100…102…105

Fire

 
By G. P. Avants

 

“You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed in you, because he trusts in you.”

                                               

                                                            Isaiah 26:3

 

Fire Sword

This is one of those blog entries where I wasn’t sure about sharing.  I will ask you to bear with me and pardon my length. I will try to get to my point without taking unnecessary jabs, thrusts and parries.

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For the past month I have felt inside out. It is as if a fire was burning in my mind and getting to some old long buried issues.  The struggle has been the beginnings of depression.  I recognize the signs but, wonder why I am going through this now? Again? Yes, this is hard to talk about because as a Christian, shouldn’t I have victory over this once and for all? Why am I still in this “mind field” as it were once again?

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I think it’s because someone is turning the heat up. I do not mean global warming or any other environmental condition. I mean the hearts of people are being put under a fire. It is not unlike the crucible that is meant to refine gold and remove the dross. We are being prepared for something coming and this testing of the heart and mind is part of the process.

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If I can go back to the mind field for a moment it might make more sense. When a person has a creative imagination they also struggle with their imagination. That is the part of the mind that thinks and over thinks, wonders and worries, studies and is worn from understanding.  The mind, for me, is a fantastic destination full of endless possibilities. However, if worry, doubt, and fear decide to pay a visit that beautiful vista of the mind darkens rather quickly.  Throw in some anger because things aren’t turning out the way you planned, and you have the makings of a mind at war. Try to sleep and night with those fireworks going off and you get the idea.

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When you are uncertain about yourself how can you help others? If you doubt your faith and your own sincerity, where is the peace to pass on to others?  It’s a lot of time being slated for self-evaluation when you see the real world on the outside passing you by. There is a time to go through this process, however when depression comes it brings its baggage. It’s not just for a weekend getaway,  it wants to move in permanently.

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If you bear with me a moment or two longer I think there will be a bright side to this gloomy topic.  God knows what He is doing and how to make the most of a bad situation.  He knows what is in men’s heart and mind. The Lord knows the right timing to open up and heal an issue in our lives. God is also a master of timing. He knows that the struggles we have will also assist others who are in the same boat. Talk about someone who knows how to get His ducks in a row, the most bang for his buck, etc.  He will be there before we quack up and restore a better sanity then we had before. And yes, He can help us get that smile and that sense of humor back.  (Can I get an amen, even a feeble, tired one? )

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The Lord needs his children ready for whatever comes ahead.  The temperature of the hearts of men and women are being cranked up worldwide or in contrast if they ignore it, are becoming colder. There is not medium heat setting here.

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We need to be enabled to work in the fire and under pressure so we won’t melt away.  That is exactly why we see the junk in ourselves rising to the surface. If you have the Spirit of Christ living in you, He is cleaning house, and replacing it with the real life inside. For some of us who are “sin hoarders”, we have tucked, stuffed, crammed, and impacted our lives with dead rotting things that use to be alive, sort of.  That takes time to remove and the Lord knows it.  He is ready to kick up the flame and get down to cleaning process. The question is, do you trust Him?

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I am telling you now it’s not a pretty site to see your junk coming to he surface. It’s painful when you see yourself as not measuring up to what you think a good Christian is meant to be.  You might cry out. “I can’t do this? I am not perfect!”

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That is a shock but a very honest statement.  None of us are have it together like a “Good Christian” should. We all need the Lord not just for the moment of salvation but,  for the rest of our lives. Life is a process that takes all your life to fully appreciate.

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Posted in Christian inspirational, God, God's Kingdom, God's Love, God's timing, Holy Spirit, Inspirational, Jesus, Relationship with God, Spiritual education, Spiritual fitness, Spiritual Health, Spiritual renewal, spiritual strength, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Did You Choose A 70 or 7 year plan?

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By G.P. Avants

       ” I am going there to prepare a place for you.”

                                                       John 14:2

Are your ready for the future? I’m sure you may have been thinking about retirement or starting a new career after you’ve put in a few years at your current job. College funds? TSA? I’m talking eternity? Are you ready for stepping into that long term situation or are you caught up in the worries of the present?

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I will tell you that if you haven’t thought that far out you might want to do so quickly. If you haven’t noticed yet the world is becoming a little darker each day. Yet, we haven’t seen anything yet. There’s a time coming that is unprecedented in our world. It’s the final battle between good and evil. It will literally be a hell of a war and we all need to decide which side we will side with.

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There are two plans that the Bible talked about for getting people’s attention. One was the exile of the nation of Israel. Imagine an entire nation taken away, scattered and mingled with foreign nations for 70 years. God did this to get Israel’s attention. They turned their back on the God who made them who they are and embraced the world. He warned them of the consequences of joining a lost and sinful world; because He was in the process of cleansing the world of sin.

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The miracle was that God did restore Israel for a time and brought the Messiah through that restored line. (Another handprint of God was that he restored Israel in the 1940’s after being totally dispersed in the world, forgotten as a nation for over 1,000 years)

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Does it take that long to get our attention? I don’t know if we have that much time to try the patience of God. He has a 7 year period plan prepared to do a final judgment in the world. It is a tenth the time of the exile but it is 100 or 1000 times more intensive of a judgment.I ask you: Do you really want to go through a time of great trial if you don’t have to? People will be saved, finally, through that time but, what they have to go through will be horrible. You will be beaten, broken, and some beheaded for their faith. That’s on top of famine, plague, constant world-wide natural disasters, and political upheaval.

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Why not chose the eternal plan right now? There is a 0 year wait. You can be certain to have hope beyond all of the craziness surrounding you. You can know peace in the midst of chaos, and come to understand that all the struggles you face have a greater purpose. Life will finally make sense.

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God sent His Son, Jesus, as payment for the world’s sin. He came to destroy the very root of man’s problems which He did on an old wooden cross. God is now able to renew your life because sin is no longer a barrier between you and He. God made you for Himself to enjoy eternal fellowship. That lost dream can be found again.

If you haven’t received Christ here’s a prayer that might help.

Dear Lord, I want to know you now. I want to be ready for eternity so I ask your forgiveness for my sin. I surrender my life to you, Jesus, and ask you to be the Lord of my life. Thank you for healing my life one day at a time and making me ready for Heaven.

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           I ask this in Jesus name Amen.

Have you made you plan yet?

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Posted in Christian inspirational, End Times, God's anger, God's Kingdom, God's Love, God's timing, Inspirational, Jesus, Relationship with God, The Bible, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Thanks, GJ. from G.P.

By. G.P. Avants

A few months ago I ran into a fellow writer named. G.J. Stevens. He writes a blog that promotes his book about surviving the end of the world. Though I am not a zombie fan, however I found G.J.’s writing compelling and really exciting.

 

Now as we all know that writers have to do branch off and do some networking, some marketing, etc. to get their work out there. I was asked to talk about my writing and projects as part of a get to know author campaign that G.J. initiated. Here is the link and the interview he did with me. Hope you enjoy.

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G.P. Avants

Author Interview Series: G. P. Avants

Posted in Bloggers, Christian Bloggers, Faith, fellowship, God, God's Love, God's timing, New authors, Relationship with God, Uncategorized, Word Press Bloggers | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

40 to the 3rd power (40x40x40)

Wilderness

“Cast your burden on the Lord and He shall sustain you; He shall never permit the righteous to be moved.”

                                             Psalm 55:22

Man

Moses passed through 40’s the number of testing three times in his life. These wilderness times changed him into a man of God. Timing is everything. Being at the right place at the right time is good but being the RIGHT person at the right place is even more important.

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I have come to understand that maturity doesn’t always come with age. Everyone matures differently and being a real adult is not always age-related. Even though I was getting married at thirty didn’t mean I was really ready for that commitment. The Lord took me to South Korea for a year in order to really grow my character and faith. I looked grown up on the outside, but He knew I wasn’t on the inside.

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The Lord can make a wilderness out of any experience we face. It has the purpose of removing those things that have hindered our maturity and growing us up in faith. When I think of someone who knew the benefits of doing wilderness time I think of Moses. He thought he was ready but God knew the timing in his life better than he did. He was a man who tried to be God’s hand of justice for His people. At forty years old he was a Prince of Egypt and had all the world says one needs to be somebody. He was a man physically but he wasn’t ready to be God’s man yet. He needed forty years of wilderness training before he could have the right heart. So, when things fell out Moses went live in the wilderness for forty more years. His issues were broken down and he was a rebuilt man by the time he heard the Lord’s call again.

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If you do the math he was eighty years old when God called him out. Okay, that’s when most people are retired and thinking about slowing down, Mo was getting cranked up. Was this a cruel joke? Did he wait too late? Was Moses past his prime?

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The Lord knows a few things that we do not. Everything in His creation has a different length of maturity. Have you ever seen people you know who have made major changes later on in life? That could be that it has taken that long for them to come into bloom.  He knows the time, place, people, circumstances, and timing we are designed for. Just because a dream hasn’t happened yet doesn’t mean it won’t later.  Don’t loose heart if things are taking longer than you planned.

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At almost forty-seven year old I felt The Lord was prepping me for something I am called to do for the rest of my life. You might think I am crazy, but I am pacing myself for another fifty or so years. I feel like, if The Lord does not come soon, that I have a lot of work yet to do.  The thing is, it is the Lord’s strength, direction, and purpose that powers these dreams. He has his timing and The Lord can keep a man or woman strong as long as He needs them to be.

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Just a final footnote. Moses wasn’t done at eight, or even a hundred. Because of extenuating circumstances and an entire stubborn generation, Moses lived a third set of forty years tramping in the wilderness.  40 x 3=120. When God uses a person He gets his money and time out if them.

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We only have one life to live it might as well be lived to the fullest. Are you gearing up for the rest of your life?  (For you math people I know the title doesn’t add up. “Forty to the third power” is actually 40x40x40 which equals 640. Look at it this way: Forty times three which represents the Trinity, which equals a life changed for eternity. It may not be perfect math yet somehow it’s still a good equation.)

The Wider Image: Last residents hold on in Tunisia's underground houses

 

Posted in Being a witness, Bible, Bloggers, Body of Christ, Christian Bloggers, Christian character, Christian inspirational, Christian living, God, God's Kingdom, God's Love, God's timing, Inspirational, Relationship with God, Strength in Christ, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Click! Clack! 

CC

 

By G.P. Avants

 

“Endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.”

 

                                                   Ephesians 4:3

 

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One way I use to connect with people was with playing games and activities. I think playing board games is a great way to understand people better. One childhood toy I do remember was called, “Click, Clack.” It was two plastic balls held together by a nylon string. The idea was to get the two balls to smack together in synchronization up and down which caused them to click and clack together. That seemed like a simple toy, but really required a fair amount of focus and concentration.

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Growing up I was very shy. That was probably because I was awkward, gangly, had crooked teeth, and stumbled over my words as well as my oversized feet. At school I first learned about clicks. Everyone had people they clicked with. It wasn’t just the cool kids, but thank God nerds and geeks congregate as well. I had finally found my people.

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But something happened as I began to become more conscience of people outside of my bubble. I met lonely people who looked like they needed a friend. I tried to include them, welcome them, into our group of friends. I just assumed everyone was welcome and no one was excluded. For whatever reason they didn’t want to be part of a click or sadly some in our group snubbed them.  That is when I jokingly dubbed the word, “clack”.  To me that meant people who see people as part of a bigger community.  So, where a click might be deeper and fewer relationships,  a clack could elicit broader relationships with less depth, but more inclusion.

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As all things come full circle, my now teenage daughter has come to these conclusions herself. She loves to have those close friendships, but avoids being clickish. She does see that there are others who she wants to connect with and does make attempts to build a connection. So, I guess this piece is an ongoing idea that we all can find useful at any age.

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Do you have to pick between the two when it comes to relationships?

Is there a balance between the two? This might not be a different swing on this verse, but I think it applies. Solomon talked in the book of Ecclesiastes about two people are better together and a three-fold cord is not easily broken. To me it says that the Lord, being that strong center cord , is the balance between every aspect of our lives. Since God is all about building healthy relationships, why wouldn’t He show us how we can do this with His constant help?

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So we can maintain close friendships with depth and closeness.

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And find ways to connect with all sorts of people in whatever situation we find ourselves in.

CLACK!

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What is your take on this? Do you agree there can be balance?

Click! Clack!

Want more on this topic?

https://psychcentral.com/lib/click-or-clique-positive-and-negative-teen-social-groups/

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Posted in Christian inspirational, God's Kingdom, God's Love, Holy Spirit, Inspirational, Jesus, Relationship with God, relationships, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

40 Days of Porpoise

By G. P. Avants

 

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“You understand, O Lord; remember me and care for me.”

                                                               Jeremiah 15: 15

 

( No, Pastor this is not a typo.)

This is a story. A story about a woman, aquatic mammal, and a year pass to Sea World.

“What a deal. If you buy a Sea World ticket before mid-May it will be good for the rest of the year.” Announced Daddy.

“Sounds good,” Momma responded with a clap of her hands.  “Considering money has been tight and the kids will love going time and again.”

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So all that summer they visited the various animals at world famous Sea World. What was great was that they could take their time and visit each animal as long as they wanted. If they missed something they could come back and visit another time soon.

Everyone had their favorite but, Momma kept coming back to the dolphins and the porpoise tanks. There was something about these gentle creatures that captured her interest.

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Maybe it was the way they moved. Was it something in their eyes? She wasn’t sure but, Momma took lots of digital pictures and loved sitting at the glass window to see them interact with humans.

How many days passed and she still didn’t get bored watching them interact with each other and do those aquatic mammal things.

DOLPHIN - Bottle-nosed Dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) mammal fairly common still in the North Atlantic and Mediteranean.

One curious day as Momma was watching her favorite porpoise she named Glitter something wonderful happened. It was a cloudy day and that made the water dark and murky. Usually the creatures were frisky and always playful.

But today they were listless and dragging. But then the clouds parted and a beam of light fell into the pool that the porpoises were swimming in. In unison all of the porpoises looked up toward the light. The raised their noses toward the light and closed their eyes.

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Momma blinked her eyes.

Was she seeing things? She held her breath and watched as they seemed to thank God for the gift of life. Then they swam off resuming their normal active hilarity.

Momma thought about this all the way home that day. Daddy wondered if something was wrong.

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“You’ve been quiet. Are you okay?” Momma smiled.

“It’s funny what you can learn…really re-learn when you listen. If simple animals can remember their Creator and be thankful for simply being alive, what’s my problem?”

“I won’t argue with you there. Food for thought, huh?”

“More for my soul.”

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32 Lizards

dad-and-daughter

By G. P. Avants

 

“Daddy, there’s another one!”

“Where?”

“Under that wooden rail.”

“Oh, yes. It’s green with stripes. I’m just glad its not a snake.”

“That’s thirty.”

“Daddy, this bike ride is harder and longer than the last one.”

“I know but you’re doing so good.”

“How much farther?”

“A couple of more miles.”

“Oh…look there’s another lizard. That makes thirty-one.”

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My baby is seven now. Where has the time gone? We all say that but, we know its been caught up in just daily living. When she first rode this lake she was attached on the back of my bike with a sort of tandem bike. We worked together to make the trip. So her efforts were a combined venture with mine.

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This time she was on her own. Those hills and valleys were all her. So, like I told Autumn, this really was a big step for her. It was part of her taking some big strides and learning what endurance really takes out of us.

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Life is not a quick sprint. It’s not an easy cotton candy stroll down the board walk in the cool of the day. No, its more of a marathon or a long bike ride. It will take us to places we never dreamed but, it will cost us in time, energy, and patience. The cost is high but, worth every penny of it. It requires that we grow and stretch beyond ourselves. That is if one wants to live a life that really God planned for us to live. Sometimes, we have to focus on the little things when the road gets to long or the hills get too steep. I am thankful for companions along the way and the chance to count skittering lizards to get our mind off how long the journey can become.

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I smile. This trip will get easier the more she takes it. Her endurance will increase as she takes each new step or pushes each pedal around and around. The muscles strain and even her eyelids will sweat however, the price is worth the journey. I hope that I will be there to see her take on life in the same manner. Maybe someday she will be counting lizards or other wild creatures with her children as they begin their travels.

“There it is, Sweaty…”

“Daddy!”

“Just kidding. There’s the gate, Sweety. You made it!”

“Hooray!”

“I’m proud of you.”

“Thanks, Daddy. Oh look.”

“What?”

“Number thirty-two.”

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