The Now:

     How easy it is to lose the moment by yielding to passive thinking.

      "Finally, believers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable and worthy of respect, whatever is    right and confirmed by God’s word, whatever is pure and wholesome, whatever is lovely and brings peace, whatever is admirable and of good repute; if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think continually on these things [center your mind on them, and implant them in your heart]."
     Philippians 4:8   (Amplified Bible)

     Continually.  Continually.

     This was written by a Soldier of The Cross who was in a wretched prison for being faithful to his calling, and he was deserted and scorned by many.

     This is not a suggestion about positive thinking.  Rather it is a commandment, a protection and a release to being able to hear the Holy Spirit.  It makes a place for Peace.

      Obeying this requires the affirmative decision to reject the thought that seems so powerful.  That thought is almost always something negative, and is the rehashing of solutions for the unresolved or reliving guilt or bitterness.  Another common trap is the focus on a significant personal success such as a well a received speech or a high compliment or award.  While those are good events, reliving them over and over tends to create a craving for the same kind of high.

     Soldier, you may have only a few years.  Perhaps only a few days.  Live them in obedience and take this matter over and over to The One who so tenderly cares about your struggle.

     Tell Him today.


The Long Run:

     This world is not your home.

     For most of us, a daily reminder is needed.  

     When circumstances are smooth and delightful, affirmatively taking hold of the privilege of being a Sojourner and a Pilgrim is of the utmost importance.  It is one thing to live in the Sabbath rest and have Peace, but it is another to only have Peace when things appear to be unruffled.

     When by sight the worst is happening and events leave devastation in their wake,  how precious is the knowledge that we are only passing through.

     Those who are consistently in the Word and consistent in prayer often declare aloud to the Lord the confidence of having a home in heaven.  This frees the Soldier of The Cross to attend to others when:

     There is not enough time;
     They don't deserve it;
     I'm too tired;
     They won't even notice:
     I'm too busy;
     I'm not sure how to go about it.

     We are to love the Brethren, and  the Indwelling Holy Spirit will empower and instruct one step at a time.

     You have one job- Trust and Obey.

     Tell Him today. Aloud.
     Don't look down and move on!


A Flag or The Cross?

     We are told over and over to love one another.

     That means an affirmative determination to take action or to withhold action, as required by Love

     The Church today has certainly become a sprawling variety of Believers, many of whom either go from church to church, or in the alternative, do remote Christianity only.

     No one should go to church just to be "fed".  There has to be sacrificial Love involved, and the issue must be to love the Brethren.   This is not to mean the support of outright heresy, but rather the availability to being used to love and serve others.

     Love means being supremely careful about saying negative things about others.  
     It means doing something kind or saying something encouraging even if you don't feel  like it.
     It means looking for opportunities to serve in ways that are not particularly interesting, but are needed.
     It means being in prayer about being a Soldier of The Cross, and allowing the Lord to lead into places that seem impossible.

     The Church is full of angry, unhappy and complaining Christians who need to find healing in loving and serving others.  The neglect of church attendance results in dullness to the leading of the Lord and we are watched far more carefully then we know.

     It is not enough to go and listen to a message and then leave.  There must be an opportunity for Love, and waving the Christian flag is not enough.  It is time to tell Him you will be a Living Sacrifice and are available to take up The Cross and follow hard after Him in this area.

     Tell Him today.

Help Wanted:

     There is a great need in today's Church for Believers who are stable.

     We must be willing to let the Lord discipline and prune us and without complaining or pouting.   There needs to be a vision of consistent good behavior even when circumstances are hard.

     There is Power to stop talking about difficulties all the time.  
     There is Power to resist telling things about other people.
     There is Power to love the unlovely.
     There is Power to stop complaining.
     There is Power to be disciplined in the matters of everyday life.

     Soldier of the Cross,  if we have the Mind of Christ (I Corinthians 2:16) we have the Power to be aware of the thought life and that is the beginning of real stability.

     We must be fresh in the Word of God instead of just marinated in Christianity.  We must be submissive in prayer.   We must be attentive to others.   And we must long to be like Him

     Tell Him today.


     There can be no corporate worship until there is private worship.

     It is disturbing to me that some Christian institutions are granting degrees in "Worship".    

     Private worship is not a little slice of what happens during the "worship" time in most churches today.  Private worship is a bubbling up of a supernatural revelation of Jesus, and it is different with each person.  Taking quiet moments to focus on Him, deliberately seeing Him and then gazing upon Him, results in the Holy Spirit supernaturally revealing His Glory.     

     Some of these moments are quiet and others are noisy.  And when such Believers come together,  there can be almost heart-stopping worship.

     A few years ago my husband and I visited a church we had heard about.  As we entered, I was not alarmed by the black ceiling and walls with rainbow colored lights, or by having barely enough room to wiggle.  But when the music started, it was louder than deafening and I pulled out the wad of ear-stuffer I had grabbed at the last minute.  The very loud and pounding music went on forever.  I could see my husband was miserable, so I tore off a shred and handed it to him.  He stuffed both ears. What he didn't realize was, he had a tiny foot-long strand of toilet paper hanging out of one ear.  In just seconds, an usher came to us and extended to us a bowl of packaged ear plugs.  

     Being professional does not have to mean the Spirit is quenched.  Again, there must be a waiting on the Lord and an availability to the moving of the Holy Spirit.  

     Like everything about God, worship is a frontier.  Only He knows the way.  There are no formulas, but there are some basic musts- alone time with the Lord, the fresh taking in of His Word, conscious eagerness to be changed and telling Him what you love about Him.  He eagerly meets the worshiper.

     Soldier of The Cross,  tell Him you are available.  




The Flesh Flash:

     There is no excuse for the flesh flash.

     When offended, betrayed, lied about, or any other personal offense, the Old Man just has to raise his ugly head.  Often it is silence.  The silent treatment.  Other times, there is an urgent need to talk to folks about the situation and convince them how bad the offender is.  It's always tempting to hurl a zinger.

     Oh, Soldier!  these things can be given to the Lord in prayer and we all must be praying to be made like Him.  This means when the event happens, the Holy Spirit will quietly and sweetly remind you that you have the power to turn away from your need to administer your own vision of justice.  

     It is a process.  And often a long process.  I saw this in my father all my life, but that didn't mean it has always been easy for me.   Most of the time it means biting your tongue and taking the matter to Him.  If He is leading you to deal with the matter, He will do it in a calm and biblical way.  Most of the time it means governing your tongue.

     No one arrives.  What a glorious thing it is to learn to be obedient in this area.  It means the death of the flesh = taking up The Cross and following Him.  It means you must embrace the beauty of this discipline, only available by testing, testing, testing.

     Are you really interested in His Discipline?  
     Are you attracted to being transformed?
     Is there anything better than being made more like Him and being prepared for eternity?

     Soldier of The Cross, tell Him today and look up verses that relate to this matter.  Other than the neglect of the quiet time, this is the number one thing that quenches Peace.

     Tell Him,  Aloud.

Is He Really:

     Is the Lord really the center of your life, or is your life the center of your life?

     In order for Him to be first, there has to be an ongoing pursuit of God.  In much of my contact with missionaries and pastors, I have found it is too easy for most to hit the ground running each day and neglect the devotional life.

     His correction must be precious.
     His Word must be fresh, otherwise prayer is stale.
     The desire for Him to make any change needed must be consciously embraced and expressed in prayer.
     The smallest task must equal the greatest honor.     

     If I am to be made into His likeness,  I must take up The Cross and follow hard after Him.  That means the death of the flesh-  a disciplined mouth, disciplined thoughts and the pulling away from the things that cheapen a godly life.  

     There is a cost, but the Peace is glorious.

     Soldier, tell Him all the time.  Tell Him what you love about Him.  Tell Him what you love about those who love Him.  Corporate worship is just a gesture unless there is private worship first.

     Tell Him aloud.

Get a Backbone:

     Division and much damage among Believers is caused by gossip.

     Your job is to refuse to listen to it.  It isn't easy when someone wants to tell you something, and they are in the process of talking to you.

     It isn't often productive to explain your refusal to listen, because it creates defensiveness. But it is possible to interrupt by holding up your hand or by changing the subject.

     If you listen, you participate by letting the words plant themselves in the ground of your mind.  And when you see or think about the person who is the target of those words,  you invariably see them through the glasses of what you have heard.

     This may cost you a friendship and some will think you are insensitive.   It is obedience to the Word of God.

     I have had situations that called for me to get up and leave because the other person would not stop.  

     Gossip does not mean it has to be a rumor.  Gossip is sharing information that is intended to reveal something unknown to the listener that may reflect poorly on the subject individual.

     I actually had someone make an appointment with me to talk to me about why they and others did not like someone in the church.  

     Those who treasure time with the Lord avoid traps, and gossip is a big one. 

     We must be vigilant and always prayerful about this.

     Soldier, take it to Him today.



Decide Ahead of Time:

     Because we are born into another dimension and  have the Indwelling Holy Spirit, we have the instruction and the Power to pre-determine a number of things.

     There will always be something that blindsides you.  If you are wholly determined to serve the Lord and are willing to let Him completely have His way with your life, you will find that sometimes the folks you trusted the most or helped the most, will hurt you the most.  It's always painful and we mustn't tiptoe around expecting to be betrayed.  But if you understand this and have given it to the Lord before anything happens, it is possible to carry on without it affecting your stride.

     We must pre-determine that when we are misunderstood or gossiped about, we are not going to have a flesh-flash over it,  but it is to be immediately given to the Lord.  If He so leads, perhaps there can be restoration.  But it has to be His leading.

     So many have not taken hold of the precious Light in God's Word about how to live. 

     Years ago, one of the families in our church moved into a beautiful new home.  A great harp and new piano also.  Shortly after the move, all four of them came to spend the night in the guest house.  Early the next morning, authorities where they had moved were calling on the phone to see if they were alive.  A fire that started in the new garage completely burned down the new house, including the harp and new piano.  The parents and the two children were fine.  When they moved into the new home, they dedicated it to the Lord and gave it up to Him.  They lost absolutely everything, but there was no typical devastation.  They had pre-determined their reaction by giving it up to the Lord before they moved in.

     Soldier, this principle applies to areas of child-rearing, illness, financial matters and so much more.

     We were created to live above situations, even while they are happening. This life will never be without completely unexpected trials.

     It is about The Cross.  The death of the flesh.

     Bring it to Him today.  Aloud.

Your Thoughts:

     Soldier of The Cross, you must govern your thoughts.

     We are told to take every thought captive and lead it away.

           We are destroying sophisticated arguments and every exalted and proud thing that sets itself up against the [true] knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought and purpose captive to the obedience of Christ,   
                              II Corinthians 10:5   (Amplified Bible)

     Most Christians are not aware of their own thoughts.  It is critical to be constantly in the Word, so as to have His thoughts foremost in your mind.   This is a matter that is changed by prayer

     Oh Soldier!   You have decided to really take up The Cross and follow Him. That means the most basic of issues decide all else.  

     There is nothing else.  We are preparing for eternity, and He wants us to have a Now life of release and joy.  

     That means a thought life that is governed according to His Word.

     Tell Him today.