Thursday, November 25, 2010


Have you ever wondered why we call them “holidays” (holy days) when our attention is most often turned toward ourselves? Would our celebration activities change if we stopped to consider that over-indulgence in food, drink, entertainment and meaningless conversations are self-serving rather than glorifying to God?

Father’s Word speaks of offering “sacrifices of thanksgiving”. I realize that Jesus was the ultimate sacrifice made once and for all, yet as His followers, we are called to be “holy and living sacrifices” (Romans 12:1). However, out of our abundance, our “generous” offering is often a bag of canned goods for the poor; rarely is there personal contact with those in need. Rather, our attention is turned toward “family gatherings” while those without loved ones spend the day alone. Instead of filling the day with praises to Jesus and encouraging one another in our journey of faith, we often ignore one another while singing praises to our favorite sport teams and cheering for our favorite player! At best, our conversations are seldom concentrated on being thankful.

Not only is there no scriptural direction to set aside one day a year to be thankful, isn’t it hypocritical to say that we are doing so when in reality the day is most often filled with worldliness, selfish-ambition and pride?

For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world (1 John 2:16).

When scripture describes the activities of God’s people seeking to offer sacrifices of thankfulness we see:
Hearts that are softened to the ways of Jesus. - “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart ….” (Psalm 51:17).
A community of believers renewed in their thinking and surrendered to the will of God. - “Present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God” (Romans 12:1-2).
Tongues speaking only that which pleases and glorifies God - “By Him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to His name” (Hebrews 13:15).
Generosity - Do not neglect doing good and sharing: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased” (Hebrews 13:16).

This is hardly a picture of the “traditional thanksgiving celebrations” familiar to most of us! Instead, this is “Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father…” (James 1:27).

My encouragement is this:
If we choose to set aside a day and call it “Thanksgiving”,
at the very least we must ask the Spirit of Jesus to search our hearts,
expose anything that is not worthy of Him
seek His power to honor our Lord Jesus in all that we say and do.

“He who offers a sacrifice of thanksgiving honors Me” (Ps 50:23).


Thursday, November 18, 2010


“Koinonia” is a Greek word most often translated as “fellowship” in the New Testament. However, the meaning of koinonia runs so deep that few Christians today even comprehend it, let alone live it out. According to Strong’s (an authoritative resource that explains the original text of the Bible), koinonia means sharing, intercourse, fellowship, intimacy!

In our culture, looking at the backs of each other’s heads for an hour on Sunday and an occasional potluck dinner is considered fellowship! However, the relationships among God’s children are to be so profoundly intimate that the gift of unity offered to the Father demonstrates an embodiment of Jesus! One body!

Paul urges the church in Rome to offer their individual bodies as a unified “living sacrifice” to God. He describes how this is to be accomplished through living together in community (Romans 12:1-8).

In order to reflect the glorious radiance of Jesus, we must begin to live out that which God desires for us. The life amongst His people is to be so intimate that we:

live together. And all those who had believed were together (Acts 2:44).
The word “together” is translated from epaulis. According to Strong’s epaulis means, “living quarters, cottage, cabin, farm”. In the New American Standard Hebrew-Aramaic and Greek Dictionaries it is defined as, habitation, homestead.
daily share meals with generous hearts in one another’s homes (Acts 2:46).
share duties and possessions, even selling property and possessions in order to provide for those in need (Acts 2:44, 45).
teach and preach Jesus as the Christ in each other’s homes, regardless of persecution (Acts 2:46, 5:42).
give generously and corporately providing for Christian siblings in other communities (Romans 12:13, 15:26; 2 Corinthians 9:13).
suffer together; being strong for those who are weak, (Romans 15:1), bearing one another’s burdens (Galatians. 6:2) and weeping together (Romans 12:15).
encourage one another day after day (Hebrews 3:13).
recite Scripture and songs to each other and to the Lord (Ephesians 5:19).
rejoice together (Romans. 12:15).
admonish the unruly (1 Thessalonians 5:14).
confess our sins to and pray for one another (James 5:16) and in a spirit of gentleness, restore those caught in sin (Galatians 6:1).
show affection to one another (1 Corinthians 16:20).

The culture that we live in has a very individualistic perspective of life, even within the Christian community. However, God’s design is that we live a life together that is so beautifully intimate that those looking in from the outside are in awe! Can you imagine such satisfying habitation, that the believers are held in high esteem by those around (Acts 5:13)?

The New Testament scholar, Richard Hays irrefutably explains why our Father has called us to such a level of intimacy,

The community, in its corporate life,
is called to embody an alternative order
that stands as a sign of God’s redemptive purposes in the world.

In fact, this intimacy amongst God’s people is what Jesus prayed for: that they may all be one; even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us, so that the world may believe that You sent Me. John 17:21

I long for a community life in which I’m daily working side by side with brothers and sisters, singing praises & reciting scripture. I dream of joyfully sharing daily meals with my family in Christ. It’s my heart’s desire to openly acknowledge my weaknesses, knowing that my siblings will lovingly bear with me in prayer and encouragement. And I pray that my heart would be so full of love that others could confess their sins to me, knowing that I will gently help them find healing. I’ve come to understand that the bounty with which I have been entrusted is meaningless unless I am blessed with seeing others enjoy it.

The Lord is bringing me to a place of realizing that nothing else but His Body really matters. George Bernard Shaw poignantly expresses my heart in this regard;

I am of the opinion that
my life belongs to the whole community
and as long as I live
it is my privilege to do for it whatever I can.
I want to be thoroughly used up when I die.


Thursday, November 11, 2010

HEALTH - Oregano Oil: God’s Provision vs. Man’s Experiments

Shortly after arriving at our friend Dale’s home, he rolled up his sleeve and asked for my opinion. While there was no sign of drainage, his forearm was visibly discolored and swollen, as well as warm to the touch and tender. Dale had acquired this infection by inadvertently puncturing his arm with a needle while administering antibiotics to hogs! “Any suggestions,” he queried.

I happened to have some oregano oil
which has been proven to be
an effective antibiotic in killing staph, E.coli and other bacteria.
Studies have also shown that oregano oil
supersedes many anti-inflammatory drugs
and is a very powerful pain killer.

Recognizing that oregano oil has the ability to penetrate skin, after 20 minutes of a hot salt water soak, I asked Dale if he was willing to give it a try. He admitted later that he was skeptical, but agreed to the application.

Pure oregano oil is very caustic and must be diluted to be safe. In fact, the effect of taking oregano oil orally is “hot” like cayenne pepper. I have found that if the diluted oil is poured into the back of the throat rather than sipped; the “fiery” affect is nearly eliminated!

In Dale’s case, I mixed three drops of oregano oil with one teaspoon of olive oil and rubbed a small amount into the tissue of the affected area and encouraged him to take the remainder internally. I recommended that Dale follow this procedure 3-4 times daily for 7-10 days.

Although I was hoping to see changes, I wasn’t sure if that would happen within our short three-day visit. Dale’s skepticism was demolished after the second day and I was delighted when he rolled-up his sleeve and we saw that the discoloration was disappearing and the warmth and tenderness had greatly decreased in intensity! Within a few days, Dale reported that there was absolutely no sign of infection!

A few days later, a friend shared that she had tendonitis in her heel and arthritis in her hip both of which caused her great pain and limited activity. Having studied that oregano oil penetrates as far as the sinovial fluid in joints to reduce inflammation and pain, I left her with a jar of the mixture mentioned above. She reports that she is experiencing great results from faithful application!

While visiting this friend, an out of state visitor arrived shortly after twisting her ankle. It was tender and already beginning to swell! I offered to massage her ankle following the mixture proportions given above. Although I don’t know the end results, she did say that the pain level had decreased within a few minutes!

Do you have plans to travel, yet fear Montezuma’s revenge? Studies have shown oregano oil to be powerfully effective against water borne and other parasites, as well as food poisoning with only a few drops before meals and added to drinking water.

Rather than exposing ourselves to antibiotics which are useless against fungal and viral infections, why not daily administer diluted oregano oil which has been found to be possibly the most powerful antifungal, antiviral and immune building therapy available? For the occasional “bug” that sneaks in, it has been reported that more frequent dosages of oregano oil, often stops them in their tracks!

While smaller doses are recommended for children, internal consumption of oregano oil is not recommended for children under 5 years of age. Instead, mix 1 drop in 1 teaspoon of olive oil and massage into their feet.

Like Dale, you may be skeptical. It all sounds too good to be true, doesn’t it? I understand. I was once there myself. However, oregano oil
is only one example of God’s glorious provision. If we would simply pay attention, He has provided all that we need without exposing ourselves to the imperfect, harmful experiments of man!


The author of this article does not endorse everything represented on/in suggested links, books, etc. Each of us is accountable to God to weigh everything according to His Word.

All content of this article is commentary or opinion and is protected under Free Speech. The author sells no hard products and earns no money from the recommendation of products. The information herein is presented for educational and commentary purposes only and should not be construed as professional advice from any licensed practitioner. The information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent disease. This is best left to the Creator of the universe. In all health-related situations, “qualified healthcare professionals” should always be consulted. The author deems THE GREAT PHYSICIAN to be most qualified. The author assumes no responsibility for the use or misuse of this material.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

SPIRITUAL - Surrender: The Potter and His Clay

Birthdays….have you ever pondered, “What is the purpose of celebrating the day of my birth? Is it for reflecting upon what has occurred in the past year? Or….is it the anticipation of what is to come in the new year of life?” I suppose it can be both. However, I’m coming to realize that, more importantly, it is the celebration of what God intended for me when He created me. It is commemorating the unique way in which He equipped and gifted me. It is honoring the very special purpose designed for me which no one ever born nor will ever be born can fulfill.

This is nothing less than astonishing to me! However, I’m also coming to realize that -

I can’t truly enjoy the celebration
of what and whom He has created me to be
if I can not fully surrender to Him;
the Creator, the Equipper and One who offers the gifts!

Surrender: it is an ongoing battle isn’t it, my friend? Yet, when I consider my resistance to it, behind the battle I re-discover selfishness, pride, isolation and inner turmoil. Oh, how I abhor that sinfulness which lives within me and how I long for full and complete submission to my Lord! Yet, where, how do we find it? It seems illusive. Doesn’t it?

like the clay in the potter’s hand,
so are you in My hand…!
Jeremiah 18:6

If we find ourselves genuinely longing for such total yielding, we are closer to it than we realize. As painful as it is in that place of longing, it is through this hunger and thirst, this searching, sorting and seeking that we learn how helpless and incapable we truly are. When we realize at the very core of our being that the ability to surrender is not in us, rather it is in the precious, yet fiery work of the Spirit of Jesus, then we become pliable enough for Him to accomplish His finishing work within us. In this, there is no credit that we can claim for finally figuring it out or mustering it up. Instead, all praise, glory and honor goes to the only One who deserves it, Christ Jesus!

It is my prayer that, at your next birthday, the Holy Spirit will be your guide helping you to more fully celebrate the birth of the precious child and servant whom God created you to be.