Posted by: Pat Hallam | May 9, 2013

Psalm 34 Meditation

Image

Psalm 34   Selected portions, edited and amplified

Blessings and honor to you, oh Lord  –  I will bless you at all times

Your praises will continually be in my mouth …

Magnify the Lord with me

Let us exalt His name forever

            Seek the Lord for he will hear you

            He will deliver you from all fears

            He hears and saves when you call on Him

The Angel of the Lord encamps all around those who fear [honor, love, revere, and respect] Him and He delivers us out of all our troubles.

… when you seek the Lord – His presence, His counsel, His friendship, His power,his strength, His wisdom, His understanding, His will, His ways, His touch, His comfort, His healing virtue, His life giving words, His insights, His revelations and His love – you will not lack any good thing.  You will want for nothing.

            God himself is our teacher. He says:

                        Keep your tongue from evil

                        Keep your lips from speaking deceit. (all forms and types of lies and mischief)

            Depart from evil  –  DO  GOOD

                        Seek Peace  – PURSUE IT – run after it, chase it down.

We are righteous in Gods sight because of Jesus.  His shed blood and sacrifice for my sin and yours has purchased for us an eternal righteousness that is God given and cannot be revoked by human failure or evil intent.

                        When we cry out  –  the Lord hears

            He delivers us from all our troubles

            He is near to the broken hearted…

We have many afflictions But God delivers us from them all.

No one who trusts  (relies on, depends on, turns to, clings to, yields to or surrenders to ) God shall be condemned.  [see also Romans 8]

Advertisements
Posted by: Pat Hallam | April 22, 2013

The Parable of the Sower

The Parable of the Sower    

 

Matthew 13

New King James Version (NKJV)

13  great multitudes were gathered together to Him…Then He spoke many things to them in parables, saying: “Behold, a sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seed fell by the wayside; and the birds came and devoured them. Some fell on stony places, where they did not have much earth; and they immediately sprang up because they had no depth of earth. But when the sun was up they were scorched, and because they had no root they withered away. And some fell among thorns, and the thorns sprang up and choked them. But others fell on good ground and yielded a crop: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. He who has ears to hear, let him hear!”

Mark 4

New King James Version (NKJV)

4 …  a great multitude was gathered to Him, so that He got into a boat and sat in it on the sea; and the whole multitude was on the land facing the sea. He taught them many things by parables, and said to them:“Listen! Behold, a sower went out to sow. And it happened, as he sowed, that some seed fell by the wayside; and the birds of the air[a] came and devoured it. Some fell on stony ground, where it did not have much earth; and immediately it sprang up because it had no depth of earth. But when the sun was up it was scorched, and because it had no root it withered away. And some seed fell among thorns; and the thorns grew up and choked it, and it yielded no crop. But other seed fell on good ground and yielded a crop that sprang up, increased and produced: some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some a hundred.”

And He said to them,[b] “He who has ears to hear, let him hear!”

Luke 8:4-8

New King James Version (NKJV)

And when a great multitude had gathered, and they had come to Him from every city, He spoke by a parable: “A sower went out to sow his seed. And as he sowed, some fell by the wayside; and it was trampled down, and the birds of the air devoured it. Some fell on rock; and as soon as it sprang up, it withered away because it lacked moisture. And some fell among thorns, and the thorns sprang up with it and choked it. But others fell on good ground, sprang up, and yielded a crop a hundredfold.”When He had said these things He cried, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear!”

 

Jesus’ Use of Parables

33 And with many such parables He spoke the word to them as they were able to hear it. 34 But without a parable He did not speak to them. And when they were alone, He explained all things to His disciples.

And the disciples said to Him, “Why do You speak to them in parables?”

He answered and said to them, “Because it has been given to you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given. 12 For whoever has, to him more will be given, and he will have abundance; but whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him. 13 Therefore I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand. 14 And in them the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled, which says:

‘Hearing you will hear and shall not understand,
And seeing you will see and not perceive;
For the hearts of this people have grown dull.
Their ears are hard of hearing,
And their eyes they have closed,
Lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears,
Lest they should understand with their hearts and turn,
So that I should[a] heal them.’[b]

16 But blessed are your eyes for they see, and your ears for they hear; 17 for assuredly, I say to you that many prophets and righteous men desired to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it.

The Parable of the Sower Explained by Jesus

The seed is the word of God spoken by Jesus.

 “Therefore hear the parable of the sower:    When anyone hears the word of the kingdom, and does not understand it, then the wicked one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is he who received seed by the wayside.       But he who received the seed on stony places, this is he who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy;  yet he has no root in himself, but endures only for a while. For when tribulation or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he stumbles.         22 Now he who received seed among the thorns is he who hears the word, and the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful.       23 But he who received seed on the good ground is he who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and produces: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.”

 

 

Thoughts on the Parable of the sower

According to a friend who provided me with the following information, a parable compares something familiar to something unfamiliar.  It helps us understand spiritual truth by using everyday objects and relationships. 

God chooses those who will understand the parables  which Jesus calls mysteries, while he conceals the meaning from others according to his purposes. [see Matthew 13]

This friend went on to say that the parable of the sower is meant to encourage believers who will sow the seeds of Gods word to everyone.  Some will benefit, some will not.  God will use those speaking his truths to bring others to him.  As the word says:

“So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth;
It shall not return to Me void,
But it shall accomplish what I please,
And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it..” [see Isaiah 55:11]Image

Jesus said his words are life and we are to sow the good seed of his word into the world where it will fall on many surfaces.  This seed is so full of life that it will sprout on hard surfaces, rocky ground and fields filled with thorns.  But it will only thrive and produce a mighty harvest on ground prepared to receive it.

A poem I wrote inspired by a friend reads as follows:

The Gardener – by P. Hallam

 

Jesus is a gardener and this is how I know

He made me in Gods  image with a plan for me to grow.

***

Within my heart which is His soil He plants His tiny seed,

surrounding me in tender love to fertilize and feed.

***

The scriptures are His living words they’re food to help me grow,

and prayer is my connection as my thirst to know Him flows.

***

And when a blight attacks me Jesus mounds me with His hands,

like a shield my faith protects me and enables me to stand.

***

I will fight if He directs me or wait patiently and still,

I will leave my heavy burdens at a cross on Calvary’s hill.

***

Every Oak and every Violet all the flowers that I see

stand simply to reminds me God grows them like you and me.

Patricia Hallam – 1996 revised 2013

 

CHRIST IN YOU – CHRIST IN ME – CHRIST OUR HOPE OF GLORY

 

It is Christ Jesus who sows his word in us and through us he sows his word into others and together we hear, grow and reproduce.

 

.

Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future

 

“Sometimes realizing God’s plan for hope and a new future will lead you where you have never been before. You will not be walking in someone else’s footprints; you will be making your own. You may be leaving footprints where they may have never been seen before in a new path blazing through the obstacle that is in front of you, as God destroys the enemy that is behind you. So go ahead and move forward in life knowing confidently that God has it all planned out for you if you will but trust Him. Follow God’s plan for your life, and trust His unfailing, forgiving love. In His plan, every pain, hurt, wound, and disappointment that you have experienced will find peace. If you will but trust His plan for your life, you will find the sense of wholeness and completion that you long for”.  

 

This quote from the writings of Darrel Creswell plus the message from Jeremiah combined with Romans 8 encourages me to step out and look to God alone for direction. I often have a “backup” plan or two to fall back on when my ways don’t seem to be working out  or I might even enlist a friend with sound insights and judgments to point me in the right direction. But it’s scary to lay aside my plans and trust God alone. I am becoming convinced that he has a perfect plan that cannot fail and it will lead to peace. Since God is not a man that he should lie if he tells me something I am learning to trust him more and more. 

The key indicator here for me is PEACE . I will pray and then ask myself :  Do I have peace about this? When I go forward is it with a sense of peace?  When I open my mouth to speak will my words bring peace? I will seek to say and do those things that lead to peace. Blessed are the peace makers for they shall see God.

Posted by: Pat Hallam | April 5, 2013

A Message from God who alone transforms us

It is God, himself, alone, who works in you to will, want and desire a to do his [not yours or mine] good pleasure. Nothing pleases him more than to work out his life in you bringing you to a place where Jesus himself is and will be formed, seen and found in you.

Do not deceive yourself, God knows every thought you’ve ever had  and he’s heard every word you’ve ever spoken. It is his good pleasure that in Jesus you can KNOW how much he loves you, and you can have an intimate relationship with him free of shame and condemnation that forgives you for all your sins past, present and future. When you confess, and admit your sins to him he is faithful and just to forgive you AND cleanse you, clean you up, and clean up your messes and deliver you from all your besetting sins.

When you ask him to forgive you for the umpteenth time regarding say , your outbursts of anger or bitchy, grumpy moods, he thanks you for coming to him about it and reminds you that the blood of Christ has forgiven you and each new infraction is (as it were) a first time offense. He has already forgiven those times which are past and has forgiveness already prepared for future outbursts. For as long as we live in this earthly body we will be prone to yield to our fleshly, sinful, human nature even as you, in your spirit are being transformed by the power of God that raised Jesus from the dead, by the renewing of your mind. His sacrifice was paid for you once and forever and has eternal power to transform you (in his timing, which is perfect).

His power works best in weakness and his Grace [undeserved, unmerited, unearned favor] showers us with blessings and endless forgiveness. Our God is greater than all the forces of evil and he will deliver you from all such assignments and snares of the devil. You have been set free and in Jesus you have 24/7 access to the father.

I pray for you and myself and praise God that we have freedom in and through him, as we remain yielded and focused on him. I know the real you because the living God shows me the real you that he is creating you to be. A woman of God that is as a precious gem in his treasury of jewels. You beauty will shine as a diamond against a velvet sky and bring God great glory, just as he will pour out blessings on you and yours. Your husband and children will call you blessed. Your heavenly father is replacing your fleshly nature and life that tends towards sin with his new life which is  eternal and glorious. It’s a scary process but thrilling at the same time and it doesn’t rely on you to get it right but on him who has promised to do it in you. May God give you the spirit of wisdom and revelation so that you may know him better.

Posted by: Pat Hallam | March 29, 2013

Woman in Prayer

Woman in Prayer

Posted by: Pat Hallam | March 29, 2013

Humility or Pride

Satan tempts us in order to make us of no use to God. The accuser of the brethren uses shame to defeat us. But [Praise God] in Jesus we are forgiven and cleansed by God himself and we are of great value to him who equips and empowers us for the job/s he sets before us. Satan is our enemy but he has been defeated by the blood of Christ and his atonement for our sins. The resurrection power that raised Jesus from the dead empowers us also.

 

Psalm 51

New International Version (NIV)

For the director of music. A psalm of David. When the prophet Nathan came to him after David had committed adultery with Bathsheba.

Have mercy on me, O God,
according to your unfailing love;
according to your great compassion
blot out my transgressions.
Wash away all my iniquity
and cleanse me from my sin.

For I know my transgressions,
and my sin is always before me.
Against you, you only, have I sinned
and done what is evil in your sight;
so you are right in your verdict
and justified when you judge.
Surely I was sinful at birth,
sinful from the time my mother conceived me.
Yet you desired faithfulness even in the womb;
you taught me wisdom in that secret place.

Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean;
wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.
Let me hear joy and gladness;
let the bones you have crushed rejoice.
Hide your face from my sins
and blot out all my iniquity.

10 Create in me a pure heart, O God,
and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
11 Do not cast me from your presence
or take your Holy Spirit from me.
12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation
and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.

13 Then I will teach transgressors your ways,
so that sinners will turn back to you.
14 Deliver me from the guilt of bloodshed, O God,
you who are God my Savior,
and my tongue will sing of your righteousness.
15 Open my lips, Lord,
and my mouth will declare your praise.
16 You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it;
you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings.
17 My sacrifice, O God, is[b] a broken spirit;
a broken and contrite heart
you, God, will not despise.

18 May it please you to prosper Zion,
to build up the walls of Jerusalem.
19 Then you will delight in the sacrifices of the righteous,
in burnt offerings offered whole;
then bulls will be offered on your altar.

Footnotes:

  1. Psalm 51:1 In Hebrew texts 51:1-19 is numbered 51:3-21.
  2. Psalm 51:17 Or The sacrifices of God are

Father, If I criticize myself I will also criticize others. Empower me to always look for what is good and to praise it. Help me to see that when I criticize myself I am rejecting the person Jesus died to save.  That when I adopt this position I am falling into false humility that seeks my own righteousness and not yours. 

Thank you for showing me that self-hatred is a substitute for humility and thus belongs to pride. Teach me to walk in the Spirit and to cease from striving. I seek to yield my will to you and look to Jesus, soaking in his word and presence so as to become like him. In Jesus name I pray. Amen

FORGIVENESS  SLAYS  SHAME

Posted by: Pat Hallam | March 25, 2013

Looking for your answers to these two questions.

Who is Jesus?

Who is Jesus to you?

Thanks you for your thoughtful answers.

Prayer Request Regarding a Prayer Ministry – March 22, 2013.

Prayer flags on Renjo La

Prayer flags on Renjo La (Photo credit: Oliphant)

 

Father, if this prayer represents your will and plan for a prayer group in our community then I pray you will bring it to pass.  Please direct us according to your will and plan and raise up prayer partners who desire to join together in this ministry. May it be a servant group of believers, with servant hearts, where ego and drive are replaced with humility and dependence totally on you for all things. Emptied of self (as best we know how) we lay down our thoughts and plans and seek only your will and direction. We seek your Spirit to fill us with the knowledge of your will and to give us the spirit of wisdom and revealation to see that your will is done. An accomplishment not brought about in our own strength or of our own desires but by your soverign will and power alone. Even as Jesus and the Holy Spirit ever live to make intercessions for us, let our prayers be linked and synchronized to theirs that we may truly pray as one. One body with one divine goal, to bring you glory, honor and praise both now and forever more.  AMEN

 

Please pray and ask God to show you how you can help.  Individually your separate prayers are just as important as any corporate prayer.

 

Be blessed as you go about your day and may you enjoy the beauty of this Lenten Season and join in the Hosannas that followed Jesus into Jerusalem that Palm Sunday 2013 years ago.

Posted by: Pat Hallam | March 13, 2013

Looking for God

Between December 1967 and the spring of 1971 I embarked upon a 3 year journey I call looking for God. After that  near death experience I was no longer an Athiest but I was certainly no Christian either. My interest in spiritual matters first led me in the direction of humanism and endeavors to improve my inner life that would bring about change in my outer life through philosophy and   non traditional religious practices. I  thought this great spirit aka God  could be known through the wisdom and knowledge of great men with great minds. Men of science and intellect who’s investigations were based on reason and evidence and who had come to believe in a higher power of superior intelligence. Men who viewed the existence of the universe as being the product of order and intelligent design.

This approach to finding God led me to investigate mysticism and super natural manifestations beyond natural explanations. From Madame Blavatsky to Edgar Cayce then to modern day psychics I was convinced there was another world or dimension beyond and outside this world. A world inhabited by super natural beings performing supernatural feats and with super natural knowledge and intelligence. Later some practitioners of these pursuits would be referred to as New Agers. All this supernatural evidence was captivating to me but somehow something was missing and these things failed to reveal God to me.

The birth of my son on Christmas of 1967  became for me a great cosmic joke. But it did draw my attention to the person of Jesus who I believed was a fictional character  invented by weak and  needy people who called themselves Christians. The evidence was mounting for me that this Jesus may actually have lived and died as many people seemed to believe.  The  Shroud of Turin was a relic considered to be the  burial cloth of Christ by the Catholic Church  and believed  to depict the  image of a crucified man

On January 1, 1971  my daughter was born and my hospital roommate shared with me that she was a recently converted Mormon.  With the many questions I asked her she never picked up on the fact that I might be a prospective convert nor did her Mormon visitors who were cordial and friendly.  I liked them and was intrigued and impressed by their friendlness and obvious loving family values.  These people and their beliefs interested me and  I was eager to speak to the two well dressed young men who came to my door later that year.  Thinking that they were Mormon Missionarys I invited them into my home and soon discovered that they were Jehovahs Witnesses.  Yet another group of believers in God about which I knew nothing.

They offered me a pamphlet to read about Christians and Reading the Bible. I took it and said I would read it but that they  needed to know I was not a Christian and had  never read the Bible. That was alright with them and when they returned to see what I thought of their tract I told them that I supposed that if I were a Christian I aught to read and be familiar with the Bible.  This eventually led to a weekly Tuesday afternoon Bible Study with them and then a Tuesday evening Bible Study in the home of a local non JW family. When I met a young woman who had studied with JW’s for 2 years I was curious to know why she never became a JW herself.  We began sharing our experiences and enjoyed talking about Jesus.  From my perspective Jesus was a superb teacher and a fascinating, compassionate man with many supernatural abilities but I did not see him as God. This became a stumbling block for me as my friend most assuredly believed Jesus was God in the flesh. Nothing I could say changed her mind about that and I took my anger out on God demanding that he alone must convince me that Jesus was God.

I eventually told my JW teachers that I did not believe they were the only true followers of God.  I needed to look elsewhere but if I eventually came to believe that they alone had the truth I was looking for I would return. Today more than 40 years has elapsed and I often dialogue with JW’s when I have the opportunity but as a devout believer in the divine nature of Jesus and  faith in the Trinity I know that we are miles apart and a return to them would be impossible for me as well as for them.

Older Posts »

Categories