Leb Blog

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Wake up


A holiday weekend and I decided to go to the movies before returning to the scheduled work week.


So 7pm we make it on time to see X-Men.  I happen to like the previous movies in this story line but must say this one was disappointing.  A lot of twisted "scripture like" saying throughout the movie. The enemy always trying to mimic the things of God.  Even in this movie the evil one wanted to be all-knowing and ruler of all. No surprise.  Pretty dark movie for my taste.

I heard one line during the screen dialogue; “Just because we're not at war doesn't mean we're at peace".

Now most you follow the "Be Inspired" writings know that that line resonated to me in a spiritual sense.  Ok, here we go.

The Scriptures says that we are to be alert, out enemy prowls around and is looking to destroy us. 
"Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour." (1 Peter 5:8)

So, even when we are at "peace" we need to stay alert.  We are never to lower our guard; we are to stay "suited-up" with the Armor of God. 

"Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God." (Ephesians 6:10-17)

See even in the Garden, the perfect place God had created for those he made in his image, the enemy was prowling.  Their guard came down, disobedience was entertained and humanity fell.

The warnings are all over Scripture.  Let's take heed!  

"So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall!" (1 Corinthians 10:12)

Through the X-Men movie, the underlying theme was to be ready!  Don't be deceived because you don't see a "physical war".

As one who has trusted in the Name of Jesus, has been redeemed by the Blood of the Lamb, I know that everything is not exactly as we see it. There is a war waging in the spiritual realm that seeks destruction.  The goal is to bring down the Kingdom of God.

I have read the end of the Book.  The Kingdom of God is still standing and will never fall!

What Jesus offers is reconciliation; an offering he made at the cross so we would be one with our Maker, Almighty God!  He desires that we would be reconciled one to another for the enemy of our soul is real and he wants to kill and destroy.

If I was rating the movie I'd give it a 2 out of 5, but a 5 out of 5 for the one liner that reminded me to stay alert!

“Just because we're not at war doesn't mean we're at peace". WAKE UP!

God bless you!~Liz

Monday, May 23, 2016

Would you jump in my grave that quick?

“In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.” (Hebrews 9:22)

Why is it that when I sin it seems that part of me dies? 

Not sure if you remember an old saying that goes like this, “would you jump in my grave that fast”?  A silly phrase back when I was a younger girl.  I would hear it often.  If a friend was sitting and got up from their chair, someone quickly would come and sit it in.  With laughter, you could hear the person say, “Would you jump in my grave that fast”?  The things kids say. 

Perhaps another translation might sound like this, “Would you take my place if death was pending or forthcoming to me”?

Would you? 

While reading the book of Hebrews I came across a familiar passage, “The Holy Spirit was showing by this that the way into the Most Holy Place had not yet been disclosed as long as the first tabernacle was still functioning. This is an illustration for the present time, indicating that the gifts and sacrifices being offered were not able to clear the conscience of the worshiper. (Hebrews 9:8-9)

In the days of the Old Testament, as the Revelation of Jesus Christ was unfolding, we see men going through the rituals of slaying animals as part of the Levitical Law.  In other words, God had set it up this way.

It always, bothered me that God would take an innocent animal and kill it; the system used to atone for our sin; us apologizing to God for our mess.  Why death?

I can’t say I still fully understand but this I do know.  The innocent was paying for the sinful.  Someone, in this case, an animal’s life ended because sin was present.

God had established in the Law, “In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.” (Hebrews 9:22)

It got me to think that every time I sin something is dying.  If I am prideful, humility is dying.  When arrogance steps in than the “lowly in heart” diminishes.  

Every time I sin against God it causes a distance between us. But praise the Lord there is a remedy.  “Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions. Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin.” (Psalm 51:1-2)

Jesus knows what I am made off.  He knows that I sometimes fall because sin has tainted me when disobedience entered the Garden. 

Love is never satisfied with just a distant relationship.  God loves us! 

He sees the mess; he grieves over our sin and before you and I were born, the Lord had a plan!

Someone had to die.  Who will satisfy and cleanse the guilty conscious? 

“Will you jump in my grave that fast”? 

Not only did Jesus die for the sins of men, he gladly did it; The Innocent for the guilty. 

The next time you are wondering about what to say to the Lord in the midst of worship, let Him know that you are thankful that he took you place, that you love the position he took to set us free.  Tell him that you don’t want any good part of you to die and that you need his help.  Keep me close to you Lord.

Lord, we pray for humility and a heart that worships You!  Let my heart understand the gravity of my sin and the humility you expressed when you took my place!

“Would you jump in my grave that fast”?  Jesus went to the cross and said, Yes!

Glory to the Most High God; the Sacrificial Lamb of God.

God bless you!~Liz

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Good Fruit

Psalm 1:3  (NIV)

That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither—whatever they do prospers.

Recently I have challenged myself to stay a little more active.  Exercise is a challenge for me; always afraid I might aggravate underlying medical conditions.  But, nevertheless, I can't just do nothing less I invite my body to get weaker. 

It's been fun and I actually feel good!  I want my physical body to be healthy.  

Spiritually I need to constantly train by body to get stronger and to operate in godliness.

In Psalm 1 we read the we are too be like a tree planted by water whose leaf does not wither.  Why would my leaves wither, what could cause that?

The Lord has always given us examples in his physical creation about spiritual matters.

Take a citrus tree for example.  They require natural sunlight and water.  But if the tree is over or under watered the leaves begin to fall.  If there is a quick shift in temperature the tree goes into stress and once again the leaves begin to fall. They do well outdoors but if you bring it into hiding and place them indoors substituting your radiator heat for the natural sun outdoors, well you guessed it, the leaves begin to fall.

The Word of God is to nourish me.  I am to stay well fed, sitting and getting instructions to walk in godliness. I am to do that which pleases God. "Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things."  The Greek word for praiseworthy is "epainos". The word means to be commended.  So, I am to think on whatever will cause God to commend me.  Praise the Lord!!

 If I choose to neglect assembling together with God's people (Hebrews 10:25), well I might start loosing some leaves.

What if I allow the cares of this world to consume me changing the atmosphere of the Spirit of God into chaos or dissolution? Well my leaves might begin to fall.  Jesus has already warned me and said that in this world their would be trouble (John 16:33).  But, he reinforced my hope in him by letting me know that he has already overcome the world!

I am to get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice (Ephesians 4:31) less my leaves loose their suppleness, dry and shrivel up.

When leaves fall it is an indication of trouble.  The most difficult end is that the fruit will be bitter, tasteless or even
end up immature.  Ever bit into a bright red apple just to spit it out because it was brown and dead on the inside?

Somewhere else in the Scriptures we read that we are to be the salt and light of the world (Matthew 5:13).  In the day of the sacrifice, the grain offering was always salted.

When life is difficult and I feel like the sacrifice on the alter, well I must still be "the salt of the earth". My mind is to be alert for the enemy wants to destroy me (Genesis 4:7).  I am to be well rooted in the Word of God that the fruit produced from this life will bear witness that I belong to the Master.

"A citrus tree can loose all its foliage but will recover and under ideal conditions will start to produce new shoots within a few weeks." (web article)

Examination is good!  Look into the mirror of the Word of God.  If I see brown leaves or the tenderness of the greenery is drying up; quickly prune away that which is stealing from my healthy relationship with God.  I soon will see the new shoots rising up as I allow the Breath Life into me again.

I am the salt of the world!  I am a tree planted by water which will generate good fruit in its season
For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come. (1 Timothy 4:8)
So, with God's help I will stay physically fit and with the leading of his Holy Spirit walk in godliness trying always please my Lord that he would commend me. Well done, good and faithful servant. (Matthew 25:23)

May good fruit be with you :)

God bless you!~Liz

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Roads

The road that I’ve walked has led me to where I am today. 

Yesterday I headed to the Bronx for a viewing; to celebrated my friend Tyrone Williams' life. He is now in the presence of the Lord.  As I traveled down familiar roads my mind recalled different events that I have experienced.  Even scents seem to flood my nostrils as my eyes observed different neighborhoods I had traveled through in my younger days.

I had several passengers in my car and I began to share my story. 

“Did you know I use to work here when I was 13 years old, and at this corner I use to pick up lunch during the summer days when school was out.”  The stories continued whether the passengers (my friends) wanted to hear it or not.  I had a captive audience :)   “I grew up here.  I was bullied but the Lord gave me strength and I fought back." Literally, I took a garbage can lid, those silver metal cans in front of every Bronx building; I lifted it with all my might and "wacked" the boy who was going to beat me up.   Yep, I was around 11 years old. I remembered the slum lord who would not give our family heat or hot water.  I recalled getting on the IRT line of the train system; walking through handball courts trying to get home from school.  Every shopping experience and even the genesis of dating my husband as the age of 16 years old came back to memory.  Praise God we have been married for 33 years! Interestingly enough, one of my favorite pass-times was sitting the stoup eating sunflower seeds and just casually hanging out with my friends.  The black metal stairs of the image above was my place to sit with the man this is now husband. Praise God!

It really was a simple time back then.

Driving to the Bronx yesterday was a great experience for me.  I recalled roads I literally had walked on sometimes with fear.  Growing up in the Bronx caused me to always look back even as I was looking forward.  Sadly, there was always a concern that harm might be waiting for you in the next corner.  I had a few scary encounters but by the Grace of God, He preserved me.

Why tell you my story? 

Everyone has a road they have traveled to get to where we are today.
Even Jesus had a road.  He left glory and entered this fallen world so that he could reach his end purpose.  I wonder what Jesus was thinking when he walked the road to his crucifixion.

In the Book of John we read:

"After Jesus said this, he looked toward heaven and prayed: “Father, the hour has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you. For you granted him authority over all people that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him. Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. I have brought you glory on earth by finishing the work you gave me to do. And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began." (John 17:1-5)

Jesus was thinking about us. We are the people that God entrusted to the Son.

Look back and what do you see? 

I see God preserving me and allowing me to encounter Him. I see roads that were difficult and roads that I thought I would never travel through.

I see His hand of Mercy & Grace keeping me and opening my eyes to recognize Him!

Every memory, every scent and image reminds me that God so loved the world that he gave….gave His Son for me!

Looking back helps me appreciate looking forward. Like Jesus, my Father in heaven will help me reach my purpose so that I can return the Glory to Him!

“I have revealed you to those whom you gave me out of the world. They were yours; you gave them to me and they have obeyed your word. Now they know that everything you have given me comes from you. For I gave them the words you gave me and they accepted them. They knew with certainty that I came from you, and they believed that you sent me. (John 17:6-8)


My brother Tyrone: You have traveled and now you have arrived.  Praise the Living God who guides us and more so desires our hearts!
Let the Glory of the Lord rise from every child that has entrusted their life to the Master.
God bless you!~Liz