Monthly Archives: March 2015

Mess up? Repent and get up.

repentance

This past weekend I let my mouth get away from me… again.

I made a comment, a small comment that was lost in the hustle and bustle of current conversation, but I went home thinking about it. “I shouldn’t have said that.”

I tossed and turned that night. “I shouldn’t have said that!”

The next day I apologized. Apparently she had not thought about it as much as I had (yes, I am a sensitive soul), but she acknowledged the wrong-doing and met me with grace. Thank you, friend.

These moments put me in such a tailspin. “Lord, fire me! I can’t work for you. I mess things up. I am totally unworthy. I am not qualified to be your servant.”

Does anyone else hear these whispers? “You can’t serve the King! Don’t you know all the wrong you’ve done? You make mistakes. Big mistakes, small mistakes, red, blue and green mistakes. Sometimes it’s not a mistake at all. It’s a purposeful decision to do wrong. You knew better but didn’t listen. And now you think you can ask for forgiveness? Think again.”

Oh the voices! The voices of our flesh that condemn, judge, and keep us far away from the throne of holiness, right where we deserve to be. And honestly, they are partially true. Our thoughts, words, and actions do condemn us. We deserve to be far away from God. That’s why it can be such a struggle, especially for those who are like myself and love all things to be fair. This isn’t fair! I am not getting what I deserve.

I put smudges of dirt on my cheeks and He gently cleans.

I rip my shirt and He patches it.

I choose the flesh and He disciplines me. Redeems me. Corrects me. Teaches me.

“I have blotted out, like a thick cloud, your transgressions, and like a cloud, your sins. Return to me, for I have redeemed you.” Isaiah 44:22

The fairness of my flesh fights this concept. Doesn’t everything of the flesh fight the Spirit?

“You can’t just accept His grace. It’s not fair. You don’t deserve it.”

For those of you who are heavy laden with a life of choices and actions that are not deserving of grace, let me ask you: what then is grace? If grace is given to only those who deserve it, it is no longer grace. Grace exists only because our wrong-doing exists, and every wrong-doing doesn’t deserve it.

Isn’t that humbling? We are not worthy. We are not qualified. We are not deserving. We are not perfect and never will be. We are in desperate need of a Savior.

For our big mistakes, small mistakes, “I didn’t even realize I did that” mistakes. Our purposeful choices of sin and death. Our careless words, our selfish thoughts and actions, and our pride in refusing His grace for ourselves or extending it to others.

Perhaps you have someone in your life that likes to remind you how unworthy you are. Perhaps that someone in your life is you. Do you constantly remind yourself that you are not worthy of the calling? Do you mess up and give up? Do the lies come attacking, “You are not worthy of grace or forgiveness. You’ve done it now. DISQAULIFIED.”

Disqualified. The problem with this word is that it insinuates at one point you qualified. You didn’t! You accepted His grace to begin this journey with Him and must accept it to continue. That leaves you with no excuse. If you want to be disqualified from the work of the Kingdom, you must refuse His covering. It is your choice; perhaps you cannot accept His grace-filled sacrifice on your behalf. Or maybe you would rather live life on your own terms, without a covering and without such a distinction between flesh and Spirit, light and darkness.

For those of you who want to be washed clean, He’s waiting. For those who want to repent, the time is now. This is when all of the “partial truths” of condemnation are put to death. You are qualified because He qualifies you. You are forgiven because He forgives you. You are worthy because He who is in you is worthy. Now get up and keep walking! I am sending out the call: if ever you’ve wondered, “Should I get serious about this? Can I really have a close relationship with Him?” the answer is yes and yes and start today. Will you be perfect from here on out? Absolutely not. But when you fall, you get up again.

“And he arose and came to his father. But when he was still a great way off, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and fell on his neck and kissed him. And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight, and am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet.. for this my son was dead and is alive again.’ Luke 15:20-24

To all of the voices (either literal or imaginative) that condemn you- have they spread out the sky? Do they give life to your body? Do they know the expanse of the oceans or can they number the stars? Did they spread out their arms to pay your penalty of sin?

No. No, they didn’t. No, you didn’t. Mere people do not hold the position to condemn or not to condemn. You have one ultimate Judge.

“There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.” Romans 8:1

For those are alive in Yeshua, submit to His authority, accept His grace and walk in His Spirit. Understand that if He wants to unfairly extend forgiveness and continue to use you for His Kingdom purposes, that is His call, not yours. It’s not fair for you to play God and decide for yourself what is best, but you can. You can decide your own graceless, sin-laden, “this is what is fair and right” route if you so desire. It will not be a pleasant one. Refusing to properly deal with sin is not pleasant.

Sin is serious. Let’s not forget that. Sin is very serious. When He corrects, be corrected. When He rebukes, listen! When you fall, repent before you get up. Repent means turn from your ways! It is not a small deal to behave according to the flesh. It’s wrong!

“Of how much worse punishment, do you suppose, will he be thought worthy who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, counted the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified a common thing, and insulted the Spirit of grace?” Hebrews 10:29

The atonement provided went above and beyond the weight of sin. It was a huge deal that deserves our utmost respect. On that same train of thought, we can know it was so powerful that it did indeed atone for our sin. Therefore, we don’t need to hide. We can’t hide.

This concept of grace is probably not a new one but regardless, it is so important. I need this truth desperately in my life. We as a body need to know where we stand in His name before we can function properly. We need intimate relationships taking place, from heart to heart. Repentance to forgiveness. Reconciliation, vertically and horizontally.

“Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Yeshua (Jesus) the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession…. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and grace to help in time of need.” Hebrew 4:14-16

Truly in His grace,

Aubrie

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Hidden Prophecy in the Book of Esther!

In my post yesterday, I talked about Esther’s brave words: “And if I perish, I perish.”

Lord, continue to work on my heart and the hearts of Your people to bring us to this place of surrender! And for all of the men, women and children who are persecuted and killed on account of Your name, Abba, please pour out Your Spirit on them. Surround their homes with Your peace, and in places where chaos reigns, surround their hearts. Fill their hearts with You until they are overflowing, that those around them may see You and glorify Your name. That even those who are filled with rage and darkness would see a great light, and reach for Your salvation. Amen.

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This past January marked the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. The Holocaust is a dark, bloody memory that will not soon be forgotten.

jews

The word holocaust means:

1. Destruction or slaughter on a mass scale, especially caused by fire or nuclear war.

2. Sacrifice by fire that is completely burned up.

A man from Persia (present day Iran) desired a holocaust for the Jewish people some time ago. You can find that story in the book of Esther.

A man from Germany (originally from Austria) desired a holocaust for the Jewish people a mere 82 years ago. You can find that story in history books and on the faces of our elderly.

A man from Iran (and probably a few other men from a few other countries) desires a holocaust for the Jewish people as soon as he is capable. You can find this story in the news.

The idea of completely ridding this planet of Jewish people is not a new one. It’s rather old. It is an ancient hatred.

For time purposes, this blog post is going to be rather staccato. Please bear with me till the end; the facts are just astounding!

In the book of Esther, and in other parts of the Bible as well, certain Hebrew letters are written in a different size than the rest of the letters. The copying of the Torah was such an important task, that every little detail was carried over, including the randomly different sized letters.

The book of Esther contains three of these letters, which occur during the listing of Haman’s ten sons.

“And in Shushan the citadel the Jews killed and destroyed five hundred men. Also Parshandatha, Dalphon, Aspatha, Poratha, Adalia, Aridatha, Parmashta, Arisai, Aridai, and Vajezatha- the ten sons of Haman the son of Hammedatha, the enemy of the Jews, they killed.” Esther 9:7-9

The first letter abnormality is in the first name and it is the letter tav (pronounced tahv).

The second is in the seventh name and it is the letter shin (pronounced sheen).

The third is in the tenth name and it is the letter zayin (pronounced zai-yeen).

In the Hebrew alphabet, every letter corresponds to a numerical value. They use their alphabet as their numbers! So, if you wanted to list things 1-2-3, you would write an “aleph-bet-gimmel” (the first three letters *for those who know the Hebrew alphabet song, don’t be confused-bet/vet corresponds to the same number 2).

Each letter has a specific value.

The numerical value for the letter tav is 400.

The value for shin is 300.

The value for zayin is 7.

Added together, this number is 707.

“Then Esther said, ‘If it pleases the king, let it be granted to the Jews who are in Shushan to do again tomorrow according to today’s decree, and let Haman’s ten sons be hanged on the gallows.’” Esther 9:13

After listing all of the ten sons who were already killed in the fighting, Esther makes a strange request here: to hang the ten sons. The ten sons who were already dead! Just keep these facts on your back-burner.

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juliusOn October 16, 1946, in Nuremberg, Germany, 10 high ranking Nazi officials were executed by hanging. This was not the normal means for execution. Firing squads were much more common during this time. But these ten were hung. Among those executed was a man named Julius Streicher who was the founder and publisher of a popular newspaper which was used widely by the Nazi regime to aid the spread of anti-semitism. When he mounted the platform of the gallows he made a final sneer, shouting “Purim-Fest 1946!”

Little did he know how correct he was. The ten men who were hung that day were prophesied about years earlier in a small book of the Bible- the story of Esther, through the unexpected hanging of Haman’s ten sons.

On the Hebrew calendar, October 16, 1946 corresponded to the 21st day of the seventh month (the month is commonly called Tishrei), which was interestingly also the seventh day of the Feast of Tabernacles (also known as Sukkot- see Leviticus 23:33-36).

So, to put these dates back to back:

October 16, 1946- The Hanging of Ten Nazi War Criminals corresponds to…. get this…..

Tishrei 21, in the Hebrew calendar year of 5,707!

Now fast forward to just last week. The Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made a controversial trip to the White House to speak on behalf of Israel. He certainly wasn’t summoned by the “king” (sound familiar?), but he came anyways.

iran presIn a plea that sounded strikingly similar to that of Esther’s, he made clear what has already been made clear: Iran (remember, home-town of Haman) wants nothing more than to annihilate Israel off the face of the map (his words, not mine). This is Iran’s supreme leader Khamenei to the left.

Once nuclear capabilities are ready, holocaust will be the perfect word: destruction or slaughter on a mass scale, especially caused by fire or nuclear war.

He stood in front of congress on March 3, 2015 (last week Tuesday).

On the Hebrew calendar the date was Adar 12, 5775 (again, last week Tuesday).

(*and for those of you who are like me and are checking to make sure all these numbers add up, the Hebrew calendar year moves up in value in the fall- so this fall will be the year 5,776)

“And the letters were sent by couriers into all the king’s provinces, to destroy, to kill, and to annihilate all the Jews, both young and old, little children and women, in one day, on the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, which is the month of Adar…” Esther 3:13

But we know how that story ends. The 13th day of Adar was not a holocaust of the Jewish people, it was a victory. Their mourning was turned into gladness, and their sorrow into joy.

Do you think that all of these are mere coincidences?

Do you think that our God is so big and deep and all-knowing that He could work in ways like this to get our attention?

I do.

Our God is not dead; He is surely alive.

-aubrie

PS. I do not take any credit for the revelation of any of this information! This is all “out there” already for you to search out on your own if you so desire.

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And if I perish, I perish.

 

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We are so far past the days of kings and queens in this country that it is hard to imagine the trepidation. After all, it was only a conversation. A woman simply wanted to have a conversation with her husband.

But that wasn’t up to her. If conversations needed to take place, protocol was to sit and wait until Husband decided conversations could take place. Might I add, in this story, Husband is also King.

But the pressure was rising. Time was ticking. The loud cries of hopelessness was a constant reminder.

Whenever she left the palace, she could see the children tugging on their mothers’ dresses, “Mom, what’s wrong? Why is everyone so sad? What is happening?”

And the mothers attempts to avert the conversation. How long until they couldn’t hide it anymore?

The men could scarcely keep it a secret. They were constantly gathering together, trying to find a way to protect their families. Many times the city was a blend of noise- weeping and wailing to high heaven and heated speeches. Something had to be done… but what? What could they do, surrounded by people who wanted nothing more than their blood running through the dirt roads? Who would help, when even the government had them signed, sealed, and delivered to death?

And now all eyes were on Hadassah. “Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?”

Mordecai was always right. Nevermind that he was like a father to her and she loved him so dearly she would do anything he asked just because he asked it, he was always right. He loved God more than life. It had gotten him in trouble from time to time, but that never stopped him. And now he was asking the same of her. Could she do it? Could she go to the king unsummoned? It could literally cost her life. If not that then maybe her position as queen, her marriage, her home, her livelihood, everything that her life entailed if she was free to live.

And he would finally know the truth. Her husband would know her long kept secret. At Mordecai’s request she had not said a word about her heritage or the fact that she was an Israelite. She had taken on the Persian name Esther. Queen Esther. And now her wise cousin wanted her to reveal it all! Logically thinking, this would be the time to sigh in relief, “Thank goodness I hid my identity! Now perhaps my life will be spared if no one spills my secret.”

But no. Her people asked her to spill her own secret, in the most dangerous of circumstances.

She’s fasted for three days but is far from hungry. What is eating and drinking against a death sentence? Her stomach flipped. Will I really die? How will he kill me? Fear coursed through her body, through her veins, and her heart beat harder at its demand.

Calm down Esther. Calm down. She sat down, breathing deeply, and looked up at the sky through her window. She let her mind travel back in time, searching for faith.

“Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

If only she could go back to that moment. She remembered hearing Mordecai read those words by the glow of the fire, his face lit up by the dancing flame as he spoke.

“Remember Hadassah, remember this: God is with you wherever you go, just as He was with Joshua many years ago when our people entered the land. We do not need to be afraid of things in this life.”

We do not need to be afraid of things in this life. What can man do to me? Isn’t that what King David said? If I perish, I perish.

Esther put her fingers to her neck. Ba-boom, ba-boom. Her pace had slowed. Standing up, she straightened her dress and looked down the hall. A mere thirty feet away was the door. His door. The door no one, not even his own wife, could walk through unannounced.

But in that moment Hadassah, an orphaned Israelite girl turned Esther Queen of Persia, in the most unlikely of events, was about to do just that. With her head bowed down, she felt a cry for help leave her heart. Strength. Courage. Hope. Faith. Step… by step …. by step.

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This is a fictional story based upon the true story of Esther, as found in the Bible. Every year, Purim is celebrated around the world in remembrance of the amazing turn of events that brought God’s people from “sorrow to joy.. and from mourning to a holiday, that they should make them days of feasting and joy, of sending presents to one another and gifts to the poor.” Esther 9:22

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Strength, courage, hope, faith. “Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?”

This story of Esther is a living one, much like everything else written in the Bible.

It is for us. You. Not only Esther, not thousands of years ago. You… now.

Can you take that step? Can you say those words “If I perish, I perish?” There are Believers that can in the world today and they are perishing  as I type. Maybe not in your neighborhood, maybe not right in front of you, but get in the news. It’s happening.

martyrs

Ask yourself. Be honest. Too often we like to assume we are on track with the right answer, but what are right answers in the mouth? Honesty is the foundation for growth. It is better to be honestly off track and take steps for growth than to piously gloss over serious questions. Are you really willing to lose it all for the sake of Christ? What about your business or your job? What about your home? And here’s a hard one: what about other peoples’ acceptance and approval?

Jesus’ teachings were highly unpopular with some people while He walked this earth. His teachings are still highly unpopular with some people and I’d say that number is probably on the rise. What if that makes you highly unpopular? Is it worth it?

Are you willing to identify with Him? Are you willing to “go and make disciples of all nations.. teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you” even if the phrase “observe things that I have commanded” makes your audience uncomfortable? But look at the end of the verse here, “And lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Matthew 28

Just as He was with Joshua, just as He was with Esther, so is He with you. Take heart, body of Believers. Take heart.

“Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9

Bride, we need to be that Esther. We need to be willing to lay it all down. We have come to His Kingdom for such a time as this. If we perish, we perish. If our social standings perish, they perish. If our jobs perish, they perish. If we are mocked, rejected, or called crazy for it, we can know that He has traveled this path first.

I know it’s not easy. I know futures can seem daunting and that world news is horrifying and that sharing the Gospel is complicated because so many hear its words of love and cry “Hate! Hate! Hate!”

Believe me. I have felt the discouragement that is hanging in the air. I have even let it hang up its coat in my own heart. But not today. Not right now.

“And lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” -Yeshua

In faith, and hope, and love,

aubrie

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