911 – What is your emergency?

We will never forget… ever!

Gracious Heavenly Father, we humble ourselves and pray… help us to seek you, turn from the ways of the past – forgive us and restore our land! In Jesus name, Amen

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Dangerous Prayers

If God is really listening – what would you say to Him today about your life or situation? Many will want to say, I want all war and disease to end and I believe that one day that is exactly what is going to happen but let’s focus on the right now…

What would you ask Him today to help you with?

Many ask the question, is God really even listening. The atheist wants to scoff at the idea that God of any sort would bother answering anyone and if He is all that, how could he ever do that. What they fail to consider is that an all-knowing God can do all He sets His mind too!

In the Book of Daniel there are several examples of God’s response right in the midst of the prayer being spoken. That shows that God is not only willing to listen but to dramatically intervene when necessary but work on our behalf regardless!

Billy Graham once said about prayer, that it is a conversation with God where we listen as much as we talk. Have you ever thought about listening to God? There is a passage in 1 Samuel 3:9 where the young man says to God, “Speak, Lord; for thy servant is listening…” God speaks to the young man. What about you and me… can we do this? I believe the answer is yes. Have you asked God to speak with you recently? Have you sought to get quiet and enter His presence and ask Him to speak to you? I challenge you to do this today.

What is your greatest need today? Have you asked God about it? Why not?

I had a guy tell me the other day that when he was really struggling with drugs he asked God to intervene and help him get clean for a little while so that he could stand on his own two feet and stay clean. God answered the next day…

What about this prayer… Search me oh Lord, know me and send me where you would have me go! It’s dangerous but it could change everything!

Grace Is Enough

Grace can be someone’s name…

Grace can be referred to as what we say before a meal…

Grace can be an attribute given to an athlete or certain animals… normally called, “Graceful”…

Grace can refer to poise… elegance…

Grace, in financial terms, can be a period of time given for a delayed payment…

In the worldly terms, this is about all it means but in God’s terms…

IT MEANS SO MUCH MORE!

Grace brings us back to life!

He bought us with the price of His life… that is grace! We don’t deserve it and can’t repay it… we are incapable. We can’t work to pay off our debt and nor are we indentured servants – He tells us that the We are free indeed!

So what are we to do then?

First, we receive the gift by faith!

Second, we come to understand that this gift is empowering us to do the work an fulfill the plan He has for us! Which is a great big ginormous plan!

Third, we are to share… give it away to others!

OUR REALITY

Yet, so often we try to do it all our own. We are told to just handle it… pull ourselves up by our bootstraps.. put our big girl panties on, suck it up buttercup… etc. We have grace at our right hand but we neglect it, refuse it with the words…. “I GOT THIS!”

The truth is that most of the time we don’t got it. We are overwhelmed… but we just hunker down and try to just survive.

Not only that, we live in the shadow of our past, when grace has set us free. Why do we continue to drag around the past that we are supposed to be done with? Why do we continue to flirt with the past and the things that brought us down to the bottom of the pit last time? Grace has paid the price for our freedom, while we are flirting with disaster! We have the power to run and not grow tired and soar on wings like eagles and yet we find ourselves content with rolling around in the mud… why?

The reality is we haven’t fully grasped the gift that has been placed in our hearts. We have received it but it’s like we haven’t unwrapped it… nor have we plummeted into its depths, which have no end.

Grace has redeemed us from the fall while we are still circling the drain…

Let grace grip you… let it help you be done with the baggage of a past that has been bought and paid for!

Be free… embraced by grace!

No Titles…

This world gets so caught up in labels and titles… it helps to classify you, so we don’t really have to get to know anyone. My name is __________ and I am a ___________. What else does the world need to know?

To serve you coffee… nothing

To sell you something… nothing

But if they want to get to know you, they must go deeper. Social media tends to cheapen that process because we can hide behind filters and memes!

So how do we really get to know someone? We spend time with them. We hear about their life. We ask questions and really listen. We discover truths about them that the world may miss because they hasten to place labels…

What about Jesus Christ?

First, how does the world label Him? Some call him a good man that lived a long-time ago. Others call him a myth. Some say he was just a prophet and nothing more. There are more labels but that will suffice for now.

So how do we know the truth and not some sound bit or cliche? We get to know Him! We read what He wrote… we listen to His story… we spend time talking with Him. What will you call Him once you get to know Him?

Let me tell you what I call Him –

Savior! He saved me from the mess I made

Transformer! He took me at my worst and began a work in me that changed everything.

My Strength! On my own, I am powerless over this world but in Him I am powerful!

Conqueror! He conquered the enemy and the power of death over humanity!

My Protector!

Friend! He tells that if I do what He tells me to do in His word, I am His friend.

The more I get to know Him, the more I want to be like Him!

He is my all – Do you know Him? Would you like to get to know Him? Just call out to Him in faith – he Hears you!

Who Am I?

The world wants to define me as…

Whatever suits their purpose… if they want to sell me something, they want to influence or manipulate…

If they want to judge me… they look at my past and label me

If they want to get something from me… they may flatter me

If they want to have nothing to do with… they can categorize me

But if they want to understand me… they have to get to know me, but…

What would they discover if they really got to know me?

They would discover that I am not very religious, as the world defines it…

The Bible defines religion as visiting the orphan and the widow, while living a life unspotted by the world. I am not very religious….

But I am very much into my relationship with Jesus Christ… I spend time with Him everyday… we talk and I read what He has written. He moves me and I move… I get it wrong, miss some things but I believe by making a mistake in the right direction, trying to help or make a difference, I am still growing in this relationship, as He grows in me…

So, who am I …

I am a seeker… I seek the Son of God and His mysteries, along with the calling He has put on my life

I am transformed, daily… If you had known me before, you wouldn’t recognize me today! Jesus has done a work in me that I can’t easily explain… except to say that I am a new man, new creation and the old has passed away… the old me has died!

I am a stumbler… I fall every day! Glory be to God, He is there to pick me up… it’s part of the relationship of love that He has with me… it brings me to tears to consider that much love… for me. It’s like a mother or father of a special needs child, they will do anything to protect that child and just know that they must be there with them forever… I am very much a special needs child in this world and my Heavenly Father loves me, unconditionally… even as a stumbler!

There are things that I do but they are not me. There are things that I have and don’t have but they do not define me.

I am who Jesus says I am…even if I struggle…

I am stronger than I can comprehend (Philippians 4:13)

I am more than a conqueror (Romans 8:37)

I am loved… (The Whole Bible is a love letter He wrote to me!)

Cliff…

The Art of a Grateful Heart

07/11/18

The Art of A Grateful Heart

A heart is a fragile thing… it can so easily fall apart.

One touch – one strong word in defiance

And its reliance upon the object of its affection

Shatters like a fine china tea cup…

But you, oh Lord… YOU promise something more…

Something different… You promise to overcome the world

You promise to bind up the broken hearted

You promise to give us Your heart in exchange for ours

Lord, my heart has been broken…

Sometimes by my own bad choices…

Other times by the broken and ragged edges of this shattered world

Come perform Holy Heart Surgery On Me today.

Teach my heart, that is now your heart, to be strong

Teach my heart, that is now your heart, to know YOU

Teach my heart, that is now your heart, to not be afraid

To be fearless…

Teach my heart, your heart in me, to be grateful…

For you didn’t have to do any of it… you gave your all for me

Chased me down when I was running away…

In my guilt and shame… in my cataclysmic mess you scooped up my ashes

And gave me Beauty… you spoke into my heart and gave me eternity as a gift…

A beautiful – perfect gift to be treasured and shared…

You lifted my heaviness off my struggling back and gave me something to shout about… too sing about…

Lord, I am grateful… even when I don’t say it or feel it.

For I know from whence I came… I remember the pit you pulled me out of.

I know the depth…

So I am eternally grateful… I love You Jesus…

Sincerely,                                                                          grateful heart

My Grateful Heart

Body Camera’s Are Now An Amazon Bestseller!

We all know that police all over America are now wearing body camera’s. We have all seen the infamous footage of police dash camera’s. Some of the footage has been infamous, others we would have rather not seen.

But did you know….

If you go to Amazon you can buy body camera’s, sunglasses camera’s and helmet camera’s. You can also buy your very own dash camera for your car. The police started wearing them to provide evidence that was indisputable, one way or the other, of what was going on in the pursuit, apprehension and detainment of those suspected of a crime. Now, there is more to it than that but those issues are not the important point. But today, everyday people are wearing them. I was interested as to why…

What I discovered was that some have begun to wear them as a way of documenting sexual harassment. Others have begun to wear them to create YouTube content from the crazy things they do. Others, just because they think it’s cool. The new surge in Uber and Lyft drivers have spurred the purchasing of the dash camera’s but others have begun to do it as well.

But my question is, what about God? Doesn’t He see everything? What about all the things that the camera’s don’t see? He still sees it. With that in mind, how should we conduct ourselves? How should we conduct ourselves at work… in our daily lives… in the drive on the way to anywhere… in our homes… behind closed doors? And here is the real kicker… He even knows our thoughts ! So what are we to do?

It’s simple but difficult… we surrender! We are never going to get it all perfect… It’s impossible. So we surrender our whole lives to God and ask Him to help. The Bible tells us that we are transformed by the renewing of our minds. We must surrender our minds. What about our work life? We should work as thought we are working for Jesus! I know…. I know… your boss here on earth is no Jesus, but… just realize that we answer to Him and who know’s if our godly example doesn’t begin a work in that boss! As far as those crazy drivers go, just pray for them. Praying will help you refocus on what is good and right.

Now, what about the rest of it… realize that you are going to slip up so give yourself so me grace. Yet, don’t allow this to be an excuse that you use to justify bad behavior and ongoing bad choices. In Hebrews 12:1-2a it says …

“Therefore since we are surrounded by such a huge cloud of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run the race with endurance that God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith…”

Follow Jesus! We will talk more about this next time – So until then, remember – You are His Masterpiece and you have a Holy Spirit Cam that sees far more than anything man devise.

Love Came Down!

Have you ever been reaching for something on a shelf that seems just out of reach? How about a goal you have tried to achieve that seems just beyond your capacity? What about that promotion? What about letting go of the addiction? What about moving on past a bad relationship? What about love… just beyond your reach?

So much in life just seems to be out of reach. We want to feel loved, be loved and ultimately give love. Why is life so hard?

I will tell you that at my lowest point, I discovered something – I had been unable to love because I had never received the love of Christ in my heart. You see, God is love and if He is not the Lord of our lives – true, deep and abiding love is impossible. When I came to understand that, I wept…

The beauty of God’s love is that we don’t have to reach for it or earn it. God sent love down to us in the form of beautiful baby born, as foretold. Love came down for you and for me… Thank you Jesus!!

Merry Christmas Y’all!

Cliff Robertson, Jr.

Pastor, The Carpenter’s House

The Call & The Confirmation

When God calls you to something, how do you know for sure? I mean really, really sure? This is a question that we all wrestle with. I read the call of Saul/Paul and wonder if God will do that for me. I understand how King David was called out of the sheepfold, literally, to be anointed King of Israel.

Then we have Jesus speaking audibly to the disciples as He walked to them. He preached in their boats and performed miracles and then told them you haven’t seen anything yet. Does Jesus still do that today? Lord, will you do that for me?

So is the call just as powerful today as it was then? Lord?

YES! IT IS!

I believe it is just as strong today as it was then due to the power of the Holy Spirit! It’s different today, a still small voice or a gentle knowing, yet still just as real.

How do we know for sure that it is God calling us and not our own will? Well, there are a number of things to look at.

  1. Is the call consistent with His Word? If it isn’t, then the answer is that it is your will driving the car.
  2. If the call is consistent with His Word, is it something you have prayed about? If not, then pray about it now! Ask God to help make it clear to you.
  3. Have others confirmed the call without being asked? What I mean is, have others told you that you would be good at this or that, serving as confirmation of what you believe that God has already told you? God will often provide us confirmation this way. Just today, I had someone tell me that they believed that writing was part of my call from God. I didn’t ask them but they saw my last post and prayed about it. Then they reached out to me today and gave me some much needed encouragement and confirmation.
  4. Speak with you Pastor. Share your heart with him and what you believe you are being called to do. Listen to him.
  5. Don’t allow your lack of experience or training to be a deterrent. If God called you, He will prepare you.
  6. Don’t let lack of resources discourage you. If it is God’s will, it is his bill.
  7. If it meets many of the above points and falls in line with your gifts from God, look out, you have a job to do.

I know that this is a pretty simple list and there can be a lot more to it. What I want to encourage you to do is to simply …call

God will help you walk out the rest. I would rather step out in faith and be wrong, than hold back and miss the opportunity due to fear.

One of the things that my seminary professor said that has always stuck with me is,

“If God has called you to do it, it may not get done if you don’t do it.” faith

But we still have the choice to make – will we say, YES or NO? I will tell you that when you fail to choose, you are saying no. When you say no to God’s call, you will never see peace because you have forsaken it. What we have to understand is that we are either walking with God or we are walking away from God. Answering God’s call will be one of the greatest things you will ever do, along with the hardest. But we have the strength and power that raised Christ from the dead to carry it out! Trust Him!

I hope this helps but if you have questions or comments, I encourage you to reach out to me here or email – drcliffrobertsonjr@gmail.com

Praise Him!

Cliff Robertson, Jr. ThD

 

Next Step…?

Hmmm… So I have declared that I am beginning to write again (see previous post). Now what? I think I need to get back to the books I had started writing. I have thought about articles, more blog posts, short stories…

Lord, what would you have me to do? I feel I am hearing books… So I am going to break out the crates and get to it! The first one will most likely be The Transformation Project – a memoir on my story.

So today, I say YES!

The first step is saying Yes. But I have said yes before but there was no plan. So today, while I say yes to write, again, today I have a plan. The plan means that I write everyday – maybe not a lot but some with a purpose. I have allowed the chains of busyness to hold me back. But today I say no more. I am a writer…

I have been published twice… it is time to do it again and again!