Advice to Live By

August 31, 2020

Colossians 3:17

And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, [do] all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.

Advice to Live By

              If we are to take a short and concise statement as to how we should walk and live each day, this scripture might well be it.  If we filter all of our thoughts, words, intentions and actions through the Holy Spirit and God’s Word to meet the criteria of this command it will check us in a lot of areas.  It will also keep us in a state of constant communion and fellowship with the Holy Spirit.  It is only as we walk by the Spirit that we can fulfill this requirement. 

              Name is represented in nature, character and authority, so that as we do all in the name of Jesus, we operate out of His character and nature in all the aspects of our life.  It is the authority of that name that gives us victory and dominion over sin.   I can tell you that what we do in the name of Jesus will not always align with how we feel about a person or a situation.  Most often our feelings will have to be brought into conformity with God’s love.  True Agape love is most often a choice and not a feeling. 

              Contrary to our popular feelings and beliefs life is not about our rights, it is the relinquishment of all that we are so that He is lifted up and glorified through us.  Our life is all about what is pleasing and honoring to Him.  In Him we live and move and have our being.  By the Spirit of Christ in us let us live and operate our lives in the love, power, authority and the nature of the name that He has given us.  Let all things be to His glory, honor and praise as we ever give thanks to God by Him. 

Blessings,

#kent

A Letter to My Son

July 28, 2020

A Letter to My Son

Proverbs 1:8

Listen, my son, to your father’s instruction and do not forsake your mother’s teaching.

              My son, do you know how much I love you?  Do you know how I prayed for you even when you were in your mother’s womb and each day since?  A father’s heart is to see his son grow up and be even more than he could ever be.  He wants the best for him.  He wants him to prosper and know the joys and richness of life.  More than anything else, a father who loves the Lord will desire his son to grow up to embrace his own faith in Christ.  A father of faith desires to birth that faith and relationship with Christ into his son. 

              Why is that so important?  The father knows that in Christ are the issues of life, health, wealth and eternal salvation.  If a father can impart to his son how rich he will be through a committed relationship with Christ then he will have left a legacy that he can be proud of.  Your mother and I will have fulfilled one of the primary purposes for our being together.  Malachi 2:15 says, “And did not God make [you and your wife] one [flesh]? Did not One make you and preserve your spirit alive? And why [did God make you two] one?  Because He sought a godly offspring [from your union]. Therefore take heed to yourselves, and let no one deal treacherously and be faithless to the wife of his youth.”  While Christian parents desire to live a godly example and be a light of salvation to others, there is no other soul more precious to them than you. 

              As a son grows up and matures he sees the parents he once perceived as so good with their faults and shortcomings.  As a son grows into puberty and adolescence he often becomes quite full on himself and defiant and resentful of his parents.  A father has had a few short years to try and instill the principles of life and godliness into his son.  He has disciplined him to try and teach him responsibility, integrity and character.  He knows he has made more mistakes than he would ever like to admit, but he prays that somehow, in spite of his shortcomings and failures God, by His grace, will make Himself so real to his son and that his son might now choose to make his parent’s faith his own. 

              As fathers we are often far less than perfect, but if this father doesn’t know anything else and if he doesn’t possess any other significant talents or abilities, the one thing that he does know and is fully committed to is that Christ is the answer to life.  He prays that if His son gets nothing else from him, that he will get that.  For a godly parent, there is no greater gift or reward than to see one’s children choosing the path of righteousness and walking in it.  There are no richer moments than when we see them instilling and teaching their children the ways and the love of the Lord. 

              My son, I leave you with these words of instruction from Proverbs 4:20-27, “My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings. Let them not depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart For they [are] life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh. Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it [are] the issues of life. Put away from thee a froward mouth, and perverse lips put far from thee. Let thine eyes look right on, and let thine eyelids look straight before thee. Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established Turn not to the right hand nor to the left: remove thy foot from evil.”  My son, I love you and only desire for you the richness and goodness of God’s grace and love.

Blessings,

#kent

Life is Fragile, Handle with Care

1 Peter 1:22

Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, [see that ye] love one another with a pure heart fervently:

              There are many today that are environmentally sensitive.  They are very concerned about the land, its resources and the wildlife that inhabits it.  The wheels of progress have been stopped because of how it might impact a mouse.  Some of the things we hear about seem a little extreme.  There is nothing wrong with caring about the environment and taking care of it.  That is the responsible thing to do.  I wonder though if we are often as sensitive and caring about the needs of people and especially the people that occupy our environment?  How often do we go crashing through someone’s life and emotions with little regard?  We can be critical, judgmental and degrading of others and we hardly give it a second thought.  Some of us have developed a bulldozer lifestyle of speaking and acting critically, harshly and unkindly to others.  How are we impacting the quality and the development of their lives?  Are we as sensitive to them as some are to the environment or do we just go crashing through their emotions wounding and tearing without a thought of the impact we are having?  Do we treat everyone with the same dignity and respect we want to be treated with?

              Sometimes it takes a tragedy for us to wake up to what we were doing and even then there is a good chance that we are still too insensitive to realize what we have done.  Take a good look around at the environment of the souls that you dwell among and interact with.  Do you see the person that everyone criticizes and makes fun of?  Do you see the person that has become invisible and nobody else even acknowledges or cares about them?  Do you see any of the wounded and the broken that need an affirming word and the encouragement to know that they have value and worth?  Take time to survey the humanity that surrounds you.  Look for the opportunity to be an environmentalist of souls, protecting and caring for those who can not care for themselves. 

              What did Jesus come to do?  Isaiah 61 says, “The Spirit of the Lord GOD [is] upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to [them that are] bound; To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn; To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified.”  As we are in Him and He is in us this has become our ministry as well.  Look for the opportunities to make life a better environment in which to live, especially for those that are so often despised and looked down upon.  Maybe that person is as close as someone in your own family.  Life is fragile, handle it with care.

Blessings,

#kent

2 Timothy 1:7

For God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

A Principle of Life about Fear

If given the choice, most of us would be quite content to live a nice, safe, secure, healthy and relatively uneventful life.  In many ways, a lot of us have.  We need to ask ourselves is that really living or is that comfortably dying a slow death?  

One thing fear does, is it gets us out of our comfort zone.  It often gets our heart racing and our adrenaline pumping.  Our senses come alive in the face of danger and uncertainty.  If we could see our lives in the light of the spiritual couch potatoes we would become if we never faced any trials, testing or adversity, then we can better appreciate why God allows them to come into our lives.  

In order for our faith to grow it must be challenged so that our faith can come up to the level of our challenge.  Since fear doesn’t come to us from God then we must realize that faith is the antidote to fear.  Faith sets our eyes and attention back where they belong.  Looking to the Father.  When we realize that fear comes from our inadequacy, weakness and inability to control a situation, we either have to face it in the frailty of human ability or have a revelation of what God has given us to counter it with.  God hasn’t given us the spirit of fear, but what He has given us is the Spirit of power, love and a sound mind.  We have a mighty arsenal to combat fear and to overcome it.  Fear only works as long as you are afraid.  When you are no longer afraid, fear has lost its power.  What the Word of God is telling us is that you don’t have to be afraid.  You don’t have to fret, worry or be anxious.  What you need to do, is lay hold with faith and confidence upon God’s Word, His promises and assurance.  The more you fill your self with the Word of God and spend time in His presence; the more bold, confident and faith-filled you become.  For the enemy and the spirit of fear, you then, become a force to be reckoned with.  The person who really has a revelation of their identity in Christ, who knows their position in heavenly places in Christ Jesus and operates in their God given and appointed purpose is a dangerous person to the enemy of fear and darkness.  The gates of hell can not prevail against that person.  

An example of such a person was seen in David.  He was called, appointed, anointed and knew who he was in God when he confronted Goliath.  He didn’t fall into that trap of fear like the rest of the camp of Israel.  He came from a place of faith and authority, not his, but the Spirit of God in him.  Later, we see Saul, with all the resources and armies of Israel at his command pursuing David’s life, but unable to capture and take it.  He was that spirit of fear that pursued David, but was unable to prevail, because David put his trust and confidence in the Lord.  

Was that an easy place for David? No, it was a very difficult place, but at that time David lived and walked with God closer than at any other time in his life.  Adversities are often allowed in our lives to stir us into faith.  They cause our spiritual senses to come alive and get our focus off of the world onto the Lord.  Fear isn’t always a bad thing, not because we want to succumb to it, but because we want the faith to arise in our hearts, along with the resident power, love and the mind of Christ to overcome all fear and the adversary that stands before us.  The force of opposition only serves to make us stronger.

We are sons and daughters of the Most High God.  Our Captain, King and Savior has conquered death and the grave.  He has set down at the right Hand of the Father until His enemies be made His footstool.  We are the body and feet of our Captain and King, Jesus.  He is putting the enemy beneath our feet, because we are His.  

Someone once said, “You need to either get busy living or get busy dying.”  Our time for being complacent, lethargic and comfortable is soon coming to an end.  We need to make the choice to live or to die, life or death.  If we are going to live then we need to live out of the place where we pursue fear and it doesn’t pursue us.  We have to come into that place of having assurance of who we are and what God put us on this earth for.  We were not put here to be subject to this kingdom that lives under the rule and power of sin and death.  We live under the law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus.  We were put here to invade this earthly kingdom with the kingdom Heaven, Life and God.  “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, in earth as it is in heaven.”  We are God’s portals, conduits and well springs through which He invades the kingdom of this earth.  That is not going to happen through spiritual couch potatoes that are content with the leeks and onions of Egypt.  It is going to happen through an army of believers that are hearing the trumpet of war sounding in God’s camp and are responding to it.  If we don’t respond to God’s calling and come into that place of abiding in the Almighty and under the shadow of His wing, then soon the spirit of fear will arise and cover the earth and those who have not found their place in Him will be overtaken by it.  Father has not given us that spirit of fear,  He has given us the Spirit of Sonship, whereby we cry, “Abba, Father”.  We are His kids and we were born for this, so don’t allow fear to rule your hearts, but come up into the faith and confidence of who you are in Christ and trample fear beneath your feet!

Blessings,
#kent

The Streams of our Hopes and Dreams

Psalms 127:3

Lo, children [are] an heritage of the LORD: [and] the fruit of the womb [is his] reward. 

Springs bubble up from the melted winter snow

Pure little streams trickle down to larger ones below.

How precious the resource of these little bubbling springs

They are like the wellsprings of all our hopes and dreams.

They bubble to the surface birthed into their little stream.

They are so rich in hope as they start off pure and clean.

Hopes and dreams cascade over the rocks smoothing them to stone,

They cascade over waterfalls showing a splendor all their own.

Sometimes they are muddied as they flow to rivers below,

Sometimes they are unappreciated among the river’s flow.

Still they exist in the heart of the spring from which they came.

Even when they become muddied they are cherished just the same.

Our children are often the seed of so many of our hopes and dreams.

We hope and desire they are not just milk, but rise to be the cream.

Even when life doesn’t bring to pass all that we had dreamed for,

Forever we cherish our dream in them and for them pray the more.

They are our legacy to carry on the resource of our life,

Sometimes they turn from us and it cuts us like a knife,

But we look beyond what we see as we hold on to our dream,

We hope, as long as there is life, that our waters again become clean.

Never lose your hopes and dreams though they become clouded along the way,

Bath them in prayer and faith as you look to a brighter day.

Look to the promise of the seed that you planted within their precious hearts,

Believe that when they are old, from God’s grace and love, they will not remain apart.

Blessings,

#kent

Ephesians 5:22, 24

Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.

Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it…

Did I tell you that I love today?

Did I tell you that I loved you by the way I greeted you today?

Did I hug you and tell you how special you are in so many ways?

Did I do those special little things to serve you and bless you?

Did I look into your eyes, hold you and say, “I love you?”

So often I am rushing through life with so many things on my mind.

I so often fail to communicate and to cherish our special time.

People, work, business, payments, bills, so many pressing things,

I tend to forget how special you are and why I bought that ring.

Forgive me for treating you so ordinary when you’re so extraordinary,

When I think about all of the things you do for me it is exemplary.

What fool runs through their garden and doesn’t stop to smell the flowers?

What gardener doesn’t pull the weeds, nurture the plant and pray for showers?

You are the blessing of my life, so why do I provoke bickering and strife?

So many little hurtful things that I say and do must cut you like a knife.

Life is too short to spend on the things that divide and keep us apart.

Let every morning be brand new and the gift of a brand new start.

It isn’t riches that will make our hearts glad; it is the simple things.

Taking walks, holding hands, just holding you, gives life such meaning.

The visits over a cup of coffee, sharing a book, sharing what touches you.

These are the simple things that bind us close and make our love like glue.

Did I tell you that I love you today and that you’re special in so many ways?

I want you to know I appreciate you and I cherish you every day.

Did I tell you that I really want to work on giving you all of my heart again?

I want to remember at the end of life all that it was, not what it might have been.

I Love You!

Kent  

Blessings,

#kent

Sticking Together

September 9, 2016

Sticking Together

Matthew 19:5-6

and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’]? 6So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate.” 

Remember when we first met?

When we spent that time together falling in love?

I knew you were the woman that I needed to get.

You were that woman I had been dreaming of. 

Remember when I nervously proposed?

You smiled and said yes,

We had no idea of the future I suppose,

All that I knew was that I was happy and blessed.

When we think back of all we’ve been through,

We both know the grace of God has kept us together,

The blessings were many, but there were trials, more than a few.

Times I didn’t know if we would survive the stormy weather.

Have I always loved you, yes.

Have we always felt in love, no.

There are times when we don’t feel blessed,

There are times we want to pack our bags and go.

Yet, we both knew that God had set us as one,

We’ve often questioned,  “What was God thinking?”

We are so different and life together isn’t always fun.

But one of us has lifted the other in the times one was sinking.

The storms of life and marriage have many casualties.

But it is the bond of God’s love alone that can see us through.

Many times we may have given up, becoming another marriage fatality.

God’s love and grace was greater than what we were able to do.

I thank God that you are still by my side.

I thank God for a woman that has loved me like you.

We both thank the Lord that He has been our guide

We both would be in the ditch of life had He not been true.

We are still conforming to one another’s ways.

We don’t always feel love or act the way we should.

We still struggle, fuss and have our off days.

But God’s love is the glue that sticks together these two pieces of wood.

As we grow older I see we need each other even more,

We have to be the strength in one another’s needs.

You are still that young girl that my heart longs for.

You are my garden and the precious fruit upon which I feed.

Blessings,

#kent

Christ in You

May 3, 2016

 

Matthew 25: 35-40

“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 

35For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 

36I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’ 

37″Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 

38When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ 

40″The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.’ 

Christ in You

You are a ray of sunshine.

You are the extension of God’s divine.

You bring healing in the midst of pain.

You are heaven on an earthly plane.

When you walk into a room it brightens up.

When you spend time with me you fill my cup.

You are my companion when I feel alone.

The voice of love is in your tone.

You are the servant that gives your all.

You pick those up who stumble and fall.

You encourage those who have lost their worth.

You share the life that brings new birth.

I see His face when you smile.

I see His walk when you go the second mile.

I see His love in your unselfish ways.

Yes, you are His expression day by day.

Kent Stuck

Blessings!

Forgiveness

May 2, 2016

Matthew 6:14-15
For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.

Forgiveness

I would dare say that all of us have had experiences in life where others have wronged or hurt us and in some cases quite severely and repeatedly. It is often these experiences, wounds and hurts that we can not seem to release. They are a trauma upon our lives. It is in these adverse life experiences that we are confronted with a choice to forgive and release an offense or to hold on to it and maintain the unforgiveness. When we are hurt it is our natural inclination to want to hurt back.
In the natural we often are wounded through life and most are superficial. In most cases they require a little attention and then they heal and we go on. There are those times when we are wounded more deeply and without cleansing the wound and putting something on to disinfect, we can get it infected. When infection sets in the wound festers and will not heal. In fact, untreated, it will become worse and more compromising to our health. It can actually be the infection that comes into us through the wound that could end up killing us rather than the wound itself. That is what unforgiveness is like. With emotional hurts and wounds there is a natural healing process and with the right heart and attitude those wounds will heal. They may leave some scars, but life goes on. Unfortunately, for some of us, there are places and ways that we have been hurt where we let the infection of unforgiveness come in. It is a form of hate and it can even be toward ourselves as well as others. It is the love of God that is the antibiotic that heals the infection of unforgiveness. It is when we see Jesus, unjustly accused, mocked, ridiculed, beaten to the point of being unrecognizable and then nailed to cross who can, before he breathes his last breath, say,” Father forgive them, for they know not what they do” that we see what forgiveness really looks like. It is only as we are willing to apply that same forgiveness of love toward our offenders that we can receive the forgiveness of our offenses. Before God, we stand no less guilty of sin and offense than those who have wounded us. What we ask of God, we must be willing to extend to others.
It is the love released through making the decision to forgive, not just the feelings, that is the antibiotic that will bring healing and restoration. First it restores our relationship back to Father and then it works to restore our human relationships.
You may be saying, “yeah, but you don’t how many times this person has hurt me.” Peter addresses this question unto the Lord in Matthew 18:21-22, ” Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?”
22Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.” You see sin kills, but God’s love is the multiplication of forgiveness that triumphs even over the depth and death of sin. It is the grace of God’s forgiveness that brought each one of us into a place where can know the restored fellowship and relationship with the Father. We receive that only through His forgiveness for us, because we all deserve condemnation and death. Luke 6:37 exhorts us, ” Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven.”
For some of us it is time that we examine our hearts and lay down this cross of unforgiveness that we have been carrying. We must realize that the unforgiveness is doing far greater damage to us than even the offense. It is keeping us from our own forgiveness and right relationship with the Father. Ask the Father for His love in you to release the unforgiveness you have been carrying, no matter how awful the offense. As He forgave us, we ought also to forgive others. How can we have Christ come forth in us if the very prominent part of His nature is forgiveness?
First come and release it to the Father and then release the individual or individuals. When you release you will be released from the judgement that unforgiveness can hold over us. ” If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed. (John 8:36)” Isn’t time to come into the freedom and the release of His Love?

Blessings,
#kent

Kindness

March 31, 2016

 

Kindness

Colosians 3:12-13

Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also [do] ye.

Kindness, an obvious word with an obvious application, it is often descriptive of one of the attributes of the fruit of the Spirit.  Kindness is so obvious and so simple and yet so missing among so many of us.  It is simply goodness and favor toward another person.  Many families and relationships are missing this little social grace from their words and actions.  Even in our every day encounters with strangers and people that we interact with, we fail at this little thing called kindness.  Oh yes, we feign kindness through superficial words and platitudes, but is it an issue of our heart?  True kindness pities, it empathizes, sympathizes and identifies with another’s need.  Kindness puts itself in the place of its neighbor and then responds appropriately according to how it would want to be treated.   Kindness isn’t a social mask that we put on to give the illusion of our graciousness; it is something that issues out of the foundation of who we are in Christ.  Kindness genuinely cares for another and will not hesitate to go out of its way to minister or help another.  Kindness overlooks the opportunity to be right when it is at the expense of another.  It compliments the rest of the attributes of the Spirit and it chooses the high road even at its own expense.  Kindness is what covers another with grace and favor even when they may not deserve it.  Kindness is slow to be offended and it returns good for evil.  True kindness is often the brunt of abuse and is commonly taken for granted.  Yet, it is the kindness working in us that causes our Father to smile and reminds Him of Himself.  

Today and each day of your life, develop the habit of random acts of kindness, not just on the deserving but on the undeserving as well.  Practice that kindness on the ones you say you love and yet always rub you the wrong way.  While others may not always appreciate it and it may be abused by some, you will never regret the warmth it leaves inside and the smile it puts on the face of God. 

Blessings,

#kent

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