Tag Archives: evidence

The Difference Between Flatland and Mountaintop Faith

Traveling both far north and far south of West Virginia will take you into the flatlands of the United States. And while that countryside is most beautiful, and my time there is always enjoyed, I much prefer the hills of West Virginia. At least until the first snow and I risk sliding off a mountain side. But it is currently spring, and although snowflakes still occasionally fall; if you wait 20 minutes the sun is likely to shine again and all signs of winter are gone. Our trees are budded, tulips are coming up and the hedges are green. Our hope is renewed that we will feel the warmth of the summer sun soon and very soon. As I type those words, I hear my friend Walter, who’s received the promise of Heaven singing that song “Soon and Very Soon, we are going to see the King!” Well he now sees. His faith has been made sight.

I often mention Walter, because Walter changed the fabric of my life. He was in his seventies when he joined our congregation. A black, retired, Pentecostal pastor who made his home, and his doctrine that of Victory Baptist Chruch for several years. Worshiping with a 98% white congregation. Color was not an issue for him or us. Walter brought a mountain top experience to our church and taught us to worship more freely. He was downright fun!

So what is the difference between flatland and mountain top faith?

Hebrews 11:1-2

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good report.

A Good Report

The elders of the bible believed the promise of the Messiah as spoken by the prophets of old. They didn’t have the privilege of our vantage point of looking back on the cross with the evidences of scripture and history, but they did have the future evidence of the spoken prophetic words coming alive right before them. If one of God’s prophets said the sky was falling, you’d better wear a helmet! But there is now such a variation in what preachers preach today, it is no wonder people are living in flatland faith. Flatland faith meaning, no mountaintop experiences. The world doesn’t know what to believe, there are few “Good Reports.” Billy Graham has died, and there are few of such a stable nature coming up behind him. And even fewer with fire. And far too many “self-professing saints” with a lifestyle that is more apt to be found in Satan’s camp, than in Christ’s.

A Good Testimony

Hebrews 11:3-5

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. By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh. By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God.

I have to ask myself, what sacrifices am I making for the cause of Christ? Please don’t misunderstand, I speak not of works for salvation, which cannot be done. Salvation was paid for at the cross. But by works I refer to that which I do which has a testimony from the grave. What do I do that has eternal reward? The only thing that’s going to make it into Heaven by my hand, is a soul that I lead to Christ or a saint for which I’ve encouraged by knowing the word of God. Too few people have evidence of a good testimony. A part of which is an excitement and zeal for the cause of Christ. I remember Walter and glorify God, because Walter encouraged me while he was here. Like Abel, “being dead yet speaketh!”

A Good Reward

Hebrews 11:6

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.

I’m by no stretch of the imagination a “super saint.” Lord have mercy on my soul, I fail Him often. But I desire and seek the mountain top experiences believing that God is a rewarding of those who do. Troubles come, but God is so faithful that even in the troubled times, His presence is a mountain top experience. Knowing that I do not have to go it alone. Hallelujah!!

Chapter 11 is the testimony of the heroes of the faith who lived in faith, not knowing what I know, but believing it would be because God said it was so. They believed not seeing. I believe because I’ve seen. I’ve seen saints live it out. Do others see it in me? Do they see it in you?

Get excited! Our future is amazing!

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This blog is in it’s 8th year. Hosted on godaddy.com for the past five. Expenses incurred for the operation of this site are without complaint and with gratitude for the opportunity. If the Lord would impress you to give to help cover some recent technology issues, I’d be grateful. I’ve not been in the world’s workforce for 3 years and for that I glorify God. It’s given me the opportunity to not only write and work on music, but minister to nursing home patients, volunteer in the Christian School teaching art and help other ministries with marketing. All of which require technology, communication, time and gasoline. Again it’s without complainT… but just in case you have a desire to help, or have “extra money” 🙂 Know that I would be eternally grateful.

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The risk of dying before you’re dead

Perhaps it’s an advantage or a disadvantage to the privilege of traveling to multiple churches where I’ve seen both the dead and alive, and those in between. The live revive and the dead remind that I am just a rock’s throw away from being among’em as I witness those in between.
It doesn’t seem like much, but an “Amen!” goes a 4long way to a dry and dusty soul, and no doubt for the preacher in need of encouragement.

So, the question is, “How do you know you’re dying?”

Hebrews 4:1-2 – Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left of us entering into rest, any of you should seem to come short of it. For unto u was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, being mixed with faith in them that heard it.

No fear

Possibly the first sign of spiritually dying is that you’re not concerned that it’s possible. I fear it. I’ve seen enough lifeless churches to last me a life time. Revelation 3:15 warns the people of God when He says, “I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.”
I see the warning signs in the lives of others that make me fearfully aware.

• Church is a service on Sunday morning only. They’ve forgotten that they “are” the church.
• Church attendance is optional if something “better” comes along.
• Amen is said at the end of a prayer, or when prompted; seldom if ever spontaneously and obediently brought on by the Spirit of God.
• The altar is for fanatics, or those who “need” it.
• Bible study is on Wednesday only, and the preacher is the only one who needs to study so he can say what needs to be known.

If you’re on the list, be fearful, because you’re possibly dead.

No faith

James 2:17 – “Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.”
Faith in God is the premise for Salvation. Believing that faith in Christ alone, without works is the only thing necessary for salvation. But getting saved isn’t the finish work of the child of God. There needs to be evidence that that faith is alive and well! Else, as James said. It’s dead.
Dr. Myron Guiler preached last night at Gospel Light Baptist Church in Wallkertown, NC. Dr. Guiler is well into his 80’s. He’s been near death multiple times in his life, and yet he continues on. He continues on not because he’s a preacher and pastor, but because God’s not done with him yet. He was visibly tired last night, as he’s preached every night this week and traveled many miles between churches. His message was pure, simple and yet so profoundly un-evidentiary in the lives of so many.

• To lead a soul to Christ you must know people need saved and know how to lead them to salvation, you must have compassion for the lost, and you must get involved in their life.
If those are not qualities in your walk with Christ, you are dead.

No fire

For me, this is possibly the most telling of all. I get that people can’t be on the mountain top every day of their lives. Things happen, discouragement abounds. But if I’ve met you on more than one occasion the evidence of salvation should be in your life and you should have omitted a few sparks for Jesus.

As I write this morning in the lobby of the hotel, the hotel desk clerk has questions of about who I am. I tell him about my blog and he checks it out. He comes back excited… he’s on fire. He’s funny. He makes me laugh and our souls connect in Christ. He’s not a Baptist. I’m not a Pentecostal. It’s cool. We serve the same Jesus.

If the very fact that I said I was cool with a Pentecostal gave you more concern than excitement about the fact that we were talking about Jesus in the lobby of a hotel. You might be dead.
Check your blood pressure. Because it’s only about the blood. Not about the denomination.

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This blog is in it’s 8th year. Hosted on godaddy.com for the past five. Expenses incurred for the operation of this site are without complaint and with gratitude for the opportunity. If the Lord would impress you to give to help cover some recent technology issues, I’d be grateful. I’ve not been in the world’s workforce for 3 years and for that I glorify God. It’s given me the opportunity to not only write and work on music, but minister to nursing home patients, volunteer in the Christian School teaching art and help other ministries with marketing. All of which require technology, communication, time and gasoline. Again it’s without complainT… but just in case you have a desire to help, or have “extra money” 🙂 Know that I would be eternally grateful.

Here’s the Link

Faith isn’t Blind

No automatic alt text available.For most of my days I’ve heard the saying “blind faith,” and truthfully didn’t give it much thought, accepting the colloquialism of the day as an accurate description of faith in an undeniable yet invisible God. Until a statement from a Vacation Bible School adult class instructor who said, “The Bible never called for blind devotion.” It was one of the hmmmm….. moments. Why then, do they call it blind faith? Which triggered the concept, faith isn’t blind. And why hadn’t I “seen” it before.

There are a million illustrations for every day faith. We sit in chairs that we have faith will hold us up, we flip switches of lights and mechanical instruments believing they’ll work. We get into vehicles and aircrafts that, though we don’t understand the concept of how they work, we have a point “a” to point “b” faith. We have faith the sun and moon will be in the sky each day. But somehow or another when it comes to God, many fail to believe because they cannot see Him, therefore it is considered “blind faith” and impossible to prove.

But au contraire my French friends would say. Faith in God is not blind.

In Matthew 15:7-15 , Jesus speaking to the Jewish leadership says “ Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying, This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.

And then to the congregation of listeners:

And he called the multitude, and said unto them, Hear, and understand: Not that which goeth into the –[mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man. Then came his disciples, and said unto him, Knowest thou that the Pharisees were offended, after they heard this saying? But he answered and said, Every plant, which my heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up. Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch.

The Jewish leaders were following a works  and results based religion that even they didn’t keep, yet condemning the congregation of believers for their short comings. Jesus pointed out that those who didn’t understand faith were blind, not those who had faith. Those who each doctrine contrary to the faith are the blind leading the blind. How can someone who does not have faith in Christ teach you Who Christ is and what our faith in Him means? Yet the world stands in line to buy it. All the while our faith is mocked and ridiculed as if we have no evidence of what we have faith in. And as Christians we’re often at a loss to explain what exactly that is.

Faith in Hand

The Word of God. The Bible is a piece of evidence a believer can hand to someone wanting tangible evidence. There is no other book that literally comes to life when read. Now, much of it doesn’t come to life for the person who does not know Christ as their Savior because it takes a spiritual mind to grasp it, and pre-salvation, you don’t have it. But saved or not the Bible will speak to every man who reads it with a willing heart to hear. It doesn’t just speak random thoughts to the heart, but responds with purpose and instruction for the reader.

Faith in Heart

Romans 10:10 ~ For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

A heart knowledge may be unseen as well, but it’s not without evidence. A changed heart has an outward indication to anyone who knew that heart before Christ changed it. Before salvation I was a fairly good person. A wife, mom, daughter, random church going Shari. I was respected for being a woman of passion about community causes. But then… I ask Jesus to come into my heart, and the Holy Spirit changed everything. My passion changed 180 degrees for the cause of Christ. Church wasn’t a place, it was who I was. I became a part of the church, literally speaking. Yes I was a member in the books of Victory Baptist Church, but I was a member of the body of Christ in that place. The direction of the church was the direction I went in. If the church rejoiced, so did I, if the church hurt… so did I. I physically felt what that body of believers did. I still do. It’s how I know I’m in the right church.

Faith in Holiness

Pre-salvation I wanted to be good, but if I wasn’t I chalked it up to being human and I was more upset with getting realized than getting real about what I had done. Post salvation changed my perspective; I not only wanted to be good, if I wasn’t, I knew being human wasn’t an excuse. Christ became human, and He didn’t sin. Holiness is something the world shuns and neglects to even attempt to understand because it’s where the rubber meets the road on how good we are.

For the Pharisees in Jesus day, holiness was a matter of appearance. To which Jesus responded by calling them hypocrites!  And saying that they indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness. (Matthew 23:27

For the child of God it’s a matter of awareness. We can never be as holy as God and He knew that, which is why He came in the form of a baby, to live the same life we have lived, yet sinless and became the sacrifice for the sins of man so that we could be in the presence of a Holy God. I still don’t understand it all. But I don’t understand electricity either, and yet I see the evidence of it when I flip the switch. I also see the evidence of the switch that God flipped in me when I got saved. I love God. I hate sin. I love people, I hate what people do. I have compassion because I need compassion. The evidence amasses daily in my life.


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Life on Trial

chick what

I want to say to them, “Your body is a liar.” Those people I meet who fail to see the need for God in their lives. It’s no coincidence that a bad doctor’s report comes in and all of a sudden there is a need to know and speak to God. And even then sometimes that need is overshadowed by an unwillingness to admit they are dependent upon the Creator. As if that somehow means He doesn’t exist and that they are in control. I guess it may be easier for me because I know that I need somebody else to control my world, else it will spin off its axis and go hurling around hurting people, the same way I do if God doesn’t control me, my mouth, my mind and hands. You’re probably better… Me, I a mess on a good day.

1 John 5:10 says “He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son.”

That Witness

The intricate functioning of the body cries out that there is a Creator. To think that we one day just were? Come on! That an explosion would create emotion and conscience in the human and a lack of conscience in critters? That we evolved into who we are today, yet monkeys are still monkeys, and dogs and cats are still arch enemies, a rodent is still disgusting and a gnat is still a gnat. And why on earth would you even want to believe that at the end of time there is nothing? Where is the hope in that; or the intelligence? But I’m pretty simple. The Witness within me cries out for the Creator! I long to be in His presence and enjoy His company; I see the evidence of Him in my life and I see the lack of Him in others.

The Liar

He’s good at his job. He tells the wealthy they are self-made, the strong they are invincible, and the powerful that they are in control of their destiny. He tells the destitute that nobody cares, the poor that poverty is deserved, and the hurt and abused that staying is better than the unknown. He convinces the sick that there is no hope or need to search for it, and the well he makes believe that their health is completely controlled by their decisions. And then his breath breathes victory at their refusal to listen to the Witness within.

The Evidence

It’s around us and within us and it’s amazing! And the day that I accepted Christ and the record of God (the Bible) as the undeniable truth, the evidence became evident. I couldn’t look at anything and not see God. Science has proven the same theory when unbiased scientist search it out. The liar screams and the stillness of God sets in the heart of a Christian and they are at peace when the whole world is chaos. Explain that without God.

Are you searching for evidence? Look in the mirror, God created you in His image and likeness, don’t you see it? Are you a child of God? You are the evidence that someone is looking for, what is your testimony saying?

Don’t Judge me for Judging You

How many times have we heard “Don’t judge me until you’ve walked a mile in my shoes.” Or “You have no idea how I feel on the inside so stop judging me on the outside.” And one of the most quoted Bible verses is Matthew 7:1 ~ Judge not, that ye be not judged.

And yet I confess to you that I judge people.

When Jesus spoke these Words, it was a warning to His disciples not to be like the religious Pharisees. Not to look at the lives of others and make our word law to determine right and wrong by our standards and what we deemed as acceptable. He was not referring to scriptural evaluation of living standards. And if the scripture is the standard for judging I can assure you I have a few beams in my eye that need removing before I ever cast judgment on any one. But… I’m still gonna judge, so don’t judge me for it.

That statement is almost as ridiculous as the man I heard say “I’m Catholic but my wife is a practicing Catholic.” He was telling this to the cute little Amish man that I love at Zinck’s Inn in Berlin, Ohio. He had ask him to explain the Amish faith, and once he had shared the Amish faith background the man felt the need to justify his life by his practicing, non-practicing statement. I would have laughed out loud had it not reminded me of a few Baptist I know.

I know, I know, there I go judging again.

But keep reading Matthew 7 and you’ll come to the verses 15-20

Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?  Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.

Is that not a form of judging to look upon the life of another and examine their effectiveness and legitimacy for the cause of Christ? Sure it is. That’s not judging them by my standards, which is often pathetic, but it’s judging them by the Word of God. Does what they’re saying line up with what God says we’re supposed to do? Hello practicing, non-practicing whatever denomination you cling to. It’s not an unwarranted act of judgment when I examine your life with an attitude of concern for both your soul and the souls for which you touch.

It’s my greatest fear that I’m going to end up with blood on my hands because I failed to tell someone the truth about salvation. And by the way, it’s not biblical to be a non-practicing anything. If you’re not serving God, you’re serving Satan. Plain and simple. So before you judge me for judging you ask yourself this question.

When is the last time you’ve done as Jesus commanded in Matthew 28:19 “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:”

When I read those words I can’t help but heap conviction upon my own soul. That’s a righteous judgment. The one that forces me to look back upon myself with the same measure and ask  “when is the last time?” I do teach the Word of God, I do share the gospel in this “Jesus Chick” place, but I am a far cry from the measure of Christ’s expectation of the church. I do not die daily. I do not always pick up my cross and carry it boldly. SometimesI lay it down and sit on it for fear of being too “preacher-y”. It is in those times that I am a non-practicing Christian. Because if you look at the standard of Christianity in scripture they didn’t lay it down. They were crucified on it.

So don’t judge me for judging you. I just need to know if you know Jesus.