God’s Ways Are Not Man’s Ways

God’s Ways Are Not Man’s Ways…

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. (Isaiah 55:8 KJV)

Oh, how careful we must be not to interpret man’s ways as being God’s ways. How often this happens in the life of a believer, even a mature believer at times, who feels rejected and defeated when he or she is not “celebrated” in man’s eyes as desired. Much of the time, God’s ways are private and seen as insignificant in man’s eyes and man’s economy. Did Jesus not say that the widow’s mite (two cents) was far more greater in the Kingdom of God than those who had given much more trying to obtain God’s favor; as well as man’s? The poor widow lady had given from the heart… God’s Ways Are Not Man’s Ways…

Often, even in ministry, man’s ways creep into our lives trying to steal and rob God’s Joy of service by “comparing” and “competing” ones own interpretation of success to ones lack of success….But, who on earth can really tell what is and what is not success in God’s Kingdom? God’s Ways are powerfully different from the world’s views and standards for success…”He who is first shall be last and he who is last shall be first.” (Matthew 20:16)

In this life, most things are measured by quantity and quality…both from a worldly perspective. The pastor who stands before thousands each Sunday is often viewed as being more successful in the ministry as opposed to the pastor who stands before a dozen. The church building that displays beautiful craftsmanship, inside and out, and lavished with modern-day furnishings is viewed more welcoming than the store-front building supplied with unmatched folding chairs and second-hand equipment. But, who is to say which one is far greater in the Kingdom of God? Perhaps, the pastor and members of the store-front church are helping to teach, instruct, nurture, and equip the next Spirit-filled evangelist who will help to guide God’s people to a place of repentance and godly living as opposed to dozens of ministers who will come forth from the larger church only to “tickle” the ears of a lost and dying world.

Sometimes, it’s easier to belong to and hide out in a mega-church because people are simply “received” and “accepted” in whatever lifestyle they choose without true “repentance” unto God…However, there is always the opposite “extreme” where churches adopt legalism, man’s added rules and regulations, in place of Godly “repentance” and true surrender to God’s Lordship in their life through Christ Jesus. Both, extremes are dangerous in the lives of a true believer.

So, how is a person to know and discern God’s Ways from Man’s Ways? “Study, to show thyself approved, a workman that needed not be ashamed.” (II Timothy 2:15). There is actually NO private interpretation of the Bible. The Word itself will bear witness with the Word. When a person can line his or her life up with the Word of God and its teachings as interpreted by the Scripture itself, then he or she can know for certain that they are walking in the ways of God…”Where two or three are gathered in my name so shall I be in the midst of them.” (Matthew 18:20). God does not place “number” priority as a prerequisite to building his kingdom…After all, he invested his entire ministry into the lives of twelve disciples who would go forth to change the world…the whole world!

Don’t look down or think that your work and efforts for God are futile if they are small. God delights in small things. But, likewise, God is the God of multitudes as 5,000 were born into the Kingdom under the sound preachings of the Apostle Peter. Yet; Paul was called to lead one Philippian jailer to the Lord within the cell walls of a cold, dark prison. God’s Ways Are Not Man’s Ways…God adds and God takes away according to HIS purpose and plan…

So, today, I encourage you to put all of your heart into God’s work and leave the results in HIS hands…Don’t let society or any one discourage you because your work may seem small or insignificant in someone else’s eyes. I admire one of my adult daughter’s spirit who volunteers to watch toddlers in the church’s nursery once a month. Even though she has a great call upon her life to teach the Word of God, she feels her time spent in the nursery once a month serves just as great of purpose; if not greater. I know she prays for these little tots during their time together…After all, she may be entertaining, playing patty-cake, or building a castle made of blocks with the next Billy Graham or Ruth Graham…We can never go wrong investing our lives into the lives of others…God’s Ways Are Not Man’s Ways…Glory Be unto God!

Remember, God Loves You!
Lin T Rollins, Author

The Bible…Lamp Unto My Feet

The Bible…Lamp Unto My Feet…

Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. (Psalm 119:105)

If you live in America, you are most likely aware of the new History Channel series, “The Bible.” For the past three Sunday nights in a row, it has been the number one rated television program watched between the hours of 8:00 PM to 10:00 PM. Americans are hungry for good entertainment as well as hungry to know more about God. The combination has resulted in a “hit” TV series.

But, wait! Two days ago controversy showed up! It seems that the character playing Satan has a strong physical resemblance and appearance to our nation’s president, Mr. Obama. What?! Naturally, the media is in a frenzy suggesting that the writers and producers of the show deliberately made Satan’s character to look like the President. What?! Are you kidding me?

My first thought on the subject was wondering if Charlton Heston’s portrayal of Moses favored anyone’s uncle or grandfather? Surely, he must have favored someone while in character! Perhaps, not the President of the USA, but someone! And, what about all the men who have played Roman soldiers down through the years nailing Jesus to the cross, do they look like anyone you know? And, I’m pretty certain that one lady who portrayed Mary Magdalene in one of the many versions of Bible movies favored a distant cousin of mine! Stop the presses! These allocations must be investigated!

But, let’s be real…We are talking about the character of Satan looking like President Obama…Mmmm….Coincident…Planned…Coincident…Planned….Mmmm. You decide…I’m sure there are as many answers to that question as there are noses in the world…So, those who love and adore our President are offended. Those who don’t share in his popularity are possibly having a good laugh…Perhaps, we will find other characters creeping in who look like famous people we know…Wait…That would be, oh yea, Actors and Actresses…But, I haven’t seen Tom Cruise or Ryan Reynolds or Sandra Bullock or Meg Ryan or Diane Lane….Mmmm….But, I’ll keep watching just in case! In the meantime, I just hope the “STORY” of the real BIBLE gets across to viewers that GOD is HOLY and GOD LOVES YOU AND ME….

So, the heart of the matter…The next time you put on a church play, production, musical, television program, or even walk down the street make sure you don’t look like one of the nation’s top ranked politicians; especially the President…Sorry, Mr. President…

Author’s Note: What are my personal feelings about the series, “The Bible?” Well, I’m enjoying it, but as with most movies the BOOK is always better!

Remember, God Loves You!
Lin T Rollins, Author

“Bleeding Hearts…”

“Bleeding Hearts…”

Today’s blog is more of a writing from-the-heart piece on a quiet Sunday afternoon. I’m sure some of you can relate 🙂

I must confess that I am very overly sensitive at times. It seems that my heart has more bruises and scars than I would ever be able to count or admit. After some of the pains and hurts I have experienced you would think that I would be as tough as nails. Yet, the tears can still come; especially when a matter hits certain emotional chords. However, I didn’t just turn out this way. I have pretty much been this way my entire life.

I can easily recall “crying” just about every Sunday night while watching episodes of Lassie and Timmy! Looking back, my favorite TV shows always involved loving families, “Father Knows Best,” “Andy Griffith,” “Patty Duke,” “The King Family,” and even “Bonanza.” Every showed somehow ended with love, encouragement, support, and understanding within the show’s characters. A “Happy-Ever-After” philosophy and generation. Not very true to life or very realistic.

But, those fictional programs of the 60’s sent out a powerful message and an unreal image of what a “happy,” “loving” family was all about…Quite the opposite of many nonfictional (real) characters found in the Bible where two brothers having opposite views and beliefs resulted in the first committed murder! And, when a wife who could not produce children offered her maid-servant to be her husband’s mistress! Now, there’s “realty” TV for you!

Many doctors and researchers say that some forms of “depression” can be the part of a person’s life where unreal expectations and absolute reality meet. If a person can “deal,” “process,” and “handle the absolute realities in life then they can often escape deep depression. As human beings, We all go through forms of “situational” depression at times when our lives are affected by specific circumstances and situations. But, I am talking about a lifestyle troubled with pangs of depression…The ongoing parts of life where unreal or unmet expectations meet reality on a daily basis…We either choose to climb over the bumps of reality or allow them to climb upon us; and bury us alive!

People who are highly or overly sensitive in certain areas of their lives don’t think or process situations like other non-highly sensitive people do. The non-highly sensitive people quickly adjust and move forward. The highly or overly sensitive person can easily fall into a deep pit of “Woe is me; not again” mentality. I have to admit that I FIGHT my own feelings and emotions a lot of times to overcome those intrusive negative, nagging thoughts. And, I have to admit that some of those battles are tougher and last longer than others. I am grateful that I am aware of this “flaw” in my life, but I also know that I have to fight against it at times just like an addict may have to fight whatever their addiction might be. For me, and to me, it’s just as real.

I thank God for HIS word, time, prayer, and naps when needed to help reduce and overcome these times in my life. Don’t get me wrong…the things that I can get easily depressed over are NOT fiction; they are real…They just hit me a whole lot deeper and hang on a whole lot longer than with other people I know. My poor husband of 39 years has come to understand this about me more in the past few years than ever before. What he once thought was just my being a “witch” was actually my digging deep within to overcome feelings of rejection, insecurities, and fears…You might ask how can a person who claims to be a Christian deal with fears, anxities, and insecurities? Really! Name me one person who doesn’t from time to time! Even John the Baptist before he was to be beheaded sent his disciples to Christ Jesus asking to KNOW for “certain” that HE was truly the CHRIST! Come on, people, if John the Baptist had a moment of doubt and weakness don’t think for a moment you or we can’t, too!

So, so many times I have to climb up from the ground, dust off the dust, wipe away particles from the scratches and bruises, and get back up on my “horse-of-life,” knowing all the time that I will find myself having to repeat the same old process over and over and over again…But, all of this is not bad. People who are sensitive, even overly sensitive people, also see things that other people don’t see or might miss. They may see a “need” in someone else’s life. They may “sense” when a person needs a “pat-on-the-back.” I know I had a situation when I was teaching a group of 8th graders and “sensed” that one of my students was going through a particular difficult time in her life. I even somehow “sensed” that she may be in some type of danger. After wrestling with my “feelings” for a few days, I decided to speak with the school’s counselor about my concerns. As it turned out, the precious, young girl’s uncle had recently moved into her house and was molesting her. That time my “overly-senstive” feelings helped to remove a child from a dangerous environment.

We all have to discover who we are in the LORD and how to “bloom where we are planted” instead of trying to be like everyone else around us…As the Apostle Paul stated, “I am who I am.” Amen. So, to all my “bleeding heart” friends out there who take a lot of grief at times, may God always be your strength and source of courage to face whatever the day may bring…For it is in HIM, and HIM alone, that we find our shelter and refuge in the storms of life and in daily life. Amen.

Remember, God Loves You!
Lin T Rollins, Author

Love Thy Neighbor

Love Thy Neighbor

It doesn’t take a whole lot to notice that people are hurting. Some more than others. Everywhere I go people are facing trials, difficulties, disappointments, discouragements, challenges, personal sicknesses, or death of a loved one. Sadly, I think everyone I know is either facing some type of cancer or has a loved one who is facing cancer or another life-threatening illness or disease…The world is in a very complex mode.

For the past several days I had noticed a huge amount of traffic in and out of my neighbor’s home. Knowing that her elderly parents lived in the house, I was concerned that one or both of them had taken ill. And, that’s exactly what had happened. As I was leaving this morning, my neighbor walked over to tell me the sad news that her father had been diagnosed with Leukemia and was now on hospice care; it was just a matter of time. She wanted to apologize for all of the cars that had been parked along both sides of the road for the past few days. But, I assured her that was absolutely not a problem for me. To me, the cars symbolized those who loved her and her family well enough to be there with her at such a sad and difficult time.

As I continued to drive out of the neighborhood, I looked at the different houses wondering who lived in them…Even though my husband and I have lived in our neighborhood for the past eleven years, I can only testify to knowing two or perhaps three of the families. Being older and retired, we have no children living in our home to help us be more interactive with the other families. And, besides that, people are just more fragmented and isolated more than they were when I was a child growing up. But, the Bible clearly states that we are to “Love Our Neighbor.” How can we love them if we never meet or know them? Is it possible that God is telling us, as Christians, to be more “pro-active” in our efforts to know and acquaint ourselves with our neighbors? You decide.

Nevertheless, I am deciding what covered-dish (a Southern thing!) to take over to my neighbor’s house to show our “neighborness.” They actually only moved into the neighborhood a couple of months ago, so I may be the only neighbor they have met so far. I think it would be nice if we all thought like “neighbors” more and remembered God’s command to “Love Thy Neighbor.” Perhaps, if we did people would find comfort in our efforts and not feel so all alone.

Look around you today…Who do you see hurting or going through a difficult time in their lives? Maybe, a card; a letter; a covered-dish; or a phone call might help to brighten their day…Even a message on FB can help to show our concern; after all we are living in a “technology-ran” world! So, use all the resources provided to help, “Love Thy Neighbor.”

Remember, God Loves You!
Lin T Rollins, Author

My Country Tis of Thee

My Country Tis of Thee…Sweet Land of Liberty…Of THEE I Sing!

Oh, how the world is watching America and all the changes and issues that we are currently experiencing…I have found it uneasy to even watch the news any longer. One person says this and another person says that…Who are we to believe? I currently stand behind and support my political party based upon its core values and standards; but even they are now changing…Will a new “party” evolve that will lead us farther into the 21st century? Will we see the demise of what has always been referred to as, “America, the Land of the Free?” Will my grandchildren and great-grandchildren ever know what it feels like to live in the greatest nation on planet Earth? Or, have our continued decline in morals and godly beliefs lead us to the altars of sacrifice? (It is better to obey than to sacrifice I Samuel 15:22 KJV)

Only GOD in Heaven knows the course of man, mankind, and a nation. Even America is NOT too big to feel the effects of God’s chastening hands upon our land. (The wicked return to the grave, and all the nations that forget God Psalms 9:17 KJV). Before 1962 our nation was strong and had never lost a physical battle or war. Since 1962, when our courts determined that it was no longer politically correct to use the BIBLE as our guide, our nation has fallen into murk and mire at the cost of man’s religious liberties and lives. This is what happens to any nation outside of the realms of God’s favor and protection…

Let me be the first to say that there are NO liberties outside of GOD’S Grace and Mercies…Mankind and man are doomed when we turn our backs on God…God died to deliver us from “sins,” not to allow us to openly enjoy them at the approval of our own government…Sin is still SIN…It is sin to murder an unborn baby. It is sin to have sex outside of marriage with one or more multiple partners. It is sin to steal. It is sin to lie and cheat and bring about false witness. It is a reprobate sin to lust and have sex with the same sex-partner; an abomination unto God…These are God’s laws…not man’s…I think it would do everyone good to reread and to memorize God’s Ten Commandments….God sent His ONLY begotten SON to die for our transgressions of the LAWS of GOD! ALL of them! I don’t think some people even know what those laws are!

Do Americans actually believe they have “educated” themselves above God? Do we, as Americans, feel we have reached a plateau where we know how to govern our lives more than our Creator? Sadly, I fear that is exactly where we have arrived…Our U.S. Constitution was written by some of the most brilliant men who ever lived. But, they honored and glorified Creator GOD for their abilities and strengths…And, now in 2013 we hear rumors that the current administration deems necessary for the continued peace and prosperity of our land to make our foundational constitution “more liquid” and easier to amend, change, or completely do away with…And, when a nation’s constitution collapses so does the nation. God, help us…

Oh, my friend, for the sake of all American citizens pray, pray, and pray that our leaders will be lead of non other than the principles of God our Creator. For in HIM and in HIM alone will we find rest for our souls and answers for our problems. We can’t afford to keep going on a path that ignores God’s laws that protect the innocent unborn to the nucleus of the Biblical, traditional family…My Country Tis of Thee, Sweet Land of Liberty, Of THEE I sing… Amen.

Remember, God LOVES YOU!
Lin T Rollins, Author