Thursday, February 18, 2010

Just wanted to share this photo as an encouragment.

For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (Ephesians 5:8 NKJV)

God bless
Tom 1 John 3:16

Monday, February 8, 2010

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

No man's hands

The following is an article I wrote out of deep conviction and concern. I pray it is not to wordy, but it is written from much experience and trails. I am a slow learner. I have come to understand these desert places, these times of loneliness. I can only hope this may bring encouragement to another. --- T.F.

No man's hands.

As you looked, a stone was cut out by no human hand, and it smote the image on its feet of iron and clay, and broke them in pieces; (Daniel 2:34 RSV)

When God calls a man, He calls him unto Himself. There will be no man's hands in it. No molding by the wisdom of this age. He draws you by His Spirit, out into the wilderness of testing, trials, the breaking that one must go through, in order to be a vessel, the chalice to be filled and spilled. God does not need any help from man; especially our own. It is in the desert, the school of loneliness, we learn that our help comes from God alone. This is the place of the calling. It is here only One voice is heard. His hand is upon us to mold and shape us. It needs not the false frivolous misleading deception, we have today. Beware of any who come up to you, wanting to lay their hand on you, claiming they have a very special prophecy for you. They often come on spiritual, humble, but they themselves walk in the vanity of their own imagination. They want to lure you to their way of thinking, their altars that have been hewn by the hands of men. I do not pay heed to any today who think themselves prophets. They act as if they are a conduit of God's a special anointing, with a special word to those who are foolish enough to listen. God's Word alone cuts deep to the heart. A true prophet today is a man proclaiming the Word of God, by the power of God. Ask yourself: Is there anything you need more than the Word of God? Is there something more powerful than this? I think not? Why look to man and his high built temples of rubbish? These heaps of foolish pride, draw those who will not stand alone in Christ.
It is better to trust in the LORD Than to put confidence in man. (Psalms 118:8 NKJV)

We are called to the Higher calling, that is Christ alone. Our fellowship halls were never a place for us to congregate, stagnate around the ideas of men. They should be the staging grounds where we are equipped with the Armor of the Lord. We are to be sent out to fight the good fight of faith. We are to look up to where our help comes, in God alone. My friend, if you are drawn to some organization, some man, because of what they promise, beware. Unless you have been called alone onto God, to His refiners fire, you are not being set apart, you are being deceived by the will of man.
"I will lift up my eyes to the hills-From whence comes my help? My help comes from the LORD, Who made heaven and earth. He will not allow your foot to be moved; He who keeps you will not slumber. Behold, He who keeps Israel Shall neither slumber nor sleep. The LORD is your keeper; The LORD is your shade at your right hand. The sun shall not strike you by day, Nor the moon by night. The LORD shall preserve you from all evil; He shall preserve your soul. The LORD shall preserve your going out and your coming in From this time forth, and even forevermore." (Psalms 121:1-8 NKJV)

Since I came to the cross, redeemed by His blood, set apart by His mercy, I have seen and experienced many movements throughout the years. Seems to be, about every six month or more another book, another man comes up with a gimmick, to draw attention to themselves. The gullible love it so. The young who hunger for truth, are often swayed by these glib tongue power hungry wolves. Now there is a movement in the Midwest in which they think they are going to pray back the coming of the Lord. They think they can manipulate the Living God, the Solid Rock. It is like any hyped up rock concert, where thousands are moved by the excitement. Gooses bumps rise, the flesh is moved into a frenzy, many run forward confessing conversion, more scalps to add to the evangelist belt. However, if the truth be told, we find the majority of these so called conversion, shipwrecked by the wayside, less than six moths later. Why? They never came to the cross, they were caught up in the frenzy, moved by the movement, the goose bumps. It is only the Spirit of God, that draws the hungry heart who searches for truth. Its not the hype of the hour, but the Word of God. When men are moved into the will of God, they are drawn to the true fire of revival; it is the unction from above, not the function from below, the false fire that entices the flesh, tickles the ears. When Jesus called, He said come follow Me, not go join this movement, till the next one comes along, than go after another. There is a monster amongst us, deceiving the hearts of many, trying to fit the Lord's way, into man's way of life. However, it is what Paul warned Timothy about: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away! For of this sort are those who creep into households and make captives of gullible women loaded down with sins, led away by various lusts, always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. (2 Timothy 3:2-7 NKJV)

In Daniel the second chapter we read of this great statue, this image that Nebuchadnezzar dreamed about. This massive structure was a vision of the empires of man, those that stood that day, and those that would come. Man's greatest achievements, was seen in the dream of Nebuchadnezzar. To this king it was an awesome sight to behold. "You, O king, were watching; and behold, a great image! This great image, whose splendor was excellent, stood before you; and its form was awesome. (Daniel 2:31 NKJV) Is this not what attracts men, all that which looks awesome, great in splendor to our natural senses? I am sure Nebuchadnezzar was impressed and awestruck by it all. This dream, included Nebuchadnezzar great kingdom. All that he was so proud of was portrayed in his vision. Many today are so impressed by what man has built up, the bigger the better. This unfortunately has been the plumb line for many Christians to measure things by. They think because there is so much hype, such beauty to the eyes, such excitement that it draws thousand, than it must be good. Like the children who followed the Pied Piper, that if it sounds good, excites the flesh, it must be right. We do not measure a tree by the beauty of its flower, but by its fruit. Is it poison fruit, or is it good fruit, that is the test. Only one way to do that, and it is the Word of God in context, through His Spirit, does true discernment come. Every man has to give an account of what they believe. Flee from those who say they do not have to give an answer to what they are putting forth. Sounds humble to foolish followers, but a lie nonetheless: Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints. For certain men have crept in unnoticed, who long ago were marked out for this condemnation, ungodly men, who turn the grace of our God into lewdness and deny the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ. (Jude 1:3-4 NKJV)

Coming to Him as to a living stone, rejected indeed by men, but chosen by God and precious, you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. (1 Peter 2:4-5 NKJV) We are being built up as living stones. Each of us set apart by the hand of God for His good purpose. God shares His glory with no man, no matter how humble they may seem, or how awesome they are too behold. When God calls a man, it will be to the place in which one is broken. The Lord will expose us of what we are and who we are; nothing but the dust of the ground. It is not a pleasant place, however, it is the place of fire that burns the chaff away. When one comes out of the furnaces of His molding and shaping, there will be no pride, no arrogance, no kingdoms on this earth to build. All will be counted as loss for Christ Jesus. Except for those who truly long for righteousness, this is not what men are drawn too. My friend, if you are reading this, and you are caught up into some movement, some flash in the pan enterprise, centered around a man, or a group of men, flee. You are on the highway of pride. Escape! Find a place where you can spend weeks, or months alone in His Word. His truth never fails. I know that if any man who hungers for truth, draws away from the noise of this hour of hype and excitement, to be alone with the Author of life, they will come out of that School of Loneliness set apart for the purpose of being a vessel for His honor, His glory. There will be no fanaticism, no showboat fashion shows, in the name of Christianity. Like all those who have gone on before us, there will only be one cry from the heart that will go forth in His truth:
"He must increase, but I must decrease. (John 3:30 NKJV)

"And in the days of these kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed; and the kingdom shall not be left to other people; it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever. (Daniel 2:44 NKJV) That stone cut out from the mountain in Daniel's dream, we know is Christ and His kingdom. Nothing breaches the empire's of darkness but the Kingdom of Light. We cannot live by the standards and wisdom of this age, but by the word of God. We live in this world, eat of its bread, work in it, nonetheless, we a re sojourns passing through. Our time here is for a moment, it is our hour to shine as children of His grace. We are held to His word. When we enter the desert of testing, the devil tempts us to take from his hands, what we think we need. However, our response must be the same as our Lord: "But He answered and said, "It is written, 'Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.'" (Matthew 4:4 NKJV)

I believe the greatest sin of man is pride. He wants to be something, somebody who is noticed, set high on the throne of arrogance. Fallen man wants to be observed. This is the fruit and nature of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. The hardest thing for us is to except, is the fact that without God in our lives, we are nothing but a worm, the dust of the earth. There is no life outside of Christ. Without the cross, death, darkness is in the heart of us all. We were created to walk with God, to live and breath, have our being in Him alone. No true life is drawn outside of Him. It is death to be separated from Him. The fall brought forth this death, and it has been the way of the world since. Only at the cross, through Christ offering, the New Adam, the only Son of God, can a man understand, and come to life in Christ. Outside of the cross there is nothing but loss. Everything that boast in its strength will one day soon go back to the earth from which it came. Eternal separation is darkness, there is no light, no hope. We will never arise above pride, until we truly learn to draw our life from the Tree of Life. Blessed be the Lord, Who daily loads us with benefits, The God of our salvation! Selah Our God is the God of salvation; And to GOD the Lord belong escapes from death. (Psalms 68:19-20 NKJV)

Are you in a place where you feel so alone, so rejected, that you wonder why God would allow such a desert, a wilderness of despondency? Has all seemed to collapses before you, and like Job, you find such shallowness in the wisdom of friends and foes. Do not look for any answer in the activity outside of this desert place. It has been in this place that I have learned what it means to trust, to look up. We so often talk about trust, but when the storm rages we look to this world for answers. There is none. It does not matter how spiritual it looks, or how many weeks it has been on the number one best sellers list, it is but dust in the wind. Young man or woman, why do you run to another movement, another method, trying to find another spiritual high, trying to find your place? It is in this barren place, the time alone, where there is no help from the hands of man, that you will find the true help from above. This is the place where we see what utter failures we are. All else we have ever looked to, has been a dung heap of confusion. Rest in the One you claim you follow, and you will arise in the strength of the Holy Spirit. Abide in the Vine, your fruit will remain. The Israelites wondered in the wilderness for forty years, because they did not trust in the One who lead them by day by a cloud, by night by fire. He who never sleeps or slumbers, fed them manna from above. Their sandals never wore out, their clothes did not fall prey to weather. God, their only source. However, when they came to the place of promise to enter in, they ran in fear, because of the foes they faced. Do we not do the same? Have we not drawn back in dread, because there have been obstacles, giants before us. No man's hands can deliver us, it is Christ alone. Rest assured, you will find no help in another. He is our Solid Rock our sure Foundation. he has called each of us to enter His rest, sometimes it takes a long stretch in the School of Loneliness to learn that it is in no man's hands:
The wilderness and the wasteland shall be glad for them, And the desert shall rejoice and blossom as the rose; It shall blossom abundantly and rejoice, Even with joy and singing. The glory of Lebanon shall be given to it, The excellence of Carmel and Sharon. They shall see the glory of the LORD, The excellency of our God. Strengthen the weak hands, And make firm the feeble knees. Say to those who are fearful-hearted, "Be strong, do not fear! Behold, your God will come with vengeance, With the recompense of God; He will come and save you." (Isaiah 35:1-4 NKJV)

In Christ love & service
T.M. Faunce 1 John 3:16

Friday, January 8, 2010

I found the following daily devotion by Charles Spurgeopn convicting and challenging: "The iniquity of the holy things." --

"The iniquity of the holy things." --Exodus 28:38

What a veil is lifted up by these words, and what a disclosure is made! It will be humbling and profitable for us to pause awhile and see this sad sight. The iniquities of our public worship, its hypocrisy, formality, lukewarmness, irreverence, wandering of heart and forgetfulness of God, what a full measure have we there! Our work for the Lord, its emulation, selfishness, carelessness, slackness, unbelief, what a mass of defilement is there! Our private devotions, their laxity, coldness, neglect, sleepiness, and vanity, what a mountain of dead earth is there! If we looked more carefully we should find this iniquity to be far greater than appears at first sight. Dr. Payson, writing to his brother, says, "My parish, as well as my heart, very much resembles the garden of the sluggard; and what is worse, I find that very many of my desires for the melioration of both, proceed either from pride or vanity or indolence. I look at the weeds which overspread my garden, and breathe out an earnest wish that they were eradicated. But why? What prompts the wish? It may be that I may walk out and say to myself, 'In what fine order is my garden kept!' This is pride. Or, it may be that my neighbours may look over the wall and say, 'How finely your garden flourishes!' This is vanity. Or I may wish for the destruction of the weeds, because I am weary of pulling them up. This is indolence." So that even our desires after holiness may be polluted by ill motives. Under the greenest sods worms hide themselves; we need not look long to discover them. How cheering is the thought, that when the High Priest bore the iniquity of the holy things he wore upon his brow the words, "HOLINESS TO THE LORD:" and even so while Jesus bears our sin, He presents before His Father's face not our unholiness, but his own holiness. O for grace to view our great High Priest by the eye of faith!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

New Year Letter

Dear Friends

Another year upon us, another decade. Last year for many, it was difficult. Our economy in disarray, terrorism around the world, it is as if each day the world teeters on the brink of extinction. I cannot imagine what it would be like to not know the Lord, in such times as this. How do people face tomorrow, without Him? There is no hope in the religions of man; they wage war against one another. Atheism tries to stand up an raise its banner, but it is no more than a dry wind in a desert. How foolish that there are those who believe all things came from nothing. Governments are frighten by what they see coming upon this earth. They cry out global warming, while just less than fifty years ago they said a new Ice Age was upon us. Truly the words of the prophet Jermiah ring true: Thus says the LORD: "Cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes flesh his arm, whose heart turns away from the LORD. He is like a shrub in the desert, and shall not see any good come. He shall dwell in the parched places of the wilderness, in an uninhabited salt land. "Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose trust is the LORD. He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit." (Jeremiah 17:5-8 RSV) We are not held to the fear of men, nor do we dwell within the darkness of their wisdom, their frail plans. We are children of light.

This is the time, the hour for us to raise our banner high, to tell all those who dwell in darkness: The LORD is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear? The LORD is the strength of my life; Of whom shall I be afraid? (Psalms 27:1 NKJV) We have such great hope, such a promise that has been sealed by the gift of His wondrous mercy. In desperate times let us shine brighter. There are many who are going to be looking for the answer in the midst of this fallen world. Let us not cower in fear, but arise and show them our God reigns. I am so thankful for the opportunity that has been given to me by the Lord, to go into all the world and preach His word. I am thankful for all those who have been such a wondrous part of this. There truly is no Lone Warriors in God's kingdom. We are His, and He alone must be our source. "for in Him we live and move and have our being,' (Acts 17:28 NKJV) This is not the time for us to hide the light under the bushel of our fellowship halls, to retreat to the noise and clanging cymbals of false worship. We need to be a distinct sound, the wondrous tune of faith and obedience. Let us, like those who have gone on before us, arise and go. We are in a war, the war for the souls of men. It can only be won by trust and abiding in the One who will lead us beyond our selfish borders, to reach out to those who hunger for truth. I pray this year, all of us will be a part of the Lord's great exploits. I know many will not be able to travel the miles, nonetheless, it is not the distance, but the devotion that matters. When we are in love with Christ Jesus, we will produce the fruit that remains.

By His grace I will be off to Africa soon, and than I am looking at other lands, other places, in which I hear the cry for freedom. I do not know how far He will let me go, but I am willing to go as far as He calls me. Let us bind our hearts to Christ, in this alone we will be bound together. This is what true fellowship is, true worship, vessels for His honor. Let us not be those who make a lot of noise, but those who will by faith, tear down the strongholds of the enemy, and set the captives free. Thank you all so much for being a part of my life. Thank you for the encouragement and strength that you have shared with us. Remember, each new day is a gift to behold His glory unfold in our lives: For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. (Ephesians 2:10 NKJV)

In His love

Tom Faunce

Monday, January 4, 2010