…sigh…Andrew…hooked God up with ministry predecessor.

Andrew did not stop at his brother, one time, Greeks came to see Jesus…and it was he and Philip that brought these…Gentiles…before the King of kings. Gentiles…like most of you are, like I am. I am amazed at his foresight. It took his brother Peter, rebuke from his brethren, after Christ’s Ascension to even accept that Christ Jesus was relevant to Gentiles…and yet here….I love Andrew.

But for me, the most profound of his evident understanding of his Messiah was, when they stood in ministry before 5000+ hungry men, and Christ asked them what to do about their hunger. Phillip…was overwhelmed, as you and I often are, by the size of the challenge. “Where will we get the resources in time to satiate their immediate hunger! We don’t have the money!” Andrew, sigh, he pointed to a ‘little matter’ that meant that their situation was not as desperate as Phillip made it out to be. “There is a little boy here, with a little food – it is not right to say that we don’t have anything. We have a little.” And The LORD of all creation, who made everything by just His Word, the Word of God, spoke. And 5000+ hungry people ate to their fill, and there was substantial left over, so that each one of the disciples could ‘take home’ a considerable ‘doggie bag’.

I am a lot like Philip…a lot. We think that by always taking note of what is not working, we are made heroes…but I learnt more than once, that focusing on that angle too much can cost you your health, your money, your relationships, your very life… Andrews on the other hand do not ignore the crisis, but they also never forget the ‘little things’, the single things…the tiny pivot points. And God honors their faith, and gives them so much, much more than they would dare believe He could. Little is MUCH when God is in it. May God give me eyes and faith, like that of Andrew…and even more.

“He who is faithful in what is least is faithful also in much; and he who is unjust in what is least is unjust also in much.” Jesus Christ in Luke 16:10

Holes in The Hand of God 2

THERE ARE HOLES IN THE HAND OF THE ALMIGHTY GOD. He releases abundance through these – He is not in the habit of withholding what I need. He does not hoard in fear of tough times. I have heard the testimonies of the brethren, that He was with them, and has done great things in their lives. I am a witness to these, and am overwhelmed. Yet, honestly, I guard my heart against the disappointment for believing presumptuously, believing amiss. And that has cost me. My experience has taught me to believe that He is Faithful to others…There are ‘holes’ in The Hands of The Almighty God – MY Very FUNCTIONAL and Eternal Father. With those hands He raises my head, to look to Him, so He can steady the storm beneath my feet – so I can walk the waters of this storm as I behold His Glory. There are holes in The Hands of my Father. And I will trust Him to come, to pour into my life, what I need today. My Father is Coming – He WILL come.
 
” But Thomas, one of the Twelve, called the Twin, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples kept telling him, We have seen the Lord! But he said to them, Unless I see in His hands the marks made by the nails and put my finger into the nail prints, and put my hand into His side, I will never believe [it].
 
Eight days later His disciples were again in the house, and Thomas was with them. Jesus came, though they were behind closed doors, and stood among them and said, Peace to you! Then He said to Thomas, Reach out your finger here, and see My hands; and put out your hand and place [it] in My side. Do not be faithless and incredulous, but [stop your unbelief and] believe!
Thomas answered Him, My Lord and my God! Jesus said to him, Because you have seen Me, Thomas, do you now believe (trust, have faith)? Blessed and happy and to be envied are those who have never seen Me and yet have believed and adhered to and trusted and relied on Me.”
John 20:24-28

Mending Altars

“…its smell was pleasing to The Lord.” Leviticus 8:21

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A lot was on my mind this morning as I prepared for a time of reading and meditating on God’s Word. I was grateful to God. Tomorrow marks a year since the mild stroke that attacked me about a year ago. How I was doing – what I had lost and what I had gained. I was thinking about my weight, which I struggled to loose, in which God had granted me victory over in the first five months, and over which, I was now experiencing painful defeat. What was the use of fighting anymore? Nothing had really changed. I was singing, presumably to God, but my heart was elsewhere.

“Jesus answered, unless I wash you, you have no part with Me.” John 13:8

Suddenly a vision split through my mind as out of a terrible horror movie. I saw a woman, a ghostly woman with an upturned face as in worship, hands held before her, she opened her mouth as though to sing, and instead, a cloud of flies, black flies, hundreds of them streamed out of her. I was rebuked, I repented. I was raising unholy fires before God, and He had shown me exactly what He thought of it.

“You are not to do as we do here today, everyone doing as they see fit, since you have not yet reached your resting place and the inheritance The LORD your God is giving you…Be careful not to sacrifice your burnt offering anywhere you please. Offer them only in the place The LORD will choose…” Deuteronomy 12: 8, 13-14

We read through the books of Deuteronomy, 12 and 13 today, and what I got from God, was that He takes the lead in worship. I must present myself, in totality. He is not impressed by anything else, even if we are thinking of Him in a grateful way – He will show us where, and how to love Him and adore Him, by The Holy Spirit. God had been talking to me about repairing broken altars – His in my live, and in the lives of those around me, in His Kingdom. Many other things were taking His place in our lives, primarily the chase after the cleverly elusive Shilling. We were hungering for this more than for God. We felt that having it would solve all our problems, and the lack of it, was blamed on God, and for the many aches we were experiencing – just like last year, same time.

Then the entire family gathered before God at the end of the day. And as we would have it, God led us again to the theme of sacrifice, this time in Leviticus 8. I wondered what this sweet smell was. God taught me through my children. My life, our lives are an act of worship…one continuous act. Sometimes we worship God, in the best of times. But many times… God narrowed in particularly to the way I give. He has emphasised to me, that a man can only receive what is given to him from heaven. But His ‘challenge’ was, what happened with the messenger. How do we handle being message bearers from heaven to the man or woman. This broke me.

“But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.” Luke 15:2

Much of the time, our altars are so broken, and we perceive the errand on God’s behalf as an injustice. The person we are being sent to is undeserving in our eyes, they do not conform to our ideals of what they as servants of God and recipients of His grace should. Sometimes we create stories about them, stretch threads, pick at these, to convince ourselves that God will overlook our half-hearted at best, and no hearted service to Him…because after all…they are offensive to us. So we give only part of what we have been sent to give, with a thorough put down to the recipient, that makes them weep and not rejoice over the gift they have received. Because it was wrapped in hateful insults to their integrity. And we turn away, and try to worship God, but we are like rotting flesh, giving off a stench that has cuddled into vermin that flows incessantly from our bellies.

“Our offering to God is this: We are the sweet smell of Christ, among those that are being saved and among those that are being lost.” 2 Corinthians 2:15

This message has been, for me, long. And I have a hunch, a strong one, that God is not done with it yet. But as I share what He has given me with someone, I hope that we would take time to go before Him, like Elijah did on Mount Carmel, and repair God’s altar in our lives. That His Fire would come from heaven and consume both us and our giving, because we have been found pleasing to Him, and that we would give off, a sweet smelling aroma to God in heaven, and the world around us.

Shalom.

vipslit@yahoo.ca

“So brothers and sisters, since God has shown us great mercy, I beg you to offer your lives as living sacrifices to Him. Your offering must only be for God and pleasing to Him, which is the spiritual way for you to worship.” Romans 12:1

On Being A Secret

More often than not, we only want to remain a secret in our relationships, when our intentions are to selfish. “its ok, you are my sister/mother/wife/colleague/friend/in-law, but don’t let anyone else know…its not their business.” Most of us are hurt when it is demanded of us, to keep the fact of association…to remain ‘a secret’ by those we are related to, married to, work with, our friends and sometimes even our neighbors. It denotes a level of rejection that sears continually…it says in precise terms “I am ashamed to be associated with you, and would not like others to know of the fact.”

rejectedThose who demand this of you, shame you for acknowledging them publicly, for not wanting to be a secret anymore – but they would probably die first, before allowing themselves to be likewise hidden by those they hold in high esteem. I am sad to acknowledge that to very many, I am a secret…but not to God who understands this pain. And interestingly allows me, by example, to disassociate from those who do not wish to be identified with me…even though I still love, pray and long for them.

I agonized last night before God, asking Him, ‘Father, when the Morning Light comes, in the Magnificent Assembly and when we stand where all secrets are revealed before the nations, who will You say I am to You? Will it be what I believe I am to You?’ He heard me…He reminded me, that I am openly and to His pride, His Lover, Bride, Family, Friend, Employee, Kingdom-mate….He is not my Secret…and am not His. Is He yours?538719997_0e94c9b29a

vipslit@yahoo.ca

“For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when He comes in His glory, and the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.”
Christ Jesus in Luke 9:26 and Mark 8:38

“But whoever disowns me before others, I will disown before My Father in heaven.” Christ Jesus in Mathew 10:33 an Luke 12:9

Trembling at The Word God

DSC08973This morning as I took a walk, my conversation with God was basically me shouting “I give up – I think I heard wrong – this is too, too painful, shameful and exhausting!!!!” and He kept saying “Trust in Me, do not give up, I have this.” But it was too hard, had been too long, it was getting darker and heavier instead of better…A friend, [a new bride who is in crutches after an accident that crushed her foot a month after her wedding], had just ‘WhatSupped’ me to find out about a certain situation in my life over which she was praying…and I had told her, and my pastor friend [who I woke up this morning] that I was quitting. She – they both said, “we will pray even harder.” Two other friends texted me from Isaiah 43:19 and John 16:33 [these had/still have no idea the import of their messages to me this morning]. And another to tell me that being low is not my portion.

Suddenly I sensed a desire to just LISTEN to one of my oldest and dearest friends. So to quiet the battle within me, I called her as I walked…for no particular reason. I was glad she was getting on fine…but she told me something that just stopped me, because it is a confirmation of what God has been telling me this past weekend “Vip, God is taking us through a time where we must honor His Word above our emotions.” Basically “Word over Emotion.” I have awesome friends! Thank You Lord – I still feel like quitting, but I WILL tremble at Your Word as You have assured me that You Who began this thing in me, are Faithful and You WILL complete it._NIK5654

Someone else is about to give up on a situation that has been sustained for a while by only The Word of God…It’s hard…makes no sense any more…That Word is enough. Please, lets not give up. I look forward to sitting next to You in Glory, and hearing the testimony you almost aborted today. Don’t Quit – Tremble at the Word of God.
Shalom

“But this is the man to whom I will look and have regard: he who is humble and of a broken or wounded spirit, and who trembles at My word and reveres My commands.” AMP

““The people I value are not proud.
They are sorry for the wrong things they have done.
They have great respect for what I say.” NIRV
Isaiah 66:2

vipslit@yahoo.ca

My Life – An Errand From God to God

DSC09497Where are you today? Do like being there? Would you prefer being somewhere else? Are ‘they’ treating you right? Would you wish they treated you, just a little bit better. I was thinking just the same of the place I was. But I have a Loving, Powerful, Gentle, Awesome and EXTREMELY WISE HEAVENLY FATHER.  His Words…they make sense out of what may seem senseless today. What if..just what if…my being where I am today, is a matter of life and death for someone…someone I am too self-focused to see right now?

Just so that THEY would KNOW FOR SURE that GOD IS PRESENT where you are, God may send YOU through humanly unconventional means, sometimes as a slave – well, almost. His Way may be humbling even ‘horrendous’ but I do myself well to remember that the entirety of my life is an errand from God to someone/people and then back to Him with fruit, that they may KNOW He cares about them and their situation. Your/my ‘small’ voice raised in love and truth may unsettle kings and kingdoms to turn their focus back to God. May He open my eyes to Who needs Him this day, that I may send them to Him, for the breakthrough that they need. Hear this, my prayer, Heavenly Father. Amen.

vipslit@yahoo.ca

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“The Syrians had gone out in bands and had brought away captive out of the land of Israel a little maid, and she waited on Naaman’s wife. She said to her mistress, Would that my lord were with the prophet who is in Samaria! For he would heal him of his leprosy. [Naaman] went in and told his king, Thus and thus said the maid from Israel…

And he brought the letter to the king of Israel. It said, When this letter comes to you, I will with it have sent to you my servant Naaman, that you may cure him of leprosy.When the king of Israel read the letter, he rent his clothes and said, Am I God, to kill and to make alive, that this man sends to me to heal a man of his leprosy? Just consider and see how he is seeking a quarrel with me. When Elisha the man of God heard that the king of Israel had rent his clothes, he sent to the king, asking, Why have you rent your clothes? Let Naaman come now to me and he shall know that there is a prophet in Israel…

Then he went down and dipped himself seven times in the Jordan, as the man of God had said, and his flesh was restored like that of a little child, and he was clean. Then Naaman returned to the man of God, he and all his company, and stood before him. He said, Behold, now I know that there is no God in all the earth but in Israel.”
1 Kings 5

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