Posts Tagged ‘miracles’

A Facebook Post from Allana:15747885_10157951910710282_1166937839466352526_n

Lifelong commitment is not what everyone thinks it is. It’s not waking up early every morning to make breakfast and eat together. It’s not cuddling in bed together until both of you peacefully fall asleep. It’s not a clean home and a homemade meal every day.
It’s someone who steals all the covers. It’s sometimes slammed doors, and a few harsh words, disagreeing, and the silent treatment until your hearts heal. Then…forgiveness!
It’s coming home to the same person everyday that you know loves and cares about you, in spite of and because of who you are. It’s laughing about the one time you accidentally did something stupid. It’s about dirty laundry and unmade beds without finger pointing. It’s about helping each other with the hard work of life! It’s about swallowing the nagging words instead of saying them out loud.
It’s about eating the cheapest and easiest meal you can make and sitting down together at 10 p.m. to eat because you both had a crazy day. It’s when you have an emotional breakdown, and your love lays with you and holds you and tells you everything is going to be okay, and you believe them. It’s when “Netflix and chill” literally means you watch Netflix and hang out. It’s about still loving someone even though sometimes they make you absolutely insane.
Living with the person you love is not perfect, and sometimes it’s hard, but it’s amazing and comforting and one of the best things you’ll ever experience.
Go ahead and share a picture of the person you love and copy and paste this, make their day.
I love this picture of Samuel Guidry it is perfect. a pic of Sami showing off the purity rings that Sam got her for her 16th bday.

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What an amazing day this was!

Learning To Fly

Welcome to our life party ūüôā

Thank you to everyone who came out and celebrated with us ‚Äď make sure to watch the videos, who knows.. you may see yourself

To others who want the full experience, hopefully this will help you get a feel for what our celebration was all about. I want to encourage you to watch every video in the order they are posted‚Ķ they build on each other to show our life and our journey through the great, through the trails‚Ķ Thank you for taking the time to share in our day even from your personal computer ‚̧

Those who don’t have the time to walk through this day with us, you can just view the pictures as you scroll down.

Life Party Getting Ready Set up, worship practice and getting ready for The Life Party to begin

Everyone Watching The Amazed Video (which is below) ‚Äď Sam and I‚Ķ

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The Long Haul

I wanted to first thank God for providing the wonderful opportunity to speak at The Patient Experience Summit hosted by The Cleveland Clinic last week.  It was an amazing event in so many ways.  It did throw us back a week on our look at Daniel as a Hupomone man but we will pick it today.  Click here if you want to go back and read the first post in this series.

What are the characteristics of someone who stays in it for the long haul with God? ¬†Specifically what can we see in Daniel’s life that contributed to the fact that he outlasted kings and empires? ¬†The first thing that we are going to look at is hope. ¬†Even though the word is never used in the text of Daniel, his hope in God shine’s through. ¬†Consider this prayer of thanks after God revealed Nebuchadnezzar’s dream in chapter 2:

20Daniel said, “Let the name of God be blessed forever and ever, For wisdom and power belong to Him. 21 “It is He who changes the times and the epochs ; He removes kings and establishes kings ; He gives wisdom to wise men And knowledge to men of understanding. ¬†“It is He who reveals the profound and hidden things ; He knows what is in the darkness, And the light dwells with Him. ¬†“To You, O God of my fathers, I give thanks and praise, For You have given me wisdom and power ; Even now You have made known to me what we requested of You, For You have made known to us the king’s matter.”

Daniel makes it clear to Nebuchadnezzar who is the revealer of mysteries, not Daniel, but God. ¬†“However there is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries, and He has made known to King Nebuchadnezzar what will take place in the latter days.” Daniel 2:28 ¬†This must have seemed very strange to the king who was used to all of his wise men, magicians and sorcerers trumpeting their own skills of wisdom and divination. ¬†Here was a young man who gave all the credit to his God. ¬†Daniel not only held God as his personal hope, he proclaimed God to be the hope of all men. ¬†Daniel stood with Peter in his faith and hope. ¬†“…but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence.” ¬†1 Peter 3:15 ¬†Daniel’s gentleness and reverence in the proclamation of his hope is perhaps without parallel in Scripture. ¬†There is no sense of derision or haughtiness in any of his dealings with his pagan bosses. ¬†He is a great example to us in all of our dealings with both our fellow believers and those who have not found Jesus as their Lord and Savior. ¬† ¬†Consider Daniel’s plea with Nebuchadnezzar to change his ways, “Therefore, O king, may my advice be pleasing to you: ¬†break away now from your sins by doing righteousness and from your iniquities by showing mercy to the poor, in case there may be a prolonging of your prosperity.” ¬†Daniel 4:27 ¬†The fact that the king did not accept Daniel’s plea is irrelevant to Daniel’s faith. ¬†Daniel acted on the hope that was within him. ¬†The seed of truth planted, God acts and in the end the king proclaims, “Now I Nebuchadnezzar, praise, exalt and honor the King of heaven, for all His works are true and His ways just, and He is able to humble those who walk in pride” Daniel 4:37

It is with this hope that Daniel walked bravely into the lion’s den. ¬†It is a hope that he shared with his friends who walked bravely into the furnace. ¬†It is a hope manifested both in the miraculous and the mundane. ¬†It is a hope that does not rely on events or circumstances, “If it be so, our god whom we serve is able to deliver us from the furnace of blazing fire; and He will deliver us out of your hand, O king. ¬†But eve if He does not, let it be known to you, O king, that we are not going to serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.” ¬†Daniel 3:17-18. ¬†Paul held this hope even as he walked a path that he knew led to death, “For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come. ¬†I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith; in the future there is laid up for¬†me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day;” 2 Timothy 4:6-8

Paul walked the Hupomone path to martyrdom, giving his life.  Daniel also walked the Hupomone path giving his life for the hope that he held in God.  In human terms they had very different ends but before God each of them lived the life of perseverance that He seeks for all who call on His name.

 

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Lion's Den

 As for every matter of wisdom and understanding about which the king consulted them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and conjurers who were in all his realm. And Daniel continued until the first year of Cyrus the king.  Daniel 1:20-21

Daniel is one of the most amazing characters in the Bible for a number of reasons. ¬†Our canon of Scripture places Daniel among the prophets but the Jewish Scriptures do not. ¬†The Jewish Canon¬†places it¬†in a group called The Writings. ¬†While one cannot deny Daniel’s prophetic gift, he did not hold the office of prophet. ¬†Certainly God calls on him¬†repeatedly to speak ¬†to the various leaders of Babylon, but that leads us to another unique thing about Daniel. ¬†Other than the fact that Daniel was a Jew and was taken at a young age from his home in Judah the contents do not speak of or to the Jews.

So what do we know about this enigmatic figure and author of one of the 39 books of our old testament (one of the 24 in the Jewish Canon)? Daniel lived in the sixth century BC. ¬†His family was either of the royal family or the nobility. ¬†Pretty much everything that we know directly of Daniel comes from the book bearing his name. ¬†The authorship of the book is much debated but I do not doubt that Daniel wrote it¬†near the end of his life, probably after he had retired from public service. ¬†I find most other textual criticism to be contrived either for academic reasons (you have to write your dissertation on something) or with the express need to explain away the miraculous. ¬†He grew up during hard times in Judah. ¬†His dedication to God from the very beginning would indicate to me that his parents were godly people living in ungodly times. ¬†They are not mentioned here or elsewhere in Scripture. ¬†If they did survive the siege and capture of Jerusalem Daniel was taken from them at around the age of 13. ¬†This was the typical age at which the Babylonians of this era began training for public servants. ¬†We are able to historically place the siege and capture of Jerusalem right around the year 605 BC. ¬†This enables us to date many aspects of Daniel’s life, particularly when his service to Babylon began and ended. ¬†This is what caught my attention and brought me to look a little deeper at the life of this man of God, this man of ¬†hupomone (perseverance). ¬†Daniel as we said was not a prophet, he was not a priest nor a missionary. ¬†He was a public administrator and in many ways a politician by trade. ¬†Daniel served God in the Babylonian courts and government until the year or year after Cyrus captured Babylon seizing control of that empire. ¬†That event is historically established as occurring in 540 BC. ¬†So Daniel served God in his capacity as an administrator for several versions of the Neo-Babylonian Empire from 605 BC until 540 BC, or including training around 65 years! ¬†That is some serious Hupomone! ¬†Throughout that time he maintained his dedication to and love for God, even facing death! ¬†He probably spent the last few years of his life (from 540,41 to 543,44) penning the book under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit which would become of part of the canon of Scripture we hold as the Word of God today! ¬†He was very much an Old Testament Missionary, called to a pagan people to speak the heart of God. ¬†Consider his words to Nebuchadnezzar: ‘Therefore, O king, may my advice be pleasing to you: break away now from your sins by doing righteousness and from your iniquities by showing mercy to the poor, in case there may be a prolonging of your prosperity.’ ¬†Daniel 4:27 It seems that most often studies of Daniel focus in on either the eschatological aspects of his prophecies or just a few specific events within the book. ¬†The next few weeks will be dedicated to looking at Daniel and the Long Haul.

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Ananias-of-Damascus

And he was three days without sight, and neither ate nor drank.

Acts 9:9

This verse comes from a story that many of us may know well. ¬†It is the conversion story of Saul, who would become Paul the Apostle. ¬†Paul was a man who acutely understood the dangers of blind spots, Saul was not. ¬†Saul along with many of the Jewish leaders of his day lived in a big blind spot. ¬†They desperately believed in God and in the coming Messiah but they saw their heritage and tradition as an overwhelming strength and in that feeling of strength they were blind to the truth of the Gospel. ¬†Saul in his strength attended and approved of the stoning of Stephen. ¬†He even watched over the cloaks of them men involved (Acts 7:58-8:1). ¬†Saul in his strength “breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord”¬†sought the destruction of the early Church. ¬†He is an ominous example of how when we attempt to serve God in the strength of tradition, skill, knowledge or any other personal trait that the greater our “service”, the greater our potential blind spots.

So then this is¬†the question, “How do we avoid operating in Spiritual Blind Spots?”. ¬†Prior to committing our lives to the Lord Jesus Christ we lived in darkness. ¬†It is a way of life for those who are not in a personal relationship with Him. ¬†Jesus came to take us from the darkness that is life without God and bring us in to the light.

John 12:46 
“I have come as Light into the world, so that everyone who believes in Me will not remain in darkness.

Old habits die hard and Peter speaking to believers sheds light on Spiritual Blind Spots

2 Peter 1:4-9

4 For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that by them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust. 5 Now for this very reason also, applying all diligence, in your faith supply moral excellence, and in your moral excellence, knowledge, 6 and in your knowledge, self-control, and in your self-control, perseverance, and in your perseverance, godliness, 7 and in your godliness, brotherly kindness, and in your brotherly kindness, love. 8 For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they render you neither useless nor unfruitful in the true knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 For he who lacks these qualities is blind or short-sighted, having forgotten his purification from his former sins.

We can compare this passage to Paul’s exposition on the “Fruit of the Spirit” in Galatians 5. ¬†These passages and many like them provide a Spiritual litmus test for smoking out blind spots in our walk with God. ¬†However I want to go back to Paul’s story to see how God dealt with this problem in his life.

1.  God knocked Saul off of his high horse.

Acts 9:3

As he was traveling, it happened that he was approaching Damascus, and suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him; 4 and he fell to the ground

2.  God brought Saul to a place of weakness

       a.  Paul was blinded.  The Spiritual state that he was operating in was manifested physically.

       b.  The man who was accustomed to leading needed to be led into the city

       c.  Paul was unable to eat or drink for three days.

3. ¬†God spoke truth into Saul’s life

       a.  Initially God spoke directly to Saul revealing the blind spot that he was operating under.

¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†b. ¬†God revealed Saul’s personal inadequacy in a vision of the man who would come to help him.

¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†c. ¬†God brought a Christian brother to speak healing into Saul’s life, both of the physical and Spiritual blindness.

Fortunately God has provided us with Scripture and in it Paul’s example (as well as the examples of many other men and women of God throughout biblical history). ¬†With the help of the Holy Spirit we can smoke out our blind spots without being knocked off a horse and blinded.

1. ¬†Examine ourselves for areas of personal (denominational, doctrinal or any other genre of) pride that can make us susceptible to blind spots. ¬†Then we need to follow the Micah’s advice in Chapter 6: ¬†8 He has told you, O man, what is good ; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God ?

2.  Do not be afraid to operate from areas of weakness or of being in positions of weakness.

3. ¬†Always be ready for, looking for and expecting the Truth of God to be revealed in your life. ¬†The primary source is of course Scripture. ¬†The more time that you spend in Scripture with your heart and mind open to God’s message the less likely you are to function in a blind spot. ¬†Secondly always walk with solid brother’s and sisters in Christ who will be honest and open with you. ¬†God may or may not reveal¬†them in a vision to you but be ready to listen to the Holy Spirit as He speaks through them. ¬†Filter it all through the truth of Scripture.

Blind Spots are endemic to our human nature but God through the work of Jesus Christ and the gift of the Holy Spirit as recoreded in Scripture has provided us all with the tools to walk in the Light as the Children of God.

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This is our first Newsletter since the closing of The Lewis House.  Below is a link to the PDF version with live links for donations and contacts.

GuidryOH4-14

 

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“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever”

Hebrews 13:8

 

The fancy word for today’s topic is “Immutability”. ¬†That is the last time you will see it in this post. ¬†However the bible tells us that in a world of change biblical perseverance calls for a unique constancy from Christ Followers. ¬†God declares his own character when he tells Moses that “I am that I am”. ¬†This Hebrew word, which became the very name of God to Israel, declares His eternal constancy. ¬†It is here that we find one of the prime qualities of biblical perseverance for the believer.

29 For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren ; Romans 8:29

It is only by this miraculous transformation process and the submission of our will to His will that we begin our journey to biblical perseverance.  So then do we  live in the same place, do the same things, never change what we eat or do for the rest of our live?  Clearly not.  We do not even have that kind of control on the circumstances of our lives.  Change is introduced to our existence every day, every hour and every minute of our lives here on earth.  This is where we see that biblical perseverance is a spiritual gift not a physical effort.  It cannot be faked or practiced by human effort.  It is manifested in the lives of those who serve and have a personal relationship with God.

Consider Daniel.

3 Then the king ordered Ashpenaz, the chief of his officials, to bring in some of the sons of Israel, including some of the royal family and of the nobles,…6 Now among them from the sons of Judah were Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah. 7 Then the commander of the officials assigned new names to them; and to Daniel he assigned the name Belteshazzar, to Hananiah Shadrach, to Mishael Meshach and to Azariah Abed-nego. Daniel 1:3,6

Talk about change. ¬†As a young man Daniel was ripped from his home, dragged half way across the known world and even had his name taken away. ¬†This Babylonian tactic was specifically designed to destroy perseverance. ¬†Do not be deceived the Enemy is out to destroy your perseverance. ¬†He wants you to come out from under the covering of Christ where he can have a clear and open shot at you. ¬†The Babylonians did everything they could to shake Daniel’s identity as a child of God. But what happened.

8 But Daniel made up his mind that he would not defile himself with the king’s choice food or with the wine which he drank ; so he sought permission from the commander of the officials that he might not defile himself. ¬†Daniel 1:8

In the midst of all of this change Daniel did not change.  It is important to note that Daniel remained under Jesus Christ in every aspect of his behavior.  This brings us to another important aspect of biblical perseverance.  It expresses at all times the character of God.

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control ; against such things there is no law. 24 Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit. 26 Let us not become boastful, challenging one another, envying one another.  Galatians 5:22-26

Biblical perseverance is never rude or arrogant.  Perseverance that does not fall in line with His Word is not biblical and is not godly.  When we truly walk in biblical perseverance we are like a lighthouse in the storm.  We go on to read:

9 Now God granted Daniel favor and compassion in the sight of the commander of the officials,…17 As for these four youths, God gave them knowledge and intelligence in every branch of literature and wisdom ; Daniel even understood all kinds of visions and dreams ¬†Daniel 1:9, 17

But let there be no mistake.  Satan HATES biblical perseverance and he believes that he can destroy it.  Daniel continued to face opposition throughout his lifetime.  Many other saints both biblical and historical persevered to martyrdom.  Regardless of the physical outcome the Spiritual truth remains the same and the lighthouse of faithfulness shines in the darkness.

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