Archive for December, 2012


Addicted To His Presence

Thursday, December 27th, 2012

©2012 Stan Hallett

addictedI liken the presence of God to sitting outside on a warm, calm Summer day, and feeling the warmth of the morning sun against your skin. . . except on the inside. I love the presence  and the love of God, and have become addicted to it.

Did you ever have feelings as a young man or woman for someone to the extent that you felt that you wanted to spend every single moment with them? It was particularly troublesome if you did not know whether or not they felt the same way. It was even worse if you found out that they didn’t. But if they did feel that same way, at the moment that they told you that they loved you too, your heart felt like it was going to burst with joy.  Have you ever known a love like that? I think that is like the love that God loves us with. It is a perfect love, and love that is without measure or comprehension.

As with all relationships, our relationship with God takes time to grow. As with any relationship it takes effort.  Can you imagine a young man or woman who have entered into a courtship not talking to each other, not spending time together? God already knows you inside and out, and He still desires to spend time with you. . . imagine that!

His Word says that we cannot even know our own heart, but He searches our heart and knows it (Jeremiah 17:10). His Word also says that He cares so much for us that even the hairs of our head are numbered (Luke 12:7). He loves and desires a relationship with you that involves time and conversation. It is more than just us doing all the talking, we need to listen as well.

Sometimes we have ignorant mindsets and habits. Some of us don’t spend much time with God until it’s time to go to a Church service.  Some have habits of a prayer before a meal, or before bed.  We all tend to pray and seek the Lord when a calamity befalls us, or a loved one. From my observations over the years, this all seems to be fairly typical of most Christians.

Some may think that because the Bible says; “for where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them” (Matthew 18:20), that there needs to be a group in order for God be present. Wrong! If you are saved, born-again, that is you have obeyed the Gospel (Acts 2:38, 1 Corinthians 15:1-4) , then you have direct access to God every single moment of your life! God’s Spirit is with us at all times, and not only with us but He is in us (John 14:17)! God has taken up residence in us!

I think sometimes either true Christians don’t realize who they are, or they forget. He is with us always! They problem is our flesh, and we are carnal minded.  We get caught up in our senses, in what we see, in what we hear, and what we touch. Our senses are bombarded in this modern world in which we find ourselves.  The world’s music is everywhere.  It’s in our workplace, in our homes, in our cars, on our iPods, and even on our phones.  We can literally go through a day and never have a quiet moment, and some of us virtually don’t, and some by choice!

Video is everywhere as well. Some of us are addicted to movies, television, and YouTube. It is like we have to be constantly entertained. Add to that video games, sports, hobbies, food, fashion, cars, and on, and on, and on. It has been said that you are what you eat, but I say; You are what you think about all day long. What you think about all day long is a form of worship, and thus can become your God.

What is needed first is a realization of the problem, then repentance.  We then need to seek God and ask Him to change us, to search out hearts, and as King David did, ask Him to create in us a clean heart (Psalms 51:10). Begin to draw nigh to God and he will draw nigh to you (James 4:8).  Begin to form a habit of communication with God, even if you need to place reminders in your life until it becomes second nature. Talk to Him when you awake in the morning, before your feet even hit the floor. Thank Him for the day, for your life, for your salvation.  Ask Him to guide your footsteps through the day. Praise Him in the shower singing songs of praise.  Pray at breakfast giving thanks for it.  Grab some time with your family before you all head off in different directions for the day.  Talk to Him on your drive to work, and talk to him throughout the day. You are not bothering Him! He wants to be involved with your life!

I desire to come to, and remain in a place where I am not addicted to all the entertainment and distractions that the world offers, but rather I am addicted to His presence. To come to a place where I am not trying to steal a few moments to enjoy the pleasures of this world, but rather I am trying to steal a few moments with my redeemer, my savior, my fortress, my refuge, and my strength, and the one that loved me enough to die for me.

Do you have questions?  Feel free to write to me via my contact form.

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Testimony

Wednesday, December 19th, 2012

©2012 Stan Hallett

TestimonyGod has always been so faithful.  I usually don’t get everything that I want, but I always get all that I need, and this month was no exception. Typically the Winter months here in Maine are very slow work-wise for me, as a self-employed individual. The first half of this month was especially difficult.  However, everyday we have a roof over our head, clothes on our back and food to eat.

At the beginning of this week I was able to earn some income to help see us through.  On Monday evening after a long day, as I drove back into town, I noticed that my battery light in my pickup had come on.  I decided to try to make it to an auto parts store to see if the could put a meter on it and tell me if it was the alternator, which is what I suspected.  I got there just in time, they were closing in a few minutes.  It turned out that indeed it was my alternator and a new one was going to cost $165. I believe that the Lord kept that bad alternator going until virtually the very moment that I had the money to replace it (Blessing #1). Not only that, but He allowed me to make it to the auto parts store before they closed (Blessing #2). I was able to get it diagnosed and purchase a new one which was in stock (Blessing #3), within minutes of closing.

After I paid for the alternator I asked them what it would cost to charge up my battery so that I could make it home, which was another 10 miles.  It was now dark and a rainy night as well, so the battery had to be able to have enough of a charge to keep the headlights and the wipers running all the way home. They told me that it would take about a half hour to charge it up, and the cost would be about $18.  However, they said that was not possible because the store was closing in 10 minutes.  Then he said that they would just put the charger on for that amount of time and at least I would get a partial battery charge (Blessing #4).

The battery is rated at 675 cold cranking amps at full charge had now 610 amps on it, so I was not too bad.  As it turned out the man that was helping me stayed late, past store closing (Blessing #5) and charged it up to full capacity, and did not charge me anything to do so (Blessing #6). Now I just had to make it home.

It was a cold rainy night, which was not a good time to be broken down on the side of the road, and with no AAA. I made it home without a hitch (Blessing #7) and pulled into my driveway and under the porch light where I could see to do the work.

It just so happened that when I arrived home, now at about 8:00 p.m., my son-in-law was there picking up my grandson, who was being watched by his grandmother for the day. This was a rare event, and typically he would have picked him up on the way home right after work.  This time he went and spent some time home first.

What was special about this is that my son-in-law is a mechanic, who offered to do the work to put in the new alternator.  He did it in just a few minutes having done it many times before (Blessing #8).

God is Faithful and Good.  I thank him for His blessings and I knew that when I rose up this morning that the Lord was going to take care of me.

Do you have questions?  Feel free to write to me via my contact form.

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An Atmosphere of Worship

Saturday, December 8th, 2012

©2012 Stan Hallett

If you are a husband you occasionally like to do something special for the bride that you love. Perhaps a nice evening out, that would include dinner at a nice restaurant. Not a fast food restaurant, or even one of those chain restaurants, but something fancy, expensive, intimate, quiet, with some nice music perhaps, and some great food, and a romantic atmosphere. For us that are in love it is all about atmosphere. Everything has to be just right.

When God created man, He didn’t just create him and put him in some void until he got around to creating the things that man needed.  No, before He created man He made the earth, the seas and the heavens. He made the grass, the trees, and every living thing.  He created and prepared the environment, and just the right atmosphere.

The Bible says that when He created man, He didn’t just create man by simply speaking him into existence, as He had everything else that He created.  He created man by forming him from out of the dust of the earth, and in His own image. Then the Bible tells us that He breathed the breath of life into him, and man became a living soul.

The garden was well prepared for him, and God set him over it.  The environment was already created for him, and He set man in it. Everything was perfect, a perfect environment, and a perfect atmosphere.

Now six-thousand years later He has brought us through to finally obtain the promise that He would not only be with us, but He would be in us (John 14:16,17). All of us that have His Spirit are no longer of this world, but we are His Bride.

When we gather together we become the complete local expression of His Body, the Church. If you ask anyone why they attend Church Services or assemble themselves together or “go to Church” as some might say, you may get different answers.  Some may say “it’s just something we do”, or “I enjoy the fellowship”. Perhaps one might say “I really enjoy the music”, or “I always feel better after going”.  Some may say that they “like to hear the preaching of God’s Word” or “I like to learn more about the Word of God”. All of these things are good, but the primary reason that we should be gathering together is to worship God, together as His Church, His Body, His Bride.

So how should we go about that?  Would we not want to create the right atmosphere?  Would we not want to create the right environment that would move God, and cause Him to desire to enter into it with His presence?

The Word of God says that He inhabits the praises of His people (Psalms 22:3).  This is not referring to the appearance of worship or rote ritual praise.  It is not the praise that looks good to us with our hearts somewhere else.  It is not the kind of praise where someone has their hands raised, but they’ve got leaving on their mind. “Man looks at the outward appearance, but God sees the heart” (1 Samuel 16:7).

We need to create an atmosphere of praise and worship, and not just through some ritual or motions, but express our love and adoration for Him with sincere praise and heartfelt worship. When we do this we are creating an environment that God can inhabit with His presence.

Let’s go back to creation just for a moment. . . The Bible says that God created the heavens and the earth, and every living thing. But by what means did He create them? All through creation God spoke everything into existence. Seven times before he formed man the book of Genesis says “and God said”.

“And God said, Let there be light: and there was light” (Genesis 1:3).

“And God said let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters” (Genesis 1:6).

“And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so” (Genesis 1:9).

“And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so” (Genesis 1:11).

“And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years: 15 And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so” (Genesis 1:14,15).

“And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven” (Genesis 1:20).

“And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so” (Genesis 1:24).

God is all about His Word!

The Bible says in John 1:1 that “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God”. Then if we go down to verse 14 its says “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us”, again, God is all about His Word!

Now let me ask you, does the Bible not say that we are made in the image and the likeness of God (Genesis 1:26, 5:1)? We are like Him! So if God, in whose likeness we are created, spoke an environment and an atmosphere into existence for us, how then should we create a proper atmosphere or environment for Him?

We need to speak it into existence with what Hebrews 13:15 refers to as “the fruit of our lips“, and with our words of heartfelt worship and praise.

More and more I see congregations clapping their hands (applauding) when a call to worship goes out.  While I am not condemning the clapping of hands, it can be done mindlessly.  Not too much thought needs to go into it.  However when we begin to praise God with our lips from the abundance of our heart, now we have a definite connection.

Only one time does the Bible says for us to clap (Psalm 47:1), then it says; “shout with a voice of triumph“. However the Bible tells us 218 times to praise Him, to sing praises, and to worship Him with our whole heart. This is an atmosphere of worship.

Do you have questions?  Feel free to write to me via my contact form.

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