Sunday, June 27, 2010

Roberts Quotes for the Week (2) by Robert Ricciardelli

The Power of Humility by Robert Ricciardelli

While seeking humility the Lord may put someone else in our place, and take away all our rights, while telling us, "wait for Me". He will put us through discipline. Letting go of our rights so Father can give us His rights is not an easy road.  It can not be done in the flesh but is a mighty fruit of the Spirit within. You can remain in Him and reign for Him in the power of dwelling in humility.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Living "Departure" Ready by Robert Ricciardelli

Often times a death of a loved one can leave people devastated and permanently wounded. Words of love left unsaid, forgiveness never received or given, or wisdom never imparted. The power and testimony of God's grace can be far reaching when we can communicate love, forgiveness, and wisdom before we depart from this world. If we live this now, our lives can be a gift that carries power and a legacy for those who remain.

Friday, June 25, 2010

False Centers Exposed by Robert Ricciardelli

"Eyes that have not seen will see. Ears that have not heard, will hear My sound. My sound will resonate above the noise of confusion, and beyond the bankruptcy of religion. False centers have risen up and missed My center, which is Me. What they have created and called Me has stood in the way of who I am, and cannot contain I Am. My Kingdom ever expands, and My glory will fill every gap upon the earth.”

Thursday, June 24, 2010

The Transformational Habitation of God by Robert Ricciardelli

Many people are looking for a visitation from God, when God is already here, and within us. What we need is a people who will submit their lives to Him and allow His Kingdom purposes to flow through them. As His people allow for His presence to come forth, atmosphere will change and miraculous encounters will be manifested. The habitation of God in us is more than enough to change the world for His glory.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

He Prepares a Place For Us by Robert Ricciardelli

Jesus said that in His Fathers house there are many rooms, and that He would prepare a place for us. Heaven is not our goal but our destiny. In the mean time we do not need to fear death, but embrace life with faith and the favor of God. Death has no sting, but much gain through Christ for eternity. Regarding the place prepared for us, Jesus says, "If it were not so, I would have told you."

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Living both Empty and Filled by Robert Ricciardelli

In our journey with Christ we find fulfillment in our pursuit of His desires. We become empty of self in order to be filled by His life and purpose. We empty the cups of our lives completely to be able to receive the fullness of life from God. Jesus experienced on the cross, a moment of complete emptiness and complete fullness. May the cups of our lives be fulfilled through Him.

Drinking from the Cup of Life by Robert Ricciardelli

Are we drinking from the cup of Christ's life? His cup is the way and truth, and His river called Life flows into it. Are we lifting the cup to others so they may drink from His life in us? The cup is filled with joy, sorrows, and experiences, all encompassed in the life we are living. Fill your cups with His goodness, His joy, and His love, and watch your cup overflow into every good thing for His glory.

The Yoke is On Me by James Ryle

“Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls” (Matthew 11:29).

Balance is the key to every good thing in life. And imbalance is the root cause of many, many ills.

When there is imbalance in your body, some form or another of illness will occur — physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual. When there is imbalance in your home, there will be marital problems, and family difficulties.

Imbalance in your diet, or other appetites, will always results in physical challenges. An imbalance in your checkbook is definitely not a good thing. When you are imbalanced in your work, or in your recreations — somewhere along the line of your life you will have to “pay the piper.”

Balance in all things is the key to every good and lasting thing in life.

Jesus said, “Take My yoke upon you.” The Greek word He used was zugos, which means “a coupling.” Specifically, it is the word used to describe the beam of balance that joins two scales together. Webster’s defines balance as “an instrument for weighing; a means of judging, or deciding.”

In other words, the Lord is saying here, “Take My balance upon you; learn to judge things in life, and make decisions as I do.” Paul wrote to us, “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ” (Philippians 2:5)

The many benefits of this balance are profound. Any man or woman, boy or girl, upon whom this yoke is placed will experience mental, emotional, physical and spiritual steadiness. They will not stumble, or fall; yet, even if they do, it will be but for a moment. For they possess a innate capacity to right themselves and regain their footing. Their lives will be graced with unflappable confidence, even in the midst of upheaval and chaos. Just like Jesus, our Unflappable Champion. Yoked to Him we cannot stumble or fail.

So, as you prepare yourself to go out into today’s world make sure that His yoke is on you; it’s the one thing that makes the difference in every other thing you think or do.

Playing Games by Dudley Hall

So the band of soldiers and their captain and the officers of the Jews arrested Jesus and bound him.  First they led him to Annas for he was the father-in-law of Caiaphas, who was high priest that year. It was Caiaphas who had advised the Jews that it would be expedient that one man should die for the people. John 18:12-14 (ESV)
It is comical to watch the powers of the world trying to control and manipulate the order of God. They actually think they are fully in charge and can rule over everything. They have no awareness that there is a power greater than any earthly source who is guiding everything to a glorious end.
The Psalmist knew this comedy:
Why do the nations rage and the peoples plot in vain?
The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together,
Against the Lord and against his Anointed...
He who sits in the heavens laughs; the Lord holds them in derision.
Then he will speak to them in his wrath, and terrify them in his fury, saying,
"As for me, I have sit my King on Zion, my holy hill." Psalm 2:1-1, 4-6 (ESV)
The two "high priests" of the day who were supposed to be representing God's kingdom on earth were trying the real High Priest for treason. But they had compromised their own hearts by aligning with the political powers of Judaism and of Rome. Those responsible for transmitting truth from God to man could not even recognize truth when he stood before them in the flesh.
And the soldiers - they could not have known how ridiculous they looked using swords and spears against the King of the universe. He could have evaporated them with a glance. They were feeling their oats, so to speak, as they pushed him around and mocked him. Like mice in an endless maze they thought they were ruling their prison, but were only carrying out the eternal plan God had put into place before the world was created.
Jesus said that his kingdom is not from this world. It operates in the world but does not get its source from it. Those who can't hear the sound of his kingdom can't recognize its presence. Those who can hear can join in the chorus of praise for the Lamb who was slain and then roared as a lion over all his foes. No matter what the "powers that be" are doing, they don't have the last word. That word has been spoken in the person of Jesus who rules over all. While some are terrified over the circumstances, the heavenly perspective shows that all those who reject the King are just playing games.

The Power of Being Rooted in Love by Terry Somerville

God's love through us in Christ is AMAZING. His love is the root and ground of all we receive and experience in God.  One of the greatest passages on this subject is Ephesians 3. This prayer of Paul for us should greatly encourage us!

Ephesians 3:16-19 I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. 18 And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. 19 May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.

1. A Home In Our Heart
I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. 17 Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong.

Notice the progression.  Gods power strengthens us inwardly, then we are able to be trust Him so that Christ is at home in our hearts, and  So what is a home?

 Many of you have a "legal relationship" to Christ, but your heart is not a home to Him. A house is not a home. A home is the place of close relationship. A home is where life is shared, everything is seen.  Where all rooms are accessible.  The Lord is not merely a tenant in your house, He is head of the family. He is loved.  The inner workings of the Holy Spirit will change your heart into a home, if you let Him.    If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.   Galatians 5:25

When He is at home in  our hearts we can put down deep roots into God's love.

2. Root Issues
Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong.
A root is the  part of a plant that draws life from the ground. Before faith in Christ, our natural lives were  rooted in many things. Some of us were rooted in our own abilities and talents. We were self made men, or we needed constant affirmation. Some people have had traumatic experiences, and their hearts have roots in fear and pain. Every one of us comes to Christ with natural roots and many stay at that level. They ask God to satisfy those shallow root needs, but never put down deeper roots. But the Lord has much more for us.

He wants us to put our roots down deeper and go into Gods love. This is the key to life and healing. For example, some Christians spend years praying to be healed of some trauma like a death, or a rape. But Gods love is deeper and will surpasses all the other roots. "Perfect love casts our fear".  Healing comes. Putting your roots deep into Gods love cures fears, pain, and trauma. It cures the insecurities and the need for affirmation from the world. His love heals us, secures us, changes us.   Whatever the roots of your life, put them down deeper. Into God's love.

3. Understanding His Love -  It's Bigger Than You Can Imagine!
18 And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high,  and how deep his love is.

Many people wonder why I constantly talk about Gods love. Its simple, I've experienced how HUGE it really is. When you put your roots into His love, revelation power starts to work.  God starts showing you HOW BIG His love really is.

"HOW WIDE, HOW LONG,  HOW HIGH, HOW DEEP"  That means revelation about every possible direction His love flows! 

I remember when this started happening to me. It seemed like my eyes were opened to see His love at work. I saw  scriptures that were somehow hidden in the past. My mind began to comprehend how huge His grace is. How His love to sinners and the world is more than we can imaging.  I saw men and business in terms of His love. Its a revelation by the Spirit that comes as we put our roots deep into His love.

4. Experience His love
May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully.

It is one thing to understand His love, but then we must experience it. Most Christians experience Gods love for themselves at some point, but that is focused on just you. It is not "wide, long, high and deep".  The experience His LOVE  is much, much bigger.  He wants to share His own heart with us, so that we experience His love for others, for the world.

I remember when this first happened. I was in India and the Father shared His heart for India with me.  The Hindus were worshiping their idols at a nearby temple, saying how they loved their gods, and I heard the Father  say " Oh, I want them to worship me like that".  I felt His heart and love for India.  I knew in an instant  that no idol or devil, or man was going to separate India from the love of God.  From that point on we saw breakthroughs, healings and revival.  There have been many times since when the Lord shares His heart with me. In very case it leads to the power of God.

5. Love Leads To Power
Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.

Here is the key to entering the power of God. Gods love.   Expriencing  Gods love  leads to the "fulness  of life and power that comes from God".  The great revivals all have accounts of Gods love overwhelming them. Jesus power to heal was often initiated by love.   "Jesus was moved with compassion and healed the multitude."

Many many times I have focused on the love of Christ for a person in need, laid hands on them , then miracles happen. When preaching about His love the anointing always comes and often healings or deliverance happen spontaneously. It is wonderful. This is the good news. God loves the world!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

His People Carry the Hope for Humanity by Robert Ricciardelli

His People Carry the Hope for Humanity

by Robert Ricciardelli : Jun 26, 2010
: Converging Zone Network & Visionary Advancement Strategies

Steve ShultzFrom the desk of Steve Shultz, Elijah List:
This latest word by Robert Ricciardelli is a good reminder of "why" we are here...and as we know we've got much more to do than to get saved and wait for the Lord to come! That mentality has got to go because we are a part of a harvest generation, in fact, probably the greatest harvest we've ever known is upon us.


Robert and Joyce Ricciardelli
Father is increasingly bringing His government upon the earth to quicken mankind toward His image and intentions. It is time to assess and discuss the complex aspect of human behavior from a Kingdom perspective. I pray we ask the Lord often to reveal to us what needs to be known—that which may be hidden, and help us to receive and implement it in our lives for His glory.

The Gospel of the Kingdom is the redemptive manner in which God intends for His will to be accomplished in the earth. This, in itself, should alert us to the misappropriation of prevailing messages of the "preparing us for Heaven" gospel. Yes, thankfully Heaven is in the mix, but the place called Heaven is for later while the work of spreading Heaven on earth is present and ongoing.

This Kingdom is more than the redemptive act accomplished in the Person of Christ, resulting in our going to Heaven. We are thankful for redemption, but we cannot remain stuck there, waiting on Him or Heaven, while all the while He is waiting on us. He has empowered us with His Spirit, and therefore the power of Heaven is within us. No more hanging on for Jesus to return when He is hanging out with us to occupy until He comes.

The sheer weight of the word Kingdom carries governmental connotation, which lovingly demands a behavioral response from us. Christ presented and demonstrated a "Father pleasing" life that is beyond doctrine and rituals. There must be a response to the declarations of, "The Kingdom of God is at hand," and, "The Kingdom of God is within you." I hear the echoes of Apostle Paul's cry of laboring until Christ becomes fully formed in us.

New Birth Beyond the "Heaven and Hell" Destination

Most of us have read the Bible with the lens of being born again and going to Heaven as the final prize—and then collecting many more into our buildings to sing, "I'll fly away," while expecting the world to "fry away" anytime soon. Being born of the Spirit has always been only the entrance into the Kingdom of God, which is the living realm of being Spirit-filled attractors of His heavenly essence upon the earth. The end game of Heaven for each of us will come, but now while we are here, we bring the power and presence of God through our natural lives. This season for us is just getting started, and the first step is to begin to shed our religious ways that many times distracts us.

Impurities in each of us need to be exposed and expelled so that more of His light and nature can flow from us. The new birth represents the coming out of darkness and being reborn into the Kingdom sphere of Agape Love and Light. When this occurs, I am empowered with Kingdom understanding, and am free to act against myself or the nature of "self." The new birth is Father's insemination of His eternal seed to each person who receives and embraces Christ.

John 1:12 But to all who believed Him and accepted Him, He gave the right to become children of God.

This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun! This is indeed that which was taken from us in the transgression of man and now restored to us in the last "Son of Man." As His children, we once again have the "God in us" potential to be human as God intended. His life given to me is that which enables me to act against myself, since my life is not my own, and since now I have chosen to live as a Father-pleaser.

We are Becoming Ambassadors of God's Nature of Love

God is Love and Christ appeared as Love Incarnate for the sole purpose, or rather the specific purpose, of being the one that could and did act against Himself. This He did for the single purpose of bringing in a new creation, one that is capable of acting against self in order to live as He did for the world. His life showed the way, and His death and resurrection secured the way for all of us.

That purpose is stated in Hebrews 10:7: "I do Thy will, O God." This, of course, is restated in the encounter at Gethsemane: "Not My will, but Yours be done"Luke 22:42). We can now see the manner in which Father intends for His will to be accomplished on the earth through us, who also say, "Father, not my will, but Yours be done in my life." Becoming incarnate ambassadors of God's nature, which is Agape love, is His will for us. (

The activated ingredients of His nature are present and revealed through His children. As Christ is becoming fully formed in us through becoming disciples of His way, truth and life, His nature will increasingly and supernaturally be revealed. Living a life that Father intends for each of us is the evidence of the power of God within us. This is not works based on anything but an outward flow of His agape nature in us. Religion has rules to follow that create a form of godliness, but it falls far short of His power and His glory, and cannot be sustained.

So, we live under His governance, and His Kingdom government has no end. Nations will continue to rise and fall, but His Kingdom will continue to come while His people rise up as "Kingdomized" servants who carry the hope for humanity. These are exciting times, as the opportunity to present everlasting hope has never been better. We have the freedom through Christ to put down our nature and live in His nature. There is no greater measurement to our daily living than how much we love our Father and love others. You have come a long way, and so have I, and we've got a long way to go. But He is with us, and the gates of Hell shall not prevail against us or His Eternal Kingdom.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Last Days Hip, Hype or Hope? by Greg Austin

Benjamin Franklin said,  “The only things certain in life are death and taxes.” I would add a third: The perpetual anticipation of every generation of Christians that theirs will be the one to see the parousia, the “coming of the Lord.”

It’s surely not a bad thing to live as though today may be the day we will see Jesus. Such perspective encourages us toward heaven and away from a corrupted world. Living as though each day may be our last earth-day gives us focus, helps us establish kingdom priorities. If I know that tomorrow I will embark on a long journey, I am motivated today to prepare for travel. But crying “The sky is falling” at every instance of “Breaking (bad) News” on the television screen both dilutes and discredits our Christian message and testimony.

Let me establish at the outset that it is dishonest, fraudulent and erroneous to use Scripture to support baseless anticipations or to misrepresent Scripture in order to fuel the fires of excitement or expectation of the appearance of certain prophetic events. It is a crime to utilize thin exegesis to support personally held beliefs concerning the return of Jesus to rescue His followers from the doom and destruction that will in due course befall all of earth, or to establish that Jesus will never return to save His followers from the perils appearing around us.

In this brief commentary, time and space does not allow discussion of such appropriate and critical topics as biblical hermeneutics (the study of the principles of interpretation concerning scripture), or to survey the history of mistaken or even blatantly false claims about the return of Christ that have damaged great numbers of the Body of Christ from the time of the resurrection of Jesus until now.

Scripture itself instructs us, “no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation.[1]  This verse would also include “any private revelation” as well. I encourage the reader to conduct his own inquiry into famous erroneous, historical claims, hoaxes and false teachings concerning the last days.  Also included here are some traditional, denominational eschatological teachings that may or may not be scripturally accurate.

In the next paragraphs I will enumerate only a few of the contemporary mistakes that are leading to “Chicken Little” reactionary and damaging teachings and their corresponding eventualities.

Narrow-Minded Geographics 

Too many Western writers, preachers and teachers have wrongly focused on the West, and in particular, America as their lens through which to gain a global view of the signs of the times.

Whenever mainstream society bends towards a perceived threat to limit – to persecute the church, would-be eschatologists come out of the woodwork to claim that here is foolproof evidence that the Great Tribulation is about to break out in downtown Poughkeepsie, Peoria and Palm Springs.

This error is doubly grievous since not only is completely wrong, but it also omits in its consideration the Greater Body of Christ that exists across the globe. Let every American believer understand: The American Church is not “The” church. The American Church is a small, but disproportionally significant (in her resource and voice) part of the greater Body of Christ in the earth.  Believers around the world should be thankful for the church in America, but the church in America needs to understand her place in a global family of brothers and sisters in Christ.

As an example, estimates of the church in China in 2010 range between 40 million and 130 million believers. In Africa, by the year 2000, ten plus years ago there were an estimated 380 million Christians. Combined, China and Africa potentially represent more than 500 million Christians! According to Christianity Today, there are approximately 648 million Evangelicals or Bible believing Christians worldwide. If we use the low number estimate of Chinese believers, some 420 million of a worldwide 648 million Christians live in two non-Western societies! When we consider these numbers, along with the explosion of the church in Central and South America, the American church with its roughly 70 million respondents reporting that they are “born again,” it is unreasonable that an American-focused eschatology can accurately describe a worldwide church.

Injudicious Interpretations

More than a few well-known Christian celebrities have rightly warned that persecution is coming to America, but this fact supposedly demonstrates the coming of The Tribulation.[2] As evidence, speakers often refer to threats of government intervention into matters of faith and the practices of the Christian church in America.

The error in this position is that once again, the use of an American lens exposes rank disregard for (or ignorance of) untold numbers of believers who have suffered torture, painful separation from families and merciless persecution for generations in nations around the world. When American preachers focus only on persecution and perhaps martyrdom coming to the church in America, they step over the graves of countless believers in other nations who have willingly given their lives for the cause of Christ in our own lifetimes.

Much prophetic significance has recently been given to the ongoing oil crisis in the American waters of the Gulf of Mexico. More than a few “prophetic words” are currently circulating on the Internet, claiming that the Gulf Oil Crisis is evidence of an angry God unleashing punishment on the people of the Gulf Coast.  Others claim that this disaster is a signal of the advent of the calamities written about in the Book of the Revelation.

The devastation along the Gulf Coast of the U.S. ought to motivate Christians everywhere to pray for the effected millions in this region.  However, we have also recently experienced a devastating earthquake in Haiti, another in Chile, volcanic eruptions in Iceland, flooding in Portugal and China to mention only a few other non-U.S. tragedies.

Regarding the Crisis in the Gulf, some writers are pointing to this disaster as an indication of the unfolding of Great Tribulation[3] and give scriptural reference to support their claims.

Scripture discloses “ . . . the second angel sounded: And something like a great mountain burning with fire was thrown into the sea, and a third of the sea became blood. And a third of the living creatures in the sea died, and a third of the ships were destroyed.”[4]

Based upon this scripture, claimants teach that the oil spewing from the floor of the Gulf of Mexico will eventuate in the loss of one third of the sea life, and a third of global shipping will be destroyed.

Earth’s seas comprise more than 2/3 of the planet’s mass (to be precise, 71.11% of the planet is covered by water). The Gulf of Mexico covers some 600,000 miles of earth’s surface. The Pacific Ocean itself covers 1/3 of earth’s surface or about 65 million square miles. The Atlantic Ocean, at 41 million, 100 thousand square miles is our second largest ocean. Add the Arctic, (5,427,000 sq mi), the Indian (28,400,000) and Southern Ocean, (7.8 million square miles) which together comprise more than 147 million square miles, and compare this with the Gulf’s 600,000 square miles and it would take a miracle of biblical proportion for a contaminated Gulf to poison one third of the world’s fish, one third of its waters and to destroy a third of global shipping.

These examples are merely two of a greater number that could be examined here. The reader, no doubt “gets it” from just these two illustrations.

Romanticized Versions of End Times Verities

In 1972, I was one of a few hundred people who attended the premier showing of the now-famous “Rapture” film, “A Thief in the Night.” The emotional impact and electric thrill of this forerunner of a generation of Christian movies was palpable that night. The filming had been done in and around my home city, and I recognized places where I had hunted and fished and played baseball as a young boy. The plot was simple and simplistic, but to my (then) 22 year-old heart, it was astonishing. I left the theatre that night expecting Jesus to appear within a week! Now, thirty-eight years later, we’re still waiting for “The Thief in the Night” to appear.

Sensationalist End Time writers have created a whole new section in Christian bookstores following the same general theme – World conditions; economics, morality, war, natural disasters, and so on grow worse and worse until “men’s hearts” are “failing them from fearof those things which are coming on the earth, for the powers of heaven will be shaken.”[5] Just before life becomes truly difficult for believers, and as tribulation looms on the horizon, Jesus suddenly and without warning – as a Thief in the Night – appears in the clouds of the air, translates all Christians from earth to heaven “in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye.”[6] Simultaneous with the translation, or rapture of God’s people, Hell, literally takes center stage on planet earth, bringing tribulation for a seven year period to earth’s hapless inhabitants who have rejected (or who have never heard of) Jesus Christ. and the expectation

A study of both eschatological scriptures and of the character and nature of God will eradicate the romanticism from our considerations of end times events. We must, if we are to be consistent and true to scripture, base all our understandings of the times in which we live upon God’s words and not the words of teachers and prophets, no matter how prominent or celebrated these may be. Scripture encourages the believer to apply himself, to study for himself, to be convinced in his own mind and heart of the things of God.

We should not become reactionaries, responding emotionally but not necessarily spiritually when it comes to the subject of end-times prophecies. We need to examine world events in light of revealed scripture, keeping a steady mind and spirit as we follow the example of those early Berean saints who “received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so.”[7]

I have here listed only three errors of the contemporary date-setting, future-predicting and event-explaining crowd; there are more. My purpose here is not to provide a complete compendium of mistaken or false teachings, but rather it is to caution the reader against buying into questionable teachings and to encourage us toward a biblical understanding of the times in which we live.

A Biblical Approach: Be Sobered by Reality; not Drunk with Assumption

Be Not Drunk with Assumption, but be Filled with Anticipation of a new Kingdom, made manifest in the eternal purposes and agenda of God, our Father.

“Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober.”[8]

In October 1961, the world was captivated by what became known as the Cuban Missile Crisis. For eight days the world teetered on the brink of nuclear war. During that time my father worked for the federal government, and our family was assigned a place in a bomb shelter. Men brought masks and a Geiger counter and a special radio to our home. I was told that I could not take my dog when we were evacuated. My brothers and sisters and I were terrified. Dad was gone, working with the government somewhere, and we turned to our mother for understanding. I well remember her gathering the five of us at our dinner table. Calmly, she opened the scriptures to Matthew 24 and read, in part, “you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.”[9]

With that, mom closed the Bible and told us all to go out and play. By her example, we were delivered from the hysteria that captured many others. I went outside on that beautiful autumn afternoon, called my dog and went rabbit hunting.

Assumption produces beliefs and actions that may be far from reality and typically eventuate in embarrassment.

Examine any assumption about the End of the Days in the light of scripture, and without emotion; when evidence emerges, accept it and live accordingly. If the result of your inquiry produces only imagination, discard the assumption and cling to the truth, especially if you have become convinced in your research that God has given you a revelation He has not imparted to anyone else.

Certainly, increasing woes are being visited upon planet earth. Earthquakes annually destroy countless lives and property, floods and hurricanes, tornadoes and volcanoes tear at our planet’s heart: “the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now.”[10]For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God . . . because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.[11]

There is an eternal and increasingly manifest struggle for the Title Deed of the creation of God. Nature and mankind join in this conflict. On the one side is the cry, the groan, the travail for the revealing of the sons of God and the fruition of the everlasting plan of God. On the other side are the forces of darkness, desiring only chaos and destruction and turmoil.

Our responsibility is to understand the times in which we live, to give ourselves to understanding God’s word and to live honestly and to “walk circumspectly, not as fools, but wise”[12] in this world.

Whether the reader personally embraces and identifies with the teachings of Preterism, Futurism, Dispensationalist, traditional Pre-Mid or Post-tribulation teachings, Pre-Post or A-millennialism, or any other understanding of end times events, let us all, as followers of Jesus Christ and as citizens of the kingdom of God, maintain an intellectually honest and spiritually sincere faith, and walk and talk accordingly.

[1] 2 Peter 1:20
[2] Matthew 24:21
[3] Matthew 24:21
[4] Revelation 8:8,9
[5] Luke 21:26
[6] 1 Corinthians 15:52
[7] Acts 17:11
[8] 1 Thessalonians 5:6
[9] Matthew 24:6
[10] Romans 8:22
[11] Romans 8: 19, 21
[12] Ephesians 5:15

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Roberts Quotes for the Week (1) by Robert Ricciardelli

A Good Father Lives the Way! by Robert Ricciardelli

A good father doesn't have to tell his children how to live. They learn by observing their father live and love them in godly ways. His actions speak much louder than words. A good father is a treasure that is able to impart the wealth of love, character, and freedom. He disciplines in love, shows the way, and faithfully releases his children to God the Father for the fulfillment of their destinies.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

A River of Wisdom Within You! by Robert Ricciardelli

There is a river of Wisdom within you! Often we think that we do not know enough to teach others. We become hesitant to share with others, out of fear that we are limited in what we know. This mind-set creates anxiety and self consciousness. When we have the courage to share generously with others, we soon discover that we know a lot more than we thought. Your well of wisdom and experience is deeper than you think.

Never Ending Supply by Robert Ricciardelli

Scarcity mentality must be replaced by an abundance mentality. An abundance mentality says: "There is enough for everyone; food, knowledge, love, everything." When we see the hungry, we feed them. We give wisdom to those needing it, and when we encounter people in need of love, we offer them love, friendship, and affection. Father provides abundance in more ways than we realize and He is a never ending supply.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

We See Glimpses of God in Each Other by Robert Ricciardelli

We see and experience God's love, God's goodness, and God's mercy through family, friends, and teachers. They all in some way were able to reveal God to us. But we also found that each of them could only give us glimpses of God. God's love, goodness, and beauty is greater than theirs. We may have been disappointed that they could not fulfill all we needed, until we found the One who is able to meet our every need.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

How Are You Talking to Self? by Robert Ricciardelli

How you talk to yourself does matter. When you blow it are you condemning self by whispering, "you are such a loser", or are you saying, "Well that did not work, I must search for what does" Keep in mind that the Divine Coach is in you. He created you for goodness and good results. He will guide you to victory and victorious choices. Listen to Creator and Coach and He will not condemn but encourage the best in you.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Mosaic of Beauty in Community by Robert Ricciardelli

Real community is collective beauty of unique God designed individuals. The image of God to the world is magnified as God empowered love is shared "As One" in Him. Looking closely at each stone in a mosaic you can appreciate the brilliant colors and shapes of each one, but stepping back and looking at them as a whole reveals a masterpiece. God's love and glory kiss each other in community.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Every Friend is Unique by Robert Ricciardelli

Every friend is a unique gift to us. When we expect one friend to have all we need, we may never fully appreciate the areas of strength they bring to us.  One friend may connect with us in an emotional or nurturing way while another may stimulate our minds. Some may stir up the spiritual gifts in us. Appreciating each others limited but amazing gifts reveal a beautiful tapestry of love and life giving friendships.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

God Sends Forever Friends by Robert Ricciardelli

We all need friends. The reality is, you cannot "make" friends, as they are a gift from God. As we trust in the Love of God, He responds by sending friends at times when we need them most. Friends cannot replace God, as they have limitations and their love is never faultless or complete. They are needed on our journey towards the unlimited and unconditional love of God. Let's be thankful for the friends God sends.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Lose Your Life To Gain It by Robert Ricciardelli

The great mystery of life is that those who lose their lives will gain them. If we cling to relationships, we may lose them, but when we are non-possessive in relationships, friendships abound. Seeking fame does not produce a legacy, but if we give our lives to God and others, we will be remembered long after our death. Giving away our lives for others is the greatest of all pursuits. This will gain us our lives.

Resilient People by Bob Gass

We are hard pressed…  2 Corinthians 4:8 NIV

When a back injury paralysed Angela Madsen from the waist down, she vowed to do whatever it took to get back up. As a result she started training to be the first woman with a disability to row across the Atlantic. Journalist Denise Foley writes: "Madsen is what researchers call 'resilient' - able to rebound from whatever life brings. She's one of those people who make us wonder how we'd fare if our mettle were tested. Would we bounce back?" Paul writes, "We are hard pressed… but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed" (2 Corinthians 4:8-9 NIV).

Resilient people:

1) Take control of their lives: Drs. Steven & Sybil Wolin write, "It's easy to blame others for your problems and wait till they fix them. But then you never get to rise to the occasion… When you see yourself as a problem-solver life goes very differently. Identify your strengths. Recall those moments when you triumphed over adversity. Focus on what you can influence instead of what you can't."

2) Surround themselves with the right people: The Psalmist said, 'They… treated me badly all my life, but they have not defeated me' (Psalm 129:2 NCV). Ned Hallowell grew up with a bipolar father, an abusive stepfather, an alcoholic mother, and two learning disabilities - a history that's often a precursor to jail or a mental institution. Today he's a prominent psychiatrist, a happily-married father and a successful author. It happened largely because at boarding school he attached himself to teachers who cared about him and took him under their wing. So in tough times, lean on God, take control of your life, and surround yourself with the right people.

Two other traits resilient people share are:

1) They allow pain to spur growth: At the peak of her career when photographer Linda Joy Montgomery learned she was going blind, an inner voice said, "This isn't the end; it's the beginning." She began writing poetry, discovered her calling as a motivational speaker and created the True Vision Institute, teaching kids to tap into their inner resources. The Bible says: "Though good people may be bothered by trouble… they are never defeated… (Proverbs 24:16 NCV).

Finding purpose in your pain isn't a new idea. Survivors of life-threatening illnesses, natural disasters and the Holocaust, and parents of chronically ill children continually demonstrate how over-comers find the proverbial silver lining by reinventing themselves. Paul talks about being "battered by troubles, but… not demoralized… thrown down, but [not] broken" (2 Corinthians 4:8 TM). Meeting challenges helps develop confidence and a can-do attitude that says: '"I've been there, done that, and I'll survive." Michael Jordan once said, "I've missed over 9,000 shots in my career… lost over 300 games… 26 times I've been trusted to make the game-winning shot, and missed. I've tried and failed over and over again. That's why I succeed."

2) They insist on changing what they can: Paul says: "Whatever good anyone does, he will receive the same from the Lord… (Ephesians 6:8 NKJV). Workers digging through the rubble to help rescue survivors of the Oklahoma City bombing, though understandably distressed, showed fewer symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder later on. In concentration camps POW's who routinely gave away their last morsel, proved that you can choose your attitude in any given set of circumstances. How? By drawing strength from God and learning to control the one thing you can control - yourself. 

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Malchus's Dilemma by Dudley Hall

Then Simon Peter, having a sword, drew it and struck the high priest's servant and cut off his right ear. (The servant's name was Malchus.) So Jesus said to Peter, "Put your sword into its sheath; shall I not drink the cup that the Father has given me." 
John 18:10-11 (ESV)

      Malchus was part of the high priest's body of servants. He had probably been in some of the meetings where this troublemaker named Jesus had been discussed. After all, Jesus was a problem for the religious leaders of his day. Malchus approached the garden in search of Jesus along with the others who carried torches and swords. He was sure that Jesus was another rabble-rouser who would be quickly exposed and dispatched. Nothing good had been said in the meetings. Jesus was a threat to Israel's very existence! If he were taken seriously, the Romans would certainly come down hard on all of them.

     Peter had not fully understood the kingdom of God as defined by Jesus. He was still fighting with swords to subdue the enemy. In the midst of the confrontation, he took a swing at the servant of the high priest who probably ducked to avoid being separated from his head. The short sword cleanly sliced off the ear.  It fell to the ground. This was more serious than Malchus had anticipated. It had cost him something precious. The thoughts rush through his mind: "Why me? This was not supposed to happen. This is just another misguided zealot that had to be stopped. The soldiers get paid for this kind of danger, not me. Now I am maimed for the rest of my life. I will be disfigured and disqualified for many things in my profession."

     Then the unexpected! Everything moved in slow motion. There was a hush in the garden. Jesus bent over and picked up the severed ear and replaced it as before. (Probably while glancing at Peter with a "What are you doing?" grimace.) Now what was Malchus going to do? This enemy had surprised him. He had been encountered by mercy. It messed with his mind. It didn't fit with the way he usually thought. It was stronger than swords and more transforming than political power. He would have to rethink everything he thought he already had nailed down. The next few hours would be confusing to him. How could he join the crowd in crucifying the one who acted in love toward an enemy by restoring his ear?

     Whatever happened to Malchus? We don't know. He is a picture of many, like Saul of Tarsus, who encountered a different Jesus than they had previously expected.  As a result, he gained a new ear. We follow in that line also. When we have been touched by mercy, other arguments don't seem to hold.

     Jesus was displaying the power of the kingdom he came to inaugurate. He expressed a love that changes the heart while others were relying on the earthly powers of religion, politics, and the sword. His kingdom is still the only hope of lasting peace in the individual and the community. It deserves our attention and absolute loyalty.