Only God Can Prevent Forest Fires…

Only God Can Prevent Forest Fires

Remember the public service message that started back in the 1940’s and still continues today, “Smokey the Bear says, Only You Can Prevent Forest Fires.” Well, in so many ways that’s true in both our world of nature and physical life. But, what about another type of “fire” that ignites from the emotions of the heart? I’m talking about the “fires-of- life” that can often start with or without our input, interference, assistance, or help. Just like forest fires, the emotional “fires of life,” and those of society, can bring about severe damage and destruction; sometimes even fatal. How can we, as Believers, prevent this type of fire from becoming severely destructive and out of control within our own hearts and lives?

The Truth is that “ONLY God Can Prevent Forest Fires” that originate and ignite from the heart of mankind. Most often the “fires of life” begin with a small spark the same way as natural forest fires do. It can be a “spark” from a negative word, a negative look, or a negative attitude. It can be a “spark” from a wrongful or misplaced desire. It can be a “spark” from anger, resentment, or bitterness. It can be from a spark of jealousy or misunderstanding. Nevertheless, before you know it the spark has taken flight and becomes a roaring out-of-control burning issue that renders everything within its path destroyed. Too often the best of families suffer from these types of fires. Businesses suffer from these types of fires. Neighbors and friends suffer from these types of fires. And, churches (local assemblies) even suffer greatly from these types of destructive fires.

Too often when these types of “fires-of-life” erupt, we immediately seek out the help and support of others that may not be qualified in such fire protection or damage control. ONLY God, our Creator, can put out the fires of erroneous passion, hate, malice, injustice, bitterness, unforgiving spirits, and indifference. ONLY God possesses the tools, experience, knowledge, and wisdom necessary to quench such tumultuous fires.

The overlying problem lies within the heart of man. Sadly, man would rather seek the help and assistance of others to put out life’s fires than to seek out the eternal and experienced Owner of the Forest! Calling upon God is not like calling upon another human being or dialing 911. In order to call upon God to put out the fires of life, one must first humble himself or herself in such a way as to ask God’s forgiveness for any and all involvement they may have had in the situation or matter; whether they believe they may be at fault or not. Humbleness is the first requirement and requisite to call upon God to quench the fires of life. Second, man must be willing to suffer the losses that the fires of life may have caused; whether temporary or long-term. Man (or woman) learns from their mistakes…the bigger the mistake the harder the lesson. We must be willing to “submit” ourselves to God’s school-of-life and be willing to “graduate” ONLY AFTER we have met God’s minimal requirements that include Love of God and Love for one another. Third, we must pray for all stakeholders involved in the matter or situation not as we would have them to react or respond, but as God would have them to respond. This requires our utmost patience, time, and waiting; and often the waiting period can be rather lengthy. Have you ever seen a destroyed forest reproduce and replenish itself over night? No; of course not. Once a beautiful forest has been destroyed by the winds of fire it can take a life-time to recover. But, if you will look closely after you have sought the help of God you can often see the signs of tiny sprigs of new growth lying just below the charred surface. Only God can bring forth “beauty from ashes.”

You may be facing or going through a particular “fire-of-life” right now that has you running for help or even for your life, protection, and shelter. You may be greatly grieving over your losses as you watch the flames of life consume and destroy the things that you love and hold dear to your heart. But, let’s examine the advice of our trained Fire Protectors and Firemen. As the fire safety technique teaches, “Stop, drop, and roll.” Stop running and panicking. Panic only adds wind to the situation and spreads the flames farther and farther. At this very moment just Stop! Next, take in a deep breath and “Drop” on your knees before God. Make God your Fire Chief in all matters of life. Seek out HIS help before you call upon anyone else to deliver you. Lastly, “Roll” on with your life each and every day leaving God in charge of rebuilding your life and everything that you have lost during the fire. Remember, ONLY God can grow a tree. Only God can bring forth new life and new growth. Learn to lean on Him as your forest replenish and rebuilds. Also, learn to lean on Him as your Forest Ranger who looks out for you and shows you how to avoid forest fires through His own Words, The B.I.B.L.E. (Amen!)

No matter what we do to prevent life’s personal forest fires they can occur and come our way with or without warning. We must be ready at all points in life to know the rules of “life’s forest fires.” Remember, before you call 911 to sound an alarm for others to come running, “Stop and Drop,” by humbly going to Jesus first in prayer. Sound out the alarms of Heaven through diligent, fervent prayer. Give Jesus all the facts and details that you know of. Then, trust in Him to bring the right equipment (God’s Word) to put out the “fires of life.” Lastly, “Roll” on with your life while being patient, positive, and productive as God restores, renews, and replenish your losses. With GOD, our Great Fire Chief and Forest Protector, in time your new forest may even be bigger, better, and more beautiful than the forest you lost; or you ever imagined. Remember, Only God Can Prevent Forest Fires…Only God Can Rebuild, Replenish, and Restore…Amen!

Remember, God Loves You!
Lin T Rollins, M.Ed. Author

The Wind Was Contrary…

The Wind Was Contrary…

…”But the ship was now in the midst of the sea, tossed with waves; for the wind was contrary…(Matthew 14:34)

Have you ever set out to do something that you thought was the right thing to do and in the midst of doing it everything started going wrong? Oh, my friend, you are in a good place to witness a miracle!

In the book of Matthew, chapter fourteen, we read where Jesus instructed his disciples to enter into a ship and, “go before him unto the other side…” The disciples followed our Lord’s instructions and entered into the ship to set sail for “the other side.” While they were sailing alone, Jesus himself went up into a mountain to pray until evening.

It was around the “fourth watch of the night” (3 AM) when the disciples found their ship being tossed about by the waves from the contrary winds. Now, remember these were seasoned fishermen who knew a thing or two about storms…But, no man or woman enjoys being in a storm at 3AM in the middle of a sea! As they were doing their best to steer the ship in the tumultuous tossing winds, they saw a “figure” walking upon the waters. Surely, it was a spirit they thought…Perhaps, they even thought it was a “sign of death.” Their faith was definitely being tested…

But, the Bible teaches us that, “Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid.” (vs 27)…I don’t know about you, but “cheering” because it was the LORD coming towards me instead of an unknown spirit would not have been a problem! I would have been jumping up and down, clapping, and cheering, “Thank you, thank you Sweet Jesus!”

Many of us know the rest of the story. This is when Peter stepped out of the boat and began to walk upon the waters to meet Jesus…In ways, I think I would have wished to do the same thing! I mean who wouldn’t want to rush out to meet Jesus when your ship is being tossed to and fro!! But, as soon as Peter took his eyes off of Jesus he began to sink into the waters. Ouch! And, thus we have one of the shortest prayers in the Bible, “Lord, save me!” As a result, Jesus sweetly reached out his hand and pulled Peter from the waters as he admonished him, “O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?”

Doubt comes into all of our lives at one time or another…But, just as Peter called upon the Lord to save him, we can pray the same simple prayer, “Lord, save me.” Whether it be new adventures or an old adventure with a new twist, we can all become apprehensive in our endeavors. That’s when it’s time to call upon the one whom the winds and seas obey…

Today, you may be facing a situation in your own life where you need Faith, Hope, and Trust…Then, my friend, as I said before, you are in a good place…You are in the ship and Jesus is walking upon the waters heading your way! Remain calm and soon you will hear his voice say unto you, “It is I.” Amen!

Remember, God Loves You!
Lin T Rollins, M.Ed. Author

Almighty; High and Lifted Up…

Almighty; High and Lifted Up…

My friend, do you know that you know who God really is? And, what God represents and what God can do with just the utterance of his breath?

Do we as human beings really grasp the full concept of GOD? Do we really understand our inferior nature to HIS superior intelligence and abilities? Oh, how GOD puts up with our inferior ways and lack of abilities each and every day…But, why does HE do this? Simply because HE is GOD and HE Reigns Supreme over all of the Earth and the vast universes surrounding us. HE is ABBA Father, our Creator, and HE knows our weaknesses, our inabilities, and our fallen nature…Oh, but how HE loves me; Oh, how HE loves you and me. So much so that HE was willing to send HIS only begotten Son to die in our place. (John 3:16)

Friend, today you may be tempted to doubt God or doubt what God is allowing to come into your life. You may be facing a terrible storm, a terrible sickness, a terrible divorce, a terrible death of a loved one…Your world may be falling apart right before your eyes and you feel as if you will never overcome and recover…But, that’s not the case my friend. Jesus is LORD…He is LORD right now over every circumstance in your life; good or bad…For no other god can do what our GOD can do…HE can take the hidden things of this life and bring them to light. He can take the fallen and restore them to a place of honor. He can take the pride of an individual and break it into pieces as if it was dashed against the rocks. HE alone can pull the storm out of the person or the person out of the storm…It is in HIS power to do so…Whatsoever God commands that HE can and will do.

The most amazing thing about GOD is how HE shows such great patience and compassion toward HIS creation. No longer will HE annihilate the whole human race as He did in the Great Flood, but instead HE provided a way of escape through HIS own shed blood at Calvary’s Cross. Oh, how HE loves you and me…Oh, how HE loves you and me…He gave his life what more can HE give…Oh, how HE loves you…Oh, how HE loves me…Oh, how HE loves you and me.

Trust HIM today…give HIM your heart and your heartache…Only GOD can grow a tree…Only GOD can mold a man…Only GOD can heal the brokenhearted and restore unto him strength, honor, and courage…HE is ALMIGHTY; HIGH AND LIFTED UP…HE IS GOD!

Remember, God Loves You!
Lin T Rollins, M.Ed. Author

The “Lifter of My Head”

“But thou, O LORD, art a shield for me; my glory, and the lifter up of mine head.” (Psalm 3:3)

How many times in your life have you needed “someone” to “lift up your head?” Perhaps, your head was heavy and bowed low with sorrows or disappointments. Or, perhaps you had received bad news about a friend or loved one; or even about yourself.

Troubles and sorrows can overtake us in any given moment or situation. But, there is ONE who is the “lifter up” of our heads…Our LORD and Savior, Jesus Christ. As any believer of the Word (Bible) will tell you God doesn’t always deliver us from the many storms and trials in Life, but HE will always be with us to see us through to the other side.

King David said, “Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the LORD sees us through.” (Psalm 34:19). Today, you may be facing an unprecedented time of trouble in your life. Let me encourage you NOT to despair. The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob who guided the Children of Israel to the Promised Land is the same God, through Jesus Christ, who is leading and guiding His children (those who Believe) today.

God is the same Yesterday, Today, and Forever…I encourage you to let God be your Shield of Faith, your Glory of Hope, and the “Lifter Up” of you head. Then, you, too can say as the Psalmist, “I laid me down and slept; I awaked; for the LORD sustained me…Yes; the LORD sustained me…Salvation belongeth unto the LORD; thy blessing is upon thy people. Selah” (Psalm 3:8).

How sweet to face each day knowing that the LORD is my shield, my glory, and the lifter of my head. Amen

Remember, God LOVES You!
Lin T Rollins, M.Ed. Author

Help! Call 911; or 463 (God)?

Help!… Call 911 or 463 (God)?

In My Distress I called upon the LORD, and cried unto my GOD…(Psalm 18:6)

Emergencies; we all have them. Some “natural” emergencies are more serious than others. Some are even physically life-threatening. Others may just need a quick fix such as a Band-Aid or a stitch or two. Nevertheless, when we do encounter an emergency it requires our immediate attention. In our society, we dial 911 as our natural response to any given emergency situation.

“Spiritual” emergencies are the same way. They need our immediate attention. The problem is that many people still want to call 911 for help even in a “spiritual” crisis instead of calling 463 (God) who is the ONLY ONE who can fix or doctor any type of “spiritual” emergency.

Such was the case in the lives of Jesus’ earthly parents, Joseph and Mary. In the book of Luke, chapter 2, verses 41 through 52, we find the account of Jesus getting separated from his parents during their visit to Jerusalem. The two parents had traveled an entire day’s journey when they suddenly discovered that twelve-year-old Jesus was nowhere to be found. As any parent would do, they panicked. In this day and time an “Amber Alert” would be issued. Where was Jesus?

The key to this lesson can be found in verse 44, “But they, supposing him to have been in the company, went a day’s journey; and they sought him among their kinsfolk and acquaintance.”

In a “natural” emergency it is absolutely correct and fully acceptable to seek out help among our kinsfolk, friends, first responders, and secular resources. But, such is not the case in a “spiritual” emergency. And, having Jesus missing from the traveling caravan was definitely a “spiritual” emergency. Anytime, Jesus is missing from our lives it is definitely a “spiritual” emergency!

The Bible teaches us that Mary and Joseph sought Jesus for “three days” among kinsfolk and acquaintances. Three whole days! Three entire days of asking the “wrong” people for the “right” answer. It was not until Mary and Joseph traveled back to Jerusalem and went “inside” of the Temple that they found Jesus being about his Father’s business. Jesus is always about his Father’s business! No need looking for Him anywhere else!

If Mary and Joseph would have called 463 (God) instead of 911 (earthly resources), they would have saved themselves three days of searching and three days of panic and fear. And, that’s exactly what you and I should do when we are faced with “spiritual” emergencies within our lives. We can seek out the help, assistance, and advice of “kinsfolk” and “acquaintances” (friends), or we can go straight to God (463) as our “first responder” and find immediate help for our problem(s), situation, spiritual crisis, or circumstances.

Like Mary and Joseph, it’s easier at times to seek Jesus out among our friends and family, but we won’t find Him. Jesus will always be with the Father. And, we can only find the Father when we find the Son; for they are One and the same (John 17). Where do we find both Father and Son? We can find them in the blessed old Book known as the Bible. We can also find them both on our knees in prayer and fasting (James 5:16). We can find them when we look for them in the “correct” places and not among the world, our friends, or even our family members.

Yes; of course, our friends and family can provide comforting and encouraging words in times of need, but they cannot COMFORT and HEAL or change our circumstances. I am sure that Mary and Joseph’s friends and family provided comforting words in their time of panic, but not even they knew for certain where Jesus was. Jesus can always be found with God…And, only God knows HIS will for our lives. And, we can only find HIS “will” for our lives when we seek God in the right places. It is then, and only then, that GOD can heal and fix our “spiritual” emergency and set us back on the right path.

So, the next time you are faced with a “natural” emergency definitely call 911 and seek help immediately. But, the next time you are faced with a “spiritual” emergency call 463 (GOD) and seek His help immediately! The time you save seeking God’s help instead of man’s help in a “spiritual” emergency may just save your life; both spiritually and physically. Our God is the FIRST RESPONDER we should seek when it comes to “spiritual” emergencies! Amen.

(*Please note, the numbers 463 spell out God on your telephones’ keypad.)

Remember, GOD LOVES YOU!
Lin T Rollins, M.Ed, Author

Bearing One Another in Love…

“He That Loveth His Brother Abideth in the Light” (I John 2:10 KJV)

Bearing One Another in Love…” Ok, we all have to admit there are times when people simply get on our nerves. It can be a co-worker, neighbor, friend, family member, our own children, or even our spouse. Or, at times, it can be a combination of everyone we know and everyone around us!

Humans have a tendency of getting under one another’s skin from time to time; even with the best of intentions. It is important to recognize when we start having these irritated feelings. If we don’t, it can lead to our saying something in haste or acting in a manner that we might regret later on. I know I have certainly been guilty of “reacting” towards someone or something and later on greatly regretting it.

So, what can we do when we are feeling anxious, irritated, annoyed, frustrated, impatient, bothered, and put out by someone; or a group of someones? If you are like me, you may want to lock yourself in a closet until all these feelings of irritation have dissipated. But, if you are like me you simply cannot afford to lock yourself up in a closet or take a mini-vacation at a moment’s notice! So, you press onward in hopes of not blowing a gasket.

Did you know that God knows and understands the many issues of the human heart? Much of the New Testament is directed at relationships and how we are to “bear one another in Love” in rougher and more challenging times. Instead of telling the “world” when we are experiencing feelings of annoyance why not tell God? In the book of Ephesians, chapter four, Paul wrote to the church at Ephesus to, “Be patient, bearing with one another in love.” Being patient within our own strength often fails…We need God’s strength to get us through such times. The key is to remember how much God “bears” (tolerates and puts up) with us!

God is a Holy God, and every born-again believer falls short of His glory each and every day. But, God loves us unconditionally; therefore, he “bears” with us through our worse days; and even worse days. The Bible teaches, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me,” including going to Him in prayer asking for His strength to “bear” during unbearable times.

We’ve all failed miserably in this area in one way or another. But, the Lord wants to “teach” us how to “bear with one another in HIS love.” Don’t worry if you are still working on this area in your own life…Most of us do at one time or another. Just today as I was reflecting over a particular matter within my own life that is somewhat stressful God reminded me that He “bears” with my shortcomings every day. I immediately replied, “That’s right, Lord, you do.” And, His Peace came into my heart. I love when the Spirit shows up in a matter to give us His victory.

“Thank you, Lord, for teaching us how to “bear one another in love.” May we not forget how much YOU bear with us each and every day. Amen.”

Remember, God Loves You!
Lin T Rollins, M.Ed, Author

“In His Time…”

“In His Time…”

Waiting, and being patient while we wait, is not always easy. We live in an instant society. Modern-day technology has served us well, but it has also left us paralyzed with the inability to “wait” without murmuring and complaining. Nevertheless, no matter how “fast” man can accomplish certain tasks, it cannot ever change GOD’s ways, purpose, and plan for mankind…”Stand Still and See the Salvation of the Lord.” (Exodus 14:13)

Face it, standing still and being patient while God moves on a situation, matter, or person can cause the most patient of saints to cringe just a little. We want God to “hurry up” and make things right or resolve the matter as quickly as possible. We don’t like discomfort, because we are a society of comfort. It may be difficult to understand this concept, but God is more interested in building our Faith than He is in making us feel comfortable!

As hard as we might try to please God with our efforts, the Bible teaches us, “Without faith it is impossible to please God…” (Hebrews 11:6). And, the Bible also teaches us that “Faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen.” (Hebrews 11:1). While we are “waiting” for that particular situation, matter, or person to change, God is changing us! He is strengthening us and conditioning us to place our HOPE and FAITH in GOD who will take care of things in HIS time and in HIS way; not ours. That’s not always an easy lesson or standard to learn and accomplish…We must learn to wait on God and not try to “fix” things ourselves. The Bible is filled with examples of where “man” tried to “fix” things only to make them worse or create even a bigger mess.

Today, you may be “waiting” on God to fix or resolve a matter. If so, I want to encourage you to “Stand still and see the Salvation of the Lord.” Stand steady in your Faith. Stand steady in your prayers. Stand steady in your faithfulness…And, you are never standing taller in the presence of God than when you are bending your knees in prayer! The Psalmist said, “Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD. (Psalm 27:14). Remember, ALL things work together for those who love the Lord who are called according to His purpose. (Romans 8:28)…”In His Time…” “In His Time…” Amen…

Remember (while you are waiting) that GOD LOVES YOU!
Lin T Rollins, M.Ed. Author