Spiritual Courage

Weekly Sabbath Survey
 Spiritual Courage—  2017

   

When we are saved (Born Again) our spiritual growth should begin immediately! It starts with discipleship [being taught by others]. Sermons are good for encouragement and correction. Teaching is for training and learning. Growing strong spiritually is very much like getting strong physically. We must exercise what we know so that it grows stronger, like the muscles of the body. One key to achieving spiritual courage is to cultivate three basic Biblical characteristics: Wisdom, Understanding and Discernment.

Wisdom gives us intelligence in thought, word and deed; helps us get to the heart of a matter quickly. Understanding makes us able to skillfully reason with another person or make intelligent debate concerning disagreements or problems with others. Both of these apply to arguments or differences in situations where there is more than one viewpoint to solving a problem or deciding what course of action to take. Discernment is similar to the other two, but does not always involve interaction with someone else. It is to scrutinize, perceive, hear intelligently, consider thoroughly. Then, decide and judge for yourself.

Wisdom and understanding are learned through teaching, trial and error, and if a person is really hard-headed, the School of Hard Knocks! But discernment is something acquired from God through prayer, private study and reflection. It is a gift He bestows on us.

I was at a woman’s retreat some years ago. In one session they began a worship exercise that I felt was not right. Worship team people moved among us in the aisles speaking to people, touching them, and saying “Praise the Lord” and “Peace to you” as the music and singing went on. This is nothing too weird for a Charismatic meeting, yet it was making me very uncomfortable. Like my “creep meter” was going off. I slipped out of my row and began to move toward the door. One of the performers intercepted me and said in a sweet, wheedling voice, “Please don’t leave. Please don’t leave” I got the willies then. She reached for my hand, but I drew back and said, “Don’t touch me, I need to leave.” I walked past her. No others touched me, they stared as I walked on, and I could see whatever that was in their eyes. Out in the lobby I walked up and down, crying and praying. I had a mourning feeling like grief.

After a while one of my friends came out looking for me. She said she was worried I might be sick. I told her what I felt and she said she felt it too, but thought it was just her being silly. I told her it was NOT her and NOT silly. We confirmed to each other what we felt. There was something not-of-God in there, we both discerned it. We prayed for all those who did not discern and were still inside.

Then the meeting broke for lunch. In the afternoon session everything was back to normal and I felt fine. There was no more strange mingling amongst us. We learned later that the women of that worship team had a service to do in another town. They left the retreat right after the weird incident. This thing is still very real to me. I had wisdom, understanding and discernment that day. The only word I got was quite plain and simple: “Get out of here.” It is so important to obey when we hear from the Lord. It takes real spiritual courage to obey even if nobody else gets it.

The three elements of hearing from God this way–wisdom, understanding, discernment–are not handed to us at salvation, and cannot be earned. But we keep going, praying for spiritual strength through obedience and perseverance. We exceed, excel and are winners every day! We serve a risen Savior and fight an already defeated enemy!

Finally, Believers, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His strength. Put on the whole armor of God so you may be able to stand against the strategies of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against (demonic) principalities, powers, rulers of darkness and spiritual wickedness in the heavenlies.  Ephesians 6:10-12
 
Charlene Reams Manning, Believer in the Lord Jesus Messiah
copyright  November 2016
WSS’s are posted and archived for viewing at 
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Success in Life

Weekly Sabbath Survey

Success in Life —  4-15–2017

Have you ever wondered if you have been a success in life? I have. I think for many of us it depends on how we have lived up to our own definition and expectation of success. I wanted to be a good daughter, a good wife and mother, a faithful Believer. If I thought too hard now, I would be in a lot of trouble already! But our idea of success is different from God’s. The Bible says we have all sinned and fallen short of God’s glory. It also says our sins are forgiven if we embrace forgiveness by the Blood of Yeshua’s sacrifice.

We are not alone in this. We are not out there dangling around in life, left alone to figure out what the Big Scary Man in the Sky wants from us. A good place to look for answers is the Bible. It is full of what to do and what NOT to do. I wonder at times what determines my direction, my focus and my relative success in life. I think about who is to blame when I don’t measure up. Not God. It is never YHVH that makes us fail. Us? It could be, through bad choices, wrong reaction to circumstances beyond our control, or just plain old sinning. The Devil? Maybe not as often as we think. Other people? Maybe more often than we think. Jesus said, even the members of our own household would be a problem for us. I’m thinking of a great T-shirt saying, from the 70’s “Insanity Is Inherited. You Get It From Your Kids.” Ah, yes. And sometimes, sadly, it runs the other direction just as well. Have you ever seen flaws in your kids that you really HATE in yourself? Yeah, me, too.

To put it simply, we will ALL fall down. And, we MUST get back up. And it doesn’t matter how many times we fall down. The key is to get back up one more time than we fall, and as quickly as possible. He who falls and just lies there is in big trouble! Peril, even.

Another simple truth: We all must find the Lord God’s plan for ourselves. We cannot mimic others. We have our own particular destiny in the Lord. Before I was aware of this, I tried to do the ministry like I saw another person doing. It wasn’t that bad and there was a lot of blessing in it for me and other people too. We all have people we admire from a young age and on up. We want to be like them. But when Jesus becomes the ONLY real hero for us, then we can SEE what part of HIS destiny we are scheduled to fit into. It’s a good feeling when you finally know. But we have to be aware that our race may change from time to time. Some ‘assignments’ are for a season. So we must go with the changing, the next season. It’s one of life’s mysteries how quickly it can happen. One day you are doing this for the Lord and the next you are somewhere else doing something else. Other times, it’s a gradual phasing out and bringing in to make the transition.

The real key to success in life is Never Give Up. It’s living to the end of what the Lord God has given you to do. If we stay the course, we will never fail, no matter what it may seem like to us, or look like to others. Jesus ended up DEAD. But look what a success that turned out to be!! We must be found worthy of the trust Jesus put in us when He died for us. He trusted us that His death was NOT in vain.

Don’t quit ’til the whistle blows. Don’t leave the platform before the train pulls into the station. Don’t jump out of the plane until Yeshua yells Hoo–Rah!!! And don’t pull the rip cord too early or too late. Don’t make any big move or big change until much prayer has gone up. Don’t leave too soon, and don’t stay too long. Listen to the Voice of the One who loves us and gave Himself for us. Then, Success Is Guaranteed.

Let us lay aside every weight and the sin which so easily besets us, and let us run with endurance the particular race that is set before us. Fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith.  Hebrews 12:1-2 

 

Charlene Reams Manning, Believer in the Lord Jesus Messiah

copyright October 2016
WSS’s are posted and archived for viewing at 

 

Truth That Hurts

Weekly Sabbath Survey
Truth That Hurts  —  4-1-2017
    
We’ve all heard it said, ‘the truth hurts’. The Bible is all about the truth. And, there is such a thing as truth that hurts, but that doesn’t mean it’s always OK. I was reading Job chapter 20:  Those friends of his are saying some things that are right with truth, but it isn’t helping Job’s situation.” None of the friends and even Job, knew the devil was doing all this disaster and death and sickness. They all thought GOD was doing it! Of course, as enlightened 21st Century Believers, we know better than this. Or, do we?
Have you ever been in a fix and wondered what God was doing? You felt hung out to dry. Abandoned by Him. Have you ever wrapped your misery around you like a big quilt and sat down on the ash heap to cry like Job?  (I have!)  Most people don’t know how to help us, what to say. I think it’s because, like Job, we need to work it out between ourselves and the Lord God. People may hold us, pray for us, give less than helpful advice, but ultimately, it’s one on One with The Father. (Only a person truly anointed and sent by the Lord to speak to us can help, and that happens sometimes.)
The BIG problem is ones who ‘know’ exactly what’s wrong and (without anointing) try to tell you. Did you ever have friends drop by to question your faith, ask about secret sins, etc. etc.? They give Scriptures and tell you “The Truth.” God is this. God does that. Years ago when I had much more zeal than wisdom, my mentor told me, “Charlie, there’s such a thing as taking truth and pouring it into a bucket like cement, then hitting people over the head with it!!”  Whoa! I understood it, and began to lighten up on folks, but I didn’t fully understand until it happened to me! There is hardly a better teacher than a Holy Spirit experience. It was the shoe on the other foot when I was down and my friends were advising me.
Now, the watchword is “Beware of ones with ALL the answers, but no compassion.” It is a fact that Jesus took a gentle approach with people. He got angry with hypocrites, those who fleeced the poor, the devil and people who were influenced by him or his demons. The down and out and even the demon possessed got His gentle mercy and compassion.
I’ve come a long way since that time of sitting down with Job. I have been challenged again of course, on the ropes at times even in the past couple of years. But the trick I’ve found is this: even in the meltdown, DO NOT SIT DOWN. Keep standing before the Throne of Grace, even if you are physically flat on your back. In your heart of hearts, call on the Name above all Names and put your trust in Him. If you do sit down, stand up again as quickly as you can. The longer you are sitting down, the harder it is to STAND. Kindly thank the bringers of cookies, casseroles and common sense. You need them!
But always keep your eyes on Jesus. He said I am the way, THE TRUTH. and the life. Jesus is the truth that does not hurt. He is the truth that heals. But we must go to Him, or wait for Him to come to us. We must stand before Him and receive the help we need.
There are times when even the most faithful are so beset with exhaustion, or sorrow or sickness or even sin, that they just want to give up, to quit—to the point of wanting to die!  Pray this prayer:     
How long will you forget me, O Lord? Forever? How long will you hide your face from me? How long do I talk to myself with sorrow in my heart every day? How does my (demonic) enemy get the best over me? Consider and hear me, O Lord my God: give light to my eyes so I my (human) enemies won’t say I am beaten and I am defeated. I have trusted in your mercy; my heart shall rejoice in your salvation. I will sing unto the Lord because He has dealt bountifully with me.  Psalm 13
 

Charlene Reams Manning, Believer in the Lord Jesus Messiah

copyright September 2016
WSS’s are posted and archived for viewing at 

 

Easter and Passover

Weekly Sabbath Survey
Easter & Passover —  4-8-2017

  

I want to compare the two holidays and explore the spiritual significance of each one. First, I must lay a foundation with: These two holidays are NOT and NEVER were, the same. Easter is a ancient pagan holiday on the Roman (Gregorian) Calendar, which predates the Roman Empire. Many of the holidays celebrated on this calendar are significant astrological events or to honor pagan gods. Biblical feasts, including Passover, are on the Jewish Calendar. Each one is significant because God instituted them. Passover goes back to Moses when the Hebrews were still in Egypt where the first Passover occurred. (The Second historically significant Passover took place in Jerusalem when Jesus (Yeshua) died for the sins of the world.)
In the Bible God told Moses when, why and how to celebrate the feasts. The pagan holidays were drunken orgies. Jewish feasts have food, wine and dancing, but decent, Godly behavior has always been at the heart of the celebration. Some Jewish feast days are very somber, with fasting and a lot of soul searching. The Levitical feasts are still celebrated annually by faithful Jews all over the world.
Easter: a pagan Spring festival honoring the fertility goddess Astarothe (aka, Diana). Her idols were depitcted with many pairs of breasts down the front of her torso. Worship of her insured good crops and fertility of animals and humans. “Worship” was having sex with pagan temple prostitutes in ways that cannot be discussed in this format. Eggs and rabbits are ancient fertility symbols.
Passover was also celebrated in Spring, not to insure good crops, but so the people could give thanks for them in advance. And to remember the first Passover in Egypt. It was the final, 10th plague God sent on Egypt. This was an indictment against the many breasted pagan fertility goddess: Death of The First Born. But the Hebrews would be protected by sacrificing lambs and smearing their blood on the doorposts of every home. There was a lot of death homes where Egyptians lived. God’s death angel passed by or “passed over” the houses where he saw blood. In the houses with no blood, the first born of father in the family and all first born animals belonging to that family, died. 
When Christians changed from Passover to Easter for celebrating the sacrifice of Jesus (this was a Roman Catholic decision), there were immediate differences between the two feasts. One example: at Passover there’s leg of lamb or a beef roast and Jewish tortillas (unleavened bread called Matzoh). At Easter there’s a big ol’ honkin’ ham, bread made with yeast (a symbol of sin), and of course, Easter eggs, and toy rabbits for the little kids. (If a stuffed lamb sneaks in, it’s a hold over from Passover!) Passover is a celebration of freedom from a place of sin (Egypt) into a new life (The Promised Land.)  Because of Jesus, all who believe  have freedom from a place of sin and a new life. Passover is about FREEDOM and Life. (Deep thinking  Christians today are calling Easter “Resurrection Day” making it more of a celebration like it should be.)  
Since Jesus is the Passover Lamb, in God’s eyes and memory, this holiday is forever connected to our faith, which we call “Christianity.” I am in constant dismay as to why we cannot see this. We have His blood over us, our sins are forgiven, so the Gentile death sentence of Egypt is not on us. That is something to celebrate! And, since Easter is a celebration connected to a pagan goddess, in God’s eyes and memory, this holiday is forever connected with the unholy practices of the pagans back in the day. I am also dismayed that we cannot see this either. Or we just think is doesn’t matter any more. If we could understand how the smallest details matter to YHVH, we might ‘see’ better on this issue. 
Read in Exodus what God promised Hagar for her son Ishmael. Connect that to today’s news about Muslims many thousands of years later. It will give you an idea of how God keeps a promise, how He means what He says. Did you ever wonder why those people have all that oil, that wealth? Why they are about to take over the world? The Lord God forgets NOTHING, not even a promise to an Egyptian slave girl. There is one exception: He forgets the sins of those who are washed in the blood of the PASSOVER LAMB.
This is the condemnation: that light came into the world, and people loved darkness rather than light.  John 3:19

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Charlene Reams Manning, Believer in the Lord Jesus Messiah

copyright   March 2017
WSS’s are posted and archived for viewing at 

 

Phone Fellowship

Weekly Sabbath Survey
Phone Fellowship —  3-25-2017
Communication between humans is a curious thing. We rely so heavily on words, there is much room for misunderstanding and hurt feelings. What we say and what the other person hears can be vastly different. Now-a-days with e-mail technology we need not even hear one another’s voices, let alone see each other. So the problem is made worse when there are no smiles or cute smirks or arched eyebrows or even the tone of voice to convey understanding and nuance. Not long ago I offended someone with what I meant as a joke. When I apologized for my insensitive humor, she responded that I should have used LOL or a smiley face to show my meaning. OK. Lesson learned.
I find I am a  ‘face-to-face in small groups’ kind of a person. Not an extrovert, so crowds are not my natural habitat. But I do like talking with people I love or someone I find interesting and want to get to know. I like to look into their eyes while they ‘say words’. But there are times when geography has separated me from very dear loved ones. Rapid travel by car and airplanes have made it possible to move far away and barely ever see some of our favorite people. A personal note written in one’s own hand on paper is nice. But most of us can barely squeeze out a ‘thank you’ for a gift note these days. So, with a nod and thanks to Alexander Graham Bell—-enter The Telephone. When it first came along, only rich people had them and it cost A LOT to call “long distance.”  Now, we talk across the country or the planet—unlimited minutes!
I have friends in far away places that I keep in touch with because of Mr. Bell’s invention. Some from high school, that I might not be in touch with except for the phone. There’s about a half  dozen of us who stay connected and keep up with what’s going on with the ones we don’t talk with. Each one of us has a few we e-mail with, so we can use that network to exchange information on how everybody is doing. We celebrate grand kid victories, keep up with who had a hip replacement or a heart by-pass. Our class was small and we grew up as a pretty close-knit group, strong bonds there for some of us.
I love these people. Even the ones I haven’t seen or talked to in forever! This Class of 1962 shares a history. We share growing up in a small town. Most of us have kids born in the same decade, ditto on grand kids. Over these years since the cap & gown, I have looked into their eyes in good times and bad, held some of them when they cried, got held by some of them when I cried, pray for them all, and some of them pray for me, too. We’ve traveled a lot of roads since that evening we graduated from dear ol’ Del Rio High. One of my classmates who was a best friend and my college roommate, was very ill years ago. She asked me to officiate at her funeral. It was an honor for me to do so.
I have also met some new people since the old days, at Christian camps and meetings. One person became my friend through the Internet, and then by phone. We are such great friends, a few years ago, she actually came by plane from Kentucky to meet me in person! It was a precious time.  All my e-mail friends, new ones and ones from way back, have become a treasure to me. Sometimes I don’t feel up to getting out for meetings, so my “phone phellowship” keeps me going. I thank God for everyone of these beautiful people.  A good phone call is a gift!
A friend I went to church with in Del Rio a LONG time ago called me this past week. I went to school with his wife (who went to be with the Lord a few years ago). Back in the day, we were such great friends. He and I talked and talked. It was good to hear his voice, to hear him laugh. I don’t know how long we talked, but it was a good talk. We mentioned the Lord’s name, and the Bible says when we do this, He hears us!
How long has it been since you talked to your best friends from high school?  Or the cousins you used to play “chase” with at family reunions and you sat with them at the kids’ table at Grandma’s on Thanksgiving. Is it about time to give somebody a ring, and just say “I’m thinking about you, I love you”?
I thank God for every memory of [my loved ones], and for our fellowship in the Gospel.  Phil. 1:3, 5
 
Charlene Reams Manning, Believer in the Lord Jesus Messiah
Forward any WSS you feel has merit. (without changes, please)   September 2015
Comments are welcome. Subscribe or contact me at: RedHen1944@aol.com

GRASS AND GOD AND GRATITUDE

 GRASS AND GOD AND GRATITUDE

When I see the sun come risin’ on a “Decoration Day”
     And I see a clear horizon where the deer and coyotes play
I arise to meet the morning cause I’ve had a peaceful night,
     And the warble of a meadow-lark says “everything’s alright”.
Then I think about a soldier,maybe far across some sea-
     Out beyond my clear horizon, doing half my job–for me.
And I think about the pioneers, how their hardships made ’em free
     And all that they’ve accomplished has been given now–to me.
There are people who are hungry, and (like us) they come and pass.
     There are those who look for answers in the bottom of a glass.
Then I think about the preachers-all the parables they tell
     As they herd us all toward heaven-seems we put them all through hell.
As the dew melts off the prairie grass, I ponder on these scenes
     I wonder if a human being can know what all this means
Could it be we have a duty as we do our “little part”
     To be busy being grateful, and leave God to “judge folks hearts”?
To  be grateful we’re alive is the better part of livin’
     Remember those who sacrificed gave more than they were given.
So we honor all the soldiers-those who fought and those who fell
     And the pioneers and preachers and the ones who lived as well.
Don’t let your heart be thinking life is more than you can stand
     Cause with Grass and God and Gratitude-
          You’re “In the Promised Land”
                                                          Don Hilmer   5/29/11

Here Comes the Groom

Weekly Sabbath Survey
 Here Comes the Groom —  3-11-2017
Wedding traditions: every culture and ethnicity has theirs. The clothing, the ceremony, the decor, the food. Some things have roots in superstition. Like it’s ‘bad luck’ for the groom to see the bride on their wedding day until she’s walking down the aisle. Others are cultural with roots way back, like jumping the broom and throwing the bride’s garter for the lucky single guy to catch or the bride’s bouquet for the young ladies.
By God’s own design, much of what we do at weddings mirrors His laws and His plan for us. None is more obvious than the Jewish wedding ceremony. Today it’s modernized and lost some of the rich symbolism which was once a part of the ceremony. A wedding in context of the Bible will give us a great picture. It’s easy because the Yemenite Jews in Israel today still have the old, old wedding traditions.
After two families make an agreement for betrothal, the parties all sign a legal contract of marriage. The wedding ceremony is a formality and celebration, but once the legal, binding contract is signed, the couple is already man and wife. No date is set. The couple each stay with their own parents, while the groom ‘prepares a place’ for them to live. They may see each other (like dating) if they live near. When his father says the place he’s made is ready, word is passed along so the village women can begin to prepare, but only the groom’s father can say exactly when. Does any of this sound familiar?
So when The Father decides the time is right, the groom gets himself bathed and dressed to meet his bride. When the groom and his friends start walking down the street toward the bride’s home, the single girls in the entourage go along carrying oil lamps, because the groom always arrives after sundown. Villagers join them as they go along, laughing and chattering with excitement. The best man runs ahead to the bride’s home, yelling all the way, “The groom is coming! The groom is coming!!!” During this time the preceding week or so, the bride has been in a constant state of readiness every day. She had her wedding clothes and jewelry laid out and ready. She bathed each afternoon in water perfumed with oils. All she had to do was slip out of her night dress, fix her hair, put on the wedding dress, veil and jewelry. Her married friends, her sisters and her mother help get her gussied up, and she is, of course, gorgeous. She is ready for her husband’s arrival. Rev. 19:7 says “The bride has made herself ready.”
As the groom’s party approaches the young men hoist him up seated in a chair so he arrives like a king of old. The people cheer for the groom. He is the centerpiece of the wedding. He shouts his wife’s name. She comes out and is seated in a chair beside him. The Rabbi addresses them with admonitions of love and respect for one another, and prayers that many children be born to them. Then, the dancing and feasting begins and goes on into the night. The men dance together in one circle, the women in another. At some point, the groom gives the bride one end of a scarf and he holds the other. With it stretched between them, they dance. She is still veiled. After they dance, she quietly slips away into the marriage tent which was set up by their friends and furnished with food, wine, sheets and pillows, whatever they might need. The groom waits a short while, giving the bride time to remove her wedding regalia and ‘slip into something more comfortable.’  When he comes to join her, the best man stands outside the tent’s door to make sure nobody bothers or teases them. The singing and dancing and rejoicing continues far into the night.
I have no idea when or how or why our customs changed to make the bride the star of the wedding. But no matter what our customs are, when Jesus returns for His bride, He will be coming as a mighty King for a bride that adores Him and has been making herself ready for a very long time. At that moment, every eye will be fastened on The Groom.
The first time I read that the bride MADE HERSELF READY, I realized I was just sitting around waiting for the Lord to change me (like a baby’s diaper!). Not good enough!! He does change us, but at my stage in development as a Believer, I knew that very day I had to start doing some things myself!! I might make heaven like I was, His blood and all that, but if I wanted more, if I wanted to be a part of The Bride, I needed to start preparing myself. I’m still working on it!
Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honor to The Groom: for the marriage supper of The Lamb is come and his wife has made herself ready. He says, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, Come Lord Jesus.  Revelation 19:7, 22:17  
Scroll down for photo of modern Jewish Yemenite Bride . . .

 

Charlene Reams Manning, Believer in the Lord Jesus Messiah
Forward any WSS you feel has merit. (without changes, please)  September 2015
Comments are welcome. Subscribe or contact me at: RedHen1944@aol.com