The Sheltered Life

Written by Joyce C. Lock

Continued from page 1

Having personally declared war on Satan (which is another story), he usedrepparttar corruption ofrepparttar 138319 church to try and destroy me.

With scripture quoted every which way but up, in order to validate positions of authority and their agenda, I began searching to 'know'repparttar 138320 truth. And, having declared this war on Satan, even more so, absolute understanding of God's intent was required (on every given subject matter) ~ so my walk and service would always be underrepparttar 138321 umbrella of His protection.

Thus,repparttar 138322 more they persecuted,repparttar 138323 more I ran to God. Then, as I searched and researched,repparttar 138324 more I learned, andrepparttar 138325 stronger I grew ... 'til my faith became my own. Only, through this, God didn't make it any easier, as He kept gifting me for more areas of service thought only men could do.

Then, having once shared ofrepparttar 138326 incredible growth and learning I had discovered with my Heavenly Father, that had been shown to and also rejected byrepparttar 138327 church, dad said if I had been a male having brought this to church leadership, they would have set me up as some awesome teacher/leader, to sayrepparttar 138328 least, to be highly respected and learned from.

Dad was silent for a moment, then shook his head and said this never would have happened had I been male. And to this day, it brings tears to my eyes to remember my dearly departed daddy for this ... as a reminder, when no one inrepparttar 138329 whole world did, apart from God, my daddy believed in me.

None-the-less, life became harder, still, mostly because legalists don't stop until 'til they destroyrepparttar 138330 body; which turned out to be a good thing because death finally puts an end torepparttar 138331 curse ofrepparttar 138332 law.

So, yes, I, too, knowrepparttar 138333 mourning of being separated from one's mother's womb, rejected by church and family (all I had ever known, loved, or placed any additional faith in) in order to follow a higher call. And though most are not visible except torepparttar 138334 spiritual eye, my body bearsrepparttar 138335 marks of having given God all.

The signs ofrepparttar 138336 times are in God's children. Isaiah 8:18 But if your wounds were not to that degree or you thought such as a wheel chair had separated you from your church, thank God you were so spared!

The righteous perisheth, and no man layeth it to heart: and merciful men are taken away, none considering thatrepparttar 138337 righteous is taken away fromrepparttar 138338 evil to come.

Isaiah 57:1

Like most of you who are reading this, I am amongrepparttar 138339 Persecuted Church, longing to be 'welcomed' home ... also knowing that, once truly welcomed, captives will finally be free; including you and me.

However, I would not changerepparttar 138340 fellowship that came in knowingrepparttar 138341 sufferings of Christ. I would not change having discovered God to such a degree He is my life. I would not change having overcome battles that were intended to keep me from knowing whose I am, who I am, andrepparttar 138342 purpose of my creation. And, I would not have changed my time here with you, all my fellow brethren (wounded and, if there be any, whole); my church and my family.

We built websites. We planted church communities. We developed, grew, and sometimes transformed ministries. We reached out torepparttar 138343 world. We valued our aged. We welcomedrepparttar 138344 handicapped into service, again. We embraced people from aroundrepparttar 138345 world and welcomed whatever each had to offer;repparttar 138346 only requirement being having a heart for it. We opened doors; providing opportunity, skills, tools, and labor.

We proved Christians can serve in unity, regardless of doctrine, for a greater good. We liftedrepparttar 138347 fallen. We mended wounds. We offered unconditional love. We shared truths to help others overcome, too. But mostly importantly, we learned to listen from our heart instead of our eyes or ears. In such, we became heavenly cheerleaders;repparttar 138348 universal church ... sheltering each other fromrepparttar 138349 rudiments ofrepparttar 138350 world.

Having way surpassedrepparttar 138351 structural church, we did sooo good! And now, inrepparttar 138352 end times, we arerepparttar 138353 ones most trained for Kingdom building. Matthew 5:10

It isrepparttar 138354 structural church our lost sheep;repparttar 138355 ones with no shelter or sure foundation. And for allrepparttar 138356 true sob stories we can share (enough to make us all cry wererepparttar 138357 details known), Jesus still thoughtrepparttar 138358 structural church was worth saving, worth dying for.

We are exhausted beyond reason, for a reason; pulling us away from our universal shelter because our calling isn't finished yet. It is time to rest in God until we're rejuvenated and ready to go again. Only then, we have a new assignment,repparttar 138359 one we were created for ... to bring God's children home.

If that means returning torepparttar 138360 hurtful church of our past or learning to love a new one, follow God's leading. And no matter what you see or hear, if it isn't love, it isn't true and you arerepparttar 138361 one most qualified to knowrepparttar 138362 difference. 1 Cor. 6:4

It's your turn to be a shelter. Don't accept, receive, or give anything less than love ~ as love is God. Then, when persecution comes, shakerepparttar 138363 dust off your feet and keep going. Only, this time, it won't hurt so much ... because it was your choice.

2005 by Joyce C. Lock

This writing may be used in its entirety, with credits in tact, for non-profit ministering purposes.

Joyce C. Lock is a published author, poet, and columnist. In addition, she founded and maintains the email ministries "Heavenly Inspirations" and "Share a Smile" Joyce's writings encourage us in our relationship with God and each other.

To the Highest Bidder (Part 2)

Written by Joyce C. Lock

Continued from page 1

Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it arerepparttar issues of life. Proverbs 4:23

~ * ~

For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you. Acts 17:23

Make sure your devotions are given to none other thanrepparttar 138318 HIGHEST BIDDER.

For who is there of all flesh, that hath heardrepparttar 138319 voice ofrepparttar 138320 living God speaking out ofrepparttar 138321 midst ofrepparttar 138322 fire, as we have, and lived? Deut. 5:26

~ * ~

Yet now our flesh is asrepparttar 138323 flesh of our brethren, our children as their children: and, lo, we bring into bondage our sons and our daughters to be servants, and some of our daughters are brought unto bondage already: neither is it in our power to redeem them; for other men have our lands and vineyards. Neh. 5:5

Stand inrepparttar 138324 gate ofrepparttar 138325 Lord's house, and proclaim there this word, and say, Hearrepparttar 138326 word ofrepparttar 138327 Lord, all ... that enter in at these gates to worshiprepparttar 138328 Lord. Thus saithrepparttar 138329 Lord of hosts,repparttar 138330 God of Israel, Amend your ways and your doings, and I will cause you to dwell in this place. Trust ye not in lying words, saying, The temple ofrepparttar 138331 Lord, The temple ofrepparttar 138332 Lord, The temple ofrepparttar 138333 Lord, are these. For if ye throughly amend your ways and your doings; if ye throughly execute judgment between a man and his neighbour; If ye oppress notrepparttar 138334 stranger,repparttar 138335 fatherless, andrepparttar 138336 widow, and shed not innocent blood in this place, neither walk after other gods to your hurt: Then will I cause you to dwell in this place, inrepparttar 138337 land that I gave to your fathers, for ever and ever. Jeremiah 7:1-7

~ * ~

Then said he torepparttar 138338 multitude that came forth to be baptized of him, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee fromrepparttar 138339 wrath to come? Luke 3:7

Is not thisrepparttar 138340 fast that I have chosen? to looserepparttar 138341 bands of wickedness, to undorepparttar 138342 heavy burdens, and to letrepparttar 138343 oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke? Is it not to deal thy bread torepparttar 138344 hungry, and that thou bringrepparttar 138345 poor that are cast out to thy house? when thou seestrepparttar 138346 naked, that thou cover him; and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh? Isaiah 58:6-7

Bring forth therefore fruits worthy of repentance. Luke 3:8a

For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him. 1 Thes. 5:9-10 The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (notrepparttar 138347 putting away ofrepparttar 138348 filth ofrepparttar 138349 flesh butrepparttar 138350 answer of a good conscience toward God,) byrepparttar 138351 resurrection of Jesus Christ. 1 Peter 3:21

Forrepparttar 138352 law made nothing perfect, butrepparttar 138353 bringing in of a better hope did; byrepparttar 138354 which we draw nigh unto God. And inasmuch as not without an oath he was made priest: (For those priests were made without an oath; but this with an oath by him that said unto him, The Lord sware and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever afterrepparttar 138355 order of Melchisedec:) By so much was Jesus made a surety of a better testament ... Wherefore he is able also to save them torepparttar 138356 uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them. Hebrews 7:19-25

Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour. But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints; Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks. For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance inrepparttar 138357 kingdom of Christ and of God.

Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things comethrepparttar 138358 wrath of God uponrepparttar 138359 children of disobedience. Be not ye therefore partakers with them. For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light inrepparttar 138360 Lord: walk as children of light: (Forrepparttar 138361 fruit ofrepparttar 138362 Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;) Proving what is acceptable untorepparttar 138363 Lord. And have no fellowship withrepparttar 138364 unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret. But all things that are reproved are made manifest byrepparttar 138365 light: for whatsoever doth make manifest is light. Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise fromrepparttar 138366 dead, and Christ shall give thee light. Ephes. 5:1-14

2005 by Joyce C. Lock This writing may be used in its entirety, with credits in tact, for non-profit ministering purposes.

Joyce C. Lock is a published author, poet, and columnist. In addition, she founded and maintains the email ministries "Heavenly Inspirations" and "Share a Smile" Joyce's writings encourage us in our relationship with God and each other.

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